Tuesday, June 25, 2019

the end of the school year and a big change for us!

what.a.week. i know i say that a lot, but i really mean it this time. first i will recap the end of school year, then i'll get to our big news! last wednesday the kids and i went to vanessa and ewan's after school for a little pool party. never mind the fact that it was 63 degrees and cloudy. ha! june has not been especially summer-like in seattle this year. 


thursday was ashford's preschool graduation. it was short and sweet and a nice closure to our time at the ballard community center. i can't believe that after spending 3 out of the last 4 years with a preschooler there, my kids will soon both be in elementary school. wild! we will especially miss his buddies (in the white gowns) who still have another year of preschool to go. 



 friday was ashford's official last day of preschool. i took his picture to do the "first day/last day" comparison and he has certainly grown!
now for the news...as you know, we've lived in the same two bedroom condo in seattle for the past four years. despite being small in square footage for four people, it has been so perfect for us. our landlord has been amazing as well. our lease term just ended so we are technically on month to month right now. imagine our surprise when we reached out to her about renewing for another year and she responded by telling us she needs to sell the condo this summer. *dun dun dun*. 

on tuesday, a realtor contacted us to tell us she would be coming that week to take a look at the condo to price it. enter panic mode! we were a little over a week out from leaving for minneapolis for two weeks, and likely need to be out of our place by the end of july. on wednesday we started scouring craigslist and zillow for rentals in our neighborhood. we were looking for a 2-3 bedroom place within the kids' school boundaries. the choices are pretty limited, not to mention everything has gone up in price since we were looking to rent in 2015. wednesday night we went to see a place a block away that was almost a grand more per month than we pay right now and it was a total dump. talk about discouraging. 

the realtor came on friday and took some pictures for our landlord (who lives out of state). after she left, i came across a posting for a 3br/1ba place in our neighborhood that had just been listed. it look really nice and was in our budget too, so i was hopeful. i contacted the landlord immediately and we made plans to see it friday night. i was on pins and needles all day worrying that some one would snatch it up before we got there. but we ended up being the first to see it and we loved it! it's the lower level of a duplex. it's bigger than what we have now and it has a fenced-in yard and tons of storage. it's a little further away from school and the grocery store, but only by a couple blocks. we told the landlord we wanted it and started the application process. 


saturday morning they accepted our application to begin renting july 1st. what a relief! we started going through all of our belongings since we aren't going to have a ton of time in the next couple weeks. we were super productive and filled nine bags to bring to goodwill. we spent most of the day at home, but thatcher went to his co-worker's housewarming party in the late afternoon. 

sunday was more sorting and purging. i feel like i do a pretty good job of bringing stuff to goodwill every few months, but we still have a ton of stuff we don't use! 

monday was the first day of summer vacation for ashford. we dropped off azalea at school and then came home and worked on organizing (well, i did). in the evening, the kids and i went to golden gardens with some families from preschool. 


it was such a beautiful night and there were so many sailboats out. 


tuesday was azalea's last day of school. school actually goes until thursday, but we are taking her out two days early to go to minneapolis. she was very excited to do the first day/last day comparison and even wanted to wear the same shirt :) she has definitely grown in the last 9 months. i can't believe we will have a 3rd grader next year. 


now we are just a plane ride away from minneapolis and we are so excited for our vacation to start! 

Monday, June 17, 2019

thatcher's birthday, school carnival, father's day

the june craziness continues...! on monday our friends vanessa, matt, and ewan moved into their new house in magnolia (across the bridge from us), so the kids and i went to go see it. it's beautiful and we are so happy for them - and glad they aren't too far away. we hung out and ended up staying for pizza for dinner.


wednesday was thatcher's 37th birthday! he took the day off to go hiking up near bellingham. he didn't leave until the late morning, so he got to come along to school drop off for the kids and ashford was very excited about it :) 


here he is on his hike. i'm happy he could spend the day doing something he enjoys! it was a hot and humid day on wednesday (around 90 degrees), which is not the norm for seattle - especially in june!


 after he got back in the evening, we all went to "uneeda burger" in fremont for dinner. they had the garage doors up and between the heat from outside and the heat coming from the kitchen, it was a very sweaty (but delicious!) dinner. we did cake and presents when we got home and it was a late to bed night for the kids. 


on thursday i got my hair cut. it doesn't look like it in this picture, but i took about 3 inches off.


friday evening was azalea's school carnival! the kids always have a blast there. it's crazy to think next year it will be ashford's school too. 


azalea was on a mission to win the cake walk. she says she played it 19 times to win these two cupcakes :) (it's free to play). she was thrilled when they finally called her number! 


i worked at the incoming kindergarten booth from 6-7:30. it was fun to meet lots of new families, especially ones who don't have kids at the school yet. 

