Terrible Things I Love

A few months ago The Bloggess wrote a post about the terrible things she loves. Read the post, read the comments!

terrible-things-i-love

In honor of Valentines Day… Here are some things that no one believes I actually love, but I do!

Mondays. banana flavored runts. turkey skin (back when I wasn’t vegetarian!). chili w/ spaghetti noodles. taking surveys. long roadtrips. drinking everything with straws. filling out forms. the newborn phase of parenting. walking around cities in stormy weather. room-temperature beverages. walking instead of driving. burnt french fries (dipped in a chocolate milkshake). talking to strangers on planes.

Tell me some of yours!

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IT’S FINALLY OVER! (January.)

I love January in theory, but in actuality I only love like the first few days of January because the rest of it is looooooong! I feel like New Years was three years ago.

January Recap!

+ I spent the first part of the month journaling about all of the things and figuring out how I want to spend this next year. I made lists of things I learned last year. Life giving/life draining activities. What worked well last year. What didn’t work well. Etc etc. I basically created all of the lists and decided I had a great year last year! I had just enough margin in my life to do things I wanted to do and I started feeling like myself again for the first time in a long time! All good things. But I’m not creating many (if any) resolutions this year because I want to minimize my life and to-do lists and not add to them.

+ In the middle of the month we had our first few snow days of the year which meant everything shut down right after we were really getting into our post-holiday routine! It wasn’t ideal timing, but a snow day or two is always fun.

+ You may have seen on my Instagram stories that I’ve finally discovered I’m fructose intolerant – which means I can’t eat anything. I’m only being slightly dramatic. From now on I’m on the FODMAP diet which is zero fun and a lot of effort because I’m reading all of the ingredients in everything. But the positive is that I feel a bijillion times better and have much more energy to do all of the things! I didn’t realize how sick I really was until I came out of the fog and realized it isn’t ‘normal’ for me to be too nauseous to get out of bed in the morning or to socialize or be able to move around after dinner… I wish I could have figured out what was going on years ago when this first became an issue! I could go on and on about this, but if your body is acting crazy, I urge you to try to figure out if it could be diet related. (I originally attributed my nausea to hormones and/or anxiety.)

+ Do you bullet journal?! This is my newest obsession. I especially like this video on how to set up a simple bullet journal. (Mine is not artsy at all, but I love it as a place to keep lists and charts! I have all of my ideas, resolutions, to-do lists, and calendars in one place – FINALLY!)

+ We’ve been trying to figure out whether we should switch preschools and how to register for kindergarten and also interviewing potential au pairs for next year… It all gives me a headache just thinking about it. Moral of the story: juggling childcare for three kids is hard.

+ We’ve been taking a break from all of the kids’ activities to give ourselves some breathing room (mainly because now we go skiing a lot which takes up most of our free time) and it has felt good, but now the girls are asking to do their classes again so we’re once again trying to strike a balance that feels right for our family.

+ This is the first year we’ve bought season ski passes (to Stevens Pass) and we are taking full advantage! We’ve gone every weekend (Clara has lessons for 6 Saturdays) and then sometimes during the week for a day date. It has been great for our marriage and also great for this fun-loving enneagram 7!

+ Tim’s mom visited a few days this month, and then a few weeks later my BIL and his girlfriend visited. So much family time! We had a blast and I love seeing the girls connect with their long-distance relatives.

+ This CBD healing stick is one of my very favorite things. I use it on my sore muscles and feel almost-instant relief. I hear that I should be using CBD in a lot of different ways, but so far I’ve just used it topically.

+ I’ve been listening to Oprah’s podcast (Super Soul Conversations) and have LOVED a few recent episodes. Listen to this one with Bishop T.D. Jakes, this one with Lady Gaga, and this one with Amy Schumer.

+ I’ve also been loving the Lazy Genius podcast lately!

+ I’ve been on a John Steinbeck book reading binge and finished ‘Of Mice and Men’. I loved it. (But I still love East of Eden the most.)

OK I think we’re caught up for now! Any book or podcast recommendations… send them my way!

