Tuesday, February 2, 2016

2016

I'm late on this - it's becoming a trend - (incidentally, if you want to keep up with us better find me on Instagram:)) but I still want to document!

This is what we thought 2015 would look like:

We did most of what we set out to do - a lot of work on our little apartment (we're starting to kind of love living in a small space, is that weird?), lots of trips to Idaho and a gorgeous campout in Olympic National Park. Landon's graduation did get pushed back slightly, and we never did get out campout with friends (but we did make time to see some of them!). We're still optimistic about everything we have going on.

In 2015 We:

  • Checked 12 things off of our bucket list - we really need to amp it up!
  • Lost a dear family friend. Love you forever Trev!
  • Took an amazing family vacation to Victoria Island
  • Celebrated one year of our Zuzu girl.
  • Watched Zuzu learn to walk and talk and really come into her own.
  • Spent a week with Grandma Laurene! We hope she comes again!
  • Had a Mario party with our Nintendo loving 4-year old! (Who has since graduated to Link/Zelda)
  • Watched Walt learn to read, spell his name, do Math, play Nintendo on his own, and just turn into an all-around big kid. 
  • Celebrated Landon's 30th birthday with 30 gifts from 30 people he loves.
  • Started Walt's 3rd and final year of preschool with a great group of kids.
  • Explored the breath-taking Olympic National Park. 
  • Talked the Camberlangos into spending Thanksgiving with us!
  • Saw The Force Awakens (Actually Landon saw it FOUR times). For us it was a win.
In 2016 We Think We'll:
  • Both be 30. We'll try to enjoy the next decade as much as the last!
  • Spend spring break in Portland for a long-overdue visit to Grandpa Burgener. 
  • Go whale watching
  • Go to DISNEYLAND with the whole Jackson clan!
  • Complete a successful (and hopefully last as a student) field season in Texas, Utah, and Montana. Well, just Landon will do this one.
  • Survive Landon being gone for a month. Single momming is no joke.
  • Celebrate said survival with a girls' trip to Utah to finally see NEWSIES!
  • Squeeze a camping trip in there somewhere.
  • Celebrate the end of our 20s by climbing the Grand Teton.
  • Join a gym. See above.
  • Begin our final year as students. (Target graduation date: June 2017)
  • Send Walt to Kindergarten. Be still my heart.
I am really excited for the coming year. We've got big plans and a lot of changes heading our way. We'll enjoy Seattle, watch our kids grow, fulfill some of our own personal goals, and start to explore what's next for us. Even though we're hitting our 30s, I feel like the best is yet to come for our little family!

Monday, February 1, 2016

Christmas!

We had a lovely Christmas. We always do! The kids were a blast this year, we loved being with both families. The only regret I have is that I didn't take more pictures! Here it is in a nutshell:

We started off in Boise at Finn's baby blessing - I was so glad we were all able to be together for that. After the blessing, Walt turned to me and said, "I had a good feeling while Finn was being blessed!" I'm really proud of my brother and super excited to watch him be a Dad.

We spent the next week at the Burgener's beautiful new home, playing with cousins:
 Loving Grandma and Grandpa:

Enjoying the snow and all of the Aunts and Uncles! We really missed Dallin, Trisha and Brigham.


 On Christmas Eve, after our usual traditions, we got to talk to Uncle Wes! I was a little embarrassed because Walt kept talking about Nintendo stuff and popping into the conversation, and I knew Elizabeth didn't get that much time to talk...but everyone was nice about it and we all loved seeing him!

 Santa came, and the kids were extremely spoiled. I'm not great at holding back on Christmas. It's the only time we really buy them anything and it's just too fun. Walt was pleased with lots of Zelda paraphernalia, and Zuzu got a baby, which she has pretty much been packing around since.



Then we transitioned to the Jackson home, where we had adventrous and celebrated "Second Christmas!"



 ...And of course saw Star Wars again.
It was a great holiday and we're always so grateful that we're able to spend some much time in Idaho! The blessings of a student life. :)

Friday, January 22, 2016

Bucket List #88 | The American Girl Store

Confession again...I have been to the American Girl Store. Dozens of times, in fact. I can't help it, the 9-year-old girl in me just squees inside whenever I see those pretty dolls. I was lucky enough to have my own Samantha doll and a "Girl of Today" growing up, and they were some of my most-prized possessions.

Anyway, when my sister came we decided it was time to splurge and take the girls to lunch at the American Girl Cafe! So I guess it's finally time to blog about it, also. :)
It was honestly so much fun. I loved taking my daughter into what I'm pretty sure Heaven looked like in my mind when I was a child. The food was actually pretty good and not that expensive, either!
This was the first time I let Zuzu walk around the store also, and she definitely showed some interest. :)
I kind of can't wait to get her a doll of her own. :)

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Thanksgiving With The Camberlangos

(Yes, I am posting about Thanksgiving in January. Sue me.)

