Thursday, September 09, 2010

Moving my blog

I've moved! Although blogger is great, they don't have a good iphone interface, so I've hopped over to wordpress. Come stop by! http://missnickie.wordpress.com/

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Crowded backseat

We drove bro back to OR to pick up his car and head back home to LA. I offered multiple times to sit in the backseat with the two dogs, but he said he didn't mind. At one point I looked back and this is what I saw....


Note how my puppy is not only nuzzled against him, but also has her leg fully wrapped around him. Yeah, she's a snuggler!

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Whistler camping

Phil's family is spread out over the west coast - his bro is in LA, parents in OR and we are in NW WA (how do you like all those initials?). We were so excited when bro announced he was coming for a visit in August during his time off to do some mountain biking. Parents heard about it and thought they would tag along as well. And thus began the gong show that is family vacation!

Now let me expand on that last statement - by gong show I mean the usual hilarity that ensues when you bring grown children back together with their parents, toss in an in-law (that would be me), 2 dogs and a camping trip. We had a great time! The boys did a bunch of biking, the parents did the zip trek course, and I curled up with a book beside the river - HEAVEN!!!

This was my view for my morning coffee...

On top of the peak at Whistler

Riding the Peak to Peak


We had a great few days together and really got to enjoy whistler!

Thursday, August 05, 2010

iPhone 4

One thing that I did forget to mention yesterday was that I got a new iPhone!!! We've been wanting to get me one since November.... me for the convenience of it, and Phil so that I won't be stealing his all the time! I had planned on pre-ordering one, then getting it when it came out in late June.

And that is where the shenanigans started. AT&T stopped taking pre-orders, so i ordered one through Best Buy. I checked in at 2 weeks - still nothing. I called at 4 weeks and asked "oh yeah, it's sitting right here". Yeah thanks, you couldn't have bothered to call me? Seriously annoyed.

Then we got the good news that I would be able to go onto the corporate plan at Phil's work which will save us a lot of money. The problem was that Best Buy couldn't do corporate plans. So, we ordered on from AT&T... and just in time because I smashed my other phone by accident at Whistler.



So finally, last friday night I got my iPhone. And I'm LOVING it!!!!



If you know of any good apps I should download, please leave a comment!

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Nothing to write about

I haven't posted here in over a month... I would love to say that I have tons of exciting stories to catch you all up on, but alas, I don't. So what have I been doing for the past month? WORK, then work, then some more work!

I'm working my usual shifts, but I've also taken on some new projects. There is a series of workshops that new graduate nurses attend in their first 6 months of working. I have spoken about my experiences as a new grad at a few of them, and have also started being small group facilitator at another one. The facilitator role involves leading the group through a case scenario and it's actually a lot of fun!

That's about it though. I've been biking a couple of days at Whistler, and actually feel like I'm improving a lot this year.

I'll try to post more soon... as soon as I have anything interesting :)

Monday, June 28, 2010

Triathlon

For several years I have eyed the Lake Padden Triathlon, but always had a legitimate excuse for not having time for it, namely school. This year, I ran out of excuses. So, in March I signed up for my first triathlon and began training.

Saturday came and I was quite nervous! It was a cool day, and I'm not going to lie - the lake was cold! It took me about two minutes to clear the mouthful of water that I accidentally swallowed at the beginning, catch my breath and warm up. Then, I was good to go and finished my swim faster than I thought I would!

Here we are getting ready to swim. I'm one of the few without a wetsuit!

At my transition switching from biking to running.

Sprinting the final yards to the finish line

Feeling tough because I finished my first triathlon!

Family photo! Phil and Maxine both came out to support me!

My goal for the race was to finish in an hour and thirty minutes - I finished in 1 hour, 29 min and 20 seconds! So proud of myself for finishing! And now I can check that off the bucket list! Hmm... what to move on to next....

For those interested, here are the race stats: 400 yard swim, 10 mile bike, 2.6 mile run

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Looking tough

I got my first riding day of the year in at Whistler on Saturday. The weather was perfect, the trails were beautiful, and I had great company! I rode with Phil and my good friend Erin. Erin's been a crosscountry rider for a few years so she's quite a bit better than me, but we still have fun riding together.

