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For the newbies...

Anne/<lj user=purpleperil>
Hey there- if you've somehow stumbled across this page, you may not know a whole lot about me (you know, besides what's on my userinfo). Here's a quick catch-up:

I'm an adopted only child (well, if that sentence didn't scare you away, read on).

I grew up in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, with my excellent parents, one cat, and one dog. I was/am a bookwormy nerdish type. I became a Christian when I was in junior high. I didn't really get it until college, and am still learning more and more about God, and dealing with being a Christian in a very different environment than what I started out in :) I met the man I eventually married when I was a senior in highschool. I was a townie, but I went to college at the University of Illinois. I worked at Philmont, a national Boy Scout camp in the summers, teaching highschool-age boys how to backpack. It was one of the best things I've ever done. I majored in journalism. Carl and I got married on June 14, 2003 between my junior and senior years of college. Around this time, there was a lot of drama, with my friends, with my church, with my college parachurch ministry... it was just a tough time. But it made our marriage stronger, I think.

Anyway, I graduated. I had a series of less-than-great jobs, but they all had some redeeming quality. I worked at a camping goods store for nearly a year, and met some awesome people. Then I had a series of part-time jobs: Subbing at the schools I grew up in, working at a community weekly newspaper, working at the local nature center as a camp counselor or a receptionist. I got to feed and play with owls and small children ;) My good friends started getting married and getting pregnant. I helped write a book edited by my former boss from the weekly paper. Carl (my husband) and I settled into post-college life- we bought a house, and I finally got a full-time job in my field, working for a textbook publisher. Life was good.

Then, things got all wacky :)

We found out in spring of 2006 that I had PCOS, and would likely have a pretty tough time getting pregnant and/or carrying a baby to term. We decided to wait until I got back from a backpacking trip at Philmont that summer to start trying to have kids.

In early 2007, Carl accepted a job with a company in Seattle, and so we packed up our belongings, said goodbye to our friends and the hometown I'd spent the last 25 years of my life in, and headed west. It took five days in the middle of February, one visit to a yak ranch (owned by my mom's cousin), and we made it out to Seattle. I worked for an online investment magazine in Bellevue for a while. Fortunately, I have sinced moved on to bigger and better things, and am now working for the University of Washington, which I'm loving!

In May/June 2007, we found out we were pregnant. And then we found out it was twins. And, around seven weeks, we found out that we were going to miscarry, which we did exactly two weeks later. We had another miscarriage in April 2008, but found out after the fact- the second one was a lot easier. We're now pregnant for the third time, and have gotten a lot farther with this pregnancy, praise God. We're due June 11, 2009, and I'm enjoying the snot out of pregnancy itself, though I'm still working through some of the fear and grief that came with the dashed hopes of the previous pregnancy.

ETA: We gave birth to Catelyn Jean on June 7th, 2009. She's been an amazingly good and easy baby, and we're very blessed to be her parents. :)

ETA: We recently found out we're pregnant with our second! Another girl :D We're both shocked and excited, and a little overwhelmed by all the changes. We also bought a house, in the Ravenna/Wedgwood neighborhood up here, and did a ton of remodeling, all while juggling the pregnancy, a 9-month-old, two full-time jobs, and a caregiver transition. Whew, am I ever glad that's over with! :)

ETA: Julia Melodie joined our family on August 26, 2010. She's got the most beautiful big blue eyes, and we've taken to calling her "Bug." :)

ETA: I was laid off from the UW in October, now working for a web management company with a friend of a friend.

Meanwhile, we're still figuring out the ups and downs of life in Seattle, enjoying making new friends, and making lots of long-distance phonecalls.

I'm sure I'm forgetting important stuff, but I think that about covers it. If you have things to add- please comment!

Um, hi! :-)

Anne/<lj user=purpleperil>
Guess what, you guys?! We're out of the crappy Christian daycare and into "summer camp" (which is really just weekly daycare situations cobbled together that we're calling summer camp to get the girls excited about it). The first day was today, and it went swimmingly. Really calm morning, really calm pickup, the kids seem to have fun and seem to have made friends. The next two weeks are at this one, which is run by a Lutheran church, and then a week at what Catelyn is calling the "New Explorer School" which is a Reggio Emilia program, and has an amazing space. Julia is signed up to go to the Lutheran preschool in the fall, so ... voila! All is taken care of and I'm feeling much less angsty about the caregiving situation. It was so funny - when we left CLCC, I was all sad and mopey and cried a couple times on the last day; when we left Fairview, I was like "Let's go!" We barely said goodbye to the staff and I was relieved. I'm sure they're relieved we're gone, too ;-)

