Easter 2017

Happy Easter to all. Cora and Harlan got a Bible story from PawPaw so they could be reminded that Easter isn’t only about candy. Of course it was mostly about candy foot them all,  but our neighbors on Mead St made it also about community.

I didn’t get very many all inclusive pictures, but it was a beautiful day.


Winning and losing

I don’t know what else to call this day. It was euphoric and tragic. There were giggles, smiles but also tears, damaged property and death.

The day started with schools closed and beautiful snowy environs. Sean dug his Rogue SUV from the snow and braved the streets at 5am to sit on an airplane for 6 hours to go to Dallas. I planned out a fun day around a few crucial meetings but otherwise intended to enjoy the day with the kids in the snow.

When the neighbors arrived, we suited up and headed out for snowpeople making, snowball fights and sledding. Apart from Cora thinking I left her alone and getting soaked because I forgot it was SNOWING, we had fun, no real drama. We got back and only minor sibling squabbles ensued. Cora even helped me clean the fish tank, practically on her own.*

After a few more meetings we set out again, this time by bus and train to retrieve Sean’s truck from the airport. Well that’s when it got real groovy. I realized when we got on the train I had forgotten the key to Sean’s car AND I had left my phone on the bus. Got off at the next eternally far away stop. By the time we got back to train stop to go home, I irrationally decided we needed food for lunches the next day, so we popped in to the Safeway at that stop. The bus took so long after we finished (+15 min is an eternity with 2 kids who are wet, cold, and hungry) that I had to take the kids inside the shop next to the stop to warm up. They, of course, acted like they lived there and took their shoes off. I saw the bus coming and, of course, freaked  and rushed to get them shod, only to forget the bag of groceries.

We finally make it home only to realize that in my rush earlier in the day to make one of my meetings, I had forgotten the grate on the fish tank filter and it had caught Castle, Harlan’s fish, like the scene in Finding Nemo but with an unhappy ending. Harlan, bless his heart, assumed Castle had just “moved to another tank”. Cora wasn’t quite fooled.

When I went to put Castle to rest in the backyard, the ridiculously heavy gate in our yard was stuck and when I pushed on it to get it open, it straight fell off its hinge, almost on me (it’s a 6’x 8′ x 6″ gate door). I decided I need to avoid any further brushes with the horrific and stopped trying to do anything useful. Except get this out.


Deal me in, Santa

Sean was a champ in the kitchen this year. 4 batches of sugar cookies, gingerbread, chocolates, candies and general merrymaking to get ready for the family to fill the house. Oh and to cause sugar highs in the kids prior to their arrival. But mostly for merrymaking.

Making it happen in the kitchen

The results of our labors. The kids really enjoyed decorating the cookies themselves. I also got in to the piping bag decorating again as well. It’s been a while and it scratches that creative urge I don’t often get to fulfill these days.


Pretty please!

Okay but just one.

A family-made gingerbread house along with sugar cookies made for an almost irresistible centerpiece.  Hands off, buddy! We’re watching you…

I meant to get a picture BEFORE the decimation by a hungry family. Good thing the veggie tray survived.

Cora awaiting bedtime

We have a family tradition on Christmas Eve to eat delicious food,  play games and visit with each other.  For a while, there was no one to worry about getting to bed on time,  and the timing went up util midnight where my sister and I would get to open one present then off to bed we went. Of course, Cora and Harlan needed to be sent to bed in order to ensure Santa would visit our home. Thankfully there was minimal resistance as they had enjoyed a full day of family and games. Cora won every hand.


Cookies for Santa

Cora penned the note for Santa to know the cookies were especially for him.





Chinese style breakfast – Fish Floss

Why has no one told me about this little gem before? On my way to Bangkok on EVA Air, I chose the Chinese style breakfast,  pictured above.  Yam noodle and seaweed salad, rice bun and dried shrimp with pork and FISH FLOSS! It was a dried almost, powdery substance slightly sweet with a fish flavor of course. Added to the shrimp  and pork rice dish, was muy sabroso!

On this trip, no doubt there will be many posts about food, and I was lucky to start it off with something new before I even set foot in Asia :).

I’m missing the kids a lot already, and know they are having a great time with daddy!


Happy Birthday, to the love of my life. 

Sean invited me to share his annual pilgrimage to Mirror Lake along the Pacific Crest Trail for his birthday this year.  I said yes, and we both took the day off work, dropped the kids at daycare,  and headed out I-90 through Snoqualmie Pass to the trailhead. 