Mountain biking is a very male dominated sport, so you tend to notice other girls that are riding. Erin and I would both look at other girls and think, "Wow, they must be so good! Look at their bike and all their gear! They are hard core!"  But then we got to thinking, what if people think that about us?

Here we are in all our gear. 
I guess it's possible that people look at us and think that WE are hard core riders!

Friday, June 18, 2010

iPhone 4

Last November, after stealing Phil's iPhone to check something online/check facebook/update twitter/play a game one too many times, we decided that we should just get me an iPhone. Phil looked into it as a Christmas gift, but discovered that my contract didn't expire until the summer and the earliest I could get one would be March.

By the time March came around, rumors of the next iPhone were swirling all over the internet and we decided to just wait until the next one came out. So, in total tech-geek fashion, I read the articles speculating on when it would be announced and on the first day of the Apple conference I watched the headlines for the long awaited announcement - the iPhone 4 was coming! June 24 to be specific. Even better - the AT&T store would take pre-orders!

I didn't see any reason to rush out on the first day of pre-orders since it would be open for a week. No problem! Except that it was a problem. Due to lack of foresight/"overwhelming demand" they have already run out of inventory. Even the apple website can't ship any until July 14 and when I tried that, something went wrong.

So basically, I'm left waiting even longer. This wouldn't be that big of a deal except that my phone is painfully crappy and I just can't wait to get rid of it. Alas, I must be patient.... not one of my strong points.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Loosing a day

As a full time nurse, I have an amazing schedule - 4 on, 5 off.  And let me tell you, I LOVE my 5 off! Except that it's sort of only 4 off because I have resigned myself to the fact that one day will always be ost to recovering from night shift.

My usual routine after night shift is to go for coffee with a friend, or do something in the morning, power nap in the afternoon, evening with hubby, then bed at a normal time. However, my last few blocks I have come home from night shift and spent the day napping, watching a movie, napping some more, staring into space, then napping again. Relaxing? Yes. Productive? Not so much.

So this week I tried to fill my day again. Went straight from night shift to my friends place for coffee, got pedicures, ran a couple of errands, did some baking, caught up on some TV, then headed over to a friend's place for dinner. In total, I was up for over 30 hours. I was quite proud of all I had done and thought I would sleep well and be refreshed the next day.

I did sleep well, like a rock in fact, for 10 hours. And then proceeded to spend the rest of my day watching a movie, napping, walking the dog, napping.... and basically it was a lost day.

So, whether it's my first day off or the next, I have resigned myself to the fact that I will lose one of my days off to sleep. And really, that's ok because I LOVE sleep!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Goofy times

Had some good friends over for dinner the other night and to meet our new puppy. We got some great pics with the kids, then decided to do some goofy poses. This one turned out to be a total classic - check out how Phil looks!



Thursday, June 10, 2010

5 years

It's hard to believe that it's been 5 years already! I remember many details of the day - the partly cloudly sky, the color of my flowers, taking a moment during the day to realize that when I'm 80 years old - I will look back to this day, and of course, walking down the aisle to my husband.

Here are a few pics from the day.





Honey - I love you more and more each day! Thank you for 5 years full of adventure and here's to the next 50! Love you!

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Wet Dirt

It's no secret that I'm not a fan of rain. While the area we live in is wonderful in many respects, my biggest problem with it is the RAIN, and the mediocrity of temperatures (but that's a whole other post). I just do not like rain, particularly the drizzly type that lasts for days on end.

That being said, there are some smells that rain produces that I quite enjoy. Like on a hot summer day when it has not rained in a bit and suddenly big fat drops begin to fall from the sky.... the initial smell that results is a delight.

The other is the smell of wet dirt. As a kid I grew up camping in Birch Bay where our days would be spent galavanting around the woods, building forts, climbing, running and generally just getting dirty. There is a particular smell that the dirt in those woods has when it's wet.

