Tag Archives: Gratitude

Precious Moments

Both Alex and I learned right off the bat the importance of quality time versus quantity of time with Ben. That has been a valuable lesson in going back to work and balancing our careers with being parents. It makes the precious little moments that more meaningful…

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Reading to Ben is one of my favorite things to do. He LOVES reading. It is so much fun. There are days when we get through more than 10, if not 20, books per day. My “guilty pleasure” in terms of buying too much stuff for Ben is that I buy way more books than any kid needs. There could be worse things, right?

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This smile. It gets me every time. This kid absolutely melts my heart.

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Ben loves taking baths. He is completely calm and content in the tub. Lately he’s been sticking one of his feet up on the side of the tub and totally lounging. It’s adorable. I love wrapping him up in a big fuzzy towel with an adorable hood on it after he comes out all squeaky clean. He is too cute! 🙂

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This is what real life looks like in our house.

Our “hang out” spot is on the floor in Ben’s room. Alex and I get such a kick out of watching the smallest of developmental milestones happen right before our eyes. Sometimes the highlight of our days is laying on the floor of Ben’s room playing with toys with him. When we’re hanging out with Ben we strive to not be on our phones at all. It’s hard because I like to take pictures, which I do, but I’ve been trying not to text them out to family/friends right away because it takes away from the moment. Usually I end up forgetting to send them later, but I’d rather be more present with Ben and have him see me paying him attention to him rather than my phone.

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This little boy brings us so much joy!

 

Twenty Nine

29 is an age I keep hearing people say they experienced for around three to five years or until they come to terms with embracing their 30s. I can’t say I’m particularly excited to leave my 20s as they have been such fantastic years, but the same people who told me that they were 29 for a few years also say that their 30s and 40s were some of the best years of their lives.

I see this next year as a year to spend wrapping up this phase of my life and I expect when I hit my 30s that a lot of things may start to change. But for now, just my hair is changing as a result of last weekend’s haircut!

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From 20 to 29 I have changed and grown up quite a bit! Though I would have never admitted it then, I was so young and naive in my early 20s, and probably still am – I was a college student living in a $350/month apartment with three girlfriends, driving my cute little Alero and traveling back and forth from Minnesota and Iowa between Student Union Board meetings, journalism classes and babysitting obligations.

{at 20 I met one of my lifelong best friends, Julie, and am so honored to be standing up with her as she gets married this fall!}

{at 20 I met one of my lifelong best friends, Julie, and am so honored to be standing up with her as she gets married this fall! I only wish we could see each other more often.}

 

Now at 29 I am a married homeowner who runs a non-profit organization while taking as much time to travel the world as much as I can while I can. That sounds a lot more glamorous than it really is. While I have been exceptionally fortunate, I have also suffered from my fair share of challenges, including lay-offs, foot-in-the-mouth syndrome, rejection, financial limitations, loss and a whole lot of life lessons. It goes without saying that I have grown up an enormous amount in the last 9 years, but still have some growing up to do.

{me at 25 and freshly engaged!}

{me at 25 and freshly engaged!}

When I hit my 30s I am expecting a new set of life lessons to learn, challenges and experiences to face, and with any hope, an overwhelming amount of joy. As I wrap up my 20s I would like to do so with as much grace and as few gray hairs as possible. I hope to continue to have a good sense of humor, challenge myself mentally and physically, not take myself too seriously, donate some of my time to doing great things for others, write my personal mission statement {per the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People} and work towards being the best me I can be.

{so grateful to have been turned onto Pilates by my friend Mary!}

{so grateful to have been turned onto Pilates by my friend Mary!}

I’d like to savor my free time, maintain being in the best shape I’ve ever been in, take at least one impromptu trip to somewhere we’ve never been, have an enviable ski season next year {as opposed to one no one would envy like this year was!} and finally, celebrate the end of my 20s and my 5th anniversary with a big trip just the two of us next spring.

If your 30s are better than your 20s, as people say, I can hardly imagine what I am in store for once I hit my next decade… Stay tuned!

Feeling Blessed

I have been working really hard to prepare for our impending holiday party and the arrival of our family for Christmas. While I was busily chipping away at my to-do list yesterday I found myself staring at all of the holiday cards we have received so far this year. It was humbling to step back and see all of the people who care enough about us to take the time to send us a holiday card. The holidays have a way of making me more sentimental than usual, but I just felt a overwhelming sense of gratitude for the many friends and family we have in our lives.

