Monday, April 14, 2014

Bucket List #82 | Math 'n' Stuff

When Chelsea came to town I read her off all of the things that were still on our bucket list in the downtown area. Luckily my cousin is as geeky as me, and she wanted to go to the Math 'N' Stuff store with us!
I honestly don't remember how I heard about this place. For most of our bucket list, I just combed online resources and a couple of guidebooks and found things that looked fun/doable/worth the money. So I'm sure I read about it online somewhere.
Math 'N' Stuff is basically a large teacher/education store. It is full of amazing toys, teaching resources, workbooks, games, and of course, a whole bunch of Legos. If money were no object, I would have walked out of there with armfuls of stuff, mostly for Walt. It definitely got the gears turning in my head for preschool ideas next year.
It was a fun stop, but I'm not sure it lived up to the hype. I'm gonna give it:
In the end, it was just a store. :) We will probably head back in the fall for school supplies though!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Showered

I have the greatest friends. Since moving to Seattle, I've found a great group of people that love to just chill - go to the park, swap babysitting, make random trips to Joanns, go to lunch, have crazy parties, and just be silly. I love it.
My good friend Sharlie and some of her partners-in-crime decided to throw a joint baby shower for me and another friend who is due a few weeks before me (also with a girl, yay!).
I know that not all second children get baby showers. I am super lucky. It was so nice to hit the pause button and remember to get excited about my new baby! Sometimes life is just crazy and it's hard to keep things in perspective.
We had a blast just talking, swapping baby stories, eating treats and of course oooing and ahhhing over cute little baby girl clothes. When I brought home my loot, Landon said, "Does this make you super excited to have a little girl?" We were both a little giddy. It makes it real to have a bunch of pink dresses hanging up in the closet. :)
As Sharlie said, "I guess you can have a baby now! You've got your crib set up, some outfits, diapers - what more do you need?"

I guess nothing! (Although my house is not baby-clean and my bag isn't packed and I would really prefer not to have a preemie. :)) Can't wait to meet you baby girl - see you in about 8 weeks!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Bucket List #96 | Smith Tower

I don't know how we made it so long and through so many visitors without going to Smith Tower. You guys, I'm about to type something that may upset the entire Pacific Northwest. The Space Needle is L-A-M-E. For around $20, you ride an elevator to the top of a not-that-high building, which is invariably packed with hundreds of people so you can barely move. You snap a photo of the decent scenery and ride the elevator back down.

Or - or - or....
You could pay $6 (kids are free) to ride up this epic, human-operated "lift" up to the 35th floor of a much more historic and more beautiful building.
You could take in all of the lovely details of the 100 year-old structure and enjoy little peaks into the offices of some fun companies as you go up.

Then, you could read about the historic building in total peace and quiet - on a Friday morning, we had the whole place to ourselves. This is a huge relief when you have a slightly rambunctious almost-3-year-old in tow.
You could walk around the balcony without your arms pinned to your sides and take a photo without 14 other people you don't know accidentally being in it.
And even sit in "The Wishing Chair," in case you are hoping to get married. :) - Or just for fun!
You can probably tell which one we recommend. :)

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Spring Break!

We had a special visitor for spring break this year. We also spent spring break with her last year! Maybe it's a new tradition? (Chel? Want to come back next March?)
On of my favorite cousins, Chelsea, came to hang with us for a few days. It was some much-needed time away from work and school and cleaning and such. We packed a lot in.
Doughnuts at Pike Place are a must for any visitors - even the ones who have been here a lot!
We also went to Smith Tower (more on that later), then hit up a famous local joint called Paseo for lunch. The line was long, and we almost left...
But it turned out to be so worth it!
Yum.
The next day, after delicious desserts and binge-watching Sherlock, we decided to head out for a day trip. I was hoping for good weather, but alas, the rain never ceases here. We took a chance and made the drive to Port Townsend anyway.
Luckily, the rain let up a bit and we had a pretty enjoyable time! We didn't really get to enjoy the beach or anything because of the cold, but we did have fun shopping, eating, and visiting the Marine Science museum there. Walt especially liked the octopus they had on display.
The trip over got me really excited to visit Olympic National Park in the near future.
Thanks again for coming Chel!! It's always fun to hang out and a great excuse to explore.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Bucket List #97 | Cherry Blossoms

Washington is famous for a lot of things, but one of them is cherries. Before we came here, I didn't even like cherries. I never really have. They seemed like a lot of work to eat around the pits - and then they are usually just mushy or really sour and not worth it.
But that was all before we came to the land of amazing cherries. They are enormous, sold at tons of roadside stands, and I'm telling you - they are the best cherries I've ever tasted. I'm completely converted. I just wish they were cheaper!

Anyway, before you can have the delicious Bing and Ranier cherries that they sell here, you need to have cherry blossoms! And one of the best places around Seattle to admire them is right on the UW campus. I happened to have an afternoon doctor's appointment this week right when the trees were in full bloom, so we decided to come early and make a picnic out of it. :)
No joke, this quad is gorgeous. I mean, the campus is gorgeous in every season, but it was over the top with the trees in bloom.
And oh man, they smelled just as good as they looked...
I was amazed at how many people came to enjoy the day with us.
If you can catch them in the right season and get a nice, sunshiny day, I would say the blossoms on UW campus are well worth the visit.
At least, we thought so!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The Fulfillment of a Dream or: Dinosaur Day!

Landon was born to be a Geologist. His artistic view of the world, his never-ending curiosity, an aptitude for math, and a love for the great outdoors just = a scientist. He really could not have been anything else.

When he was a little boy, he was already obsessed with dinosaurs. His Grandpa Wilkes gave him a Newsweek magazine when he was about 8 that featured a famous paleontologist name Paul Serano. Landon pored over those pages almost like scripture and learned more about dinosaurs, digging for fossils, and the analysis of bones than most of us have ever known. Almost 20 years later, this passion for dinosaurs would translate into a career path. So basically, I have this man to thank for the never-ending years of school. :)
So, long story short, Landon called me at the beginning of last week and told me that none other than Paul Serano was coming to UW to give a lecture in conjunction with Dinosaur Day at the Burke Museum of natural history. We definitely could not miss this opportunity!
We decided to spring for a babysitter (a rarity for us) and make a date night of it! It was so much fun to listen to a grown-up lecture about dinosaurs in Africa and think about how Landon has made his dreams come true, one at a time. He's well on his way to being a full-blown doctor of Geology and, while he's not currently studying dinosaurs, the knowledge he's gaining and the research he's doing help scientists just like Dr. Serano better understand the environments that ancient animals lived in. It's easy to forget that this guy I married is brilliant and just basically amazing in the daily grind of changing diapers, time-outs, and working really hard to stay within our grocery budget. For me, it was a nice reminder of what we're working so hard FOR.
We promised to bring Walt an "Easter Egg Treat" when we left, so we stopped off and picked this up on the way home. I love this man and how he makes me laugh!

The next day was Dinosaur Day - I had a church obligation so Landon and Walter went on a father-son outing to the museum together. They had so much fun!
Even though they had to wait outside in the rain for over an hour (I guess this is an extremely popular event), Walt didn't even remember that part as he told me all about it later on. His favorite thing was the "dinosaur feet."
Landon said it was a blast for both of them. I'm so grateful he was willing to get out and do something special with Walt. It's great that Walt is getting to an age where he can appreciate Father/Son time. He loves visiting Daddy at school and is always wondering when Daddy's coming home. They do a lot of Duplo building, book reading, Nintendo playing, and show-watching together. Our little boy is so blessed with a great example of what a Dad should be!