Tag Archives: mountains

Busy, Busy, Busy!

Holy cats! August is shaping up to be NUTS for us. We have SO much going on this month it’s going to be hard to keep up! I even started writing in our calendar who is taking which car on what days so that we can manage everything right down to the nitty gritty details.

20170803_201809252_iOS

We started off the month by buying a piece of land over in Leavenworth, a quaint mountain town about 2 hours from Seattle that we spend a lot of time visiting. We’ve been looking for a vacation home in the mountains to share with Alex’s parents for more than a year and recently decided to change course and build a house.

{The view from our new property!}

{The view from our new property that overlooks a field with a giant rock wall and mountains in the background.}

{This is where we expect the house to go.}

{This is where we expect the house to go.}

20170729_193230862_iOS

We’re elated to have found a beautiful, flat 3.1 acre property to call our own! We expect to close at the end of the month and will likely start building next summer. We had hoped to break ground this fall if possible, but it seems like holding off until next year makes more sense. We don’t want to rush into it too much. That means, though, that we might be spending Christmas 2018 in our new mountain house! More on this to come later, I’m sure.

{Holding up his computer after signing the offer we made on the lot! We were so excited!}

{Holding up his computer after signing the offer we made on the lot! We were so excited!}

In other news, lately Alex has been suggesting that we should get Ben some more socialization with other kids during the day. While he gets out to the playground most days and story time at least once a week and a play date most weeks he doesn’t have the same social experiences that he would have if he went to daycare.

20170730_205527553_iOS

I’ve got no qualms about daycare, it simply works better for our schedules to have the flexibility of a nanny. So, after scouring the Internet and polling some of my mama friends, we have enrolled Ben in a preschool co-op that starts in September. This preschool has “classes” for one year olds where it’s basically unstructured play time together {they have more formal classes for 2, 3 and 4-year olds). The class meets twice a week for 90 minutes each day. Not too big of a commitment. I’m really looking forward to starting – because it’s a co-op, all families have to get involved to help run the school, so I’m excited to meet other parents in the area and get Ben some time with other kids. Buuttttt that also means that each family has a “job” {I’m the designated “worker” in our family} sooooo you’re looking at either the new Halloween party planner, spring picnic party planner or sunshine chair!

20170803_201807585_iOS

Another child care note worth mentioning is that our nanny has left us for a three week trip. We’ve got backup care scheduled, but you never know how that will turn out. I have a feeling it’ll be a mama + Ben month.

20170731_205640174_iOS

Nearly a year ago, now, we started going to our parents group, called PEPS {Program for Early Parent Support}, which met once a week for 12 weeks. We built a really nice community with other families close by who have babies the same age as Ben. The PEPS organization asked if I’d be interested in facilitating a new group and because we didn’t have enough going on, I said yes! Despite our crazy schedules I’m really, really looking forward to leading a PEPS group, which starts in a couple weeks. It will be one evening per week where I get to facilitate a meeting between 8 families with newborns. It will be so fun to think back to those crazy days with a newborn!

20170729_200919859_iOS

Alex has two bachelor parties to attend this month – one in Whistler and one down in Portland. So, it’s really going to be a mama + Ben month!

20170731_202228801_iOS

The weather has been hot, hot, hot lately. We’ve had this really weird smog clouding the region the last 10 days from wildfires up in British Columbia. I heard that our air quality right now is worse than Beijing! We can’t hardly see across the lake and you can literally see the smoke clinging to sights off in the distance. It’s really strange. That being said, I haven’t gone for any runs in the last week and Alex hasn’t ridden his bike, so we’re ready for the heat wave to break and the smoke to clear! I’m ready for fall!

20170804_195439177_iOS

Baby Madeline’s Visit

Baby Madeline and her parents, Sarah and Mike, came to visit us this past weekend from Minnesota. It was so fun to have another baby in our house for Ben to play with all weekend long. Both babes did well and really hammed it up for us! Madeline has the sweetest cheesy smile. I couldn’t get enough of it!

20170429_004844462_iOS

Sarah and I grew up together and have been friends for a very long time. Somehow it happened that we got to go through pregnancy and now the stages of motherhood together – Ben and Madeline were due a day apart last summer.

20170501_182519257_iOS

Both babies were born before their due dates and are 5 weeks apart. It was really neat to see how different of babies Ben and Madeline are. They are both super sweet and cuddly, and the biggest difference I noticed is that Madeline sits still!

