Last Hoorah

This past week we have been gearing up for our last trip for the time being. Our next flight shouldn’t be until early July so fortunately we get a couple months off from flying. Thank goodness! I was anxious about all of the trips we had lined up this spring and fortunately Reese is a stellar traveler and all went without a hitch, but I’m still ready to stay put for a little while. Traveling with an infant is such an ordeal.

Our preparations for heading out of town weren’t just about packing; we also needed to get together with a few friends and enjoy a little time out and having fun. And we managed to have a few eventful and fun weeks between Michigan and New Orleans. Let’s take a look:

  • Date night out in our neighborhood Ethan Stowell steak frites restaurant, delicious!
  • Soccer game in beautiful weather
  • A few runs in various parks with baby girl
  • Mystery shop dinner at Tom Douglas’ taco restaurant, exceptional tacos and completed with margaritas
  • FareStart community dinner for April with a Hawaiian feast held at the Pacific Tower
  • My first time volunteering at FareStart in a long time, also the first time to ever volunteer at their restaurant Maslow’s while the main restaurant goes through a face lift
  • Bryan volunteering at FareStart with his Boeing leadership group
  • Got the house cleaned for me and it looks so good!
  • Novelty Hill spring wine release party with baby girl in tow
  • Kicking off Seattle Restaurant Week with one of our favorite restaurants in the city with friends Polly, Ryu, Deana and Ed. Delicious as always at Heartwood Provisions!
  • Watching my mom and dad’s alma maters vie it out for an opportunity to play for the NCAA basketball championship = EPIC!
  • Watching Texas Tech vie for the national championship for the first time ever!!!
  • 7 month birthday pancakes
  • One week at church and me volunteering in the Toddler Room (while being already majorly sleep deprived)
  • A few body pump classes to make sure that I still fit into this dress for Amy’s wedding
  • Going through all of Reese’s 9-month clothes and phasing out some of her smaller 6-month clothes 😦
  • Got my nails did for the wedding

Our bags are packed and we are ready to jet! One long flight is ahead of us but it is baby girl’s bed time half way through the flight so hopefully she catches some zzz’s this time around. Note: Obviously this was written before we left for New Orleans but never posted. New Orleans post coming soon…



Chelsea Lately March 2019 Edition

Yes, that’s right a post about me.  A post about my current likes, dislikes, obsessions, habits, etc.  A general idea of what defines me and my latest moods.


  • Convenience for lunch:  Still definitely into the MealPal ordering for lunch and now that the weather is warming my favorites are perfect!!!  An amazing beet, goat cheese, turkey, roasted carrot and mushroom salad from Sprout Salads, the filling chicken, avocado, feta salad from Homegrown, the turkey, pesto, quinoa, almond, and parmesan salad from Evergreens, the combo platter from Halal Guys and any of the poke bowls from FOB Poke (where they now know me by name) or Pokeworks.  All amazing and fueling my day these days.
  • Convenience for dinner:  I do love the Instant Pot.  I wasn’t sure how much I would like it or how much I would use it but everything I have made with it so far has turned out great and been easy.  So far this includes:  Thai chicken peanut ramen, chicken tortilla soup, roasted chicken for my competition chicken, leek, tarragon pie, beef stroganoff, and a honey garlic pork tenderloin with sweet potatoes.
  • Guilty pleasure TV shows:  I can’t do daytime television but apparently, I can do most all of Bravo! Shows still, including:  Below Deck, Top Chef, Very Cavallari (only when I must wake up early with Reese and too tired to work out) and lately home renovation shows (?!?), I do really like Fixer Upper.
  • Weight lifting:  I have much been preferring weight lifting of all sorts.  I still like my FitnessBlender workouts, but my cycle studio has a good TwoFer class that combines 30 minutes of weights and HITT exercises followed by 30 minutes of cycling, and a friend got me hooked on her studio, Flow Fitness, and their amazing Body Pump classes that I sometimes can manage getting in at lunch time, albeit that one is across town.
  • Scooter riding:  I don’t think people have truly lived until they have ridden a scooter, just saying. Now that the weather is turning nice, riding on my scooter feels darn right glorious!  I’ve been riding quite often the past few weeks to and from work and Bryan and I took our first ride together to go see Women in Black at the Seattle Rep for our date night this past week.  There is nothing quite as freeing as feeling the wind and fresh air while zooming around on the scooter.
  • Our nanny share:  Now that I feel like we have solutions for our childcare and still have the comradery and support of our share family, who we genuinely like and get along with, I am loving the nanny share situation.  It is the perfect mix of nearly undivided attention for Reese along with social interaction that our friendly child loves.  Reese and Lottie are very different personalities and on different developmental timelines but learn so much from watching one another.  Plus, the best is watching them interact both on the Nest cam and when I come home to them at night.  It’s nice being able to talk to another mom almost daily and now that it is going to be solely based out of our house as the host location it makes it even easier for me in terms of prepping and planning for my day.


