Sunday, June 27, 2010

Adventures Week 2

Calvin loves his Cookie Monster. He gives him big hugs.

Calvin's favorite place to play is in the
cupboards with the pots and pans.
This week's special outing was going to Woodland Park Zoo. Microsoft sponsored this outing for the interns from BYU. It was great because we got to meet a lot of other interns and BYU alumni that are now working at Microsoft. We also got free lunch! Yummy.
Anyway, the Woodland Park zoo was AMAZING! Seriously, it was one of the best zoos I have been to in a long time. It was like Disney's Animal Kingdom at Disneyworld without the horrible. I am referring to the unbearable Florida heat and humidity. It was really neat, though, because all of the exhibits were more theatrical than your typical zoo. For example, to see the zebras you enter a little shelter that is made to look like a primary school in Africa. All of the information about the zebras are written on chalkboards and on pretend clipboards on desks and stuff. The penguin exhibit is made to look like a penguin reserve in some foreign country. I love scenic/production design, so this aspect of the zoo really got me excited.

The penguins. They were so cute! You could get right up close to them. They reminded me of Calvin the way they would waddle around looking for food. I also didn't know that penguins say "moo."

More penguins.

Where the penguins swim.

That was the other thing that was really awesome about this zoo- the habitats seemed really high quality and really big, but somehow in their design, the animals could still be really close to the viewers. We saw so many animals really up close. It was awesome.

Huddled Meerkat family. I cannot help but squeal whenever I see these cuties.

Komodo dragons- huge and terrifying. Their saliva will boil my flesh.

At Rose Garden just outside of the zoo. Beautiful flowers and these bizarre trees.

Calvin touching the goats at the petting zoo. He was very gentle.

This gorilla really reminded me of Papa for some reason.

Calvin rode a carousel for the first time! He held on tight and screamed for joy! It was very fun. We would try to wave at Daddy each time we went around, but Calvin could never seem to find him in time before we passed him.

Bald Eagles and their giant nest. Reminds me of Marahute.

The day started out really overcast, but the sun came out and it was beautiful!

A primate that I forgot the name of. Isn't it neat how close we could see the animals? And seriously, their habitats we really big!

The pretend primary school I talked about where you can go in to see the Zebra habitat.

Calvin playing with some African instruments.

Banging on a drum in the African music room. Right after I took this picture a family came in and started climbing and banging on everything. The parents were the worst. They were grabbing the instruments and banging them into other parts of the room. It was weird.

Once again, Calvin was wiped out after all of the excitement. Whew!!!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Apartment

Here are some pictures of where we're living. We really love it. It has a great layout- Calvin's room is right off of the living room, so he can go play with his toys in there while we're sitting on the couch doing whatever. We love the condo in Provo, but it is actually really nice having everything on the same level. Here is the living room and the dining area.

Here is the kitchen and opening into the dining area. We love the black countertops and fridge.

It is nice because it's newly remodeled so all of the furniture and kichen cabinets and countertops seem very new. It is really nice. I didn't include any pictures of the bedrooms or bathrooms, but we have 2 of each of those. And then we also have a washer and dryer in a closet off of the hallway. The complex has a pool, workout room, and playground. All three are right next to our building. This place really has everything we can imagine to live comfortably. We are grateful for it and the location.

Just a little picture of Calvin sneaking in to the pantry. As you can see, he is learning to climb. Uh oh.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Redmond Week 1

Well, we made it! Calvin and I arrived last Saturday night after a week of shows, packing, cleaning, a bizarre taxi ride, and dragging a huge car seat, 2 suitcases, a diaper bag, stroller, and a number of "personal items" that wouldn't fit anywhere else. I looked pretty insane lugging everything around at the airport. I was so grateful to have Kelsea there to help me get through security. And to watch all of our stuff while I cleaned up Calvin when he peed so much that he soaked all the way through his stroller. Phew, it was tiring. Life without my Tyler to help was hard. I am so glad that Kelsea and Carson were there all week to help out. I do not know how single moms do it. I am very impressed.

Anyway, we are here! The apartment is great. We have 2 bedrooms, 2 full bathrooms, a fireplace, living area, dining area, washer/dryer, and a good-sized kitchen. It's great. We're on the 3rd floor, so there are some stairs to go up, but it's good exercise and makes the view of all the trees even better! We are across the street from a grocery store, 1 block from the library, bank, post office, police headquarters, and city hall! Redmond is such a cute little suburb of Seattle. I really wouldn't mind living here.

We went to church on Sunday, and the ward is really great. We saw some friends there that moved up here from Provo a few months ago- the Needhams! They just had their baby last week and are doing great! Also, I now have some names and numbers of moms who I can swap babysitting with! And we learned about Mother's Group at the park on Tuesday mornings. Fun.

This week, one of the first places I went to was Daiso in Alderwood. Daiso is a Japanese chain of dollar (100 yen) stores and they have opened some in the United States in the past few years. Three of their nine US stores are in the Seattle area (the other 6 being in the San Francisco area). As a missionary in Japan, we would go to Daiso almost on a weekly basis to stock up on housewares, stationary, and a bunch of other random items. This Daiso didn't disappoint. It had EVERYTHING from Japan that I love. I tried to hold back as much as I could, but went a little crazier than I should have. Take a look at our loot:

This week has been spent mostly settling in, but we were able to take a little day trip on Saturday into Seattle to go to Pike Place Market, the piers, and the aquarium!

