A big thanks to everyone who entered the Brooks shoe giveaway! I wish I could give a pair of shoes to all of you! Our lucky winner is Sarah who said – “I was matched with the Launch 3’s and would love to try out a pair. I run in Glycerins now while training for the Seattle Rock ‘n’ Roll Half in June and Portland Marathon (my first full) in October. Love your blog!!” Congrats, Sarah!
One of the ways that helped me get through the days following Huey’s passing, was to dig through old photos and memories. I don’t have tons of digital photos from the early days circa 2005, but it sure did help that I started using my blog a lot more in 2009. I have thousands and thousands of photos saved on hard drives and in the cloud, and I sat and cried and looked at every one of them.
I’m getting some new prints made and hung so that we still see the old brown dog a bit more when we look around the house, and that feels comforting. But another thing that came from looking through all those photos – I realized that in the past year or so, I pretty much stopped using my big SLR camera. It wasn’t intentional, but with all the other things I lug around for the kids, added to the fact that they never stop moving, and I took the easy route with quick camera phone shots and never looked back.
It wasn’t just pictures of the dogs I was missing – it was the kids, the house, the every day stuff. Of course I have lots of fun vacation pictures and memories from special events, but it was a reminder to me that they every day stuff can be just as (if not more) comforting to look back on later.
And so these past few weeks I’ve kept my camera out on the kitchen counter. Not in an intrusive way – just a snap here and there. I also realized that because I had these photos, I used to share a lot more of the day to day here on the ole’ blog.
And with that, a quick note. I feel like I’ve gotten a lot of comments recently about the content here – that it’s forced, or lacking, or just “pointless photo dumps.” And while my skin is thick, I can also appreciate good conversation. I’ve let this last one roll around in my mind for a few days. I thought about what types of things I’d write about back in 2009 or 2010 (which as a reminder was SIX years ago!). And the more I thought about it, the more I realized that as a lifestyle blog – this has always been “photo dumps.”
Photos of my adventures in culinary school, photos of life in Charlotte – walking dogs, working out at home, and badly-lit photos of food. Photos in Alexandria – walking around town, working in coffee shops, and enjoying the riverfront. Photos of life in Seattle – the farmers markets, the parks, the water everywhere, and now – my family. The story told through the photos is still the same, but the people in the photos have changed. So for some people, it might be less exciting (and appear lazy?) to see pictures of my kids enjoying our local beaches or playing in the yard – but that is life now. And I really enjoy it.
In a few months, Graham will join Cullen a few mornings each week at preschool, and for the first time in five years (!), I will have regular, predictable time to myself to anything I want to do. Twelve whole hours each week – can you even imagine? My mind races with the possibilities!
One of the big focuses of that time will be here – on this space. I’d like to do better cooking again. More pre-planned posts, a more regular editorial calendar, and better reader engagement. I also have a long over-due site re-design planned! But I’ll also be spending time on our kombucha business – helping Casey with sales, social media, web inquiries and site management, and all sorts of other things as we grow.
And I might even use some of that time to do things that are NOT work related – like read a book, loop around the lake with a friend, or tackle a baking project. And then I’ll pick up the boys and we’ll hit up the beaches and ice cream shops and splash parks. Can you tell I’m excited? It’s going to be such a fun summer!
My current goal is to post in this space three to four times each week – a mix of lifestyle posts and updates, fitness-focused content, and yes – some branded/product content that will remain carefully chosen and given the same level of effort as other posts.
And so with that, how about I stop babbling and I show you some of those pictures I talked about snapping.
Spring has ARRIVED in Seattle, and it is perfection. I promise this will be the last time I mention our hellish rain, but oh man guys – it’s been, well, hell. I have always been the biggest champion for Seattle weather, but this winter was a doozy. And when I got to Ohio and felt the sun on my skin I was tempted to stay there forever.
Thank goodness I came home and found my whole yard (and CITY, even!) in beautiful bloom – birds chirping, tulips and daffodils everywhere, and bright colors all around.
Check out the cherry blossoms in our neighborhood – incredible!
I took this picture of our tulips over a week ago, and now they are all opened and bursting with color. Many thanks to the green thumb who lived here before us, because I never could have made it look this good.
We also have those lovely blue bells popping up everywhere. They are such a pain to pull when they are done blooming, but for now they are turning our front and back yards into a beautiful sea of purple-y blue.
And beyond our home, we’ve been enjoying the sunshine all around town. Casey is working at the Fremont Farmers Market for the business now, so on Sundays I’m on my own. It requires me to dig deep and plan fun activities to do by myself on the weekends, when I’ve already been at it all week long. Last weekend I was thrilled to have two other friends suggest we all try out a new (to us) beach and explore together – YES please!
We visited Lincoln Park in West Seattle – such a fun part of town, and one we don’t visit often enough. The park itself was amazing. We had to park out by the street and then hike a half mile through beautiful woods to get down to the water. It was absolutely gorgeous!
And then we got down to the waterfront and found things like this, and I wondered how we had never been there before.
This beach had incredible driftwood, and despite carrying an enormous bag of diggers and buckets and shovels with me, this was the only thing the kids did for hours. Nature’s toys!
It was exactly what I needed in order to stop dreaming of packing up and going back to Ohio, and to look around me instead and see the incredible beauty and wonderful friends I’m surrounded by out here.
The other big excitement in our life right now is that Cullen started T-Ball. And if that doesn’t sound exciting to you, then you have never watched T-Ball!
In all my years of parenting, I can honestly say that this is one of the most fun things I’ve experienced yet. Sometimes it feels heartbreaking to watch your kids grow up and get bigger, but most of the time it feels incredible to know that these babies that you have poured so much love and life into are become little people who wear uniforms and high five teammates. It’s amazing.
I have never seen Cullen love anything as much as he loves this. He has lots of good buddies, but none of them care about baseball, and so it’s really cool to see him with like-minded kids and being part of a team.
And speaking of those buddies, they might not care about the sport, but they sure do care about their friends. Cullen had a few friends come watch his game the other night and the look on his face when he heard them cheering, “GO CULLEN!” – truly priceless.
Okay a few more because I am a crazy baseball mama and I can’t help myself.
Okay thanks for indulging me. I promise I won’t share 15 pictures from every single game this season. :)
It’s a busy week here, as we are getting ready for a big trip at the end of the week! We’ll be spending next week in sunny FLORIDA with Casey’s family. We usually do our family vacation during the summer, but this year we’re doing it early while my sister-in-law is still on maternity leave. I cannot wait to meet my new little niece and dip my toes into the ocean!
I have another post planned for tomorrow, and I’ll have some posts going up during the week while we’re traveling. I might even check in with a vacation update – we’ll see. Hope your week is off to a great start!