January is Mean

January continues to be not a very nice month for the Miller family. First, we rolled into the new year with both Brooke and Reese feeling a bit under the weather. This sickness then developed in Bryan and he spent the majority of the first week back at work working from home. Just as Bryan was starting to round the corner feeling a lot better, we had one good night of health where we had Sarah and Lottie over for dinner and one good day of health with Bryan going to the Seahawks game, and then BAM! Covid.

I thought we were done with this nonsense but I guess not. Not even 48 hours after the Seahawks game Bryan took a test and it showed up as positive. Fortunately, we are in a different place than we were a year ago for most aspects of life; Reese could still go to school wearing a mask since she was exposed but not exhibiting symptoms or testing positive, but Brooke was home with us for not one but two weeks. This definitely was not an ideal situation but I would say that Bryan and I handled it as best as we could. In general, I had the girls in the morning, getting them ready as usual and taking Reese to school. Brooke and I would hang out until about 11 am or so and then Bryan would take over from there to get himself and Brooke lunch and then put her down for a nap. I got to work the afternoon. This continued on for two weeks, with me essentially working 11 am – 5 pm or so and Bryan working 7/8 am – 2 pm with a break for lunch. I enjoyed my mornings with Brooke, taking her to a coffee shop, or a walk, or the toddler gym once (always wearing a mask just in case) and I think she liked her time at home too. Thankfully each of our companies were okay with our adjusted schedule and didn’t press us too hard so that it wasn’t anymore stressful than it needed to be.

But this isn’t to say this was how we wanted to continue on with life. Bryan’s work is at a busy time right now, going through retention meetings, having one-on-one meetings with individual employees, and still trying to set their goals for the year ahead. And for me, well I literally got my first projects that I was responsible for right as all of this started to play out. And any time during the day I had for studying was gone. But I still got my projects done and am really liking my work and I forced myself to study 1-2 hours at night so that I didn’t get behind. We made it through. Brooke is back in nanny share rotation as of Monday and it is glorious.

I’m obviously much relieved that none of the rest of us got it. We’ve all been feeling fine and that is a huge relief. And fortunately Bryan’s case this go around was not at all like last time. He had one bad afternoon and night but the rest of the time he felt okay and could work and help with Brooke and whatnot. Reese continues to love her gymnastics class on Saturdays and had a playdate with one of her besties this past Saturday beforehand. I took the girls to the bounce house one rainy Sunday and to the indoor playground called Playdate another rainy Sunday with our friends Rosalie and Anne. We’ve walked to the park when it hasn’t been raining and even spent MLK day at a park that was holding a park cleanup event that was very well attended and fueled by amazing coffee and pastries by some neighborhood cafes. We’ve spent the majority of our nights with dinner at home, puzzles, Crazy 8, movies, and baths.

Now that we are free of Covid we are letting loose again. We spent Thursday after school at the local cinema for their cartoon happy hour which was our first time but definitely not the last. It was a great time. We then walked to school for pickup and then to Redhook Brewlab for some drinks and pizza on Friday night to end the long two weeks. And we went out Monday night to Tavolata for their free rigatoni day where every table got a free rigatoni. It was also happy hour so we weren’t shy and went ahead and also ordered the chicory salad, roasted beets, pappardelle, bread and smoked fish bruschetta. The server was an amazing upseller and somehow also got us to order the fresh made to order mini doughnuts with the chocolate dipping sauce. Plus it’s our turn for date night this Thursday!

We definitely are feeling our spirits rise after two pretty rocky weeks. Everything is looking optimistic, even including studying as I’ve now officially passed the midpoint in terms of learning new material.



Michigan Christmas 2022

This year was really the first meaningful year that we spent Christmas away from home with kids and it was a relaxing, enjoyable, and white Christmas.  We were staying with my parents for nearly two weeks and it felt like a long time, in a good way.  With family leave and the little bit of vacation time I had available I was able to take almost the entirety of it off of work and Bryan took one week off himself.  This meant a lot of quality parenting time!

