Tuesday, February 28, 2012

A Boring Life?

I really worry about this topic quite often. I mean, have I become "boring"? Sure, part of it is financial, but when did dinner out and movies get replaced with baked chicken and Netflix? When did the highlight of my day, aside from time with Ara and Evie, become a trip to the gym?

I think it all comes back to growing up and a change in priorities. I don't worry so much about what people think. I don't stress about the roof over my head. I don't even really care about having just one car. It's just material stuff and that is always changing. I think the reason I'm boring is that I know what's important now.

Having time to chat with the wife or play dinosaurs with Evie is what's important. Sure, I am really looking forward to the MercyMe concert this weekend, but that's a bonus. I'm looking just as forward to leaving work tonight for a quick workout and then home, for dinner and Netflix.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Fun At The Bouncy House

Monroe has it all. I think we've covered that plenty lately, but tonight was another open play session at the Jump, Rattle & Roll bouncy house here in town. It is probably one of Evie's 3 most favorite places to go.

The place is stacked with slides, bouncers and even some old video games for the kids to enjoy. It's had to describe how fun it is on a normal day, but tonight for some reason, the parents of the children of Monroe thought it might be a good idea to let their kids run wild and troops over the smaller ones tonight.

We protected Evie pretty well, but I felt sorry for the smaller kids that had parents that weren't as active in protection mode. It made me realize what a great job Ara does with Evie and how lucky I am to have her raising our daughter. It makes me feel better to know that we have a kind and loving and patient kid that respects others.

Now, for rest of your hoodlums, get it together and learn to be nice, and not rush quite so much...

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Unorganized, Chaos, Confused, Church?

It's scary to think that the people hosting the Wednesday night services might actually be planning these. It seems night after night that these special nights are just random ramblings of people's thoughts. It's not always a bad thing, but consistently having random randomness just doesn't make sense.

From the basics of having some different worship music to a clear message on the offering, Wednesday nights just seem all too drawn out and unorganized. I keep hoping that I will just grab on to the message and run with it, but they keep spouting off on getting out of God's way and He will give you everything you want...

Oh well, maybe next week it will grab me and shake me up a bit.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Happy 3000 Miles

Today was great milestone on my Trek... It cleared 3000 miles on my way to work. It wasn't a momentus occasion, not was it a life changing experience, but it was great to have it done.

The part that amazes me the most, my Trek has had just basic maintenance, even before and after the Seattle to Portland Classic.

I couldn't be happier with my purchase and I highly recommend this model to anyone looking to break into cycling.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentines Day

I'm a bit bummed today. It's Valentines Day and I am not able to do anything wonderful for Ara today. My bosses have been gone for almost two weeks, there's just not much left in the bank and Evie is still sick... And then there's the amazing gift that Ara put together for me...

I guess if I could have just one little gift for her, it would be that I could be everything she needs me to be, when she needs me to be it. I know, sounds a bit cheesy doesn't it? But it is how I feel. It's never enough just being who I am, I need to work on the who I need to be everyday.

I know God has a plan for us, and that He will make it happen in His time. It's just very difficult to wait sometimes. For now, I just want everyone to know that I am a father to an amazing little girl, a follower of our one true Lord and Savior and a husband to an amazingly talented and wonderfully beautiful wife.

In other words, I am the luckiest man on this planet.

Monday, February 13, 2012

2011 From My Phone...

2011 is gone, and it only took 2 months for me to get around to doing this. That's not all bad considering how crazy life has been and how much we are trying to get done for 2012 already. Let's just start at the beginning of the year and work forward...

January and February

The winter was cold and wet. We certainly had fun for the most part though. I rode to work through weather that I probably shouldn't have, but oh well, that's what makes life fun right? This was also a crazy time for Ara with her fender bender on the freeway that sidelined the truck for nearly a month. It was unbelievable how terrible the service was getting the truck back - and even a year later, I'm not convinced it's back to normal.

To make matters worse though, Ara was on the way to see Nana who was gravely ill in the hospital with pneumonia and just about any other complication you could have with it. Fortunately, she's a fighter and pulled through and was home in just about a week.


In March, the weather got a bit nicer and I started to ride further. I'm not sure if Ara and Evie like me spending a few hours out of the house at a time, but it sure was nice to do it while the weather allowed it!


April was when things started to get back to normal after that crazy March. We went to see the tulips, in Mount Vernon again. Our little girl was getting much bigger. We had a great spring following what was a crazy winter. 

This was also the first Easter that Evie really understood Easter Egg Hunts. We had a great time doing two of them with Mike and Tina and then Bruce and Torrey. It was a great April.


We spent most of May's day trips heading over to Bremerton and Port Orchard to visit Mom and Dad. It was nice to get on the ferry for part of the ride, but the expense was getting to be a bit much. Oh well, it was worth it. Look at those great views we got from our ferry bound trips.

May was also the month that the baby goats were added to the farm. They are super cute, but they love to nip! Just be nice to them and watch your fingers.


Ah, just a month away from my big deal - the Seattle to Portland Bicycle Classic. I still had hopes that my riding buddy that talked me into going would head out with me, but he just wasn't ready for it. Oh well, time for longer riding and more training so I can get myself to Portland!

