Thursday, January 1, 2009

Holiday Season

As 2009 is beginning, Andrew and I feel blessed to have had such an amazing 2008. We spent both holidays in Redwood City. We really enjoyed cooking both Christmas and Thanksgiving feasts, although we missed being with family! We have done a little bit more work on our house--installed a gas fireplace and added a front railing to our porch. We feel even more settled in our home, and have spent many cozy evenings in front of the fire! We also recently went down to Santa Barbara to see family--the Shannons who live in SB and the Arps who came out to visit from Atlanta. As always, it was wonderful spending time with the family--picnicking, playing games, and lots of laughter!

The new front railing

Next project: Painting the new railing

Ugly Sweater Party--we look like crazy elves!

Our Christmas Tree

Arias playing with his new toy from cousin Carolyn

Arias sound asleep in front of the new fire

At the Beach in front of Granny's during our recent visit to Santa Barbara

Andrew, Meggan, and LeAnna

Arias stayed in Briana's lap during the picnic

Arias checking out the sand

The Newest Family addition--little cousin Sebastian

Cousin Brooke making Sand Angels

The BEST photo EVER: Brooke joyous while covered in sand!

Brooke & Brody petting Arias

Cousin Brody

LeAnna & Brody at the zoo

First picture of 2009

View of SF from Treasure Island, New Year's Eve

Fireworks over the Bay-Happy 2009!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Arias...the Hairless Wonder

As most of you know by now, we have a new addition to our family--Arias, a Sphynx (hairless) kitten. He is so much fun and makes us laugh daily with his antics! He is very smart, loves to cuddle and loves to play (his favorite is playing fetch-- yes, he fetches!) Blake was in town last week, and got some great new shots of him. Thanks Blake! As you can probably tell, we are very much smitten with Arias!

He loves getting into bags

Sunbathing on the kitchen counter

He also sits on command

Napping on Andrew

He also loves his feather on a stick--he is quite the acrobat!

Don't enlarge this last shot. It's a bit scandalous!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Echo Lake

Every summer we go to Echo Lake, which is located near South Lake Tahoe. Andrew's family has had a cabin there for over 80 years. The cabin is on Forest Service land and there is no electricity or roads. You have to boat in and bring all your food with you. It is the most relaxing place because there are no TVs, phones, or computers to distract you. All there is to do is hike, swim, ski, and spend time with one another. The water is snow run-off so it is freezing, but we braved it every day, and I even decided to ski one day! Here are some pictures from our time there this summer.

Echo Lakes--Lower and Upper Lake

Sunset from cabin deck

There are the coolest trees at Echo

LeAnna water skiing--wearing a half wetsuit b/c it was so cold!!

Kathy, Ro, Elena, Blake, Katy, LeAnna, Andrew, David

Family Time on the deck!

LeAnna & Katy, hiking to Tamarack Lake. You can see the Echo Lakes behind us!

Tamarack Lake

Braving the cold is easier together!! From back to front: Katy, LeAnna, Blake, Andrew

The Backyard Is Finished!

The last time most of you saw our backyard, it was a dirt plot. We have now finished it and it looks great! Andrew spent a lot of time designing both the front and back yards and it really shows! We love spending time outdoors--we had fresh veggies all summer and Andrew is in the process of planting our autumn crop! We have lots of birds in our backyard, which makes it so peaceful! We're just sorry it wasn't completed in time for the wedding so that you all could enjoy it too! We recently won the "Redwood City Mayor Beautification Award" for Andrew's redesign of our front yard. We went to a meeting at Town Hall and received the award--it was a lot of fun and Andrew is rightfully proud!

Backyard before (when we first bought the house):

You can also check out what the backyard looked like in this short video that Andrew created: (please note that ALL sound effects were added! and yes, it really did happen like that!)

The Process:

After Photos:

Andrew's Greenhouse--we built it ourselves!

Notice Andrew's MONSTER sized marigolds and tomatoes!!

Front yard before:

Frontyard After:

Way to go Andrew!