Every year my company gets President’s Day off and every year I am unsure how to spend it. A few times we have been in Whistler or elsewhere skiing and that’s good, but others it is just me in the house. Of course this year I knew exactly how I was going to be spending it, studying. And that is what I did. All day on Monday I rotated through a cycle of studying for about two hours at a time, breaking for something to eat or drink, and tidying up around the house. It was quiet and it was lonely but at least I got to study in the warmth of the sunlight pouring in. I finally got out of the house around 5 pm to go to the tempo cycle class that I now greatly enjoy and by the time I was back Bryan was home and we had dinner of slow cooker pulled chicken sandwiches with coleslaw while watching the Olympics.
The real weekend was not much different but still enjoyable with my beau. Bryan had men’s group Saturday morning while I studied but once he was home I stopped studying. We decided to put together our new bedside nightstands which took a surprising amount of time to build but is something we both love to do…for me Ikea furniture are a version of adult legos. After assembling the furniture I went for a walk to the post office in the sun (but wind!!) while Bryan got ready to go for a run through the Arboretum. Saturday night we indulged in picking up Lil Woody’s burgers, fries and a chocolate milkshake for their 3rd week of Seattle Burger Month. We’ve only tried two of the four week’s burgers but both have been unique and super delicious. This one by John Sundstrum from Lark (and James Beard winner) was umami on a bun with yuzu aioli, watercress, maitake mushrooms with a pork burger.
Sunday morning started with church and another Subway run on the way home as we hurried to catch the end of the amazing Michigan victory over 8th ranked OSU. I face-timed the family for a while and then Bryan and I took advantage of the surprise outpouring of sunshine to go for a walk through the Arboretum. It was chilly so we bundled up and the wind counteracted the warmth of the sun but we enjoyed a nice long walk. Once home we warmed up by the fire, I studied for a bit, and then we finished making a Thai dinner of chicken satay and fried rice.
Rather uneventful weekend but still restful and peaceful. I am so looking forward to having the freedom to do what I want during my weekends and evenings instead of studying. I think it is just starting to wear on me and I still have about 6 weeks or so left. Ugh.
Tuesday I spent several hours after work studying until I couldn’t take it anymore that the lights in the Municipal Tower kept going off on me every hour and headed to meet Bryan at Capital Grille for a very filling indulgent steak dinner thanks to mystery shopping. We each had a steak, sides and split the warm chocolate cake with cherries and ice cream to finish the night. Certainly had meat sweats Tuesday night.
Wednesday I had a dentist appointment followed by rushing to get to my girls group at church so NO studying! It was my night off…that was still rather filled with rushing but I passed the dentist appointment with flying colors and the 40 minutes of yoga and girl talk afterwards put me in a zen state of mind heading home in the winterland of snow that was falling. I expected that a chef from Orcas Island, who is currently one of the top rising star chefs in the country, would draw a sold-out restaurant for FareStart at GCN on Thursday but apparently his unique menu posted to the website did not seal the deal. We had very low numbers at the restaurant meaning an early night for us.
And today is joyfully Friday and Bryan and I don’t have much on the calendar again. I don’t even care what is on the calendar anymore I just want to get to April 15th.
We had our first pretty eventful weekend honestly since December. We took Friday night to chill at home with a good pasta dinner and movie in between FareStart night and plans Saturday and Sunday.
Saturday was a double-hitter. Bryan and I had purchased tickets to the Seattle Rep’s Special Club 20/30 performance of the latest play, Two Trains Running, midday. The ticket prices were cheap and included free drinks and snacks in their VIP room before the show and during intermission. It’s good to be young in the realm of live theater. The play had a long running time of three hours with one intermission so immediately afterwards was our scheduled Girls Night, the first of the year. Ewelina graciously offered to host in her apartment, while I brought all of the supplies for candle-making and others chipped in with some essential oils. It was my idea to make pumpkin spice candles back in November but the baking night was a little too full to cram them in. The girls still wanted to make them though so we had a large selection of scents to choose from to make our candles smell wonderful. It was a fun night catching up with just the women and enjoying each others potluck dishes. Some of the boys, in the meantime, enjoyed several drinks out and at David’s, along with a Mexican dinner out.
