Tuesday, November 13, 2018

braces, pioneer square, veterans day

we had a 3 day weekend thanks to veterans day. thatcher gets the day off since he works for the government, and there was no school for the kids. but before i get to our weekend, i want to back up to last week. 

the biggest news of the week is that azalea got braces! this has been on the calendar for a couple months. you'll remember she got an expander put in back in july. she's lost a couple more teeth since then and her adult teeth have been filling in. she was having major crowding, so the expander and braces are a must. she got the braces put on wednesday morning. only about half of her teeth have brackets on them for now, but the wires go all the way across. they estimate she will wear them for a year. she will get new brackets put on as she loses more teeth and new adult ones come in. she has been such a trooper so far. she was a little nervous to get them put on and she's been dealing with some soreness, but overall she thinks they are pretty cool.

she looks like a mini teenager now ;) 

when i dropped her off at school (late), she walked into her classroom and announced "i got braces!" and everyone crowded around her and ooohed and ahhhhed. it was so cute. she goes back again in 6 weeks for a check up. they estimate she will need the braces for about a year. i've had multiple moms of girls at school come up to me and tell me their daughter is asking for braces now. haha! 

moving onto the weekend...friday night was our usual night in. saturday morning thatcher and ashford slept til after 8 am(!). thatcher took the kids to cafe mox for board games and chocolate milk. always a hit! i took 4 bags of donations to goodwill and then spent some time browsing. i left with 2 sweaters and a pair of jcrew jeans. i love the thrill of the hunt there. i still had some solo time left, so i stopped at "un bien" and got a carribean sandwich for lunch. i hadn't been there since last june and it is one of my favorite places in seattle. i even sat outside and ate under the heat lamps. in the afternoon we dropped off thatcher at the mall to look for some new work clothes and then i took the kids to maple leaf park. it was a beautiful day - 50 and sunny, but it was windy and ended up feeling colder than i was anticipating. they still had fun. we picked up thatcher and came home to hang out for a few hours before azalea and i headed to a school function. her school hosted a "fall harvest party" for the families. it was a pot luck with lots of delicious food and adult beverages. they had a chaperoned kids room downstairs where the kids could watch a movie. it was great! then we came home and it was off to bed for the kids. thatcher and i relaxed the rest of the night. 

sunday morning we made a big breakfast and hung out at home for a few hours. at lunch time, we went downtown to pioneer square to meet up with thatcher's old coworker/friend jackie who was in town from minneapolis. we had lunch with her at zeitgeist coffee. it was nice to catch up! last time i was at zeitgeist was may 2015 when thatcher, ashford, and i came into town to look for a place to rent. it feels like just yesterday and a million years ago all in one.


 after we parted ways with jackie, we stopped by thatcher's work and also a cool waterfall garden. 



we promised the kids we could go to the science museum this weekend, so we went there on our way home. it's nice having a membership because we can just pop in for an hour. i went to the grocery store and we made turkey burgers for dinner. then we just relaxed the rest of the night. oh, we started reading harry potter as a family. neither thatcher nor i have ever read the books, if you can believe that! 

monday we were all home for veterans day. however, i had to work for a little while in the morning because my office in minneapolis was not closed, but it was a quiet day because it's a bank holiday. we hung out at home all morning. after lunch, thatcher went for a bike ride and i took the kids to a playground to meet my friend erica and her boys. they couldn't stay too long, so we decided to go to another playground on the way home. it was a beautiful day - almost 60 degrees! thatcher was gone for almost 4 hours on his bike ride. he used to bike all the time and hasn't much for the last couple years, so i'm glad he could go. we made a thai/lao dish for dinner (really good!) and relaxed for the rest of the night. 

now onto a short week! i can't believe thanksgiving is coming so quickly! 