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130 things that made my year (2019)

100 130 Things That Made My Year (2019)

(This idea stolen borrowed/stolen from Austin Kleon)

130 things that made my year (2019)

  1. Celebrating the first day of the new year (2019) by walking on the beach (at Carkeek Park) with my two little ones. I even set up a tripod so we could get a picture! Success.
  2. The view from our little cabin at Alderbrook Resort – overlooking the Hood Canal and watching the planes land on the water there. Also that entire babymoon.
  3. Hiking to Colchuck Lake with Tim during our day date in Leavenworth
  4. Eating at a German restaurant with Lilly (so she could tell us what to order)
  5. Listening to live music while eating outdoors in Leavenworth at Nudeln
  6. Thrifting
  7. The crazy amount of snow we got in Seattle in February – and playing in it for weeks on end
  8. Walking Ozzie around the neighborhood
  9. Laughing with Tim (mostly at ourselves)
  10. Prenatal massages and acupuncture
  11. Girls’ nights out
  12. Seeing Clara learn to ski for the first time
  13. Rolling our eyes as Isabelle learned to skate and spent most of her time trying to eat the ice
  14. Watching the girls during their ballet class together
  15. Celebrating birthdays
  16. … And baby dedications
  17. … And new additions to families
  18. … And friends moving away to embark on new adventures
  19. … And holidays
  20. … Basically, all of the celebrations
  21. Getting to know the people working on our house remodel
  22. And seeing them give the girls all of their snacks
  23. Deciding on when we would have Phoebe, and finally picking her due date – April 8th
  24. Dropping Isabelle off at her first day of preschool
  25. … And then seeing her make so many friends those first few months
  26. This sling
  27. And this baby carrier
  28. Walking through the tulip fields
  29. Adults only small group dinners, where we had time to really connect and finish our sentences
  30. Buying Isabelle ice cream on her birthday
  31. Feeling Phoebe roll around in my belly
  32. Strolling and biking along the Burke Gilman Trail on day dates with Tim
  33. Witnessing my girls become even closer friends. They were the sweetest besties all year.
  34. The moment I saw Phoebe for the first time
  35. Tim telling me that we had a third daughter
  36. And then being able to tell our family and friends the happy news
  37. Seeing my older girls meet the youngest
  38. Snuggling Phoebe in the newborn phase
  39. Celebrating Phoebe’s birth with my best girlfriends at my sip n’ see
  40. Watching the girls play in the mud at preschool
  41. Running on the beach at Cape Disappointment
  42. Meeting our new little friend, Griffin
  43. And meeting Reeve, who visited with his family from Portland
  44. Road trips and seeing the beauty all around us in our state
  45. Our first trip to the Washington coast (at Long Beach)
  46. Seeing a psychiatrist who validated me
  47. Watching my dad play with the girls on the beach
  48. Eating dinner with my family, Tim, and the girls the night before I was to be induced
  49. Watching Clara kick the soccer ball for the first time in a game
  50. Sitting by the fire with friends at summer barbecues
  51. Taking Isabelle to get her first pedicure
  52. Seattle thunderstorms
  53. Our church – and a few other churches we tried out and enjoyed
  54. Seeing the small town Independence Day Parade near Mount Baker – where we vacationed with friends
  55. Sledding near Mount Baker on the Fourth of July
  56. Walking around Green Lake with Annie (consistently)
  57. Spending the weekend with Laura during her visit to Seattle
  58. Witnessing Phoebe’s firsts
  59. Changing leaves
  60. Attending a neighborhood bonfire with the ladies in the area
  61. Crossing the bridge from Washington to Oregon, near Astoria
  62. Seeing a shipwreck on the Oregon coast
  63. Dance parties with my girls
  64. The Bible study I joined
  65. Sipping cocktails (outdoors!) with Tim during date nights in the summer
  66. Meeting new friends at my MOPS table
