Friday, August 31, 2012

Seahawks Preseason Game 4

First game using our season tickets! Seattle Seahawks vs. Oakland Raiders... WIN: 21-3.

Hanging out with Honna at Collins Pub before the game.

Good eats, drinks, and friends!

New security measures equals longer lines to get in.

Stew and the boys.

Winston looking sexy. 

View from our seats, not too shabby!

Winst & Brandi.

I feel like we've seen this photo before... 

We moved down to the end zone during the fourth quarter.

With my darling friend Amanda.
This leaves us with an undefeated preseason record... GO HAWKS!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Vegetarian Baby Steps

Recently you read about my thoughts on becoming a vegetarian, and even though I haven't mentioned it since then, this new lifestyle choice is still something that I plan to pursue.

For a few days I tried to quit eating meat cold turkey (har har), but that didn't work at all. I could tell immediately that there were gaps in my nutrition that I wasn't filling properly, and I quickly realized that this is going to be a more involved process. So although I've cut down on my animal product consumption, I haven't stopped eating it completely yet. Even though I've done a lot already, I feel like I still have a ton of research and reading to do before I will be fully prepared to make the switch. My cousin Tara, who is a vegan, recently lent me a ton of her videos and books so I can learn as much as I can. And hopefully in the next month or so I plan to visit my doctor to talk through everything with her and also get a blood panel done. Then I am going to try the 30-Day Vegan Challenge, which basically walks you through being a vegan for an entire month, day by day. Afterward I'll go back to my doctor to discuss how I feel and get another blood panel to see if there are any changes. After all, the most important reason I am considering this lifestyle is for the health benefits, so I want to make absolutely sure that I am physically doing the right thing.

But in the meantime I'm still making some baby steps. For the first time ever I bought a package of tofu at the grocery store and made something with it! I have to say that white, juicy block of curd looked pretty unappetizing when I opened the package, but once I cooked it in a pan with soy and teriyaki sauce and then added it to stir-fry vegetables I actually ended up with a yummy dinner that I enjoyed eating much more than if it were to have chicken breast in it.

My dinner: vegetable stir-fry with tofu.

One thing I'm learning is that if I choose to become a vegetarian I am definitely going to create more work for myself. Stewart will still be eating meat (and I'm the cook at our house), so most often I'll have to cook a second meal just for him. I experienced this last night for the first time but it actually wasn't too much extra work... just a few more pans.

Stew's dinner: teriyaki marinated flank steak with mashed potatoes and steamed veggies.

If you're interested, I'll be sure to continue to update everyone on my progress! 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Fantasy Football Draft Night 2012

Concentrating on putting together a stellar 2012 team.
Once again, Stew's Bush League Fantasy Football season has arrived, and last night was the big draft. 

I endured listening to quite a few fantasy football podcasts during our road trips this summer (because that's just the kind of supportive wife that I am). In addition, I always sit with Stew on draft night to help track the picks. So we spent most of our evening last night hanging out by the computer, and I learned a lot of football player's names that I hadn't even heard before. I'm sure real football fans would die laughing at my spelling attempts on some of them. 

Tracking the draft progress...
and reading InStyle between picks of course.

This is Stew's fourth year in the league and he was the overall champion for the past two years. This means that the trophy has been living at our house ever since, and I'm curious whether he will end up being three for three or if that golden football will finally find a new home. In any case, I suppose I should probably dust it. Stew feels pretty good about his team this year!

Hooligans 2012 Line Up: 
QB: Eli Manning
WR: Jordy Nelson
WR: Demaryius Thomas
WR: Vincent Jackson

RB: Darren McFadden
RB: Maurice Jones-Drew
Flex: Ryan Matthews
TE: Greg Olsen
K: David Akers
Def: Detroit
BN: Rashad Jennings
Nate Washington
BN: Ryan Williams
BN: Ronnie Hillman
BN: Jake Locker
BN: Alshon Jeffery

Stew gets very cranky when his team doesn't perform well, and it can really impact our Sunday Fundays, so here's hoping for a successful season!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Travis Turns 40

While I was in Boston visiting Cailin, Stew represented the Always at Travis's surprise 40th birthday party at Lake Tapps. I was so bummed that I was double-booked because it looks like everyone had a really great time!