Let's see, since the last time I wrote, we've gone yurt camping; had Carl's parents and stepsister's family in town on the same weekend as Catelyn's birthday, which went really, really well - much better than expected; we celebrated our anniversary with a lovely hotel overnight sans kids and a snowshoeing trip on Mt. Rainier; and then, this weekend, I did my first round of paddleboard yoga on Saturday and followed it up with taking the kids to Mt. Rainier to go sledding in 60 degree weather. I am quite happily sporting a bit of a sunburn.

PicturesCollapse )

Long time, no post...

Anne/<lj user=purpleperil>
Things have been good, if busy. Work has been really grinding me into exhaustion. I love working there, but the 8-5 schedule is really tough with two small kids (wah, wah, first world problems, but I hate mornings and getting up at 6 is horrific when I can't seem to get to bed before midnight).

The most exciting thing going on in our household is that a couple weeks ago, Julia found the scissors while I was on the phone with my parents and proceeded to give herself a very closely-shorn mullet. We decided to try the mullet for a while, and then this week, decided that we might as well just go all out, had a friend come give her a mohawk and then dyed a strip of purple. We let Catelyn dye her hair a little pink, too.

The evolution of Julia's hairCollapse )

Anyway, I like it a lot :-) I actually found that I particularly liked Catelyn's hair because after her first real haircut in a while a few months back, she lost all the blonde, and her hair was *so* much darker than it used to be. Once we bleached and dyed, she looked... more like her old self, somehow?

They like to pretend they are fairies now ;-)

Other than that, not much going on - I had a really awesome dim sum lunch with chezalee and alathia that I want to replicate with more people (and less kids!). It was so fun to see them again - I felt like it had been forever! I realized that I kind of abandoned the whole Seattle LJ moms project, but maybe we should get that off the ground again. Though perhaps it might do better with a Facebook group? IDK. I am not on LJ as much anymore - and I think it does mostly have to do with having a smartphone combined with the slow disappearance of other friends (probably due to that as well as losing people to other social networks).

There are other things going on, but I think my kiddos are home now, so I'm going to go kiss their pink and purple heads, and will write more later :-)

Happy Christmas is Over!

Anne/<lj user=purpleperil>
I hate to be a grinch, but this year was pretty low on the list of favorite Christmases. To be fair, we did all the things with my parents & Carl's dad before the fact, but because of Julia's croup, I was home three nights in a row, including Christmas Eve and Christmas.

Probably the best part was opening up a very sweet selection of clothes from psychidae, along with some amazing treats from a coffee shop in Moscow, Idaho that I will have to visit if I ever get out that way (and really, I should at least go visit tiwonge in Boise someday) - bringing up a whole additional stressor... we really need to visit a lot of people, from Florida to Upper Michigan to Colorado, and it is increasingly financially and logistically difficult to do that. :-/

Thankfully compulsivelyme came over to relieve my cabin fever on the third night, which was great. I was really thankful for the company, and also am just glad she's in my life in general. We talked a little bit about how glad we are that we have such a tight-knit group of friends now, because dang, parenting small children is really hard and having two parents working full-time presents special challenges, and it just kind of feels like everything is *not* on easy mode... and the only people that really get that are people in the same boat. Parenting is just intense.

But other than her visit, it was kind of a lame week; thankfully I got off early from work on Friday and came home and cleaned like a madwoman (and got rid of a lot of unused toys), so I'm feeling much better about the state of our house, which is always a source of stress (I am so jealous of you people without kids who have clean houses with cute arrangements on the tables and blankets that actually stay *on* your couches and candles! I would love to have candles around without someone burning up or chewing on them or rolling them down the hall).

We spent Friday night and Saturday morning both with our friends Chris and Jenn, playing Magic and Cards Against Humanity and coming back the next day for aebelskiver breakfast with some additional folks who are Danish-ish and actually know what an aebelskiver is. I did not :-) But now I do, and I have the recipe. Today, I went over to bjorker's house and played more Cards Against Humanity with a set of people I knew better and one person who was totally new to the game... which made it much more hilarious. I really like her little tribe of people and enjoy that we all have similar senses of humor.

