Birthday & Seattle

January has been a rough one for me so far! I got sick a few weeks before Christmas with a cold, that turned into a sinus infection over Christmas, then after New Year’s it came back and moved into my chest. I had an upper respiratory infection/bronchitis and viral sinus infection. Oy. I was on antibiotics (again) for the bronchitis this time, AND prednisone. Yuck! I hate prednisone and first I said no to the doctor, but I’m glad I decided to get it. As much as I hate the side effects, it works. When you have asthma, lung sicknesses are terrible. πŸ™

So I started the new year with kind of a whimper. The weight I lost in December (3 pounds) probably came back and then some, thanks prednisone, but I haven’t weighed in yet. I’ll give it a little bit more time and check in. But my pants are tight, so I know I gained.

Because of being sick, I also took some time off from the gym. I made the mistake of swimming when I wasn’t quite over my illness and then my cough got WORSE! I know one of my goals for this year was to rest when I need to and listen to my body better…so I am trying to do that. Even though it’s disappointing.

I am sick of coughing and congestion and sucking on cough drops 24/7. SIGH. So far January has been a bit of a bummer!

This time last year, Michael and I got to spend a little time away for my birthday at Edgefield. It was great! But sadly, on my birthday last year I realized it was the beginning of the end for Yggdrasil. We got back from our getaway and he was sick. I spent my birthday crying, waiting for news from the vet about whether or not my kitty had cancer.

I got lucky, I guess, and it wasn’t cancer and we got 8 more months together, even though they were hard months. It’s definitely hard hitting these “anniversaries” in this first year of Yggdrasil being gone. I know it will get a little easier with time and once these “firsts” without him are done.

For my birthday this year, I had the day off from work. I got to sleep in a little bit and then discovered a nice card from Michael and a giftcard to a spa I like. I had breakfast and then we took Logan to OMSI.Β 

My parents got Logan an OMSI membership for Christmas and this was the first time he’s ever been there. He had a blast! I remember loving OMSI as a kid when we would come down to Portland from Seattle to visit my cousins.

OMSI has a room for 0-6 year olds and it’s all hands-on stuff they can play with and explore. There were way too many things to describe! Check out my Instagram for some videos. πŸ™‚ Anyways, Logan had a blast running around, exploring, touching everything. He seemed a bit overwhelmed at first. I think the more we go, the more he’ll explore and have fun.

After OMSI, it was home for lunch and naps (me too!) and then I went swimming. It was a nice swim, after a few weeks off from being sick. There was a guy in the hot tub asking me about how to start swimming laps and where to buy goggles. He was complaining about not having any and having to swim with his head above water. So I gave him an extra pair of goggles I had with me that didn’t fit my eyes and he was super grateful! I was glad to pass them on. Hopefully that helps him.

Birthday dinner was pizza and beer. Yay!

Saturday I got up early with Logan and has some quality playtime, then I went to the gym and then drove to Seattle for a few days. Last week my mom fell and got hurt and was in the hospital for 5 days. She’s doing better and will be ok, but I wanted to go up and see for myself and help out.

(That was Logan in the window when I got home from the gym. LOL)

The drive up was nice. I put on some CDs from my childhood, there was no traffic, I saw a rainbow, and arrived home in good time. First order of business: my mom asked me to take some groceries and medicine to my Grandma.

I surprised my Grandma (who just turned 96!) by just showing up at her place with the groceries and some flowers. We spent some time together catching up and then it was time for her to go down to dinner. After our visit, I picked up dinner for my parents and me:

Yum! Dick’s Drive In burgers, fries and milkshakes. My favorite when in Seattle. πŸ˜€

On Sunday I made my mom breakfast, went to the gym for a quickie workout, then went grocery shopping for my parents, vacuumed the house, made lunch, did some other little stuff my mom needed. Then met up with my bff Rachel for an early dinner in Fremont.

We met at Nuna Ramen in Fremont and it was SO good! Mine was a bit spicy, she got the not-spicy garlic ramen. It was delicious and hit the spot on such a dark, gray, rainy night.

The food was great and arrived super fast. The price was right, too. After dinner we walked to Swel Restaurant down the street for a glass of wine, dessert and a few hours of conversation. πŸ™‚

I got the deep fried donut holes that came with chocolate sauce drizzled on the plate and a spoonful of whipped cream. Delicious! Rachel got the giant chocolate chip cookie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. I was slightly jealous of her order. It looked really good (and she said it was freshly baked and gooey! Yum!).

