Saturday, November 07, 2009

Busy Saturday

Today was a busy Saturday, but busy in a good way. Jess worked this morning so I watched the girls. When Jess got home at 11 we went to have a picnic at a park up the road. It was sunny and mid-60s so it was perfect.



Then we went on a short hike. It was Penelope's first hike walking on her own and Maya's first in the backpack.



Penelope did so good. She held mom's hand the whole time but had fun crunching leaves, going over bridges, and touching plants.



Maya loved the backpack. She didn't scream once and had fun playing with my head.



Afterward Jessi watched the girls at the playground and let me go for a short trail run. It was the first since moving here. It felt good to run again. The trees and all the leaves on the ground were beautiful.

Then during nap time I went mountain biking. The first since moving and the first since wrecking and breaking a rib a few days before we moved. I finally swapped out my bent handlebars for the new ones that have been sitting in our closet since the move.

I went to the East Fork State Park and rode a couple of trails there. Riding in the woods is different than the northern UT trails. So many leaves, so many trees, and hardly any vert change.



Look at how happy the bike is! Here's a self-portrait of how happy I was:



I got home, ate a quick dinner, and then it was off to a Stake Priesthood meeting.

It was an awesome Saturday and it felt good to have a day full of physical activity. Thanks for being an awesome wife Jessi and letting me do lots today!

Friday, November 06, 2009

Friday Night Hangout with the Girls

While getting the girls ready for bed tonight things turned really fun. They were both so happy and playing we couldn't help but take some pictures. Penelope pulled up Maya's carseat and climbed in to relax. Pretty soon she was dragging over a blanket and her stool for her feet. It was awesome.



Maya was just crawling around playing and having fun. Check out her teeth coming in!



Me and the little girls



Yeah I don't know what happened to me in this one but look at how good Jess and Maya look!

Elevation

The elevation sign from the park near our apartment.



Yup, we'll be wheezing our way through Christmas break in the mountains. Stupid Cincinnati...hehe.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Bike Commuting Update

So bikes, and more so bike commuting, are not prevalent at all here in Cincinnati. So far in our almost two months here I have seen a total of five other bike commuters. There are a bunch of people who ride bikes at school but from my observations they all live within a few blocks of campus.

I won't let it deter me though. My ride is a round trip of 14 miles, double what it was in SLC. It's a good ride. Lots of hills which can get a little difficult on the single-speed. But hey, it only makes me stronger.

On Thursday I past 1,500 bike commuting miles for the year and I have about 185 bike commuting days. I'll easily hit 200 before the end of the year. I find that to be very exciting. I calculated what it'd take to get to 2,000 miles before the end of the year. I figured I'd have to commute the full 14 miles everyday including through Thanksgiving break and after classes ended. Maybe next year, we'll be out of town during Thanksgiving and we're heading to UT right after classes end.

No pictures this time. It's late and I don't really feel like looking for them.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Standing Girl

She's so big already:



She's so happy and pleased with herself.

Here's a short video of our shenanigans tonight:

video

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Funny Words, Again

Jessica had to work this morning so it was just me and the girls. Shortly after we woke up Penelope asked me: "Where's mommy?"

Me: She's at work.
Penelope: One day when I get bigger I'll go to work.
Me: Oh really?
Penelope: Yeah but I don't know what I want to be. Maybe I'll be a daddy.
Me: Well only boys can be daddies, girls are mommies.
Penelope: Oh.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Funny Words

So Penelope has been showing an interesting in potty training lately. The last couple of days we've been testing the waters with her. Tonight she had two hilarious quotes (at least hilarious to me):

"Daddy, if you need to pee just tell me and then run to the potty". We kept telling her tonight that if she needed to go to tell us and run to the bathroom. I supposed it stands to reason that she'd expect the same from us.

Then while trying to go: "Mommy, I'm just trying to get my pee to work".