At least if we can't travel for now, we can enjoy time with our friends who are here, which is good. Speaking of:

PhotosCollapse )

OK, I gotta go help Carl unload groceries. Have a happy New Year if I don't post until after then. This year sure started off pretty rocky, and it's not been a great year for a lot of my friends, so I'll be glad to see it out the door.

Double Bouncy House Weekend.

Anne/<lj user=purpleperil>
Too tired/cranky to do much other than write you a quick bulleted list of highlights:

  • Work has been absolutely crazy busy this week - we did a usability study, which was really fun and interesting to be a part of, but it took time away from my other responsibilities and I had a heck of a time catching up. Also, I'm still learning all the ins and outs of the job and totally missed the trigger for some things on Friday, which led to an extra-hectic afternoon.

  • Used a gift Groupon that I'd gotten a long, long time ago to go to Float Seattle, which was interesting, but I'm not sure I'll do it again. The idea is that you float in a super-salinated solution, in a tank that's totally dark, only, my tank wasn't totally dark, and I kept bouncing off the edges. I finally got it figured out about 53 minutes into my 60 minute session, but also... no one warned me about the havoc it would wreak on my hair. I know, I know, some things you should just figure out on your own, like how 10,000 lbs of salt in 10 inches of water will make your hair totally frizzy, but.....

  • Saturday, we had swim lessons, which was not much of a lesson, because they kicked us out of the pool 7 minutes in because the water was overchlorinated. However, our instructor thinks the girls are ready to move up to the independent Pike classes (WHOA! No more swimming for me!). I'm both happy and sad about this development - I kind of enjoyed playing with the girls in the water, and I'm not sure Julia is totally ready. I might keep her in Parent/Pike for another session even if her instructor thinks she's ready ;-)

  • Saturday afternoon, we got to go to Pump it Up for geeshie's oldest's birthday, which was a blast. Our girls always love Pump It Up and it was great to see her and her friend that was at the Mazzy Star concert again. :-) We left Pump It Up at 6 p.m. and....

  • ... returned on Sunday at 11 a.m. for the birthday party of a kid in Catelyn's class. It was also fun (we'd never been in Room B before - I like Room A's inflatables better), but it totally solidified my ideas about the snootiness of the parents at the new school. I'm cool hanging by myself or with the kids, and we spent a fair amount of time talking to the parents of one of the boys in Catelyn's class, but I literally walked up to a gaggle of like, 5 moms, hung out for a bit looking interested, inserted myself into their conversation, and they did the Seattle "Answer the questions and then go back to talking among yourselves" thing. Like, no one asked my name, who my kids were, what I did for work, etc., etc. Glad I found the other kid's parents and the birthday boy's parents who were all Midwestern so I didn't feel totally frozen out, but seriously. Jeez. If someone comes up, stands around you for a while looking forlorn, tries to make conversation, and then wanders off? You're doing it wrong.

  • In between the Pump It Up parties, I did nursery duty at church from 8:45-10:45.

  • After the second Pump It Up party, I went to a PEPs mom's night out thing and got a pedicure. I almost fell asleep. Really.

  • Yes, yes I did take a nap as soon as I got home. Yes, I really did.



Pictures of the Bouncy PartiesCollapse )

I'm pretty excited about Thanksgiving this week - it's rapidly risen in the ranks of favorite holidays. I wish I could spend it with hermionegsnape whose birthday is tomorrow, and I hope sometime we'll get back to Ohio for it, but we have an excellent week's end planned - at three different houses. Oh, and I finally get to watch Catching Fire. Woohoo! :-) I'm so ready to start all the fun of next weekend :-)

And my parents will be here in <2 weeks. You know what else I'm doing besides napping? Cleaning and laundering. Oh YEAH.

Raindrops on Roses and Whiskers on Kittens

Anne/&lt;lj user=purpleperil&gt;
I should not spend much time writing this because I am particularly exhausted this week. My asthma or whatever kicked into high gear this week, and left me gasping; and the solution to the asthma, the albuterol, made me wired and unable to sleep - an unfortunate combination to have at 10 p.m. on a Sunday night.