Seattle Rep Play
Part of the girls squad
Some of the finished products
Sunday morning began like many with church. After a month spent on “Margin” we have moved on to “The Centrality of Christ” in the book of Colossians. This week was the occasional table talk at church which means the message is short with time to discuss questions among a table. I think everyone gets nervous and worried when they see the tables set up like this but I’ve enjoyed them every time. We get to know members of the church a whole let better and we get to talk to one another about meaningful things. We actually exchanged numbers with one of the couples, one of the girls from my women’s group and her husband, to get together another time. After church we picked up some soups for lunch from Met Market before heading home. I managed to squeeze in some studying Sunday afternoon after none on Saturday. We had another night of plans though that cut that short. We had reservations at the new-to-us Ethan Stowell restaurant Marine Hardware for their Lobster Hip Hop night they do on occasion. For $55 we were treated to a full lobster and tons of delicious sides, hip hop tunes, cookies for dessert and a really good time. Here was the menu:
Coleslaw Old Bay Fries Goat Cheese Crostini with tomato jam Roasted Baby Beets with avocado, grapefruit, and pickled shallot Little Gem Lettuce with red wine vinaigrette, radish, and walnuts
Whole Lobster with drawn butter and lemons
I really enjoyed this experience. We had a great date night out, we enjoyed delicious food and went to a new restaurant. This also met my standards for splurging a bit more on experiences (whether they be food or other) instead of just meals. Great fun! A great weekend with very little studying in…whoops. Oh well, hopefully I can get some in this week.
Wow, the time has flown. And not because I am having fun. On the contrary, there has been so freaking much to do and my brain is split a thousand different places…most often with “you need to be studying” on repeat, which doesn’t help anything. But January, as a month, seemed nice and long. Not usually my favorite month by any stretch of the imagination but I’m also needing time to go nice and slow for a few months, at least until April.
While the weather has been mostly wet we haven’t had that many chilly days and we have had some breaks in the rain that help keep me sane. It hasn’t been the worst weather this January, nor the best. Probably perfect for studying and working, which is more or less what both of us have been doing. Since being back we have had a little bit of fun in the form of:
Saw the Book of Mormon at the Paramount Theater and loved it!! Enjoyed a Mexican happy hour beforehand at Rioja with Mark and his girl.
I took a cycle class complements of Yelp and really liked it. Since then I have started ClassPass and have checked out two more spin classes and a barre class. I like the philosophy of ClassPass and being able to do a variety of workouts at a variety of places with a very flexible schedule.
Enjoyed a dinner at home with Billy and Ainsley.
Dined at Eastlake Bar and Grill twice with Groupons.
Enjoyed FareStart community dinner for the month of January and there have been many stellar meals at FareStart already in this new year for Guest Chef Night.
Have had fun and love our Google Home.
Obsessively watched the entire last season of Top Chef – Charleston, made bets on the winner, and now I owe Bryan two GOOD massages.
And watching Always Sunny in Philadelphia all over again because even though it is vain and vulgar it is quite possibly the most hilarious show on television and puts us in a good mood every single night.
I’ve been rowing for short stints when I can, mostly for a break in the study action to break up the doldrums.
We got sushi with the whole gang for Carina’s short return to Seattle this past Sunday. Everyone (except Mark) I hadn’t seen since well before Christmas so it was great to catch up with everyone all at once. Sushi was meh.
We had our first Novelty Hill/Januik wine club member party of the year and like usual we collected our wine and enjoyed the always delicious dinner feasting.
