We got to meet our absolutely perfect nephew, Parker James, two days ago and I’ve been smitten ever since. I picked up Mark’s mom from the airport Wednesday afternoon and we jetted to the airport to congratulate the proud baby mama and papa and meet the little guy. Let me tell you, Kelly looked AMAZING for having just given birth. Really, I was like, um, did you really just go through labor? Because I look worse than that after a three-mile run… a new mama glow, perhaps. :) The new grandma was the first to hold Parker and then he was handed to me which, let’s face it, is kind of a big deal for me. I’ll explain.

You see, I’ve never been much of a baby person. I chalk this up to the fact that I’ve simply never been around babies much in my life, so they’re kind of mysterious and fragile to me. Even when I was a kid I was more into Barbies and Legos rather than baby dolls. I just never went through a baby phase and never quite understood the hype. I’m not exaggerating when I say I’ve probably held maybe three babies ever. Ever! I went to an open house celebrating the birth of my co-worker’s daughter’s twins and needed coaching on how to hold one (after my refusal to hold one was denied). My co-worker said, “You’re not around babies very much, are you?” No. No, I’m not.

I definitely feel like I’m in the minority (fine, I know I’m in the minority) when it comes to my thoughts on children and my comfort level around babies. I know I want children someday. Just not now! I do think this is directly related to my exposure to babies though and can feel that unease ebbing away the longer I’m with our new nephew. But every time I think I might want a baby, the weight of the responsibility of parenthood quickly pushes the idea from my head. I hear that at some point you just feel “ready” and I hope that happens to me, where the hope eventually outweighs the apprehension.

The bottom line is I’m so, so glad that Kelly went first on the baby front so when my time comes, she’ll be a great resource. I know they’ll be awesome parents and I’m grateful to be along for the ride!

Three weeks into the new ‘hood

Now that we’ve been in the house for about three weeks, it’s time for some initial observations.

I’m surprised by how much I like having our own trash/recycle/yard bins (the simple things…). It’s not like we really had a problem with trash storage in our old house where four apartments shared one bin, but I do like the assurance of knowing we’ll have enough room for trash, should we need it. Not like we really use it though – this week our trash bin consisted of one half-full trash bag, which was a combination of kitchen trash and two bathroom wastebaskets. Maybe trash rates should be based on how much waste you actually produce – that might get more people to recycle and use the yard waste bins!

I kept telling people that our yard just looked big in pictures and wasn’t actually that large in real life. Now I’m noticing it is bigger than I thought – especially when I saw Mark out there with his new toy, a.k.a. a Husqvarna. The grass was pretty long by the time he got to it since we had to wait for the mower to ship, and it took him an hour and a half to mow. Well, as he put it, it only took him an hour and a half. I think it’s a good thing he’s mowing and not me, because I felt like that was a long time!
Mark cutting the jungle.

When we first moved in, the house was cold. And I don’t mean like, boo hoo, it’s drafty cold. More like WHAT HAVE WE DONE cold. Or I CAN’T LIVE DOWN HERE cold!  The master bedroom and bathroom are set up in the basement (cold factor number one) and have tile and concrete floors (cold factor number two). I think the cold settled into the floors since the heat was off for probably a month before we moved in, and then took several days to warm up to a habitable state. The good news is that it did eventually warm up and now it’s not so bad down there. Slippers are still necessary but it’s manageable.

The neighbors are super nice so far, no crazies yet. Do people still make cookies and introduce themselves to neighbors anymore? Because I think I’m going to. There are tons of kids here too – really, when I back out the driveway I have to remind myself to watch for kids on bikes because they are everywhere! I like it. :)

I probably should've moved that gas can. Classy.
The garage is on the left.

Dining area with the rug down.
Living area with the rug down and a new lamp.


