February 12, 2018

CHRISTMAS 2017

Christmas was a dream. About three weeks before Christmas, I was talking to a waitress who told me that she was from Seattle and had never had a White Christmas before. So when the rumors started going around that the weather reports showed a good chance of snow on Christmas Eve, I tried to take a chill pill and not get my hopes up.
Well, on Christmas Eve the snow started to come down. We had cozied up by the fire in our new Christmas jammies, after filling our bellies with the Bryant traditional Mexican foods of sopa fideo, cheese enchiladas and beans. I ran outside when I saw that the snow as coming down and I almost started crying. It was just so magical.
Also, William REALLY loves Charlie. He's the best dog, ever.
After opening gifts and having our traditional Christmas morning breakfast of Æbleskiver, we put on our warmest gear and spent a good amount of the morning in the snow. We're pretty lucky to have a really fabulous sledding hill in our backyard so we took our sled and had a blast sledding in all the fresh powder.
Lulu mostly rotated between naughty and nice faces while she made snowballs and threw them at my face. She also enjoyed making snow angels and being adorable. Three is such a fun age!
 
 
For Christmas dinner, I made Herb Crusted Prime Rib with Horseradish Cream, Garlic Sautéed Green Beans, Pear + Parsnip Gratin and Ginger Lemon Molasses Cake with Whipped Vanilla Cream. It was a delicious feast!
 

February 11, 2018

TRIBE

A quick back story about this post. We've been in our house for almost three years and other than my dear next door neighbor and a couple of other acquaintances, I hadn't made very many friends in our neighborhood. Our area is going through a transition. The community was built in the mid-1970s and the real estate market here is insane so a lot of families like ours are moving into the area because of the great schools and location, knowing that a fixer upper is an option that you just kind of have to accept if you want to buy a house in this market. We feel so grateful to have been able to buy a house at all! We bought our house from the original owner and there isn't a single thing that doesn't need some work, but we have a beautiful yard, potential in the house, wonderful schools and now - wonderful friends.

Our neighborhood also has a community pool, with a great swim team and swimming coaches. This last summer, I was at swimming lessons with my kids early one morning and sat next to another mom with a brand-new baby. Her kids were in my kids' swimming class and we started talking. Immediately, I knew I had to be friends with Ashley. We had a lot in common and she was friendly, smart and fun.

I got myself invited to her house one night for some other lady friends in the neighborhood. I went over to her house on that summer evening and snuck in late onto her back patio, lit up with candles and a beautiful spread on the table with a group of other women surrounding it. I know this sounds silly but it was so exciting to me, an extrovert who had been dying for some friends, to meet several other women who have varying interests, life experiences and beliefs in my own neighborhood.

From then on, these women have become my tribe. They help with my kids when I'm sick, do last-minute school pick up for me when an appointment runs long, give thoughtful, compassionate advice, stop by for a spontaneous, afternoon hang and, of course, plenty of weekend dates. I have always needed strong female relationships in my life and these open-minded, talented, brilliant women filled a part of my soul that was empty.
OK, enough cheesiness (and I guess that wasn't exactly "quick"), but you come here for cheese, right? Anyway, Ashley is the party queen. She's always planning fun activities and parties and inviting huge groups of people to her house. In December, she and her husband hosted a dinner party for the couples and it was so fun. I looked around the table at my friends and their spouses and felt so grateful to have finally found a tribe that made me feel like I truly belong here.

February 5, 2018

thanksgiving 2017

I know it's February but I really want to post about Thanksgiving. I've been terrible about blogging lately, and I don't beat myself up about it too much, but when it comes to the big stuff I would like to document it even though months have gone by. For Thanksgiving this year, David's parents and eldest sister came to our house for the holiday. We did all the traditional things like eat great food, the kids were loving all the quality time with their grandparents and aunt, and we talked and spent time together... annnnd, I was terrible about taking photos. Blerg. :(
While they were here, my father-in-law found out he has kidney cancer. Of course, we are very sad about this news and love him very much. Because of this news, they decided to leave early and see his doctors right away. Right before they left for the airport, I quickly grabbed my camera and we got some pictures of him and grandma with the kids. I'm so glad to have these photos that, I think, really depict the love my kids have for their grandparents (and vice versa). I love that I was able to get one of each of them individually too. 
Cancer sucks. I know David's family really appreciates any good thoughts, love or prayers you would like to send their way. My friend, whose mother was just diagnosed with cancer, said, "The thing we all want - and indeed need - is to know we’re not alone. I’m determined to be better at letting people know that I see them and I hear them and I care about them." I aspire to be better at this too. 

January 30, 2018

friends weekend

The week after Christmas, I went on a trip with my girlfriends to our friend's cabin on Anderson Island. It was a great way for all of us to re-center after the chaos of the holidays. One of the best parts of the Pacific Northwest are all the beautiful islands that are surrounded by the Puget Sound, and one of the best parts about friendships is quality time sans kids with lots of good conversation and food. 

We stayed up late laughing, talking and playing games and then woke up and explored the beautiful island where we hike down to the beach. We got lucky with the beautiful, sunny weather on a winter weekend!
Brooke has us all cracking up when she insisted on taking these glamorous shots in this chair. I will say - it was a picturesque spot.
Thanks to my beautiful friend, Ashley, for her generosity with sharing her cabin and her excellent hostess skills. She even had custom tote bags made for all of us - seriously impressive and if you know her then you also know what a queen she is!

December 7, 2017

fluffy

Just another picture of Charlie because... well, because, he's ADORABLE! I took this in front of the Christmas tree right after bringing him home from the groomer. They brought him out to me and I squealed because he was so fluffy and so cute! I couldn't stop thinking about this scene - "He's so fluffy! I'm gonna die!" Boy, do we love him!