Friday, November 27, 2015

All I Want for Christmas is You

Dear Santa,
I really don't require anything for my December birthday or Christmas this year.
However, for the benefit of those people in my life who may refuse to adhere to this request, here are a few items that, if received, would be accepted with a smile.

MacBook Air. I've wanted one for years, ever since my iBook kicked the bucket.
Paris Purse. Super cute, made by Thirty-One, my current obsession.
All About The Benjamins Wallet. Because I'll need the matching wallet. Obviously.
Seahawks Pep Rally Pants. I can always use more Hawk Gear!
Double Duty Caddy. I'm such an organizational nerd.
Victoria's Secret Gift Card. Because sometimes it's fun to buy some pretty, expensive undies.

Happy Black Friday, everyone!
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Thursday, November 19, 2015

The Mandela Effect

I. Am. Freaking. Out.
For many of you, this post is going to make you question everything you know...
I'm sure most of you remember reading The Berenstein Bears books when you were little. The series contains some of the most beloved children's literary characters of the modern age.
I was a major book nerd as a child. Unlike most of my peers, I looked forward to getting my summer assigned reading, and I took pride in the fact that I was usually able to complete the entire list by mid-July (thus leaving the rest of the summer to tackle the rest of the library's young adult section). Since the age of five, I have spent the vast majority of my free time with my nose in a book. Therefore, I have pretty strong memories about this favorite pastime, and the authors, books and characters it involved.
The Berenstein Bears were some of my absolute favorites.
I've been referring to the series as The Berenstein Bears throughout this post, which probably seems totally normal to you if you're familiar with the series.
BUT... that's not right.
The actual, correct title of the series is The Berenstain Bears — with an A.
What? What? WHAT?!
Dude, no.
I was absolutely shell-shocked to find out that I've apparently been spelling their name wrong this entire time.
Unable to come to grips with the fact that I've been incorrect about something for my entire life, I called my mom and forced her to unpack my childhood library and put my mind at ease. The mind-f*ck continued as she confirmed that the title is, in fact, The BerenstAin Bears (the bears were named after the authors, Stan and Jan Berenstain).
I distinctly remember The BerenstEin Bears, and there is nothing on god's green earth that will convince me I am wrong.
Many other fans don't believe it, either. There are currently forums upon forums across the internet insisting that the name was once BerenstEin. And a popular theory is circulating as to why the name was "changed."
This theory has been named The Mandela Effect.
It states that shared false memories are in fact glimpses into parallel worlds with different timelines (based on the fact that thousands of people apparently remember Nelson Mandela dying in prison in the 1980s, despite his having been released from prison in 1990 and going on to become the president of South Africa).
Mandela Effect believers say that the name of the books was actually Berenstein at one point, but we've shifted into a parallel universe or an alternate timeline in which the title of the books is now The Berenstain Bears.
Y'all... I'm pretty sure I've slipped into a parallel universe.
Writer and "paranormal consultant" Fiona Broome believes that The Mandela Effect is based on quantum mechanics. I've spent uncountable hours on her website, poring over other "false memories," similar to The Berenstein Bears phenomenon.
I. Am. Freaking. Out.
If you have some time (and don't plan on getting much sleep tonight) check out the list of most popular topics currently trending on the site. I was shocked at mildly horrified to learn how many things I'm "wrong" about...
Most importantly, I remember very vividly The Berenstein Bears being spelled with an E, and calling it that all my life. Learning that I may have been wrong for all these years has brought on what can only be described as an existential crisis.
What do you remember?
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Wednesday, November 11, 2015

