Sunday, June 30, 2013

Happy Anniversary!

On Friday, Dustin and I celebrated 5 years of marriage.  It's hard to believe it's been 5 years!  We've lived in 3 places, owned 2 homes,  graduated law school, and changed jobs multiple times---but we're still here!

Without sounding like too much of a sap, I'm incredibly thankful for these last 5 years.  We got married young (22 & 24), so we've done a lot of growing up together. We've tested each other in many ways, but we've also done a lot of growing.  When we first got married, I worried about leaving my family and making a home with Dustin.  At the time, it was hard to imagine a reality where my parents' home would no longer feel like my own.  But I look around today, and Dustin truly is my home.  This little life we've created is pretty great.

Dustin surprised me with the most thoughtful gift for our anniversary.  He sent pictures of my wedding dress to an artist and she painted it!  He even asked her to take a special request and include my "something blue" shoes.  I sobbed when I opened it---I will cherish it forever.


We also kept with our favorite tradition and ate at our favorite restaurant.  The menu changes daily, and is 4 courses of the most amazing food I've ever had.  I always mean to take photos of some of the dishes, but the food it just too good, I can't!

The restaurant is called Recess, and the menu is printed daily.
June 28th  :)  We got to celebrate on our actual anniversary.

Before dinner photo op.....


And we even got some shots with the other member of our family  ;)



Family pic!  The best we could do, Fletch was not having it.

Here we are on our wedding day.

Little babies, I tell ya!  

As I was looking through wedding pictures to find a pic for the blog, I realized how long it had been since I'd seen my wedding photos.  We had such a beautiful day.  I love looking through the photos and seeing the people who are so dear to us.  I also love remembering all the details--flowers, cake, etc.  




`




 I love this photo so much, but 
it does deserve a little explaining.  This is at the end of the aisle
and I love how I'm smiling at Dustin, but almost as much, I love
that my Grandma (in green) is holding a barney doll. My niece, 
Avery, served as one of the flower girls and had been crying 
the entire day.  Right before we were heading down the aisle
we literally could not get her to stop. So the wedding planner handed 
her the barney doll from the church nursery.  Problem solved!  So Avery made 
her way down the aisle with Barney.  Plus,
the purple coordinated well with my colors  :)  



 This was Dustin's surprise groom cake-  for my little
tech guy  :)


 Very dear friends who served as our seating attendants

 Instead of throwing my bouquet, I gave it away to my sweet Grandmother who
means the absolute world to me.

 My three beautiful sisters served as my bridesmaids.





I love looking back on this day!  Happy 5 years to us, Dustin!  And to many more.


Monday, June 17, 2013

Garden Update

It's been a busy few weeks around here, but the garden continues to flourish despite my neglect.  We've had a lot of rain, so everything is surviving just fine.


The arugula and other lettuce are thriving.  All this arugula is feeding my craving for Barefoot Contessa's arugula salad with lemon vinaigrette.  (Recipe here)


In keeping with my goal to stay chemical-free, I'm utilizing a different type of fertilizer this year.  Everything I've read about great veggies/flowers says that soil is king.  If you have healthy soil, you'll get healthy plants.  So I worked Dr. Earth fertilizer into my compost and covered the entire garden in it before planting.  I also used the Dr. Earth to create a liquid fertilizer for my potted annuals.  The plants are loving it, but the stuff stinks!  Phew!  I'm learning that the smellier the fertilizer, the better (think fish emulsion).


In indoor gardening news, my valentine's day gift (a ponytail palm....why get flowers when you can receive houseplants?) got a bad case of mealy bugs!  Yuck.  

Happy Valentine's Day to me :)

Those tiny little fuzzy white things are bugs---oh my!  I was worried I'd have to throw the entire plant out it was that bad, but luckily I researched and learned that rubbing alcohol will kill off the mealy bugs.  
Stinking mealy bugs........nothing a little rubbing alcohol and 
an hour of scrubbing leaves can't fix.

