Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Growing Up So Fast

This is sort of a test, and a reality check in one. This weekend we ventured out to the peninsula for a weekend getaway. It was a good test of the Focus S battery life and ability to capture life on the go. I have to admit that it passed with flying colors. Now, how easy is it to share the memories it captured?

I already posted a few of the photos from this weekend in a post earlier today. This is the first test I've done with video though. I'm not sure how well it will work, or even if it will, but let's see how it goes. If you end up seeing a YouTube or Viemo logo in the corner, you'll understand that it didn't.

But that leads me to another point. As I scroll back through our YouTube site, I see a baby, not even a year old on the swings, on her playmat and in her mama's arms. I see that hairless one year old, just learning to crawl. I now look at the videos that we've taken in the last few months and see just how big you've gotten.

You used to fit in our lap, now we can barely get you to sit and snuggle for a few minutes. I sure hope that the little baby that we had isn't gone forever already. I could still use that snuggle time every now and again. In the mean time, enjoy your dancing and drumming. I love you baby!

Sent from my Windows Phone from GetSmartphones.Info

EDIT: So the video was too large to attach from my phone, so I uploaded the video via the Zune software to the computer and put it on YouTube from there. Still not a bad way to go I guess.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A Perfect Weekend

So this weekend was a pretty great one. Thursday we decided to head over to the Peninsula for a trip to the Olympic Game Farm and hopefully see a friend. On the way through the south end, we stopped off and saw the parental for their 25th Anniversary. They have settled in quite nicely to their new place and seem much happier there.

Our trip from there was pretty quick and easy. We drove up 5 to 16, across the bridge, through Port Orchard and Bremerton before hitting 104/101 for the rest of the drive up.

The drive was gorgeous as the weather cooperated perfectly on Saturday. Sunny and 70 the entire trip. We found our hotel right off the main drag heading into Sequim. Our usual Red Lion rooms weren't available due to a few events going on, so we had to try somewhere new.

We ventured into Sequim and didn't see much at all. The little town was really depressed. Fortunately, Ara was able to get ahold of her friend and we set up plans for the evening. Once we knew some times, we set out to find the Dungeness Spit. We popped the location into our GPS and headed out.

We followed the GPS to the end of the route, but didn't end up at Dungeness, but at a place called Curtis Point, or something like that. It turned out from the sounds of things, it was lucky it took us to the wrong spot. A couple had come over from Dungeness and told us what a zoo it was over there, so we were happy to have our little beach with a few puppies, clam diggers and paddle boarders.

After a great walk and a little picnic, we packed up and headed back to the hotel to check in. After that uneventful trip, we got settled in to a decent room, though the pool not being open was a huge disappointment, and set a time to do dinner. When the time came, we headed on to Port Angeles and met a friend at a great Thai place in town.

When dinner wrapped up, we headed to our favorite little beach next to the Red Lion before snagging some ice cream and heading home. The trip back to the hotel was pretty boring until one of Washington's finest told us that I was exceeding the speed limit. Then it was back to the hotel, which we were only a half mile from, and a relaxed evening of Storage Wars on TV while Evie watched Dinosaur Train on her iPod.

Day 2 was even better. The Juan De Fuca Festival was happening in Port Angeles so we decided to meet Rob and Donielle there for lunch. So, about 9:00 we headed to the Olympic Game Farm to feed the bears and see the bison.

The game farm is always awesome. It was even better than normal this time, since Evie was old enough to feed the deer and even try for some of the bears. The bears were a bit sad this time since some of our favorites were gone, but the new cub gave us hope for the future.

The best part of the trip through was definitely Evie feeding the deer from her hand. It was awesome, especially when last time she was so small she didn't understand the process at all. When the tour was done, and after shaking my new baby bison friend, we headed to the gift shop to continue Evie's tradition of getting a baby stuffed animal from there.

When we finished up at the gift shop, we headed back to Port Angeles for the Juan de Fuca Fest, where once again, I forgot to get an elephant ear. Grrrrr! Oh well, the steak sandwich and fries were good enough and the drum circle was even cooler. The teachers they had were suite good.

With the festival checked out, we made a quick potty stop at the Goodwill store and headed home. The drive home was beautiful again. It was a great way to end a great weekend. The best part though, was because we headed home Sunday night, we didn't have to deal with the hours of backups and traffic jams on Monday. Great deal if you ask me.

So, that was our impromptu weekend, and hopefully you spent yours doing something nice as well.

Sent from my Windows Phone from GetSmartphones.Info

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Rain Returns...