At the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month

On this Veterans Day, suicide has caused more American military casualties than the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan combined.
When I first heard this statistic, my mind was absolutely blown. It hit very close to home.
A little more than a year ago, my Uncle Doug added his name to the somber roll call of 22 U.S. military veterans who die by suicide every day — this is more than double the civilian rate. Burdened with the stigma associated with mental health issues and shame surrounding posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression, veterans instead turn to suicide as their only option to relieve their suffering.
Many people think of suicide attempt as a selfish act. But when a person gets to the point of taking their own life, they truly believe that their loved ones will be better off with them gone. This is mental illness: a terrible and relentless disease. Many of us have been close to the edge ourselves, or have dealt with family members in a crisis, and many have lost friends and loved ones to this disease. Please, let's stop sweeping mental illness under the rug.
The United States military veteran suicide epidemic is one of the most tragic problems afflicting those who served our country. Far too many of those we honor for their service on Veterans Day have died by their own hand.
Earlier this year, Congress passed the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans Act, designed to reduce military and veteran suicides and improve access to quality mental health care. I was so happy to see this step being taken toward reducing the tragic number of veteran suicides each day.
But mostly I just miss my uncle.
I think of him at every family event, where his absence never becomes less jarring. I think of him every time the weather gets stormy. I think of him today, on Veterans Day.
He joined the United States Coast Guard in 1998, where he served proudly for 15 years. After 9/11, he participated in Operation Noble Eagle in the Puget Sound, providing protection to U.S. Navy facilities and ships. He deployed to Kuwait and Iraq in 2003 for Operation Iraqi Freedom, and again in 2011 for Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation New Dawn.
A year ago, he took his own life.

 Douglas E. Swift
July 13, 1967 - November 12, 2014
Uncle Doug, wherever you are, please accept my lasting gratitude for your service to our nation. You gave up the comfort and security of your home and family to endure the hardships that come with military service. You served abroad and at home, in peacetime and wartime, taking on the responsibility of maintaining the freedom and way of life that we all enjoy and take for granted.
You are an American Hero. 
I honor and remember you today, and every day.
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Tuesday, November 10, 2015

A letter to my younger self...

Dear 18-year-old Sarah,
Hey there, it's me... future you.

As you prepare for college and all the ups and downs that your 20s will encompass, I'm writing to you with all the wisdom that you will acquire over the next 15 years.

Please... listen closely.

Things aren't going to happen the way you imagine, but don't let that stop you from enjoying what does come your way.
 Respect and take care of your body. It's the only one you'll ever get. You need rest, exercise, and healthy nutrition. I know it seems awesome that you can eat Big Macs, sleep for only six hours a night, and hardly exercise, but these bad habits will eventually come back to haunt you. Wear sunscreen.

Work hard to be a kind and trustworthy friend, but don't stress out too much about your high school friendships. Some will stand the test of time, and others will ultimately fail, no matter what you do to try and preserve them. Luckily, the true friends you gain in the future will meet and often exceed the expectations set by your childhood friendships.

Stay busy and healthy to avoid depression. And no matter what happens, do not take antidepressants. They will royally screw up your metabolism and you'll spend the rest of your life trying to undo the damage.

Stay in school. You're going to have several massive breakdowns throughout college, but no matter what happens, keep your chin up. Be proud of yourself for all that you have accomplished, and continue pushing forward. Dropping out to "find yourself and figure out what you want" will ultimately be a complete waste of time.

Don't ever change yourself for someone else — especially a guy. It's hard to understand now, but the perfect person is going to love you for exactly who you are, not who they think you should be. Love is amazing, but guard your heart, and take things slow. Don't fall in love for the sake of falling in love. Love yourself before loving someone else. You deserve so much, and he's not worth the heartbreak.

I wish I could prepare you for the heartbreak of losing a loved one. You will experience this many times in the future, so remember to cherish the times you have with the ones you love the most.

Respect and appreciate your parents, and create lasting, meaningful relationships with your siblings. They're your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

 Don't drink too much — especially tequila. You'll regret it almost every time. Get yourself a glass of water and save yourself a lot of embarrassment and heartache.

Be confident and brave. Be generous and kind. Be happy.

Don't lose yourself. Remember that it's important to have roots and wings.

It's okay to make mistakes. Own them, learn from them, and move on.

Regardless of your choices, I'll stand by whoever you become. Because the mistakes you make will shape who you are — and that's me.
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Friday, November 6, 2015

The Reality of Motherhood

I am not the mother I always thought I would be.

Before I had Ryder, I completely idealized motherhood.

