Sunday, July 31, 2011

one cool hat

jack hates hats. if i put anything on his head, he yanks it off after five seconds. [this is really sad b/c he looks adorable in hats.] but yesterday b wore a new hat all day [one of his birthday presents...he turned 29 on thursday if you didn't know] and when he took it off in the afternoon, jack was ALL over it. kept trying to put on the hat, wouldn't move till he had it, then took off like a shot crawling around the room when he knew it was on his head.

i mean, seriously? this kid is the cutest.

in other news, jack is taking his 10th flight this week. i need some fresh ideas for in-flight entertainment [kind of dreading it since he's so mobile now] and will be hitting up target's dollar section this week for ammo. travel suggestions are welcome!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

<< rewind: see ya, utah

now that we've been in seattle for officially a month, i figured i better recap some of our last utah days before they're lost to the annals of history.

even though our utah apartment was totally gross, i kind of miss it. jackal hit a lot of milestones in that place, and it was our home for two whole years (minus that random summer internship thing). plus it had swings right outside. we miss you, swings!

and there was a giant field next to the swings. we liked to hang out there on sunny mornings, and seeing these pictures is like a little time warp flashback. jack was happy, i was happy, the grass was gorgeous and green. it was a perfect summer morning.

and we had the BEST neighbors on the planet. leandra and i worked together at american crafts, and she & her little fam moved in right next door while we were in colorado. i looooved having her right next door -- i could run over to tell her whatever popped into my head, jack & sophie could play together to their hearts' content, and we always had buddies for random saturday lunches or swing dates. WE MISS YOU :(

obviously the babies are bff. they really do love each other, you just can't tell.

we got a new couch, finally. it came home to us three days before we packed it up and shipped it to washington. just in time.

this is the living hell we survived in for three days:

then, like i didn't have enough going on, the night before we flew to seattle i spoke at a utah blogging summit. my session was about PR 101 for bloggers...thrilling, i know. [also, most of the tweets about my presentation were about the gold leaf necklace i was wearing, rather than my content, so not sure if that's a win or a lose.] here's me being super serious.

b and jack picked me up from the summit and we spent the night at a hotel in provo since all of our stuff was on a truck somewhere. woke up the next morning, had breakfast [fyi, marriott breakfast buffets are all i craved while i was pregnant, and they are still sooo good], said goodbye to a few final friends, passed our cleaning check with our landlord, picked up some cafe rio and headed for the airport. bye, utah!

Friday, July 22, 2011

21 hours in vegas

i spent most of yesterday in las vegas for a client photo shoot. when you add in travel time, i was gone for just over 24 hours -- but it was the first 24 hours i've ever been away from the jackal.

in the planning phases, this was fine. it seemed like a perfect set up: my mom has been in town all week to keep me and jack company while b was at a conference, so she knew our schedule and jack had tooootally warmed up to her. plus he could stay in his own home. i'd leave after he went to bed one night and get home after he went to sleep the next night. piece of cake.

until the day of, of course. i started freaking out, imagining all sorts of horrible things that might happen to him or me or all of us while we were apart. but i had a flight to catch and i knew he was in good hands, so i left for the airport. [i was already emo, obviously, and then the night got even worse when i went through security and they made me throw away the jars of washington wildflower honey that i was bringing as gifts -- honey is a liquid?!? -- i would be lying if i said i didn't shed a few hormonal tears right there in the carry-on line. stupid terrorists ruining my life.]

ironically i spent both flights sitting next to tween girls traveling alone for the first time ever. they were cute and we became friends. shared starbursts and pretzels and did sudoku together. practically a slumber party at 10,000 feet.

the shoot went well, all things considered, and before i knew it i was going BACK to the airport. and you know the weird thing? i missed that boy a tonnn every time i thought of him...but for a few minutes throughout the day i almost forgot i was a mama. it's like i time traveled back to my old pre-kid life where i could do whatever i wanted at any time and not be covered in juice or yogurt. pretty fun for just a day.

i was SO excited to come home and see my boy and my mom. jack was happy to see me as usual but didn't act like anything out of the ordinary had happened -- guess that's a testament to my mom's good babysitting skills. then, six hours after i got home, we left for the airport AGAIN but this time to drop off my sidekick-mom who has been here for almost two weeks. between the business trip and a departing mom and a traveling husband and a whiny baby [teething?] ... let's just say i'm self medicating tonight with unlimited rice pudding, yoga and my google reader. what a week!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

the birthdays!

