Monday, March 20, 2017

happy first day of spring!

it's officially the first day of spring today, and this weekend was pretty much perfect in my book. seattle reminded me of minneapolis because on sunday the sun came out and it was 49 degrees and everyone acted like it was summer! ha! i was giddy because everyone was healthy in our house, which meant we got to do fun things. the weekend flew by! 

friday night both kids were asleep on the couch by 5pm. ummm yeah, not good. i tried waking them multiple times, but they were out! we finally got them up at 7pm and kept them up until 9:30, knowing that they wouldn't be tired for bed. at 10:45 they were still awake in their room and complaining that they didn't want to go to bed. i had fallen asleep, but woke up to thatcher trying to get them to go to sleep. it was after 11 by the time they actually did. and they only slept about 15 minutes later than normal on saturday morning. of course! ashford is in a tough phase where he refuses to nap most days, but can't quite make it through the day without one. and azalea is always really tired after her 6+ hour day at school, as well. 

saturday morning we got together with our minnesota friends mark, tina, and emily who live in bothell. we hadn't seen them since september (how?!), so needless to say it was nice to catch up. they came to our place and the kids played for a bit. emily is 15 months now, so she looooved playing with my kids. so cute! we all walked down to 8oz burger co for lunch and stuffed ourselves. it was a fun morning. here is my attempt at getting a picture of all 3 kids together: 

in the evening, our friends vanessa and matt dropped off their son ewan so they could have a date night. the boys were pretty wild per usual. azalea just looks at them like they are crazy. haha. we hung out with matt and vanessa for a bit when they returned. if you don't have grandparents in town, i can't recommend date night swaps enough! 

sunday morning we woke up to SUN! you would not believe how rarely the sun has come out the last few months. it's crazy! thatcher headed out early for a hike with a friend, so it was just the kids and i for the morning. i took them to top pot donuts. i hadn't been to a donut shop in months. i've mentioned my attempt to clean up my diet a bit and there is your proof that it's working ;) it was such a treat to go there! 

after donuts, we drove about 30 mins north to the town of mountlake terrace. the kids love the indoor play area at their recreation center. as of next week, our soon-to-be 6 year old will be too old to play there, so we made one last trip! thatcher was back from his hike by the time we got home. here is a picture from his hike: 

 he entertained the kids for most of the afternoon. i brought nine grocery bags of stuff to goodwill to donate (that felt so good!). i also may or may not have browsed the store and brought home 6 new articles of clothing. oops! i just can't help it. this goodwill is like a goldmine for inexpensive, nice quality clothing. i got 3 tops, 1 pair of jean shorts, a casual blazer, and a lace skirt for $27! 

when i got home, we took the kids to the park for a bit, then i went grocery shopping...alone :) we grilled dinner and ashford fell asleep at 6:30 in thatcher's arms. yiiiikes. 

hope you had a good weekend. ashford and i are off to co-working preschool this morning. 

Monday, March 13, 2017

sickness, new books, rain rain rain

i don't have a whole lot today, just popping in with some small updates. just as ashford was getting over his cold, guess who got it next? thatcher and me! thatcher had it during the week (which meant he stayed home from work for the better part of the week), and i got it this weekend. while it's never fun to be sick, i'm thankful we didn't have much on the calendar this weekend. thatcher was so good about taking care of the kids, grocery shopping, and making every meal. not that he doesn't normally do those things, but he did it all this weekend, while i moved between the bed and the couch, blowing my nose, coughing, and wiping my watery eyes. good times! i'm finally feeling better. i had recently told people that none of us had been sick this winter. dang it, why did i do that? 

so, that's pretty much the weekend recap. the good news out of all of this is, i've read 2 books in the last 2 weeks, which is really good for me! at least these days. i love reading, but i'm not the best about making the time for it (aka, i try to read right before bed and end up falling asleep after a few pages). these are the 2 books i read: 

i liked them both! i'll admit they are total "chick lit" but honestly that's my favorite type of book to read: friendship, a love story, light, airy, and humorous. now i have the reading bug and want to get back to the library asap. that's right, the good old library! 

