Thursday, July 31, 2008

Pool Time!

Some of my very favorite childhood memories involve swimming! Like most kids, all I wanted to do ALL the time was swim, and I never wanted to get out of the pool. I was lucky, because my Grandma had this AMAZING pool in her backyard and I spent countless hours swimming in it with my cousins. And not just in the summer! I was blessed to grow up in San Diego, where pool weather really does last ALL year long. I miss that pool!
Here I am, the one on the right, 18 years ago or so swimming with my cousin Jessica!

I still love swimming, and it's one of my favorite things about summer. Although wouldn't it be great if we could still put swimsuits on and feel just like we did when we were little? No little kid feels self-conscious about themselves in a swimsuit! And almost all adults do! Life was so much better before darn puberty hit and we became aware of our bodies.

Swimming with a baby is a very different thing entirely than swimming before you have children. Now I have to worry about swim diapers, the right amount of sunscreen, how to peel a wet swimsuit off a wiggly baby, and a thousand other things. It's enough to make a "relaxing swim" sound not so relaxing! But it's still worth it to see their reactions and take some great pictures.

Here's one of my favorite pictures of Kirsten, in July a year ago in San Diego. She didn't even get in the water other than her feet, but I sure had fun with the camera! She was two months old in these pictures! Wasn't she precious?

And. . . here's Kirsten in the pool a year later, this July. Yeah, she was not so content this time. It was mostly because unlike the private pool in San Diego, this was in our noisy community pool and it was PACKED with kids! Poor Kirsten got really overwhelmed and scared. She kept crying until I took her out of her floaty and held her.

So far, I've only taken Kirsten swimming twice this summer. I would do it much more often though if I knew anyone who had a pool in their backyard and I didn't have to go to the noisy, crowded community pool. But this is Seattle, and NOBODY has pools in their backyards! I guess maybe some people do, but nobody I have met! In San Diego, it's just something that goes with having a nice house. You have a nice house, you have a pool too. But here in the land of endlessly misty, green, and gorgeous, backyard pools seem to be just a thing of my California dreams.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Blissful Summer Days!

It's a normal summer day at our house. Kirsten wakes up. I feed her, change her, play with her, and do my best to keep her entertained until it's time for her morning nap. During her nap, I notice what a gorgeous day it is outside. The sky is a brilliant shade of blue and the warmth of the sun is cooled by the intoxicating ocean breeze. I wait for Kirsten to wake up so we can head to our favorite summer spot. . . the park!We love the local park. We go there at least twice a week, usually more, and I love to meet up with friends there. It's so relaxing and fun to spread out our blankets on the grass, chat, and let our babies play. In these pictures we're with Kaulana and her baby Emerie!

Kirsten is usually really happy to be at the park, but not every day. She does get very clingy and likes to hold onto me and sit on my lap when we're there with other babies. She sees these babies, Saide and Emerie, all the time, but she still cried when I put her between them and tried to take some cute pictures. So much for the cute pictures! At least you can see the cool dragon that shoots water from its nose in the background.
Last Friday was an especially perfect afternoon. Temperatures were in the low 70's, a typical Seattle summer day, and it felt amazing to be outside! We met up with a friend and her young baby, and she couldn't stay long before she had to take him home. Kirsten was happy and we had nothing going on that afternoon, so Kirsten and I ended up staying for 3 hours! It was wonderful! Kirsten, who usually isn't entertained by any one thing for very long, got my empty cup and straw and played with them for the LONGEST time! She was fascinated by poking the straw into the grass. I wished I had my camera so I could have photographed her busily playing with the straw in the grass.
Ahhhhh, summer in Seattle! Right now I wish it would never end!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

American Idols Concert!!!

I went to the American Idols concert in Tacoma a couple of weeks ago, and never posted about it! Shame on me! I was super excited about it! I've actually been to the concert every year since I first started watching in 2005. It's such a great way to end the season, after watching them every week and getting so wrapped up in the show.This year I was especially thrilled to go to the show, since the top 2 have been my favorite top 2 EVER! I really didn't care who won because I loved both the David's so much. And yes, they both sounded really awesome live!
You probably all figured this out, but I took none of these pictures myself. I was sitting far, far, FAR away from the stage.
I went to the concert with Stephen and Stacy, and we were all in agreement about who the best and worst performers of the concert were. Some of them surprised us too!

The stand-out voices in the live show were:

#1- Michael Johns! He blew the roof off the place and sounded AMAZING! He sang the Queen medley he did on the show, "Dream On", and "It's All Wrong But It's Alright." Seriously, I would pay to see him perform a full concert. I had guessed he would be one of the best on the tour, because I loved him on the show so much and thought he would be in the final 4.

#2- (And this one surprised us. . .) Kristy Lee Cook! I was surprised she lasted as long as she did on the show, but her voice sounded really great live! When she sang "God Bless the USA" it was one of the highlights of the whole concert.

#3- David Archuleta! David Cook sounded great too, but pretty much the same as he did on the show. David Archuleta's live voice sounded so much more rich and full than hearing it through the TV speakers. He sang "Angels", "Stand By Me", "Apologize", and "When You Say You Love Me" by Josh Groban. I really think he should do a Josh Groban-style album! His voice sounded really good on the song.
There were several good performances by Carly Smithson, Jason Castro, and Brooke White. I especially enjoyed Brooke White singing "Let It Be" at the piano. So those were the middle-of-the-pack performers.

The worst:
-Syesha Mercado. Nothing she sang blew us away and it was all a little boring. Really, she came in third place? Really???
-Chikezie. I didn't expect to love him, and I really didn't.
-The VERY worst by far- Ramiele Malubay. I disliked her voice a lot on the show, and it sounded WORSE live. She was so off-key some of the time that it hurt!!!

Overall, we had a great time and really enjoyed the concert! I wish there had been more group numbers and duets, but it was totally worth it and fun to go see the Idols perform!

Friday, July 25, 2008


Someday in the near future I will start teaching Kirsten her ABC's. It'll be so fun when she can actually say them and start learning letters! For now. . . I think I'll just do this fun ABC tag. :)

A is for age: 26

B is for burger of choice: The Three-Cheese Burger from Fuddruckers!

I also love In-n-Out of course! It's sad that they have NEITHER of these burger places in the state of Washington!

C is for the car I drive: Well, can I write about the car I used to drive instead? It's so much more fun! My first car that I bought when I was 20 was a gorgeous red 1994 Toyota Celica. Look at this beauty! It was my pride and joy!

Now that Kirsten is my pride and joy, I had to trade my car in (sniff, sniff) for a 1999 Plymouth Grand Voyager Minivan. No picture necessary.

D is for your dog's name: I have no dog right now, but someday I would LOVE to have a dog that looks like this:

Or like this:

E is for essential item you use every day: Chapstick! I carry them with me in my pockets, purses, diaper bags, everywhere!

F is for favorite TV show at the moment: So You Think You Can Dance! My second favorite right now is Project Runway.

G is for favorite game: I love lots of games, but number 1 would have to go to Settlers of Catan.

H is for home state: California. I'll always be a California girl!

I is for instruments you play: Harp and piano

J is for favorite juice: I mostly don't like juice. Does lemonade count?

K is for whose bum you'd like to kick: I wish I had a funny answer for this, but I honestly can't think of anybody !

L is for last restaurant at which you ate: Claim Jumper

M is for your favorite Muppet: I love Kermit and his cute little nephew

N is for number of piercings: 2 in each ear, although I only wear one earring in each ear now

O is for overnight hospital stays: Just 1, when I had Kirsten and had to stay 3 nights!

P is for people you were with today: So far just my baby Kirsten, but I'll see some friends later at the park

Q is for what you do with your quiet time: Read, blog, email, watch TV, cross-stitch.

R is for biggest regret: Not that I could do anything about this, but I'll always regret not having a sister.

S is for status: Married since 2005!

T is for time you woke up today: 9:30! Kirsten slept in!

U is for what you consider unique about yourself: I've done lots of things that most people never get to do, like riding elephants in Thailand and holding a koala in Australia!

V is for vegetable you love: Fresh corn on the cob, and mashed potatoes

W is for worst habit: Being addicted to lots of reality TV shows

X is for x-rays you've had: Teeth, hand, I think that's it

Y is for yummy food you ate today: I haven't eaten much today yet, but this afternoon I'm going to eat my Dilly Bar!

Z is for zodiac: Pisces the Fish

I think this is such a FUN way to get to know people better! So I am tagging-
Rachel Gunnell
Erin Hoy
Tiffany Andrews
Julianne Best

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Hiking Snoqualmie!

These pictures are actually from a few weeks ago, when I went hiking at Snoqualmie Falls with Kirsten and my friends Stacy and Oscar. I had been to Snoqualmie Falls quite a few times before, but I had never hiked from the viewing platform down to the bottom of the falls. So that was our outing for the day! I had also never seen SO much water roaring down that waterfall! It was insane! Isn't it such a stunning waterfall?

Those pictures of the falls were taken from the viewing platform. Even though we weren't that close to the waterfall, it was WET up there! We could feel a ton of spray, and I actually zipped up the rain shield on Kirsten's backpack. You can barely even see her in there! But it kept her dry! I unzipped it when we started heading down the trail.

Stacy wanted an extra work-out, so she opted to walk down to the bottom with Kirsten on her back. It was a nice little hike!

At the bottom of the trail, we went along a wooden platform until we could see the falls from a separate viewing point.

The view from the top is more impressive than this view from the bottom, but it was nice to see the falls from a different angle too.

The whole group! This was a Monday, and Stephen was at work.

We moved the backpack to Oscar's back for the hike back up the trail to the top. I really like hiking, especially in cool weather and through gorgeous forests, but I realized how out of shape I am. I got SO out of breath and it was a good thing I had a small water bottle in my purse (didn't even know I had it!) or I might have seriously died of thirst!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Opinions Wanted!

I think I kinda love this duvet cover from Pottery Barn. I saw it in their store the other day and have been thinking about it ever since. I've been trying to find great new bedding for awhile. We have an awesome down comforter that I love, but right now our duvet cover is pale blue and the whole bedroom looks kind of blah and boring. I think the colors in this cover are rich, spicy, and exciting! But I'd love to get some other opinions. You'll have to imagine it without the orange blanket, because I'd want green as an accent instead.
So what do you think? Feel free to be completely honest, and I won't be offended because I haven't bought it. Would this bedding give the room the fun spirit and playfulness that it needs? Or is it too girly, and I would get tired of it soon? For years and years, my parents had a hideous brown couch and love seat with orange flowers printed all over them. I'll bet it was a stylish choice in the 70's when they bought it (even though it's hard to imagine!) I just don't want to buy bedding that's going to look hideous and outdated within a few years. Should I make a safer choice, or go with the fun and vibrant?
(By the way, Stephen might hate it. I just figured I'd like some more opinions before I show it to him).

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

My New-Found Love!

My new-found love is Williams-Sonoma! I just ordered this pancake mold from their website. Isn't it too cute for words??? And only $16! I can't wait to get it! I'll be making us some yummy, adorable pancakes filled with fruit for sure!

I also couldn't resist ordering this amazing cake pan. For her second birthday (in 10 months, but who's planning ahead?), Kirsten will have this cake shaped like a giant cupcake!

And I'm sure mine will look every bit as good as these do. Yeah right!!! Knowing me, the cake will stick to the pan and I won't be able to get it out without botching up the whole thing and making it look like a mutilated cupcake. My goal will be to get it to look like the top picture with the cherry on top, but if that really happens then no one will be more surprised than me! But I'll have fun trying!

When we bought our townhouse last November, we got the most AMAZING luck and actually WON the homeowner's drawing for a $5,000 gift card to Pottery Barn! It was SO exciting, especially considering this was the first thing both Stephen and I could ever remember winning in our whole lives. We had the greatest time shopping with it at Pottery Barn and buying beautiful furniture and decorations for our new house. $5,000 doesn't go as far as you might think, since Pottery Barn is definitely pricey. Almost half of the gift card went to buying this gorgeous table and six chairs from the picture below. I love my table! We still have some money left on the gift card, and I was able to use some at Williams-Sonoma to order my fun new baking tools. I'll be sure to post some pictures when I actually use them!