Sunday, June 29, 2008

"Technology is Not My Friend or My Enemy"

The title for this week's blog was a quote taken by our good friend Arthur, who said it at the time he was filming Ryan while climbing on a boulder problem in Utah. I feel like it is a fairly fitting title for this week, as we have had some major technological issues over here this week. The week started by having our computer crash within hours of our last blog update. It was a really bad thing when Ryan came to check something, and the blue screen of death was on our pc. The next bad thing was that we could not get it to reboot. After a call to Dell, we learned that our hard drive had failed. What a major bummer! We are currently in the process of recovering our documents from the old computer, and also have no photographs to post yet for this entry, as we have not yet put the digital camera software on the new computer. Some of our stuff is backed up, but not all. Our next computer purchase will be an external hard drive to use to back up our stuff better. In our week of pc-lessness, we did manage to have a lot of fun shopping for a new one, and it was pretty amazing that we had a new computer delivered to our house on Saturday, less than a week after the failure, and within days of placing our order. How is that for technology? We also have a MASSIVE monitor that consumes most of the width of our computer desk, which is very cool.

Keira and I also were able to go to the Novi Sports Park with Lisa and Dominic for the afternoon this week. I did take several pictures of them, but I just haven't put them on the new computer yet. It will probably take a considerable amount of time to upload all the hundreds of photos that are on the camera, and I am just not up to it at this time. It was a great day for the children to have fun, and nice to catch up with Lisa. Later in the week, we met up with Valerie and Katie at 12 Oaks Mall. Valerie is scheduled to have her baby tomorrow, so she had some last minute shopping to do as part of her final preparations. Keira always enjoys playing on the mall playground, and I am sure Katie enjoyed it as well. Hopefully things go smoothly for the delivery of her baby boy.

We also went to see Wall-E this weekend with Kris and Linda. It was Keira's first movie theatre experience, and it was very positive! She sat pretty well, crawling from chair to lap and back again, and we saw a matinee, so there were other young children as well. After each preview, she would ask for Wall-E, and really enjoyed the really big TV. She was a little afraid of the huge Incredible Hulk statue in the lobby, but not enough to stop her from running back to the theatre doors after we left at the conclusion of the movie. She was very sad to leave. Between the actual movie, the huge TV, and the stairs with the lights on them, I don't know which she was most upset about. The movie was great. I think we may go see it again when Keira's cousin Chase comes to visit at the end of July.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Ocean Isle Beach, NC

We spent the majority of this week on vacation with my parents at Ocean Isle Beach, NC. It is a small island that is very quiet and family oriented. Ocean Isle is about an hour north of Myrtle Beach, SC, and we were gone such a short time due to minimizing our flight costs into Myrtle Beach. Hopefully this first picture will show everyone enough of my belly. I have gotten a few comments that I need to post more where you can tell how pregnant I am. This was Keira's first experience actually on the beach, and although it took her a little while, she did enjoy it. We did have to retreat to the pool one day, but she liked playing in the sand and collecting shells.
Keira digging around in the sand. She wasn't super fond of wearing her crocs in the sand, and we were fortunate to be able to switch her into some water shoes my mom brought down for her.
The house that my parents rented was great. I wish I had taken a picture of the outside. It was a huge 4 bedroom home, that was just across the street from the beach, and it had its own community pool. Keira really enjoys jumping into the pool. We retreated here after she had enough of the ocean for this day.

Although we were enjoying a relaxing vacation to the beach, it was still a fairly busy trip for us. We were invited to the rehearsal dinner of the wedding of Jason and Crystal. My mom was also very busy assisting Victoria, Jason's mother, with the wedding cake preparations. My brother, David and sister, Sarah also came down for the trip. Here they are with Keira at the rehearsal dinner.
Cute photo of us at the rehearsal dinner. See how Keira is strategically placed to hide my stomach!
Our final full day of vacation was very full. We drove to Wilmington, NC, which is a really cool town with great restaurants and shopping. It is very different from the crazy commercialization of Myrtle Beach, which we avoided entirely. We enjoyed walking on the boardwalk along the river and came across a great restaurant called Elijah's where we had lunch. My dad ordered a soft shell crab sandwich, and it was pretty crazy looking. He enjoyed it very much. Keira also enjoyed feeding herself linguine. This was a bad place to run out of baby wipes! Fortunately, the bathroom sink worked just fine to clean her up.
Sarah was also very excited to be in Wilmington, because it is where Dawson's Creek was filmed, and where one of her favorite shows, One Tree Hill, is currently filmed, and they happened to be filming while we were there. Sarah skipped out on lunch to hang around the set to get a glimpse of the shows stars. She didn't take any photos, which is probably why she was allowed as close as she was. My mom also did not go to Wilmington, because she was working on the wedding cake, which turned out beautifully, after a few issues were resolved.
We got back from Wilmington just in time to spend a little bit of time at the beach. We were able to keep Keira in the water for quite some time. We thought she looked like Pebbles in this suit.
After the beach, we hurried to get cleaned up and go back to the beach, but for Jason and Crystal's wedding. It was right on the beach outside one of the hotels. It got overcast, but it wasn't too hot. The really strange thing was that there were a ton of onlookers that set up their umbrellas and such right by the wedding site. It was a public beach, so there was little that could be done when they were politely asked to move and declined. They were quiet during the ceremony, so it really didn't hurt, but was just strange. Hopefully the wedding photographer was able to get some shots without random people in the background.

