Feb 23 2018

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.

Oct 8 2017

Birthday party 2017

For the eighth year in a row, we had a park birthday party and for the eighth year in a row, we lucked out with the weather. Although this was our closest call yet — the day was windy and chilly despite some sun, and raindrops started to splatter as we were packing up party supplies.

The girls have been very excited about biking this summer. Josephine mastered biking without training wheels and got a new, bigger bike for her birthday. And Tilly figured out that she can ride Josephine’s old “pink, sparkly pedal bike.” She’s smitten. They decided they wanted to have a bike parade for their birthday so we gathered as many friends as we could, set out a bunch of decoration supplies, ate some cake, and did some pedaling. Tilly must have gone around the loop 20 times. Josephine fell off her bike and caught herself with her face right before we had cake (hence the face-hiding in our family photo attempts), but she recovered bravely and even got back on her bike for a bit. She’s got grit!

We are so lucky to have such an amazing community of friends here to celebrate with.

Oct 8 2017

First days

First days of preschool and 2nd grade …

Oct 8 2017


Tilly is three! It’s hard to believe time has flown so fast until you spend a day with her. She is undeniably three. She has energy that KNOWS NO BOUNDS. And the girl needs to do things all. by. her. self. Things she’s never even expressed an interest in before? Suddenly it is imperative that she is the one who does the necessary complicated maneuvering that really requires another foot or two of height to accomplish. She’s hysterically funny and can make me laugh out loud, whether she’s trying to or not. She remembers lines from books and puts them to use at the most appropriate times. (We were at Meera’s birthday party the other night, way past bedtime, and when we opened the door to leave, Tilly turned back to the rest of the guests and said, “It is risky to travel in the dark,” a line from a story we’d read a couple times the day before. Perfectly appropriate, if a little spooky.) Even when I’m exasperated with her, I cannot deny that she embodies joy 98% of the time. She was mad the other night and wailing and she literally galloped across the house. While sobbing. She just can’t hold back.

She loves listening to stories, especially ones about Laura Ingalls Wilder (sound like someone else we know?) and will sit silent and still, listening so carefully. And she is really getting in to imaginative play. Our friend Chris made her an amazing wooden donut shop and Josephine made some tiny oven-bake clay donuts. Tilly totes those little donuts around the house and feeds them, sometimes accompanied by elaborate plot lines, to all the little animals that reside in the house.

When Josephine was Tilly’s age, she was still saying her Ls as Ys (yogs, yisten, cyose). Tilly has worked hard on perfectly pronouncing almost anything. She is just this week starting to work on how she says cereal (one of her favorite things to eat). Until now it was always “see-lee-er.” And we’d eat that for “bres-fixt.” But bresfixt is now, carefully stated, breakfast. And cereal is cereal.

She’s not a super-affectionate kid. She leaves peoples’ offered high-fives hanging and squirms away from hugs unless she’s good and ready to give them. But she’s been running at me full speed after preschool and holding me tightly and saying, “I love you,” and I just can’t get enough of her.

Sep 7 2017

in which red wing was cooler than seattle

the gamble to spend a week in minnesota in august paid off when the weather was lovely. also, there were no bugs. and everyone got to hang out and eat pizza at a farm and visit our favorite farm and laugh and play together. ned and i snuck away for a night in the cities — dinner with friends, a great show, and a night away — for our birthdays. there was a boat ride to lake pepin, a kid-and-grandma show that should win some awards, homemade acorn squirrel sales at the farmers market, chocolate birthday cake. the girls were spoiled by the grandparents, as it should be. the cousins played like they are best buds, which warmed my heart. and i just loved soaking it all in. we’ll be back soon, rw.