i survived….

my first half marathon!

my awesome friend christy and i had thrown around the idea of doing the rock and roll half in vegas that was in december last year, but with moving and everything it just wasn’t in the cards.  we bit the bullet and ended up signing up for the san diego half marathon that was march 10th.  i wish i could say i was prepared.  i was doing well with my training plan when i got injured and couldn’t run for weeks.  the most i’d run was a bit over 8 miles, and that was a month? before the half marathon, which is 13.1 miles.  to say i was a little terrified is putting it mildly.  many, many times i tried to think of excuses not to do it.

we ended up using the race as a mini girls’ weekend away.  and by mini, i mean it … i was in CA under 36 hours!  next time i will stay an extra day!   i’m always a little uneasy flying without my kiddos.  i’ve only done it twice.  this time was much easier than the last, but i still have to close my eyes and breathe a bit at take-off, then i’m good to go.  :)  and who can beat the views.  snow!  i could cry, it’s gorgeous.

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i had to leave my house at 4:30 am to drive down to seattle, drop off john’s car, and get to my flight on time (which worked out perfectly, when i got to the gate as they were boarding!).  since i got in to san diego so much earlier than christy (who was driving in from vegas), a friend picked me picked me up and we met another friend and had a long (but way too short) lunch at true food kitchen, (YUM!).  i will say, for all the negatives, one good thing about this military life is having friends all over the US.  and how cute is siobhan’s sweet little girl.  oh, my aching ovaries!IMG_8377

once christy got in, we checked in to our hotel, the lovely navy lodge on coranado (same place we stayed in december), and headed downtown to pick up our race packets.  i FINALLY got to see the Unconditional Surrender statue i’ve had a big alfred eisenstaedt print of in my house for the past 10 years!  :)

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  the rest of the day was spent munching and planning out the next day.

and then sunday morning came.  there she is – the gaslamp!  early o’clock (7am)!

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we stood in line at a hotel bathroom for what seemed like forever.  when we came out it was light and we finally made our way down to our corral.  it’s was really happening!

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pre-race!  in our spots, getting set up for two+ hours of running!

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we started way in the back, it’s interesting how they start everyone in “waves.”  it makes sense, i’d always kind of pictured a gun going off, and 5,000 people making a run for it, lol!  …and this is why *i* don’t organize events! ha!

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i’ve been having a lot of shin issues (what put me out of running for weeks earlier this year AND last), so i made sure to tape up.  i’m not sure if it helped or not.  it didn’t hurt at all while i was running.  but the next morning i couldn’t walk, i even had to crawl out of bed. literally.

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and we’re off!  we ran together, and it was so nice the first few miles, it just flew by.  it was so fun running with other people, and with all the people standing on the sides cheering.  some of my favorites were the old couple holding signs that said “you’ve done harder things than this”  and “that’s what she said!”  ha.  then there was the marching band that was really fun to run through.  kind of made me feel like i was doing something actually important!

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then it hit me around mile 10.  i didn’t eat before the race, and i’d already burned more than my daily allotment of calories.  i started going numb and getting blurry vision – and that whompwhompwhomp sounds in my ears.  i had to do some walking to keep from passing out.  as soon as the feeling would go back out, i’d run again until the tingling came back.  my sugar levels were nill, i’m sure of it.  what a dumb way to go out!  thankfully, since we’d made good time in the beginning, it didn’t set us back too much.  i was hoping for a 2:15 time, and ended up with 2:24.  next time i will EAT!

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and despite my own horrible rookie mistake, we made it!  i don’t think i’ve ever eaten a banana (and bagel) so fast.  i just stuffed them in my face so i wouldn’t pass out.  if i didn’t feel so horrible at the end, i would’ve cried it was such an awesome experience, and with such great company it was one of the most fun things i’ve ever done!  and now two weeks later, i can truthfully say, i want to do it again!  i’ve been bitten by the bug!  what a fun way to celebrate my first year of running!  hopefully keeping up with the physical therapy i’ve been going to, i won’t have as many aches and pains, and can really enjoy running again!

