Category Archives: Family

First Holiday Season at The Lodge

This holiday season was extra special for us. We’re hoping to spend every Thanksgiving and Christmas at The Lodge from here until eternity and our inaugural year didn’t disappoint. Our first Christmas season was a white one and it was filled with more joy and smiles on my kids’ faces than I’ve ever seen before.

We were able to spend just over two weeks holed up in the mountains together and it was magical and so, so very special. It seems like our quality family time happens mostly at The Lodge and to have such an abundance was the best gift of the season.

Our Christmas traditions seemed extra special this year. Alex perfected his cinnamon roll baking skills and whipped up the best batch yet! I knocked out a few more dozen of my new favorite Christmas cookie – M&M cookies. Ben decorated a gingerbread house and we cozied up on the couch in front of the fire for The Night Before Christmas.

There were so many firsts that will be on the “traditions” list from here on out.

We loved ice skating in town, finding the best sledding hill around and going cross country skiing still holds high on our list. Ben got three days of skiing in and Alex and I managed to get one, too, although it was separate.

A few days after Christmas my dad made his way out to The Lodge. We were also joined for a few visits by my cousin Jonathan, his wife, Kelly, and their almost 2-year old son, Miles, who were staying nearby. The weather was really mixed during this part of our trip and was fraught with torrential rain for a few days.

Despite the unseasonable weather we managed to get out for a few adventures around town and hosted Jon, Kelly and Miles for a few play dates to escape the rain. After taking Ben skiing, my dad and I were able to stay at Stevens Pass for a few hours and take some runs together. It was such a treat and the conditions were amazing.

This first holiday season at The Lodge was an absolute dream. Time moved so slowly and it really felt like we were able to unwind, relax, play and enjoy each other’s company. It actually did feel like a vacation.

The snowy weather made the experience that much more special. Snow is one of my absolute favorite things and I found myself rushing to the windows in the morning to see if new snow had fallen in the night. We read “Snow” as many times as possible because every time we recited it, it snowed!

My heart is extra full after this holiday season and it’s overflowing with gratitude and excitement that we are able to spend so much time out in the mountains this winter. Happy ski season!

2010-2019… A Decade Recap

I’ve been super nostalgic lately and I think it’s partly due to the fact that my toddlers are growing up before my eyes, but also partly because the decade is coming to an end. I wanted to put together a little photo reel of images I thought summed up each year of the 2010s. Happy New Year!

2010

We bought our first house! Back when we were 24 we were not anticipating still being there a decade later and bringing home our babies to that home. We fell in love with our little craftsman and absolutely adore our neighborhood. I don’t know if we’ll ever leave Madrona, but hopefully one day we’ll up-size and get a slightly bigger house.

2011

Skiing was a major part of our 2011. This winter we made it to Whistler, Breckenridge, Jackson Hole and Crystal Mountain. We palled around Crystal Mountain with our friends Carrie and Patrick, as well as Steve and Diane, and solidified our friendship, love of the mountains and skiing skills.  We rented a cabin for four weekends the winter of 2010-2011 with two other couples and that was the gateway to our quest for our own ski cabin. 2011 also marked the year that Alex and I snuck off to the courthouse and got legally married, then later that year Alex’s paternal grandmother, Maxine, passed away.

2012

Our winter wonderland wedding took place on April 14, 2012 in the mountain town of Vail, Colorado. 90 of our family members and closest friends joined us as we said “I do” while surrounded by puffy snowflakes falling down just for the occasion. 2012 was also the year we got our puppy, Aspen. Sadly, she only lived six months. We also said goodbye to Alex’s maternal grandfather, Papa.

2013

We celebrated our first anniversary in Hawaii just before bringing home our puppy, Jackson. That summer was filled with weddings and associated parties, as well as travel to said weddings. As newlyweds ourselves it was extra fun to celebrate our friends’ nuptials. Along the way in 2013, I lost both of my grandmothers and now Alex and I only have one surviving grandparent – his maternal grandmother, Nana.

2014

The trip of a lifetime was our major 2014 highlight. We spent a month touring Italy, Switzerland, Spain, London and Amsterdam. The reason for the trip was to attend the dreamy wedding of Alex’s sister, Alina, and her husband, Alberto in northern Italy. Our trip was a dream and we think back on this so often.

