Thursday, December 21, 2006

December Blizzard

Out our front door

Out the back door

Passing time with our neighbor Chase

I haven't posted in a while. Maybe it's the busyness of the Christmas season or the distractions that come with the family spending Thanksgiving weekend very ill and my 30th birthday. I've been quite inspired today though to tell the tale of Rob trying to get home from work (remember it's 50 miles) in a blizzard. It starts with a forecasted 2' of snow in Denver and 16" of that in Boulder by 3 pm yesterday. Rob drove the Daewoo into work as usual and not the truck, but even four-wheel drive won't save you in 2' of drifting and blowing snow. As some of you know who live in Denver, they closed the Boulder Turnpike from noon through most of the day Wednesday, so Rob had to find an alternate route home. He spent about five hours going 10 miles.
The problem with traffic at a standstill is running out of gas, so he probably would have been OK if he could have found gas, but with 1/4 tank left, he asked me to find a gas station between him and tollway, without having to backtrack. I found one on Mapquest using their gas station pin-pointer, and gave him directions. I called since from the map, it looked like a neighborhood and the cashier said it was their corporate office (no gas). Calling him back, he was already there realizing the same thing and made a U-turn. He ended up getting stuck in the neighborhood and trying to dig out for an hour and a half. We are grateful for the good samaritan that gave him a shovel and took him in for the night in Lafayette. In the morning, he was still stuck with no sign of the snow stopping. I called for a towtruck, but they were either busy helping the Broomfield Police get to work or taking their downtime from working until 4 am. Rob ended up making it out on his own. Did he head for home after all this?!? No, he went back into work for two hours, showered and had lunch there, then came home, finally arriving around 4 pm (of course, not before getting stuck in our neighborhood once more). Meanwhile, at home, Ashleigh and I hunkered down for the storm and went out today in the snow gear and carrying Ashleigh in the backpack over to our neighbors' house down the street. I fell once in a big drift and it was impossible to get back up in the powder with 30 lbs on your back and pregnant! So I ended up taking the backpack off to stand up again. I'm sure many others will have tales to tell of the blizzard of 2006, but this one is pretty good.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Pooh Bear Halloween

Ashleigh dressed up as Pooh bear for Halloween and we celebrated at our church's Fall Harvest Festival complete with games, horse and carriage rides, a bouncy castle, and lots of candy. She's a little young for the bouncy castle and they scare her right now. She did have fun with the games and candy though. It's great having a safe and fun environment that's indoors (it was 25F here on Halloween night) for celebrating Halloween. Last year, we tried door to door trick or treating and went to the neighbors we knew, but this year was much more fun seeing our friends and their kids dressed up in costume too.

On a side note, I started watching our neighbor's daughter on Halloween. Here's a picture of she and Ashleigh at the Harvest Festival. She's about 10 months younger than Ashleigh is and so far, they're getting along really well. There are some jealousy issues, but it's good for Ashleigh to realize she isn't the center of the universe.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Ashleigh's Two!

We celebrated Ashleigh's birthday this weekend with a big party, food, presents, and of course, birthday cake. It was such a difference from the previous year's birthday party. She understood the present thing this year too and can now chant 'We want cake!' thanks to my brother and sister. It was a fun party with a butterfly theme to it. More kids than adults, but that's what happens when you're the only grandchild on both sides of the family. Thanks to all our family and friends who made it such a special day. We love you all!

Rob, Hanna, Ashleigh and me opening gifts

Pretty in purple opening cards

Butterfly cake

Waiting for cake (Ashley, Ashleigh, and Eden)

Trying hard to blow out candles - she got a few of them!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Fall Playtime and Snow Storms

Ashleigh and I had a fun day trip with Amy and Hanna at Washington Park on Tuesday to see the fall colors and just play with our kids at the playground and have a picnic. It was awesome. We fed the ducks in the lake and stopped to play in the leaves and made a big pile for the girls to sit in and throw leaves up in the air.