  67. Taking a boat ride on Lake Sammammish
  68. Sitting on our deck, talking to friends
  69. Hosting our community in our house (Superbowl, baby shower, casual dinners, playdates…)
  70. Playing card games with the girls (this one is their all-time favorite)
  71. Watching Schitt’s Creek and laughing a lot
  72. Figuring out my personal (home) style
  73. Dressing Phoebe in the cutest outfits – some of which her sisters wore
  74. The view at Pearrygin Park
  75. Outdoor movie night – when we watched Moana
  76. Swimming with the girls
  77. Reading almost 100 books
  78. Watching the girls eat s’mores
  79. Lattes
  80. Roaming around bookstores (and ALWAYS buying something)
  81. Eating dinner with friends in a floating house
  82. Welcoming Lilly (our au pair) into our family/lives/chaos
  83. Seeing Diablo Lake and the Northern Cascades during a drive to Winthrop
  84. Staying at our first KOA campground with the girls
  85. Getting a part-time job (for the first time in 5+ years!)
  86. This vacuum
  87. Hiking with friends to the Big 4 Ice Caves
  88. Learning to curl my hair – kind of
  89. Paddleboarding on Green Lake
  90. Spending time with our families when they came to visit
  91. Getting professional family pictures taken by Ashley Scheider, whose work I just LOVE
  92. Visiting with my good friend, Lisa, when she was in town for work
  93. Working out at the YMCA at classes my neighbor Katie was coaching
  94. Hiking with the girls and pointing out all of the bugs, slugs, flowers, etc we would see along the way. One time we even saw a baby bunny!
  95. Planning so many (hypothetical, and sometimes real) trips for the future
  96. Watching Isabelle do her first gymnastics class (by herself) and jumping joyfully on the trampoline there
  97. Getting to know other moms at the preschool a bit better
  98. Soaking in a hot tub under the stars in the summer
  99. Soaking in a hot tub while it was snowing in the winter (in Bend, Oregon)
  100. Spending Thanksgiving in Bend with best friends
  101. Ice skating outdoors at a resort in Oregon
  102. Singing along with Caspar Babypants (who we saw live quite a few times)
  103. Trying new recipes out of a few different cookbooks
  104. The girls’ preschool festivals
  105. Seeing the girls in their Halloween costumes and taking them trick or treating
  106. … And also getting dressed up
  107. Laughing as Isabelle fell asleep in the most random places
  108. Listening to Christmas carols for the entire month of December
  109. Finding our Christmas Tree and then decorating it
  110. Taking Clara to pick out Isabelle’s Christmas presents and seeing her excitement to give a great gift
  111. Getting serious about my health and finally figuring out why I’ve been sick for years (I’m fructose intolerant)
  112. Catching up with friends during phone calls which lasted hours
  113. This documentary
  114. Reading to my girls before bed
  115. Being in disbelief when Phoebe started easily sleeping through the night
  116. Taking Clara to VBA/VBS and watching her sing/dance on stage
  117. Hearing Clara recount that she got on stage in front of all the VBA participants to talk about what she learned about Paul (in the Bible) and being so stinkin’ proud of her
  118. My new (mirrorless!) camera
  119. Watching some great (Seahawks) football games on TV
  120. Christmas markets
  121. Attending The Nutcracker Ballet with the older girls and Lilly
  122. Allowing the girls to pick out their own outfits, and seeing what they put together
  123. Listening to podcasts. All of the podcasts.
  124. Coordinating MOPS (with my friend, Renee) and getting to know a great group of women through that
  125. Playing with the girls outside, riding bikes and scooters and just running around
  126. Our church campout, where the girls got to play with their friends and even go ziplining
  127. Sledding on Christmas at Hyak for the second year in a row
  128. Eating a German Christmas dinner with Lilly’s parents, who hosted us
  129. Wearing matching Christmas jammies
  130. Feeling my love for the girls and Tim grow and grow and grow!

