Tag Archives: weekend

More Fall Fun!

In preparation for Halloween this week we decided to get Ben dressed up in his adorable monkey costume as many times as possible. We started the weekend at Alex’s work’s family Halloween festival on Friday and ended it at Remlinger Farms pumpkin patch/autumn festival today.

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Just getting used to his Halloween costume…

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We all seemed to come down with a little stomach bug this week. Thankfully it was fairly short-lived and rather mild. Unfortunately for me, it hit me about 7 minutes after this {above} photo was taken – live, right in the middle of Alex’s work campus. Ugh. We all bounced back quickly and are a-ok now.

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Sunday morning we were feeling better and drove out to Carnation, Washington to Remlinger Farms, with Edina, our nanny, to enjoy some fall fun.

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Ben ate a whole mini doughnut all in one bite…..

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We loved all that Remlinger Farms had to offer, especially this fantastic train! It was a real train that took us for a 15ish minute ride around the farm.

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Ben loved the hay bale maze!

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And got to try his first amusement park ride!

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Ben and Edina! He loves her so so much.

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I knew just how to get the giggles out! This little monkey is ready for Halloween! ūüôā

*all of the good photos courtesy of Edina!

Family Vacation to Seabrook, Washington

For our big family summer vacation this year we headed west to Seabrook, Washington, a very small town on the Washington coast. This was our second vacation as a little family of three and it was everything I had hoped it would be and more.

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Seabrook is a really funny little town. It’s very new and was created with a master development plan about 10 years ago. It was modeled after the Truman Show and Pleasantville, so it has that “everything is perfect” look and feel. The houses and the town are¬†so cute – the style is similar to a Cape Cod or Nantucket home. It oozes with east coast charm.

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Perhaps the best part of the town is the location – it’s situated up high on a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean on the Washington coast. The beach goes on forever!

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Our trip started mid-day Friday with our sloooowwwwww drive to the coast. It’s been a while since we had ventured south on I-5 on a Friday in the summer and boy did we regret waiting until noon to leave the house. Thankfully Ben has turned into a little trooper in the car and he hung in there right along with us.

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We got all of our glitches out of the way for the whole trip upon check-in. Our house wasn’t ready when we arrived – they needed extra time to clean it. Then, once we could finally check in, the code on the lock wouldn’t work. By some miracle we found a slightly open window and Alex was able to enter the house. It was a little bit of a stressful start to the vacation, but thankfully all the kinks were worked out once we got inside.

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Over the years Alex and I have stayed in a ton of vacation rentals. Usually the photos make them look nicer than they are in reality. Much to my relief, the house was even better than the pictures! It was by far the nicest vacation rental we’ve ever stayed in. It was fantastic!!

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We were so enamored with the town that we spent most of the afternoon and evening exploring and getting settled in. I couldn’t get enough of the houses in the town!

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Coincidentally, our friends Kara and Jake and their daughter Maya, were in Seabrook the same weekend. Even more of a coincidence –¬†the house they rented was across the park {about 30 feet} from our house – essentially our front porches overlooked each others! We loved being able to spend some good time with them the first evening by the campfire and then getting Maya and Ben to play together in the grass the next day.

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Our first trip to the beach happened on Saturday morning. I strapped Ben to my back {he’s officially too heavy to wear in the carrier on my front!}, Alex hooked Jackson up to his leash and we headed out to the beach.

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The Washington and Oregon coasts are known for some pretty extreme fog and Saturday was no exception. There is something eerily comforting about the dense fog along the coast – it’s really calming and relaxing. Maybe that’s the Seattleite in me talking? We weren’t turned off by the light drizzle – it was surprisingly pleasant.

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Once we got down to the beach we realized how unbelievably expansive it was. I don’t even know how to describe the scope other than to say from the moment we hit the edge¬†of the beach until we got to the water it was a solid 10 minute walk across the sand. The beach went on and on and on and on – it was by far the biggest beach I’ve ever been to. You could have walked for hours in either direction.

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When we got closer to the water we could see crabs washed up on shore. There were clams and sand dollars, too! It was weirdly beautiful in its own way.

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The water was absolutely frigid – no swimming for us! Jackson didn’t think twice about the chilly temperature, though, and he charged right into the waves after his ball.

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One of our favorite moments happened on Saturday. We hit the town to check out the little Saturday market and happened upon a quaint little wine bar. Naturally we stopped in for a flight and a cheese board. We shared the cheese and sopressata with Ben {and kept the wine to ourselves} and he ate almost the entire thing on his own. Somewhere in the last month or two he has become such a stellar eater! It is an absolute blast watching him explore the world of food.

