Sunday, May 13, 2018

12th Anniversary

Every 5 or 6 years we share our anniversary with Mother's Day, and this was one of those years.
Today is our 12th Anniversary!  We celebrated last night with dinner out at Ray's Boathouse.


Sunset from our window seat


I was trying to catch it when the whole thing was lit up, oh well.

Thought this was hilarious--both sets of parents sent us the same card!

Today was a gorgeous day and we went for a short easy hike, and then went to another park nearby that I'd never been to.






When we got home from that I spent some time just relaxing outside reading and taking a nap.  I love just laying in the grass and looking up at the sky.  It's so relaxing.



We grilled burgers for dinner, then topped everything off with our first fire in our fire pit and s'mores.  It was an awesome day!

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Frustration with Ebay Buyers

Years ago, I used Ebay to help build my model horse collection.  I was always a buyer, never sold anything.  If you've never used Ebay, there is a system of leaving feedback to rate the buyers/sellers you work with.  So as a buyer, you bid, and if you win, you promptly pay for the item at which time the seller promptly ships the item.  Then, if you are happy with the service and the item you leave positive feedback.  And, in most cases, the seller will have already left positive feedback for you because you're awesome and were quick to pay and were polite and friendly with any written communication.  Most of the time (at least back in the day, i.e. 15-20 years ago), the seller would let you know that a) your item is on the way, and b) positive feedback has been left for you.  More often than not they would actually request that you also leave positive feedback for them which I always found tacky and annoying but I did anyway, and would have regardless if they requested it or not.

Now, 15-20 years later, I am selling off said model horse collection (don't have a spare room to display them, wouldn't want to necessarily anyway, and tired of storing them).  So now I am a seller and not a buyer, which means that I am obligated to leave positive feedback first if I hope to receive it in return (because once I ship, my part is done, whereas the buyer has to wait to receive the item to know if positive feedback is warranted).

So, in the last few years I have probably sold maybe 8-10 horses on Ebay, have always shipped promptly after receiving payment, have always left a friendly, polite message letting the buyer know the item has shipped, what the tracking # was and thank you for their business, and have always left positive feedback for my buyers (assuming it was deserved, there were a few I didn't leave any feedback for--leaving negative feedback is a last resort if things were REALLY bad), and NOT ONCE have any of the buyers bothered to leave positive feedback for me in return (maybe once, can't remember for sure) .  It's so frustrating and really kind of rude.  I would have never done that as a buyer!

Then last Saturday the 21st I sold another horse.  By Tuesday I still hadn't received payment.  I sent a polite message saying that I'm ready to ship as soon as I receive payment, let me know, blah, blah, blah.  I got a message back saying thanks for my patience, they will pay on Friday the 27th, hope that's ok.  I responded with sure, that's fine, thanks for letting me know.  Then yesterday, Friday the 27th, I get another message saying, sorry for the inconvenience but they will pay me on Monday.  Eye roll.  We'll see what they say when Monday rolls around, but if they don't pay I'm going to go ahead and report it and possibly leave negative feedback.  And by the way, they have 100% positive feedback and a bunch of comments about their fast payment, etc.  So apparently, out of almost 200 transactions, I am the only one they have decided to pull this on?  Whatever.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Spring Break

The girls are on Spring Break this week.  Normally, we would need a sitter for at least 3 of the days but now that I am able to work from home up to two days per week (I rarely do because I'm so close) I am taking advantage of that opportunity and working from home Tuesday and Friday (my designated days) and took today (Monday) off.  Paul is taking Thursday off and Wednesday is the only day we need a sitter.  Love it.

So today we went to Seattle and had a great time.  We started out at the Seattle Public Library which is known for it's amazing architecture, then we went to the Sky View Observation deck on the 73rd floor of the Columbia Tower, another thing I have never done in all my years in this area.  The views were amazing.

