Oh hi….

Remember when I used to blog? Well, I’m ready to get back into it. I’m gonna start this off with a speedy-quick recap of the last nine months. Sound good?

September and October

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  • Lauren’s beautiful wedding
  • A visit from D’s parents
  • Electric Run 5K
  • Meeting my precious nephew
  • Not pictured: An overnight trip to Salem with my ladies

November and December

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  • A trip to NYC
  • Home for Christmas
  • We’re engaged!
  • SEA-HAWKS (Thanks for the awesome tickets Dad)
  • Not pictured: Thanksgiving, Ugly Sweater 5K

January and February

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  • Ringing in the new year with my favorite people (and celebrating 5 years with D)
  • Seahawks win the Superbowl
  • Aunty Sharon and Uncle B move to Tennessee 😦
  • Surprise engagement party for D and I
  • Not pictured: Tubing with friends

March and April

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  • Work trip to Mexico…not so bad, right?
  • Rebecca visited!
  • Pentatonix
  • New shoes, new habits
  • Not pictured: Easter with Gram and Gramps

I’m a little bummed that I took such a long break from blogging. As you can see, some really amazing things happened since last summer and they definitely deserve more than a bullet point. But at least it’s better than nothing.

May’s shaping up to be a great month. I’ve got a road trip, an epic concert and a visit from my cousin to look forward to over the next few weeks. Stay tuned!

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Home Again

I’m back at work today after a beautiful week in the Pacific Northwest. I was there primarily for Katie’s wedding, but I was able to see D’s parents, spend some time at home with my mom and sisters and squeeze in a visit with Erin in Portland. I missed my dad and Christina–you’re both at the top of my visit-list for next time.

Thanks for sharing the photos Autumn!

It was a really great week–full of sunshine, old friends and family. The only thing I would have changed was the fact that Derek was back in Boston. Next time we’re coming together, vacationing separately is not so fun. Some of my favorite things (mostly in chronological order):

  • Watching Big Brother with Rebecca.
  • A nice meal and excellent conversation at the Nelson house.
  • Doing hair and makeup at the bridal suite before the wedding. I miss having a bunch of girl roomies.
  • Katie looking more beautiful than ever as she walked down the aisle.
  • Dancing the night away with the ladies.
  • Watching The Hunger Games with my mom and sister
  • Hugging and kissing Horton. Until he made my allergies worse–then we stayed away from each other.
  • Helping Jaime pick out her first day of school outfit.
  • Drinks, dinner and catching up with Erin.

Katie, you looked amazing and your wedding was perfect. Thank you for inviting me and congratulations on the start of your happy marriage.

I hope you all had a lovely Labor Day weekend. I’m back to work for 8 days and then I’m having my wisdom teeth removed. I’m kinda scared and kinda excited to spend four days watching tv instead of working. At least that how I hope it plays out…

Until next time,

A

The Graduate

She’s a high school graduate now. And she nailed her salutatorian speech (like a boss). I couldn’t have been more proud of her. Love you Jess!

Aside from graduation festivities, I spent time with my other lovely sisters Rebecca and Jaime, baked with my mom, met my dad for breakfast and hung out with my best friend. A very short but successful trip, I’d say.

I’m looking forward to coming back at the end of August for Katie’s wedding and to have time to see the rest of my family. Fingers crossed that there is more sunshine next time.

Love,

A

Giving Thanks #2

Thank you friends, new and old, for being in my life. I’m so fortunate to have met each of you. Thank you for talking with me, laughing with me and hanging with me. Thank you for bringing a different perspective and teaching me new things. Thank you for keeping me in check when necessary. And thank you for being there for me no matter how much distance there is between us. Much love and gratitude.

A Quarter Century

Disclaimer: This is a crazy long post. But it’s the last one from my trip to Washington. And this time there are corresponding photos thanks to Katie K. Enjoy. Or don’t. I won’t tell you what to do.

I had no expectations for my 25th birthday celebration. In fact, I was so excited about planning my vacation home that I sort of forgot about my birthday. But I have great people in my life, so I should have known that 25 would bring great things.

The timing of my trip dictated that if I wanted to celebrate in Seattle, I’d have to do it Sunday night- the day before my birthday. Doug gave me a little slack about starting the party a day early, but it really worked out well.