Thanksgiving is kind of a rough holiday for me. Growing up, we always went to my favorite cousin's house, ate amazing food, went crazy, did Barbie workout videos, watched "Arthur's Perfect Christmas," and then - the main event for us really - went Black Friday shopping. Since moving to Seattle, it's much too difficult to travel home for Thanksgiving, let along to Utah, since we turn around 3 weeks later and go home for Christmas.

Every year we've done different things. One year, my cousin Chelsea came to us, which was awesome. Another year, the Burgeners came here. And we're very blessed to have great friends who always check to make sure we're occupied. But this year, I convinced my sister to come!!! And it was all I hoped and dreamed it would be.
 First I made her cross Deception Pass Bridge - I wasn't sure she would ever forgive me (it is quite high up and a narrow space to walk in), but it was a memory and the ocean was beautiful.
We also toured Pike Place,
And of course there was a turkey in there somewhere....but really, we mostly just enjoyed the cousin/sister/family time. It was squishy in my apartment and they were really good sports. I hope they come again someday!!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Bucket List #92 | Rattlesnake Lake

Right after we moved to Seattle, the guy who came to hook up our Internet told us about this place not too far away that is famous for several Bigfoot sightings. That was the first time I had heard about how the Pacific Northwest is the capital of Bigfoot. Maybe I had been living under a rock?
Anyhow, Landon and I have been looking for somewhere to get some elevation training in (we're planning an expedition this coming summer. :)), so for Labor Day weekend we tackled Rattlesnake Ledge.
It was a gorgeous hike - just the right length for us (4 miles roundtrip), since we were packing our kids up, and just the right amount of challenge. (1160 ft elevation gain on the way up)
The lake is super low this year, so that was sort of disappointing, but the view from the top was still spectacular.
We didn't see Bigfoot, but there were some mysterious tracks on the trail...
And this suspicious formation of rocks at the bottom of the lake bed. Maybe it's pointing to his hideout?
We really enjoyed this hike and would definitely recommend it. Get there early because when we got down at around 1pm, the parking lot was packed full and there were cars just circling, waiting for a spot.
We rate Rattlesnake Lake and the accompanying hike:
Not as spectacular as a few things we've seen, but super fun nonetheless!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Bucket List #42 | Market Theater Gum Wall

It's no secret that we love Pike Place Market. It's the first place we take anyone who comes to visit us, and probably our top recommendation in the city. In the summer, you'll definitely fight crowds, but the doughnuts (and the Beecher's mac and cheese!) are well worth it.

Despite having visited dozens of times, we had avoided one random curiosity of the market for far too long. The Market Theater Gum Wall is super nasty. Finally one day this summer, with one of Landon's mission companions in tow, we braved it, solely out of a need to fulfill our bucket list. And good thing we did, too, because they recently cleaned all of the gum off and started over!!
There's not a whole lot to say about it - it's a landmark, so you have to do it once, and it's in a few movies if you're into that sort of thing.
However, while it is interesting in its own way -- I don't really think we'll be back.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Bucket List #29 | Forks, WA

(Still so behind guys, but I'm working on it!!!!)

Let me preface by saying that I'm NOT a diehard "Twilight" fan. True, I have read the books, but sort of in the way that one watches a car crash on the side of the road...I just couldn't stop until I knew how the train wreck ended! But I couldn't get through the movies. That said, living in such close proximity to a kitschy place like Forks just seemed too good of an opportunity to pass up. And we ended up having a lot of fun!

The town of Forks is actually just outside of Olympic National Park...it's kind of in-between the areas of the park. To get to the coast, you have to drive right through it. I knew it was a little town, but I was still surprised by just HOW little. This place really is in the middle of nowhere.

We stopped by the Chamber of Commerce where they had a little map for us to follow around town. It was fun to see all the creative ways people turned their little town into a tourist spot. I think my favorite was the treaty sign: (Team Jacob!)

We made all of the obligatory stops, and even got the high school janitor to take a photo for us - which was completely embarrassing, but you could tell it wasn't the first time he had done this. I couldn't stop laughing at every place we took a photo. I felt like a total poser because I couldn't even remember what some of the stuff was. They gave us a trivia page with our map, and I only knew the answers to a few of the questions. The best part was, we weren't the only people doing the tour!
Overall, it was a fun stop and I'm glad we did it. I'm also glad we rolled it into our Olympic National Park trip - it would not really have been worth a separate drive out to the peninsula.

I give Forks, WA:

Although you might love it more if you're really into Twilight!