Friday, August 29, 2014

All About Gray

I love gray. My favorite shirts are all gray. I love Brooke and Harrison's gray jeans. The only grays I don't love are the ones that keeping popping up on my head.

When it comes to dressing the kids, gray is a perfect option for coordinating their looks. It doesn't matter if they're wearing different shades of gray, because ash gray matches heather gray just as well as it matches slate or silver. The same can't be said for yellow or coral. With fall just around the corner, I've been doing a little shopping and a lot of online browsing.

Some of these items we already own. Some we're waiting for a good sale before we snatch them up. Others we may never own. The H&M knit sweater isn't carried in our store, and it is out of stock online in Harrison's size. I love pairing grays with bright leggings and accessories for Brooke or with jeans and a character tee for Harrison.

As much as I am loving the last few days of summer, I'm looking forward to fall so we can break out our fall clothes, and maybe fall candles and PSLs too. I refuse to drink one until the weather cools down. We are excited to be celebrating the last unofficial weekend of summer. We have a party to go to with some of our favorite people Sunday, and maybe a last trip to the lake, weather permitting. I hope all of you have great weekend plans to celebrate summer coming to a close. TGIF!!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Seattle Part 3

Friday morning I awoke with a lovely migraine. Thanks Dennis and your delicious sangria. I drank lots of coffee and popped some ibuprofen, and then we were off Pike Place Market to shop for flowers. I went with M & M and left Rob in charge of the kiddos for the day. The flower market at Pike Place is seriously amazing. $60 was spent on flowers and that was enough for the bride's bouquet, 4 bridesmaids bouquets, and enough flowers leftover to make 12 small arrangements to hang along the aisle for the ceremony.

On our way back to the house, we had to make a pit stop for an Imitrex. I then spent 30 minutes enjoying the comfort of my brother's backseat laying down. Thankfully that did the trick, and then it was on to making bouquets. It took me about two hours to clean the stems, with Angie's help, arrange the bouquets, and make arrangements out of the remaining flowers. A couple hours of work was definitely worth the money they saved.

That evening the bridesmaids, bride, and mother of the bride went out for a little mani-pedi action. I'm pretty sure it's been over a year since my last salon pedicure, so it was much needed. While I was off getting a pedicure, Rob took the kids to the playground. They met up with my mom, sister, and nephew. I love that they have been able to spend so much time with their cousin Charlie over the last couple months. We won't see them again until Christmas, so this was a real treat.

Wedding Day!!!! Saturday morning we had to be to the hotel by 10:30 for hair and makeup. We stopped to pick up sandwiches on the way which led to an impromptu stop for cupcakes. If you're ever in Seattle stop at Cupcake Royale in Queen Anne. Their cupcakes are phenomenal! Cupcakes, sammies, and champagne were perfect to snack on while getting prettied up. M & M did their first look at the hotel, and then it was off for an afternoon of pictures. It was great to have all the pictures done before the ceremony.

Seriously, how handsome is my brother?!

We had a quick break for more champagne and sammies before heading to the zoo for family pictures. Then it was wedding time! My older brother was the officiant, or Reverend Dave as he is affectionately referred to. It was amazing to have a front row seat to see him marry M & M. You can tell they are absolutely crazy about each other, and that was even more evident as they read their vows. I love them both so much and am truly grateful they chose me to share their day with them.

Waiting for a ride to the wedding.

While the guests enjoyed cocktail hours, we took a few pictures on the carousel. A few of those pictures may have involved a massive machete. Yes it's real. They also used the machete to cut their cake.

The reception flew by and then it was on the the party buses. They rented two party buses for everyone to cruise around Seattle in. We danced and drank. A lot. The original plan was to let the kids come out of the party bus. Rob decided he was willing to take them back to my parents rental house and put them to sleep, so their party bus experience consisted of 5 minutes on the bus while it was sitting still. Charlie on the other hand, partied until the wee hours along with the rest of us.

My parents partying it up. My mom may have got in trouble for dancing on the seats of the bus. We did learn to party from them.

No kids the next morning means that we slept in until 9am. Rob and I headed out to grab breakfast and coffee before the kids got dropped off. H and B got to go to the park in the morning with Grandma and Aunt Chrisser before coming back to us around 11. They hung out and played on their tablets with Charlie before it was time for naps. I'm not willing to admit to how much time they spent on their tablets over the course of vacation, but it was a lot. We didn't bring along any toys, so the tablets were a lifesaver.

That evening we went to the rental house where my parents and siblings were all staying and we had taco salad for dinner. Before too long it was time to get the kids home for bed. They were up at 6:30 after going to bed at 11pm, so it was an early bedtime for them.