Friday, November 9, 2018

#onedayhh: i'm at it again

if you've been reading my blog for a while (or follow me on instagram), you know that i've participated in #onedayhh since 2014. what is #onedayhh? it's a one day a year social media challenge where you post a picture of every hour of your day. i will fully admit to being nosy and enjoying seeing what other people are up to during their day (especially the stuff that wouldn't normally get posted). i always translate this challenge into a blog post, so i can look back over time and remember what an "average" day looked like at the time. here are my posts from the past few years: 

2017  |  2016  |  2015  | 2014

this year there was a slight difference in the way i posted my pictures. instead of having them in my regular instagram feed (which clogs up other people's feeds with a barrage of my pictures), i used the "stories" feature on instagram, so people could view it as a live slideshow and the pictures would disappear after 24 hours. of course i saved them all to use in this blog post. so, here we go! 

my day started around 6:45 am when the kids woke up and went out to the kitchen to have breakfast with thatcher. 6:45 am is a good wake up time for azalea, she often is up by 6:20 (especially if she hears thatcher in the kitchen). i hopped in the shower while they ate.

{ 7:00 am }

an hour later, we were all fed and ready for the day. the kids watched their shows until 8:45 am when we left the house for school. 

{8:00 am } 

we made our 5 minute walking commute up to school, azalea's starts at 8:55 am and ashford's starts at 9:00 am and they are right next to each other. it was only 37 degrees out, the coldest morning we've had this fall! 

{ 8:50 am }

after i dropped off the kids, i walked up to java bean and got a chai cider (yum!) and then grabbed some groceries at QFC. i feel like i practically live at that store, but it's so close i can't avoid it. when i got home, i started my work for the day. i work anywhere between 1 and 2 hours a day right now, still doing book keeping for my employer in minneapolis. i can't believe this setup is still going strong. i'm so thankful for the (small amount) of income it provides our family, the flexibility, and the fact that my resume has remained continuous. 

{ 10:15 am }

after i finished my work, i made myself a bagel with cream cheese and smoked salmon for lunch. and a sparkling water - my lunch time ritual. i've been listening to christmas music every morning for the last couple weeks and it just makes me so darn happy. :) 

{ 11:20 am }

i spent the rest of my kid-free morning picking up our apartment, doing a load of laundry, and reading a few blogs. at 12:25, i headed up to the community center to get ashford. 

{ 12:35 pm }

every day after school (as long as it's dry out), ashford and 3-4 of his buddies from school play on the playground. they have been super into climbing trees lately. thankfully they can't go too high because the branches get too small. so he can feel like he is doing something exciting without me having a heart attack. win-win. haha! it was a balmy 44 degrees by this time, but sunny! 

{ 1:15 pm }

we got home, dropped his stuff off inside and he immediately asked to go back outside to play. so we bounced the ball back and forth for a bit. 

{ 2:30 pm } 

ashford was still gung-ho about playing outside. i convinced him to bring some lego guys outside and play with them independently while i read my book for a little bit. score! at 3:15 pm we headed to azalea's school for pick up. 

{ 3:30 pm }

normally we would go to the playground at her school or back to the community center playground, but yesterday we went to the school library because i offered to help with an art contest that was happening. they didn't end up needing much help, so i offered to take my friend beth's daughter audrey back to our house to play until beth was finished there. 

{ 4:50 pm }

the kids had fun playing together and they all got along! they had a snack before beth picked up audrey a little after 5:00 pm. thatcher texted me that he left work early and was on his way home - always an exciting text to get! 

{5:50 pm }

he arrived home around 5:30 pm and soon was on the computer playing minecraft with the kids. i got to hide in the kitchen and prep ingredients for our dinner - home made pizza. then we all sat down and ate together. 

{ 6:45 pm }

after dinner was cleaned up, i folded some laundry. it's my ritual to do a load every day. crazy or brilliant, you decide ;) ashford had a huuuuuge meltdown (like the worst one i had seen in months) about us telling the kids they were done using the computer for the night. oy. i helped get them into their pajamas and brush their teeth, read a book and then thatcher put them to sleep. 