Today's ride to work was a bit on the brutal side to say the least. The roads were saturated by the rain fall and gutters were backed up in the bike lanes. Fortunately, the total downpour that I rode in through just washed most of the garbage that sprayed up from the road off me.

The weather was just poor today. I can't say much else. When I think about days like this, it really makes me miss that second car. But, days like this weekend, where we go have fun as a family make me all to happy to have given it up.

Maybe we aren't rich. Maybe we don't have a big house and a car to keep me dry on days like this. What we do have though is an amazing family and a strong faith that God will provide what we need, when we need it. The best part is that He also gives us quite a few little bonus perks along the way.

Sent from my Windows Phone from GetSmartphones.Info

A Week Already?

Wow, did I miss a full week? Where did the time go? After Mother's Day wrapped up, you would think I'd have a bit more time to write, but unfortunately it didn't work out that way at all.

I'm slowly making the gym a routine again after the 2 weeks of sick people around the house. I'm up 4 pounds from my low, but that should get fixed soon enough. I'm struggling with weekends right now more than anything, and if I'm totally honest, late nights are getting me too. I need to stop snacking so much.

I think I'm ready to just bite the bullet and go back on SlimFast again. It isn't the best solution for me, but I know if I can get the weight down, maintaining it at the gym will be much easier. The only part that bugs me is the cost. Of course, if I stopped eating out and only go fresh, I'd probably save enough to pay for it anyways.

For now, I'll just share the fun photo of Evie enjoying her popsicle and try and figure out what I need to do to get jumpstarted again. Is it an app? The right foods? I'm just not sure...

Sent from my Windows Phone from GetSmartphones.Info

Monday, May 14, 2012

Not What I Had Planned

Yesterday was Mother's Day. It is supposed to be the day that I get to show my wife how much I appreciate everything she does for Evie and me and how we are lucky that she is Evie's Mom. Unfortunately, I wake up sick as a dog and my plan for the day is completely out. So, what to do?

Well, fortunately, the kitchen stuff I got her was already good to go. Flowers, check. Breakfast in bed, made it through that as well. And of course, Evie factors into the morning as well. One run of Tinkerbell and some tissue paper sun catchers and we were set for the day.

We weren't 100% sure of where our outings were going to take us for the day, but a quick run out to Duvall before heading to Snoqualmie Falls seemed to be a good start. Funny thing about flexible schedules though, they can change.

We decided to stay in Duvall for the afternoon. We hit the store and visited with Mom, then the farm and Nana... Then back to Pickle Time for lunch before visiting Jan again for her lunch. It was then time to head home.

Weird enough, this is when the day got busy... I put Ara's iPhone on Craigslist and sold it, and found her a new phone in 10 minutes. Both people said they could meet at Northgate, so, off we went.

I managed to get in a bit more Mother's Day goodness with a quick trip in to Torrid and a dinner at The Spaghetti Factory. Overall, a disaster of a day, turned out to be one pretty amazing day for a pretty amazing Mother. At least I hope so...

Sent from my Windows Phone from GetSmartphones.Info

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

So Much Personal, So Little Tech

I've been writing quite a bit lately about family and thoughts, but not so much about the tech side of things regarding the Samsung Focus S. The Focus S isn't the most powerful device I've used, nor is it the best camera. It is, however, the best functioning device that I have had the pleasure of using.

Part of the greatness of the S is the operating system. Another part is the hardware. The last is the intangibles, the just how it feels when used. The Focus S is largely overlooked in the Windows Phone group because it was one of those "pre Lumia" devices. It's really sad too, because it is an amazing phone.

Tonight I want to look at the music functions of the Focus and more so, Windows Phone, since it has been great on both devices I've used.

The Zune player is quick to start. With three basic control buttons, the volume rocker and an impressive sounding earphone port, the Focus S brings your music alive. With the Zune player in the background, you can control your audio from anywhere by pressing the volume rocker. If the device is locked, a simple touch of the unlock key brings up quick access to skip and pause for the player as well.

Interfacing with the PC was simple and much easier to navigate through than iTunes, and a bit less restrictive. It plays just about every format I've tossed at it and does it well. Now if only it could Download higher bit rate samples of all the 128kbps tracks I have I would be in heaven.

Overall, even without the Zune Pass, the Zune music player is a phenomenal audio software and should be enjoyed by all.

Sent from my Windows Phone from GetSmartphones.Info

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Biking With Baby

Yesterday we took a mini picnic to the park. We were babysitting Evie's little friend and it seemed like a good idea to get them out of the house for a bit. I finished my workout and Ara packed up the girls and their bikes and off to the park we went.

The dinner was a mish-mash of yummy, home made goodies and store bought quickies. The girls loved the chicken strips and the nifty frozen yogurt thing that Ara came up with.