Derek and I met Rebecca and Katie K. at Doug and Mego’s. We started with a little pre-funking and then I opened my gifts from Katie. She brought me a delicious carrot cupcake from my favorite Portland bakery and gifted a cookbook that I instantly fell in love with and a wire whisk that goes with an inside joke from grad school.

Then we walked to a sushi restaurant not far from the apartment. It ended up being the perfect dinner spot because even though they only had 2 beers on tap, one of them was Kilt Lifter—my favorite. We ordered way too much food and beer and ate family-style. Derek may have spilled a drink on me, but he’d be embarrassed if I told you, so I won’t.

p.s. That necklace was my present from D. And he picked it out all by himself. Isn't he great?

After the meal, the boys headed straight to the bar while the girls headed straight to gelato. Yum yum yum. When I got to the bar, Mike D. had already arrived and someone had already told the bartender that it was my birthday. So I accepted my free beer and then bear hugged Mike. A few minutes later, Mikey Van Fleet showed up and the crew was complete. Some people played pool, I played shuffleboard and we all played songs on the jukebox (which, for some reason, I kept calling a music maker). There were shots for the July birthdays (Doug, Mike D., Katie and I) and then a bar regular named Heavy insisted on buying me a birthday drink.

Rebecca, Mike D. and Mego had to leave earlier than the rest of us, but I think it was at least midnight when they left. Derek, Katie, Mikey, Doug and I stayed until the bar closed. Derek may have spilled another drink on me. But again, I won’t embarrass him by telling you. On the way home, we accidentally split up. Derek and Mikey walked to Chevron for beer and scratch tickets. Doug, Katie and I walked to QFC for beer, Gatorade and snacks. And then we all met up at the apartment.

My snack. I'm not really sad- that's just a pose for the photo.

The boys stayed up even later drinking and talking outside. Katie and I crashed on the air mattress and didn’t wake up again until Mikey woke us all with a night terror that caused him to scream and kick. And then something funny must have happened because he started laughing in his sleep.

Katie and I had a quick breakfast at a place around the corner before she had to return to Oregon for work. When I got back to the apartment, Derek and Doug were starting to wake up. After watching some youth track races, Derek and I headed to the Ave for a little shopping (where I bought myself my newest favorite skirt), Jimmy John’s and then headed south for my mom’s house.

In Rainier, we hung with the family for a little while before Rebecca, Doug and Megan joined us all for dinner. Apparently my mom had planned a surprise party but I had inadvertently ruined it by inviting everyone over myself. No matter. We ate tasty lasagna and then my mom pulled out the crème brulee I’d requested. It was so good. We ended the evening my watching Jaime’s soccer team kick butt in their last game of the season.

All in all, it was a perfect birthday: easy and full of good food and great friends.

Here’s to hoping that 25 is my best year yet!

Girl Time With My Leading Ladies

Sometimes during a particularly slow or boring work day, I think back to my job at Western where I had the good fortune of working next to my best friends every day. The job was boring and monotonous but these ladies made it not only bearable, but fun. I miss them all daily—even more than I miss Jimmy John’s and Pike Kilt Lifter (and that’s saying a lot)—so I was thrilled that each of these beautifuls made time to see me while I was in Washington.

Rebecca and Diesel

Christina and Ozzie

Katie and Oscar

(Sidenote: They are not only gorgeous, but they all have adorable dogs.)

It started Friday afternoon when Rebecca picked me up from my mom’s. We had plans to meet Christina in Puyallup for Mexican fare. Christina is a funny, funny girl and I often find myself crying from laughter when she’s around so I knew it would be a good night. We were able to get to the restaurant earlier enough to take advantage of their happy hour drink specials. And then we spent the next two hours drinking, eating, catching up and, of course, laughing. It was absolutely wonderful. Christina, I hope you find great success in your new job opportunity. Keep me posted.

Then Rebecca and I had a sleep-over. We bought wine and candy with the plan to watch a movie or talk for awhile. But in my usual style, I fell asleep on the couch too early.