2015

This was the last year before we had kids and we sure lived it up in 2015. We drank all of the wine, took as many trips as possible and enjoyed our time together. I got pregnant in the fall of 2015, so the year ended with my first trimester.

2016

During the earlier parts of my pregnancy Alex and I managed to squeeze in quite a few memorable ski days. We went to Park City together, then Alex went on a cat ski trip with our friend Patrick while I went to Whistler with my dad. I’m so grateful we got that many ski days before we became parents. Ben arrived on the very last day of May in 2016 via an abrupt c-section. After a month in the NICU we brought him home and started our life as a family of three. Having a premature newborn is no easy feat. There were many challenges and so much joy in 2016. We certainly adjusted to our new normal and were so very grateful to have had Edina, our wonderful nanny help us navigate the beginning of parenthood.

2017

I had a hard time coming up with a “theme” for 2017. It really was a fun year but not one with a major trend, other than navigating parenthood. We managed to travel a bit – we went to Arizona, Whistler, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Illinois and we bought the property in Leavenworth that we eventually built The Lodge on.

2018

Hannah was born right in the middle of summer 2018. She was the absolute best baby and made us feel like a real family. A few months before Ben turned 2 we broke ground on building The Lodge, and Alex had a big job change.

2019

The Lodge was completed in early 2019 and our year was spent adjusting to our new life with two toddlers and two homes. The joy we experienced in 2019 is a life’s worth. We made all of the memories and squeezed in as much as we possibly could to this special year. We spent so much time together as a family, as well as with our extended family and close friends. Early in the year I left my job to stay home with our kiddos.

I can’t even imagine what’s in store for the next decade. I only hope that the 2020s bring us more family time, a continued love of exploration and nature, good health, an abundance of travel and patience. By the end of the 2020s our children will be teenagers and Alex and I will be approaching our mid-40s. I don’t really think I’ve thought about what those days late in the next decade will possibly look like – I just hope they’re happy ones.

Holiday Traditions

One of my absolute favorite holiday traditions is baking Christmas cookies. I love to package them up in a cute little box and bring them around to our neighbors to spread some holiday cheer. This year was our tenth year of doing this!

Ben got really into cookie baking with me this year. We had so much fun baking sugar cookies together. I will say, though, nothing tests your patience quite like baking with a toddler! The kids loved decorating them, too. Ben also requested making M&M cookies which turned out to be his greatest idea to date – they were SO GOOD.

I ended up having more energy for baking this year than I expected, still nothing compared to pre-kids! We turned out probably 15-16 dozen cookies this year and I hope to bake more at The Lodge. I would love to bring them around to some of our neighbors and the fire station there.

Here are the recipes we used for our favorite cookies this year:

Happy baking!

Chronicles of a Stay at Home Mom: Traveling Dad

Recently Alex flew to Chicago to celebrate his mom’s birthday. It was a huge surprise for her! This meant the kids and I stayed put in Seattle. Given it’s the month of December I packed our schedule with holiday fun to help pass the time while Alex was away.

{“Mama! I’m driving us to the North Pole!”}

I started to see the light at the end of the toddler tunnel during our Children’s Museum trip. It was our best trip ever. Both kids were so engaged, such great listeners and we all had a blast. I had my first moment where I could see that life may very well just get a little less crazy soon. Whew!

{“Mama! It’s just like your new car!”}

Our sweet neighborhood put up a big Christmas tree in downtown for the first time ever. We were so excited to participate in the lighting ceremony on Friday night. We met some friends and braved the rain to get a little change of pace and some fresh air.

The kids had the pleasure of discovering St. Nicholas had left a special treat in our shoes overnight on Saturday morning. Ben was very into the concept of St. Nicholas Day and was eager to learn more and see a picture of him. He had so many questions about St. Nick!

Our big holiday event was riding the Santa Train on Saturday. It was definitely a highlight for us all. This was the kids’ first real train ride.

We met my cousin, Chris, and his family for the ride. Their kids, Henry and Claire, are 4 and 2 respectively, so very close in age to Ben and Hannah. Life keeps getting in the way and we don’t see them as much as I’d like to which made it all the more special to get together.

The train took us on a 3-mile trip to visit Santa! This was the first time Ben had shown any interest whatsoever in meeting Santa. I was happy to oblige for a Santa picture.

