Monday, June 27, 2011

our day at alki beach - photo heavy

i love our state, give me a sunny day and i can get over the fact that it just rained for the last twelve straight and i am head over heals in love again. there is not a lot of places you can dig your feet in warm sand and stare at some gorgeous snow capped mountains. swoon.
today we headed to alki beach, a west seattle favorite spot. of course it was crazy packed with beach combers, bikers, roller skaters, people in bikinis that shouldn't be, and people pushing their dogs in strollers, but nothing was stopping our fun. we had to walk almost a mile from the first parking spot we found but we figured that meant the slurpees we would later treat ourselves to would cancel out, right?
i honestly didn't know what to expect with stella meets ocean and beach for the first time-all these girls have been so different since day one you can never be prepared. so imagine my over the moon-ness when she welcomed the beach with giggles and curious hands. straight for the waves she went; no fear. i couldn't help but smile for the entire forty-five minutes she sat alone ten feet in front of us learning and exploring the beach with her hands, shovels, trucks, and buckets. the best was when a bigger wave would crash in and she would point and squeee at it's arrival. we wrapped up the day with a quick visit to stella's cousin's house; such a great day! after a day like that, i could take the girls and spend every day for the rest of the summer with our toes covered in sand.
ok, i warned you this post was image heavy. i mean it is really hard to narrow it down-these are out of almost 100+ and i am positive you love to look at photos of stella almost as much as me, no? these first few photos are from my phone using the vignette demo and the black and white toy camera. when we left today i had forgotten that my camera battery was almost dead, so the majority of these photos are from either tim or my phone. whoops!
is it irrational that i don't like vertical photos on my blog? i think they throw off the 'look' when they are by themselves, ha. that is why i usually pair them with another to fool you into thinking it is horizontal...did it work?
also, because i always get asked and love to share; to edit these photos i ran a high pass filter on soft light for everyone. then did a mix between florabella's soft color pop, afternoon, black & white vanilla, and vintage spring actions all topped off with her sheer have action (i like to always use the haze as a way to make the photos look conformed even when they are processed differently.) i know you can tell which ones were taken on my 3 mp camera but i am so impressed with tim's phone camera! i bet you can't tell which ones were taken on my canon before the battery died and which are from his phone!

giveaway: an irocksowhat banner and button!

i love jess from irocksowhat, like i may have a healthy girl crush on her and her mad skill at, dieting, blogging, life, being a wife, and most importantly motherhood.
i was over the moon when she accepted my offer to participate in this giveaway of a new banner for your blog, she even thought why not go the whole nine yards and offer a matching button too.

these are just a few of the many amazing banners that jess is making for people these days. you want to know the best part? she offers all of that gorgeousness at a super affordable and fair price.

so are you ready to enter and win? there are a few opportunities for an entry and i ask that you leave an INDIVIDUAL comment for each.

1. follow hi, baby either by google friend connect; cause duh, how else will you know if you won?
2. visit and follow Jess at
3. tweet: i just entered to win a gorgeous custom banner/button made by @IROCKSOWHAT from @olive_juiced over at have you?

there you have it, three simple ways for your chance at a one of a kind banner and button from jess to display proudly on your blog. giveaway will run for two weeks until july 11th at 8pm pst. good luck!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

steppin' out saturday, to a wedding.

dress: nordstroms
sweater: nordstroms
sandals: target
bag: urban outfitters
beer: blue moon from a keg w/ an orange; a little bit of heaven right there.

i am linking up with the fabulous mandy over at harper's happenings for her fun stepping out staurday!

this was such a fun wedding! simple and sweet, complete with the bride doing a keg stand looking all gorgeous and stuff. it was the wedding of a old co-worker and friend of tim's (side story: tim was with them the day he found out that we were pregs with stella). the wedding was at a blueberry farm in north bend nestled right up beside mt. si; such a spectacular place. i got so many good ideas for our own wedding and met some of tim's old friends and had a good time drinking beer and laughing. i wish them all the luck in the world, they are adorable and totally deserve it. 

my week in phone pics.

