Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Here comes the BOOM

We were more than ready for a dominating win on Sunday at CenturyLink Field after starting the season with two road game losses.
Not surprisingly, the Hawks smashed the Bears with a 26-0 shut out.
And we wasted no time at all starting the season off right with a wonderful reunion of our football family at the Hawkwagon Tailgater Association.
I really do live for football season...
And not to worry; the littlest Seahawk was safe and sound this weekend at Nana and Grandpa's house. He even went to church and attended Grandma Sally's 89th birthday party!
We had such an epic Sunday Funday, but let's get real here: I drank too much at the tailgate, threw an irrational, embarrassing fit over spilled nachos at the game, and was miserable to be around for the next two days (because I've learned that's apparently how long my hangovers last now).
Note to self: Don't combine Jell-O shots with Fireball with Coors Light with Mimosas again. Also, add some food in there next time.

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Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Do You Know Your Classic Children's Books?

Lucky for me, Ryder absolutely loves reading. This means that I am reminded daily of the simple joy of children's books. Cuddling up and reading with him brings back such wonderful memories of my mom reading to me when I was little. And in the process, Ryder and I get to make memories of our own.
My friends over at Bookroo recently launched a really fun project that I wanted to share with you. They've created 100 minimalist posters of well-known children's books, along with a quiz people can use to test their knowledge using the posters.

Click here to take the quiz and test your own knowledge!

Although I didn't score quite as high as I expected to, I think I still did pretty well. And now I definitely want to check out some of the books I was less familiar with...

Have fun, and happy reading!
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Monday, September 21, 2015

Weekend Update - Garage Sales, Breakfast Club, Football

Someday I'll learn to stop perpetually over-scheduling myself. But until then, here is a recap of another busy weekend!
 On Friday morning Amanda, Cailin and I woke up bright and early to participate in the Snoqualmie Ridge Community Garage Sale. Basically, we threw everything leftover from the previous weekend's clothing swap onto my driveway, and then sat and drank mimosas while chatting with my neighbors as they sorted through the items. We made a buck or two.

I've talked before about how much I love going to garage sales with my family.

My mom and my aunts usually come up the night before for a super fun (and not sober) sleepover, and then we wake up with the sun the next morning for a large pot of coffee and hopefully some early bird specials.

We had a smaller group this year, but were also joined by my soon-to-be sister-in-law Morgan for the first time — FUN!

And while I was busy thrift shopping, Ryder got to spend some extra special quality time with Daddy...

Sunday morning I once again got up bright and early (clearly I never, ever sleep in anymore) to head into Seattle for breakfast with my two favorite ladies, Heather and Lindsee.

Breakfast Club Reunited!

Tragically, Lindsee moved to Montana a while back, and although Heather and I have tried to uphold the Breakfast Club tradition on our own, it just hasn't been the same without Linds. So it was awesome to get together this weekend for breakfast while she was visiting for the weekend.

And then, finally, came the moment we had been waiting for all week...

Sunday Night Football!

Sadly, the game ended up heartbreak once again. We're not looking good, sports fans...

I can't wait to be back home at the Clink for next week's game.

This weekend was a bit rough for poor little Ryder. He has multiple molars coming in all at once, so he is fussy and irritable during the day, and at night he's downright inconsolable. Friday night he was up with a fever, and Saturday night he alternated between fitful tossing, turning, whimpering, and heartbreaking sobbing. We just held him and rocked him and cuddled him all night long.

The next day I thought he'd be exhausted (I sure was), but instead he went on a nap strike until he eventually spent most of the Seahawks game passed out on my chest.

Poor guy. It's so hard to see him suffer. I'm doing everything I can to make him comfortable, but I sure do hope those little teeth pop through soon!

How was your weekend?
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Friday, September 18, 2015

Book Club: The Stand

I impulse purchased this book a while back when I noticed that the Kindle version was on sale. Then, on a whim, I glanced at the first couple pages. For the next couple weeks I did nothing with my free time except plow through all 1,400 pages of this fascinating novel.
The Stand is Stephen King's most popular book: A post-apocalyptic horror/fantasy novel about a rapidly mutating flu virus accidentally released from a U.S. military facility that wipes out 99.4% of the world's population.
Following this pandemic plague, the bewildered, terrified survivors begin to ban together in search of a leader. Two emerge: Mother Abagail, a benevolent 108-year-old woman who urges them to build a community in Boulder, Colorado; and Randall Flagg, the nefarious "Dark Man," who delights in chaos and violence. Thus, the stage is set for a final confrontation between Good and Evil.

The book is divided into three different sections. The first, "Captain Trips," takes place over 19 days, during which King outlines the total breakdown and destruction of society through widespread violence, the failure of martial law to contain the outbreak, and eventually the death of virtually the entire population. The second, "On the Border," intertwines cross-country odysseys undertaken by a small number of survivors drawn together by both circumstances and their shared dreams of Mother Abagail. Under her direction, they begin to reestablish a democratic society called "the Free Zone" in Boulder, Colorado.  Meanwhile, another group of survivors are drawn to Las Vegas, Nevada by Randall Flagg, whose rule is tyrannical and brutal. Finally, "The Stand" sets the stage for a final confrontation between the two camps, leading to the "stand" of good against evil.