We finished out the day by watching the new Grinch movie down in the playroom. It was a little scary for Ben at the beginning but overall I think it was a hit!

The rest of the weekend was a bit more low-key. We hosted a playdate at our house, spent Sunday morning at the park and made a big batch of gingerbread playdough.

{Gingerbread playdough was a HIT! It smells SO amazing! Here is the recipe.}

{Thank heavens for a coffee shop next door to the park!}

For some reason I thought it would be a good idea to put up the Christmas lights and decorate our front porch with my two toddlers running around in our non-fenced in front yard. Pro tip: don’t do this! It ended up being fine, albeit stressful, but it took about 17 times as long as it should have. I would love to see a time lapse video of me doing this – every time I made one minor adjustment to the lights I had to drop them and run to grab Hannah who was darting down the sidewalk or the driveway.

The weekend was a huge success, but boy was it exhausting to be *on* as a parent for an extended period. It’s always hard when Alex isn’t around at all – we all miss him, that’s for sure! We made a lot of really special memories together and I had a great time really playing and bonding with my kids. Sometimes I feel like all we do is go from point A to point B and try to squeeze in cleaning up, doing the dishes, getting ready and doing the never ending laundry but I took a lot of that pressure off myself this weekend and really enjoyed my time. One of my parenting goals is to truly be present with my kids as much as I can and I feel confident that I hit that goal this weekend for sure.

Thanksgiving 2019

The holidays are in full-swing over here. We had such a memorable Thanksgiving – our first at The Lodge – and enjoyed kicking off the holiday season in the mountains. We have so much to look forward to this first winter in the mountains.

{Alex’s parents and my mom came for part of our Thanksgiving week.}

{Our first project of our 10-day trip to The Lodge was stock up on firewood! This is what a half a cord of firewood looks like.}

{Needless to say, we had a roaring fire all weekend long and worked very hard to deplete our firewood supply. It felt so, so cozy inside the house!}

{It was rather disappointing to find there was no snow on the ground. We made do and enjoyed the frosty mornings instead. The weather was cold and clear most of the time.}

{We had a few days just the four of us before everyone arrived. It was fun to have some family time and we enjoyed exploring a bit.}

{Whew! Hannah is finally getting to a point where she’s able to go down the stairs safely by herself. We have four flights of hardwood stairs in the house, so it’s a bit nerve wracking with the little ones.}

{Thanksgiving arrived and, per our tradition, we started the day with a Turkey Trot. There was a dusting of fresh snow and it was COLD.}

{The Turkey Trot was unanimously the highlight of the day for the adults who ran it.}

{There’s just something about starting a holiday dedicated to gratitude and eating with a 5K.}

{I had so much fun putting together this charcuterie board. It tasted great and my kids loved it too!}

{We had a pretty traditional Thanksgiving dinner – turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, stuffing, sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, rolls, fruit, pumpkin pie… I love cooking Thanksgiving. I think I may switch up some of the recipes/methods for next year though, just to add a little variety.}

{Friday afternoon we headed to town for Leavenworth’s annual Christmas Market.}

{The highlight of the Christmas Market for me was the mini donuts. Yes, I absolutely had a full dozen all by myself and no, I had no regrets.}

{The Leavenworth Christmas lights are truly magical!}

{Surprisingly one of the highlights for me was our trip to the Leavenworth Reindeer Farm. It was SO neat. I loved being up close to the reindeer and learning more about them. Hannah seemed into it but Ben would have rather watched from afar.}

{The grandparents offered to watch the kids so Alex and I could have some much needed time together on Saturday afternoon. We tried a new restaurant, got more mini donuts and took a stroll down by the river.}

{Our last big activity was a jaunt over to Lake Wenatchee.}

{We built a campfire and roasted s’mores and enjoyed the dreary day amidst nature’s beautiful backdrop.}

{Finally! On our last night we got the teeniest tiniest amount of snow!}

{It was enough for the kids to bring out their sleds and play around.}

{We took a walk through the forest on our property and decided to cut down one of our very own trees to use as our Christmas tree this year. Stay tuned!}

{These two littles adore their grandparents!}

{Our trip ended like this… Jackson got to ride in my new car for the first time. Look at all of the space he has (there is a full-size suitcase behind him!)!!! He’s always sad to leave The Lodge.}

Our first Thanksgiving at The Lodge was a very special one indeed. We’re so, so grateful to have a home in the mountains that allows us a retreat with our family and friends.

