Tag Archives: Birthdays

Alex’s Birthday Weekend in Vancouver

Alex and I took a little road trip to visit the Canucks up in Vancouver this past weekend. Before we hit the road we celebrated on his actual birthday with a trip to Bottlehouse. It was perfect. The weather held out so we could enjoy the evening on the patio. The icing on the cake, though, was when we were informed by the staff that my aunt Sarah called and picked out a very special bottle of Priorat wine for Alex. We can’t wait to drink it!

Saturday morning we woke up bright and early to drop Jackson off at the farm where he was to spend the weekend, then we continued on the drive up to Vancouver. It was a pretty easy drive, other than long waits at the border.

We got to take a ride over the new Port Mann Bridge.

 

We were pleasantly surprised when the weather turned out to be quite nice on the other side of the border. I believe the anticipated high was 58 and it was supposed to rain, so both of us were dressed for the forecast. Reality set in and it ended up being 72 and partly cloudy. Oops!

Gorgeous day for walking around Vancouver!

Gorgeous day for walking around Vancouver!

After we checked in to our amazing hotel {The St. Regis} we headed for ramen! We ate at Gyoza King. It was lovely :)

After we checked in to our amazing hotel {The St. Regis} we headed for ramen! We ate at Gyoza King. It was lovely 🙂

With full bellies we set out to do a stroll through Stanley Park, Vancouver's Central Park.

With full bellies we set out to take a stroll through Stanley Park, Vancouver’s Central Park.

Totem Poles

Totem Poles

Great views back towards the city from Stanley Park.

Great views back towards the city from Stanley Park.

After our stroll through Stanley Park Alex decided to pick up a few cigars...

After our walk through Stanley Park Alex decided to pick up a few cigars…

We then set out to explore Gas Town, a very trendy part of the city. This neighborhood reminded us a lot of two neighborhoods in Seattle. We had dinner at the Alibi Room before making our way to a wine bar for a nightcap.

We then set out to explore Gas Town, a very trendy part of the city. This neighborhood reminded us a lot of two neighborhoods in Seattle. We had dinner at the Alibi Room before making our way to a wine bar for a nightcap.

I just loved the Salt Tasting Room. It's a little hole in the wall wine bar that lets you pick and choose your cheese and meat boards, and of course has great wine.

I just loved the Salt Tasting Room. It’s a little hole in the wall wine bar that lets you pick and choose your cheese and meat boards, and of course has great wine.

We had a great trip in Vancouver! It was really awesome to do a precursor to our Europe trip this summer and work out some of the kinks and figure things out. Even though Vancouver is only a 3 hour drive, we felt like we were a world away from Seattle.

We had a great trip in Vancouver! It was really awesome to do a precursor to our Europe trip this summer and work out some of the kinks and figure things out. Even though Vancouver is only a 3 hour drive, we felt like we were a world away from Seattle.

Fashion, Rain, Soccer and a Birthday

Not any different than the last month, our week has been very busy. We had a lot of time catching up on things at home and getting mentally ready for spring. Last weekend was kicked off by a clothing overload.

I love donating my clothes and was so happy to find Fashion Project, a non-profit that serves basically as a consignment shop and pays in Nordstrom gift cards. I sent them a handful of things I had been meaning to get rid of, especially to make room for new clothes!

I love donating my clothes and was so happy to find Fashion Project, a non-profit that serves basically as a consignment shop and pays in Nordstrom gift cards. I sent them a handful of things I had been meaning to get rid of, especially to make room for new clothes!

I ordered my first Stitch Fix last week! I was giddy with excitement to receive my first shipment...

I ordered my first Stitch Fix last week! I was giddy with excitement to receive my first shipment… Stitch Fix is an online personal shopper, basically, that sends you a box of five things they think you’ll like. I filled out a style profile and shared my Pinterest clothing board for them to get an idea of my style. You only pay for what you keep and then you send back anything you don’t want.

LOVE this dress - too bad it didn't come to me before Carrie's wedding last summer because I have basically the same dress. I love the necklace too, but it was really cheap looking, yet $50.

