Letting Go and Going Forward

Letting Go and Going Forward

Our lives are defined by a series of moments. A flip book of little snapshots that make up a whole life. Blink and the years fly by. That’s why I became a photographer. To define those moments in the flipbook of people’s lives.

All my life, I’ve wanted to tell stories. Stories have shaped me into who I am today. My great-grandma’s stories of leaving Switzerland as a teen. My grandfather’s stories of serving in World War Two. My mama’s stories of visiting her grandparents’ store as a child. As a nerdy, artistic kid who never fit in, books were my best friends. I laughed at the escapades of Anne of Green Gables. I dreamed of magic with Harry Potter. I fell in love with Elizabeth Bennett. I drew and read and dreamed and wished for a place where I could sum up the world in a few hundred pages. I traveled the world to find something that I couldn’t define. I went to college to study history because I needed to know why those stories were so important. I saw how stories could shape the world. I learned to use my skills as a photographer to capture other people’s stories.

As I get older, the stories I read and want to tell are changing. Last year, I cut way back on shooting weddings, and recently, I realized, it was time to put aside that story. I won’t say that I will never shoot another wedding, because I might change my mind in a couple years and miss weddings. For now, I want to focus on other things, on other stories. I’m not sure what will happen with the website or the blog, but my goal is to catch up on my backlog this year, and enjoy these last few weddings. I’ve been shooting a lot more families and small businesses, and I’m not sure what the future will hold at this moment. I know I’ll always be a storyteller, and I’m opening my heart up to the next chapter of stories.

I’ve got some ideas, and I hate to be vague, but first, I’m going to enjoy the last bit of this season of my life, and spend some time trying new things, before I make any announcements.

Wedding portraits in a field in the Methow Valley

July + August — PNW Summer // Behind the Scenes

July + August — PNW Summer // Behind the Scenes

I feel like this summer just flew past us. Maybe it’s because we skipped fall and with the snow (snow!) last weekend, I feel like I should be getting ready for Christmas instead of Halloween. Ahhh! July and August were good. July was super super busy, and I helped organize a huge event for my neighborhood. August I took some time off and was able to catch up on a few personal things and really breathe. It was nice. I need to do that every summer.

1.  We hopped over to Montana/Idaho and rode the Hiawatha Trail with my family. We’ve been doing this off and on for over a decade (H and I rode it for the first time in 2008!), and it’s crazy how popular and busy it has gotten.

2. Running running running. I can’t even tell you where I took this photo, because all I did all month in July was dash from an event to a meeting to my office and back again. It was bonkers, I was beat, and yet, I loved every minute of the work I did.

3 & 4: These sweet garden photos make me so sad, especially since our garden got killed by the snow and frost we’ve had this week. My little garden helper is pretty bummed that we’re not picking tomatoes every day now.

5. This good boy. Some days this dog drives me crazy, especially when his fur is all over our house, but most days, I’m so thankful we have a dog. I love having him next to me in my office all day while I work, and I love when we get to take walks together.

6. I had to swing up to the north side to run some errands, and while I was there, I went to World Market. Y’all, if you are an expat, or have lived overseas, you know the dangers of World Market. I loaded up my basket with way too many goodies from places I miss. Even with trips to Germany every 6-12 months, we still can’t bring back enough of the things we miss. So stocking up in between is the most bittersweet thing.

7. In July, I helped put together the South Perry Street Fair. It was one of the hardest, craziest, most amazing things I’ve ever done. And it was exhausting, but so great to see something we’d planned for months come to life.

8. Sometimes I photograph events that have petting zoos. And I take photos of them to send to my daughter who is pretty into Llama, llama, red pajama. She was pretty thrilled.

9. What’s more fun than stealing mom’s garden hat? Stealing mom’s garden hat and asking her to take photos to send to grandma.

10. Little miss decided that Shadow was a her baby and needed a blanket in order to take a nap. I was so surprised at how well he took it. He gave me the saddest face every, and yet, he just laid there and let her put blankets on her until she got distracted and then he ran away.

