And the Answer is…

July 30th, 2011 . by Melissa


Great job to all of those who have already figured out the puzzle! (And thanks for your comments, too!) For those of you who got a little stumped, I promised to post the solution today.  Here it is…




That’s right! We’re expecting another little Newman on February 10, 2012.We’re all super excited to become a family of four…especially Jack, who runs around pointing at my belly all day saying “Baby!”

This photo credit goes to my dad and Kathy who figured out the puzzle in record breaking time and emailed me the proof!


Currently I’m 12 weeks, close to finishing up my first trimester. Here’s a belly shot. Right now there’s not much of a bump, it just looks like I’ve been eating a lot of pasta (and let’s face it, I have been!)

And a final pic of the excited big brother! (It could be that his excitement in this particular picture was due to the sticker stuck to his forehead…)

Thanks to everyone for playing! It was fun!!

A Challenge for You!

July 29th, 2011 . by Melissa

Unfortunately, Jack lives very far from all of his grandparents. He doesn’t get to play with them or see them very often. SO, we decided to play a little game with them across the miles. We mailed them the 14 pictures below and asked them to unscramble the letters to decode a secret message from Jack. They all had so much fun playing the game, we thought we would give the rest of you an opportunity to join in the fun…digitally! Now, not all of the grandparents figured out the puzzle right away, so don’t be discouraged if it takes you awhile! I will however give you a few clues that we didn’t give them (feel special!):

-There are multiple words that make up the answer. Not just one!

-Each letter is used once, and only once. If a letter is pictured twice, then you get to use that letter twice.

Good luck! We’ll post the correct answer tomorrow!

Walkin’ in Memphis

July 19th, 2011 . by Melissa
This past weekend we traveled to Memphis, Tennessee. You may ask, “why on earth would they go to Memphis, what is there?”
Well, these beautiful people, folks:
{{OKAY, so I wanted to put a group photo here from our trip and then I realized that we never took one!! I hope someone else got one!}}
Meet the Smiths and the Eberts. You don’t see them on our blog very often because we live very far away from them.  Matt Smith and Jeff Ebert are childhood friends of Jason’s. They all grew up in Sandy, Utah together. The Smith’s moved to Austin, Texas 6 months ago for a job at Dell and the Ebert’s moved to Lexington, Kentucky 2 months ago for law school. So, naturally we began to plan a road trip. The halfway point between Texas and Indiana was Memphis, Tennessee (okay, so actually it was somewhere random in Arkansas, but that sounded like zero fun).
We left on Thursday afternoon and made a pit stop in Mt. Vernon for a brief visit with my family. We woke up early Friday morning and continued another 5 hours to Memphis (after some delicious Dairy Queen biscuits and gravy).   

After a joyous reunion we checked into the hotel and then headed to the National Civil Rights Museum. First, we needed food and ate at this bluesy-cafe-bar place. The food wasn’t so great…then again, we didn’t try their specialty: Alligator bites.

Patriotic Jack


Lazy Jack


Jack waiting for his southern cookin'


Jenn, Jeff, and Jack.


Jack and me, with MLKs assassination spot in the background.


The Smith's and the Ebert's outside the National Civil Rights Museum.

We also walked along the famous Beale Street and had dinner at BB Kings. BB Kings was amazing on all accounts. The ribs were the best I ever had and the entertainment was fabulous. Unfortunately, I didn’t get any photos from there and might have to steal some from Andrea later.  We were all exhausted from a long day of walking and driving. We headed to our hotel pool and enjoyed a very luke warm (not-so-hot) tub and then retired early.

Onto to day 2!

We woke up early-ish and walked to the highly recommended Blue Plate Diner. The food was amazing!

Matt trying to climb a sculpture. There's our hotel in the background!

 Then we headed over to Mud Island Park. Andrea and I rode the monorail over the Mississippi River, while everyone else walked (they walked on a bridge, not on water!). The temperatures were scorching at 94 degrees with 76% humidity.

Me and Jack resting from the heat.


The Newmans!


The Eberts!


They had a scale model of the Mississippi River at Mud Island, it was really neat to see and to cool off in! 
Jeff damming the mini-Mississippi, Paul Bunyan style.

Jack playing in the mini-Mississippi.

Dipping my feet in the mini-Mississippi.

Jack and Me: Indiana born and bred!

Matt, Jase, and Jeff: The Utah Boys.

Jeff and Jack with their respective states.

 After our Mud Island adventure we went back to Beale Street for lunch. The guys saw this special on the Food Network about Dyer’s. Here’s the clip:

I was afraid of having a heart attack by just being at Dyer's.

Nap break!

Dyer's: Home of the deep fried hamburger!

After we scarfed down our greasy lunch we headed to Gibson Guitar Factory for a tour. Jack was too young to go (lots of fumes) so I stayed back with him. I visited Memphis my senior year with my high school’s art guild, so I’d already been on the tour. It sounded like everyone really liked it and thought it was interesting!

Jase and Jack at the Gibson Guitar Factory.

Then we headed to the famous Peabody Hotel to watch 4 little ducks walk from their fountain to an elevator on a red carpet. It was amazing that so many people had gathered (about 200) to watch these ducks. I guess it’s a tradition! Finally, we ate dinner at a small pizza joint and then headed back to the hotel. We played an entire game of Phase 10…yes, that’s right we made it to phase 10…well, some of us made it to phase 10, others weren’t so lucky. We stayed up until midnight and then got some rest for the long drives ahead of us.

Jack wearing Jeff's hat.

We had breakfast together in the morning and then headed our separate ways. We had such a blast! We can’t wait for another friends-cation next year. Hopefully in Florida and with the whole group!

Jack enjoying pancakes from the Blue Plate Cafe. It was so good we ate there two mornings in a row!

Perfect Child?

July 4th, 2011 . by Melissa

Last Friday I had a few work emails to send out before we headed to playgroup. I told Jack to play with the toys in the bedroom while I finished up. He loves “free time” so I knew he’d be fine. I sat at the computer on the opposite side of the bedroom and listened to him play and jabber as I typed. After several minutes or so, I realized the playing and the jabbering had stopped. At first I was worried that he managed to open the bedroom door and escape (because he has almost done it several times before) but the door was still latched closed. So I walked around our bed and found Jack like this:

He must have been pretty tired (even though his naptime wasn’t for another 1.5 hours!) because he had pulled off the pillow from our bed and wrapped himself up in this blanket next to the pile of laundry. It was so cute. He was tired and by golly, he was going to take his nap! Turns out he was just play sleeping and he started giggling at me as soon as I tried to take a picture.

A Day at the Zoo

July 4th, 2011 . by Melissa