Make Memories

  • Super huge news Our blog has suffered from a bit of neglect over the past couple of months. I’d like to say that it was because we forgot the password or forgot to pay for the hosting fees, but the truth is that we were just too busy. Our bad, blog. Sorry. However, part of the reason we’ve been so busy is . . . because . . . we’re preggo. Well, technically, S is preggers, but you know what I mean. S is currently in her 17th week and, knock on wood, everything has been going splendidly. No morning sickness and no weird food cravings, except a hankering for the occasional fish and chips. S has been a champ. Everyday I catch myself in a moment where I’m amazed by what her body is physically doing and what she’s mentally and emotionally doing for us. When we first found out the big news, we started looking for a house. It was overwhelming, so we decided that we’d stay in the condo we love, at least for a little longer before the little one is really starting to move around. So if anyone has any great tips for living with a baby in a condo, feel free ...
  • Mexico! The day after Christmas, J and I woke up at approximately 3am to board a plane to Mexico.  In short, we had the time of our lives. We landed in Puerto Vallarta and met our friends in the airport, who had waited an inordinate amount of time while we trudged through customs; in the meantime, they snagged cheap cab info (across the street from the airport) by using our gent friend’s trusty Spanish skills.  We hopped into the slightly rusty beater, windows down, sun setting, ready for adventure.  We got to Sayulita when it was dark.  We heard the ocean waves crashing across the street.  The next morning, once the sun rose, we saw our rental house (above) in all its ocean-view glory and pinched ourselves to see if our luck was real.  It was.  For the record, this fancy-pants crash pad cost $140/night.  Total.  Split amongst 4 people.  Good deals exist. This little stairway to heaven led us to our open-air yoga class overlooking the Pacific Ocean.  If you find yourself in Sayulita, walk past Villa Amor, through the archway to the (shockingly colorful and beautiful) cemetery.  Across the way is a set of stairs.  Ascend into workout heaven. See?  ...
  • Snow Camping Part Deux As I previously admitted, I first learned about camping when I moved to Seattle. My first camping experience was terrible. I had no blanket, no pillow, no sleeping bag, and a questionable “tent.” I’d like to think that I’ve tried to embrace sleeping outdoors. Recently, I went snow-camping again with some friends. As I’m sure you can imagine, it’s a lot like regular camping, but a crapload colder. As far as I can tell, there is no real agenda in snow camping. We essentially drive out to the mountains, throw on our snowshoes and backpacks, and walk up a hill until we are A) too tired, B) lost, or C) have snow up to our waists. Next, you try to make camp, which consists of stomping down the snow until it’s flat enough to set out your tent. After you’re done planning your sleeping quarters, it’s time to dig out a kitchen/sitting area. Lastly, make dinner, have a drink, go to sleep. So the net effect here is that you hike up into a mountain only to shovel a bunch of snow. The weatherperson called for 10 inches of snow. Apparently, he low-balled it. It was snowing so fast that we had ...
  • Just keep running. I’m not a good runner, per se. And I don’t mean that in the humble, “Oh, I’m a really good runner, but I don’t want to brag,” kind of way. I mean that I’m decently fast, but on the whole, I hate running and I get winded really easily. So, it came as quite a shock, especially to S, when I decided to run in the Seattle Marathon. When asked why I decided to do this, I didn’t have a good answer. The truth is that I’ve never wanted to run a marathon. I hate running. I have a great deal of respect for marathon runners, but I never wanted to be one. I wasn’t running for a cause. I’m just not a runner. As I thought about it a bit more, I realized that running a marathon was really a line item on my bucket list. I wanted to do it because I can. Because at some point in my life, I won’t be able to run anymore, which makes me sad, so I might as well do it now. It was something that I never thought I could accomplish, and that made me angry, so I wanted to prove myself wrong. When ...
