Monday, September 24, 2012

3 girls

Violet was explaining to Nora how these pumpkins aren't for eating - they're just decorations.  She told her in my exact voice and intonation - it was creepy.

All 3 girls entertaining themselves!  This lasted just long enough for me to grab the camera and take a picture - about 8 seconds!

Oh hey, cute girls.

Fun at the Botanical Garden

Taking Jake for a ride in the wagon


I have so many pictures of her riding these sheep.  Crazy.

Fun in the play kitchen!

We spent about 30 minutes here while she would make me food and fetch me my requests.  It's fun to imagine and pretend.  I love you, 2 and a half year old  imagination!

Monday, September 17, 2012


Nearly 6 years ago, I started working towards my Masters degree in Geographic Information Science in the online program from Northwest Missouri State. After alot of work, I finally got my diploma in the mail today. Totally worth it.

For my thesis project, I researched the effect of MetroLink (the St. Louis light rail system) on the property values of houses located near the stations. The thesis alone was over a year of researching, examining data, writing, revising, and revising again. My official abstract is below. Essentially, what I found was that (single-family, owner-occupied) houses located within one-quarter of a mile of a station where worth 5-10% more than a similar house located further away from a station.The effect is different for each station and includes St. Louis County only.

Since I only occasionally get to do actual geographic analysis in my work at Laclede Gas, this project was a good chance to apply some of the skills I developed in the last several years while learning more about an issue that I care about. The "Watch This Space" sign has finally been replaced with my framed diploma. Violet now thinks that I am "like Elmo" because in one episode of Sesame Street, he goes to school and gets a diploma.


This study investigates the degree to which light rail stations in St. Louis County impact the property values for residences located nearby. A premium has been found for properties located near transportation facilities; however this effect is inconsistent for light rail stations in other cities. Assessment data is analyzed to determine if single-family, owner-occupied properties located in the station area have higher property values compared to a control area. Station and control areas were designated at 1,200 feet and between 1,800 and 2,800 feet, respectively. Regression modeling was used to measure differences in assessed value between the station and control areas while controlling for house size. Each station was categorized based on the presence of on-site parking, whether or not it is located at a major destination, and how walkable the surrounding neighborhood is.
            Of the nine station areas with sufficient data, five showed positive effects from being located within 1,200 feet of a station. Premiums ranged from 3.3% to 7%. The remaining four station areas showed no effect. Additionally, analysis of sales values indicates that properties in the station areas are valued higher than is indicated by the assessed value.

I am working with my advisor now to get my research published in an academic journal. If anyone is interested in reading the full thesis, contact me and I can send you a copy.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Big girl

After some unexpected success last night and this morning, we are in the trenches of potty training.  Wish us luck!

So far (8:22 am): accidents on 3 pairs of panties - 1 success and promise of new panties at Target!

End of day (7:22 pm): uncounted number of accidents, little girl with diaper on, mom drinking Lime-a-rita on the porch

Clearly, neither of us are ready.  

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Scenes from our day narrated by Violet

The last 2 weeks have marked a HUGE jump in Violet's vocabulary.   It is so fun to hear her sound so much more grown up now. 
2 weeks ago: She would, for example, ask me to pick her up and say "mommy pick you up" since that's how she hears it.  Now she's all about using I, my, your, and occasionally mine. Pronouns are awesome!
Now: Pick me up, mommy.
2 weeks ago: close it
Now: Just leave it closed, mommy.
2 weeks ago: she would just say "this?" for things she didn't know
Now: What is this, mommy? What was that sound, mommy?  What does that mean? What does this thing do?

So, in honor of her big language jump, I will have her narrate part of our morning.  

I just need a little privacy, mommy.

I take this picture by myself, mommy.

Mommy, read this dog dog book to me.  I want you to read it!

I'm counting my fingers, mommy.

I love Elmo, mommy.  Let's watch it for a few minutes.

Just stay inside, mommy.

I want to eat lunch outside on my table.

I want to make these cake pops, mommy.  (Her favorite book right now is the Bakerella cake pop book.  She looks at it multiple times a day!)

Ooohhh, look at these ones mommy.  Find them for me.  Saw these ones last night. (Her frame of reference for time is saying "last night" for the past and "in a few minutes" for anything in the future.)
I see robot ones!  Watch this, mommy.  (in reference to planking!)

Monday, September 10, 2012

Rams 7K

To round out our family fitness weekend Nate did the Rams 7K Sunday morning.

Can you spot him in the lineup with his throwback Bruce jersey?

Go, daddy, go!

The coolest part about the run was that it ended on the 50-yard-line of the Dome.  Violet and I got to wait for him on the field :-)

The finish!

He did great and loved running through the same tunnel the Rams use to enter the field :-)

Cute headband, Vivi!
Daddy got a McGriddle on the way home and I had to capture her first bite of McDonalds.  Gross!!!


Finally after months of training it was triathlon day!  Carol brought these super cute "Team Tenholder" shirts for Mike and I's fan club :-)
It was a beautiful morning and we were excited to get started!

Announcing "Team Tenholder"

Cheering me on during the swim :-)
Transitioning to the bike ride

Yay, Papa!
Violet helped Papa put his bike shoes on

And I'm off...
Coming in to transition to the run

Mike ready to run

Mike caught up with me during the run!  It was great to finish together :-)

Sprinting to the finish!

So glad to be done
What a fun morning!  I had so much fun and felt GREAT during the run.  I can't wait to do another one.
The breakfast at First Watch made the hard work worth it :-)

Fitness Friday

We attended a special event at the Magic House and it was Rams themed.  We were pumped!

She thought the mascot Rampage was funny from afar...and terrifying up close!

We had a lot of fun in the mirror hallway :-)


 Seeing her toes curled on the knob made me think of gymnast's toes on the beam. Does a future gymmnast live in our house?