Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Quick--before Noah's Birthday gets here again!

I try not to have too many blogging goals. Keep it fun and "organic" (whatever that means). Blog when I feel moved upon by random occurrences, I guess. But I can't just ignore real, actual, documentable events, can I? Of course not.

In the past six weeks or so, exciting things have happened in our house. Kaisa turned four (what a fabulous age to be--independent but still oh-so-lovable and snuggly). Emma threw her a great party (even invited a few of her own friends for good measure).

Emma turned eight--the big one! And the celebrations will continue all month until her baptism on May 1st.

We spent Easter with Grandpa and Grandma in Coeur d'Alene and got to party on the 5th (Emma's actual bday) at TriplePlay and Tomato Street with cousins, aunts, and grandparents (oh my!). Roland and I got to spend a long weekend in Banff, Canada, where Roland presented his research at the AOSpine conference. The kids got to spend a long weekend with Grandma and Grandpa in Wenatchee and "help" sell the latest litter of standard poodle pups.

Now we are all back at home busily back to the daily grind: Training for a half-marathon next month (Marci), working 42 hours straight on spine trauma (Roland--seriously, it's Wednesday and the kids still haven't seen him since bedtime on Sunday), lighting up the pitching mound with "the best slider of the season" (Noah), earning a yellow belt in Tae Kwon Do (Emma), and a little bit of everything else (Kaisa).

Friday, February 5, 2010

Life as a Ski Bunny

With Roland and I being the avid winter sports fans that we are, we have been quite unlucky in our attempted snow chasing move to Seattle this year. In the year that the east coast and even rarely-snowed-upon Virginia has been pounded with snow, our winter in the Northwest has corresponded with a dreaded "El Nino" conditions (milder temperatures and less snowfall). But no matter! The snowboarding/skiing must go on! Some of us have managed to crank out close to 20 days on the slopes already this season at famous resorts including Whistler, Mt. Baker, and the Summit Central at Snowqualmie:) Mind you, none of these days have been epic powder days, but that's okay when the primary purpose is teaching a 3 1/2 year old how to ski and convincing Noah and Emma that they love it too.

This is Kaisa's first year and she is the luckiest of all Kent children in her early skiing experience as she has unparalleled access to the ski slopes, no school obligations, and mom's undivided attention. She's on pace for olympic fame and glory . . . well, maybe not, but we are having a lot of fun. We have mastered the snowboard/skier combined chairlift dismount--an impressive feat on its own. We can be dressed and in the car with equipment ready in less than 15 minutes and on the slope in another 40. I love our chairlift conversations: "Mom, do you know what 'wonder-hangers' are?" "I think we should get some." Me too, Kaisa. Me too.

Noah and Emma try to join us at least on Wednesday afternoons (early-dismissal day) and Saturday mornings (with Roland, too, if we're lucky). We are trying to get the most out of our season passes and close ski resort proximity. And since its still only early March, I'd say so far so good. I have a really cute video of Kaisa in action but I'm experiencing an uploading fail. I'll see if Noah can help me. But since I started this post in February . . . I just needed to get something out there and hope that someday the world will see the cuteness that is "Kaisa's First Blue Square." You can find it on YouTube if anyone is reading this. Here are some cute stills.

Emma and Roland at Mt. Baker 2/27. Emma lasted the entire day with Roland without a break and even tackled the famous "bank slalom" course and her first black diamond. You would be hard pressed to find a prouder papa than Roland at this moment.
Closest we've come to a powder day. Too bad the visibility was extremely spotty. We all saw the Olympics, right? We are talking Women's downhill competition day conditions. I can't believe we even captured this clear moment in late January at Whistler.
And I have just realized that I have ZERO pictures of Noah snowboarding this year. Here he is making a snowman in Wenatchee on New Year's day.