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and of course what trip to california isn’t complete without a complete pig out!  worth every calorie.  especially the chick fil-a.  :D

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project life 365

i hesitate to post this, because it seems as soon as i share this kind of stuff, i lose steam and quit.  but i have successfully done two 365 projects before, and this one is largely iphone photos (though some are dslr), so i should be able to keep up my part of the bargain with this one.  :)  it is done mostly through instagram sharing, but not completely.  the website to learn more is http://projectlife365.com/blog/.   every day you are given a prompt, and you can interpret it any way you want.  it’s a fun twist on the way i’ve done it in the past (which was just a free for all the whole year).

so today’s for example was “grow.”  here was my picture (from my dslr).

“until we can grow our own goodies and keep our own hens, i am thankful for organic csa deliveries and neighbors who CAN keep chickens and their overflowing coops!”

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and here are the entire first 31 days of my project.  i am jennsuchniak on instagram if you want to follow or join in!  i’d love to have more people to be inspired by!

the prompts were as follows.

1.resolution  2.you_today  3.optimistic  4.graceful  5.view  6.stil life  7.simplicity  8.front door  9.in a drawer 10. game  11.signature  12.mini  13.forgotten  14.temptation  15.confusing  16.sign of winter  17. this is so me  18.news  19.style  20.currently reading  21.dream  22.makes me smile  23.transparent  24.faux  25.real  26.guest  27.outside  28.inside  29.red  30.innocent  31.grow

january365blog

another project bites the dust!

one more thing knocked off my january to-do list!  the wall collage!

   we ordered a new computer last month, which sort of set off a domino effect of to-do’s.  first john made me a new desk.  it was a kind of crazy, because i was not very good at explaining what i wanted (or really, even knowing), so it took a bit of trial and error.  it was originally to be one long desk with two sawhorses, but it ended up being two desks pushed against each other to form a corner type desk.  the plan went awry after the sawhorse purchase, so we made due with some other legs instead of buying two more.  also, the sawhorses were much wider than i anticipated, so i had to have john cut them down.

here is the area before….8322875468_55203c855d_o

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i really like it.  there are some small changes i plan to make still, but it’s good enough for now.  the chairs are from overstock.com with ikea sheepskins that we’ve had for years on them.  the file box is from target and works great to hold all the kids homework, my volunteer stuff, and john’s random papers that can’t get packed away just yet.

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i got most of the random stuff on etsy (the s, both 6′s, anchor, prints).  we made the map art showing where each kiddo was born using maps friends sent us.  most of the frames are from goodwill, and i just spray painted them all black after wavering for MONTHS.  a couple are from world market from their b1g1 black friday sale.  that green and gold frame below i used chalkboard contact paper in.  that is one of the world market frames.  the S next to it is an old letterpress block.  kayleigh is pretty annoyed it’s backwards.  :)  i used those command photo hanging velcro strips to hang everything!  no wall holes… not one!

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love having the nice warm wood top now, instead of the old paint chipped particle board.  :)

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honestly, though.  i think this is my favorite part about the whole set up.

two wires.

computer and printer.  the router and modem are now upstairs hidden away.  makes this OCD mama pretty happy.  also, appa likes to lay under the computer (free foot warmer!) and he was always getting tangled in the wires from our pc, and would end up ripping the speakers or keyboard down all the time.

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overall, i’m super happy with the whole area.  i bought a couple poufs to use as a footrest (short people problems), but they were both too big, so i’m on the lookout for something else to rest my feet on.  but besides that and switching out the two family pics, i’m glad it’s done!  and i am finally getting the hang of this mac thing.  the first few days were really hard to adjust, but i watched all the pc to mac for dummies videos and feel a lot more comfortable now… at first, john and were both pretty skeptical.  i guess we’re just getting old! :)

moss letter DIY.

so one of my 2013 goals is to make my home warmer and more welcoming.  and doing it on a budget is a must with a single military income +4 kids.  :)  i love a challenge!  john just built me two new desks and i LOVE them, things are really starting to come along nicely.  i never wanted to make too many permanent decisions since we move so often, but i’m over living in a white box, so i’m going to just go with it!   i’ll share the desks after i finish the whole little area they are in.

i’ve been doing the projectlife365 photo project this year.  i do it through instagram and usually post to facebook, too.  monday when john got up for work at 4am, i woke up too.  i don’t normally look ahead at other days, but i noticed tuesday’s prompt was “front door.”  since we just took all of our christmas decor down, the door was bare.  i’ve been meaning to try my hand at one of those pottery barn moss letters.  they are live moss, which i love … but the $80 price tag is waaaay out of my budget!  i looked at the craft stores a while ago for paper mâché letters, but couldn’t find just what i was looking for, so i googled around and found some DIY stuff and gave it a try.  by 6am i was elbow deep in newspapers and pape mâché.  :)

i started by finding a letter S i liked.  in photoshop i made a document as large as i wanted it, and then printed it in two pages and taped it together.

