March 9, 2015

Piper

We suddenly and unexpectedly found ourselves forced to say goodbye to our sweet Piper two weeks ago Saturday. In a matter of days, practically hours, the overenthusiastic dog she'd been her entire life faded away. She physically couldn't be herself any more. It wasn't fair to make her struggle to try. She had just turned 11 on the 14th. We thought we had more time with her. We thought she'd be coming back to Ohio with us. We thought that Ida would have a chance to really get to know her first doggy, she was just beginning to show interest in her. 
I know she had a good life, she lived and was loved. But I know I took her for granted. I would cash in the clean floor that I spent far too much time trying to keep free of her fur for just one more walk. I wish there had been time for one more of all her favorite things. One more tossed ball to chase down, one more spaghetti noodle to slurp up. But all I can do is try to find peace in the good memories and the fact that it all happened so quickly that there wasn't much time for suffering on her part or agonizing over the decision on ours.

Rest in Peace, Pup.

February 10, 2015

Breakfast, Blooms and Dinner

Happy Day 61
At about three weeks before due date, we were really savoring the final weekends before parenthood. And by that I mean frantically trying to get everything ready for baby. But we did take some time for relaxation too. In the form of vanilla custard stuffed french toast topped with peaches to kick off this Sunday.
Then a trip to the farmers market for dahlias. I remember thinking this would be a perfect bouquet to have on the table when bringing a baby girl home, but seeing as how we weren't quite ready for her yet, glad she didn't pick up on those brain waves.
And to conclude the day, a lovely seasonal dinner on the patio.

February 3, 2015

Last Supper

Happy Day 60
One of our last nice dinners out before baby was a business one. Copperleaf Restaurant at Cedarbrook Lodge was the go-to for taking Greg's associates to during our time here. Just a couple minutes from Seatac, therefore very convenient to take out-of-towners to, it's tucked back in woods and feels a million miles away from the usual strip malls, chain hotels and so-so dining options that surround any major airport. The food is all regionally sourced, so it offers a taste of the PNW for those looking for an authentic Seattle dining experience. Knowing we weren't going to have many more chances at leisurely dining, we came a little early so we could sit in the bar and enjoy a little plate just the two and a 8/9 of us.

January 31, 2015

Mount Rainier

Happy Day 59
Our second National Park excursion during my Dad's visit was down to Mount Rainier.
Pictures can barely convey just how big this mountain is. All 14,000 feet and some change. It is still an incredible site to behold to this midwestern girl.
We drove in the southwest entrance and our first stop was Longmire to take in some classic NPS architecture. 

We then continued upward, stopping to take in the sights as we went.
Lots was easily accessible from the road, so again, as with our trip to Olympic National Park, not too much hiking was required of rotund moi.




Note the humans there in the middle for a sense of scale!
As the afternoon went on the top of the mountain became more and more shrouded in clouds, but still beautiful. 
We made it up to the Paradise Area then called it a day and turned around and headed back down.

Well I'm glad for the chances we had this past summer to get out and enjoy Washington's natural beauty. We thought we would have at least one more to go here before Greg got reassigned to a new role within his company, and we were already starting to make plans for this summer's PNW exploration. But just within the last couple of weeks we've learned that we'll be moving on much sooner. Within a couple of months we'll be back in Ohio, this time in Toledo where Greg's company is headquartered (we had our fingers crossed we'd be able to go back to Columbus but no such luck this time). So it's going to be a crazy spring and early summer. Though I will miss the beautiful surroundings, with baby it will be nice to not be quite so far from family and friends and we are also looking forward to being able to afford a bigger home to spread out in. We are definitely cramped in our little two bedroom bungalow. So here we go, let the next adventure begin! 

