Sunday, December 27, 2015

Christmas 2015

We did things a little differently this year.  We alternate sides of the family every year, and this was a Paul's side year.  Usually we will go to his parents' on Christmas Eve and they have a good friend and her daughter over and we all have dinner and open presents (just the ones from us to the friend/daughter and theirs to us), then we spend the night and have Christmas Day with just Paul's parents and sister.

But this year we decided to stay home on Christmas Eve.  I had to work but I left early and got home around 2.  We went to the Christmas Eve service at church at 4, and then went out to dinner.  When we got home we opened a few presents and just hung out as a family.  The girls got up bright and early Christmas morning (6:45) and we opened the rest of our gifts to each other, had breakfast and then went to Paul's parents' around noon.  We took 2 cars because he and the girls are staying there until tomorrow but I have to work and wanted to come home yesterday so I could have today to just work on projects and get things done around the house.  I slept in until 9 this morning!  It was heaven.

Grandma gave the girls these cute nightgowns with reindeer antlers on the hoods.

Olivia got Lacrosse (sp?) sticks

They got an iPad mini and another cheap tablet

They each got an awesome Seahawks blanket from my dad and stepmom

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Star Wars Gingerbread Village

The Sheraton Hotel in Seattle does a gingerbread village every Christmas season.  They have a big display of fancy gingerbread houses and other things made out of gingerbread and it's quite a big draw every year.  It's been over 20 years now I think and I have never gone (although I think one year I was able to see some of it from outside on the street).  I've been wanting to take the girls for the last several years but we just never have so this year I decided we were finally going to do it.  And bonus, it happened to be a Star Wars theme this year.

So on Saturday (the 19th) we drove to Seattle, paid $11 to park and walked into the Sheraton, where, of course, there was a long line to see the gingerbread display.  As we got near the end (which we thought was only the beginning) we could see the 6 (one for each episode, not counting the latest of course) Star Wars-themed structures and thought that was just something extra to look at while we were waiting to get into the main event, like in a separate room or something.  But after an hour-long wait, we finally got our close-up look at the display and soon discovered that was it!  No other room, no big fancy gingerbread houses, just those 6.  AAAAAAAND, turns out we could have just walked around to the other side of the display and not had to wait in line for an hour.  They were cool and all, but it was still a disappointment and a total waste of time.  And my pictures aren't great because there were so many lights causing glare.  I wonder if my phone has a different setting or something I can use.

Anyway, after all of that we went to the Cheesecake Factory for lunch and then walked over to see the carousel but the girls weren't interested in riding it.  So we pretty much just went home then because they had a birthday party to get to anyway.

everything is edible

Notice the ewoks (I think that's what they are?) in those little window thingies in the middle

The girls posing by Darth, who they thought was "Dark Vader" until I corrected them.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

2 Work Parties and Other Happenings

So yeah, I started the month thinking I was going to blog every day until Christmas, but not surprisingly I totally haven't kept up with that.  But here's what's happened since I last updated.
On Friday the 11th I chaperoned the girls' field trip to an edited-for-school-children-on-field-trips performance of the Nutcracker at the Meydenbauer Center in Bellevue.  Olivia really liked it but Kayley said it "didn't make sense".  I didn't get any pictures but this one was taken at school on a different day (Olivia wore a nice outfit to the actual event).  That evening we went to my work group's Christmas party.

On Saturday the 12th we did our annual drive around the neighborhood to look at lights.  I just love doing that.
The girls had a Girl Scout meeting/Christmas party on Wednesday night and they went caroling in the neighborhood.  Fun.
On Thursday there was another work party, this one for the entire Engineering Department.  That one is earlier and company sponsored, so our first drink and food was paid for.  Yippee.  Spouses are invited but Paul had to be home with the girls.
Today we are heading to Seattle to check out the gingerbread houses at the Sheraton Hotel and ride the carousel at Westlake Center.  I used to love going to Seattle around the holidays but since the girls have been born we never have.


Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Maybe not Every Day

I knew I wasn’t  going to keep up with the whole daily thing, but here’s an update for the last few days.
Saturday evening we went to a private party at Enchanted Village/Wild Waves (an amusement/water park) put on by Alaska Airlines for their employees’ families and friends.  One of our good friends works for Alaska and invited us.  It was cold and rainy, but we all had fun anyway.  Santa was there and there were tons of lights everywhere.  It was cool.
The girls with Santa

The girls and their friend with Santa

Olivia, Kayley and Lindsay as Rudolph

And yesterday was Weight Watcher’s Monday.  I was obviously all gung-ho last week and did really well until Friday, but then fell apart over the weekend like usual.  I managed to be down 0.4, but I had been down almost 3 pounds on Thursday.  Sigh.  And I haven’t been diligent about tracking like I said I was going to be, although I was pretty good Monday through Thursday, and I never went to the Y a 2nd time OR did the 7-minute workout app.  I did try to go up and down the stairs a lot at work and just lots of walking and the occasional push-up or crunches, but I really need to do more.  And I really need to be better about meal planning and prep.  I made a bunch of freezer meals a few months ago but they are all gone now.
Anyway, one of my goals is to have a net loss 3 weeks in a row, no matter how small.  If I’m successful that will be the first time since starting in July that I will have done that.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Day 2 of 25

Just a quick, short, boring post.  I can tell this isn't going to last (blogging every day until Christmas).  I'm burnt out already.  But I was down another 0.8 pounds this morning.  Just getting back to normal after a few bad weeks.  I hope to be able to soon pick up where I left off and end the year at my lowest yet since starting WW in July.  I'm also toying with the idea of starting a separate blog for all things WW related but not sure I want to juggle.  We'll see.

These pics don't do them justice but I wanted to share some new Christmas decorations I got this year.

Love this pillow from Pier 1

And this metal tree from Crate and Barrel.  So cool.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

25 Days of Blogging

I'm going to try and blog everyday between now and Christmas just to have something to look back on, not that anything particularly exciting is supposed to happen in that time but whatever.

Today was one of those days that, even though I had dinner made ahead and ready to go in the oven, it was well after 8:00 by the time I got home from work, ate, cleaned up, etc. and could get onto something else.  I didn't even have to make lunches or anything or it would've been even later.  I mean, I know I'm not the only one who deals with that but sometimes I just wish I could come home and just do something besides cook or clean or make lunches or help with homework.

Anyway, the girls watched Rudolph on TV tonight.  We usually just watch the DVDs but it happened to be on so they watched it.  I would have watched it with them but I wrote my Halloween/Thanksgiving post instead.  Then I put the girls to bed and started writing this post, and I never did my 7-minute workout like I said yesterday that I was going to but I'll try to do some crunches and pushups later while I watch TV.  Oh, and I re-weighed today and was down 2 pounds from yesterday.

We put up our Christmas tree, decorations and outdoor lights over Thanksgiving weekend.  Love our fake tree.  Paying $14 one time the week after Christmas sure beats paying $60ish every year!  And we don't have to remember to water it and there are no needles all over the floor.  And people always say they have to have the smell of a real tree but honestly, unless I'm right up against it I can't ever smell it anyway.


Halloween and Thanksgiving

Wow, I'm late with this one but that's obviously nothing new.  So Halloween fell on a weekend again this year (Friday last year and Saturday this year) so we trick-or-treated with a bunch of friends in the neighborhood and then all went to one of those friend's house for a little after party.  It was pouring down rain but everyone toughed it out and still had fun.

Olivia was Maleficent
Not sure where she learned this pose...sheesh...

and Kayley was a Star Wars "Rebel" I guess?  I think that's what it said on the package.  We were just looking on Amazon and that's what she chose.

