4.16.2015

rediscovering seattle: olympic sculpture park



since moving back to seattle over a year ago, we have had fun exploring and rediscovering the city. while there are many aspects of seattle that have remained the same, there have also been plenty of changes in the 7.5 years we were gone. and of course, this time we are back with a whole crew, so our experience of the emerald city feels new.

much like we did in cleveland, we enjoy spending our weekends going out and about as a family, and experiencing what the city has to offer (and it has to offer so much!). tourists in your own town, so to speak. i've noticed that there is a sense of appreciation and love that comes from really getting to know the city when we take the time to explore, whether it's a place we've been to many times, or a place we visit only a few times a year. familiar sights bring a taste of nostalgia, new discoveries bring excitement, but they all bring delight and a time to reconnect as a family.

we've had plenty of local adventures since we've moved back, and it's hard to pick just one, but i'm gonna have to so I can avoid an obscenely long post. I guess this means i'll have to do multiple posts for our other local adventures...maybe this will get me back to posting on a more regular basis!

*****
i'll start with one we just went to today.


the olympic sculpture park is an outdoor art "museum" of sorts, and is part of the seattle art museum. it is one of our family's favorite, go-to outdoor spaces in the city. it's easy to get to from our house, free (except for parking), outside, and offers some amazing views.  we've been here a lot since we've moved back (you'll notice some of the pictures are from a while ago). the park has quite a few permanent outdoor art displays that our kids have learned to recognize and remember by name.



occasionally, the park has also had temporary art installations. i think the temporary ones we've seen have all encouraged participation from people as part of the art itself.  those ones are our favorite.


on sunny days, we like to pack a lunch so that we can hang out for a good chunk of the day. there's a quiet, little pocket beach that's kind of tucked away from the main part of the park, and that's been our lunch spot lately. plus the kids have some time to play by the water (which the always love).


we have our usual route when we go here, mostly because we always park on the same street (sometimes we'll score free parking if we go early enough on a weekday, but we pretty much always pay for parking if we go on a weekend). i love that the kids easily settle into our regular route through the park. the familiarity and routine of the visit feels kind of comforting.




another reason we like this park is that we can still be down by the pier during tourist season, but avoid most of the crowd since many of the tourists stay closer to the piers offering the aquarium, the great wheel, and other more tourist-like attractions.  we kind of avoid that area for most of the summer, but it's not really a big deal since we live here.



we really appreciate finding outdoor spaces in the city that are fun and engaging for the whole family, and love the freedom this park has to offer for us.



3.27.2015

birthday week extravaganza v.4.2

my dearest husband,

i'm sorry that it has taken me a month to share with the world your week-long birthday celebration.  i know.  it's not fair that cash got his birthday post shortly after his actual birthday.  but a birthday week celebration takes a little bit more time to put together on in a post.  wouldn't you agree? [what's that? you're not buying that excuse? well, i think it's legit. ahem...] 

so, here's a recap of your annual birthday week extravaganza.  we really loved having you home for a whole week of adventuring and relaxing. we hope you enjoyed your birthday week, and glad that this year you were able to celebrate it in its entirety!  happy birthday, my love!

*****

we spent quite a bit of time by the water during the first half of the week, while aaron's mom was here visiting. it was the first the time we've seen her since our move back, and we were glad she was able to come out and hang with us for a bit.  the kids LOVE having visitors, and having gram around was so fun for them.


we took a chilly, morning visit to alki beach earlier in the week, which we totally under-dressed for.  it was so sunny, that i didn't even think about the wind being a chill factor.  it was a gorgeous, gorgeous day, but BRRRR!


then for aaron's actual birthday, we spent the day down by the pier visiting the aquarium followed by a very filling birthday lunch/dinner at the crab pot.  we even had ty play hookie for the day so he could join us in the birthday celebration.




day ended with the "happy birthday" song, after candles were lit on a pair of pecan pies.  that's right.  pecan pies in lieu of cake.  because it's his favorite pie, ever.  and because his mom was here, and she's a pro at making pecan pie.