As mentioned in the last post, the first week was spent with a fair amount of time in memory of my Grandpa.  Brooke and I went to visit my Grandma shortly after arriving in Michigan.  I helped (but can’t take any credit) for making some photo boards for the funeral service with my mom and just having a lot of conversations with my mom about him.  Then we had the funeral and visitation that first week.  The girls did their best to have good behavior during these two days so we promised Reese to go do something fun for her after the funeral was over.  We visited a trampoline park and all had a good time.  I certainly felt a lot of stress come off me once the funeral services were over.  Reese actually visited two trampoline parks during our visit; the second time going with Grammy and Granddad.  Reese got to go swimming twice at the indoor Court One Pool and Grammy and Granddad took Reese to the free showing of the Polar Express at the theaters.

We spent Christmas Eve with my grandma and brother at my parent’s house, having our traditional king crab legs for dinner and Bryan’s grasshopper pie for dessert. On Christmas Day, after opening some presents at my parent’s house, we then went over to my Grandma’s for Christmas with the whole family. There were lots of gifts to go through, mostly food related now as that is the latest gift exchange trend for the family. There were a variety of belly-warming soups, snacks, and Christmas cookies to dine on. We didn’t leave until quite late and unfortunately that night Brooke started not feeling too well and didn’t sleep well at all.

Brooke was all levels of sick for about a week, probably reaching her worst when we spent the night in Chicago and unfortunately was back to her normal energy levels as we were boarding our flight home! Following Christmas, with all of the snow we had, we each took turns taking Reese out sledding which she really enjoyed. The temperatures started to warm up and we were finally able to build a snowman. Bryan and I enjoyed a run together which is a rare occasion these days but something we still really enjoy. The girls went to go get manicures (Reese included). And Chad and Sarah came to spend a night with us on Wednesday night and both girls greatly enjoyed their attention.

After our long visit with great meals, cooked at home and taken in, lots of reading books in the tent, puzzles, coloring, minnie mouse plane rides, hide and seek, etc, we got ready to head to Chicago on Friday morning.  Bryan picked up our rental car and we were on the road right around noon after saying our goodbyes.  Both girls did great on the drive, stopping just to get a quick bite and drink from McDonalds just as we were hitting Indiana.  We checked in to the Embassy Suites near Navy Pier, settled into our room, and then hit the sidewalk for the short walk to Navy Pier to check out their Light Up the Lake festivities which was all indoors.  It was a large exhibit of light sculptures, vendors with snacks, Reese got her face painted and we purchased her a light up magic wand that did special magic at each light sculpture exhibit.  The apex of the event though was when we got Reese out on the ice for her first time ice skating, after waiting for and watching the zambonie.  She was nervous and hesitant at first but after about an hour of skating was loving it and wants to try it again another time.  We ended the afternoon with our free ride on the ferris wheel which was beautiful, heated, and fun.  

We got back to the hotel and had reservations for dinner but Brooke wasn’t feeling well at all and super lethargic so we opted for takeout from a nearby restaurant instead.  Brooke and I actually hit the hay rather early while Reese asked Bryan a hundred questions about the Lion King in her bed.  The next morning both Bryan and Brooke still weren’t feeling well and needed more sleep so Reese and I headed down to breakfast which was super chaotic.  We brought up food for the other two and Brooke was starting to feel better.  Bryan took Reese for a quick swim in their small pool before we packed up our bags and headed for O’Hare.  We had plenty of time before our flight and got something to eat and walked around.  Our flight back to Seattle was uneventful and we got the light rail and then the bus back home, getting home just around 8 pm.  Our New Year’s Eve was not too special as we were all so tired so we mainly just all went to bed after doing some unpacking.