I dreamed of sitting in his perfect nursery, rocking my sweet little baby as his eyes gently closed while I sang a lullaby. I imagined sitting on a blanket in the backyard, reading magazines and sipping lemonade while he cooed beside me and I soaked up the sunshine of my extended summer maternity leave. I pictured dressing him in adorable little outfits with matching hats, socks and shoes and taking him around for visits to show him off while he smiled sleepily and then drifted off to sleep while I enjoyed coffee with friends. I thought getting up a few times each night for the first few months of his life would be no big deal, because at least I'd get stretches of sleep in between, and we would cherish those special nighttime cuddles together.

Then I actually became a mother. And realized I was delusional.
Every parent knows what it's really like.

You come home from work excited to spend a few hours of quality time with your family, and instead your child spends the evening whining and throwing epic, writhing, screaming fits for apparently no reason.

You plan a perfectly orchestrated evening with a healthy dinner, bath, stories and bedtime, followed by a lovely glass of wine. But, apparently determined to ruin the night, your child poops in the tub.

You finally make some progress on everyone sleeping through the night, and then your child gets croup and ends up in the hospital, putting you back to square one with sleep training.

After a rare decent night's sleep, you're feeling confident and professional at work, only to discover that you've been walking around with a giant booger smooshed into the collar of your dress shirt all morning.

There's definitely nothing glamorous about this life.

And yet, I still find myself idealizing motherhood. Mostly it's in those quiet moments at the end of the day, when I'm rocking my sweet little angel baby to sleep. And I think later, as I lie in bed, that tomorrow I'll be more cheerful, and less frustrated.

Tomorrow I'll be a better mom.

Parenthood is made up of hard work. But we idealize it anyway. It's what keeps us going, day after day. And sometimes, for sweet, brief moments, everything is perfect.

But some days, the reality of motherhood is so hard and suffocating that I can barely breathe. I don't know how I'm going to make it through the next hour, let alone the next 18 years.

Still, I hold onto that idealized version of motherhood.

And once again, I promise myself that tomorrow I'll be a better mom.

Because I do love my sweet baby boy, more than anything or anyone else on the face of the earth.

And for today, love will have to be enough.

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Thursday, November 5, 2015

Book Club: The Kill Order

That's two books in a row now that have basically sucked.
This one had promise. After all, I absolutely loved the Maze Runner Trilogy.
So I fully expected to love The Kill Order by James Dashner, which is a prequel to the trilogy. (The books are young adult dystopian science fiction novels, a genre that's obviously right up my alley).
The Kill Order is set 13 years before the events of the original novel, and it expands on the same world but does not focus on the same main characters. The story begins chronologically in New York City when the world is hit by solar flares. Mark and Trina form an alliance with Alec, Lana and some other survivors who flee to a high rise to avoid an impending tsunami. Most manage to survive until they are able to escape to a settlement in North Carolina.
One year later, the story picks back up in the small village as the survivors are attacked by huge, helicopter-like devices known as Bergs, from which crew members shoot darts that immediately kill many villagers and infect others with a strange virus. Mark and Alec manage to take over one of the Bergs and find the headquarters of the mysterious attackers.
From here the book just drags on and on through one over-the-top action scene to the next. Reading it was like watching the last ten minutes of a bad action movie over and over again. Mark and Alec are repeatedly attacked by countless people infected with the virus, but they manage to escape each time (only to have the only scenario repeat itself a few pages later). It really got to be monotonous.
In a nutshell, I wasn't entertained. The book didn't answer any questions about the series as a whole, I didn't really care about any of the characters, and the writing is mediocre at best. I never found myself wondering what was going to happen, or who was going to ultimately survive. I did enjoy Mark's flashbacks of the days immediately following the sun flares, but those were few and far between.
I'd say skip it. 
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Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Podcast Picks