And we have been cooking as much as we can at home, per one of my goals for “18 for 2018” to come shortly in the next post. My goal was 20 dinners at home each month but with FareStart every week and other occasions with friends or fun that are just not right to turn down I have modified it to 20 meals at home, which works because we do have brunch at home most weekends when we could (and sometimes do) go out for brunch. And we have been doing pretty good with this with only a few quick dinners scattered in there. We have been doing a lot of the cooking together to get Bryan some recipes under his belt. We started off the year with a trio of meals from Home Chef delivery service, we made an awesome and simple hot sausage and fennel pasta, callilloo stew, beef stroganoff, chicken paprikash, moussaka, steak and potatoes, Thai turkey lettuce wraps, and others and they have all been delicious.
As you can see, for an entire month we haven’t been that active. Largely that is due to my study schedule (which isn’t all that strict but just needs to happen) and that Bryan was pretty darn sick for a good long time. He even had to take two days off of work because of how awful he felt. But being stuck at home isn’t too bad with good company. At some point we are going to start going stir crazy though. Fortunately, we do have some exciting performances and dinners out ahead in our future.
As the holidays are approaching it seems like everyone is getting sick. We are no exception, as we both came down with sore throats, achy bodies, and sniffles over the weekend and the entire office and city seems to be as well. But the festivities go on as do we, sickness and all. And we still had a good weekend and a good time drinking and eating more than we should given the circumstances and staying out late.
Friday night, Bryan and I headed over to Bellevue on the eastside for some laughs at the Parlor Comedy Club, seeing Harland Williams who was definitely one of those pick on the audience type comedians so thankfully we had a bottle of champagne to enjoy the antagonizing. We also visit Bellevue leaving us with a funny feeling and grateful to make it back to Seattle.
Saturday morning is when the true suffering began. I woke up hardly able to swallow or talk. Very worried about my ability to attend the Christmas Party that night, I downed several cups of Throat Coat tea before heading to my hair appointment to get my hair lightened again. Once Saturday night came I had conned myself into thinking I was feeling better and we both got dressed up for the party and headed to Georgetown to the Museum of Flight. Our company’s party was in the “shuttle room” so along with the usual dinner and drinks we got to tour the inside of the simulation shuttles used to train every single astronaut who has been in space. That exhibit was pretty cool but overall the entertainment and space was a little odd. The food must have been good because both Bryan and I left with a horribly full stomach. Our sickness hit us just before 11 pm when we both became completely tired and headed home.
Right before we scrammed.
Inside the simulator
Many buttons and compartments
Sunday morning came and with it lots of rain and grayness. We attended a great Christmas-catered service at church, then picked up some items for the gifts we were making, and headed home to settle in for an important Seahawks game. After a good brunch, the bad game began and it was horrible and wasn’t getting any better. We turned it off at the beginning of the 4th quarter because it was upsetting us both and began the task of making our gifts. It was a team effort and we were happy with the outcome. We made a good dinner to enjoy at home in front of our Christmas tree, lazily ending a good weekend.
This is the month for celebrating how thankful we are for friends, family, God, food, peace, etc. And that we are. But I’m also not thankful for rain, football losses, and more rain. I’m a little worried that it’s going to rain the whole time we are in Kauai. No one told me that was the rainiest of the islands…during the rainy season. Oh well, I guess if there are at least some sun breaks and warm weather I’ll be okay. There will still be food, family and fun.
This week leading up to Hawaii has done pretty much nothing but rain, except for Saturday thankfully where we actually caught some sun and Bryan and I were able to enjoy our run around Seward Park in pleasant weather. 24 hours later I was playing soccer in essentially a downpour, but we won 2-0 with one assist by me. In addition to activity we watched a lot of football, enjoyed the holiday harvest bash at Novelty Hill for the last wine party of the year, went to church, and made a few good meals at home.
Neither of us are packed so that will be the main priority tonight with a very, very early departure in the morning to go to Hawaii! We have excursions booked and a few meals planned for our condo and I’m beyond excited. Even if it does rain everyday…
Thankfully the week of scare and frights has passed. Neither Bryan nor I do well with scary…anything. We had Halloween to thank for some of it and passed our nights this last week watching Season 2 of the awesomely scary Stranger Things on Netflix. And yes, we were both scared to death on multiple occasions.