  • Coffee and a Cupcake Coffee shops are a dime a dozen in Seattle. There are actually times when I can’t decide which one to go to because there are so many to choose from. S and I have a several favorites – some we like for the atmosphere, some for people-watching, and some for nostalgic purposes. Verite Coffee in Madrona has some of the strongest nostalgic memories for me. As a recent New York transplant, S introduced me to Madrona, Verite Coffee, and cupcakes from Cupcake Royale. During college, we frequently escaped the chaos of the University District to go study at Verite. And during law school, when I needed to escape the stress of my fellow law students, I often drove over to Verite instead of walking to the other coffee shops that were much more conveniently located across the street from school. S and I recently made a trip back to Verite and it was nostalgic as ever. We even got to sit at one of my favorite tables by the window. The purpose of this shop has changed for us over the years, but as far as I’m concerned, it’ll always remain a quintessential Seattle coffee shop.
  • Transition. I stepped off the plane after spending 11 days in Alaska, where the fall colors made their final brilliant showing against the barren mountains, followed by a light blanket of snow that painted the Sleeping Lady’s hair white.  I watched the frost set in, dusting Bristol Bay with a light sparkle of ice that, I suspect, will remain stubbornly in place until spring.  It felt like a real privilege to witness the changing of Alaska’s seasons.  Upon returning to Seattle’s first weeks of truly fall weather, the air felt downright tropical at 56 degrees.  Thirty six hours after my plane landed, I was in the car with J and a very good friend headed to Leavenworth to celebrate at the last weekend of Oktoberfest.  We had snacks and party pants packed, ready for a wedding 10 years in the making.  We had great fun at the wedding.  Partly because the couple we were celebrating is comprised of two incredible people.  Partly because we stayed in a big, beautiful log cabin with some of our closest friends.  It was cozy and easy and just really lovely.  After a big, long, exhausting, on at. all. times. because you never know who might ...
  • Aang! Aang (welcome, hello, and so much more)!  Much of my trip to Alaska was spent learning about the people and culture I grew up referring to as Aleut.  During my time in Alaska, I learned that the Aleut people don’t even have a word for “Aleut” in their native languages, two of which are currently surviving.  They refer to themselves and their way of life as Unangan.  There is a clear blend of modern and traditional in the 2012 way of life for Unangan people.  The folks I met were individually humble, capable, and proud of their people and heritage.  Many of them also had incredible talent in skills that relate to a subsistence way of life.  For a point of reference, below you will see a photo of a tiny woven basket in a master weaver’s hands—that basket, much smaller than a thimble, took 2-3 hours to weave.  The baskets that are of a useful size take a master weaver 50-60 hours (!) to create.  Throughout my 11 days in Anchorage and King Salmon, I mostly focused on sitting still with open ears and an open heart.
  • Seen in Alaska. Baby moose!  For the record, I was with a (new-found) friend in a convertible BMW (yes, in ANCHORAGE in OCTOBER) with the top down when we happened upon this creature.  He did not jump in our car and his mama moose did not show her face.  We sat for awhile and admired him (her?).  Did you know all moose have light legs and a dark body?  Me neither.  Also, I’m not sure if that’s true.  But that’s what my friend told me. Girdwood, they said.  Take a 45 minute drive to Girdwood.  You’ll be impressed.  We were.  The colors.  The water.  The nature.  The Alaska license plate proudly supporting Obama (in an H3, of course…we can only win so many battles).  Apparently there is more to Girdwood than a gas station with a few attached “restaurants.”  We missed the “more to Girdwood” when we failed to continue driving beyond the gas station, but J and I thoroughly enjoyed our 1/4 pizza pie each.  One slice for $6.  What’s the name of said pizzeria?  Hell if I know.  But I guarantee there is only one pizzeria on the way to Girdwood from Anchorage.  That pizza slice made my day (I was at ...
  • It’s sure cold here. S went to Alaska for a two week business trip, so we decided that business trips could only be made better if I came for a visit. For me personally, it started off a bit stressful. I’ve been in the midst of negotiating a case for the past two weeks. Trials are a lot like a game of chicken – both sides act tough until one person gives in, realizing they don’t want to risk losing it all. For a variety of reasons that I can’t discuss, I learned that this current case would be continued, which meant that I would not have to think about it for the weekend. Here are some things I learned over the past few days while staying in Anchorage: 1. It’s cold. We had an oddly long summer in Seattle, and switching from 70 degrees to 40 degrees in a few hours shocked my system. 2. I love my Patagonia Down Sweater. See #1. 3. Despite it being 10am on a Friday, some coffee shops aren’t open. In fact, each time I found myself walking around the streets, I felt like the city was abandoned. 4. The architecture is a bit bleh. I love tall ...
