Filler Weeks

These two weeks between trips have been filler weeks but filled with things to do, both at work, socially, and at home.  It’s been a bit of a whirlwind since being back from San Diego and getting ready for Europe.  Fortunately, we had all our accommodations and flights booked for Europe already and I had already researched a lot about things to do, so that stuff was pretty much out of the way.  The focus was definitely catching up with work and preparing for the work that would be missed over two weeks of vacation…whether we want to work or not.

But aside from work, there was a lot of social things going on.  We wanted to see the latest musical that Valerie is playing in at the Village Theater in Everett and needed to do so before we left.  We saw the original musical, String, Friday night after getting a great Italian dinner marina-side with their family in Everett before the show.  Bryan had a little different format of a men’s group this week; not at church but at one of the guys house, complete with margaritas in celebration of Cinco De Mayo.  We had our usual church service one weekend and two FareStart nights.  We enjoyed a crazy rich and filling meal for the May Sunday Feast at Tavolata with some of our FareStart friends.  This month featured a full heritage pig and the menu was stellar!

To work off some of this splurging that has carried over from the last vacation and is leading us right into the next vacation, Bryan has really put an emphasis on exercise; getting in a few runs, a few rows and a few weightlifting  sessions at home.  I have managed to get to my cycling class a few times as well.  I’m thinking that I will continue ClassPass for this month and maybe (MAYBE) June, before suspending my membership until a few months after baby is born.  I’ve been trying to keep my walking up because it is good for me, the weather is nice, and want to keep my feet and legs in shape to thoroughly enjoy Europe.  However, this walking speed is certainly a touch slower these days.

I’ve managed lots of sleep and just really still feel like a much more relaxed human being post-San Diego.  We are trying to limit TV time to after 9 pm (or 8 pm if we had a long day at work) and so far this week was a success.  I managed to finish reading a book for leisure for the first time in a long time.  I thoroughly enjoyed Give a Girl a Knife and would recommend it to anyone, particularly anyone from the Midwest.  It was a book right up my alley and literally I felt like I was reading about myself at some points (minus being a chef)!  We also really enjoyed the movie The Post and LOVED The Greatest Showman.  And I have more hobbies set and ready to go to enjoy in my immobile state post-Europe.

And to round out the two weeks we visited a daycare center (and got on their waiting list) and had our monthly doctor’s appointment for May.  Still nothing really to report from the doctor.  Growth and heartbeat seem to be on target.  And Bryan felt the baby kick for the first time while we were in San Diego and has felt it a few more times since so that has been pretty exciting!  Belly is now starting to pop but I think the thing that fascinates us both the most is the popping out of the belly button.  I don’t know why but that little change seems so weird to me.

Baby bump before travels….although it is growing by the day.

We fly to Europe on Sunday!  I’m sure we will be posting pics and will be able to use texts, calls and data internationally, thanks to T-Mobile, but probably will not be posting until after our return.




Garage Remodel and Organization

I don’t have before pictures of the garage but for anyone that had ever seen our garage you wouldn’t recognize today.  I wanted to feature what an amazing job Bryan has done organizing what is actually a very spacious garage to store all of our fun toys.

Bryan bought a ski rack and has hung our skis against the wall…

Ski rack

He bought a bike rack for two bikes and has hung these against the wall…

Bike rack

He bought a few large shelving units that are very sturdy.  One is to organize our camping and hiking gear…

Camping gear
Hung bags

The other shelving unit is to store our miscellaneous household items like paper toiletries, picnic supplies, vases and random housewares and Christmas stuff…

Misc stuff

We are utilizing the existing workstation for all tools…

Looking into the garage. Look at the floor!
Other misc household stuff


It is literally too good to be true in my opinion.  We might actually have to store Scoot Scoot in here for the next year of its one-year sabbatical (I’m not allowed to ride it anymore…per Bryan).



San Diego Newbie

Bryan and I just returned from an absolutely wonderful, and much needed vacation to sunny San Diego for four nights and five full days.  From day 1 I was instantly more relaxed and at ease than I have been in months.  This led to what felt like a lengthy vacation and retreat from daily life.  Here is a look at how Bryan and I kept ourselves busy…or not so busy.

