Monday, March 19, 2018

march = cherry blossom season!

we had a one day trip to summer this past monday (it was 72 degrees!) before it went back to the 50's. it felt so good, but now i'm itching for more regular nice weather. but i need to be patient because seattle can be slow to warm up in the spring/summer. 

last week was a busy week in general: i went to the inc west seattle open house on monday, followed by a meeting at the inc green lake. wednesday i chaperoned ashford's field trip to the thistle theater in our neighborhood for a puppet show. there are 12 kids in his class and there were 5 adults, so it went smoothly. azalea's class was there too! friday was my usual volunteer stint in azalea's class. if i haven't said it before, i am so happy with the balance in my life right now. i get to do a mixture of parenting, working from home part time, helping out with the coworking space, and volunteering in azalea's class during the week. it is the perfect set up for me, and i try not to take it for granted. 

friday night we made grilled chicken tacos for dinner, and spent a lot of time outside in the early evening. the extra daylight is so nice! it even is starting to delay the kids asking to turn on the tv. win-win! 

saturday morning we took the bus to the uw campus to see the cherry blossoms with thatcher's coworker chris, his wife misty, and their daughter penny (who is a little older than ashford). uw is the place to go in seattle for cherry blossoms because there are a ton of them in the quad. typically this weekend is peak bloom, but it seemed to be a little behind this year. it was also gray and cool out, so it didn't make for the best viewing conditions, but it was still pretty. the kids had fun running around and playing hide and seek. i guess we didn't get any pictures with our friends in them. oops!

taken by azalea :)

ashford and i took a nap together on the couch when we got home, while azalea and thatcher worked on a school project. we made pizza for dinner and hung out at home the rest of the night. 

sunday we had no plans. i needed to do a little work that i didn't finish during the week, so i headed to java bean, and thatcher took the kids out in ballard to joann fabrics to get some painting supplies for azalea's project and to the farmers market. in the afternoon, i took the kids to the library to get some new books, then we all went up to the park to ride bikes/scooters. it ended up being a beautiful afternoon! ashford fell asleep on my shoulder when we got home. he never naps this much! i hope he's not coming down with something. we made smoked salmon pasta for dinner and relaxed the rest of the night. 

hope you had a good weekend too!

Monday, March 12, 2018

moms demand action, golden gardens, amazing weather

it was another amazing weather weekend. the best weather we've had this year so far! both days were around 60 degrees and sunny. heaven! we made sure to get out and enjoy it as much as possible...

friday night after dinner with the fam, i headed to my friend erica's house. she recently became a member of moms demand action and part of her involvement included getting trained to speak on behalf of their mission for different groups around the area. she formally starts next week, but wanted to have some friends over so she could practice her presentation. i was happy to help! she had 4 of us over and served us wine and snacks while she ran through her slides. we had a lot of great conversation too! i'm so proud of my friends who devote their free time trying to make a positive difference in the world.

saturday we didn't have any plans until the late afternoon. we went to our favorite toy store to get a gift for azalea's friend (technically thatcher's coworker's daughter)'s 7th birthday party. the store is always good for killing an hour as they have lots of fun stuff you can try out. after that we dropped off our car for an oil change in our neighborhood and walked to mighty o's for a donut. we don't go there as often as we used to (since thatcher can't eat gluten anymore), so it was a fun treat. i got the seasonal donut, which was "raspberry lemonade", a lemon poppyseed donut with raspberry drizzle on top. it was pretty and delicious!

 we came home for lunch and hung out for a while before heading to golden gardens beach. thatcher and ashford took the bike and trailer there and azalea and i drove. we hung out on the beach for a long time and though it wasn't super warm weather, it felt really nice in the sun. i even had my toes in the sand and the kids were running back and forth from the water. we are hearty minnesotans afterall :)

 in the late afternoon, thatcher and azalea set out for the birthday party which was held at "the little gym" in west seattle. azalea had a blast there. ashford and i went to "scooters" for an early dinner. burgers, fries, and chocolate shakes. it was quite the calorific day. but so good! no regrets!

