Friday, December 28, 2007

Christmas 2007

Christmas was, well, Christmas. Warm and family and wonderful. Nothing more we could ask for.
Well, other than I'm writing this on our BRAND NEW LAPTOP!!!!!
Shawn's parents....
I don't know how to say Thank You, other than

His 'favorite' gift (there were MANY) from Anna.
"I've wanted this all my life!", said Cole

Our Christmas at home.
Can you feel how anxious he is to open more??

"Ooooooohhh!", something Spongebob, of course.

Uncle Sean & Cole playing "Rock em Sock em Robots"!!!
(we heart vintage)

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

December 18th photo

Another photo from a day in the life of, well, us.
Cole and Shawn making TACOS!!!!!
One of our favorites, I swear we eat it once a week :)

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

December 17th photo

Ok, so I haven't been the best at posting photos, but it's Christmas time.... we're all busy.
This is Cole & Anna knitting.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

December Photos

Nothing major here in our world. Getting ready for Christmas, work, school and homework.

Cole and I had our parent/teacher conference the other day and it was a mix of emotions.
For the record, I *heart* his teacher, Mrs. Chester, BIG time! She's very 'old-school', a teachers-teacher, like the kind of teachers I had growing up. As she told me at his last conference (and I hope I don't get her in trouble for this) "Sometimes..... I like to just shut the door and teach."
So when she talks, I'm all ears.

"First off, Cole is a GREAT kid. He's very polite, friendly, courteous and well-mannered. He always says his pleases and thank you's and tends to correct other kids when they don't. He's just a nice boy." she says, Mama beaming proudly :)

She goes on to say that he's having trouble with his reading and writing. Not severe, but he's in the lower end. For those of you that know me well, you know that this is a tough one for me to admit. I mean, who wants to admit failure, of any sort, as a parent?

Some factors to consider: he's a boy (yes, it does play a role), he's about the youngest in his class (summer birthday) and he was only in 1/2 day kindergarten. She says they all attribute to this but that's not the only reasons. Needless to say, if things don't improve in January, that's when they become 'concerned'. For now, it's no-biggie.

(insert SIGH here)

Another Plus: He's in the 99.9 percentile for math! She said he's her little math whiz :)

W O O - H O O !!!!!

After having my little 'down' moment at home, Shawn (aka: miracle-worker, savior, etc) put my mind at ease like only he can do and broke it down like this:

"It's FIRST Grade. He'll eventually learn to read, he'll learn to write. Shoot, they can teach adults to read. What's most impressive is what she said about his character. That he's a good kid. That he's polite and listens. You can't teach that."


Cole practicing his writing

Thursday, December 06, 2007


There really are no words to describe what's going on just south of us here in Washington.
I think the pictures speak for themselves.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Getting our tree

I'm not trying to skip Thanksgiving, I'm honestly not. We had a great day at my brother & sister-in-law's house in West Seattle. Beautiful. It was one of those cold, crisp, *sunny* Seattle days that we love around here. Full of family & homemade food. My first cheesecake turned out rather well, I might add.

So, while the weather was decent, we decided to head up to the mountains to cut our Christmas Tree!! I'm almost ashamed to admit that although I've lived in the NW since I was 4, I've never been to the mountains to cut my own tree. Until now.

At the same time, I was a little nervous about what kind of tree we were going to end up with. I'm picky about my trees and I'm thinking, "I'm going to end up with this bushy thing that I hate."
But oh, was I wrong!

Driving up the mountain, closer and closer to where we plan on stopping, I see hundreds and hundreds of Noble Firs. From little ones to huge,towering 50 feet tall trees. And they're everywhere! Fantastic!

The woodsmen: Cole, Glen & Shawn

Glen wrestling his tree

We had this great plan to bring the campstove and some Campbells soup for lunch in the snow. We packed up bowls, utensils, crackers and even towels - just in case. As well as extra socks & shoes for everyone so our toes didn't freeze.

We drive up past Greenwater and continue on up into the snow. But there really wasn't much snow until we got up to our 'secret' spot. Snow everywhere!

We start to get lunch set up and realize......
we don't have matches.
or a lighter.
or anything that resembles a flame.
And with our high-tech Pathfinder, we don't have a cigarrette lighter, we have 'outlets'

Crackers anyone?

Brother & sister - Cole & Anna

Finding our tree was straight out of National Lampoons Christmas Vacation...

The gleaming light surrounding it and everything.
"Isn't it beautiful Audrey?"
"She'll see it later Clark, her eyes are frozen."
"Dad, did you bring a saw?"
"Clark, that thing wouldn't fit in our front yard!"
"It's not going in our front yard Ellen, it's going in our living room."

