A Family of Three

It felt like a long haul to get here. When we started playing with the idea of starting a family, one of my concerns was how well my body would adjust to being off of birth control. I had been on it for years, primarily to regulate a very irregular and abnormal cycle. Something that seemed mundane was now very impactful on my ability to have children. After months of pill free LONG cycles (we are talking 90+ days here) I started seeing a reproductive endocrinologist to see what was going on. After a long string of tests, frustration, and not many answers, my irregular cycles did not seem to have a cause. My RE was convinced I was not ovulating, and told us it would be really hard for us to conceive naturally.

That was really hard to hear.

But we pressed on, and decided to just see how things went. No doctors, no pressure. We even started talking about kids differently. Using “if” vs “when” took some getting used to, but it helped ease the stress.

We took a fantastic surf road trip all the way to Big Sur. Then gallivanted around Quebec eating more wine, pate and soft cheese than a pregnant woman could even look at.

Then we came home and got back to life. My 30th birthday was bittersweet. I had always imagined having my first kiddo by 30 and clearly that was not in the cards.

The following Friday I was going to a big fancy gala for work. An event that would include lots of drinking, so I figured it would be better safe than sorry to take a pregnancy test. I got up, and first thing in the morning I opened my very last cheapo test, took it and set it on the back of the toilet to read, waited for the second line, reported the negative to Matt, and then hopped in the shower. Oh well, I guess the open bar would at least be an option.

No more than two minutes later, Matt got up. I was showering away and hear, “ummm, so…there’s a second line…!” I was in disbelief. The pregnancy test was POSITIVE!

We decided to wait till the next morning to take a second test, and that one registered immediately. It was clear: we were pregnant, and did it all on our own!

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I am thrilled to report that we have made it into the second trimester, and little baby seems to be happily snuggled in and growing. We are expecting to celebrate his or her (it will be a surprise!) arrival in early July!

Till then, the house remodel is full speed ahead, we are focused on eating well and spending quality time as a family of two, before we welcome family member number three!

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Fall Vacation Reflection

What is it about vacations that make being home feel so good? We have been on the road more than usual this fall. A September wedding in Big Sur wrapped up the final 12 days of summer with an epic surf road trip. Less than two week later we were flying across the country for a French Canadian dose of fall color in Quebec. Both trips were amazing, and totally different.

Road trip to Big Sur took us along Hwy 101 and 1: the classic West Coast adventure. Our mini cooper was crammed full of camping gear, food, wetsuits, wedding clothes and our two boards strapped to the roof. It was quite a sight and so much fun to pull off. 2600+ miles took us to some amazing views, great surf, with friends and family along the way. Nik and Nora’s wedding was quite the event as well and we felt like honored guests for the intimate, luxury event.

The week we were home felt the total opposite. Rushed and frantic and too much to do. We harvested tomatoes, made and froze sauce, rebuilt the chicken coop roof and added a new outdoor run. The rain was coming so we battened down the hatches and prepared our little farm for another spell away. I did my best to catch up at work while simultaneously preparing projects for more “out of office” responses in my absence. The house projects received zero attention.

But then the magic of travel happened again and all those unfinished project and work worries were 3000 miles away. On free tickets from last year’s bumped flight, we flew into Montreal and made our home in a little bohemian apartment for the next 4 days. We ate bread and cheese and pate for dinner almost every night, and found pastries for breakfast and lunch. We explored the city through all modes of transit: on foot, by bike share, metro and bus. One night we went out for a fancy dinner. We asked for a recommendation at the trendy butcher shop where we had found excellent terrine. Their sister restaurant was just around the corner and exactly what we wanted for a nice night out.

On Sunday we took a bus to Quebec City on the peak day of fall color. It was incredible, and quite a different experience from fall in the Pacific Northwest. The trees were on fire! How did we like Quebec City? That first afternoon of exploring literally brought me to tears. Multiple times. It was that beautiful and special feeling. The clouds and sky and light were perfect to see the city for the first time.

The rest of our 6 day Canadian adventure took us all around and through Quebec City. We rented a car 2 days to seek out fall colors (and more pastries and coffee). We ate and explored and ate and explored, calling another little Airbnb apartment home. We rarely find places we may want to live (we really do love Vashon) but were totally smitten with Ile d’Orleans. If we ever need to move that is on the list.

Now we are home. It took us a few weeks to really settle back in. We came home to a house swimming in tomatoes salvaged from the late season storms. Picking corn and cuddling our kitties that missed us tons. We dug out the rest of the garden and planted cover crops. We are settling back into the routine. Matt is finding his tools and picking up projects. I am figuring out my daily commute to the city. Life is returning to normal just as the days really settle into fall.