January 18, 2015

Happy (Birth)day

(Happy Day 58)
to me! Some sunflowers from the grocery I think I treated myself to, and a German chocolate cake from Bakery Nouveau from my loving husband. This was the end of July, the 30th to be exact and exactly one month before I would meet my little Peanut. I think Greg may have had one piece and my dad who was still visiting at the time doesn't like coconut, so most all of this went towards plumping up the little nine-pound-on-arrival bundle of joy. :) 

January 13, 2015

Port Angeles and Hurricane Ridge

Happy Day 57
While my Dad was visiting in late July/early August we did some National Park exploring. First, we drove out on the Olympic Peninsula to Port Angeles and then up to Hurricane Ridge within Olympic National Park. 
There's a nice waterfront walk in Port Angeles, so we strolled along there for a bit.
You can just make out Mount Baker above the horizon off the end of the pier.

We had lunch at Next Door Gastropub. Quite tasty sandwiches. Location-appropriate wall art.
The mountains rising up to the south of town, that's where we were headed next.
On our way up.
And only fifteen or twenty minutes and one very wind-y road after leaving town, incredible views every which way you look. Very accessible for those who aren't able to hike to get to scenery, like 8 month prego me at the time. We were there on a Sunday and it was busy, but not so crowded as to be annoying. There's a nice visitor center too, with facilities and a gift shop and a little cafĂ©. 




We did decide that the Peninsula would be better as an overnight than a day trip from Seattle. It was a pretty long day driving over and back again both, and we ran into a lot of traffic coming back on Sunday evening, all converging at the same three or four bottlenecks. But still, it was worth it to get to take this in!



January 6, 2015

Happy 2015

Hard to believe we're approaching a week in to the new year already! Our New Years Eve consisted of a bottle of prosecco and a PBS documentary. Pretty wild. Ida was up for a midnight snack and got in on the toast with a big bottle of milk. It was nice to all be together as a family to ring in the new year.
I didn't really make any hard and fast resolutions this year as my main focus will be watching an infant grow into a toddler and keeping her happy and healthy, and I know that will take most of my time and energy. Besides, I'm actually quite happy with the way things are at the moment. Of course there are some things I'd like to work on, but I've adopted a just-do-the-best-you-can, at-least-you-tried attitude and ditched the beat-yourself-up-when-things-don't-go-to-plan one.
I've already started working out as regularly as possible, doing a combination of yoga, running and strength training. I was lucky to emerge on this side of pregnancy with next to no weight to worry about, but weak as a kitten because I didn't keep up with exercise of any kind really, so I am mostly just trying to get stronger to make schlepping baby and all her gear to and fro a little easier. 
I could stand to clean up my diet some more, though I have been working on it despite the holidays. I have a serious baked-goods-for-breakfast habit at the moment. I'd like to start doing the baking myself to see to it that the goods I'm eating have some redeeming nutritional qualities.
I need to figure a way to get more sleep. Ida has been sleeping through the night practically since day one, but with breastfeeding/pumping comes the need to dispense milk almost round the clock and I've been using that as an excuse to stay up even later than I really need to. I am just a natural night owl which in turn makes me a living dead owl come 6:00 a.m. when well-rested baby is ready for breakfast.
I would like to actually blog in real time rather than on a six month or in some cases year or more delay, like I've been promising to get to the point of forever. These last few post about recent events have been so fun! There is actually an end in sight to the catch-up I've been doing. Hopefully I make it and then can keep things current.
I would like to get my Etsy shop truly back up and running. It sort of got put on the back burner when I got so busy with my day job. Task one is assembling a good photography setup.
I'd like to sew more and hopefully get better at it in the process.
I really want to actually finish a magazine or maybe even (dreaming big here) a book!
This summer I'd like to immerse myself in gardening and perhaps even try to learn more about flower farming. I realize now that should I decide to go back down that path or a similarly horticultural one again I probably ought to educate myself more first. There are so many great resources here, there's really hardly any better place to do so than the PNW. 
Finally I want to stop wasting so much time on the internet chasing rabbits and falling down rabbit holes. I'm definitely a compulsive email and social media checker and I'm constantly reading rubbish I don't really care about just because it popped up in front of my face. If I just put the phone down and walk away, maybe I'll achieve some of these other things. 
I think that's about it. Let's just say in 2015 E will be for effort! And now that it's 2:00 a.m., I should probably put my money where my mouth is and go to bed!