Sunday, October 28, 2012


oct. 20, 2012 was our sixth anniversary! as mentioned previously, we didn't celebrate much on the actual day because of my mom's change in travel plans, a crazy halloween party, etc. so instead we played hooky and celebrated on monday and tuesday. traditional work weeks are for suckers. ;)

it was so nice to have my mom in town to watch jack, and she insisted we go away for at least a night. sure, i can do that. we planned a little staycation right here in seattle and stayed at the four seasons in downtown. it was dreamy, complete with complimentary chocolate-covered celebratory strawberries, room service for breakfast and a tv right in the mirror. we had a delicious & kid-free dinner at lecosho and then walked around the waterfront.

the view from our hotel's rooftop deck was amazing! my favorite ferris wheel all lit up:

the next day, we crossed something off our long-procrastinated to do list and took the seattle underground tour. (sometimes we talk so much about doing things that we end up NEVER doing them because it just gets ridiculous. case in point: living in LA, we wanted to go to an outdoor movie at the hollywood forever cemetary sooooo bad. they show movies on the wall of a mausoleum, while you sit on the graves of hollywood starlets! awesome right? anyway, we talked about it SO much, and even drove all the way there twice, but never actually made it inside. i am convinced i will go to my grave -- pun intended -- without ever seeing a movie there. sad. tangent over.)

this, however, totally delivered! such a cool way to learn more about the history of our city -- and dig around in some old buildings too.

long story short -- when seattle was founded in the 19th century, they had a ton of problems with the water table & city development. after a fire wiped out most of the city, they rebuilt -- but decided to raise the entire city 15 feet. thus, the first floor of all the buildings became the basement, with the second floor becoming the main level. the roads were filled in, but all the sidewalks & basements still exist. this tour takes you through a few of the remaining basements and walkways, which were still open for business for a while after the re-grade (thus the skylights below). this is the earliest known photo of the original seattle:

i love all the old buildings in pioneer square. smith tower is especially cool. i got to go in there for the first time a few weeks ago -- they are the only building in seattle with real live elevator operators! i felt so fancy.

from there, we walked back to pike place market for some beecher's mac & cheese and headed home to see jack & my mom. it was a perfect little getaway and i hope we start doing this every year. ;)

and now, for the traditional anniversary walk down memory lane:

3 states, a few bad haircuts, and six great years. and i'm proud of myself for sticking by last year's pledge for no more children in anniversary photos. ;) i love you, b!

Friday, October 26, 2012

the great grammie visit of 2012

my mom came to visit us last weekend! living far from both sides of our family definitely has its drawbacks -- namely, lack of free babysitting quality grandparent time -- so we're always so excited when people come to visit and we can stock up on good, solid relationship-building. this weekend was perfect.

mom was originally scheduled to arrive on thursday afternoon, but she's now a hotshot blogger and got a last-minute invite to attend an all-expenses-paid blogger summit at the pfizer headquarters in NYC on friday. um, yeah. i'd take that trip too. so instead she jetted out to the east coast for 24 hours (what IS it with payzant women only getting 24 hours over there? we need to lengthen our trips for sure) then flew into seattle late friday night.

saturday was me & b's anniversary, which was to be celebrated a few days later, but we still wanted to have fun. all four of us had THE most incredible brunch of my life (no understatement -- and i've had a lot of brunches!) at pomegranate, right down the street. then we drove 15 minutes and went to jubilee farm for some pumpkin patching.

we went to this same farm last year and had loved it so much, we had to come back. it's just so perfect out there. gorgeous scenery, a hay ride out to the patch, cider & cooked corn, farm animals, even a giant wooden pumpkin slingshot that looked like something from braveheart. we love jubilee farm!

a comparison -- this year's hay ride vs. last year's. my hair is longer & jack is huge!:

after the farm, it was home for apple cider & football. b and i stayed up SOOOO late and went to a midnight halloween party, made possible only by having my mom in town. how else could i ever get a midnight babysitter? thanks mom. b donned his classic ghostbusters costume and i was katniss from the best book ever!

sunday was church and recovery mode after staying out so late. monday, b went to work and my mom & i took jack to the zoo! i had really been looking forward to this because we hadn't been to the woodland park zoo yet, and because i spent the majority of my childhood going to the LA zoo with my mom & MY grammie. (pretty sure this was only because grammie had a membership so it was good, cheap entertainment every time we came to visit -- "what should we do today?" "i know, the zoo! again!" -- but regardless, i have many happy memories.)

unfortunately, this is seattle, not burbank, and we froze our butts off. it rained the majority of the time we were there, i forgot gloves for jack, half the animals were off hibernating somewhere and they didn't even have a rhino. ah well, it was an adventure!

my favorite section was the rainforest because it was indoor and soooo warm. the zoo is pretty well prepared for inclement weather, as it should be, with lots of covered viewing areas and an indoor playground. they just can't force animals to frolic outside when it's 40 degrees out. ;)

we actually got pretty lucky -- the animals that WERE out ended up being super easy to see, like the elephant above. we could get so close! the best part of the day was when we rounded the corner to the jaguar exhibit to see one guy sitting RIGHT up against the glass. for a second i thought it was a fake. ;) but here is proof. i've never been so close to a jaguar and couldn't get over how gorgeous it was. now i want to open a zoo.

we're talking...CLOSE.