20170428_231734388_iOS

Alex and I were so shocked at the fact that they could just plop Madeline down anywhere and she’d stay still and take in her surroundings. Even as young as 3 or 4 months, Ben’s little legs and feet or arms would be moving and shaking. He’s really never sat still and always wanted to be moving.

20170428_193212096_iOS

The weather held out for their trip pretty well, surprisingly. We managed to squeeze in quite a few activities during the long weekend.

20170428_152047958_iOS

Sarah and I strolled through the arboretum with the babes on Friday while Mike was spending time with his friend. Coincidentally the best man from their wedding also lives in Seattle {I was their matron of honor}. The weather was gorgeous and it made it a perfect afternoon to spend outside.

20170428_201209759_iOS

20170429_004829414_iOS

20170428_201149491_iOS

20170428_220153042_iOS

The clouds rolled in on Saturday and we headed slightly east to Woodinville for lunch and to do some wine tasting. We tried some new wines and had a great time.

20170429_214332875_iOS

20170429_215436688_iOS

20170429_230208378_iOS

20170429_230933907_iOS

20170430_000958571_iOS

We ended the evening with a trip to Westland Distillery, a whiskey distillery in the SODO neighborhood. Sarah and Mike {and Alex too} really like whiskey so it was a fun place to stop off.

20170430_001333921_iOS

20170430_011140880_iOS

20170430_004238760_iOS

20170430_010836627_iOS

The babies did so well on the outing! It was really fun to get out with them and see, at least for Alex and me, how well Ben did on a full-day adventure.

20170430_004313812_iOS

Our true adventure happened on Sunday. We braved the weather and headed for the mountains to do a hike at Twin Falls. Aside from a few minutes where it was sunny, it was lightly sprinkling throughout most of the hike. That didn’t stop us from lacing up our boots and hitting the trails. It was extremely gorgeous – the hike was fairly easy and followed a roaring river and winded through furry green trees. There were some beautiful views of the falls at the end. It didn’t disappoint.

20170430_200108469_iOS (2)

20170430_200301950_iOS (3)

20170430_200312389_iOS (2)

20170430_201233556_iOS

20170430_204719773_iOS

After a really nice visit, Sarah, Mike and Madeline headed home on Monday. We loved having them here to play with Ben and to spend time together. We’re grateful for technology so that we can keep each other up-to-date with lots of photos and even FaceTime on occasion.

20170501_183758994_iOS

20170430_154000948_iOS

Whistler Vacation

Whistler is one of Alex’s and my favorite places to visit and ski. The village is adorable and the mountains are extraordinary – Whistler Blackcomb is the largest ski resort in North America! We thought it would be the perfect destination for our first family-of-three vacation. Alex and I hadn’t been there together since 2013, though I was there last winter with my dad. While the trip was very different than we expected, we had a great time and we’re scheming on making an annual family Whistler trip every winter.

20170318_231033246_iOS

Our trip began on Friday morning – we had gotten pretty much everything packed up the night before and were hoping to wake up and load up the car and then hit the road before Ben took his morning nap so that he could snooze in the car. The timing worked out really well, but I woke up feeling like I had been hit by a train. I was operating at about 20% and that’s being generous. Alex took one for the team and by some miracle we were out the door by 9 and Ben quickly fell asleep, as did I.

20170317_154529070_iOS

The drive to Whistler is 4.5 to 5 hours, depending on Vancouver traffic and border wait times. Once you pass through Vancouver the drive is absolutely breathtaking along the Sea to Sky highway. Sadly I did not enjoy any part of the drive other than when it was over. By then I was feeling better but not 100% {by the next morning I was fine}.

20170318_015916255_iOS

This was going to be our “big vacation” and we had reserved a condo for a full week – Friday to Friday. We scheduled a babysitter for three days so that Alex and I could ski. In addition to downhill skiing we brought our cross country gear so that we could take Ben out too. We’ve heard from several friends that there is a lot to do with babies in Whistler and we were really excited to experience that first-hand.

20170318_200936260_iOS

The condo we stayed at had a really good location for being a young family in Whistler, though it wasn’t as close to the lifts as we had hoped. It was situated just outside the village, quite close to the Olympic Plaza, which has a skating rink, a sledding hill, and a playground. It was also near the library, a grocery store, several coffee shops and other great restaurants. Next time we visit we’d opt for a place closer to the gondola and more in the heart of the village.

20170318_160110421_iOS

20170318_205651541_iOS

Our first full day was great – the sun was out and it had snowed a few inches overnight. Perfect for exploring the village and doing some sledding!