LOVE this dress – too bad it didn’t come to me before Carrie’s wedding last summer because I have basically the same dress. I love the necklace too, but it was really cheap looking, yet $50.

I really liked this outfit but the top was too big and the bottoms were too small. Dangit!

I really liked this outfit but the top was too big and the bottoms were too small. Dangit!

This was a fun top but it was HUGE! And it was a little boring in the front.

This was a fun top but it was HUGE! And it was a little boring in the front.

In all the excitement with my Stitch Fix, I also got an awesome birthday gift from my mom! She sent this fantastic dress for me {along with a different necklace}. I can't wait to wear it.

In all the excitement with my Stitch Fix, I also got an awesome birthday gift from my mom! She sent this fantastic dress for me {along with a different necklace}. I can’t wait to wear it.

In case it hasn’t been clear so far, I have been trying to expand my wardrobe and build up an adult-like collection of garments. Alex has been really helpful with encouraging me to branch out and be a bit more exciting with what I wear, so as another way to support that he took me on a shopping spree for my birthday! We spent much of the day on Saturday in downtown Seattle at Pacific Place Mall, Nordstrom and Banana Republic. Most of my closet is from Banana Republic and I was trying to get some different pieces elsewhere, but it ended up that everything I got was from BR anyway!

Walking from the bus to the stadium for Saturday's Sounders game

Walking from the bus to the stadium for Saturday’s Sounders game

In between trying on clothes Alex and I took some time out for sports. We cheered on the Iowa State Cyclones at Bravehorse Tavern on Friday night as they played in the Sweet Sixteen basketball tournament. On Saturday we braved the rain and attended the Seattle Sounders soccer game at Century Link Field in Seattle. Thankfully we had club seats so we were in one of the only covered areas in the stadium, otherwise we would have been drenched by the end of the game. Unfortunately for us, we were cheering for two losing teams this weekend. Oh well, it was fun for us either way!

Here we are!

Here we are!

Monday was my birthday – I felt like I had a 4-day birthday this year, which was awesome! On my actual birthday Alex took me out for dinner at our new neighborhood joint, Red Cow, and we had an amazing cheeseburger {seriously}, then last night we met Ali, Tyler and Vivian at Cactus for dinner to catch up and celebrate my birthday again. We always have such a great time with them and it was so fun to see little miss Vivian – she is at the age where she is really starting to get a personality and man does she have a great one! She is just too much fun.

Club seats mean it's okay to drink wine :)

Club seats mean it’s okay to drink wine 🙂

Of course Alex will always drink beer at an MLS game.

Of course Alex will always drink beer at an MLS game.

This week we are focusing our efforts on getting things checked off our to-do list and whipping Jackson into shape. More on both soon!

Jackson’s First Birthday!

Happy birthday to our mischievous and cuddly dog Jackson! Today our pup is one!

Such a happy dog!

Such a happy dog!

It’s hard to believe the day is finally here. This day has been a big milestone that we have been looking forward to for a long time and we’re happy to have made it through the first 12 months. It has been an amazing time so far and I trust that it will only get better. Jackson has been such a welcome addition to our family and has improved our lives dramatically, while also testing our patience, making me learn to speak with a low and firm voice and driving us crazy. We just adore our puppy and are so happy that he is here with us celebrating his birthday today.

Snuggly boy!

Snuggly boy!

Such a cuddle bug from day one!

Such a cuddle bug from day one!

Jackson went from being a two pound potsticker to a 75 pound ham in what seems like a month. This year has gone by incredibly fast and it has been so fun to watch Jackson grow up into a {sometimes} mature dog.

Jack and Alex hanging out in the media room together.

Jack and Alex hanging out in the media room together.

Jackson has always preferred sleeping on tile. Since we got him at the beginning of the summer we allowed him to sleep in the bathroom instead of a crate as a way to keep cool.

Jackson has always preferred sleeping on tile. Since we got him at the beginning of the summer we allowed him to sleep in the bathroom instead of a crate as a way to keep cool.

