Saturday, July 14, 2012

4th of July 2012

       July is always a busy time in Tahoe. My family comes for a week, Jon's sister and mom usually come for a visit, we celebrate my birthday and Nolan's birthday, work is busy, other friends are in the area, and there's a little holiday called the 4th of July. And its all crammed into a measly 31 days. The 4th of July is one of my most favorite holidays and Tahoe does the 4th right. It certainly starts off the whole month on the right foot. 
       On the morning of the 4th, we headed to Truckee for their huge annual Independence Day parade. Jon and I had been in the parade but we hadn't yet been spectators. We parked ourselves right in front of the Dairy Queen. Because whats more all-American then the Dairy Queen?
The parade goes on for miles, starting in new town and ending in old town Truckee. 

All of the fire engines that lead the parade were a bit loud, 
so Nolan spent most of the morning like this.
See what I mean.
He was plenty excited to see everything coming down the street.
We camped out with our friends, the Millers including baby Lyla.
That evening we had a very low key BBQ on our porch with a couple of friends, 
and then walked down to the lake to take in the show.
Jon and I would love to start a tradition of a BIG annual 4th of July party, 
we just haven't quite pulled it off yet.
Hopefully next year!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Faith in His Timing

       I've been absent. I'm aware. You see, we're in need of a new computer. Our poor little old laptop, which I bought years ago as a single girl is now overloaded with all of the pictures we've taken in the past few years. A good problem to have? Unfortunately, I can't easily access our photos or upload any new photos without our computer going haywire. A new fabulous desktop is on our wish list and with some recent happenings, we hope to replace this baby sooner rather then later.
       Let's recap. In January of 2009, Jon started the Fire Academy. This was after a few months of deliberation and a need for him to make a dramatic career change. Thus began a long road for us. While he balanced the Fire Academy and his full time job, he soon became a volunteer fireman with a small local department. As time progressed, he went to school for his EMT Intermediate cert, became a part time fireman with one, and then two stations, and then moved up from a volunteer to part-time with Meeks Bay. And we had a baby for good measure! He was slowly making connections, putting in more and more hours, gaining experience, while at the same time we were pretty regularly exhausted. My job doesn't provide the easiest schedule, so daycare has always been a juggling act for us. This past January, we anxiously wanted him to take the next step, so like jumping from a ledge he left his full time job (so long two incomes!), and started full time paramedic school.
       Just before paramedic school began, we received an amazing blessing, which was a very apparent sign that we were on the right track! When not in school three days a week, he has been picking up shifts at one of his various three departments on his off days.  We've learned a lot while he's been going through this entire process; this industry is highly competitive, there are always lots of rumors floating around, and you have to work very hard to make something happen. Fire jobs are not handed out like candy on Halloween. No sirree.
       This Spring we were given a glimmer of hope. In April (I think?), he applied with a new department being configured in the Reno area. By late May he took their written exam and the next week he was invited back to take the physical test. We waited anxiously for the results. As a vacation in Chicago grew very near we very much feared that we'd have to cancel or change our trip for the in-person interview round. Luckily, he was invited to interview the morning before we flew to Chicago. Oh, and by this time another station was also hiring, so all of the sudden he had two interviews in one day. Right before we left town!
       After a turbulent weekend in Illinois (those who were there know!) we landed back at home on Monday afternoon. We anxiously checked his voicemail and messages. Nada. Later that night, while cooking some dinner, we got a call. THE MOST GLORIOUS PHONE CALL that we've possibly every received. We'd waited so long for that call. It was a job offer and he was to start in just one week!
       Within the next few days we AMAZINGLY found out that his paramedic school was willing to work with him on allowing him to miss class and make up coursework on the weekends. Two huge blessings in one week. So here we are, in a very different place then a month ago. From the surface everything looks the same, but underneath everything we've wanted for three years has come true.
       The next six months will be very challenging for us as Jon will be balancing his new job and managing the remaining hours that he needs to dedicate to his paramedic program but if things continue, he'll be a paramedic by January! And by next Summer, we hope to have some normalcy in our schedules and lives and be enjoying ourselves quite a bit more.  We are over the moon. Crazy happy. Challenging schedules are nothing new to us, so we'll face the next six months just thankful that this opportunity has come up. I tell myself that I should never complain again. We have been given so much. We are RIGHT where we want to be.
       Regularly throughout this whole process, I've clung to this saying:Faith in god includes faith in his timing
It has really stuck with me and been a consistent reminder when we've been tired, frustrated, or overwhelmed. Which was a lot of the time!
       Oh, and you know what else? We get to move forward with SO much now. We've been in a holding pattern until this time came and we are so anxious with everything else we now hope to make happen. Can you say, "time to go house shopping" anyone?
        Last week Jon's new department held a badge pinning ceremony. Lots of us packed into the auditorium (Jon is on the far right, standing against the wall). 
Nolan could not be contained. 
He insistently yelled for "Dada" and waved at him across the room. 
And he came prepared with his own helmet.  Just in case.
Jon was called up to receive his badge.