Calvin and Tyler with Rachel the Pig at Pike Place

Delicious crepes for lunch! And don't worry Shandy, we tried some dark chocolate linguine. Yummy...

Next stop was the aquarium. It was very busy!

Our little jellyfish...

Touching the sea stars in the tidepools.


Calvin played here for about 20 minutes,
growling at the fish that would swim by.

We saw the cruise port while walking around on the piers.
I had to stop Tyler from getting on the boat.
Two of our friends are leaving tomorrow for their cruise.
We are so excited for them. We can't wait to go on a cruise again!

The events of the day tired poor Calvin out. What a cutie!

Well, that's our first week! I am going to try to do updates each week we are up here. There is so much to see and do, and we are trying to live it up the best we can. Hope you all are doing well!

Friday, June 18, 2010

The End

The last big event of May- the finale of LOST. I have already discussed our love for this show on this blog before, but seriously, LOST is amazing, and the finale didn't disappoint. We loved the emotional conclusion of each of the characters' journeys. We loved the religious overtones and the uplifting sense of finality. We loved that many mysteries were answered, yet many others will be left for us to theorize for years to come. Mostly, we're just grateful for LOST and the legacy it will be in our house. I know it sounds so stupid that we loved this TV show this much. But to us, it was that good. I am not even being dramatic or exaggerating. It was the best TV show in a long time.

To celebrate the finale, we went to our friends Dave and Kate's house. Kate made an impressive Dharma cake. We made Mr. Cluck's Fried Chicken. Heather and Eliot brought Dharma "beer." It made for a delicious night that prepared us for the emotional journey we were about to embark on. For some great pictures of the evening (including ones where Calvin gets a little crazy with the drinks), check out Heather's blog.

Kate's cake. I am always amazed at her edible handiwork.

So, life after LOST has been going well. We haven't quite moved on yet since we still discuss the show regularly and plan to rewatch all the episodes for the DVD release of the 6th season in August, where supposedly there will be an extra where they address some of the still unanswered mysteries. Sounds interesting. I hope another show comes along someday that is as compelling, mysterious, funny, informed, intelligent, etc.--I could list these adjectives off for a while. I don't know if LOST is for everyone, but I know it was definitely for us. I am grateful for that.

Monday, June 14, 2010

My Birthday and Lost Live

I am still playing catch-up with these posts. Mid-May presented me with Tech Week for Monster Grove, but before that craziness, we escaped to LA for my birthday to attend this event: LOST Live: The Final Celebration. It was a concert of the amazing music of LOST featuring Michael Giacchino (the composer of LOST's music) conducting. Dozens of cast members were there, including Michael Emerson (Ben), Jorge Garcia (Hurley), and Josh Holloway (Sawyer), as well as directors, producers, writers, etc. It was a really neat way to celebrate the end of the series with huge fans and the creators of the show. We have loved LOST so much, and it was cool that we got to personally applaud the creators and cast for the fantastic show they made. Here is more on the event. Also, if you watch the Official Video Podcast recapping the night, there is a cameo of us when they show a shot of the crowd. :) We don't have any pictures of the event because no cameras or cell phones were allowed inside at all. We had to leave everything in the car.

Here are a couple of press pictures from the event:

Calvin did really well on the 24 hour trip. He is getting a little crazier on the plane. Not louder, but more wiggly. He really wanted to get down and explore. I let him stand on the ground for a bit, but then he started trying to crawl around and eat things off the floor, so we abandoned that. Now he likes to look out the window.

On the quick trip, we also got to visit our good friends Hank and Leah! They watched Calvin while we were at the concert and showed us some of the good places to eat and enjoy life in Thousand Oaks. We only have a few hours to spend with them, but it was wonderful. Sam and Calvin were very cute together.

Enjoying time at the park before the concert.

Calvin was chasing this squirrel. It was hilarious.

Sam just had a coffee creamer explode in his face. What a funny guy.

Here is a bonus of Calvin being weighed on the Wii Fit.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

New Trick

I know I shouldn't encourage this, but Calvin's new trick is pretty funny.

My New Life

I watched this story today of a young mom who survived a near-fatal plane crash. Her story is so inspiring. It made me so grateful for everything I have. There are some things that are more important in life than others. Family is definitely one of those things. I am so grateful that I get to be a wife and mother in this life. Life is wonderful. Let this video remind you.

Friday, June 4, 2010

First Trip to the Zoo

For Calvin's birthday, we also took him to Hogle Zoo since he loves animals. I didn't realize there aren't any lions at Hogle, so I was a little bummed about that. Calvin loves lions. But there were plenty of other big cats that he got to growl at. I was a little worried that he wouldn't really get it or be able to really see the animals, but he had a blast!

Here are the elephants with the new baby Zuri! She was so cute.
We wished that Sam was with us.

The Sonoran Desert exhibit. There's no place like home.

Um, I don't remember what these things are called, but Calvin sure liked 'em.

Our little monkey. Excuse me, gorilla.
I know that gorillas aren't monkeys.

It's too bad that I don't have any pictures of Calvin chasing the Peacocks around. He also loved watching the monkeys swinging and running around. They were so active; it was awesome! It was so fun and I can't wait to take him back-- next time to the zoo and aquarium in Seattle!