Tag Archives: Henry

The Happenings

This last week flew by! I’m not sure where the time really went, to be perfectly honest. Here are some of the highlights from our last week of January…

The weather goes in both the highlight and lowlight category – we had several days of complete and utter downpours but then we had just as many days of gorgeous blue skies and sunshine. I don’t think I’ve ever used my big golf umbrella while walking the dog as much as I have the last few weeks. With all the rain, though, it’s been rather warm. Little buds are starting to pop up around our neighborhood and I’ve seen signs of cherry blossoms around, too. Spring is definitely on its way to Seattle!

{This guy has practically been living outside during the nice weather!}

{This guy has practically been living outside during the nice weather!}

Our pets also go in the highlight and lowlight category. Henry has been so sweet to Jackson lately, which makes up for the fact that he’s been waking us up at 5:00 almost daily meowing like mad to get us to let him outside.

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This week Jackson had some digestion issues and for a few consecutive days woke us up several times in the middle of the night to go outside. Thankfully switching his diet to chicken and rice solved that problem.

We are going to work on getting Jackson certified as a Canine Good Citizen so that we can take him to hospitals and nursing homes eventually. Plus, it’ll be good practice to get him whipped back into shape. He’s really a fantastic dog, but we’ve been reminded lately that we need to work on a few things still, particularly before this little babe arrives.

{Trying to catch up from lack of sleep....}

{Trying to catch up from lack of sleep….}

Alex spent a good part of the weekend with his buddies to celebrate his friend Jon’s birthday. Jon lived in Seattle for a few years but has since moved away and is currently living in San Francisco, so his wife decided to surprise him with a trip up to Seattle to visit his friends. The guys organized {loosely ;)} a weekend out on the town, sea and slopes for Jon, plus Justin came up from Mexico to partake in the shenanigans too! These guys met either at college or as newbies at work and have stayed great friends ever since, even though about half of the group has now left Seattle.

{Enjoying the view from the rooftop deck of one of the guys' apartments.}

{Enjoying the view from the rooftop deck of one of the guys’ apartments.}

While Alex was out, honestly I was mostly sleeping due to the late night nature of their planned activities. But yesterday while he was skiing I baked some cookies, took Jackson for a long walk and did some relaxing. He ended up being home a lot more than I expected this weekend, which was obviously nice, but it also meant I didn’t get as much done as I had planned!

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Last week I started my prenatal Pilates class and my prenatal yoga class! I’m taking the classes at two separate studios and so far I think they’re both great and am glad I’m taking both of them. The Pilates class is very much strength-building and the yoga class offers some seemingly great positions for managing labor pain and getting ready for that whole business, plus it offers a better opportunity to connect with other pregnant women. At this point I will keep up with Pilates on Mondays and yoga on Saturdays and continue with our daily dog walks the rest of the days. I’d love to add in a run once a week too.

{little bump starting to show a bit more these days!}

{Little bump starting to show a bit more these days!}

Alex has been stepping it up in the exercise game, too! He and our friend Patrick have a big ski trip planned for late-February/early-March where they will be chauffeured up the mountain by a snow cat and ideally get to ski tons of long lines of fresh British Columbia powder. Alex is working quite hard to get his legs ready! Luckily we’ve got a ski trip to Utah coming up quite quickly, so that’ll give both of us a leg workout.

{I got a big body pillow to help me sleep more comfortably on my side now and Alex has taken it over...}

{I got a big body pillow to help me sleep more comfortably on my side now and Alex has taken it over…}

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{And at this point he can keep it because I hate it!}

Winter Break!

For the first year ever, Alex took off the two weeks surrounding Christmas and New Years and we stayed home with no plans or agenda. It was wonderful and so perfect.

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One of the biggest highlights was sleeping in, popping some cinnamon rolls in the oven, lighting a fire and hanging out in the living room all day for most of the first week off. Our living room is an underused room in our house, but it’s probably our favorite because of our fireplace, and now our leather chairs. It was so nice to spend so much time in front of the fire these last two weeks.

