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 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 café. 




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 exercising 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 any strength training, 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!

January 2, 2015

Baby's First Christmas

(Happy Day tbd as with Halloween and Thanksgiving).  
This year's decor was much the same as last year, just some slightly different configurations.


The stockings were new, (beautiful in their simplicity I thought, from Serena and Lily), and the brass initials to go with them (from West Elm).



This gorgeous pink poinsettia came from the grocery. It seems like somehow they manage to keep them interesting year after year with a new color or type of variegation or the like. 
A friend got this outfit for Ida when she was born and I must say, it made her the perfect elf to her Daddy's Santa when it came time to unwrap presents. She managed to maintain this poker face the entire time we were opening our gifts, so not really sure what she made of her first Christmas morning. Other than I believe she was trying to figure out a way to get those ruffles into her mouth, her first choice as to what to do with just about everything these days.  
Her loot included the two little stuffies to either side of her noggin which one of Santa's elves finished making for her late on Christmas Eve out of a couple of her outgrown onesies that were just too cute to give up. 
After baby was in bed Mommy and Daddy sat down to a lovely Christmas dinner of prime rib, oyster dressing, mashed potatoes and roasted veggies washed down with a Washington cab.
And for dessert a Bûche de Noël from Bakery Nouveau, here in West Seattle. Decadent to the max.  

Farm Fresh



 We managed an outing to a Christmas tree farm to cut our own tree this year.
To Carnation Tree Farm to be exact, about 45 minutes west of Seattle. The farm is on the National Register and includes this lovely old Victorian as well as a beautiful barn, that I didn't get a great shot of but is there off in the distance below. It now houses the gift shop. 

Family portrait with our selection there behind us.
It's been quite a few years since I've been to a farm to get a tree. For some reason I was remembering the cutting process as far more labor intensive than it really is. Turns out it took all of about a minute and a half.

And off we went. And it managed to stay tied down the whole way home despite our being novices at securing a tree to our roof. A successful adventure indeed.

December 28, 2014

Three Down, One to Go


fall/winter holidays that is. (I'll figure out what number happy days they were later.) Only two represented here. Christmas will get its own post. 
It was really important to me to make the Peanut a costume for her first Halloween. I finally decided to go as classic as it gets and whip up a bed sheet ghost using one of her crib sheets that didn't fit the mattress very well. It was a no-sew affair, I just used iron-on transfer paper for the eyes and mouth and did  a sort-of drawstring neck so that it would fit over her noggin but still stay on. She wasn't too sure about the whole thing, as is obvious above. I couldn't manage to get one shot where you can actually see the costume and where she is not flailing and wailing. Honestly, I love that picture that picture though. I think it captures the gap between real life and staged for social media-perfect nicely.
Then there was Thanksgiving. We decided not to fly with baby quite this early on, so instead of being back in Illinois for Thanksgiving and Christmas, we celebrated at home as a family of three. 
We managed to make a proper Thanksgiving dinner, though between talking to family on the phone/video chat and keeping up with required baby maintenance, we ate about three hours later than planned. Delayed dinner time aside, for a first attempt at cooking a turkey, it came out quite well, as did all the sides. And baby slept while we ate, so we actually got to enjoy the meal. As Greg's t-shirt indicates, it was not a formal affair, still it felt good to mark the "firsts" this season, even if doing so in this particular instance only directly benefited Mommy and Daddy. :)