20170318_141951433_iOS

20170318_225734295_iOS

20170318_231311442_iOS

20170318_191745983_iOS

 

Day two was scheduled as a ski day. We requested a babysitter through a local service, confirmed with her the night before and much to our surprise, she never showed up! Our “Plan B” was pretty okay and we spent another day in the village and went cross country skiing.

{Coffee on the couch instead of skiing!}

{Coffee on the couch instead of skiing!}

20170319_182013515_iOS

{Coffee on the couch quickly turned into boozy hot drinks on the patio…}

20170319_174845743_iOS

20170321_174805662_iOS

20170320_234810918_iOS

20170319_225021559_iOS

20170319_231804712_iOS

20170319_232003447_iOS

20170319_232153141_iOS

20170319_232255731_iOS

{We skied around Lost Lake – it was a short 2.5 mile trail and by the time we made the first loop the trail was getting icy so we opted to call it quits. This trail was a little more hilly than the one we’re used to at home and I wasn’t very comfortable going downhill with Ben on my back.}

20170319_232258365_iOS

We were able to flex our skiing schedule a little bit and the babysitting service managed to switch us to a different gal who did show up on Monday morning so we could go skiing. Alex and I were more apprehensive about leaving Ben with a babysitter than we expected – something about a stranger and being in another country, not to mention we were going to be skiing, was a little weird. Once she arrived in the morning she put our nerves at ease and we hit the slopes.

20170320_163921482_iOS

20170320_170932703_iOS

20170320_175023601_iOS

What ended up being our one and only ski day was terrific. We skied our hearts out! We skied on Blackcomb Mountain and covered it top to bottom. The sun was out, the snow was soft and we were ripping it up. The combination of being there on a Monday at the end of March meant we skied right on to the lifts every run – we got so many runs in that we found the time to take a much needed coffee break.

20170320_204858393_iOS

20170320_183139315_iOS

{One of our favorite areas was the new Crystal chair – we found some powder pockets and skied in an area that had been hit by a forest fire, which provided a perfect gladed run through the trees with some nice soft bumps.}

20170320_183141983_iOS

At the end of our ski day we were very happy to get back to a content Ben who had a great day with his Aussie babysitter. She offered to come watch him the next evening for us, so we happily took her up on that so we could have a date night together. We went out for a glass of wine first and then headed to a fancy restaurant for dinner. It was a great night!

20170320_011347365_iOS

Taking Ben to restaurants is totally hit or miss {mostly miss right now} – he’s got to be in the right mood and he’s not particularly fond of sitting still {just like his mama!} so it’s not always fun for anyone. If we can get him in the right mood he’ll just sit there and munch on a pickle or a french fry or whatever we’ve got in a similar shape/size. But mostly he just wants to get down and crawl around and say hello to the other diners.

20170321_180300028_iOS

We had some really terrific food while we were in Whistler. In past years Whistler has not been my favorite ski town for good food but it’s starting to move up the ranks. Some of our favorites were a bakery called Pure Bread {should have been named “Heaven”}, an adorable creparie called Crepe Montagne, as well as Araxi and Basalt, where we went out for our date night.

20170321_203311952_iOS

Wednesday ended up being our last day in Whistler, though we were booked until Friday. Ben somehow contracted hand, foot and mouth disease which is a really awful and highly contagious virus that’s very common in young children. After a couple hours Wednesday morning we pulled the plug and started packing up to go home. Since home is so close for us we thought we’d all be more comfortable there and saw no point in staying in Whistler.

20170322_134728720_iOS

The drive home was slightly better than expected, though I spent most of it in the back seat with Ben so I could be there if he needed some comfort, which he undoubtedly did. On the drive home we decided to stop at the famous Tim Hortons because we had heard it is the cat’s meow. Turns out it’s Canada’s version of Dunkin’ Donuts and we’d have been much better off stopping just about anywhere else. Otherwise, the car ride home was mostly uneventful and we made great time. We were fortunate to arrive home to a clean house with banana bread in the oven – our nanny stayed at our house while we were gone.

20170322_161003478_iOS

All in all, even though our trip was very different than we had expected, we had a terrific time and I’ll look back on it with many positive memories. We’re excited to get back up to Whistler!

Day in the Mountains

Alex’s dad has been out here for the long holiday weekend and was itching to go cross country skiing. We headed to our trusty spot at Hyak out at Snoqualmie Pass and showed him where we’ve been going this winter.

