my sister came for a visit way back in august, i think. gosh i’m so far behind. we’ve been having too much fun in seattle and i’ve been slacking on documenting it. i don’t know how long we are here, it could be forever it could be a few years. i’m going to make a better effort at documenting our life here. if for nothing other than being able to look back at these years in this city with these babes and of course for you mom and kellie! my sister lives in orange county and was the first of our visitors. we were so excited to have them come up. my kids look at her kids like their own sibling and have so much fun with them. we took them around the city and did all the touristy things. of course we had only been here a month at that time so i really feel like they need to come back up and i can give them an even better tour of the city!



the gum wall! because you can’t come to seattle and not see the gum wall. they just cleaned it all off a month or so ago. it needed a cleaning it was pretty gross.



theses girls!! i can’t take it, they are so cute together and i think they look like sister. we wandered volunteer park. the kids climbed the trees for hours. such a beautiful park.



we made a trip down to portland. ate tacos at porque no because why not?! wandered the city for a while and then headed back. portland is great but really seattle is better!! i say that with love. lots of it.



a trip to golden gardens for a fire in the pit and dinner at sunset. i can’t believe the kids get in that icy water and really this beach is nothing compared to where my sister lives but hey its close by and watching the sailboats is pretty great. you can also see an orca every so often.



the mother load of all fountains! the international fountain at the seattle center is so much fun. initially jack was a little nervous but he eventually warmed up and was in heaven. the water shoots something like 120 feet in the air. its pretty crazy and a great place to spend a warm afternoon.



just look at that face! so happy!! andrea come back and visit! i promise i’ll show you even more of this great city. or just move here i’d love that even more. i know california’s weather can’t be beat but seattle summers are where its at.



a few months back we were lucky enough to be invited to diner en blanc in seattle by a friend. i had never heard of the diner but quickly looked it up after she extended the invite. i thought it sounded really fun and said yes right away. diner en blanc is an invite only pop up dinner. you wear all white and bring everything you would need for a dinner, from a white table and white chairs to drinks and food. we were all given a portion of the meal to prepare. we were in charge of the dessert, my favorite to eat and prepare! we made creme brûlée, i made julia child’s recipe and let me tell you it was the best! easier than i thought too. we brought a torch with us and let everyone torch their own, that was a fun addition to the night! between each course you wave your napkin in the air and everyone shouts out. the whole thing is pretty great!


all the people dressed in white, eating fantastic food with great friends. oh and the best part is you don’t find out your location until last minute, like 20 minutes before. each year they switch up where it will be hosted. this year it ended up being at volunteer park. we drove in and followed the sea of white, carrying our chairs and dessert. this was one of our first outings in seattle and felt like a great way to experience the city. the night was topped off with sparklers. thanks steph for a great night! so glad we were part of it and got to meet some of what are now our dearest friends in seattle. i really do love this city!





a few friends invited us to meet up with them at the museum of flight in seattle. they offer free admission the first thursday of the month from 5-9pm. we had never been so we thought it sounded like a fun idea. the kids loved it! i thought it was pretty great too. the museum was packed i’m guessing since the admission was free. those crowds are so not ivan’s thing but he made it out alive. he’s the type that would rather pay triple to avoid the swarms of people. i’m pretty proud of how well he dealt with it.


this picture is so dead on. we took one where we were all facing the camera, but this one is so perfectly my life that i had to share. it makes me laugh! everyone in a different direction.

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the drive down was at rush hour. can you call it rush hour when the traffic is always bad? it does seem to be exceptionally bad around 4-7pm. i know i’ve said this already but its worth repeating, it took us 1hr 45min to get 12.8 miles!! that was rough.

the museum is definitely worth visiting, especially if you have little ones that are plane fanatics like my jack is.

IMG_9412apparently this is a Lockheed sr-71 blackbird. its speed is classified and i might have been more excited to see it than the kids. pretty cool stuff.




we took the the ferry over to bainbridge for the day to do some exploring. the ferry is quick, maybe 30 minutes. you can drive right on and then get out and hang on the upper decks. the weather was amazing so we went to the very top and waved goodbye to the city. i had done a little research and found a great little italian restaurant for us to stop in at and grab some lunch. all of the food ended up being fantastic! we finished off every last bite then made our way to the water.

