07 Nov

Oliver 3rd Birthday Invite

For Oliver’s birthday, we wanted to do some of his favorite things. He loves vrooming his cars around, so Cristian put together a fun racetrack for the kids to race hot wheels cars down from the couch and across the living room. It even had a jump in it. Oliver’s favorite book is Amelia Bedelia so we read it together, and I attempted to make lemon meringue pie since Oliver often includes the following sentence in his prayers: “And bless that we don’t run out of homemade lemon meringue pie.” He got a squirt gun—which he loves—some nice shirts, and a fun water play set. We love our little guy and are so grateful he is in our family.


P.S. Since the party, we call it “lemon meringue soup pie,” but I haven’t given up. Attempt #2 was better, and I’m convinced that this recipe won’t get the best of me so that means Oliver probably has plenty of lemon meringue still to come!



31 Oct

Happy Halloween everyone! This year Oliver was excited to dress up, so he had two costumes: Superman and a Pirate. Merayla wanted to be a scary witch, and here’s a funny story: She said she was a scary witch and put on her costume for the neighbor’s little girl, Violet. As she got dressed, each time she put on some new part of the costume, Violet asked, “Are you scary yet?”, “Now are you scary?”, “Are you scary yet?”, “Merayla, are you scary?” What do you think? Did she make it to scary? The giant spider in her hair did it for me.




Em at Home

09 Oct


Being held by her big sister,


And big brother,


First bath by Grandma (and many helpers)




Looking around




We just love her.

And a few more pictures just because they’re adorable in sequence:



03 Oct



Blessing Day

01 Oct


Emory was named and blessed by her father, Cristian, on Sunday, September 30, 2012 at the Tates Creek Ward in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She was lovely, and the blessing was as well.


The Birth Story

27 Sep

Hi. My name is Emory Nellia Icleanu, and I’m a good baby. I would like to introduce myself to you. I was recently born at Saint Joseph East hospital in Lexington, Kentucky. My Daddy did the delivering, even though he is not a doctor or even a nurse. But he delivered me because he loves me.

The way it happened was like this: I’d just about run out of space in my Mommy’s tummy, and I decided it was time to see the world. Mommy started having contractions at church on Sunday, but they were soft so she knew I was not ready to come yet. That evening, Daddy made her a delicious steak dinner, and Mommy cleaned the house to get ready for the arrival of Grandma and Grandpa Widmer by airplane from Idaho. They had bought tickets for my due date (Monday), and it was a good thing because Mommy doesn’t seem to be able to settle into labor until Grandma is nearby to take care of things. The random contractions continued through the night, and Mommy texted Tracy (our neighbor) to see if she would like to have a sleepover at our house with Merayla and Oliver. Tracy arrived around 4 am, and Mommy and Daddy went to the hospital.

The day at the hospital, however, just seemed to keep stretching out. I was not in a hurry. Mommy and Daddy walked the halls of the hospital, checked out the newborns on the 3rd floor, took pictures of the giant pickles in the hospital gift shop, etc. Everyone kept wondering what was taking so long. Oliver went to the Wallace’s house when Tracy went to work, and Merayla went to the Cullen’s after school. Mommy started to get tired, hungry, and just a little sad because she really wanted to see me. Daddy snuck her some peanuts, and she ate two packages and drank two water bottles. Finally, at 5 o’clock in the evening, the midwife asked if they wanted to break Mommy’s water. Since Mommy is all about natural birth, she was hesitant, but the suggestion and the midwife checking her must have been enough motivation because all of a sudden, we were really birthing! Hurray!

Daddy is Mommy’s birth companion, and he did an excellent job. He helped her with all sorts of birthing positions and counter pressure. There was beautiful, relaxation music that I could hear. Mommy labored well, and the midwife even told her she was a beautiful natural-birther. I felt very welcomed, and I decided to stick my head out and what I saw was Daddy, and nobody else in the room. Daddy looked at me confused; I don’t think he knew what he was doing. He tried to pull me out for a second, but then he ran out the door. After he shouted at the nurses, they all rushed in and helped me finish coming out. Then Mommy hugged me and held me and cried. She was really warm, and I drank lots of milk right away.