New Year’s Day was the day that we celebrated at home for Christmas with another round of presents and this time stockings.  The girls made out well but it did not go unnoticed that Mom did not have any presents in her stocking from Santa, so clearly Reese is worried I did something wrong this year.  Reese went over to Lottie’s for a playdate that morning which allowed Bryan and I, and Brooke at my heels, to completely rearrange all of the furniture upstairs to get the girls into their new bedroom with their new bunkbed with a slide.  It was a labor of love for sure and we had the bunkbed ready for the girl’s first night of sleep in it on 1/1 but it took another several days to free ourselves of all of the clutter, go through Brooke’s clothes to donate her 12 month clothes and pull out the 18 month clothes (which are way too big for her still), hang up the new hammock swing, and lastly get our office up to snuff with our new dual mounted monitor stands and my new stand up desk which was Bryan’s gift to me for Christmas.  We are mostly there now with only a few additional to-dos: put up the stars in the girls new room and hang up more of our photos/artwork.  We really love the layout and the girls seem to like it too which has made bedtime so much easier these days.

So that’s more or less the conclusion to our winter holidays.  Reese had many more presents to open from Grandma and Papa Miller and we joke that she is going to think that Christmas operates like Hanukkah.  Overall a great holiday season and end to a full year.



Goodbye Christmas

Where have I been?  Well, there has been a lot that has happened in the full month since my last post, when Brooke achieved that milestone 1st birthday.  Just as our littlest one was turning one year old, in the beginning of her life, my grandpa Ron was ending his own life.  For a few weeks I was trying to wrap my head around what this absence in our family would mean to me and the family.  I was still very busy with work and studying and the so-many things that need to be done and purchased leading up to the holidays and being away for two weeks but it was during the quiet hours, a moment at work or always when I put Brooke down for bed, that I would think about my many wonderful memories of my grandpa and I’d cry.

It was more difficult this year for me to fill up with holiday cheer but I tried to do my best for the girls, still putting up some decorations although we didn’t get a tree this year for the first time ever, taking them to Christmas events at Volunteer Park to see Santa, and some walks to see lights and playing Christmas music and movies at home.  We left Seattle on Sunday 12/19 headed for Michigan as we had originally intended to do anyways and I spent those first few days also reflecting on my grandpa’s life and legacy.  Of course, having talks with my mom would leave us both in tears and we took Brooke over to my Grandma’s the first day home and that triggered it all again.  I have especially focused on what this loss means for my Grandma.  She’s lost her partner in life and thankfully she has a great circle of friends and family nearby but I still can’t even imagine…which is why I’ve told Bryan that I will be going first.

But with these episodes of feeling my emotions, each time was helping me to process the loss and helped me be able to organize my thoughts around my grandfather and I got to share my memories with him at his funeral on December 22nd.  This was something that I can remember clear as day thinking at my great grandmother’s funeral, seeing my grandpa give her eulogy, that there was never going to be a time that I would be strong enough to do this, but I am proud of myself that I did.  I think I needed to, I needed to share how much I loved this man and how great of a grandfather he truly was to his grandkids.  I felt like I did gain some closure from speaking and I hope that I said meaningful things for people to hear. 

The girls were on excellent behavior during the visitation the night before and the funeral and luncheon after and I know that was a lot for them to sit through and tolerate.  There were no other kids and a lot of adult time and they did so well.  Brooke even fell asleep on Bryan during the funeral service while Reese inched her way onto Grammy’s lap.  And for me, it was good to visit with friends and family I don’t get to see often, as brief as each visit was.  However, through the funeral and the Christmas Eve and Day events themselves, it pretty much sapped my energy for much else.

I have much more to report and will work on getting updated here with our actual Christmas celebration(s), our trip in Michigan, our rearranging of the kid’s new bedroom, and goals and aspirations for the New Year in time but I wanted to first remark on my grandfather’s passing.  It was a bittersweet Christmas for sure but one I will remember forever and he left as graceful and loved as he could have been.



Baby Brooke is ONE!!!

My littlest girl is a one-year-old.  I cannot believe it.  How did the year go by so fast?  She is ever developing, ever learning new skills, new ways to be funny, things to climb on, things to get in, and ways to be mischievous.  She’s funny and hangry and loves her sister and entertaining people in general.  She’s got a great happy-go-lucky personality, smiles often, makes laser focused eye contact, and is still generally laid back during the day.  

