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MUSEUM OF FLIGHT

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.

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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.

 

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BAINBRIDGE

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.

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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!

 

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LIFE LATELY

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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farmers market

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 minds.farmers 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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PARKS IN SEATTLE

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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snow goose produce

SNOW GOOSE PRODUCE

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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RED MILL BURGERS

if you know me then you know i love food. you also know i love a good burger. i’m always on the hunt for a burger and i have to say red mill did not disappoint. it was getting late in the day and we were looking for somewhere to eat close to home. red mill is just down the hill so we decided to give it a try. right away i loved that they had outdoor seating, perfect for us! ivan ordered the bacon deluxe with cheese and i got the blue cheese and bacon.  i typically don’t like bacon from anywhere but home. its never cooked right and undercooked bacon may just be the worst thing in the world. am i right??! i figured i would take it off. i really just wanted the blue cheese. i was wrong, the bacon was crispy and delicious!! we also got a side of fries + onion rings. i loved the fries, didn’t care much for the onion rings. ivan liked them.

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my girl loves the camera!

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ivans burger and onion rings. that bacon!!

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jack loves dip. i’m pretty sure I’ve already mentioned this. maybe too many times.

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i had them cut mine in half, i had plans to not scarf down the whole burger but really it was too good to waste. i loved the fresh tomatoes + lettuce.

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these two!! deep conversations i tell you.

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we had big plans to order milkshakes. i knew if i ate anymore i wouldn’t be able to walk to the car so i figured i’d do myself a favor and get one another time. we also decided we’d walk next time.

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my giant suburban. i laugh at this beast + parking in seattle. its a joke. she’s been good to us but i think its time for her to go. now can i do the whole public transportation + walking? i think so… but i think i really can’t make that decision until after school starts. if you’re in seattle check out red mill burgers. its a nice change of pace from the downtown chaos.

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WALKING DOWNTOWN

we woke up to a perfectly gray + cool morning and no plans at all. no painting, no furniture to set up. although, i do still need to paint the bathroom. i told the troops to get dressed and head to the front door. we grabbed the double stroller and got walking.

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we stopped by the neighbors swing for a quick push before we headed down the hill

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don’t worry that car was parked (i know it looks like it was about to hit him)

we made it all the way to pike place. the walk there was fun, a lot of sight seeing. we stayed close to the water and had a great view the whole way. we had gyro’s for lunch. they were really good and then ellenos yogurt for dessert. both were great but the yogurt was amazing! we got the marionberry with crumble topping. so good! i’m still thinking about it. downtown was crazy busy today. weekends are especially bad and some new friends said summers are always busy in seattle. ava’s been wanting a crumpet from the crumpet shop. have you been? we love the pesto with tomato + cheddar and the vermont. but they ran out by the time we got there.

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after all was said and done we walked somewhere around 7 miles today. 7 miles!! no one really complained either. city walking is so much more fun. the time + miles pass so quickly. the hill home was killer. ivan pushed the stroller and henri + ava raced. henri was so awesome, he ran most of it. imagine sf hills. thats what we are dealing with here. we are at the top. if we stay in our neighborhood which we could very easily do and have everything we need then we have an easy walk. heading downtown is a different story. i’m still building up the nerve to take the bus. i have this strange fear of getting lost. driving + public transportation heighten it. i am always happy to walk. i think its a control issue. who knows.

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we stop at every fountain. i don’t think i’ll ever have any change lying around with these four

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construction sights are like disneyland for jack. lucky for us we hit the jackpot moving to seattle. they’re building everywhere

ivan ran out to get take out thai for a late dinner for just the two of us around 9. it was still light out which is still taking some getting used to. i’m working on getting the kids back on schedule. no fun!! jacks having terrible social anxiety. he wants to be held and if anyone besides us gets within 15 feet of him he scream and cries. how do i break this?? i’ve never dealt with any of my kids being so scared of strangers. i hope once we are settled in he does better. his world has been flipped upside down. some people from church stopped by. i can’t tell you how nice it was to have someone come by! i thought they had the wrong house initially. ha! we chatted for a while and planned a playdate. i planned another playdate with someone else from church too. the kids + i are so excited to get out and meet people.

