OR vs PA

When a girl NEEDS ice cream

in Oregon, her choices are: grocery store, Dairy Queen & Coldstone Creamery

in Pennsylvania: all of the above plus TONS of local mom and pop ice cream stands! (guess who is craving a Shreffler's mini flurry?)

OR- 0, PA- 1

short and stinky

Remember awhile ago when I posted about my disdain for bumper stickers? Well, yesterday I saw one on a nice new SUV that I just had to share:

"Officer, I'm not really speeding... I just really have to poop."

Are You KIDDING Me????


one cool town

A week ago, the Kosker's were off for a mini vacation to Seattle. Seeing that city was one of the many things on my list of MUST DO before moving!

We only spent 3 days there and were probably just really lucky with what we chose to do and the people that we met, but I now have a new favorite US city! It's artsy, down-to-earth, interesting, and full of farmer's markets and public gardens in cool neighborhoods.

We stayed in Hostel Seattle in their adorable room-for-two. We saved a little money, met cool people, and enjoyed the neighborhood of Ballard.

One of the highlights was attending the Summer Solstice Parade... which begins with 500+ naked/body paint covered bicyclists. An old friend of mine, E. Hilton, was participating in the parade but we didn't see him... or so we thought! Many of the bicyclists were themed and one of our favorites was the "Police Officers"... so now I have a pic of E. in his "spandex outfit" (hint: he's the one without breasts).
Another favorite of mine was the two twins who are retirement age and had painted very real looking bike outfits on. The Hostel owners had offered us a tandem bike to use. Much to Jake's disappointment, I refused... however I do have plans for some pregnant belly paint at the upcoming Oregon Country Fair!!!

Jake's favorite float was the Flying Spaghetti Monster. We HAD to chase it down so that he could get a photo with it :)

I also fell in love with the University of Washington. My friend, E., is a PhD student there and was putting on a private Planetarium show for some of his non-astronomy genius friends. Though I have never been to Oxford, I felt that the campus had that kind of feel. GORGEOUS!

Each time we drove or rode a bus downtown, we passed this HUGE "P-Patch" or public garden. On our last day there, while waiting for high tide, we went to the local farmer's market, bought a picnic lunch, and headed to the garden. I think we surprised some of the people tending their plots... tourists in the garden- how novel! I can't believe it isn't more common. It was gorgeous and inspiring!
Other highlights of the trip included the crowded Pike's Place Market, dinner served when a bucket of crab, shrimp, potatoes, corn, sausage... is dumped on the table, romantic dinner at the Pink Door, riding a ferry, riding a bicycle rickshaw, a tour of the Seattle Underground, and Jake borrowing the Hostel owner's wetsuit and having a successful first snorkeling session, but not successful crabbing session. (more photos will be posted on facebook).
Despite the crazy feet swelling from so much walking and driving in the car, it was all in all, a fabulous "babymoon" vacation :)


What's in a name?

Oh, such an important task to name another human before meeting him or her! I think some of you don't believe that we still haven't decided on names, but it's painfully true. We started going through the book of 60,000 names and now I understand why Peekaboo Street's parents let her choose her own name!

I am drawn to old-fashioned names. I want something unique, but not weird. Jake is drawn to tom-boy names for girls and Harry Potter names for boys (he denies this and in fact never read the books, but with Neville and Percy on his list... it just seems too coincidental).

Every once and awhile, one of us (usually Jake) comes up with a name that we both LOVE. Every single time after our initial excitement and relief wears off, we realize that it's an "er" name. As in "Jasper" (JaspER KoskER... a little much???). Ahhh, I love that name SO much! Plus, it's one of the most common minerals in Oregon. I'd love to have an Oregon connection to the name. Which brings me to another quandary. The only girl name that we've been able to connect to Oregon is "Hazel". Hazelnuts (also known as Filberts) are everywhere in Oregon and probably the state nut (I don't feel like researching this, I just think it is). However, when there is a 99% chance that the girl will have blond hair and blue eyes, can you name her Hazel?