When it comes to new forms of technology, I tend to be a little slow on the uptake.
But this year I discovered the amazing world of podcasts, and since then my life and commute haven't been the same. 
What is a Podcast?
My friend Jessica was always referring to interesting little tidbits she had picked up from various podcasts, and eventually I asked her, "What IS a podcast? How do you access them? Which ones are good? Where do I start?"
If you haven't yet been introduced to this extra-special form of addiction, here's the deal:
A podcast is a digital audio file made available on the Internet for downloading to a computer or portable media player. It's typically available as a series, new installments of which can be received by subscribers automatically.
Thus began my love affair...
My 10 Favorite Podcasts
1. Serial
This was the very first podcast I ever listened to, and it has remained by far my #1 favorite. Serial unfolds one true story over the course of a whole season, following the plot and characters wherever they lead, through many surprising twists and turns. Season 1 investigated the murder of Hae Min Lee, an 18-year-old high school student in Baltimore, Maryland allegedly murdered by her ex-boyfriend, Adnan Syed. Syed was convicted and given a life sentence despite pleading his innocence. Serial brought massive new attention to the case, including a court decision allowing Syed to appeal his conviction. I am waiting on pins and needles to see if Adnan will be freed from prison, because I, for one, think he is innocent.
2. Undisclosed
In the wake of Serial, tons of new evidence and information has been discovered and uncovered thanks to the investigations of attorneys Susan Simpson, Colin Miller, and the Adnan Syed Legal Trust. Undisclosed examines and explores the case in greater detail, from an investigatory perspective instead of a narrative one. Definitely don't dive into this one unless you've already put in the time listening to Serial first.
3. Truth & Justice
This podcast is a listener-driven show devoted to the pursuit of truth and justice. So far the host, Bob Ruff, is investigating the Hae Min Lee murder case, hence why I find this particular podcast appealing. Bob is a Fire Chief and uses his experience investigating arsons to find the truth, and he has proved to be very effective in finding new details in the case.
4. This American Life
This weekly public radio show is one of the most popular ones out there. Each week's show has a theme, explored in several "acts." Primarily a journalistic non-fiction program, it has also featured essays, memoirs, field recordings, short fiction, and found footage. The content varies widely by episode, and the mood of the show ranges from gloomy to ironic, from thought-provoking to humorous. I've yet to listen to an episode that I didn't love.
5. Love + Radio
This podcast features intimate and otherworldly-produced interviews with an eclectic range of subjects, from the seedy to the sublime. It's featured some really emotionally complicated stories and portraits of people that I've found super fascinating.
6. The Matt Walsh Podcast
Matt describes himself as a "professional truth sayer." He is a young, outspoken conservative Christian covered in tattoos, and surprisingly I often find myself nodding along to his outspoken tirades about current events and social issues.
7. TED Radio Hour
This podcast is a journey through fascinating ideas: astonishing inventions, fresh approaches to old problems, new ways to think and create. The episodes are based on talks given by riveting speakers on the world-renowned TED stage, and each show is centered on a common theme such as the source of happiness, crowd-sourcing innovation, power shifts, or inexplicable connections. I always feel inspired after listening to this one.
8. The Longest Shortest Time
This is the only podcast I listen to that's focused on parenting. It features a variety of stories about all different kinds of parents, kids, and experiences from all walks of life. And you don't have to be a parent to love this podcast and the people it features. I recommend listening to one of my favorite episodes, "The Accidental Gay Parents," which is sure to have anyone with a heart in tears.   
9. Radiolab
This one features an investigation told through sounds and stories, and is centered around one big idea. Information sounds like music and science and culture collide, and the show is designed for listeners who demand skepticism, but appreciate wonder.
10. Invisibilia
"Invisibilia" is Latin for "all the invisible things," and the podcast is about the invisible forces that control human behavior: ideas, beliefs, assumptions and emotions. I absolutely love listening to the co-hosts, Lulu Miller and Alix Speigel, as they interweave narrative storytelling with scientific research that will ultimately make you see your own life differently.
How to Listen to Podcasts
To subscribe to a podcast, use iTunes or the Podcast application on your smart phone and click "subscribe" on the page for that podcast... it's as simple as that! iTunes will then automatically check each day for new episodes. You can also stream an individual episode by clicking its episode number in the episode list.
 Serial is what originally sucked me in, so of course I recommend starting there. This American Life is also a great place to begin. Or just start browsing the Top Charts in your app and see what appeals to you. There are literally bazillions of podcasts available; truly something for everyone.
Podcasts are such a great way to pass the time during a boring commute, difficult workout, house cleaning frenzy, or just a dull afternoon.
But beware... once you start you won't be able to stop!