  • Flapping my wings, flapping my wings. I went to lunch with a partner at my firm to hear advice on how to best market myself and the firm on an upcoming business trip.  He had a lot to say, but most of it was rooted in one of his oft-used idioms: everything you need to know is what you learned in kindergarten.  Be nice.  Be genuine.  Be polite.  Be smart.  Listen.  Use good judgment.  The rest will take care of itself. He said I am at the stage in my career where I have been working very hard to get some air under my wings and I need to keep flapping until I’m flying high.  Then, it’s maintenance.  Continue to be ethical.  Follow up.  Take care of the details.  We ended our quick lunch and he reminded me to keep flapping my wings. What he couldn’t possibly have know, and what I didn’t realize until 5am this morning when I was tossing and turning in bed despite the fact that I desperately wanted to be asleep and catch up on my lack of rest from the exhausting week before, is just how poignant and meaningful his advice is during this chapter in my life. J and I have been ...
  • Granite Mountain Sweaty forehead, sweaty back, sweaty feet, sweaty chest.  Dirty calves.  Aching legs, aching back, aching hips.  Dirty hands.  Dirty everything.  Sweat and dirt build a layer like clay. Drive from Seattle toward Snoqualmie Pass.  Sixty minutes, or far less, if your friend is speedy.  Pack your picnic and snacks for along the way.  Prepare properly for the hard (but you don’t have any idea how hard) work that’s to come.  Set out merrily with anticipation on a pretty, friendly trail.  Note the avalanche mess ahead, gingerly climb over, under and around the felled trees.  Stare in awe at the massive power of nature.  Wonder where exactly that mess started and very briefly ponder if that’s where you’re headed.  One foot in front of the other, over and over and over and over again.  Steeper, harder, steeper, harder through the woods.  And then.  You stop for a moment to catch your breath and you turn around to look out at the vista and you lose your breath entirely, but not because you’re tired (even though you are very, very tired) but your breath disappeared from your body because of the awesomeness before you.  The view is awesome and awe-inspiring and you might ...
  • An Unexpected New York Trip Within days of finding out that my grandmother would need to be moved to hospice, she passed away. Although her quality of life had gradually declined over the past couple of years, her death was unexpected and sudden. After I moved to Seattle, I managed to stay in pretty good contact with my grandmother. She was the sole reason I ever kept stamps – she loved to write and receive letters in the mail. And even when she stopped writing letters, we talked on the phone. Her sudden death meant that S and I suddenly needed to travel back to New York to celebrate her life and support my family, specifically my father and uncle. While the trip back to New York was for a sad reason, I realized that there were many beautiful, positive aspects of the trip. S and I got to spend a few days with my cousins, joking, and reminising about our grandparents. We shared stories about her, such as how the grandchildren couldn’t eat ice cream on her couch, even though it was wrapped in plastic; how she taught me to make meatballs; and how each time we visited, she marked our heights on the wall. As I think ...
  • Seen on Lake Union We went on a kayaking adventure. Grey clouds wrapped the lake and our double kayak and us. It was cozier than I anticipated. The lake was ours, shared only with a couple of seaplanes and the occasional coffee-drinkers on their float home docks. The footprint of float homes in Seattle is limited to 1200 square feet. The highest you can build is 21 feet. Did you know that? I learned the float home facts last week toiling away at my desk. It felt good to share the knowledge with J. He wants to buy a float home. If we do, we won’t outfit it with a kayak. This is because our kayaking adventure taught us an important lesson: kayaking is not our forte. Unless you’re supposed to make s-curves like a downhill skier when you kayak. I’m no expert, but I think it’s safe to say that s-curving is decidedly not good kayaking technique.  