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Alex and I are positively floored by the number of “yes” RSVPs to our holiday party. Six years ago we probably could count on one hand the number of friends who would have come to our party, but today we need more than both of our hands together to count our Seattle friends and family who are going to be celebrating the holidays with us in our home. I am just feeling so blessed and thankful for the wonderful people we have in our lives.

{Putting together our holiday photo props}

{Putting together our holiday photo props}

We also know it was a lot to ask our families to come out and spend Christmas in the mountains here. Both Alex and I are so thankful that we both still have our parents and siblings and that they are able and willing to travel across the country, putting aside their differences and their own families, to spend it together, as a merged family. I will be greatly missing the presence of my brother, who is unable to join us, but am so grateful that our friendship has improved a lot over the last few months.

{Jackson is pretty good at spreading holiday cheer!}

{Jackson is pretty good at spreading holiday cheer!}

This year one thing Alex and I decided to do to spread our love bit was to bake cookies for our neighbors. I really overdid it {easy cookies next year!}, but we have packaged up 13 boxes of cookies to take to the neighbors on our block as a way to pass along some neighborly holiday cheer. We did this last year with a few neighbors we know better than others and we were overcome with their gratitude for us thinking of them.

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We certainly have a lot to be thankful for this holiday season, and my heart is full and very warm knowing that we are spreading our holiday cheer.

{Can't wait for our party!}

{Can’t wait for our party!}

5 years in seattle

Time sure does fly when you’re having fun! No wonder the last five years have been such a blur. 08.08.08 marks the date that Alex and I relocated to Seattle to start our life together. Now five years later it’s hard to believe how much our life has changed since then. We have so much to be thankful for, but today, I am feeling nostalgic and thankful for the memories we have of our first five years in Seattle.

The beautiful Seattle skyline has changed since we moved in 5 years ago.

The beautiful Seattle skyline has changed since we moved in 5 years ago.

Who knew that Washington was such a spectacular state?! We are so lucky to live here. We have had so much fun over the last five years exploring the glory that Washington has to offer. Thankfully we still have a lot left to see.

Hiking to the snow in July.

Hiking to the snow in July.

Mount Rainier is so majestic.

Mount Rainier is so majestic.

We have gotten to know the emerald city quite well in the five years we’ve been here. We have a lot of favorite things about the city and a lot of not-so-favorite things about the city.

We lived next door to the Pike Place Market and it certainly has its perks; however, the allure sure fades after a while.

We lived next door to the Pike Place Market and it certainly has its perks; however, the allure sure fades after a while.

Bottlehouse will always be a favorite on our list.

Bottlehouse will always be a favorite on our list.

Skiing at Crystal Mountain has truly changed our lives. I don't want to imagine how boring our lives would be without skiing.

Skiing at Crystal Mountain has truly changed our lives. I don’t want to imagine how boring our lives would be without skiing.

Friends are so important and Alex and I are so lucky to have made such good friends here in Seattle.

Sounders game.

Sounders game.

My bridal shower.

My bridal shower.

Carrie and Sara.

Carrie and Sara.

Ski buddies

Ski buddies

Of course we have a lot of “firsts” with Seattle, which is why it will forever hold a special place in our hearts.

Our first house.

Our first house.

Sold!

Sold!

Our first pets, Oliver and Henry.

Our first pets, Oliver and Henry.

Our first dog Aspen.

Our first dog Aspen.

We are still finding more and more to love about this great city. It has everything we could ever hope for and more. Seattle and Washington are pretty much perfect for us.

Wine country a mere 2 hours away.

Wine country a mere 2 hours away.

Ruby Beach in Olympic National Park.

Ruby Beach in Olympic National Park.

Hanging out in downtown.

Hanging out in downtown.

Skiing is our favorite!

Skiing is our favorite!

Here’s to making new memories that will continue to keep us falling harder for our beautiful residence. Life just keeps getting better and better!

Wine, wilderness and work

It’s been really, really, really busy around here, hence it has taken me until Wednesday evening to post some notes from our weekend of “w’s” – wine, working and wilderness adventures. The last few weeks have made me unbelievably thankful that I’m able to work part-time so that I can manage our house, keep tabs on the pets and successfully plan our adventures all while Alex is working double-time at his job.

Jackson has been such a terror this week! Learning how to jump on the couch was only the beginning....

Jackson has been such a terror this week! Learning how to jump on the couch was only the beginning….

Even though Alex had to work part of Saturday we managed to have a pretty fantastic weekend! After Alex got back from work on Friday evening we headed up to the Bottlehouse and had a wonderful bottle of rose on the patio. We always have such a fun time up there.