{ 8:00 pm }

my friend chrissy and i were planning to get together earlier in the week to watch the election results at a bar, but she had to cancel. so, we decided to go out thursday night instead. i picked "the dane" because it's super close to her house and she hadn't been there yet (she's recently back in seattle after living in germany for 2 years). i love the dane. it is such a cute, cozy neighborhood spot. they had a wine tasting, so we each ordered a glass of one of the featured wines (it was a red wine with a little bit of fizz to it - so unique and delicious!) and a strawberry rhubarb bar and a sea salt chocolate chip cookie. yum!

{10:00 pm }

i got home a little before 10:00 pm and it was off to bed for thatcher and me. try not to be jealous of my super attractive teeth brushing selfie ;) 

hope you enjoyed this little glimpse into my day. thanks for following along! 

Monday, November 5, 2018

quiet november weekend

i don't have a ton to share from the weekend, but here i am nonetheless :) we went into this weekend with zero plans, which is always a mixture of nice, and terrifying. haha. i say terrifying because we have two little people in our house who need at least some structure in order for every one to stay sane and get through the days. one of them more than the other, but that's neither here nor there. 

i want to remember: on friday afternoon the kids played with this indoor/outdoor cat that lives on our street for over an hour. it was so sweet with them.


 friday night we stayed in, and the kids played minecraft with thatcher. 

saturday morning we decided to go on a little day trip to camano island. it's one of the many islands surrounding seattle and we had not been there yet despite it only being an hour drive. it was lightly raining when we left the house. we hoped it wouldn't get wetter than that...but spoiler alert: it did. when we arrived, we first stopped for lunch at "naked city brewing" which also has a location in greenwood that we've been to. we all got yummy burgers and watched the rain fall out the window. i noticed there was a library next door, so we stopped in for a little bit to see if the rain would let up. (it didn't). we decided to continue on to the state park because that's what we came for. we got to the deserted beach and got out of the car for 5 whole minutes before we decided the rain and wind was too unpleasant to be in. womp womp. 


it was still beautiful


at least we got a pretty drive in. the fall colors are still nice, though they are starting to disappear now. the rest of the day, we hung out at home. thatcher made a pumpkin cake with maple cinnamon frosting for dessert and it was delish! 

sunday we stayed home/around the neighborhood. azalea and i went to java bean and the grocery store in the morning. they have a chai hot cider for fall that i tried for the first time and it was so good. i can't wait to have it again. 

 she is the sweetest when we spend time one on one.

we hung out at home for most of the afternoon and then took the kids up to the school's black top with their bikes. we made dinner and the kids played more minecraft (it's a weekend treat for them). 

i'll be honest, sunday was a tough day on the parenting front. the kids go from fighting to bouncing off the walls to refusing to listen to whining and repeat and repeat. all. day. long. it doesn't bode well for thatcher's and my patience with each other either. it was one of those days where i wonder why we are living halfway across the country from our support system. but we love it here and it has been worth it overall, there are just days when it's harder than others. 

Thursday, November 1, 2018

halloween 2018

another halloween has come and gone! i haven't dressed up for halloween for at least 12 years, but this year i decided i wanted to. when we went to goodwill and value village to look for costumes for the kids, i checked out the second hand adult costumes and found a super woman dress. the kids wanted to be batman and batgirl, so i thought it was a good fit :) we didn't have any luck convincing thatcher to dress up, though. ha! 

tuesday night we finally got to light our pumpkins outside:


on wednesday, ashford got to wear his costume to school and they painted pumpkins to celebrate. 


azalea's school doesn't allow halloween celebrations (to be respectful of everyone's' backgrounds and beliefs), they did a fall craft instead.

here are the kids before we left the house: 


for the second year in a row, we went down to the ballard business district for trick or treating in the late afternoon. i was so excited to do it again after realizing how fun it was last year. i thought i was a traditionalist who would only accept house-to-house trick or treating, but this is actually way more fun. it's like a halloween party with families all dressed up, all of the businesses hand out candy, and everyone is in a great mood. we met thatcher down there, as well as vanessa and her family. ewan was lego batman, so we were quite the super hero crew: 




we tricked or treated for about an hour and a half before heading to "hi life" for dinner. we did that last year as well. it was really fun. we were home by 7:30 to count/sort our loot, and then off to bed! 


i am so excited for the next two months! i've already pumped some christmas music today (are you surprised?) and i'm counting down the days until we can put our tree up. my favorite time of year! 

