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Work Trip

This past week was a week filled with a lot changes for me, Bryan, Reese and Grandma Sue. While I was still at work for the week, my husband was on a work trip to South Carolina and my mom was on a different kind of work trip; watching our little girl (it’s work!). Reese was experiencing a lot of changes and was a bear about it at some times but still her sweet self at others. Mom and I had some good quality time just the two of us in the evenings after she was in bed but that little girl can wear you out as well!

Fortunately I had one weekend day to spend completely with Mom and Reese. We were going to play soccer but opted to stay in our pjs until about noon, which was a good decision. We then walked to get lunch at the new Tacos Chukis by our house and then continued the walk through Capitol Hill. I also said goodbyes to Stephan and Ewelina that night before they left Seattle for good and we took a quick visit to REI to look at down jackets for Mom.

Then I had to work and that was a big bummer. While I worked Mom and Reese played. Reese is active and a handful at times and I think my mom learned that quickly but she did a great job taking care of Reese! They went for walks in the sunshine, and played on the mat, read books, napped (not my mom), and sang songs. Then I tried to get off as early as I could, which was still not early enough. Thankfully we had great weather all week long which made it easier to get out of the house with her.

Monday night we took the opportunity to have a nice dinner for less at the picturesque Palisade’s restaurant in the marina, taking in the sunset and views by the water, and dined on delicious bisque, salad, steelhead, and a chocolate flourless cake. Tuesday and Wednesday we made dinners at home which was fun to cook, us three girls. Reese was in the carrier and enjoyed that. Mom and I did a face mask one night after baby girl was down for the night.

But being down for the night was a loose term. She was up every hour for a few days. After a sleepless night on Tuesday, she was a bit crabby on Wednesday right from the get-go. I had decided to work from home already and we did make it to the baby story time at the library which Reese loved. After the baby story time we took a long walk along Lake Washington. Then we had trouble that night. After dinner and bath time, we couldn’t get Reese to nurse or go down. She got overtired and SCREAMED! We took her for a drive, which she fell asleep instantly but once home started screaming again. Fortunately after some time she just collapsed on me. She was much better Thursday and Friday and we diagnosed the issue as teething.

By the end of the week Reese and Grandma were good friends and share a lot of cute little things with each other. We made it to FareStart for dinner and it was the first time for Reese to sit along the balcony upstairs and she could not get enough of that. She thought the clapping at graduation was solely for her and smiled every time. While Reese observed the goings on, Mom and I had a great seafood dinner from Duke’s Chowder House of a bacon wrapped prawn and scallop with a pear and blue cheese salad, cod fish tacos and a cookie/brownie served hot with Lopez Island ice cream (my favorite in the PNW).

And to culminate the week, we celebrated Friday afternoon with happy hour at one of my favorite restaurants, Heartwood Provisions, literally a stone’s throw from my office. We first showed off Reese to the office before settling into our cocktails and slew of delicious happy hour dishes. It was quite the spread and knowing both the executive chef and sous chef from my ties to FareStart, our drinks were on the house. We headed back home to catch some basketball and wait for Bryan’s plane to land. Reese and I went to go pick up her daddy who was very excited to see the little girl, who was sound asleep.

Grandma really got the hang of things…

It was sad to have to say goodbye to my mom and Reese’s grandma Saturday morning. She was in a stellar mood and showing off all of the tricks she learned from Grandma Sue this week. I really appreciated having my mom’s company for the week and her resilience, strength and support during Reese’s unexpectedly difficult times. It would have been a lot different week without her and I don’t think Reese will forget Grandma this time around…we have one of my best friend’s weddings to attend on a short trip to Michigan mid-March.

Thank you for the help this week Mom!

Chelsea

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Our Sweet Little Girl

Reese is just the best. We have such a great time with her while she is awake, are relieved that she goes to bed as easy as she does at night, and we sit and look at videos and photos of her even after she goes to bed. She is really fun and enjoyable these days, super playful, and still all smiles. Both of us are enamored with her and it makes our lives feel so much more fulfilled. It’s alright that she still isn’t sleeping through the night….for now.

Work is work and fairly busy right now and I find myself working an hour or so from home in the evenings just so I can leave earlier in the day to spend more time with Reese. I absolutely love seeing how excited she is when I get home though and she gives me these big ol’ open mouth kisses on the lips and chins and it cracks me up. She is a little clingy at the moment, it’s not that bad because she is content and easy to play with so long as she is on our lap or right next to us, but she definitely does perceive distance now and understands when Mom and Dad are there and not there, or even in the same room or not in the same room.