Jack-o is getting so long! He weighs over 35 pounds now.

Jack-o is getting so long! He weighs over 35 pounds now.

Saturday was pretty laid back – Alex went in to his office for a few hours and then Jackson and I joined him for a family barbecue that his company was sponsoring, perhaps to make up for the fact that their employees have been working so much lately. Afterwards we brought Jackson to University Village, a dog-friendly outdoor shopping center, and did a little shopping. We were shopping for shorts for Alex but I ended up finding some awesome stuff on super sale at Banana Republic, so I was the only one who purchased anything.

I think Henry wants to go for a bike ride :)

I think Henry wants to go for a bike ride :)

Since it had been a whole day since we had been to the Bottlehouse we decided to run up there and grab a couple of bottles of rose to take back and drink on our patio. It was a wonderful way to spend the evening.

So much to be thankful for.

So much to be thankful for.

We found a very family-friendly hike just off of I-90 near Snoqualmie Pass at Denny Creek to take Jackson to on Sunday. This was his first “mountain hike” – we wanted to see what his limit was and wanted to give him more of a real picture of hiking since we have a big camping trip coming up.

Hiking at Denny Creek

Hiking at Denny Creek

Jackson did really well! The hike was an easy 4 miles with little elevation gain. He was so happy and got an unbelievable amount of attention from other hikers who passed by.

Taking a pit stop for a snack.

Taking a pit stop for a snack.

The mid-point of the hike was a rocky part of Denny Creek, so we let Jackson take a little dip in the water. Needless to say, he was filthy by the time we got back to the car.

Hiking.

Hiking.

Once we got home and got Jackson hosed off he was plum tuckered and passed out in the shower, so we got ready to meet Ali, Tyler and baby Vivian at Chateau Ste. Michelle’s member appreciation concert that they graciously invited us to attend with them again this year. The band was an Abba cover band, so they played a great variety of old Abba tunes – it was really fun!

Ali and Viv at our spot at Chateau Ste Michelle.

Ali and Viv at our spot at Chateau Ste Michelle.

We have been to a few concerts at the winery before and have built up quite a spread – we’ve got the wine glass stakes to hold the glasses in the ground, and thanks to Alex’s cousin Jenny’s generous wedding gift, we have an awesome picnic basket set. We failed to find a low table before the concert, but now know that we need to look on Amazon. There’s always next year, I guess!

Our amazing spread! LOVED the food :)

Our amazing spread! LOVED the food :)

The Furtwanglers!

The Furtwanglers!

Enjoying the music.

Enjoying the music.

This week has been off to a surprisingly busy start – I am frantically putting the finishing touches on planning Sarah’s bachelorette party next weekend, trying to get organized for this weekend, coordinating our amazing new dog walker and both Alex and I have a busy work week. Maybe by this time next year things will calm down???

Cuddles!

Cuddles!

.....quickly turned into biting of the arm.... story of the week!

…..quickly turned into biting of the arm…. story of the week!

Cooling off from the warm week.

Hard to stay mad at this face for too long ;)

Spring has Sprung!

Spring has arrived in Seattle and it is truly a blessing. Usually I feel like we get gypped with our springs because it still consistently rains through the 4th of July. Ask any Seattleite when summer begins and they’ll tell you it’s on July 5th! I think that Seattle gets 9 months of winter and then 3 months of summer and really not much of a spring or fall. Either way, this spring truly feels like spring and I’m enjoying every minute of it!

We have had more sunny days lately than I can even remember. What a treat!!

We have had more sunny days lately than I can even remember. What a treat!!

Before the weather changed, Alex and I came up with two enormous lists of “spring projects” to do around the house – some inside and a lot outside. Last summer we re-did our backyard and this summer we have some touch up projects to do back there – pretty easy stuff but each item on our to do list has a lot more steps than one might realize. We got started before we went to Hawaii by spreading out some new top soil as a way to level out the yard and prevent large puddles from forming in low spots. We planted some grass seed and it is taking its time coming in.

Our house projects list... surprisingly near completion!

Our house projects list… surprisingly nearing completion!

Yesterday Alex started digging out one of the corners of the yard to remove the top layer of clay soil so we can replace it with nicer top soil, which he is doing as I sit here and write this post {what a good helper I am!}. Since it’s such a small section we decided that we’re going to lay sod instead of going the grass seed route.

Backyard... a work in progress once again! I am planning to plant some flowers between the stone retaining wall and the fence.