Trav's wife Michelle planned the party several months before Travis actually turns 40 so that he would be super surprised, and also to take advantage of the awesome summer weather. The party was at Lake Tapps and Travis had absolutely no idea what he was in for! Stew said everyone had a really awesome time and I'm glad he was there to celebrate with all of our friends.

(Thanks, Michelle, for the photos!)

I love the luau theme!
The guys arrive with Travis by boat.
He still has no idea...

The surprise!

Fun day of boating, celebrating, and friends.

Obviously Sarah is missing from this photo...

PiƱata fun!

Beautiful Michelle, happy that she pulled off the surprise.

Silly shenanigans with Stewart back at the house.
Happy birthday Travis, you're really an old man now!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Meeting Baby Charlie

Last weekend I caught the red eye to Boston to meet Charline "Charlie" Lynn for the very first time. Charlie is my forever friend Cailin's first child and I was so, so excited to meet the little princess!

Baby Charlie was born on June 25, 2012 and she was 8 pounds, 20.5 inches long. At eight weeks old she is so much fun! She holds her head up, watches everything alertly, sucks on her hands and fingers, coos, smiles and laughs. She also recently discovered her feet and it was so adorable watching her examine them.

Even though flying all night while trying to sleep on the plane kind of sucked, by the time I finally arrived and Cailin picked me up at the airport I was so excited to spend the weekend with them that I didn't even feel too tired. The last time we went to Boston (for my 30th birthday) it was more of a whirlwind tourist trip, so it was really fun this time to just hang out at home with Cailin, Clint and Charlie. Plus, my weekend trips are usually crazy and jam packed, so I can't tell you how much I enjoyed lounging on the couch, hanging out, watching movies, and chit chatting the hours away. A cookout, trip to the mall, and a stop at Tony's Clam Shop by the beach were more than enough outside entertainment for me.

Playing with Charlie was so much fun!
She likes being swaddled, and she loves her bear mobile and play mat.
Cailin put together the most adorable nursery I have ever seen.
Tinker and I spent a lot of time hanging out in there while Miss Charlie got fed.

Photo shoot with Charlie Bug.
I love how Brian is romping in the background.
I absolutely could not get enough of this child, she's such a doll.
We are matching... Charlie is wearing the Baby Guess outfit I got her for her baby shower.
If this isn't the definition of precious then I don't know what is.

Lunch at Tony's Clam Shop at Wollaston Beach, a local favorite that has been in
the South Shore for over 48 years. It's right across the street from the beach and
we sat outside on a cute patio with umbrellas and views of the water.
I splurged and got the fried lobster plate which was ah-mazing!

After we ate we walked over to the beach until I had to head to the airport.
It was a gorgeous day and I enjoyed my last view of the Atlantic for probably
quite a long time. Farewell, Boston!

Family picture at the beach.

I miss these lovely ladies so much already!

Even though we live in opposite corners of the country over 3,000 miles away, somehow Cailin and I have managed to see each other three times in the past year... a new record! I really do dream of the day when we will finally live in the same city again and I can see Baby Charlie any time I want. My friendship with Cailin has really stood the test of time and every time I see her I'm reminded how lucky I am to have her in my life. This is one of my favorite quotes and it always reminds me of our friendship...

"Maybe our mistakes are what make our fate. Without them, what would shape our lives? Perhaps if we never veered off course, we wouldn't fall in love, or have babies, or be who we are. After all, seasons change. So do cities. People come into your life and people go. But it's comforting to know the ones you love are always in your heart. And if you're very lucky, a plane ride away." Carrie Bradshaw, SATC 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Book Review: The God Delusion

In The God Delusion, scientist and outspoken atheist Richard Dawkins presents an intense, passionate, but humorous rebuttal of religious belief.