Alex and his pup

Alex and his pup

He is a ball of furry, uncontrollable energy, a sweet little baby who just wants to lay on the floor and cuddle and he is an excellent ball player. He is independent, yet extremely loyal. No matter what he’s doing if the dishwasher door gets opened, you can count on Jackson to be there to lick whatever he can reach within a matter of seconds. Jackson loves to be the center of attention and make sure everyone knows he is there.

Jackson at 14.5 weeks

Jackson at 14.5 weeks – getting bigger but still a fluffy baby

High five!

High five!

Handsome man!

Handsome man – Jackson at 4.5 months

We have spent many great days at Marymoor Dog Park

We have spent many great days at Marymoor Dog Park

Jackson loves to swim!

Jackson loves to swim!

An ideal day for Jackson would be spent running around in the snow. Or running around anywhere. Swimming would be included for sure. So would playing with other dogs. Definitely eating cheese and hot dogs. And spending time with his puppy parents. Jackson is a relatively easy-going dog – he loves to go on adventures, whether it’s going for a hike, playing in the snow, running around at the dog park or just going to a new place he has never been, Jackson loves to be outside exploring.

So big at 7 months!

So big at 7 months!

Jackson is always at my feet... no matter where I am or what I am doing, there's about a 90% guarantee that Jackson is on or within 3 inches of my feet.

Jackson is always at my feet… no matter where I am or what I am doing, there’s about a 90% guarantee that Jackson is on or within 3 inches of my feet.

Jackson's first trip to the snowy mountains at age 8 months.

Jackson’s first trip to the snowy mountains at age 8 months.

Jackson LOVES the snow.

Jackson LOVES the snow.

We have certainly had our challenges with Jackson since he came into our lives but we are so happy with the dog he has become. It is so exciting to think about him growing old with us and what role he will play in our future. I am really looking forward to having a running companion and maybe even a guard dog someday. I think we’re in for a great summer and a wonderful future with our pup!

He loves just hanging out on the front porch.

He loves just hanging out on the front porch.

My favorite.

My favorite… Sleepy Jackson!

Happy Birthday, Jackson!

Nancy’s Birthday Weekend in Seattle

My mom came out to Seattle to celebrate her birthday this past weekend. It was a big birthday for her so I thought it would be fun to let her escape the chilly Minnesota weather and come hang out in Seattle.

She arrived on Friday evening, which was her actual birthday. We went up to Bottlehouse, our neighborhood wine bar, and celebrated accordingly. My mom had some pink champagne and Alex and I shared a bottle of wine. It was great to catch up and start her visit off right.

An evening out at Bottlehouse.

An evening out at Bottlehouse.

When we got back home it was time for cake! I had made a chocolate angel food cake, which is what my grandparents used to make for my mom. It seemed like the cake was a big hit!

Saturday morning we woke up before the sun. Alex had planned a back country ski trip with Patrick and Carrie that day, so I got up with him and dropped him off at their house. When I got back, my mom and I took Jackson for a walk before getting ready to head to the spa.

I made appointments for my mom and me to get pedicures at my favorite spa out in Redmond. It’s such a luxurious pampering experience and I thought it would be a great birthday treat for my mom. We started off on the wrong food {heehee} because the spa had booked us in two separate rooms, so we began our pedis apart. Thankfully we were able to get moved into the same room eventually and finished off the appointment together. While we were in different rooms we chose our nail color, and lo and behold, we ended up selecting the exact same color!

Birthday cake for the birthday girl!

Birthday cake for the birthday girl!

Not long after we got back home, Alex returned from his ski excursion. We said our hellos and he quickly let me know that he had fallen ill while he was out for the day. I put him to bed and ran out to the pharmacy to pick up some stuff to hopefully keep whatever he was getting at bay or at least lessen the illness. Having just been quite ill myself I did not want him to have what I had!

It’s amazing my mom didn’t hop back on a flight on Saturday and hit the road with two sick-os under a very small roof that she was sharing with us! I still have a pretty bad cough {16 days and counting! Yes I have been do the doctor.} and Alex’s new illness kept him in bed for the rest of the weekend.