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Another major highlight was skiing. The whole west coast got a really big Christmas present in the form of a gigantic snowstorm. It snowed so much here that one of the ski resorts couldn’t keep up with it and couldn’t open {they got 96 inches of snow in 3 days!!}. We skied four days during the two-week break.

{After the snow storm the temps dropped and the sun came out! It made for a couple of chilly days with sensational views.}

{After the snow storm the temps dropped and the sun came out! It made for a couple of chilly days with sensational views.}

 

{Jackson had the best day ever when he got to come with us to the mountains and play in the snow.}

{Jackson had the best day ever when he got to come with us to the mountains and play in the snow.}

{Yesterday we braved the chilly weather {12 degrees with -2 windchill}  and embarked on our first backcountry ski tour together. The avalanche danger was very low and our trek was super mild. It was really fun to get out and explore and get some exercise together.}

{Yesterday we braved the chilly weather {12 degrees with -2 windchill, which is about as cold as it gets here} and embarked on our first backcountry ski tour together. The avalanche danger was very low and our trek was super mild. It was really fun to get out and explore and get some exercise together.}

{Skinning up through the trees on a very well-traveled trail...}

{Skinning up through the trees on a very well-traveled trail…}

{Didn't do too much skiing down, but we made a few turns.}

{Didn’t do too much skiing down, but we managed to find a spot to make a few turns.}

We spent some quality time with lots of our friends, too. Alex’s friend Brian was here visiting for a few days, so Alex got to catch up with him. We also spent a day skiing with Nigel, and another day skiing with Patrick. We spent a rainy morning at the dog park with Ali, Tyler and their two kiddos {and then warmed up with some hot chocolate and grilled cheese for lunch!}. Ryan and Mary brought their babies over to our house one day, and we met them up at Carrie and Patrick’s new house another day. It has been so nice to be able to spend this much time with friends, too!

{Oliver and August at 4 weeks old!}

{Oliver and August at 4 weeks old!}

Henry seemed to love having both of us home during the days – probably because he got to bug us both to let him outside all the time!

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Jackson on the other hand was completely thrown off his kilter with Alex being home and our change of schedule. Towards the end of our break he seemed to be adjusting a little bit to the temporary normal, but I’m sure once we go back to work tomorrow he’ll be happy to have some consistency.

{Hopefully giving Jackson a cheeseburger as a treat on our way home from skiing made up for him being off his schedule. And no, this is not a normal occurrence for Jackson!}

{Hopefully giving Jackson a cheeseburger as a treat on our way home from skiing made up for him being off his schedule. And no, this is not a normal occurrence for Jackson!}

Our vacation was so relaxing and on the one hand I feel like we did absolutely nothing, but then when I look back at what we did do and realize that’s not quite the case. I am so thankful for this break and for the time we spent together. Who knows when the next time we’ll have two weeks off at home by ourselves will be!

Merry Christmas!

It’s our first Christmas at home. Ever. Just the two of us. And we are so enjoying each other’s company, the beautiful fire in our fireplace and simply being home together.

{Earlier in the week we prepped a bunch of cinnamon and orange rolls to enjoy throughout the holidays.}

{Earlier in the week we prepped a bunch of cinnamon and orange rolls to enjoy throughout the holidays.}

{Alex was in charge of the cinnamon rolls and I was in charge of the orange ones.}

{Alex was in charge of the cinnamon rolls and I was in charge of the orange ones.}

{Mmmmm!}

{Mmmmm!}

I’m fairly certain we’ve seen our extended family more this year than any other year since moving to Seattle, which we are both very thankful for. That made it easier for us to stay here this holiday season. We’ve also got a big year ahead of us and we are so grateful to have had the time together at home.

{This was our first Christmas with Henry cat! I think the best gift for him was getting to go outside today.}

{This was our first Christmas with Henry cat! I think the best gift for him was getting to go outside today. We’ve been spoiling him with treats, cuddles and catnip toys all day 🙂 }

{Jackson got a new toy and a special treat today, but his best gift was a very solid ball playing session at the park and getting to help us unwrap our Christmas gifts.}

{Jackson got a new toy and a special treat today, but his best gift was a very solid ball playing session at the park and getting to help us unwrap our Christmas gifts.}

We have both taken some time off work for the holidays and are enjoying the best Christmas present ever… seemingly bottomless snow in the mountains!