We had an early morning flight on Thursday morning, meaning an early morning wake up call for us, and a shortened amount of sleep prior to the trip.  But by 5:15 am we were out the door and on the way to the airport.  Our travels were smooth sailing and after a 2.5 hour flight and a 15 minutes ride to the car rental center in San Diego we were in our rental car for the weekend and setting north to Pacific Beach.  We checked into our hotel, the Beach Haven, right in the heart of PB, and were able to occupy the room early.  We set forth to explore the boardwalk and the beach shortly after noon.  After a short orientation, we found Oscar’s Mexican Seafood, which was a huge win, and scored some cheap but super delicious battered fish and shrimp tacos and enjoyed those outside in the sunshine.

After lunch we changed into beach-going clothes and made our way north for Bryan’s tour of years past.  We first drove through La Jolla, stopping at the cove to get out and see the seals on the beach and the cliffs.  We kept driving north, next to Torrey Pines.  At Torrey Pines we laid out and napped on the beach for a while before setting out on foot along the beach and then up the cliff onto the nice trails, taking in the expansive views.  This was somewhere that Bryan went a lot during his time in San Diego.  We got back to our car and Bryan showed me his old office and apartment in Del Mar before circling back south and driving to the top of Mount Soledad.  We thought about taking in the sunset but clouds were settling in and we still had a good while to wait out the sunset.

We drove back to our hotel to change for dinner and set out by foot for some place good.  We settled upon the low-key but homey Italian restaurant called Alta Marea.  The service staff was super friendly and after placing our order Bryan went to go get a bottle of wine at the local Ralph’s as the place was BYOB.  Upon arrival of our burrata and tomato salad and fresh green salad, we knew we were in for a lot of food.  The salads themselves were gigantic, but fresh and delicious and gone with a side of the fresh homemade foccacia bread basket.  Next arrived my lobster pasta and Bryan’s lamb pasta, both with homemade noodles and somehow we finished those off as well.  Literally stuffed to the gills we were brought the bill and were very pleased with the price for everything.  We set back for the hotel, somehow finding room to split the peanut butter explosion from Coldstone on the way home…because we were on vacation.

We woke up Friday morning with not much on the agenda.  We walked the boardwalk and contemplated a few breakfast spots but so full from the night before we mainly wanted a good coffee.  We found the Krazy Kat, near our hotel, for the perfect iced Americano and shared one of their Brazilian pastries that was much like a quiche but with shredded chicken.  It was a good bite to fuel the morning.  We rented beach cruisers for $10 each and set out on the boardwalk, heading south to Mission Beach, then cycling around Mission Bay, venturing out on Fiesta Island before realizing that would be too long of a ride and circling back before finding our way back to PB.  We locked up the bikes to get a giant but delicious tropical fruit and coconut smoothie to take to the beach and relax our tired legs after the 15 mile leisure ride.  Shortly thereafter we returned our bikes and changed for dinner at the hotel.

Friday night was a little impromptu.  We headed to Balboa Park but got there after much of the museums were closed.  We still enjoyed walking around the park and seeing all of the cool buildings and plants.  We realized that we were starving and set out to a burrito place that was featured and raved about on the show Man vs. Food; Lucha Libre in Mission Hills.  We ordered a surf and turf burrito and a steak and vegetable burrito to share, got a side of chips, marveled at the delicious salsas and then demolished the HUGE burritos when they arrived, sharing them both.  Probably the best burritos of my life; no rice or beans but stuffed with meat, cheese, avocado, fries (!), pico and veggies.  OMG.  We both were delighted and full upon leaving and headed to Sunset Cliffs in Ocean Beach to take in the sunset from there.  We managed to get a parking spot and find a fairly secluded spot to take in the sunset.  It was a gorgeous one.  We drove back to PB, parked and then walked to the Baked Bear to sample more ice cream, this time in the form of ice cream on take of a fresh baked brownie.  The ice cream was superb and we were satisfied, and once again stuffed, before heading back home for my prized sleep.

