Saturday, July 17, 2010

Missed Blogortunity

Melarie Julia and Robert went for a bike ride this morning to try out a new bike stroller that we got for Julia earlier this month. Melarie has been using it often as a jogging stroller but this was our first experiment as a bike stroller.

Unfortunately we forgot to bring a camera or either of our cell phones along to take any pictures (hence the missed blogortunity). Take our word for it though, it was an experience. We started out by heading north to 4 Mile Run Trail (which is actually 7.5 miles long). The plan was to continue north west (uphill) along 4 mile run trail and then take a short loop before returning home. All together the ride was supposed to be 10 miles.

Here you can see our intended path. Since it was supposed to be rather warm today, we wanted to try and finish before the heat set in. We planned on waking up around 7:30 so that we were out the door before 8:00. Julia decided that she needed more sleep this morning so we did not start getting things ready until 8:15 and probably got out of the house around 9:00. In our rush, we forgot both of our phones, the GPS, and a camera.

We did not think much of it as we continued up 4 mile run trail. We took our first break after 5.5 miles as things were going smoothly and Julia was content in her little stroller. It is actually a two person stroller so it is quite spacious for some of her books, sippy cups, and a teddy bear.

After the first break we turned North east on the Curtis Trail. Everything was well marked so the lack of a phone / GPS had not become an issue yet. Julia was still content when we arrived at what we thought was our cuttoff trail that would take us back to 4 mile run trail. It was not marked like all of the other trails had been up to that point so we were not sure. He took the trail a short distance and then the trail turned into a city sidewalk with "Bike Trail" signs. This confused us so we decided to stop, turn around, and continue up the Curtis trail till we found the next junction and hope it was marked.

At this point we probably would have checked our phone or GPS to get a better idea of where we were. Had we done this, we would have discovered that the trail continued just on the opposite side of the road. To get a better idea, all we needed to do was cross the street and ride back down one block of city streets before finding the trail that would take us south, back to 4 mile run trail.

Well we did not do that, we simply continued up curtis trail for a couple miles before deciding that we had definetly missed our cutoff trail. We knew that we could continue on the Curtis trail until it became the Mt Vernon trail and follow a much larger loop all the way back to 4 mile run trail. We decided to do that because we were already so far up curtis trail that it would be about the same distance either way (back track vs. take the full loop). All though it was not our intention at the beginning of the day, nor on our maiden voyage with Dad pulling Julia along, we figured why not.

We continued along a the Potomac River and passed the Reagen airport before finally reconnecting with the 4 mile run trail and returning home. In total the 10 mile trip turned out to be almost 18 miles and took a little longer than we expected but we still got home before it really got hot, so all in all, mission accomplished.

O and by the way, Go Cougars (Picture is from a fellow poster on Cougarboard)

Sunday, July 11, 2010

15 Months

Julia is 15 months now and she has changed so much in the past few months. She is much more like a toddler now than a baby. She has recently started to go over to her books, pull them off the shelf and flip through the pages and look at the pictures in the books, all without me! I think it's super cute. Luckily she started doing this just before our road trip last week, so it kept her pretty happy in the car flipping through the books. Her favorite book is Piper the Piglet because it is about a little piglet who has a new beachball, and Julia loves balls. She is always bringing the book over to me and making the sign for ball over and over.

She is also always so busy. It is fun to watch her with her toys when she is playing alone because she seems to have a plan to what she is doing. This toy goes here, this one goes there. Pit stop to play with her piano, then back to work arranging the toys. She loves the pool and playing outside. She'll take my hand and drag me to the door when she wants to go out. But she knows she needs her shoes before she can go out, so I'll stall by telling her to go find her shoes and she goes frantically searching for her shoes.

She'll give me a kiss and a hug if I ask her, but she will only give her daddy a kiss and hug if I tell her to. When she gives hugs she'll sometimes pat you on the back. She likes to give her dolls hugs and kisses too.

She will also show you where her ears, nose, and belly button are.

She loves dance and to be chased.

Julia likes to test limits too. She knows what it means when I tell her no, but she'll just hang around right out of reach of what I just told to stay away from. Or she'll just give you a smile like its a game and see how long it will take you to stop her.

Julia also is a chatterbox. She is always talking to me and to herself. She says mama and dadda a lot. She also knows doggy (which sounds a lot like dadda), socks, shoes, (more or less) and banana. She loves banana's now, which is kind of weird because she never used to. Now she sees a banana and goes "NANA, NANA, NANA!"