finally, i must comment on the weather, if only so i can look back and remember the winter it rained foreverrrrr in seattle. i'm not kidding - i think it has rained 12-13 out of the last 14 days. the highs are finally hitting 50, so we are moving in the right direction there. i know i live in seattle, but seriously...enough is enough! i know it snowed in minnesota over the weekend, so maybe i should just be quiet now :) 

Monday, March 6, 2017

date night, big boy bed, battery tunnel

ashford was sort of under the weather last week. a low grade fever kept us home last tuesday. he's also had a cough, which leads to trouble sleeping. he was ending up in our bed before 11pm every night for most of the week and no one was getting good quality sleep. friday night thatcher and i got the kids to bed and watched a movie. actually, he watched a movie and i fell asleep on the couch until ashford woke up at 10, then we moved to the bed ;) 

saturday morning we all went to rei because thatcher had a couple things he wanted to look at and they have an indoor play area for the kids. for some reason they weren't super into it this time. after 5 whole minutes they were complaining of hunger and asking when we were gonna leave. siiiigh :) thatcher bought his stuff and we headed home. in the afternoon we couldn't persuade ashford to a take a nap, but azalea fell asleep on the couch. sounds about right. in the evening, we dropped the kids off at vanessa, matt, and ewan's so we could have a date night! thatcher and i went to a vegetarian thai place in our neighborhood and then got some ice cream afterwards. 

 how cute is this place?

 i had the coffee with oreo...yum!

we were back to their house by 7pm, so we all hung out for a bit. it was a fun night. when we got home, it was bed time and not just any bed time, but ashford's first time going to sleep in his crib-turned-big-boy-bed. yes, that's right, after 3 years and 2 months, he finally figured out how to climb out, so we decided it was time. haha. 

pretty excited

he slept in his bed until 5:30am before coming in our bed. i can't remember the last time that happened. as if that wasn't exciting enough, our whole family slept until 7:30am on sunday. miracles do happen! :) 

sunday morning we went to an event downtown called "walk the battery". they closed the battery (highway) tunnel for construction, but first opened it up for pedestrian access. it was about 3/4 mile each way. we ran into multiple families we know there. it was really unique and fun! 

 ashford was a little scared of the whole thing and mostly wanted to be carried

in the afternoon, we hung out at home and azalea and i took a trip to the library and grocery store. we made smoked salmon pasta for dinner, then did baths, and early to bed for the kiddos :) 

Friday, March 3, 2017

friday tidbits

i haven't done one of these posts in a while and they are always fun, so here goes....

1. visitors! we've been in a dry spell for visitors for the last...5 months? but now we have three rounds of visitors scheduled for the spring. my brother is coming at the end of april, my father in law durant is coming at the beginning of may and finally, my mom is coming in mid may. whew, it's gonna be busy! but i can't wait. here is a picture from my mom's last visit: 

2. new shoes and bag! my orders i mentioned the other day haven't come yet. i bet they will come all at the same time over the weekend and i'll get the side eye from thatcher (ha!). in the mean time, i wanted to share these two things i got recently. 

i've been carrying around a diaper bag for almost 6(!) years and using it as my purse 95% of the time. we were on our second diaper bag during that time and it was literally falling apart, but i didn't want another diaper bag because ashford will be out of diapers soon (god willing). enter the mom bag! i've been seeing these cognac tote bags all over and i love them! i got this one from old navy for $25 on sale. i've had it for over a month now and i love it! why didn't i get on the "diaper bag that's not really a diaper bag" train earlier? :) 

these shoes! you might remember last year i had some very similar shoes from kmart (gotta love it). i looooooved those shoes, they are so comfortable and wore them until they were literally falling apart (are we seeing a theme here?) they stopped making them and i was so bummed. target has some similar ones, but i don't like them as much. my friend vanessa was at fred meyer the other day and saw these and sent me a picture of them. they are my exact shoes i had under a different brand name! they were a little more expensive than the other ones, but still only $25. i was so excited she found them. i was sort of tempted to buy a few pairs for when these wear out, but stopped myself. 

