Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Since we've moved to our house in late April, I've been observing our new neighborhood and the surrounding area from a different point of view. Garages have definitely caught my attention, especially since we now have a two-car garage of our own. One of the things that strikes me is how different every one's garage is, and how you use your garage says a lot about what is important to your lifestyle.

For example, one of our neighbors has a two car garage, with one half of the garage dedicated to being used as a home gym, complete with a heavy bag and mats to stretch out on. The other half is used to park their sporty car. I'm definitely envious of their dedication to their health and fitness!

Others in the neighborhood have their garages packed to the gills with boxes and other flotsam and jetsam from their lives. So much so that over 75% of our neighbors can't (or don't?) park their cars in their garages. This leads me to wonder: what is it about our society that tells us that we need "more, more, more" ... so much more that we fill our garages with boxes and other items so full that we can't put our cars in the garage?

For our garage, we're trying to strike a healthy balance -- parking both vehicles inside as well as storing seasonal items like our camping gear or our Christmas decorations. What does our garage say about our lives? Well, I'd say that it says that we've moved in, but there are still a few boxes left to find a home... until then, they're stacked neatly in our garage. It also says that we're working on being good gardeners, starting with the basics and working our way up... slowly! :-)

What does your garage say about you?

Sunday, October 10, 2010

August to Autumn

Phew! We've been busy here enjoying the last of the cool summer and watching the leaves turn shades of orange and yellow during the fall. I've been meaning to post for some time, but it seems that I've been neglecting this little piece of Cyberspace...

In mid-August, we had the opportunity to take a few days off and camp at Deception Pass State Park on Whidbey Island. It was such a treat to enjoy the last of the summer heat (it was actually warm during our trip, which was a rare occurrence this past summer!) with friends. While we were up on Whidbey Island, Lennie and I took a quick trip into Oak Harbor to visit with our friends Beth and Tim. It was so nice to reconnect with them and to hang out with their family for a day. They even got to bring their kids out to our campsite to make their first s'mores. Too fun! I always enjoy spending time with friends, and this quick trip was definitely what the doctor ordered. (Although, I don't think that the doctor ordered the colds that Lennie and I came home with, but that's another story...)

Over Labor Day weekend, I tried my hand at canning homemade applesauce, as well as drying the first set of apples. Yum! We also got to attend a great friend's wedding, where the blue skies made an appearance for just enough time for an outdoor affair. It was definitely a night to remember, and I'm grateful that we got to attend the event.

September has brought sunny days and crisp air as well as the beginning of Husky football season. I love the opportunity to sit in the stands and experience the energy of Husky stadium. While our team may not always pull out the win, it's certainly fun to be amongst the crowd cheering the team on to victory. I do have to say, though, that the USC win was a little too stressful for my blood -- taking it down to the last two seconds definitely brought my blood pressure up!

We're excited to be back on our "regular" schedule, with life in full swing and a fun chill in the air. Our neighbors have already decorated their houses for Halloween, complete with lights. I'm excited to see what the rest of October brings, including trick-or-treaters! Happy October everyone! :-)

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Happy Birthday, Babe!

Today's is Lennie's birthday. I am so grateful to have Lennie in my life, and can't wait to see what the next year brings!
Happy birthday Lennie!

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Sunny Summer Days

We've been doing our best to keep ourselves busy this summer. A few weeks back, we took in a concert in the park, courtesy of the Duvall Cultural Commission. (Who knew that our little burg had a culture commission!) It was quite fun to enjoy a picnic dinner while listening to Celtic music by the river. We'll definitely put this activity on the "to do" list again. Later that week, we also had the opportunity to enjoy a movie in the park with Crystal and Jonathan. Outdoor movies are one of our favorite summertime activities... not only is the price right, but it's a great way to spend a cool summer night.

This past week, I took a business trip to Phoenix, AZ. Of course, I was down there during the hottest time of year, with highs hovering around 110 degrees. I was blown away by the Phoenix natives... as I was sweating away in my shorts or breezy summer dresses, the locals were walking around in jeans and long sleeved t-shirts. In my book, if it's over 70 degrees, long sleeve t-shirts should stay in the closet! :-) Nonetheless, it was fun to zip around Phoenix and to meet my new work team. Can't wait to get back later this year (maybe then I'll appreciate the sun and heat!).

I returned home to a weekend filled with Seattle rain. However, I can't say that I'm very upset by the rain... it's a nice change of pace, really. (And I don't have to pay to water my lawn this weekend -- bonus!) Yesterday, I got to have lunch and get pedicures with two of my favorite women. Today, we get to celebrate the marriage of Dwight and Melissa. It's always fun to spend time with good friends!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Strawberries, Wine, and Mortorbikes

We've been blessed with incredible summer weather here in the Seattle area lately -- not too hot and not too cold -- so Lennie and I are trying to make the most of it. On Saturday, Lennie enjoyed the Bite of Seattle with a friend, while I tried my hand at making homemade strawberry jam. It appears to have come out well (at least it set up nicely), but we haven't had the opportunity to crack open one of the jars to try it out yet... stay tuned!