Monday, October 29, 2018

cousin time, dinner out, pumpkin carving

*edited to add: i forgot to mention grandpa durant was not able to fly out last wednesday but he will be coming at the end of november with grandma cheryl instead :) 

on friday thatcher worked a short day, which was nice. his cousin sage was in town from san diego with his wife kristen and their 2 year old daughter, stella for a conference and they wanted to get together with us. i've only met sage and kristen a couple of times and we had not met their daughter yet. she was such a cutie. she instantly became my "bff" and kept saying she wanted "the other mom" to hold her :) we hung out at our house for a bit and then walked to the locks. there was a huge working boat coming through, so that was cool to see. 



then we came back to our house and ordered thai food for dinner. it was a fun night! 

saturday morning thatcher took the kids to carkeek park/beach to meet sage and stella while kristen was at her conference. they had fun and i got to relax at home. win-win!




 we all relaxed at home in the afternoon. in the evening, i had plans to meet my friend chrissy for dinner at "bramling cross" in ballard. i walked down there in the pouring rain and got soaked despite using an umbrella. we had a delicious dinner and a great time catching up. it was still pouring when it was time to leave, so i decided to get a lyft home. $6 to stay dry was totally worth it. and the driver had a huge bucket of halloween candy in the back, so that was fun. 



sunday morning we hung out at home. in the afternoon, azalea had a play date at her friend audrey's and the rest of us went to rei. thatcher did some shopping and i watched ashford play in the tree house. when we got home, it was pumpkin carving time!


 the kids were more into it this year than they have been in the past. you know how it usually goes: they act super excited and then leave the table after 5 minutes for the parents to do the rest ;) but ashford insisted on cleaning out his for a good 20 minutes. they both drew the faces they wanted on for their jack-o-lantern and thatcher cut them out. here are the finished products: 


unfortunately it was super rainy on sunday as well, so we weren't able to go outside and light them. but we will this week for sure! we made dinner and the kids watched the smurfs movie to end the night. 

i'll be back later this week with a halloween recap. we're going trick or treating on market street and ballard ave. and then out for dinner with our friends vanessa, matt, ewan, and vanessa's mom who is in town. should be fun! fingers crossed that it doesn't rain. 

Monday, October 22, 2018

when daddys away, we will play!

thatcher left for a work conference in pittsburgh on saturday morning, so it was just me and the kiddos all weekend. and we kept pretty busy! because that's how i keep my sanity intact while solo parenting ;) 

backing up to friday, i have to share this picture of the coolest fog that was hanging around ballard all day...


on saturday morning we went to swanson's nursery to check out their fall festivities. we've gone the last couple years and its nice because it's (mostly) free. they have an indoor hay bale maze, pumpkin decorating ( with glitter!), and the ever-popular koi fish pond. in past years, they've had goats but they weren't there this year. bummer! the kids each decorated a pumpkin and ran around in the maze. it was a fun morning. 





in the afternoon, azalea went to a play date at her classmate maggie's house with a group of girls. they were calling it a "unicorn party". love it :) then we picked her up and went straight to a birthday party for one of ashford's buddys from preschool last year, lochlann. it was a halloween birthday party, so you can see a sneak peek of the kids' costumes. we ate pizza and cake and the kids ran around. 


we got home at 5:15 and since we had eaten dinner already and i was convinced it had to be bed time, but no, it wasn't. ha! we relaxed the rest of the night. 

