Monday, June 30, 2014

Sydney's June POTD

Sweetly sleeping
I love this age when my babies are always happy to see me!
I adore this swimsuit! The ruffles, the bows, the girly pink color...fat rolls never looked so cute! Brent's about to take her to the hotel pool for some swimming.
Sydney's cousin Harley was so cute with her!
Right now I'm obsessed with Sydney's legs and feet. Her thighs are nice and chubby with a couple of rolls that taper down to her tiny little baby feet. She's at the age where she uses them to express herself almost more than her face or voice. When she sees I'm about to get her out of her Pack N Play, she kicks her legs out excitedly. When she's sick of being strapped in her car seat, she stretches them out straight and rubs her heels together. When she's examining something, her feet will flex and turn and her toes will either spread out or curl under. She hasn't yet lost her natural instincts to try and grip things with her toes and when I hold her by her torso to stand on my lap, her little toes ever so slightly dig into my things. I love kissing her little toes! When she's just hanging out and she catches me watching her, she'll grab one of her feet and bring it to her mouth (sometimes sucking on her own toes) as if she's suddenly so very shy and her feet will protect her. It seems like once babies become toddlers, all that expression is drained from the feet as they undergo the hammering we give them (especially toddlers!). Feet are never the same.

As odd as it may sound, I'm determined to enjoy Sydney's feet as much as I can before she starts walking!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Coming Home

Did I mention my flight home was a red eye in first class? I got to stretch out in a nice, big seat with nothing in front of me but bulkhead. I had a flight attendant filling my drink as soon as it was half-empty, offering me warm nuts, and letting me know when the cookies would finish baking. I love to travel, but I really love to travel first class! As we descended into Chicago and were in-between layers of clouds, it suddenly occurred to me what a privilege it is to experience flight. For thousands of years the vast majority of people on this planet have been stuck to the earth. Even now, most people will live their lives without ever being on an airplane.

Maybe it was a bit of exhaustion, but the thought humbled me and I became incredibly grateful for the beautiful scenes passing by my window.
Chicago came into view and I was spoiled for another view (although it's a horrible picture). Within minutes we were again on the ground.

Seriously though, it's a miracle, isn't it?

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Kerry Park and the Space Needle

After church, we went to Kerry Park which isn't really a park so much as an overlook. I loved the plaque that explained it was given to the city of Seattle "So that all who stop here may enjoy this view." What a lovely thought! 

And what a lovely view!

 Whitney really loved showing off Seattle to me.

I know I've already mentioned it, but she and Tim are such an adorable couple!

Before leaving town, I had to see the Space Needle.

Can you believe this is the size of one of the motors that spins the restaurant on the top? Doesn't it seem a tad... small?

I loved the view of Mt. Rainier from the top. It's been a while since I've seen any mountains!

This is an overhead view of the nearby Experience Music Project building. Frank Gehry designed it to look like a smashed guitar in honor of Jimi Hendrix.

Mom has a thing about wearing sunglasses in pictures- she thinks it looks totally inappropriate and covers up the face too much. Seattle is actually incredibly bright, even when it's cloudy! I don't know if it's the high latitude or what, but I was pretty much living in my sunglasses the whole time I was there. In honor of Mom, Whitney and I had Tim take a picture of us sans sunglasses.
We stopped by Cafe Rio and aside from my own dinner, I got a burrito for Brent. They'd had more than one request like that and packaged it up specially for the plane ride. I packed my suitcase and we played bananagrams before heading to the airport. As I sat on the plane I started tearing up, then I started crying and before I knew it, I was sobbing. Whitney and Tim were so wonderful to me and saying goodbye was just hard. I'm so grateful they sacrificed their time and money to show me a good time and of course I'm so grateful to Brent for being so eager to make this trip happen for me.

It was just what I needed.

Saturday, June 21, 2014


Whitney and Tim have been into CrossFit for a couple of years and even though I'm slowly getting my post-baby body back into shape, I wanted to try a class. I knew I'd be horrible at it, but if I was ever going to try it, I wanted Whitney to be there. I survived! I wasn't even the worst one in the class! This is a picture of Whitney and Tim with the instructor Jordan:

Whitney has considered getting her certification and becoming a trainer which I wholeheartedly support! She was fantastic as she worked with me through the class. She was tough but encouraging and made me feel like I was amazing at CrossFit. We stopped by a CrossFit competition afterwards and wow, those people are insane! I had flashbacks of the worst parts of high school phys ed as I watched them do burpees.

Initially we'd planned to do the underground tour but there was a marathon backing up traffic for miles. I was totally fine scratching that plan. After cleaning up, we went to the park near their apartment and ran into the Fremont Summer Solstice Parade.

What started years ago as a lone streaker on a bike, has morphed into a tradition of people covering themselves in body paint and biking the parade route nude. Because of the body paint, it's considered "art" and not indecent exposure. Here we were, at the top of a hill with a lovely view of Puget Sound when these guys just rode up on their bikes. Totally nude. The parents teaching their little girl to fly a kite didn't even blink. A little later, I saw families who actually brought little kids to watch the parade!
You know that story about the emperor not having any clothes? Now I know why no one wanted to say anything... everyone acted like it was completely normal. Many of the cyclists shouted, "It's summer! Take off your clothes" to the spectators. Whitney and Tim just shook their heads and said, "This is sooo Seattle." I have to admit I saw a lot of interesting body art. I saw a lot... of... stuff... Clothes are SUCH a great idea people!!! Weather-wise, it was truly a lovely day.