My weekend was awesome - long conversations with friends, hours soaking in a hot tub, an entire bottle of Prosecco. That is how a good birthday should be, and I was fortunate that I got to spend it with some of my very favorite people out here. indighost put it well when she said that there must be something about your 30s, because she's right, I seem to have suddenly magically stumbled on to a group of great women, where things are (mostly) uncomplicated and safe. Well, our own lives are complex of course, but the friendships are not complicated - those seem to come easy. Sure, someone's roommates may be going off the deep end, but WE are all okay. It's been a long slog, and I'm sure it won't always be perfect (nothing ever is, and seasons come and go, etc., etc.), but I am enjoying this particular season when work is good, friendships are good, the kids are good, and Carl is good for as long as it holds out. I will admit that having this lovely job has made me very anxious about where/when they're planning to lay me off, but let's hope that's pure paranoia.

After my lovely birthday weekend with my friends, I dropped by another friend's house to visit with a third friend who is home from the Ukraine, visiting her fiance. :-) That was a treat, because I enjoy both other couples so much, and they all play off each other in very entertaining ways. It's almost too much distraction in one room, because their conversations move so speedily and are so full of interesting tidbits - discussions of how the puzzle pieces of one's brain come banging together after the first hit of cigarette smoke in the morning (things I know nothing of, having never smoked) to anthropological research in Ukraine. I just smile and nod and soak up as much as I can.

Julia and Catelyn continue to do well in school. I'm feeling mildly better about the school's communications and unfriendliness after a meeting with the director, and an accidental run-in with one of Catelyn's classmate's mother's who came running up to me at swim lessons (which are a town north, and not where I'd expect to see anyone) to tell me that her son was in LURVE with Catelyn, won't let her leave till he gives Catelyn a hug, and on the down-low is planning to marry Catelyn ;-) Best part? Catelyn had never mentioned this boy before, so I was completely caught off-guard, though pleased to meet another family at the school, and one who will actually come talk to us! :-) I've signed up to give a presentation to the class on Christmas in New Zealand, which I rightly know NOTHING about (any help, kiwiria or jexia??).

Other than that, Julia got her school pictures back today (and Catelyn's should be coming soon):

See?Collapse )

Happy 32 :-)

Anne/&lt;lj user=purpleperil&gt;
Oh hey, I turned 32 today :-)

I am glad to have gotten the last year over with, more than anything. It was a rough one, but I am feeling so happy and grateful and optimistic about the future this year (though, really, let's get us through January before I jinx myself). I think probably the highlight of last year was last year's birthday party, followed by getting a new job, finally. This year also brought a dear friendship with some people from our old daycare - in part *because* of social media pics of that amazing birthday party - were it not for that, I'm not sure we would have gotten to know them. So, cheers to new jobs, new friendships, new opportunities, and a new year.

Yesterday and today were the first round of celebrations - had it not been for my friend throwing her 40th birthday party on Saturday I would have had everything this weekend, but you snooze, you lose ;-) Her birthday was so fun, too - meeting new, interesting people and getting to see some of my favorite ladiezzzz. The downside is that at both the restaurant last night and the cafe this morning, my kids were totally nuts. Julia spilled water almost as soon as we got there last night, which set Carl on edge, and while the food and friends were awesome, we totally got honked at a million times while I was trying to snap Julia in her carseat on a busy street (one guy in the street stopped his car, and the car behind him started honking a bajillion times). Stressful. Rude. But two of my friends came all the way up from Pioneer Square, and even if we didn't get to listen to the band, it was a good time.

This morning, the kids were so wacky at the cafe I went to that we vacated for the park and almost missed one of my friends who was a bit late. Thankfully she vacated to the park with us! I felt bad that we were leaving as she was coming in, but my kids... man, they needed some running. Best part about the birthday? They did, finally, take a nap around 2 p.m., and then I managed to remember to get up in time to go running with my friend. I had a hilarious dream, in part because I kept spazzing because I hadn't set an alarm and was worried I'd sleep past the time I told them I was coming over.

Because I'm awesome, I sent Carl away to go play Magic with some friends on my birthday after spending all day with the crazy kiddos. I had fun with them, but it was definitely a great reminder that I am not cut out for staying home. By the time Carl left, around 7, I was already grumping at them and have gotten grumpier and grumpier as dinner has descended to bathtime and bathtime to bedtime. At least I got their hair combed. And while I have done five loads of laundry today... I have folded none of it. Which I really intended to do, but now I am wiped and just want to lay around and enjoy the remainder of my birthday while watching Vampire Diaries and Blacklist. Mmhmm.

Weekend Update

Anne/&lt;lj user=purpleperil&gt;
I am going stir-crazy with cabin fever even though I got out of the house for swim lessons this morning! Being an extrovert is awfully annoying sometimes. I want to be able to enjoy a night in at home, but I always just wind up feeling like I'm crawling out of my skin when I am not doing anything.

