Tuesday, May 23, 2017

grandma jan's visit, syttende mai, and barnyard moosical

long post comin at ya! we had a really fun week with my mom in town. she always comes in may, but i mentioned azalea had her kindergarten music program may 18th, so she planned her dates around it. she also picked the week with the most spectacular weather of the year in seattle so far, so that was awesome! backing up to middle of last week...

wednesday ashford and i picked her up from the airport at lunch time and drove back to ballard. we went to ray's cafe (restaurant on the water) for lunch. we had been there with her before, but it was our first time sitting out on the deck. it was fabulous! 



after a gloomy, cool week the weather improved just in time for her visit. we picked up azalea from school and hung out until it was time for the syttende mai parade in our neighborhood. 


we went last year year too and it's so much fun. syttende mai (17th of may) is the norwegian constitution day and it's a big deal in ballard because of the area's strong nordic roots. 


the parade route is just a block from our house. we only watched for about 45 minutes, because we hadn't eaten dinner yet, but it was fun. our friends vanessa and ewan joined us for it too. we grilled salmon and broccoli for dinner when we got home.

thursday we dropped azalea at school, then my mom and ashford and i went to maple leaf park so he could play for while. we stopped at un bien on the way home for some caribbean sandwiches/rolls for lunch. so good! we picked up azalea from school and hung out until it was time for her kindergarten music program back at the school. 

we've been hearing about "barnyard moosical" all year, so i was really excited to finally see it! it was about 25 minutes long and so adorable! the set was really beautiful, the kids had cute costumes, and all the the kids did an amazing job! it was wayyyy more professional than any kindergarten music program i was ever in. ha! i guess it helps that she goes to a public school with an arts focus. azalea had a small speaking part and she blew us away when she got up to the microphone and clearly, loudly, and enthusiastically said her line. i was so proud of her! we came home and grilled turkey burgers for dinner.




friday my mom took an amtrak train to tacoma to meet up with our friends kathy and garry who were driving to seattle from portland. ashford and i went to the coworking space (good timing as it's invoicing time for me). in the afternoon we hung out in the sunshine on our patio before picking up azalea. my mom and kathy and garry stopped over after dinner time. kathy and garry rented a cute tiny house near green lake for the weekend.

saturday thatcher left the house suuuuuper early to go on a day hike with some friends. my mom and the kids and i ran some errands in the morning. we went to top ten toys to get a birthday gift for azalea's classmate for his party the next day and to the library. in the afternoon we went to see the place where kathy and garry were staying. they find the cutest little gems in this city! then we all drove up to richmond beach in shoreline. it was a gorgeous day and it was packed there. we soaked up the sun on the beach and the playground for over an hour. it was a great way to spend the afternoon! 




thatcher got home from his hike and had to immediately transition to "dad duty" so i could go out for dinner with the grown ups :) here is a picture from his hike: 


we walked down to ballard ave and went to an italian place called volterra. i had not been there yet, but walk by it all the time and always wish i was sitting on their beautiful courtyard patio. that night i was! the food was delicious, too. we weren't ready for the night to end yet, so we walked to a bar up the street called the noble fir. it was another new place for me. we had more wine and chatted for 2 more hours. it was such a fun night. kathy and garry are like family to me.

sunday morning azalea had a birthday party for her buddy max. it was at the community center right by our house and siblings were also invited, so it was great! the kids had a blast playing in the gym, and eating pizza and cake. it was a big party, but didn't feel too chaotic since there was plenty of space. 





my mom came to the party for a bit, then went to the ballard farmers market with kathy and garry before they hit the road. we hung out at home for most of the afternoon, then thatcher and i got to escape for an early evening date night! we went to south lake union and browsed REI for a bit (more him than me), then we had dinner at a place called ba bar that he has been to before. it was my first time. they serve vietnamese street food and it was delish! the only downside is that south lake union is so sleepy on the weekends. it's where amazon is located, so all the action is during the work week. oh well! 



my mom took the kids to scooters for burgers and shakes and they were thrilled. they also watched "annie" for the first time. we got back in time to put them to bed. 

monday we dropped off azalea at school then ashford, my mom and i went to swanson's nursery. my mom loves flowers, so it's a fun free activity to do when she's here. after that we went to fred meyer and ashford went to the childcare room while my mom and i shopped. it was awesome :) we met up with vanessa and ewan for lunch at mod pizza. the boys were super wound up and ashford was throwing tantrums left and right. it was far from relaxing, but we survived. thankfully his mood improved when we got home and my mom offered to watching him so i could work. i went to java bean for an hour and a half and sat right by the open "garage" doors. it was heavenly on a warm, sunny day! 



for my mom's last night we hung out at home and grilled dinner. 

we took my mom to the airport this morning. i can't believe how fast the last month has flown by - thanks to having three rounds of guests. it's been a blast, but it will be nice to get back to some normalcy too. i'm starting to see kids on social media who are finishing school for the year - azalea goes til june 26th! 


