Monday, December 26, 2011

Top ten things I will miss about Bellingham.

In no particular order...

1. Haggen. Oh how I love Haggen.  It is our local grocery store here. I've told D over and over that I will really miss Haggen when we move.  I love everything about it.  People say it is too expensive, but if you are a smart shopper and watch, everything goes on sale.  Does your grocery store have live local talent serenading you with Christmas music while you shop?  I didn't think so.  Does your grocery store have a french bakery right inside?  I didn't think so. Does your grocery store let you sample any produce you want prior to purchasing it?  I didn't think so.  Is your grocery store set up like IKEA?*  I didn't think so.  Does your grocery store look so beautiful and clean that you could live there?  I didn't think so.  Does your grocery store just make you happy?  I didn't think so.  Maybe you answered yes to some of those, if not you should find the Haggen nearest you. Oh, and how can I forget that D says their chocolate chip cookies are the, "best on earth." He even had a chat with the bakery department ladies about it. They were proud.

*The first time I stepped foot in Haggen I thought IKEA had started a grocery store.  It is a little maze that takes you around, with short cuts included.  Not just a big open space with shelves.

2. Streat Food.  Streat Food is amazing.  It is a gourmet restaurant in a mobile trailer.  It moves around town and has a different location every day.  The prices are AMAZING and the food is even better.

3. Semiahmoo & Packers.  We love going to Packers and getting the best fish and chips at the best prices.  What could possibly be better than eating fresh fish and garlic basil fries on the bay while watching the sunset.  You can literally sit on the bay.  It is heaven out there.

4. Crabs.  The kids love going to the coast and turning rocks over to find all the little baby crabs scurry.  During the summer we were at a different beach every other day.  Veva had no problems holding those babies in her hands.  She loves crabs.

5. The outdoors.  There is so much to do outdoors here it is so great!  Walks through the forest.  This place is amazing.  You will be in the middle of town, turn a corner and BAM...you are in the middle of the forest and can go on a beautiful walk, sometimes for miles! I love it.

6. Peanut butter bars at the Lynden Dutch Bakery.  Oh, yum.  That is all I have to say.  If you have never had one, you better get there quick!

7. Starbucks.  I am sure we will find Starbucks where ever we go.  However, we probably won't find one on every street like you can here.  D always gets the peppermint hot chocolate, I most often get a hazelnut steamer and occasionally get a caramel apple spice.  The steamer is just steamed milk with flavor, but I was loving it so much that I had to ask the lady to make sure there was no caffeine in there.  And I am not a milk drinker.  Try it...you will like it.  We have tried the same thing at other places and it just doesn't compare to good ol' Starbucks.

8. Vancouver, BC & Seattle.  We love Stanley Park and the Aquarium in Vancouver so much.  We love the British influence, it makes D feel right at home.  Seattle is great as well.  D will miss the sports teams.  He has been to NFL games and baseball games and loved every minute of it.  I cannot wait to come back and go to Victoria Island for a nice vacation.

9. Donut shops.  In the rainy season...you know 10 months of the year...we like to visit donut shops.  They are a cheap and fun treat.  My personal favorites are Rocket Donuts and the cute little one on Electric Avenue that makes the best donut holes you have ever tasted.  12 for a dollar, baby.

10. Our great friends! I have made some great friends and am really sad to leave them. :( Some of the greatest people I know. Some people I will remember for the rest of my life. They have taken great care of us during our stay here. It didn't take long to feel right at home, thanks to their hospitality.

Did I say top ten?  I can't stop yet.

11. Walks on the beach and bay.  The views and water splashing up on the rocks  

12. Green. In more ways than one.  I wont lie in just a year Washington has turned me into a little bit of a hippie.  So many organic choice.  Such easy recycling.  Surrounded by so many other hippies to inspire you.   D will be so happy to leave the hippie vibe behind.  He doesn't realize that you can take the girl out of hippie-ville but you can't take the hippie out of the girl.  Also, the green surroundings.  For the first month we were here I was car sick anytime we got on the road.  The massive amounts of trees was a rough adjustment.  They made me so sick.  I was used to miles of sight and suddenly I was driving down tunnels.  It is beautiful here year round.  The summers are even more beautiful.

13. Fresh berries and produce.  We love going to different farms and picking apples and berries.  Oh those Honeycrisp apples...my mouth is watering just thinking about them.  And hello, Washington Strawberries.  Did you forget how amazing those are?  If you did click {HERE}

14.  The Canadians.  Did I just say that?  How boring will it be when I don't have to wait in line for milk and gas?  What will I do with all my extra time?  And Costco won't be a mad house?!  Forget it, then.  Did you know that even though Seattle is the 7th largest city in the US, Bellingham has worse traffic on the weekends.  It is crazy.  And we never learned.  We always took our Costco trips on Friday night and Saturday.  It made things a little more exciting I suppose.