The CrossFit class had definitely drained me of energy, so we wound our way through the crowd to Blue Moon Burger. Seattle doesn't just have recycling, they have obsessive-compulsive recycling:

I went to bed early while Whitney and Tim went out to toast the sun. They seemed to completely understand that this tired mama just wanted to sleep.
And oh how I slept!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Pike Place Market

 This was at the tippy top of my must-see list while I was in town and Whitney and Tim were happy to oblige. Tim scored an amazing parking space right next to the market. Yes it's crowded and yes it's touristy but there's a reason it's a draw. As you can see, I was super happy to be there:

Now with attitude:

The original Starbucks had a line out the door. Ironically, there's another Starbucks a block away with absolutely no line. This is the only chain store I really saw in Seattle. Whitney explained they are very into buying local and supporting the Mom and Pop Shops. No fast food chains, no Walmart, not even a CVS in sight!

This made me nostalgic for my last mission companion, Laney, who introduced me to crumpets. Her mother had sent her a package of 6 and when I told her I'd never tried one, she toasted it up for me, slathered it in butter and insisted I have it all to myself. Not only did I love the taste, but I was touched by her generosity. She'd been saving that little package of crumpets, only eating one on a special occasion and she happily gave one to me. I can't remember exactly what kind of crumpet I ordered at this shop, but it was delicious and I insisted Whitney and Tim have some since they had never tried one.

I tried to catch some video of the famous tossing of the fish but I was always at the wrong angle or wasn't fast enough. These guys definitely make the atmosphere at Pike Place Market.

Across from this was a donut place. When Tim offered them to me, he warned me they might be too hot. They had picked them out of the oil, dusted them with sugar and put them right in the sack. He was right. The hot oil was too much for my delicate fingers and I had to wait a bit. It was well worth the wait though!

I wanted to see the gum wall. It looks so pretty in pictures with all those colors. For some reason I didn't consider how it would gross me out once I was there. Still, I had to make my contribution:

Aren't the pictures pretty with all those colors?

Whitney added an "icicle" of her own:

Seeing all the gum that didn't quite stick piled at the bottom of the wall gave me the heebie jeebies. Still, I'm glad I went!

When Reagan heard I was at Pike Place Market, she insisted I get a peach from Sosio's. Whitney pointed out the cute name...
...which the shopkeeper overheard. With a sly smile, he flipped the sign around:

One bite and I knew how they got their name. It was sweet and juicy and I actually got completely full... off of a PEACH! If I'm ever in Seattle again, I'm getting a crate of these.

The panoply of produce along with the clever signs was one of my favorite parts of the market. Like these "lil' bitty fingerling" potatoes and the "teenie weenie red potatoes". 

These pictures are making me hungry again... As fabulous as the produce was, by far the most stunning sight was the flowers. Oh the flowers! Now I know how Dorothy felt stepping out of her sepia-colored world into the land of Oz. The brilliant shades and variety were simply stunning.

 I mean they were gorgeous! And a huge bouquet would set you back all of $5.

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful!!!
 I've never even seen these bell-shaped flowers before!

 Not far from the market is this windblown umbrella which Whitney tells me spins when it rains.
 We stopped at World Market where I was able to pick up some little treats for the girls... okay and for myself. I think World Market is the last place on earth selling coconut-filled Ritter Sport. Then while Tim retrieved the car, Whitney took me to an overlook to enjoy a view of Puget Sound.
Oh how I love that little sister of mine!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Hello Seattle!

Ever since Whitney moved to Seattle for her job with Microsoft, I've been wanting to make a visit. Just for fun, I was checking flight availability a few weeks ago. I was thrilled to discover with my frequent flier miles, I was able to book a long weekend for all of $5. The timing couldn't have been more perfect! As much as I love my girls, I desperately needed a break. However, seeing them like this just before we headed to the airport made me miss them before we even said goodbye:

There was all kinds of healing in the huge hug Whitney gave me at the airport. Oh how I love my sistow!!! Even though she's the youngest, I knew immediately she was going to pamper me and spoil me and do everything in her power to ensure I had a fantastic visit.

Whitney and Tim took me right over to this restaurant which had this amazing chalk drawing in the entrance. The food was delicious and filling and just perfect since I hadn't eaten anything all day.
We talked about grown up things over breakfast. I almost felt the synapses in my brain firing as they wiped the kiddie-speak cobwebs away. Not once did I have to wipe a face or clean up a mess or ask anyone to put their pants back on. Whitney and Tim seemed to value my opinion! I even got to eat my entire meal while it was still hot. Heaven I tell you, heaven. 

Whitney and Tim live near the Freemont Bridge which has a troll living under it. In one of his hands is an actual VW bug. At first I was sure I was seeing things, but when I popped up there for a picture I saw that yes indeed, it's an actual CAR under his hand!

Whitney whisked me away to the HUGE Sephora downtown. Oh how I needed that girl time! We were there for so long the salespeople stopped asking if they could help us. Whitney shared lots of her beauty secrets and turned me on to the Bite agave lip mask. She also gave me free reign over all her cosmetics, brushes and hair tools while I was in town.
Isn't she a doll?
This trip to Sephora earned me V.I.B status. I may have a problem when the card holder out and out states I have a "beauty addiction." Still, it was fun to browse, swatch, sample, ask for samples, get a second opinion and at checkout be told to "have a flawless day."

Whitney suggested we get sushi and I was 100% on board. Brent's not the biggest fan so I rarely get to eat sushi but never in my life had I tried "crunchy sushi" which was AMAZING!!! I mean, it was amazing. Despite his protests, I'm going to need to find a good sushi restaurant that serves this and drag Brent to it because the taste was unbelievable.
I haven't spent much time with Tim and it was lovely getting to know him better and hearing about his relationship with my sister. They're such a cute couple and let me tell you, they are going places.