sunday morning thatcher got up early to go hiking with a friend (which did not mesh well with daylight saving time - oh well). the kids and i hung out at home for the first part of the morning, then headed to maple leaf park to soak up the sunshine and quickly climbing temps. we weren't the only ones with that idea. it was packed! the kids had fun, though. we came home for lunch and thatcher returned from his hike. i escaped for a solo outing in the afternoon: ballard farmer's market (sooo crowded), buffalo exchange, and the grocery store. pretty typical outing for me, but the energy in our neighborhood was off the charts with the nice weather. i loved every second of it. azalea took a nap while i was gone...on the floor, in the sun :)

 we spent most of the rest of the afternoon on our patio and grilled dinner too. it was nice to have it light out until after 7pm! i can't wait for summer.

i have a busy week this week. i can't remember if i mentioned it, but the coworking space is opening a second location in west seattle in april! today they are having an open house there and it'll be my first time seeing it, so i'm excited. wednesday i'm chaperoning ashford's preschool field trip to a community theater in our neighborhood. incidentally, azalea's 1st grade class is going to the same performance! :) we might hit 70 degrees today, but then we'll be back to more "seasonal" weather the rest of the week. 

Monday, March 5, 2018

oh man, it's march!

is it just me or did february go by twice as fast as january? wow! it's march, the trees are starting to blossom, azalea turns 7(!) this month. what is going on?! the kids had a good first week back at school after their break (and so did their mama). i don't have a ton of pictures from the weekend, but nothing major happened so that's why. 

friday night i was not feeling like cooking (and i got a $68 check from caribou coffee from an unauthorized texting civil lawsuit - score!), so i suggested that we should go out for dinner. we went to the hi life in our neighborhood. it's a great place and super kid-friendly. dare i say it's actually relaxing to eat out with the kids these days? i mean, they didn't fight at all while we were there, which is more than i can say about our dinners at home. ;)

this boy was being a total goof!

saturday morning azalea had a play date at her classmate graecyn's house. she was so excited for it! i dropped her off and then walked to royal drummer coffee shop in our neighborhood and read my book for an hour. thatcher stayed home with ashford and they played legos. in the afternoon, i took the kids to ross park, which is about a 10 minute drive from us. it was a beautiful day - 50 degrees and sunny! it's fun coming back to all of our favorite parks each spring when the nicer weather returns. free entertainment and sunshine can't be beat!

 we made a pork & veggie stir fry for dinner and just hung out at home the rest of the night.

sunday morning thatcher took the kids to cafe mox (game store/restaurant i've mentioned before). it was ashford's first time and he was so excited to get to go! azalea has been there a couple times with thatcher and loves it. i got my hair trimmed and then picked up some groceries. thatcher went out in the afternoon while i hung out with the kids at home. we've been doing a lot of trading off parenting on the weekends since we don't have the luxury of grandparent babysitters these days (and we have been terrible about finding other babysitters). it helps everyone's sanity ;) we made ribs for dinner and the kids played some video games to end the weekend. 

i'm looking forward to daylight savings next weekend and an extra hour of daylight in the evenings! 

Monday, February 26, 2018

the end of midwinter break

we sure did a little of everything this past week while the kids were off school: traveled to vancouver, stayed home sick, and went on some outings in seattle. here are a couple pictures from the snow day we had on thursday. in true seattle fashion, it was gone by the afternoon.

friday thatcher went back to work after staying home sick on thursday. both kids were feeling good, so i took them to one of their favorite places, playdate seattle. it's an indoor play area in south lake union that has tunnels, slides, balls, etc. it's pretty expensive, but we bought a punch card which makes it more reasonable. my favorite thing about going there is that i can park myself at a table for 2 hours while the kids run around and have a blast. of course my invoicing week (this month) for work landed on a week with no childcare, which made things tricky. luckily i was able to finish it at playdate seattle while the kids played. a win-win. and know what else was a win? as i was sitting, doing my work, i glanced up and MACKLEMORE walked by with his daughter. i knew he lived in seattle, but in almost 3 years i had never seen him in public. we made eye contact and i smiled at him, then they were out the door. so fun! i even geeked out with another mom at the next table about it. in the afternoon, the kids and i went to the greenwood library and the grocery store. it was a busy, fun day! we made pizzas for dinner and hung out with the kids the rest of the night. 

saturday we didn't have any plans. we hung out at home all morning and by lunch time, we were all going a bit stir crazy. there's a new ice cream shop that opened in our neighborhood last week called salt and straw. it's based in portland and gets rave reviews constantly. we had not tried it yet, despite taking multiple trips to portland over the last few years. now that it's made it's way to seattle, we decided to try it out - but we wanted a longer outing than walking a few blocks, so we decided to check out the capitol hill location that also recently opened. we took the bus to the university and then hopped on the light rail. it was busy at salt and straw, but not terrible.