15. Laid back drivers.  I love that people drive under the speed limit here.  It drives D nuts.  I just join them.

16. Rain.  Who doesn't love an excuse to pull your hair back, slip on your rain boots and keep comfy in your sweats?  I'll tell you what, when I first came here I could tell I was a little "over-done" in the hair and make-up department for this area.  And I only wear mascara with a little eye shadow. And I am far from a fashionista.

17. Perfect photo shoot lighting.  So long as you can find a gap in the rain, Western Washington gloomy skies are a photographers best friend. P.s. did you know if you google the cloudiest city in the US you will find Bellingham (I think it actually goes Mt. Vernon then Bellingham...they are 20 min. apart)  Yep, that is right folks.  We're famous.  My OBGYN told me that, but said..."don't say it to locals they get really offended!"

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Not skipping Christmas.

I told D the only way I would move is if we didn't have to skip Christmas.
Out of the six Christmas seasons that we have been married, we have only been able to take full advantage of two!
I am tired of skipping Christmas.
So we committed that we wouldn't skip Christmas this year, even in the event of moving.
That meant all the Christmas decorations would be hung until Christmas.
Presents would be wrapped and opened on Christmas morning.
The weeks leading up to Christmas would be full of Christmas fun.
So far so good. We have made the most of the Christmas season.
The last week and a half have been jam packed!
I am trying to stay really organized.
I made a to-do list the size of Texas.
It contains things like, "I can do hard things." & "Keep calm & carry on." "Don't go into labor."
I'm crossing lots off the list everyday.
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D enjoyed a Seattle Seahawks game in Seattle with a couple of work buddies.
I told him to do something crazy so he could make it on ESPN, but that didn't happen.
I told him he couldn't come home until he sent me a picture. (Okay, I'm not really that mean. I was only kind of serious.) So before the game began he had his buddy snap a quickie.
Good husband.
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We went out with our good friends the Behans.
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We ate at Fiamma Burger.
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I had the S.W. veggie burger. Yum! It was delish. I love me a vegetarian meal.
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After our tasty dinner we swapped a couple kids and cars and headed to see the lights.
All girls in our car.
All boys in the Behan's car.
We went to the awesome display on James street.
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I felt like we jumped into the book "Skipping Christmas" or maybe you have seen the movie version, "Christmas with the Kranks."
The only difference was that this neighborhood was all manufactured/trailer type houses.
Nothing fancy, but an awesome light display.
Only two or three houses in the entire development weren't decked.
Our car full loved it!

The kids have been dressing up in Christmas attire. They both have multiple Christmas outfits.
Therefore, every chance we have I dress them up.
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That is Veva's favorite ornament on the tree.
The Scottish flag.
I'm sure that makes her Granny and Grandad proud.

Nothing says Merry Christmas like cuties.
We go through a box a week.

The kids and I enjoyed an Oliebollen at the Lynden Dutch Bakery. A favorite spot for us plus a seasonal treat equals a great time.
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I enjoyed the night out with some of my girl friends.
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More friends surprised me with a baby shower today! I don't know how they got away with me not taking a picture. I was too busy crying over how sweet they were and how much I would miss them.

D and I had a fancy night out at the Bellwether.
Just the two of us.
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And now we are on the final count down to Christmas and departure.
Wish us luck!

Good Friends.

My Mom asked me last week if I was sad to leave.
I said, "Yes, I am sad, but I haven't shed a tear."
That was until last night.
We had a girls night out.
My last shindig with so many people I love.
I laughed so hard I cried and almost peed my pants.
It was amazing.
Not the almost peeing my pants part. But the entire night.
I was still laughing 30 min. after I got home.
Then today the kids and I went to play group.
My play group friends all showed up as usual.
Then out of no where they whip out presents and shower this sweet baby girl with love.
I instantly cried.
They take such good care of me.
I've been a little nervous the last couple of days.
Going to a new place.
Not really knowing anyone.
Having a baby so soon.
It will be great that my mom is only 2.5 hours away.
But she is still 2.5 hours away.
I have no doubt that house cleaning and meals would have been set up for at least a month here.
People would have dropped by to pick up my kids in a heart beat and take them for the afternoon.
I know who I could call for a last min. favor or a nap.
I won't even know people well enough to let them take my kids.
I'm really going to miss my friends.
They have taken such great care of us this last year.
They took me in and have shown so much love and support.
They became our family away from family.
Thanks to all my friends here who love me. I appreciate it.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Merry Christmas to all!

I am in turbo mode trying to have a nice Christmas and get everything wrapped up for moving. I've only been totally and completely stressed out once. That was yesterday. But I have recovered and we are well on our way to being ready to move in a week!!!! Crazy.

I had great intentions to send out Christmas cards to all my close friends out there, but due to the current events, it didn't happen how I would have liked. I even had them ready before Thanksgiving, but had to do some altering when we found out we were moving.

So consider this your Christmas card (which is sad, because I completely love my collection of Christmas cards hanging. And I love to add to the fun! Give me a couple of months and you'll have a picture of a sweet baby hanging on your fridge.