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{I couldn’t get over the view of the snowy trees under the unexpected sunny sky. Yesterday at Crystal Mountain was by far the most beautiful ski day of the season.}

{Powder day at Stevens Pass! 12.21.15}

{Powder day at Stevens Pass! 12.21.15}

Merry Christmas. Love, the Allens 🙂

This Week’s Happenings

It has been a busy week back since we returned from our trip to Mexico! Our pets were very happy to have us back home – they’ve both been extra cuddly and sweet this week. We’ve got to be getting closer to the moment of walking into our bedroom and finding Henry snuggled up with Jackson on the bed. I swear it’s going to happen!

{These two have been pallin' around all week. It's super sweet!}

{These two have been pallin’ around all week. It’s super sweet!}

{Who knew Henry would be the one to love the new bathroom floor the most!?}

{Who knew Henry would be the one to love the new bathroom floor the most!?}

While we were in Mexico we received the very surprising news that our very good friends Mary and Ryan had their twin boys! They arrived six weeks early, which isn’t too uncommon for twins, of course, but we hadn’t quite mentally prepared for them to come so soon.

{This was really the first time Mary and Ryan got to look at their boys side-by-side and compare how similar their features are.}

{This was really the first time Mary and Ryan got to look at their boys side-by-side and compare how similar their features are.}

Both boys, Oliver and August, are doing fantastic and they even got to go home today, after only a week in the hospital. They weighed 4 pounds 8 ounces and 4 pounds 2 ounces {I think!}, respectively, when they were born. We got the pleasure of meeting the boys on Wednesday evening and we had the bigger pleasure of seeing them be reunited for the first time since their birth! We are so excited for our friends and can’t wait to watch these two boys grow up.

{I believe Oliver is on the left and August is on the right.}

{The sweet peanuts! August is on the left and Oliver is on the right.}

I’ve been feeling rather festive this week so I pulled out the holiday decorations and got our house looking a little more Christmasy. We’ve still got to get a few things for the outside and hang some lights, but we’re pretty close. Now if someone would hand me a plate Christmas cookies, we’d be all good! {Or maybe I’ll just go make some…}

{Henry was being a helper as I decorated.}

{Henry was being a helper as I decorated.}

{One of my favorites - my friend Carrie made the wreath for me last Christmas!}

{One of my favorites – my friend Carrie made the wreath for me last Christmas!}

{Our Christmas card wall is looking pretty pathetic... here's some motivation to send your holiday cards, friends! And yes, ours will be in the mail very shortly!}

{Our Christmas card wall is looking pretty pathetic… here’s some motivation to send your holiday cards, friends! And yes, ours will be in the mail very shortly!}

The weather in Seattle has been pretty dismal this week, but, our silver lining during the dreary winter days is that when it rains here it snows in the mountains! We’re planning on trekking up to Crystal Mountain this weekend to take advantage of the snow and get a few runs in. I think we’ll bring Jackson with us so he can run around in the snow too!

Summer is Here!

Summer has arrived in Seattle! The transition from our beautiful, amazing spring to summer took place over the last week or so and it seems like the new season is here to stay. The highs all weekend were in the mid-80s, which is considered very warm {and a little unusual} for Seattle. I have a feeling we are in store for a long, hot summer here! I’m certainly ok with that but need to be better about planning no-cook dinners and preparing lighter evening meals, as we don’t have air conditioning {what happened to our mild, wet climate!?}. Oh, and I need to stock up on ice cream ingredients!

Alex and I had a nice week followed by a restful, but productive, weekend.

