Wednesday, September 19, 2018

currently: fall talk

i feel like it's been forever since i've done a non-recap post, and i miss them, so here we go! 

right now i'm currently...

appreciating: our new fall schedule and the hours during the week it allows me to do work and other things i need to get done, as well as giving me a parenting breather ;) and more importantly, i'm appreciating my health. the pastor at my home church in edina, mn passed away last week after suffering a heart attack. she was only 40 years old and had 3 very young children. it's been weighing heavy on my heart :( 

looking forward to: where do i begin? so many fun things are happening this fall. my mom comes into town next week, and then thatcher's dad comes in october and his mom at the end of november. in addition, thatcher and i are going on an overnight to port townsend while my mom stays with the kids. my mama friend group and i are going to whidbey island for a weekend in october, and i bought tickets for the kids and i to go to florida in february to stay with my mom for a week! we haven't been there in almost 4 years and i cannot wait (only thing i'm not looking forward to is the 6 hour plane ride. yikes!) and the fact that we won't be going to minneapolis this december. 

the rental on whidbey island. doesn't it look amazing?! i cannot wait!

wearing: i've been pretty excited to pull out my fall/winter clothes. of course some long-sleeved things i've worn this summer, but some of my sweaters are getting wear now and it's fun to feel like i'm wearing "new" stuff. in terms of actual new stuff, i've added some versatile pieces to my wardrobe like this sweater and sweatshirt from old navy. 


reading: i just finished re-reading a book that i bought (i don't often re-read books). little earthquakes by jennifer weiner. i've owned this book for close to a decade and i hadn't read it in many years (maybe since before having kids?) which is funny because it's all about first time motherhood and i loved reading it again. now i'm checking another elin hilderbrand book off my list - summerland. my goal is to read all of her books and i'm making good progress. i'm on my 14th book and have 8 left to read. 


watching: aside from 90's kids movies...ha...i've been itching to watch some seasonal movies (*cough cough* christmas). but i haven't indulged yet. thatcher and i are slowly making our way through "the office" on netflix. i've seen most (if not all) of the episodes but it's always fun to re-watch them. my friends make fun of me because i have zero interest in watching any new series. 

eating: this time of year also makes me want to eat all the comfort food! i want to bake pumpkin and apple treats and use the crockpot. maybe i'll find a good pot roast recipe to make soon.  

Monday, September 17, 2018

back in the school groove

this past monday was ashford's first day of preschool! he is going to the same preschool program he went to last year at the community center next door to azalea's school. last year he went 3 mornings/wk from 9-12:30 and this year he is going 5 mornings/wk. i debated whether or not to do 5, but they took away the 4 day option, so i felt like 5 was a better stepping stone to kindergarten than 3. i've also upped my work hours to closer to 10hrs/wk, so it is easier for me to have that morning time every day to do my work and then be able to concentrate on him (and azalea) in the afternoons. there are lots of new (kid) faces at his school. his teachers are the same, so that's nice. he was so excited to go every day last week and i'm so happy because last year that wasn't always the case :) here is the obligatory first day photo: 


in the afternoons we had some play dates, went to the library, hung out at home, etc. we're getting into our fall groove now. we also learned that we will be getting occasional bags of produce from ashford's preschool. it's a partnership between the city of seattle and some local washington farms. pretty cool! 


wednesday night azalea had her first swim lesson of a new session at ballard pool. i forgot to take a picture. oops! on thursday morning i watched my friend casey's daughter julie while casey had an appointment. my kids were at school, so it was just me and her. we had lots of fun together. i forgot how cute 2 year olds are :) 


we had no plans going into the weekend. friday night we hung out at home. saturday morning we decided to take the kids to the pacific science center. we have a membership and thatcher and azalea hadn't been in a while. the kids enjoyed it, as always. we drove back to our neighborhood and went to 8oz burger co for lunch! it had been a while since we went there and it was delicious and indulgent (i got a burger with bacon and cinnamon spiced peanut butter on it). i mean, hello!


 i was full for the rest of the day! we hung out at home, got groceries, played some board games. we also watched homeward bound with the kids. we are showing them all the 90s non-animated movies we watched growing up. they've watched honey i shrunk the kids, little rascals, hook, and now homeward bound. it's really fun re-watching these movies i haven't seen in many years. 


sunday morning we hung out at home. then after lunch thatcher met up with with his coworker sloan and i took the kids to playdate seattle. we were there for under 30 minutes wour some friends from azalea's school walked in. so that was a fun surprise! the kids all ran around together and i got to hang out and chat with julie and ali. we ended up staying for 3 hours! 

sweaty kiddos

we hung out at home the rest of the night. thatcher grilled dinner for us and the kids played some video games. 

now onto a new week! 