Great Wheel lower left and Space Needle upper right

On the Harbor Steps


Century Link Field (Seahawks) in foreground and Safeco Field (Mariners) behind

Looking down into the library from the Sky View Observatory


Riding the bright yellow escalator in the library

We had wanted to go to Dick's for lunch (a Seattle Icon known for cheap, no-frills but delicious burgers--they've never been) but we would have had to drive and I had already parked the car and didn't want to pay for that, leave, come back and pay again (we still had stuff we wanted to do in the area), so instead we just walked down to the waterfront and ate there at the Crab Pot.  Then we went to a few shops, they each got a new sweatshirt, we got ice cream then came home.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

10

Wednesday the girls turned 10.  Double digits.  A whole decade.  Half way to 20.  More than half way to adulthood.  Crazy.

They didn't want a big party this year.  Instead, they wanted dinner at the Melting Pot with a few close friends and a sleepover with a few other friends.  Done.

So last Saturday we went to the Melting Pot.  Such a fun place and so good, especially the chocolate fondue for dessert!


The girls with our close family friend, Lindsay.




We had Thai take-out (their favorite!) for dinner on their actual birthday on Wednesday and then last night was the sleepover.  And Paul left me alone with them to go night skiing, but that's ok because this morning I am leaving him alone to make breakfast for them while I go to a painting class with a friend.

Their birthday celebrations always seem to drag on for a whole week.  I'm glad it's finally over.


Vanilla ice cream cake

Olivia and her newish friend Leila.  Hard to see, but she got a stuffed pug.  Olivia loves pugs.


Sunday, February 4, 2018

January Recap

It's been a pretty good year so far.  A few weeks ago we bought a new car, a Toyota Highlander Hybrid, to replace our aging Highlander that needed all kinds of things done.  We love it.  It doesn't have all the bells and whistles I was hoping for, like a DVD player, but it has enough (back-up camera, lane departure, etc.), and the girls have iPads and what-not anyway.

Old car

New car (I think one of the girls snapped this)


Kona got spayed, so that's out of the way.


Olivia started dance classes.  Hip hop and dance troupe, which is the group that performs in the annual recital.  Everyone does the recital anyway (well not everyone, but most) but the dance troupe does a big performance at the end that's an actual dance theater number.  One year it was Cinderella, one year it was Alice in Wonderland and this year it is the Little Mermaid.   She has several friends that are doing it to so it should be a lot of fun.

Then last week Kayley had her tooth surgery.  You may recall about a year and a half ago the infamous bike accident of 2016.  She knocked out a permanent tooth.  They were able to put it back but it never really "took", so they ended up transplanting a lower tooth into that spot, and in about 6 months or so they will cap it.  Then she will have braces to close the gap where they pulled the lower tooth (would have had them anyway) and she'll be as good as new.

My birthday was the 24th so Paul and I had a date night the Saturday before and saw the movie Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.  Really good!  Hoping to see the Shape of Water and the Post before the Oscars.

And true to form, the month of January saw me lose 3.8 pounds, gain 5.2, then lose 4.6 for a net loss of -3.2.  I'll take it.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Old Office vs. New Office

I've been at my new office for about 2 1/2 months now and I'm loving the 5 minute commute.  I don't know if this is a trend everywhere or just my company or what, but we are transitioning to smaller workstations (can't really call it a cubicle anymore) with new furniture that includes a sit/stand desk.

Before:

 
Standard cubicle w/upper shelves



After:

New, much smaller workstation

Really close to my neighbor


The view from my seat turning my head to the right a bit.  I'll take it!

The view closer to the window

 


Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Activities

So if you recall, this time last year was crazy busy for us.  Olivia had dance on Mondays, gymnastics on Tuesdays and violin on Wednesdays.  Kayley had piano on Tuesdays, and then they both had Girl Scouts just one Wednesday a month.  It was pretty hectic but the dance was only late January through mid May, so the rest of the year wasn't quite as bad.

But I'm happy to report that this year is much calmer.  Kayley is doing gymnastics and Olivia is doing dance, and that hasn't even started yet (it starts on the 22nd).  That's it.  Other than Olivia is still doing Girl Scouts which is only once a month and she was doing choir but gave that up after Christmas.  And they were both doing soccer but that ended in November.  As much as I would like them to take some sort of music lessons, I'm definitely enjoying the lighter schedule for now.