Friday, August 26, 2011

Natural Disasters

For those like us who don't own a TV, let me tell you what's been going on here the past week. No, there is too much - let me sum up.

Tuesday afternoon we had an earthquake! I was sitting at work when I felt things start to shake. At first, I assumed it was just a big truck rolling down the highway that is right outside our window. A few seconds later, I realized it was still happening so it probably wasn't a truck. My next thought was terrorist attack. Thankfully, that was not it either. As things continued to shake, it finally dawned on me, "Hey, this is an earthquake!?"

For those keeping track at home, we have been in an earthquake before. A couple of them, actually (including one when I was very little in which I refused to abandon my cereal and get under the table). But that was when we were living in So Cal. You can imagine my confusion when I realized I was in an earthquake in DC. It was very Twilight Zone-y. Apparently we didn't cover our tracks very well, because the earthquakes have followed us here. Sorry, DC kids.

It was a 5.8 with an epicenter 84 miles SW of DC.

Mother Nature, however, decided that a random earthquake wasn't enough. So we have a hurricane heading up the coast as well. Ocean City, where we went to the beach the other week, is evacuating.

In the initial projections, DC was in the DangerCone™. That's probably not the real term for it, but that's what I like to call it (cue the Top Gun music).

Here is the latest projection. We are safely out of the DangerCone™, but we'll probably still get strong winds and a lot of rain. It's supposed to hit Virginia tomorrow night/Sunday morning. We'll let you know how it all goes.

As somebody at work put it, "I feel like I'm in a bad game of SimCity... I just hope the UFO invasion isn't next."

Also, Natural Disasters would be an awesome name for a band.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

27 months

*There is a post about Baby M and co.'s visit to D.C. underneath this one if you are sick of the wedding.  But really, how could you be sick of the best wedding ever?

Guess what, bloggy?  I lied to you.  Last month was not the last of the wedding photos from my brother W.  Here are s'more from him!

It was so lovely to have a fenced in play area for the little people.

This rushing river at the back of the backyard is the reason it was so lovely to have a fenced in play area.

Re-enacting placing the cake topper just before our soiree started.

There was never any doubt that we would play nice with the cake.  Smearing cake in the other person's face is tacky, rude, and not the right tone to start off a marriage.

In the midst of our party an epic battle erupted.  The balloons created a giant monster that started eating children.  It would lure them in...

Then savagely start engulfing bodies.

As bystanders stood helpless, the balloon creature finished devouring it's chosen prey.

Some small children were fortunate enough to escape, but they were shocked by the things they had seen. (P.S. doesn't V look impossibly small and young here?!)

Some could only point and wonder where their friends had gone.

Still others brazenly mocked the balloon creature.
Thus ends the balloon creature saga.  Until the next sighting, at least. 

Meanwhile, the party raged on.  Okay, it definitely didn't rage.  Perhaps it moseyed.  Or strolled.  Sister in law K is very good at self portraits, but I especially love this one because in the background I am hugging the man who married me to T!  Also, K looks fabulous so it's a good photo for that reason, too.

K tastefully sampling the cake.

She liked the cake so much that when she thought no one was looking (nice tie, Dad!) she went for a big handful.  Yes, the cake was so good, it deserved eating by the fistful.  Even by those older than 5, though they won't publicly admit it.

This is one of my favorite photos ever of my brother W and his wife K.

Awww.  Sharing is caring.

And now that really is the last of the photos from my brother W.  The End.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Magz attack

Baby Magz (not his real name) and co. came for a quick and busy visit.  And I mean quick.  On Wednesday in 12 hours we did:
A tour of the U.S. Capitol
The Supreme Court
Air and Space Museum
National Archives
Natural History Museum
American History Museum
Washington Monument
Dinner in Georgetown
Lincoln Monument
Vietnam War Memorial
Korean War Memorial

Magz was a total trooper and only cried once (when his parents left him alone for five minutes with me and T).  His parents were total troopers, too, and didn't cry at all, even with all that walking!

It's dark, but here they are in front of the Washington Monument

On Thursday, Magz's parents had a wedding (the reason for the visit) so I hung out with Magz.  I took this picture before I pulled him out of his car seat so I could remember how cute he was if he cried the entire time his parents were gone.
For the record, he didn't cry.  He wasn't super happy, but he didn't cry.  I think that counts as a victory.

Then Magz and co. went off to visit other people / states.  We saw them again for a quick hour on Saturday night.  This photo is awesome because baby Magz is wearing T's nice Skullcandy brand headphones and Magz has a skull on his T-shirt.  Not planned, but still awesome.  Maybe we can sell this photo to Skullcandy for an ad campaign...

This one is kinda blurry, but Magz and his dad often look like they coordinated outfits.

At the very end of the night, they fell asleep together.  I don't blame them, they will need a vacation from their vacation - they were SO crazy busy.  Magz looks so big here.

Sunday morning T and I took Magz and co. to the airport.  But of course we had to snap some photos before they left.  Magz had a good time crawling on the air mattress.  And admit it, he could quite possibly be the cutest baby in the history of the Universe.

Magz's dad kept a pretty close eye (and when necessary, hand) on him.

We seriously love this family and were glad to see them.

Anyone else want to come visit and do D.C. in a day?