Back to the outdoors, the previous owners of this house left the mulch beds full of perennials, so I've gotten to spend most of time (and gardening budget) on my containers.

My favorite gardening find this season.  This container was 75% off from 
Garden Ridge because it was missing several screws.  Dustin helped me make do 
without and ended up hanging the container with just one screw.  

My little gardening helper  :)

As much as I miss our little bungalow, I'm so happy with our new house and all the space it's provided. Last year, I remember spending hours in my garden and yard but never getting to spend any time outdoors to enjoy it because of pesky neighbors.  This year, we're able to enjoy coffee on the porch in the mornings, dinner in the evenings, and cookouts on the weekends.  Glad we moved!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Welcoming.......

Well, not even a month after I wrote this post about adding to our family.........  we have.  Well, a pet that is.  Dustin and I have been going back and forth for the last several months about getting a puppy but just haven't found the time or resources to follow through.

Little did we know, but last Saturday night, our decision whether or not to get a pet was made for us.  I had been babysitting my niece and nephew earlier in the day, and while were playing outside near a tree in our front yard I heard my niece scream my name.  [BTW, this is the absolute most horrific sound to hear when you are babysitting].   I run over and see a tiny orange kitten just sitting at the base of the tree.  My little niece scoops him up, and we both sort of stare at each other wondering what to do.

We decided to leave the little kitten out near the tree (in hopes that momma would make her way back to him---we have several strays in the neighborhood.  In fact, just a couple days earlier when I was mulching, a cat darted from our flowerbeds as if she'd been cozied up there for a while... so I was fairly confident kitty would be back with momma cat in no time). He stayed under that tree for the next couple of hours, and my heart continued to break, but I just wasn't sure what to do.  Dustin and I left to go out to eat, and when we returned I noticed that kitty was no longer under the tree.  I have to admit, I breathed a huge sigh of relief, optimistically hoping that his momma had scooped him back up.

Well, not even a second later I see that the poor little kitten had crawled across our entire yard and up onto our porch.  I immediately picked him up, and he instantly starting trying to nudge my chest to nurse.  Oh my....if that didn't make my heart break.  I burst into tears and proclaimed to Dustin that I had to take care of this kitten.  So I rushed out to Walmart to pick up kitten formula and a bottle.



My friend, Ali (who is an animal lover), was sweet enough to come by and helped me bottle feed him and comfort him. I ended up keeping him out on our back porch in a large box that night (still secretly praying that momma would come find him), setting my alarm for every 3 hours to wake up to feed and check on him.  The next morning, on Sunday, we went to a local shelter to check and see if they would take him in.  The volunteer there said she couldn't take on a small kitten that day but that she could find a foster home for him by Wednesday.  She tasked us with keeping him healthy for the next few days, and sent us on our way.  

This is the photo I emailed to the animal shelter
asking them if they could take on another kitten

Well, folks, Wednesday rolled around and I just could not imagine giving this little guy away.  I was in love.  I even made it official by heading to the pet section in Homegoods (never ever wandered near that aisle before) to buy a comfy bed and food bowls for our little guy.

Never in a million years did I think we'd have a cat, and never did I think we'd get a pet this way....but I think it was meant to be.  

Without further ado.....we introduce Fletcher "Fletch" Erro.  Erro means "stray/wanderer" in Latin, and Fletcher is honestly the only name we could agree on  :) 


 Little Fletch is already a part of our family and has made himself quite comfortable around here.



This is how Fletch prefers to spend his time while Dustin 
works from home.  He never gets too far from either of us.


Welcome Home, Fletch!  We are so happy you found us.


Thursday, May 30, 2013

Seattle- Part II

During the middle of our Seattle visit, Ali and Jonny took us to the gorgeous Olympic Peninsula.  I'm here to tell you that I may be a nature convert after that little trip.  I'm not one to obsess over mother nature or even natural wonders----for some reason I've always been enthralled with buildings, historical sites, or architecture.  After seeing the Olympic Peninsula, however, I'm a convert.