saturday i had a social lunch for the staff/board of the inc. coworking. it was at a restaurant called "agrodolce" in the fremont neighborhood. i had passed it many times before, but it was my first time eating there and it was so amazing! every thing we ordered was bursting with flavor. i had a handmade pasta dish for my entree. there were 12 of us there and while it was hard to talk to every one at a long table, it was nice to catch up and meet a couple of the new staff.


in the afternoon, thatcher and azalea ran some errands and ashford and i hung out at home. it was a beautiful day! in the evening, i started to feel a bit under the weather (light-headed and my stomach was hurting). i ended up falling asleep on the couch and slept through dinner. we got the kids to bed and i went to bed soon after. 

i hoped that i would feel better on sunday morning (father's day!), but i woke up and still had a head ache and a stomach ache. we planned to go to mount rainier for the day, but thatcher insisted that he would still take the kids and i should stay home and rest. i felt a little guilty, but i knew that was for the best. they ended up being gone for 9 hours! i spent that time reading my book, watching 4 episodes of "call the midwife" and relaxing. pretty sure that was supposed to be thatcher's job - oops! they had a great time at mount rainier. 


they also finally visited ashford, washington which has been on our list for a long time. 


when they got home, we made pizza for dinner and hung out. i was feeling much better, thankfully. 

this is ashford's last week of preschool (graduation is on thursday). eeek! 

Monday, June 10, 2019

solo parenting, 4 years in seattle, 12 years married

last week thatcher was out of town from tuesday-friday. he was actually in minneapolis for some conference planning meetings, so he will be there twice in one month. i am a "do all the things" mom when he goes out of town. the kids get the benefit of getting to do some extra fun stuff than they would normally do during the week and i get the benefit of feeling like the time passes more quickly. 

on monday (while thatcher was still in town), ashford and i went to the zoo with three of his preschool buddies. the boys didn't care that much about the animals, but they had a blast running around and jumping off rocks and climbing into little caves. 



callum's mom megan took a series of pictures of the 4 of them and they turned out so cute!

wren (in the 2 toned blue shirt) will be in kindergarten with ashford next year, but the other two still have another year of preschool.

tuesday ashford's buddy archer (in the green shirt) came over after school. then we picked up azalea early from school for her 8 year old check up. she weighs 50 lbs and is 51 inches tall. she did great on her hearing and vision tests. we talked to the doctor about her potential shrimp (all shellfish?) allergy and they are going to refer us to an allergist for further testing. in the evening azalea had swimming lessons, then we finally got to come home and relax for the rest of the night. whew!

wednesday was our 4 year anniversary of moving to seattle! it's hard to believe the kids were this small when we moved here. time flies! we don't know what the future holds in terms of when we would move back to minneapolis, but we are so thankful for the opportunity to live here in the mean time. 


that morning i cashed in my mother's day massage while the kids were in school. i went to a place in ballard and got to have a 15 minute private whirlpool session followed by a 60 minute massage. it was so nice! i hadn't had a professional massage since i was pregnant with ashford, so i was overdue! 



then i grabbed lunch at "biscuit and bean" in our neighborhood. it's only 5 blocks from my house, but it was my first time there. it was delicious!



 after early release from school, i took the kids to playdate seattle to burn off some energy. i was even able to get some work done while they played, so it was a win-win.

thursday was a pretty normal day, but in the evening we got invited to some friends for dinner and a movie. the kids were thrilled! 



ashford lost his second tooth while we were there. it was hanging on by a thread and really bothering him. it ended up falling out in the grass in their backyard and getting lost. oops! azalea helped him write a note to the tooth fairy and she still came and delivered a $2 bill. ;) 

friday i got to have a long stretch of time to myself because ashford had a play date after preschool. i worked in the morning, went to an appointment, and ran a bunch of errands. that night i took the kids to taco time (a local "taco bell" essentially). then we watched a movie when we got home. it was a cool and rainy day. thatcher got home late friday night. 

saturday we mostly hung around home/ballard. after lunch we went to REI, the kids played outside, and thatcher got a hair cut. we grilled dinner and then went down to ballard ave. to watch the ballard criterium bike rice. it's pretty fun! 



sunday was our 12th wedding anniversary! it's also been 17 years since thatcher and i started dating which is half my life time - whoa!! 


we had a pretty normal sunday, with the addition of going out for ice cream at parfait after lunch. 


ashford got a hair cut in the afternoon, and thatcher and azalea finished reading harry potter #5 and we watched the movie in the evening. 

two more weeks of school for the kids (two week + 2 days for azalea). lots of year-end fun coming up! 