Saturday was our day to check out of the hotel in PB and check into the Ritz in Laguna Niguel.  We woke with the sun and walked to Krazy Kat again for just coffees this time.  Delicious and enjoyed for awhile in the sun on their sidewalk!  We packed and hit the road with a stop at Jamba Juice for a free breakfast, thanks to mystery shopping.  We enjoyed the breakfast sandwich, smoothie and acai bowl before driving the hour north to Laguna.  Travel was smooth and we arrived early to the hotel.  Our room wasn’t ready but we were eager to explore the hotel.  We set out to do so and marveled at the views and the fanciness of the place.  We walked down to the beach and along the beach before getting the text that our room was ready.  We checked into our ocean-view room around 1:30 pm and it was approved by both of us.  After settling in, we changed into swimsuits and headed for the pool.  Bryan ordered a margarita and we shared the hummus and pita plate while enjoying the sun and our books for awhile.

We had reserved a tennis court for 5 pm and played for about 45 minutes for the first time this year with rental rackets.  Bryan barely eeked out the win.  We cleaned up in the hotel for the night and headed to the hotel bar, 180Blu, for drinks and to watch the sunset.  I ordered a virgin coconut mojito and Bryan the tamarind margarita (not virgin) and we took in the spectacular 180 degree views and the live guitarist and singer.  This was a good start to the night.

After sunset we left the hotel and headed to Laguna Beach for dinner reservations at Driftwood Kitchen.  We had oceanside views from our table but now in the dark it was only the crashing waves that we took in.  We semi-shared the whole fried branzino with a ponzu sauce and shishito peppers and the raved-about lobster carbonara.  Both were amazing but the carbonara was really out of this world with a ton of lobster for a decent price.  After dinner we drove back to the hotel where Bryan got a manhatten from the bar to bring back to the room and we slept with the doors open to listen to the crashing waves.

Sunday morning was another sunny morning and to start it off we headed to the hotel restaurant Raya for brunch.  Again, seated with ocean views, I ordered the crab chulupa (like a benedict but on a chulupa instead of muffin) and Bryan the huevos rancheros.  Both dishes were plentiful and beautiful and gone.  I had my prenatal massage at the spa next while Bryan somehow digested enough to go for a run on the beach and follow that up with weights in the fitness room.  My massage was nice, as was using the little luxuries inside the spa for a good hour after my massage ended.  We met back up to sit and read on the veranda for some time.  Both of us were feeling super lethargic.  We decided to explore Laguna Beach some more and set out midday.  We shopped around at the cute stores and art galleries, found a candy shop, walked the beach park and then headed back to our hotel.

Sunday night included room service dinner that was absolutely a perfect way to spend our last night in Southern California.  We were delivered blankets to keep warm on our balcony and our dinner was delivered about 15 minutes before sunset went down.  Bryan enjoyed the wagyu steak special and me the miso black cod.  Beer, wine, salad and rolls to compliment.  The whole table was rolled out onto our balcony amazingly.  Dessert came in the form of ice cream and cookies later in the night and we really just enjoyed taking the whole luxury treatment in.

Monday arrived as our last day and a cloudy day in California.  I attempted the free yoga class but hated it, left for the fitness center for my own short little workout before cleaning up once more with the spa facilities.  Bryan went for another, longer, beach run himself.  We packed up and checked out at 11 am.  We found a sandwich shop nearby the hotel for fuel and then drove back south to San Diego and Balboa Park.  It was a good day to spend in a museum and decided on the Air and Space Museum.  We enjoyed the museum for some time before walking around the park again.  It was chilly and we were again surprisingly tired so we headed to another Oscar’s Mexican Seafood restaurant on the way to the airport.  Three happy hour $.99 fish tacos for each of us and I tried a cup of the steamy fish stew.  The tacos were so fresh and again delicious and the fish stew was chock full of shrimp, vegetables and octopus and warmed me up.

We didn’t have anything else to do so headed to return our car and get to the airport.  We were there three hours early and realized there was an earlier Alaska flight to Seattle that we could get on for $25 each.  We had used miles for this flight anyways so we decided to take it and had the whole back row to ourselves.  We got home two hours earlier than planned, with enough time to semi-unpack, get a snack and still get to bed at a decent hour.

This was a near-perfect vacation and one I will remember for a while.  The ultimate in R&R.



