west coast girl, east coast culture.... bawlmer style, hon.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Alternative to Facebook post

I've fallen behind on blogging and I blame it on Facebook.  Many of the following photos were already posted there.  A couple of you (Carolyn and May) have requested more from the blog. So here is a hodge-podge of photos and captions to get you caught up.

 Monday night lights....
One of our nightly weekday walks to the park spawned this little photo shoot.  I'm showing Nova some moves on the bleachers.  Can't tell if that's a look of admiration or something else.

Dale and I got a wild hair and decided to try out for the Amazing Race in Portland.  They cut off the casting call line at least 500 people in front of us.  The upside was, we got to spend the day with Dan and Alyx which was even better!
 Dale at Stumptown.  
In Portland we had a beer with Seth at his fine establishment, North Bar, and got to meet his lady-love Gina.  Really great trip.  Good to see Milenkies and Seattle crew too.

Back in B-more Trish took me to my first roller derby.
 Once long night at the local watering hole I was dead set on trying out and becoming the next Charm City Roller Girl.... We tried out burly names for hours.
 See that stretcher in the background?  They use it.
 Trish is my Baltimore BFF and is a nursing superstar.  She just finished her masters program. I am proud of her and like to brag about her whenever possible.

Shawn's dad bought a cabin in Pennsylvania.  Nova, Shawn and I went up to check it out one weekend.  Was nice to hear the quiet and breath fresh air.

Nova turned 9 in May!  Here's Shawn's dad (Pop) introducing Nova to her sweet new ride!
 Nova wanted her party to be at the park down the street (Sandy Beach style).  Per tradition we got a giant COSTCO cake (want some cake with your frosting?) and did the customary treasure hunt.  Super fun! :)

My massage cohort volunteered at Oakcrest, a retirement community.  It was really inspiring to work on older clients.   
 The photo above and below were taken by a Baltimore Sun photographer and were featured in a story in the paper.  This resident, like all those we met that day, were very appreciative.  I enjoyed talking with them. I'd love to look into doing work like this when I'm finished with the program.

We went to Bethany Beach, Delaware over spring break.  It's an easy three hour drive from Baltimore.
 It was great to get out of the city and get some salt, sand and sun in our bones.
 We padded barefoot between our 70's style hotel on the boardwalk and our beach umbrella for three glorious days.
 Nova looking for her next good wave.

Whew!  From hats and scarves to beachwear.... think we're pretty much caught up now.  :)  More soon. xo

Monday, February 14, 2011

We Heart Obama

Nova and I caught some major press when we waited for 3 hours to see President Obama's motorcade drive past our block.  The President was speaking across the street at Parkville Middle school, Shawn's alma-mater.  Here are some photos and press clips.

Scroll down to the "Jessica Kartalija Reports" clip. http://baltimore.cbslocal.com/2011/02/14/president-obama-unveils-budget-touts-education-at-parkville-middle-school/

Chandra Travers, 36, let her 8-year-old daughter, Nova, stay home from Villa Cresta Elementary School on Monday so the two of them could deliver a special message to the President of the United States.

Nova happily waved a homemade sign when President Barack Obama arrived at Parkvile Middle School on Monday.

“Happy Valentine’s Day, President Obama.”

“I don’t know if I’m just dorky for being so excited, but I think it’s awesome,” said Chandra Travers, who lives near Parkville Middle.

Travers, her husband and her daughter moved to Parkville about eight months ago from Juneau, Alaska.

“Used to run into Sarah Palin all the time in the street,” Travers said. “Yeah, she was interesting.”

Chandra Travers, who lives near the school, allowed her 8-year-old daughter, Nova Knoedler, to miss class this morning to try to catch a glimpse of the president.
Nova was carrying a poster nearly as big as her that featured a big red heart and read, "Happy Valentine's Day President Obama!" 
Travers recently move to Baltimore from Alaska and is a fan of Obama.   
“This is one of the things I love about Baltimore," Travers said. "You can be so close to politics. Just look at how accessible the president is. It’s been a long time since I liked a president, so, ‘Yay!'’” 
About 100 people lined the streets and stood on the porches and steps of nearby houses to watch and wave to the motorcade that arrived at 10:10 a.m. Monday. Some held heart-shaped balloons and signs, including 8-year-old Nova Knoedler, who held a poster that said, "Happy Valentine's Day President Obama."
 I don't know if Nova understood the significance of the day but after his first motorcade pass, she was just as excited as I was.
 I woke up this morning at 4 a.m. to see security tightening around the middle school from my bedroom window.  I can see Obama from my house!
 This is the reporter and camera man who interviewed Nova.  An amazing feat considering her shyness.  The crowd around us gave her mad props when she finished.  Proud!
 Our sleepy block was full of enthusiasm....mostly.  There were a few negative signs but people told Nova to stand in front of them with her Valentine.
 Here's some friends we made this morning.  We bonded while we excitedly waited for a glimpse of the President.
 "Here he comes!"  At this point Nova started jumping up and down.
 We went home for a snack during his speech inside the school and returned for his exit.
 He totally saw Nova's sign.  I think it made him feel good. :)
That's his hand waving in the third window.  We were farther away on the second pass but I looked him in the eye on the first.  What a great day.  We'll never forget it.  