I took a good long nap today (thanks Carl!) - have been operating under much sleep debt since going to the Mazzy Star concert last Monday. Of course, it was right after DST, so when I say that I was home at midnight, what I really mean is that I was home at 1 a.m. had the concert been the night before. The concert was a lot of fun - I ran into geeshie - and really enjoyed the music. I'd read enough of their interviews to not have high expectations, which was good - apparently the lead singer pretty much sings in the dark with her eyes closed because she's so shy. For some reason, I expected it to be the opposite of a sausage-fest, whatever that is, but there was a pretty evenhanded ratio of guys to girls, most of them older than me - I think I was on the younger edge of their fandom when they were "big" :-) Anyway, they had some technical issues and spent maybe 20 seconds between every song fiddling with/changing instruments, and had I had higher expectations I think that would have annoyed me, but as it was, I was pretty happy to listen to their weird interim music while I waited for the really lovely songs. They played a lot of their back catalog, which was great. I think I'm a little bummed that I never made out with a guy to "Fade Into You" but I can probably rectify that with Carl sometime. Anyway, the concert was great, even if it did set me up for a long week of sleep deprivation.

My Literature of Place group was this week - we just finished Jayber Crow, which I very much enjoyed even though it was loooong. This week we get to read Pilgrim at Tinker Creek which I will do happily. I love that that group causes me to ask a lot of hard questions about my relationship to place - it's probably good for me to be thinking about things like "What makes somewhere 'home'?" and whether relationships to people are tied to relationships to land. I have a lot of thoughts swirling around, some of which I need to maybe write in a non-journal format, but I don't know if/when I'll get to that.

Last night, we had kind of a wild night - the power went out just as I was leaving to go to a happy hour with my old infertility group. It took forever to get where I was going because the traffice lights weren't working across half the city and after I got there, I realized I'd mistakenly left it on the calendar for last night after they changed it to next week. I wound up having a lovely meal alone (perhaps this is contributing to my extroversion level), and while I was gone, the lights came back on, but I felt so bad about leaving Carl with the girls in the dark, and then not even being there on the right day. And the dumber part? I scheduled Julia's potty training/belated birthday party for next week.

And yes, that means Julia is mostly entirely potty trained, finally (hurray!). She hasn't had an accident at school all week (she did have one while at home after school), but in general, we're pretty much down to using pullups only at night. Woohoo! I'm not going to bother trying to night train her until ... whenever. I don't even care. But yay, no more daytime diapers!

Early birthday present picCollapse )

So, my birthday's on Monday. Nothing crazy this weekend - I'm running a 5K tomorrow, and then doing church nursery (because I like to suffer by dealing with many small children immediately after running), and then hopefully sleeping until a birthday dinner, wherein I hope my children will stay up late enough that I can listen to the bluegrass band that regularly plays at this restaurant. Kids are off on Monday, so I'll be chilling with them all day. I think I'll probably take them to a friend's house for part of the day so I can go running with her while her husband watches the kiddos. I am still pondering whether I should do that or try to convince them to go with me for a birthday hike, but I don't know what the weather's going to be like on Monday, and I don't know if I can convince them to drag their kids hiking :-)

Next weekend's when I'm actually doing the real celebrating - spending the day with friends at the nekkid lady spa, and then dinner downtown (though I should probably figure out where sometime soon). Speaking of birthday celebrations, I just remembered that I have one go to tonight that I forgot about! Yay, no more extrovert angst. On the other hand, why am I having such a hard time keeping track of things lately??

Halloween and Beyond

Anne/&lt;lj user=purpleperil&gt;
We had a fun week :-)

Monday we went to a Halloween party with our PEPs group, and then I went running with a friend, which was a lot of activity to pack into an evening, but I'm glad we went running.

PictureCollapse )

Catelyn was not in full regalia because I forgot some of it, but we had fun anyway :-)

Tuesday, we celebrated our godson's birthday with just a small group - us, our godson, Trayton & Shannon (his parents) and Trayton's mom. Shannon is due any day with her second, so a low-key celebration was great. And our godson was pretty excited about his gift - he loved the little Melissa & Doug busy board we got him last year, so we got him a little unlocking playhouse with working doorbells (should his parents decide to add batteries to it!). It's still a little beyond his skill level, but I think he'll grow into it pretty quick. Also, we're the worst godparents ever, first teaching him how to unlatch all the things, and then teaching him how to unlock all the things? I'm sure Shannon and Trayton LOVE us ;-)

The girls helped him unwrapCollapse )

We spent Wednesday evening running around trying to find last-minute Halloween costume parts, and then Halloween was upon us. I actually had a really tough day at work on Thursday, so the distraction of Halloween was good - I am still learning and made a mistake, and it was a pretty crappy one that affected a good 6,000+ people, and then I had to send out a correction and then I got a bit of a (deserved) lecture from a coworker in another department. afhgak;fhg. Anyway... Halloween. Halloween was great!