We went out for our "anniversary dinner" on Saturday night. The dinner was okay, but not "out of the park," which was a little disappointing for this particular restaurant. After dinner, we walked down to the Kirkland waterfront, where we browsed the booths for the "Kirkland Uncorked" festival and strolled on the dock for the "boat show." It was nice to watch the sunset and do a little people watching. :-)

Sunday took us to church, then we took my parents to the XXX Rootbeer Drive-in in Issaquah for a motorbike rally. There were some amazing bikes there -- from custom choppers to Harleys and more. I never knew that there were so many different flavors of motorbikes! It almost inspired me to become a motorcycle rider, but I'm not sure that we're really ready for that lifestyle... What fun to be able to walk around and take in the sights though!

So how about you, great Internet world, how was your weekend?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Happy 3rd Anniversary!

Today marks our third wedding anniversary. I'm proud to have Lennie as my husband, and I look forward to spending many, many more years together filled with laughter and love.



I love you babe!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Cirque du Soleil and New Furniture

Last weekend was another whirlwind! We spent Saturday morning at an estate sale, where we scored a great black leather recliner for an absolute steal, and my mother purchased a beautiful -- but heavy -- dining set. And there were a lot of stairs between the street and our new furniture.

While I enjoyed lunch with friends from college, Lennie and my mother began scheming on how they were going to get the furniture out of the house and back to the Eastside. It was great to see my friends from Whitworth; great conversation and some good laughs. As I was leaving, I learned that my family had rented a truck, and I headed to meet them back at the estate sale. After a lot of heavy lifting by many, and a few close calls on the stairs, the furniture was safely secured within the truck and making it's way to my parent's house. The table looks great in my parent's dining room, and I find the new recliner to be quite comfy.

On Sunday, we took advantage of the elusive Spring sunshine and got some work done in the yard. Sunday afternoon brought us back to my parents, were we enjoyed an early dinner before taking in the Cirque du Soleil show "Kooza." The show is being held under a big top style tent at Marymoor Park in Redmond. Much like the show "Ka" that we took in last month while in Las Vegas, the show was amazing. I was surprised that our back row seats still had a great view, and that the theater felt intimate, even though it was me and 2,499 of my favorite Seattleites! If you get a chance to see the show "Kooza," I say go for it -- it's definitely a great show!

Monday, June 07, 2010

Weekend Wanderings

We've been enjoying our new house, and feel like we're finally settled in. Over Memorial Day weekend, we got most of our pictures hung on the walls, just in time to share meals with good friends and family. It was great fun to have people over to our place -- and actually have enough room to host them for a meal! :-)

This past weekend, we took advantage of the Saturday sunshine and did some work around the yard. Saturday afternoon, we meandered down to "Duvall Days" to take in the street fair and enjoy a late lunch. While at the street fair, we stopped by the Lake Washington Technical College campus, where I received a free mini-facial and learned that I can make spa appointments on a budget... I will definitely be back there! After walking around for a while, we stopped in to the Duvall Grill for lunch. The food was amazing, and the waitstaff was outstanding. I have never enjoyed such a fresh salad, and Lennie ranked the bacon & blue burger amongst his top 10 burgers. We will definitely be back there -- and if you're ever in Duvall, I recommend that you drop by for a great meal!

Sunday brought grey skies and rain, which we escaped by going to a friend's dance recital. It was interesting seeing all of the kids dancing... made me wish that I had a little more rhythm, and a lot more coordination. Guess those tap and ballet lessons that I took when I was in kindergarten only go so far though... heh.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Weekend Yard Makeover

This past weekend, Lennie and I decided to makeover the front section of our yard, removing the four overgrown heather plants/bushes and planting hydrangea and lavender along our walkway.


The original plantings -- lots of heather (and a few weeds).

I hadn't realized how large the heather plants actually were... it took both of us digging and hauling in order to get the plants out. We gave three of them to my parents for their yard, and the three plants took up over half of the back of Lennie's truck!


Post-heather removal, just before we attacked the underlying clay with a rototiller.

Once we removed the plantings, we realized that everything underneath was hard clay, which required us to pick away at it with our new shovel, and then borrow my parent's rototiller to break up the dirt.

The tilling worked like a charm, and we were able to plant three new hydrangea plants as well as two lavender. Both plants have meaning for us, as I've always wanted a hydrangea plant (and it was one of the main flowers of our wedding). In addition, the lavender plants were purchased by Lennie this year during his annual Mother's Day tradition with his sister. I can't wait to see what it will look like in bloom, and am glad that we have something to remind us of family and great memories.



Final work product -- hydrangea and lavender all planted!
Want to see more photos? Click here.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Congratulations Melissa & Dwight!

This past weekend, we had the privilege of attending Dwight & Melissa's wedding in Las Vegas. It was quite the trip, and we enjoyed seeing the sights and sharing time with friends. Here are some photo highlights:

Lennie, Susahn, Travis and I got to take in the Cirque du Soleil show "Ka" as well as the lights and sights at the Freemont Street Experience.