Monday, September 10, 2018

azalea's first day of school, camping, brewery fun

azalea's first day of 2nd grade was this past wednesday! i can't believe she is in 2nd grade already. it seems like she just started kindergarten. (will i be saying this when she's in 9th grade too?!) she was very excited in the days leading up to it. we learned who her teacher was just a few days before school started, and also some of the kids in her class via the facebook page. her teacher is new to the school and this is also her first teaching job - pretty cool! azalea seems to like her so far. here's our girl on the first morning: 


on thursday morning ashford and i had a "family connections meeting" with his preschool teachers. we got to see the renovated preschool room, which is beautiful! he and one other boy are the only ones returning from last year, so there will be lots of new faces. 

friday morning ashford and i had what will probably be our last morning at "the inc" for a long time. with him attending his other preschool 5 mornings/wk this year, that doesn't leave any days for the inc. but we may use it when there are school closures, etc. and i'm sure i'll pop in by myself from time to time. friday afternoon bruce came over for a play date with ashford. and after we picked up azalea from school, we went to some friends for another play date. julie and i became friends last year because her son ben was in azalea's class - and he is again this year too. julie also invited another mom and her kids who we know. the kids ran around together and the moms drank wine and ate snacks. it was such a fun night. unfortunately i didn't take any pics. i wish i would have - the view of the sound from their deck was spectacular! 

saturday morning azalea and thatcher headed out on a daddy-daughter camping trip. they went to the coast to stay at a campground and enjoy the beach. thatcher has only camped once before many years ago, but has wanted to try it since we moved here, so he's been slowly researching and buying supplies. he thought taking just azalea would be a good practice run and maybe we'll all go together next time. they had a great time! azalea especially loved making hotdogs and smores over the fire. here are some pictures from their weekend: 






ashford and i kept busy on saturday we made brownies, played lots of board games/puzzles/toys (he's my little home body) and then went out for dinner at scooters together. it's amazing how well-behaved he is when azalea is not around. ;) he really missed them. he kept asking me how much longer until they came back. so sweet. 


he insisted on sleeping in my bed that night and i'm not one to argue with that when i would be sleeping alone otherwise. i got him to sleep then watched a movie before going to sleep myself. 

by some miracle, ashford slept until 8am on sunday. i got up at 7 and had a whole peaceful hour to myself. 


we hung out at home all morning and then after lunch we took the bus to populuxe brewing (yes, again. haha). they had a kids event there in the afternoon that was run by "happy squirrel arts" which was co-founded by azalea's kindergarten teacher. they had crafts, live music, etc and there were tons of families from azalea's school there. i felt bad that she wasn't able to hang out with her friends, but she was having her own kind of fun. 



thatcher and azalea returned from their trip in the afternoon and the kids wasted no time getting back to fighting ;) it was a nice break while it lasted. we hung out at home the rest of the night. 

today is ashford's first day of school! his last year before kindergarten. time flies! i'll have that recap next week :) 

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

labor day weekend 2018

the unofficial last weekend of summer is in the books! and it was a good one. but first i want to quickly back up to a few things from last week...

the kids didn't have any camps, so we did our best to fill the days. monday we drove up to lynnwood with our neighbors martine, bruce, and beatrice to go to an indoor playground. now that my kids are able to run around by themselves, those places are worth every penny ;) they had a blast. we even packed a lunch to make the visit last longer. 


we visited two new playgrounds between tuesday and wednesday. tuesday was the playground at the wallingford ball field.


 wednesday morning we all went to "the inc" for the first time this summer. azalea is technically too old to be in the childcare rooms, but i brought along some books and a tablet and she hung out with me. it worked great. we spent the second half of the morning running some errands in northgate while ashford stayed on site. 


in the afternoon i took both kids to sandel park in greenwood.

thursday morning azalea had an orthodontist appt. it was a nice surprise to learn that we no longer have to "turn" her expander each day. it will stay in her mouth for the next year, but it's basically holding the space for her new teeth to come in properly. we don't go back until november 7th when she will get braces on her top and bottom front four teeth. moving right along!

this is the kids' favorite part of the orthodontist...the mini cup of dippin dots they get ;) 

thursday afternoon i took them to ross park and then martine, bruce, and beatrice came over for a play date. friday morning we were back at the coworking space. in the afternoon we met our friends chrissy and eli at maple leaf park. whew! 

saturday morning we cleaned our apartment and got ready to host friends for the weekend. ian, joanna, and kyla came up from portland. we drove to discovery park in magnolia and hiked to the beach with them. it's such a beautiful place and still blows my mind that it's within the city limits. 





we took the shuttle bus back to the playground and the kids played for a while. we grilled dinner at our house and the grown ups hung out on the patio the rest of the night. it was sort of comical having all of us stay in our tiny 900 sq. ft. place. ian and joanna took our bed, i slept on the couch, and thatcher slept in the kids' room because they were having trouble settling down for sleep at almost 11pm! 

saturday morning we made them a big breakfast and then we packed some lunches to take to the mountains. we did our usual trip to gold creek pond because you get the most bang for your buck there. meaning it's close to the city, kid friendly hike, and most of all - insanely gorgeous. we had a picnic and did the 1 mile loop around the lake. 




we came home to rest for a bit then headed to populuxe brewing in ballard. ian works in the brewing industry so he was psyched to go. i suggested it and it was already on his list to check out. the kids had fun playing in the arcade room and with bean bags outside. it was packed and tons of kids there too! 