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jack fell asleep after lunch so i sat on a log holding him while the kids played in the water. they used their imaginations and played with sticks and rocks for hours. jack woke up and skipped rocks with ivan. well jack dumped rocks in the water while ivan skipped rocks.


bainbridge feels like a small town and i guess it probably is. its quaint + the downtown is charming. the houses all along the water are beautiful with the most stunning views of the city. its very green + woodsy. i wouldn’t mind spending a little more time exploring the island.

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if you get the chance you should take the ferry over to bainbridge and do a little exploring. it really is beautiful and the views of the city can’t be beat!




i wanted to catch up on a few posts i’ve had in the works with some really fun things we’ve done in seattle lately but i find myself sitting here with the need to journal whats going on right now. i keep getting that feeling that i need to put it out there so i’m listening to that voice and the other posts will have to wait.


a few months ago my dad found out he had a tumor in his chest. the exact location was unclear. most likely his lungs. my parents didn’t tell us until they were certain what it was. he didn’t want us to worry. he was worried enough. he and my mom visited doctor after doctor, specialist after specialist. initially they were told it was a tumor the size of a golf ball then a softball. he had a biopsy and was told it wasn’t cancer. they decided to tell us once they had a clear diagnosis. so we knew it was a tumor the size of a softball in his airway above his lung. when i heard this i was obviously shocked but also relieved, it could have been so much worse. he had a scan of his entire body and this is the only one they found.


so we wait for more doctors appointments. different doctors tell us different things but mostly he needs to see another doctor more skilled in this department. he’s told he needs surgery to remove it, there is no other option. the first surgeon he sees tells him he’s going to have to remove his entire lung. after all the ups and downs and finally some definite answers this came as a huge shock. thats a lot to take in. we are so thankful its benign and we assume the surgery will be fairly easy until we hear that. the surgeon says he can refer him to another surgeon that is more qualified to do this type of surgery. apparently the type of tumor he has is very slow growing, the best tumor you can have but also extremely rare to develop in the spot he developed his. as in 1% of the time this tumor grows near the lungs. so the first surgeon has not had a lot of practice removing this tumor in that spot.


he sees the new surgeon. this has all been going on for 4 months. you can image all the emotions that go along with all the doctors visits. sometimes we are on such a high with the good news and other times the news leaves us feeling defeated. the surgeon tells him he thinks he can save the lung and remove the tumor but he won’t know for sure until he gets in there. he also calls the tumor cancer. but we already had the biopsy. they said it wasn’t cancer. he continues to call the tumor cancer and says they will biopsy it during the surgery.


i flew into az monday around 11:30. i didn’t sleep the night before and woke up monday morning feeling awful. my stomach was upset. i was extremely nauseous, my head hurt. ivan kept telling me to stop worrying and that it was my nerves. i am just like my dad. anxious + a worrier. i’ve calmed since having jack but in situations like this it flares back up. i stress, i don’t eat, i don’t get emotional. i sort of turn into a functioning zombie. its awful, i put on a brave face for the kids while i feel like i’m dying inside. my oldest sister is much more rational. she’s like my mom. level headed + lets not worry until we know type of person. she also got her sleeping habits from my mom and could sleep through a hurricane blowing through her bedroom. i wake at the drop of a pin and cannot fall back asleep after i’m woken, just like my dad. the entire plane ride i’m holding back getting sick in that tiny paper bag. i keep thinking is this motion sickness? i barely ate that morning and i took ibuprofen for the headache, could that be it? the nausea came and went. if you know me then you know i have a weak stomach so this could potential be the flu or just totally normal. i grab lunch with my sisters and the entire time i’m feeling awful but i eat thinking it might help. we stop at a gas station on the way up to my sister in laws and i get completely sick in the trash can. have you thrown up a salad? it might just be the worst thing ever!! a nice lady brings me water and tissues. the rest of the day was bad. i felt sick and went to bed at 7.


i woke up tuesday morning around 6. my dads surgery was scheduled for 7:30 but i couldn’t go because i didn’t want to risk getting him sick if i had a bug. i still don’t know if it was stress and nerves or if i was sick. i talked to my mom and she said if i felt fine to come down. we sat together, my mom, 2 sisters and me. we got updates throughout the surgery. it ran longer than they expected. the surgeon came out and said it went great. we were so relieved. finally months of stress lifted away. i’ve felt like i was drowning and now i could come up for air. its weird worrying about a parent. i went through hell and back with jack but it was such a whirlwind from the beginning i didn’t have the chance to get second opinions or have to wait weeks on end to get into the next doctor. this waiting has been the hardest part. i can’t imagine what my dad has felt thorough this whole thing. he’s not a share your feelings kind of guy. he’s goofy and a jokester. he likes to avoid the bad situation and pretend its not happening. i get that from him too. its hard to face challenges head on. especially when it comes to your health. not knowing what your future holds is a hard reality to face. luckily my dad has my mom. a rock + always strong and positive. she doesn’t crumble and she will make sure you don’t either.