20170219_205941565_iOS

20170219_214942687_iOS

The weather was pretty good – it was rather warm. Mother Nature was having a hard time deciding whether it should snow or rain, and thankfully for us she primarily opted for the former.

20170219_210028208_iOS

We had a great day getting some fresh mountain air and stretching our legs. Now if only we had a hot tub to come back and soak in…

20170219_215002898_iOS

20170219_215043212_iOS

Another Ski Day!

Last weekend Alex and I headed to the mountains for our second ski day of the season. We timed it well because it ended up being a bluebird day {skier speak for a sunny day 😉 } – the weather was perfect and the conditions were pretty great for the most part.

20170212_203037998_iOS

Powder Bowl and the King are poking out behind us… Crystal Mountain is our absolute favorite place to ski. The terrain and opportunities are limitless! Whistler Blackcomb comes in at a very close second, followed by Jackson Hole and Snowbird. Oh, and Snowbasin is awesome too. We’re pretty spoiled with incredible mountains nearby, I guess!

20170212_204953897_iOS

Mount Rainier was out in all her glory. We saw Mount Adams, Mount St. Helens and Mount Baker, too! Everybody came out to enjoy the day.

20170212_203020053_iOS

The view from the top of the High Campbell area. This is an incredible part of the mountain to ski, but it’s experts only. I opted to not venture up there last season during my pregnancy so we had a great time exploring the terrain last weekend.

20170212_205018684_iOS

We have our nanny lined up for one more ski day in March and we are taking a week-long ski trip to Whistler later this season, as well. I’d love to get at least 5 days of skiing in this year!

The Happenings

It’s amazing how quickly things are changing around here. Ben is now 7 1/2 months old and I’m really pretty floored at how different things are today than they were three weeks ago when I was writing my post about him turning 7 months old.

20170118_151032234_iOS

Our daily routine is in constant flux based on what’s going on with Ben – he’s been sleeping so much better overnight {we’ve been getting 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep lately!!!!!} these last few weeks and that has dramatically changed his napping schedule. This impacts my mornings because now instead of napping from 7:30-8:15 or 8:30 he’s awake until 8:45 or so and I get to hang out with him and feed him breakfast. He’ll still take one or two other good naps later in the day.

{Ben has grown to love his high chair! It's made it easier for me to adjust to his new morning routine of being awake longer.}

{Ben has grown to love his high chair! It’s made it easier for me to adjust to his new morning routine of being awake longer.}

For quite some time Ben was practicing sitting up on his own. Sitting is so much more arbitrary than rolling over because it’s hard to determine the point where he could truly sit. We’ve called it, though, and Ben is definitely sitting now. He hasn’t gotten himself into a seated position yet, but when we plop him down he stays put.

20170119_150633788_iOS

Ben is working on figuring out how to scoot. He can move around his play mat by rolling and doing tiny scoots. He’s got a ways to go before he can crawl, but I have a feeling that’s not too far off. In preparation for Ben to be able to move we’ve purchased a rug for our kitchen to cover our splintery floor. We still need one for the hallway and we need to look into a baby gate, but I think we’ll slowly be ready for him to be on the move…

20170118_150358516_iOS

20170115_221528080_iOS

Over the weekend Ben started babbling a TON. He’s been “talking” for a long time but mostly he’ll just make noises, particularly when he’s tired. This new babbling is so sweet – he’s putting together consonants and is starting to blend sounds. A lot of them are “da” sounds, so he says “da da da da da” a lot now. It’s adorable.

20170116_184624708_iOS

As of last weekend Ben weighed 16 pounds 8 ounces {which is the 9th percentile for weight for his age}. He’s just about to bust out of the size 2 diapers. He’s wearing size 6-9 month clothing right now but some of the onesies are already starting to get tight in the length! I can’t believe it. He hasn’t been in this size hardly 3 weeks! Ben has gigantic feet – he’s wearing 12-24 month socks right now. Wonder where he gets that from… 😉

20170114_003207427_iOS

We have several friends with babies the same age as Ben and it’s been so fun to hear what they’re up to and see how differently the babies progress. About a week ago we met up with most of the families from our parents group and got to catch up with them. I actually watched one of the babies recently on the mama’s first day back to work – it didn’t go as well as I had hoped {horrible actually!}. Ben was not excited to have another baby demanding my attention and both of them had close to a 2 hour meltdown simultaneously!