What are your favorite Podcasts?
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Saturday, October 31, 2015


Happy Halloween from the Alway Family!

Ryder learned how to say, "Boo!" this month, and he's been popping out from behind doors and couches constantly, shouting it at the top of his lungs.

Too cute for words.

He has also learned that he loves candy just as much as his Daddy does, and it's really becoming a problem. Because it's really hard to resist those baby blue eyes as he looks up longingly and says, "Please?" in his sweet little voice, which comes out, "Peeez?" in his desperate attempt to obtain a single Skittle.

But one Skittle ultimately becomes many, and then suddenly it's 9:30 p.m. and my sugar high kid is bouncing off the bars of his crib, shrieking and throwing stuffed animals and blankets onto the floor, intermittently shouting, "BOO!" and laughing hysterically.

It can go on for hours...

Momma's gotta put a stop to this.

This is Ryder's second Halloween, and he was a little more aware of what's going on this time around (although not much).

Stewart had to work, but my mom and I dressed Ryder in an adorable little dragon costume and took him down to the fire station to visit Daddy at work. 

Afterward, we took Ryder around to visit some of his favorite neighborhood friends. We only made it to four or five houses before the dark, cold, and rain drove us back inside. But frankly, watching Ryder screech and run toward the door in excitement every time the doorbell rang was far more fun. He greeted all the trick-or-treaters with an enthusiastic, "Hi!" and a big smile, and then waved bye-bye as they headed off to the next house.

 He had fun looking through his loot and then we were all in bed by about 8:30... My, the times sure have changed since the days of drunken pre-baby late-night Halloween adventures.

Honestly though, every holiday takes on new meaning to me now that I have a child, and I get excited for dumb little things all over again. And really... I didn't mind getting a good night's sleep.

We hope you had a spooky evening!

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Thursday, October 29, 2015

Ryder Goes to the Hospital

Nothing is worse than seeing your child suffer and not being able to do anything about it.

 One day life was fine and dandy, and then, all of the sudden, we were rushing our precious baby boy to the hospital by ambulance, desperately hoping that life-saving measures would not be needed along the way.

Needless to say, the last couple weeks have been a little intense.

When our nanny's son was diagnosed with croup, we knew that Ryder was probably in for it.

What is Croup?

Croup is an infection of the upper airway, generally in children, which obstructs breathing and causes a characteristic barking cough. The symptoms are the result of inflammation around the vocal cords, windpipe, and bronchial tubes.

Viral croup is most common, and symptoms are most severe in children 6 months to 3 years old. The symptoms are often worse at night, and when children are upset or crying. The effects of croup generally peak 2 to 3 days after they begin, and in the meantime home treatment includes helping the child get rest and plenty of fluids, and assisting their breathing by administering cool, moist air.

Croup usually isn't serious, and most cases can be treated at home. However, for a small percentage of children, croup can be severe and even life threatening.

Unfortunately, Ryder was one of these children.

The Nightmare Begins

As we suspected would happen, Ryder was diagnosed with croup just a few days after his little buddy. He was given a dose of oral steroids, and we prepared ourselves for a few sleepless nights with a sick little boy.

He clearly didn't feel good and was very clingy and whiny, but other than that his behavior wasn't out of the ordinary. As expected, nighttime was the worst. We slept with Ryder to monitor his breathing, and often had to take him outside into the cool night or early-morning air to help him breathe easier. After a couple days, he seemed to be getting much better.


The Emergency Room

Then Ryder had a particularly bad night, and by morning his breathing had become so labored that we became seriously concerned. After speaking to the on-call pediatric nurse, we rushed him to the emergency room. At the ER, Ryder was given a nebulizer breathing treatment containing epinephrine (adrenalin). This came in the form of a mist that must be inhaled into the lungs, and we had to hold our sweet boy down while he screamed in fear and pain as it was administered.

My heart just about broke into pieces.

Luckily he didn't mind this breathing treatment too much...

