Monday, August 31, 2009

My home

Moving to a new place isn't so bad when you have a husband as cute as this. When I look over and see him there, I know I am where I am supposed to be. 

Good burgers help too. 

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Leopards don't like crowds

Yeah, the Museum of Natural History has awesome dinosaurs and scary cavemen and huge whales, but I was struck by its irresponsible and perhaps dangerous depiction of the African leopard. Here it rests daintily on a tree branch, contemplating the circle of life and smiling at the crowds of people who watch from below. This is not right. Leopards do not like crowds. Here is how I know.

We were on safari in Uganda, riding through the park in the back of a Land Rover. Signs everywhere warned, "Do not leave road! Dangerous animals!" Our guide, a nice park ranger, did not obey the signs. She spotted a leopard in a tree and immediately pulled the car off the road and toward the animal. As we got closer, the beast grew more uneasy. He slowly and smoothly pushed himself up on his paws, and soon he was perched on the branch and ready to pounce. There we were, staring up at the leopard from the open sun roof, inviting him into our car. He looked at us with disgust and embarrassment. Not our brightest move. 

We escaped before he struck, but I knew we were lucky. 

("He's right there!!")

("I'm sorry, do you idiots need anything?")
(Getting ready to pounce.)

Monday, August 24, 2009

I'm feeling bad

I have a confession to make. I tried to make a point of saying happy birthday to my friends and family on this here blog, but I haven't been able to keep up. It was an audacious goal, and I think I might have gotten in over my head. Instead of posting some and not others, I'm thinking I should just get better at birthday cards. That will be hard, but I'm ready to try.

So to all those summer birthday ladies I missed...Kerry, Bekah, Marek, Anna...just know I love you and I'm glad to have you in my life. And to those special cupcakes who were born 24 years ago this very day...

Happy Birthday Leigh and Erin!

This pic covers many, but not all of you special girls. To all my friends, happy birthday whenever it is. I feel like when I was little and I would pray, "God, please bless my family and my friends and EVERYONE IN THE WHOLE ENTIRE WORLD. Amen."

First day of school

Mandatory nerd picture. Do I look at all like this little guy? 
(That's David, in case it's not obvious from the long legs and dimple.)

Remember when it was cool to wear your backpack with one strap? I have vivid memories of trying to ride my bike to school while balancing my backpack on just one shoulder. No way would I be seen using both straps. Oh, the sacrifices I've made for fashion.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Cat on dog

I saw these little guys in Santa Fe and it reminded me of a story. 

David and I were driving through downtown SLO just as it was getting dark. We were looking for a parking spot, scanning the rows to the right and left, when I noticed something out of the ordinary. Extraordinary, you could say. 

There, standing at the light, was a man with a very ordinary dog on a leash. And there, standing on top of the dog, was an ordinary cat. No leash, nothing tying it to the dog, just standing there on top of the dog like it wasn't a big deal at all. Wide-eyed, I stared out the window as we drove by, and the man turned and looked behind his back as if to say, "Nothing weird here. I wonder what she's staring at?" When the light turned green the 3 of them proceeded to walk across the street and through town. 

It felt like I was in a world where everything is backwards yet I am the only one who notices. Like I am the weird one, and all of the people walking around with cats on top of dogs are normal. They pass each other on the street, saying, "How do you do?" to the other cat-on-dog walkers while I stare in amazement. I'll never forget it.

Friday, August 21, 2009

You won't believe it

Superman flew in and painted my bathroom. 
(He didn't even know I was taking this picture.)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Our neighborhood

(The library where David will be doing a bit of his studying.)

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Welcome to Maryland!

(Our new apartment. Notice the exposed brick walls and the faux fireplace. Love it.)

(Our first meal in Baltimore: much-needed pizza and beer.)

We made it! Our neighborhood is lovely, full of museums and interesting architecture and restaurants. We feel a bit out of place, but I expect that feeling will pass quickly. At least I hope it will. Our things come on Monday, so we have a few days to clean, get the apartment ready, and pray that our couch will fit through the front door. It's quite clear a boy lived here before us and the place needs a bit of love, but we've brought love and tools and we're ready to fix things up. Pics to come shortly.

Thanks to all who prayed for us and thought about us on our adventure. We love and appreciate you.

