Monday, April 28, 2008

American Idol Fans

In this house, we love American Idol! Kirsten is no exception. We usually watch it after she goes to bed, but sometimes I keep them on the DVR and re-play them during the day to see the best performances again. Kirsten loves to watch the singers and she also loves the theme music. She stays glued to the TV for a good portion of the show. Stephen says I'm obsessed, because I even make CD's of my favorite songs the Idols sing. I've done this every year since I started watching it, which was Season 4. Most of the CD's I made from past seasons included a mix of both guys and girls, but this year it's all about the guys. I've made two CD's so far and each one only has a couple of songs sung by girls. What can I say? I just love the guys this year and I think they outshine the girls by far.
I just can't decide which David I like best. . . David Cook or David Archuleta? I love them both and am constantly changing my mind about which one most deserves to win. I think my general consensus is that David Cook really should win, but David Archuleta will win. But really, as long as they're the final two I'll be happy. They just better be the final two! I also adore Jason Castro, and I was bummed to see Michael Johns voted off. Now I have high hopes for an all-male final three!
My most recent song obsessions are the full studio versions of David Archuleta's 'Think of Me' and David Cook's 'Music of the Night' from last week. Both songs are so beautiful, and I replay them in the car all the time. I'll be sad for this season to end!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

From Sunny Spring. . . To Snowy Winter

We've had some truly crazy weather here in Washington in this past week. Most of these pictures are from April 12'th, two Saturdays ago. The temperature was an amazing 78 degrees that day. It really felt like summer! We listened to the Beach Boys in the car and took Kirsten to an oceanside pier to walk around. The piers up here are really not as fun as Oceanside and Santa Monica, the ones I grew up going to in southern California. You don't get much of a surfer, carefree beach vibe up here. But there were some beautiful spring flowers and lots of boats to look at.

I had a hard time believing it was only April and not July, because it felt like the perfect summer day. Tons of people were out walking their dogs or with their babies. It would have been an awesome day for boating.
Exactly one week later, here's what it looked like outside our house. . .
We got quite a few inches of snow here. In April! It's like we're still living in Utah or something. The flakes were so big and they fell hard and fast all afternoon and evening. They were beautiful! But it was such a huge change, to go from temperatures of 78 to 33 in one week. So are we having an early summer or a late winter? We don't know. . . it's pretty confusing!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

11 Months Old!

I can't believe Kirsten is only one month away now from her first birthday. How crazy is that?! We've done lots of fun things this month, and it's so fun to see her personality develop more every day.
This month's new milestones:
-Cruising! She'll now walk and take steps as long as she's holding onto furniture. She can also reach a lot further now, and I'm always amazed at the things she can pull off shelves and tables.
-Her balance is much better, and she'll stand while holding onto something with only one hand.
-Her babbling consists of lots more different sounds now.
-Waving! That is such a fun one. The picture below shows her standing up by the dishwasher and waving at me. Her favorite things this month:
-Hide and seek! She doesn't really do the hiding part yet very much, but she squeals with excitement when I go hide behind something and she has to come find me. It's the best game in the world!
-Exploring. She always wants to get down on the floor, crawl around, and stick everything she can find into her mouth.
-Going places where she's not supposed to be. She crawls SO fast towards the fridge whenever we open it and tries to take condiment bottles out of the door shelves and suck on them. She does the same thing with the bathroom closet, and always goes straight for the lotion bottles.
-Being tossed up into the air, swung around, or anything thrilling like that. She's a little daredevil!
Things she still can't quite do:
-Clapping. I keep trying to teach her, and she loves it but won't do it herself.
-Standing on her own without holding onto something. That's still a little too scary I guess. Sometimes she'll stand for a few seconds, but it's really rare.
-Eat many table foods off our plates. I got her to eat a few green beans and some pear pieces, but most adult food still makes her gag.
-Walking by herself.
-Talking and actually knowing what she's saying.
The crazy fears of the month:
She doesn't get scared by the vacuum, trains, or bagpipes, but here are the things she's scared of the most right now-
-Plastic bags (still! The crinkly sound makes her cry, unless she's doing it herself)
-The blender/food processor
-The sound of someone blowing their nose
Our least favorite time of the last month:
-Kirsten got her first runny nose, and it was no fun. She absolutely hated it when I wiped her nose (which I had to do a bunch of times a day) and she would cry and turn her head away every time. She was fussy and clingy and didn't sleep well for almost a week. I was so relieved when she started feeling better!
Kirsten's tenth month has mostly been a fun one, minus the runny nose. She's such a happy and spirited baby and I love spending time with her!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Crazy Balloon

I wouldn't normally do a blog post about this, but seriously... this was the balloon I got for Stephen for Valentine's day. Two MONTHS later and it's still on our ceiling, only barely starting to look like it's losing some air. How is this possible??? Well, it's been Valentine's day for two months around here, according to the balloon.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

A Beautiful Beach!

Last week, I took Kirsten to the beach in Edmonds. The air was still just a bit chilly, but the sun was out and the sky was blue and gorgeous. It took us only about ten minutes to drive to this beach on the Puget Sound. Check out the beautiful view!
Kirsten fussed when we first got there, and she didn't like all the bright sun in her eyes. But our friend Chance was with us, and he held her and showed her the waves. She cheered up when she started getting interested in the water.
While they looked at the water, I had some fun with the camera.