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Yum

One of our first tastes of Cincinnati was about two weeks ago, the day after Jessica and the girls arrived. We went to a little chili place around the corner named Pleasant Ridge Chili. It was the Cincinnati style chili. Everyone says to go to Skyline Chili since it was the original. We haven't been there yet but Pleasant Ridge was awesome! The chili was unlike chili from the west. Put it on spaghetti with onions, cheese, and beans and it's hard to beat.

I got a massive plate and it was only about $5!



They also had their 'famous' gravy fries which are essentially crinkle-cut fries smothered in gravy and cheese. Man, they were good. They sounded like they'd be gross but not at all!



We are going to start making these from home. It'll be super easy and cheap.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

The Big Move - Day 4

The last and final day. This is the day we unloaded the truck and the day that Jessica, the girls, and my mom flew out.

Thanks to help from four guys from the ward the truck was fully unloaded in an hour and 15 minutes:



Woah that's a lot of stuff. The girls' room:



Our room:



Penelope was excited to find her marble game:



With some unpacking and organization it begins to look more open and less crammed:



Peneloped napped:



Maya napped:



So far we like our apartment. It is beginning to feel more like home as we make it our own.

The Big Move - Day 3

Since the previous days drive took between one to two hours longer than on paper, I decided that we needed to be on the road at 5 am to get to Cincinnati at a decent time. Steve wasn't too stoked since we'd be getting up at 3:30 his time (but really it was 4:30).

The Iowa sunrise:



The morning was hazy again, but it gave more great pictures with windmills:



I was surprised at how many massive wind farms we saw.

Apparently Iowa has "the worlds largest truckstop". Yeah, we didn't stop:



The mighty Mississip with a giant coal barge:



Hey Illinois:



Nothing worth noting in Illinois so hi Indiana:



The first sign for Cincinnati:



Hello Ohio:



Almost missed that pic. Saw it coming. Hurried to get the camera and at the last possible second snapped that pic.

We pulled into apartment parking lot at about 7:30. All told it worked out to be about 12 hours of driving (not including the time change).

I can't believe how smooth and how quickly the drive went.

The Big Move - Day 2

Day two was driving from Rawlins to Omaha. We started at a nice 6 am:



It was a hazy day, but check out the sun through the windmills (I love wind farms):



Super hazy. Check out Vedauwoo (I'll climb here one day):



And the dull landscape begins:




The monotony of the drive was broken up by the massive stands of sunflowers that lined the freeway the entire way through the state:




But we listened to a great book (I had no idea that Moby Dick was based on a true story, it was fantastic!):



The big eagle arch (I hear it's awesome on the inside):



Drive took about 10.5 hours. On paper it should have taken between 8 and 9 hours. Not too bad for driving a box truck pulling a car.

The Big Move - Day 1 Pictures

How did I occupy myself? Well...

First off here's the truck:


Me driving the truck:


Driving past the exit we always take to go to Lander:


Holding my breath through the WY tunnel:


That was it for day 1.

Monday, August 31, 2009

The Big Move - Day 1

The first part of the big move to Cincinnati went well! The day started at 6 am with a run to the store to get more boxes. We quickly finished packing the kitchen and disassembling furniture.

We picked up the truck at 9 and were back home at 9:30. James, Chelsea, and Tobin were waiting for us at the house. Immediately James started packing boxes into the truck. A few people from Elder's Quorum and my dad showed up starting just before 10 (huge thanks to them). Everybody rocked it out! We stopped when the truck was 98% full and looked at the time. The Timex said "10:51". The truck was fully loaded in just over an hour!

Of course the last minute/small things took forever to take care of, as they always do. Jessi did an ah-maze-ing job with all the packing and cleaning. She had help with girls from mi mum (thanks mom).

I had a few errands to run (and rerun since the lock I bought for the moving truck door didn't fit). I got out of the house at 3:20. Five hours later I arrived in Rawlins. Made pretty good time says I. I had 5 stops to check the straps on the car trailer and one stop for gas and dinner. In the car I could have done it in four hours.

