Sunday, December 04, 2011

The Best Kind of Day

Yesterday, I got to experience one of my favorite activities. As I look back on it, it was my idea of the perfect day! First, two of my best friends and I made our annual trek to the spa. Over the years, we've figured out that our holidays are better spent together at the spa rather than spending hours shopping for gifts for one another at the mall. It has become one of the absolute highlights of my year. As with a few years past, we gathered at the Oasis Salon and Spa in Woodinville for facials and massages. It was completely relaxing and absolutely what I needed. After spending the morning in the spa, we enjoyed lunch together complete with conversation and laughter. I still have a smile on my face from spending time with great friends -- this is definitely my favorite activity all year!

After completing some Christmas shopping on my own (what was I thinking -- going to 'big box stores' on a Saturday in December!?!), I returned home and got to spend the evening with my husband. We ran some errands before venturing to the theater to see The Muppets on the big screen. It's been quite some time since we went to a movie theater, so this was quite the treat. The movie had us laughing and giggling the whole time, and we both thoroughly enjoyed it.

Any mention of the Muppets takes me back to my childhood, when I used to watch the Muppet Show with my father every week; I'd anticipate the next show with great excitement. Kermit and his friends always made me laugh, and I continue to be a fan to this day.

Spas. Movies. Good times with great friends. An evening with my husband. These are the ingredients to the best kind of day in my book! :)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Things to be Thankful For

Another Thanksgiving is upon us, and I am reminded once again of the many blessings in my life. From feeling the first stirrings of our impending arrival to spending precious moments with my family, I am very thankful for the abundance in my life.

The weather has turned blustery, wet, and cold around here. Fall (and soon Winter) has arrived here in the great Northwest. For the past few mornings, I have found myself waking up to the pitter-patter of rain and a feeling of continued amazement at the world around me. God's creation is so intricately woven, and we are all threads in the fabric of the world. I am ever reminded of what a wonderful world we live in, and I am grateful.

For all of the friends, family, and others who have blessed my life this year, thank you. I am thankful for each of you and hope that this Thanksgiving you are surrounded by love and laughter.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 14, 2011

This is Not an April Fool's Joke

I haven't posted here for a while, and I suppose that I should bring y'all up-to-date about the happenings in the KermitFan household. But first, a video that makes me smile:

This commercial came along a few weeks ago, and made me smile because I could be the woman in this video since I haven't been shouting from the rooftops our latest news. Nonetheless, I'm pleased to report that I am 20 weeks pregnant. At halfway through the pregnancy, (our 'official' due date is April 1st) so far I have been healthy and happy.

We went to the doctor's office today to have our "big" ultrasound. It was an incredible experience! Although we didn't get to see the face, he was kind enough to "moon" us and both the ultrasound technician and the doctor said that without a doubt we are having a baby boy.

Tonight, I get to go to sleep with the sound of our baby's heartbeat thumping through my memories and visions of our ultrasound rolling through my brain. I'm looking forward to meeting our new addition, and until then I will get to dream about all of the adventures that we'll be embarking on in the coming months.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Happy Birthday Lennie!

Today is my favorite guy's birthday. Today marks the day that he decided to grace the world with his marvelous presence.

Happy birthday, Lennie. I'm so glad to have you in my life!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Dear Jessica...

Dear Jessica in South Carolina,
Please, please, please learn your e-mail address. It turns out that your e-mail address is not the same as mine. Yet, you seem to insist on continuing to give out my e-mail address as your address at every turn. Over the last 6+ months, I have consistently turned down birthday parties for your son's friends, declined to participate in your neighborhood's yard sale, and I really, really don't want to work as a classroom volunteer. In fact, I would like to say thank you for having my e-mail address published in your school's phone book as yours. It was delightful deleting 45 e-mails (do people really need to reply all?!) the other day.

Jessica, if you should choose to not learn your e-mail address, I will be forced to continue to reply to these e-mails stating that you did not receive the message, I will continue declining party invitations, and I will also continue deleting any accounts that you create (you didn't actually want to get a job from that job site, did you?). How you succeed at continually opening accounts with the wrong address (where you have to double enter your e-mail address) is beyond me....

Please Jessica, learn your e-mail address and stop giving mine out.


Kermit Fan

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Happy 4th Anniversary!

Today marks the 4th anniversary of our marriage. It has been an exciting journey, and I am beyond grateful for having Lennie in my life. What a joy to share my life with such a loving, talented, caring man!

I can't wait to see what adventures lie ahead for us, and I'm so glad that I get to go through my life journey with Lennie by my side.