Fall Family Photos 2019

We’re so grateful to our family photographer, Kim Hildebrand, for her talent and impressive abilities behind a camera. Kim shoots with film and we continue to be amazed by her knack for documenting our family perfectly, especially with a limited number of shots. Here are some of our favorites from our recent photo session:


 

Lodge Life: Fall!

Fall came quickly to the mountains this year and brought abundant sunshine, the most glorious brightly colored leaves, the smell of campfires all around us and perfect crisp and frosty mornings. Our little family spent so many weekends in Leavenworth this fall and it was so fun watching the season evolve.

We planned four long, consecutive weekends at The Lodge this fall, beginning in mid-September. With the exception of one weekend the weather was perfect! Chilly and sunny – just the way we like it. We loved pulling out our cozy layers and switching from iced lattes to hot ones. We found the perfect pumpkin latte in town {and no, it’s not Starbucks!} and I made pumpkin muffins with the kids.

Driving through the Tumwater Canyon on highway 2 was a highlight of the fall for me. The colors and scenery through the canyon are spectacular. As the road winds its way along the Wenatchee River into Leavenworth proper the trees and mountainside become more and more glorious. The rapids in the river seem to always catch the sunlight perfectly and my goodness, the autumn leaves shimmering in the sun were stunning.

I was able to indulge in two long runs around town and next to the river this fall. It was heavenly being out in nature and enjoying such beauty.

As a family we enjoyed our walks along the riverfront, cheering Ben on while he lived his best life on the pump track and watching our kids play outside in the yard. It has been extra special to watch Hannah become more and more sturdy and be able to hold her own. She has been having a blast on the swing set and loves to climb up the ladder all by herself.

Two weekends we spent entertaining some friends of ours. One weekend my friend from Minnesota, Sarah, and her family came to visit. Madeline, their 3-year old, and Ben got to pal around and catch up. We loved seeing them and meeting their new daughter, Emily.

Another weekend our local friends and Octoberfest regulars, Dave and Trish and their two boys, came to stay with us. We always have such a nice time with them and we were blown away by how well Ben and Liam, their 3-year old, played together.

We also have loved that friends and family who have been in Leavenworth on their own trips have come over to our house for a visit. My cousin and his family, along with our old neighbors and my aunt and uncle stopped by our house while they were already in the mountains. Our neighbors, Ross and Erin, brought their drone and took some fun pictures of our house and the surrounding area.

One of the reasons we built The Lodge was to spend more time with friends and family. It brings us so much joy to share our home and our piece of mountain paradise with family and friends. We so loved our time and the opportunity to see our friends and family for a longer stretch.

We are really getting in our groove out there. Now we’re in the midst of a much needed focus on our life and home in Seattle so we’ll be a bit more settled and in one place this month. That said, we are getting set to prepare for winter in the mountains, though, and have a long list of things that need to get done. Alex and I can’t wait to experience our first full winter at The Lodge and we’re already getting excited about the holiday season ahead of us. It’s going to come quickly!

Wisconsin Family Trip

For our last family hurrah of the summer we packed our suitcases, headed to the airport and flew east to Wisconsin to spend time with Alex’s family and some long-time friends.

Our trip took us to Lake Delavan, located in the southern part of the state, where Alex’s parents have a condo. This visit was long overdue and we were thrilled to finally introduce Hannah to her extended family and meet our new nephew, Marco.

Taking two toddlers on a plane is no small feat. We expected chaos. We expected screaming. We expected a very frustrated Hannah, not being old enough to understand just why she was trapped in a metal tube flying in the air for more than 4 hours. We did not expect harmony or peace or frankly much enjoyment from her at all. But! Enjoyment and harmony is what we got!

We knew Ben would be just fine but we didn’t expect Hannah to be, too! Hannah is obsessed with airplanes flying in the sky – I honestly didn’t think that interest would carry over into actually flying in an airplane. She was giddy with excitement with all the people in the airport, standing in front of the big windows watching the planes and then once we boarded the plane she connected all of the dots and realized she’d get to fly, too!

She did so, so well – on both flights, even. It really was a dream scenario. I hardly had to pull out any of the toys and activities I brought for either kid. Our flight {to Wisconsin especially} actually ended up being a highlight of our trip.