sunday was the second super early morning in a row. they didn't go easy on me when it came to sleep this weekend. it seemed like one or the other was awake in the 5:00 hour each morning. we hung out at home all morning and then i took them to a new restaurant called "crown hill broiler" for lunch. it's about a mile and a half away and i had heard from multiple friends that the food was great. the food was pretty good...but we were one of two tables occupied in the whole place, which is always a bit awkward. and the manager was serving the tables. i hope they get some more traction soon. after sort of a tumultuous morning at home, the kids were complete angels at the restaurant thanks to the big screen tvs playing football. they had all sorts of questions about who was playing, etc. it was pretty cute. 


after lunch we went to playdate seattle in south lake union with our friends julie and ben. ben has been in azalea's class for the past 2 years and his mom is my friend. we ended up staying for 3 hours which was a nice way to kill the afternoon. we grabbed groceries on the way home and then i made one of my favorite meals: italian chicken sausage and roasted veggies: fingerling potatoes, green peppers, red onion, and broccoli. it's super easy and so good! 


we ended the night by watching "hotel transylvania 3" which the kids have been wanting to see. 

two more days til thatcher returns and his dad comes into town as well! 

Monday, October 15, 2018

happiest moms on whidbey island

what a weekend! my group of mom friends and i have done a girl's weekend three times since we all met in 2015. we look forward to it for months and without fail, it always goes way too fast, but we did have the best time together! we had a smaller group this year. one of our friends moved away this summer and another had a separate girl's weekend to attend, but on the same island! (we ended up meeting up with her and her friends, which was fun!). 

vanessa, heather, and i met for brunch in ballard on friday morning, while we waited for erica to be ready to leave town. we went to "portage bay cafe", which is only a few blocks from me, but i've only been there one other time. it was delish! after that we hit the road to drive to whidbey island, which is a little under two hours from seattle. we stopped at the grocery store on the way up to buy food and drinks for the weekend. 

we stayed in a rental house that we found on vrbo called "luna shores", located outside the town of oak harbor on whidbey. this was definitely my favorite rental house we've stayed at. it was right on the water (you could hear the waves from inside), super well-maintained, hot tub, fireplace, beautifully built out, and had everything we could ever want or need! 


our house was along this road




friday night we sat in the hot tub and watched the sun go down. it was spectacular! i had to keep pinching myself because it was so beautiful, it didn't even seem real. 


we had appetizers for dinner and then watched "10 things i hate about you." i hadn't seen that movie in years and it was one of my favorites from when i was a teenager. i still knew every line ;) we all went to bed at...wait for it...9:45. and it felt fantastic! 

saturday morning i was the first one awake at 7:30. i sat in front of the fireplace and read my book, it was heavenly! we made a big breakfast (veggie egg scramble, bacon, bagels, and fruit) and relaxed in our pajamas for quite a few hours. i also sat in the hot tub by myself for a little bit. in the afternoon, we decided to get dressed and drive to the town of coupeville, 6 miles away. 


heather, me, erica, and vanessa

we ate lunch at "christopher's on whidbey" and it was really good. after lunch, we learned our friend meredith and her friends were in the same town having lunch, so we met up with them at a wine tasting room on the main street. one of her friends had her 2 month old baby along and he was adorable! we sat on the patio and chatted with them. it was the most beautiful sunny, fall day. 



we grabbed some ice cream across the street to end the outing.  

we drove back to the house and got in the hot tub just in time for sun set again (so romantic. haha!). we ate more snacks and appetizers for dinner in our pajamas. then we watched part of "you've got mail" before every one decided they were too tired and would rather go to bed. it was not even 11pm. (party animals!)

i was the first one awake again on sunday morning and enjoyed the quiet house. we ate leftovers from saturday's breakfast, cleaned up the house, and then it was time to check out :( 


we decided to take the ferry on the way back (we did the deception bridge on the way there). we grabbed some coffee before hopping on the ferry. and before we knew it, we were back in seattle! 

thatcher was home with the kids all weekend and they had a fun time. azalea had a birthday party on saturday morning, and they also hung out with vanessa's husband and son. i missed them, but it was sooooo nice to just worry about myself for 48 hours. so relaxing! is it too soon to start dreaming about our next one? 

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