You can't always smell it - there are certain conditions that bring it out. Today, I had the joy of smelling wet dirt. I was jogging at my favorite trail at Lake Padden. Parts of the trail are shaded by a canopy of trees so that very little sunlight can seep through. It was these parts that were still damp from yesterdays rain... and that sweet aroma of wet dirt wafted up, and propelled me with joy through my run.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Puppy Pics

I've had a couple of requests for more pics of our sweet new puppy, Maxine. Truth is, I've been working TONS of nights and I just haven't taken any.

However, my darling hubby has a wonderful camera on his iPhone, and a blog that he posts a picture a day on. So, if you check out Shutter Chimp you will find some pics of our pup - just scroll down.

Enjoy, and I'll post some here soon.

Friday, May 28, 2010

The final get-away

An hour after I got back from my marathon trek home, Phil left for Whistler. I decided to get a good night's sleep in my own bed. The next day I got up, ran some errands, then packed for one more get-away in my incredible month off.

I met the boys at our favorite campsite in Whistler. They were excessively sore from a hard day of riding! We ate dinner around the campfire and spent the evening relaxing.

Unfortunately when we got up the next morning, it was raining. Since I don't have rain gear, I sent the boys off to the mountain and I went to Starbucks and curled up in the corner with an Americano and my laptop. Not a bad way to finish my month of vacation!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The trek home

After two wonderful weeks in California, it was time to head home. I decided to just suck it up and make the trip in one day. So I got up at 3:45AM, hopped in car and off I went. The drive was great all through northern California.

As soon as I crossed the state line in Oregon the clouds increased and before i knew it, rain was pouring down. But I was still making good time.

I stopped at Phil's parents house in Oregon to drop some stuff off and pick other stuff up. I quickly repacked the car, grabbed a quick bite, then hit the road again, determined to beat traffic.

Too bad it didn't work. In Portland there was an accident that backed up the highway. I finally cleared that, then 70 miles north there was another accident near Centralia. From there to north of Seattle, it was a game. 15 miles of cruising at 60 mph, then back to stop and go. Then cruise for a bit. Then back to stop and go. All. The. Way! I was so frustrated by this point and I just wanted to go home.

Finally when I got north of Seattle the highway started cruising a bit.

The final laugh of the day though came at my exit. I decided to take the 2nd exit to Ferndale to see how construction was coming along on a road project. The joke was on me - construction was going so well that the road was completely shut down. And to make it worse, I couldn't even get back on the highway to go back to the other exit. So, within minutes of home, i had to take another detour.

When I finally pulled into the garage, I got out, and collapsed onto our freshly mowed lawn and just layed there for  a few minutes. 4am to 7:30PM..... I was glad to be home!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Livermore Wineries

I love wine! So naturally, I love going wine tasting as well. I thought Napa Valley was the only wine country in the Bay Area, but I was so wrong! My dear cuz introduced me to the Livermore Valley wineries. Located in the south east Bay Area, this area features the oldest wineries in California. Added bonus - they are totally laid back, casual, affordable and not hoity-toity like Napa!

We enjoyed tasting at Wente, Tamas and Murrieta's well. They even had a sweet deal that if you tasted at 3 wineries, you got a $25 coupon off any purchase over $50!!!! Of course I had to taste at all three and use my coupon. Brought some great wines home!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Unpacking

After our fun weekend, I dropped Phil's parents off at Ontario airport, then drove across town to drop Phil off at LAX, then hit the road north back to the Bay Area. I spent the next few days hanging out with the L family. They had just moved the weekend before so M and I unpacked, sorted, cleaned and moved furniture for most of the week. Of course we did slip in some fun - more on that tomorrow.

I also got to hang out with the little L ladies! I read bedtime stories, walked them to school, had dates with them at the Yogurt Shack, watched cheerleading practice and had Wii tournaments! So much fun!!!!