We had another great but low key weekend that was a good mix of relaxation, exercise, dining out, eating in, and one date night. Bryan and I dropped Reese off with Anne and Phillip for our third Seattle Rep play of the year and enjoyed some time away. This was after an enormous happy hour feast at one of our favorite restaurants in the city, Soi, a northern Thai eatery in Capitol Hill. We were hungry after swapping walking with Reese in the stroller and running shifts in the Arboretum.

We elected not to go to church on Sunday and instead caught up on some sleep, some laundry, some football and I got back on the soccer field and am still paying for that in soreness. Cardio-wise, I wasn’t as bad as I expected to be but coordination and skill, Reese probably could have done better. Still, it was so fun to be back out there playing and the weather was great for a game of soccer.

This week has been fairly relaxed in terms of schedule and we have had the opportunity to have a few dinners at home; which is now a lot more fun now that Reese can sit in her high chair at the table.

So happy to sit at the table

Bryan and I each got a workout in at home; which Reese finds fascinating. And instead of either of us volunteering at FareStart this week we were offered to dine in, two for the price of one, so we took them up on their offer. We’ve had great family time this week right before Bryan leaves for his week-long work trip and my mom comes to visit.

Looking forward to spending some one-on-one time with Mom, allow her to spend some quality time with Reese, and looking forward to several dry weather days.

Chelsea

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Back to the Grind

I’m back to full time and everything that that entails. And not just me…it was Bryan’s first full week back to work last week in a long time as well. We had our new nanny start last week and we both love her so far! Reese does as well and is cheery and happy when she sees her in the morning (but still happy to see me when I get home from work too!). While we started a few things we also finished our PEPs group with our last meeting, with a presentation on financial planning with babies and then the last hour spent socializing over a potluck of food and figuring out how to keep the group going. And we said goodbye to another Seahawk’s season with their wild card loss to the Cowboys last Saturday night.

We added to our babysitting rotation with our neighbor Lauren, who watched Reese sleep on Sunday night when Bryan and I dined with nine friends from FareStart at the James Beard award-winning restaurant, Junebaby. Our group of foodies went with the family tasting menu and were stuffed to the gills by the end of the night of Southern delicacies.

Reese and I dined into FareStart for another night while Bryan worked the night away; this time we had company of our friend’s Sarah and her daughter Lottie.

And I am trying to get back into the groove of working out now that I do have more energy and some time away from baby girl. My company is running in the 8k Viaduct Run at the beginning of February so some coworkers have started to run a time or two each week and I have joined on a few short and slow runs. I am also trying to get back into my Fitnessblender routine, leaving me sore several days in a row.

As should be expected, we have had a few bumps in the road including our great nanny coming under the weather for a few days and Reese getting her four month shots but overall things have been really great.

I don’t want shots or this other nanny, Mom.

Reese loves attention and has been getting lots of it everywhere we go. At restaurants, church, and especially at this past weekend’s baby shower for Carina. She got lots of it! Both of us had a good time at the shower, although I would say I came home more exhausted than she did as I was co-hosting this one with Polly.

But it was a wonderful weekend and Saturday was a wonderful day spent just the three of us and we went on a very long walk along the lake and Seward Park in the sunshine. We have started this year feeling very blessed and all those feel good feelings definitely make the work days go by faster!

Chelsea

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19 for 2019

My new list of self-improvement and wishes are hot off the press and this is what I’m looking to achieve to make 2019 a great year (note: this is just for me, none of these items are associated with Reese really).

  1. Run a 10k in an 8:30 pace.
  2. Break 140 watts in my 45-minute cycle class.
  3. Read 10 books.
  4. Learn to play a song on the guitar.
  5. Make 6 girls events happen.
  6. Be able to do 5 pull ups/chin ups (if not at once, at least in the same day).
  7. Visit or spend time with Chad.
  8. Do 10 hikes.
  9. Go on a vacation just the three of us (at least a total of 5 nights throughout the year).
  10. Visit 5 new restaurants to try.
  11. Baby proof and de-clutter the house.
  12. Go to a concert.
  13. Re-learn our lindy hop dance.
  14. Get in one self-care day/night per month.
  15. Get in one date day/night per month.
  16. Limit social media and cell phone usage to 30 minutes every night after 5 pm.
  17. Become more involved with our church beyond attendance
  18. Get Reese a passport
  19. Eat dinner at the table at least once a week.

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Ringing in 2019

I can’t say we partied the night away this New Year’s Eve…because we didn’t, but we did ring in the new year hopeful and excited for what the new year might bring. Pretty much every day, but New Year’s Eve, since getting home from Arizona has been enjoyable and we have gotten out with Reese quite a few times.