After being kept several hours for observation, Ryder's condition seemed to improve (he even had a snack!), so they sent us home.

 The Hospital

Over the next couple days, Ryder's condition remained pretty much the same. He was sick, but no sicker than any other little boy with a nasty case of croup. He had a cough and was struggling to breathe (at nighttime in particular). We thought he seemed to be getting better and was probably over the worst of it.

Then another particularly bad night struck, and the next morning we waited anxiously for the doctor's office to open. She agreed to see Ryder right away, and during the next few hours Ryder's condition deteriorated rapidly. As he gasped for air at the doctor's office, the decision was made to admit him to the hospital. I was frightened but tried to remain calm as a special pediatric doctor was summoned from Seattle out to our little local hospital in Issaquah, where he was born.

The doctor arrived, and Ryder was admitted to the pediatric wing of the hospital. By this time he was lying limply in my lap, eyes only partially open, gasping for air as if it was the only thing in the world his little body still had energy for.

Emergency Transport

After just a short period of time, the doctor explained to us that Ryder was much sicker than she had originally realized. She did not feel confident that the local hospital had the staff or equipment needed to treat him adequately. Terror flooded my body in a slow, cold rush.

My baby was very, very sick.

A respiratory specialist arrived to administer a medical high flow air-oxygen treatment while we waited for the Pediatric Transport Team to arrive from Seattle. They wanted a pediatric surgeon to be with Ryder every step of the way, in case life saving measures were necessary during the ride to the hospital. I felt like I was gasping for breath myself as everything was explained.

The ambulance ride into the city is a complete blur to me.

I rode in the back with my sweet baby and held his hand while he looked around dazedly at the monitors, tubes, wires, equipment, and masked faces around him. As confusion, fear and pain flickered across his face, I've never wanted to cuddle him up in my arms so badly.

Pediatric Intensive Care Unit

When we arrived at Swedish Medical Center, we were rushed through a series of elevators and corridors to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. A team of doctors, nurses and specialists surrounded my baby while they hooked him up to a plethora of equipment as I watched helplessly from the hallway.

Finally, we were allowed in.


The PICU is a section of the hospital that provides sick children with the highest level of medical care. It allows for intensive nursing care and continuous monitoring of things like heart rate, breathing, and blood pressure. It also allows the medical staff to provide intensive therapies like the high flow air treatment that provided Ryder with a constant stream of warm, humidified oxygen combined with helium (a much lighter, easier to breathe gas). The respiratory specialist was also able to use this system to administer periodic doses of epinephrine (so Ryder no longer had to endure the horror of being held down). Additionally, an IV constantly administered fluids and regular doses of a steroid that helped relax and open Ryder's airway to help ease his breathing, as well as pain medication to make him comfortable.

The Days Drag On...

Croup is a viral infection, so there was nothing anyone could give Ryder to "cure" him. Instead, the medical team did everything they could to monitor him and make him comfortable until his own body was able to fight off the virus.

We were told it could be days or even weeks before this might happen. 

Ryder settled into his hospital bed, which meant that either Mommy or Daddy was always in the bed as well, cuddled up next to him, comforting, consoling, and whispering sweet nothings into his ears. For the first couple days he was too sick to smile, speak, or play. He just slept or stared dejectedly around the sterile hospital room.


We all tried to get rest, either in the hospital bed or on a little cot set up in the corner, but it was hard because of constant interruptions by beeping equipment and medical staff coming in to check Ryder's status and give us updates.

Ryder was such a trooper throughout the whole experience. Finally, on about the third day, he really started to improve. Slowly but surely they began to remove some of the equipment as the doctor became more confident in Ryder's ability to breathe on his own. Once the high flow air treatment was removed, he really seemed to perk up and act more like himself.

Going Home

The hospital staff was amazing. The food was ok. The TV was terrible. The monotony and boredom became unreal.

Finally, after four days and three nights in the PICU, we were released so that Ryder could continue his recovery at home. I have never been so happy to see a smile on that little boy's face, as he continually repeated, "Home! Home!" as we packed up to leave.

It's a beautiful day to go home...