Here's Superstar and I on our yogurt date

Snuggling with all my little ladies the night before I left

My good friend and cousin Mel and I. Thanks for the great week!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Meet the family

My dear bro-in-law started dating a wonderful girl last year. Unfortunately, I was stuck working when she came up to Oregon last summer, so I had yet to meet her. One of the main reasons for this trip was for us to get to know her more and to meet her family. Although I had met her on Skype, it was nice to finally meet face to face. Gotta say, my bro did well on this one! She is nice, fun, smart, sweet and perfect for Peter! And, she is in nursing school right now! These Snyder men sure know how to pick 'em! :)

We had a great time hanging out for the weekend and getting to meet her family, who are also a blast!

Thanks for the fun weekend!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Maxine

We got home early from Whistler today so we decided to pick up Maxine.

She's so cute and sweet!

I'm in love with her already!

Knotts Berry Farm

We decided to take advantage of being in southern California and hit up one of the many amusement parks. After MUCH debate, we finally decided on Knotts Berry Farm! I think that the major coupon we found might have helped - $32 per person is much better than the $70 that Universal Studios was going to be.

Of course by the time we had decided on Knotts, had breakfast and got the clan out the door, we had already missed the first few hours of the park. But we still had a great time. I had never been there before, so it was all new for me. They had some incredible roller coasters there!!! So much fun! My favorite, the Xcellerator, went from 0 to 82 mph in 2.3 seconds then sent you straight up - SO FUN!!!!

Here we are on a little mining ride

Waiting to go on the water log ride

We somehow convinced Roxie to go on the Perilous Plunge. Not only that, we managed to get the front row! Needless to say, we got quite wet! But it was fun. And it kept us cool for the afternoon.

The feet sticking out on the bottom are Phil's. We had fun twisting all around on this one.

After riding in the park all day we went out for the famous chicken dinner. So tasty!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Oasis in the desert

The I-5 between San Francisco and LA is.... well it's boring. It's flat and straight. The only good thing about it is that you can usually go FAST! However, it's still very boring.

As Phil and I made this perilously boring trek, we reached the mid-point and decided it was time to switch off driving and get some lunch. We began to search the Around Me app on the iPhone (best road trip accessory EVER) for somewhere to eat. I was expecting that we would have to eat at some random little place, or maybe McDonalds... Subway if we were lucky.

However, fate and the iPhone smiled upon us. Two exits away was an IN-N-OUT burger! To think that we had nearly stopped else for some plain fast food, when IN-N-OUT was so close! We pulled off, got our YUMMY burgers, ate, were content, then hit the road again.

As we looked at the map after, on our IN-N-OUT app on the iPhone (yes there is an app, and yes do have it), we saw that it was the ONLY one in central California! And then we felt even luckier.

Thank you IN-N-OUT! Thank you iPhone!

PS - yes, I'm obsessed with the iPhone and I don't even have one yet!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Tacky tourist

I hate looking like a tourist. When we were in Europe we ran into the quintessential tacky tourists - they were fat, loud north americans, with awful patterned sweat pants, fanny packs, and cameras hanging around their necks, who spent most of their time complaining about how things were different! Since the moment I saw them, I swore that I would NEVER look or sound like that.

So when I'm traveling, I try to always look stylish, still wear cute shoes, and use a normal purse rather than a traveling backpack. Such was the case as we took the BART into San Francisco last week. I kept my camera nicely tucked away and walked with an air of confidence that declared I was a local. Of course I'm not, but whatever.

As we got to Pier 39, I realized the ridiculousness of my little charade. I was at Pier 39.... it doesn't get much more touristy than that! So I embraced the moment, got out my camera, and just kept it around my wrist. I ate over priced fish and chips, and a yummy bowl of Ben and Jerry's ice cream. I bought cheesy magnets that say Fisherman's Wharf and even posed by the sign for a pic... and I loved every moment of it!


Posing with Alcatraz in the background

Phil on Pier 39

Watching all the fat sea lions

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

L ladies

Our next stop after Oregon was the Bay Area. We stayed with Phil's uncle in Berkeley and used it as our home base for a few days of sightseeing and seeing friends.