  • A Weekend Adrift… In a good way. Sometimes a deal that seems too good to be true, often is. S and I learned this lesson when we used our Groupon coupon for the Adrift Hotel in Long Beach, WA. The hotel advertised itself as minimalist, and it certainly lived up to the adjective. The small tv was perched on a long, thin piece of wood and two wooden crates nailed to the wall made up the storage. The hotel was also minimalist in insulation as I could hear the children next door singing and playing. All that, and the uncomfortable bed aside, the hotel served its purpose – to allow S and I to sneak away for the weekend while we walked along the beach with no plans, drank wine with no agenda, and hiked Cape Disappointment (we were not disappointed with the view). The highlight of the weekend for me was walking to the lighthouse on Cape Disappointment. Unbelievably the highlight was not listening to the drunken British guy behind us in the hotel bar claim to be the “inheritance of William Shakespeare” while hitting on our waitress. I’m still unclear why seeing the lighthouse was so important to me. Perhaps it’s because I think that I ...
  • Seen in Long Beach, WA Long Beach, Washington has a lot to offer (actually, that’s not true). Mostly in the way of oddities and maritime-themed tchotchkes. But it also has glorious views and a laid-back lifestyle.  Spending two nights was plenty for us. We capped off the weekend with a morning hike in Cape Disappointment State Park which, oddly and thankfully, did not disappoint at all. First, though, we were treated to several hours on Saturday that included riding bikes, perusing antique stores and junk shops, checking out houses decked out with buoy fences and old vessels, putting coins into old-time curiosity shop machines that were incredibly inappropriate and entirely not politically correct, and sipping copious amounts of wine. Oh, and I had the wonderful opportunity to tell J stories about my eccentric grandmother who passed away many years ago. She never met a seashell-themed object she didn’t like. She proudly displayed an alligator skull in her living room, the same one that was offered for sale in our favorite Long Beach junk store. My grandmother had a penchant for hanging sea-glass balls from the ceiling in netting—seeing them brought a happy flashback for me. I know this for sure: she would have been a ...
  • Goal!!! Seattle has a bit of a bad rap when it comes to its sports teams. I can’t even bring up the subject of the Supersonics with one of my friends without him going  into a tirade of curses and tears. And the fact that I’m a Yankee fan does not stop me from calling the Mariners a minor league team. So maybe that’s why this city loves the Seattle Sounders so much. I like soccer, but I’m not particularly good at it. Although I instantly took a liking to it, I , much like a small puppy, probably just enjoy chasing a ball around and the moment I get it, I have no idea what to do with it. My own canine instincts aside, Sounders’ games are pretty darned fun – they involve a lot singing and chanting and yelling at the ref; however, I have yet to see a kid do this at the game.
  • Seen in Birch Bay Why, yes, those are Angry Birds cupcakes.  Our incredibly talented friend made them for her husband’s birthday celebration in Birch Bay.  It was uber-impressive.  And kind of intimidating. Rest assured, under those thick layers of frosting, there are several kinds of cupcakes—strawberry, chocolate and funfetti—my favorite!
  • My friends, umm Our friends When S and I first met, she was in a sorority and I was in a fraternity. As such, we went through college with “her friends” and “his friends.” However, since the college years have passed, the distinction between “her friends” and “his friends” has blurred into “our friends.” As I think back on it now, I almost forget how important it was for me that my girlfriend have a strong friendship with my friends. Prior to S, it would have been impossible to get some of my girlfriends and friends in the same room. However, looking back on it now, S has been friends with many of my friends, and vice versa, for as long as I’ve known them. I was recently reminded of how lucky I am to have a wife that is friends with “my friends.” We went up to a friend’s parent’s home in Birch Bay to celebrate his birthday. S and I arrived the night before the rest of the guests and, as soon as we arrived, I immediately knew I was coming down with the flu. I did my best to be a good sport and take part in the festivities with everyone. However, by 5pm, ...
  • Seen in Los Angeles
  • Sunday. Sitting next to J at Cupcake Royale.  Reading news leisurely.  Sipping a tall americano, no cream.  Billing an easy 1.3 hours.  Hearing Whitney Houston’s greatest hits on repeat.  Watching the bakers swirl pink frosting onto dozens and dozens and dozens of tiny cakes.  Smiling at the birthday girl in her pink tutu as she sings Happy Birthday to herself.  Taking a stroll through Cal Anderson for fresh air.  Stopping to watch a soccer game.  Feeling the bitter cold air, biting at my lungs, and liking it.  Seeing the gray cloud cover and being thankful for no rain.  Returning to the coffee shop and sliding in next to J.  Realizing it’s 1:32pm and the whole day is still in front of us.  No plans.  No expectations.  Breathing. 
