Wednesday, May 27, 2015

life lately

Man, summer in Seattle is soooooooooooo dreamy. I see why people love living here. It's technically not summer yet but it sure feels like it! We've had such a beautiful, mild winter and we feel really spoiled that this was our first experience with the supposed "rainy, gloomy, gray Pacific Northwest" and then to have this amazing summer to look forward to? Major jazz hands over here.
We met David at the park last week for a week day picnic during his lunch break. It was heavenly. I found myself just basking in the sunshine and everything was incredibly joyful. I'm not usually a sunshine kind of girl but I sure love it here! I've decided it's because it's not hot. After our picnic, the boys wanted to see the ducks in the pond. They had some leftover chips from their lunch that they wanted to feed them. I explained that chips aren't good for ducks, but they were unconvinced. When we arrived at the ducks, there was a sweet Russian lady who was feeding them with her little bag of duck food. She gave each of the boys a handful and told them to throw it to the ducks. There were a couple of duck families living in this pond and they had little baby ducklings. They were so cute! The lady told me that she lived across the street and she has been going to the duck pond three times a day for seven weeks to feed them since there isn't anything for them to eat in the pond (it's actually just a water feature that's full of chlorine). It's a very sweet thing to do, but I didn't know how to say to her that the ducks would probably move on to "greener pastures" if she stopped feeding them...
Check out this picture of Lou. It's an awful shot of me - all sweaty and gross after the gym - but I had to share this picture because it's my favorite of that little face! Gah! I love her.
Oh Fritz. He will sleep anywhere if he's tired enough. Lately he's been crashing on the couch on afternoons that I can't get him to nap in his bed. Face covered in chocolate and sitting upright too.

Monday, May 25, 2015

weekend haps

This weekend David took the boys camping at Cascade Park for our church's Fathers and Sons camp out. They were very excited! They packed up their little packs and wore them around the house for at least an hour while David loaded up the camping gear into the car. Fritz wasn't ashamed to show his excitement but William, well, he's "too big" now and can't be bothered to smile for a picture. Haha! Not sure what this face is but he totally looks like a teenager.
David said it was really beautiful and the boys did great. They loved throwing rocks into the river, roasting marshmallows and playing with the other kids. I went to Target with Louisa and then folded laundry while I watched The Mindy Project. Super exciting night for mama, but it was actually nice to have a quiet house!
Sunday we had dinner with the family and celebrated Beck's 6th birthday! All he wanted for his birthday was to have a sleepover with his cousins so that's what he got! He also got to choose his meal which was Korean Beef, bread sticks and caramel cheesecake. Haha! Quick the combination! I offered to make the cheesecake and used this recipe. He was a happy boy! We weren't originally planning on Fritz spending the night but when we told him it was time to go, he was devastated. Leone is a nice aunt and said he could stay. Oh boy! I really hope it wasn't too bad! (and P.S. he's just in his chonies in this picture cause his clothes got soaked from playing in the water table outside. That's my Fritz!)

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

vancouver: day two

In David's and my opinion, the best thing that Vancouver has to offer is Stanley Park. That's not to say that it's the only thing that's great about Vancouver, but it was our favorite. We both remarked that we thought it would be great to live by the park with a view of the water and have all that the park has to offer in our front yard. We spent almost all of Saturday at the park and it was not time wasted. The kids had so much fun and I ended up tracking almost 12,000 steps on my vivofit that day (and that's even with all the sitting we did on the car ride home).
The boys were troopers and Louisa even did really well for having to sit in her stroller most of the time. While the boys searched the driftwood and rocks for a good pirate hide-out, Louisa and I strolled along the jogging path and I enjoyed the beautiful day. Seriously, being outside in perfect weather brings me so much joy!
William spotted this little gazebo and I had to pry him away from it after a while. He wanted to stay there all day at his "cafe" as he called it. Then he continued to talk about it for a good part of the afternoon. I love that he loves using his imagination.
I love these kids!
Our last stop at the park was the totem poles that many people recommended. I wasn't sure what to expect but they were really cool! I didn't realize how unique these are and it was definitely something I'm glad we didn't miss. This is also Fritz's best impression of the totem pole behind him.
Louisa finally fell asleep in her stroller just as we were heading back to the car (isn't that how it always happens?) so we stopped to watch a cricket game on the lawn for a bit. Boy, was it a beautiful day! I loved taking these memory snapshots (and literal snapshots) of David and the boys together. I hope that they will love seeing pictures of time spent with their dad who loves them so much.

Monday, May 18, 2015

vancouver: day one

David had to go to Vancouver BC for work on Friday so we made it a family affair! It was nice to have an extra day all together as a family and go to somewhere fun! William was so excited to go to another country. He doesn't know what that means but he still found it terribly exciting.
We arrived early Friday afternoon and, after David went to work for about an hour, checked into the hotel and then took the water taxi over to Granville Island. The kids thought the hotel itself was pretty awesome since it had an elevator, two big beds and cable! We could have stayed there the whole time and they would've been happy. Ha!
The water bus over to Granville Island was also a big hit, even if the 5 minute ride was too short in the boys' opinions. We walked around the public market for a while and I ooed and ahhed over the beautiful branding of many of the vendors and shops and also the beautiful produce and flowers.
The boys enjoyed a slice of pizza while we enjoyed this beautiful view and listened to a musician sing David Gray covers and shooed away seagulls on a park bench.
We stopped at Edible Canada and saw this really cute fish and chips take-out (more cute branding). They also had poutine on the menu with duck gravy so we bought an early dinner and I have to say "meh" about the poutine. The fish was excellent though!
Traveling with kids isn't always the easiest thing to do. We had to deal with lots of whining and tired feet, carrying heavy toddlers on shoulders, overtired baby from no naps and we didn't get to see or do many of the things that we would've done had it been an "adult-only" trip. However, because we had the kids, we also did things that we wouldn't have normally seen and we were able to make a lot of great memories. We found parks at almost every opportunity to give the kids a rest from walking and Vancouver is full of beautiful parks! More on that tomorrow, though...

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

living + dining room update

Here's a little update on our living and dining room. It's definitely not done but it's at least an improvement from the last couple of months. Here's how it looked when we bought the house. This house was built in 1976, and while it's really outdated, it could have been a lot worse. I'll do a post later about the kitchen but we opened up that wall so that it's a lot more bright and open. It has made such an improvement. Even though there's still a lot to be done, it is so nice to at least have our furniture in!
Living Room/Dining Room List:
- remove wallpaper from the entry
- popcorn ceiling removed
- walls skim coated and sanded to a smooth finish
- walls painted (Benjamin Moore - Horizon)
- remove wall between the kitchen and living room
- replace dining chandelier (with this)
- replace carpet with wood floors
- replace outlets and light switches
- new white baseboards and other trim
- new windows (ours are single-pane from the 70s!)
- clean fireplace
- resurface the fireplace (something like this)
- mount TV over the mantle
- build hutch
- new table (waiting for it to go on sale this fall)

I temporarily put this dresser and mirror in this spot so we'd have a little storage in here until David has the time to build the hutch. I had originally planned on painting it white and putting it in Louisa's room but it's such a nice piece of wood furniture, that I can't bring myself to paint it. I'll probably end up putting it in the guest room.