  • Being slow at work:  It was nice for about a week and now I am kind of eager for my trips to be over just, so I can be depended on for time and to take on some more interesting projects.  We are waiting to hear back on whether our company has won on a lot of projects so in the meantime the work is slow, and it makes my day go by that much slower. Fortunately, it might be starting to pick up again.
  • Politics:  I never like it but for some reason the thought of the nearing preliminary races starting just makes me cringe.  I really don’t want it all to start again and not looking forward to oncoming campaigning and all of the media surrounding it.
  • Professional photos at work:  They were a pain to plan for and take and the outcome of them was even worse.  The photographer seemed like they knew what they were doing but does she know about Photoshop?!?
  • Cravings: I have had such a darn sweet tooth since about Christmas. Trying to dial it back but man it’s hard.
  • Network: Our PEPs group networks seem to have more or less fizzled out. That’s probably fine as we will be having more babies enter our friends circle in the very near future but still a little bummed to not have that network of other parents with babies the same age…with the exception of Lottie and Sarah that is. I am trying one more time for a mom and baby happy hour and so far I have a lot of people SAY they are coming so hopefully that is the result.
  • Running; It is taking some time to get back into running, both from a stamina perspective and interest perspective. We are essentially backing out of Ragnar this summer do a few logistical reasons more than anything but also slightly intimidated by the route and demands of the race. Fortunately, now that we can run with Reese it makes running a little more doable, and sometimes more fun. Pushing that darn stroller is a workout though and not quite as free of a feeling as running without it.



What a Great Weekend!

This weekend was a near perfect weekend in my book. Picturesque spring weather, lazy mornings in our PJs, some things accomplished around the house, some exercise, a date night, and a dinner out the three of us. I think we all enjoyed our weekend at home and were not looking forward to the beginning of another week.

Happy 7 Months!

As baby girl was turning 7 months old this weekend, she crawled. And she is crawling! She is also pulling herself up on any and everything. She started out a little shaky and slow and in two days time is already a lot more proficient in her mobility skills. It is something to watch!

This is her today.

So our baby proofing plan got kicked into high gear. We still aren’t really ready but are working on it. We have things on the way to help us clear cords out of the way, secure sockets and electrical strips, and cushion up hazardous surfaces. We moved the shoe box to the garage entrance to track in less material and free up more space in the living room…which quickly got taken up with Reese’s new toys we purchased. We moved the pack n’ play to the workout room to give us our room space back and be both a crib and a play space for Reese while we work out. With all of that and catching up from laundry of the past week/weekend, I felt pretty accomplished this weekend.

We got to go out to dinner just the two of us on Friday night. We had a sitter come stay with a sleeping Reese and we walked to the nearest Ethan Stowell restaurant, Red Cow, for a mystery shop dinner that was amazing! We started with a luscious salad, beef tartar and each got a steak dinner that was melt in your mouth. We finished with a mezcal drink at the bar before walking home.

Saturday was a day just the three of us that was very enjoyable. Bryan made 7-month pancakes, we went for a run around Seward Park with baby girl, we watched the basketball games, and then had a Plated box dinner and watched the new Netflix movie on Bonnie and Clyde. Sunday was equally enjoyable and we opted to sit out of church (now that Reese is so noisy it is a little difficult) and Bryan made us another great breakfast, I played soccer and Bryan ran with Reese in a newly discovered park in West Seattle, and then the three of us got a taco dinner and margaritas at Tom Douglas’ taco spot downtown, thanks to another mystery shop dinner.

Such deliciousness!