My dear cousin, who abandoned me by moving away from Bellingham several years ago, picked me up in the morning for a day of fun. We did some window shopping, hit IKEA, and just hung out with the girls after school. Our hubbies then joined us and we headed for a nice dinner out.

Here I am posing with my favorite little L ladies

Phil played outside with the girls - meaning he got a turn on the little car!

A was the bravest - whipping around the corner at wicked speeds

All together!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Driving

Hard to believe that we are a week into our road trip already. We left last friday and drove from our place to Phil's parents house in Oregon. We spent Saturday with Phil's fam then hit the road again on Sunday. The drive was actually less boring than I had expected and we enjoyed some beautiful scenery along the way.

The highlight of the drive was our stop at In-N-Out in Redding, CA. Usually a stop at In-N-Out is enough in of itself to be exciting, but this stop also included a visit with my dear friend Jen! We were buddies back at TWU and have kept in touch over the years. We had planned on getting one of our "we're so cute" pictures together, but alas we forgot. I guess I'll just have to go and visit her in Washington DC to get the pic!

Sunday, May 09, 2010

10 years

Phil and I met 10 years ago. I was sorting through some stuff and came across this picture of us on the Oregon coast during the first summer that we hung out together. Ahh, memories!

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Expanding

After 5 years of marriage, Phil and i have decided to expand our family. So... we're getting a puppy! And you all thought I was going to say we were pregnant! HA!

We've been talking about getting a dog for years and finally the time seems right, mostly because school is finally finished! It's a big jump in responsibility for us. We're used to the cats which you can easily leave for the weekend by loading up their food dishes. It's going to be weird having so many daily tasks and responsibilities associated with a dog, but we're excited for it.

We are getting the dog through friends of family. We've seen the litter twice now - they are half black lab, half german pointer. We went this week and decided on the one to take home! There were 4 puppies in the litter - 3 black and 1 yellow. One of the black dogs is a boy, the rest are girls.

We are getting the yellow puppy because she has the most personality by far! When we got there she immediately came up to me to start playing! She's so cute and I can't wait to bring her home!






Friday, May 07, 2010

Tucson

After some fun in Phoenix, we headed south to Tucson to see some old friends. Reid was roommates with Phil, and in the same major as me at TWU. Crazy to think we've been friends for over 10 years!

We started our visit with our now traditional lunch at Vinny's for the BEST HOT WINGS ever. Seriously! Absolutely amazing!!! It's a hole in the wall with plastic folding tables, but the wings are oh-so-good!!!!

Then we spent our afternoon wine tasting. I had no idea that Arizona had a wine country! It's centered around Sonoita and the elevation and soil there make it perfect for grapes. I've been through Napa Valley and the Okanagan wine tasting and these wines were just as good. An added bonus - so much cheaper! Most places we went tasting it was $2-$4 and you got at least 4 wines for that. You buy a glass at the first place you visit (we got ours for only $2) and then you just take it around with you tasting.

At another vineyard...

...with beautiful scenery!

... and a very cool interior

Phil posing with the barrels

The last place we went was Sonoita Vineyards and it was by far the best! $3 to try 9 wines!!!! (and yes, I am a sucker for a good deal). The wines were SOOO good!! Definitely need to go back there sometime.

By the end we had visited 4 vineyards and tried over 20 wines!

Our last day there we went to the Pima Air and Space Museum. I'm a total nerd because I thought it was so cool and absolutely loved it! They had over 300 planes displayed. Of course Laura and I found the displays that you can climb on :)

In the simulator

I think this plane is a stealth bomber. Whatever it is, it looks so freaking cool! It was first built in the 1960s and I'm always so impressed with the technology they had back then, even without an abundance of computers! Maybe they were smarter then.... or just worked harder.

In addition to the 5 hangers, they had tons of planes outside to see as well. Here we are posing under a cool helicopter designed for picking up large loads.

And that sums up our trip. The weather was great, the company fantastic, the food incredible, and the shopping unbelievable! All the makings for a wonderful vacation!