I have so many great memories from the year.  She’s already traveled to see family in Michigan and Arizona.  She’s been to Hawaii, although she won’t ever remember that.  She’s gone swimming a few times and to the beach.  She’s been to the playground way more than Reese did at the age of one.  She’s walking everywhere now and is now learning to shut doors on me.  She can also shut the baby gate but then realizes quickly that backfires on her as she can’t open it back up.  She loves to climb up into the learning tower to watch what is going on in the kitchen, be closer to the snacks, or color on the counter.  She loves to head bop and dance.  She thinks booty dancing is great fun.  

For Brooke’s first birthday we had a party for her with her friends, Reese’s friends, and our friends at Optimism Brewing, because what better place to have a first birthday party than a brewery.  But, they have a kids play area that is enclosed, tons of space, and let you bring in your own food.  Promptly after getting back from my work trip to North Carolina, I got a pork roast in the crock pot to make a boat load of carnitas.  We brought fixings for a taco bar, rice and beans, and chips and dips.  We ordered a cake for her and the group from Safeway.  Theme was black and gold and we had balloons and party décor and a few table games for the bigger kids to keep them entertained. I think we had about 30 or so people that came out for the night and it was great to see so many friends at once. Brooke had a great time. Reese had a great time until I think she was overloaded with stimulation and needed a minute to sit in the corner of the brewery by herself for a bit before she was all good. We were there for the full three hours and headed home with minimal clean up to do.

Brooke is thoroughly content now that her squad is back. First her dad left, then her mom left her, then our nanny was out for a bit at the end of last week and we had a backup nanny for two half days. She seems super enthusiastic now that we are all back together. Give her two weeks of normalcy and then we are off to Michigan!

We love our little baby Brooke and were so happy that we got to celebrate her yesterday.



Thankful and Tired

What a long past few weeks it has seemed for me. First, Bryan was gone for the work week, then he was back but we think got the flu and was down and out for another week, then Thanksgiving and solo cooking the dinner, and then gearing up for my work trip to North Carolina, for which I leave tomorrow. I’ve had a LOT of time with the girls and I’m honestly needing this short break before the holiday season is in full swing. It will be a whirlwind of a trip for me, a long distance to go for only about 48 hours but it will be good for me to see the headquarters and meet everyone else in the engineering department for United Rentals.

So rewind, yes, Bryan got sick after his trip for work. He started feeling bad about two days post travel and hours after a Reese and Lottie sleepover at our house. He spent all of last week home from work and in bed but fortunately by the time Thanksgiving dinner came around he felt better, good enough to sit at the table with us, but still severly lacking his normal energy. We had beautiful weather on Thanksgiving day and I had prepped most of the items ahead of time so I took the girls for a walk down to the park for a little bit before Sarah and Lottie came over and we had our big meal.

For Thanksgiving dinner this year I stuck to the basics; turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, sautéed green beans, and dressing. I decided this year to break down the bird before roasting it as I wanted to try sous viding the breast like I do with chicken and so I did that for the boneless skin-on breast and roasted the remaining parts in the oven. Everything got the same dry brine the day before. I really liked this method both for flavor and tenderness but also for not having to carve a smoking hot turkey out of the oven. The breast came out super moist and tender and the seasoning was great. I also had the whole carcass to make a stock, which I did the day before right after breaking down the turkey. The stock for the dressing and gravy came out great too and the meal was good enough in my book. I really miss having a collaborative Friendsgiving or more people to share the cooking with but it was still actually enjoyable. Sarah brought over wine and a delicious apple pie that we finished the night off a la mode style.

The rest of the weekend was pretty quiet to be honest. Friday was a super rainy day so I stole away with Reese during Brooke’s nap time to go down the street to get our nails done. This was relaxing and fun to do together and Reese’s came out with rainbow glitter and flower details on her big toes and thumbs. The rest of the day was spent at home. Saturday was at least gymnastics day for Reese so she was able to get out of the house after appeasing us by watching the whole UM vs. OSU game. Victory! Brooke took a good nap during this time so I stayed home with her to do some cleaning/studying. And Sunday was a beautiful morning so we left early in the morning to go to the Seattle Center Playground for some time. The slides were still a bit wet early in the morning so we played at the playground for a short time before going for a walk to marvel at the fountain for a bit and just enjoy the sunshine. We headed back home to drop off the girls with our nanny Katie because Bryan and I had tickets to the Seahawks vs. Raiders game. We needed some time just to us and I needed some time apart from the girls. It was a great game, going all the way to overtime, but unfortunately the Seahawks let a player break free and run the full length of the field for a touchdown which lost the game for us. We headed back home, picking up barbeque from Woodshop on our way to finish out the weekend.

