Tuesday, February 28, 2012


In late August (though not as late as originally planned since we had to reschedule due to a school start date), Sean and I spent a long weekend in the Pacific Northwest; a couple days in Seattle and a couple on Orcas Island. Sean spent some time in Seattle on business a couple years ago and has wanted to take me there ever since. It was the promise of orcas that finally convinced me to go, but I did enjoy the other things the area had to offer as well. On a side note: pictures of our whale watching tour will come in a later post as there are far too many to include in this epic.

As we drove away from the airport, we had a great view of the skyline (and the traffic we were caught in).


Our first stop was the Pike Place Market. I've seen the Pike Place Fish video, but had no idea what to expect when we actually stepped out of the car into this shopping-experience-like-no-other. 


We walked in and I was overwhelmed by all the people to see


and yummy food to eat.


The vast amount of seafood was amazing! From fish...


to things in shells...


to freezers full of everything under the sea.


The fresh fruit and veggies were impressive and included some I'd never seen before. Purple and yellow cauliflower?

There was a guy on the corner with a bird. I think his name is Phinneas...the bird, not the man.


Phinneas and his man did tricks...


and delighted little girls watching nearby.


I just love the joy you can see in her face.


Because we were there, we had to visit the original Starbucks (though I still prefer Caribou). The line for coffee was out the door and half way down the block, but lucky for us...


these two were keeping us entertained while we waited. They are folk musicians who play a variety of instruments, many simultaneously. He is playing a guitar with a metal part on it that acted as his percussion instrument. She is playing a saw with a bow. Yes, a saw. Later he pulled out a tin tub fashioned with a rope and broom handle and began to strum. The whole thing was amazing.


After some out-of-Seattle adventures (which you'll see later in this post), we headed back downtown to The Crab Pot where we shared a huge pot full of a variety of oceanic delights. They literally just dumped it all on the table, gave us some bibs...


and a couple mallets and let us work our way through it.


Now I love seafood, but I really appreciate the preparation done in the kitchen at Red Lobster before I see it on my plate. Sean had to peel most of my shrimp because I just couldn't look at their little black eyes as I ripped their heads off. I still can't look at this picture for too long without getting squeamish. Hopefully I haven't ruined a good shrimp scampi meal for those of you who have been sheltered by the kind chefs at your favorite seafood establishment.


As we moved out of the heart of downtown, we passed by many ship yards. I've never considered something this industrious to be beautiful, but the vibrance and color were unbelievable.


This next picture is brought to you by the weekend's blonde moment. As we explored what the area had to offer, I saw these flags all over...the state flag. Now you're probably thinking, Of course you did, it's the Washington state flag...because you're in Washington state...and of course it has a picture of George Washington on it...because it's Washington. If you were me, however, it would have taken you four days to make this connection and it wouldn't have been until you were taking the picture below that the lightbulb would go off (or is it on?).


When we had had enough of the city, we ventured north to a little town called Snoqualmie. There was  a beautiful Inn overlooking Snoqualmie Falls, 


a waterfall more than 100 feet higher than Niagara Falls according to the website. As with most of God's natural wonders, pictures don't do it justice.


In the town of Snoqualmie we visited a railway museum and experienced a little bit of history


as we saw what the railcars and wagons used to look like - a far cry from the graffitied railcars and semi trailers used today.


Then we visited this bridge (though I'm not exactly sure where it was - close to Snoqualmie I think) and walked along the trail for awhile.


Upon our return, we witnessed some people jumping off the bridge into the water below. For recreation, just to be clear. The picture below will give you a little perspective on how far the jump is.


This is what it looks like before you jump. See my feet? you have to climb over the fence and then walk out onto that beam and jump from there.


Apparently this is a common thing to do if you live and/or visit the area. But be careful if you get up there and chicken out because your cowardice (read "wisdom") may be broadcast to all subsequent visitors.


I was originally planning to cover our whole trip (with the exception of whale watching) in one blog post, but in the interest of brevity (ha!) I will stop here and leave our time on Orcas Island for another day.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Five Question Friday

Last week I had blog success, getting more than just 5QF posted. This week I had other demands in the evenings, which I classify as life success. You can always join Mama M's blog hop.

1. What's your favorite way to spend down time (alone or with a significant other)?

If I really want to just relax, my favorite thing to do is watch a movie or tv show with Sean. I may or may not be simultaneously scouring the internet for craft/decorating/DIY goodies. If it's just me, I like to find a project (some type of crafty thing) and do it start to finish. Most of the time I don't have enough "down time" to do something completely, however, so I end up with a lot of half finished projects.

2. Are you the kind of person that wants things more as soon as you know you can't have it?

I'm not sure I can distinguish between wanting something because I can't have it and really wanting it. I try really hard to evaluate my "cravings" before I make up my mind that I want something so if I discover I can't have it, I can't tell if I want it more because I can't have it or I just really wanted it in the first place.

3. If you were given $1000 to spend on yourself, what would you buy?

A year of house cleaning and laundry service. Hands down, my two least favorite things in the whole wide world.