Aside from me dressing up as a hero for my office’s annual Halloween potluck, we had a rather uneventful Halloween. And much of the week was the usual. I continue to go to barre class twice a week and Bryan has jumped right back into rowing and weights…perfect timing as this month is apparently Rowvember. We have been able to enjoy more meals at home, possibly even setting a record for number of times this week. I’ve had my girl’s nights on Wednesday and Bryan’s men’s mornings on Saturday. We got in our long run around Seward Park on Saturday in the rain and cold weather. And we had another fun friend and food filled night at FareStart although Bryan was absent this past week because of a class he was taking at work.
This weekend was mostly football and Stranger Things, food and fall cleaning. I honestly can’t think of that much else that was accomplished and that is fine by me. We even had an extra hour to enjoy all of this fall laziness. I am already counting down the days until we leave for Kauai. It seems as that number decreases so do the temperatures here in Seattle. Oh, and yeah, it has snowed here already twice. I don’t even think it has snowed in Michigan yet!
And in a blink of an eye October has vanished. Very quickly. It’s been well over a week since my last post and quite a bit has happened. All good, none bad, rejoice!
We continue to have weekends at home which is nice. Last weekend was just Bryan and I more or less and more relaxing time than anything. It was pouring rain for the vast majority of the weekend. We got dinner just the two of us at Din Tai Fung, watched football, went to Billy and Val’s orchestra concert, went to church, and had a good brunch at Poquitos.
We needed a low key weekend because last week was rather eventful for us. I had my monthly SEAW dinner meeting on a fascinating but mentally taxing topic (after a 9 hour day of work) by a professor from the University of Texas. I managed to get to barre class twice and ran once during the week in the glorious fall sunshine. I had my weekly girls meeting on Wednesday after a great (and free birthday) dinner at the nearby Red Robin on the waterfront by work. Meanwhile, Bryan went to Stephen and Ewelina’s for dinner with a few friends after a long row. And FareStart was it’s usual grand self while staying quite late talking with our FareStart friends with our departures seemingly getting later and later.
This weekend was really a fantastic weekend! I hurried home to get dinner made for Bryan’s coworker Mark and his son who I haven’t seen for well over a year. I was frantic in preparations but then dinner was conversationally easy and relaxing. Saturday morning Bryan and I both watched our teams play the early game in our PJs before setting out in the absolutely gorgeous weather for our favorite lap around Seward Park. Saturday night I hosted the first (of hopefully many) girls night in while Bryan hung out with the guys for their night “off”. Five of us girls enjoyed baking two really delicious, and new to us, fall desserts, using the abundance of pears and apples I had on hand, talking, eating a yummy fall dinner, and then settling in with multiple bottles of wine to watch Magic Mike and eat our sweet creations. I had a great time and Bryan did as well; grilling steaks, drinking beer and whiskey, hot tubbing and going out to the bar to drink more and play video games.
My night did me in less than Bryan’s and Sunday morning came around but Bryan didn’t start out on the up and up. Instead of going to church this week we headed over to Randy’s condo overlooking Shilshole for his annual donut party. It was good to see Marika and Randy, the donuts were good, the coffee was needed, and before long the sun was trying to come out and Bryan and I were on our way to Centurylink to go to the Seahawks vs. Texans game. The game started fast and furious and kept up that way the whole game. The Seahawks scored way more than usual and let up way more than usual. It was an exciting game from start to finish. The sun came out full force in the second quarter and I was in high heaven soaking up the sun, yelling my lungs out and thoroughly enjoying the crowd and atmosphere. Russell Wilson proved himself again with shear seconds left and the Seahawks pulled out the victory at the very end. We were electrified leaving the stadium and headed to get food at the new Halal Guys in Pioneer Square (the same group as the legendary street trucks in NYC) and enjoyed our gyro platters and chicken sandwiches before heading home. Both of us were exhausted but the epic marathon of a World Series game kept us up.
We are ready
Nosebleeds but still enjoyable
Such a great weekend…friends, food, and finally all of our teams with a win!!