Yes, we did remember to bring a saw.

I got my Noble! And all for a $10. tree cutting permit. Highly recommended.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Going to the chapel

On our drive up to Mt Rainier I saw beautiful sites & majestic peaks. It was a clear, cold, sunny day and that fresh mountain air was so refreshing.

Shawn & I headed up the trail first, on the way to see the waterfall a half mile up the path. We could see the Lodge and the construction. The wildflowers on the hillside getting ready for the long winter ahead.

We stopped at this rock, I assumed to wait for the rest of the gang. But Shawn had another motive in mind.....

He proposed! :)

"Proposal Rock"

He asked me to be his wife.

And I agreed.

Spring 2008 wedding in Vegas, you're all invited, details to follow!

The Wilson's visit Washington

Whew! Where do I begin? Shawn's parents flew out from Northern Michigan for an extended weekend and let me tell ya, we packed it all in! Literally. I've told you about the house before, right?? Our 900 square foot "Bungalow".... this time with 6 of us staying there and 1 bathroom - dang, we're efficient! It really wasn't too cramped, we made it work.

First stop was the EMP in Seattle. What an amazing place! (yes, sad to say it was my first time there) To think that the Alternative movement came out of our city is just mind boggling. It was such a monumental shift in the music scene and all from this rainy city..... who knew?

Our favorite part was the interactive section. In this tiny, little room Cole got to bang his heart out on the drums! Anna & Shawn shared the guitar and I fell in love, love, LOVE with the BASS!!! (maybe it'll be a Christmas gift??) We left Cole & Shawn in the little room to rock out to their hearts content.

We also started a band, aptly named: The John Deers, and played our first gig. Recorded. On DVD. In stores soon. ;)

Cole on the 'practice' drums

Linda & Anna on a sunny Seattle day

We headed up to Mt Rainier on Saturday to see if we could catch a glimpse of that majestic mountain of ours. No dice. We drove all the way up to Paradise, saw the Lodge under construction, hiked a trail to see a beautiful waterfall, but the mountain kept herself hidden the whole time.

Dan & Linda

The Lodge thru the trees

On the way down from Paradise, the mountain came out in all her glory! It was spectacular! I think we were just too far up in the clouds to see anything at the visitor center.

Down the hill we trekked to my parents house so the families could finally meet. I knew the Dads would get along perfect - they're cut from the same cloth, really. "Car Guys" - that says it all. It's like watching them speak a foreign language, just the two of them get it.

Dan & Hank talking cars

All in all, it was a fantastic, comfortable, whirl wind of a visit. Shawn's parents are great! Very easy-going, warm and inviting. It was like visiting with people I've known forever. I admit, I was nervous about meeting them, but they put me to ease instantly. It was sad to see them go and to have them be so far away. But we'll see them again in the Spring..... :)

Cole & Shawn helping with the bags

Wednesday, November 07, 2007


I love him.

It's that simple really. No drama. No strings attached.
Just a good guy - a *GREAT* guy - that I was lucky enough to meet.
He "gets" it. He knows how to be in a relationship. He validates my feelings, however quirky or girlie they may be. He's strong and gentle all in the same being. Is that possible? Believe it.

I think I value him more because of what I've been through, what I've learned. That having a partner doesn't complete me, but accentuates.
I don't need him here, I want him here.
That when people leave, life does go on

You've heard it from me before, it's my mantra...
~Everything happens for a reason~
He is a great reason for all the sh!t I went through.

I tell him daily, but today I just felt like shouting it from the rooftops:


Shawn & Cole (and Bugsy) reading a bedtime story
Tonka, of course

Thursday, November 01, 2007


I've loved this holiday, loved it since I was just a little tyke. And having kids makes it fun all over again! The excitement over picking out costumes, getting the perfect candy pail (what happened to pillow cases??) and even picking out the candy that you'll eventually give away! gasp!

This year Cole wanted to be a Ninja. He watches no ninja cartoons, reads no ninja books and has no ninja action figures but he had his heart set on this one particular costume at the store. (as you can tell by the photo, the story takes a drastic turn)

I didn't plan ahead this year, it didn't feel like Halloween - until just the other day. So we were unprepared and as I got to thinking about the whole costume thing I remembered how I don't think I *ever* had a store-bought costume. Ever. And Cole has had one ever since he was born. 'This year is going to be different!', by golly. We could think of something homemade and creative. Use what we have around the house, etc. (again, see photo)

Luckily he had a costume that was too big last year in his closet. A Policeman.
Noble. Upstanding. A model citizen.

Until I hear Cole in the bedroom, "COOL!! I can carry this knife in my belt!!"

Umm.... No.

