Thursday, March 24, 2016

Bucket List #66 | Mima Mounds

The Mima Mounds are a group of... well, mounds in Washington that no one can fully explain. Mysterious geologic formation? Obviously, it went on the bucket list! We finally got a chance to visit them on the way to Portland this week (more on that later). 

They were actually so much cooler than I was expecting! 
It's a beautiful site with prairie foliage and a fun little hiking trail. 
The morning we went, there were dense gray clouds and kind of a fog settled over the mounds, which made us feel like we were in Europe or exploring a fantasy world. Fun. :)
We spent about 45 minutes walking around, exploring and taking photos. There are more extensive hiking trails and a fun picnic spot, so we could have easily spent an afternoon there if we'd had the time.   
The mounds are "unexplained" in that no theory has proven how the mounds got there. Our resident scientist, Almost-Doctor-Landon, told us that it was probably a combination of geologic factors, such as a glacier, and biological factors, AKA ROUSs. Or ok, just regular gophers. But it's more fun to imagine that we were visiting the Fire Swamp. (Is anyone still with me? ;))
We definitely had fun visiting the Mima Mounds! We'll rate it:
Maybe we'll go back someday and take a picnic. Anyone want to join us? 

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Bucket List #36 | The Pink Door

The last stop of my birthday tour was at a funky, fun Italian restaurant on Post Alley in Downtown Seattle. It's called "The Pink Door" and literally has no sign, just a pink door. You walk in and go down into the "underground" part of Seattle to an impeccably decorated bistro/hipster joint. It had live music and fantastic food.
The whole experience felt very Seattle-esque. It was a little funky, lots of hipsters hanging out, good music and lots of fun.
I LOVE going to fancy places where you need a reservation. I don't know why, it just makes me feel so cool. Like I'm in the "know."
We had a great time and I'm glad we were finally able to sneak away for a grownup meal downtown. We'll definitely have to do it again!

Bucket List #68 | The Great Wheel

The second thing Landon took me to do for my brithday was to ride The Great Wheel downtown. This is definitely a cheesy tourist thing - but it's one of those cheesy tourist things that you'd feel lame if you'd lived in a place and never done. It's not crazy expensive, but enough that I never really wanted to pay for all four of us to go - especially factoring in parking and a whole day downtown, all that fun stuff. So I was really glad when Landon planned it as part of my birthday extravaganza!
While it IS cheesy - this was seriously fun! We went right at dusk so we could still see the view over the water, but the city was all lit up as well. 
The scenery was amazing and it was kind of romantic and quiet and just us. Literally, because on a Wednesday night we were the only two people there! Which meant we got to go around a few extra times. :)
I probably wouldn't call this a "must do" in Seattle - but if you're looking for a fun date night we thought it was a blast! And we're really glad we went. We'll rate it:

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Bucket List #56 | Seattle Art Museum

For my 30th birthday, Landon wanted to make sure I knew that our adventures aren't going to stop just because we're getting older and more responsible. :) To that end, unbeknownst to me, he asked some good friends to watch our kids for almost the entire day so we could cross some things off the ol' bucket list. It was amazingly thoughtful and a great day!

The first place we stopped at was the Seattle Art Museum.
There are two main reasons it took us so long to go here. The first is that two young kids + priceless art = not the most relaxing time ever. The second is that we just always assumed that it was way out of our price range! Little known fact, if there are no special exhibits showing, the SAM is operated based on donations, and you get to choose the amount. So conceivably we could have got in for $1/each! Good to know for the future.

I should have taken more pictures...but I was too busy having a great time! The top floor has a great collection of African art, antiquities from Greece and Rome, and an Arabian/Mediterranean display. Plus some other cool stuff. :)
We also loved this cool "Italian room", which is an actual room moved from a house in Chiavenna, Italy, built around 1550:
And now I must have these windows in my library someday. :)
My favorite part was the glass display on the middle floor (which I didn't take a single photo of because I guess I was too amazed). Now I'm psyched for the Glass Museum. They also had some modern art, some of which we liked more than others.
I also must have a cool dictionary page hanging somewhere in my house.

All in all, we had a super fun time at the Art Museum, and will hopefully find our way back someday! We rate it:

Monday, February 29, 2016

My Birthday!

I feel bad, because I don't think I ever blogged about Landon's 30th Birthday. Guys, I'm sort of failing at the blog thing. But I will persist! I don't want this time in our life to be lost, or solely on Instagram...Just trust that his 30th birthday was epic (many of you were involved) and I think he felt properly celebrated.

My birthday was great, too. So far being 30 is pretty awesome. The kids and Landon spoiled me with a homemade dinner the night before, plus presents and gifts galore!
I loved being with my cute family!

Landon had some more tricks up his sleeve, but we'll get to those. ;)

My awesome friends also took me out for a riotous time!
 Complete with my own GIANT balloon to tote around the mall with me. Yeah. That wasn't embarrassing AT. ALL.
I don't know when the last time I laughed that hard was. These girls are my lifeline here in Seattle. This is the first time in my life I've consistently hung out with "girl friends" and I gotta say - it's pretty fun!

I was talking to another friend who texted me to say Happy Birthday - she jokingly asked me if all my "dreams" had come true like we always thought they would. I laughed because of course life is never exactly what you think it's gonna be, but the statement got me thinking. In 30 years of life I graduated from college, have had 4 different jobs that I loved, been to Europe twice, got married in the temple to the man of my dreams, have 2 beautiful kids, and live in a great place with great friends. I'm actually pretty glad that my grand scheme of life didn't turn out how I planned's so much better!!!

Tuesday, February 2, 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


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. :)