 i'm usually a chocolate/caramel/cookie ice cream sorta girl, but i've heard so many good things about their honey lavender ice cream, so i decided to try it. and it did not disappoint! so delicious. i can't wait to have it again (perhaps in ballard next time, haha).


 thatcher ran some errands in the late afternoon and i hung out with the kids. we ate leftovers for dinner and got the kids to bed. 

sunday we also had no plans. i was in need of a little rejuvenating "me time" so thatcher took the kids to the zoo for the morning. i spent my time at the ballard farmers market, sold a couple things to buffalo exchange, got a cafe vienna from java bean, and read my book. a perfect morning! we had lunch at home and then i took the kids to the salmon bay school playground because the sun was out! it was a super weird weather day. cloudy and rainy in the morning, sunny for a couple hours in the afternoon, and then a mix of sun and hail multiples times in the late afternoon/evening. so strange! i got our groceries for the next few days and we made a stir fry with peanut sauce and sticky rice for dinner. yum! we watched the olympic closing ceremony, gave the kids baths, and said goodbye to midwinter break! 

Friday, February 23, 2018

27 hours in vancouver

we got home from vancouver on monday night, but ashford came down with a fever while we were there, so we've been having some sick days at home since then. at least he wasn't missing school this week. we finally ventured out of the house yesterday and went to an imax movie at the science museum with our friends from azalea's school. it snowed here yesterday, too! it's been really cold for seattle. thatcher is now sick, so i hope azalea and i don't get it. now onto the recap...

this was our second trip to vancouver as a family (thatcher and i have both been there 1-2 other times without the kids). i know i always rave about this city, but i just can't help it. it's so beautiful there! it's one of those places where you look around, thinking "how is this place even real?" it makes me so happy to live a 2-3 hour drive away. 

we left sunday morning and got to the border around 11am. there were lots of areas of fresh fallen snow as we drove north on I5.  it only took about 30 minutes to get through the border, which wasn't bad. then vancouver is another 40 minute drive. our first stop was the kitsilano area to get lunch. it had snowed there the night before and the temp was around freezing.

we went to a place called "noodle box" that thatcher had been to before. azalea has a new-found love of asian noodle dishes, so she was thrilled. ashford - not so much, but he survived ;) it was delicious. 

next we walked over to a vegan/gluten free bakery called "edible flours" to get some treats. it was a really cute bakery and the bars/cookies we got were delicious. then we hopped in the car and drove to the maritime museum. it's located on vanier park right on the waterfront, which has an amazing view. 

the museum itself was really cool too. we got to tour a 1928 police ship, and look at the different artifacts. they also had some ship simulators that were fun for the kids. i definitely recommend it. 

next we took a scenic drive into downtown to check into our hotel. we stayed at the same place we did last time, the pinnacle. it's a very convenient location and a nice place to stay. we relaxed in the room for a bit and then headed out for dinner. we took the train to yaletown area and went to yaletown brewing company. it was very kid-friendly and good food too! and they had the olympics on, which was fun. here are a couple pictures from yaletown: 

 by the time we got back to the hotel, everyone was tired, so we all went to bed at 9:20 :) that's how it goes when we all share a room. 

the kids were both awake at 6am (ugh), but we didn't let them get up until 7. we ate a quick snack and then got our suits on to go to the pool. they were sooooo excited. i was only excited for the hot tub. haha. we ended up spending most of the time in the hot tub with a dad and his 4 year old son. the kids had a blast, but ashford kept putting his face in the water and now we're wondering if that's how he got sick :( we got ready back in the room and then walked to a place we've been to before for breakfast, called smak. we all had breakfast sandwiches. then we walked to the vancouver lookout, which is at the top of a tall building downtown. it was a clear day, so the 360 view of the city, water, and mountains was spectacular. 

next we took the train to a city called new westminster. the kids like riding the train, and thatcher wanted to check out the development there. it sort of reminded me of tacoma. they had an indoor "river market" that had food vendors, so we got some lunch there. by this time ashford was clearly not feeling well. he had been super whiney all morning, refusing to walk, and now was falling asleep. it took us a while to realize he was getting sick. poor boy :( thatcher carried him so much this morning. and he is not such a little boy anymore! we decided it was probably best to head back to vancouver and get our car to start the journey home. 

