Category Archives: General

Too Cute Thursday

I have thousands of pictures on my phone of each of my kids (seriously at least 5,000) but not very many pictures of them + me, so I’m trying to do better at getting in the photos too. You know, so they know I was around somewhere other than behind the lens.

Someday they’ll thank me. Or at least I can wistfully look back on them….and cry.

{Elise’s preschool had a Mother’s Day tea. Just me and my girl—we rarely get time alone, so it was extra special for her and I. They decorated cookies, made necklaces, and sang songs for us. It was the sweetest time.}


{Sometimes when the kids’ naps don’t coincide, this guy and I just hang out and make googly eyes at each other. He’s such a flirt. I’m so glad I get to be his leading lady.}




We live in a beautiful part of the country, but we tend to be stay within a 10 mile radius from our house and not get out and explore much.

No more.

On our way to Lummi Island for Thanksgiving, we made the decision to start taking more little weekend trips — shooting for once a month to someplace we hadn’t been or wanted to explore more of.

So this was our inaugural trip of 2015, and we decided to head out to Kalaloch Lodge out on the coast of Washington.



Coloring with a view of the Space Needle

After packing up Friday morning, we started the weekend off at one of our favorite breakfast spots at CJ’s Eatery in downtown Seattle. Next was a short stop at Seattle Children’s for Gabriel’s monthly check-up, and then we headed out.

We arrived just after “sunset” on Friday evening, but since it was raining heavily, sunset didn’t really matter – it was just dark. Our two bedroom suite was perfect – Gabriel stayed in one bedroom in his pack & play, Elise slept on the futon, and Katie and I had a room with a peek-a-boo view of the ocean. It had no Internet and no TV in order to help disconnect – but came with a wood burning fireplace instead.

View from our balcony

The view from our balcony in the morning.

We had a nice little dinner at the lodge, put Gabriel down for bed, and the three of us watched Tangled on the laptop until crashing that evening.

"Sometimes Mommy and Daddy just put me places while they do other things!"

“Sometimes Mommy and Daddy just put me places while they do other things!”

The next morning, we had breakfast back at the lodge (where the restaurant manager remembered both Elise & Gabriel’s names from the night before!) before packing up and hitting the beach.

Counting the fish on the wall

Counting the fish on the wall

When you’re three, nothing is better than the beach, even if it’s a little bit rainy.






View from the top of the “cliff” where the lodge sits.






IMG_0037Somebody had an awesome time

Elise’s favorite game was running down the beach towards the water, waiting for a wave to come in, and running away from it as fast as she could.

Running from the waves

A video posted by todd (@toadgee) on

The trip back we had two kiddos that conked out… some more comfortably than others.


On Bainbridge Island, we caught the ferry back to Seattle.

Somebody was pretty happy waiting in the queue to get onto the ferry

Somebody was pretty happy waiting in the queue to get onto the ferry




Once in the city, we drove down to the stadium to get the necessary preparations for Super Bowl Sunday! E got a new hat, while I got a jersey. Katie left empty handed — which is sad since she was the only one we really wanted to get a jersey for.



It was a quick trip, since we had to be back for church on Sunday, but we all had a blast and are looking forward to next month!

Catch Up

I’ve been debating whether I should keep up with this blog since I struggle to find any time to actually post something other than a Too Cute Thursday. But, I love looking back at my own blogposts and I also feel I owe it to Gabriel to at least continue documenting some of his/our life just as I did for Elise, in hopes that he doesn’t grow up and think I totally stopped caring. (#secondchildproblems?)

So, the posts will still be infrequent and mostly just photos, but I’ll keep on keeping on. Besides, our little guy already has quite an interesting story that deserves to be shared with others, and someday I’d like to get around to that. But for now, here’s a photo dump of the past several weeks.


That wasn’t that long ago, was it? Keeping with our tradition of recent years, we rented a house up in the beautiful San Juan islands with some friends of ours.



IMG_5832 This year, we went to quiet little Lummi Island for 3 days with Jason, Shauna & Daelyn and had a wonderful time. It was a lot different than the last time we went with them—and we missed having Ryan & Aubrey along as well since they’ve moved to California. But, we had a spacious house with lots of toys, and room both inside and outside for the little girls to burn off their toddler energy while us adults lounged and enjoyed lots of beer, wine, and coffee. Gabriel basically just slept 95% of the time.










I usually volunteer to fix the turkey for Thanksgiving dinner, and both years that we’ve had a little baby, I’ve unintentionally/subconciously bought a turkey just about the same weight as the babe. I always like comparing pictures of the two kids.

eliseturkey{15 pound turkey & 4 month old Elise}

IMG_5839{11 pound turkey & 2 month old Gabriel}

Lummi Island…..14 thumbs up, would do again.

.   .   .   .   .   .   .

Oh, Christmas Tree

I never had a real Christmas tree growing up but Todd did, so we got rid of our artificial tree and decided that this year would be the year we started a new family tradition of getting a real one. A couple Saturdays ago, we drove out to a nearby Christmas tree farm to pick out the perfect (for us) tree.




I had an internal parenting struggle with myself about the tree lights. I’m a white Christmas light girl through and through, but Elise had been talking about having colorful lights for quite awhile, and I knew it would break her heart to see me string up some boring white lights. But, they’re just so much prettier….

So, I bought 10 boxes of color lights and avoided a tantrum. 🙂 Also, I had to resist all urges to have complete decorating control over the tree and made myself let her do her own thing on the bottom 1/3 of it.

It’s been a difficult process for me, haha.




Hey, whatever makes these cutie patooties happy, right?