Monday is when everyone was scheduled to fly out. We had the same flight into Midway as my parents, so they joined us at M & M's house before we headed to the airport. The kids were really excited to go on a plane again. We had the same limo service that brought us from the airport, pick us up and take us to the airport. Both kids fell asleep in the limo on the way to the airport. The lack of sleep was very evident by the end of our trip. Monday was a long day of travel, and we made it home safely just after 1am Tuesday morning.

Vacation was great. The wedding was great. It was awesome to see family and friends I haven't seen in a long time. Seattle is absolutely beautiful, and we can't wait to go back. Next time we won't be gone for 11 days, because it was definitely too long for the kids. We let them sleep in until 10 am Tuesday morning, and then we were back to our usual sleep schedule. As much as waking up at 6:30am every day of vacation wasn't great, it made it easy once we got home.

If you made it through all three posts, thanks for hanging in with me until the end. There was so much I wanted to share, and I think I got it all out there. I promise to get back to non vacation posts later this week. Happy Hump Day, everyone! I hope your week is going fabulously!

In case you missed it:

Seattle Part 1
Seattle Part 2

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Seattle Part 2

On Monday morning the kids and I took my brother's car and headed to Bainbridge Island. I wanted the kids to get to ride the ferry, so we checked out possible destinations and decided on Bainbridge. Between Kidimu, a kid's museum, and the great things we read about Winslow, the town where the ferry drops off, it sounded like the perfect day trip.

Kidimu is less than a tenth of a mile from the ferry, so we headed there right away. There was so much to do. They had lots of different areas set up on the lower level. A bank, doctor's office, harbor, construction site, grocery store, etc. Upstairs was a ginormous Lite Brite and a few golf ball stations set up to teach kids about velocity, speed, and motion. It was all very cool, and lots of fun. We probably could have stayed for another couple hours, but lunch was calling.

We grabbed a couple slices of pizza and then went to a small playground. We planned on going to a public beach, but the kids fell asleep on the 10 minute drive there. So, it turned into me driving around the island looking at ridiculously expensive houses until it was time to catch the ferry. Of course the kids woke up as soon as we pulled into the lot to wait on the ferry. We took the ferry back to the city, skipped real naps, ate lots of watermelon for dinner, and the kids went to bed early. It was a pretty great day.

Tuesday morning we all, Michelle, Angie, Chris, the kids, and I, grabbed the bus and headed downtown to go to the aquarium. The aquarium was very cool, but the kids were in terrible moods and had no interest in anything going on. There were lots of touch pools, but H and B were too small to reach most of it. We tried lifting them up, but that yielded less than stellar results.

When Plan A doesn't work, our Plan B usually involves food. In this case, we walked to Ivar's for fried seafood and to feed the seagulls. Harrison's mood improved as soon as he downed an entire order of popcorn shrimp, and Brooke decided the seagulls were worth a few laughs. We fed the gulls almost all of our french fries and then called it a morning.

We didn't bring the stroller with us, so we wound up carrying the kids back to the bus. 3 blocks uphill at about a 35% grade. It was a workout, but we made it to the bus stop just in time. Brooke passed out almost immediately, and Angie had to hold her head up to keep her from falling off her seat. Harrison fell asleep on the bus too, so it was quickly to our room for naps when we got home.

That evening Michelle's mom and brothers arrived, and the house got even more full. A friend of Matt and Michelle's made dinner for the entire house. He and his wife joined us for pasta, salad, pesto chicken, and a little wine. It was great, and so nice of them to make dinner for the entire house.  

Baby carrot from Aunt Michelle's garden.

Wednesday morning the kids and I headed to the zoo. We took the bus and I managed to get all three of us, plus the stroller, there early and with no hiccups. We walked a couple blocks to grab an iced coffee and a croissant. Our morning was off to a great start. Then we got to the zoo, and things quickly took a turn for the worse.

The Woodland Park Zoo doesn't allow straws or lids, and we were informed of this as soon as we entered. I didn't think much of it other than tossing the straw and lid from my iced coffee. It became obvious really quick that the kids weren't happy. They had zero interest in the gorillas who were actively playing right in front of the glass, and they made that clear by screaming at me. Since Plan A wasn't working, in came Plan B. Our almond croissant. We grabbed a couple chocolate milks and plopped ourselves down at a table. We ate our croissant with a peacock who was just waiting for a taste.

This is where the no straw thing becomes an issue. Two kids who want to drink their milk, but aren't familiar drinking milk from a carton and they can't have a straw. I'm going to refer to it as The Great Chocolate Milk Disaster of 2014. Needless to say, the cartons didn't go over well, even with me trying to help. They were cold, wet, sticky, and angry. The happiness the croissant brought was quickly gone. We wound up spending $80 at the gift shop for new t-shirts and sweat shirts.