  • 3 Months It’s raining in Seattle.  After a long stretch of gorgeous sunny February days, the rain almost feels like a big sigh of relief to me.  Not that I didn’t appreciate the sun—I promise you I did.  But I knew the weather would change soon enough and, now that it has, I can stop holding my breath waiting for the inevitable rain to fall. There’s a bit of symbolism to this weather for me.  I’ve gone a lot of days without feeling the jolts of pain from the loss of my brother.  Work has surely been a big part of that.  It’s kept my mind fully occupied.  The sun helped, too, because it’s hard to feel sad in Seattle on sunny days.  This is fact.  As a Seattleite, if you feel sad, you feel guilty about wasting a rare sunny day.  I don’t like to feel guilty, so I tend to put my sad on hold if the sun is out.  I haven’t thought about this before, but now that I’m writing about it, the whole thing feels a little like self-inflicted bipolar disorder.  I digress.  Now that the rain is here, I once again feel the ache of missing what ...
  • Seen at Snoqualmie Pass
  • Snow Camping Growing up in NY, I didn’t camp very much. As in ever – I never, ever went camping. However, since I moved to Seattle, I’ve went camping a bunch of times and, despite the fact that I’m pretty much useless when it comes to surviving outside the city, my friends continue to invite me. This weekend two of my wilderness loving friends invited another city dweller and I to go snow camping. If you’ve never been, snow camping is a lot like regular camping except much colder. Not only was snow camping a new experience, but I also added a lot of new camping facts to my knowledge base, such as: 1. Walking in snowshoes up an untouched trail into the forest with a 40 lb backpack is exhausting. 2. Stay away from tree wells. Thankfully, my friends explained just how dangerous a tree well covered in snow could be. 3. My boots are not waterproof. Learned that one within 20 minutes. 4. You can never bring enough socks. Big thanks to S who told me to bring an extra extra pair. 5. An ice ax is a versatile piece of equipment. For instance, it can be used as stake for tying up your tent or you can ...
  • Grief is Intoxicating and Weird: Part II J and I watched the film “Beginners” this weekend. It is good. You should see it. Actually, we watched it in a two-part series on Friday and Saturday night. I have this issue where I can’t make it through a movie in one sitting without falling asleep. It’s ridiculous. But it’s fact. So we make do and split up films into series, especially for the home viewing. About two minutes into the movie, I realized that it was during an NPR interview with Beginners’ writer/director Mike Mills where I heard the phrase “Grief is intoxicating and weird.” Mike was talking about the loss of his mother and father and when he made that statement, it felt like he was talking directly to me. Something strange happened last night before we watched our second installment of the movie. An ex-boyfriend friended me on facebook. This person goes way back to my freshman year of high school. Not even half of my current life had yet been lived when we dated. Significantly and deeply jarring to me, I realized this person knew me and my brother during a very important time in our sibling relationship: the last year of my brother’s ...
  • S’s new job S starts her new job today and this is great news for several reasons. The obvious one is that she’s really excited to start a new job, which she’ll be great at. But the other reason is one that many couples probably take for granted – for the first time ever, S and I will be working in the same city. Having S and I work in the same city – a mere 3 blocks from each other – means that our schedules will finally sync. I’m looking forward to commuting together, happy hours, and not having dinner at 9pm. It’ll also mean that we have time for more lunch time meet ups. The last time we were able to meet for lunch was this past summer when we went to Salumi in Pioneer Square.
  • Digital Cameras and Paseo The upside to digital cameras is that they are easy to carry and they avoid the frustrating moment when you realize you paid to develop a roll of blurry photos. The downside to digital cameras is that the ability to store thousands and thousands of shots means the photographer fails to exercise any discretion whatsoever. So, if you are like me, you end up with hundreds of random photographs to sort through every couple of months. This is why my posts, unlike S’s, never correctly correspond to the right time of year. Take this post for instance. Sure, it’s early January, but I’m writing about the night that S and I went to Paseo and then sat in warm sun at Gas Works Park. Paseo is the place to go for Cuban sandwiches. It’s been featured on the Food Network a bunch of times and standing in an hour-long line, only to be told that they ran out of bread and are closing early, is seen as a badge of honor, not an act of stupidity. Ordering at Paseo shares a similar pleasantness as Seinfeld depicted ordering at the “Soup Nazi.” You stand in a tightly packed line, because you don’t trust that the ...