We were also pretty excited to hear that two of our good friends had their baby girls a little over a week early and all are doing well. Their due dates were three days apart and they somehow ended up coming only 16 hours apart. It will be exciting to meet Emilia and Eliana and Reese will definitely enjoy having some more girlfriends to play with, when that time comes. I don’t know if it is the fact that Reese has just started crawling or what but seeing the newborn pictures of the new babies makes me feel like it was too long ago that Reese came to even remember that time. That wasn’t even a year ago which makes me sad that the phases come and go so quickly. Seeing the pictures of the new parents makes me excited for them and reminisce about our own experience, that already seems so fuzzy in my mind.

My little, but not so little munchkin, sleeping on me for nearly two hours on Sunday!

I can’t believe baby girl is on the move, she just seems to be growing up so fast.




Our first wedding of the year was a fast and furious trip to Michigan to see my friend from 5th grade get married to her man in the small town of Clare. We left Thursday early morning and returned Sunday evening and it seems like it was a whirlwind of seeing friends and family in a brief amount of time. Plus there was a lot of getting ready in between. It was a good trip and one I am definitely glad I got to go to. Bryan and Reese are rock stars for making the trip with me. My parents are also amazing for making the 1.5 hour trip to Detroit to both pick us up and drop us off, watching Reese over night on Friday to give us our first non-Reese night ever, and providing us with the odds and ends we left in Seattle.

Ready to see everyone…even at 5 am!

So Thursday we got into Detroit with a half full flight and an energetic baby girl and headed home to a delicious home-cooked supper of beef bourguignon my mom had in the oven while watching the MSU and Michigan games. My grandparents came over for a quick visit to see Reese (and us) and Bryan and I quickly realized how tired we were and how nice it was to have a bunch of people to entertain baby girl for us.

This picture cracks me up…Reese’s expression and her big thighs

Friday morning came and we somehow wasted a bunch of time and soon enough it was nearly time for us to head north to the wedding locale. My aunt and uncle came over to visit and we got a late lunch of Aladdin’s and then prepped my parents for Reese’s necessities and then said our goodbyes and drove the hour plus up to Clare, MI baby-free. We picked up a much needed Starbucks on our way and once checked into the historic Doherty Hotel, we got ready in the hour we had before the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner. We met Claire and Shayne at the remodeled barn, Tobacco Ranch, to help them set up the tables for the wedding before the wedding party was assembled and we practiced for the wedding ceremony. We then all headed to the very Michigan-bar called Ruckel’s Pier where we had a pretty good rehearsal dinner and our table got to reminisce about years past. We ended the night with more drinks at the Timeout Tavern before Bryan and I headed back to our room to sleep one of the best nights of sleep we have had in the past 7 months. It was glorious!

We woke up refreshed and feeling like completely different humans. We were also not anxious or worried about baby girl…what a great feeling! We walked to get a few things from Walgreens and then walked to the local bakery in town called Cops and Doughnuts and then my parents and baby girl arrived at the hotel and we all got lunch at the Mulberry Cafe. We slipped out to get ready for the wedding ceremony and baby girl hung out with Grandma and Granddaddy some more. The wedding ceremony was at 2 pm and was a private ceremony. It was simple and sweet and I really enjoyed seeing my friend get married. The ceremony was followed by a slew of pictures and then more set up of the venue and Bryan went back to get baby girl party ready and brought her back for the reception at 5 pm.

Reese loved the reception. The barn was amazing to her with the high ceilings and cool lights and fans. She was so good all through dinner, speeches and quiet parts and then we broke out the Ergo for a little dancing the three of us. Bryan and I enjoyed the drinks, dinner, fresh pie and donuts and then decided that we didn’t want Reese too exposed to the loud music so we said our goodbyes and headed back to the hotel. We had a great time celebrating and a great time with Reese at the wedding.

Sunday was a busy day as we had to get checked out and packed up and heading back to the airport by 11 am. We got to talk and catch up in the hotel lobby and said our goodbyes to Claire and Shayne and others, got a great brunch at the Mulberry Cafe again and then set out. We had no problem making our flight thanks to the Detroit Airport and we managed to wrangle our happy but active daughter through the 4+ hour flight back to Seattle. Once home, we all needed some fresh air so we walked to pick up some Thai food and some necessities from Grocery Outlet and then settled into some of the basketball games before putting baby girl to bed in her own bed.