2019 wasn’t perfect, but it was good. I hope you’re able to look back on the past year and list a few things that made your year great, too!

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I didn’t cancel Christmas this year – success!

There are any number of ‘best of 2019!’ lists that I feel like I should be writing… but alas, I haven’t done enough reflecting to get those published tonight. Maybe tomorrow. Possibly on the 31st. Most likely I’ll finish them in like July and then won’t publish them at all. Shrug.

Anyway!

Popping on this space to say MERRY CHRISTMAS! And HAPPY NEW YEAR! I hope your holidays were everything you wanted them to be.

It’s a particularly crazy time of year in our household because Tim’s birthday is on Christmas Eve (or shall I say that Christmas Eve falls on Tim’s birthday?) so it feels like I have a lot of extra prep work to do and one less day to get it all done. Plus this year I had some *actual* work due the week of Christmas, too. But I digress, the point being, it was absolute chaos the whole week/weekend leading up to the 24th, but then the big days happened, everyone had a blast, and life has moved on!

Highlights included:

+ Tim’s birthday breakfast. We invited a few friends over and fed them breakfast. It was a super easy morning with quiche from Costco, croissants, homemade cinnamon rolls (Pioneer Woman’s recipe, of course), fruit, and pancakes. Hosting is not a spiritual gift of mine, but socializing is!

+ Christmas Eve church service. I will always love a good holiday service. The best songs. The best sermon. The best reason to celebrate… Jesus! Plus, this is a fun service because there’s always a ‘snowball fight’ at the end of church. Clara loved it and Isabelle would have loved if she had stayed awake for it. I kid you not, the entire church was flinging fake snowballs at each other and Isabelle was passed out in her chair. Girlfriend takes napping seriously and no amount of fake snow is going to wake her up. We were in the SECOND ROW of church, people. The singers were practically on top of us. It was loud. Kids were running. Isabelle was bothered by absolutely none of that nonsense and I couldn’t even rouse her enough to get her to walk to the lobby by herself. Girlfriend is 3.5 and she is NOT DROPPING THAT NAP. But if I try to get her to sleep at home in her own bed at naptime? Absolutely not.

+ Christmas adventure. We go sledding on Christmas – which is one of my better life choices/traditions. We’ve spent four Christmases in the PNW and the first two years we went snowshoeing. Lesson learned – that is not a great idea for our family. (The first year we went snowshoeing on Christmas I actually cancelled the entire holiday afterwards, and I just re-read that blog post and cracked up! What in the world was I even thinking?) Last year we transitioned to sledding and we aren’t looking back. We went to Hyak and I highly recommend it if you live in the Seattle area! Make sure you buy that Sno-Park pass and get there early – there was almost no parking there on Christmas afternoon!

+ German Christmas dinner. Lilly’s parents were in town and they hosted us at their Airbnb rental for a delicious (German) Christmas dinner! Since we don’t have family in the area, it feels extra special to be invited by another family to spend the holidays with them. Plus, they fed us, gave us presents, and made sure our glasses were full of gluhwein! They spoiled the girls with a lot of attention and it was just a really lovely evening.

Now, as you know, we’re in that random time between Christmas and New Years in which I have no idea what to actually do with myself. There’s nothing on our calendar. Like, nothing. We have no where we need to be. Nothing needs to get done. We aren’t working… The girls aren’t going to school… What is everyone else doing?! No one knows. It seems as if a lot of people have decided to be present with their families and aren’t on social media directing the rest of us on how to live our best lives. Or maybe people aren’t posting as much because they’re like me – eating leftovers, watching football, reading books, wondering if they should finish that Netflix show they started months ago… etc.

Well, soon it will be 2020 and then we can REALLY get intentional about not wasting our time and living our best lives! Until then… enjoy the last few (slothful) days of 2019!

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Adventuring With Kids: A Trip to Bend, Oregon

If you live in the PNW, a trip to Bend, Oregon should be on your immediate travel bucket list. We’ve been twice, both times in November (for Thanksgiving), and have loved it. I feel like that’s saying a lot, because the weather wasn’t particularly great either time and November is definitely the shoulder season for Bend. In the winter there is skiing at Mt Bachelor (which I hear is fantastic) and in the summer there are evidently a bijillion things to do.

We’ll be back during the winter & summer eventually, but even in the ‘off season’ we loved Bend.

Things to do (with kids!) in the winter in Bend, Oregon

Here’s What We Did:

+ Stayed at an Airbnb (use my referral link to save $55 your first booking to any Airbnb location!) in Mt Bachelor Village Resort.  Our unit was better than I had anticipated, with enough room to spread out and then some. We had three huge suites in our condo! The views of the river were fantastic and the location was great, plus there was a fireplace and a hot tub… when we return to Bend I’d definitely stay there again! (Tip: I checked VRBO and Airbnb for the same unit, and it was listed on both. Airbnb, for whatever reason, had the cheaper rate.)

+ Walked along the beautiful Deschutes River, ending up at Thump Coffee where we drank delicious coffee and warmed up from the cold! The paths along the river are great and go for about 12 miles. Even on a chilly day, there were a lot of people outside.