Technically, this is Emma on a sledding day. But you've just gotta love that face!
Kaisa at Snowqualmie (February)--the ski bunniest of us all.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Why I Love Blogs

Love is a misunderstood concept. Really, Marci? You "love" blogging as evidenced by your average 1.2 posts per quarter? No, really I do. I love to read blogs (ahem). And I love that the first thought in my head whenever something amuses me is "I really should blog about that." So here I am, amused and blogging--go figure.

Roland and I just returned a few days ago from a six day trip to San Francisco for a Spine conference. We had a lovely time, paying for all of two meals, forced death marches through the streets of the city (Just kidding, Roland. You know I loved walking/running 26 miles during the first 48 hours of our stay), touristing around, and generally taking it easy. But this trip was very nearly over before it began in the security line at the Seattle Airport.

You see, as I was scrambling to find a suitable carry-on bag, Roland was starting to get antsy. (Hard to imagine, I know. Apparently, he had several intended stops on our way to the airport). As I was starting to clean out Noah's retired rolling backpack for carry-on duties, Grandma Carolyn chimed in to say that she always uses the down time waiting to board an airplane to clean out purses and such. "What a great idea," I said as I closed the zipper without a second glance. So with my bags in hand, I rushed out the door faster than Roland could say "Are you ready yet???" and we're on our way.

I had just placed my bag on the conveyor belt, slipped off my shoes, and strolled, metal-free, through the security arch. "I have totally got this airport security navigation down," I was smugly thinking to myself as I waited to retrieve my belongings on the other side. "Is that your bag?" Roland asked as I slipped my no-fuss Vans back on my feet. What? They're checking my bag? Pfft! The security officer escorts me over to a nearby table where he proceeds to unzip one of several backpack compartments; and, one by one, begins to extricate the most audacious collection of dangerous contraband I've ever witnessed in the security line. Not one but two pairs of adult, full-sized scissors, an 8 oz bottle of Children's Tylenol, a large screwdriver with a reversible flat-head/phillips insert, and the piece-de-resistance, a hand-carved obsidian knife--an authentic replica of an ancient Mayan weapon--preferred by 4 out of 5 assassins. Now, I've seen enough episodes of 24 and all three Bourne movies so I know that, in the right hands, that collection could have taken down an entire plane full of CIA agents or Homeland Security officers in 6 seconds FLAT.

So what did I do? I burst out LAUGHING. Completely inappropriate, out-of-control, tears streaming down my face, LAUGHING. For some, still unexplained reason, instead of being immediately escorted to that "special area", the security officer somehow determined I was not a threat and didn't even confiscate my knife (which would have been sad since Noah's Grandpa brought it back to him as a special gift from Mexico). Evidently, I am really rocking that innocent, stay-at-home-mom vibe to such an extent that even caught red-handed with a weapons cache, I scare NO ONE. While I continued to convulse in a fit of giggles, Roland casual picks up his pace in an effort to create as much distance from me as possible as we made our way towards the gate. It was a good trip.

Coolest part of the trip? A 40 mile tandem bike ride up and down the hills from Pier 39 all the way through Mt. Tamalpias State Park and coast line, Muir Woods, Sausalito, and back.
Absolutely perfect weather and breathtaking scenery.

* * * * *

Children are always amusing and mine are no exception. Here are some recent pictures and funnies. Emma is quite a rock hound and with so many new acquisitions from recent hikes, we have gathered all of her "treasures" into an aquarium that sits proudly on the washing machine. The other day Roland was admiring her collection and commented that we should get her a rock polisher. Sounds good right? Well, Emma was a little concerned and quietly approached me a few minutes later to inquire if we would have to pay this "rock polisher" or if they would just be donating their services in exchange for room and board.
Kaisa LOVES her pink trailer bike. Kaisa loves pink in general. I have overheard some near knock-down, drag-out smack sessions between Kaisa and Emma on the all-important debate: "Which Color is Better, Pink or Purple." Kaisa can "talk pink" ALL DAY!

We climbed Tiger Mountain a few weeks back--very cool.