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Later in the day, the skies cleared and then when we woke up on Sunday morning we were delighted to see the bright blue skies were still there and the sun was out.

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While the sun was out in full force on Sunday, so was the wind. It was slightly bothersome up in town and at our house but when we got down to the beach it felt like the wind was blowing at gale force! We were¬†so looking forward to hanging out on the beach and we weren’t about to let a mini hurricane stop us from setting up shop, even if it was only for about 15 minutes.

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Before our trip, we bought a little beach tent that was supposed to withstand a lot of wind. We were pleasantly surprised at both how easy it was to set up and the fact that it stayed up, given the wind. We hunkered down and let Ben play in the sand for a short while before taking a little walk on the beach.

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We were all absolutely covered in sand – I can still feel it in my pores. Ben had a goth look going on because his face was all drooly and then it got muddy from the sand. It was pretty funny! He couldn’t have cared less about the sand – it had to have been all up in his eyes too. He was having a blast nonetheless.

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Our last full day in Seabrook was very relaxing and largely spent outside.

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I will be forever grateful for this long weekend together in Seabrook. Family vacations are so important to us. It gives us a chance to spend time together, reconnect and be present and removed from the distractions of everyday life. This trip was perfect in every way and I really wouldn’t change a thing.

Fourth of July Weekend

Much to my surprise we had a four day weekend at home together. I had no idea Alex had Monday off until late last week. After having a few busy weekends in a row it was nice to have a low-key weekend just the three of us. The icing on the cake was the weather – it was basically perfect all weekend long.

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My weekend kicked off a day early – Ben and I had a really fun Friday hanging out in Madison Park, the neighborhood just north of us. It has a much bigger downtown than our neighborhood and it’s got a great beach and a really nice park. Ben and I started at the beach, stopped at the swings and then grabbed a bite to eat at the deli.

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Not surprisingly, Ben loved the beach! He loved playing in the sand and sitting in the water, feeling the waves crash on his little legs. He was all smiles! ūüôā

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We had a laid-back day on Saturday and somehow Alex and I managed to make it to yoga at the gym. It was so nice to start the weekend with a relaxing yoga class! Alex took Ben to the pool afterwards, too, so they had some fun in the water together.

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Lately we have been loving taking Ben up to the park in our neighborhood and setting out the picnic blanket and just hanging out. He has been practicing standing on his own and for some reason seems to be more comfortable in the grass. While we were at the park over the weekend he stood up from a seated position all on his own without holding onto anything! Since then we’ve seen him do it several more times but it seems like he’s still realizing that he can do it.

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Since I had so much fun taking Ben to the beach on Friday we decided go together over the weekend too. Ben was practicing standing on the picnic blanket at the beach too and is really getting the hang of it. He had so much fun!

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We¬†made an impromptu trip over the mountains to Leavenworth on Monday. It was super spontaneous and last minute and we had a great time. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky which made for a spectacular drive over the mountain pass. We are so fortunate to live in such a beautiful state!

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One of our favorite things to do with Ben is to share foods that we love with him. Thankfully he has similar tastes to us so usually he enjoys them. While we were in Leavenworth we stopped at one of our favorite sausage shops and got some sausages and a pretzel. Since it was 90 degrees and a fun, bonus day we treated ourselves to some gelato before we made the drive back home.

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All weekend long we had been looking forward to our plans for the fourth – we headed up to our friends’ Carrie and Patrick’s new house on Camano Island. Camano Island is located a little over an hour northwest of Seattle and is an island, connected by a bridge, out in Puget Sound. Carrie and Patrick moved into their new house two weeks ago and we couldn’t wait to see their new place.

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Our friends Ryan and Mary joined us up north with their 19 month-old twin boys, August and Oliver, and Carrie and Patrick have a 14 month-old daughter named Roslyn. It was so fun to have all four babies together for the day. We loved Carrie and Patrick’s new house and hope to spend a lot of time up there with all of our kiddos.

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It was sad to see such a nice long weekend come to an end, but we’ve got a short work week and another weekend at home coming up. I love July – it seems like such a nice, relaxing family month. This year anyway!

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Birthday Weekend!

I recently celebrated my golden birthday {March 31st} and it was very golden and special, indeed. I waited as long as a person could wait to enjoy my golden birthday and it was surely worth the wait.

Lucky me – my birthday was on a Friday this year. The weather was really nice that day, too, as it often is in the beautiful city of Seattle. We had a relaxing morning at home before Alex headed to work, then I stayed home with Ben that day. One of the fun highlights was taking our new jogging stroller out for a spin!