Feeding the Ducks at Washington Park

Ashleigh and Hanna Throwing Leaves

Ashleigh and Mom after feeding the geese

We also got around 8" of snow today at our house and these pictures were taken after I spent an hour shoveling the walk and driveway. It took Rob a good three hours to get into work this morning and it always amazes me just how patient he is. The only thing he was complaining about after three hours when I called was that he may need to pull off and find a bathroom.

Ashleigh in the driveway where the snow from the driveway was piled up

Ashleigh on our front porch

Our deck and patio furniture

Other than that, this past month has been busy. Rob and I celebrated a late anniversary after he got back from China just last weekend. We also celebrated my mother-in-law's birthday, sister-in-law's birthday, my mom's 60th birthday, and Ashleigh's actual birthday this month (the big party's on Sunday with pictures to follow). We've also been shopping for a mattress and bedroom set which takes up our time on most weekends. We finally decided on a mattress last weekend and think we have the furniture almost nailed down.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

More Wedding Fun

Andrew and Becky's Wedding Ceremony

Janice, Rob, and Ashleigh waiting outside the church

Leaving the Church

We got to see our friends, Andrew and Becky get married last Saturday in Golden. I've known Andrew for several years now and he is the brother of one of my roommates I had after college. Their ceremony was beautiful and done by the same pastor that officiated at Rob's and my wedding at the same church we attended while dating. They also had a fun reception at a Mariott hotel and I never knew Andrew could be so romatic with his singing and serenading his new wife in front of 150 people. Rob and I sang a duet together at our own wedding and while I was used to singing in front of people, and it was still nerve-wracking to add that to your wedding day. Kudos to you, Andrew (and Adam)!

I love weddings, as they're so fun and happy and makes you remember all the things you love about your own marriage and spouse. The day-to-day living can drag you down at times, but it's fun to celebrate with old friends and reminisce. Becky was just overflowing with happiness and the new married life she and Andrew were about to embark upon. Even Andrew who doesn't show a lot of emotion most of the time was happy as well with stars in his eyes. May God bless you both in your new life together!

The newlyweds, Ryan and Carrie

Sarah with Lucas (9 mo) and Ashleigh (23 mo)

Rachel, Lucas, Janice, and Ashleigh

Andrew and Becky's First Dance

Daddy and Ashleigh on the dance floor

Friday, September 15, 2006

China Adventures

Rob's two-week trip to China turned into a three-week trip as his work had no one else to send and his last day with his current job is rapidly approaching. No pictures on this post as the digital camera is in Xiamen for another few days. Luckily typhoon Shenshen curved to the north, so it looks like he'll be OK and back at the regularly scheduled time.

So far, he's worked six days/week so he's really only had Sundays to sightsee. He's visited the local Walmart and also toured the city where he's staying and the neighboring island. Xiamen is straight west of Taiwan and about 800 miles south of Shanghai, so no going to the actual tourist areas while he's there. The food is mostly seafood with rice, but he has eaten at McDonalds twice and also KFC.

He's doing pretty well, but ready to be home again. We have discussions on whether it's harder being away from home and the family or being with all that's familiar in the comfort of your home, but having everything around to remind you of that person. I think being on the road is easier since you have less around you to take your mind off of missing your family and there are things like work and sightseeing that distract you. The hard part about Rob being away is that I don't really get a break from watching Ashleigh. Especially with being at home all of the time now. There are nap times and sleep times, but if I want to go run an errand or do something for myself, it's much harder now.

Ashleigh and I went camping at the Sand Dunes with my sister and her husband last weekend and to Albuquerque with my in-laws over Labor day weekend, so this weekend is the first weekend where we've actually been home in a month. I'm looking forward to the down time and time to get the house back in order before Rob gets back. There are still a few projects too that I need to work on as well. It's been a long few weeks, and we're definitely excited to have life back to normal again shortly, including Rob working normal days.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Seattle Vacation

Janice, Rob, and Ashleigh in Everett, WA watching the sunset

Playing at the park in Everett with our friends

Ashleigh and Abby modeling their raincoats
(we never used them - yea dry season!)