We had reservations for dinner on Saturday night at Daniel’s Broiler, a fabulous steakhouse just down the road from my house. Alex ended up skipping out on dinner so he could try to sleep off his bug, while I coughed my way through the meal. Despite the circumstances, we had a great dinner. Daniel’s is such a treat – fantastic food, great service and a really nice ambiance.

Sunday didn’t bring a whole lot of excitement. We took Jackson for a walk and sat around my house chatting for most of the rest of the time. My mom played the “mom” role of taking care of both of us and making us rest, which was probably a good thing, so we had a really laid back day before taking her to the airport mid-afternoon.

It is always so nice to have family and friends come to visit and get the chance to spend some quality time with them. I’m glad my mom was able to come spend her birthday with us in Seattle!

Seattle’s “Heat Wave”

We are under an “excessive heat advisory” here in Seattle. What that means is that it’s over 80 degrees and the city freaks out because no one has air conditioning. I make fun of it a lot, but in reality, it really doesn’t get above 80 degrees here very often so people just aren’t used to the “extreme heat.” I am loving it, except for the fact that we too do not have air conditioning, so our house is presently 87 degrees and I’m sweating profusely.

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Here are some fun pictures from the past week.

Embracing Independence Day at our house this year.

Embracing Independence Day at our house this year.

Thanks to my mother in-law for keeping our holiday decor accessories well-stocked.

Thanks to my mother in-law for keeping our holiday decor accessories well-stocked.

Henry cat on the hunt for something.

Henry cat on the hunt for something.

Oliver

Oliver yawning

Oliver

Oliver

Oliver close up

Oliver close up

Mariners vs Cubs

Mariners vs Cubs

Safeco Field

Safeco Field

Watching the game

Watching the game

Mariners vs Cubs game

Mariners vs Cubs game

Miller time! We had such a fun day with Mary and Ryan - we went garage sale-ing, drank a lot of wine, grilled out and just enjoyed the gorgeous day.

Miller time! We had such a fun day with Mary and Ryan – we went garage sale-ing, drank a lot of wine, grilled out and just enjoyed the gorgeous day.

We celebrated Emma's first birthday, my friend Sara's Collie dog. Emma got her own special birthday cake!

We celebrated Emma’s first birthday, my friend Sara’s Collie dog. Emma got her own special birthday cake!

I made dog treats for all of the dogs who came over to celebrate Emma's special day.

I made dog treats for all of the dogs who came over to celebrate Emma’s special day.

Emma's birthday party guests.

Emma’s birthday party guests.

Jackson escaping the heat in the shower.

Jackson escaping the heat in the shower.

Our 3 month old pup weighs 25 pounds now!

Our 3 month old pup weighs 25 pounds now!

Made the mistake of setting the pillows on the ground while making the bed...

Made the mistake of setting the pillows on the ground while making the bed…

We are spending a LOT of time outside! Jackson loves to run around in the backyard.

We are spending a LOT of time outside! Jackson loves to run around in the backyard.

I took a ferry ride to Bainbridge Island today for work. Here's a shot of the city from the ferry deck.

I took a ferry ride to Bainbridge Island today for work. Here’s a shot of the city from the ferry deck.

Birthday Weekend

What a fun weekend we had! The weather was fantastic. perfect. unbeatable. unbelievable. amazing. did I say perfect? Sunday the high was 68. Saturday the high was 68. Both days were gorgeously sunny with not a cloud to be found; it was icing on my birthday cake!

Sandals and green grass!

Sandals and green grass!

Our weekend started on Friday, which was absolutely gorgeous. Alex had intended on biking to and from work on Friday, as a way to get in some extra miles for his training, but he got a flat tire and didn’t have an extra replacement tube, so he was out of luck. I couldn’t resist going for a run on Friday and I ran my longest distance since I’ve gotten back into it – 3.5 miles! The evening started with a fun dinner at Cactus, a Mexican restaurant in Madison Park, with Jamie and Chris. Alex had a couple margaritas while I had my first mojito of the season. Alex and Jamie went out in Capitol Hill after dinner, but knowing we had a full day of wine drinking ahead of us, I went home early.