photo credit: ty
the rest of the week was full of excursions (i'll just share some highlights here).  on the last full day aaron's mom was here, we planned trip to vashon, where we spent the morning at the point robinson lighthouse, and lunch at our favorite vashon island restaurant, the hardware store.  i'll have to save the lighthouse visit for a separate post, but this place was so awesome.  and the weather was perfectly pleasant.  the kids loved being by the water (big surprise there - please note sarcasm), and it was hard to pry them away.



another day, we spent the morning bumming around capitol hill, with lunch at one of our favorite spots in seattle, oddfellows cafe.  we love going there.  the food is tasty, and the people there friendly, and always make us feel welcome.  also, that place always brings a bit of nostalgia for me since i used to work and perform in the odfellows building back in the day.  it's fun being able to bring the kids to places where i used to frequent before they were born.  they're still at an age where they think it's pretty cool, and i get to pretend i'm young again.

and bonus!  we managed to squeeze in a date night (thanks, gram!) too.  we had the best time enjoying a delicious meal at another one of our favorite eating spots, and then ending it with a night cap, a photo booth sesh, and some people watching at the cha cha lounge.



we were having so much fun, we didn't want the week to end. it's always a treasure to have daddy home for a whole week, and we are so happy we can be a part of his birthday celebration.

2.24.2015

:: 48/12 ::

dear cashy,

how does it feel to be 4 years old?  do you remember mommy asking you that when you turned 4 almost 2 weeks ago?  you were so excited to have your birthday!

it's hard to imagine that it was only 4 years ago that we welcomed you into the world...from a little baby in diapers to a little boy in underwear.  what?!?  isn't it amazing how much you've changed, and how quickly time has passed? you are a sweet boy, and i'm secretly (well, i guess now it's not such a secret) still happy to have you crawl into bed and snuggle with me every once in a while.  i love your sweet snuggles.


we started your day making your birthday sign, and you enjoyed being able to help decorate it.  then, daddy took you to pick up doughnuts for birthday breakfast.  we're so glad you were willing to share them with us, because they were quite tasty!


we waited for daddy to come home before digging in to your birthday dinner of choice: barbeque meatballs and lemon green beans.  then it was on to presents while we waited for our food to digest and make room for dessert.


this year, instead of cupcakes, you opted for the birthday brownie cake, with a specific request for shaved coconut on top.  it was a fun challenge to figure out how to incorporate that into the cake, but i think you were pretty satisfied with the results.



we hope you had a super wonderful birthday, sweet boy. yes...boy. not baby. but you told me you'll always be my "baby cash." and even if someday you've become too big for those sweet snuggles with your mama, i know you'll still be my "baby cash." we are thankful for how you have blessed our family with your smile, your silliness, your laughter, and for just being you.


we love you so much, cashy!  happy birthday!

2.12.2015

happy new year! {oh, wait...}

when did it become 2015, and where have i been?  i'm not sure how i missed posting ANY updates since october of LAST year (not that you really care, right?).  what?!?

well, in true holiday fashion, as soon as halloween hits, we kind of get a little crazy busy.  aaron's work schedule gets ramped up, and we "say good-bye" to him until christmas.  meanwhile, i frantically try to finish up all my handmade gifts in time for christmas, which i've obviously failed at doing since i still have some to finish - 2 months later! fortunately, we break for school in december, otherwise i would be probably be curled up in a corner crying.

so, here's some highlights of the last 3 months. they were full but fun-filled (for the most part), and i don't think i'd have it any other way.