It was a busy trip but I do feel a bit refreshed and renewed and so happy that I got to see some of my family (briefly) and some friends that go way back but who I haven’t seen for years (decades?). Now a few weeks at home and we are off again!



Mama in Mexico

My first solo trip without Reese is in the books and it was something.  I was very anxious about leaving her and missed her more than I even imagined but I am feeling rested and renewed upon my return.  Bryan…maybe not as much.  But as expected, the daddy daughter time was high quality bonding time for the two of them and I think ultimately the entire trip was good for all three of us.

So, after prepping and planning to get out of the door in time for my 7:40 am flight out of Seattle, I had one issue after another with my direct flight to Cancun.  After four hours of delay, a change of planes, and having to book my own shuttle to Playa Del Carmen, I was finally in Mexico.  The ride to Playa Del Carmen was another 50 minutes plus time to drop off my shuttle-mates first, and I arrived finally at our rented condo in the heart of Playa at 9:15 pm local time, starving, already missing my family, tired, hot, but ready to meet up with the girls (or at least a familiar face) for Amy’s Bachelorette.  I quickly facetimed with Reese and Bryan, said my goodnight to them with teary eyes, then got myself together and met the crew at Zitla for some much-needed food and drinks.  This ended up putting me in a much better mood quickly, sitting on picnic tables with trucked in sand floors, drinking mezcal and a mojito, and noshing on some shrimp tacos, ahi tuna tacos and ceviche and guacamole.  This was my first time meeting everyone (of course excluding Amy); that being Lauren, Amy’s sister in from Houston, Kenna in from Baton Rouge, and Elizabeth and Sophia from New Orleans.  We walked back to the condo and hit the bed quick; all tired from our long days of travel.

Friday morning, I awoke after my first full night of sleep in 6.5 months!  I felt great, I must say, and ready to start the day.  For our first day we had a chef come to the condo to make us all breakfast.  Turkey, spinach and brie omelets with sides of sautéed cherry tomatoes and a little refried bean plus a bunch of fresh fruit.  It was delicious and prepped me for the rest of the day.  We spent some time at the pool soaking up our first Mexican rays and then walked to Bric Resort and Spa for our 90-minute massages.  It was a small spa, but super calming and we were able to get our massages done at the same time.  I went with the deep tissue and it sure was relaxing; my first 90-minute massage ever and at a great cost.  After massages the girls were wanting to shop but I was very eager to get to the beach.  This was the only time that my patience, or lack thereof, made me split with the group for a bit.  It was already 3 pm and I had yet to step foot on the beach or see the ocean.  I made a quick sandwich at the house and then walked the full length of the beach by myself (dreaming that I had Bryan walking by my side).  Finally, at 5 pm, the girls were ready to go the beach as well and we all headed back to a beach club for some time.  I went for a swim in the warm waters but was the only one.  These girls!?! 

About 7 pm the beach clubs were shutting down, so we headed back to the condo for our showers and to get ready for our night out.  This was planned to be a big night out of dinner, drinks and dancing.  We prepped with drinks, were all dressed up, and headed out for a nice dinner at the Grill at the Grand Hyatt.  The food was good, but I would have preferred some local cheap tacos and unsurprisingly the ambiance didn’t fuel a night of drinking and dancing.  A bottle of Veuve and that was end of story.  We all agreed to stop and get ice cream and head back to the condo for a night of sleep before our big excursion day.

Saturday was a full day of our pre-booked catamaran sailing trip.  We were picked up at the condo at 8 am by our private transport van to pick up our catamaran back in Cancun.  Fortunately, the tour we booked was a private catamaran and not one of the many 60-person catamarans we saw heading out at the same time.  Thank goodness!!!!!  It was perfect.  The catamaran was comfortable for the six of us to lay out, we had two crew members guiding us, and drinks (of not the tasty variety) available all day.  We set out by motor 45 minutes to our first snorkel place.  This presented some barracudas, reef, and other small fish but nothing miraculous.  We then set forth to a beach club for lunch.  Our package included the “Premium” beach club.  We were presented with watermelon milk (?!?) drinks that were ultra-delicious and refreshing and the lunch finishing its preparations.  The buffet ended up being alright with a salad bar, pretty good ceviche, some grilled chicken and fish, fresh fruit, and finished with ice cream.  I got some of that amazing watermelon milk punched up with vodka and I have to say it was my favorite drink of the entire trip.  I got one more for the boat as we were leaving lunch.  We proceeded to Isla Mujeres for about an hour of shopping along the main drag where I got a few gifts for Reese.  We headed back to the boat to stop at two more snorkel destinations before heading back to Cancun and then catching our transfer van back to the condo. 