  • make happy in the new year J and I have never really explained the meaning behind the name of this little blog. In some ways, it’s pretty self-explanatory. But it’s also grammatically incorrect, which may seem like a strange choice for two Type-A lawyers whose shared profession is deeply rooted in the ways of wordsmiths. About a year ago, J and I had a conversation about setting intentions in our marriage and for the life we were building together. It was one of those discussions that was deeply meaningful to us and extraordinarily personal. The kind that makes one feel wholly and completely why the decision between two people to share their one life together, forever, is a sacred one. We agreed that, despite the hardships and adversity that continually pop up in life, we wanted to be happy. Because, if not for happiness, what is the point of living this life? Sometimes, though, being happy is awfully challenging when surrounding circumstances are bleak or stressful or downright depressing. So we decided that we would have to actively engage in creating our own happiness or, in other words, to make happy. [Note: We also toyed around with the idea that to create happiness we need to share and ...
  • {this moment} {this moment} – A Friday ritual.  A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week.  A simple, special, extraordinary moment.  A moment we want to pause, savor and remember.  Via SouleMama. If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments.
  • Seen on Christmas
  • Christmas Lefse As a child, I believed that early Christmas morning was the absolute highlight of the holiday season. This year, as I look back to reminisce and try to place into context both what I’ve lost and gained this year, I am struck by the magic my parents created for my brother and I when we were kids. They always made sure Christmas music was playing in the background, each of the seemingly millions of lights were lit throughout the house, fresh coffee was brewing and something delicious was baking for breakfast. Our home was inevitably warm and cozy, no matter how early we awoke them. And, without fail, the stockings were filled with the most amazing, priceless trinkets and candies from Bartell’s Drug Store (presumably?) that one could ever hope to receive. It was all sparkle and shine and hope and excitement. Magic. The magic this season is decidedly less sparkly and shiny and hopeful than in years past. It was further dampened by my release of tears/sobs early yesterday afternoon. But it was rekindled a bit during an evening surrounded by family and a night cuddled up with J and Stella by the light of our tree (where we watched ...
  • {this moment} {this moment} – A Friday ritual.  A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week.  A simple, special, extraordinary moment.  A moment we want to pause, savor and remember.  Via SouleMama. If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments.
  • Working to Choose Joy I believe in setting intentions. It’s a practice that I learned in yoga and it has served me well during challenging times in my life. I’m not always successful in following through with the particular intention I set, but I think giving it a good shot counts for something. My intention at this moment, on this day, is to choose joy. The reality is that choosing joy has presented itself in the form of an enormous, steep rock wall and I, the hopeful climber, stand at the bottom, shielding my eyes from the bright sun as I look up, terrified by my lack of both knowledge and gear. I need to find a way to ascend the beast safely and with my mental and physical health in tact. Helpless, but hopeful. That’s where I’m at right now. My brother’s death hangs like a dark, heavy cloud over me. I desperately want to move on, to find peace with the fact that he is gone, to not let the negativity suck me in. I yearn for the moment when I realize during some seemingly insignificant daily routine that, yes, I feel grateful to be living a full, beautiful life. But in the now, ...
  • {this moment} {this moment} – A Friday ritual.  A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week.  A simple, special, extraordinary moment.  A moment we want to pause, savor and remember.  Via SouleMama. If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments.
  • Grief is Intoxicating and Weird I was listening to an NPR story and the interviewee said something that resonated so deeply with me. He was discussing the death of his father and he said, “Grief is intoxicating and weird.” It’s such a simple, oddly truncated-sounding statement. But it’s true. At least for me it’s true as I struggle to understand the “new normal” after my brother’s death. Processing  the “new normal” has been a difficult task, mostly because my family’s “old normal,” so to speak, was never very normal at all. Well, it was, until it wasn’t. My brother spent the last two Christmases reveling in my family’s traditions. We celebrated Christmas Eve with about 50 of our closest relatives at my Grandma’s house. Santa Claus dutifully performed his gift-giving rituals and we ate far too many pieces of buttered lefse, sprinkled with brown sugar. On Christmas morning we gathered at my parent’s house that we grew up in and ate my Dad’s quiche and my Mom’s cookies for breakfast. We tore into piles of presents and laughed together. We marveled at my Mom’s intense (read: obsessive) dedication to Christmas decorating, which takes no less than 1 full week and is truly a sparkly sight to be ...