Oh, and Maisy was a Beanie Boo


We did Thanksgiving a little different this year.  It was our year to have it with my side so we went to one of my brother's homes about an hour and a half away.  Normally we would just go for the day but we decided to spend the night at my Dad's because we wanted to maybe do some black Friday/Thursday night shopping (and by staying with family we would have someone to watch the girls) and also I wanted to visit my mom the next day (she's in an Alzheimer's care facility).  So we were planning on going shopping Thursday night but Olivia got all clingy and started whining about not wanting us to go so we tried to wait until they went to bed but by then I was just too tired.
So then we were going to go in the morning, not really early but around 7:30, but again she started having a fit and we didn't want to cause a scene and wake everybody up, plus I kind of wanted to try and find them an outfit for their upcoming field trip to the Nutcracker, so we ended up taking them with us.  But then, of course, they got bored and whiny really quickly so we gave up.  And I didn't take a single picture at Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Weight Watchers Monday

As you know, I started WW back in July.  That was a 17-week session that ended on November 2nd, and then I renewed for another session that I am now a month (almost) into. I've been terrible about updating (obviously I am bad about blogging in general), but I have decided to commit to giving a WW update every Monday for at least the month of December, hopefully longer.
So, at one point, back in like early October I think, I was down 9 pounds at home, 7.2 at WW.  Since then, however, what with Halloween and Thanksgiving and all, I have regained some and as of today I am only down 2.6 at home and 2.4 at WW (weird, usually the difference between my weight at home and at WW is about 2 pounds, give or take.  Whatever).  Pretty pathetic for almost 5 months.
But today is one of those days where I'm all motivated and recommitted (but like always I will probably lose 2-3 pounds by Friday only to gain most or all of it back by Monday.  Sigh).  I've decided to start my New Year's Resolution today instead of waiting until January.  I'm going to forget I ever participated in the first WW session and pretend like I'm just starting today.  Day 1.  Clean slate, fresh start.
I'm also going to start setting monthly goals (not just related to weight loss) and blog about those.  At least I'm saying right now that I'm going to but I probably won't.  But I will for December, anyway:
  • Diligently track my points for the next two weeks.
  • Blog almost every day (not just about WW but I thought it'd be fun to blog everyday or almost everyday in December just about what we did Christmas-related or whatever and be able to look back sometime in the future and have a little snapshot of a month of our lives leading up to Christmas.  Again, probably won't happen).
  • Make time for exercise.  Yesterday I just decided that I'm just going to do it and not worry about homework and meal prep and all of that.  I really need to squeeze it in so no more excuses.  So this morning I packed a gym bag and went straight to the Y after work.  Tomorrow I will just do my 7-minute workout app plus try to walk a lot/go up and down the stairs at work and Wednesday it's back to the Y while the girls are at Girl Scouts.  I've really been wanting to get back into running a little bit but before I commit to starting Couch to 5K again I need to just get back in the routine of exercising somewhat regularly.
  • Read a book.  That's right, a WHOLE book (scoff).  That would seem really lame to many people but I just don't read that much anymore.  I finally just finished Gone Girl after starting it this summer sometime.  I hope to step it up a bit.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Like Old Times

The girls have half-days this week for parent-teacher conferences.  Our conferences were yesterday so I took the day off.  That means I had 4 blissful hours in the morning to do whatever I wanted.
One thing I had been dying to do was to go through our house room by room and document everything I want to do, like paint or get a certain piece of furniture or whatever.  Another thing I'd been dying to do was go through all of their toys and purge and organize.  They have SO many toys that they never play with but whenever there's a garage sale or consignment sale and I try to get rid of stuff they never let me.  So I went through and put a bunch of stuff away to see if they even miss them and if not, they are out of here at the next consignment or garage sale!
Anyway, it was so nice to have a few hours to myself, at home, and to actually be there when they got home from school.  They loved it, too.  It was just like back in Kindergarten when I wasn't working yet and they only had half days.  I miss those days, but at the same time I like that they are more self-sufficient and independent, and I like having more money :)
And just so this isn't a picture-less post, here's a photo I snapped of a Christmas tree in the lobby at work.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Goings On and Updates

