Monday, June 19, 2017

father's day weekend

another weekend has come and gone! this weekend didn't go exactly as planned, but still turned out to be a pretty good one...

friday morning thatcher got to attend the "dads and donuts" father's day event in azalea's classroom. the kids read the cards they wrote, sang a song for all the dads, and enjoyed their treats. here is a picture of azalea's card: 



friday night was azalea's school carnival. she was so excited for it! it brought me back to my own school carnival days and how much fun they were, i totally get it :) we headed there when thatcher got home from work, and our friends vanessa and ewan joined us. i was happy to learn that all the games and activities were free - and no pesky tickets needed! the kids did a bean bag toss, the fishing game, petting zoo, and the cupcake walk.



we got hotdogs and sausages for dinner and ice cream for dessert. i had a 30 minute volunteer shift at the fishing booth from 7-7:30, so that was fun! the carnival was held outside on the blacktop next to the playground and it was a little cool out, but the sun was shining. the kids were not happy when it was time to go home, but such is life! 

saturday we had planned to go to the solstice parade and naked bike ride (yes really!) in fremont. we went two years ago right after we moved here and it was so fun and quirky. people paint their bodies and ride bikes at the start of the parade. it's a sight to be seen for sure ;) it wasn't until the afternoon, so we spent the morning with the kid's bikes at the school playground. we came home for lunch, then hurried to the bus stop to catch the bus to fremont. we missed the first bus by about 2 minutes, then the next bus was running behind so we had to wait another 15 minutes. when it arrived, it was nearly full and the bus driver wouldn't let anyone at the bus stop board his bus. we were pretty frustrated because there was still standing room. the kids were getting impatient, so we decided to just scrap the trip all together rather than waiting for another bus that might also be full. and we didn't want to drive because parking is a nightmare. womp womp. the kids were upset, but we told them we'd go out for ice cream that afternoon instead. they wanted to play at the ball field for a bit, so we did that and then walked to parfait for ice cream. 

 

we stopped at the grocery store on the way home to get stuff for dinner. we lounged around the rest of the afternoon - azalea fell asleep on the couch for nearly 2 hours, which did not make for a fun bed time. we grilled burgers for dinner and watched "sing!" from redbox. 

sunday was father's day! thatcher asked if he could go for a day hike with a friend, and it was his special day so of course i obliged. luckily our friends vanessa and ewan were dadless that morning as well, so the kids and i met up with them for donuts at mighty o's (do you think we ate enough sugar this weekend? oy) and a trip to gilman playground. the only picture i took was of these gorgeous roses at the ball field at gilman: 



 we came home for lunch, played a bunch of board games, then the kids fell asleep on the couch and i let them nap (because apparently i didn't learn my lesson from saturday).

 super blurry but too sweet not to include :)

thatcher got home in the late afternoon. here is a picture from his hike:


i escaped alone to the grocery store and then we ate the asian-marinated pulled pork that had been cooking in the crock pot all day for dinner. yum! we gave thatcher his gifts. ashford kept saying "happy valentine's day" to him. haha! we are so lucky he is ours :)


the end of the school year is one week from today! we have a super busy week coming up with two after school picnics (one for azalea's class and one for all kindergarten families). she also has field day on thursday and ashford and i will be at the co-working space two mornings. it's been nothing but 60's and mostly cloudy for the past few weeks, so i'm excited the temps are going to climb back into the 70's again finally! 

Thursday, June 15, 2017

weekend on the olympic peninsula

we've been back from our weekend getaway to the coast since monday, but it's taken me a few days to get the chance to sit down and recap it. i actually had very little cell service while we were there. it was sort of nice to unplug, but at the same time i came back to lots of bookkeeping and board work, laundry, no food in the house, and a flurry of "end of the (school) year" activities that require planning and coordination, i've been running around like a chicken with its head cut off for the last few days. whew! 

