Thursday, December 17, 2015


Here's the last month or two in a nutshell:
1. Trip to Palm Springs with my family
2. Trip to San Diego for work
3. Trip to Orcas for Thanksgiving
4. Trip to Palm Springs with my girlfriends
5. Terrible cold and frantic holiday preparations
6. Mostly recovered and continued holiday preparations
7. Get totally addicted to Friday Night Lights season 1 and become a total slacker

I have SO MANY photos I want to share with you. But it will take some time to upload and organize. I started by posting some photos of my family's trip to Palm Springs but accidentally deleted that post after only having it up for a few days. I am a genius. 

Anyways! Rest assured things are good here. Edie is reading so much it makes me cry with pride. I volunteer with her class every Wednesday and am so proud of her and 6 right this minute is a very awesome age. A month ago I was practically in tears with frustration about how difficult she was making every little thing and then AS ALWAYS, she turned it around and became Miss Sunshine and Light who likes trying new things and doesn't ruin every outing with crying, sulking and whining. Seriously guys, I was starting to think Jeff and I had done everything wrong and were being punished for it. Perhaps one day I will learn to weather the difficult times as well as I do the fun times. But probably not. Let's be honest. 

Right now we are getting ready to host 2 large family gatherings at our new house for the holidays. This Saturday is Cousins' Christmas with the Culver clan. Approximately 30 Culvers will descend on the house for a party and Edie's cousin Sophie and parents will be having a sleepover party with us that night. Then next Wednesday is my family's annual Progressive Dinner - where we will have the Bruton clan + 2 other families and all their adult children and THEIR actual children over for appetizers and drinks before progressing to the next 2 houses for entrees and desserts. Both of these parties have been going on since Jeff and I were little kids and it feels good and right to be in Bellingham and helping to continue those traditions for Edie. 

Before I get all my photos in order, here are a few random photos to tide you over:

Listening to the new Adele album at level 11 on repeat.
Making and decorating (and eating) sugar cookies:
Seattle playdate with Shreya (the love affair continues):
The night Mimi decided she wanted to sleep IN Edie's bed with her:

Wednesday, November 4, 2015


Edie dictated all costumes this year. She's never cared one way or the other whether we dress up, but this year she was VERY passionate about the idea and I figured, how many years will she WANT us to be involved. Even Jeff went in and borrowed a cape and let me buy him a "vampire medallion" for his Dracula costume. Edie was his baby bat and made him practice (and me photograph) this scene multiple times:

 In the afternoon we headed to Fairhaven where all the shops give out candy. While this was worth the visit, I'm not going to lie - it was raining and windy and kind of soggy. We agreed it was worth another try next year, but the highlight this time around was seeing a giant Batman.

Family portrait by Kristin Johnson (ps how much does Jeff love being photographed in costume?):

Then we had friends over for dinner before heading out for trick or treating in the neighborhood:
Edie and Senna (Cari's daughter) who was a vampire:
Gratuitous shot of my bride of frankenstein hair/makeup:
We met up with more friends from school out and about, visited a few houses with her cousin Luna and generally had a really fun time. Thankfully the rain held off in the evening. Sorting her stash that night before bed:

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Fall photos

A few photos from our first Fall in the Ham.

We walked all the way downtown one September Saturday and visited the Farmers Market.
On the walk/scoot back we partially took the trail the connects the Boulevard to the market. There are all sorts of secret businesses that open up onto the path. I didn't know most of them were there and it was like entering a Sunset magazine spread. Edie is sitting on the curb on the left of the path:
We had a playdate with my friend Cari and her daughters in Hovander:

We had overnight visitors, which equaled a dog pile of boys and Edie. She made some "no boys allowed" signs and did some serious tattling, but otherwise held her own and had a great time:
Edie "Got Caught" Being a "Lowell Leader" at school:
Edie and I had a girls weekend in Seattle, which equaled playdates with old preschool friends, a birthday party for Shreya, a girls night for me, a quick visit to baby Otis, and a excitable pancake morning at Darrah's (where we stayed the night):

To give full coverage of the "Culver Experience" we must also include this photo of Edie having a total raging fit over… I can't even remember. I DO remember that after I took this photo she screamed at me so loud that it ruptured my ear drum. Oh wait! Maybe this was the fit when I told her she couldn't have dessert after which I questioned every parenting decision I've ever made.
Edie reading a new book to Grandma and Grandpa:
Edie and I worked all week on this 550 piece puzzle:
Luna's 3rd birthday:
Wesley's 1st birthday the next day:

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

The novelty hasn't worn off

We've lived in Bellingham for more than 2 months now and the novelty hasn't worn off yet. I thought I knew what the next however many chapters of our lives looked like, and now they look different. I knew we'd live in Seattle forever, maybe even in our house forever. Fighting over fussy remodels and maybe never totally finishing them. Like, ever. I was actually in the process of reconciling myself to that future when we made the decision to change all that. And then it all happened so fast. Even when we decided to move, I thought for sure it would take a year to find a house that would make the upheaval of a big move worth it.