I was most definitely burned by this point late in the day.  It was about 7 pm that we got back to our condo where we all got our showers in and changed for dinner made by the same chefs back in our condo.  Amen for staying in on this night after a long day of swimming and sailing.  The chefs made us a bunch of meat and cheese platters to munch on, as well as a goat cheese avocado spread, while we drank and waited for dinner to be ready.  At this point, we had gotten to know each other a lot better and conversation was interesting.  Dinner was banana wrapped local fish with a tomato, wine and mushroom mixture that was pretty good, along with a corn and rice side and my favorite…fried plantains!  They finished us off with sautéed warm pears with a berry sauce, which would have been outstanding if it came with a scoop of ice cream.  After dessert we played one fun guessing game for Amy, featuring her fiancé Eric in a video answering a bunch of fun questions.  We finished the night in our PJs watching a movie.

Most slept in as much as they could on Sunday morning.  Amy and I were the first ones up and had an opportunity to talk just the two of us while we made breakfast for the group with the leftover eggs, brie, turkey, fruit, cheese, baguette and yogurt.  We had a good breakfast before packing up and checking out of our room at 11 am.  We stowed our bags with the security and proceeded to do some more shopping in town.  I got another gift for Reese and a bracelet for myself.  I redid my makeup just for fun at the local Sephora and tried on some clothes at a local shop before we met back at the condo to meet our airport transfer van at 1:45 pm.  We all rode to the airport together.  Security was no problem, even with my full bag of frozen milk, and we got lunch at the Wolfgang Puck together.  I bought another item to bring on board for my 6+ hour flight and then had to say my goodbyes to the group as my flight was leaving first.  My flight back to Seattle was indeed a lengthy one but I was more relaxed going back than my way out and so eager to see my baby girl and my heroic husband. 

Reflecting on the trip I am very glad I went.  There were times that were hard for me to enjoy myself and times I was wishing I was back at home with my family.  I would scroll through the Nest cam app when I could just to see what baby girl was up to.  She spent the entire weekend trying to walk, crawl and climb all over her daddy.  She seemed to be in a great mood during the day but didn’t let her dad sleep much the first two nights.  Fortunately, Saturday night she decided to not wake up to eat all night and give her daddy a break.  Good girl!  I really enjoyed getting to spend time with Amy and getting to know her friends better.  There were times that I felt like the odd man out, being that I hadn’t met any of them before, didn’t know the friends or stories they would reminisce about, and being the only one not from the South, but I did my best to fit in and enjoy each of them. 

The most difficult time for me on the trip would be when I would see the many young babies on the beach or in town with their families and I would wish that Reese was there with me, experiencing the beach and ocean for the first time or swimming in the pool with me.  I didn’t get enough local food and was craving more fish tacos, but I went with the flow and choosing of the group.  There was no outlet in my bedroom, so I did all my pumping in the bathroom and one night I spilled a bag of milk before I could get it in the freezer.  Lugging my bag of frozen milk back home was also super fun!  Oh, and there was also one cockroach, in the bedroom I shared with Amy’s sister, that freaked me out to no end…I think my third cockroach of my life.  I did more day drinking than I have in a VERY long time and really tried to indulge in vacation life, and I did.  I’m so looking forward to three full days at home, maybe some exercise and a balanced diet without alcohol before packing up our bags, this time all three of us, to travel to Michigan for one of my best friend’s weddings!  Despite my trip this past weekend I am very excited to be there for Claire, and of course see my parents and family, albeit very briefly.  Plus, the next three days are supposed to be glorious in Seattle and I can’t wait to get Reese outside to enjoy it….just too bad I have to work!  ☹



And Then There Were Two…

I’m leaving for three nights and four days and sooooooooooo anxious about! I know that Bryan is a great dad but Reese can be a handful and has lately been very preferential to certain people (ahem, Mom) so I just get anxious and sad that I won’t see her face for a few days. But I am also confident that they will be fine and have fun together and I think this trip will be good for everyone; I will get a little freedom and self care as well as hopefully some sleep, Bryan and Reese should get some good bonding time and I am thinking it could maybe, MAYBE, even help Reese’s whole sleep situation if she doesn’t sense me there ready to feed her at every waking moment in the night. Fingers crossed!

Since Chad left we have all been on the mend. All three of us have been recovering from sinus problems but all of us are now feeling much better. To get ready for my trip I have taken just a bit of time out of work (I’ve been slow the past two weeks) to get my hair cut, my nails done and other pre-trip necessities taken care of. Reese and I volunteered at FareStart for Community Dinner together which was a lot of fun and then we were back the next night to dine in while Bryan volunteered. I’ve missed the restaurant the past few weeks so it was good to be back, even twice in one week.

New do

We walked to the International District in the glorious weather on Saturday and got a fun and filling lunch at Mongolian Hot Pot just the three of us to fill our bellies and then Sunday was a full day of church, our first run with the Bob two times around Seward Park (still amazing weather) and then going over to our friend Deana’s annual Pi Day Party. She holds a sweet and savory pie competition and I made a friend’s (and expert pie makers) recipe of a chicken, leek and tarragon pie for the party with homemade crust but I just can’t win this pie competition! It was still so great to be social and all of the pies were delicious!

Reese has been sleeping better the past several nights, waking 2-3 times instead of 4-6 times in the middle of the night. She has also been super cute! Her repertoire of noises has expanded and she just keeps getting cuter. She has been in a great mood as well. Watching her on the Nest cam while I am at work and she is working hard at learning to walk…she spends about 90% of her time during the day practicing standing with the assistance of the couch, the ottoman, a person, you name it. I’ll miss her sweet smiling face so much the next few days I don’t know how I am going to manage but it will help to have some fish tacos, margaritas, ocean swimming and girls to distract me for a while.



Uncle Chad

This past weekend, while we were still recovering from a week of being sick, on top of already being lame parents, we hosted Uncle Chad for a few nights. It went by quick and seems like I was just picking him up late Thursday night and he has already left. Chad’s friends Paul and Selman were visiting friend Jordan as well so the crew was in true form this weekend. In addition, we had great Seattle March weather that lent itself to fun inside and out.

With having to miss so much work last week I couldn’t take any time off on Friday like I would have liked but thankfully Jordan could and the two guys went snow shoeing up at Snoqualmie Pass. It sounds like they got a killer work out in although they weren’t able to make it to Annette Lake like planned and didn’t really get the great views either. Chad made it back in time to get a nice steak dinner with the three of us at Daniel’s Broiler, overlooking Lake Union. It was gorgeous out and we had a great meal and thanks to mystery shopping cost $20 instead of $340. It was nice to be able to treat Chad a bit. We dropped him off to party the night away with the gang and we went back and crashed.

Saturday morning I went to go wedding dress shopping with Polly up in North Seattle and dropped Chad off to play some basketball with the group in the meantime. Poor Bryan had to work the morning and we met back at home in the early afternoon. We decided to take advantage of the nice weather to meet the crew at Pike’s Market that afternoon by walking there. Unfortunately, their gym time took longer than expected so the market didn’t happen but we were able to catch up with them all at Cactus in South Lake Union. We arrived just in time for the end of happy hour and all ordered drinks and a bunch of food. Reese was in her party element and quite enjoying her time. Just before her bedtime we said goodbye to the gang as they headed to Centurylink for the FC Cincinnati vs. FC Seattle Sounders soccer game and we bused home to put girly squirrly to bed.

Sunday morning came and we figured the group would be slow to rise from their nighttime events again. We were right. We decided to head to church for the first time in a few weeks for their Vision Day. Still no word from the boys after so we headed home for lunch and watched the Michigan vs. Maryland basketball game at home. We didn’t actually meet up with them until about 6 pm. We caught up with Chad for a while before putting Reese to bed and then all of the guys came over. They stayed until about 8:30 pm when they left to take Chad to the light rail and get dinner. It was good to see Chad in my city, even for such a brief visit. He got to see Reese in action and I even landed her on him in front of his friends at one point…she didn’t seem to mind him too much.

Night bus

This week is my only full week for a month! It will be good to have a little bit of normalcy before taking off for my next trips.