our joint birthday this year was FANTASTIC! much better than last year, seeing as how i wasn't in labor this time around.

birthday twins!

we woke up early, opened presents, ate chocolate chip scones [what i was SUPPOSED to eat for birthday breakfast last year] and got ready for the day.

our day involved plenty of balloons and streamers, naturally.

then i headed out to seattle to take a cooking class at diane's market kitchen. this place was fantastic! i had read nothing but raving reviews online, and i turned out to be the only student that day -- so i basically got a private cooking lesson.

the kitchen is in a cute little alley just a block from the pier -- an intimate setting and to-die-for kitchen. diane is a fantastic teacher -- she's a regular at pike place, so she knows a TON about all the shops, seasonal foods, local farms, etc. -- and i'm already planning my next class. we went over soups & salads and i loved every second.

my mom was watching jack, and encouraged me to stay out as long as i wanted. so i stopped by bellevue square, my closest mall, to get my new watch sized -- and ended up shopping for a few hours. i had forgotten how GLORIOUS shopping by myself can be; it was blissful.

then it was home to prepare dinner -- our friends the gunters [in town for an internship] came over for dinner and the monumental cupcake eating. obviously, it was a success.

this is probably one of my favorite pictures ever of jackal. it was a fabulous day all around, made even better by the fact that i now share the day with my little sidekick. hooray for double birthdays!

Monday, July 18, 2011

touring seattle

we've been busyyyy around here! let's start at the beginning.

hello seattle!

the week before b started work, we bought a city pass [this thing is genius, it gives you discount admission to all the touristy stuff] and spent a few days downtown.

we went to the experience music project:

verdict: the boys liked the guitar sculpture, i liked the nirvana and jimi hendrix exhibits. how awesome is a museum dedicated to rock & roll?! answer: very awesome.

we went to the space needle:

verdict: we like tall landmarks [see also: empire state building, eiffel tower, etc etc] and this one delivered. it was windy at the top and seemed easy to throw stuff off the ledge. don't feel like i need to do it again, especially after learning about this secret from not martha.

we took a harbor cruise:

verdict: jack thought it was sooo cool to look over the side of the boat. for 20 minutes, anyway, and then he was over it. we learned about seattle's history, skyline and trivia facts while sailing through the sound on a gorgeous day -- it was totally worth it. loved it.

we went to ye olde curiosity shoppe:

verdict: this place was BANANAS. it's just a little shop on the pier, full of the most random crap you've ever seen -- real mummies, shrunken heads, bones, mermaids. we ran through it on our way home to get our cars from the transport service, but i wish i had more time to check it out.

we also spent our days hanging by the pool, unpacking, meeting up with friends passing through town, trying a few new restaurants and going to target daily. so basically, the usual. my mom came into town and then b started work on july 11!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

moving pains

this photo was an outtake from our visit to the butterfly garden at the pacific science center last week, and i had to laugh when i saw it. this pretty much depicts the current status around here -- jack's over it and i'm constantly on the verge of feeling totally awkward. we're the two people in the back of the room, trying hard to blend in and pretend we're not feeling completely out of place.

things are fine, don't get me wrong. b LOVES his new job [hooray!], seattle is gorgeous, my mom is here and we've had a blast exploring the area. but moving is just tough.

i feel like i'm continually making small talk, pulling at threads to try to find a connection with someone -- anyone -- so i can feel like i have a tie to another person here. this inevitably leads to some slightly uncomfortable situations with the less-chatty types. [insert awkward silence here..." rains a lot in seattle...?"]

maybe i should hand out a business card stating how many facebook friends i have and how many blog comments i get, so these new peeps know i'm not just some fully inept weirdo who can't carry on a conversation. sorry lady, you're the 12th person i've met today, you're not getting my A-game chit chat here.

i've now been to church 3x, an mba alumni dinner 1x, dinner with utah friends 2x -- but i still don't feel totally solid. i miss the comfort of our utah neighborhood, and my people.