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then i traced it twice onto a cardboard box.

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once i had the letters cut out, i snatched up a cereal box and cut two inch wide strips from it.  i started taping it around the edge of the letter, using a lot of tape and making sure to get all the curves.  this part was actually pretty easy.  as my strips would run out, i’d use packing tape to add the next strip to the one before it, and continue.

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finished!

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then add the second cardboard S and tape.  i did find this a little part awkward (would have been nice to have an extra hand), but it wasn’t too hard.

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once my helper was up and dressed, she got to mixing the “glue” for the paper mâché.  1c flour, 1c water, 1/2tbs salt.

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after the first round of dipping newspaper strips in the mixture and applying.

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i put it in front of a space heater in the garage to get it to dry quicker.  if it wasn’t so cold and wet, i’d have just stuck it outside.  once it was dry i did a second coat, and then let it dry again.

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this is where i started to just guess!  i went to michael’s and bought a “table runner” of moss for $7.  i tried this cheap tacky glue at first, but it wan’t as good as the real stuff, so i just switched to hot glue.  did the trick perfectly.

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the moss is pretty forgiving, so i just cut and glued on the sides where the curves were hard to get perfect.

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i wanted to grab a thick ivory ribbon or some yardage to hang it with … but i forgot, lol!  so i just poked a hole in the back and hung it on the command hook we have on the door.  works for me!  :)

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and there you have it!  a $7 moss letter!

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i will mention it does shed a little if you mess with it, so i am going to spray it with some clear coat this afternoon when i do some other spray painting.  other than that, though, i’m very happy with it, and for $7, i can deal with it being artificial moss.  :)

NEXT!

today we tried out THESE snowflake ornaments from pinterest.  we basically did the same thing, but added glitter!

supplies!  this model magic made enough for all four snowflakes, plus a bunch of other random things the kids built after we were done.  i had the cookie cutter already, i just bought the glitter and model magic.  with a michael’s coupon, it cost us about $5 for all 4 ornaments.

gotta love clearance martha glitter!

needs more glitter!

after we kneaded the glitter in, the kids rolled the model magic out, poked it out of the cutter, and then i had the kids do thumbprints on them and put a hole in the top.  they’re drying now, and then i’ll write their names and the year on the back once they are dry, and put a ribbon through the hole!  this project was good because there were extras left over that kept them busy for quite a while!  :)

it’s unavoidable!

christmas is coming!  last year i was all up in christmas’ face.  putting decorations up before thanksgiving.  this year … meh!  i’m trying to get in the spirit, but it’s hard when it’s raining and not snowing.  i’m not really in the mood to shop, and we’re not putting up the tree until next weekend.  BUT!  we’ve got a christmas craft weekend planned.  i figured it’ll be raining and wet out, and it will be too crazy to take the kids out alone in the holiday madness (john will be working)…. so we’ll hunker down and get our craft on!

today we did these anthro christmas snow globe knock offs i shockingly found on pinterest.  super easy, all the supplies at michael’s for under $15, plus extra stuff left over for the kids to make christmas decor for their dolls, ponies, and ethan’s diorama on colorado he’s making for school.  :)

 

(obviously some little hands have been digging around in the vase already – fake snow all over the table!)

fun, quick, and easy project!

is my baby really three?

i’ve been reflecting on this all week.  my last baby.  she’s no longer waddling, babbling, nursing, none of that sweet baby stuff.  it’s all gone.  now she’s a kid.  just like the others.  she’s big, and has a whole very BIG personality of her own.  people love her.  i don’t know how she does it, but she wraps strangers around her finger faster than the blink of an eye.  when she was tiny, i figured it was just the whole redhead and baby thing.  i mean who doesn’t love a sweet little ginger?  but it’s more than that.  she gives you her whole heart.  she wears every emotion on her sleeve.  she’s a little fireball, and i couldn’t imagine her any other way.  it’s been an EXHAUSTING  three+ years, that is for sure, but i wouldn’t change a thing.  i spent a lot of time this week going through pictures.  there are so many i was cracking up at.  i wanted to find some i haven’t shared before, and i tried to narrow it down …. but couldn’t do it!  so i hope no one is still using dial-up!