I thought The Stand was an absolutely incredible novel — maybe one of the best I've read by any author in any genre. The book is incredibly intricate and intense. You definitely need to be in for the long haul, but the result is well worth the effort. The story has stayed with me ever since I finished: The thought of something so terrible and scary happening in our own future is horrifying, and it's the realm of realistic possibility that makes it even more scary.

The original publication was abridged, but King restored and republished the book as the "complete and uncut" version in 1990, and that's the one I read. Although I did think that certain parts of the story got tedious and a bit unbelievable at times (especially in Book III), this is an amazing, terrifying story, and I'd recommend The Stand to almost anyone.

I love reviewing novels, but sometimes it makes me sad to think that no one reads them. Then, every once in a while, I'll get feedback like this from someone that just makes my day...

Here is my sister, Erin, reading The Stand simply because I mentioned it recently in my last book review.

Is anyone else reading these things?
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Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Ryder's 13 Month Photo Shoot

Over the summer our talented friend Matt came through for us again with another family photo shoot, and I've been meaning to share the results with you here ever since.
So without further ado...
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Monday, September 14, 2015

Weekend Update - Wedding, Football, Wardrobe

Whew, what a whirlwind weekend!
We attended the wedding of one of Stew's co-workers on Saturday evening, which meant bringing Ryder down to Olympia to spend the night with my parents. Seriously, I don't know what we would do without their help and support (probably not attend five weddings in a single summer, that's for sure).
The wedding was at the Museum of Glass in Tacoma, and it was absolutely beautiful. The reception was filled with delicious food, drinks, dancing, and lots of friends, so it was a great opportunity for Stew and I to have a night out on the town.



The beautiful bride and groom.
Congratulations Jordan and Chelsey!
And don't worry, Ryder also had a fantastic evening with the family. Not only did he get to see Grandpa and Nana, but he saw his great grandparents as well as some uncles and aunties.
Playing with Great Grandma G.
On Sunday morning we checked out of the hotel bright and early so we could collect Ryder from Olympia and get home before kickoff...
The 2015 Seattle Seahawks football season has officially started!
Of course our favorite tailgate buddies, Haley and Brett, were there to start the season with us.
Following the Seahawks loss (did anyone else feel like they were watching the Super Bowl all over again?) I co-hosted a clothing swap in the evening with some friends.

This is the second time I've hosted a swap, and it was so much fun! Basically everyone cleans out their closets and brings any unwanted items. Then everyone gets the opportunity to sort through all the clothes and shoes and take home whatever they'd like.
It's shopping for free!

I snagged quite a few fabulous new items, and I think I actually took home more than I contributed... not necessarily the best thing, because I'm trying to clean out my closet. But I sure do like my new wardrobe!
How was your weekend?
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Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Lakehouse Vacation - Labor Day Weekend 2015

Remember all the shenanigans we used to get into on holiday weekends? Tragically Thankfully, those days are over and we've moved onto more adult, family-style adventures.
This year to close out the summer we braved driving across the entire state of Washington with a toddler to join my in-laws at their house on Priest Lake in northern Idaho.
It was a fantastic getaway!
I thought it was a brilliant idea to feed Ryder dinner, give him his bottle, and then begin our journey at bedtime so that he would sleep for the majority of the drive.

Note to self: Don't stuff a toddler full of food and liquid, put him in the car in a rear-facing seat, and then go zooming across a winding mountain pass.
Oh, the vomit. So much vomit.
Six hours after putting that disgusting, stinking adventure behind us, we arrived at the lake determined to enjoy the rest of our weekend.

For the first time ever, the weather at Priest Lake was less than absolute perfection. We enjoyed some sunshine on our first afternoon there, but after that the clouds rolled in...
Ryder practicing Bean Bag Toss with Daddy and Uncle Patrick.

Actually, the dreary weather wasn't totally unwelcome. It turned out that staying inside to play games, read books, take naps and watch movies was an excellent way to spend our weekend.
We played round after round of a game called "Six Dice," which yes, does involve rolling six dice over and over and over again. By the time the weekend drew to a close, every single person had won a game. And Ryder was an excellent spectator.

It took a little while, but Ryder and Uncle Patrick's pup, Copper, eventually warmed up to each other...

Last year, Ryder was just a boring little baby blob, but on this trip his Uncle Patrick and Addie really got to play with him. I loved watching them have so much fun together.  

Ryder also got to put in some quality time with Grandpa Russ.

One afternoon, to get ourselves out of the house, we went over to Hill's Resort for lunch. Despite the clouds, Ryder was still able to have a lot of fun playing in the sand at the beach. Look at that beautiful water in the background! Too bad it was too cold to swim...

Patty and Ryder enjoying some bonding time at the beach.

"Bite Me!"

Captain Ryder is becoming quite the little seaman! He's totally comfortable on boats, and we were able to get out on the water a couple different times during our trip.

All tuckered out after a whole weekend of relaxing.

As usual, it was hard to say goodbye to family and such a beautiful location. Priest Lake will always be one of our very favorite getaway spots.

How was your Labor Day weekend? Are you excited for fall?

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