The beautiful Lake Crescent.  I just couldn't get my camera to capture
the true blue, but this lake had zero algae (something about
the high level of nitrogen) so you could see straight to the bottom
and be completely mesmerized by the shade of blue.  

Group shot on the Lake
And Jonny taught me about my panoramic capabilities....game changer, folks.









Ruby Beach


See these rocks?  Yeah, I took these and about a dozen
others home.  My poor friend, Ali, attempted to send a 2nd
suitcase home with me (for her convenience...she's returning in 
a couple of weeks), and my rocks (....and wine....and thrift shop
finds.....and souvenirs...) put us over the 50 lb. limit...oops.

Kalaloch Lodge where we spent one night in a cabin on 
the beach.  No internet or cell service, which was actually quite nice!

Amazing how much reading you get done when there's no technology.
Also, in the true style of roughing it....I'm drinking wine out of a mug.

TWILIGHT! Forks was something else I tell ya.  It was so small and completely 
hard to get to.  Like take a plane to Seattle, take a ferry to the Olympic Peninsula, and drive for two house---hard.    A local waitress said the town is packed
with tourists in the summer.  She also added, "I don't give
a sh** about that vampire movie, but it's good for business."
These Twihards are serious!

After writing this post, I'm realizing a failed to capture a lot of memories  :/.  We took several ferry trips.  One trip even included driving our car onto the ferry----whoa---modern engineering, I tell ya.  I also failed to get many of the drive through the peninsula- but the views were breathtaking.  The town, Sequim was super quaint---and we enjoyed 2 stops a local coffee shop while there. (I also found a garden store where I met my Washington soulmate---a little old lady offering gardening tricks and who said I was a pretty young lady).
Almost bought this.....the version of me, standing in line
to weight my two overweight bags is glad I didn't 


Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Seattle- Part I

Last week I went to visit dear friends, Ali and Jonny, out in Seattle.  Ali moved there with her husband, Jonny when he got a great job opportunity last fall, so I've been dying to make a trip ever since.  I traveled with two other amigos, Josh and Danielle, and we had the best time!

I'd never been to the Pacific Northwest, and I was amazed.  We of course did all the Seattle "usual" places--Space Needle, first Starbucks, Public Market Center--which were fun to see.  Ali and Jonny also took us to the Olympic Peninsula where we made stops in Sequim (pronounced Skwim), Forks (hello Twilight!), Ruby Beach, and Kalaloch Lodge on the coast.  I could go on and on about the week----spending a week with your best friends in a beautiful location is really something to be thankful for.  It's a trip I'll never forget.  Now for the obligatory photo dump.
These are photos near the beginning of our trip- at Public Center Market, Chateau St. Michelle, Freemont Troll, and generally around town.
Josh LOVES the middle seat and requested it each time  ;)






This was taken at the famous fish market---you know the one
where they throw fish, and people catch it.  I'll have to say, the
workers there seemed grouchy and told you that if you weren't buying anything
to please move along.  Well then, good sirs, don't put on a show for me 
to watch!  


I can give you a couple of universal truths about me and my friends......
if there is a cardboard face cutout opportunity, we're all 
over it---like pushing little kids out of the way---over it.

Second universal friend truth.....
We never take a bad picture--the ultimate pros.

See?


Famous gum wall......so nasty.
Freemont Troll
Chateau St. Michelle



A beautiful greenhouse on the winery's property.
Let's just say, winery plus this greenhouse is like my dream.

This was clearly an old abandoned greenhouse on the winery's property, but
again....dream.
We visited Chihuly's Glass Museum.  He's the 
fella responsible for all the beautiful glasswork
found around the world, including the ceiling at the Bellagio.


Third and final friend truth......Puzzle time is always a good time.