11 & 12. We traveled all the way over to the Olympic peninsula for my brother in law’s wedding, which I was a guest at (yayay!) and the other two were in. Little miss had a hard time understanding that the ferry was a boat, and that the car could go on the boat. Then she loved it, and sobbed when we had to get off. Plus, the views of downtown from the Bainbridge ferry are my favorite.

13 & 14. We have been looking into an electric cargo bike to lower our carbon footprint and reduce our car dependency (and get outside more). We test rode a couple bikes at G&O Family Cyclery in Seattle in August and loved it. Dreaming of the day we can get one!

15&16. We stopped in Leavenworth for a bit of family time on our way back from the wedding and enjoyed this short hike. N has reached a point where she can hike part or all of a short hike on her own, and then goes up in the backpack when she gets tired. She loved it!

17. I did some solo blueberry picking at Greenbluff this summer, in order to maybe get some of the blueberries that we go through each year. This might hold us for a couple months? We go through a lot of berries!

18. The garden was very good this year. There were days when I was picking 15+ pounds of produce from our garden, and we couldn’t keep up. Luckily, our daycare teachers and H’s coworkers were happy to take the extras.

20. Another day, another produce haul.

21. This summer, we tried to bike to school once a week. Sometimes I had meeting right after drop off, and we couldn’t do it, but we had so much fun. Can’t wait to get the ebike!

22. My office and the guestroom had the least functional closet ever, and to fix that, I ripped out the old system and we installed a new one. Now it’s no longer a black hole!

23. Summer rainstorms are great for finding puddles! N insisted on wearing her snow boots instead of her rain boots, and under her rain suit, she was wearing shorts and a tanktop! What a silly kid!!

And that was a look at July and August! Still trying to catch up on all the rest of my blogging too. I’ll get there eventually.

May + June – Springtime Adventures in Spokane // Life Behind the Scenes

May + June – Springtime Adventures in Spokane // Life Behind the Scenes

It’s been a while, yeah? I’m at a point where I’m not sure if I’ll ever catch up on blogging, and whether this whole blog thing is even worth it? I know I like blogs more than social media, but everything is on IG and FB now. Some of these photos were there too, but I love being able to look back at these posts as journal entries, so I’m blogging them. For me, if not for the rest of you.

Slightly related: I’ve been thinking of just turning off the comments on my blog, since the only ones I get are spam comments? Do people care?

May & June 2019
1. Spring came late this year, and we were able to catch this tree in our neighborhood still blooming in early May. I didn’t get any good photos of my lilac this year.

2. Little miss is a huge fan of the hammock, and when the sun started coming out this spring, she would insist on hanging out in it, even when it was cold enough to be wearing scarves and hats still. She would rather be outside than inside 95% of the time.

Behind the scenes with Emily Wenzel Photography in May and June

3. This spring, I had the genius idea that we were going to redo our veggie garden and swore to my husband that it would only take a couple weeks. It took nearly two months, because it wouldn’t stop raining long enough for us to do the work. Our grass got neglected as a result and Shadow took to hiding and pouncing like a lion.

4. Progress! All the grass removed and we had the ground tamped down and level.

Behind the scenes with Emily Wenzel Photography in May and June

5. Cheering for papa and grandma at Bloomsday this year. We had a fun time hanging out, cheering for them, and petting lots of puppies as we waited for them. We were a bit bummed that they have changed the rules on the bridge, and we couldn’t cross over to see them finish. Maybe next year we’ll bring the bike down so we can get over there faster?

6. First hot spring day and she demanded shorts and a tank top and a visit to the park.

Behind the scenes with Emily Wenzel Photography in May and June

7. Is it even spring if you don’t make at least one batch of lemon bars and eat a couple for lunch? Wait, don’t answer that.