Cole & I picked up Rebecca (the devil/angel) and the infamous Brandon (aka Anakin Skywalker) and off we went to the Stadium District for goodies and treats from the local shops. Of course there was some lovely Tully's Coffee for the moms, to keep us warm and energized like the kid-lings. The area was bustling with laughter and that great kid energy you get this time of year. It was cold, but not too cold and thankfully - DRY.

Cole's favorite part? Seeing this cool, old Firetruck. And then watching it whir away with its sirens on.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007


Childhood is a strange country. It’s a place you come from or go to – at least in your mind. For me it has an endless, spellbound something in it that feels remote. It’s like a little sealed-vault country of cake breath and grass stains where what you do instead of work is spin until you’re dizzy.

~Lyall Bush
Executive director of Richard Hugo House, a center for writers & readers.

If you haven't started reading your coffee cups, you need to start.

OK, so I read this on the back of a Starbucks cup. Yes, that I purchased. Yes, most of them are dumb and/or cheesy and printed by a multi-gazillion dollar company, but this one stuck with me. And I liked it.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Pumpkin Patch

The Boys

What a gorgeous day we had at the local pumpkin farm this past weekend! It was sunny and blue and even a little warm.

I love Fall. It's my favorite time of year, so much so that I sometimes end up wishing summer away too soon. What's not to love: the boots, the sweaters, the trees and all of their beautiful colors. The crispness in the air. "Momma, you can smell winter!", Cole says, excitedly. I know!

Cole & his friend, Brandon

These two have become like two peas in a pod - 'brothers', you could call them. With a love/hate relationship to go along with it. But the fun they have together is helarious to watch. I can see them turning into Soup & Me (if you've read the books) when they're just a bit older. What one doesn't think of, the other one will. Scary.

Cole, Anna & their projects...


Cole & mom's

And onto my *favorite* part - roasted pumpkin seeds. Yum!!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

The Scent of Memories

I was getting ready for work this morning and was running late. I shaved, which took extra time. (damn, being a girl!) So I decided to wear my hair a bit curly again. (yep, I got that naturally after Cole was born) Aaaaaanyway... back to my story. I reach into the cabinet under the sink for product and remember that I bought some mousse about 6 months ago. Yes, I said Mousse. So I sqirt some into my palm and start to fluff into my hair. I am instantly drawn back into Junior High.

This was the mid-1980's for me with the perms and the bangs (oh, God, the bangs....) and the colored mascara, pink and purple eyeshsadow, flipped-up collars, acid wash jeans, leggings, Generra, Code Bleu, Guess Jeans, Keds, matching socks - sometimes layered..... and on and on and on.

What a great scent reminder! It made me nostalgic for all the girls, too: Cami, Jackie, Julie L., Julie B., Jennie, Dannielle, Tracey, Sara, Janelle, Heather, Jaylene, Hillary, Kim & Cathy and even Natasha (for the countless others, my deepest apologies)

Do you remember Janelle's cool & funky nail polish designs? And Jackie's obsession with George Michael (well, all of ours, to be exact)? Spending ALL SUMMER at Wild Waves?? Cruising the Sea-Tac Mall before we had cars? Eating at El Torito's? Miss Ellis and the whole cheerleading fiasco? Mr. Ingram (?) and our counseling? Brandon and Pat?

OK, so this will mainly partain to just a select few of you. But I hope all who reads this gets the chance for a 'Smell Spell' every once in awhile. It's amazing and special and even a little bit sad, but Awesome!

Stand By Me. Dirty Dancing.

'nuff said.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Ahhhh..... New Car Smell

We have joined the Nissan Clan. And I *LOVE* it!!

Shawn got an offer from a guy at work that he couldn't refuse, so the decision for a new ride was simple. So now the truck is gone :( but we still have Little Red as the commuter car - for now.
I just had to share what we've been up to :)

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Fort Lewis

Shawn's former Military buddy, Danny, came to stay with us for the weekend from Michigan. Since he is still active military and he and Shawn were stationed at Fort Lewis together, we decided to take a trip to visit the old stompin' grounds. So surreal that this massive Army base is right in our backyard.
Cole in front of a "tank" - shows you the enormity of these machines.

This partial hand and sword was the most impressive. A unit from Fort Lewis was responsible for the collapse of the statue and bringing the piece 'home'.

Talking 'Army' - as Cole would say.

We were lucky enough to get Anna for a few hours also. I think she enjoyed most of it, eventhough the teenager part of her didn't want to. And she didn't have her ipod either - most impressive! (I remember and can relate to that age: how boring adults are and all you want to do is listen to your music....)

She's so great with Cole, too. Looks out for him without asking, tells jokes with him, teases him, etc.

Future 'Army Guy' ??