Jason and Crystal, just married! We went inside the hotel for the reception. Well, actually, Keira wanted to stay outside, so we didn't see much of the reception other than the first dance, which was done immediately, prior to dinner. Keira really enjoyed that part. She also enjoyed my mom putting a lemon in her mouth, trying to keep her occupied while we waited for dinner. I wish I had more pictures of my mom from this trip so that I didn't have to post such a silly one. She was so busy with wedding prep or taking pictures with her camera.
Sarah and David. Sarah is wearing a vintage dress that my mom wore in Hawaii years ago. I think I was 5 at the time they went on that trip.
Keira, outside the reception, watching the birds fly overhead. She loves birds, and the pelicans are amazing to see. It is crazy when they dive into the water to catch a fish. I love Keira's face in this photo.
Keira and Ryan watching the ocean during the reception. I really love this picture. It is probably a favorite from the trip. She was just so still and fixed on the waves. Shortly after, the wedding photographer snapped some photos of her, and she was off to running around again.
We didn't have time for much before we had to fly out on our last day. We had time to pack, and my dad took Keira for a bike ride on the back of his bike. My mom went for a few laps with them. They had brought several bikes with them, hoping we could all go together, but we just ran out of time. I was glad that we were able to use the bike seat, since it was purchased specifically for the trip, and we had packed Keira's helmet. It was a great trip. We had a wonderful time. It was interesting when we traveled, with all the new baggage restrictions, we actually had no problems with managing our luggage. Even with purchasing a ticket for Keira, we only checked 2 bags on our way down, and 3 on our way back (mostly just because we could do 3), and did not have too many carry-ons. I guess it was because we were not trying to cram skiing, rock climbing, and camping into a vacation that requires tons and tons of extra gear, and the wedding was casual enough that we did not need all of the dress clothes that we usually need when we attend church while vacationing. Short sleeves and bathing suits are a lot smaller than winter clothes, too. It was funny to think that this was probably how most normal people travel, not bringing huge backpacks and boxes on the plane, and trying to squeeze as much as possible into every space and weight allowance. Ironically, our rental car was upgraded for free to a Ford Explorer, which was actually much roomier than we needed for this trip, since my parents had theirs as well. Why can't that happen when we are skiing or climbing/camping?

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day, Daddy!

Ryan enjoyed a great Father's Day today. We had a great breakfast of waffles with jam and whipped cream, and then went to church. Keira made the above card for Ryan in nursery from tracing of her feet. Afterwards, we brought Keira home to nap, and then went over to Kris and Linda's for a wonderful meal. Sharon, Ellyn's mom, also joined us. We were able to enjoy some time outside and also had a video conference with Tyler, Minde, and Chase. My parents are in Ocean Isle, NC, and I spoke with my dad to wish him a Happy Father's day as well. We will be leaving on Tuesday to join them.

Keira and Ryan enjoying some fun on the slide outside at Nana and Papa's house.

Keira snuggling with her Papa after playing Helicopter, Choo Choo, and Motorcycle.

Saturday was quite the busy day for us. In the morning, I ran a 5K as for Ford in the Midwest Corporate Cup Relays. This is the main event that the Ford Runner's Club participates in as a team, and we are happy to say that we were victorious over GM and Chrysler this year overall, for the second consecutive year. We won the 5K as a team as well. This is the last race that I needed to complete my racing requirements for Team Stayput, and hopefully it will count since I wore a mix of Ford and Stayput apparel. After the race, I rushed home to work on cleaning the condo for a disappointing open house, because we had no prospective buyers, only neighbors checking it out from a price comparison standpoint. At least we have a clean house. We went out to Ann Arbor so that Ryan could climb, and we got Chipotle, a favorite of mine, and we do not have one near to our place. With gas prices as high as they are, we needed to maximize our time in Ann Arbor, so we also stopped at a bike shop to check things out as well.
Jessica, Me, and Michelle. Jessica was the 3rd female in the 5K, I was 7th, and Michelle was the 4th female in the 10K event. Andrea (not pictured) from Ford won both the 10K and the 5K events for the women- and they were run back to back with only a small break between. What an animal! I don't have the breakdown of the age group awards yet, which is how the overall team score is determined, so I am not sure if I contributed to the team win or not. It was fun to be back racing with the Ford team anyway. This is most likely my final race before the baby is born, but I guess I will need to wait and see what races people manage to convince me to run. I plan to continue running at this point, but with my pre-baby race schedule complete and the weather heating up, I will probably back it off a bit.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Happy 2nd Birthday to Keira!