the drive back went well. ashford got some tylenol and happily played on his tablet. the wait at the border was a little longer this time (45-50 mins). we got home after 7 and gave the kids some dinner and off to bed! 

in full transparency, and since i like to remember the full picture of traveling with the kids, as always, there were many moments on this trip where i said "why did we even bother doing this?!" they whined about 80% off the things we did. they don't like to walk, even a few blocks. they don't like to ride in the car if we don't let them use the tablets. they had 1000 questions a minute and have both decided they know more about life than their parents already. ;) it was mentally exhausting. but we do it because our parents took us to see cool places when we were kids. and we have wonderful childhood memories and hopefully our children will appreciate these trips as they get older too. 

Monday, February 19, 2018

valentine's day

last wednesday was valentine's day! i'll admit it's pretty far down the list of my favorite holidays, but i like the renewed fun that having kids brings to it. this was the first year that we got to do valentines for two different classes. thankfully ashford's preschool class only has around 12 kids. azalea's 1st grade class has 25. both kids did great making their valentines. azalea did all the writing for hers and ashford signed his name on his :) 

the kids had fun celebrating with their teachers and classmates. we celebrated a little in the evening too. i tried to make heart-shaped pancakes, but it's tricky - even with a mold! thatcher made us a delicious flourless chocolate cake. 

i got the kids some chocolates and a small gift each. they also got cards from the grandparents and aunt/uncles/cousin jack. some new friends of ours from azalea's gymnastics class last fall gave the kids these balloons on tuesday night when we went to their house for dinner. so sweet.

today is presidents day, which thatcher has off work. it's also the first day of the kids' mid-winter break (a full week) so we took a short trip to vancouver! stay tuned for a recap of our trip later this week...

Monday, February 12, 2018

winter olympics, deception pass, science center

we just wrapped up a weekend full of sunshine and it felt so good! it was cooler than it's been (low 40s rather than low 50s), but it was still exciting to see the sun for so long! we definitely don't take it for granted here. 

friday night we had our neighbor friends martine, josh, bruce, and beatrice over for the olympic opening ceremony. admittedly we didn't watch much of it when they were actually here. the kids kept us busy and we also ordered thai for dinner and mostly chatted. but after they left, i caught most of the ceremony, which was so cool! it was a fun night. we rarely (never?) hang out with the kids + husbands, but we should more often! 

we didn't have any plans for the rest of the weekend, so when we woke up to sunshine on saturday, we decided to take a trip to deception pass, which is about 1.5 hours away on whidbey island. we didn't get going until after lunch and we decided to take the ferry on the way there. when we got to the ferry terminal in mukilteo, there were quite a few cars in line. we ended up having to wait an hour to get on a ferry, but such is life! at least the view didn't suck: 

 the ferry ride is only about 20 minutes and the water and sky looked incredible: 

we got to whidbey island and drove to deception pass state park, which took almost another hour. lots of people had the same was hoppin' there. it was my second time going to this beach. thatcher and ashford went there another time when thatcher's dad was in town. it's so beautiful there. since it's still winter, the sun was pretty low in the sky at 3:30pm. we got some beautiful pictures, threw rocks, and climbed logs. 


on the drive home (we did the bridge drive instead of the ferry), we stopped at a mod pizza in marysville for dinner. it was crazy crowded. it's supposed to be a "quick casual" concept, but it probably took 45 minutes to order and get our food. whew! we didn't get home until after 8pm and it was right to bed for the kids! 

for some reason, ashford was wide awake for a good two hours in the middle of the night. he was in our bed and kept telling us he couldn't sleep. it was pretty brutal. he and i slept until 8:30am, but we were still tired from it. sunday was another no plans day. we hung out at home in the morning and then decided to go to the pacific science center after lunch. it's so nice to have a membership there now! the kids love trying out all of the exhibits. 

we came home and hung out for the rest of the afternoon. we grilled burgers for dinner, did showers, and put the kids to bed early :) 

it feels like february is flying by! this week is valentine's day and then next week both kids are off the whole week for "mid winter break". should be interesting! i'm starting to think of stuff to keep them busy and peaceful towards one another, and my sanity intact. 


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