i wasn't really sure what to expect on our trip. i had seen pictures of the coast of washington and was informed there are rainforests there and a lot of the peninsula land is indian reservations. the weather was great. not hot, mind you, but around 60 every day with sun in the afternoons. if you look on a map, the coast doesn't look all that far from seattle, but it's actually about a 4 hour drive. admittedly it was probably the easiest road trip we've done with the kids to date because we invested in a second amazon fire tablet. we had one before and a portable dvd player, but the tablet has been the coveted item. having one for each kid = sweet sweet silence :) totally worth them having too much screen time! we took a bajillion pictures over the weekend and it was really hard to narrow them down for this post, but I tried. 


saturday morning we stopped in olympia for coffee on the way to the peninsula. we haven't really spent any time there, it's a cute town! then we stopped for groceries in aberdeen (we planned to make our breakfasts and dinners at the cabin). soon we made our way to quinault mercantile in the olympic national forest for lunch.


we got burgers and fries and then left to enjoy the surrounding beauty. this is lake quinault:

this picture is not edited in any way. the colors were unreal! 

at the visitor center we learned the oldest spruce tree in the world (around 1000 years!) was a short hike away. 




 
it was really impressive! 


next we drove to the quinault rainforest to do another short hike. it was sunny during our drive, clouded over when we parked, and by the time we were five minutes into the trail, it.was.pouring. 

 but it was beautiful!

you can barely see the rain in this picture, but we booked it back to the car right after snapping this. oh well! apparently this rainforest gets over 12 feet of rain each year!

 we kept seeing these gorgeous yellow flowers lining the two lane highways during our drive, so thatcher pulled over to take a picture of them. turns out they are invasive, but pretty none the less! 

our next stop was ruby beach! like most of the beaches on the peninsula, there is a hike involved to get to the beach. ruby beach is very popular and i can definitely see why: 




 always throwing rocks...




finally, we drove the last leg of the trip to our rental cabin at the quileute oceanside resort in la push. ashford referred to it as "our new house" all weekend, which was super cute. the cabin was pretty modest, but the location and the views were top notch! i could have lived on the front wrap around porch. 


 overlooking first beach


we made smoked salmon pasta for dinner and then headed out to check out first beach.

 the kids loved the waves. the sound doesn't really get waves so it was definitely a novelty! 

 so many monstrous trees on every beach


 the beaches were especially magical at sunset 

sunday morning we made breakfast at the cabin, then thatcher took the kids out to the beach again while i got ready for the day.

it was cloudy every morning, but the sun always came out by lunch time. 


our first stop on sunday was the hoh rain forest. i'm happy to report it did not rain on us this time. 


our drive to the rainforest

these trees were so cool!

we did the moss trail in the rainforest and it was super mossy! :) 



this boy loves streams almost as much as he loves throwing rocks :)


after our hike we stopped for lunch at another mercantile. i guess that's the thing to do in the national park :) then we drove a ways to check out second beach, which required another hike. i have to say, the kids were really good hikers all weekend. azalea walked a ton with minimal complaints and though ashford was carried a lot, they both really seemed to enjoy the hikes. and i don't consider myself much of a hiker, but they weren't super long, so i enjoyed them too. 

second beach was my favorite beach of the weekend. super smooth sand from the low tide and tons of space to run and spin and play. is there any better feeling than standing in front of the wide open sea? it was heaven! 



 the kids were so wet and sandy (but happy!) by the time we left to hike back to the car! 


we drove back to our cabin and made chicken, rice and veggies for dinner. the kids and i went to bed around 9, but thatcher stayed up and actually woke azalea up at 11 to go look at the stars. she was tired and a little scared of the dark and strange noises, so they didn't last long, but he is glad they did it. 

monday was thatcher's 35th birthday! we woke up and made breakfast at the cabin and even saw a whale off the coast! it was so cool! our destination that morning was cape flattery, which is the most northwestern point of the lower 48. cool huh? we ended up spending a lot more time in the car on monday than we anticipated. it took about 1.5 hours to get there. it was a cloudy, cool morning, but nice for our hike to the point. and the view when we got there was awesome! 



we had hoped to go to hurricane ridge as well, but we were feeling like it was going to get too late for getting back to seattle. we set out to drive to port angeles for lunch. it should have only taken about an hour to get there, but google did not alert us of some construction delays along the two lane highway and it ended up taking more than two hours to get there. 