Monday, May 15, 2017

mother's day weekend

i have lots to share from the last week - it's been busy and fun-filled all around. we even got a couple beautiful 70 degree days mid week. on wednesday azalea had a scheduled early release day at school. i had told her we could go get ice cream after we picked her up, so off we went to walter's in our neighborhood. it was insaaaane there. every one had the same idea! after we filled our bellies, we drove over to golden gardens beach, which was also a madhouse. not surprising, i guess. we had to park in the overflow lot and walk a little ways to the beach. i parked myself on a towel and the kids had a blast playing in the sand and wading in the water for over an hour.






 i'm looking forward to many more sunny afternoons there in the coming months. it's one of my favorite things about where we live. to make things even better, i got home and checked my email to find that my giveBIG seattle donation to women's business incubator was randomly chosen for a "dollars for change" award and we are being given an additional $2500 from the foundation. this is huge for our little nonprofit. so exciting!

skipping ahead to friday, azalea had a mother's day "tea" in her classroom at the end of the day. ashford and i attended and it was so sweet. it was my first classroom mother's day event. they had lemonade and iced tea and cookies and fruit. the kindergartners served us our food and then performed a song for us. such a treat :) 





she was so proud of the things she made for me and filled out about me. it's so cool to see what your kids write about you. it reminds me that even though i'm far from a perfect mom, my kids love me and know i am there for them always. it's nice to be reminded of that when the going gets rough. 

satuday morning we went to the maritime festival in our neighborhood. we missed it last year, so we really wanted to check it out. the coolest part was they were offering free 60 minute cruises on the argosy boats. it was a deal we couldn't pass up. we ran into my friend heather's husband and her son on the boat, so that was fun. it was so cool see all these areas that we've really only seen from land, from the water. 







saturday afternoon i met up with my group of mama friends for our second annual "day before mother's day pampering". teresa booked manicures and pedicures for us at a nail salon in queen anne. i've never gotten both done in one day, so it was pretty exciting. they even served us wine. 


after we were finished, we walked to a mediterranean/italian restaurant called grappa for happy hour. we had wine and tons of appetizers. everything was so good. it was so nice to catch up with all of them, as it had been 2 months since we were all together. i'm so thankful for their friendships. there is never drama, just fun and moral support. 

sunday was official mother's day! thatcher let me sleep in and i did. until 8:30! haha. normally i can't fall asleep after the kids get up, but i slept really hard until they came in with the cards they made. they were so proud and excited to wish me a happy mother's day. thatcher made a coffee cake, which was delicious. i had 2 big pieces, just to be sure ;) 


they asked what i wanted to do and i said the ballard farmer's market. it's every sunday year round in our neighborhood, but we rarely go because the kids don't find it especially enjoyable. but it was my special day and i love it, so i chose it :) it was very busy there and we actually ran into 3 different groups of people we know. so fun! we got some fruit and veggies and enjoyed the live music and people watching.

the best smiles they would give - stinkers! 

 we decided to go to chipotle for lunch. it's funny how that has become our "go to" family place since moving to seattle. we used to go pretty regularly in minneapolis, but thatcher has introduced more food sensitivities since then and it's a great place for that. and the kids love it. so chipotle junkies we now are! plus i didn't want to deal with crowds at a more traditional mother's day type restaurant. after lunch, we came home and hung out for the rest of the day (much to the kid's dismay - ha!). they gave me 2 new bath towels and a pyrex baking dish. dinner was super low maintenance leftovers/mac n cheese. thatcher made a chocolate souffle too. calories don't count on mother's day right? right! 

now we're gearing up for another fun week. my mom arrives on wednesday!  