This week we have unexpectedly been greeted with some snow. Nothing is sticking but it’s made for an adventure nonetheless. I couldn’t bike the girls Tuesday morning so we bussed/walked instead and I think Brooke found the snow super interesting. Then Tuesday night the power went out for some unknown reason. Fortunately we had already had dinner and our baths so we were just sitting down to a movie when it happened. However, when the power came back on, around 9 pm, I think it surprised Brooke and this led us to having a midnight party in Brooke’s bed where she did not think it should be sleep time and I spent three hours awake trying to get her asleep. I’m quite tired this morning and have an early wake up tomorrow to head to the airport so it is an early bedtime for me tonight.

I’ll be gone the next two nights and then back Saturday night, just in time to celebrate Brooke’s 1st birthday party both at home and out with friends. I cannot believe she is already a year old, although I can because her personality has really been coming out lately. Off to Greensboro for me. Good luck to Bryan and the girls!



Been So Long

It’s been Halloween since I’ve posted, aside from writing about Brooke. How is time going so fast?!? This month is flying by. It’s been mostly good, sunny cool fall weather, the biking to school is going well, play dates and birthday parties scattered about, and the falling trees are taking their precious time this year! Can’t complain. Let’s take a look at the past few weeks…

After the excitement of trick or treating, losing the functionality of our furnace, spending two nights in a hotel downtown during that time (prescheduled for a mystery shop), Reese had a sleepover at Lottie’s which was a wonderful treat for us and we celebrated Brooke’s friends Maya’s 1st birthday. The very following weekend Bryan and I got to get all dressed up to attend the FareStart Gala as guests and we had a wonderful time. So much good time was had that we bought a whiskey package in the silent auction, donated for the fund a student campaign and then spent the next paying for the good fun. Thankfully it was a slow Monday for the both of us.

Last week was a nice and normal week, mostly playing at home and watching movies after school but ended the week with a lot of Reese time. Thursday was her last day of school for the week thanks to Veteran’s Day. She had an early pick up followed by a lantern walk with her school friends that we all met back up at the school once dark. For Veteran’s Day Sarah and I shared sitting duties to help each other out. I dropped Reese off to play with Lottie in the morning and then returned around 1 pm to take both girls to the park before returning back home to do face painting and play at our house. We had Sarah over for dinner that night with steaks made by Bryan.

We spent the weekend together mostly and getting outside when we could in the sunshine. Reese had another birthday party for a school friend on Saturday and then Sunday we all checked out a new to us park on Mercer Island. Bryan packed his bag Sunday night to head out for his work trip early Monday morning, leaving us girls to ourselves.

The week went fairly well I’d have to say but we all missed Bryan a lot. I took the girls to the library to exchange books and then to Cutter’s Crabhouse to use one last remaining birthday coupon on Monday night. The girls did so well the whole night out with me. Tuesday we stayed at home playing, taking a long bubble bath and watching movies. Wednesday we met up with Sarah and Lottie after school at the park but it got dark quick so we went back to their apartment to hang out for a bit before heading home. And Thursday we had to pick up Brooke at Maya’s so it was already quite late when we returned from pickups. I also got my flu and Covid booster on Thursday and was feeling a little groggy.

I’ve started studying for the S.E. so I quite literally have no free time starting now. But I’m still filling up the calendar with all of the fun holiday events around town. We don’t have many plans this weekend, which is great, and will fully allow us to welcome Bryan back home.



11 Months!!

One month shy of one years old. Oh my! She is on the go and moving around these days, full of smiles, and getting ever more interesting.