not only that, i'm finally learning my way around town [thank the heavens above for the person who created GPS and then the other person who decided to put it on my phone], but it's still weird to get used to a completely new place. i have to figure everything out from scratch -- where my nearest mall/target/movie theater/church/etc. is, where the best place to park is, what's the fastest way to get there during rush hour.

we've moved a lot in our married life -- from LA to pasadena, pasadena to provo, provo to denver to provo, now provo to seattle -- so i also start comparing each new city to the old ones and wishing i could go back to one or the other. but then i realize, i've never actually hated any of the places we've lived -- in fact, i end up totally loving each one. i know i just need to give it time and settle in.

i learned a long time ago that you can't truly judge a new job, relationship, city, or apartment until you've been in it for six months -- so i guess we have five months to go before i have realistic results. so until then, i guess i better sharpen up my small talk skills. wish me luck.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

jack's 1st

tuesday was our double birthday! jackal is now ONE YEAR OLD and we can barely believe it.

obviously i'm a little behind on blogging, so i'll be back with a big birthday recap [and other stuff] soon. but in the meantime...b made this totally awesome video about jack's first year of life. (you can see the video of his first six months here.)

the whole thing is amazing, but i especially like from 4:24ish to the end. enjoy!

Monday, July 11, 2011

back to work

today is b's first day of work! hooray.

my mom is here visiting, and i'm glad because i think i'd be crazy lonely if i didn't have her to hang out with. it has been SO fun having b around 24/7 the past three months and i really miss him already.

last week we did a bunch of touristy things and tried to squeeze the most out of b's last week of freedom, before he's chained to a desk for the rest of his life. [post on additional seattle adventures to come.] here's b and jack checking out the seagulls on the pier -- i love my boys:

grad school gave us the perfect little departure from regular life -- i loved his flexible school-year schedule and being able to meet him for lunch, having him come home in the middle of the afternoon, etc.

plus, the whole late-job-offer thing gave us three months of complete freedom after graduation. i wasn't too sure about this set-up at the beginning but it turned out to be perfect. our little family of 3 was together all the time and i loved it. we ran errands together [lucky for me, my husband loves target], watched parks & rec reruns in the middle of the day, went to the pool, etc. -- not to mention i got extra time to do things while j was awake because i had a built in babysitter :) jack has been so lucky to have his daddy here to play with him nonstop while he's at such a fun age. none of our other kids are going to be able to say that.

it's weird to have him gone, also, because the last time b worked full time -- i worked full time too. and we worked in the SAME place. we left at the same time every morning and rode the train into the city together. now, he leaves and i stay home. odd.

we miss you, b! have fun at work!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


pretty much every blog i've looked at over the past 24 hours has included an overload of jubilant, patriotic, red white & blue sun-soaked photos of all the amazing fun they had on the 4th of july. this is not one of those posts.

the 4th of july is my most favorite day of the year. i LOVE the fireworks, the bbq's, the celebration of america, the corny neighborhood parades. i love it. but this year...was a little off.

j woke up at 5:45 a.m. to squeeze an extra two hours out of the holiday [not really, it's because he's been staying up too late lately, i know this because dr. weissbluth is my sleep training guru] so i was already wiped. i also had a slight homesick hangover coming off the weekend...then spent a good five hours of the 4th of july trying to organize THIS:

... and i knew i was in for a rough day. then our festive 4th plans fell through and, not knowing anyone [or any good places to go] in town, we had no back-up. i was on the verge of tears, thinking this was the worst 4th of july ever, when all of the sudden everything perked up.

our 4th was rescued with by good friends [in town for an internship], a block party bbq, patriotic-sprinkled ice cream sandwiches, mini fireworks in the street and a baby double-fisting his first taste of watermelon. isn't that what the 4th is all about?

we went home while the sun was still shining so jackal could hit the sack. b and i turned on a movie [independence day of course] and i fell asleep at 930 p.m. without one real firework spied. what a night.

i might be a little depressed that my first 4th as a mom was just that: more mom-like than i prefer. but really, it wasn't so bad. i was with my family, i'm in a beautiful new city, i still got a home-grilled burger for dinner and i still love america. plus, we've already cemented plans to spend NEXT 4th of july in my very favorite independence day location [lake powell], so at least i have that to look forward to. hooray for the red white & blue!