Backyard… a work in progress once again! I am planning to plant some flowers between the stone retaining wall and the fence to brighten it up a little bit.

I was busy all day Friday and Saturday weeding and planting flowers and getting the patio and porch ready for sunshine.

What a good little helper I have!

What a good little helper I have!

I put out the cushions on the patio chairs, wiped down the table {for the second time this spring!} and added some potted flowers {gerber daisies} to the table. This was just in time to have Jamie over for dinner on Monday night and use up the last of our charcoal from last summer.

Lovely evening sun over the patio table.

Lovely evening sun over the patio table.

Don’t worry! I stocked up on charcoal, so we’ll be good to go for a while. We love, love, love our charcoal grill. In an ideal world, we’d have both charcoal and gas, but we just so prefer the flavor of charcoal. Of course having a gas grill adds an amazing convenience factor to the situation.

Stocked up and ready to grill!

Stocked up and ready to grill!

Hopefully by next weekend our backyard will be ready for our little pup to terrorize! We can’t wait to watch little Jackson grow up, play fetch and hang out in our backyard.

The beautiful weather has been proving to be quite the source of motivation for me keeping up with running and Alex getting his miles in on his bike to train for his big 200 mile bike ride in July. I’ve been running 2-4 times per week, usually 2-3.5 miles per run and have been loving it – who knew! I have an app on my phone called Runtastic that tracks all of my runs and tells me my average speed, my pace per mile and allows me to make notes about how I feel. I love it! And Alex blows my running progress out of the water by biking 50-60 miles like it ain’t no thing.

My latest runs haven't been very impressive - the 5/1 run is especially unimpressive because my phone died! I really did run 3 miles that day :)

My latest runs haven’t been very impressive – the 5/1 run is especially unimpressive because my phone died! I really did run 3 miles that day :)

Hopefully spring will stay in Seattle through May and June! What a wonderful year we’ve had with weather.

First Wedding Anniversary

It is hard to believe it has already been a year since our wedding! Alex and I talk often of the memories we have from the wedding and our whole celebration. What we remember most of all is how much fun we had.

So excited for the sudden snowfall. Photo credit: www.mattalbertsphoto.com

So excited for the sudden snowfall. Photo credit: www.mattalbertsphoto.com

 

It has been really fun to look back through photos from the occasion and remember some of the exciting things that happened, like our pit stop in Snowbird to ski for a day where we both got more sunburned than ever before {less than a week before our wedding!}, the jam packed car after our trip to Costco with my mom and brother, both of us forgetting how much the altitude affects your alcohol intake, learning that our dear friends Ali & Tyler were pregnant, the best mother/son dance in the history of weddings, almost hitting a buffalo on our drive back through Yellowstone, getting a speeding ticket in Wyoming {ok, not so exciting!} and making lasting memories in the process.

Snowy photo session. Photo credit: www.mattalbertsphotography.com

Snowy photo session. Photo credit: www.mattalbertsphotography.com

The time we spent with our family and friends together was something we will probably never get to experience again, so we are thankful for the photos and the memories we have. The best part about a destination wedding is the amount of time you can spend with your family and friends and that the festivities can linger on for a couple of days.

Vail Covered Bridge. Photo Credit: www.mattalbertsphotography.com

Vail Covered Bridge. Photo Credit: www.mattalbertsphotography.com

Our wedding was perfect for us in every imaginable way. The venue {Donovan Pavilion in Vail, CO} couldn’t have been better for us, the food was incredible, we had a great DJ who made sure we all had a great time, and the mini-blizzard that came right on cue as the ceremony began couldn’t have been timed better if it was planned. The mountain setting was idyllic; it captured our lifestyle and hopes for the future. If we could go back and do it again there truly isn’t a thing we would change.

The blizzard started just as we were about to walk around the building to the front door to make our entrance. Photo credit: www.mattalbertsphotography.com

The blizzard started just as we were about to walk around the building to the front door to make our entrance. Photo credit: www.mattalbertsphotography.com

We are so thankful for all of our family and friends who were able to come to Vail to celebrate our wedding. It was so special to have so many close friends and dear family members in attendance. Our officiant, Alex’s Uncle Dave, personalized the ceremony and was able to convey our love for each other so eloquently. We had two of our best friends from college, Rachel and Sammy, share a story about us, in addition to my Spain travel partner and senior year roommate, Julie, who did a beautiful reading for us.