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

community center carnival and mount st. helens overnight

june is here! we kicked off the busiest month of the year with...lots of fun things! friday night was the carnival at the community center by our house. the kids had been seeing signs for it for weeks, so there was no escaping it ;) lots of their friends were there and they had a blast going in the bouncy houses (over and over again) and playing games. 


saturday morning we were on the road bright and early for an overnight to mount st. helens. it was our first time visiting that area, so we were excited. we got to the visitor center at lunch time, so we had a picnic and then explored the park a bit. there was really interesting info about the eruption in 1980 and the views were breathtaking. it was super cool to learn about the all of the vegetation and animals that have been restored since the eruption. and what survived the eruption! 








next we drove to "clearwater lake" and walked around there. 




then we drove to a town called kalama and had dinner at a mcmenamins on the columbia river. it was such a beautiful evening on the deck! 



we ended the night at the pool at our hotel (which was the part of the trip the kids were most excited about). 

sunday we grabbed coffee in town before driving over an hour to get to the "ape caves" which is a lava tube that you can explore. there is a more difficult upper cave (that requires crawling) and a lower easier cave (that's just walking) and we chose the easier one. i could say it was because of the kids, but let's be honest, it was because of me as well. ha! it was 42 degrees down there and pitch black with intermittent water drips. when we first got down there with our flashlights, the kids were scared and we only lasted about 5 minutes. we went back up to do a short hike in the same area. 



when we finished the hike they told us they wanted to go back into the cave (classic....) so we did and it went much better the second time. we probably spent 45 minutes walking through it and back. it was hard to take pictures in there, but we tried :) 






next we visited the "trail of two forests" which is a board walk hike with a lava tube tunnel you can crawl through. the kids really wanted to do it (with thatcher), but as soon as he got down the ladder he discovered it was going to be too narrow for him to crawl through, so none of them ended up doing it. 



after that we stopped along the highway and did a short hike called "cedar flats." it was pretty, but it was not my favorite as we were the first to do the hike that day based on how many spider webs we had to walk through. i don't like hikes where no one is around, in general. 

on our drive home, we ate a late lunch in a town called packard at a handmade burger place. it was 80 degrees and we sat outside and enjoyed the warm breeze. then we drove through mount rainier national park, which we've been to before so we mostly just passed through. it was such a beautiful day! 


we got home in the evening and got ready for the week ahead. whew! 

this month brings all sorts of fun including our anniversary, thatcher's birthday, father's day, the school carnival and field day, the last days of school, and our trip to minneapolis. let's do it! 

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

my mom's visit and memorial weekend

my mom arrived wednesday evening. it was a trek to and from the airport at rush hour, but we were excited to see her. we planned to meet thatcher for dinner by his work, but he got stuck in a meeting down in tacoma, so he told us to go out without him. it was such a beautiful night that we decided to get dinner at rays cafe in ballard and sit on the deck. it was glorious. 



we missed thatcher, but he met us at the ballard community center playground after dinner.

thursday morning the kids went to school and my mom and i walked to the locks and then got groceries in ballard. we made yummy salads with shrimp for lunch. we hung out outside with the kids for most of the afternoon. it was so nice and warm! we made tacos for dinner and relaxed in the evening.

friday when the kids were in school, my mom and i took a trip to bargain market grocery outlet and value village (exciting stuff!). it turned rainy and cool, so we spent the afternoon hanging out at home. vanessa and ewan came over and hung out with us. in the evening we made smoked salmon pasta and played yahtzee with the kids.


saturday was rainy and cool again. we mostly hung out at home and in ballard. my mom, azalea and i went to the library in the morning. then thatcher, my mom and azalea went to swanson's nursery. in the evening thatcher and i got to have a date night. we went to REI where i bought a new rain jacket (mine was 9 years old and i got so much use out of it). then we went to a vietnamese restaurant in belltown called "green leaf." it was really good! 


we stopped at new seasons grocery store on the way home to get dessert.

sunday we took a day trip up to bellingham (1.5 hours away). my mom had not been there yet, so we wanted to take her. the weather improved a bit, but it still was mostly overcast. we went to boulevard park and the kids played on the playground and then we walked on the path that goes over the water. 



then we drove downtown and went to a restaurant called "old town cafe" for lunch. we had to wait a while for a table, but it was worth the wait. after lunch we went to another waterfront park and wandered back through the downtown before hitting the road back to seattle. we took the scenic chuckanut drive out of town and also stopped at the most beautiful garden store/nursery that was in a the middle of farm fields. 



monday (memorial day) was beautiful! my mom and and i took the kids up to school with their bikes in the morning. we hung out at home for a lot of the day. then we drove downtown to visit thatcher's new office building (same job, just a new location a few blocks from his old office). it had awesome views from the 11th floor. 


we went to a free goldrush museum then we walked around the international district including a trip to uwajimaya grocery store to get some exotic fruits to try. we grilled dinner and ate our fruits which were hami melon, cha moo melon, and rambutan. 


 i requested a grandma and kids photo since we hadn't gotten one all week and the kids actually cooperated :) 


it's always hard to say goodbye, but thankfully we have just a month until we travel to minnesota for our summer visit! 

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