We also got to try some deep fried Oreos -- yum!

Saturday was filled with wedding activities:

Getting ready...

Taking in the sunset at Maggiano's Little Italy.

Thank you Melissa & Dwight, for letting us share in your special day!

Friday, April 30, 2010

We've Moved!

Wow, what a whirlwind... but we did it -- we've moved! Thanks to all of those who came to help us move in to our new house, we couldn't have done it without all of you, that's for sure!

Our new house is quite roomy (although as we moved, we realized how much stuff we have), with four bedrooms and 2.75 bathrooms. It already feels like home, and has become our refuge in a few short days. Located in Duvall, Washington, we're a "little bit" out of town, but our new commute features great views and little or no freeway driving. If you're ever in Duvall, give us a call!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


Today, according to our great county, we are officially homeowners. The sale of our house recorded at the county this afternoon, and in three short days, we'll get to take posession. Yahooo!

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Signing and Signs

Wow, has it really been that long since I've posted here? Hmmm... sorry about that blogosphere! Since my last post, I've had some family visit us, helped organize a lovely bridal shower, and worked quite a bit.

It seems that we have kept ourselves busy since selling the condo in February, and I am delighted to report that we are days away from closing on our first home together. We could not be more excited about the house, and can't seem to wipe the grins off of our faces as we talk about it. Here's a few photos of us signing the papers yesterday and of us putting up the sold sign on our new home:

Signing our lives away, err... the loan and closing documents.

Putting up the "sold" sign.

Our (soon to be) new house!

View more photos of the house. Or, if you're looking for something to do in the Seattle area on the weekend of April 24th, give me a call -- we can always use help moving! :-)

Friday, February 19, 2010

Sold! Closed! Happy Birthday to ME!

Wow, what a ride. For those of you following along with this blog, you may remember that we put our condo up for sale on February 1st. Well, as of today it is sold and closed. Done deal. Finito. On the books; recorded with the county and all that jazz. Happy birthday to me! :-)

Nobody prepared me for what an emotional ride this would be, but I'm very happy to have this leg completed. Lessons learned:
  • If you're selling your home, you should definitely have a real estate agent show it. No homeowner should have to endure hearing people's commentary on the small nit-picky points that they don't like about your home.

  • It's not personal, it's business -- but sometimes it's still frustrating and hard to take yourself out of the equation.

  • If you're going to call the power company to cancel your account, be sure you write the number down correctly... there's a big difference between 1-888... and 1-800... trust me on this one!

There were a few other lessons learned, but for now, I'll leave it at that... and you'll definitely want to trust me on that last point!

Closing today was quite the birthday gift, that's for sure. Over the past three years, great things have happened on my birthday, and I sure hope the trend continues -- here's to another great year!

Monday, February 01, 2010

Just Listed!

Are you in the market for a great 2 bedroom, 1 3/4 bathroom condo in Bellevue Washington? Well, we've got one on the market, and maybe it'll be the right place for you! Check out the listing online, then contact your favorite real estate agent to take a tour. :-)

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Catching Up & Transitions

Wow, where has the time gone? The holidays have come and gone, and January is almost over. It has been a very busy time for us -- full of transitions and activity.

My last post focused on my grandmother's 90th birthday. Lennie and I had the opportunity to travel back to Minneapolis to help celebrate her birthday and to reconnect with family. The party was a great success, and we were treated to sunny but cold winter days (a high of 19!?) while touring around the Twin Cities. Photos from the party and our weekend are available here.

Upon returning home, we were thrown into the holiday season, complete with my brother's family in town for two weeks. It was fun to have kids around for the Christmas season, and we filled our after-work time with trips to the Bellevue Botanical Gardens and other area Christmas events. My oldest nephew had a hockey tournament that started immediately after Christmas, so we trekked up to Mountlake Terrace quite a few times to take in some of his games. It was busy, but we really enjoyed having the family in town. View photos from the holidays.

Amidst all of the holiday cheer, Lennie and I also began packing up our condo. For quite some time now, we have felt that condo living is no longer appropriate for our life stage. The opportunity came up to stay elsewhere while we had a our condo updated/repaired, and we jumped on it. (Note to self: don't try to pack up and move during the holidays; both items are stressful enough on their own!) Needless to say, we moved out on January 2nd and have been living out of boxes for the last few weeks (which partially explains why photos haven't been posted and I've been delinquent in posting here). As we've transitioned out of the condo, we donated many items and began "organizing" all of the 'stuff' that we have accumulated. To say that it's been overwhelming would be an understatement!

I tried to get a few "before" photos for our condo, but our contractor was on the ball and got started just before these photos were taken. Either way, you get the idea... I'm happy to say that we're nearing the finish line for the condo update project, and I snapped these photos yesterday. We could not be happier with the work that our contractor did.

So, for our next trick we'll be putting the condo up on the market within the next week or so. If you know of anyone who wants to purchase a great two bedroom, one and 3/4 bathroom condo in Bellevue, let me know. It's a great location, we're just ready to live in a house instead of a condo. :-)