Our Seattle house sold. There is now a nice Finnish couple living there, expecting their first baby any day now. Jeff and I were talking about it the other day and surprised ourselves by admitting that we don't miss our house. Not even a little.

I was starting to feel like there were very few big surprises left when I fast-forwarded my life 10-15 years. Maybe we would move, but it would be to a slightly bigger house in Seattle, or maybe the same size, but a more finished house in a slightly different neighborhood. Sure, we might take a cool trip or two and of course there's the big surprise of finding out what Edie will be, do and love. But aside from that, I thought I kind of had it tied up. I would buy my groceries at the Roosevelt Safeway and Trader Joe's. I would shop at UVillage and sometimes we would go to Chutney's in Wallingford Center for Indian Food and then treat ourselves to a cupcake upstairs at Trophy. Maple Leaf Park would be our park and Edie would figure out the Seattle School District. I would worry about her learning to drive in a big city later.

The fact that Jeff and I, after all these years, still have the ability to surprise ourselves as a couple has been one of the best things about this move. Every single morning I wake up looking at the ocean and feel like I've been picked up and dropped into someone else's life. Jeff and I are relating differently here and Edie said the other day that she doesn't miss anything about Seattle. She told Jeff we spend more time all together in Bellingham and that she loves our basement playroom.  She did say she doesn't like that we walk everywhere in Bellingham - apparently it's going to take a little longer to toughen up this city kid. She is not as charmed by our morning walks to school as Jeff and I are. Yet.

Jeff and I are trying to use this move as a "reset" button in some ways. Problems have a way of catching up with you eventually, but ours are apparently still stuck in Everett traffic and I hope they never arrive. Instead of viewing our Seattle house as our "forever house", I see it now as a 10 year long teaching moment. How can we take the good things we did there and repeat them here and how can we leave the less pleasant parts behind. I keep joking that Jeffrey is almost unrecognizable here - we recently picked out two couches, a bed, and a TV in 2 DAYS. Those of you who know my husband will know how shocking and amazing this is. Bellingham Jeff is fun.

Everything about this move feels so unexpected that it makes me realize that I have no idea what the future holds, and actually, I never really did. For example - we have been invited on a big group camping trip with other Lowell Elementary families this Spring and we sort of accepted. WHO AM I? I HAVE NO IDEA.

ps: does anyone have any camping gear we can borrow this Spring?

Thursday, September 10, 2015


The house is officially pending. Which means we have accepted an offer and assuming nothing goes haywire with the title and financing, we have sold our house. Cross your fingers and toes it all goes off without a hitch!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015


Our house is listed. OUR HOUSE IS LISTED. Please somebody buy it. Actually, let me rephrase - please, let multiple people try to buy it and create a bidding war to end all bidding wars. Power of positive thinking, right?

Monday, August 31, 2015

Edie turns 6 and has a Cat Party

Edie's Cat themed party yesterday was so, so fun. I was worried about the guest count for a number of reasons - we have a ton of family in Bellingham and wanted them all there, we invited a bunch of Seattle friends who we assumed wouldn't be able to make it up (but who DID and are amazing) and then the weather said rain so then I imagined everyone indoors and got nervous. BUT - it all went off without a hitch. Photos below:

I love these cat banners that I made after seeing something similar on Pinterest:

Art table with paw print stamps that Edie use to make it look like a cat had walked across.
Edie's "Kitty Adoption Center" for guests to choose a cat to bring home, and supplies to decorate a collar and tag. Handy carrying cases below. I was sort of proud of this. Especially because we bought all the stuffed animals at Goodwill and Salvation Army for like 85 cents each and then just washed them with super detergent. It was less expensive than the goody bags I usually give out.

Some of the girls in Edie's room during the party:
Sydney with her kitty that she named Jewel:
Caroline decorating her collar with tons of sticker jewels:
Edie requested chocolate cake with caramel frosting. I made tiny party hats for cats I ordered from Amazon:
I love Edie holding Shreya's hand as everyone sings her Happy Birthday:
My parents brought over their bouncy castle and the sun came out and it was such a great outlet for energy. I will never throw another party without one. Here they are trying to take it down:
Watching videos in the basement while the party wound down:
After the guests left, Edie opened her veterinarian kit and administered aid to her new stuffed Lemur who she named Coconut:
"I'm looking for lice":
Ponies from her friend Eliza:
Lego kit work in her new rainbow dress:

I love this house and its ability to accommodate all the people we love. It was a birthday party and house warming wrapped into one.