Today is Keira's actual 2nd birthday, so this will be the end of the Happy Birthday Keira posts. It was a fairly typical Friday for us, just a few errands to run and a dinner out. The weather was very stormy in the morning, and rained on and off all day, so we were unable to go to a park to play outside, but did catch a few minutes of outdoor play at our condo. We went to Red Robin for dinner, and met up with Kris and Linda (Papa and Nana) to celebrate Keira's 2nd birthday. She opened the last of her presents, and enjoyed a dinner of tortilla chips and ice cream (we ordered her pizza and oranges, but she didn't eat either, or any of my pasta). She wasn't super excited about having the wait staff sing to her in the photo below.
She did enjoy the ice cream they brought her, though.
Fun with Papa and Nana

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Keira's 2nd Birthday Pics

We had Keira's 2nd Birthday Photos taken at JC Penny at the new Ford Road location in Canton, MI. This was our second try, because we had a bad experience with Keira being afraid at JCP 12 Oaks, where we didn't get any pictures at all. Linda came with us this time, and thanks to her help, we were able to get a ton of great pictures. The slideshow contains all of the photos and enhancements at our photo shoot. I think we will go back to the Ford Road JCP for all of our photo needs from now on, because they were great working with us, and took a lot of time. They also had a brand new studio that was very roomy (it did allow Keira to run around all over it). For some of the photos, she was sitting on a soccer ball that she found, which is why she is so scrunched over. She found a baseball first, and wanted to play with that, and switched it to the soccer ball because it was cleaner in case it got in any of the shots.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Keira's 2nd Birthday Party

Saturday was a huge day! It started off for me at another GOTR event, in Warren, MI. It was a much smaller event than Kalamazoo, and was not nearly as crazy. This was great, because it was also the same day as Keira's 2nd Birthday Party. Keira seemed to understand that she was having a party. When Ryan put her down for an earlier than usual nap, he explained to her that she had to rest because she was going to have a big party later, and she took a super long nap, which was great for all. We had opted against reserving an actual shelter at a local park due to cost, and the fact that we did not want to have a bunch of children outside at a play area if the weather turned bad. We were very fortunate that although the weather seemed a bit suspect, it managed to stay dry, and we were able to get a pair of picnic tables by a grill with parking very close by.

Keira was very excited about her cake. In the photo above, she is trying really hard to dig into, even though we haven't sung to her yet. We kept it hidden until this time. Her favorite television show is Word World, on PBS, and it was decorated with Sheep, one of her favorite characters from the show. The mini cupcakes on top were great for her and all of her little friends to eat.

Genevieve, Keira, Lizzie, Elise, and Katie

We had a great time at the party, and are very thankful for everyone that came and for all of the help that was provided. We could not have had such a great party without all of the help from family and friends who helped provide food, chairs, and gifts. It was wonderful to be able to spend an afternoon outside with family and friends being able to catch up and celebrate Keira's 2nd Birthday. It is amazing how time flies. Here is a shot of Keira thanking Katie for coming to her party and for the great presents. This was taken by my mom, who was much quicker with the camera than I was. This next photo is a re-enactment performed at my request, Keira was really hamming it up!

Keira sharing her new baby with Elise

Keira trying on a new shirt over her dress. This is about as far as she got on her own.