anyone remember my never ending pregnancy?  my only overcooked chick.  stubborn before she was even born, i should have known!  this was almost a month before she arrived, too.  i was huuuuge.  i’ll never forget hearing a mom at the school whisper to a friend (oh my god, when is she DUE?!  i think it was september.  lol).

the night she was born was a wild ride, too.  i don’t think i really told anyone, but she wasn’t breathing when she was born.  it really scared me, especially since we were doing another (our third!) home birth.  but our fantastic midwife sprung to action, and after what was probably seconds, but felt like an eternity, she was breathing.  i lost my mind in those moments between her birth and hearing her cry.

why yes, that’s me in labor, wearing a nightgown as a tee shirt, lol.  i hit 150 lbs the day she was born.  pretty daunting on all 4 feet 11 of me!

right before she was born!  we decided to go for another water birth, since ethan’s went well.   turns out the bath tub was a lot smaller than the birth tub.  it was horrible, i couldn’t even get my whole belly under water.  thankfully i was in there less than 30 minutes before she was out and we were in our own bed!

another big baby!  nearly 9 pounds like her brother and sister!

soaking up her first colorado morning sunshine!

our midwive jan and her assistant with charlie at our post partum checkup!

the newborn stage has always been my favorite.  but oh, charlotte was a handful.   she was my only baby that cried.  she cried at home, she cried in the car, she cried when we were shopping.  she never slept.  oh, that sweet crazy kid.  i spent a lot of time drinking a lot of coffee.  john would come home at 5am from his night shift, i’d hand her to him, and leave for starbucks.  these are the typical “YOU PUT ME DOWN!!!” reaction.  fun memories, ha!  :)

my poor kid.  she spent so much time hooked up in contraptions while i tried to get her into all sorts of silly poses for pictures.

love ones like this one on our bed much more than anything else, though.  boy do i miss the lovely light we had in our house in colorado!

the dangerous duo.   these two can be the best of friends, and a minute later be each other’s worst enemy.  i hope they are  great friends for life.

such a finicky baby.  she was not very happy.  this was pretty much the only place she wanted to be.  she spent her first 18mo of life strapped to me in the sling   without that, i would’ve never gotten anything done!  still, it was exhausting!

ha!  makes me miss my fisheye lens!

a rare moment.  sleeping outside of mom’s arms!

and like that – she was one!

it’s been a long time since i broke out the seamless paper.  

see?  WILD!

to know her is to love her.  :)

aaaaaand, she was two!

my snow bunnies!

one of those moments that all the craziness was worth it.  at the john’s chief pinning ceremony, they’d play a whistle and the new chief would walk down the aisle. charlotte would salute each one.  we were in the back row, and all the chiefs behind us were just giggling like little girls every time she did it.  it was so funny!

she NEVER believes she’s the littles.  she’s faster than all the big kids on her scooter, she’s not afraid to climb high on the rock wall.  be still my heart!

my last baby’s last night as a two year old.  i wanted to lay there forever with her, keep her two forever (but i had a cake to bake!).

and what she woke up to.  we planned to open them all after dinner, but they proved to be too tempting, so we opened the gifts from family through out the day, and saved the ones from us for after dinner.  :)

for her cake, i made THIS awesome banana cake and brown sugar icing i’ve made many times before.  i added sprinkles inside for a “funfetti” effect, and nonperils to the top.  nothing fancy, but delicious, and was devoured!

john was in california for work, so he skype’d with us for presents and cake.   not ideal,  but so thankful for the technology that lets us make things just a little bit easier.

kisses!

i’ve said it before, adnd i’ll say it again.  the days are long, but boy, do the years fly by!  happy birthday baby girl!

This and That

I’ve moved to a free blog, since I haven’t been blogging much.  The pricey upkeep for my own domain and all that goes with it just wasn’t worth the cost anymore.  I do hope to start blogging more, especially since we’ve moved even further from family.  I’m guessing the old blog will deconstruct sometime before the beginning of November, so I’ve been trying to make sure everything is saved.  I’m not sure about setting up the “theme,” yet.  I’ll have to work on it on a duty night, so sorry for the dust!  :)

Lots has been going on.  Most of it I’ve posted about on Facebook, so it’s old news…. but here’s a quick rundown.