Daddy and Mommy thought I was perfect. They also thought I was very strong because they decided to name me after Mommy’s great-grandma Nellie. She lived on the farm in Idaho and was very faithful, strong, and independent. She lived to 96 years old. Mommy has many good memories of Grandma Nellie, and I hope I can be like her.

Mommy and I spent a few days at the hospital. Oliver, Merayla, Grandma, and Grandpa came to see me. They were all very excited to hold me and talk to me and smile at me. They love me very much. Oliver was very happy to learn that I had arms (because when he first saw me I was all wrapped up and he wasn’t sure), and Merayla keeps saying, “Emory is cuter than anything. I just love her so much.”

I am sure you really want to see how cute I am as well, so check out the pictures from my time at the hospital. There will be more to come as well…

Baby Emory


Happy News

25 Sep

Emory Anouncement copy


Tibi Retribuetur Enim Tibi in Resurrectione

18 Sep

(This is an assignment I (Cristian) wrote for a class. We were meant to explain the encounter with Columbus from the point of view of the native. )

(Check out the pdf attachment to read all the footnotes)

“Great Christians and most excellent and most powerful Princes, King and Queen of the regions of Spain and the isles of the sea, our lords, in this present year of 1494 I write to your majesties to inform you of my happenstance.” Columbus puts his scribing tool down and looks at his sores. He could hardly concentrate on writing and stop shaking long enough to write this short sentence. His vision seemed blurry and his body was mutilated by the countless sores that appear as tiny tomatoes under his skin trying to burst through . The tremors of his fingers and lips scarcely ceased as once more attempted to write. “I am ill of an unknown cause and I am not sure when the Lord will see fit to receive my soul. My situation is desolate and forlorn beyond measure. My crew abandoned me and probably considers me dead after our land incursion on the day of 14th of January in the year of our Lord 1494. As the Lord saw fit, our ship the Santa María to run aground and as she could not be unstuck, we used her destruction as an opportunity to build a trading post with the natives. We labored unceasingly to make use of all its goods to build what we called in honor of our Lord the settlement of the Villa de la Navidad . While the remainder of your majesty’s ships returned to our lands for supply and to bear the good news of my discovery of a new route to the Indies, I decided to show leadership and remain here until the ships return. I have thus done as your majesties commanded and read the Requerimiento to the natives, took control as the first governor of the Villa de la Navidad, and started trading with the natives. As initially our trade with the Indians did not yield much gold, I saw fit to capture some of the Indians and have them learn our language and customs. We were planning to have them translate and aid us trade with the rest of the tribes. Furthermore, in seeing that many of them wore small pieces of gold pierced to their noses, lips, or ears, we thought it necessary and just to capture them so they can lead us to their deposits of gold .” Again his hands shook, he looked confused. He seemed not to know where he was. He cried and shouted something I did not understand. He looked towards my direction and called me to him.

Read the rest of this entry »



28 Aug


Merayla was so excited to start going to Kindergarten. She started on August 22nd and it has been a busy two weeks, but she is still loving it. Here she is on the first day of school.


We are “walkers” because the car line is crazy, and we live really close to the school. Daddy makes the trek with her every morning, and Mommy and Bird go every other afternoon. I handled the whole thing better than I thought, and it’s been fun to have some time with just Oliver. He plays well by himself but sometimes he stops to ask, “Where’s my brother?”


She is going to Veterans Park Elementary, and her teacher is Mrs. Rowe. The full-time aid is Mrs. Helm. Cristian snuck a few pictures of the class on the first day so you get to see it in action.




Beach Vacation

22 Aug

We took a little family vacation in August to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. It was awesome! The water was so warm, and the weather was nice even when it rained. We had fun in the ocean, went to a cool water park, and went mini-golfing for Family Home Evening. In the evenings, we ate at fun restaurants and watched the Olympics. Cristian tried out boogie-boarding, and Merayla tried out everything she could think of. Bird was scared of the waves but loved the sand, and he keeps saying, “Let’s go back to the beach vacation.” I would love to!