+ Explored the High Desert Museum. I highly, highly recommend this museum (with or without kids)! I learned a lot, and the kids had a blast. Don’t miss the outdoor exhibits to see the birds of prey, otters, and family ranch. You will need a few hours to do this museum properly, so give yourself enough time there!

Things to do (with kids!) in the winter in Bend, Oregon

Things to do (with kids!) in the winter in Bend, Oregon

+ Ate brunch (sans kids) at The Lemon Tree in Downtown Bend. The dirty chai was delicious and so was the salmon! While we ate there we were able to watch the snow fall outside the windows… it was magical! I wouldn’t necessarily call this place ‘kid friendly’, though.

+ Shopped downtown at the local boutiques. I especially love REVOLVR Menswear for clothing for Tim. I always go there without him and pick up a few things for his birthday / Christmas.

+ Went ice skating at Seventh Mountain Resort. It is beautiful there! Trees, lights, fire pits, music, affordable prices (kids under 6 ice skate free and adults are $9 without skate rentals), and when we went it wasn’t too crowded – BONUS. Last year we went to the ice skating rink at Sunriver, which we also loved, but I’d have to say that Seventh Mountain is my favorite. I love a good outdoor skating rink, and it’s only 10 minutes outside of town! (Although, Sunriver has breweries right next door, so you can’t go wrong with either place.)

Things to do (with kids!) in the winter in Bend, Oregon

+ Took the kids sledding near Pine Ridge Elementary School. We knew there was a sledding hill near there, so we drove to the school and creepily followed asked kids with sleds where to go to find the hill, and there it was, tucked in the middle of a really pretty neighborhood. There were a lot of kids sledding and everyone was so happy… I love the first big snow of the season, and evidently the kids in Bend felt the same way! We could have stayed for quite a bit longer, but Phoebe was not thrilled about missing her nap so we cut our adventure a bit short. For a short hill, I highly recommend that location!

+ Warmed up with a hot chocolate from Looney Bean before warming up some more in the soaking pool at McMenamins. Looney Bean is great because it has a wonderful view of the river, huge outdoor space for warmer days, and just a cozy vibe in Downtown Bend. McMenamins is a treasure we’ve been missing out on. The girls LOVED ‘swimming’ in the soaking pool even though we kept telling them to “SIT STILL!” and not annoy every other person in there. Sigh. Tim and I loved it because the water was almost at hot tub temperatures and we could sit in the steam and relax for a bit. Or we could if we didn’t have children we had to chase around. Eye roll. But truly, it was a magical way to spend about an hour (for $5 per person). There’s even an open ceiling, so we got snowed on while we were sitting in the warmth! Magical.

+ Drank coffee at Companion Coffeehouse. I loved being inside there, because the plants and general aesthetic made me feel like it was much warmer outside than it actually was! Plus they serve some baked goods from Sparrow. Speaking of which…

+ Ate lunch at  The Sparrow Bakery. Order an ocean roll if you’re just there for a snack – trust me.

So basically we drank a lot of hot liquids, did as many outdoorsy things as possible, went shopping, ate some delicious food, and learned a little bit about the region. It was fan-freakin-tastic. We could have stayed quite a few more days and not run out of things to do. The next time we go I want to check out the indoor pool, this restaurant, some breweries, and (if the weather cooperates) Mt Bachelor for skiing and/or Smith Rock for hiking trails! There truly seems to be infinite things to do in this area.

things-to-do-bend-oregon

Note to self: take awkward family Thanksgiving photo before the kids are DONE with it all. Oh well, there’s always next year!

If you have the chance for a road trip and are wondering where to go – Bend might be your place!

** Although, I will say that we had a loooooong drive (9+ hours) there and back. A ton of snow dumped in the mountains so we actually had to leave a day early to get to Bend – talk about a hectic way to start a trip! We threw everything in the car and left. (Had we waited an extra day, we wouldn’t have made it at all. They practically shut down the mountain passes to get to Bend because of a winter storm.) Normally the drive is 6 hours (without stopping), but if you’re leaving in the winter I would say that you need to be ready for delays. And, if you’re in a minivan (like us!) bring chains to get through the mountains. One of the delays we were in was caused by a minivan spinning out in a mountain pass, causing both sides of the roads to be stopped. Luckily, we had chains and put them to good use, so we got through without issue!

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