Then we were invited up to put Jon's badge on him and take some pictures.

A plaque was presented with photos of all of the firemen
(Jonny is lower/mid right).
Two days later, Jon had his first shift. 
After waiting 2 1/2 years for that morning, 
it was worthy of a photo.
We are so happy for this change and so happy to move forward. 

I have more photos to share of our 4th of July, so hopefully I'll be back soon!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Easter Weekend 2012

       After two busy weeks at work, I finally have some time to play catch up here. For Easter weekend this year Nolan and I headed down to the Bay Area while Jon stayed behind to work an overnight shift. I'm still a bit scarred by the 3 hour trip down and back by myself with Nolan in the backseat. It may be quite a while before I try to make the trip alone with him again.
       The day before Easter my sister and I headed off to the Oakland Zoo with two wee ones in tow. Nolan is currently loving animals so I thought it would be a fun day for him. 
Our first stop at the zoo was the train.
And our first challenge was trying to get these two to look at the camera at the same time.
We never had any success with that last one. 
Living where we do, we never frequent places like zoos, play centers, 
amusement park, or malls, so this was quite 
the adventurous day for me and Nolan.
There's my boy.
His mouth on the wire fence, 
that was no doubt covered in dust, dirt, germs, and gosh knows what from the animals.
He insisted on taste testing several of the fences around the park.
I'll spare you too many pictures of the animals. 
In reality all of the animals seemed quite sad to me. 
(In this shot I had to try to avoid a truck that was parked just behind Mr. Zebras fence). 

There was a petting zoo too. 
While all of the other kids were in the small barn petting the animals, 
my wild one was out running on their lawn. 
I don't really blame him. 
Grass is exciting for us mountain folk.
The day was definitely a successful one. 
It was followed by a playdate in Roxy's backyard, 
checking out all of her toys. 

The next morning, before all of the cousins arrived, 
Nolan had to hunt for his Easter "basket".
Nolan's bunny was feeling quite nautical this year.
My boy doesn't do much without his baby and bottle in tow.
He dug into the gold fish treat immediately.
His basket started out looking like this
(which may be quite sac-religious).
I have a few of these left over from an event I did years ago, 
and I figured I would put them to good use at some point.
In the name of watching our pennies this Easter,
 I cut up an old burlap bag that I had (also inherited this from something at work),
and got to work with my hot glue gun and a stencil.
I was happy with how my thrifty creation turned out.
After the whole gang arrived,
we had our annual Easter egg hunt.
Here's the line up before the start of the race.
I was a little bit busy helping curly find his eggs, 
so I wasn't able to take any photos myself. 
I think next year he's going to be a force to reckoned with during the hunt.
Nolan was a busy bee all day, 
and spent a lot of his time checking out the backyard fountain.
Grandma and Grandpa's house hosts the perfect little garden for 
small kiddos to trek through.
This weekend, Jon and I were spoiled to both have a few days 
off together. What a novelty. 
We were doubly spoiled by 70+ degree temperatures. 
Weather like that in April in these parts really gets people excited.
As Nolan creeps toward two years,
we're able to do more things and go out for longer
which has already been a lot of fun for us. 
I think this Summer may hold in store lots of time
on our bikes and at the beach (when we can find it). 

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Little bit of this, little bit of that

       In the spirit of keeping this blog updated, here's a bit more!
I have started to try to incorporate Nolan into cooking and baking with me. 
This isn't the easiest task, as he's a little bit wobbly in our dining chairs, 
and perching him on our island makes me very nervous (and Jon even more so). 
But, I think its a good way for him to learn his food words, and possibly appreciate
different foods a bit more. 
Last week, we made him some healthy mini-toddler muffins, 
for quick breakfasts and snacking.
He was the perfect bakers assistant. 
(Tonight he helped me to make homemade Mac' n Cheese 
and that went downhill fast when he put a bunch of 
mustard powder in his mouth!)
I think I failed to mention back at Christmas time that we received a 
beautiful addition to our kitchen for the holidays. 
It came in the form of a Kitchen Aid.
I asked for a basic old hand mixer to replace a broken second hand mixer that 
I had been using, but my upgrade came in the form of a Kitchen Aid. 
It is luxurious. 
I bake every week or two so that Jon has something to take on shift 
or to his paramedic class. 
It's giving me the chance to try out lots of recipes.
Tonight I'm giving a Twix Brownie recipe a try.