{I kicked off the weekend on Friday afternoon with a run around Green Lake with my friend Ali, followed by a pit stop at Mary's house to pick up this gorgeous bouquet of the last of her peonies}

{I kicked off the weekend on Friday afternoon with a run around Green Lake with my friend Ali, followed by a pit stop at Mary’s house to pick up this gorgeous bouquet of the last of her peonies}

{thank goodness I changed out our bedding last week and exchanged it with our lighter summer quilt - the timing couldn't have been better! we have been roasting this week.}

{thank goodness I changed out our bedding last week and exchanged it with our lighter summer quilt – the timing couldn’t have been better! we have been roasting this week.}

{this is Jackson's "come on, let me sleep, mom" look}

{this is Jackson’s “come on, let me sleep, mom” look}

{and this is him not caring that he's not allowed on the bed...}

{and this is him not caring that he’s not allowed on the bed…}

{Henry cat loves the change in bedding, but mostly, he loves the addition of the fan in our room!}

{Henry cat loves the change in bedding, but mostly, he loves the addition of the fan in our room!}

{summer is DEFINITELY here - it ended up being 84 on Saturday and 88 on Sunday and it's 84 right now on Monday}

{summer is DEFINITELY here – it ended up being 84 on Saturday and 88 on Sunday and it’s 84 right now on Monday}

{our Saturday afternoon plans of going paddle boarding were shut down by the wind, so we went with Ryan and Mary to Westward, an absolutely adorable water-side restaurant on Lake Union for a drink}

{our Saturday afternoon plans of going paddle boarding were shut down by the wind, so we went with Ryan and Mary to Westward, an absolutely adorable water-side restaurant on Lake Union for a drink}

{we enjoyed an evening out at a fundraiser on Friday night, followed by an unexpected stop at a restaurant for dinner, then Saturday we spent the evening grilling out at Mary and Ryan's}

{we enjoyed an evening out at a fundraiser on Friday night, followed by an unexpected stop at a restaurant for dinner, then Saturday we spent the evening grilling out at Mary and Ryan’s}

{We had a very active weekend. Our pilates instructor, Diane, came over for our pilates lesson on Saturday morning. I am loving my FitBit - I walked more than 24,000 steps (!) on Sunday, which included a nice run along Lake Washington. Alex went for an awesome 20 or 30 mile bike ride on his new bike.}

{We had a very active weekend. Our pilates instructor, Diane, came over for our pilates lesson on Saturday morning. I am loving my FitBit – I walked more than 24,000 steps (!) on Sunday, which included a nice run along Lake Washington. Alex went for an awesome 20 or 30 mile bike ride on his new bike.}

{as a "thank you for putting up with us" gift, my dad got Alex and me three glassybabies. a glassy baby is a glass votive holder that is hand blown in our neighborhood. they are really iconic in Seattle, but particularly around my neighborhood. it was fun to pick out three colors and now proudly display them, along with the original one I already had. thanks dad!}

{as a “thank you for putting up with us” gift, my dad got Alex and me three glassybabies. a glassybaby is a glass votive holder that is hand blown in our neighborhood. they are really iconic in Seattle, but particularly around my neighborhood. they make great gifts! it was fun to pick out three colors and now proudly display them, along with the original one I already had. thanks dad!}

{the big project for sunday was staining the back patio table and the fence. it's our first time staining the table and it looks brand new! alex sanded it down and applied some stain and voila!}

{the big project for sunday was staining the back patio table and the fence. it’s our first time staining the table and it looks brand new! alex sanded it down and applied some stain and voila!}

{aside from the lack of grass, I'd still say our backyard looks pretty okay!}

{aside from the lack of grass, I’d still say our backyard looks pretty okay!}

{this crazy pants is loving his kiddie pool!}

{this crazy pants is loving his kiddie pool!}

{trying to stay cool!}

{trying to stay cool!}

{that's all for now!}

{that’s all for now!}

Henry Cat’s Secret Life

The other day while I was on a walk with Jackson and Henry {yes, Henry comes on walks on our block with us} I ran into a neighbor who lives 3 houses down from us. We got to chatting about our pets and it turns out Henry spends a lot of time at her family’s house. So much time, in fact, that the other day she found Henry taking a nap in her son’s bed.

{snoozing on the sofa in the media room}

My mouth had to have been agape after she told me that. She said that they have a cat door and he either comes into their house that way or through the window they leave open in their second floor bathroom. Apparently Henry jumps from their fence onto the garage roof and into the window then finds a nice spot for a nap or grabs a snack from their kitchen.

