September 26, 2012

West Coast Travels: Seattle!

If I could sum up Seattle in one word, it would be deceiving.

When we arrived and drove into town from the airport, it looked "industrial" to me. Almost desolate. No pretty flowers and parks. No twentysomethings anywhere in sight stumbling to and from bars. We were so tired when we arrived, we put baby S to bed, and crashed. Good thing- babies don't know time zones and day one we got a 4am wake up call. And we soon realized Seattle had a lot to offer.

We stayed in the Lake Union area, which is apparently sort of up and coming (said my parents friends who is literally a tourism volunteer for Seattle). Walking around in the morning, we found the city to be quiet, not crowded, and were wondering where the "city" was. We took a stroll to the Space Needle, and then hopped on the monorail to jet across town (we skipped going up to the top of the tower since the babe was with us and neither of us were set on seeing the sights from up high. But, we hear eating at the restaurant up there is worth it). The monorail lets you off near Pike Place Market. We did indeed see the famous fish throwing guys! We also bought hand painted baby dresses and fresh fruit to eat while we strolled. S demanded lunch and on our way wandering down a cute little alley to get lunch, we stumbled across this tiny shop that sold... baby The Who t-shirts! We had to get one for S. We ate at The Pink Door on an outside terrace that overlooked the water. The tableclothes were different at each table and the outdoor deck was perfect. The food was fantastic, too. I would highly recommend the antipasto and the chicken panini. We walked along the streets back to the monorail and got swept into Cupcake Royale on the way back to the hotel. Our picks included a red velvet cupcake (amazing) and a Huckle Buckle (cupcake of the month) paired with Salted Caramel ice cream and one interestingly named Whiskey Maple Bacon Crack. After a filling day of exploration, we headed back to the hotel to prep for the night's wedding related Meet + Greet activities.  For starting out doubting this city, we found some gems on day one of exploring. [Cue Jamie singing "truly truly truly outrageous].


Saturday was the wedding of our good friends. We hung out in the hotel in the morning and let S get a good nap in since we knew she'd be up a bit later and probably a little overwhelmed with the day. We saved our appetites for brunch at Serious Biscuit (aka Serious Pie). Best brunch ever. A mimosa to start for me, a very spicy chipotle bloody mary for J. My mama and I split the fried green tomato biscuit and the ham cheese & apple mustard biscuit. J and my dad splurged on the fried chicken biscuit, known as the Zach. So filling, so good. The mix of flavors was phenomenal. I'd go back again and again (but my jeans would NEVER fit then). Oh, and they had a great little high chair for S who sat and ate her own breakfast while flirting with the couple next to us.  I forgot my camera on this part of the journey, so I stole this photo from a review website. Bad blogger.
Saturday evening was the wedding. The ceremony was at Saint Marks and it was just breathtaking. Melissa  + Scott wrote part of their own vows. Really sweet. The reception was at what used to be a warehouse and now is the gorgeous Sodo Park . That's for a whole other post, but I'd give it the best dance party rating since our own wedding. Cheers + Congrats, guys!
We joined the rest of the wedding partiers for brunch at the hotel on Sunday. This is not about Seattle, but about my friends. I adore them for many reasons but the most recent one? They love Sienna. Nothing makes my heart smile like one of my oldest friends holding my baby. Later that afternoon we explored the little Lake Union area in what turned out to be an incredibly gorgeous day. It boasted the cutest dock, The Center for Wooden Boats(on Thursdays free boat ride + story time for baby ones), and around the bend a plethora of on the water restaurants. Best of all was a huge grassy park for S to play in. It was actually full of families with small kids. A great find. Sunday evening we ventured back out to the same area and settled upon Chandler's Crab House. We were joined by one of my dad's close friends from college- I was thinking about all of my PSU friends and how I hope our families will meet up as we are in each other's cities years from now. The food was great. The seasonal salad + crab = major winner and the tuna tar tar was a close second. J had a scrumptious crab cake. Paired with a nice Washington sauv blanc, it was the perfect last Seattle meal.



We were impressed by a few things in Seattle- how friendly people are, how good the food is (and how fresh- both veggies and fish), and the eclectic nature of the city itself. If you're there, be sure to check out all the amazing food and explore- there's likely more than meets the eye!

{If we ever make it out to Washington again, we really want to take advantage of all the beautiful hikes and nature we hear about- but with a baby in tow and a wedding schedule to adhere to it just didn't happen. Always next time... }

September 15, 2012

Lists of Babyness

This fall we are taking some trips. One is a 5 hour plane ride. With a 7(!!!) month old. Lists are needed. This is just page one. We might need a bigger suitcase....