Dawkins brilliantly and articulately examines and destroys the arguments for religion and demonstrates the extreme improbability of the existence of a supreme being. He makes a compelling case that faith is not just irrational, but potentially deadly.

I'm not going to get into a religious debate here, but I did think that The God Delusion was extremely fascinating, and it stimulates thinking every step of the way. It really caused me to think about my own belief system and the role religion plays in the modern world. There are some parts of the books that get a little but text-booky, but overall I found myself completely engrossed by this brave and important book, and I think it's something that everyone should experience. Read it with an open mind. It will challenge you to examine your beliefs, no matter what beliefs you hold.

(Also, I have to admit that reading The God Delusion right after finishing A Thousand Lives probably had an influence on my opinions!)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Fall is in the air...

I was incredibly shocked the other day when leaving my office I noticed that the leaves are beginning to change color and fall to the sidewalk. How can it be fall already?! It feels as though summer has just barely arrived in Seattle, and I've hardly been able to enjoy the sunshine, but every evening the sun sets earlier and soon enough I am once again destined to start and end my days in the dark.

The evidence is everywhere. In the crunchy leaves on the sidewalk, in the air that feels just a little bit crisper in the mornings, and in the 652 pages of the fall fashion issue of InStyle Magazine that just arrived in my mailbox (hello, sweaters and boots, it's been a long time). I hear that some students even start school as early as next week! Since when did going back to school before Labor Day become the norm?

I'm so sad that my favorite season is coming to an end, but when I think back Stew and I did have lots of fun adventures this summer, and we still have lots to look forward to in the coming months. But seeing those gold and orange leaves on the ground just made me feel kind of sad.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Seattle Sounders Company Event

On Saturday we went to the Seattle Sounders FC vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC game as part of my company's summer team building event. We arrived a couple hours early for a yummy catered lunch in one of the posh VIP lounges before we headed to our seats. We were actually very close to our Seahawks seats, so we went and checked those out at halftime and I got even more excited for football season. The Sounders game was awesome and we won 2-0. The weather finally cooled down to something a little more comfortable this weekend, so we had a fantastic time at the game and I really enjoyed hanging out with some of my co-workers outside the office. Plus I always love the high energy atmosphere of a Sounders game!

Pretty good seats!

Rocking our free Sounders sunglasses.

The double fist!

I really, really want to sit in this section sometime...

That's just how we roll...

Admin team!

Stew had to work on Sunday, so I spent the entire day running errands, doing chores, and preparing stuff for this week. It's going to be crazy busy for me because I'm working a ton and then flying out Thursday night to Boston to visit Cailin and her darling new baby girl, Charlie. I'm so excited for the trip but actually a little bit nervous to fly by myself (Stew isn't going this time). I think the last time I was on an airplane alone was about ten years ago! In any case I can't wait to see them and I hope this week flies by!

 How was everyone else's weekend?

Friday, August 17, 2012

Restaurant Review: BOKA

A couple people in my department had birthdays this month, so our team went to BOKA Restaurant & Bar for breakfast this morning to celebrate. BOKA is conveniently located just a few blocks from our office, and it was basically empty when we arrived at 7:30 a.m. We were immediately given water, coffee and juice, as well as an assortment of breads, croissants and scones with butter and jam. Unfortunately, by 8:15 we still had not received our food, and when we asked why, the waitress explained that we were a "large party" so it takes longer. However, when we made the reservation a few days prior we explained that several people had nine o'clock meetings that day, and we were assured it would be fine. Plus, there were only two or three other customers in the whole restaurant, so I'm still not clear why they couldn't get our food out quicker.

Luckily when our food did finally arrive it was absolutely delicious.

I'm still on the fence about whether or not I would return to BOKA, but I definitely wouldn't eat there if I was in a hurry.