Flashback to fall

Since it seems clear that Seattle has finally rounded that slight corner from fall into winter (essentially add some rain and subtract 10 to 15 degrees), I thought I would share some of my photos from this fall. One of my regrets from my first year in Washington was how I didn’t really get outside the city limits of Seattle very much. Other than a ferry ride to Bainbridge island, a trip to Orcas Islands with my parents, the beach house reunion and an occasional conference on the Eastside, I mainly stuck around home. Obviously much of that had to do with not owning a car, limited income and generally not having that key group of friends that helps make weekend trips happen.

However this fall I managed to move my number of visits to Eastern Washington from 0 to 3 all within a month. Here are a few photos of those adventures (one of which was already chronicles in my wine tasting post):

Washington scenery continues its stunningly successful "impress the heck out of Abby" campaign

A staff retreat took me to the foothills of the Cascades in North Bend, WA.

Autumn in Seattle #fromthebuswindow

I think this fall has had much better leaf colors this year, or maybe I just didn’t notice them as much last year.

Driving home through the pass #mennocountryauction #latergram

Driving through the mountain pass during sunset = pretty

Eastern Washington is a beautiful place #mennocountryauction

Eastern Washington doesn’t look like Western Washington

Headed into the mountains #mennocountryauction

The drive on 90 through the mountains heading east is a good one to take this time of year.

Slightly better than your average Seattle sunset! #nofilter

Seattle sunset, with a does of extra glowiness.

Soooo, this view is only 15 min away from the new office #winning

Seattle is a pretty city.

I moved this weekend!

So the big news about this weekend is that I moved in with Alex (yes this Alex). I have been reticent to share this news for two reasons.

The first is that coming from the background I come from, I tend to get a range of reactions to this. For some of my friends, the response tends to be “Congrats, that’s really exciting!”. From other (and no less loving sources) the response tends to be more mixed. You see, being a Christian and sharing an apartment with your boyfriend are two things that don’t always mix well in people’s mind. But for me and Alex that paradox isn’t a problem.

The second is that writing about the personal details of my relationships is not something I like to do too much of on this blog. So suffice to say while I love Alex dearly and am really excited to be taking this step with him, I also don’t feel like going into all the points along the way that lead us to this decision. That said, if you do happen to know me in real life (in any capacity really) feel free to email me directly if you would like to talk more about this. While I have been horrible about email this fall, I have every intention of making up for lost time.

Without further ado, here is a picture taken from my new living room of the brief patch of blue sky that existed in Seattle today:

Seattle had a completely legit patch of blue sky today!

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

Getting my vote on

My official ballot I was just about to start this blog post with a statement about how this is my second election to vote in the state of Washington, however I just had the chilling thought that I think I may NOT have voted last year. Erm, well that would be a sad fact, but now that I think about it I think I was so thrown off by this whole “ballot in the mail” thing (and my recent cross-country move) that I may neglected my duty as a citizen. Well, if that is true and I did forget to vote last year, I am totally going to make up for it and vote twice this year! I mean that’s totally how it works right? Just save up all your votes for the really important stuff.
Voter's guides Well sarcasm aside, I think this is the year where I actually realized how handy it is to have your ballot in your home, where you can take your time to read the thick and somewhat incomprehensible voter’s guide, check out the voter’s guides of your choice (I found a nice balance between Washington’s Progressive Voter’s Guide and the Stranger’s endorsements). I am also happy to say that while my ballot was close to a straight democratic ticket, I did vote for a Republican, a moderate who is running for Lieutenant Governor and seems to be an all around better candidate. While not an frequent choice, I do value the chance to vote outside party lines, especially in today’s uber divided political atmosphere.

So there you go, my biggest accomplishment today. I wish everyone a happy voting day tomorrow, may your lines be short and your votes counted.

 

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

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 13 – New animated gif generator!

During the past holiday season I wrote a round up of great animated gifs for a post at work and also decided to make my own animated gif – out of gifts! I seriously am the funniest person alive, people.

But at the time, finding a good animated gif generator was not the easiest thing. I hunted around on Google, wasting a good hour downloading and trying to use an old Microsoft tool, which didn’t end up doing anything – not too surprising because they stopped supporting it back in 1999 or so. I did eventually find a gif generator, but wasn’t super thrilled by the lack of edits and it also just wasn’t very pretty.

Enter this new site (with a slightly inappropriate name) – Mothereffing animated gif. It has a simple ad-free interface that let’s you drag and drop your photos into place, select your desired quality and speed, then download your nicely generated animated gif.

So I decided to experiment from this series of photos I took of Jonathan pretending to be a zombie during a visit home last summer. As you can see the first version got a fun slightly creepy effect from being a lo-res version, but the speed was too high and and I wanted a better quality.

I like how this final one turned out, just the right amount of creepy and plenty of zombie-infected Jonathan! 🙂

 

Day 11 – Teaching computer classes and really good suppers

Tonight I volunteered for the second time as an instructor for a computer skills for adult english language learners class at the local library. However, thanks to a missing instructor I got a last minute bump from assistent to teacher!  While not my ideal way to start teaching, the evening still went quite smoothly, although I missed having someone else there to help monitor how the students are progressing. Due to the set-up of the lap you can either instruct from the front, where you only see the backs of student’s monitors, or you can stand in the back and help out from there. Thankfully it was a pretty small class, with only 4 people in attendance, which let me balance helping individuals with leading the class.

I am enjoying this chance to both flex my instructor muscles and get to do more direct service, however seeing as I haven’t had the work to evening class transition in well over a year, these types of days tend to leave me pretty exhausted. But seeing as David just pulled this out of the oven, the evening just started looking up!

Sausage, sweet potato, apple, onion and garlic roast