The next morning we made our way to Port Orchard to Miss Katie’s house. But not before stopping for coffee and donuts. Unfortunately, Rebecca’s favorite lil café was all out of apple fritters so we had to settle for blueberry scones.

We arrived at Katie’s around noon and she made us delicious taco salads. So tasty that I just bought the necessary groceries to replicate them for myself. After she showed off her engagement bling and gave me a tour of her house, the three of us ate on her back patio. Katie and Rebecca. Sunshine. Yummy food. Wine. I had everything I needed. After lunch, we traded back massages and talked a little about Katie’s upcoming wedding. (I promise I’ll do my best to be there Katie.) And then around 5, we had to leave so Rebecca could take me to the Tacoma Mall where I was meeting Derek.

The two days of girl-time were a blast. I’m glad to making new friends in Massachusetts but no one will ever replace these ladies. It’s so easy to be around them and we have such a great time together. The three of you are forever friends. Thanks for the fun last week; I look forward to the next time.

Love,

A

Back to Blogging

So… you may have noticed the lack of updates over the last month. The extended absence is part laziness and part lack of inspiration. And I also thought that nobody read what I wrote. But you’ve convinced me. During my trip home several friends and family members pointed out that I haven’t been writing and Doug even told me I was good writer (which is an extra nice compliment coming from a grammar critic and former journalism student). I will try to do better.

I’m back to work today after six days off. My way-too-short Seattle visit was wonderful and full of everything good. I’ll be writing up stories of things I want to remember over the next few days. Expect to see the trip fully documented by the end of the weekend. Thank you to everyone who made time to see me; I miss and love you all so much.

 

She’s Gone

I dropped Rebecca off at the airport this afternoon after just 4 short days together. We packed a lot into the visit, so I’ll try to share the details without making this post too long.

I picked her up later than expected on Saturday because of a delayed flight. Now that I’m trying to write what we did, I can’t remember. So I think we just talked until we fell asleep.

Sunday morning we woke up 40 minutes later than we intended and got a bit of a late start. We were on the road, headed to Newport, Rhode Island sometime during the 11 o’clock hour (I think). The drive was about an hour and half and we had beautiful weather. Sunny and a little windy. Rebecca picked a historic mansion to tour from some travel guides I found before her visit and that’s where we headed first. I didn’t think I’d be into it, but I’m really glad we went. The home we visited was owned by the Vanderbilts and built in 1893. The mansion is still gorgeous, well-maintained and lavish. We couldn’t take any pictures inside, but here’s a few of the exterior and the lawn:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After the tour, we walked a little bit of the Cliff Walk. It’s a 3.5 mile trail along the ocean. The sunshine made for a lovely views.

And then it was lunchtime. We moved the car to the downtown area and walked until we found a suitable restaurant. We happened upon a place called The Red Parrot and they were having a special for Newport Restaurant Week that included three courses for $16. It was perfect, especially since the first course had a martini option (which we both chose). I had pasta, Rebecca had a tuna wrap with a side of clam chowder and then we both had dessert. Mmm, it was so good.

That left us a little time for shopping before we had to meet up with my Aunt, Uncle and Grandparents for dinner in Connecticut at 6:30. Dinner was fabulous. The food was great and the company was better. We were definitely the obnoxious group in the restaurant that were laughing and talking ridiculously loud. After the meal, I took Rebecca to my Aunt’s house so she could see my old room. We chatted with my Aunt & Uncle for a bit, got some advice and directions for New York City the next day and then left for my grandparent’s house where we slept.

Monday morning we were running late again. But this time for a better reason. We were up on time, but enjoyed breakfast with my grandparents too much to leave when planned. By 10am we were into our 2.5 hour drive to NYC. Following my Aunt’s directions was a breeze until we got right into the heart of Manhattan. After spending an hour circling the blocks and having no luck finding the hotel we wanted to park at, Rebecca called Luke and we got the cross streets of the hotel. Turns out I had mixed up the street address and we were 20 blocks from where we needed to be. Eventually, around 1, we pulled in and parked the car.

We had reserved spots on a Sex and the City tour at 3 so that gave us about an hour and half to check out Central Park before meeting the tour group. We got some food from a street vendor and it was awful. Rebecca’s empanada was cold and he gave her spinach instead of chicken. My pretzel was burnt and dry because he didn’t have cheese. But whatever- we were in the City.