check out our week:
1. squee, this lovely drawing from the papermama appeared in my inbox this week. this will be our guest book where people will 'leaf' their fingerprint and names. so freaking excited!
2. stella would spend the whole bath with her faced immersed int he running water if we let her.
3. looking for a source of energy? look no further.
4. ok, these photos are a little backwards timeline wise-we went to a wedding last night and i took full advantage of the opportunity to buy a new dress. where from you ask? coming in my sos post!
5. daily stella in some sort of box photo.
6. how we spent our week, on the couch married to our pajamas and netflix. i only got a week of summer break before i head back to school.
7. visitors in the bathroom.
8. i could hardly contain my squeals when i saw this and held it up shouting across goodwill at tim. both tim and i had one of these houses when we were little and i have been wanting one for the girls so bad. it doesn't have the dog and person but i am on the hunt for them. for now stella uses little people but they get stuck in the chimney slide.
9. editing peacock photos from our zoo trip last sunday.
10. food porn: trader joes lemon and basil noodles with their three cheese sauce paired with some sourdough bread. gah, i was in heaven! i am already planning to go back and stock up on those good!
11. daily stella in some sort of a box photo.
12. we canceled cable for the summer to save, wait for it...freaking sixty-five dollars a month (that's a lot!) so i watch netflix, but am getting bored already with what is on there.
life rearranged

Friday, June 24, 2011

our first official play group this summer!

this spring tessa and i signed up to be leaders of a playgroup we named moms and munch-kins as a growth group through our beloved church eastlake cc. today was the first group and even will all the nerves about eighteen adults plus thirty kids running around tessa's house i think it went off without a hitch!
there was array of kids between seven weeks and three, with the average being right around fifteen months which was great for lennox and stella-there was even one boy there who shares a birthday with stella!
this will be the only group that meets inside as long as the weather cooperates; after this we will be hitting up different parks around the bothell/bellevue area hopefully getting some time in the sun. i think planing the group from 11:30a-1p was perfect, like clock work right about one all the babes were fussing and getting irritable. it is adventurousness hosting a group and i can't wait for the next get together!
why yes, stella does need two other peoples plates plus her own at lunch time.

love what ya got.

it's not a house, and it's definitely not my dream house. but for now home is where the heart is. 
we moved here in october of two thousand and ten, when rowan was almost two and stella was just a little nugget in my tummy. it has taken up until the last few months for me to really enjoy every room and feel like it is a home. 
last fall when our first lease was up we started the process of renting a house which somehow led into looking at buying. we were really excited, but being very cautious at the time-we want a house like no other, but we aren't about to put ourselves in a position where we'll struggle to make a house payment every month. thankfully we have an amazing real estate agent and mortgage broker who are totally looking out for us as new home buyers. they put high, strict stipulations on what our bank account had to look like going into this and we agreed and were thankful. then came the process of looking at our finances and talking about a budget when i was surprised with an engagement ring. caught up in this new whirlwind we decided to put the house buying on hold, save for the wedding, and signed another ten month lease.
even though i am sad that we are still here, i literally feel this apartment bursting at the seams as our girls grow bigger and the girls are screaming for some grass to run in we are gonna make do with and be happy with what we have. it is a wonderful apartment community and the units really aren't half bad and only ten years old. i am learning to love what i have in this situation.
we finally kicked our butts into gear after christmas with a huge trip to ikea, target, and some craigslist scouring. here and there when it fits our budget we do some crafts and projects that gets us closer to having our dream apartment. we're slowing starting pick back up the house buying gig and i am going crazy pinning on pinterest in my, 'mah future house.' board-so watch out future house, we'll be in for a wild ride! 
have you ever lived somewhere with painted counter tops? it is the worst; hard to clean, chips, and looks not so great. thank god for magic eraser. since i took this photo, we have moved almost everything off the counters and trying a much more clutter free approach. i added three big jars from target with flour, sugar, and etc in them-it really looks great and totally got the inspiration from pinterest yet again. i am on the mad hunt for an affordable cart to put our toaster oven or microwave on-with the two fighting for counter space it doesn't leave much leftover.
i can't wait till we are in our own house and i can go to town on the kitchen-i am down for a whole re-do complete with one of those giant porcelain farm sinks.
this is the playroom slash computer room slash zoe's room when we get our butts into gear and organize and move furniture. if only this was a photo of the whole room; you would stop being friends with me. my kids have too many toys, i am not even kidding you...i could easily open a daycare and those kids would be hooked up. we have definitely learned to not indulge them so much in all of their wants and for christmas they get more things like classes, gym time, memberships and so on. too many toys!
we are working on a pallet bed for zoe and her and i are so freaking excited! we will repaint the desk and get a new chair to kind of hide it in the corner so it is mostly all zoe in there but for now it is the cost of getting her own room.
i am in love with our room.
up until this winter our bedroom was a hodge podge, laundry everywhere, dumping ground for everything. i was so over this and started putting into play all the ideas i has swirling in my head. we painted the one wall grey and added the vinyl trees. we fixed and painted our hand me down dresser and added new knobs. i turned tims old antique trunk into a sitting area and my mom made us this awesome new duvet out of some soft linen. at my bridal shower my mom got us all of the stuff on our registry for our master bath-she knew i had been trying to get our room into shape and wanted to help in that department. i looove how it turned out.
i am hoping for a new tall table soon, but this one is great for now-it is a hand me down solid oak table that we spruced up with a new table cloth that is hardly ever on the table because who are we kidding with three kids it is never clean.
it was easy to fall in love with the main living area when we added a new area rug, curtains made by me, and a new toy basket for stella. we bought that ikea shelf for the tv components when we first move in at the same time we bought the new tv. i love our tv, is that weird to say?
we also scored that plant at ikea for $5 down from $50 it had some brown leaves and was on a clearance pallet. we were able to nurse it back to perfection almost instantly; it hardly requires any attention but we have to keep the super yard around it took keep little hands from exploring the dirt.
my favorite room in the whole house. the littles ladies room.
my favorite part is stella's collage wall. it was so much fun picking out each thing to fill the frames and then coming up with the way i arranged them. the moss s was fun to make and is the shining glory of the whole thing. the adorable prints i got for free from this site that you must check out! then i added some touches from tim and my childhood and some of our favorite photos.
we recently got rid of the bunkbeds and moved zoe into her own room, the playroom, stella's old room. i am still a little reluctant that i got rid of the bunks-tim too, he said, 'we're running out of space around here and your unbunking beds?' why yea i am, i guess. when i found these two mismatched vintage beds i had the bunkbeds listed on craigslist with in seconds and was wheeling and dealing with the guy to take both vtg beds off his hands. they were a little beat up and i was surprised when tim got home with them and the jenny lind one was metal not wood. it was a crazy adventure with that one, sanding wasn't working for us so we decided to strip the paint (ten layers of it) off and repaint. it turned out so great! we're not in a rush to do stella's yet since obviously she won't be sleeping in it for a bit. seriously, how awesome is her bed?!

