Thursday, September 8, 2011


Yes, I AM posting. I know. You all thought we had died. Turns out we're alive! And in Cleveland, Ohio of all places! We're here for medical/PhD school at Case Western Reserve University and we'll call it home for 7 years. At least. Taylor (side note: T.J. has decided that he is all grown up now and is going by Taylor. It's so super weird when your husband changes his name. I guess I'll just be glad he didn't choose to change his gender.) is doing an MD/PhD program that is perfectly aligned with his career goals of 1) being an awesome doctor and 2) changing our health system through research and policy. He is super excited and rightfully so as he snatched the single spot for the program and the attending grant money (awesome!). We're so grateful and really liking it out here. The people are so nice, we've made great friends, and there are tons of awesome things to do with the kids.

What else has happened in the last...year plus since I wrote? Well, I graduated and am now Master Christensen! :) My thesis was published in a good journal and I wrapped a few other publications under my belt for good measure. I'm still occasionally working with my professor on manuscripts just keep a toe in the door. Just in case.

We had a family reunion (well, half of the fam!) and got to see lots of family and we also got to see a lot of them on the drive out to Ohio. It was so so fun and made moving so far away that much harder! I may or may not have shed some tears.

Oh! And you know, we had a baby! Story Ann Christensen born in May and she is such a doll! We love her to bits! Ann is after Taylor's mom, Julie Ann. She and Pepper are 16 months apart and both are keeping me busy! Story is so sweet. She loves to suck on her hands and her thumb (much to my chagrin) and smiles and laughs and is starting to babble. We love it! Pepper likes her, but doesn't quite understand that she isn't a doll. She likes to see her and touch her and pull her off the couch on to her head. Needless to say it is impossible to leave them in the same room alone unless Story is safely strapped to something.

Pepper is growing up too fast and is all talk. Seriously, she talks all day! Full sentences and learning more and more every day. We love it! She runs all around and still loves to read books. She loves being outside, playing with rocks, sticks, dirt, dogs, and jumping in puddles (there are lots of those here - it rains a ton!) We have a tire swing in our back yard and she loves loves loves to swing. Taylor pushes her so high and she holds on like a champ! I just can't watch! She is such a smart girl, so helpful and so sweet. We can't get enough of her! Okay, occasionally I can. But, I still love her to bits!

The last few weeks we had our sister-in-law Krystle and her little girl Royal staying with us. It was SO fun!!! We had a blast and I loved having a friend around all the time to talk with, cook yummy food with, and help clean up and watch kids. We went to Kirtland (it's only 25 minutes from our house. So, if you're ever visiting church history'd better come stay with us! We have stellar air mattresses, good conversation, and great grub! Seriously though, we'd love to have you.), saw some Amish sites, went to a "petting zoo," the Children's museum, science center, libraries, parks, and Pepper learned how to be tough. We were so sad to see them leave!

Okay, I promised myself that I wouldn't try to play catch-up. But, I am going to sincerely try to be better about blogging every now and then from now on. I can't even keep up in my journal! But, since this counts as that too, I suppose it is worth the effort.


Ashley and Broc Jenkins said...

so glad to see an up date! I love when you guys blog! I miss yall! Do you like the accents out there? I am going to Kentucky in a few weeks! I wish I could come see you!

Bethany and Thomas said...

Oh my goodness. You ARE alive! I have been waiting to hear about your new baby. I love her and love her name SO MUCH. Now you just need to take a little drive and come see us in Richmond. We'll show you a good time and you can visit all the east coast goodness. I'm glad Taylor (weirdo) got in and that you are enjoying a new start! We loved moving for school. Now post more. I MEAN IT.

Penny said...

Thanks for the update. Such cute pics!

Gretchen said...

Woooohoooo!! You posted!! So fun to hear an update. Congratulations to "Taylor" (that seems weird to me, but I guess when your a doctor TJ kinda seems less professional) on getting into a MDPHD program, and at such a great schooL! What an accomplishment! Sounds like you guy's are enjoying Ohio! We will be sure to visit if we go out there in the next 7 years. And little Story and Pepper are so cute!! They are going to be such good friends being so close in age. Love it.

Janneke said...

Aww!! Cute family. And TJ is now Taylor --- weird. I hope Danny never changes his name to Daniel. I think I'd feel awkward. :/

Glad to see you're surviving (or should I say thriving) out in Ohio! Go TEAM AWESOME!