8. We met up with friends out at Discovery Park in the valley. We’ve been past it a bunch, but never stopped. It’s HUGE and we left before we even had a chance to explore the whole place.

Behind the scenes with Emily Wenzel Photography in May and June

9. Our sofa is from IKEA and was worse for the wear after 6 years and a cat who decided the fabric was perfect to use as a scratching post. Grrr. We spent a few months searching for a new sofa, only to realize we didn’t want to spend that much money on something that would just get thrashed again by a small kid and two pets. So instead, I started ordering samples from Comfort Works and Bemz. We went with a cover from Comfort Works…but none of the colors here!

10. Our little home renovation assistant helping papa get lumber at the store.

Behind the scenes with Emily Wenzel Photography in May and June

11. My parents took N for the weekend and we knew we had a limited number of hours to work on the house. First up was a quick trip to Home Depot in the rain, and then we worked and worked and worked all weekend.

12. The bonus of that weekend is that our neighbors sent us a lovely loaf of bread and while we were both so sore we could barely breathe on Monday, we got the garden mostly finished and a few other projects completed too.

Behind the scenes with Emily Wenzel Photography in May and June

13. The completed garden! It was so bare in early May, and then we planted a bunch of seedlings and now it’s overflowing with plants.

14. Since all our time and energy went to rebuilding the garden, we stocked up on 90% of our plants at the local nursery, but the peas were a seed I started inside. Impressively, after a warm couple weeks in June, the weather cooled back down and those peas lasted until late July!

Behind the scenes with Emily Wenzel Photography in May and June

15. & 16. I shot a styled shoot with Red Letter Event Planning at the end of May, and I can’t wait to share it all with you when it goes live in September!!

Behind the scenes with Emily Wenzel Photography in May and June

17. Normally, we are all about our reindeer, but one day, N wanted to take Krtek (he’s Czech) to the library, and then she found this book about a Silly Goose, by a Czech author. A little bit of my home away from home.

18. N and H drove down to Portland, and I stayed behind for a couple meetings. I flew down the next day, and it felt so luxe to fly solo.

Behind the scenes with Emily Wenzel Photography in May and June

19. While in Portland, we met up with friends and went to the zoo, where I snapped exactly two photos, this being one of them. We miss them terribly, so it was SUPER nice to see them again.

20. Also while in Portland, I took photos for one of my 2019 couples! They’re pretty fun to work with, and sometime soon I’ll blog their engagement session. I hope…

Behind the scenes with Emily Wenzel Photography in May and June

21. This summer has been a lot of hanging out with my girl on our mama days and spending the days with her…

22. …and then during nap and after bedtime, hiding in my office and working like crazy to get photos edited and emails answered. Anyone else feel like it’s super hard to balance everything?

Behind the scenes with Emily Wenzel Photography in May and June

23. Checking on our garden and picking snap peas. They rarely make it into the house, and instead end up in her belly before we leave the garden. 100% okay with that.

24. Somehow ended up with a Saturday with no plans and we biked down to the farmer’s market, and then had a picnic lunch in the park. It was a perfect way to end the month, before diving into a crazy crazy month in July.

Behind the scenes with Emily Wenzel Photography in May and June

 

March + April – Europe with a Toddler // Recap Post

March + April – Europe with a Toddler // Recap Post

Can you believe it’s May already? It’s amazing the difference just two months can make. When I switched to doing these every other month, I realized there is a bit of wonder in looking back more than 60 days to see how things change so much in such a short time. And spring is such a huge example of that. When we left for Germany in early March, there was still nearly two feet of snow at our house. When I came back, it was more or less all gone, and now we have flowers and real spring!

March – Germany & Italy

1. Flying for us is always a bit weird because we need to be near two different hubs in Germany, to visit family, so we usually pick one and then have to drive/train to the other and it’s a mess. This time we flew in and out of Munich, and while I like it much better, I’m still not a huge fan because Germany won’t let me opt out of the scanners. Ugggh. But, we booked an airport hotel since we got in late and were driving up to the Frankfurt area the next morning. We stayed at this Holiday Inn Express at the airport, which had a pack and play, a decent breakfast spread, and (bonus!) we had a room with a direct view of takeoff and N let me know (every 90 seconds) that a new plane was taking off. Toddler approved.