We’ve needed our fair share of naps too.

Bryan and Reese met me for a dumpling lunch in the International District on Thursday, we dined at Fat’s Chicken and Waffles Friday night (and the owner gave us dinner on the house as she had promised when we were there and I was in labor), we made 4-month birthday pancakes on Saturday morning (that didn’t save the Wolverines in their bowl game) and then got dinner at Eastlake Bar and Grill that night, and then walked to Harvest Vine for dinner Sunday night for another amazing meal and wine at our favorite restaurant.

Monday night was a challenge to stay awake and we rang in the New Year with a dinner at home and a bottle of bubbly that we toasted to at the Eastern time zone “midnight” and then were later woken in the night to fireworks and celebration from our partying neighbors. Definitely felt a bit lame but woke up feeling refreshed and full of energy.

We spent New Year’s Day in a great way. After beginning the year with a workout at home we got dressed and went over to our friend Anita’s for brunch and then we all set out for a long walk in the surprisingly nice weather. Tuesday night we had fellow Longhorn’s alums, Anne and Phillip (and Rosalie) to watch the Texas vs. Georgia bowl game that blew my mind with Texas’ victory. It was a very social day but one that I felt quite productive with and even managed to sort through Reese’s clothes to update it to all her 6-month clothes and cleaned up around the house.

As we start the New Year we are also starting a new nanny for Reese and a new modified “full time” position for me at work. I’m also contemplating my goals and wishes for the new year and will be drafting those in the next week or so but Bryan and I had a great conversation while dining at Harvest Vine remembering and analyzing the past several months and looking to the future for what is to come and how to be the best parents, spouses, friends, sons, daughters, volunteers, and employees that we can be..without wearing ourselves out. I’m very much looking forward to the new year and think we are all starting out on a good foot!

Chelsea

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18 for 2018 – Conclusion

What a year 2018 was! It was an atypical year but it seems like most years these days are. We welcomed Reese into our lives and have already visited multiple corners of the country with her. We took two trips just the two of us as well to celebrate the last remaining days as a couple without a little one and we have both transitioned in a way into new roles at work, with me back as a working mom and leading a new project and Bryan taking a big step into a new position in management in a new factory location. I’d say this was a great year! With everything that has gone on, this is where I stand on my goals at year’s end:

  1. De-clutter the house and organize the garage.
    • We’ve done good in many areas…but this is an ongoing project, especially now that we are getting baby clothes and toys left and right. Next up is baby-proofing the house.
  2. Cook 20 meals at home every month.
    • Our average for October-December was 27 meals/month.  Pretty good!
  3. Revamp my wardrobe, making it easier to pick out outfits by getting rid of what I don’t like and storing away seasonal stuff. Focus on buying quality pieces in the store versus cheap items online.
    • Another ongoing project but I got rid of a lot of clothes recently. Now I need to go through jewelry and shoes.
  4. Visit my grandaddy.
    • Went in November and was so happy to see him!
  5. Buy a family car.
    • Bought a car…and we love it!
  6. Prepare with organization and structure for the SE exam. Prioritize this for the first three and a half months of the year.
    • Debating taking the exam this spring or next.
  7. Have fun learning guitar.
    • Might try to do this in the beginning of next year.  I will not forget about it!
  8. Make at least six girls nights happen.
    • We have had five girls nights and have one already planned for January…and they keep getting better and better.
  9. Maintain a healthy skin routine.
    • Have been doing an okay job with this.  Still keeping regimented with face wash, toner, serum and lotion.  I think my skin has been looking pretty good.
  10. Re-learn our lindy hop choreographed dance from the wedding.
    • Need to work on this one.
  11. Pack five picnics somewhere.
    • We only did two this year but that’s okay.
  12. Work through my devotional book and pray nightly with Bryan.
    • Definitely slipped on this.  It is something that I would like to get back into though.
  13. Read ten books for fun or learning.
    • I read five books this year. New goal for next year is ten.
  14. Swap reading/music/puzzles for TV one night a week.
    • This last quarter hasn’t been that easy because of being tired at night and/or traveling. Something to continue to strive toward for next year.  
  15. Cross stitch something.
    • Oh my goodness I just need a bit more thread and they are done. 
  16. Make at least two recipes from three different cookbooks.
    • I’ve experimented with recipes but still need to delve into the cookbooks.
  17. Travel to visit a friend.
    • We visited Grandaddy in November and family for Christmas. Next year there are a slew of trips for friends thanks to countless weddings we have to attend…and all of which I am in.
  18. Dine at five new-to-me restaurants.
    • We’ve done pretty good this year on trying a few new-to-us places.