  • She’s taken steps. Several of them actually. And really, as of this weekend, she is walking. She’s great at standing up and sitting back down without assistance. I don’t know if it is because she is so tiny or what but it really cracks me up seeing her walk around.
  • Aside from her few days being down with some type of virus, she’s a great eater still. She has discovered love for mandarins, suckers, popsicles, and most anything that comes off of her sister’s plate.
  • She still loves the playground and has protested on a few occasions when she was not ready to go home from one.
  • She does downward dog a lot and thinks it is funny to stick her booty in the air. She also finds her sister’s booty funny.
  • She participated in her first trick or treating. She was in awe of the lights, sights and sounds and ended the night with one twizzler to try.
  • She’s been fitted for her bike helmet and we now officially have the two-seater bike trailer set up and ready to go for the girl’s morning commutes. We used it on Friday last week and to and from gymnastics on Saturday while the car was being serviced.
  • She’s still a big fan of bath time, especially when Reese participates as well. She also loves brushing her teeth while in the bath. The girl is obsessed with toothbrushes.
  • Still not a great sleeper and still loves to cuddle with someone in bed.
  • Essentially has gotten herself down to one nap a day. Occasional she has two naps but it’s not super common.
  • She has taken an interest lately to our little Fisher Price car toy set, the play kitchen, and the standing noise making table.
  • She’s started the phase of getting into cabinets and bins and taking everything out of them.
  • She has also started putting things into compartments. She has helped me pick up all of the crayons and put them in a bag a few times and she will put various items in bowls or cups.
  • Despite liking food she has occasionally explored dropping food or silverware on the floor too and seeing what happens. Not nearly as much as Reese did but still interested.
  • She will get into toilets if the seat is not closed. She is also starting to explore unrolling the toilet paper rolls.

She’s still just the best and a fun-loving baby who loves her family and being social, being outdoors and on the go. I’m glad she got over the sickness because none of that was fun and I cannot believe we are only a month away from her turning one!



Halloween Happiness

We’ve tried to participate in Halloween to the fullest this year for Reese as she’s said it’s her favorite holiday a few times. We had a few things canceled un us, thus, not surprisingly we have not carved our three pumpkins. Maybe I’ll disect it for pumpkin seeds post-Halloween. We watched Hocus Pocus 1 and 2 a few times as Reese got really into witches and actually didn’t find it scary, which surprised me. We painted a spider web on a weekend day at home while Brooke napped. And we went to the Garfield Community Center Halloween Carnival on Friday to check it out, play some carnival games, and get some candy. This was all leading up to the big event.

On Monday, Reese’s classmates all wore pajamas to school (costumes weren’t allowed), but at 4:30 PM all congregated and changed into their costumes to hit the streets as a group in the very popular and uber decked out Volunteer Park neighborhood. We spent nearly three hours collecting Halloween candy and legit could not bring any more with us on foot. Reese had the best of time being a fairy princess with giant wings and going door to door with all of her good friends from school and even a few of her friends who don’t attend Interlaken. Bryan and I had a great time and I think Brooke was just in awe, but dressed up super cute as a unicorn, per Reese’s request.

Aside from Halloween and treats we’ve had some good family time recently. Bryan and I finally got out on a date night, first one since my parents left. We walked down the street to check out the new Kamp Social House and had a couple fantastic cocktails and some good food. This is thanks to that new date night swap we’ve started, hallelujah for not always having to pay for a sitter! We had Sarah and Lottie over for dinner for the first time in a long time. We ordered delivery from Dumpling the Noodle for their Seattle Restaurant Week deal with a few types of dumplings, fried sweet and spicy chicken, beef noodles, and other goodies.

On Saturday we had a good time getting out of the house with first all of us watching Reese at gymnastics. She’s fun to watch in class now! We then kept driving south to play at Gene Coulon Park where they have an exceptional playground next to the lake. It was one of our last sunny days for a while and about 60 degrees so we played at the park for a while before walking to Red Robin to get an early dinner (and free birthday dinner) and catch the start of the Michigan vs. MSU game (sorry Mom). We watched the rest of the game at home, although I truthfully didn’t catch much of it at all.

