Saturday, November 20, 2010

FINALLY, my last post.

It is so past time for the Berkeley blog to be done! I have really put this off, mostly I think because I just haven't been ready to move on, but also because I don't want to risk crying all over my computer. But here it is, our final goodbye to grad school:

First I miss my friends a lot! And who wouldn't? They came and packed my whole apartment in one big afternoon and then took me to dinner. And I only had one meltdown! I dearly love these girls! We have had a lot of fun over the years. They are the best girlfriends you could ask for and I can guarantee you I never would have made it through grad school without them. Lots moved before me which I always hated . But honestly, it's so much harder to be the one that moved and left it all behind. :(

I only have a few pictures (I was too busy going crazy and crying, darn it!) But I just want my friends to know how much I love and miss them, you know who you are!

Jen... my very first ever Berkeley friend. The one who got me through the first two years... she ditched us for a job in Idaho, but she came back in the end. :) A truly incredible and very special person.

Jenn, Jena, and Tristen packed my whole kitchen!

Melissa working way harder on kids' toys than she should have. ;)
I adore Marianna, but I wasn't the only one... she gave Cali a cute doll when Will was born and Cali quickly named her "Marianna". Well, now I get to think about Mar every day because Cali does everything with Marianna!
While we packed, Dan took the kids out to parks along with some other friends.

And off to dinner at Macaroni Grill. I look like a teenage boy that had been packing all day. I seriously should have cleaned myself up and at least put my wig on! ;) Britney and Jeni, so nice of both these pregnant girls to come up.

Jen and Jenn :)

Mar and Melissa.

The next day (the day before we left) was Valentine's Day and we spent it at church saying goodbye and giving our talks... the nerve! Here is our awesome church:

Possibly not appropriate, but we all know you can do anything in the Berkeley Ward... here is a picture of the Jr. Primary (can't really see my kids... Doman was tired laying on the floor and Max is turned around.)

The day before we left in front of the apartment.

The day after we got to Berkeley. Look at how much smaller the palm trees are. I'm holding baby Doman here.

Then as is tradition of the Berkeley Ward, a little open house for families when they move. Saddest day ever. Here are pictures saying goodbye to everyone(well, only the few I have pictures of):
Oh yeah, Dan had friends too, just not much by way of pictures...

Afterward we went home and packed to leave the next morning... honestly we would have not made it out without Marianna's help... she pretty much packed the whole van.

The morning we left, saying goodbye to the bay's fog!

The scenic drive home... we will miss you California,
but we're back to our Utah roots(which you can follow on my new blog hopefully) from here on out!

Friday, October 01, 2010

Okay, seriously, it's time to come back.

First a confession... I desperately wanted to stay caught up blogging. In fact, I even have a bunch of drafts ready to be posted, but every time I try to add pictures at the end, I just feel sick and sad inside. I am now realizing just how traumatized I am from our grad school experience!

We are so happy to have gotten a job, and even happier that we're back home in Utah. But a huge part of our life together was spent at Berkeley. I didn't ever imagine I would think of it as our home. We miss it way more than we thought we would. Even though we went through a really tough part of life there, we also balanced that out with tons of fun and neat experiences. Most of all we met the most amazing and wonderful people that have truly changed our lives.

So, here I go blogging again. And things might sound a little off because I'm not going to go back and try and fix up my drafts into the present tense. I'm just going to add some pictures and post them as-is. And just to warn anyone reading, this is going to be a way boring blog of catch up for probably a long time until the Berkeley blog is ready to print. So check back in a few weeks (or months) and maybe I will be updating the Briggs family in the present day. But don't hold your breath!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Max's Birthday - part 1

We ended up moving very quickly in the end and Max was crushed that we were going to move before his birthday, so we had a little party for him right before we left... literally. It was only two days before we moved and it was really crazy because it was the same day we packed the house, but we're glad we did it. Max has had really GREAT friends the whole time we were here.

Max wanted a United States party which was interesting because quite a few of the kids aren't from the U.S. Anyway, Dan made a huge treasure hunt for the kids going all over the village to different "states" on their map. I loved this because it was a great way to say goodbye to our beloved village. We miss you village!

There are two parks in the village... this one we called "the sand park."