The bikes were really where the fun was at. Evie's friend is on a 16"er with training wheels while Evie is still on her 10" trike style. The funny part was that while riding should have been happening, Evie was spending just as much time carrying hers as riding it.

There will be a time in the near future when Evie will spend more time riding and less time carrying. Of course, when that happens, I'll be wishing that she was still that little girl that carried her bike...

Sent from my Windows Phone from GetSmartphones.Info

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Words We Won't Soon Forget...

Ara and I have been discussing this one for some time now, but we are starting to miss some of the amazing words that Evie once created in her little vocabulary.  Words like poffee (coffee) and flop-pops (flip flops) made us smile every time they left her mouth.

The trips to walk around the "island" or the little man made lake next to our apartment are going to make way for walks around the lake soon. Her hallahoop (hula hoop) is one of her favorite toys. Of course, that's nothing compared to wacker belly (velociraptor valley) from her favorite show, Dinosaur Train.

Pampers has made way to Grampers... Grammers is now clearer than ever before. GiGi, Nana and BaaBaa are also sounding like their real words. It's funny, I know that there are a billion more of these that I can't come up with at the moment, but this is a great reminder to start marking them down before we forget them all.

Sent from my Windows Phone

Keep It Simple Stupid

Life can get complex. No matter how young or old we get, life doesn't always lay itself out on a platter for us to understand what is happening. Today, we got to hang out with some of the family. Spending time with Evie's cousins is always fun, but today was the first day she got to hang out with her newest cousin.

Having the 6th in the bunch come from someone other than me was weird. I thought for sure that when the 6th grandchild or brother or nephew finally did come into the mix that they would be mine, not John's. But I have to say, the one that was added is the most welcome addition.

I won't mention any names here, just in case it gets crazy later on, but she is the kind of soul that i hope Evie grows up to be like. Her mom is the sweetest influence on our little one. She, in turn, has grown into a girl that her mother can be very proud of. This pre-teen sweetie is so kind, loving and genuine, that she just makes the world a better place by being in it.

It is almost a shame that she has had to go through what she has in life at such a young age, but then again, we all can look back on our childhoods and find those issues somewhere. I guess that's where my inspiration came from for this and my thought of the day - life is short, so Keep It Simple Stupid.

I used to say that alot in retail. But it really does apply to everyday life. Don't stress over the things you have no control over. Don't fret over the little things. Just remember those little people, or sometimes ones that have grown up much too fast, and how easily they let go and forgive, forget and move on. An apology is usually much easier to give than trying to figure out how to hold on to that grudge.

Sent from my Windows Phone

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Getting The Crud Out

Today I was dealt a setback. It wasn't an unwelcome one, but a bummer deal none the less. It did make me realize that it is time to start getting priorities in line again and focusing on some long term goals instead of immediate options.

You see, sometimes it is easy to run away with an idea that we are further along than we think we are. The passing time makes us forget where we came from just a few months ago. It almost deletes our mistakes. But then something brings us back to a reality that we are more familiar with.

It isn't always a bad reality though. Sure, there are piss poor times, but as long as the great times out pace the horrid ones, life is pretty good. As long as we remember why we sacrifice, cleaning out the gunk isn't so bad.

Recently, I've been hoping that we could find a way to purchase a home through investors or a private party loan.  For better or worse, it looks like those options are drying up. And for some strange reason, I think I'm ok with it.

Now comes the hard part. Accepting the choices we made in the past and finding out how to make the best of it until we are ready for the next step. But for right now, I think my bike needs a good washing...

Sent from my Samsung Focus S Windows Phone

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

What An Amazing Wife

Yes, I am well aware that this is not a photo of my wife. It is, however, the wonderful surprise that she brought to me at work earlier today. It was a simple box of tea from Starbucks, but it is so much more to me.

You see, the fact that this woman, buried under "toddler arrest" finds the time to sneak over to the coffee shop and snag me a box of tea! It is downright amazing. I can't ever say how much I appreciate everything that she does, day in and day out.

She not only raises our daughter, but keeps our home. She deals with screaming two-year olds, and cranky neighbors. She puts up with my moods and still has a wonderful dinner waiting for me when I get home from work.

Her simple pleasures make our simple life bearable. Is there anything more wonderful than someone that loves you enough to put up with everything that goes wrong, and still smiles about it, even when she really doesn't want to.

In short, this is really a tribute to my wonderful wife. A thank you, or even a I can't believe God blessed me enough to let you into my life. I know we will have an amazing summer together and enjoy yet another season in our lives together.

Sent from my Windows Phone