while this trip back home isn’t for the vacation i wish it was, i am so gratefully for an amazing husband that lets me leave for 6 days and takes care of our 4 babies without missing a beat. for a family that rallies around each other and is right there when we need them. i’ve only grown up with my immediate family for the most part. my parents and 2 sisters but we are closer than any family i know. we have each others backs and will drop everything to be right there. trials are hard but they bring us closer together and make us realize what is truly important and for that i am grateful. my dad is in the hospital and on the road to recovery. he’s making great progress every day. before i know it he will be back to his old self cracking jokes and making us all laugh.



we are settling nicely into city living. i’m learning to live with the little quirks that initially drove me crazy. like the smell of the downtown city target. its a burning rubber smell, possibly the escalator?? that same target charges more than the target north of seattle. i guess because seattles minimum wage is higher than anywhere else in the state they pass the cost down to the consumer. or the bad traffic. you know we sat on mercer st for 25 min and did not move more than 6 inches. not once. we watched light cycle after light cycle and didn’t move. its mind boggling. why aren’t we moving?? at all?? how is everyone stopped and not progressing forward even a little bit? now we know, don’t take mercer ever. we went to the air museum last week with friends. it took us 1 hr 45 min to get 12.8 miles. yep you read that right. so when you’re sitting in traffic just know it could be worse you could be sitting in seattle traffic. the museum itself was really fun and is free the first thursday of the month from 5-9pm.


i’m falling even more in love with seattle every day. i love that we spend so much time outside. i love that its not 115 so we can spend time outside. we walk so much more than we ever have. i took the bus the other day downtown. all by myself and it felt like a small victory. i love driving, pretty much anywhere in the city and seeing water + the space needle + tall buildings. everywhere i look its beautiful. i love the parks. mostly i love that henri is doing so well. its amazing to see your typically sick baby completely healthy. no allergy medicine no breathing machine, steroids or inhalers. i pray it stays this way.


we witnessed someone steal from the grocery store the other day. that was shocking. he jumped in his volvo suv and drove away. it was bizarre. the kids and i just stood there picking our jaws up off the sidewalk and looking at each other. we also got to see someone use the side of the road as their toilet. i don’t mean number 1 either. another interesting first.


the water in seattle tastes so much better than back home. the nights get cool and the tourists are in droves downtown. not that i can blame them, the weather is so nice right now. food costs are double and somehow i forget my reusable grocery bags every single time. so i have to pay for paper and feel bad i’m being wasteful. our ward is quickly becoming one of my favorites. we had a block party and got to meet a lot of our neighbors. all of them were so nice! i love that everything i need is in walking distance. i really don’t ever have to leave my neighborhood. seattle i like you. i like you a lot!

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i’ve been doing a lot of eating (i mean research) lately. trying to find our new favorite places to grab a bite to eat in our new town. here are a few that we will be visiting again soon.


red mill burgers- i mentioned this place last week. the burgers + fries were pretty good.

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tup tim thai- we’ve eaten here twice already. we loved the chicken panang + fried rice. did not love the pad see ew, that was a total bummer since thats usually my favorite thai dish. this one lacked flavor. our first time we asked for medium spicy, on a scale of 1-5 i think we said 3. not nearly as spicy as we were used to back home. why is everyone scared of spicy here?? anyways we upped it to a 4-5, much better. just a side note if you like spicy.


oasis bagel- the kids and i went friday for dinner after talking with a friend from NYC earlier in the day, filling me in on the best bagel in seattle. i loved the everything bagel with scallion cream cheese. the kids loved it too.


nielsens danish bakery- the potato!!! oh man, this was amazing. we ordered 3. i may have eaten most of them. the name is sort of a turn off but try it anyways. you won’t regret it!! it’s a pastry filled with custard + whipped cream covered in marzipan then dusted in dutch cocoa powder. its heaven. we got a snitter too, it was good but the potato was amazing.


ellenos– i also mentioned this one last week. we got it again at the farmers market by our house. they were out of the marionberry with crumble so we got the lemon curd. also really good!