we ate a super late lunch at a diner in port angeles and didn't spend much time in the town because we still had another hour drive to get to the ferry to take us back to seattle. (yes, we only took the ferry on the way back). the ferry leaves from kingston every 50 minutes and i kid you not, we arrived at 6:09pm for a 6:10 departure and we were the last car on the ferry. it was crazy! 

i'm so happy we took this trip. it was a part of the state i didn't even know i needed to see! the kids were awesome travelers aside from their typical sibling fights (which happen no matter where we are). i'm so happy we can make these memories for them and for thatcher and me. we didn't get a romantic getaway for our 10th anniversary, but i have no complaints about doing this instead. if you made it through this whole post, congratulations! 

Friday, June 9, 2017

cheers to 10 years!

today marks thatcher's and my 10 year wedding anniversary. w-h-o-a! i'm not sure how that is even possible. what's even crazier is that we've officially been together for 15 years now. almost half our lives! no marriage is perfect and that definitely rings true for ours, but i think we make a pretty darn good team :) we've had an amazing 10 years filled with buying & selling a house, bringing two babies into the world who are growing up way too fast, job changes, lots of travel, and moving across the country. i can't wait to see what the next 10 years hold for us. i better not blink!

my first year of college in duluth > our wedding day in minneapolis > family pictures in portland this spring

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

weekend recap: hiking and dinner in bellevue, the locks, family time

finally getting to my weekend recap! let's just say this past weekend felt more like april than june weather-wise. we got some sun thankfully, but the temps were only in the 60's. it is warming up again, so that's exciting. i see a direct correlation between nice weather and nice momming. i'm not kidding ;)

we only had one thing planned going into the weekend. i've been thinking about how busy our weekends used to be in minneapolis in the summer. since we have less of a social network here, we end up just hanging out as a family most weekends. it has forced us to slow down a bit, which is probably good :) friday night we grilled dinner (we've been grilling like 75% of our dinners lately and i love it!!) and then hung out with the kids before bed.

saturday we hung out at home for most of the morning, then took a quick trip to the library. after lunch, we headed to the city of bellevue to a nature area to do a kid-friendly hike with thatcher's coworker karen, her husband and 6 year old daughter. it was our first time there and it was beautiful. we hiked to coal creek falls (2.5 miles round trip). my kind of hike! haha. the kids did pretty well, but they had their moments of whining too ;) it was fun to spend time with their family again. azalea and kiara are pretty cute together!





 it was nearly 5pm when we finished and we hadn't planned anything for dinner so we decided to check out bellevue square mall which is in the downtown. bellevue is a very affluent suburb of seattle and the mall was really fancy! we actually felt a little out of place there because we don't drive a jaguar or wear designer clothes. ha! we grabbed some pizza at pagliacci and then wandered into a candy store after for a little dessert. they had every kind of candy you could imagine - most of it was sold by weight. we let the kids pick out whatever they wanted. ashford got gummy bears and azalea got a little chocolate bear (i think it was a truffle of some sort). delish! we went home with happy, full bellies! the kids watched some tv when we got home, then it was off to bed!

sunday morning thatcher went to a coffee shop to get a little work done (he was at a training all day thursday and friday) and i took the kids to a nearby elementary school playground to burn off some energy. it was only 53 degrees out that morning. we came home and had lunch and then i went to a coffee shop to get a little work done of my own, followed by a trip to the grocery store. it was gorgeously sunny when i got back, so we decided to take a trip down to the locks (something we rarely do anymore compared to when we first moved here!). we brought a frisbee and threw it in the open grass and the kids thought it was the greatest thing ever! 



it was packed at the locks - tourist season is in full swing in seattle. it's still a little strange to me to live in a city that is so touristy! we grilled dinner again and then it was time for baths and off to bed for the kids.

this coming weekend we are taking a 2 night trip to the coast of washington. we are so excited as this is an area we have not explored yet (it takes 4 hours to get there!). i can't wait to share pictures when we return!

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