2. In a super funny coincidence, my family is from about an hour away from where H’s mom grew up. And while we were there, we realized last minute that we had a free afternoon and a rental car, and we drove over to the town my great-grandparents are from. It’s basically a suburb of Frankfurt now, and the weather was all over the place, but it was cool to see. Next time, I’ll plan a little better.

Frankfurt am Main OberRosbach Germany

3. The Airbnb apartment we rented had this great little Winter Gartenwhich is kind of like a sunroom, but this fabulous thing Americans don’t have. Basically, they’re greenhouses attached to your home. Usually not heated, this one had a little space heater and I parked myself out there in the sunshine during naps to enjoy the view…

4. …and to work on a cross stitch. After having N, I really needed a hobby that wasn’t writing to my politicians or reading books, something that was compact, easy to pick up when I had 15 minutes, travel with, and didn’t take up too much space. I tried embroidery and cross stitch and prefer cross stitch for now.

Eltville am Rhein // Modern Cross Stitch

5. A rainbow from the Autobahn. The Autobahn is just as crazy and beautiful as you might think, and I will probably never ever drive in Germany because I find them so overwhelming. But I do find it fascinating that Germans make it quite hard an expensive to get a license, and then trust that their drivers will follow the rules and make the best decisions based on their abilities and their vehicle. It places a lot of trust in drivers. Anyway! I think this was from when we detoured to pick up a cousin of H’s that I’d never met after his flights got messed up and we drove him down to Bavaria with us. Kismet.

6. We barely spent any time in Munich proper for this trip, since we basically camped out in a tiny Bavarian village with family, but we did make it to the aquarium and N was absolutely thrilled. She loved pointing out all the fish and the sharks and basically said ‘yaaaaay’ and clapped her hands the whole time. Win. And since we spent so much time hanging out with family, at the hotel pool, and just relaxing, I didn’t take many photos this time. But it was good and I ate really well.

Germany Autobahn // Munich Aquarium

7. Rome! We went to Germany for Opa’s 90th birthday party, but when H had to fly back for work stuff, N and I took advantage of the fact that tickets were the same price a week later to stay longer. I wasn’t sure what we were doing until about a month before our trip when we made the decision to spend 5 days in Rome. It was lovely, it was strange, and I have mixed feelings.

8. I have no mixed feelings about Roman pizza. It’s amazing. We adored the cold pizza by the kilo during the day (my fave had fresh ricotta and basil with the thinnest schmear of tomato sauce) and never had it hot from the ovens because we were too exhausted to eat dinner out and only tourist places serve hot pizza before like 7:30pm. N adored it, and we adored all the pizza store owners who saw her and handed her a roll or slice of bread. She learned early on to say grazie! with a big smile.

Italy with a Toddler // Italian Pizza

9. This church was near the bus stop by our Airbnb and there was a small fountain and square and N loved it. We would grab gelato or pizza and sometimes sit here while waiting to grab a bus and people watch. Rome is fab for people watching.

10. At a piazza, listening to music, and sitting next to a fountain. And shortly before having gelato or pasta. Seriously, Rome was N’s dream, because everyone loves kids, and N loves the food they have there. We did a lot of walking – I do regret not bringing a stroller because she got heavy after 2-3 miles of carrying her – but she was a champ and I was so proud of her.

Rome Churches and Fountains with a Toddler

11. A little action shot of how carrying her went most days. I usually used a ring sling because she would want to rest for a bit, and then I had a purse or my backpack to wear as well. A couple times when we just popped out for groceries or to grab take away pasta or gelato, I would back carry her in our Tula. But usually I used the ring sling and a backpack. It was not easy. I think we averaged about 6 miles a day while in Rome.