The S&TC tour was a lot of fun. It was just over 3 hours and took us through several New York neighborhoods. We saw a ton of places where the show was filmed. I think it’ll be really cool to re-watch the series and know that I’ve seen so many of the spots. After the tour, we did some shopping in and around Times Square and picked up the car around 8. Somehow I managed to stay awake for the almost 4 hour drive home and we were very tired girls as we crawled into our beds.

Yesterday was Boston day. Rebecca wanted to see the aquarium, so after picking up discount tickets at the library, we were on our way. It took a bit to find parking and then we took the bus/subway to the aquarium. Since we weren’t on any kind of a schedule, we shopped and ate at Quincy Market first, which was a lot of fun. Rebecca had a lobster roll and I had pad thai. You could eat anything you wanted at that place–they have every sort of vendor imaginable.

Next up: the aquarium. It was smaller than we though it’d be, but we had a great time. The penguins were super cute and so was the giant turtle. And there were a lot of fish.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was pouring when we left the aquarium–which we expected at some point during the day–and the weather confirmed our decision to go shopping at a mall near my apartment rather than the shops in Boston. We got drenched running through the rain to the subway, but the rain stopped shortly after, and we were dry and ready to spend money by the time we got the mall.

I’d been saving money and scouting clothes online for a few months before Rebecca’s visit so I knew what I was looking for and had the money I needed to buy it. And, for me, that usually means I’ll have a hard time finding things I like once I’m shopping. It was a slow start, but I ended up buying several pieces that I’m very happy with. Rebecca didn’t buy as much because she didn’t have a lot space in her suitcase. But we both counted the shopping trip a success.

We ended the night we with an array of appetizers for dinner, wine and a romantic comedy. It was like we were roomies again. And I loved it.

This morning we woke up when we were ready, watched a little S&TC and then hit Old Navy (40% off sale = super good deals) before I took her the airport. It was a quick goodbye and I miss her already. It’s hard having your best friend live more than 3,000 miles away. But I’m so thankful she was able to make the trip out here to see me. I had a such a great time with her and I can’t wait to see her again (hopefully this summer).

Rebecca, I love you. Thanks for everything dollface. Miss you bunches!

Reasons To Smile

Things I’m Really Excited About:

  • The cobb salad and french onion soup I’m about to make myself for dinner–yum yum yummy
  • The robin eggs I’ll eat right after said soup and salad
  • Derek coming to visit Thursday and Friday night
  • Friday night dinner in Connecticut with family (and Derek too!)
  • REBECCA’S VISIT!
  • A short work week after Rebecca’s visit
  • The 5k run I committed to at the end of April

 

 

 

Feeling Down

I’m in an emotional slump. The relentless snow storms are wearing on me. I miss my friends/family/Seattle desperately.  I don’t love my job yet (but I am VERY happy to have one). I could go on, but I won’t.

What I think is really going on is that I’ve been planning and moving and adjusting and settling for five months. And now, my world has stopped changing at such a rapid pace and I’m grasping to process it all.  I’m doing an awful job of being positive. Even though I have a job that is sort of in my field and an apartment all my own- I’m not happy. I’m annoyed with myself. This is what I wanted and now I’m not happy?! What the heck? I don’t want to be a grumpy-pants that is never happy with my life.

Have any of you felt like this before? What did you change in your life (or your attitude) that made you feel better?

I think that one thing I really need is a social outlet. I’m getting to know people at work, and I’m proud of myself for that, but I think it’s going to be awhile before they transition from co-workers to friends. I just bought a Bikram yoga package which I think will have positive physical and emotional effects, but I’m not sure how many friends I’ll make by stretching and sweating like crazy for 90 minutes. And I’m checking out book clubs- so far nothing seems like the best fit, but I’ll keep looking. I’m really trying to be pro-active, but I’m out of ideas. Any suggestions?

I’m going to practice positivity by ending this post with something that makes me happy: I’ll see Katie this weekend (!) and then Rebecca and Chris will each be visiting in April (!!). I’m also really excited about my new shower curtain. It makes me smile every time I pass by my bathroom.

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