WARNING: this may be deemed as a lengthy post, so continue at your own risk!  at least there are photos...

we didn't return to KEXP for their halloween trick-or-treating event like they had last year, because they didn't have it at all.  but it worked out great, because we spent an awesome evening with friends trick-or-treating door to door.  i spent a lot of time on emma's costume this year, which i'm pretty sure attributed to my lack of blogging, and set me back on my holiday crafting.  but it was totally worth it, after seeing how happy she was with the result.


i spent much of november wrapping up term 1 with emma, and working on handmade goodies to send out to salty not sweet. i really need to do better with making things a little at a time each day, instead of waiting until the last minute to get a bunch of inventory done.  i guess i haven't changed much in the procrastination department!

we had a lovely thanksgiving at home with some friends.  the food was tasty, and the company was pretty great.  i'm so thankful for the relationships we are building here, and love that friends can be family, and family can be friends, and we're all mushed up and sharing life together.  it's a sweet thing.

december was spent in anticipation (advent) and in celebration (12 days of christmas).  oh, and more crafting...and baking. i have to be honest here for a minute and say that it's often hard for me to be joyful during the christmas season, because i don't really see it as a time to be together like how many people and the media make it out to be.  the kids and i probably see aaron the least during christmas time, because that's when he's the most busy (seriously...sometimes the kids won't see him for days, and i can count on one hand the number of nights we all get to share a meal together as a family in the days leading up to christmas).  but that's where i think carrying out a lot of our annual christmas traditions have helped me not be such a christmas grinch.  i do find joy when i'm reminded, thanks to our jesse tree, why christmas is worth rejoicing about.  i do find joy and re-focus on what's important, thanks to our st. nicholas day celebration. i do find joy, even when i'm up to my eyeballs in cookies and dirty laundry (not in the same place), and realize that it's more than just about me.

sorry.  i didn't mean to get sidetracked there.  and now, back to that baking thing...one of our annual christmas traditions is to make personalized name cookies (and additional treats) for the people at aaron's work.  we started this tradition back in cleveland, maybe 7 years ago, so this one's been going strong.  while i'm not sure how excited people get over getting personalized name cookies, i know i have fun decorating them!


a couple of our favorite pre-christmas activities included our 2nd annual visit to winterfest at the seattle center, and new this year (well, i guess it would be last year) was an evening spent downtown experiencing the holiday hustle and bustle.  and let me tell ya, it was hustling and bustling!  but i do love being in the city.  i just love the energy, liveliness and being in close proximity to so many cool things.

winterfest goes on for pretty much the whole month of december, and we go the first saturday in december, since that usually ends up being the last saturday aaron doesn't have to work until after christmas. they have performances scheduled at the seattle center armory, ice skating, and other winter-centric activities, but the highlight for our kids is always the winter village-complete with trains. we even did a short impromptu visit to the science center afterwards (perks of being a member).


and then the night downtown...that was totally last minute, and i'm so glad we decided to go! at first, i was a little worried that it was just going to be too busy, but it really wasn't that bad.  i mean, it was busier than normal (which is to be expected), but things were so festive!  plus it wasn't raining, so that definitely made the experience a little bit more enjoyable.  i think we're going to try to add this on to our annual christmas tradition.  the kids were in love with the winter village, and could have stayed there the whole time (thanks to coloring sheets and books).  we missed the snow inside pacific place, but managed to stop in the sheraton for their annual gingerbread display.  they were all very impressive!


we had a most wonderful, low-key christmas.  it was nice to be able to stay home, re-connect with each other, and really savor the day.


of course december would not be complete without our 2nd annual 12 days of christmas activities/celebration.  this year, i was a little more intentional about having something for each of the 12 days. not each day was necessarily carved in stone, but i did have a general idea of things we could do.  some days were simple, like lunch with friends, a playground visit, or making gingerbread houses.  other days, took a little more planning, like our annual trip to the bellevue botanical garden's light display, the monorail ride, aquarium day, and the pierogi party.  but it was so fun to be able to extend the christmas celebration to 11 more days, and have the opportunity to learn more about what the 12 days of christmas was all about.





and now we are almost caught up!  school started back up january, and we are getting into a pretty good groove.  gibson learned to read (yeah, yeah!), and it is opening up a whole new world for him.  much like his sister, we didn't really do much in the way pre-reading practice.  once he figured out the sound(s) each letter makes, and that different letter sounds put together make words, it was like watching a lightbulb turn on over his head. such a sweet reward for this mama to see his face light up with excitement when he reads through his BOB books all by himself!