12. And then, after she went to bed at night, I would power through 2-3 hours of work on my laptop at the tiny table in the kitchen. Because of the poor internet connection at the Munich hotel, I played catch up and had to do a lot more work while we were in Italy. But it was worth it. A couple times we took it easy and I would come back with her for naps to work while she slept.

Wildbird Ring Sling Rome // Working Remotely

13. Gelato face! This was good gelato, but not our favorite. We had gelato every single day, and even had some at the airport on our way back to Munich. N would pick one flavor, and I would pick the second. Usually, she wanted a berry flavor or chocolate. Once she got a mint flavor, and then decided my nutella was better and ate most of mine.

14. We make it to the Pantheon, but didn’t make it inside. Instead, we played in the fountain, charmed a bunch of French school kids with our strawberry hat, and watched all the people.

Best Gelato in Rome // Traveling with a Kid

15. Rome, like Athens, had a lot of beautiful tile and stone work. One of the greatest parts about going at “toddler speed” is that you often have to stop and look at things more often. It takes longer, and sometimes it can be frustrating, but other times it means you notice this beautiful tile work in a building nearby and check it out.

16. I booked us tickets on a Big Bus tour and we rode around for two days hopping on and off. N loved waving to people, seeing all the ‘vest-pass’ drive by, and pointing out all the oranges on the trees. I don’t know if it was the best way to see Rome, but it was fun and she loved it and I at least got to see a few things and we got the lay of the land.

Pretty tile // Tour buses in Rome and Orange Trees

17. The craziest day we had was when we went to the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill. It was nuts. We got conned into a tour which at the Colosseum was meh, but the guide for the Forum and Palatine Hill was amazing. We walked at least 8 miles that day, and N did probably half of them on her own. She powered through nap time, played with rocks at the Roman Forum and climbed the stairs at the Colosseum. At the end of the day, she told me that she loved ‘playing in the dirt in the old plays with the towers’.

The Roman Forum and Colosseum

18. On our last full day in Rome, we spent the morning at St Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican. I knew that we wouldn’t be able to handle the Vatican Museums, but I really wanted to see the Pieta, which is at St. Peter’s. We were able to skip the line when a kind security guard took pity on us, and N had a blast finding all the stars on the floor of the Basilica, told me the mama looked sad in the Pieta, and giggled when the bells rang. We picked out postcards and mailed them. Then we ate chips after leaving the square and giggled at the pigeons.

19. This was a side street near our Airbnb. My regret is that I also had put off seeing a couple of the more touristy sites – Trevi fountain and the Spanish Steps – and they were a zoo on a Friday night. I would take the advice to see them early in the day, and frankly, I didn’t think they were that great (but I hate crowds). We did wander through Piazza Navona again (from the fountain up above) and there was a great quartet playing music, tourists dancing as the sun set, and N loved that more.

Visiting the Vatican // Back Streets of Rome

20. We schlepped ourselves back to the train station at a leisurely pace (pro tip: always leave early with kids, it’s easier to go slow than to rush). Then we had this train station pasta which was still 100x better than most pasta in the US (that’s burrata cheese, not eggs) to fuel us on the first leg of so many to get home. We then flew to Munich to spend the night with family, before flying back home.

21. Due to a super delayed flight out of Philly, we had to overnight in Seattle, but the view of the mountain, which N delights in pointing out, almost made up for it. And like that, March was more or less over, we were home from Europe and it was time to slow down, a little, maybe, in April.

Rome Train Station // I Fly Alaska

 

April – Hustling, Gardening, Growing Things

1. We came back from our trip and I spent a couple hours doing a deep dive into the next couple months. I really love working at Rockwood Bakery because their food is amazing and they have no wifi! Which is super super helpful when I’m trying to sort through or organize things and don’t want to get distracted by social media.