I love you Lennie!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

New Orleans Adventures

Work called me to New Orleans, LA recently, and since it's not often (read: ever) that I get to fly to Louisiana, Lennie and I jumped at the opportunity to take a long weekend and explore a new area. Although it was a long journey to get there (thanks to a 5 hour delay in Denver), I arrived to sticky, humid weather in New Orleans at 3:30 Friday morning. Tired and ready to be done with my 24 hour day (which was not enhanced by my harrowing cab ride!), I checked into the Hotel Intercontinental in downtown New Orleans. Once again, I got a great deal on a very nice hotel room from Even though the bed was super comfortable, sleep came slowly and I finally drifted off around 5 in the morning. Lennie was traveling on mileage, and arrived around 10 on Friday morning.

After sleeping off our jet lag, we strolled down to the waterfront for our first true taste of New Orleans. We enjoyed our first deep fried meal of the long weekend, complete with a delectable shrimp po' boy and the largest salad that I have seen in quite some time. After exploring a little more, we decided to enjoy the rooftop pool at the hotel. (It turns out that Seattleites like ourselves don't really do well with the heat and humidity!)

On Friday night, we decided to walk the few blocks over to Bourbon Street for dinner and some jazz. Thank goodness that we stopped and talked with the concierge before we went over there -- he gave us some sage advice as well as forewarned us that this was not an experience for everyone. Boy, was he right! After enjoying another great meal on the edges of Bourbon Street, we toured the Friday night scene in the heart of Bourbon Street and the French Quarter. I suspect that anyone who walked past us could quickly see the wonder in our eyes, for the few blocks that we walked were completely In-describable; it was definitely not in our comfort zone. Fortunately, our concierge pal told us to check out Irvin Mayfield's Jazz Playhouse at the Royal Sonesta Hotel. Not only did we get a front row seat for some great jazz, it was the laid back atmosphere that we were looking for!

Saturday was a super tourist day for us; we took a 3+ hour city tour, where we we got to see the French Quarter, the 9th Ward, the Garden District, and more. I always like taking a city tour because it gives a great overview of the city -- helping you hit the highlights and identify areas where you'd like to explore even more. Part of the city tour took us through the 9th Ward, which was one of the areas hit hardest by hurricane Katrina. It's hard to believe that that was almost ten years ago now... the devastation left behind by the storm is still very evident, and it broke my heart to see neighborhoods torn apart. Living so far away from New Orleans, it's easy to forget the impact of Hurricane Katrina; however, it is clear to me that we all need to remember that they are still living in the aftermath of the horrific storm, and we should lend a helping hand whenever we can.
Above ground graves at a city cemetery.
Beignets at Cafe du Monde. (Warning: a very messy food!)

On Sunday, we had the opportunity to take a swamp tour. I never would have thought that I'd say that a swamp was beautiful, but this was definitely a highlight of our trip. The greenery was breathtaking, and getting out of the city was exactly what we needed. Lennie and I definitely enjoyed every minute of this tour, and I would highly recommend that you go on one if you ever get the opportunity to do so!
Sitting in the swamp... the green at the bottom of the picture is actually  small plants in the water.
Baiting the alligators to get them closer to the boat. (Yikes!)

Monday brought the reality that Lennie was leaving the fair city of New Orleans, and I had to prepare to work at the trade show. We had a relaxing morning and got to enjoy lunch together before Lennie boarded the bus to the airport and I began setting up for the show.

I'm very grateful that we got to spend the weekend together in New Orleans, and I definitely think that it's a city that everyone should experience at least once in their lifetime; it's quite the experience! Check out some of our photos from the weekend here.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Memorial Day Memories

This year, for Memorial Day, we had the good fortune to spend time in downtown Portland, OR with some great friends. After scoring a good deal on a hotel room at the Westin Portland, plans were set in motion to drive down to Oregon and explore for the weekend. Lennie and I took a leisurely Saturday drive, enjoying the I-5 scenery and a relatively sunny day. It felt very freeing to get out of town, even if it was only a few hours down the road.

Once we got to the hotel, we parked the car and didn't get back in until we made our way home two days later. It was great to walk around the city to see the sights! A few of the highlights include:
Here's some of my favorite photos from the weekend:

World's Smallest Park -- Lennie's shoe is almost the whole length! :-)

Vietnam Memorial in Forest Park
Me being silly with the statue in Pioneer Square, Portland OR
We thoroughly enjoyed spending time in Portland with our friends, and look forward to visiting the city again soon!

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Circle of Life?

Two days before my family arrived in town this week, our tulips were blooming nicely and the yard looked fantastic. Then, Lennie and I drove home from work one evening and as we pulled into the driveway Lennie asked: "Did you trim the tulips yesterday?" To which I replied, "No, why do you ask?" Upon further inspection, we discovered that quite a few of our prized tulips had been sheered off by some animal... we even found two hoof prints in the soil.

