New trike!


Mirror Lake

We went to Mirror Lake north of Seattle today.  And since I finally installed an app on my phone that lets me send photos to this blog instantly, I think we’ll finally get some regular updates back on this site!

Things are going well, and we have some pictures from a recent trip to Kelowna that we will post here soon.


Happy New Year!

Happy 2011!  We feel terrible that we haven’t updated in almost six months, especially after we had just had such a nice face lift done to the site by Matchbox Creative.  As anybody who may visit this blog knows, Kyla, Sergio, and Simone moved back to Seattle in August shortly after our last post.   We live in the Central District area and Simone is attending a school in the neighborhood and has been learning so many new things every week that it’s hard to keep up with her.  Kyla is a full-time librarian at a French immersion school, and I am currently doing some website work as a contractor.

There are certain things we miss about North Carolina and the East Coast, but overall are very happy to be back in the Pacific Northwest.  It has taken a while to settle down, finish moving, and get reacquainted with the area and our old and new friends, but we are feeling like the transition is over and now I finally have some time to do some of the things I have been meaning to do on this site.  So, here are just a few random recent photos, but I plan to detail some of the last few months more extensively in the near future and finally scan some things and put some video and audio files up that are already starting to feel old!

We hope everyone had a good Holiday!

Simone Goes to Washington

After three long weeks apart, Sergio and Simone drove up to visit on the long weekend to spend some time in DC. The skies were blue and the weather beautiful (not like now, which is like some kind of crazy oven) so we were able to get out and see some DC sights. Our first stop was the Smithsonian Zoo, where we saw a baby gorilla, lions in the sun and a panda lazing on a rock. Our impulse zoo souvenir purchase was a panda mask which Simone refused to put down for the rest of the day – there was something kind of spooky about a toddler in a stroller with a face of a panda.

Knowing we were going to miss the fireworks on the 4th, we thought we’d hit some other iconic American sites. I love this photo of Simone at the foot of the Lincoln Memorial, which she was calling “the man in the chair”. She walked all the way up the stairs where you could look out over the Reflecting Pool and the Washington Monument – and the tourists. The city was thick with tourists in their star-spangled clothes – a trip to the Museum of Natural Science was essentially a people-dodging exercise but Simone had a good time, especially with the dinosaurs. I took her to the gift shop afterward to reward her awesome behaviour and she carefully considered every item in the place before putting everything back and saying she didn’t need anything. Ah, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. I was in the odd parental position of trying to sell  her, increasingly desperately, on any of the toys and trinkets but she wasn’t buying it.

We also managed to catch the Spain/Paraguay game which made Sergio awfully happy – I think there will be a big soccer ball shaped hole in his life after World Cup. The nice thing about watching the games in DC is you are guaranteed to see citizens of said country at the game – a group of very happy Uruguyans were beeping and honking in the streets post game, which wouldn’t necessarily happen in Durham.

We escaped DC for Durham to start packing boxes and getting ready for yet another move. It doesn’t feel as painful this time around (yet), just familiar. But it was sad to come back to DC without them – though I am really liking my job, I can’t wait until we’re all together again.

The Outer Banks

After Kyla graduated, we headed to the Outer Banks for a relaxing week with Diane and Greg.  None of us had been there before and it was a nice surprise to find that the house we rented was actually as advertised, with a big kitchen and plenty of room and a swimming pool (plus very close to the beach and some nice sand dunes).

The pictures, from left to right and going down, are:

1.  The view of the ocean from our 3rd floor balcony

2.  Simone standing by the balcony door

3.  Simone at the beach in Nags Head

4.  Sergio, Diane, and Greg playing Settlers of Catan (our favorite board game) after returning from the Outer Banks

5.  Grandpa Greg and Simone dancing in the rental house

6.  The light house at Nags Head (we also went to one in Ocracoke that you could enter from the inside that had an amazing spiral stair case)

7.  Simone filling up her “pool” next to the “big people” pool

8.  An external shot of the house we stayed in

9.  Kyla and Simone at the pool

10.  Sergio and Simone playing soccer upon returning.

Below that is a recent video of Simone doing her new favorite thing – playing harmonica!