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HEAT WAVE

this weekend its been hot! like reaaaalllly hot. i know i really can’t say that to my arizona peeps because they’ll just laugh at me. but the difference between here and there is this beautiful thing called air conditioning. here we have none. so we’ve been sweating a lot. saturday we went in search of a good beach. after trekking all over magnolia trying to find the best spot to park to get down the water and parking in the worst possible spot then hiking a half mile with 4 kids + heavy bag we decided to head to ballard. we grabbed lunch at un bien (the former owners of paseo) i got on my phone and searched for the best beaches in seattle. golden gardens seemed most promising. oh boy was it. free parking (unheard of in cali) concession stand + bathrooms + playground + volley ball nets. not to mention a short walk from parking to the beach! the kids played, ava + elle were brave enough to get in while henri + jack played in the sand. it was quite lovely. we spent most of last week furniture hunting + painting + cleaning so it was so nice to just sit. we found a pretty decent mexican food restaurant too. i can’t wait to have my dishes + pans here. we’ve all decided what we want for dinner the first week i can actually cook. tacos + spaghetti + eggs + bacon. eating out is only fun for so long.

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we went to church on sunday. the first thing i noticed is church doesn’t have air!! the doors are open the windows are open. oh its a whopping 93 + humid. in other words miserable. ivan sweat all through church. our ward is great. lots of fun people. transplant like us. most are here for amazon + gates foundation+ microsoft + boeing. so many of them told me they felt the same way as i do, initially. thinking it was temporary and they’d be home in a few years, then they fell in love with the city. some had gone to the suburbs and come back because they love the city life. its always good to hear positive things about a new place especially when you’re so unsure of it already. my anxiety is slowly starting to fade. i’m starting to get the hang of this place. my neighborhood is getting a little more comfortable. i walked to trader joe’s and back without getting lost. i’ve got a few last things to buy for the house + a lot of packages in the mail right now. ivan’s going back for the trailer in a few days. by the end of the week it should start looking like a home around here.

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jack loves checking the mail. we have two sets of steps between our house and the street. the mail box is between them so every time we head out he has to stop and check.

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this sign at the school made me laugh. i have yet to see anyone out with their pot bellied pig. in our old neighborhood this might have applied but here in the center of the city i can’t imagine.

 

i’m sure i’ve already said this, maybe 10 times. the traffic is horrifying all the time. i read it was bad but i wasn’t fully prepared. i don’t think it will be a big deal once we are settled but right now we are driving a lot. costco + furniture shopping + target. theres always traffic all the time. bridge work + accidents + traffic for no reason. a lady at church was giving me tips for around the city. like if you want to hangout downtown, park at the target. the spots are big and parking is free if you spend $20 at target. you can hang out downtown, get your target run in + free parking all at once. ill keep that in my back pocket. also theres an app for the bus. a lot of people ride it. it seems to be convenient + clean + easy. biking downtown seems impossible. we live at the top of the hill and i’m pretty sure i’d flip the bike trying to get up. ava wants a scooter + i can’t wait for monday. it’s supposed to cool down to 77 then 73-81 the rest of the week. sundays national ice-cream day. i don’t care for ice-cream much except for a few flavors from specific places. like molly moons here in seattle. ivan got me salted caramel and i’ve been working on it for 3 days now. a few bites at night is just perfect. its extra salty, sort of reminds me of cheese. i know how awful that sounds. ivan thinks it tastes putrid. i can’t stop painting. it started with the front two rooms i moved onto the kitchen then the hall now i want to do the bathroom. white just brightens up the place so much and looks so clean. another problem over here is that i can’t figure out the garbage situation. we have three. one for recycling and its normal size. one for compost, also normal size and another for trash. that can is tiny, about knee high. recycle comes every other week. i’m looking for an garbage i can keep in the house with 3 separate slots. seen any? i really don’t want to have three separate garbages in my small kitchen. the whole composting thing is a great idea but do i just keep a can of rotting trash in the kitchen? thats gonna smell. why is the regular trash soooo small and why is recycling only coming twice a month? thats enough rambling for now. hope everyones enjoying the monsoons back home. i sure do miss them!

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this is the actual house that was inspiration for the movie UP. its in the ballard neighborhood, just right over the ballard bridge. i see it every time we drive over. the woman who lived their, Edith Macefield, refused to sell and was even offered 1 million dollars in 2006. she passed away in 2008 and left it to the new buildings superintendent. it was sold to someone wanting to open a pie shop in ediths name. the building ended up being too expensive to get up to code and is offered free to a nonprofit that will move it so the land can be sold. if you are in the seattle area and have kids its really great to go see. my kids were so excited that the “up” house really exists.