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That night we met our friends Mary and Ryan for dinner at Tilth, a terrific restaurant in Seattle. Their specialty is a five-course tasting menu with wine pairings. We were happy to sign up for that! The food was terrific – our favorites were the sunchoke soup {I know, right?!} and the albacore tuna. Yum!! We have so much fun with Mary and Ryan and it was extra special to have an adults-only birthday celebration {Mary’s birthday is two days before mine} for the two of us.

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Saturday was my big birthday hurrah day. Alex and I had our first overnight away from Ben. We went out to Woodinville and stayed in our favorite hotel, Willows Lodge, and enjoyed an afternoon of wine tasting, which led into a fantastic dinner at Barking Frog and an overnight in a beautiful hotel.

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Ben did great with his first night at home without us. The nanny kept us up-to-date with some adorable photos throughout the evening.

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We finished off our rendezvous with a fabulous breakfast at Barking Frog and then headed home to hang out with our little guy.

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It was such a terrific birthday!!

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.

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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.

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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…

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Ben’s First Hike

I’ve been wanting to get out on a hike all summer and for some reason we never made it happen until this past weekend. It was SO nice to be out in the mountains and in nature. We hadn’t taken Ben on a hike yet but this weekend afforded us the perfect opportunity. We opted for a quick, short, easy hike and it worked out really well!

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We’ve got an Ergo Baby carrier for Ben, so that made it super easy to carry him on the trails. He was such a trooper and so curious about his surroundings. He seems like quite an inquisitive little guy.

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It is so fun now that Ben is getting older and being awake more and so much more alert. We are so looking forward to more weekends exploring the Pacific Northwest with him!

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It’s our hope to get out at least once a week/end to do a hike or go on an adventure together as a family. Washington state is so unbelievably gorgeous and diverse and we can’t wait to show Ben around, not to mention explore ourselves! We’ve got a lot to learn about the landscape here and it’s such a perfect opportunity to do so while teaching Ben.

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Fifth Annual Leavenworth Trip

One of Alex and my favorite weekends all year is our annual trip to Leavenworth with some of our friends. Each year our trip looks a little different – typically we perfect something we learned the year before. This year’s trip wins for the most changes from last year — babies and a new house to stay in. Before I start, holy cow, it took me 5 hours to pack up the car by myself. It is a whole new life trying to leave town with an infant. Especially one who was adamant that he be carried around all day {and yes, I did put him in the carrier, but that only made it slightly easier to load¬†the car…}.

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This year’s house was the best one yet! The property was fabulous – it had two acres of fenced in yard — perfect for the dogs to run around in. There was a hot tub, several sitting areas and a great fire pit, which we enjoyed making s’mores in.

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Our group of adults was a little smaller this year, but we nearly doubled our group with the addition of four babies – Mary and Ryan and their 10-month old twin boys, August and Oliver, along with Carrie and Patrick and their 5-month old girl, Roslyn, joined us for our trip. Sadly we didn’t get any group photos with all of us!

{The Buffs!}

{The Buffs!}

{The Millers!}

{The Millers!}

This year we also added another day onto the trip – we opted to head back to Seattle on Monday. It has always felt a little rushed to get up there Friday afternoon or evening and then pack up and leave early Sunday morning. It was so much more relaxing to have an extra day.

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The babies all did really well. Oliver and August are on the move now and Roslyn and Ben hung out on the mat together a little bit. It was so fun to see the boys eating real food and be able to entertain themselves. It’s not too long before Ben starts doing that!

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{Me with Roslyn}

{Me with Roslyn}

{Could I pass for a twin mom!? Definitely not one with as much grace as these boys' mama!}

{Could I pass for a twin mom!? Definitely not one with as much grace as these boys’ mama!}

{Ryan is a pro!}

{Ryan is a pro!}

{Ben and Roslyn hanging out on the mat together.}

{Ben and Roslyn hanging out on the mat together.}

Our weekend was really low-key. We hung out at the house on Friday night and then attempted to head to town on Saturday. Once we entered downtown Leavenworth we realized there was a parade and it turned out to be even busier than the Octoberfest weekends. We planned our trip for September to try and avoid the Octoberfest crowds throughout the month of October. Oops!

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No worries, though – Patrick came up with a backup plan to go to the Sleeping Lady, which is a little resort that Alex and I have stayed at a couple times. We had a wonderful lunch there and took a little tour of the grounds.

