Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Our trip to Seattle, Washington

We were up at 4:45am to catch our 7:50am flight to Vancouver, Canada and woke Andie up to get her loaded in the car.  TL dropped me off at the airport check in area while he and Andie drove to long term parking to leave the car and catch the shuttle back.  I stood in a long line at the airline counter and waited.  They arrived and we made it to the front, when we were asked for our passports.  TL handed over our passports and Andie's birth certificate (she's 13 months old).  The lady said, well, she needs a passport, too!  This was news to us.  I had researched it and it said that as long as children are under two, they can travel to Canada with just a birth certificate.  Well, that is true, however, when you are using an airplane as your form of transportation, even a tiny infant needs a passport.  Car, bus, train, or walking - a birth certificate works just fine.  Whoops.  So we were denied getting on our flight.

So, we made our way back on to the shuttle and back to our car while I called our hotel in Vancouver and was luckily able to cancel with out any penalties (thank goodness!).  I also called an started trying to figure out what to do with our airfare.  We made it home and TL and I talked and figured why not go to Seattle (the next stop on our adventure) early and just extend our time there.  I called the airline, spoke with a supervisor and explained our dilemma, and was able to change our flight (with out having to pay the $139 per person change fee, yikes) to Seattle that evening.

We finally made it to Seattle at about 7pm.  After the adventure of getting to our hotel via their light rail system, we were so relieved to see our bed and take showers.  TL and I laughed when we saw a pretty major leak in our bathtub - moldy and wet sheetrock.  Andie had already gone to sleep, but he called down just to let them know.  The service was amazing - they sent someone up immediately and they were so nice and felt terrible.  It wasn't a huge deal to us, we were just happy to have a comfy place to sleep.  The next day, they moved rooms and the hotel manager said she was going to make it up to us.  We weren't a single bit upset about it, and we were just happy they could move us rooms.  Well, did they ever - the next day we were moved to The Governor's Suite on the top floor of the hotel for no charge for the rest of our stay.  We had gorgeous views of Seattle, Lake Union, even the Space Needle.  It made coming up to the room for nap time VERY easy.  I could look out the window for hours!!  What a huge room, and the views were spectacular!  SO, thank you Westin Seattle for being so sweet.  Completely made up for our blender of getting there.

We really enjoyed Seattle.  I got to meet up with my long time blog friend, Carol, from Everyday Delights.  We've "known" each other for several years and it was so fun to see her in person and get to catch up.  She was so sweet and was full of good recommendations for us.  My parents ended up joining us after a couple days and they were even upgraded to be in a room close to us.

While we were there, we went to Pike's Place Market, The 1st Starbucks, The Museum of Flight, Boeing Tour (TL & my dad went, they weren't super impressed), The Space Needle, The Lake Union District, and spent time exploring and walking all over downtown.  We also did The Duck Tour of Seattle, which was fun.  Worth it if you'd like information about the city and a ride on Lake Union.

If you make it to Seattle, I definitely recommend the Museum of Flight, especially if you or anyone in your group like airplanes.  We thought it was really cool.  My dad and TL wouldn't recommend the Boeing Tour (this one is in Everett, outside the city and hard to get to).  They said it was disappointing because you couldn't really see anything from the observation deck.  The Space Needle and the Area underneath it is really nice, we spent a lot of time walking around.  They have a children's museum, and a few other museums, plus a great cafeteria full of different unique restaurants.  Our favorite area was the Lake Union area.  They have restaurants along the waterfront that you can sit at and watch the Seaplanes take off and land.
One of the views from our Suite - we were in heaven!

 My mom and TL riding on the monorail from the Needle to Downtown
Andie loved looking out from the Duck!
Watched a World Cup game before heading out to explore!
On top of the Space Needle
 I wasn't ready for the picture, but this is a 747 up close at The Museum of Flight.  Andie is showing how big the engine is!
Exhausted at the Museum of Flight sleeping on pops.
 These Doughnuts are delicious - worth a visit if you're in Seattle!
With sweet Carol, so glad we were able to meet!