We visited our friends, Ann and Josh, in Seattle last week and had a great vacation. It was Ashleigh's first time on an airplane and she did great! She got a little bored at times, but used her 'inside voice' quite well. Here are some pictures or her going to the airport and in the cockpit of the plane.

Waiting for the train at DIA

Ashleigh and I inside the cockpit

I think the best parts of our trip were getting to walk to floor at Boeing, where Josh works (no cameras allowed) and our overnight trip to Vancouver where we went to the Vancouver Aquarium. Anyone who knows me knows how much I LOVE dolphins! They had a show with dolphins at the aquarium where we were only 10 feet away from where the trainers were standing, so front row seats. They also had a whale show and shark feeding show, but the dolphins were definitely the best.

Ann and Josh have a daughter, Abby, who is 2 and 1/2 and the girls played great together. Ann watched Ashleigh for the day while Rob and I took a ferry to Friday Harbor (about an hour and a half ride each way). Our friends laughed when we told them we took 20 pictures on the ferry ride, but for a land-locked Coloradan, it was quite an experience. We walked to a beach about a mile away and found some large jellyfish along the shore line.

We also had fun driving around seeing views of the sound, spending time on the beach, and going to the Pike Place Market where they throw around large fish and yell a lot. We visited the first Starbucks, which is also there. I took lots more pictures, but am having computer issues posting the rest, so I'll leave it at this and if you are so inclined to see the other 350 pictures I took, just let me know. I won't subject you to it though - you'll have to ask. On a side note, Rob left for China the morning after we got back from Seattle and will be there for a little over two weeks. I'm sure he'll have some good stories and pictures when he gets back...

Playing on the beach in their dresses

Ashleigh in front of a lighthouse on Whidby Island

Ann, Abby, Ashleigh, and Rob at Pike Place Market in Seattle

I was able to post a few more pictures from our camping trip with Ann and Josh's small group from church. We went for one night northeast of Seattle and camping in Washington is much warmer and softer ground than in Colorado. We didn't even need sleeping pads there and we slept fine without them (except Ann). We also went wading in the lake and boating the next day where Rob, Ashleigh, and I did a little tubing. I was sore for two days afterwards and I wouldn't exactly call it fun - guess I'm starting to feel my age. I think 10-15 years ago, it would have been a lot of fun, but trying it for the first time now probably wasn't a great idea.

Ashleigh carrying the cooler to the tent

Sunrise at the campsite

Daddy and Ashleigh wading at Lake Roesinger

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Rob's Birthday

The birthday kids - Carissa, John, and Rob

Today is Rob's birthday! To celebrate, we had his family and my family over for a lasagna dinner on Sunday and also celebrated my brother-in-law and sister-in-law's birthdays too. We also went to Chili's for lunch today before he left for work. It was too early for them to sing, but he did get a free piece of strawberry cheesecake out of the deal. I imagine you get pretty tired of singing Happy Birthday working at places that sing to people on their birthdays. I bought him a new lawn mower for his birthday since we inherited our current lawn mower with the house, it sometimes takes a half hour to start, and sounds like it's choking when it runs.

Our old mower - notice the pair of vice grips on the handle...

These pictures are from hiking a week ago at Castlewood Canyon. We stopped by the creek to wade in the water with Ashleigh and saw a crawdad. Speaking of crawdads, we went to Aurora Reservoir last Thursday and saw a few kids playing with one and had built his own crawdad castle complete with a pool inside of this big mound of sand and a feather to top off the dome. Do you know how hard it is keeping a toddler from knocking over other people's sandcastles?!? It survived the day, but it was difficult.

As an update on Rob's job search, he found a job and actually got an offer from the first company he interviewed with (praise God!). He found out in June that his company is closing the Colorado office at the end of the year, so we had the option of moving to Michigan or finding something else here. With both of our families here, and our beautiful state, we found it difficult to consider the move and are now glad we don't have to! He starts at the end of September after he travels to China for two weeks with his current company.

Playing at the park!