Sunday was a cabin fever type day. We spent the morning and afternoon at home playing a lot of imagination games, matching games, reading books, etc. Finally, Sunday night rolled around and I volunteered for the first time in forever for FareStart at what they called the James Beard dinner which was a prize back from their 2019 Gala that was canceled twice due to the pandemic. It was fun getting back in this type of roll and with some people that I know fairly well. I got to help some really noteworthy local chefs serve up their food, pour wine, and chit chat with some of the guests. Meanwhile, Bryan graciously took both girls over to Reese’s friend Lily’s house for her 4th birthday party where a small group got together to celebrate with fun party games, pizza and cake.

I can’t believe it is November and we are “falling back” this weekend. Where has the time gone? We have a few things going on this week and weekend but then aside from Bryan’s work trip coming up in a bit it’s fairly quiet for some time.



Busy Busy

As you might have picked up on, this month has been a busy one. There has just been so much that has gone on since the last time I posted, two weeks ago, and even more since when our visitors left at the beginning of the month. So I will try to quickly summarize the changes and updates in our lives as best as I can for this whirlwind of a month:

  • I have officially started my new job as a Senior Engineer with United Rentals. My start date was 10/17, last week, and I have been onboarding with them since then. Our engineering group is small in a large organization so there are a lot of required trainings and processes that I’ve had to do before getting started with actual work. Such a change from my first day at MJA when I was immediately given my first work task. I think that this change is the change I needed though with a much quicker work pace, looking to expand my licensure in states, Canadian provinces, and ultimately with the Structural Engineering (S.E.) licensure.
  • My official last day of work at MJA was 10/13. I had one day off, my birthday, and that was a short day with the nanny coming in late and Reese’s school getting out early. It was bittersweet to say goodbye to my colleagues and everyone treated me so nicely. They had a goodbye happy hour for me at the old classic Owl n Thistle Pub and at least 15 people came out for that, brought me flowers from the Market and a card, gave a few toasts, and it was just a lovely evening spent with people I’ve known for a decade and my first real ties to Seattle. Everyone seems to think I will come back, and maybe, but definitely need to step a way for a bit too.
  • This happy hour came literally an hour after a day-long interview process with Amazon. It was such a draining experience, this interview, and it left me conflicted on whether I even wanted that job. Fortunately, or unfortunately, whose to say, I didn’t have to make the difficult decision so I was able to quickly change my mindset to jumping into my new role at UR quickly. I don’t wish I could take back my time from that day but I would take back the agony and stress that Amazon caused for the weeks of the process leading up to that interview.
  • We celebrated my birthday on my day. In my short day off I was able to get my freebie mega coffee from Starbucks, got my nails done, and got a massage thanks to a gift certificate from Bryan from almost two years ago, lol. All of that was glorious and the sun was shining and we spent the evening first playing at the Seattle Center playground, climbing the huge ropes, and then walking to get some of the best Lebanese food in the city at Tanoor and the girls were on great behavior in the restaurant, mostly calmly eating their fresh baked pita bread. We finished the night with a delicious peanut butter chocolate cake that Bryan made for me.
  • We attended our friend’s second annual Oktoberfest party and it was again a blast although this year we didn’t participate in many of the competitions because 1. it was super smoky outside to a very unhealthy level and 2. the Mariners were on and the game ended up being a long drawn out scoreless saga that kept a lot of people glued to the tube. But we still enjoyed the brats and other Bavarian dishes, beer, and friends. Reese and Eliana in particular had a great time with one another.
  • Bryan went to the Seahawks game with David and we pulled out a victory. He was going to doublehead that with a chance to see the Mariners in would-be game 4 but there didn’t end up being a game 4.
  • Reese has now been a month in her new gymnastics class for the kids 4 and up and loves it and her new coach Lindsey. She’s learning a bunch of new stuff and loves to wear her leotards these days.
  • We’ve had two birthday parties in the park already for Reese’s friends this month and we have two more in the next few weeks. Reese really seems to have some strong friendships building with those in her class which is great to see but we are also trying to tamper down the clique-ness we see with them.
  • Weather has officially transitioned to fall very quickly. Last week we still were having temperatures in the 80s which is super odd for us here in mid October but that also meant we were still without rain and the smoke got to unbearable levels. We had to keep indoors for a few days and then just like that we got rain last Friday and the smoke cleared but we are now facing chances of rain nearly everyday and temps in the low 50s. I can’t find Reese’s rain jacket and realized after two outings that Brooke needs a bunch more things on her body before taking her out now…shoes included.
  • Brooke is starting to walk. She’s taking handfuls of steps here and there. She got a bad virus that started last Wednesday night, just shortly after she started walking, and that had her down and out for a few days. I had to have her on me for Thursday and Friday while I worked and she slept and nights were rough gos as she couldn’t really breath out of her nose and that kept waking her up. Her fever passed on Friday and she started feeling better as the weekend went on.
  • We’ve spent two glorious weekend days at Seward Park, after not having been in a very long time, and that’s been wonderful. It’s a nostalgic park for us and Reese loves the cool playground with zipline and Bryan and I will take turns going for runs to get some exercise in.
  • We’ve officially started up a date night swap with our friends up the street. We were supposed to have our turn out on Thursday but with Brooke sick we had to cancel but we do plan on going out tomorrow night. It’s Restaurant Week so good timing, however, we aren’t confident that Brooke is easily put down if she wakes up in the middle of the night right now so we may opt for something nearby instead.
  • We spent a day at Remlinger Farms with Sarah and Lottie on one of those warm weekend days earlier in the month. Reese and Lottie rode ponies and all of the rides. We got their delicious soft and fresh pumpkin donuts that are so good. We waited in long lines because it was extremely busy. And we officially wore the girls out and they both fell asleep on the ride home. We also got three pumpkins from the patch, although I’m the only one that ever goes out to get the pumpkins.