We had amazing weather in Seattle.  We didn't get any rain, just a small drop on the day we were leaving.  It's a beautiful city with so much to explore.  The one thing we didn't get to do is ride the ferry to Bainbridge Island, which we will have to go back to do!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Andie's 1st Birthday Party

I realize I am TWO months late in posting about Andie's first birthday party, but it was such a special day, I have to make sure I share.  When planning it, I wanted something fun, simple, and surrounded by the people who love Andie.  Many of our family and close friends came and we were so happy to have them here.  Andie wasn't exactly a fan of the singing and all the attention being on her, but it's her birthday... she can cry if she wants to, right!?

For her party, we decorated our garage and set up tables.  It was really pretty weather outside, and it worked perfectly because Pinkberry, Andie's favorite frozen yogurt, catered the dessert.  We did sliders, chicken, sandwiches, and a variety of appetizers for food.  I didn't cook a single thing myself - but it was simple and worked well.

I had a time capsule set up for Andie.  Our friends and family wrote a card to her, and I will give them to her to open on her 21st Birthday.  I also had everyone sign a canvas that I had put her footprints on so she could remember who was at her first birthday.

I ordered her personalized "Andie" onsie from Leah at Simply Made with Love, and her birthday bib and hat from Dainty Couture on Etsy.  All of the decorations were found online at a discount party store, and the balloons were from Party City.  The flowers were from Costco, and the banners my friend Lynsey helped me make.  I really enjoyed planning and decorating.  We ordered her first birthday invites from Tiny Prints (they have the cutest selection of invites)!

Thank you so much to my neighbor, Carol, who took all of these pictures.  I was so bad and didn't take a single one! I am also waiting for more to come from a friend of ours who took several of Andie with different family members.

It was such a fun day.  We love our little one year old!  She is so blessed to have so many special family and friends in her life.

Friday, July 11, 2014

5 on Friday

Holy smokes, it's been two months since I have written in my little space of the cyber world.  I wasn't planning on taking a break, it just happened.  It is the longest break I have taken since starting this blog in 2008, but it was needed.  This isn't the only thing I have been taking a little break from... sometimes, we just step away from things for a little while and it helps us refresh and we can re-prioritize.  It feels good :)  I never want this to feel like a chore, because I write here for me - so I can look back and remember parts of my life.

Things have been quite busy, in a good way.  Our sweet girl has been changing and growing so much.  She is 14 months old today, and I can't believe it.  It has been so much fun watching her grow, it's a joy and a blessing that I am so grateful for everyday.  We have done some traveling in the last month and we had her 1st Birthday party. I am so excited to share about these things soon!

ONE.  World Cup fever.  I am not a huge soccer fan, but I know enough about it to follow the Cup.  Anyone who lives in my house would know, though.  Sports Center is pretty much always on, and TL and his brother are such big fans - I can't help but jump on the bandwagon.  We are pulling for Argentina and Germany for the final - I will be happy either way, I just hope it's a good game :)
TWO.  My favorite things that Andie is saying lately are "what's that?" - she points and asks what pretty much everything is, and "NUTS" - when she drops something or falls down.  It is so cute and cracks us up.  She is getting to be so animated and her personality is so darn sweet.  She loves giving hugs and kisses and lights up when she sees people she knows, especially us and my parents.  She's a wild girl, too.  Loves being tossed high in the air and flipping around.  Makes me nervous, but you can't help but laugh when she screams and giggles.
THREE.  Hot, hot, hot.  Not only are we experiencing a terrible drought in Northern California, but it has been hot, which is quite typical for our summers.  We've seen a few days of 100+ and luckily we have some friends with pools, so we have been able to escape a little bit.  Andie absolutely loves the water - we have a fish!

FOUR.  100 Happy Days.  I know I probably won't be able to do it every single day - sometimes I go a day or two with out instagram, but I joined in with the new #100happydays movement on Instagram (@tracyzlesh).  I love the idea of recognizing the little things in our lives that make our days happy, even if they are really small.
FIVE.  This heat has had me dreaming of putting a pool in our backyard, so on pinterest I have been going crazy pinning images of my dream pools.  Even though we are years away from being able to do something like this, and our backyard is not quite as fancy as these ;), it still makes me excited to think about.

