Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A Mammoth Weekend!

Three couples, one condo, lots of snow....and no kids! We tried really hard to have a good time.

It was sort of weird driving 5 hours to go snowboarding when we've got it less than 2 hours up the road, but it was worth it to see good friends and make a weekend out of it. Plus, Nate and I really enjoyed the drive, listening to our podcasts and talking. On the mountain we were three boarders and three skiiers and all pretty much about the same speed, which made it so much fun. It was the most intense snowboarding I think I've done, just run after run. Man, I wish we could go all the time.

That's me and Nate...what...you can't tell?

A Josephine sandwich. (Happy Birthday Jos! That was such a fun weekend!)

It's always good to see these gals and their hubbies. We all work hard, so we try to play hard too. There weren't too many shenanigans this time though. A hard day of shredding, chillin by the fire pit, local pizza shack, hot tub, a hilarious game of gestures, (there are some visuals that I can't get out of my head still) a documentary about Reggie Miller (not my pick, but captivating) and everyone in bed around 11:00. No one saw that bedtime coming.

It's probably our last ski trip for the season, bringing the total to a whopping two times. (Man oh man! Hitting the slopes is pricey!)

The kids had an equally good time with family. Thanks Mom and Dad and Joanne and Chris for letting us get away and enjoy some adult time.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Easter 2010

Aahhh...it was so nice not to travel on Easter Sunday this year. We went to a lovely Easter Mass at our new church as a family and then off to some extended family fun. And this time we didn't have to rush away for a 7 hour drive. Yay!

Ta da! I love how our brown eggs turned out. (The six on the right) The colors were really dark and cool. Next year I think I'll do all brown eggs.

The kids really scored with the Easter Bunny basket, as usual. (thanks Granny Peg & Papa Tom!) There were lots of goodies in there and the kids are still enjoying all the loot.

The first egg hunt outside of church after the service....Selah found one egg, and discovered the chocolate candy inside.....and promptly disappeared to the far corner of the playground to secretly eat it. Caught you red-handed!

Egg hunt #2 at Uncle Pat and Aunt Beth's house. Selah is getting the hang of it.

Finn and Cousin Michael. (this was Finn's 3rd egg hunt...they had one at preschool too.)

Happy Easter Everyone!

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

The Emerald City!

Nate had the week off, so we braved the I5 and headed North to Seattle to visit newlyweds Uncle Dominic and Aunt Sarah as well as some friends along the way. First of all, I5 is a LOT prettier heading North. We borrowed a portable DVD player from a friend. What a glorious invention. It almost didn't seem right - like the drive should be more uncomfortable than that. Nate and I listened to some good podcasts (some of our favs are 'This American Life' and 'The Moth Podcast' and NPR's 'Fresh Air') The kids watched some movies and read some books. It was pretty nice, and relaxing.

Our first stop along the way was to stay the night with my grandma. GG lives by herself out in the country nestles in the beautiful valley near the Oregon Border, surrounded by snow-capped mountains. It was a quick visit but really nice to see her outside of the usual big family reunion or Christmas crowd. She's a pretty cool lady and tough as nails.

GG's backyard view.

Next was a quick stop in Ashland, Oregon for coffee and hot cocoa. What a cute town. I'd love to stay for the Shakespeare festival, but we had a long drive ahead. Another time.

We did a pretty good job of packing the car with healthy meals and snacks for the trip, but when the kids saw the play structure at Micky D's we decided to make it a lunch stop. No huge surprise that the play structure was kind of nasty (hand sanitizer please) and of course we felt like crap after the meal. (sigh). Let's press on.

Sleeping off the Mc Nuggets.

We stayed with good old friends Jon and Laura who used to be in SB with us and now are fixing up a beautiful home in Bellevue with plenty of space for a family of four to crash for 3 nights. It was so fun to catch up with them. Laura and I are pretty different people with couple of things strongly in common. I love that. We both love a lot of the same folk singer/songwriters. We went to an Indigo Girls concert together years ago and are avid fans of Ani Difranco and Patty Griffin. We were both gushing about the Wailin' Jenny's this time. (check'em out.....) Another thing we have in common is Laura is an awesome gardener and I aspire to be! We stayed up late one night talking about gardening (gosh....we're old) and she dug out her secret stash of seeds and sent me home with some seeds she got from last year's plants. There's something really special about seed swapping I think - connecting us to each other and to year's passed. I have big aspirations to have a great garden like Laura and continue the seed swap tradition. I just hope I don't kill the plants first.

Being pirates of course.

Jon was an instant hit with the kiddos.

Finally...SEATTLE!! I fell in love with Seattle immediately. As soon as we started crossing over a bridge and one of the many inlets where there were people rowing......I thought, I could totally live here. What a cool city.

We met Dominic and Sarah on Palm Sunday and joined them at their lovely church. Then Uncle Dominic took us to this cute little park over-looking the city. They have a great corner apartment in one of the coolest parts of the city. The rain let up enough for us to explore the city and hike. Then we hunkered down in their apartment and ate home-cooked meals (thanks Sarah) and then I totally conquered in a game of Settlers of Catan. :-)

Finn loves his Uncle Dominic.

Off on a hike.

Sarah is such a great aunt to this kids already - so patient and kind.

Selah and Dominic with their walking sticks.

Selah's been running lately. She'll usually give herself a random"ready, set go!" and then take off with arms a'swingin' and an intense look on her face. This trail was perfect for her.

While Sarah and Dominic were at work, we explored the city on our own and had a blast at the children's museum. I didn't get a ton of great pictures from there, but there was all kinds of stuff for kids Finn and Selah's age. Ice painting, tinker toy room, kitchens from around the world, water table stream, things to climb on and crawl in, and tons of buttons and levers to push, pull and turn for different effects. Cool stuff.

We had the big city center fountain all to ourselves on this drizzly day. It shoots out huge spouts of water to music playing. Selah and Finn (and Nate and I) spent most of the time around the ramp surrounding it, feeling the mist and spray from the fountain. Selah tried to escape a few times and explore Seattle alone, but we intercepted her every time.

There's that pesky Space Needle making into another photo.

Thanks Dominic and Sarah. We had a wonderful time with you!

Nope, we're not done yet. On the way back south, we stayed one night with friends Jeremy and Hope. (college friend of Nate's) They have a great house on a lake and four cute kids now, including Josie, Selah's twin sister.

The kids had a great time having slumber party with Ellie, Gideon, Josie and baby Zeek. Thanks Hope and Jeremy for putting ALL of us up!

That's all folks.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

More of March...

Selah is our artist. Each stroke is so intentional. I love watching her create her masterpieces.

Rainy day. Trying to be creative with indoor ideas. Selah LOVED shaking and rolling these jars with different things inside.

Finn gets a kid's nature/animal magazine -I can't remember what it's called. He saw this "busy beaver snack" and requested it with much enthusiasm.

I declare March "The month of volcanoes!" Finn was obsessed with them all month. Now that it's April, he has moved on to spaceships and rockets.

Sac zoo. I grabbed my camera as fast as I could to capture this rare moment of Finn holding Selah's hand so he could show her where the reptiles live. He's sweet to her, but doesn't like to be too touchy with her. When I ask if he wants to kiss her goodnight, he obliges.... and kisses her elbow.

Back yard fun with the sprinkler on a warmish day.

Let's finish this post off strong with some great action shots of Nate!