Costumes!Collapse )

We spent Friday in a sugar coma. :-) Just kidding. We actually just chilled at home. I read some books, and Carl went to jam at the neighbors - it went well for him, I think! I'm glad he had an opportunity and I was home to be with the girls.

Today, we had swim lessons, and then I went to babysit a few of my favorite kids. I may or may not have brought face paint along for that, too.

Swimming lesson photos and Face Paint PhotosCollapse )

Anyway, my friends enjoyed a little free time and I enjoyed the coffee they brought me and the drive home - the sunset tonight was incredible. It was nice because it's been crazy windy here all day - wind gusts between 40-50 mph, lots of trees down, most of north Seattle without power. I don't know how we escaped the power outages - it was both across the park from us and two blocks behind us at one point, but the gorgeous end to the day made it nice for me, not that I had to really deal with any of the ill effects.

A friend's picture of the sunsetCollapse )

I'm heading off to bed early like a weirdo because ugh, daylight savings time is upon us, and we will pay for it dearly tomorrow and next week, I'm sure. Hope all the rest of you with small children survive.

Hello!

Anne/&lt;lj user=purpleperil&gt;
I keep feeling like I'm posting farther and farther apart, and that kind of freaks me out, but honestly, no news is good news.

My job is good - I feel a little extraneous while I'm training and am ready to just know how to do all the things and be doing all the things, but I'll get there. Downside is that it's leaving me too much time to indulge in playing on Facebook, and I don't want to get sucked into that again. I'm trying to work on maintaining focus, and did manage to do half of a report today and offer some useful information about our mobile traffic and SEO advice :-) All that said, though, it's been great. I found out one of my coworkers worked as a ranger at Philmont some 10 years before I did, so that's been kind of fun, and really, everyone there is fabulous. It all feels a little too good to be true and has me a little anxious that I'm going to screw something up, but that's a good reason to work harder, I suppose.

Other things have gotten significantly busier - adding two kid-related activities per week has sort of upped the busy ante. One of them, swimming lessons on Saturday mornings, I am going to keep up with, but it definitely eats into having lazy Saturday mornings to sit around the fire and listen to Carl play piano - Sundays we have church, of course, so that means no really and truly lazy mornings. The other thing - Pioneer Club, a church youth group, on Wednesday nights - is nice because it's basically free babysitting for the kids for an hour and a half, and we've totally been using that time to do necessary chores. But I don't like feeling so busy :-(

Our busy times have been filled with good things, though - Carl's aunt Melodie came to visit this last weekend, which was just such a joy. The girls love her, she loves the girls, *and* I got to poke around the Arboretum finally - I can't believe it's been seven years and I've really only gone there once with tiwonge and didn't really get it figured out. The Japanese garden is beautiful this time of year, and I did get to go visit the New Zealand garden, which is up on a ridgetop looking over part of the city. Nice short little hike and SO pretty.

A few pics of Mel's visitCollapse )

Sometimes I'm jealous of my kids, truth be told. They can run in circles under the Chihuly sun! Play beneath the Space Needle! Go for hayrack rides! Take a swimming lesson so they can go surfing someday! I love it. As hard as it is to live out here so far away from our families, I'm glad for the opportunities they have.

Sometimes I even get some, too - I got to go to a concert this week that featured Metric and Paramore. I wasn't particularly familiar with either beforehand, though a few of my friends are really into both bands, but anyway, both bands are great!! I'm glad to have found new music that I like because everyone is tired of hearing about my love for Taylor Swift, really. I needed some new earworms.

Gearing up for the last few weeks of October - Halloween costumes are ready, just need to figure out what the plans are. This weekend: Swim lessons, playdates, Celtic festival, church, brewing and two birthday parties. How do we pack it all in? I will find a way. Next weekend: Brunch and trick or treating with friends, some church, and maybe, just maybe, some time to unwind.

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