I didn’t want to ask her too many questions for fear she would get mad that my cat keeps trespassing into her house, but she seems to really like Henry and said she didn’t mind at all and appreciates his visits. I didn’t get a clear answer on how often, exactly, he pays her these visits, but I’m guessing it’s sporadic. Now I know where to go looking for him if he doesn’t come when he’s called!

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I had always assumed he had a second home, as most indoor/outdoor cats do, but this family is not where I assumed he was going. They have two cats, one dog, six kids and a lot going on! That’s the last place I expected him to be venturing off to. Perhaps we’ll stick a little camera on Henry cat’s collar to really get a glimpse into his outdoor life…

Happy Birthday Henry Cat!

Today is Henry’s 4th birthday! We are so thankful that he is here to celebrate and continue to keep us entertained with his quirks, lukewarm sweetness and occasional cuddles. Happy birthday Henry cat!

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{hanging out in his basket watching the rain}

{hanging out in his basket watching the rain}

Let’s Get Caught Up

Not a whole lot has happened since our trip to Mexico. Amidst the transition to my new full-time job, decompressing after our trip, watching House of Cards season 3 {honestly, we watched it fast so we could be done with it…}, enjoying the ah-mazing weather and trying to get into a new routine I neglected to keep up with our blog. So, let’s catch up!

{The weather was nice enough to warrant an early-season opening of the Bottlehouse patio! We indulged this past weekend.}

{The weather was nice enough to warrant an early-season opening of the Bottlehouse patio! We indulged this past weekend.}

The weekend before last was awesome – we had a great time reconnecting with some friends through a night out in Ballard, a trendy neighborhood in Seattle, and then drinking wine in Woodinville on Saturday.

{We went out in Ballard with four other couples and had an awesome time! Mary, Ian, Ryan, Alex and I shared this weird lava punch bowl - it arrived to us on fire!}

{We went out in Ballard with four other couples and had an awesome time! Mary, Ian, Ryan, Alex and I shared this weird lava punch bowl – it arrived to us on fire!}

{Dog park days are back!}

{Dog park days are back!}

{The girls enjoying a very sunny, warm afternoon drinking wine together}

{The girls enjoying a very sunny, warm afternoon drinking wine together – Trish, me, Mary and Carrie}

{so thankful for these beauties! what an awesome day we had in Woodinville!}

{so thankful for these beauties! what an awesome day we had in Woodinville!}

This past weekend was more leisurely, but we headed up to Stevens Pass for what we expect to be our final ski day in Washington. It was around 50 degrees on the mountain and in the mid-60s in Seattle, so the conditions were spring-like. We met up with our friends Carrie, Patrick, Chris and Diane, all of whom are fantastic skiers. I love spring skiing – it’s such a fun, low-key and relaxed day on the slopes, and that is exactly what we had!

{Carrie and me stopping for a quick pic}

{Carrie and me stopping for a quick pic}

{ski buddies!}

{ski buddies!}

Last night we brushed off the dust and cobwebs from the grill and officially started our grilling season. Our cat and dog were ecstatic. Henry cat kept running in and out of the grill cover and Jackson tried to eat everything involved with the grill. I think this means spring has truly come early and we are going to really need to stock up on charcoal.

{This guy is so loving the time he has been spending outside!}

{This guy is so loving the time he has been spending outside!}

Along the lines of our backyard, we are trying to decide what to do back there. Initially we had discussed hiring someone to do an overhaul. At this junction we are not interested in the investment it would take to complete that project, particularly because we have realized that Jackson is the culprit and he’s not going anywhere, so it makes us nervous that if we fork over all of this money for a complete renovation back there, that he might just wreck it next winter and we’ll be back where we started, but several thousand dollars poorer.

{Henry running along the fence while Jackson follows along from inside the backyard.}

{Henry running along the fence while Jackson follows along from inside the backyard.}

{Maybe someday we'll have a nice, big yard for this guy to play in.}

{Maybe someday we’ll have a nice, big yard for this guy to play in.}

So, right now, the popular idea on the table is literally just to throw some grass seed back there, keep the dog out of the backyard for a month and water like crazy to see if we can build up the grass again. Another idea is to do the work ourselves and build out our patio and either lay sod or grow seed and do some additional landscaping. I have a feeling we’ll go for the former.