Noah is funny too. I just can't think of anything specific right now.
He was a good "clammer" on the Washington coast two weekends past though and has the internal temperature of a mythical werewolf apparently.

Fun Times.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Viva the Northwest--where the law can't find you--maybe

No, the Kent family has not joined the Witness Protection Program and fallen off of face of the earth. Although there was, apparently, a warrant out for my arrest in the State of Utah briefly. Word of advice--don't file your "carpool lane while towing a boat" moving violation in the glove compartment of your car then proceed to drive 1000 more miles, find a place to live, unpack moving van, sign kids up for a new school, visit family and friends, and otherwise completely forget about said moving violation. You may find yourself on the receiving end of this frightening document:

Wow, it looks like they mean business in Lehi, Utah. I was scared--may have even tossed and turned a bit during the night wondering a) are they serious? and b) how much is this going to cost me? Second word of advice--if you are going to completely blow off a traffic ticket and have a warrant issued for your arrest somewhere, make sure it is Lehi, Utah. When I finally gathered my courage to make the dreaded phone call and plead "idiot" (you know how much I hate such phone calls) I couldn't have found a nicer government employee on the other end of the line. She quickly assured me that, no, I didn't have to go and turn myself in to the local authorities for immediate extradition. Phew! She graciously waived the $150 late penalty. What?! This never happens for me. She even let me send in a rebuttal to be considered by the Judge. I did, of course, (ridiculous that I even got that ticket--I blame Roland and the over-eager Officer Dorgan) and got my "case" heard by the Judge and my original fine reduced and my case closed all in about 30 minutes via email. Didn't even have to leave my comfy chair.

So other than my 12 hours of life "on the lamb," what have we been up to lately, you ask?
Just loving every minute of a glorious northwest summer, of course. We have settled in to our "leafy Seattle suburb" (the lovely, Bellevue, Washington) quite nicely. We found a great 3 bedroom house in a nice neighborhood for a reasonable rent. We are a short 11 miles from Roland's main hospital, 3 blocks from Emma's brand, spankin' new elementary school, 2 blocks from a great community pool and tennis club, less than a mile from Lake Washington, and surrounded by great biking paths in every direction. We've had a fabulous time visiting with all of our family in the northwest, touristing around Seattle, and taking lots of great hikes.

Here we are at Mt. Rainier. Wow! Put this on your list of places you need to visit before you die. Even on a drizzly day with pretty poor visibility it was a pretty amazing, otherworldly place. Huckleberries, marmots, wildflowers, and glaciers--some pretty cool stuff.
Kaisa didn't have to put shoe to path too often on the hike--she actually fell asleep on Roland's shoulders on the descent. Emma did, thus prompting my shopping trip for real hiking shoes for her the next day.

I should hand the camera off more. Or perhaps not.
Harder for the law to catch up with me this way.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Exciting Week for Noah!

12 is a big one . . .

Noah was ordained a deacon by his Dad 
and passed the sacrament today without tripping once;)

He managed to sneak in a "I just want to invite a few friends over" party.

Pitched a clutch closing inning "K"

Was a brick wall behind the plate . . .

And hit one 200+ feet for his first over the fence homerun!
What a week!!!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Valentines Day Tradition

"But I like a cookie"--Hammy the Squirrel, Over the Hedge (2008)
--Marci, every time cookies are present in the house

We have a fun family tradition of making and decorating 
GIANT Valentines cookies for each other to celebrate "love day" 

From Mom to Noah

From Noah to Emma

From Daddy to Kaisa

From Emma to Daddy (free bonus kiss!)

Promises, promises

Just some back-entry catching up to do.  The Kents are in full swing for March/April madness--the craziness that is our lives from Kaisa's birthday March 10th through Roland and Marci's anniversary April 29th and all of the Noah's, Emma's birthdays and Easter and baseball that happens in between.  This year we added the 8 day trip to London, England (and other points of interest) and a 6 day visit with Grandma & Grandpa Kent in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, just to fill all of the remaining seconds.