emma is still in ballet, and she just added a drama class for this quarter through a local homeschool group/co-op.  wednesdays are now usually spent at the rec center, where emma takes her drama class, and the kids (and mama) get the opportunity to connect with other homeschoolers, play, craft, read...pretty much do a whole lot of stuff.  it's a pretty sweet community, and we really look forward to it every week.

other january highlights: 1. we finally made it to snoqualmie falls. it was grey. it was kinda cold. but it was amazing!  i will have to share details about that trip in another post.  lots of fun that day (and yes, there is slight sarcasm involved in the word fun). 2. we visited the science center for the 41st annual model train show event.  cash was in train heaven.  there were model trains, a little thomas train you can control yourself, playmobil display, and LEGOS.  oh, and i forgot to mention the people. so. many. people.  i am so thankful for a membership on days like these.  we got to skip the loooooong ticket line, and we could leave as soon as we were done with the train show without feeling bad that we didn't get our money's worth.



so that's been our sweet, magical life for the past 3 months, in a nutshell.  i thought i would spare you the details about our week with the stomach bug, or the random fevers, coughs, boogers, meltdowns (not just kids), and all that stuff that no one really wants to read about.  my goal is to post a little more often on here this year, but i don't know what "often" will look like as the year progresses.  

if you've gotten this far, you deserve a treat! thanks for taking this quick little trip back in time with me. wishing you a new year filled with joy, laughter, love and new adventures!



10.27.2014

at the pumpkin patch

one of the things i've been looking forward to this fall is our annual trip (this is our 2nd year, but i'm thinking we need to make this an annual tradition) to the pumpkin patch. my sisters and i set a date at least a few weeks in advance, meet up, and make a day of it.


last year, we checked out a pick-your-own pumpkin location at trinity tree farm in issaquah. the place was easy to get to, and we had a great time picking out our pumpkins, sipping cider, and launching pumpkins in the pumpkin slingshot.  this year, we decided to try the pumpkin patch at oxbow farm, where we have our CSA. side note: it's pretty amazing to me that in 45 minutes, you can be out in the country, given that seattle is such a large, metropolitan area.


since the pumpkin patch at oxbow is at a working farm, the experience was a bit different in some respects, but equally fun, like last year's.  our kids were looking forward to going back and playing in the "living playground."  the gourd tunnel was a hit, again, and they had fun being able to roam and explore all the parts of the kids' farm.



added bonus (as part of their oxtober u-pick pumpkin patch season): hayrides around the farm and the house o' hay for the kids (and some adults, who shall remain nameless for their privacy and safety).  the hayride was a fun treat for the kids, and a great opportunity to take a look at the actual farm.  it was so cool to see the rows of collards and chard that we just got in our box the day before...literally farm-to-table, right?



i think the kids were amazed by the house o' hay.  they loved climbing on, jumping off, and climbing through the stacked bales of hay.  i love the simplicity behind the hay castle, and how it offers the kids opportunities for creative play and free exploration.  it was super cool, and it was hard to pry them away when it was time to pick our pumpkins.



unlike the u-pick pumpkin "patch" at trinity tree farm, the pumpkin patch at oxbow was an actual pumpkin patch.  the pumpkins were already detached, but we did have to wade through rows of pumpkin vines.  and the nice drizzle of rain, made for some muddy pumpkins, and muddy hands. this was legit pumpkin picking. ha!


and what better way to end the farm day with some wet, slippery and muddy pumpkin slinging with the pumpkin sling shot.
 

what a day well spent.  i loved watching all the kids play together (in the mud, even!).  i loved being able to experience simple, outdoor pleasures with the people i love.  and i loved being able to meet some of the people who have spent so much time and effort growing and tending to the food that nourishes my family.  we even got to meet the gal who packs our box every week!



the muddy boots, filthy clothes, and dirt-covered hands were so worth the sweet memories made that day at the pumpkin patch.



Related Posts with Thumbnails