We have less than 50 days to figure this out. If we don't, I'll just revert back to my initial idea: name our kids after the characters in The Sound of Music! BRILLIANT, eh?


The GREATest!

I was gonna write an email to my Great-Aunt Charlotte, but decided to post it on my blog because I think it's so awesome that she actually looks at my blog. I mean, how many retired people (that's the only reference to her age that I'll make, I'll just mention that her older sister, my Grandma, is in her mid-80s ;) ) do you know that can use computers, surf the web, and know what a BLOG is? Very cool. I plan to be like that someday!

G-Aunt Charlotte lives in this cute little community on an island near Pittsburgh. I always think of her when I think of IKEA because trips to IKEA often meant lunch dates with Aunt Charlotte since IKEA is so close to her home. Let's add it to the list of things I'm looking forward to by moving home! I truly didn't realize how I took for granted the time I was able to spend with my family members my whole life. Now that I don't get to see these important, fabulous people on regular intervals, I miss them SO much. (ok family members, that's as close as I'll ever get to admitting that I like family gatherings!)

Yesterday, my FIRST day of summer vacation, took me and 2 girl friends to IKEA. I knew that G-Aunt Charlotte wanted me to pick-out my own baby gift and so it seemed like a good idea to choose something from IKEA. Check-out this ADORABLE baby gym! It really fits with my goal of having wooden toys and it looks really nice sitting out all of the time (I'm not a huge fan of most of the baby gyms out there, but was almost ready to accept the fact that I would have a plastic overly baby-themed one in my house for the next year or more).


So, THANK YOU G-Aunt Charlotte! (you will get a real Thank You note in the mail, I'm just averaging a 2-month delay in getting them out)


school's out for the summer!

It's official. I'm on summer vacation!!! (there truly is a need for excessive punctuation after that sentence)

A few minutes ago I turned OFF my alarm and did a mental happy dance because it might be quite a long time before I have to wake up to an alarm before 6am. Granted, I may be waking up much earlier with a baby, but NOT to an alarm and NOT to get dressed up!

It's tough to think about not returning to my school, but fortunately I'll be around in the fall and plan on being involved with the school a bit. So it's less of a farewell and more of a- I'll see you soon, but on my terms (which might be after 9am!).


30 weeks of gratitude

The Baby Shower Gang (minus the three token males who were great sports about it all)!

I cannot believe it, but I am finishing up my 30th week of pregnancy! I feel like I should get an award or something (ok- I'll wait 10 more weeks for the ultimate prize!). Seriously, I'm too much of a hypochondriac to take any of this for granted. I am so excited/ relieved/ happy to have made it this far! Jake is mega adorable and literally glowing! He enjoys chatting with the baby, feeling kicks (it's worse than a 10-year-old at Christmas), and as of yesterday- watching my belly shake, rattle, and roll during the baby's evening active time. We're pretty sure this baby is going to be running ultra-marathons with his/her dad by the age of 7- it is extremely active at times.

This Saturday Jake and I participated in a 5k (he walked, I waddled) and for the first time I found myself propping up my stomach with my hands. It just gives a little relief. My leg/pelvis joints SCREAM at me most days, especially after long walks. But I really need to step-up the physical fitness so that my (hopefully) natural labor will go as smoothly as possible (not to mention I want to rebound to my pre-wedding waist size).

As for cravings, I cannot get enough lemon lime GATORADE! It's all I want to drink (if we're not counting wine). I'm trying to limit myself, but this baby knows what it wants! I also am craving sweets- no comment about how limiting THAT is going.

Today a good friend threw me a fantastic baby shower. My colleagues really came through for me and showed me just how many wonderful friendships I've made in Oregon. It was a blast! I requested a wine- themed shower and let it known that I LIKE baby games! It was a brilliant combo because the ladies were much more willing to guess how many squares of toilet paper it takes to cover my belly when their hands were holding a wine glass :) Seriously, I am overcome with gratitude. When Jake and I were unpacking our loot, I was more than a little teary- but that's all hormones, right?

Cheesy picture that I plan to use for Thank You cards... I really like it though :)