East Coast Beach Bums

Last week we went on vacation out to the Delaware, Virgina, and North Carolina coasts. We went to the beach a lot. We visited beaches in every state, and since it was so hot last week it was the perfect thing to be doing. We probably would have done more land activities but it was really just so hot I couldn't stand being out walking around for long. We did make a couple history pit stops:

The old and new Cape Henry lighthouses located in Fort Story (north of Virginia Beach). The old one was built in 1792, the new one in 1881. They are near the "first landing" spot, where the Virginia Company first landed in 1607 after crossing the Atlantic (and then they moved on up the bay and established Jamestown.)

We also stopped at the Wright Brothers National Memorial in Kill Devil Hills (just outside of Kitty Hawk), North Carolina where the Wright brothers made the first successful airplane flight in 1903. Here are Julia and I at the spot where the plane took off from.
On the first successful day of flight they flew four times. There is a marker for how far each flight went. The first flight was crazy short, 12 seconds, but you can just barely see the last marker for the fourth flight of 59 seconds. They chose Kitty Hawk because of the good wind conditions and sand for soft landings. Grass has since been planted on the site to make it a little more stable.
Then we headed south to the very southern town in the Outer Banks, Ocracoke. We had to drive down to the end of the Outer Banks and then take a forty minute ferry out to Ocracoke. Ocracoke was interesting. It's this little tiny town whose only industry is tourism, so the town mostly consists of locally owned inns, rental houses, and restaurant. During the day everyone is gone from town because they are all at the beach! But since the town is so small and the entire island is beach the beaches still aren't very crowded.Julia absolutely loved the beach. She wasn't afraid of the water at all, she would run straight into the water and I would have to chase after her to keep her from being swept away! She also liked to sit farther up on the beach and feel the waves lap up around her and feel the water rush back. But, her favorite part was playing in the sand and destroying dad's sand castles.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Happy Independence Day!

Happy Independence Day! We are so grateful to live in a country with all the freedoms we enjoy. We celebrated yesterday by going to the home of the founder father, George Washington, at Mount Vernon. Some things I learned that I never knew was that George Washington didn't have any kids of his own, but Martha had two kids from a previous marriage. Her great-grandaughter was married to Robert E. Lee. Both George and Martha are buried at Mount Vernon, George is on the right.Inside the mansion I learned that in George Washington's time, the darker and deeper the color of the wall, the more expensive the paint because it needed more pigment. So there is a lot of deep colors in the mansion to impress you. Inside the mansion is also a key to La Bastille, the French prison. When the prison was stormed and destroyed at the beginning of the French Revolution the Marquis de Lafayette gave the key to George Washington as a symbol of freedom.
Today we watched the fireworks from the top of Robert's office building. We could see all the little tiny fireworks shows going in Virignia at the same time as the very large show in front of us at the National Mall.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Sandberg Reunion

Before Julia and I came to Viriginia we stopped in Utah so we could make it to the Sandberg Reunion at the Sandberg Ranch in Southern Utah. This year Julia was old enough to run around and of course had a blast outside. Unfortunately it was rainy and freezing the most of time, so she didn't get to run around outside as much as everyone (her and I) would have wanted, but we made due. Her pink Dodger windbreaker clothes were covered in mud by the end of the weekend. My Aunt Tric made the comment that "those clothes will never be pink again." (But I washed them back at home them and they did go from brown back to pink. =) )

We almost got rained out of our traditional campfire, but the rain let up long enough for everyone to cook some hot dogs and s'mores. Some people even stayed during the rain and sat around with umbrellas.
We missed Grandma Sandberg (she passed away last year) but were glad Grandpa could make it out. I love Julia's face in this picture.
Every year there is a theme, this year was county fair. Every family was in charge of one "booth" at the fair. We did a shooting gallery with army men and nerf guns. One family did a pie eating contest. This was the final round (everyone here won their round and is back for the final). I don't remember who won...Dave?
Some of my grandpa's siblings want to sell the Ranch (and there is an offer to buy), so the future of the ranch is uncertain right now. We love being able to have someplace to go every year and be together as family, especially as the family gets bigger and bigger. The Ranch always gets us connected again with cousins who we may not see much during the year, and I think it is a beautiful place. I would love to be able to keep bringing my kids here in the future! We're praying that we will be able to work something out with the other families to keep the Ranch in our family forever.