so there you have it, a little peak into our house and a little of our diy so far!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

your mom goes to college.

friday last week through tuesday next week is my summer break, then it is back to bellevue college for an even more testing quarter than the last. going back to school has single handily been one of the hardest things i have ever done; filed under there along with push a ten and a half pound baby out of my vagina.
since day one financial aid has been a struggle; first it didn't come in on time and i had to literally scrape up and beg for the money to start, then checks came late screwing up book buying, and finally they lost a important paper and i almost wasn't able to register and get ready to start summer/fall this year-a nightmare i tell ya! i spent a lot of time praying asking God if this is really what i am suppose to be doing, if i was on the right path. i sure seemed to have a lot of resistance and really wondered.
then there have been hundreds of dollars in books so far, at least $300 a quarter so far and since my school likes to be sneaky with their stupid custom editions you can a. never find them anywhere other than the college bookstore and b. can't get them used. fail. i won't even bore you with the hours of traffic i sat in so that tim and i could sync up our schedule to avoid adding babysitter pay to the long list of costs that my school days were already accruing.
ok, whine over. this last school year i have pushed myself and came out on the other side surprising myself with my accomplishments. i have managed to pull a's and one b+ in all of my classes except for math; math is my nemesis for reals. i only need a few prereqs for my program and a 3.2 in math 99 was one of them so last quarter when i finished with a c i was a little defeated. but i got right back on the proverbial horse and took the same class, same teacher, online this time and if you follow me on twitter then you heard me tweeting from the roof tops that not only did i pass with a b+ but i got a b on the final that through tears i had called tim right after to tell him i was absolutely positive i had failed horribly. i was seriously over the moon giving myself major pats on my back that day i opened my grades. i finished this quarter with a 3.7 gpa and 3.4 over all (stupid bad math grades flub it up)
this is an opportunity of a lifetime that i have been given-to go back to school and do something that i have thought about for a long time and to do it all for almost no cost. i think it is a whole different perspective then when i went right after high school just because it is what you are suppose to do, no? i want this more, and there is a lot more on the line. thirty dollars and hour when i find a job after graduation keeps me going too.
i am freaking out just a tiny bit, this quarter and next i start my anatomy and physiology classes; they are notoriously hard and get this...i need a 4.0 in both of them to secure a first round pick of the 70 out of 150 that apply for the radiology program. also, this summer i also am going to start on my volunteer hours needed for my application-cross your fingers i can get a spot at children's hospital!
so i guess this all has nothing to do with anything but maybe you can get from it that ten years, three kids, a divorce and remarriage later it is never to late to go back to school. it has been a lot of fun for me, something that is my own. thanks for listening to me!