July:
-We got a puppy!  He’s a quick learner and a great addition to our family.  Also, I’m pretty sure I’m allergic to him.  :(  I’m really hoping it’s just seasonal, and not the puppy.  Going in for testing this week.  Cross your fingers for me!  I’d hate to be stuck on allergy meds full time.
-John was selected for Chief, which rocked our world.  We were/are crazy proud of him, but the 7 weeks of induction was hard on all of us.  I complained.  A lot.  I’m not sure how I still have any remaining friends.  :D

August:
We moved!  We finally got in to a house and out of the scary townhouse we were renting while we waited.  Hopefully we’ll never have to go through a transition period like that again.  There were some good points (cheap!!, close to downtown) ….. but mostly we were just glad to get out of there!

September:
-The kids started school!  Kayleigh is in fourth grade this year and really likes her teacher (and lack of homework).  Ethan is in second, and finally taking a liking to reading.  Norah started pre-school and she thinks it’s the bee’s knees.  She had her sharing day last Friday and was totally jazzed to bring in her unicorn from Grandma Ellen.
-John was pinned Chief!  FI-NA-LY!  Like I said, It was a long 7 weeks!  It was an amazing ceremony and was followed the next night by a fun party called the “Khaki Ball.”  We were able to get dressed up and spend a few hours without the kidlets as grown-ups!
-I turned 31!  …and we camped – sort of!  I know I say it every year, but it was probably my favorite birthday ever.  :)

October:
-We’re only half way through the month, but it’s been so busy.  We’ve had lots of school and Navy events (including another ball – the Navy’s Birthday Ball) last night.  It’s like life has finally kicked in, and we’re living like we reside here all of the sudden…. not just passing through.

The days of sun and warmth are already a thing of the past, and the rainy season is giving us a preview.  We’re lucky in that we still have some sun peeking through on and off every day, but from what I hear, very soon we will see the last bit of sun until summer.  I’m trying not to think about it!  :)

So that is what we’ve been up to.  I’ll try to post more frequently and update with better pictures.  I’ve been trying to make an effort to pick up my real camera more and more again.  It is so sad to see the small files for the past few months of pictures saved on the computer! Image

we’re moving!

AGAIN!  i know, we just moved.  but we moved into a townhouse without 95% of our household goods temporarily in storage while we waited (me, not so patiently) for our number be called for the navy housing out here.  monday, i did my usual call to check on our place in line, and we were #7.  an improvement on being #8 for the two previous weeks, but still not moving fast enough for my liking.  wednesday morning i was exercising and heard my phone ringing.  i’d usually ignore it, but noticed it was a WA number, and since i don’t know many people in WA, yet, i answered it.  well, it was THE call.  our number was up!  the current tennents move out on the 31st of this month, and  august 17th, we’ll be there, keys in hand – moving trucks filling the road!

everybody wasn’t kidding when they said there is a moving boom in the summer.  when i went over on thursday to talk to the people in the office, and drive by the house, there were at least 3 moving trucks just on the two streets i had to drive on to get to the house.  and there are only 141 houses in the whole neighborhood.  i hear it’s been like that all summer.  we are so happy to get into a house.  get our things, settle in, and make a house a home!

it’s blue, just like john and the kids were hoping!

 

other than that, we’ve been trying to stay as busy as possible.  the first 3 weeks here were hard for me.  really hard.  i am surprised john didn’t stick me on a train back to colorado, i was so miserable.  in everything we did.  pike’s place?  scowl.  space needle, eye roll ….. i was pretty hard to live with, if i’m being honest.    but, things are getting better, bit by bit.  i no longer hate washington.  i don’t love it, yet, but i can appreciate it.  the weather has been pretty decent (better than the HOTHOTHOT everyone else i know seems to be experiencing, that is for sure!), there is plenty to do, and it is GREEN!  i was told before we moved here, that there wasn’t really humidity you could feel.  LIES!  it may not be that hot and sticky humid we dealt with in virginia, but coming from dry-arado, there is a huge difference.  i usually take two showers a day here because i just feel so greasy by the end of the day.  there are good points to it.  the kids no longer have eczema!  my skin isn’t ripping apart on my fingers.  i can fold the microfiber kitchen towls without them sticking to me like velcro.  so, it’s okay.  i have learned to appreciate our little small town.  i do wish seattle (and all the activities and shopping it offers) was a wee bit closer, but i really can not complain.  life is good, and it is only going to get better.