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

grandpa durant's visit

it's been another busy stretch around here (hence the tuesday recap). thatcher had a local conference for work last week, so i did a lot of solo parenting in the evenings. thankfully grandpa durant arrived thursday afternoon! he took transit from the airport to our place. ashford was very excited to see him walking down our sidewalk with his suitcase. it was so nice out that day, it felt like summer! we picked up azalea from school and the kids played on the playground for a bit before it got stormy (which is rare in seattle, so it was kinda fun!) durant took the kids and me to scooters for burgers and shakes for dinner. yum! their building is a bit dilapidated and at one point during our meal, it started flooding because it was raining so hard! 

friday durant took ashford out for a few hours so i could get a break, which was very much appreciated. i made stuffed shells for dinner and we hung out with thatcher in the evening. 

saturday i had my board retreat for women's business incubator from 9-4. it was held at a creative firm's office in central district (east of downtown). it was probably the nicest office i've ever set foot in. it had anything and everything you could ever want: a basketball hoop, ping pong table, tv area with comfy couches and video game consoles, a gorgeous kitchen, and even a bunk room (which is sort of alarming. ha!). the space was just beautifully designed. the board had a very productive day and lots of yummy food and drinks to fuel us through it. it was a nice change of pace for me considering i never go into an office anymore. myself and a fellow board member named sarah were the only ones who could make it to the happy hour after. we went to a german bar about a half mile away. it had a huge patio. it was only 57 degrees out, but sunny, so it felt amazing. it was packed there! 



sunday we all took the bus downtown then took a ferry to bainbridge island. it was a beautiful day for it! the kids always love riding the ferry (and the grownups too).



 




we walked along the main street of bainbridge and then had lunch at a vegan vietnamese place that is just a little hut with all out door seating. azalea was actually excited about it and ate spring rolls and fried rice. ashford was less excited. ha!



 

since we are on a children's museum kick lately, we decided to check out the one that is on the island for the first time. it was similar in size to the tacoma one. i love that each one we've been to has their own unique activities. the kids loved it and were not happy campers when it was time to leave. 




we were all pretty tired by the time we returned home, but we hadn't planned anything for dinner, so we walked to mod pizza in our neighborhood, which hit the spot. 

monday thatcher took the day off. i asked if i could get a break from the action, so he took his dad and ashford (azalea had school) to deception pass and whidbey island. we have been there as a family. here are some pictures of their outing: 










i did some book keeping and board work at home, then went for a stroll in our neighborhood and also got some groceries and finished my book. they were gone for most of the day! we made smoked salmon pasta for grandpa's last dinner with us.

he is off to the airport this morning. we will miss him! my mom (guest 3 of 3 for spring 2017) arrives a week from tomorrow. time is a flyin' these days.  

Friday, May 5, 2017

four on friday

happy friday! i'm coming at you with a little brain dump this afternoon. sometimes i get in this "i wanna write a blog post!" mood yet i have nothing formal to share. so, here is some informal stuff on my mind today :) 

1. old navy summer wear. i love old navy in every season, but especially for inexpensive spring/summer clothes. i recently bought this shirt and this dress on sale and i love them both (i have a long-sleeved version of the dress too, they feel like pajamas. so comfy!). this week we got our first 70+ degree days of the year, but now it's back to the 50's. it was sort of a tease, i have to say! i'm excited for consistent warm weather, so i can wear short sleeves, dresses, and sandals. 


2. grandpa durant is here. my father in law is visiting us for 5 days right now. the kids are loving getting some grandpa time and i'm loving having another grown up to hang out with during the day ;) he offered to take ashford out this morning to the locks and mighty o donuts to give me a break. how lucky am i? it is much appreciated. i did some work at a coffee shop, then came home and read/am writing blog posts. i'll have a recap of his visit next week. 

3. summer is coming. as i already said, i cannot wait for summer. (for more than just the clothes) ;) last summer it felt like i had so many big things to look forward to: a bachelorette party, multiple friends visiting seattle, a trip to minneapolis, etc. this summer is looking a lot more low-key, but i know it will still be fun. azalea is in school until june 26th (crazy late, right?). we are actually going to take her out for 1 day in mid june, so we can go to the coast of washington for a 2-night getaway. it will be our first time visiting the coast. fun fact: we will be visiting the area where the twilight books/movies are based. ha! 