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Happy report on school, just words

Ok so, I was totally freaking out about being one of a MILLION people trying to get into a nursing program and was convinced that ultimately I would not getting in.  Most of you have had to endure my fretful stories of this endeavor and will be happy to read on.

When things were looking their darkest, I caught an unexpected break.  No, I haven't heard back from any of the schools yet BUT, I did get recruited to join a Massage program. Hooray, purpose!!!!  I can start this program and finish later if I get accepted into a nursing program.  OR, if I don't get in I can finish massage and try again for nursing next year. Yay for options!!!!  Either way it's win-win and I am THRILLED to be starting SOMETHING.... especially something so up my alley that can compliment nursing.

My first lab was Friday where our small cohort of 6 did yoga for a half hour and gave/received massages for the next 3 & 1/2.  Can you say heaven?  More news on school to come.  I should know by end of April about all the programs I applied to.  In the mean time, I'll be blissfully learning the art of massage and finding joy in being in school once again. xo  

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Seattle New Year

The day after Christmas, Nova and I headed out to Seattle to meet up with Charlie and May.
Reunion!  When we parted ways six months ago, Milenka was just getting her city slicker bearings.  We had a great time with her as our Ballard tour guide.
Dale, Adam and friends helped Milenks and I ring in the new year. Hitting a Capitol Hill dance club was the perfect way to ring in 2011.
Broke up our time in the city with three soul refreshing nights in Willapa Bay where Mike and Ann have an airstream trailer.  Very impressed with the trail systems out there.  Lots of good walking and way cool sea side eating and shopping outposts.
Charlie, May, Nova and I hunkered down in our own trailer across the way.  
Nice to get caught up with family.  Being back on the west coast felt reeeeaal good! Mike and Ann were gracious hosts to us at their coastal sanctuary.
Nova is transformed when she hits the beach.  She proudly tells me she still has "sand in her scalp" from her wind storm trance-dance.
  Oh how I have missed the ocean. I am completely in love with being on the Pacific.  
 Speaking of being completely in love.... :)
 Fun to watch Emma and Willa enjoy their time away from the concrete jungle.
 They are really beautiful to watch running wild and free!
 May-May and Nova Rose.... "Criss cross, apple sauce, double weave, if you please!"
 Looking forward to more time with family and friends on the west side come summer.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Last few months (kind of randomly put together)

Shawn and his high school friend Joe DeSimone steal their daughter's scooters. Dorks. :)
 Nova and Gabby, Joe's daughter, on one of Lake Montebello's exercise stations.
 Trish and Dave took us to the strip of row houses in Hampden where they go all out with lights.
 Hundreds of people are allowed to mill through the streets and up on some of the porches.  This is where Shawn spent New Year's Eve while I was in Seattle.  Apparently it gets pretty wild.
 Trish and Dave have been the best Baltimore tour guides EVER! Love you guys. xo
 Really amazing sculpture and lights.  Plus I seriously love row houses.... all that old brick and so skinny!
 Nova's first Christmas in Baltimore was a big deal for Shawn's parents.  They pulled out all the stops.
Blow-up Harley Santa in front yard.... Shawn leads Nova up to the house blindfolded.
I have never seen so many presents for one person in all my life.  
 Operation Shock and Awe was a success.  Thanks Gail and Denny for Nova's first Baltimore Christmas!
Our house on Willoughby road.  We live 5 minutes across the city line, in the county.  Boring but safe.
This is Nova's best friend Olivia. She lives two doors down.  Double Rock park is two blocks away and provides a little respite from suburbia.
Halloween on Lyndale Avenue. Nova and her grandma await the onslaught armed with candy.  
 Nova with Lyndale friends Rachel and Danielle.
 Baltimore is a crafty place.  During the holidays there are weekly local artisan markets.  This one was held in an old church.
 We thought it would be fun to go to a sock monkey making workshop.  When we arrived we were surprised to find HUNDREDS of people sewing button eyes onto socks.  I liked this guy's sock monkey outfit.

 The American Visionary Art Museum won't let you take photos of their amazing exhibits inside but you can snap shots of the outdoor sculptures.
This has become one of our favorite places.
 We met our friend Joyanne Bloom from Juneau at the museum one day.  We had fun Joyanne!
 Giant mirror egg.  Cool.
Along with the constant sunshine, I am really enjoying the fact that there is plenty to do and see in this area.  More to come. :)