San Diego Ready

Oh, I’m ready to get out of here!!!  The three-day work week went by quickly and I am ready for more sun and R&R in California.  It’s actually been pretty nice in Seattle for the past week but I just need some different scenery.  I am also very eager to get my hands on some fish tacos, walk with my sand in the toes, relax in a posh hotel and get a much needed massage (probably my biggest complaint of physical symptoms of pregnancy, aside from digestion and not drinking and the emotional and spontaneous mood swings, is that I have been experiencing back pain daily from sitting so much of the time at work).

This week flew by though with two cycle classes, an SEAW dinner meeting down near Sea-Tac on the Bertha tunnel,  church, our first time trying out Gobble dinner kits and a few long walks.  This will be a good, easy break for Bryan and I.  And I think it will reset me before a few weeks back at home before getting ready for the biggie vacation.



Sun Breaks

Last weekend continued to bring showers and that oh-so-lovely Seattle spring weather but we finally may have received a long overdue break in the rain showers, cool weather and high winds.  Very hopeful but, regardless, San Diego and sun…t-minus one week.

Not looking bad!

The past weekend felt uneventful, with me pouting about the exam for the last time, but it wasn’t that uneventful.  Bryan played touch football in the rain, got brunch at Neighbor Lady, then went bowling withe the boys for David’s 30th birthday.  I did stuff around the house, rowed, then cleaned up to join a large group for Mexican dinner at La Cocina y Cantina in Capitol Hill.  We closed out the night, walking to Hula Hula, for tiki drinks and karaoke for some before heading home.  It downpoured all day long and I guess was still rather uneventful for me.  Bryan and I spent Sunday going to church, getting a delicious brunch at Rhein Haus (making me excited for Eastern European food), and then really lazying it up the rest of the afternoon and evening (we did finish taxes and booked a few accommodations for Europe).

The week has been similar to the past several.  I managed to get to cycling class on Monday.  We had our Volunteer Appreciation party at FareStart with our good friends on Tuesday.  I finally got to catch up with Marika but she had to cancel the mani-pedi appointment we had.  I still treated myself to a mani-pedi because I could use it for San Diego and I’m going to treat myself as much as I can before baby arrives (although I hope to not let that completely go out the window once baby is here).  I made it to another girls night (after skipping last week) for some gentle yoga stretching.  We had a sold-out night at FareStart with Ethan Stowell and Holland America in the house and salmon on the menu.

And now we have one more weekend ahead of us with another birthday party before leaving on a jet plane to San Diego.



Month Five

This past month has still been smooth sailing in terms of baby making but I feel like there has been a little more action and progress than the following months…at least progress that is noticeable.  We just checked in with our doctor for the monthly appointment and essentially a summary of the past month is:

  • Babies heartbeat is still sounding strong
  • My weight is up by about 4-5 pounds since last month
  • Blood pressure still low
  • My energy has been up and steady, although I do feel I hit a wall late at night just recently
  • I’ve felt pretty darn normal in all my normal activities, including exercise
  • I feel my heart skip or flutter a little bit more often
  • Still no firm signs of movement from baby but I still have this bubbly feeling that I get mostly on my left side from time to time, most noticeable while sitting at work
  • Sometimes noticeable swelling around ankles at the end of the day
  • Heartburn and indigestion still definitely there after large and/or late in the evening dinners and digestion has slowed wayyyyy down
  • Appetite holding steady from last month
  • Headaches haven’t been common this month
  • Easter weekend I had some stomach pains/cramps but fortunately those went away
  • Belly has started its rounding and to me is noticeable
  • Middle region is feeling tighter in clothes but can still fit into all pants, albeit not comfortably all the time
  • Still having some lower back pain during long periods of sitting

We keep on rolling, this week moving into Week 23 which means baby is about 8 in long and 1 pound in weight.  In the meantime we have not talked anymore about names but do talk to and touch baby more.  We have made good progress in nursery, signed up for childbirth classes, and infiltrated our registry on babylist.com for most things.  We’ve also booked the all-important R&R just-the-two-of-us trips (that I refuse to call a Baby Moon, because I refuse to admit I’m a Millennial and I don’t like the name) that should provide us enough excitement and adventure solo before the last remaining months we wait out for the arrival of baby this summer.  And to also get us the heck out of dodge during what can often be a much-too-long and chilly spring here in Seattle.  The calendar keeps rolling…



Very Wet

We continue to have wet and dreary weather here in Seattle.  Monday was mild and partly sunny as was Tuesday in the afternoon…but it’s a Monday and Tuesday, why couldn’t we have gotten just a glimpse of it on Saturday or Sunday?  Bryan and I are both needing a vacation, bad!  Bryan has been a few places this winter though, including skiing and snowshoeing a few times, so I’m inclined to say that Chelsea needs it even more.  I’ve been nowhere since Christmas.


