Sunday, September 27, 2015


Lauren: Enjoying a hot tub dip.
[Photo credit: Dad]

Joining with Jodi fromPractising Simplicity with a portrait of our daughter, once a week, every week, in 2015.

[And a bonus picture this week because we loved it also... :)]

Friday, September 25, 2015

Winter of 2014-15

I know, it's September and we're in California, what am I doing posting about winter??

The thing is, I had wanted to post this since sometime last winter, but never got around to it until now. Last winter was a pretty brutal one for many places in North America. I thought it would be interesting to put together a few facts as well as some of my pictures, both from working at U-Haul as well as just winter in general.

First, here's a list of the top 10 snowiest US cities this past winter. Bangor made #3 with 131.5 inches, or basically 11 feet. Keep in mind that this was as of March 21, but Bangor got snow till mid April!

I found a forum thread later that shows snowfall data from July 1, 2014 to May 6, 2015, which includes every snowfall this past winter. It shows Bangor got a total of 139 inches, or 11' 7" of snow (on the last page of the thread)!

However, not only was it snowy this past winter, it was also cold! February was the coldest month on record for Bangor, with an average temperature of - get this - a whopping 6 degrees F! There were many days that it didn't get warmer than -20 degrees F. At that temperature, it didn't matter that I had a base layer, second layer, sweatshirt, and my snowboarding coat on, it only took being outside for a minute or two in the wind before I was shivering.

And Bangor wasn't the only city with record snowfalls. Boston broke both the winter and monthly records with at least 110 inches as of March 15 and 64.8 inches in February alone, and there are many other cities in the US which had high snowfalls as well. The funny thing is, Alaska had very low snowfalls this winter, making it necessary to postpone the Iditarod, their annual sled dog race, until there was enough snow for them to actually do it.

All this snow and cold was especially driven home for me (Jonathan) since I had taken a job with U-Haul the previous July, and was keeping the job until finding employment in my field after graduation in December. I worked at U-Haul till mid-April, which means I experienced firsthand this winter in all it's frosty glory. Each time it snowed, we had to clear snow off of trucks, as well as move them around to allow the lot to be plowed. This was made much more difficult by the fact that the manager was stockpiling extra trucks against the opening of a new U-Haul center in Bangor, so our lot was chock full the entire winter.

February was especially difficult - there was a period of two or three weeks where there was another foot or so of snow every 2-3 days. Even our boss partially gave up a few times and let half the lot sit for a few storms before calling in a loader and having us completely clear the lot one day.

All in all, it was a pretty incredible winter to go through, and if I had only had waterproof boots, I really wouldn't have minded it all too much - I really do like winter. Working at U-Haul this winter, however, almost made me stop liking it. :P

Below are some pictures I took (mostly poor quality ones taken with my phone) that show some of what happened this winter.

First snow - November 2! Started early this year.
Januray - the trusty '89 Accord took me to and from work many times when the not-so-trusty Astro was broken down
Carving a path through drifts
Deep drifts
Prepped for another storm. Did I mention no U-Haul truck has 4-wheel drive? You can see burnout marks in the foreground...
Had to shovel out trailers each storm
They can get pretty buried...
Unearthing trucks. We probably had around 10 windshields crack from using the heat too much in the cold
Where do we put it all?
Cleaning off a tall 26-footer with a roof rake which is missing one of the extension poles... this was most of the winter.
"Down back" - this area didn't get cleared as often
Row of 26' trucks out on the road so the lot can be cleared.
Bringing in the big guns
Didn't take much time with this
Those overhead doors are probably around 7 feet tall
March 4: first time seeing pavement in a couple months!
More snowfall April 7
April 9 - more snow
And just for one last kick in the pants, as we were loading up our U-Box to move to California, it snowed April 24th!
It wasn't all bad though, we were able to get out and enjoy the snow a few times throughout the winter.

Ali learns to like cross-country skiing!

Sunday, September 20, 2015


Lauren: At the end of an epic 4-hour nap.
[Photo credit: Dad]

Joining with Jodi from Practising Simplicity with a portrait of our daughter, once a week, every week, in 2015.

Sunday, September 13, 2015


Lauren: Snoozing hard after an early morning meal in Mum and Dad's bed.
[Photo credit: Dad]

Joining with Jodi from Practising Simplicity with a portrait of our daughter, once a week, every week, in 2015.

Sunday, September 6, 2015


Lauren: Kisses from Mama.
[Photo credit: Dad]

Joining with Jodi from Practising Simplicity with a portrait of our daughter, once a week, every week, in 2015.