It really has been a while since blogging. Here is what has happened lately (ie., the only pictures we really have since the last time we blogged. Not true, there are some others and maybe you'll see them sometime).
I sew now. Or, I did during the Thanksgiving weekend. Here I am, holding up the burp cloth that I stitched around, which is the only sewing required. I am saying, "Everyone! Everyone! Look what I made!" Monica and Julene are clapping for me, they are so proud.
Rob with a couple of his nieces. He loves that Clara (left) can stand him now.
This year's tree. It was too cold when we picked it out and we ended up with a less-than-perfect tree because I just wanted to be done with it. (Linda - that big present on the right is for you!)
Rob's Christmas present from himself. We called it a present for the baby (by the way, we're having a baby) because he's wanted one for the nursery. We own just a handful of records - Sesame Street, MoTab Christmas, and Snow White
Rob turned 31. So old! He's so handsome. That's something that hasn't changed since I last blogged.
It started out with our 2nd 5k - the Pumpkin Push. What a fun race! I was a little nervous about it because we hadn't run 3.2 miles in a few weeks, and with our first 5k we were running that distance 2-3 times each week. But it was totally fine. It helped that we had a lot of people in costume to look at as we ran by (or, as they ran by us, which is a more true statement). It was funny to start out the race, I told Rob that it looked more like we were running from a natural disaster or something. Most of us didn't look like we planned on running that morning - families, people dressed up, and there were just so many of us!
Alicia and my mom were there too, and we saw a couple of friends along the race, which made it that much more fun!
Photos below: a before/after of the four of us - can you tell how wet we got?, an official race photo of Rob - what form! My bandanna is dorky, I know this. It kept my ears warm.
The rest of the afternoon was lazy. And long. See what I mean by a perfect Saturday? Some of what we did:
- watched the week's episode of The Office while eating lunch
- a long grocery shopping trip (including Costco!)
- cleaned the house (lazily)
- watched Friday Night Lights - the first episode of the season!
- hung out a little at the Quigley's
- some other stuff I guess I forgot. I just know I told Rob around 3pm, "I love lazy Saturdays like today," totally forgetting that I had run a race that morning!
That night we went to Vietnamese in the International District and a concert. We go to Vietnamese and concerts relatively often, but these were extra special. Usually we go to Vietnamese to get inexpensive pho or bahn mi. But this place was fancier (fancy to us isn't saying much, but it was a little less hole-in-the-wall than our usual). We ordered something I've never had before and it was just so cozy and warm when outside was dark and wet. Wonderful.
The concert was so super fantastic! Sufjan Stevens - my first time seeing him. I didn't know much of his music, but what I do know I have always loved. A little Rob and Stephanie history - when we first became friends, Rob put a Sufjan album on in my car and asked if I liked his music. I had never heard of him. I later found out it was a "test" of sorts, seeing what my music taste/knowledge was before he decided how he felt about me. Good thing he gave me another chance! I won't write much about the concert, just that 1) he put on an amazing show (new, crazy stuff - listen to one below, great graphics, and a long encore with the favorites), 2) I got to SIT the entire time! and 3) it ended by ELEVEN! I was very happy.
Rob is sitting with his guitar and a hymn book, which means he is trying to start Family Home Evening. Well, he'll just have to wait while I snap a couple pictures of my favorite views in our apartment...
A couple of weeks ago I had the chance to film the wedding our friends Will and Emily. It was one of the only rainy days in Seattle this summer -- which doesn't always bode well for an outdoor wedding, but the ceremony was great anyway, and I was lucky enough to capture it in digital form.
Here is a shorter edit of their wedding with some nice melodramatic music from Jens Lekman.
Consequently, I am also looking for more wedding clients to fill up my weekends. If you know of anyone who is getting married, feel free to send them my way: robnyland (at) gmail.com
Despite feeling a little ill for the past couple of days, Steph and I ventured out with her sister Monica to see a group called The Tallest Man on Earth. Now that we have hit the 30's, concerts rarely seem like a good idea, but we are glad to have gone to this one.
The Tallest Man is not tall, and he's not American either -- He's from Sweden, where most good music in this world comes from. His music sounds really folky. I've heard that he sounds like Bob Dylan, but I never really listened to Bob Dylan growing up, so I will take others' word for it.
Look at him being so cool:
One of the worst parts about going to concerts is other people. I had this group of total idiots behind me, drinking PBR and jumping up and down. The Tallest Man had to tell them twice to stop being idiots. One of the dudes handed me his email and asked me to send him pictures. Since the guy was a jerk, I'll let him google it.