The weekend continued on Saturday with our friend Mary’s 30th birthday party! Her husband arranged a party bus that drove us to and around Woodinville and dropped us off at some of the wineries.

Getting our wine education at Brian Carter Cellars

Getting our wine education at Brian Carter Cellars

We started the wine tour at Brian Carter Cellars in the Tourist District, then headed to the newer Warehouse District and tasted wine at Sparkman Cellars, Guardian and Patterson.

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I had been to all but Guardian before, and still loved Patterson, but Brian Carter did grow on me this time around. Perhaps it was their south-facing patio overlooking the valley, Mount Rainier and the sunshine?

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After the wine tour we went back to Mary and Ryan’s and continued the celebration! There were quite a few people who came out for the occasion and it was a nice opportunity to catch up with some of our good friends.

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All day Sunday was spent outside. I lingered on the front porch as long as I could while Alex was out on a quick 25 mile bike ride, then Alex mowed and trimmed the grass and we walked up the block for a couple drinks at Bottlehouse, our beloved neighborhood wine bar.

Birthday coffee in the sunshine on our front porch

Birthday coffee in the sunshine on our front porch

 

I had two Spring Thymes (prosecco with raspberries and a sprig of thyme) and Alex had a Shandy or two and we sat outside on the patio and soaked up as much sun as possible.

Spring Thyme at BH

Spring Thyme at BH

Mary and Ryan came over to our house and we shared a couple bottles of wine on our patio, then went to dinner together at Restaurant Bea. I continue to be impressed by Restaurant Bea every time we go – it is always consistent and fantastic. I think each of us ate every last bite of our meal!

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All in all, it was a wonderful birthday, but the highlight for me truly was the weather. Thanks to my friends and family for making it such a great day!

Happy 2nd Birthday Henry & Oliver!

Today our little monkeys cats turn two! With their high levels of spunk and energy, it’s hard to believe that they aren’t “kittens” anymore. They have provided us with an unbelievable amount of love and joy, as well as a whole lot of annoyance {mostly in the form of 5 a.m. wake up meows}. We have so enjoyed having these two sprite little balls of energy in our family.

Baby kittens right after we got them

Baby kittens right after we got them

Alex & I got Oliver & Henry when they were 8 weeks old. They were 2 pound fur balls with absurd amounts of energy back then. Now they are 8 and 10 pound fur balls with absurd amounts of energy.

Ready to pounce! The boys love to wrestle.

Ready to pounce! The boys love to wrestle.

Henry is our laid-back “I don’t give a damn” cat. He minds his own business and loves to be an observer. It’s a special day when Henry lets us hold him for more than 2 seconds.

Cool as a Henry cat

Cool as a Henry cat

Henry can often be found scaling the telephone pole in our front yard, climbing trees or sneaking up on the neighbor’s roof. Henry is an adventurer at heart. He loves chasing birds and is friendly with other cats in the neighborhood, yet very protective of our house.

Henry on the prowl

Henry on the prowl

No big deal - Henry can climb trees

No big deal – Henry can climb trees

Oliver is our wild, spastic, madman cat. He is always getting into trouble and chasing something.

Oliver found a new bed: the crock pot!

Oliver found a new bed: the crock pot!

He loves to be right where we least want him to be!

Sneaking into Alex's underwear drawer while I do laundry.

Sneaking into Alex’s underwear drawer while I do laundry.

Wild as this little guy is, he is the biggest ball of love I’ve ever met. Oliver is happiest when someone is holding him and giving him really nice pets and cuddles. He loves to come under the covers and sleep in my arms in the middle of the night. Such a lover.

Always a cuddle bug!

Always a cuddle bug!

Most of all, the boys love each other. They are usually roaming the ‘hood side by side, or hanging out in the chairs on our front patio just chilling. It melts our hearts to see them cuddle together or when they clean each other’s ears. They are such good brothers!

Cuddle bugs!

Cuddle bugs!

They love hanging out in the bathroom.

They love hanging out in the bathroom.

We love our little kits and are so happy that they’re in our lives!

Alex and the kittens

Alex and the kittens

Me and the baby boys

Me and the baby boys

 

Brotherly love

Brotherly love