Enough about our travel day!

While we were on the ground in Wisconsin we filled our days with family. We so enjoyed a big family gathering with Alex’s relatives. It was fun to meet some of his cousins I hadn’t met yet, see how many great grandchildren Nana has {a lot! and probably only half of them were there!} and catch up with his aunts and their family friends, The Baileys. I loved sneaking away to go for a run with Alex’s uncle, a marathoner, and I even got to spend time with one of my college roommates, Julie, and her family too.

One of the major highlights of the trip for us, and one of the biggest reasons for taking the trip, was spending time with Nico and Marco, Alex’s and my nephews. Nico is 2 1/2 and Marco was 3 weeks old when we were there.

Ben and Nico got along famously. It was the sweetest thing watching the two of them pal around. It fills my heart with forward-looking joy and anticipation of the cousin love that’s starting to form.

We absolutely loved the time with the kids.

Another big highlight of the trip was when Alex and Alina took the littlest ones {Marco and Hannah} to visit Nana one afternoon. It was so special for them to have that time together.

The weather wasn’t really working in our favor for much of the trip. We had a few nice days but it was so windy! I really couldn’t believe it. It was too windy and cool to comfortably boat or go to the pool most days. Thankfully Grammy and Papa were well-prepared for us and had stocked the condo full of toddler toys and they acquired quite the slew of toddler vehicles for the kids to roll around in.

Alex and I had planned to spend one night in Chicago while we were there. We took the train into the city and made it just in time to have lunch and see a Cubs baseball game with some of Alex’s long-time friends. I had never been to Wrigley Field before and he was eager to show me around.

We loved staying in the Wicker Park neighborhood and had a really nice, leisurely morning being tourists. We found a great brunch spot and just enjoyed adulting and taking a really long walk through a fun urban neighborhood.

One of the highlights for me was early morning cuddles with Hannah. We’re probably still paying for this a bit now, but when she’d wake up early in the morning I didn’t want her to rouse the whole house so I just brought her into bed with us. It’s not something we really ever do so I was happy to “break the rules” a bit. It was very special time with my girl.

Our trip quickly came to an end after we returned from Chicago. We were lucky that Grammy and Papa had planned a trip of their own to come to Seattle the following week, so that made saying goodbye a little easier. Until next time!

Summer Recap

Summer isn’t normally my favorite season. Don’t get me wrong, I love our sunny Seattle summer days, but I’m usually more of a fall and winter kind of gal. Not this year, though! This summer rivals some pretty epic summers I’ve had for the best summer of my adult life and I’m sliding it into the top slot of best summers of all time.

This post is mainly going to be a photo dump, but I’ll preface by saying that this summer was so fantastic because of all of the family time we’ve been able to have in the mountains. Our life slows down so much out there. The days are so full and they move so much slower and we jam them full of adventure, exploration and family giggles – oh, and eating. These really are the days…

{Ben kicked off summer with two weeks of swimming lessons in early June. He became quite comfortable in the water!}

{Ben’s first bike competition! Bike ‘n Juice at Ski Hill in Leavenworth.}

{We fell in love with the community pool in Leavenworth this summer and went there at least once a week.}

{I’ve been enjoying more homemade iced lattes this summer to save myself a trip to the coffee shop.}

{Ben got a scooter for his 3rd birthday. He’s a pro already!}

{Lake Wenatchee – one of our favorites.}

{#prodad}

{Overlooking the Wenatchee River.}

{Ben participated in 6 weeks of summer camps. 2 weeks were bike camps and the remaining were at his former preschool.}

{Ben + dirt = love}

{Icicle Gorge hike – my personal favorite!}

{A big part of our late summer has been getting our irrigation lines run and our yard prepped for grass in Leavenworth.}

{The view from my favorite coffee shop in Leavenworth is incredible…}

{Grammy and Papa came to celebrate Hannah’s first birthday!}

{Hannah turned ONE!}

{Inspiration Playground in Bellevue is a favorite!}

{We had very few Seattle beach days this summer, but one of my favorites was when we met a few friends and had a pizza picnic on the beach with the kiddos.}