Vashon Island Wedding Recap    

Turning an idea into reality is really quite an inspiring activity. We took our lovely house with a too-small kitchen, came up with a plan, and knocked out some walls. Better location for a fireplace? Underway. Bigger garden? Check. Matt and I are feeling like an unstoppable duo, even if it means our plate is pretty darn full.

Full, but could handle more…so comes yet another off the cuff idea: event planning! We have always talked about how well our skill sets aligned to run events. Matt has killer kitchen skills, catering experience and an eye for detail and logistics. I love dealing with ideas and vision and people. Perfect combo for a wedding planning team. It was always a hypothetical idea until this spring when the opportunity to help a couple plan and execute their Vashon island wedding. They were in LA and needed some local contacts to run and help source things…and so our trial event was born!

For months now we have been their go-to contacts. Receiving shipments, sourcing products, and also expanding our scope to be event producers, caterers and designers. Matt took on appetizers for 200 guests, building a chuppah for their ceremony and designed a beautiful theme around vintage silver platters.

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Finally the event was here. Last weekend we worked our tails off, found 4 amazing helpers and pulled off a wonderfully perfect wedding. Lights and bunting ran above two long banquet tables and the party went well into the night. It was beyond rewarding to execute every last detail above and beyond the expectations of the bride and groom, have ideal weather, friendly helpful guests and make some great island contacts. We are still riding the high from how great it was!

So yes, this trial event was a success, and we are moving forward with making it part of our already busy repertoire as a side gig with the goal of doing 5-7 events each year. We have a website ready to launch as soon as we come up with the right name. Suggestions welcome!

 

Stop Saying “I’m Sorry”

Guilt is a crippling feeling. It does nothing for your confidence, happiness or productivity. We have been working on moving away from feelings for guilt and focusing instead on feelings that do just the opposite: support, inspire and build confidence.

This week we decided on a simple change. No more saying “I’m sorry”. Not as in never apologizing again, but removing “I’m sorry” when it contributes to supporting guilt.

For example, “I’m sorry I am always so down”, “I’m sorry this is hard”, “I’m sorry…” you get the idea. Stop using it as a downer catch-all phrase.

Instead, we are focusing on saying Thank You instead. “Thank you for being there for me”, “thank you for understanding”, “thank you for listening”.

It makes all the difference in the world.

Teamwork

It takes a team to stay sane in our house at the moment. The kitchen table is covered in seaglass projects in progress. I launched my Etsy store this week and I am cranking out mobiles to keep it well stocked. Thank goodness Matt is supportive in me spending every spare second working and is helping out as my official shipper!

Our living room and new guest room, while not actually in construction, are staging areas for renovation materials, tool, barrels of demo debris, and storage for lots of furniture. Things are basically a wreck! And we are still smiling. Matt has been removing the built in closet storage in the old guest room closet…the closet that will go away this weekend to make room for more kitchen! Storing all our furniture has been a challenge without a garage (one of the major downsides of our house).

This morning I was rushing out the door to work, and did not have time to eat breakfast. Matt had made me eggs and toast and I was trying to do it all. Shovel in eggs while buttoning up my coat. How did we make it work? I asked him to blow on the eggs while I ate so that I could get them down as fast as possible. Teamwork at its finest.

Happy Friday.

Anniversary Photo Shoot

A few months back, our friend and epic Spokane based photographer, Amber Glanville, inquired about meeting up for a photo shoot near Vantage, WA. A great opportunity to experiment with a super awesome (and out of the way) location, play with a mix of film and digital equipment, and capture some amazing golden hour summer light. We were in! It was the perfect way to commemorate our third anniversary.

Little did we know that the date we choose would be 107 degrees! We met Amber at the Vantage gas station and then spent 3+ hours driving around to shoot in 4 stunning locations. We had never been to Echo Basin or the Vantage campground, so it was a great opportunity to discover a place we cannot wait to revisit.

And the photos? They are stunning. Amber, thank your for these amazing memories.

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Five Years Ago

July 10, 2010 was a day that changed the course of my life. July 10 was a Saturday that year, the perfect day for a date to the West Seattle Day’s street fair. The day that Matt and I met.

Fast forward five years and we are married, moved to an island to OUR house, waist deep in house and homesteading projects, well-traveled, tan and still just as giddy in love.

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Happy five years of sharing lives, my sweet Moose husband.