Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Orlando -- the first part

The week after Christmas was spent in sunny (mostly) Orlando! Our primary purpose was to visit my brother Jacob and his wife Lisa, but they happen to live less than 10 minutes from Disney World, so we took advantage of the parks while we were there. It was my first time in Orlando, Rob had been a few years back, but had just gone to Magic Kingdom - so it was all new to both of us.


Christmas Day on the plane wasn't very exciting,
but thanks to couple of movies loaded on the ipod, it wasn't too bad either.

Rob made naan for Sunday dinner curry fest. We made some chicken saag and chana masala. Jacob made red curry with tofu on noodles. Something I remembered about Jacob - he loves competition in any form, "So, which food is better, mine or yours?"

Rob is pretty excited to be grilling naan on the bbq in Florida!
Boo is a good companion, especially when he thinks there's meat on the grill.
Jacob and Lisa had gotten a free pass to Universal from a friend, so we took advantage of it and went to Island Adventure on Monday. It was a beautiful day - a little chilly in the shade, but the skies were a beautiful blue and it made me really excited about being in Florida!

We liked Universal (truthfully, we give it an official rating of "thumbs-sideways") - it had some cool themes. Here is Suess Landing, which had been decorated as Who-ville for Christmas.
Even though we saw most of Universal and don't feel a need to return any time soon, we'll have to go back next time we visit because Harry Potter's Wizarding World is being built!

Boy, are we excited! (Rob spied Hogwarts Express and Hogsmeade while peeking here.
I know, you're getting excited too!)
Some pics from Jurassic Park...

Here we were going to pretend to be scared. Rob actually looked up and saw a dinosaur.Going down

One of the great things about Islands of Adventure was the fun lands that they had around. This whole area was built around the theme of classic comic strips.

Thanks for being a fun way to spend a Monday in Orlando, Universal!

play with us. literally.

Click here and wait for the game to load. Epcot was pretty cool... more to come.

(the game is only available until jan 5th)

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Nyland Christmas Letter 2009

Merry Christmas from the Nylands

This has been a year marked by blessings in many forms. We are grateful for all that we've been able to learn, experience, and for the friends and family that have shared it all with us.

We thought we'd post our Christmas letter on our blog this year - no way would it had ever gotten to you by tradition means (in the mail, and on time). Since this is our first Christmas letter, we'll start back in August 2008, when we became the Nylands.

Rob and I were married August 2008 in the Seattle LDS Temple after our 17 month courtship + engagement. Rob was working at a market research firm, and I was graduating from the University of Washington (I finished up a week early to get married). We headed off to San Diego and Disneyland for our honeymoon. We celebrated our first anniversary in 2009. Our truthful answer to those who asked us about our first year of marriage has been "It was so... easy!"

Right away after we returned from our honeymoon to our apartment in Kirkland, Washington I began my career as a Speech Language Pathologist in the local school district. Rob accepted a job teaching Video Production at Lake Washington Technical College (scroll down to check out his bio!). It was a lot of exciting life changes all at once for the two of us!

Our first years at our jobs have been both challenging and rewarding, which was expected. Rob teaches four classes per quarter, and the best way to describe what he does is to show what his students have made. I provide language therapy to 45+ kindergarten-6th grade students from two elementary schools.

Our extended family grew by five this year - my sister, Alicia, got married in March, adding one brother-in-law and two nephews. Also, a nephew and niece were born this year. We feel very blessed to live near both sides our family and have had many fun times our parents, siblings, nieces and nephews.

We've been able to enjoy a handful of trips in 2009 - made possible by school schedules with breaks that overlap. We thoroughly enjoyed Portland, Victoria, BC, and Las Vegas. In June, we road-tripped it down to Utah at the beginning of our Summer Break. Rob and I both lived in Utah while attending BYU, we both love and miss Provo and our friends who are living in the area. Provo was the main destination, but on the way there and back we visited family, friends, and interesting sites in Spokane, Yellowstone, Rexburg, SLC, Roosevelt and Fruitland.

Between trips, our summer was filled with camping, biking and hiking. We're not intense outdoors-men by any means, but it was so great to enjoy the area and each other by spending most of our days doing these activities.