Today, as we were working around the garage, the suspected tulip bandit wandered into our neighbor's yard and meandered down the street while we looked on:
As I told Lennie: our yard has been contributing to the circle of life, feeding a nice young deer. How nice of us, I suppose...

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Happy 70th Birthday Dad!

Today, my father celebrates his 70th birthday. Friends and family will gather to celebrate this wonderful man's life and to wish him well for many years to come. I'm excited to spend time with everyone, and proud to have you as my father.

Happy 70th birthday dad!

(And to my nephew Andrew: happy birthday to you too!)  :-)

Monday, April 04, 2011

One Amazing Woman

Recently, I had the opportunity to go through some old letters and photos from my family. While I was reading through World War II era letters between my grandmother and my great grandmother, I began to fully understand and appreciate what an amazing woman my grandmother was. She was strong, an adventurer, and a trailblazer for her time.

When she was alive, I didn't realize what my grandmother had gone through -- raising two fine boys as a widower/single mother in the 40's and 50's. Grandma Margaret traveled around the US at a time that it wasn't convenient to 'hop on a plane' for a weekend trip to the other coast; she adventured to life in New York, North Carolina, and Minneapolis.

She struggled, and yet she succeeded. I just wish that I had understood how amazing she was while she was still around. Instead, I will have to be content with sitting back and appreciating my family history, and the contribution that my grandmother made to our family. Thank you for who you are and all that you did, Grandma!

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Logging Off

Over the past few weeks, I've felt compelled to log off of the computer... For days and even two weeks at a time, I have not been logging in to Facebook, nor have I been checking my 'personal' e-mail incessantly after work or on weekends. And I've got to tell you: it feels great.

I'm no longer spending hours at a time playing mindless games or obsessing over what people had for lunch or how they feel about politics. Instead, I've been logging off and actually spending face-to-face time with people, or spending time writing letters and making telephone calls. My husband and I have had some great conversations, as we've been spending time with one another instead of near each other.

Perhaps we don't all need to be as connected as we think. When I do log in to Facebook and other online resources, I realize that I haven't really been missing anything. I feel free!

My cell phone, my only phone that is, does only a few things: text messages and telephone calls. We recently went to our cell phone provider to see about upgrading me, but when I realized that the 'free' phone was going to cost us almost $400 in additional fees over the life of the contract, I decided to stick with my current phone. I don't need to be online all the time, nor do I need to be that accessible to e-mail and other communication channels.

And that, my friends, is why I'm logging off more and more often. I am recommitting myself to reaching out to friends and family the 'old fashioned' way -- through classic letter writing and good old fashioned one-on-one time. So far, it feels great!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Another Year Older

I have just marked another birthday, and as my family and I celebrated this weekend, I began to reflect back on how much has happened in the last year. We closed the sale on my condo last year on my birthday. Since then, it has been a whirlwind of moving into temporary quarters, buying a house, and moving again. We cleaned out storage boxes, gave things away, and added new things to our home. We turned our house into a home, planting trees, changing decor, and generally settling in to our new surroundings.

On the job front, my company was acquired over the summer, and I integrated into a team of great professionals. It was a great change for me, and I can't wait to see what else lies ahead for our company. It seems that much of the year was filled with change, but at the same time everything is still the same; I love spending time with my friends and family, and we still live in a beautiful area. Life is good.

Over my birthday weekend, I got to spend time with my parents and with Lennie.  We were blessed with sunny weather (a rarity for Seattle in February). We got to take in the sights, enjoy a few great meals together, and generally enjoy one another's company. It was truly a great weekend with my family, and I can't wait to see what the year ahead brings!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Lottery & Dreams

I'm not really a gambling woman, I don't enjoy trips to the casino, and I don't regularly purchase lottery tickets. It seems that I work hard enough for my money that I feel kind of connected to it and want to be wise with my cash. Recently, however, the Mega Millions jackpot hit $330 million, so I parted with some of my cash. I'm sorry to say that I didn't win anything with my ticket, but I feel like my money was well spent...

For a few dollars, I was able to dream about what I would do with the winnings: pay off the house, donate money to charities, travel, dream. One little lottery ticket (and one large jackpot) led me into multiple conversations with friends and family about what we would do if we were suddenly wealthy. Virtually everyone that I spoke with said that they would squirrel money away in a savings or other accounts, and splurge on travel or other luxuries.

In the few days between purchasing my ticket and the lottery drawing, I allowed my mind to wander... It was great! As we drove down the road, I would ask Lennie "what if we..." and I would spin stories and ideas about how we would help others or enjoy the bounty of lottery winnings. My random numbers may not have been drawn, but I certainly enjoyed thinking about what I would do with the winnings!