{Henry cat is loving being back outside - he mainly hangs out in our yard and has been a real trooper through his recovery.}

{Henry cat is loving being back outside – he mainly hangs out in our yard and has been a real trooper through his recovery.}

For this week, we are enjoying the weather and getting ready for one final ski trip. Our summer plans are really starting to take shape, so those will need some finessing. We made a big spring cleaning list, along with some projects to tackle after our trip. Otherwise, we’re just taking things a day at a time and enjoying a more calm schedule.

 

Henry’s Big Adventure

Henry had a big adventure in the neighbor’s garage where he spent 11 days. One of the roommates who lives in the home two houses down from us had noticed our “lost cat” signs all over our street and then on Thursday night last week he heard meows coming from the garage. Sure enough, there was our Henry cat. Cameron grabbed him and carried him to our house and somehow Henry didn’t fight him.

{resting in his basket in the closet - he's got a great view!}

{resting in his basket in the closet – he’s got a great view! this photo was taken on Friday, the morning after he returned – you can see how much weight he lost even in his face.}

Henry came home in good spirits. He lost quite a bit of weight and strength, so he has been spending a lot of time recovering over the past days. He is eating and drinking, purring and rubbing up on everything in the house, especially Jackson. Since his return he has put on a couple pounds and seems to be much more alert and wanting to be in the action, particularly since Sunday.

{these two ALMOST cuddled up next to each other on the bed... we're waiting for that day to come still.}

{these two ALMOST cuddled up next to each other on the bed… we’re waiting for that day to come still.}

He still has a little ways to go before he gets back to normal, but he has made a really remarkable recovery. We are so happy to have our Henry cat home.

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Just for the record, I did speak directly to the guy who owns the house where Henry was trapped and specifically asked him to check his garage to make sure Henry wasn’t in it. It’s been really, REALLY hard not to be mad about this, but we are focusing on what’s important – Henry’s return. We are so thankful that Cameron was keeping an eye out for Henry and was able to hear him making noise. Our neighbors are so kind and have been really supportive during this time. We are happy, though, to get back to normal.

All is Well

After a few weeks of much uncertainty, our life went back to normal again last night when our Henry cat returned home from being trapped in our neighbor’s garage for 11 days. All is well here in our humble little home. The sun is out for a hot minute between the soaking rain showers spreading through the area. Jackson is passed out in his bed next to me and Henry cat is cuddled up down by my feet. I feel a sense of peace that has come over me and our little house. I feel so blessed for the wonderful life we are so fortunate to have.

{cozy kitty!}

{cozy kitty!}

The start of 2015 has been a little bit of a rollercoaster for us. We’ve had so many great things happen, like our ski trip to Utah, spending time with friends, my recent promotion and ultimately, my backcountry ski class, but we’ve also dealt with a few challenges like not knowing Henry’s whereabouts for a week and a half, the lack of a ski season here in Washington, my stress before and during my backcountry ski class and a lot of uncertainty about what was going to happen with my job. It is a relief to have things settle down and get back to the way they should be.

{stress relief found through baking}

{stress relief found through baking}

While we are very blessed and fortunate, Alex and I work very hard in different ways to be able to live the life we do. With that, I am excited to announce that I just received a big promotion in my job. It’s humbling to have been awarded this new position, as the organization I work for completely restructured itself around my capabilities. I am going to be moving from part-time to full-time after we return from our upcoming trip, and that means that I had to resign from my other part-time position as a household manager. I am really looking forward to the new job and the stability that having just one job will afford me. I never really thought of myself as “career-oriented” but I’m quite happy in my job and love the people I work with. It’s a wonderful organization and I get to see kindness and compassion among children and adults every day when I go to work. It’s pretty incredible, actually.

{what our politicians should be living like... the words of an innocent 8 year old are powerful}

{what our politicians should be living like… the words of an innocent 8 year old are powerful}

We’ve got a lot of great things going for us, including a great weekend. We’re just so happy that our Henry cat is home and that things have returned to normalcy around here. Even amidst the challenges there is always room for gratitude.