2. We’ve been talking about overhauling our veggie garden (taking a cue from one of the home bloggers I follow, I’m going to call it my potager garden when it’s done) for years, and this year, we decided to pull the trigger. Of course, then our schedule got crazy and it rained and rained and rained, so it’s been a race against time and energy to get it done in time for growing season. Adventures in home renovation.

Rockwood Bakery // Potager Garden Remake

3. I took my Think Tank camera bag apart and we used it as one of our carry on suitcases for our trip. It’s a bit tedious to do that, so I don’t do it very often, but it’s also nice because I have to clean it out. When I was putting all my gear back in it, my little assistant decided that I needed a couple friends to keep my lenses company for a few minutes.

4. When our home is chaos and we’re up to our eyeballs in renovation stuff, I try to find pretty little corners and enjoy them. This spot in our living room, with flowers on the piano, makes me very happy. I love having flowers in our home, and after we finish our potager garden, I’m going to start sketching out our front garden plans and slowly start working on them. One of my dreams is to plant a bunch of flowers for a cutting garden, because I adore having fresh flowers in our home.

Think Tank Camera Bag // Tulips in Spring

5. I guess I was on a French kick last month, because I also finally got around to making Smitten Kitchen’s updated French Onion Soup and then ate it for like a week. I probably didn’t cook it long enough, but it was better the next day (and the next) and I’m game to try it again – when soup season starts back up.

6. I cut way back on weddings this year, and I’ve been shooting more families, head shots, and working with small businesses. It’s been fantastic. I love weddings and I am going to write more about this choice later, but I needed to breathe and try new things too. This was from when I was waiting to meet with a new client.

Smitten Kitchen French Onion Soup

7. My husband has been traveling a LOT this month, which means a lot of juggling too. The dog isn’t always well behaved enough to handle him on a walk and keep an eye on little miss, so she got some mama snuggles and the dog got a walk and everyone was happy. Remember the pregnancy photo of me from this same window? It’s a good then and now.

8. We went over to Gonzaga for an Easter Egg hunt, and after getting eggs, N made a beeline for Hughes Hall. Maybe I’ve got a future paleontologist on my hands? She does love dinosaurs!

South Perry District Life // Gonzaga Easter Egg Hunt

9 & 10: Snuggling up with my girl before heading out to work at Confetti Spokane. This season of being a parent, and a small business owner, has really challenged me in so many ways. I’m juggling the hustle and learning how to be present with her and present with my business and not feel the mama guilt. I want her to see me do something that empowers me and others, to build a business that I’m proud of, to do a job that brings joy to people. And sometimes that means I have to leave, I have to put myself and my work before her. But I know we’ve built a good network of daycare and family who care for her and love her. And she love them all too. Which helps on those long days.

Mom Boss Style // Confetti Spokane

11. One of my favorite things from Confetti was meeting the delightful Tia, who runs In Bloom Flower Farm and is a local florist. She was helping all the lovely ladies make these beautiful flower crowns and made me a gorgeous one to wear. I had such fun and my husband got a good laugh out of it when I got home.

12. Toddler style is the best. This jacket is still huge on her, but she is in love with it and wants to wear it all the time now. I look at her sometimes, and I can see hints of what she’ll be like when she grows up, and it makes my heart ache in so many ways. This stage of life has been exhausting. She is a whirlwind of pure energy, but it’s also been so full of joy. To see her explore and experience new things. To see her find her voice and her confidence.

Flowers in my hair // toddler fashion

13. Last spring, we planted a plum tree and a peach tree in our back yard. We had to remove our backyard maple tree a few years back because we found out during the windstorm in 2015 that there was some serious rot in the limbs (one almost fell on our garage and missed the garage and me by inches). As sad as that was, it was the perfect chance for us to plant a couple fruit trees. We ordered these two tree last year, and this year, the peach tree bloomed! They’ve still got at least another year before they’ll fruit, but I’m so excited about them.

