Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Mad Dash

Something clicked in May, I think, and suddenly as the reality of having an impending a new edition hit, we found ourselves in a mad dash to try to enjoy as many activities as we could, see as many friends as we could and get the house into some sort of shape before we re-enter that duck-and-cover world known as "having a newborn." We've already talked about our trip to Mexico here, but here are a few other events and activities that have filled up the last month or two...

The Bay Area
At the start of May, even before our Mexico trip, Sarah had to make a trip to the Bay Area for work, so we leveraged that into an opportunity to visit with her brother and sister-in-law who live near San Jose (in Fremont). In edition, Sarah's dad and step-mom ended up coming in to town too, making for a quick family get together, as we hung out in the Bay Area and made a day trip to Monterey.

Stella disembarks at San Jose airport. Someone's getting to be old-hat when it comes to flying. But, notably, this marked the first time that Stella and I flew together without Sarah, since she had flown down a day earlier for work.

Walking on the beach in Monterey. (To golf fans: That's Pebble Beach on the bluffs in the background.)

Stella strikes a pose by a small pond in Monterey.

No, this isn't some variation on Seattle's Hempfest. But, instead, it was a backyard BBQ party (or rather smoking party) organized by several of our friends who have become masters of smoking meats.

Jason and Todd, the SmokeMasters™, do their thing.

The Ribs! (There's was brisket too, as well as a huge spread of food provided by the rest of the guests.)

Stella, and her friend Lucy, try our the John Deere. Note the bungee cord which kept them safely circling in place.

I've got my fingers crossed that this becomes an annual event.

Dry Falls Camping Trip
Shortly after returning from Mexico (literally, three days later), Sarah, Stella and I traveled to Eastern Washington to do some camping with our friends, Shahaf and Pnina, at the Dry Falls State Park. While the campgrounds themselves proved to be more of a glorified parking lot, the hikes were amazing, and reminded us -yet again- how different and varied the terrain, climate and wildlife can be within our own beautiful state.

Stella stops to smell the flowers, or at least point them out, on our first hike

Sarah... 8-months pregnant... carrying Stella... through the desert. Stella's definitely able to do more hiking herself this year, but we still spend a lot of our time with her riding on our backs.

Shahaf and Pnina trail blaze on our hike the second day along a stunning lake.

We're not sure if we are going to have the chance to do more camping this year, with the baby set to arrive. But, we can still hope and dream!

Art Projects
In addition to being busy professionally, I also had several exciting illustration opportunities that I got to take part in in early June. First off, I was part of the Gallery (206) Project which featured art by over 206 local artists. 20 artists created pieces for the glass panels on the outside of a re-purposed phonebooth, while the rest of use contributed pages for the "phonebook."

My piece. You can see more pictures of the booth itself on the website linked above.

In addition, I also took part in the Bureau of Drawers "Economy of Line" one-night exhibit, the conceit of which is that we started the night with a blank gallery, and attempted to fill the walls with our drawings which we creative live at the event.

The space at the beginning of the night. There was also a second group in another room upstairs.

Gallery goers take a look at our creations as the night went on. All the pieces were made available for sale for anywhere from $1 to $20. Though I only sold one piece in the "Things Wearing Underpants" series.

Alki Point Light House
Sarah's coworkers also hosted a baby shower for us at the Alki Point Lighthouse. Normally, this lighthouse is closed to the public, but someone that Sarah works with lives there, since her husband is an Admiral in the Coast Guard, so we got the rare opportunity to walk the grounds, tour the lighthouse itself and get quintessential Seattle photos like this...

4th Annual Housewarming
We also held our 4th Annual Housewarming BBQ, which -true to tradition- we barely took any photographs of. Since the party was being held exactly one month before Sarah's due date, I offered to do most of the organizing and food prep... which I promptly delegated to the guests by making it a potluck.

The backyard waiting for the party to start.

We always do the same thing, where we take a bunch of pictures right as things are starting, then set the camera aside and forget to pick it up again, until after everyone has left. Maybe we need to hire a photographer for them. Still, it was definitely a success, with probably our biggest turn out yet (over 50 people, easy) and perfect sunny weather (despite ominous predictions that morning).

This year was a major sausage fest... er, wait, that's not what I mean. This year, I organized a "Build Your Own Hot Dog" bar, with a variety of hot dogs and more toppings than a person could ever want.

Stella enjoys the festivities, in the "sherbet-cupcake tutu" she picked out for the occasion.

The Remodel
The remodel of our basement continues in fits and starts. We're still excited about what it will eventually look like, but at times we still feel depressingly far from ever reaching that point. Most recently, we've had the old oil furnace replaced with a new, electric one. And, then had our basement floor literally jack-hammered up so that plumbers could lay in new pipe work for the future bathroom. We've still got our fingers crossed that the plumbers will be able to wrap up their work before the baby arrives. But, if working on this remodel has taught us one thing its that things never move quite as fast as your like.

On the upside, we feel like we've finally rounded the point where we are disassembling and demolishing things in our basement and are now adding to and improving on it. Hopefully, it'll only get better from here! And, someday, we'll have exciting pictures of our new basement to share.

...and on, and on...
In edition to all that, it feels like we've done a million other things: Sarah's Birthday, Father's Day, yard work and, oh, we bought a new car! As the weeks have passed, we've started changing gears from travel and adventures to just trying to get our house and lives in order and prepared for the new edition to our family. Nesting has definitely started to take hold, and both Sarah and I find ourselves doing all sort of random and unexpected cleaning activities in preparation. Cleaning and organizing random cupboards. Endlessly dusting. Building IKEA furniture.

Tomorrow, Sarah has a final ultrasound to determine if she'll have to have a C-Section for sure, or if there's a chance she can have a natural childbirth. We're trying to stay realistic about it, but also can't help but cross our fingers that something has changed. Regardless, we'll probably be meeting our newest family member in the next week or so. Egad!


Anonymous said...

Tyler, if you have the option do consider natural gas heating instead of electric. It's just as clean and a little less expensive.

Love to all, Uncle R

The General said...

Sarah and I actually wanted to do natural gas, but our street isn't lined for it. Unfortunately, if we wanted to get natural gas run to our house, it would have cost upwards of $6000... and that would have been even if we got all the neighbors on-board to pick up a share.

So, unfortunately, electric was the next best option. With, hopefully, a heat pump added later.