So for anyone who thinks it rains every day in Seattle and is cloudy all year, not so! We have plenty of days of pretty blue skies and nice temperatures. And if you're measuring inches of rainfall, Miami gets more than Seattle per year. I learned about that on the Travel Channel!
It'll be fun when Kirsten gets old enough to play in the sand and not try to eat it. For now, it's still fun to go and I'm looking forward to lots of beach trips this summer.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Tuesday Travel Talk

San Francisco!

For our one-year anniverary roadtrip in May 2006, the first place we headed to was San Francisco. I had never been there before and was pretty excited to see it, and we stayed two nights in a really pretty Hilton hotel. For the rest of our trip we stayed in cheap Motel 6's, but we splurged on the nicer hotel in San Francisco and I booked it myself at a discount through my travel agency. The hotel was really beautiful and the bed was so comfortable!
The Hilton was located in Union Square, and right next to the cable car lines. Of course we rode the cable cars quite a few times, and I loved them. What a fun way to get around a city!

We went to all the main touristy places in San Francisco, the main one being Fisherman's Wharf. We saw the sea lions lying on the docks, ate sourdough bread pizza and soup in bread bowls, and browsed through shops. We also tried to avoid all the crazy homeless people who live there and would just walk right up and talk to you.

San Francisco bay was really beautiful, and I could see why it was so famous. Here are a couple of my favorite pictures I took of the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz. We didn't actually make the trip to Alcatraz, but we viewed it across the water.

Here we are at the Palace of Fine Arts. I had studied that building in a humanities class and really wanted to see it. It was very pretty, located in the middle of a lush park.
We did tons of walking when we were in San Francisco. In fact, the best way to do the city would be to not have a car at all with you, and just ride cable cars and walk everywhere you need to go. Parking in San Francisco is the worst I've ever seen anywhere, and since we were on a road trip and had our car with us we had to pay $40 a day just to park at the hotel! Horrible! But I loved walking along the waterfront and seeing views like this one:

We ate at some fun restaurants at Fisherman's Wharf, like Bubba Gump's and the Crab House. Stephen loved the crab he got to order at the Crab House, and he got a bib for it and everything.

It was always fun to walk by the Boudin Sourdough Bread factory, because they shaped the bread in their windows into all kinds of fish, lobsters, crabs, and crocodiles.
We didn't actually go in the water (brrrr, too cold!), but we did get to walk on the beach and watch the windsurfers. It looked like fun!

One of the best places we went while we were there was Ghiradelli Square. I don't have a picture of it, but we had the yummiest warm cookie sundae with a big, delicious chocolate chip cookie in the bottom, two kinds of ice cream, and Ghiradelli's hot fudge over the top. I drool just thinking about it! I'd go back for sure, just to have another sundae like that and ride the cable cars again.
As we were leaving to drive up through Oregon, we drove across the Golden Gate Bridge. We had a really fun time in San Francisco and saw some of the craziest people I've ever seen anywhere in the world.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Stephen Is 28!

Last week, on March 26'th, we celebrated Stephen's birthday! Since he turned 28, here are 28 things you might not know about Stephen:1. When he was born, he looked so pretty that the nurses put a pink bow on his head and thought he was a girl.
2. He's been a certified scuba diver ever since he was a little kid, and his Dad was a scuba dive instructor.
3. He served his mission in Puebla, Mexico.
4. He falls asleep faster than anybody I know... within 5 minutes or sooner, every single night. It baffles me.
5. He had braces at one point, but he hasn't worn a retainer for years now and his teeth haven't moved a single bit.
6. He's now addicted to Survivor, American Idol, and Amazing Race... all thanks to me! Oh, and he really loves The Office too.
7. He's a true University of Utah fan, despite all my best attempts.
8. His favorite ice cream flavors are chocolate peanut butter and Chubby Hubby.
9. If Stephen were an article of clothing, he would definitely be a hoodie. It's rare to see him without one on.
10. He makes awesome guacamole and yummy chicken enchiladas!
11. He majored in Information Systems at the University of Utah and got Microsoft Certified within a year after his graduation.
12. He loves video games, and used to play them with his friends all the time before he met me.
13. His first actual job was working at Taco Bell... same as me!
14. He loves cats and dogs both.
15. He proposed to me in Hawaii, in a romantic restaurant at the top of the Hilton in Waikiki.
16. His least favorite foods list includes coleslaw, potato salad, and Butterfingers.
17. He has a habit of cracking his knuckles a lot, although it's not as bad as it used to be.
18. Everyone likes him. He just has such a likable personality.
19. He loves the Harry Potter books and movies, and has read and watched them all multiple times.
20. One of his favorite foods is crab, and he loves to order really good crab from nice restaurants.
21. He's really good with all things tech, and he built my harp website for me.
22. Kirsten always lights up when he comes home from work and starts playing with her.
23. He doesn't have any skills with musical instruments, but he did play the baritone in junior high... same as my dad!
24. Two years ago he went fishing without a license and almost got caught by the park ranger.
25. His favorite types of movies are comedies.
26. He says he doesn't have a "most embarrasing moment" and it's pretty impossible to scare him and make him jump.
27. He used to wear contacts, and got laser eye surgery a couple of years ago.
28. He works for Microsoft as the XBox Live Administrator Lead. He's worked there only a year and a few months, and has already gotten several promotions and raises. Everyone appreciates all his hard work!