  • {this moment} {this moment} – A Friday ritual.  A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week.  A simple, special, extraordinary moment.  A moment we want to pause, savor and remember.  Via SouleMama. If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments.
  • Thankful… … for silly faces like this.
  • Giving Thanks on Thanksgiving I’m thankful for the simple moments—hot coffee and fresh omelets for breakfast after a short jog in the rain with Stella. I’m thankful for the indulging moments—our favorite sour cream chocolate cake with cream cheese peanut butter frosting and chocolate ganache. I’m especially thankful for the meaningful moments—spending the day with family and friends and appreciating the life we’ve been given to live as fully and honestly and happily as possible. We wish all of you a very happy thanksgiving.
  • Reflecting You can describe this last week as sad. Or stressful. Or unfortunate. But you can also describe it as hopeful and worthy of thanks. The beginning of my relationship with S’s brother began, unfortunately, after he had already made many negative life decisions. Despite that consisting of my experience with him, his death most saddens me because he had so much potential. He was smart, he was loyal, and he had a giant heart. My main “job” this last week has been one of support. Helping to support S, helping to support her parents, and helping S to support her parents. Despite her sadness, S managed to concern herself with what I needed too. I felt that in order for me to be a supportive husband at night, I needed to go to work during the day. I had a very important trial last week (which went really well) and I knew that the stress from trial would actually be somewhat therapeutic. I knew that as long as I was consumed with evidence issues and arguments, that I would not have time to dwell on the cloud of sadness that hung over our family. Although there seemed to be a cloud ...
  • Cupcakes & Grieving When we arrived in Scottsdale, I was beyond excited when I saw a Sprinkles shop mere blocks from our hotel. J and I love a good cupcake and I’d never had the privilege of eating one from the Beverly Hills-based bakery. We have strong opinions about the Seattle cupcake scene (Trophy is overrated, Cupcake Royale is reliably top-notch) and we served cupcakes in lieu of cake at our wedding. We were walking in downtown Scottsdale, waiting for an appropriately late enough time in the morning to engage in cupcake-eating, when we found out my brother died. Needless to say, we weren’t exactly in a cupcake mood after hearing the tragic news. There have been a handful of particularly hard days since 11.11.11. One of those days being the 12th, the day we packed up my parents and sent them off to the airport to fly home to deal with the reality of their son’s death. Waiting with them for the shuttle to the airport was gut-wrenching. I honestly didn’t know if they could make it through the airport bureaucracy and I didn’t know how they would handle being cooped up in a small aircraft squeezed next to strangers. They made it home ...
  • 11.11.11 It was supposed to be a day of celebration. My sister, who has generally had a hard time of it over the past few years, was planning to marry a very good man who makes her deeply happy. 11.11.11. Their special day. J and I flew down to Arizona on Thursday night and met up with my parents, who had arrived earlier in the evening. On Friday morning, the day of the wedding, J and I took a long walk through Old Town Scottsdale. We wanted to explore the town since we hadn’t been before. We took lots of photos of cactus and we did more than our fair share of posing next to cowboy statues. All of it was very silly and, in hindsight, it now feels to me that we were just hovering in time and space waiting to hear the story that had already been written, but not yet told to us. My phone rang. My parents had received a message that something “very bad” had happened to my brother. They needed help figuring out what had happened to him. Unfortunately, because of my brother’s life choices we knew that if it was “very bad” we would be dealing ...
  • {this moment} {this moment} – A Friday ritual.  A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week.  A simple, special, extraordinary moment.  A moment we want to pause, savor and remember.  Via SouleMama. If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments.
