I love to be active, be outside and be in the sun. I am shy but friendly, lazy but active, motivated but content, and I would smile my entire life if I could. I have lived in Michigan all my life until I took a chance to move to the Pacific Northwest in 2011 after graduating from the University of Michigan. It has been a great adventure. I am very excited to see where this chapter in my life takes me!
It’s been pretty chill around our household lately and it’s honestly been kind of nice that way. The weather was hit or miss this weekend, which lended itself to a nice relaxing weekend spent not doing a ton but yet still feeling accomplished in life in general. Our only real events last week were a Tuesday date night out to our favorite restaurant in Seattle, Harvest Vine, for our third wedding anniversary and our usual Thursday night out at FareStart. We had a great meal at Harvest Vine, per usual, and we are so lucky that we can walk there on foot. Bryan dined in with Reese at FareStart while I got to volunteer.
So, we have both been trying to kick some healthy habits into gear. I’ve been trying to regularly get to a fun and laid back, yet intense, strength training class on Wednesday afternoons (the one perk of being in Redmond because I like this class a lot). I’ve also been trying to scale back post-dinner snacks or to at least make them healthy ones. I’ve been doing pretty good but it helps to have Bryan in on it as well. Bryan decided on his own to kick start fitness with a new fitness app he discovered and has been doing some hardcore workouts at home! We each did two of our strength training videos at home this weekend (one on Saturday and one on Sunday) and Reese loves to watch/participate. We also went for a 4-mile run together in the Arboretum with Reese after work on Friday, something we are usually way too tired to do on Friday but this time I think it really set the mood for the weekend.
In addition to being a little bit more active, we have also been trying to eat balanced meals. We managed to cook dinner at home all three nights this weekend, had brunch at Macrina after church Sunday morning, and did our usual pancakes for Saturday brunch. We did celebrate Lottie turning one Saturday afternoon with a walk over to Sarah’s, some cake, snacks and sparkling wine. Watching the girls together is just so much fun.
I honestly don’t know where the weekend went though. It seemed to fly by, yet it didn’t seem like we were ever either bored or that busy doing anything. I do think I spent about 40% of the weekend watching Reese walk around. She is so excited to have learned a new trick and literally has been doing laps around the house. Oh, and we did do a lot of dancing!
SeaFair may be a cluster and a half in Seattle and may be better when you own a boat but it’s still a weekend that Bryan and I enjoy immensely, given our history and how we met especially. This year was no different and this year we got to share the fun with Reese. The weekend wasn’t only occupied with SeaFair events however. There was a whole lot going on.
Saturday morning I took a 4 hour course on first aid and CPR that was held at our church. There were about 20 of us and I think I was the only non daycare center or preschool teacher worker. It was an odd feeling to be back in that type of class again. After sitting through that lengthy (but practical and beneficial) of a workshop I was ready to get to my company’s summer picnic at Magnusson Park. I was about 6 minutes from the picnic location, set to arrive around noon, when the Jeep’s clutch stopped working and I pulled over to the side of the road and called for a tow. Bryan and Reese came to join me and two hours later the tow truck showed up. Now we were arriving at the picnic at 2 pm but all was good because baby girl was sound asleep meaning we could demolish a plate of BBQ before she woke up. There were many kids at the picnic and we soaked our feet in the lake, played some corn hole, got some fake tattoos, ate cookies and snow cones and then headed to the playground to finish off the day. We got back home around 6 pm after a full day of activities and Reese appeared to not be feeling her very best. Bryan and I passed out before even 10 pm.
Sunday morning Reese woke up a bit cranky and obviously not feeling 100%. We took it easy that morning, I forwent my soccer game and we celebrated with 11 month pancakes instead. We toyed around outside on the back deck and when Reese appeared to be feeling a bit better we decided to try and meet up with our friends along Lake Washington for the Blue Angels show at 3 pm. David and Tina were lucky enough to have floated and Stephan and Ewelina made it for the show, now that they are back in Seattle for a few months. The show started and Reese was none too pleased about it. She was apparently giggling when the planes flew overhead on Friday but on this day she’d cry every time she heard them. I think it was her state more than anything else. Once the show wrapped up she was back to more of herself and we chatted with our friends as long as we could before having to head home to clean up quickly before our concert/date night. We had tickets to the Fitz and the Tantrums/Young the Giant concert in Marymoor Park with Mark and Kati. We got a sitter for the night and enjoyed a few hours of hanging outside, eating food from a food truck, getting some drinks from the drink tent and listening to our favorite band. They were phenomenal but their set was too short and we were sitting far too far back. We still had a good time before we headed home to get ready for the week ahead.