P.S. Magz's mom has already posted photos from their D.C. trip on facebook.  Check them out!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Atlantic vs Pacific

Last weekend T and I visited the Atlantic Ocean for the first time.  Well, not really our first time seeing the Atlantic, but our first time getting in the Atlantic.  We went to the Ocean City Beach in Maryland.  We thought we would make a quick day trip of it.  But it definitely turned out to be a long day trip.  It took four hours and some crazy traffic to get to the beach.  We took the free shuttle from the mall to the beach because we were pretty sure that parking on that little strip of land wouldn't be easy or cheap.

The beach at Ocean City is very different from beaches in Southern California.  First of all at Ocean City Beach there is an actual boardwalk along the beach.  So Cal doesn't have that.  The boardwalks here have full on amusement parks and kitchy souvenir shops that face the beach.   In SoCal, it is almost all houses that face the beach.  There were SO many people at the Ocean City beach.  In Southern California there are people around, but usually no closer than 20 feet.  This beach was packed six groups deep with only about seven feet between groups. This photo shows it pretty well.  Also note the lack of waves in that photo.

So the atmosphere is different on each coast and so is the actual ocean.  The Pacific is frigid.  You don't so much get used to the water temperature as you become completely numb.  The Atlantic was surprisingly warm.  Not warm like Lake Powell, but considerably warmer than the Pacific.  You can get used to the Atlantic water temperature in about five minutes and then it really does feel good. 

Another huge difference between the oceans is the waves.  T and I brought our boogie boards to the Ocean City Beach hoping to catch some sweet waves.  The Pacific Ocean always has good waves.  In SoCal we never paid attention to high tide vs low tide because there were always sufficiently big waves to boogie board on.  The Atlantic doesn't really have waves.  There are small swells that break about three feet from the shore.  We never even took our boards in the water.  The entire time we were in the Atlantic there were only two waves that we could have seriously ridden.  Maybe next time we'll try to plan for the tides?... Maybe the waves are better at a different beach?...

It started getting stormy so we didn't stay at the beach as long as we planned.  Then it took us three hours to drive home.  I think next time we go to the beach we will make it a weekend trip because driving for seven hours to play for three and a half hours wasn't our greatest idea ever (but like I said, we would have stayed longer if it hadn't gotten stormy).

We had to cross the crazy long and high Bay Bridge on the way to and from the beach.  Well, it's actually two side by side bridges.  Each bridge is 4.2 miles long and rises 186 feet above the water!  A photo from their website on the left and our drive on the right:
If you're afraid of heights you might want to close your eyes.  The bridge is three lanes across, but as you can see there is no cushion between the lane and the wall.  And the wall isn't that high.

So to sum up:
Pacific Ocean = shorter drive time from our old place, colder water, fewer people, better waves, calmer atmosphere

Atlantic Ocean = longer drive time from our current place, warmer water, more people, smaller waves, party atmosphere

Our verdict = undecided

Have you visited both oceans?  I think we'll try Virginia Beach next...

Saturday, August 20, 2011


Lately we've been hanging out with this little dude's family. 
He's adorbs.  And we're glad to see family this week, even if it isn't at the Iowa family reunion.  But maybe next year we'll see this dude plus everyone else at the Iowa family reunion!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Utah! - The little people portion

Many of these little people are not quite so little anymore... but they are still my favorite!

We spent most of Father's Day with T's family.

"Who are those scary people and why are they taking my picture?!" The twins had no clue who we were :(

T's brother C is quite adept at baby wrangling.

We had a family soiree at my Aunt J's house.  Some of us played badminton.

Others didn't play badminton so much as they swung the rackets around with wild abandon.

These girls were more into Polly Pockets than badminton.

Nephew L pretending to sleep at Grandma's house.

Please note the toothbrush at the base of the scooter.  This was an important feature for L.

At C's house.  The playground was definitely a worthwhile investment.  Baby H wanted to swing literally the entire time.  I don't blame her.  Swinging is the best!

 Chicken nuggets for lunch, yum!

Even though the twins had no clue who were were the boys did, and we had tons of fun together.

Who doesn't love a good pair of heels?  Baby A definitely does.

At my sister M's house.  The boys were pretending that they had a candy store - hence signing candy and ice cream.

What is it with little people pulling up their shirts?  The kids in our nursery class do it, too.

R loves dirt.  Really.  Under the deck while the other kids dig, R just likes to put his hands in the dirt and sort of knead it.  Here he is with one of many clumps of dirt.

R was totally not phased when C dumped dirt on his head.

See.  Not phased.

R was also not phased when C did this.  Basically, R is just a very even keeled dude. It is adorable.

I love that all of M's kids love to read.

The kids have lunch at the park often after swimming lessons.  I walked (slowly) over with the twins.  Adorbs!

At the park, we raced the twins down the slide. I don't remember who won.

V was showing off his lunch balancing skills.  This photo reminds me of the William Tell story.

At the park I ran into a friend K, from school.  She looks fabulous and has three little people of her own.  It was fun to see her for a few moments.

J showing off his mad skills.

It's hard to get this many kids to stay still for a photo!
Silly photos are easier.

At my brother W's house we played hide and seek, loaded questions, then went outside to jump on the trampoline.

Don't be confused.  W does not have a son.  This is my other brother D's son.  We call him Wolverine.

The girls took some photos with my cell phone...

Showing off their posing skills.

Basically, we love visiting Utah because we get to see and play with all of these fabulous little people!