September 13, 2012


One of my best friends is pregnant. It makes my heart do leaps and bounds and flips because I can't wait for S to have a little best friend. A year apart, Sienna will surely show s/he the ropes. As I crafted her an email tonight about all the necessities for a new mama, I realized something... this is such a new world I've been thrown into since S got here. I know what to tell new moms to get to save their sanity in the early days of breastfeeding.  I'm quite sure that my choices on burp clothes and swaddle blankets are stronger than those of the upcoming political races... I also know the important stuff: that the lack of sleep dissipates and the smiles continue to build. That you figure out how to be a mama without help after awhile (even if it means putting your baby in the shower with you because your hair needs to be washed today).

But.... it's a secret. Until you're there, until you're in the thick of it, there's no way to know. A right of passage. And no matter what your choices as a mom once you've passed the initiation; you're in.

September 12, 2012

Fall Wish List: The Post Partum Edition

So things are going slowly on the way to back to fitting into my fav jeans. We're making progress, but still have a little bit to go. And, let's face it, the bod is not what it used to be two falls ago. Things move when you have a baby. So here's an updated approach. Still fashionable, less skin tight fitting. As per usual, my desires range from cheap target/forever21 finds to my expensive drool worthy over one grand jacket. Here are my pics. Get your wallets  interwebs searching fingers ready.

(fine I already bought these, they were a steal!)

(secret: this sweater is "plus size" but I LOVED so I bought a small size& it's cape-like and not fitted at all)

(how cute would this be with a brown blazer?)

(after reading these reviews I am trying to stop my fingers from ordering online right.this.second)

(OMG look so comfy may never change out of them if I buy these)

Hoping that this fall (my favorite fashion season as it is) brings lots o f new mama style and don't worry next up is fall wish list, baby style. S has a better wardrobe than I do. Sorry Jamie, I'm starting her young ;)

September 6, 2012


I had blanket growing up, fondly referred to as "blanky". I brought it to college. When I moved in with J, I stored it under the bed. It lives in the closet of my daughter now, just in caseshe wants it some day. I should have known my daughter would quickly stake claim in her own.

From the time she was pretty little, I always nursed her while holding a blanket. It gave her something to grab with her scratchy finger nail clad hands (other than mama's chest). As time went on, it became apparent that one was her favorite. A little lamb lovey by Angel Dear.

Now, at nap and bed time, she holds it in her hands and rubs her little face in it. She yawns, sticks its nose in her mouth with her thumb, and puts her head down on my shoulder. Cute? Yes. Practical? Even more. No matter who puts her down for a nap, or feeds her a bottle when I'm not there to nurse, she holds lamby.  I bought three of the same ones last week. Now we can wash them and hopefully by the time she is old enough to "know" there is a special one, all three will smell the same and be worn out a bit.

We love you, lamby. Big time.

September 4, 2012

Stay at Home Mom

I can't help the anxiously excited feeling I have lately. I know this isn't permanent. A transient state of affairs in the Walls home. A three weeks so fleeting I won't be able to breathe it in wholy enough. Can it be possible? Did I make it through the past six months unscathed? Did Sienna survive nanny days, grammy days, and daddy days, us both yearning for the days when we could revert to nursing in my bed watching the morning news? She did. I did. And for a small window of time, there will be no juggling the baby while one parent showers and the other chugs down their coffee in between making funny faces. Sure, J still wakes Sienna up. But after that, she's mine. This won't last forever. But Friday, in the late afternoon, when I stepped out of the office fairwell luch after my last casual Friday, put on my sunglasses, and turned the key to my car, I became a SAHM.

I have to admit, before I had a baby I always envied them for the ease of their days. Their yoga pants and tank tops, small child on their hip, carrying their starbucks around Target as they hand their little ones goldfish. What a blissful life, I thought. Now I know the truth. Mamahood is most certainly the hardest job there is. But I'm ready. I'm ready for play dates. I'm ready to see every smile, giggle, and laugh. I'm ready to sit with my baby in the darkness of her room in the afternoon  rocking her before nap time, burying my face in her neck to smell her sweet baby scent. I'm ready to build an even stronger bond. I'm ready to watch her learn. There's nothing more beautiful or perfect than seeing my sweet little gal gain another bit of knowledge about the world around her- whether it be the movement of leaves blowing in the wind or the crinkling of the crate and barrel catalog- and sometimes throwing the crumpled up pages to the cat.

This new thing, I know it will come with its challenges. But, because I know it's so time limited, I will be able to soak every ounce of me in baby-ness. I'll take the fussy days. I'll take feeling tired. I'll take it all. And in the evening when J comes home, I'll probably know why SAHM hand babies off to dads for bathtime!

...In a few weeks, life will revert to working mom. But, only part time working mom. A balance that will be so perfect it makes me grin from ear to ear just thinking about it. Three extra days with S? Plus doing what I love as my job? It is almost too good to be true. Shouldn't all moms be given this option?

Today, in celebration of our first real day together, we went swimming. In the kitchen. Break the rules. This is what makes life with kids so much fun.

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