The Donovan Pavilion in Vail, Colorado. Picture credit: www.mattalbertsphoto.com

The Donovan Pavilion in Vail, Colorado. Picture credit: www.mattalbertsphotography.com

This past year has been full of ups and downs. Of course our wedding was the greatest highlight of the year, and perhaps our lives, but we were also blessed with a puppy, two fantastic ski trips to Whistler, a memorable August spent traveling the state and having fun, and me recently getting a new job. We also said goodbye to three members of our family, Alex’s beloved grandpa “Papa,” our sweet puppy Aspen, and my adorable grandma Mor Mor, all passed away within the last year; I lost my job; and the trials and tribulations of having a puppy put a lot of strain on us. All of the ups and downs helped to solidify our marriage and really made it stronger. We’re looking forward to another great year together.

Pictures in Vail Village - before the snow came in! Photo credit: www.mattalbertsphotography.com

Pictures in Vail Village – before the snow came in! Photo credit: www.mattalbertsphotography.com

Walking down the aisle. Photo credit: www.mattalbertsphotography.com

Walking down the aisle. Photo credit: www.mattalbertsphotography.com

The groomsmen hanging out. Photo credit: www.mattalbertsphotography.com

The groomsmen hanging out. Photo credit: www.mattalbertsphotography.com

Bridesmaids. Photo credit: www.mattalbertsphotography.com

Bridesmaids. Photo credit: www.mattalbertsphotography.com

Stan the man! Photo credit: www.mattalbertsphotography.com

Stan the man! Photo credit: www.mattalbertsphotography.com

Thank you to our friends and family for your support of us and the situations that presented themselves to us over the last year. We are so fortunate to have such wonderful friends and a very supportive family. And for those who made the trip to Vail to celebrate with us, I want to thank you again. It was so memorable having each and every one of you there. Finally, thanks to our wonderful wedding photographer Matt Alberts {www.mattalbertsphotography.com} for getting some fantastic shots that allow us to remember the day for all it was, as well as my maid of honor Sarah Tracy for capturing our “Apres Ski Party” on film and helping us to remember that event too.

Here’s to another great year, kicked off by our upcoming trip to Hawaii!

Bluebird Days, Cirque & Chocolate Cookies

We have been loving the spring-like weather that mother nature has thrown at us here in Seattle. The perennials are starting to sprout up, trees are starting to bud, and by golly, we’ve even seen sunshine! I’m not sure what that’s all about, but I am always in favor of seeing the sun.

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Last week I got out on a few mid-week walks and Alex had a couple of great bike rides. It’s so nice to get out and enjoy the beautiful weather while it’s here. We just decided to cancel our gym membership for a number of reasons. We just got some home workout equipment, so we’ve been doing weights and strength-training at home. Alex is training for his 202 mile bike ride from Seattle to Portland that takes place mid-July, so he has been riding his bike a lot more anyway, and I have commissioned myself to start running again. We’ll see how that goes. When we get our new puppy (late spring??) we know that will wreak havoc on our schedule, plus when the pup starts going for longer walks and eventually runs we are anticipating walking or running at least 3-5 miles daily, as was the case with Aspen. We never went to the gym when we had Aspen because we went on three walks with her each day.

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Last week we had a lot going on. Wednesday evening we enjoyed a wonderful dinner with our friends Ali and Tyler and their sweet baby, Vivian. I made some crazy chocolate brownie cookies with salted caramel filling, as well as white chocolate macadamia nut cookies. We have loved spending more time with the Furtwanglers and it’s been so fun watching Vivi grow and develop into such a darling 12 week old bundle of adorableness. Alex spent the evening at Quinn’s in Capitol Hill on Thursday to celebrate his friend Jamie’s new job.

Friday night Alex and I had our weekly date night. We went to dinner at Redmond’s Bar & Grill then saw Cirque du Soleil.

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The show was incredible. Neither of us had ever seen a Cirque du Soleil performance, but had a good understanding of what the show would entail. It was really fun to watch the acrobatics.

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Alex and I enjoyed yet another beautiful day on the mountain yesterday. The conditions weren’t great, but the crowds were few and far between now that the ski lesson programs have wrapped up for the year, so we got an unbelievable number of runs in before we called it a day after lunch. This ski season has blessed us with more sunny days than I can ever remember getting in seasons past! While we love the bluebird days, it would be okay if we got a powder day or two before spring comes…

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It had been nearly a month since we’d been up to Crystal Mountain with our trips to Whistler and Portland and last weekend’s visitor, so we were itching to get up into the mountains again. For Alex and me, being in the mountains is rejuvenating and almost detoxifying. No matter what the ski conditions are like we thrive so much on the fresh mountain air, the spirit and mood of everyone around us and simply being in nature with no cell service. We are so lucky to live so close to the mountains!