The most exciting business in our neck of the woods
is that we got to meet a very important little girl today. 
We'd been waiting to meet her for 40 weeks and 1 day. 
Our good friends gave birth this weekend, 
and today we got to stop by the hospital for a quick visit. 
When we arrived both parents were looking SO tired. 
It brought back lots of memories!
Lyla Scout was gorgeous!
And oh-so-tiny compared to our rascal.
The parents were in amazing spirits after a long 24+ hours.
They were in the same room as us in the hospital 
so it felt like a bit of a roles-reversed-flashback. 
We're so excited for them to now be parents. 
Nolie wasn't allowed in the maternity ward (apparently kids carry germs),
so he did lots of walking around the hospital while we 
took turns visiting. 
He also finagled a couple of cookies from the nurses
so he was pretty H-A-P-P-Y about visiting the hospital.

Thats all this week!
XOXO from Lake Tahoe

Monday, March 26, 2012

Photo Dump

       Sorry. So so sorry. I know out blog has been lacking in new posts, in a major way, but I was giving myself a little blog breather. I've caught my breath (just a bit!) so I thought it was time for a photo dump and update.
       The Milam's are busy. Too busy. Not enjoying life enough busy. We wish we could stop to smell the roses (or play in the snow) a bit more, but we're trying to keep a lot of balls in the air at the moment. Jon is in school 3 days a week and working anywhere from 20-40 hours most weeks on top of that. Throw in lots of reading and studying and his days are full. I've had a busy load at work since the New Year, meaning long weeks and long days. With our schedules, we've just been keep on keep'n on. I have been oh-so-lazy on the taking pictures front (something I need to work on!), but we have a few to share. Here are some images from our neck of the woods.
Our boy is a boy, through and through. 
He is growing crazy fast now. 
His feet are getting bigger. 
His vocabulary is getting bigger. 
His personality is getting bigger. 
He loves spending time "ouside."
On the rare day off, while he explores
his dad is usually nearby, tinkering.
He just hit the 20-month mark  (how-oh-how will he be 2 years old in 4 months!), 
and we're very much loving getting to know the kid that he is becoming.
He's our monsty. 
He loves his dad more than anything.
He's a lover. 
But he's also a biter.
A few weeks ago I scooted out of work for a few hours
and came home to join Nolan and Jon for our annual local Snowfest parade.
One of the perks of our house is that its steps to the main street.
We're looking forward to lots of sunny walks this Summer with 
our now very good-on-his-feet toddler.
One of the departments that Jon works for was in the parade, 
and we found the truck just at the bottom of our street
(Yes, I'm aware his hair is insane. A week after this photo, his dad gave it a good cut). 

In our local parades there is snow moving machinery. 
Not sure if this is normal?
Because Nolan only lasts outside for about 15 minutes in the cold and snowy temps, 
we've been doing lots of playing inside. 
Enter a tent set up in our living room. 
This kid loved it. 
As in, laid down in it and fell asleep. By himself. 
(I personally could eat those little baby boy legs).
This winter has certainly been a light one, as far as snow goes. 
This is about as bad as it ever got at our house this winter. 
VERY manageable, which we have enjoyed. 
This is what our yard looked like on January 8th this year. 
Dry as a bone.
Crossed fingers that Spring temps will be here soon!
Our latest big news is that we had a day off. Together. To play. Sans child.
It was amazing. 
Jon and I landed ourselves with a Monday off so we 
were able to snag some complimentary tickets to Squaw. 
We dropped Nolan at daycare (which I had some mothers guilt for),
and headed to the mountain. 
We were happy. 
Our first day on the mountain in 2 years. 
2 years! That's insane. 
We live within 25 minutes of about 6 ski resorts, and it's been 2 years!
Needless to say, we had some fun.
The clear weather that was forecasted for the day
ended up being cold and blustery with some snow, 
but that didn't really bother us one bit.
We saw some little kiddos skiing and it had us very much looking 
forward to getting Nolan out on skis next season. 
We even nabbed a very dorky couple photo up top.
Oh, and afterwards. 
Afterwards, there were beers and apps at a favorite restaurant, 
before we grabbed a brief nap and picked Nolan up. 
Beer has never tasted so good.
So that's it. 
Nothing earth shattering. 
Normal run of the mill life. 
But now your caught up!
And maybe I'll do better to keep this blog up. 
Crossed fingers!