4. Do you ever go out to eat by yourself?

Not if I can help it. If I have to eat by myself, I'd rather be sitting on my couch reading a book than in a restaurant looking lonely.

5. What company would you want to do a blog review for?

In the spirit of only saying something if I have something nice to say, I'm going to have to forfeit this question because I can't think of any company that has so impressed me that I could rave about its product/service.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Five Question Friday

I am so happy that I can say that this is not my only post this week. Life must be settling down a little. Believe me, I'm relishing in it because I know in about ten weeks (yep, only ten left!) our life is going to be crazier than ever before. But today, it's good. And it's also time for Five Question Friday. Play along with Mama M.

1. What do you do when you are really upset to calm yourself down?

Nothing purposeful, as in I don't have a specific method I choose every time. I think what helps, even though it's not a choice, is the fact that I'm a big baby that cries about everything. It's like all the emotion is wrapped up in my tears and when I cry the frustration, anger, etc. just flows out.

2. Do you go all out for V-day or is it just another day?

Just another day. Like I said last week, the obligatory nature of it just ruins it for me.

3. Are you more or less productive when Hubs is away?

Where are the children? And how long do I have? If I am child free for more than an hour I'm usually more productive. If I have less than an hour I take that time for myself rationalizing that I wouldn't really get much done anyway. If the children are with me, forget it. I'm lucky to get dishes from the counter to the dishwasher.

4. What is your favorite time of day and why?

Nap time. Enough said.

5. What is your go to karaoke song?

I really wish had an answer for this one. I would sing karaoke every day if I could do it in the comfort of my pajamas in the privacy of my own home (maybe it's good we don't have a karaoke machine). But it usually requires going out at night in real clothes on an evening with nothing else to do. Just doesn't happen. BUT...If I did sing karaoke, I would probably choose...um...well...[crickets]. There are just too many.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

So That You May Become Children of God

When Jack was about two we began working with him on memorizing Scripture. At one point, he knew more than twenty verses. Then Wesley came along, and shortly after Elise, and our memorizing was at an end. Since January we've been working with all three kids on Scripture memorization and they're all super excited every time we get the Scripture cards out.

The first verse we memorized was Philippians 2:14 & 15 (watch the video and you'll understand why we chose that one).

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Ballerina Dance

Only a girl with two big brothers finds it perfectly acceptable to combine ballet and a battle axe.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Five Question Friday

Another week has gone by without a post, but it's been one of those weeks where there is something going on every night so I'm giving myself a pass. Play long with Mama M's blog hop here.

1. How often do you shave your legs in the winter?

When I don't have a huge belly to reach around it's nearly as often as I do in the summer. However, the giant "obstacle" definitely lessens my motivation to do any bending, especially in a slippery place with a sharp object in hand.

2. Valentine's Day cards for your spouse: funny or romantic?

Neither. I'm probably going to step on some toes here, but I think cards are a waste of money and Valentine's day is the worst time to celebrate love. It just feels so obligatory, which automatically rips all the romance out. I like flowers and chocolates as much as the next gal, but I like them 10 times more on days that aren't in the middle of February.

3. What are you most looking forward to about spring?

This year? Our new babe. Seriously. Can't. Wait. Other years? Not needing to bundle up the kids every time we open the door.

4. What's your favorite way to pamper yourself?

I love going to the salon to get my hair done. It's a rare occurrence (probably too rare, I hate to admit), but when I go I get a cut and highlights which gives me time to sit under the warm dryer and read a book or magazine - a luxury I rarely take time for.

5. Does your tax return go into savings or do you spend it instantly?

Tax return? We're almost always in the opposite camp. In principal I'm glad we're not lending money to the government interest fee. In reality, I really don't like writing a check (or rather, that Sean has to write a check) in April.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Five Question Friday

Time once again for Mama M's blog hop.

1. What have you done recently that you are proud of?

Every year I say I'm going to read my Bible more and then I up the anti and "commit" to a read-the-Bible-in-a-year plan. And every year I fail in mid-January because I'm much too far behind to continue. This year I started listening to the Bible on my way to work and I am happy to say that I have stayed on track and once was even ahead of schedule. I know I'm not retaining as much because I'm not actually reading the text, but I found something that works with the stage of life I'm in so I'll take what I can get.

2. What is your favorite way to work out? Or if you don't workout, what are you wanting to try?

Before I had kids I really liked to run (much to my surprise). Since then, however, I appreciate any workout that has little time commitment and big impact. The only thing I've found like this is Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred. It's fast (25 minutes including a warm up and cool down) and has quick results.

3. If you knew your best friend was cheating on a spouse would you tell?


4. If you could afford a live-in maid or nanny, would you have one?

I wouldn't want someone to live with us, but I would love love love a regular housekeeper. Cleaning the house is one of my least favorite things to do. If I didn't have to clean another toilet or scrub another floor I wouldn't complain.

5. Do you stress out about birthdays (specifically the age) or do you enjoy them?

I don't stress out as much as I used to. I think it's because once I hit 30, I stopped keeping track of how old I actually am.