{A bottle for mama and a bottle for Ben!}

{A bottle for mama and a bottle for Ben!}

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Mary made Sauerbraten, our staple Octoberfest meal, for dinner on Saturday night. We were able to enjoy our evenings relatively kid-free, which was great. All of the babies cooperated pretty well and allowed us to have some adult time.

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Because of Carrie’s new job {she’s a nurse now!!}, the Buff’s couldn’t stay on Sunday night and had to head back home that morning. Her new schedule is actually really great and allows for her to have weekends free, she just needs to be back on Sunday night. Later that day, the Millers headed into Leavenworth with us, as we figured the crowds would have gone home after the big parade the day before. We had some sausages, pretzels and did a little shopping and wine tasting before retreating back to our little mountain home.

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Our plan for Sunday night was a pizza, PJs and movie party night but only the pizza and PJs ended up happening. We opted for a fire and s’mores plus a dip in the hot tub instead!

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The last day of our weekends is always a sad and chaotic one. It was SO nice to have had the extra day added onto our trip. It made that 5 hour packing session on Friday that much more worthwhile. We are already counting down until our next Leavenworth trip!

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Holiday Weekend at Home

It is so nice that Alex’s employer has added President’s Day to the list of company holidays. Those extra days off make such a difference. We had a thoroughly relaxing long weekend at home and enjoyed taking Monday off.

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Friday night we went out for dinner at none other than Bottlehouse. Prior to dinner, though I spent some time in the kitchen whipping up some salted caramel brownies. Alex is a MAJOR chocolate lover, whereas if I have chocolate it’s got to have something with it, like caramel or almonds or cherries… I am more into the fruity sweet desserts, so I thought this would be a nice Valentine-ish dessert we could both enjoy. The brownies sure were tasty, especially alongside the divine sea salt caramel gelato we happen to have in our freezer!

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Saturday morning started quite early. I woke up before the sun and enjoyed my one cup of coffee in Alex’s leather chair while he snoozed away. After a while he rolled out of bed and decided to take Jackson on a “stairs” run – there are all sorts of staircases in our neighborhood that are basically vertical {our part of the city is quite hilly!}, which provides the perfect ski training exercise. The run completely wore Jackson out for the remainder of the weekend and he was nearly a perfect dog!

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That, unfortunately, is where the good news stopped. Just after Alex got out of the shower after said run, he came downstairs and realized there was an enormous leak in the ceiling directly below our brand new bathroom. After hours of deliberation, counsel from my father, investigation and waiting it out, we found the leak and were able to make it stop, then today, a plumber came and fixed it for good. Now we have some ceiling repair to do, but I’m happy to have the full use of our bathroom again! {In the above photo, you can see the ceiling is sagging from the water build-up.}

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{Excuse the dark photo – I didn’t want to use a flash when the babies were being put down for bed!}

We got to spend the evening with these two babies and their parents, along with our friends Carrie and Patrick. It was a great to catch up with everyone!

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One of the elements of pregnancy that has been the most fun for me has been scouring the internet looking at all the adorably cute nursery furniture and furnishings and imagining what our baby’s nursery will look like. Sunday marked the day when we headed¬†to Pottery Barn Kids and made some final decisions on things we wanted to see in person, like a crib, dresser and rocker. We made some great choices¬†and I am excited to get started on our nursery in the coming weeks! {And no, we are not registered at PBK, despite the best efforts of the sales ladies at the store.}

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A big¬†precursor to the nursery is doing a major closet overhaul in our house. Starting that process¬†was on the docket for the weekend, so we spent some quality time cleaning out unnecessary stuff that had accumulated over time. After we were done de-cluttering we took some measurements and put together plans on how we will re-organize the closets. We’ll need to get new shelving for the closets in the guest room and office and make some minor changes in the shelving in our bedroom. Hopefully next weekend, if everything goes according to plan, our master closet and guest room closet will be finished!

20160215_193538244_iOSThe weather on Monday provided a perfect opportunity to get cozy in the living room and catch up on some reading. Until this weekend I was feeling like Alex and I hadn’t really done much to prepare for this little one’s arrival, but we both started reading our first parenting books {I’m reading “Bringing up Bebe” and he’s reading “The Happiest Baby on the Block”}. I’m looking forward to comparing the theories discussed in both books and figuring out what we think might work for us.

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{I absolutely adore my Glassybaby collection… the red one I got for myself, the white one is from my dad, and the pink one is my first Glassybaby and is from my friend Carrie. These are so fun to mix and match and change for the seasons, and I love that the glass is blown 3 blocks from our house!}

It wasn’t a hard transition back into the work week today, but boy was it nice to enjoy some time at home together and celebrate Valentine’s Day!

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!}