14. The lack of a garden and the cold weather has kept me from actually buying any plants, but it didn’t keep us from scoping them out and dreaming of what we’ll put in the front garden as well as our potager garden.

Urban gardening // Liberty Park Florist

15. Surprise flowers from H, which he sent to both of us girls because he missed us. N has been telling us that the pink and white ones are for mama, but the purple ones are for her. And papa sent them for us from the airplane. :)

16. Omi and Opi have this sweet little desk/chair set in Germany, and so we made our own version so that N can “work with mama” in my office. It still needs to be painted, but she’s been loving having a dedicated coloring space. Because these are modular, they can both be chairs or desks.

Rose & Blossom bouquet // modular children's furniture

January + February – The Big Snow // Recap Post

January + February – The Big Snow // Recap Post

I brought a whole folder full of work to do while I was out of town earlier this month, with the thought that between visiting family, adventuring with little miss, and flying here and there and everywhere with a toddler, I would be able to blog like 10 posts. That obviously didn’t happen. Being an entrepreneur means I’m constantly trying to carve out a few more minutes of work time, but honestly, it was fantastic to just be present with our family and I’m so glad I did. I barely took any photos, between chasing the toddler and catching up. It was a good trip!

So, let’s talk about January and February! They are slow, cold months up here. We fought off a couple nasty colds and shoveled tons of snow. I was a vendor at Bride’s Night at Barrister in January, and then did some fun work at the Convention Center in February, but I mainly tried to catch up on a lot of behind the scenes stuff and spent time with my family. Now that spring is on it’s way, I’m ready to look back at the photos of all that snow!

January:

1. I kicked off the month with some DIY projects to get ready for Bride’s Night at Barrister. I haven’t done a wedding show since before N was born and I was kinda nervous and totally had to make a last minute trip to the store and a buy a bunch of stuff and somehow I survived!

2. My booth/table! It went really well and I had a blast. This show was so much more fun and less overwhelming than the big wedding show that happens at the Convention Center. I really prefer the small shows because they allow me more one on one time with people. I’ll also be at Confetti Spokane on April 18th, so if you’re engaged or if you know someone who is, please stop by and chat with me.

3. We went out to breakfast at the Satellite (best eggs Benny in town) and N got this absolutely adorable pig pancake for her breakfast! She surprised us by eating all her eggs and sausage, and most of the pancake on her own.

4. You know you do a lot of DIY when your kiddo has her own tool set and insists on fixing things around the house. She brings it out to work on stuff all the time and always wants to help us.

5. One of the best things we ever did was get an annual pass to Mobius. This year we upgraded to the Childrens + Science Museum, and I love taking N there for a couple hours to play. She loves all the fun toys and exhibits.

6. Fighting off a cold and needed some ring sling snuggles for her nap. She is pretty outspoken about which ‘uppie’ she uses, and demanded her blue ring sling for these snuggles (and for the trip we just took). I was planning to sell it, because we hadn’t been using it, but now it’s a favorite again.

7. We spent a bunch of Alaska miles and went to Mexico without the kiddo for a long weekend AND we flew first class. I took next to no photos because we mostly just spent hours catching up and talking and lounging in the warm weather by the pool, but this was my first time flying first class and it was SO nice. I really enjoyed having a few days without our kiddo to reconnect with my spouse.

8. While we were waiting to take off in Spokane, we saw the most beautiful winter sunrise and watched the fog burn off. I am not really a morning person, so sunrise isn’t something I see very often but I do love to see them when I can.

9.  This was my first time flying through San Diego, and we are dreaming of going back with N to explore. We’ve heard great things and it was a super quick little flight from Spokane.

10. A quick selfie after a fancy dinner out where we drank wine and didn’t talk about our kid – but did talk about our house. Hahaha! We had a blast in Puerto Vallarta and even though we didn’t do much exploring, with just a couple short days there, we enjoyed the parts of the city that we did see, and managed to pick up a few new things for our home too.