LOVE YOU ALL!
MERRY CHRISTMAS!!
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Monday, December 19, 2011

Friday, December 16, 2011

D resigned.

D resigned today.
It was bitter sweet.
We really love living here.
D really loves his job.
He was really excited to be promoted yesterday.
They were really sad today to hear he is leaving.
We really love the company.
D really likes his co-workers.
I really like my friends.
I'm really sick of moving.
We really didn't think we would move this quick.
but we are REALLY excited to be going where we are going and to be doing what we will be doing.
More details to come.
This calls for a blog makeover.
Skies won't be so grey anymore.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

I can't stop staring.

Something happened over night.  My baby grew up on me. I'm not sure how it happened, but literally over night he looks like a toddler!  And now he is talking like crazy.  15 months was a big milestone for this little boy.  I couldn't stop staring at him yesterday.
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As for Veva.  Well, she is still Veva with a little extra spice lately.  
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Monday, December 12, 2011

Catch up!

Today I am playing catch up.

More about D's parent's visit {HERE}

More about our trip to Idaho for Thanksgiving {HERE}

Deck the Halls.

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Locked out.

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The kids needed out of the house.
So did I.
We bundled up.
Grabbed the camera (always, because I am obsessed with documenting every moment of my children's lives.  Playing outside bundled up was not recorded for posterity's sake yet.)
I propped the wooden stick, that secures the door shut, in the upright position. 
Walked out to the back porch.
Shut the sliding door.
Veva walked back in the house.
Then out again.
Then back in.
And finally back out for good.
Literally.
WHAM.
The stick fell from its upright position and locked us out.
I laughed.
Then went through several scenarios in my head.
We could go out the gate and to the neighbors house to call D.
We tried the gate and there was no chance I was getting it open.  It takes a strong man, not a pregnant woman to jimmy rig that thing open.
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Great.
We were locked in our fully fenced back yard.
Even if we could get out to the front, we just removed the hidden key near the front door.
Not sure how this pregnant body was going to make it up over a fence and not sure how the kids would react to being left alone.
I felt for my phone.
By some miracle it was in my coat pocket.
I can never find my phone and here it was right in my pocket!!!!
Certainly a tender mercy from God.
We called D.
I said, "What should we do?" He laughed and replied, "I don't think we really have a choice." 
He made the 25 minute commute home.
We freezed our little fingers off.
The kids roamed the back yard and played around.
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Veva wanted to go inside and I told her we were locked out, but Daddy was coming to let us in.
She kept saying, "Daddy locked us out."  I tried to explain.
D came through the font door and headed for the back sliding door.
He saw my camera in my hand and remarked, "I knew this would have something to do with taking pictures."
He let us in.
We all laughed and he walked out the door to go back to work.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Oh, Christmas tree

We jumped into the Christmas season head on.
We put up all our Christmas decorations the day we returned home from Idaho.
Last weekend we managed to visit with three different Santas within 24 hours.
We attended our city Christmas tree lighting.
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D and I dressed up (as much as my maternity wardrobe would allow) for his company Christmas party. Where people won Kindles and iPads and lots of cool stuff.  We didn't.  But we did walk away with the complimentary Christmas gift card for all employees.  You know, so no one leaves feeling bad.

We went to breakfast at the bagelry and sipped hot chocolate while eating yummy bagels fresh from the oven.
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We made it to the mall to see the Santa and snowman display that has been tempting Veva for a month prior.  The mall Santa was the most adorable Santa I have ever seen.  His staff was great as well!  My kids sat on his lap.  A miracle.
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We enjoyed a Katie's cupcake
We went to the ferry terminal for a great gingerbread contest display and the light display put on by the boats and ships in the bay.
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We had dinner at our favorite "Streat Food"
We go to surrounding towns searching for Christmas lights at least 2-3 times a week.
And yesterday we went to the Stony Ridge Christmas tree farm.
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We loved Stony Ridge when we went to the pumpkin patch in October and the Christmas tree farm did not disappoint!
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First things first...
We headed for some hot chocolate, pumpkin donuts, and the best fresh apple pie we've ever tasted.  It was that good.  I wanted to go for another slice....but I'm already growing rapidly. I didn't need an extra piece of pie to speed up the process.
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The kids loved the live animal nativity.  We visited the goats and camel and visited them again, and again before we finally left the farm.
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They loved running through the trees and admiring the ones just their size.  Dock took a fall on the gravel and wasn't very happy about it.
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Veva said, "We're having fun, Mom, we're having fun!"
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Later that night we ventured to Lynden and a few neighborhoods close by searching for good light displays.  The kids get so excited when we spot "kiss-mas ites.

And we are only to the 10th!  We've still got lots up our sleeve this Christmas season.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Since returning home...

I've been busy.

The week prior to Thanksgiving D's parents were in town, then we flew to Idaho for a week and I have been playing catch up every since.

Lots of photo shoots to be completed.  Everyone needs a Christmas card picture.

You can check out my other blog to see a few of the shoots I've been working on.

Click {HERE} to see.  Some of you Burley peeps might recognize someone.