Thursday, August 28, 2014

Quick Trip to Utah

Towards the end of July, we made a quick trip to Utah. We were only there 4 days, so our schedule was pretty packed. Lots of family time, which is awesome.

I was pretty optimistic about a 10-hour car drive with this toddler since she did so well with the DVD player on our Oregon trip. She didn't disappoint. We left on Friday afternoon, so she read books and watched movies until it was time for her to fall asleep, and she slept the rest of the way to Utah. I don't think she cried once.

We stayed at my parents' house once we got to Utah (at about 3 a.m. Saturday) and then headed south to Scott and Karolyn's house. We got to spend the night at their house, and Christine and Nathan came over for dinner. I don't know why this is the only picture I got of our time at Scott's. But I think it's funny.

On Sunday, we went to Skyler and Courtney's house after church for more family and more food. This was such an adorable shot of all but 2 of the Fredrickson grandkiddos.

We had fun with water balloon launchers, which all of the kids loved.

 Did I say all? I meant all but Norah. I think she has a hard time with big groups of people. She wanted no part of the chaos.

We also had a pinata for the grandkids, which all of the kids loved.

Nope, not all of them. This was Norah's reaction. Such a party pooper. (I think the lack of sleep was also getting to her at this point, too.)

 Kissing cousins.

We spent the night at Skyler and Courtney's and got to hang out with them a little more on Monday. Norah had lots of fun with Cohen (and his toys).

Finally squeezed in a car nap on our way to Christine and Nathan's house. Though it only lasted about 15 minutes.

She needed some help waking up, so Hailey was glad to give her some cuddles. I love how quickly she warmed up to the Kidd girls.

Norah was in heaven in the Kidds' playroom. "Frozen" was going on the CD player, and there were Barbies and princesses and easels and dollies and so much more. Plus, Whitley and Hailey were happy to keep her company.

Another car nap the next day. Hallelujah.

And this beautiful rainbow.

 And then the drive home on Wednesday. As we were getting ready to leave that morning, we couldn't find our DVD player. I started texting all of our siblings to see if we had left it at someone's house, and it was finally discovered at Skyler and Courtney's (in an incredibly random spot - don't know how it even got there). We weren't going to drive an extra two hours to get it back, so my mom let us borrow hers so we could survive the trip home. Norah got a little sick of holding it on her lap the whole time, but it was much better than the alternative. Also, I love the picture of Norah on the right. She loves to lounge in her car seat, just like this.

Yep, it was a pretty quick trip, but we're planning on heading back soon.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Spokane Storms

Ok, I've got like 7 posts to do, but I'm going to start small with this one.

For some reason, the storms in Spokane have been crazy this summer. Okay, two have them have been crazy - but I mean really crazy!

On July 23rd, we got hit hard with our first one. Rich and I had just taken Norah for a swim in our pool that afternoon but decided to head in when we saw some big clouds rolling in. Those big clouds came fast! Within half an hour, the rain was flying sideways past our windows and the street was practically overflowing. And the wind was nuts! We saw the trees outside bending like crazy, but they seemed strong enough. Our power flickered a couple times, but stayed on (which was lucky because I was making my first batch of homemade ice cream).

Before the storm ended, our next-door neighbor Bernard knocked on our door with some bad news.

He told us a tree had fallen on our car.

I wish I would have gotten a picture of the view from our window because all I could see was a huge tree where our car had been.

Rich immediately went out - in the storm - to check on the car. I stayed inside with Norah and actually stayed really calm. Even though we were supposed to leave for Utah in two days (more on that later) and potentially had no car.

Rich came in to report the damage and told me it wasn't as bad as it looked, though still no fun to deal with. Once the storm was over - it really only lasted about 20 minutes - I headed out to see for myself and snap some pictures.

Imagine you're looking at this head on, when all you can see is tree. That was the view from my window. Also, can you see the tree on the left is completely broken in half? There was another tree by our building that snapped in half like this, although the top part never completely broke off (and it's still standing, roped off, since our apartment complex is yet to do anything about it.) This happened to trees all over Spokane. The wind was so crazy! There were so many fallen trees on houses and garages and in the road.So much cleanup, and it's still going on in some places.

The tree actually landed on our carport, which then broke, and you can see the beam that went through our rear window. It could have been A LOT worse, and it was for plenty of people in Spokane. Our Facebook feeds exploded with pictures of damage from our Spokane friends. Almost everyone got hit, it seemed. Edie came over for dinner (Doug was on the youth trek) because her neighborhood lost power for the rest of the night. A lot of places were without power for quite a while.

The rear window was by far the worst damage, and that was luckily an easy fix. We brought it in on the following Friday and replaced the window in two hours. We were able to leave for our Utah trip as planned that afternoon.

We thought maybe they'd have fixed the carport by the time we got back from Utah, but this is what we came home to. And it's still like that, too. Over a month later. They really know how to move quickly here.

After we got back from Utah, the real fun of repairing the car began. It took two weeks to get these little dents (and a couple more on the hood) repaired. Being down a car for two weeks is never easy, but I can't even begin to describe how much fun it was with that being our only car. Ugh. Thankfully, Doug and  Edie let us use Doug's truck. For two weeks.

But that wasn't the only storm. The next one came Saturday, August 2nd. We were at Doug and Edie's since the Petersens were in town (more on this later, too). We were trying to figure out what to do for dinner and had decided on Papa Murphy's. A couple people left to get the pizzas, and a storm came with a vengeance. Again.

It was the same deal as the other one. Crazy fast wind. Pouring rain. Water practically flooding the street. And the power went out. I texted the pizza crew to say that it was no use getting a pizza since we had no way to cook it. Since they were out, they checked on our apartment, which did lose power this time, and Doug's Subway store. It, too, had lost power, and that's never a good thing for a business that depends heavily on refrigerators and freezers.

It actually ended up being kind of a fun night. We feasted on hot dogs cooked on the grill and told ghost stories by flashlight (some were scarier than others - you should ask Camryn to tell hers sometime). Rich and I went back to our apartment to sleep that night and woke up to still no power (ours probably came on around noon). Doug and Edie's came on around 5:30 a.m., so we hung out there for the day. (And Subway got power early enough that there was no harm done.)

Luckily, there was no damage for us but plenty more around town. So many trees down yet again!

I should have gotten more pictures to fully capture the carnage, but this one can give you a taste. See how this tree was ripped up by its roots? CRAZY! And there were plenty of others just like it!

Now, any time a storm is coming, I start getting a little paranoid that it's going to be another big one.