Ryder is feeling much, much better. He still has a lingering cough, and is clinging to Mom and Dad like his life depends on it, but he's essentially out of the woods.

Admitting your child to the hospital is not an experience I would wish on anyone. We were all terrified and confused, but the doctors, nurses and staff at Swedish Medical Center really did make our stay as pleasant as possible.

Thank you to everyone who called, messaged, visited and sent their best wishes for Ryder's swift recovery. We know that your positive energy helped him bounce back quickly.

We are so happy to have our happy, healthy boy back!
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Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Does This Blog Suck?

I've mentioned before that a lost follower is like a gained pound, and I still feel the same tragic rush of disappointment and rejection each time someone quits reading Life As Always.
I noticed that I lost a couple followers this week, and now I just feel wretched.

 I've recognized and acknowledged that this blog has changed a lot throughout the years, and frankly I'm quite happy to leave the dramatic recounting of my drunken mid-20s behind. But maybe immature, emotionally irresponsible dating and theatrical, melodramatic, passive-aggressive friendship drama is what my readers actually enjoyed.

Wedding planning, home buying, pregnancy and parenthood definitely aren't everyone's cup of tea. And I admit that sleep deprivation and the addition of a tiny human who literally sucks the life out of me every day hasn't been enhancing to my creative writing abilities. Sometimes it's all I can do to slap up a couple photos and say, "Here's what we did this weekend."

So can I blame people for un-following me?

Nope, not one bit.

But can I wallow in self-pity and self-doubt about it for a second?

I'm sure gonna.

It's ultimately my responsibility to keep my readers engaged, and if I'm not doing that then I have no one to blame but myself. Now I just have to figure out what I'm going to do about it.

In any case, to those of you who have continued to follow along on our journey throughout all these years...


I'm so glad you're here, and whether you read every post, or just stop by once in a while to see if I'm still alive, thanks for sticking around.
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Monday, October 12, 2015

Weekend Update - Dentist, Ferndale, Football, Pumpkins

Once again, the Alway Family had a very busy weekend.
We started out with Ryder's first trip to the dentist!
The current recommendation by the American Academy of Pediatrics is that children should be seen by a dentist within six months of eruption of the first tooth, or by 12 months of age (whichever comes first). Well, epic fail on our part I guess, because Ryder is 17 months old, but we do what we can...
I did some research and ultimately chose Snoqualmie Valley Kids Dentist for Ryder's first visit. Basically the convenient location and rave online reviews were enough for me. And luckily we were really happy with our experience there.
The lobby was filled with games and toys, and we were taken back quickly to a kid-friendly exam room way in the back (because I guess kiddos tend to make a ruckus at their first visit). A very friendly dental assistant went over Ryder's health history with us while he played with some toys, and she demonstrated proper brushing techniques using an adorable teddy bear with a full set of dentures.
Then Dr. Jenny Lee came in to do an exam and apply a protective sealant to Ryder's existing baby teeth. He did so great! Dr. Lee said all but about 10% of kids cry at their first appointment, but Ryder didn't seem to mind anything one bit, smiling and flirting with the doctor the whole time.
What a good, big boy!
Road Trip
Then on Saturday morning we were off on a mini road trip up to Ferndale, Stewart's hometown, to visit a bunch of his childhood friends.
We spent the afternoon at Joe and Jessica's house, where Ryder had a blast playing with their two daughters, and Stew and I got a chance to catch up with everyone.
Unfortunately this was just one of those trips where I failed at taking photographs, but I did get at least a couple good shots...
Ryder always loves his visits with Annette and Dave.
And of course (unless it's a bye week) you're not going to escape at least some mention of football in my weekend update posts. This week we watched the game at my BFF Tara's house, which was fun until about halfway through the third quarter when the cable went out. The rest of the game isn't really worth writing about anyway, and frankly I'd rather not talk about it.
But here's an adorable shot of the Littlest Seahawk...
Halloween Pumpkins
I really would have loved to take Ryder to a pumpkin patch this year, but frankly our schedule and the weather forecast aren't going to allow for it, so it was grocery store pumpkins once again.
I think they turned out pretty cute!

How was your weekend?
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