Here is "the path" :) I didn't like it or go there much because of the spiders... the boys on the other hand loved it for, of course, the spiders.
Reading the next clue...

Right outside of "the path"
We called this place "the stairs"... notice them in the background, hence the name.
The other park was known as "Matthew's park" One of Max's friend's apartment was close to the park and that became the way of deciphering which park we were going to... it stuck.
My friend Jen and our babes.

Back at the house, Max with his cake that of course the amazing Jen made for me:

Max saying goodbye to a few of his friends:

Max really misses his friend Kian. I wish I had known what great friends at school they had become. Max was growing out his hair for quite a while to be like Kian. And they send each other letters and talk to each other on the phone. Kian keeps saying that he is going to come visit. They are pretty cute.

Max and Noor:

Max and Alex:
Nathan couldn't come so he said goodbye the night before:

The crew getting ready for presents:

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Goodbye Berkeley :(

This is getting pathetic! I really need to catch up or it will NEVER happen. We have been here in my parent's basement (twice as big as our apartment, so don't go feeling sorry for us) for almost 4 months. I can't believe it! And I definitely can't complain. My parents have been so amazingly generous! My mom cleans, cooks, babysits, and takes kids to and from school. My dad has never even mentioned how messy and loud we all are. They've been champs. Meanwhile, our house is practically ready for closing. A couple things they have to fix (bummer) but then it will be all ready for us. That gives me a couple short weeks to catch up this blog, right?!!!

First, it's finally time to say goodbye to Berkeley. Partly I've put off posting because it is so dang hard for me. Who knew I'd be so sad leaving crazy Berkeley. Seriously... who knew?!! Honestly, those 5 1/2 years have been the hardest, longest years of my life. No, it did not go by fast!! But if I could do it again... I would. I think Berkeley really isn't for everyone, and I used to consider myself one of those people. But it is such a unique, interesting, and beautiful place. Mostly I made the best friends in the whole world. I will treasure all the memories we made and probably miss it forever.

Bear with me as I take a stroll down memory lane. It was a super crazy time having a new baby, then Dan miraculously finding a job, and then getting ready to move, but we made the most of our last weeks. Mostly that consisted of going to all our favorite parks and museums... here they are:

Aquatic Park. One of my favorites (I'll probably say that with all the parks). Too bad I don't have a pic here of the cool wood structure.

Watching the trains... next to the cool wood structure, the best thing about the park.

Max's 1st grade class. Love Michelle!

One last bow night with the girls.

One of the many "rock parks." This one is Indian Rock I think.

The Berkeley Marina:

Berkeley Parks at their finest. Berkeley Adventure land playground. Pretty awesome.
Max going down the zipline. I'm pretty sure you have to sign something about not holding anyone accountable for your kids getting hurt. ;)

Last Primary activity... me with the presidency, but missing our awesome president. :(

Max's class... next to Nathan then Oliver.

Lincoln's class... I see Ike, Sammy girl, Jack, Claire's head and Harmony.

Last trip to the Berkeley Lawrence Hall of Science.

Arlington Park in El Cerrito:

Pretty fancy pedestrian crossing right over I-80 in Berkeley.
Huge statue on each side of the bridge.

Going to see Yo-Yo Ma in SF

Date night in the city with two other couples... we should have done this more!
This makes me laugh... I don't know who looks better in my wig ;)
Beth and Grandma Briggs visit. This is out at our village park.

Doman's class:

Daddy reading a bedtime story. :)

Memorial Park:

Can't remember the name of this one... a cool regional park up in the hills behind Chabot Science Center...

Going across the Golden Gate Bridge for the last time.

Golden Gate Park. Way cool park that was completely re-done while we were living there.

We took the whole day to drive along the coast and here we are a little cold at Half Moon Bay. There are a bunch of sea lions behind us if you look close.

Judy and Larry brought us tons of apple boxes and until I was ready to use them the kids built forts with them in their room... they each had their own little "house".

The beloved "planet museum" (Chabot Space and Science Center)

Well that huge lot of pictures about sums up our last weeks. We wish we had more time in the end. Dan loved taking the kids to the many Regional Parks in the area. There are lots of other neat museums, fun "rock" parks, and gorgeous parks. I love the Berkeley Rose Garden. We made many trips to the Oakland Zoo. The list is endless... we miss you Berkeley!