we came home to thaw out and then b & i left on our anniversary staycation (more on that later). we were only gone for a day and a half but i think jack & grammie got some fabulous bonding time in. she even taught him how to make her world-famous sugar cookies.

annnnnd then it was wednesday and we took her to the airport. :( it was such a fun visit! come again soon, grammie!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

jack's first football game

lots to catch up on around here! prepare yourselves, people. we'll start with jack's first college football game on october 13th. i was pretty sure he'd do fine at the game, considering he's thrilled any time football comes on tv and because b had taken him to a local high school game while i was out of town, but you never know. turns out he did awesome and the hardest part of the whole night was carrying his 30-pound little body to the stadium from our discount parking spot a mile away.

we went to the UW game -- but we were mostly there to see the opposing team: the USC trojans of course! i felt sort of like a traitor for not cheering the home team -- i've developed a soft spot for those huskies in the year+ we've lived here -- but let's be serious, i'll cheer red & gold no matter what. the UW stadium is being renovated so they played at century link field, where the seahawks play -- we'd never been there and loved how nice everything was! thanks to my trojan granddad, we bought tickets in the hardcore USC fan section (people who had traveled there just for the game) right behind the band and it was so much fun.

don't let jack's face fool you -- he had a great time. i think he was just overwhelmed by ALL the people and would get shy whenever we wanted to take a picture. he literally spent three quarters + halftime sitting in my lap, happily munching on snacks and watching the game. (he loves to yell "touchdown!" no matter who has the ball.) he finally got brave in the 4th quarter and climbed up and down the stairs & over the seats until it was time to go.

he was LOVING the band so we took him down to visit the drummers, but he got shy again. jack has had a thing for drumming lately (using two pencils and any piece of wood or cardboard he can find) and i totally hope he becomes a marching band drummer one day. SOMEone in this house has to continue mama's band legacy! (even if the closest i ever got to drum line was to date the line captain. ;)

then it was time to go and it only started raining once we got to our car -- perfect timing! couldn't have asked for anything better. we hit up krispy kreme for a family treat on the way home and jack talked about his donut longer than he talked about the game, so apparently next time we can skip the football part. such a fun family outing -- i love watching football with my boys. (especially when my team kicks UW's butt. ;)

Saturday, October 6, 2012


dude. things have been crazy around here lately. my sister's fun visit, some more changes in the works for our little family, the most heartbreaking tragedy happening to people in our ward, sad real-life stuff happening to friends, more two-year-old tantrums and a quickie 24-hour trip to florida -- all in just the past two weeks! i've been trying to compartmentalize everything and sometimes it's just overwhelming. but lucky for me, this weekend is general conference -- one of my two favorite weekends of the year and a chance to sit back, refocus and remember that god knows me.

i've had two things on my mind the past week -- death and children. could barely believe it when so many of the conference talks today centered on exactly those two subjects. i barely even knew the roos family but so many people in our church & community have been devastated by the news (including us), so it was incredible to me that god could comfort all of us through the words spoken today. i've been thinking a lot about my kiddo, too, and what i can do to be a better mama to him; between the talks today and reading this awesome book on my flight home, i feel totally energized and ready to implement some new family goals. life is not nearly so scary and overwhelming when you have a plan, both for the day-to-day and for eternity.

but anyway. i flew to orlando on thursday, checked into a hotel, spoke at a conference on friday morning, went shopping and flew home. fastest day and a half of my LIFE but such a fun, peaceful break. i'm kind of exhausted after all that travel -- and b swears i'm never allowed to leave him as a single parent again ;) -- but it was so worth it. i did things like order room service, hang out by the pool, read a book from start to finish, and sit quietly BY MYSELF without anyone whining at me. then i came home ready to be a mom again.

on my way home, i stopped at disney world's downtown disney to do a little shopping. it totally tripped me out because a.) when i was 13 my family went there on vacation after i had dreamt of going there for years and i got soooo excited about it that i spent four full months planning the entire trip (we're talking daily lists of rides to go on, ranked in order based on their wait times at specific times of day -- yeah, cuckoo) and i have such good memories of it and b.) i can't WAITTTT to take jack to disneyland for the first time. like, i almost started crying just walking into the world of disney store because they were playing happy disney music and i'm so excited to introduce him to all of that. then it started POURING rain -- florida rain is like a nuclear bomb compared to seattle's wimpy, misty rain -- and i hopped in a taxi and headed to the airport.

and here we are. for the record, after two weeks of completely boycotting naps, jack took one every day this week. so i got that going for me. here's to re-energizing and a happy week ahead!

Monday, October 1, 2012

aunt rachie

last weekend my sister rachel came to visit! she lives in idaho and we don't get to see her nearly enough so i was reallllly excited she could come to seattle. we hit all the required tourist destinations (including the infamous gum wall, which i'd never seen before and was completely grossed out by), went shopping, met b in bellevue for lunch, made s'mores on the deck, hit up a few mommy playdates (sorry again;), took jack to the park and went to church.

but, i think my favorite part was just having her around to talk to and hang out with. plus it's nice to have someone else around who thinks jack is as amazing as we do. ;) also, my sister is really cool. she has ombre hair and chevron nail polish. way too cool for idaho. 

this was the best shot i got of the three of us together. lame. :( can you find me?:

jack has been asking for her ever since she left, and i have to admit i wish she was still around too. thanks for coming, rachie! we miss you already.