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HOME

over the weekend we houses hunted. we called houses from craigslist + trulia + zillow. any site we could find offering up a rental. we drove around. we stopped in at open houses. we made appointments to meet realtors. house hunting here is nothing like it is in az. house hunting in seattle is madness. pure chaos. i met other couples doing the same thing we are. uprooting their life and moving to seattle. they were staying in hotels too. they figured they’d find something when they got here just like we did. they’d been seriously hunting for 2 1/2 weeks and still nothing. you look at a house and its over priced + outdated + hideously ugly + stinky + next to a cemetery + bad school district + sketchy area and list goes on. but because the inventory is so low and the techie’s are taking over the city you put in your offer with 90 other people and before you can hit send you get an email that its taken. then you cry and you stress and you wonder what you’re even doing anyways. a cashier at the busiest costco i’ve ever seen in my life (even on the worst of worst days at costco, this was at least 10 times worse) said they’re one of the busiest costco’s and they are jam packed every day. he said seattle has grown immensely over the last 2-3 years and the cost of living is now higher than NYC. say whhhhat?!!!

DSC07270 DSC07279 IMG_8555how can you not love that elephant?! the sun does shine in seattle and its a cool 73 degrees. take that az!

 

july is a busy month in seattle so we sort of jumped from one hotel to the next. sunday night as we were pulling up to our new hotel and ivan went inside to check in, i got on my phone and looked on craigslist again. a listing popped up. no pictures. my dream neighborhood at the top of the hill + middle of the city. great school in walking distance. i made ivan call. he got back in the car and said lets go look at it. she lives in arizona (coincidence? i think not) she said the keys under the mat. we drove straight over. he walked in through the back door and came to the front to let us in. i looked at his face and he shook his head yes. we ran inside to the most amazing craftsman style house. built in 1917. original hard woods. original built in cabinets. original door handles + windows. pretty much original everything. 3 bedroom with a huge master upstairs. 2 bathrooms, thats unheard of here!! aside from the hideous colors on the wall from the previous renter (we are painting) it was perfect. everything i had dreamt of in my head. my perfect seattle house. she said she had been praying for a family and praying that family (us!!!) would find it on sunday. we had been praying for this house. it was so easy + effortless. thank goodness she didn’t upload photos or this house would have had a line around the corner.

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just when i felt defeated it all fell into place. this move has been stressful. i’ve been homesick. i’ve wondered if we are making the right decision. but its all fallen into place. fairly perfectly. i mean house hunting for weeks but really only 2 days here in the city, when those other people were here for weeks, is pretty awesome.

IMG_8710gotta put your park somewhere. on top of the pharmacy at the u village. i mostly took this photo as a reminder to myself next time we are shopping and need a break. theres a park.

 

i have to says driving in the city might be my worst nightmare. i think public transportation is in my future. all the bridges + tunnels + traffic, oh the traffic!!! seattle has LA beat big time. i get so confused and then stressed. shopping is no easy task. we rented a van because ivan’s truck and trailer are still in az. (he’s flying back to pick them up and drive them here) i then had to drive around from store to store searching for furniture. buying beds + sheets + laundry soap + everything else you need to fill a home. i drove to the target north of me because my city target only has garage parking and i couldn’t fit the van in only to find out that target also only had garage parking and i had to park half way down the road. i filled up my cart and checked out. they don’t have plastic bags in seattle and i had to purchase two tiny paper bags (about half the size of a normal brown paper bag) the cashier was so kind and tried to jam everything he could into them. 3 sets of sheets + mattress pads along with laundry detergent i had to stack up and carry out. all these things i’m learning about city living. like don’t pile your cart at target when you’ve parked 5 blocks away.

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then we walk through our neighborhood to the edge of the hill and look out over the water to the most amazing view. or we go to the movies in the middle of the city and i look out the window on the escalator heading up to our theater and i see a view of the city. our city. we are slowly finding our spots. we drive up that long steep hill out of the hustle and bustle of downtown to our quiet neighborhood and it feels good, really good. i know soon enough it will feel more like home. henri has done great, no allergies and thats what its all about! so even though i’m tired and stressed and sometimes miss the ease of arizona, henri being able to breathe is all that matters. thats it.

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