Quick Trip to Minnesota

I’m not sure how I am filling up my time so well now that I have an excess, but it makes me wonder how I packed in so much before. Needless to say, the Allens have been quite busy lately!

Last week was full and fun! We went night skiing on Wednesday after Alex finished working, then Thursday we ate dinner at the chef’s table at one of our favorite spots, Restaurant Bea, with our friends, the Millers. This past weekend I flew out to Minnesota to spend a few days with my family and attend my grandmother’s memorial service, while Alex spent the entire weekend skiing with some friends.

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The funeral service for my grandmother was very nice. I really enjoyed the message and thought that the reverend did a wonderful job. After the service we toured the wing where my grandmother most recently stayed and got to meet one of her favorite nurses who cared for her. I am so thankful for the staff at Friendship Village, especially her nurses, and for the opportunity she had to live there, with her lifelong friends, and receive top-notch care.

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Saturday was a whirlwind with the funeral service and luncheon, followed by a quick trip to Southdale to splurge on a new pair of sales tax-free boots (!), then on to a family dinner. We ended the night at the Sofitel where we enjoyed an after dinner glass of wine and some profiteroles and read through the cards and notes we received at the funeral. It was lovely to get a chance to spend so much time with my extended family who I see so rarely. I enjoyed playing catch up.

Family Photo

On Sunday, I hosted an informal brunch at my mom’s house with my high school girl friends. I got to meet little Adeline, Kailey’s one year-old, for the first time, as well as see Molly’s second baby bump for the first time. It was wonderful to have an afternoon of girl time, complete with a clothing exchange.

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I did get to spend some uninterrupted time with my parents and my brother. My mom and I split a perfect dinner at Rudy’s Red Eye Grill in White Bear on Sunday night, then came back and chatted with John a bit. I spent Monday morning with my dad and we hit two of my old go-to restaurants (4 Seasons for breakfast and Roman Market for lunch) and toured his new house before he dropped me back off at the airport to head back to Seattle.

It was a quick weekend trip, but it was so nice to see everyone!

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Gratitude

As we grieve the loss of our puppy I continue to be overwhelmed by the support and condolences offered by our friends, family and the community. I really just wanted to take a moment to thank you for being there for us in this difficult time.

A special thanks to:

My dad. My dad is dealing with the imminent loss of his mother and he is still saddened by the news of Aspen and supportive of us. He knows how important Aspen was to us and somehow with all that he’s got going on he has been so invested in knowing how we are faring. Thank you dad.

Alex’s parents. Donna and Stan just got to see one of Aspen’s best weeks while we were up in Whistler. They cared for Aspen the first week of her life away from the breeder and brought her out to us while Donna was experiencing the loss of her father. We so appreciate the love you had for our Aspen. We know you are sharing the grief we are experiencing.

My mom. My mom never got to meet Aspen and yet, still has gotten worked up over the situation. She always asked how our little furball was doing and continued to be there when things turned for the worse.

Rachel, our puppy class instructor. Rachel said some of the kindest, most heart-felt words about Aspen and the situation. We were currently enrolled in her puppy class and our next class was supposed to be tonight. She dedicated the class to Aspen. Thank you, Rachel, for your instruction and unbelievable kindness.

Ali. Thank you for crying on the phone with me. And thank you for all the toys and treats you have given Aspen over the last few months.

Sara. Thank you for the beautiful flowers, the visit and the continued calls and emails. You are so thoughtful! We are going to miss our play dates with Emma.

Our vet, the techs, and the staff at the emergency vet. We were provided with amazing care to the end. Our vet, Dr. Jones, and his tech were crying with us as we said goodbye. A special thank you to the emergency vet for the lovely card.

Dr. Ruhland at St. Paul Pet Hospital. Thank you for your consultation and support of our decision. You really helped us feel secure about the decision by providing a second opinion. I will always be grateful.

Sarah. Thank you for always listening and for your empathy. I’m sad that you won’t get to meet Aspen in March.

Carrie. Thank you for coming to visit me and bringing such a special bottle of wine. I appreciated the company in my ultra-quiet house.

Our extended family. Thank you for the calls and emails. We so appreciate your concern and thoughts.

To everyone else who called, emailed, sent us a card in the mail, texted, commented on our blog, or sent us a facebook message, thank you so much. It is so comforting to know we have such an incredible network of family and friends. While things have been tough, we have so much to be grateful for. Thank you.