11. I love lasagna, but it’s such a pain to make, so when I do, I double the batch and make some freezer meals too. I made one full pan of lasagna, two half pans, and this sweet little lunch sized one. We froze these three and ate the full one (again and again).

12. N insisted on having her own fork and knife to eat, and often does now. I’m endlessly impressed by what they pick up from watching adults, and how kids learn to use utensils. Still working on our grip though! [Sources: Milk cup, plate, baking cup as a bowl, 360 cup, silverware]

 

February:

13. We kicked February off with a little ‘happy birthday’ party to our house. We closed on it five years ago! It’s been a crazy, wild, ride, and we love this place so much but it’s also been a lot slower than we expected. This year we are really hoping to do more work on the house, which means less travel, since we only have so much time and so much money. Boo! But for some reason, I was feeling super nostalgic and started an Instagram account for our house and travels. Come find us at @wenzel.haus and see more personal stuff there.

14. This sweet kitty of ours has been slowing down. I’m endlessly impressed by how she handles little miss snuggling her all the time. She gets less love and attention than she used to, but she’s still my snuggle baby and curls up next to me in the evenings or when I’m working at my computer.

15. The sass in this one. Our little miss would play out in the snow all day every day if we let her. I shared some of our winter layering tips on my Wenzel Haus Instagram account, and I have to say, we’ve been out for nearly an hour in 20F weather and she is still toasty warm when we come in. It’s been a learning process over the last two years, and it does require a bit of investing to get good stuff, but there’s tons of secondhand gear out there!

16. During the big snow storm, N insisted on going out and helping me shovel. She also ‘made tracks’ just like her favorite book character, Peter, from A Snowy Day.

17. Shadow is such a snow loving dog that even towards the end of the month, when the snow was so high we were all over it, he was still thrilled. Cold temps, on the other hand? He is not a fan of. He’ll put off going outside all day for freezing temps, but if it’s above freezing and snowing, he’s out there, playing around.

18. My chiropractor has some fun toys for kiddos to play with if they come in with you, which is great, since N comes with me pretty regularly. I try to schedule my appointments for when she’s at daycare, but that doesn’t always work, and I’m super thankful they’re so kid friendly at the chiro! She’s been coming with me since she was just a couple months old.

19. We’ve been doing another round of swim lessons this winter for my two fishes (H and N) and N thought that it was hilarious to wear her papa’s swim goggles around the house. She has loved swim, and it’s been so good to get her more accustomed to the water from an early age.

20. Last fall I picked up an old dresser for N’s room. I’m still not sure what I’m going to do with it, but I stripped all the grime off the hardware that was left and bought a few replica pieces to match it for the handles that were missing. It took a lot of work and I might still need to do some more, but for now, it’s living in my office until the weather warms up and I can take it outside for paint and sanding.

21. Miss Lola went in for her annual check up and she was less than impressed with the vet, as usual. We love our vet and their beautiful building here in the Perry District. Cat parents – the Cat’s Meow is pretty amazing and we love them so much.

22. Rocking red lips while working. I’ve been super thrilled to be working with Gonzaga to offer headshots for their students at career fairs over the past few months. I’ve got to update my portfolios in April, but if you’re a small business in need of headshots, or if you’re looking to get some new photos of your business, contact me today.

23. We had a day that went completely sideways and ended up at The Shop for a cupcake and some dino time a few weeks ago. N had a blast putting all the dinos together with their friends and playing with all the toys. Super lucky to have such a kid friendly coffeeshop in our neighborhood.

24. We went to the Spokane Potter’s Guild’s chili feed in February, and N picked out this bowl as her own. She’s getting much much better with normal utensils and I’m grateful to be slowly leaving the era of bringing dishware when we travel because our kid can’t handle anything but plastic. It’s the little things!

And just like that, we flew through February and into March! We spent most of March traveling, so when I finally get around to recapping March and April, you know there will be some pretty travel photos!!

 


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