3. no bake energy balls! i made these a few years ago, but hadn't made them since. i rediscovered them recently, so i wanted to share. they are so good and pretty darn healthy - if you don't eat 10 of them in one sitting ;) it really helps curb my sugar cravings. here is the recipe

4. the weekend! we don't have much planned this weekend and the weather is supposed to be crummy, but thatcher and i get a date night tomorrow night and that's always a good thing! hope you have a good one!

Monday, February 27, 2017

february wrap up: mid-winter break, girls night out, park time

the last weekend of february is in the books. i have to say, february went by twice as fast as january did! i'm so excited for march and hopefully some nice spring weather - hear that seattle?! no more of this upper 30's/lower 40's rain stuff. we were spoiled at this time last year with much nicer weather. also, my minnesota self is like "why are you talking about spring already?"  

backing up a bit...azalea was off school all last week for "mid winter break" (yeah, i don't know why that is a thing either, especially when they get a whole week in april for spring break). not to mention ashford is basically done with naps, soooo we had lots of time to fill. thankfully i was able to bring azalea along to the co-working preschool 2 mornings. other than that, we had lots of trips to the playground, a coffee shop visit, some movies and endless board games at home. she is looking forward to being back at school again :)

friday night i went out with my group of mama friends to a restaurant in my neighborhood called the sexton. i've walked by it a million times, but it was my first time going there. it's a southern comfort food themed place (yummo!). the cocktails and food (fried chicken, waffles, mac & cheese, brussels sprouts, etc) were all so delicious. i was stuffed when we left. catching up with these ladies was a great way to end the week! 

saturday we didn't have any plans. thatcher ended up taking the kids to the library in the morning and i did a little invoicing at home. after lunch, we all laid down and took a 2.5 hour nap! this was my biggest parenting win of the week, if not the month ;) it felt so good! in the late afternoon, i took the kids to the park. ashford is becoming a little dare devil!


we had breakfast for dinner and then watched "inside out" for a movie night with the kids. 

sunday morning thatcher took the kids to the zoo, so i could get some more invoicing done. i went to toast coffee shop to work, then got my hair trimmed quickly afterwards. it had been at least 7 months! in the afternoon, thatcher met up with a friend and i hung out with the kids. it was a rainy and cold day, so we stayed home. we had "fend for yourself" dinner (aka every one ate something different) and the kids watched "the incredibles" which has been a big favorite around here lately. we always do baths sunday night (and, er, maybe one other night of the week) ;) 

hope you had a good weekend! i have some new clothes coming in the mail this week, so if they are winners, i will share. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

vancouver weekend

hello! we are back from a wonderful weekend in vancouver, bc. if you've read my blog for a few years, you'll remember thatcher and i traveled there in 2012 (part 1 and part 2) when i had a work conference. i fell so hard for this city, it's unbelievably beautiful. we live just a 2.5 hour drive from it now, so i can't believe it has taken us this long to go back! before i get to this weekend's trip (and a bajillion pictures), here is a little flashback to 2012. azalea had just turned one and she stayed with thatcher's parents for 4 days. it was my first time away from her over night. we didn't know about my dad's cancer yet and we never dreamed we would actually move across the country. it's crazy how much change can happen in 5 years. 

we hit the road saturday morning. this was our first road trip with our newly purchased tablet and portable dvd player for the car. we've done many (short) road trips with the kids sans electronics and some of them have been...less than pleasant, so we decided it was time to take the plunge. and i'm so glad we did! it kept them much happier, which in turn was much more enjoyable for every one :) i even got to read a book - what a treat! 

we ended up having to wait about an hour to cross the border. if you are wondering, thatcher and i needed passports (or passport cards), but the kids only needed birth certificates because we were traveling by car. if you fly to canada, i believe kids need passports now. 