I took some good pics of the truck and some fun stuff I did while driving to occupy my time. Buuuuuuuuuut, I left the camera in the truck and I'm not going out to get it right now. Pics to come tomorrow or later.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Thanks Deer Valley

Today I spent an afternoon off riding downhill at Deer Valley with my co-worker and friend Craig. Tim hooked us up with a couple of free passes (thanks Tim!) so we took the afternoon off (you can do that when it's your second to last day at work) to go ride.

I didn't want to rent or borrow a DH bike so I decided to ride my cross-country hardtail.

It was all well and good but then at the end of the second run this happened:



and this:



and this:



that one again (that's not a muffin top, that's swelling):



and the ribs (hard to see, but there are some bruises and I think I bruised or cracked some ribs because they hurt):



and the shoulder:



It hurts a lot. Riding was super fun. Unfortunately I bent my handlebar, but that isn't anything a little barter of some old ski bindings for a handlebar won't fix.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Garden Update

So far I have failed to provide a garden update. Now that we are leaving in a week I thought it time to do so since we'll be leaving almost all of it behind. What started out as this now looks like this:



The tomato plants have done extremely well. We've probably had two dozen cherry tomatoes. The Purple Russian has given us 6-7 tomatoes already with more on the way. They haven't been purple but they have been delicious. The Amish Paste has given 2 tomatoes so far, but there are many big green ones just turning right now.

The red bell pepper plant has been interesting. The plant itself didn't get very big. It gave one small red pepper early on. It sprouted four peppers all at once recently but three have been lost to rot.

The jalapeno plant was slow to start. The three weeks of rain early in the summer delayed it. Once this got hot it start growing. Right now there are probably 20-25 jalapenos growing. They aren't very big, maybe one to two inches long. I don't think they are going to get any longer as some are already starting to turn red. I plan to make jalapeno jelly with them in the next couple of days.

The radishes have come and gone. We got a few good bulbs, but they mostly just sent down an long root and then flowered. The green onions were delicious but are now gone. We went through two zucchini starts that both died before I randomly saw a seed sitting on top of the dirt. I planted it and hoped. Nothing happened for weeks. Then a little sprout came up. We went on vacation for a week and came back to this:



So far we've had eight huge zucchinis off it. There are two more currently growing on it. It's amazing that something that large came from a seed the size of a dime.



The Swiss Chard has grown fantastically. Too bad it's not one of our favorites, but it's been fun to share. We wait until the leaves get nice and big then pick them back until there are only two little leaves remaining in the middle. We've done that four times now and they keep growing back.



The green beans and pickling cucumber plants have done surprisingly well. Especially considering we planted them in a spot where nothing else would grow. The bean plants have gotten tall, but no green beans.

The pickling cucumbers have taken a while to get going and are just now fruiting. Just a tad too late for us to take advantage before we move.



The strawberry plants gave us maybe five tiny, delicious strawberries. Next year they will do better for someone else. They are sending off many shoots to propagate for next year.

The cherry tree in the yard doesn't give very good cherries. We picked them anyway and made some cherry jelly. It's surprisingly delicious!



We just picked a bunch of pears off the pear tree (once again not very good product, but we are hoping it turns out as good as the cherry jelly).

Things I have learned this year:

  • Self-watering containers are amazing

  • Tomato cages don't work too well in self-watering containers (at least not how I put them in)

  • Ski poles make excellent posts for running plants...just make sure you don't have to unwind the plants because you need the poles because you are moving

  • Don't put fertilizer that should be concentrated directly on the plants, undiluted - I made two of our indoor plants limp and destroyed the red pepper plant with it...oops

  • Only ever plant one zucchini plant

  • Take all the free fruit you can get and make jam, jelly, sauce, or rollups with it

  • Don't miss harvest dates - we missed apricot picking season and now won't have homemade jam for the next year

  • Berry plants typically produce on wood that is at least one year old


I am bummed to be leaving everything behind, but at least it'll be in good hands.

I am already looking forward to next year and already have some plans in the works.