Jul 11 2018

Irish dance recital

Joey’s been taking Irish dance classes since February and is so in love with it. Like her older cousin Annie, who danced when she was younger, if she’s not dancing at least a few steps a day, you know there’s something wrong. She had a recital at the end of the school year. It was a challenging week. Ned’s dad has been very sick and that week he had be admitted to the ICU. Ned flew to Atlanta to be with him and his mom. It was the last week of school, which is always exciting and a bit unsettling. And she was being parented by a solo mama who was a bit cranky. She had a FOUR HOUR dress rehearsal on Friday (also the last day of school) and I thought she’d be a mess afterwards, but she was happy and energized. She loved being in the green room with the other dancers and practicing on the big stage. The recital the next day was a great success. She was glowing on stage and so thrilled about getting to perform. While I was waiting for her to come out from backstage after the show, I saw another dancer greet her parents fuming, “Did you see how I messed up at the beginning?!” Joey skipped out with a huge grin on her face and, although later she confessed she had missed a few steps, she started with how much fun she’d had. I hope it’s always so fun to do what she loves. (Tilly did great with it all, too. She loved watching the dancers and the recital has inspired some pretty amazing “modern ballet” performances in the living room.)

Jun 9 2018

over the mountains again

We spent Memorial Day weekend in Mazama with our dear friends. Everyone was healthy (hurray!) and it was a lovely sunshine-filled fun-fest. The girls kinda love each other.

Apr 15 2018

Cousin Peter and Uncle Greg visit

A few times in the past, Ned’s brother Greg has come to visit us on his own. This time, we insisted he bring one of his six kids along. Peter, who’s Joey’s age, was the lucky winner and we all had a great time showing him around Seattle. The kids giggled together pretty much non-stop.

Apr 14 2018

Visiting Oregon family and friends

We skipped town in January to take a long-overdue trip to visit my Grandma Jackie in southern Oregon. On the way, we stayed in Portland with my cousin and her family and got to visit our friends and meet their new baby Louisa. The girls had a blast with my cousin’s kids (who I can never remember… are their? second cousins? something-something once-removed? I look it up and then instantly forget it). Anyway, they had a great time. The younger girl gave Tilly her Moana necklace that had made Tilly’s eyes bug out with awe, so that was pretty much the highlight of her trip.

It was so good to see my Grandma and have her enjoy some time with the girls. We hung out in her apartment for a bit and she told us about family history and showed us pictures of her family. We went to lunch at this vegetarian place out in the middle of nowhere where the food tastes like they sprinkle it with a big of magic. And then we basked in the sun for a while, just being together. Joey was working on a poster about her family heritage for school and I told her that some of my relatives had traveled on the Oregon Trail. So we checked out a bunch of books about the trail from the library and she read through them on the drive down to visit my Grandma. She then was able to ask my Grandma a bunch of questions and learn more about the ancestors who had made the trek across the country so many years ago. It was a lovely interchange.


Feb 23 2018

Overheard during a painting lesson…

“Now, Tilly, remember: your paint brush is like a ballerina. She’s delicate and she likes to stay on her toes. And she doesn’t like being scrubbed around.”

Feb 19 2018

A white Seattle Christmas

We got home from Minnesota in time to enjoy Christmas here at home. We had a delightful Christmas Eve dinner at Meera’s house and when we left their house it was a winter wonderland outside! Joey came down with a cold that night so wasn’t able to enjoy the snow for quite as many hours as she would have liked the next morning, but the sparkle and glitter added magic to the quiet, mellow day. We hadn’t made any plans so there was nothing to cancel, nothing to rearrange. We had a fire in the fireplace, unwrapped presents, gazed out at the snow, and enjoyed. Ninety percent of what Joey got was dog-themed and she was, as you can see, delighted. Tilly was also thrilled with each and every gift. They are in the peak-Christmas-enjoyment years and Ned and I soaked it in.

Feb 19 2018

Scenes from the Farm

I couldn’t resist snapping a few photos of some nooks and crannies at the Farm…

Feb 19 2018

Remember us? (Christmas 2017)

Can we just pretend, dear reader(s?), that it hasn’t been multiple months since I last posted? If the few people who sometimes check this blog haven’t given up on me, I’d like to persevere. To that end, may I present: Christmas!

Way back in December, we traveled to Red Wing the week before Christmas to spend some time with my family. We hemmed and hawed about when we should go — tickets were more affordable and travel times were much more civil the week before Christmas, my parents and siblings didn’t really care one way or the other, and going early meant we could be back in Seattle for a quiet actual Christmas here. So it was a bit nontraditional, but it turned out to have been a very wise decision. The day we left Minnesota, temperatures were plummeting and my nephew was developing a troubling cough. We winged back to Seattle and avoided frigid weather and what ended up being pneumonia for both nephews and major colds for multiple grown-ups. Three cheers for strange decisions that end up being apt.

And three cheers for a wonderful visit! We were so lucky to spend half of the trip staying at my aunt and uncle’s beautiful farm house. They moved into a lovely house in town earlier in the winter and generously offered their farm as a sort of home-away-from-home for all of us. My sister and her boys and my parents stayed there, too. My brother and brother-in-law stayed late each night, laughing and playing games. The Farm holds a very special place in my heart. It’s where Ned and I got married and has been the host to countless other wonderful family events. Many childhood memories are rooted there and it was so special to soak in the atmosphere there again. We spent a lot of time as we always have spent time there — snuggled around the fire in the kitchen. The cousins roamed the house playing and enjoying each others’ company. And the grownups felt like they had a bit of vacation.

One noteworthy milestone: Tilly discovered she actually loves snow! After last winter’s extreme disdain for snow, we were hopeful she’d have a change of heart and she did. And just in time to enjoy sledding in Grandma and Grandpa’s yard and walking in the woods at the Farm.

Nov 1 2017

halloween 2017

for halloween this year, josephine was a dog trainer; a costume that involved many small props, very few of which actually saw the light of day (or, glow of streetlight, as it were). also, she had decided on a much less, um, vibrant outfit, but came out of her room in this and i think it added to the pizazz that is halloween. ned gamely made his own dog costume and went as her obedient canine (because she’s a good trainer). and tilly was a purple octopus — the amazing octopus skirt was made by a friend and handed down to tilly.

we trick-or-treated with meera’s family. meera made a fantastic emmylou harris (who sings a song about a black dog named bella, hence ned’s costume choices). tilly was VERY excited to be given candy at every house and now there is entirely too much sugar in our house. speaking of, i’m feeling a little snackish…

Oct 8 2017

Mazama, just us

We were supposed to spend Labor Day weekend with Meera’s family in Mazama, but, sadly, they had to travel to a funeral at the last minute. They generously offered us their house for the weekend anyway and we couldn’t pass it up. It was a relaxed, hot weekend with some trail riding, feet cooling, pool swimming (that’s Ned and the girls walking to the community pool in the last photo), orange smoke moon viewing, and family time.