Saturday, June 27, 2015

When Grandma Comes to Town

As I mentioned in my last post, my mom came for a visit!! She flew in the night before Zuzu's party and stayed for a whole week! Naturally we had to pack a lot of fun stuff into her visit.
I hadn't had much time to plan anything (hello, party going on!), so the day after the party we were chatting about things she'd like to do here and we spontaneously decided to go on a road trip to Mount Rainier!
The Mountain is probably our favorite thing in or around Seattle so far. It's just spectacular and there's nothing quite like it. My mom is a national parks aficionado so we went a little crazy and decided to drive there and back after church - it was a whirlwind trip over the course of about 7 hours.
I think it was worth it.

When we arrived, you couldn't even see Rainier because it was so fogged in...I was so bummed and just hoping my Mom would at least catch a glimmer. By the time we drove up to Paradise, the clouds parted for about 30 minutes. We walked around, took some pictures and marveled...and then the clouds rolled back in and we turned around and drove home. Tender mercies.
I am pretty sure I get my love of adventure from this beautiful lady. I was raised to go out and see things for myself - to discover the world on a budget if you have to, but always DO things. It has served me well.
We also hit up Discovery Park and just generally kicked up a ruckus while she was here. My Mom spoiled the kids with new clothes and lots of attention.
The power of a Grandma willing to sleep on an Aerobed for a week to be part of our lives should not be underestimated. We loved having her visit and hope she'll come again soon!!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Sprinkle Her With Love

For Isannah's birthday, I wanted to go all out - just like I did with Walt's first birthday years ago. It was fun to pick out any theme I wanted and just run with it.

So we did sprinkles. :)

Landon was a trooper and stood by me in my insanity. There were so many tiny details, and for weeks I was completely absorbed in party stuff. It was super fun - but I will definitely not go this nuts for every birthday!! (Don't get used to it, baby girl)
Probably the best part was that my mom flew in all the way from Idaho to celebrate with us. It meant a lot to me that she would come. Almost all of the time, I'm obsessed with Seattle and love living here. But occasionally, when we have a big family event like this, I get sad that we're far away from our family. So it was awesome to have my mom there representing everyone. :)
I did not take enough pictures of the people who came! I'm sad I didn't get a group shot. But my best friends were mostly able to make it, and I was once again amazed at the awesome people we have in our lives here to support all of our doings. I love our "framily" so much!
Zuzu was really unsure about the whole cake thing. When we were done with the "cake smash," there was only about 2 bites missing. We ended up just eating it later, which certainly didn't bother Walt. Ice cream, on the other hand - that she could get behind. :)
It was so fun to celebrate this little chicky. We love our baby girl!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

ONE

One year ago (ok, one year and a month - I'm behind again!), this beautiful girl joined our family.
Everything changed.

I had no idea how different my life would be with 2 kids. I had no idea how much this little beauty would melt my heart.

I was terrified of having a girl -- but I love it. I love to dress her up, style her hair, and see a little bit of me in her.

This year was full of milestones, vacations, and adventures. At the age of one, this girl has already been to: Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, and British Columbia. She's been camping, swimming, to the beach and to the mountains.
The year was also full of learning how to deal with extra messes, extra snuggles, extra needs, and an extra schedule to accommodate. We're still learning.

She has completely captured all of our hearts. Walt daily wants to hold her hand. He gets very upset if I take anything away from her or talk at all sternly - "Mom, I have to protect her," he'll say to me. So seriously.
At age one - her first word is "yeah." She plays the "so big" game with us and loves to clap her hands. Her favorite food is, hands down, crackers. She's a great crawler and can pull herself up to standing. Her little laugh is a jingle that gets the rest of us giggling, too.
I miss holding her in all her tiny glory. I miss that new baby smell. I miss the 6 months that she slept for 12 hours straight, like clockwork - I miss the baby sighs and the utter dependence.

But I love holding chubby hands while she toddles all over the house. I love to watch her examine toys to see how they work. I love fascination with opening and closing things. I love her independent spirit. It's exciting to see her personality emerging, day by day. (She's feisty!)
We love you Isannah! Happiest of birthdays!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Bucket List #81 | Windemere Cup

I'm really not sure why, but I had heard of the Windemere Cup prior to moving to Seattle. It's a fairly prestigious rowing competition held yearly on Lake Washington.
It was so random, but the whole thing is free and we thought it would be fun to go cheer on the Huskies. We were pleasantly surprised by how fun it ended up being! There were thousands of people gathered, the weather was beautiful, and the final race was quite exciting! (The New Zealand olympic team barely edged out UW)
The weather was great and the event was set up with all kinds of fun extras - a bouncy house for the kids, food trucks, flags, and a photo booth.
We arrived pretty early, and got a decent spot, but I wish we'd have gotten there just like 20 minutes sooner and been closer to the water. That way we could have avoided some of the rude college students who showed up later. :)
Overall, this is such a fun event, and will we probably go back if we're around next year. We give it:

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Bucket List #13 | Alki Beach

A couple of weeks ago, the weather was straight up GORGEOUS. It was like 70 degrees outside. Landon had to work so I worked on some projects and played with the kids, but I started to get restless. I went in where Landon was working and said: can you be done in about an hour and go to the beach with us? He's a good sport, so we packed up and left!
We ran into some pretty bad traffic, which was annoying, but once we got to Alki we found an amazing parking spot, loaded up our stuff and staked out a spot on Alki Beach. Alki (way on the South end of Seattle) is famous for it's actual sand and it's view of the Seattle skyline. It's also the only beach in the area where you're allowed a fire. Because of these factors, it's also extremely crowded and very touristy. There are a ton of little shops and restaurants around.
We only stayed for a few hours, but it was a beautiful afternoon. Something that is good to know: there are a very limited number of fire pits, so honestly if you want to do a fire you need to get there pretty early in the day. We lucked out and a nice woman who was holding a spot for our group let us start our fire and cook our hot dogs while she waited for them to come.
Overall, Alki was a pretty fun trip and I'd be happy to do it again, especially if we had a bit longer and got there earlier. That said, Discovery Park is still my favorite beach in Seattle. 

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Bucket List #15 | Victoria, BC

The best thing about going to Canada is the beautiful ferry ride over - or at least Walt sure seemed to think so! I'm telling you guys, this is the way to travel.
Or maybe it's the chocolate. They just don't make it like that (for reasonable prices) here. We may have come home with an exorbitant amount. The grocery store checker made fun a me a little bit.
Or maybe the best thing is just how gorgeous it is.
And seeing some awesome stuff didn't hurt, including the Royal British Columbia Museum:
Where Walt proceeded to pick out every possible electronic device and spent all of his time staring at screens. :)
And the BC Parliament Building, which is seriously cool.
And the Fisgard Lighthouse. (Wow!)
Or the best thing might also be the fish 'n chips we had in a sleepy area of Victoria, right on the pier. Best fish I've ever had.
Probably the actual best thing about going to Canada is simple: international cell phone service. It forces us to shut down our phones, look out the window and actually talk to each other.
I'm so glad Landon was a good sport and let me talk him into this island getaway. :) It was beautiful and a great way to spend spring break!