And I’m definitely starting to feel like as exciting as pregnancy can be, it certainly has a way about it of making you feel left out.  For instance, we have two birthday parties the next weekends.  On the agenda, white water rafting for one so I’m out for that one with a lame, “I’ll meet you after for Mexican dinner and margaritas (I mean scratch the margaritas)” and for the other is whirlyball followed by brewery crawl (um, literally out on both accounts).  But I want to be a part of the fun.  I need some fun but my idea of fun and pregnancy-approved fun doesn’t quite go hand in hand!  The eating, the body, everything else isn’t a big deal to me, but the missing out on the fun is.

We have tried to make the best of the wet weather.  After another benedict brunch at home we went for a walk through the Arboretum in the breaks in showers on Saturday.  We watched Three Billboards, which I really did enjoy.  We made a few dinners.  I went to church with a friend because Bryan went skiing with other friends.  And I thought a LOT about upcoming trips over the weekend.  I baked a cheesecake with strawberry and blueberry compote (that’s unusual of me but it sounded good and it came out really good).  But the weekend didn’t feel all too much different than the previous weekends when I spent hours studying.

The week treated me alright with another filling Seattle Restaurant Week dinner with Bryan.  I got to cycling class and barre for low-intensity exercises.  I got someone to clean the house for us.  We had our April doctor’s appointment with all news being good news as well as another ultrasound to get stubborn baby to pose right for its measurements.  I went to the farewell happy hour for my coworker Maureen at Von’s Gustobistro which I compensated not drinking by eating way too much bar food and spilling the beans to everyone there (about 20).  We had a great dinner at FareStart by a previous winner of Seattle’s Restaurant of the Year; Stateside.  I upgraded my iPhone 5 to an iPhone 8 which wouldn’t normally excite me so much but I not even able to store more than 10 photos on my phone without running out of space.  And we had our staff meeting today with pizza, salad and laughs.

The beautiful halibut dish at Bramling cross that I was literally too full to really enjoy by the time it got to our table.

We have two trips coming up; San Diego and Eastern Europe.  For San Diego we have a very sweet oceanview balcony room booked in Laguna free of charge thanks to mystery shopping.  We will be spending two nights there after spending two nights on our own in San Diego.  We leave in a few weeks and really looking forward to sunshine, beach walks, fish tacos and luxe accommodations.  For our Eastern Europe trip we have our housing researched (but not booked) for each city and our flights.  I’m leaning towards booking train/bus travel once we are there so we can have a little wiggle room on the duration we spend in each city.  For that trip I am definitely looking forward to some sightseeing, the food (all the schnitzel, pierogi, goulash, sausages, etc), pastries, and idle time taking in the historic cities.

And on the baby front, we had two appointments this week.  We had our monthly appointment for April that was a speedy appointment.  We also had the follow-up ultrasound to get a better look at the baby’s spine and cord attachment, which also went fine and we found a very active baby.  All signs point to good health and progressive growth so far.  We signed up for a 7-week child birth and parenting class through our hospital, Northwest Hospital, which will begin at the beginning of June and will keep us busy on Wednesday nights.  Hopefully we will also meet some expecting couples in these classes as well.  I also signed up Bryan for a Conscious Fathering class (that was free with our class sign-up) that will be in July.  I am looking forward to these classes quite a bit.  I’ve been talking to an acquaintance, Anne, who is expecting about a month before us and whose families both live in Texas.  We have basically agreed to try to set up some sort of monthly babysitting exchange to give each of us a date night out just as couples.  She has also had no complications and smooth sailing so far and is also using a midwife, but at another clinic.  Between her and another girl at work I don’t feel completely alone in this whole progress.