Reese woke up not feeling great Monday morning and I almost decided to stay home with her until she seemed to click out of it pretty good around 7:30 am so I went to work. The Jeep should be back on the road at the latest Friday. Until then I have the company car for the week. The weekend didn’t quite go as planned but we still had a good time and it was a good start to our anniversary.
We. Are. Almost. To. A. Year. And that seems to have happened so fast and it is both joyous and sad at the same time. Where did my baby go? She definitely is so much different than she was even a month or two ago and she seems so much older and more childlike than an infant. Her personality is ever growing and she is as active as ever.
She said “Dada” for the first time.
The shrieks and shrills that come from her mouth as soon as she sees a playground now are hilarious and horrifying. I’m waiting for the day when she sees a park and we don’t have time to stop and play.
Swings rank supreme over every other playground equipment at the moment.
The kiddie pool is still a big hit but if you want her to be outside without getting into the pool you better have a darn good barricade set up.
She is a tough cookie, there is very little that happens to her that causes her to cry from “pain”.
There are days when she is an avid eater and days when she still spits out all of her food. Certainly she has a sweet tooth. Her favorite things lately are generally whatever we are eating but she really likes these egg and banana pancakes that I make (with just those two ingredients), spicy pad kee mao noodles to my surprise, and she likes tomatoes. She’s a strange kid. She also loves peanut butter!
She loves to ride the toy rocking horse. She knows where the noise comes from but hasn’t yet been able to make the noise herself by pushing the button.
Bath time is still a favorite and she knows our script and starts bouncing when we start chanting “bath time”.
She loves to ride our backs around the house.
Bare Necessities is still a crowd favorite.
She got her first tooth on July 11th and her second bottom tooth starting coming in last Friday. Now we just have a bazillion more to go.
She loves, loves, loves being outside. Don’t tease her by going outside to get something and then coming back inside.
She’s lately been doing the inch worm on the floor for whatever reason.
She’s protesting hats quite adamantly.
She’s at least more stationary during both changing her diaper and clothes and during bath time so that is a definite plus. Glad she got the roly poly chase out of her system.
Stairs are still the natural attraction around the house.
She gives Lottie the “Reese Treatment” more times than we would like in a day. Her obsession with Lottie is ever growing.
More than two thirds through the year and that just flew by! Some items on my list are doing great or are at least in progress and others, well…
Run a 10k in an 8:30 pace.
Running is still not a major priority of mine but Bryan and I have gotten a few more runs in together, non of really have been outstanding. Reese is pretty good in the jogging stroller and so maybe this is something I will still be able to complete by years end.
Break 140 watts in my 45-minute cycle class.
Haven’t been cycling lately, trying to do more strength activities instead.
Read 10 books.
I’ve still only read one but would like to start reading right before bed…that way I might be able to successfully read two pages before falling asleep.
Learn to play a song on the guitar.
Make 6 girls events happen.
Between my mom’s PEPS happy hours that I am the one coordinating and actual Girls Nights, I have actually set up five now. We’ve had three successful PEPS happy hours and then we had another Girls Night where we went to go see Tiny Beautiful Things at the Seattle Rep before getting happy hour at the Citizen Cafe beer garden outside.
Be able to do 5 pull ups/chin ups (if not at once, at least in the same day).
I can definitely do one now and have been experimenting with different methods to help me learn to do more in my Wednesday lifting class. I can do five in a row no problem with the assistance of a resistance band.
Visit or spend time with Chad.
Chad came to visit us and we spent some time together at the cottage. Would still like to visit him in Cinci but not sure when we can do that.
Do 10 hikes.
We’ve done four hikes now; one in Arizona, one in Colorado and two big ones in Washington.
Go on a vacation just the three of us (at least a total of 5 nights throughout the year).
Visit 5 new restaurants to try.
There have been six we have tried: Cantina Lena, Red Cow, Nue, Junebaby, Due Italiana, and Central Smoke.
Baby proof and de-clutter the house.
We’ve certainly made progress but still have some work to go. Outlets are all sealed away and I ordered cabinet locks to secure the bathroom and kitchen cabinets.
Go to a concert.
We have tickets for the Fitz and the Tantrums concert coming up in a few weeks.
Re-learn our lindy hop dance.
Get in one self-care day/night per month.
I’ve done pretty good on this with a few massages and a few mani-pedis (all thanks to Groupon).
Get in one date day/night per month.
I’d say we have done okay with this too. We have attended all of our Seattle Rep plays, have had a few dinners out just the two of us, and got some time just the two of us for both Claire and Amy’s weddings. We have a sitter lined up for our upcoming anniversary for whatever we decide to do that night.
Limit social media and cell phone usage to 30 minutes every night after 5 pm.
Most days I have done well with this. There have only been a handful of days where I have spent too much time on my phone.
Become more involved with our church beyond attendance
Get Reese a passport
Eat dinner at the table at least once a week.
It fluctuates week by week on how we do with this. I think we could be a little more persistent with this and help baby girl with eating real foods in her high chair along with us.
Although Bryan has turned another year older this past week, he can still round down to 30. I’m sure he is happy with that, but regardless, both of us have matured quite a bit in this past year. 34 is going to be a good year for Bryan, I can just tell, and we wanted to kick off the year as best we could. Bryan’s wish was to go on a hike and then get dinner and drinks with friends. So we did!
After having to unfortunately work a full day on Saturday, we were ready to let loose on Sunday. We wrangled up a group of nine adults and two babies to head to Mt. Rainier for a long day’s hike. We carpooled down to Rainier with Andrew and got on the road a little after 8 am. Thanks to a wait to get our entrance pass to the National Park, we didn’t get to Sunrise Visitor Center until about 10:30 am and the last of our crew didn’t arrive until 11 am. We finally got on the trail at 11:30 am with our goal being Third Burroughs on the Burroughs Mountain Trail, one we’ve done twice before, love, but have never gone all of the way to Third Burroughs. The hiking crew included: the three of us, Anne, Phillip and Rosalie, Deana and Ed, and Marion.
After Reese slept the whole way down, she was alert for most of the hike up. Alert but happy and riding on her daddy’s back. The temperature was absolutely perfect for hiking and we had mostly sunny skies with some cloud breaks. Our group was not fast but fortunately it was not the Millers, like we thought it might, that were holding anyone up. Bryan was kicking booty, carrying Reese and leading most of the way. We stopped for a nursing session on First Burroughs and stopped at Second Burroughs for a short photo session before deciding as a group that we DID want to attempt to summit Third Burroughs. Our entire group headed for Third, but half the group stopped short at the few snow crossings. At the top of Third Burroughs, Bryan, Reese, Andrew, Ed, Deana and myself broke out our lunch and a flask of birthday whiskey to take in the views before heading back down. The remaining crew was not far ahead of us and with the boys nearly running down the snow fields, we caught back up with them very quickly!
Now we had the long slog back to the car, much of which was downhill, and we certainly had a better pace on our way down. Reese did exceptionally, needing to nurse only twice, taking two naps, eating a good amount of pb&j, and seeming to really enjoy herself on the trail. This was a night and day difference to her first hike with us at Oyster Dome. We didn’t make it back to the car until nearly 5 pm, after almost 10 miles of hiking and over 2,500 feet of gain. We felt good but now we needed to high tail it back to Seattle because the rest of our friends were meeting us for dinner which we were now going to be way late for.
We made it to Central Smoke around 7 pm to meet up with Tim, Jason, Holly, David and Tina, the Tung family and Sarah and Lottie, who were already holding down our table on the patio. We ordered the Sunday night special platter for two with a combo of their brisket, pulled pork and ribs, plus coleslaw and greens and two cocktails for $35. A really reasonable price, although we have had better BBQ in Seattle. The service was also subpar. The restaurant cut the cake I made for Bryan and our friends seemed to enjoy the cake. I didn’t get a snap of the cake but it was beautiful (in my humble opinion). I can only say that because I am not a baker and certainly not a cake decorator and it looked alright and tasted very good! We will be making this cake again. Reese helped make the majority of the cake and she even approved of each component of the chocolate cake with raspberry jam, chocolate mascarpone filling and a chocolate ganache glaze.
We didn’t get Reese home until 9 pm and she had gone completely Tasmanian Devil on us at the restaurant. She was so dirty from the hike and everything else she got into at the restaurant that she still needed a bath. Bryan and I felt very accomplished after some nice hot showers ourselves after a great day with friends.
After a long Sunday and a day at work Bryan opted for a fairly casual, but no less delicious, dinner out at Due Italiana in Capitol Hill. They had come to FareStart a few months back with delicious homemade pasta. After looking them up, they serve delicious and large bowls of pasta for just over $10, glasses of house wine and beer for $6/$5, and they even offer fresh pastas that are “healthy” meaning lower carb and higher protein, which I think Bryan and I would both say were no less delicious. Birthday boy got the mushroom and truffle oil campanelle with sausage and burrata and I got the smoked salmon and caper cream sauce campanelle. We split the grilled eggplant salad and although Reese went Tasmanian Devil on us again, we all left full and happy with our meal and will be back for sure.
I really hope Bryan enjoyed his birthday this year because last year his birthday was overshadowed with baby girls baby shower. Bryan is so loved by friends and family and we were happy that many could help us celebrate his birthday this year!
To relive some of my favorite memories as a child through my daughter is quite the experience. I’ve told Bryan before that the 4th of July is my favorite holiday. That probably sounds absolutely absurd to most but it’s not the holiday itself I enjoy the most, it’s everything wrapped up with it. I love summer and growing up I loved spending nights with my whole family at a place that is solely special to us. I loved the food, activity, relationships, laughs, jokes, games, fireworks, and tranquility that was my cottage during this summer holiday. The spirit and fun of the holiday is also something that I still enjoy to this day. I would pick my 4th of July burger, eaten on the cottage deck, overlooking our lake, with my family sitting at the picnic table, over a fancy Thanksgiving or Christmas Eve dinner any day. This is why it is my favorite holiday.
We were lucky enough to spend a beautiful five nights at my family’s cottage and one night with just my parents back in East Lansing. We arrived on the 3rd and all travel went smoothly, all weather was perfection, and we all survived with merely a few scratches and mosquito bites and maybe a few extra LBs. Reese did fantastic again on both flights and pretty great for all car rides. We tried to split up the travel as best we could and that did help. In East Lansing, we enjoyed my now-favorite Middle Eastern take-out of Zeytoon’s, played in the grass, and stretched our legs before heading up to the cottage to be greeted by my grandparents. Like usual, my family was the first to arrive. My aunt and uncle from Indiana and my brother from Cincinatti were next, arriving on the 4th and my aunt and uncle from Lansing arrived on the 5th. Then we really had a full house! Plus three dogs. I love it when we have the whole fam damily together.
Activities at the cottage were nothing short of varied. Since my grandpa sold the speed boat a few years ago, my mom decided to rent a speed boat for three/four days. It was a very nice boat with a sound system that Chad enjoyed and enough power for my mom, Bryan and I to water ski behind. We did a lot of laps around the lake, just enjoying cruising around in it, and Reese loved it! Occasionally she would yell out or do her head-bopping dance to the tunes Chad was playing. One day the boys went to play frisbee golf and got soaked in a quick (and the only) downpour. One morning we actually woke up early to go play tennis. We went for a few short runs around the lake and a family walk around the lake. We played some cards, had some fires, and watched some movies and the US women’s soccer team win the World Cup. Reese tried to spend as much time as humanly possible in water. She would go from the small kiddie pool on the deck to the lake and back, multiple times a day. She generally didn’t take her swimsuit or swim diaper off and when she did that didn’t stop her from still swimming. One time when she was nudey butt in the kiddie pool she decided to send out some floaties, which was pretty hilarious.
And we ate well on this trip. Like I described earlier, we had grilled burgers on the deck with Grandma’s famous potato salad and bean salad. We had mom’s amazing boil with more shrimp than I’ve eaten in a long, long time. We made foil dinners in the campfire. We celebrated Reese’s 10-month birthday with Terry and Dad’s crisp and airy waffles. We enjoyed trying Jennette and Terry’s favorite cherry brats. We had loads of snacks to tide us over and Grandma’s vodka tonics or old fashioneds every day. Carrot cake, magic bars, and sugar cookies rounded out the eats and even one night out to Mr. Pibb’s for some amazing Michigan ice cream cones.
Reese LOVED the cottage! We really think she thought we moved there and wasn’t keen upon leaving. She was a happy kiddo the entire time but also having some bouts of separation anxiety when I would leave her side. Besides the pool and the lake, the boat, the fire pit and the dogs, she loved sitting in her camp chair that used to be mine (this surprised me that she liked sitting in it), she also loved walking around the grass, deck and up and down the stairs to the lake. This girl is still not stable on her own two feet but wants to be on them as much as possible. We all took turns holding her hands while she walked around exploring and going up and down any stairs she could find.
When we returned for a day and night to East Lansing, she continued her exploration by foot. She enjoyed visiting a nearby park and swinging twice in one day and she got to meet my friend Nisa one more time when she stopped by for a visit. We spent most of the day relaxing outside because the weather was perfect and we enjoyed grilling steaks and veggies outside, after enjoying Nisa’s egg rolls as a very good pre-dinner snack.
It was a wonderful trip and I can’t wait for the next time we make it back to the cottage. Reese will be that much more playful and that much more excited to go back I’m sure.
Double digits. Wow, that happened fast. Ten months is actually a landmark number for me for some reason. I remember going to the library story time when Reese was really little and there were many 10-month old babies there that were moving and funny and playful and I just remember eagerly waiting when Reese would be that interactive. Well, she is that interactive and then some. This month is more about her personality developing and less about her new physical skills, although there are still a few of those as well.
She has recently learned to shake her head…and does it often!
Sometimes she seems really interested in eating solids and eats a bunch, only to playfully spit it out minutes later and thinks that is funny. Although that helped her bond with the dogs at the cottage.
She loves drinking water out of her sippy cup, or a regular cup, or through a straw.
She has gotten very agile on the stairs.
She no longer sits during baths or diaper changes or putting on her clothes so that’s been fun.
She now gets upset if you remove a toy or take her away from something she is playing with. I guess you would call that a tantrum.
She loves going up and down slides at the playground. Loves it!
Sometimes if you just laugh at her she thinks she is being funny and laughs back. This can then go on forever.
I think she is a little uneasy around animals at the moment. She has been reprimanded by Oliver, the cat at Lottie’s house, a few times and has learned her lesson. I think the dogs at the cottage helped her relax a bit more around animals.
Toilets are of the latest interest.
She loves playing with balls. She has actually gotten pretty good at accurately throwing a ball to you.
Another favorite is turning the TV on or stopping the show you are watching. TV remotes are better than phones!
She enjoys to FaceTime and is finally understanding what is going on during FaceTime.
We are starting to have to say “no” on some items. A sweet “no” is more like a “yes” to her though.
She’s still sleeping pretty well in her own crib. Going down for the night can sometimes be a marathon session but is other times speedy. However, after vacation we may need to readjust her to her own crib again.
As of the past week or two she does not want to wear a hat.
She may have been the smallest baby ever to be in a bouncy house.
Lately, the stroller > a carrier (she head butts you in the carrier)
She’s tried fried gnocchi, olives, marinara, meatballs, Korean beef, smoothies, and waffles this past month. Her favorite foods are still cheerios, any version of potatoes, rice, and anything cold. And bread.