{This kid could spend all day digging in the sand.}

{Backyard water fun!}

{I remember this morning. Alex had to leave for work around 6 a.m., totally unexpectedly, so I piled the kids in the stroller and took Jackson for a long walk around the neighborhood. Notice Mount Rainier in the background. It was the best way to start the day.}

{We stumbled upon so many spectacular sites this summer. This beach on the Wenatchee River is at the top of the list for sure.}

{We had a few different families out to The Lodge this summer and had a blast spending more time with them.}

{Hannah turned into a toddler this summer!}

{One of the hidden beaches in our neighborhood in Seattle.}

{Grandpa Fred came for a visit in mid-August!}

{Hikes at Ski Hill in Leavenworth are extra special.}

{The grass is coming in at The Lodge and Ben loves playing baseball!}

{As the summer carried on we spent more and more time just playing outside in Leavenworth.}

{Our summer came to a close with our family trip to Wisconsin. More on that later!}

Ben is back in school now and fall is here in Seattle. Summer came to a halt after Labor Day and I wasn’t as prepared as I had hoped. I had really been expecting an Indian summer to precede our switch to autumn and that doesn’t seem to be the case. Here’s hoping for a fantastic fall to follow our summer!

 

Alex’s Belated Paternity Leave

After Hannah’s birth we were so fortunate that Alex was able to stay home for two weeks to bond with her and help out with the transition to having two kiddos. At that time he wasn’t eligible for his company’s paternity leave because he had only worked there for a few months. Thankfully, though, he was able to take the leave later on and we just wrapped up nearly 3 weeks of precious family time.

The time we had with Alex was about as good as it gets. We were able to spend so very much time together as a little family of four and make memories that will stay with me forever – I sure hope at least Ben remembers this time.

Alex’s vacation started on the 4th of July and ended the day after Hannah’s birthday and included a visit from Alex’s parents. We split our time between the mountains and Seattle.

At the start of Alex’s leave both of us were rattling off things we really wanted to do with the time and I’m so glad we had the foresight to come up with a plan for his leave. It would have been so disappointing to near the end and look back and think about all the things we hadn’t gotten to. Because of that, we were able to get to nearly everything we had hoped to.

Our time in the mountains felt like it lasted so, so long. Time passes so much slower out there and the pace of life is more manageable, it feels. We are able to fit so much into a single day, let alone the nearly two weeks we were there for.

Despite the unseasonably cool days in the Pacific Northwest earlier in the month we made it to the fabulous Leavenworth pool several times, took countless trips to Enchantment Park in town, walked the trail from the park into town, went to the beach at Lake Wenatchee State Park,fell in love with the Leavenworth Farmers Market, went hiking several times and relaxed at The Lodge. Alex even pulled both kiddos in the bike trailer. Our “vacation” ended with Hannah’s birthday celebration.

The time we spent in Seattle was just as special as it was in the mountains, though we were only there for five of the 18 days. Ben had bike camp every morning and I think Alex got a kick out of helping Ben ride his bike up there each day then coming back early to pick him up so he could watch Ben on his bike.

We had a really fun trip to the zoo, lots of park time, Alex took a nice bike ride and we enjoyed a few nice meals out and I was able to take some time to get a few things accomplished on my own.

Another highlight of our trip was Alex’s and my overnight in Seattle while the kids stayed at The Lodge with Grammy and Papa. The adult time was much needed. We were gone around 24 hours and enjoyed some patio time at Bottlehouse, a fabulous dinner at our favorite restaurant, Vendemmia, and a little more flexibility in our time.

{Side note: the following are the only two pictures we took during our time away. It’s funny how few pictures I take when the kids aren’t the focus!}

The best part for me, though, was seeing how much family bonding took place, in particular while we were in the mountains. Our time was so special. It was precious. It was perfect. We all knew that Alex’s increased presence was a treat and we indulged and just so enjoyed it. Hannah and Alex had some really, really special time, too, which is what it was all about.

We feel so grateful for this family time and have made so many memories and hopefully started a tradition that will last for years to come. We’re hoping to have a longer “staycation” every year where we can stay put in Seattle and/or Leavenworth and enjoy time together. I’m so, so glad that companies and our country are starting to offer paternity leave to new dads. There’s still a lot of work to do, in my opinion, to improve paid parental leave across the board, but I’m seeing progress and am so thankful for that.

{Waving bye bye to dada as he leaves for work….}