Hope you have a happy Friday and a beautiful weekend :)

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Dear Andie... You're ONE!!

Dear Andie,

I can't wrap my head around the fact that you are one year old.  This year has passed at an impossible pace, and when I think of those moments, those precious first moments, of holding you for the first time, I am overwhelmed with amazement at what a beautiful little girl you are.  You've developed, changed, grown, thrived and brought an intense amount of joy to our lives.  We look at you everyday and are still blown away that you are our baby.

This last month has brought so many changes, just as each month of this first year of your life has.  You started walking... you took your first steps on May 2nd, and that same day, you were able to go about 10 in a row before wobbling down to your buns.  Each day, you have gained more confidence and are starting to walk more and more often.  We weren't too anxious for you to walk, but I was starting to feel bad that your knees were always red from crawling.

Your personality is really blooming.  One of my favorite things that you do is play peek-a-boo.  You have so much animation and you play at least 20 times a day.  Sometimes you have nothing to hide behind, so you'll just put your chin to your chest and hold it there, then suddenly pop up and look at me with a smile.  It's adorable.  You've also started talking on the phone, with just about any device that looks similar to the phone.  Your little smile lights up when I pick up a phone and say "Hello?  Oh... you want to talk to Andie!"  You've also perfected waving hello and goodbye (which you've been doing for a few months), finger bumping, and high five - ing!  You also know how to "brush" your own hair after watching mama do it.  :)

This month, we took a quick trip to Tahoe with your auntie Juju & Uncle Matt, and your cousin Stella.  You seemed to enjoy it and went on your first bike ride with daddy.  You and Stella are starting to play with each other more and it is so darling to watch.

You are a very happy baby.  When we say "yaaay" you clap your hands with excitement.  You smile all the time, are easy going, and enjoy seeing people and watching your surroundings.  Many people tell me how observant you are.  You aren't afraid to make eye contact and love when people acknowledge you.  You love to share, but are also quick to take it back.  When you are eating, it's adorable because you'll stick your little arm out with a little food in your fingers and offer it to me and dada.  Even squishy and slobbery food tastes good from you.  You are such a sweet heart.

You are wearing lots of 9 month clothes, 6-12 month, and some 12 month.  I know soon you will be transitioning into all 12 month size, and it makes me a little sad.  I can't believe how big you've gotten, although you are still a little peanut.  At the doctor's office, you weighed 18 pounds and are 28 inches long.  You wear size 3 diapers and still only have 2 teeth (your bottom two).  You've slowly started doing a little bit better in the car.  I've made it a few times to Gramz and Pop's house with out you crying in the car, which is always a relief!

Andie, I am so proud of you.  I see your love of the simple things in life and it reminds me daily to stop and enjoy everything about you.  I am in awe of you, and I hope as each year passes you stay true to your heart, believe in yourself, and never doubt your beauty.  My wish for you is that you are kind, caring, and confident.  Don't give up on what you believe in.  And NEVER forget how deeply you are loved.  You, my beautiful daughter, are the best thing to ever happen to me.  Thank you for making me a mom, and giving me this wonderful year.  It's been the best and I didn't take a single day for granted!

I love you,

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Spring Break Tahoe Trip

I love that my sister and I have girls so close in age - it's been fun, and I know it's going to be a blast as they get older together.  Over my BIL's spring break - we took a quick trip to South Lake Tahoe.  We stayed at The Fireside Lodge (we've stayed here before).  The experience was a little different this time around (the owner is a little wacky, but if you can avoid him, the place is great!).  

We had a great time - had good weather the first two days, but a major snow storm came in for our drive home.  It was beautiful, but a little scary to drive in.  The girls went on a couple walks, we took a bike ride, went on a short hike to Vikingsholm in Emerald Bay, explored and ate at Heavenly Village, made s'mores by the campfire both nights and had dinner (and Rum Runners) at The Beacon.  The girls both did so well - and it was so fun to see them play and interact with each other.

Andie with "Kona"
 S'mores by the fire.
Playing before bed time.
We drove home in this!  Beautiful.

I love Tahoe... and feel so lucky to live so close to such a beautiful place!