some pictures of what we’ve been up to!  there are some cell phone pictures mixed in, as i’m horribly out out of practice on my mamarazzi camera.  :)

the “horrible” trip to seattle.  it was cold, wet, and WAY too crowded for me to feel safe there with all the littles.  not to mention the OUTRAGEOUS overpriced parking.  yikes!  i look forward to going back on a nice fall weekday morning!  never again on a weekend. ever (please! hold me to that!).

sparklers with dad and july 4th parade in everett.

howarth park.   can’t wait to come back with the pup!   yelp has been my friend since we got here!  it is great for finding neat little places we  might not find on our own!

the iron man that raced through our tiny town last weekend (ran across it as i was walking to get a newspaper), and forest park (free petting zoo and spray park!), another yelp! find.

 

it’s always a good day when the mountain comes out to play!

another great yelp find is jetty island.  and best of all?  FREE!  i think we’ll be heading out there often.  the kids loved it.

charlotte doing some leg lifts.  gotta watch that girly figure, lol.

free (two minute) ferry ride back to everett!

the first thing we did when we got here, was get a membership to the children’s museum, and one to the zoo.  that way, all year round we have a couple places to go rain or shine that are already paid for.  so far, everyone has really enjoyed them, we’ve been to both twice.

 

lazying around on rainy days had been happening quite often, too.  with forts made out of blankets, chairs, and boxes!  and of course walks to the lake to feed the ducks!

bugs, bugs, and more bugs!  the kids love it.  the frogs keep me up at night! :)  but it is fun.  i really missed living in a place where there is so much nature right out your back door.  and one of my favorite things about washington?  TRADER JOE’S!  oh how i’ve missed thee!  doesn’t make up for the lack of chick fil-a, though.  that i am still in mourning over.

so there it is, our first month in washington!  it was harder than i could have ever imagined.  but now we are on the upswing.  and i intend to try and keep it that way.  soon we will getting a new addition to our family, our doggie, and moving into our new home.  it’s nearly official.  washington is home.

well …. we’re here.

we finally made it to washington on monday night.

after our long tour de usa…. we’re here.  we are living in a little lake town named lake stevens.  we had a great time visiting friends and family out in NC, PA, MD, and NV.  we flew a lot and drove a lot, and the kids are now great seasoned travelers.  they had so much fun seeing people they haven’t seen in years, or even at all for the little two.  they were completely spoiled, and we ended up returning with extra luggage filled that we didn’t fly there with.  i am really thankful we were able to take the trip, especially since it distracted me from the sadness of leaving our friends and life in denver.  the kids did much better than expected, and i got a lot of compliments about how well behaved they were.  i am so proud of them, they really made my job easy.

so far washington is okay.  i am still trying not to judge it since we just got here.  the weather was rotten the first two days, but today and tomorrow are 70′s and sunny, so it’s do-able.  we are number twelve on the waiting list for the new navy housing out here in lake stevens.  we are hoping to make it in to a house in less than three months.  we have been on the waiting list for 9 months now, but the wait will be worth it.  we are currently living in a townhouse on a month-to-month basis, with 95% of our belongings in storage until we get a house.  it is an interesting way to live, that is for sure.  we hit up ikea today to get some things to make the next few months go a little smoother.  it’s funny how you miss things like end tables.

i go through times during the day that i am super sad and miss so many things and people from colorado, but i know it will will get easier, and each day we spend here, it will feel more like home.  i am constantly making a pro/con list for washington, not that it matters.  we’re here for 3.5 years, and we’re going to like it.

on the list of pro’s, for john and the kids is the lake.  we can walk there, and within 5 minutes, john and ethan had already caught three fish.  charlotte thought this was hysterical.  i mean a wiggly fish on string?!  : )

our drive in did have me pretty worried.  what have i gotten myself in to?!  the mountain is pretty, but where is the sky?

our small town post office.  it’s missing a few numbers and letters, but as long as the mail still gets here, i guess i am okay with it.  as john told me a couple days after he got here (while we were still traveling) …. it’s quaint.

so.  we are here, and this is home for a while.  i hope i learn to love it, and feel the same way leaving here i did when we left denver.  if not, i will at least try to keep the whining to a minimum.  :)