I’m quite pleased with the outcome of the year.  Did I accomplish everything on my list? No. But I came pretty close despite the life-changing events that occurred this year.  I have no regrets for what we did or didn’t do this past year. It was a wonderful year but I think 2019 is going to be even better.

Chelsea

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Desert Christmas

For Reese’s first Christmas, we were celebrating with family in the hot and dry Phoenix desert. It wasn’t a winter wonderland in the slightest but a very good time seeing family and enjoying the sun and warm weather. We had six nights and days at our disposal and did a pretty good job enjoying our time.

We flew out of Seattle midday on Thursday, which was a nice reprieve from the early morning flights we have been having. Reese and I met Bryan at the airport via the bus and light rail and that was a breeze. Our flight was smooth sailing and Reese was again a great traveler on board. We got to Phoenix, ditched the jackets, and headed home for dinner of beef and vegetable stew, catching up and then trying to get some much needed rest.

Reese ready for Arizona!

Every night, except for the first, we gave Reese a bath in the kitchen sink and kept to our routine with her. She slept, more or less, like her usual self after the first night that we were there but was waking about an hour earlier than she does at home, we think due to the Phoenix sunshine. Friday we dined at Si Senor for some New Mexican cuisine and then showed off Reese to some of Lon and Trish’s friends at the nearby shopping complex. That night we visited the Phoenix Zoo for zoo lights and Reese was quite amazed and excited by all of the awesome lights.

Saturday, Bryan and I got out for a hike with Reese on South Mountain. Bryan and I had hiked at South Mountain once before but we started at a different spot and took a different trail this time. Reese was enjoying the Ergo, facing out and without the infant insert, for our nearly six-mile and 1,200 ft gain of hiking. She did pretty great, except for when the sun was in her eyes, and Bryan and I got in a good workout carrying her and an even heavier diaper bag with water and snacks.

On Sunday we spent the morning at church, again showing off cute little Reese before heading back home for a low key afternoon of lunch from Firehouse Subs and then Bryan and I walked around the green belt. We had clam chowder for dinner (in honor of my family’s Christmas Eve rituals) and grasshopper pie.

Monday was Christmas Eve and we had a nice and slow morning of banana pancakes, bacon and ham. Bryan and I took Reese to downtown Chandler to see the tumblewood Christmas tree and browse some of the shops. We walked around Bryan’s high school and barely made it back in time to get Reese into her Christmas dress and us to church for the 4 pm Christmas Eve service. This was a short but sweet service and Reese quite enjoyed the “Silent Night” candles. We headed home for the Miller’s tradition of a Christmas Eve spaghetti dinner. We made sure to get to bed before Santa arrived.

And Christmas Day was our last full day in Chandler and began like a Christmas should…with presents. Reese enjoyed the unwrapping of the presents and did a little too well for herself (we almost had to pay bag fees for the extra weight). Bryan and I did quite well ourselves and were very thankful for gifts and the greatest blessing of the year: Reese. After presents we had cinnamon rolls and then Bryan and I did a first since almost a year ago; we went on a run together. It was a slow, short and painful run but one that was needed, still enjoyable, and made us feel a whole lot better afterwards. We came back sweaty and ready to help with a few side dishes for the grand Christmas dinner of prime rib, potatoes, green beans, salad and rolls. It was all very delicious and left us all feeling full and happy.

After several days we had a lot of old and new toys and clothes to pack up. We managed to get everything into our two checked bags, took Reese for one last walk around the green belt to stretch our legs before our travels and then set out for a lunch of sandwiches at Flancer’s before heading to the airport. Our flight was at 4:35 pm and we arrived in Seattle right around 7 pm. We got home just before 8 pm, decided against a bath for Reese and got her right into bed pretty quick. We also managed to get our recycling out to the curb and unpacked a fair amount before heading to bed ourselves.

It’s good to be home after having such a great week with family. There is still a lot to unpack and organize but that’s not happening until the weekend (I’m at work) but Mr. Mom is at home with our little girl for these two days and has gotten quite a bit done himself. Bryan and Reese also were able to meet me for lunch on Thursday for a warming lunch of dumplings in the International District.

How Daddy does daycare.

Looking forward to the weekend to get our house back in order. Now we only have four more flight trips planned before the end of April (help me!). I’ll be looking forward to staying put for a while after that I’m 100% sure.

Chelsea