We stay busy year-round with our church responsibilities. Currently, Rob is Elder's Quorum President, which means he directs the group of men that are around 20-40 years old and assists in the day-to-day running of the ward (congregation). I work with the 12-13 year old girls as the 2nd Counselor in the Young Women Presidency. We really love our first family ward after enjoying many years in University wards.

Rob's podcast met it's demise in August after 100 episodes. It was a bit of a change to Rob's weekly schedule after almost two years of weekly trips into Seattle to do the podcast with his good friend Nathaniel.

During the year, we found that our little apartment does a fine job at being home to out-of-town-visitors, even with just one bathroom and an air mattress on the floor (at least, we hope our guests felt the same!). So, whether you're making a trip to visit us, the city, or are just stopping mid-band tour - feel free to stay with us in 2010. Thanks to our 2009 house guests: Lady Danbury, Drew Danburry, Sycamore Street Press, Love is Chemicals, Desert Noises, and Florida Farrars.

We'll start out the new year looking forward to strengthening new friendships and reconnecting with old. We hope to be even more a part of our nieces and nephews' lives this year, excited to watch them grow one year older. We'll take a few more trips: Orlando for Christmas-New Years, Disneyland in February, and maybe even San Francisco for Spring Break (crossing fingers!). With anything that new year will bring, we will be happy and grateful to be experiencing it with one another and with the Lord watching over us.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Leah's First Visit to Disney World

I made this video for the family and as a contribution to my friends blog. Enjoy:

Saturday, November 28, 2009

not sure why we haven't blogged lately

I think we don't blog because we haven't been taking pictures. Really, the last pictures we took were from camping this summer. I think we still do fun things??? Instead of showing pictures from our exciting life, I thought I'd tell you about our favorite shows... and as I thought about that, I realized another theory for not blogging is because we've been watching too much tv.

Really, we watch way less than the average 30 somethings (not something, just 30 - Rob's almost 30 too, ps.). We watch 5 shows..

1. The Office: These days it's pretty bad, but we can't help but be die hard.

2. 30 Rock: Are these characters not the best (2nd best after Arrested Development)!? This show is so ridiculous/fantastic. Example.

3. Top Chef: This has become our new fav reality/competition show. On pins and needles about who is going to win... who could it be!? We love Kevin.

jerk store called:

4. Project Runway: now that the season is over we only have 4 shows that we watch. It wasn't even that great of a season and I'm still sad it's over

Season 6 was this good

5. Friday Night Lights: Ob-sessed.

Team Riggins

Missing from this list:
- Community: didn't like it, wasn't interested
- Glee: wanted to like it, and almost did. plus, it was too sketchy too early on (I watch 30 Rock and Friday Night Lights, so I have no right to say Glee is too sketchy. I get that.)
- everything else. Generally speaking.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

letters to friends

Dear Monica,

I bought new boots (in brown, and I fold them higher than shown here).

Dear Lindsay,

You have another reason to visit us.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

the ward campout will go forth

A month or so ago Rob got put in charge of our ward's campout. He's since learned his lesson, from now on he won't make suggestions for ward activities during Ward Council (he's the Sunday School President). Really, there weren't a ton of things to coordinate (easy for me to say) and it was fun to do it together and feel a little success for the great turnout and good time.

Before everyone arrived at Cascade Park, me and Whitey here walked into the river that goes through the campground.
Here's another picture of a calm spot on the river
We didn't take any pictures that evening, which is a bummer, because that was the best part. There was a good number of people there, some we are good friends with, others we didn't know very well before sitting around the fire together.

Here is a pretty cool picture of Rob and I shared with us from the Van Leeuwens, who did take pictures that night.
The next morning was a pancake and egg breakfast. I love this picture, everyone in it just decided to grab a spatula and help cook the food.
Rob, master pancake chef.
I'm the only one who had banana pancakes.

Cameron taught us a game he had learned called The Villager. None of us had heard of it, but it was easy enough so it became a hit. It turns out there's a game called Village Idiot, which I have heard of, which happens to be played the exact same way. I think Cameron just didn't want any of us to be left with the label of "idiot" so he kindly changed the name. He's considerate like that:)I kept getting really dumb hands like this one. I also came in dead last 3 out of the 4 times we played (village idiot).