once we arrived in vancouver, we drove over to broadway to look for a place for lunch. we ended up at a nerdy pub (think super heroes, lord of the rings decor, etc). it was a fun place and the food was good, even though there was no kid's menu. 

next we headed to north vancouver to the capilano suspension bridge park. it was incredible. every detail of the park - the walkways, the railings, the signage was all so well designed. and the air smelled so incredibly fresh. the main attraction of the park is of course the suspension bridge and it was so cool! i'm not the hugest fan of heights, but it didn't really bother me. 

you can see the catwalk from the bridge.

the kids thought it was so cool how it bounced as we walked across it. 

there are also smaller suspension bridges, catwalks, and treehouses that make up the park. everything was so well-done, it was truly impressive.

 it's a little expensive, but i highly recommend coming here if you are ever in vancouver. 

next we headed towards downtown to check into our hotel. we stayed at the pinnacle hotel, which was one block away from the water. our room had a harbor view and it was beautiful! 

 by night 

we relaxed for a bit before heading out for a late dinner. we probably should have planned a bit better and not waited until 7pm because after wandering around for 30 minutes...we ended up at chipotle because it was the most kid-friendly option. ha oh well. we are always up for chipotle, even in a foreign country ;) we retired back to the hotel after and lights were out by 9:15. 

sunday morning we woke up to more (light) rain. 

the kids were so excited to go in the hotel pool that we got there by 7:30am!
after swimming, we got ready for the day then walked to a quick casual restaurant called smak that had thatcher-friendly breakfast options. gluten and dairy free! woo hoo!

photo by azalea :)

  after breakfast, we walked to the ferry terminal and took a ferry over to north vancouver. there is an indoor public market there, so we walked around for a bit and got a smoothie and some cookies for a snack. we took the ferry back as well.

next we took a train over to yaletown and walked around a bit.

from yaletown we took an aqua bus to granville island. the aqua bus was much smaller and a shorter ride than the ferry.

 it was super busy there because of an event going on and the rain was picking up. we took shelter in another public market, and ultimately decided to go to a restaurant called cats socialhouse for lunch because it was less crowded. it was pretty kid-friendly and had good food! 

 the view from granville island

we took a longer trip back on the aqua bus, all the way to the 2010 olympic village which has been turned into a little neighborhood of apartments and businesses. 

he thought this was hilarious every time i did it.

we took the train back to the hotel to rest for a bit, then went out in search of some dinner. we decided to keep it simple and get some ready-made stuff from the grocery store a block away. they had a little "eat in" area that we took advantage of. they even had wine, that i happily ordered. fancy right?! as the joy of sharing a hotel room with little ones goes, we were all in bed by 8:30 that night :)

monday was our last day and to our delight, the sun actually came out! vancouver is beautiful in any weather, but on a clear day it's the tops! 

after some tim horton's donuts for breakfast (as one does in canada), we went back to the hotel for one more swim. 

 then we got ready for the day and thatcher took the kids to a playground nearby while i packed everything up and read my book for a little bit! so nice!

we checked out of the hotel, then walked along the path by the harbor. i feel like our pictures do not do the beauty justice. 


we got in the car and drove to the kitsilano area for lunch. we went to a place called nelly's grill. it was sort of a diner and very kid-friendly. win-win! after that, we were ready to start our journey home. the border was slightly quicker this time (about 45 minutes), but it was raining cats and dogs for most of the drive through washington, so that was a bit nerve-wracking. but we made it home safely. 

so that was the glossy recap of the trip. i left out all of the whining, tantrums, and general unpleasantness along the way. the kids are getting easier to travel with these days, but they have their moments. heck, i have my moments too. ;) ashford is still a bit young to remember these experiences when he gets older, but it's cool to think we are actively filling up azalea's memory bank now. i hope my kids have a strong appreciation for travel when they leave home. both thatcher and i grew up in families that traveled a lot and we both love exploring new places and sharing them with the kids. 


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