Time for a WW update!  As of last Monday which was approximately the 3 month mark I was down 7.2 pounds.  I had been down 9 the previous Friday at home, but I think I gained a little over the weekend, plus I’m always a little bit more at WW because I get weighed in the middle of the day fully clothed and having had food, water and coffee.  So, I had hoped to be down about 15 by now, but I still consider it a success because normally in any given 3-month period I would lose and regain the same 3 or 4 pounds about 4 or 5 times and still weigh the same or even more.  I'm really not even following the program as far as tracking all my points and all that, I just like the accountability and motivation I get from going to the meetings.  That has really helped me be more consistent and get back on track quicker after a slip up.

Speaking of slip ups, last week was not so good, so I'll probably be up a little at my meeting tomorrow, but hopefully I can turn things around and have a good week.

In other news,  the girls have started taking violin lessons.  It's a beginning strings class, so there is like 12 or 15 kids including one of their best friends.  They've only had one lesson so far but they are really enjoying it.  I played piano and trumpet growing up and really wanted them to play something so when they found out about this we were all over it.

Olivia is getting reading glasses.  They are super cute with a cheetah print, but we're waiting for them to be ready for us to pick up later this week.  She only needs them for reading so now we're worried about her losing them if she's going to be taking them off /putting them on all the time, so hopefully she'll just leave them on all day (assuming that's ok, I'll have to ask) and only take them off at home.  We'll see.

Today we made our annual trip to the pumpkin patch.  This was the first time in like 4 years that we went to the one close to our house as opposed to the one by the in-laws place or up in my hometown.  We used to really like it but it's way more expensive than the other two so from now on we'll probably keep going to the other ones.

We had the best weekend.  You know how I'm always complaining about my list of projects that I never have time for?  Well, we had planned to go to the pumpkin patch on Saturday, but it was pouring down rain so we went today instead and Saturday we stayed home all day, didn't have any friends over because I have a cold (although none even tried to come over) and we actually worked on some projects!  I put some pictures in a photo album, organized the linen closet, purged and organized my closet, put up a rack in our pantry for hanging brooms/mops/dustpans, and put up a white board calendar.  It was so nice to finally get some of that done.  I used to spend so much time on weekends just running errands, grocery shopping, cleaning and cooking but we finally hired a housekeeper to comes every other week and we've been doing a lot of grocery ordering from Amazon Fresh so I can finally do something else on weekends, and now with the changing weather and all I hope to have many more weekends like this one and tackle even more projects.

I think that's it for updates.  I never really finished my "week in the life" series, but it turns out all the weekdays were pretty much the same, with the addition of soccer on Mon/Wed, which just makes the whole evening more hectic.  Only 3 more games and we're done!  But then we'll probably start gymnastics again but that's only once a week (and probably not until after the new year).

Right after this we took Kayley to get her bangs trimmed :)

The only picture I have so far of the violins.  This was at the rental place when we first got them.

Did I mention Olivia lost a front tooth?

Playing at a new park

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Random Updates and Stuff

So other than yesterday I haven't posted in almost a month.  Not that that's anything new, but here's what we've been up to in the meantime.

The girls have been playing soccer twice a week, on Mondays and Wednesdays.  They have just a few more weeks of that and then they'll be done.

Kayley as goalie

Treats after a game

Olivia ready for action

Last week they did the mini cheer camp again.  They had to miss one of the 3 practices due to soccer, but they went to 2 and then performed at the high school football game last Friday night.  So fun.

Walking out on the field.  I think that's Olivia kind of facing backwards and left of her is their friend and then Kayley next to the real cheerleader.

Kayley acting goofy
Our stove was down to 2 working burners, plus it had all this burnt on black stuff around each burner than I couldn't get off no matter what I did, and the window part of the microwave door was kind of separated from the metal part (I may have slammed the door a few too many times while frustrated about having to make 3 or 4 different meals or whatever.  I won't do that with the new one!) so we got a new stove and microwave.  Yay!



And after...

Much better!

Weight Watchers update coming soon!