Oh, and here is a video that I took during the concert. This is a great song called "Love is All":
A few weeks ago we had plans to go to the Evergreen State Fair in Monroe. However, it was raining pretty heavily that day, so our plans were dashed. Luckily, Alicia called up and told us that she was going to the Science Center and that she had some extra tickets -- Extra Tickets? Of course we'll go!
The main exhibit was the Circus. That explains these awesome pictures: Engaging in a strong man exercise:
It was the first trip to the Science Center for Marin and Collin, who tagged along with us. So we had to make a stop in the butterfly thunderdome.
And look how brave Collin is, I mean he is full on touching that cockroach! Too bad the cockroach handler looks very sad about what has been going on in his life.
Thanks Alicia for letting us tag along and saving us from a boring rainy day!
A few weeks ago we had our Ward Campout. While the campout was really fun, I didn't take any pictures of it. I did, however, take some pictures of the hike that we took the next day.
On the Saturday after the hike we headed up past Granite Falls to the Lime Kiln Trail. The trail follows an old railroad grade and then ends up at a big kiln where they used to cook up limestone or something.
I really love old artifacty type things, and considering that the area used to be the site of an old mining town, there was a lot of random old knick knacks strewn throughout the woods.
Overall, it was a pretty cool hike and a nice one to end the summer season with. Oh, and thanks to the Van Leeuwens for coming along with us!
Last week it was still summer (yes, the weather has already turned in Seattle) and we had our first bbq meal. Thanks to the J.R.s, we now have a (free!) bbq on our porch!
Turkey burgers with spinach and feta (really straight forward, but here's the recipe), topped with grilled onions + other fixings, grilled corn on the cob and a fresh green salad. It was way too much food, so we made sure not to fill our bellies with too much salad.
The only other thing we've made on the grill so far is naan, which is probably the food that grill will see the most of, and why Rob thought he really needed a bbq.
On Wednesday, Steph and I went on a hike that I had been hearing good things about: Rattlesnake Ledge. It is pretty close to Little Si and Twin Falls, two hikes that we did last summer. The hike is pretty short, but it has a nice steady climb, and some pretty impressive views.
From the bottom:
From the top:
After the hike we went to Isadora's, which is a little cafe in Snoqualmie that one of my students made a video about. After seeing the Tuna Melt in his video, I knew that I wanted to try one.
It took a little while to get our food. So the waiting room sign was appropriate.
The tuna melt was worth the trip. A good amount of dill and some nuts. MMM.
This last week Steph and I celebrated our 2nd anniversary. Since we felt the end of our summer fast approaching and didn't want to quite give it up, we decided that we would get out of town one last time. We used some credits that we got from a trip that we booked on Hotwire, and got a hotel in Portland.
After arriving in Portland, we hopped on the light rail in search for some food. We were hoping to eat off of one of the many food carts that they have downtown, but unfortunately most of them were closed at that time of night. We did however, run across an Indian festival that was happening in town:
There was lots of cheap food. We decided on Pakora and a Mango Lassi. A good choice:
After we just walked around downtown. Portland is big, but it never feels busy.
The next morning we headed across the river to take a trip on the aerial tram. The aerial tram has a cool view, but unfortunately just goes up to the hospital. Once you get up, you pretty much have no choice but to come immediately back down.
After the aerial tram, we took a trip to Bunk Sandwiches, which we saw featured on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives. The shop was pretty small, but had a really cool vibe. And we loved the Cuban Sandwich that we had -- mostly because of the Beaver's Hot Sweet Mustard that we dipped it in.
I forgot to mention that we visited Portland on the hottest day of the year. To avoid the 95 degree heat of 1 in the afternoon, we went to the Avalon theater to see a cheap screening of the Karate Kid.
I have been talking trash about the new Karate Kid for a while -- mostly because it represents a lot of what is evil about Hollywood these days. But you know what? That movie is really good. Easily one of the best times that I've had at the movies this year.
The best part of the trip was that I got to spend a fun day with my wife. Here she is:
She is the coolest girl that I know, and a person that I have been privileged to spend the last two years with. They have been full of adventures, and I can wait to see what the rest of our time together will bring.
Did you (out-of-towners) know that Seattle has a really great bike trail? We've ridden it on various occasions, and decided to finish off the last third of it last week by riding from Gasworks park to Golden Gardens Beach.
en route at the Ballard Locks with our amazing sandwich from Paseo