Mark and I went out to brunch to celebrate the house last weekend which was a real treat since we NEVER go out for brunch. I mean like, ever! I think I can count on one hand (fine, maybe two) the number of times we’ve gone out to breakfast/lunch, not counting vacations. Since we were going to be in the University district Saturday morning, we decided on Portage Bay CafĂ©, a Seattle favorite. They have a well-stocked pancake/waffle toppings bar with lots of fruit, syrups, and toppings from which to choose, but I deviated from my pancake norm and went with a savory hot breakfast instead: the chorizo sausage and egg scramble with roasted potatoes. I have to say it: the savory breakfasts (I sampled Mark’s ham and Beecher’s cheese scramble also) totally live up to the hype of the restaurant. I can’t rave too much about the pancakes and waffles – how special can those really be? – but man those savory dishes were good.

Behind the restaurant is an outdoor space that houses the laying hens, ducks, and other animals that (I believe) supply food to the restaurant, as well as herbs. They also had this rabbit who was absolutely HUGE. He’s probably the biggest rabbit I’ve ever seen! It’s hard to tell in this picture but he’s much larger than your average household cat. I don’t know if they are fattening him up for stew or what, but he’s massive.

We also stopped by the crew races at UW for the opening day of boating season. UW completely smoked the other teams so the alumni around us were excited. It was a beautiful morning to sit on the Montlake cut and watch the boats go by! The people next to us had a cuddly Bernese Mountain dog, who acted as my backrest and kept me warm. Love!

Some new {old} house pictures

Above: this picture is already outdated because we've since laid down the living room rug, but I don't have a picture of that yet. Mark's beloved table arrived at the house in a separate trip in our car since he didn't trust it to be moved safely on our actual moving day. Yes, that table fit in our car! The glory of a hatchback - tons of stuff can fit back there! The table looks great against the wood floor, especially now that the rug is down and can kind of pull the space together. We still haven't figured out what we're going to do with all the wall space but we have a few pieces up. They'll probably get moved around though... it'll be a wall shuffle!

Above: this picture is also outdated because we've since laid down our dining room rug (both rugs we already had). Our IKEA dining table is still in use. I kinda love how that house outside the window looks like a barn... it doesn't in real life though, just in this picture! Definitely looks rural.

Above: the other side of the dining room. That other door leads to a bathroom and two spare rooms, one of which we've converted to an office.

Above: and this is the other half of the living room, which is still in transition (obviously). I've been stalking Pinterest for mantle ideas because that is one big mantle to decorate! I love the built-ins though and the space was already set up for speakers. We've put the receiver on the credenza and leave out my old Mac so we can pipe music from the office (where our main computer is) into the living room. Eventually we want to put some comfy reading chairs where the credenza is but that's not a priority at the moment. Those boxes aren't there anymore so I call that our dance floor. :)

From apartment to house

With the help of a small army of about 15 people, we moved into our new (old) house on Saturday! We’d packed nearly everything beforehand so when the army showed up, we could start bringing down boxes right away. Most everything fit in Mark’s company van, a Penske truck, and two cars, with no broken items or missing boxes. Even my shoebox of nail polish made it safely with no spills! We started right on the dot at 11 a.m. by half-loading the company van while waiting for Mark and the truck, and were done loading all vehicles by 12:30. I left a bit early to meet the pizza guy at the new house so lunch could be ready by the time everyone else arrived and by the time 2 p.m. rolled around, everything was unloaded! Three hours from start to finish, including lunch and travel time = not bad at all. I hope it was a fairly painless experience for everyone; we tried to make it as easy and smooth as possible.

We did leave some items at the old apartment like cleaning supplies, as well as our plants and the fish, both of which require a little more TLC during a move that we were afraid might not be present on the big moving day. These items made it over on Monday evening, after we checked out of the old apartment. The fish had an especially traumatic ride… thankfully he’s still alive! Both of us were sad to leave that place, both the neighborhood and the actual apartment—so many good memories there!

The new house is still a royal mess. The only room that looks remotely decent is the kitchen, which is all unpacked thanks to Mark’s sister and brother-in-law, who stayed later on Saturday to help us unpack it. All the storage is wonderful – we really have no need for our credenza anymore, which is sitting unloved in the living room since we discovered a vent along the dining room wall where we were going to put it. It might get Craigslisted… we’ll see.

Here’s a shot of the good side of the living room. The other side is in shambles so I left that part out! Once a picture gets hung and we replace that lamp, it’ll start coming together. It almost looks normal?