Rachel

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. 🙁

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. 

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. 🙂 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. 😀

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. 🙂

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. 😉 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.

Lots of Visiting

What a crazy couple of days! The weekend started with President Obama visiting Portland for two days. He just so happened to be staying in a hotel nearby where I work! We got to see all the activity with the Secret Service, Portland Police, Bomb Squad, what looked like National Guard troops, and lots of adorable K-9/Bomb-Sniffing Dogs! Then on Friday we couldn’t get into our office in the morning because there was a pretty large perimeter of streets completely shut off around the President. We stood outside and watched as the motorcade came by.

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We saw snipers on the hotel roof, the super long motorcade with about 20 vehicles went by and President Obama even WAVED at all of us as they drove by! I got video but it didn’t turn out great and unfortunately can’t see that he waved! Bummer! But what an exciting, once-in-a-lifetime kind of moment! Like holy shit we saw the President!!!

Anyways, that was Friday morning. Then Friday after work I had a girl’s night with my bff Rachel! She drove down from Seattle to spend some quality girl time together. I think the last time we hung out was my wedding. Way too long ago. I was so excited about her visit.

We went out to dinner at the Savoy Tavern on SE Clinton Street.

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I’ve wanted to try this place out for awhile now and Rachel and I got a seat outside in the sun, which was super nice. It was in the 80’s and just gorgeous weather. We shared an appetizer of the fried cheese curds and each got a glass of wine (I got the Syrah).

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The cheese curds were good, but could have been better. We both agreed they needed some salt, or something…We both got a burger. Mine came with cheddar cheese and bacon on it. I got a side of coleslaw. The food was average. It wasn’t bad but it was just lacking something…the patty was small, which was good because I wasn’t looking for a monster huge, messy burger that is 2,000 calories. It was just the right amount of food. But once again, it was missing something.

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The coleslaw was kind of boring. I’ve had better. Again, the food wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t fantastic. What was fantastic? The shoestring fries Rachel got with her burger. They were to-die-for good. I was kind of disappointed that food wasn’t better, because I had heard some good things about that place. Not sure what happened there.

After dinner we went to a wine bar and spent a few hours gabbing and catching up. I got one glass of the Soave Classico Pieropan white wine from Italy. I’d never heard of it before and so I gave it a try. It definitely had lemon flavors to it. It was okay, but not my favorite white wine. Rachel got a red wine flight and we shared an order of chocolate covered blueberries. Yum! It was so nice to spend some girl time talking about stuff and reminiscing.

Saturday

Saturday morning Rachel, Michael and I went to Sckavone’s for breakfast. It’s a good breakfast joint that never has a line. I got coffee and the smoked salmon scramble that came with amazing potatoes. They also bring out mini scones for the table that are drizzled with honey (so good)!

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Michael got the huevos rancheros and Rachel got a Bloody Mary and the steak and eggs. They even had a Bloody Mary “garnish bar”. LOL Had I not been driving I might have had to partake. I <3 Bloody Mary drinks. 😀

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After breakfast Michael went home and us girls went over to the Hawthorne district to do some shopping. There’s a bunch of cool, quirky, fun shops and several consignment stores. I was looking for a dress for an upcoming wedding I’m going to and we had fun checking out the sometimes awful and sometimes cute clothes. Also saw these shoes:

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So tempted. 😉 After a few hours we went back to the house and Rachel had to hit the road. I was sad that it was such a short visit but I was glad to be able to spend some time together. After she left I went to the gym for some light weight lifting and the elliptical.

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Sunday

Happy Mother’s Day! 

Our dog walker sent me this photo, from Bella of course. 😀

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We hosted dinner at our place for Michael’s family. It was a combo birthday/Mother’s Day party for his mom. It was also a good opportunity for everyone to see the new kitchen counters.

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Since there were going to be 8 people over, Michael decided to make his famous mac n’ cheese since it’s a favorite and feeds a lot of people. I picked up some gluten free macaroni at Bob’s Red Mill for it. It was a huge hit, of course.

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Michael’s sister brought a delicious salad and made her amazing green beans wrapped in marinated steak (they are so good).

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Michael’s brother brought a veggie tray and some spinach dip, plus strawberry shortcake for dessert.

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I definitely ate too much. No secret about it. Everything tasted so great. The evening was a success and we are both happy we were able to entertain a fairly large crowd comfortably. Honestly, I think 6 people is the sweet number for a dinner party. 8 is doable but difficult. Our house isn’t huge and we need a bigger dining table to do that comfortably.

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Doesn’t that dessert look decadent? It was a nice treat. I haven’t had strawberry shortcake in a million years! Homemade is even better. 😀

Hope everyone had a great weekend/Mother’s Day!