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mr. d’s greek delicacies- we got gyros from here. i really like the hot sauce they have in a squeeze bottle on the counter. i also loved the dolamdes. i didn’t love the hummus, too lemony.

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uneeda burger- the ingredients were really fresh + the meat was great quality. i tried poutine for the first time here. i like it. the outdoor seating is perfect for seattle in the summer.


if you only try one thing from this list, try the the potato! it will rock your world!!

farmers market


our little neighborhood in seattle has a farmers market each week. each of the neighborhoods has their own on different days. we decided to walk down and bring pearl. i think it wore her out. she laid around for the rest of the day (ha!) it was hot too. luckily all the shops along the main street have doggy stops with water bowls for her to get a drink and cool down. the neighborhood farmers markets are really great. not nearly as busy as pike place but has a lot of the great food pike’s has to offer. the walk there is always fun. lots of exploring and looking around. while the walk home is usually more mellow + talking about whats on the kids market - 1 farmers market - 2 farmers market

we had to stop and grab a yogurt at the ellenos stand. the marionberry pie is still our fav. lemon curd is a close secondfarmers market

we’ve heard about nosh, supposedly the best fish and chips in the city. its a food truck and the few times we looked for them they weren’t close by. so when we found the truck at the farmers market we had to give it a try. the best fish and chips i have ever had!! even better than the bow picker in astoria. the tartar sauce was heaven. the fish was so light + crispy. fries were great. even the mushy peas weren’t bad. if you spot the nosh truck don’t pass it up!!farmers market farmers market - 7

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the parks in seattle are amazing. probably because if you’re lucky enough to have a yard its tiny. we took the kids over to discovery park the other night while ava had a church activity to attend. if you park by the visitors center you can walk the trail over to the tennis + basketball courts and the playground. the zip line ended up being a total hit with henri + elle while jack loved the big yellow swing. we had the whole place to ourselves and the kids had a blast!

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jack was having terrible social anxiety. he would scream and cry every time a stranger walked by. he’d yell “mooooooomma, person..person.” crying the whole way to me. initially it broke my heart then i started wondering if i need to take him to a doctor or someone that can help us get through it. luckily he seems to be over it and doing much better. i think it was too many changes all at once. i was talking pictures of him when someone walked by and he freaked. i got a few shots of him before scooping him up. this is real life and i don’t want to forget these moments. the good and the bad.

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here he is, happy again. the person had walked by and he was back to his normal self. how quickly kids forget!

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we headed up to mount vernon for a day trip before ivan headed back to az to grab his work truck + trailer along with the few belongings we have. i thought it would be great to get in one last trip before he gets back to full time work. the great thing about washington is there are so many beautiful places so close by. we have the best of both worlds, minutes from the big city + beautiful forest in our backyard. it feels like a constant adventure.

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blackberry bushes run rampant here. they’re on every corner. its funny to me to see people just walk up and grab a handful. although i don’t think they are completely in season until next month. but you can definitely find a few ripe ones.

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jack was so proud of himself and his blackberry. we’ve gone over all the poisonous berries and i hope i’ve taught them not to just pick + eat anything they find. they have to ask first.

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if i hand enough room i’d buy every one of these. just ask ivan. he says i have a basket hoarding problem. i’d say its borderline a problem.

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another ice-cream stop. why is it that everywhere has ice cream up here?

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i’m not sure she actually ever cares about the flavor. she picks based off color.

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somehow he always manages to get a hold of my ice cream and won’t give it back.

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ava loves to wander off. this time it was to look at all the flowers + plants. i promised her a garden when we are settled in. her love for nature makes this mama happy. she has such a pure heart.

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i love a good farm stand. i’m always drawn to them. the vibrant colors + shapes. really beautiful.

snow goose produce snow goose produce snow goose producehow cute is this little basket? perfect size for little hands. jack looked so cute carrying one around too. mt. vernon is really pretty. a lot of beautiful barns + adorable houses. i told ivan i could live there. its removed from the city but not too far. we are having so much fun exploring our new state. washington truly is one of the most beautiful places i have been to.


henri is still doing great! we’ve talked about starting him in a grass sport. i’m a little hesitant but his asthma doctor assured me that arizona grass pollenates year round where washington only does for 6 weeks. i’m pretty sure thats why all the grass is dead here. that means it shouldn’t affect him at all. i’ll take it and i know he’d love to play sports and not have his asthma flare up.


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