20170115_210128422_iOS

20170109_164053360_iOS

Overall, Ben is a really happy kiddo. He smiles a lot and when he gets excited he kicks his feet and waves his hands. Basically he’s always moving! That’ll be interesting when he can crawl and walk…

20170106_231625485_iOS

Sometimes Ben can be a whiny baby, but thankfully not very often! Normally that happens when he doesn’t nap well, but surprisingly, a lot of times he’s able to rally and still be chipper even while tired during the day. Last Friday and Saturday were not two of those days…

20170121_193809337_iOS

A couple weeks ago we took Ben in to see an occupational therapist as a check-up from his time in the NICU. It was a very cool appointment! She basically sat on the floor playing with him deliberately to see what his capabilities and limitations were. He was SUPER tired and still managed to do well and perform within the “normal” range for his adjusted age (so that of a fresh 6 month old). He scored highest on the gross motor skills {things like picking up toys – small movements}. We almost wish she would have used his actual age to assess him because we don’t typically “adjust” his age.

20170112_172012090_iOS

We’ve been loving getting out in the mountains with Ben lately. It’s such a fun thing that we enjoy doing together as a family. Now that Ben is getting older we’re really trying to introduce him to new experiences.

20170122_231836440_iOS

20170112_215134767_iOS

Alex and I are still getting out one night a week for dinner just the two of us. It’s a really nice tradition to have and it allows us to catch up and get out of the house together. Both of us have started going out with friends a little more too – recently we both, separately, went out with some friends. It had been quite a while since I had met a girl friend for a glass of wine, but it’s happened twice this month! We’ve also both been making the time to exercise more regularly. That has been awesome! We’re really starting to feel like we’re in a good groove these days. It took a little while but I think we’ve figured it out… for now! 🙂

Mom & Dad’s Ski Day

Can I just say I really don’t love referring to myself in the third person? It’s kind of obnoxious and I fully intended on not doing that but one day it crossed my mind that Ben almost never heard of me referred to as “mama” so I caved. And every time I refer to myself as “mama” I cringe but hope it means he’ll know what to call me one day soon…… and then I’ll resume being an adult who can form a grammatically correct sentence…..

Anyway! Last weekend our wonderful nanny signed on to watch Ben for an extra day so that Alex and I could high tail it to the mountains for a ski day just the two of us. It was really strange leaving Ben for so long when Alex and I were going off to do something together but we knew he was in good hands and he kept Edina entertained.

20170108_144235780_iOS

The forecast was predicting a powder day for us on Sunday. Unfortunately mother nature and the meteorologists were not on the same page, as is usually the case in Seattle. We got a little snow and a lot of wind. So much wind that the upper mountain was closed all day. Knowing the mountain well came in handy! There are some sneaky, awesome runs that most people don’t know about that we got to explore.

20170108_211936188_iOS

While the terrain was quite limited, the snow was actually really nice. We had a couple of great runs and both of us got to make a few powder turns, too! It felt so nice to be back on skis again. Even though our runs were limited we were really glad we were able to get out.

20170108_212006073_iOS

This year we won’t be clicking into our downhill skis nearly as much as we have in the past but we have made arrangements with our nanny to watch Ben once a month for the rest of the winter so we can ski. We’ve also got a ski trip planned for later this season. Cross country skiing seems to be a good supplement/compromise and we’re a-okay with that! We’re just happy to be able to spend time in the mountains.

New Winter Hobby

As a way to get out into the mountains and play in the snow, Alex and I have recently gotten into cross country skiing. We went one time last winter together and really enjoyed it. We’ve been missing our weekends in the snow this winter, so we decided to purchase a cross country gear set-up and make it a regular occurrence to get out in the fresh mountain air.

20161230_225719009_ios

Downhill skiing has been a major part of our lives in the winter ever since we moved out to Seattle 8 years ago. Having Ben now makes it more difficult to go out for a downhill ski day just the two of us so we chose cross country skiing as a way to get out as a family.

20170101_215355926_ios

We have a baby carrier called an Ergo 360 and I can wear Ben on my front or on my back, basically like a backpack. I hadn’t tried the back carry position until we tried cross country but it is really comfortable and he seems to like it quite a bit. Honestly I hardly even noticed Ben was strapped to my back it was that comfortable – it just felt like my regular ski backpack that I usually wear.

20161230_223628135_ios

Neither Alex or I are pros at Nordic skiing by any means but being the one with the better balance and athletic abilities I was nominated to be the baby wearer. We both did really well and quickly became more and more comfortable with our new sport.