It wasn't just all working towards Portland in June though, I got to see the Phillies come to town and play the Mariners. Loved sitting with the Phil's fans razzing Charlie and belittling Felix. What a great time!

We then got to head over for Auntie Donielle's wedding! We did our usual Port Angeles trip with a jaunt off to the Olympic Game Farm in Sequim. We had a great time seeing the bears, and everything else. So fun! 

Of course, there was a wedding and a day in Port Angeles as well. Donielle and Rob seemed so perfect for each other. And their friends were fun too!


What a busy month July was... First with the Fireworks on the 4th at Uncle John's. Then off to Portland on the second weekend. It was a total blast and the ride was amazing. The views that you never notice in a car were completely apparent on a bike. It was definitely one of those bucket list items that I have crossed off my list.

Of course, after we finished in Portland we decided to take a trip to Salvador Molly's for their Habenero Corn Fritters - and something a bit more fun - the Ghost Chili Fritter... Let's just say, the ghost chili won, but I got my photo on the wall...

After a crazy weekend of riding, it was all hands on deck for getting ready for Evie's big 2nd birthday party. It was a farm theme with horses, a western photo booth and lots of fun food. 

Overall, July was an amazing month...


In August, Evie discovered feeding the ducks at Lake Tye. Secretly I think it freaked her out, but she seemed to have fun with it. She would lure them in with the bread and then wave her arms and scare them back into the water. It was almost humorous.

Then came a first. With Evie being 2, I think we went on our first official date night ever... We snuck off for a few hours to the fair and saw Band Perry and ate some bad food and enjoyed ourselves immensely. The fried pickles were really good, but the rest of the fair food, eh, so-so at best.


September was a crazy month. First we had some amazing high winds that really played havoc with Monroe. The were so strong, they even blew down some of the signage at the fair! Despite the wind, Evie continued to get bigger, and cause us to question buying toys for her since her diaper boxes gave her just as much entertainment value.

September was also the month we recommitted ourselves to attending a church. We've sort of found a home at The Rock in Monroe. The 'teaching' is a bit soft, but the people are amazing and they really do have a heart for bringing people in. They also announced a special Wednesday night class for learning and equipping yourself to be a disciple of Christ.


Wow, it is time to find that Halloween costume already? Oh man, and time to get out the Christmas decor-- oops sorry honey, next month, I know.

Evie also discovered her love for the little rides at the Outlet Mall. There's not a trip now that goes by without her asking for a few bucks in quarters to take a ride with Barney, Snoopy or another of the crazy characters at the mall. I can't wait for her to see what a real ride is like.

Evie also found her love of the Pumpkin Patch, just like her Mama. We went up and picked out a few pumpkins, rode the little train and just had some family time together.  

Finally, it was time for Trick-Or-Treating. We went up the hill in Monroe with Livi and Denera. It was a good time, although Evie did get freaked out by a few people - especially the Grim Reaper guy. I don't think she'll be going back there any time soon.


November is always a great month. We celebrated our 4th Anniversary, had a wonderful family Thanksgiving with the entire Darst-side clan and started decorating for Christmas earlier than usual.

 We went to a Christian rock concert on the 13th called WinterJam. I know Ara had a blast, but seriously, this one was more for me than her. Red and Fireflight were both playing (two of my faves) and the NewsBoys were closing it out. It was a great time and Evie had a great night with Grampers and Grammers too.

Evie also got her first 'real' taste of snow. We had a mini-snow storm in the form of a trip to Steven's Pass to play and do some family photos with Michael and Kalee. Yes, Jacob and Noey were there too.

Evie found a love for Christmas lights, and now has a set up in her room year round. Don't worry, they are just pink so they go well with everything. Once we were all decorated, it was time to move on to a busy December.


December started off with a bang, heading to Snowflake Lane at Bellevue Square early on. We saw the drum line and the 'snow' falling on everyone but us. Still, Evie loved it and what a great tradition to start with her.

Then it was off to Redmond for the Redmond Light's festival! We walked all over and Evie was a trooper in the cold and she even stayed in her stroller most of the time. 

The other Christmas tradition we started last year was Evie's build a bear. Christmas Eve, we head over to our local Build-A-Bear Workshop and let her pick out a new critter for Christmas. I hope that we keep this going a long time, because she seems to love this one a bunch. 

Finally it was time for Christmas. We went to the Saturday night Christmas Eve 'candle light' service at the Rock. It was a very well done, albeit very expensive, service. I'm not 100% sure I agree with spending so much on a media production, but apparently they did very well in the winning people to Christ aspect - so no amount of money can compare to even one person's salvation.

Finally, it was time to open some presents! I pulled a slick one on Ara by getting her a bit of a bonus gift that she had been eying for quite some time - an Orange Kitchenaid Mixer! Ok, actually it was Tangerine, but it was orange... She loved it... Now let's go find some great recipes on Pinterest and make something yummy!

The End... Thanks for reading about our 2011 and hopefully your 2012 will be as amazing as our 2011 was! God bless!