30 day shred - week four.

confessions: i am a total shredding fail, i didn't pop in that dvd once friday-tuesday. it is my teeny tiny break between quarters and stella and i have been lazy netflixing blobs and are proud of it! this all wouldn't be so horrible if i wasn't consuming a candy bar a night, a beer or soda, and eating a lot of burgers and such.
pros: i got back on the band wagon today in both the shred and healthy eating sense. when i tired to shred yesterday i was tired and only did two of the three circuits and then was practically crying on the floor.
today, was great though i kept up did every move and only followed anita (and her stupid abs) on the jumping lunges and mountain climbers. still on level three and am even thinking to make up for all my missed time i might do the shred twice a day.
complaints: i have actually gained a poundish, wha? i am not drinking enough usual and well, jillian michales is out to get me i swear.

still excited to see what my arms and legs are up to. the dvd should be called 30 day leg shred, cause um w-o-w i feel like that is all we ever do is plyometric leg moves. how are you fairing as we get close to the thirty day mark?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

eighty-two minutes of your life gone...

but how can you resist how cute this baby is chasing a zu-zu pet around? the answer is, you can't.
oh, and the chubby excited kicking baby legs; can't get enough of those.
this could potentially keep her entertained for hours.

father's day, a day at the woodland park zoo.

what a great day to be a dad, even better when your f. wife drags you to the zoo-one of your least favorite places on the planet. mom fail, or secret win? i just couldn't pass up the opportunity for us to frolic amongst some fun animals with the pawlaks and grubers. so when amanda invited us a few days earlier i didn't even hesitate to accept.
with rain in bothell we were a little worried about the day but bundled up and set out nonetheless. as soon as we drove into seattle it was perfect-overcast, but dry and warm; perfect zoo weather. thank god for buy-one-get-one in free tickets, can you believe what the zoo costs these days? if we had been full paying customers with all kids in tow just to start the day out would have cost us around $80, that equals nuts. ok, rant over.
we played in the zoomazium while we waited for our friends; stella loved it, it was our first time in there-she had fun touching different animal pelts and furs, climbing in rock tunnels with daddy, and sliding down the super fast twisty slide that sent her spinning around on her way down.
there weren't many animals out to see but ellie and stella were perfectly behaved and soaked up every bit even trying to learn all the animal sounds the dads were spatting at them. dads are so weird, huh?
at some point while on the hunt for hippos we came across one of the few gorgeous peacocks that wander our zoo-it was amazing, i honestly don't think i have ever seen one with it's feathers out and so big. poor things was super frightened and why i would assume was feathers erect like that, even shaking it's feathers and making a rattling sound in the process. kids were running up behind it and pulling its feather-ugh, and no parents were doing a darn thing; some people these days. i managed to get some amazing shots (if i do say so myself) while dodging giant kids heads and the occasional stroller. then i almost lost my _____ when someone asked amanda's mom is she caught a glimpse of the peacock and she replied 'just between peoples legs'. see, me equals thirteen year old boy i mind meets gutter.
it was neat having amanda's dad there, he is a photographer (who happened to take my senior photos, remind me to show you those someday!) and he totally taught me a few new things; like about my histogram for avoiding over exposure and what aperture is the sharpest and best to be 'everyday' shooting with on my lens-it has already changed my shots by leaps and bounds. who new shooting in only f/1.8 was not the best idea for most shots, haha oops.
the girls loved the petting zoo, well really we should call it the pet a goat zoo where ellie pet the goat till it just wouldn't have it anymore, scott grabbed her just in time as the goat started stomping its foot (ok, i know goats don't have 'feet') and ran off. i guess her turn was over?
we headed out much before the rest of the group; just in time for stella to pass out from such a full day of fun. i think i even stole a quick cat nap in the car on the way home. when we got home it was a delicious dinner of bbq premarinated flank steak, stuffed jalapenos, garlic mashed potatoes, and the best all of this was followed up by a movie and a massage for tim-all in all i think it was a father's day done right. i am hoping he takes my offer for a tattoo as his gift when we are in pdx in a few weeks, he was talking about maybe getting stella's name on his chest. swoon.
 i love this shot i accidentally got of stel crawling through this fake pnw log thing.
 this face kills me dead, every time.
 sweatshirt copier, hmmph.
this tree was just begging screaming for a face, no?