I think that covers most everything from the month. We have several events coming up in the next few weeks so it will surely be another busy month for us but I think with more fun events this go around.



We’ve Hit 10 Months!

Little Miss Brooke is already in the double digits, month-wise, and every day is developing more personality, more resiliency, and more fun. We had nearly two weeks of visitors during this month and she handled all of the changes in people and places well. She’s really getting into exploring playgrounds and is becoming a more independent player around the house, which is always nice. Let’s take a look at the rest of the updates.

  • She has been loving going down slides these days, usually on her sister’s lap. She still loves swings too.
  • She has been working on going up stairs and is definitely getting better at it.
  • She likes to make eye contact with strangers.
  • She has now been to her first two sporting events; a football game and a baseball game.
  • Has started to use snack cups and loves to drink out of Reese’s cups with straws. Still reaches for a beer or glass of wine when in reach.
  • Has started doing a few funny hand movements that were taught by her dad and likes to “pop” her lips.
  • Still not a great sleeper and still loves to cuddle with someone in bed.
  • Trying strongly to get herself down to one nap a day but still definitely needs two.
  • She’s pulling up and cruising all over these days. Now she is trying to surmount small obstacles like mom or dad’s legs or pillows.
  • Has a fierce grip and is just all around grabby. I feel like I am assaulted every night at bedtime by her pinches and grabs of the hair, face, and neck.
  • She loves to carry an object around with her. Favorite objects are toothbrushes, Reese socks, and these two costume necklaces. Carries them all of the time.
  • Has a nice little bop dance she does that cracks me up.
  • Brooke finds Reese’s booty dancing funny and she also greatly enjoys washing her splash in the bath tub.
  • Fortunately I feel like the girls bed time and waking hours is slowly starting to come together. Brooke is usually asleep around 8 and we can usually start to attempt bedtime with Reese around 8:30. Brooke usually wakes up around 7 am and Reese between 7:30-8 (I usually have to wake her up at 7:30 to get her ready for school).
  • Has discovered that she absolutely loves popsicles and suckers. Will fight her sister for them.

She’s a wonderful little girl to have around and has really started to play more independently, particularly at night. She has been exploring the living room and kitchen cabinets, where we are most frequently, and has started to become a bit of a tornado on how much she can pull out in a small amount of time. She is go with the flow most of the time but will protest when something is not right. From her 9 month appointment this morning Brooke weighs in at 16.5 lbs (13%) and 29″ (76%).