Friday, August 14, 2009

St. Louis, MO to Hilliard, OH

All the driving made me confused; we actually have 1 more day to go. Days spent in cars don't feel like normal days, especially when the surroundings don't change much. We passed through 3 states today, 3 states that are new to me. I noticed that Illinois and Indiana seem to be in a fight over who gets to claim Abraham Lincoln as its own. Both had signs boasting ownership over various parts of his life. "Lincoln's Boyhood Home." "Land of Lincoln." "Home of Abraham Lincoln." I need to learn more about him.

After St. Louis we spent the day in Ohio with my former coworker and her wonderful family. At Lifewater Carol was my mentor, teacher, encourager, genius, etc. It was great to get to spend time with her family, especially her hilarious little ones.

- Carol made ratatouille for dinner using vegetables from their garden. Delicious!
- As we were leaving, Jude handed us each an old-looking penny he'd dug up from their backyard. To him they were ancient buried treasures. He's convinced there are also dinosaur bones buried in the yard.
- Before we fell asleep we giggled for about an hour. "We're moving. We're really moving" was the phrase we kept repeating.

Kansas City, KS to St. Louis, MO

(That time David walked on the moon without a space suit.)

Had a short drive to St. Louis, where we did the only thing we knew to do: visited the Gateway Arch. We took the metro, completely packed with Cardinals fans headed to the game, to the Mississippi River and the Arch. It was beautiful, but the most interesting part was the museum under the arch. We saw a huge Amish family touring the exhibits and stopping to watch a video about something. Amish people watching TV. I didn't know what to think. I tried to take a picture but my super spy stealth skills were lacking.

Only 1 more day until our new home!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Denver, CO to Kansas City, KS

This was a strange day.

First, we tried to find a post office on the route. Our GPS (Sheila- she's from Australia) led us to a real life ghost town, complete with boarded up buildings, empty playgrounds, and primary school buildings with broken windows. It was eery.

Next, we decided to stop and see the world's largest prairie dog and some 5-legged living cows. Can I spend a moment to tell you how sad this was? The prairie dogs were fake (sorry Sada), and the cows had partially-formed extra legs on their backs. I'm not sure why I expected a happy cow running around on 5 legs, beating those silly cows with only 4, but that was not the case. I won't show pictures because it's not a pretty sight.

David is huge!!!

The only pretty thing at the animal freak show.

And this is what the rest of the drive looked like. For hours. And hours. We went across the entire state of Kansas.

The silver lining? We stayed with parents of friends at Lake Quivira, a community located on a lake and golf course. David said, "This place is nicer than any place we stayed on our honeymoon." A nice run around the lake and I was finally able to shake the images of deformed cows and miles and miles of wheat fields. I'm feeling better now.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Santa Fe, NM to Denver, CO

(David eating clouds.)

The drive itself was less than exciting, but we had a great time with David's grandma, aunt, and uncle in Denver. Grandma made us a delicious slow-cooked dinner as only grandmas can, and when I asked what David was like when he was little she said, "Oh, he was an ornery little guy." Ha ha ha.

During dinner I heard thunder and rain out the window and became embarrassingly excited. I know I'll miss SLO's ever-perfect weather, but for now I'm looking forward to storms and dark clouds and change. In SLO I often forgot what month or even what time of the year it was. I want to crave seasons. I want to need spring to come and take winter away. Silly California girl.

Phoenix, AZ to Santa Fe, NM

Route 66- I don't think any part of the drive will be able to beat this. It was irreverent and ridiculous and I loved it. Also, I don't think any stop will beat Santa Fe. Santa Fe is a sweet town, and we wished we could have stayed longer. We wandered down the narrow streets, peeking into courtyards full of lights and peppers hanging from the walls, listening to music from guitarists and bands, and both thought that we could live there some day. David said, "It captured my heart." More pics of Santa Fe to come.

- Driving through Holbrook, a stop on Route 66. Dinos, tee pees, murals, everything.
- An unexpected time change (1 hour difference) meant that our drive was shorter than planned. Nice!

- For months we had planned to have a burger from the famous Bobcat Bite Restaurant. We called on our way and they said, "We're out of meat. Oh, and we close at 7:15." We were set to arrive right at 7:15.