There is much more (big) news to announce which I will do in my next post, which I plan to do later this week!

Graduation for Kyla!

Congratulations, Kyla!

She graduated on May 9th from UNC’s SILS program with her Master’s degree in Library Science.  We have been working towards this for three years, and she is going to be working in Washington, DC for NPR over the summer (starting in two weeks)!  Here she is with her mom, who made it out here with her fiance Greg for the ceremony and stayed with us for 10 days in Durham and the Outer Banks:


The ceremony was very nice with all of the sky blue (or “Carolina Blue”) gowns the undergraduates wore.  Kyla, being a grad student, wore a black gown and is already at her seat in the grass in the picture below:

Kyla was nice enough to award me with my own Master’s Degree for “Love and Support”, which I was very honored to be awarded:


We went to the Outer Banks the next day and spent a week there, which the next post will be about.

Kyla made this video yesterday featuring Simone doing some break-dance moves two days ago, set to the song “Peter Piper” by Run DMC:

Simone Breaks It Down from Kyla Sweet on Vimeo.

Early summer memories

Eating ice cream

Summer came a little early this year.  After a particularly cold winter, we have just had a mini heat wave with temperatures hitting the 90’s in early April.  Some cooler spring weather is now here, but it’s safe to say that we’ll be wearing short sleeves or t-shirts until October.  Here is Simone enjoying an ice-cream cone that an actual ice-cream truck sold to us recently.  I don’t see ice-cream trucks very much anymore, so it was a nice surprise.  Even if it the song it was loudly playing was a muzak version of Lambada (The Forbidden Dance!).

Next we have a picture of Simone pretending to drive our car.  She really loved honking the horn and playing with the dashboard buttons and did not want to get out.  Lately she hasn’t wanted to go in the house at all when we get home from work and school – she just wants to be outside until we eat dinner.

Over Easter, we hid eggs and Simone found them all with a little prodding.  Then she ate three and a half of them on the spot.  I didn’t think she’d like hard boiled eggs, but she proved me wrong.  I couldn’t get her away from them.  The flower head band she is wearing makes her look a little like the Statue of Liberty, though.

Driving the car
Sping outfit
Lil' Buddy
Eating a hard boiled egg

I finally got her to wear a hat I ordered for her a few months after she was born, though.  It’s a pink trucker cap that says “Lil’ Buddy” on it and I have been trying for a long time to get her to wear it, and she finally did.

This is also “parent appreciation” week at Simone’s school, and today’s activity was to have parents dress up their children in their favorite athletic gear.  We chose “Team Canada” in honor of the Canadian Hockey Team, complete with the Maple Leaf flag.  She loved waving it around!

I’m looking forward to a summer of popsicles  and ice-cream and more crazy hats.

Canada jersey

Spring, at last!

Thank you for your patience … the website is back up and working better than ever!  And thank you again to Matchbox Creative.  After moving the files over from our old web host to our new one, I converted the blog from Blogger to WordPress.  Cornelius at Matchbox Creative then converted the look and feel of our old site into a WordPress theme, added some enahancements like a “Search” bar and a plug-in that shows nice pop-up images when you click on them, and fixed the overall conversion and made it so we can expand the site easily.  I am happy that I can now add larger photos, more videos, and more audio files.  The file limitations of our previous web server were starting to constrain our ability to post more information.  You can leave comments now, too!  

Now that the weather has warmed up a bit, we can finally take walks when we get home from work, instead of running straight to the kitchen to get warm and cook dinner.  As you will see from some of the photos below, we did get quite a bit of snow this winter compared to last year.  Kyla went to Vancouver a week before the Olympics started and we were definitely having colder weather here than she was having there.  She should be able to post about her trip there soon.  Unfortunately, she is bogged down with her Masters paper and has not had very much free time in the past few weeks.  We are looking forward to a trip to the Outer Banks in May after she graduates to unwind.  And then she starts an internship in June at NPR in Washington, DC for 10 weeks!  More on that later … for now, enjoy these pictures of Simone spanning from January to a few days ago.  We’ll put them up on our public album along with others soon.