  • Seen in Coupeville
  • Crazy Al’s Beach Shack J did great. He planned a simple overnight trip to a tiny beach town called Coupeville on Whidbey Island. He found a comfortable, quirky place to shack up. It was slightly nerve-wracking making our way up the long gravel driveway, which was lined with the occasional abandoned toilet and a pen containing attack goats, according to the sign on the fence. When we arrived at the house, it became clear that the selling point of this property is the view of Puget Sound, as the house sits right on the bluff. The view was stunning. After we spent a few minutes awkwardly standing around taking in the crazy birdhouses and rock formations surrounding the house, Al walked over and introduced himself to us and welcomed us into his home. Al is a collector and curator of the craziest, most interesting, zany items you’ve likely ever seen in one place (including the aforementioned toilets, of which there are many throughout the property). Our personal decorating aesthetic was pretty much the exact opposite of Al’s. But to his credit, the entire place was spotless and organized. It’s fair to say that J and I were both overwhelmed at first, but it didn’t take long ...
  • Project Weekend Getaway I am a project-oriented person. This I’ve learned as I’ve gotten older. Project Law School? Check. Project Clerkship? Check. Project Purchase Condo? Check. Project Wedding? Check. I really, really like to mentally check things off a list. So when a project comes up, I tend to get a little giddy about the planning process. This has been especially true with vacations and weekend getaways. This weekend, though, the planning is up to J. He asked me what I wanted for my birthday. I told him I’d really like to be surprised with a short weekend trip. We leave today and I am so excited! I have no idea where we’re going or what to expect, except that it’s more than 30 minutes and less than 5 hours away from Seattle. And I’m supposed to pack hiking clothes and a bathing suit. And Stella. I have to pack her, too. But I don’t know if we’re going to need snacks. What about wine? A wine opener? I don’t want to have a wine emergency (in that the bottle is decidedly corked and we are decidedly corkscrew-less…that would certainly not make for a happy birthday celebration). What about socks? Do I need extra pairs in ...
  • {this moment} {this moment} – A Friday ritual.  A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week.  A simple, special, extraordinary moment.  A moment we want to pause, savor and remember.  Via SouleMama. If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments.
  • {this moment} {this moment} – A Friday ritual.  A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week.  A simple, special, extraordinary moment.  A moment we want to pause, savor and remember.  Via SouleMama. If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments.
  • Rituals So one morning we went to my Grandma’s funeral and later that afternoon we went to the courthouse and J was sworn in to the bar. All in a day’s work. There was much discussion about what was the right thing to do when my Grandmother’s funeral was scheduled on the same day as J’s swearing-in ceremony. And by much discussion, I mean at least two fights. Lots of tears. Lots of negotiation. Lots of miscommunication. And ultimately, both of us giving in to a mantra that my Grandma embraced. We decided that if we tried to relax about it all, things would just Work Themselves Out. This laid back approach does not come naturally to two Type-A planner personalities. But it worked. Beautifully. During my Grandma’s funeral service, I spoke about the legacy of love that she left for everyone in our large family (she had 7 kids, 17 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren…at one time, she had FOUR babies in diapers). She was an extraordinarily strong and sweet woman. During her last several ...
  • Seven Extra Minutes Over the past couple of weeks we’ve been doused with buckets and buckets of, well, life. Some of the buckets were filled to the brim with the very best of what life has to offer and others, not so much. What have we been up to? Both of us have been elbows-deep in case prep, suiting up far more often than we’d like for the courtroom, packing lunches and planning dinners in an attempt to abide by our short-lived “whole food challenge” (read: no processed food & no sugar), visiting a beloved 91-year-old Grandmother, sprucing up our living quarters, celebrating birthdays, lawyering it up for weekend conference meetings, attending nuptials, and processing good ol’ family drama. Oh, yes. And J PASSED THE BAR EXAM! Last Saturday, in between meetings at my conference, I came home to stalk the mail carrier for The Letter. When our mail carrier eventually showed up, he kindly sorted through his stack and found our mail first. The Letter was in my hand. But then the mail carrier proceeded to hold me hostage for at least 7 minutes telling me about his drug-addicted friend who won’t get help and who doesn’t appreciate his support. I was ...
  • {this moment} {this moment} – A Friday ritual.  A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week.  A simple, special, extraordinary moment.  A moment we want to pause, savor and remember.  Via SouleMama. If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments.
  • {this moment} {this moment} – A Friday ritual.  A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week.  A simple, special, extraordinary moment.  A moment we want to pause, savor and remember.  Via SouleMama. If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments.