Monday, July 21, 2008

Spare Time

Ever have one of those weekends when all you do is stuff you WANT to do??? When you actually have spare time?? Saturday is usually chore day (Everyone sing along: "Saturday is a special day, it's the day we get ready for Sunday..."), but this past weekend was a little different from our norm.

First, Friday night we went to the annual Bite of Seattle and experienced Seattle dining at its finest. If you haven't been before, the whole area around the Seattle Center is lined with restaurant vendors where you can get a good meal for 6 bucks or less - admission is FREE. We chowed on salmon ceasar salad, Australian road kill pita (BBQ steak & veggies), hot dog for Seth (he wasn't feeling too adventurous), followed by a fresh yummy strawberry shortcake. There were 4 different stages with all kinds of bands performing...a relaxed, festive atmosphere that was mucho fun! The only photo I took that night was this one because I was strangely fascinated by how this vendor was smoking the salmon. They were one of the people's choice winners of the night.

So, back to Saturday. Matt usually mows the lawn on Saturdays, but it hasn't rained enough for it to grow much. The house was still clean (well, presentable at least) from when I scrubbed and vacuumed last week. The laundry was in the what do we do when there's nothing we HAVE to do?? Go to the beach! We hopped in the car and drove to Alki beach for the afternoon. It wasn't too hot, but warm enough that the chilly water was pleasantly refreshing.
We played in the sand, attempted to catch some speedy little crabs in the sand bucket (no success), found shells and sea glass, and watched three big luxury cruise ships sail out to sea. The only thing we could have used that we didn't have is a kite! Gotta save something for next time. It's nice to have a trimmed lawn, a spic-and-span house, a weed-free garden and freshly-ironed clothes. But what is more important than seeing pure delight and utter fascination in your child's face? We can't wait for another spontaneous escape!
Although it looks like Seth is getting too much sun, I'm happy to report that (thanks to SPF 45) we all arrived back home as burn-free and pastey white as we were when we left.

"Maybe I can use my foot like a shovel - it's a great scooper!"

Thursday, July 10, 2008

35 is the new 25, right?

I'm another year older today. Birthdays, it seems, after a certain age become just another ordinary day with tasks that must be done and responsibilities to fulfill, but with a little magic mixed in. That was today for me...taking Seth on a run this morning (I just started up again this week, so there was some running, some walking, and a LOT of gasping for air), grocery shopping, straightening up the house, but with thoughtful phone calls from loved ones sprinkled throughout the day, lunch with my sister, surprise gifts showing up in the mail and the front doorstep, and an evening out at my favorite restaurant Tutta Bella with my two favorite guys, Matt and Seth (as if I have to say their names!). I count myself fortunate to have the life I have, and blessed that I've been given another birthday to celebrate.

Pleas'd to look forward,
Pleas'd to look behind,
And count each birthday with a grateful mind.
- Alexander Pope

This was part of my birthday present from Matt, these lovely raspberry-colored mums with bright, cheery centers. So thoughtful - he knows what makes me happy!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Special Visitors and Another First!

We enjoyed the long-anticipated visit from Matt's parents (Grandpa Rex and Grandma Diane) from Texas. As always, the time goes by much too quickly when they're here, but we managed to fit in oodles of fun stuff to do! We camped overnight at Lake Easton and were pleasantly surprised at the delightful weather!
Seth (don't you love his little Carhart hiking boots???) making sure Dad is building the fire correctly...another pyro in the making!
After a good breakfast, we wanted to hike to Snow Lake up by Alpental ski resort, and we found it aptly named. Even though it was June, the trail was covered with snow, and it got more treacherous the further we went. Less than a mile into it, we regretfully decided to turn around. We're going to attempt it again later in the summer when it will hopefully be melted!

Ready to hit the trail!

Three generations of hikers.

This was the getting-in-the-car routine. Any kind of button, or anything that looks like a button is a magnet for Seth. As you can imagine, pulling him away from it and putting him in the car seat wasn't pretty.

Also, while they were here, Rex gave Seth his FIRST haircut ever! I was nervous about the whole idea because I was picturing a buzz cut and all his lofty white curls left in a heap on the floor, but as you can see, all went well, and he's looking all grown up! Great job wielding the clippers around a squirmy toddler, Rex!

Getting acquainted with the clippers - he kept holding it up to his head like a phone.

After some fussing and trying to grab the clippers, here's the surrender.

After all is said and done, a cookie is the reward - it makes everything better!

This is just a random photo from this past Sunday. It was a HOT weekend, especially for the majority of us Northwesterners who don't have air conditioning. So after church we headed for the mountains and had a picnic at Gold Creek near Hyak. I snapped this sweet photo on one of their many trips to the river to play and splash in the water.