Keira's actual birthday is this Friday, June 13th, so there will probably be another update shortly after her actual birthday. We aren't sure what we will do for it since her big party is done, but I am sure we will come up with something small.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Game Update

Well, I did not stay up until the completion of the Red Wings game last night, and am quite glad I did not. I watched the end of the regulation, where the Red Wings were winning 3-2 until it was tied up with less than a minute to go, and watched the first OT period end scoreless. It went into 3 overtimes, and they lost about halfway through the 3rd OT period. Ryan did not get home until 2am. It was an unfortunate loss, but they are still not out of the hunt yet. They are up in the series 3-2, so have the chance to win again later this week. Ryan did get to arrive at Joe Lewis Arena via a limosine that took him to the VIP entrance for their suite, and got the full VIP treatment. He saw local celebrities including former Red Wings with multiple Stanley Cup rings. It was quite the experience, too bad it resulted in a loss. It would have been really fun for Ryan to have been able to be present when the cup was awarded to the Red Wings.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Busy Weekend, Busy Monday

This is an exciting evening for Ryan. He is at the Red Wings Stanley Cup Finals game against Pittsburgh at Joe Lewis Arena in Detroit with some co-workers. While the Redwings could finish the series and win the cup tonight, they will need to come back from a 2-1 deficit during the second period. I may or may not update/edit the blog tonight with the final score. The fortunate thing is that if they lead the series 3-1, so a loss tonight does not count them out. It would be very exciting for Ryan to be able to see them win the cup, though.

Keira and I had a relaxing day, consisting mostly of being silly and resting from our busy weekend. Our complex pool is still not open, but it is appearing to be getting closer, and today would have been a perfect pool day. I was able to get her to wear pigtails again today, but only about long enough to get the pictures taken. I am hoping she will eventually let me pull her hair back for longer periods of time, because it gets so messy from eating and playing, that she needs to have her hair washed daily.
We also did meet up with Jessica and Kristel at Maybury for a run. I couldn't hit the trails with them because of the stroller, but it was still nice to chat before and after our run. Keira enjoyed the swings post run for a short time, but the bugs and mosquitoes are already out, so we had to keep it short.

On Sunday, we were initially supposed to have an open house for our condo, but it was cancelled. It was a disappointment to us, and even more disappointing that no calls were made about the cancellation from people wanting to see it. It did give us the opportunity to come home after church and let Keira nap at home. I was thinking recently that I used to take all these cute napping pictures of her, and hadn't in a while, so I did take a couple on Sunday. Keira actually managed to outnap me this Sunday, a major feat for her, so I felt that I should check on her anyway, and she looked so cute, I couldn't resist. I only wish I could sleep in this position right now, because it would keep my belly off of the bed, but still allow me to sleep in a relatively straight position. Too bad I don't have jello joints like a 2 year old! (She is on her knees, it is a little hard to tell due to her blanket over her bottom half) So cute!

On Saturday, we had a very busy day. Although we had already heard about the cancellation of the open house, we still continued preparations in the event that another agent became available to assist or that we got a call for a showing instead. This did not happen, but I am not going to complain about having a cleaner house as a result. The afternoon and evening were spent with Kris and Linda, celebrating Kris's birthday at Sidetrack restaurant in Depot Town, and after a great dinner we went to McClumpha Park for their ward's picnic to let Keira run around on their fabulous play structures and grabbed some treats. While we were there, we saw a frog on the sidewalk. In fact, it brushed against my leg as we were walking towards the play area. Keira was very excited to see a real frog and watch it jump. We just hope the frog managed to live through the evening, as other children were gathering very close to make it jump too, and we hope it did not get squished!

On Saturday morning, I completed my 5th race for Team Stayput. It is technically my 6th event, since I could count the bike demo, but since it was a late addition, and I didn't really do much, I will still be shooting for one more running race. I ran the Book'N 5K in South Lyon to benefit the Salem-South Lyon Library. This was a fun local race, a great alternative to my usual race this weekend- Race for the Cure, which is in downtown Detroit, a pain to get to, and expensive. It was apparently unusually difficult to get downtown this year because there were several major events on Saturday- the Red Bull Flying competition and a Tigers game, all in addition to Race for the Cure which typically draws 30,000+ on its own. The nice thing about the Book'N 5K was that we knew another family that would be attending and there was a pancake breakfast for all the family members of the race participants. I did fairly well timewise. I did not place in my age group, but honestly, it is about time that a pregnant lady not place in her age group. I mean, my times lately have been pretty slow, so it has not been exciting for me to win my age, because I feel like I have been entering races with little competition. The interesting thing about this race is that the age groups were divided a little differently than normal, 31-40, instead of 30-39, or even 30-34 and 35-39. There were no 30 year olds that beat me, so changing it to 30-39 would not have made a difference, but changing it to 30-34 would have had me winning again, because the fast people in the area are 35-39 it seems. Also, because I was the only one, which is why they combined it in the first place I am sure. I would not have won this age group even not pregnant, because the winning time was so fast. It was the same case in my last race too- the 35-39 age group was super fast compared to the 30-34 age group, much faster than my PRs. It has been frustrating to look at the race results and see people finish ahead of me in my age group with times slower than my non-pregnant race times, so in a way, it is easier when they are super fast and I would have had little chance beating them regardless of my pregnancy.