The restaurant was super romantic and cute. Definitely a good place to go for a date night. We both laughed and said it would be nice to be there with our husbands, but being there together was a good second choice. πŸ˜‰ We had a lot to catch up on! We’ve both been so freaking busy with life and the holidays and other stuff that we’ve barely had a chance to talk since we hung out in September. So it was a very nice visit.

Overall, the weekend was good. Lots of family time. I was glad I was able to help my parents out. I wish we didn’t live so far away from each other. Whenever I go back to Seattle, I miss it.

Fairy Tale Weekend

Over the weekend I got to play dress-up. Wedding dress shopping that is!

Michael went to Texas for about a week to hang out with his dad so I booked a few appointments to go wedding dress shopping. My mom came down from Seattle for the weekend and I invited my cousin (and bridesmaid) Anna and Michael’s mom to go with us.Β We started the day on Saturday with lunch at Petite Provence. I’ve been craving French onion soup for awhile now and got my craving satisfied.


Anna and I also had mimosas. πŸ™‚


The first boutique we went to wasΒ Richele Kay Bridal Consignment in NE Portland. I really liked the shop because of the selection. There were so many dresses of all sizes and I found more dresses that I loved at this place than at David’s Bridal (where we went later that day).

The place was pretty busy and there were several brides with their friends trying on dresses. They had several dressing rooms and two different areas with mirrors where you could see the dress.

I went in having a vision in my head of what I was looking for and didn’t really find that. But I definitely found other dresses that I really liked! This next dress was my second choice and it was on sale for $195! The price was definitely right and I loved the dress. But in the end, I liked another one better.

What I liked about my second choice dress was how simple it was. I also felt like it was more flattering than some of the others I tried on. Anna also helped me with various hats, tiaras and fascinators. πŸ™‚

I don’t know what I am going to do with my hair yet. I’m pretty sure I won’t have a veil. It’s just not me. But I do like the “birdcage veil” look. I also like the idea of flowers in my hair. Choices choices!


I liked “A” line dress best. I tried a mermaid style and could barely move. I definitely disliked the super “poofy” dresses. Those just aren’t me! The above dress was actually gray with silver beading. It was a really beautiful dress but felt more like a winter wedding style.

After that we went to David’s Bridal. That was a much different experience. It wasn’t as intimate. The place was packed, the staff was short handed and dealing with several brides at one time (which was annoying). I never felt like I had their full attention. The dresses were overpriced in my opinion and a disliked a lot of the styles and fabrics. It was a lot of taffeta and prom-dress styles!



David’s Bridal was also very overwhelming. It was impossible to really see what dresses they had. In the end we looked at their catalog and tagged a few and the clerk grabbed the dresses. So at David’s Bridal you also get changed into the dresses out in front of everyone. Which wasn’t too big of a deal but I imagine more modest people would be really uncomfortable standing in the open in a bustier.

I disliked that dress above because it was shapeless and unflattering. But the lace was really pretty! Oh, another thing I didn’t like about David’s Bridal is that you could get discounts on dresses if you applied for their credit card. Um, what? How dumb is that? Is that for brides who plan on having multiple marriages? I don’t get it. Why would I EVER need to shop at David’s Bridal after the wedding??

That dress was really pretty but HEAVY. Too heavy. The similar dress I saw at the consignment shop weighed half of this dress and I felt it was more flattering. Finally, I did find a dress at David’s Bridal that I liked a lot. It was gorgeous! But it was also $800. Out of my budget!


On Sunday my mom and I went to a third location to try their dresses. It was Brides for a Cause in NE Portland (finding the place was a complete fiasco but that’s not important). It was a place that sold wedding dresses for charity. I liked the premise but unfortunately didn’t really find a dress that wowed me there.

The problem I had with Brides for a Cause was that it was really dark in there and near impossible to really get a good idea of what the dresses looked like. It was also freezing. But it seemed like they had a decent selection of dresses in the $100-500 price range. So if you’re on a budget (like me) it’s a good place to start.

I didn’t find anything I had to have and I kept thinking about the one dress I put on hold (which was the first dress I tried on!). My mom and I went back to the consignment shop and bought the dress!! Here is a picture of it:


Sorry! Not really. πŸ™‚ But I will show you a picture of my shoes. They are actually my grandmother’s shoes that she wore on her wedding day in 1951. They are from the 1940’s and my mom says they are “boudoir shoes”–whatever that means! Anyways, her dress didn’t fit me but the shoes do and they are absolutely amazing.


It also turns out that there was a matching purse that came with the dress I bought (and I got it on clearance for $15!). It’s so fabulous I can’t believe I have to wait a year to share pictures!!!