we had hoped to try a new spot for dinner in greenwood - a canadian themed restaurant but there was a live music event going on there and it wasn't going to be a family-friendly option because of the noise. so we went down the street to "naked city brewery" which is a restaurant. i hadn't been there before, but thatcher has. it was delicious! our final outing of the day was a stop at shilshole marina (next to golden gardens) at sunset. we missed the peak, but it was still beautiful! 


sunday morning ian and joanna took a trip to mighty os to get us donuts. then we all headed to seward park in south seattle. it's another spot that had been on our list for a long time and it did not disappoint. it's a huge park next to lake washington and we only touched the tip of it. 



the kids played on the playground and then it was time for them to hit the road back to portland. 


we were so glad they could come hang for the weekend and we're looking forward to doing the same in their city some time soon. 

the only other thing noteworthy about monday was we took azalea's training wheels off her bike and she was off and riding on two wheels in no time! she's been pretty resistant to taking them off this summer, but finally decided she was ready. we are so proud of her! 


today is her last day of summer vacation! tomorrow she starts second grade. ashford is still off until the 10th but we have a family meeting with his teachers this week. 

Monday, August 27, 2018

last week of camps, new car, anacortes

another week of summer down! thankfully by tuesday of last week, azalea was feeling better, so she got to attend her karate camp at the community center for the last 3 days. ashford went to golden gardens camp from monday to thursday, which means i got two (count them two) mornings to myself last week. a whole 2.5 hours each morning ;)

azalea loved her camp and got up to speed pretty quickly on what she missed. ashford enjoyed his camp too, but unfortunately they had to spend the entire week inside because of the poor air quality from wildfires. this is starting to be our new normal for august in seattle, it's really a shame since august is typically one of the nicest months of the year here. 


since azalea was feeling better tuesday night, the kids and i went out for dinner at "giddy up burgers" for the first time. 



thatcher was meeting up with some friends from minnesota who were in town. after dinner, he met us at the ballard community center for their summer tuesday night community get together. there was a bouncy house and my kids loooove any excuse to go in a bouncy house. they normally have the bouncy house outside, but they set it up in the gym because of the poor air quality. we knew lots of families who were there, and the kids had a blast getting their energy out. 

wednesday afternoon, i took the kids to the magnolia library for the first time. with all the smoke, they know families are looking for indoor activities to do with their kids, so they set up a special room with board games and other fun stuff - it was a big hit. we managed to kill a couple hours there. they especially loved these straw connector things:

 

thursday night i got to go to a movie with my friend chrissy who recently moved back to seattle. we saw "crazy rich asians" and it was really cute. now i need to read the book. i only go to a (grown up) movie in the theater once every 1-2 years these days, so it was a treat. 

friday afternoon the kids and i went to a playdate at a party room of the apartment building where one of ashford's preschool buddies lives. we went there once before and it is such a nice space. a couple other moms and kids from preschool were there too, so it was nice to catch up with them. unfortunately two of them are off to kindergarten this year and the other one is switching preschools, but we hope to still stay in touch with them. 

saturday was a big day for us! we had an appointment to test drive subarus at the dealer in our neighborhood. our hyundai elantra hit 10 years this summer and that is about the time that we usually think about getting a new car. thatcher has been dreaming of having something with 4 wheel drive for trips to the mountains (and i figure it would be nice to have whenever we move back to minnesota and live in snow again). we narrowed it down to the forester and the outback and went to go check them out. we took the kids along and popped their carseats in the back and the sales lady also joined us for the rides. we fell in love with the forester and began the buying process right when we got back. we ended up being at the dealer for 3 hours (which was about 2 hours too long for the kids - ha), but we are now the proud owners of this beauty: 


we've never owned an SUV before and are amazed at how much fancier 2018 cars feel than 2008 cars, in general. we are really excited about the extra space and the upgrade. our first outing was to go downtown to meet up with one of thatcher's old coworkers, eric and his wife elise who were in town. we walked through pike place market, got some treats, and then walked to belltown to get coffee. it was really nice to catch up with them. if it feels like we see a lot of people who are randomly in town, it's because as it turns out, a lot of people come to seattle on vacation :) lucky for us! 

sunday morning we were itching to take our new ride somewhere a bit farther. so we decided on a day trip to anacortes. it's about 1.5 hours north of seattle and it's a beautiful spot, right on the water. we've been there a couple times before. we stopped in mount vernon on the way for a snack.



 then we went straight to our favorite restaurant "secret cove", which has really nice views. 


after lunch we went to cap sante park, which had amazing cliffs overlooking the water. the pictures make it look way more dangerous than it was. we were no where close to the actual drop offs ;) it was super windy there!



nice smile, ashford



after that we went to washington park and let the kids play on the playground and throw some rocks at the beach. 



then we headed back to seattle (which took way longer than the way there, due to traffic). it was a fun day. mostly...you know there was also a lot of sibling spats, whining, and stressed parenting. the usual. ha. 

here we go into our last week(s) of summer vacation. only one (and a half) more for azalea and two more for ashford. i'm ready for school to start and to get back to some routine, but i will try to embrace this time as much as i can because the kids are growing up so quickly and i know life won't be like this forever. i feel so lucky to get to spend so much time with them .

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