We packed fishing gear – a favorite pastime for Sean – the hammock for laying about – everyone’s favorite pastime – and lunch. It was a beautiful day and the trail was practically all ours. 

The last picture really sums up the day,  there were excitement and thrills had by both of us. Mine were mostly related to sleeping in the sun,  reading a funny book and hanging with my man,  but I’ll have to let Sean tell you about his thrills on his own terms. 


Happy Happy Birthday! 5 and 3, too much for me!

This week we celebrated 5 years for Cora and Harlan. They were full of energy in anticipation for the annual bounce house insanity that we invite to our backyard. This year was special also in part because Cora will start Kindergarten in just under two weeks. We’re so lucky and grateful to have such healthy,  strong,  cheeky kids. 

I know at some point they will want to have their own parties but I hope it isn’t for a long time.  

Plus, how will  we keep people thinking they’re fraternal twins if they have separate parties?


Bedtime fun and creative minds

Lately, the bedtime routine has been a real drag. Lots of hyper, amped up kids, screaming and yelling, naked jumping around and not listening for well longer than necessary (a little naked jumping is ok, but not too much, ya know?).

Tonight I wanted a little less drama as we were already getting a late start and I was tired. Even getting from the bathroom to their bedroom can be a chore and I decided to announce the following: The astronauts needed to prepare for their next space mission and they needed to hurry to their spaceship. Immediate response and excitement. It continued with donning space suits (pajamas) and helmets (headbands) and reading the flight manual (bedtime story) and resting up for their mission to Venus.

They were so excited and I really enjoyed the way they got into it with the role play and humoring me. 

Below they are being creative with their lunch. PB&J, raisins, bellpeppers, cashews, tomatoes and carrots, yum.


To My Daughter

Hi Cora,
Today you had your early entrance to kindergarten exam. We were nervous for you and did virtually nothing to prepare you for it since we didn’t want you to stress. You seemed excited about it and had no problems getting started, and finishing the whole way through.
You didn’t want to tell us all the details about it but we hope what you did share was accurate and that it was a positive experience.
Your reward was spam masubi (yeah girl!) and a sweet drink.
We painted later that day and you chided us that “we shouldn’t get overzealous with the paints” since we might make a big mess. Say WHAT? I don’t even use that word right half the time.

You make me want to scream most days because I want to believe I have all this control over you, and for your health and well being I have to keep up the farce, but all the other times on all those same days, I am proud and amazed at who you are.
Keep it up!
love, mama




Reconnecting and Making New Friends

I was a happy co-sponsor of a Rice Alumni event in Seattle that was long overdue. Seeing familiar faces that I had never met was like being home even after 5 years in Seattle and feeling pretty settled.  When I first arrived in Seattle,  we only knew 4 people that weren’t from Pariveda, the company that brought us to the Pacific Northwest.  Having been a Texas native for 32 years, I had a fantastic network of family and friends,  and lots of them from Rice. I would run into people I knew or were acquainted with those friends all over the city and Htown was not a trifle to get around.

Seattle was the stark opposite (at least in my eyes, feeling a bit isolated and out of my element). Rice alumni were the only connection point I had outside of ultimate (and half those alumni I knew from ultimate!).

The alumni functions that happened when I first arrived were great connections that helped me to feel more at home,  some Texas sunshine from people I knew but hadn’t meet yet. 


Byron Bay, NSW


The Pacific Ocean is getting a little colder with each km, but the seaside no less beautiful. Our second day in the motor home saw us to Byron Bay, NSW. I had visited this hippie hideaway with my friends Rebecca and Isabel while I was studying abroad at UQ in 2000. We had a similar shot of this gorgeous beach but from a lighthouse lookout on the cape that we couldn’t reach with our campervan.


As one can imagine,  the kids enjoyed the waves with the clearest of water lapping at their feet or chasing them up the beach.




We spent some time atop the lookout at the edge of the beach we had walked,  taking it all in and then lunched in the shade by this lovely view.

It was a surfer’s paradise,  I’d never seem that many surf boards in one place,  even when I was in Hawai’i. I don’t know how they avoided hitting each other.

Although there were some pretty skilled surfers who could avoid the folks riding out further or who had already wiped out but they made it look easy.

All in all a great,  although far too brief,  stop.