4. women's business incubator retreat. tomorrow morning i have a board retreat for the nonprofit i'm a member of. lest you think, a "retreat" sounds exotic, i assure you it's just a fancy name for an 8 hour meeting :) the plan is to assign the board members to committees, refocus our mission, and plan for the future of WBI. i think it'll be a very productive day! also, shameless plug: give big seattle is tuesday, may 10th, but you can schedule your donation ahead of time



Monday, May 1, 2017

april wrap up: brandon's visit and azalea's tooth adventures

we just finished a really fun five day stretch with my brother in town. he hadn't been here since last april (but we've seen him a couple times in minneapolis). it was so fun to have him stay with us again. he is truly the best brother/uncle i could ask for. my kids adore him and the feeling is mutual. i love watching them together. 


he arrived wednesday afternoon around lunch time. ashford and i picked him up from the airport and then went straight to "the boar's nest" in our neighborhood for bbq. 



it's my brother's favorite place, so we were happy to oblige his request :) we stuffed ourselves then went home for a bit before picking up azalea from school. she was thrilled to see him and even gave him a drawing that she made in school that said "i love unkie brandon" she did all the spelling herself and it was adorable. azalea had her ballet class in magnolia, so we took her. i actually got to watch the class for once because brandon stayed out in the lobby with ashford. we came home and grilled chicken and veggies for dinner. it was a late night for the kids by the time they went to bed.

thursday morning, azalea's very wiggly tooth finally came out. she had been up for about 40 minutes, had eaten breakfast, and was sitting on the couch watching tv when she said "mama! my tooth came out. let's look for it" i was confused at first, but it turns out she legitimately lost her tooth! we couldn't find it anywhere, soooo i'm pretty sure she must have swallowed it. oops! she was a little worried that the tooth fairy wouldn't know to come, but i assured her she still would :)  


we took her to school and then met up with our friends vanessa and ewan at the zoo. it was brandon's first time going to the zoo, and meeting them! we spent the morning there looking at the animals and having lunch. it ended up being sunny all morning, so that was a treat! 



we hung out at home for a while, then picked up azalea from school. my brother wanted to let her pick out a belated birthday gift, so we all went to a toy store. she was so excited! ashford fell asleep in the car and slept all the way through our shopping trip, so he wasn't too happy when he woke up on the car ride back. azalea picked out a ball and those velcro "mitts" for catching, and bubbles. the kids have been enjoying playing with both outside. 


i made spaghetti and meatballs for dinner. we gave the kids and bath, got them down and then thatcher, brandon and i watched "superbad" on netflix. such a stupid funny movie - i can't remember the last time i saw it!

friday morning we took azalea to school (poor girl missed most of our fun during the week), then brandon, ashford and i went to mighty o donuts. it was his first time there. then we went to gasworks park and enjoyed the view and some velcro ball :)



 ashford and brandon both napped in the early afternoon, so i got a little work time in and relaxed. in the evening, brandon, the kids, and i took a bus to the uw campus to go to a baseball game. we met thatcher there after work and we had a fun evening watching baseball, and eating hotdogs and nachos. it was such a beautiful night, we really lucked out. the kids lasted about an hour and a half before getting antsy, at which point we decided to leave. that's the perfect amount of baseball for me too ;) 



it was another late night for the kids, but they loved the adventure. ashford kept calling it "the baseball thing" he also cried because he thought he would get to play. 

saturday morning we headed out for a day trip to tacoma. we hadn't been there yet and we thought it would be fun to take the amtrak train. first we took a bus downtown to the train station, 



then the train ride to tacoma was about 40 minutes. it was really fun! 



we were hungry when we got there, so we went for lunch at a place called "the swiss". the burgers were so good! we walked around the uw tacoma campus for a little bit then along the waterfront. 





tacoma is such a cute little city! so many beautiful historical buildings with restaurants and stores in the them, cool bridges, museums, and all on the water. i loved it! 




we knew there was a donation-based children's museum downtown, so we decided to check it out. it was pretty small, but we were there for over an hour and the kids had a blast because everything was new to them. before it was time to head back to the train station, we stopped at a coffee shop called "anthem" for some snacks. both kids fell asleep on us while we waited for the train to arrive to take us back. ashford even slept the whole ride back too! then it was one final bus ride from downtown to get home. we were all pooped! we made a late taco dinner, the kids watched part of a movie, and we all went to bed. 

sunday morning i drove my brother to the airport and then met up with my manager susan who is in town visiting her daughter and son-in-law who just had a baby. we met at a coffee shop in beacon hill (in the southern part of the city, which i never frequent, so that was fun!). it was so nice to see her! we caught up on life and talked a little about work too ;) the rest of the afternoon thatcher went out and i hung out with the kids. 

now it's may (whoa!) and my father in law durant is coming in just 3 days!

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