20170101_221457605_ios

Being out in the mountains with Ben three times over the holiday week was probably the best part of our whole break. The mountains are so important to us and we want to pass that down to Ben and do our best to make sure he’s a skier as well as an outdoor enthusiast.

20170101_221426021_ios

Relaxing Weekend in Leavenworth

For a lot of occasions like birthdays, anniversaries and Christmases Alex and I opt to get each other “experiences” rather than something tangible. For us, the time together is more meaningful. This year my Christmas gift to Alex was a weekend away in Leavenworth, Washington at the Sleeping Lady Resort.

{This is the rock pool at the resort! Really neat concept. It was really foggy and overcast for our stay, so I didn't get any good pictures, due to the lighting.}

{This is the rock pool at the resort! Really neat concept. It was really foggy and overcast for our stay, so I didn’t get any good pictures, due to the lighting.}

We cashed in on Alex’s gift as soon as we could after Christmas and headed out there this past weekend. Both of us had been to the Sleeping Lady Resort before, which is why it was so appealing to go back. The resort is really unique – the owner turned it from a camp into a high-class resort in the mountains.

Each “room” is essentially its own cabin and there are different clusters of cabins strewn across the property. They all have very modern amenities and are very, very comfortable with nice linens and robes and the like. We were once again very pleased with the accommodations. One of the special perks is that the resort has a huge dining lodge where they offer a gourmet breakfast and dinner buffet that is included with your stay. We felt like we were eating like kings all weekend!

{This is the style of the buildings/cabins on the property.}

{This is the style of the buildings/cabins on the property.}

So – about the trip now… we arrived around dinner time on Friday night, got checked into our room and then headed straight for the dining lodge. Because it’s a buffet, we were able to pace ourselves how we wanted and ended up having a wonderfully slow and leisurely dinner.

When we awoke the next morning it was snowing! After our relaxing breakfast we took a nice stroll around the resort property. Neither one of us had been to the Sleeping Lady when it was particularly light out, so we hadn’t gotten the chance to do much exploring.

20160109_195525707_iOS

The rest of our morning and early afternoon was spent in downtown Leavenworth where we popped into some shops and had a delicious sausage at our favorite place, Munchen Haus. We needed to fuel up for our afternoon of cross country skiing!

20160109_211510368_iOS

Alex had never been cross country skiing and I had only been once, but not since I was in 5th grade – so about 20 years ago! We rented our gear from the Mercantile shop at our resort and walked across the street to the public cross country ski trail {couldn’t have been more convenient!} and after watching a quick YouTube video titled “How to Cross Country Ski” we set out for our excursion.

20160109_212157109_iOS

Our afternoon of cross country skiing turned out to be the highlight of our trip. We had been talking for a couple years about getting into nordic skiing but just never bit the bullet. Now with our little babe on the way we figure that once s/he arrives, it will be much easier for us to strap the kid into a backpack and go cross country skiing, rather than having to trade off who stays in the lodge with the baby while the other one of us downhill skis by him/herself. Plus, it is absolutely fantastic exercise! Both of us are sore in places we’ve never been sore before. We’re hoping to convince one of my cousins to come out with us and give us a few pointers so we can master the skating part of nordic skiing, rather than just the scooting part 😉

20160109_211505699_iOS

The rest of our Saturday was spent sitting in front of a great outdoor fire at O’Grady’s Pantry {a little restaurant on the Sleeping Lady property}, napping and enjoying another slow-paced dinner at the resort. Both of us were ready to tuck into bed early that night!

{The hot tub was built into the rocks!}

{The hot tub was built into the rocks!}

Our stay at the Sleeping Lady included ski passes at Stevens Pass, so on our way back home to Seattle on Sunday we stopped at the ski resort to get some downhill turns in. With the Seahawks/Vikings playoff game on Sunday both of us expected the resort to be completely empty – we were grossly mistaken! It was an absolute zoo! This was the starting weekend of the ski lesson program, so we’re guessing that was the culprit. In addition to the crowds, it was really foggy and there was almost no visibility and the conditions were less than ideal. Needless to say, we took a few runs and continued home… It was a little disappointing, but it wasn’t the best day to be skiing.

All in all, we had a fabulous weekend away! Alex and I have been so enjoying the quality time we’ve been spending together lately. I hope we’re able to take a few more little trips before our little one arrives soon!

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!

20151224_232038000_iOS

{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 🙂