After packing up camp a few of us couples drove to the nearby falls (named Granite Falls, which is also the name of the town).

To view the falls you stand metal grates that cover the fish ladder that is there. Metal grates have always kind of freaked me out, I usually walk around metal grates on sidewalks, etc. I guess I worry I'll be the one person to ever fall through one. In this picture Collin looks so brave just chillin' on the metal grate.
A closer look at Collin shows how happy a baby he usually is. Not like here.

Rob and I have a hard time leaving Granite Falls without visiting Cranky J's so we got our friends to agree to eating big huge delicious scoops of ice cream before heading back to our respective homes.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Something you may not know about me: I love to bake, especially on rainy Saturdays like today

There are cookies that need to be made, and because I procrastinated writing my Young Women's lesson, Rob gets to be the one to bake them. No fair.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

LDS night

We joined our friends at the Mariner's game for LDS night last Thursday. We got cheap seats and a free tshirt just by showing our temple recommends! jk.

Here is everyone: Rob (left) sitting next to the Braithwaites, then McDonnels, then Albrechts. It was such a good time with friends that I kept forgetting to watch the game. When I did remember to watch, I mostly saw the other team running home, so it was okay.

Rob and his little buddy Cameron
Rob representing with his Brigham shirt.
Collin McDonnel was especially heartbroken with the M's loss.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

itty bitty tomatoes

This Spring I planted some tomatoes, and the plant actually stayed alive to produce these little guys:

I don't like tomatoes enough to pop these into my mouth whole, but I felt a little foolish slicing them for my sandwich!

In other produce news, our friends Anna and Christopher Krey gave us a bag full of vegetables when we left their house a couple of weeks ago. The Kreys are members of "Community Supported Agriculture." They buy a share in a local farm, then pick up a bag of just-picked produce every week during the growing season. This was my first introduction to the idea, despite it not being news for most of the people I've talked to about it. I think this is the CSA they support. I'm not going to become a member, but I think it's really cool for people who are concerned with eating organic and/or locally grown produce. I'm not big into the organic piece, and feel only a little guilty for not putting more emphasis into the grown-locally aspect (I like the idea of supporting local growers, but feel there are more sides to the debate for the economical and environmental effects of not buying local). ANYWAY... I thought the CSA was cool!

I also thought it was cool to have a bag full of zucchini, onion, carrots and beets (thanks, Kreys!). Just look at the colorful carrots:


Victoria, BC

is awesome!!!

Awesome buildings:

Awesome people waiting an hour for Red Fish Blue Fish:

Awesome Fish and Chips:

Awesome French Diet Coke:

Awesome Dudes from Behind:

Awesome friends from out of town:

Awesome Canadian Potato chips:

Awesome time!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Cougar Mountain

One of the last hikes of the season was Cougar Mountain. When we arrived to Cougar Mountain, it was raining pretty good, despite the predictions of Weather.com. We braved it anyway and it turned out to be a pretty fun hike.

Cougar Mountain has a ton of trails, and this turned out to be a little bit troublesome as we didn't see the free maps at the trailhead. As a result, the hike meandered a lot, and it ended up being like a Choose Your Own Adventure novel. We chose to go to De Leo Wall:

And this little waterfall:

And this bigger waterfall (minus much water):

One of my favorite things about the hike is that Cougar Mountain is actually the site of some old coal mines. I totally love stuff like that, and so I was super excited when I found this former entrance to the Ford slope mine:

The amazing thing about Cougar Mountain is how big it is. We hiked around just one part of it. Maybe next season we will have to check out the other 3 trailheads.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Twin Falls

We hiked Twin Falls, near North Bend, a couple of weeks ago and it turned out to be our first rainy hike. It was bound to happen, with summers in the Great Northwest being as they are, and it made the hike refreshing and a little exciting. I decided that these falls are the prettiest, but I'm not sure what is so twin about them.

Like most of Western Washington hikes, this trail was covered overhead by trees. So, by the time we got to the falls we were still mostly dry.

We went beyond the falls about a mile or so, where there was less of a tree covering. So, by the end of the hike we looked like this: