August: The Month of Visits (Part I)

This past August was an awesome month and also a really busy month because starting with my friend Miriam (who technically visited in late July, but still!) and leading up to Labor day I had 6 friends or family who visited me in Seattle (5 of those stayed in my apartment). Thanks to the lovely excuse that visitors give to really get out and enjoy the city, I ended up doing more in August than the rest of the summer combined. And while it isn’t in chronological order, here are some of the photos from Ruth and Jess’s visit. Thanks for coming ladies, it was truly a blast!

Ruth browsing at my local book store

Of course I like to take my guests to my local bookstore. Fortunately Ruth was totally game for looking at books.

Ruth cheesin for the Sky View

Ruth and I went up Columbia tower to take in the view

Saturday took us all to Fremont

On a tour of Fremont, Jess spotted these chairs in a tree

Waiting for the Interurban

Jess gave us a tour of all her favorite statues in Fremont

Ruth looking cute

Ruth soaking in the sun/view

The ladies

The ladies and Rapunzel

Abby and Ruth command the front

We went paddle-boating on Green Lake

Post paddle boat picnic

Then we had a delicious picnic

Enjoying the all to brief (but actually quite powerful!) Seattle sun

And took naps

Ruth and I assembled Tiramisu

Then Ruth and I assembled Tiramisu

David and Jess made an awesome Pizza Fondue dinner!

David and Jess made an awesome Pizza Fondue dinner!

Jess looking pretty

Jess looking pretty at some location that I completely forget.

Flashback to the happy summer days

Thanks to the whole not-blogging for six months, I have a large back-log of photo posts up my sleeve. So as I celebrate the President’s re-election by constantly refreshing the New York Times website, let’s harken back to the balmy days of June in the Pacific Northwest.

This brilliant idea originated with Katie (as many ideas are prone to do) and involved one beach house, an assorted group of college friends, two small children, countless board games, mojitos, a hot tub and long walks along a blustery Pacific ocean. Here are the results:

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Small child one

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Small child two

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The beach

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Baby-related shenanigans

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How the beach looked for most of the weekend

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How the beach looked as I was getting ready to leave on Sunday afternoon.

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A young photographer gets some pointers from her aunt.

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And a child shall lead them…

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Silhouetted

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Katie investigates a starfish

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The beach house crew

Wine, Washington and excellent company

Apologies for my short and as of yet unexplained blog post from yesterday. As for the hint about Katie’s blog, you will have to go ask herself about that one. But as for why I was posting at 11:50pm, much of that has to do with having a spectacularly full day yesterday. Doing what, you might ask? Well wine-tasting in Eastern Washington with friends from book club. And since a picture is worth a 1,000 words, here’s a glimpse into what the lovely day.

On the way to wine-tasting in Wenatchee, good way to spend a Saturday!

Grapes waiting to be pressed

Processing grapes

The barrel room

Wine-tasting ladies

Happiness in my mouth

The prefect getaway car

Liz and Michelle just found the perfect get-a-way vehicle!

Me an the fall scenary

Obligatory pumpkin

Team Snaggletooth

Fall colors

Take a deep breath and welcome the days of NaBloPoMo

So I didn’t really intend to take a six-month hiatus from blogging, but just like I never mean to forget to water my plants, get 2 months behind on email, or procrastinate on that one project thing – but life still happens.

In an attempt to not talk to you all (the five of you who still read this) about the boring subject of why I HAVEN’T been talking to you. Let me just say, here I am, back for my 4th year of blogging every day for a month. Of course thanks to my general lack of blogging initiative, I also haven’t planned out this month at all. Which means you are probably all in for a smattering of attempts to catch you all up on the past 6 months, random photo posts, and probably a good number of filler posts. In other words, exactly the same thing you all have been putting up with for over 8 years now. (Yes you read that correctly I have been blogging for the entire lifespan of a 3rd grader, or to put in an even more mind-blowing way, my blog is as old as most of my sunday school kids! Crazy town.)

In conclusion I will leave you with this photo from a recent Ladies’ Night, in which Jenn, Katie and I went to a local French restaurant and ate delicious things for many hours. And although you can’t tell in this photo, yes those are leather pants Katie is wearing.

Ladies Night

Visiting the new baby

While the librarian in me would much appreciate an orderly set of chronologically arranged updates, the onus of editing and uploading all my trip photos BEFORE posting pictures from yesterday’s trip to visit the new baby, would have guaranteed that the baby would have been several months old before I got around to posting these pictures.

To fill all of you in, Seattle friends Jenn and Clayton (previously famous for their Anna production, of which I am a big fan!) have produced a delightful new bundle, Allinore:
Baby Thimble

But of course, before we lost ourselves in baby-rapture, we enjoyed time with Anna, who was pretty pumped to have so many adults around to play with.
Anna was thrilled to see Katie and I

Anna was a pro at demonstrating her new fancy kitchen, with a great deal more bells and whistles than I remember even being possible when I was kid. Buttons that beep, special burner/pot combos that make water boiling noises and flash lights – the combination of which surprised me a great deal, to the endless amusement of Katie, who had previously been introduced to said kitchen.
Bryan eats his lettuce sandwhich

Anna is now old enough to find things funny on her own accord, although adults laughing in general is still sure to set her off.
Clayton and Anna demonstrating their remarkably similar laughing faces

After a nap and feeding time, Allinore granted us a short display of “open eye” time during which she was most likely way more enamored with the bright light behind our faces than our actual adoring gazes.
Baby Allinore plots some inscrutable plan

"Who, me?"

As the evening wore on, we played a delightful game of pass the baby.
Katie examines the tiny fingers

Really, on can stare at a baby for hours

Alex gets in on the game too.
Alex and Allinore

Babies are seriously entertaining, in fact they have been known to draw a whole crowd.
Allinore puts on quite the baby show

Thanks Jenn and Clayton for letting is come and hang out with your two daughters!

Day 8 – Weekend!!!!*

While this has been a pretty great weekend, I am not a fan of tomorrow being Monday. Sigh, I think I need to switch over to David’s current model of four days of work, three days of not work. Anyways let’s see, Friday night was a lovely chance to catch up with Alex’s aunt and uncle over dinner. Then Saturday started off nice and early with yoga with Katie, then I came home made these very delicious pancakes (the wheat germ ones out of the More with Less cookbook).

the finished product

Then I sat down and made myself an ambitious to do list include all sorts of cleaning. I started with the kitchen, scrubbed the floor, cleaned the counters/stove-top/etc. After which, pleased with my progress I sat down to watch an episode of the United States of Tara.  Four hours later I discovered that the day was almost over and my to do list would have to wait. What can I say, that show (especially the third season!) is highly engrossing! Saturday evening Alex came over for some supper and a quick game of 7 Wonders. Unfortunately after that he had to head back to work on homework, but David and I walked over to a bar in northeast Ballard to hear an old friend from college play fiddle in an Irish band.
Red Flannel Hash from Hattie Hat's in Ballard Sunday brought about a lazy morning and a delicious brunch with Alex at Hattie Hat, where I tried the Red Flannel Hash.  Who knew corned beef, potatoes and red beets, topped by two poached eggs could be so good? Then Alex headed off to play the epic (and very long) Twilight Emporium, and on his way dropped me off at Katie’s where Dominion was played, truffles were made, headshots were taken and part of Midnight in Paris was watched. It was a stellar day!

*For which, apparently, the theme was really good food 🙂

Day 4 – Weekend re-cap

While I didn’t intend to take my two days off this past weekend, that is what happened, so here’s to blogging every weeknight this week!

Saturday

Just a plain #nofilter picture of the sky in SEATTLE right now!

Other than being one of the bluest sky days I have seen in Seattle, Saturday wasn’t super memorable. Highlights included making IKEA meatballs with Alex, buying stamps from the post office and getting to play an indulgent 4 hours of Civilization 5.

Sunday

Anna and I chillin' during the Superbowl party

On the other hand Sunday was lovely, an a cappella service full of good hymns, making this overly complicated (and ultimately somewhat disappointing – it needed more cheese!) recipe for cheddar, beer and mustard pull-a-part bread, and of course the Superbowl hosted by the lovely Katie and Bryan.  Where I got to hang out with the cutie above and actually kind of paid attention to the game or at least the last quarter or so (butt-touchdown for the win!), spend a fun afternoon with friends and generally have a blast.

Monday

Early evening light on the Douglas-Truth branch library

Today I found myself overly tired and so the only highlight was realizing that it is now this light when I leave work!

Day 1 – Welcome to February

So apparently last NaBloPoMo almost killed my blogging instinct dead, cause I have only written three posts since then! Oddly enough I think some things are a bit easier to do when they fall in the category of “daily” as opposed to “some time, probably soon, but definitely not right now”.  In order to help get me back in the groove of blogging I am deciding to blog 5 times a week this month, this should hopefully get me back to a more regular schedule, but also keep me from the higher demand that actual daily blogging requires. And to top it off, my good friend Jess (who I will check with before linking to her blog) has agreed to join me by posting 4 days a week. Having a blogging accountability partner always helps and maybe we will even think of other cool ways to blog through the shortest (and frequently dreariest) month of the year.

An auspicious way to start what is sometimes the dreariest day of the year, don't you think?

I took this during lunch break today, when I took a short walk to a nearby park to enjoy the sun and chat briefly with Grammy.

In addition, I will also be taking a photo a day during this month. Most likely many of them will end up being the low quality but addictingly fun iPod Touch via Instagram ones, but I will try to actually get my real camera out from time to time. So there you have my goals for the month, how about you? Any brilliant ideas of how to make it through February?

Day 29 – Long Travel Day

Today has all revolved around travel, which makes sense because when you calculate my departure time from Goshen to my arrival time to dear ole Hedgehog in Seattle, it is a 14 hour trip. Granted that involved around 2 hours of wandering around downtown Chicago, between the train and the plane, but still a very long day. While I am partially tempted to write about all the annoyances of travel (CTA delays that gave David and I the privilege of waiting 30 minutes in the cold and twice running up and down a flight of stairs carrying my 54lb suitcase, the dehydrating nature of planes, how tired one gets after sitting for so long) in the end I am indeed sitting in a chair in a metal tube flying thousands of feet above the air and this 14 hour “grueling trip” would have taken many times as long only 100 or so short years ago.

My trip home (interestingly enough Chicago, Goshen and even Seattle all feel, to some degree, like they fit that description) was wonderful, all too short, relaxing, tiring, full of furious catch-up sessions with friends and definitely something I feel rather reluctant to return from. While I will get to see Becca and Jess in just a few weeks over New Year’s Day, my plans to see family again aren’t currently set and I won’t be able to get home for Christmas this year. Already I am feeling the pinch of both vacation days (by January I will only have 3.5 to get me through the end of August) and money and other than a possible trip in March don’t know when I will get to see my family again. That makes me sad, but I guess it is also part of the big adventure of moving to the West Coast and that is an adventure I am still excited about.