That made the rest of the zoo trip tolerable, but still not great. The ground was wet and dirty, which meant the stroller was wet and dirty and the kids were wet and dirty. They just weren't happy. They didn't even care about the elephants or hippos. ELEPHANTS and HIPPOS! How they weren't excited, I don't know. We didn't finish the zoo because the Seattle zoo is huge! After three hours we'd all had enough and headed home. One highlight of the zoo trip was Harrison's love of diggers. He found a construction site in the middle of the zoo and didn't want to leave.

The guys had made it safely back from the bachelor party, and the rest of the fam got in that night. After naps, we all met up for pizza and beer. We took over an entire pizza place and stuffed our faces. It was glorious. The only way to top pizza is with ice cream, so we walked a few blocks down to Old School Frozen Custard to finish the night right.

Matt and Michelle live right around the corner from the Fremont Troll, so we stopped and let all the kids see the troll on the way home.

We were very excited to get in some daddy time on Thursday since we didn't see him for four days. We went to the Seattle Children's Museum. We took the bus there and back, by now the kids and I were professional bus takers. We spent a good three hours at the museum before heading back to the house. I think older kids, 4-6 yrs old, would get even more out of the museum than H and B did. 

The kids took a long nap, and Rob and I were headed to the wedding rehearsal before they were both up from their naps. They hung out with Grandma while Rob and I got the lowdown on our MOH and groomsman duties. The ceremony and reception took place at the zoo, so we got to hang out with elk, wolves, mountain goats, and bears during the rehearsal.

The happy couple!

The rehearsal dinner was a "I Do Barbecue" at M & M's house, so we all headed back there after the rehearsal was over. Michelle's mom did a great job putting together a casual dinner for 30 people. The kids were off to bed pretty soon after the rehearsal dinner started, so I may have taken advantage by having a few drinks and hitting the sangria. Big mistake on my part, but we'll save that for the next post.

All that's left to share now is the weekend wedding fun! I will hopefully be getting that posted tomorrow. If you missed out on part 1, you can find it here.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Seattle Part 1

We're home, settled in, and happy to be back in our own beds. Harrison and I brought back a cold with us, So it's taking us a few days longer than usual to catch up. I still have a suitcase of clean laundry to put away and dresses to take to the dry cleaners. But that can all wait until next week. It's time to share our vacation before I forget what all we did.

We made it to Seattle safe and sound Friday night. My older brother's flight from Denver got in 20 minutes after ours so we met him at the airport. Since there were 5 of us, and ten tons of luggage, we grabbed a limo at the airport and headed to my brother's place. The kids seemed completely unfazed by the three hour time change and made it to their 9pm(12am) bedtime.

First limo ride

The next morning, and every morning of our trip, they were up bright and early at 6:30 am. There were 6 adults, not including me, in the house, most of who had been drinking the night before, so the kids and I vacated the premises as quickly as possible. We strolled out for some morning coffee and bacon sammies, and then hit up the grocery for some essentials. Diapers, fruit, and milk. We learned that PCC gives kids a free serving of fruit when they are in the store. Bananas on the house? Don't mind if we do!

On our way back to the house we walked past the harbor and scoped out the rowing club, a few house boats, and a killer view of Mount Rainer. I pushed the kids up one of the steepest hills I've ever seen, and realized there would be no need to workout while we were gone.  The hills in Seattle are no joke, especially when you're pushing 70 pounds in a stroller.

Michelle and Angie were up when we got home, so we all headed to Gasworks Park for some fresh air and great views of downtown. The kids were mildly disappointed that the park didn't have a playground, but they settled for playing with Rosie and Thomas on the sundial at the top of the hill.

The guys all left the house Saturday afternoon and headed up to the mountains for a 4 night bachelor party. After naps we found a school with a playground to make up for the morning's disappointment. After the playground came spaghetti dinner, and then a walk for custard. H and B were messy happy kiddos by the end of the day, and we were all exhausted.

Sunday morning M, A, the kids, and I all got around and headed to Pike Place Market. Harrison's favorite part was fish tossing. Brooke's was using the bathroom, every 20 minutes. Mine was the baked goods. We had a coconut cream cheese donut that was to die for. We also grabbed macaroons and a raspberry croissant to go. I was in pastry heaven.

Too tired to make it home before passing out.

The kids took three hour naps that afternoon, and I made enchiladas for dinner. In hindsight, not the smartest dinner choice on an 85 degree day with no a/c.

The kids discovered the cats on Friday, but by Sunday evening they were obsessed with them. Especially Lunchbox who wasn't willing to retreat to a hiding space just because the kids were around. Treats helped them form a love/hate friendship.

Once the kids were in bed, M, A, and I watched Bridesmaids and then called it a night. The 6:30am wake up call paired with the time change meant I was asleep early every night. Not that I'm complaining. I love me some sleep.

I plan to break the rest of our trip up into two more posts. Look for them both here in the next few days. I hope everyone is having a fabulous weekend. I'm working this weekend, but the kids and I are still making sure we have lots of fun. Inside fun, because the humidity here is more than I can handle. Happy Saturday!