November + December Recap

November + December Recap

Hey all! Now that we’re skating on into February, I think I’ve got a minute to give you a short little November and December Recap. When I went through the photos, I ended up pulling a lot of them out, because as N gets older, I’m trying to be more mindful of what we share about her life on the internet. She doesn’t need to have her entire life broadcast everywhere, and so except to see a little less of her face, and I’ll probably keep her details even more vague for a while.

That said, we tried to keep the holidays really low key this year, and in the end, I’m really glad we did. N had some unexpected health issues in December, and we ended up spending quite a bit of time at the hospital and at doctor’s appointments. Now, nearly two months later, I’m so happy to say that she’s healthy and it looks like it was just a total one off thing, but I’m so glad we keep things pretty chill for the holidays and tried to focus on spending time together.

1.  N loves our piano. I’ve been playing piano for a long time, but I’m a true dabbler at it. I can play scales, read simple music, and plunk out a few tunes. In the past few months, H has started learning more, which has lead to N wanting to play quite a bit too. She had a blast, and I’m so glad that we are raising her with music in her life. I’m also glad that this piano (which we inherited from H’s family, and the brought over during their move from Germany) is electric and has a headphone jack. That may come in useful in later years. 😉

2. We had an early snow in November and N was so excited. Shadow was probably more excited, which is why I don’t have any photos of him, since he was running all over like a crazy pup. We thought it’d be the first of many many snow days, but it looks like it was one of the few we’ve had so far. I’ve got my fingers crossed for a bit more snow in February before spring comes along in March. [Let’s be honest: a March snowstorm is not unheard of here in Spokane, so I wouldn’t be surprised by that either.]

Music and Outdoor Fun with Toddlers in Spokane

3. My in laws hosted Thanksgiving this year and my job was to take care of dessert (as usual). I always make a pecan pie, even though I can’t stand the idea of a pie made of corn syrup and nuts. Why? Because H loves pecan pie. Mine is based off this Pioneer Woman recipe, but I’ve tweaked it quite a bit over the years so it’s not quite the same.

4. At the last minute, we decided to make a pumpkin pie as well (this one from Smitten Kitchen) and HOLY SMOKES. First off, I love any recipe that my toddler can help me with, and this one was pretty simple (she doesn’t stir on the stove yet, but she’s aces as mixing on the counter and helping add ingredients), and it uses heavy cream (a staple in our house) instead of sweetened condensed or evaporated milk. Second, it was possibly the best pumpkin pie I’ve ever had. Even my poor husband, who dislikes pumpkin pie, had a slice. Winner winner, this one got saved to our cooking binder.

Pecan Pie and Pumpkin Pie for Thanksgiving

5. N’s second birthday was in December and we celebrated it…in the ER. It was a really rough week, with us going to urgent care first and being told that she was fine, to ending up in the ER after a couple of rough days and nights. We are so so thankful for the amazing people at Sacred Heart Children’s Hospital, who let us snuggle her close during all the scary stuff and found out what was wrong with her.

6. Oh, and then we went back two days later to find out that she wasn’t getting worse, but had also caught a really nasty stomach bug (which she shared with me). She got her first ultrasound (and xray, and then a second ultrasound at a follow up.) and she did a pretty good job, but we were so so tired. And oh man, you guys, I’m so thankful for good insurance as we’ve been getting the bills for all these appointments. Ouch.

Taking your child to the ER if they're sick

7. We kept our Christmas decor pretty simple this year and stuck to a zillion lights and a tree that N was completely enthralled with. Thankfully, my mom passed down her collection of non-breakable ornaments and we used those on the bottom of the tree, and saved a few super precious ones for the top. Our pets have always been pretty good about the tree, although Lola (the cat) has been known to knock some of the stuffed ones off the tree when we’re not around!

8. A couple days after our trips to the ER, we were both feeling better and I bribed her with park time in exchange for a trip to the grocery store for provisions. The park was dead. Totally dead. No worries, we had a lot of fun until I dragged her to the store where she ate like three samples of zucchini (thanks, Trader Joe’s) and got a zillion stickers.

Simple Christmas Decor and Outdoor Fun in the Snow

9. H had a work party that happened after hours at the Carousel, which was basically N’s idea of a dream come true. Since we first rode the Carousel last spring, N has been asking for a return trip. She rode it over and over and over with each of us until we dragged her out for dinner and then bedtime.

10. We have the world’s most patient dog and I really just needed to share that with you. Shadow is a saint, and he will put up with so much insanity. But then when she’s done giving him pretties, he shakes them off and gives me sad faces. Love you, puppy!

Holiday trip Spokane Carousel

11. One of our family holiday traditions is that we have a class Bavarian breakfast on Christmas morning. Well, the German Deli in town (Alpine Deli, it’s amazing) is no longer able to get the same pretzels that they’ve been getting for the past few years. So, instead of sourcing them from another bakery or whatever, I decided to make them from scratch. Which includes using lye (a “very nasty” chemical) to get the crunch. I used a couple different recipes, and while they still need some work, I was pretty impressed. I made three rounds of them over the holidays before tossing out my lye solution and seeing this photo has me itching to make them again.

12. All the heavy eating of the holidays makes me crave my favorite simple foods, like fried rice. It’s my favorite of all the ‘clean out the fridge’ meals and it only takes a few minutes to whip up so I can even make a single serving for lunch.

Baking German Pretzels from Scratch and eating Fried Rice

13. This year, we had a fancy Davenport Hotel brunch with our in laws while they were visiting in December and now N insists that the Davenport is their house. Haha! When we arrived, N climbed up on this chair and then proceeded to point out every tree in the lobby, which saying hello to everyone who looked by. This is the second time we’ve taken N to the Davenport for a Sunday brunch, and both times the staff have been amazing. Brunch buffets are a great place to take a toddler, because there is going to always be something they like. I can’t remember what she ate this time, except that she stole all my strawberries (the usual) and last time we went, they had this adorable smoothie shooter and she drank like 5 of them. Pro tip: snag a dessert plate for your kiddo or bring one from home if your kiddo can’t handle actual silverware and plates. We’ve done both things.

14. Found this little art while wandering downtown and it made me smile. Love this city we live in!

Sunday Brunch at the Davenport during Christmas

15. Every year we exchange an ornament, and this year I lost my freaking mind and decided to design and make a custom cross stitched ornament. Here’s the first part I did, in November.

16. I then procrastinated (because I can only work when everyone is busy elsewhere) and had to rush to finish it. And somehow only have this one, kinda crappy, photo that I snapped. It’s a suitcase with flags for each of the countries we visited (Czechia, Germany, and Austria), as well as a pineapple for our new state of Hawaii. This will be a one of a kind thing because it was hard and tedious and I’m not doing it again.

Custom designed Cross stich for travelers

17. Winter walks and I love how pretty our neighborhood is. South Perry District, I’m so glad we live here.

South Perry District in Winter

18. Half of N’s Christmas gifts this year helped get her outside, and her two faves are from small shops! She’s rocking a Skida hat that is her new favorite, even over her fave wool beanie from Everlane. These pajamas are made from merino wool, so super soft, and N wants to wear them 24/7. I’m already planning to buy another pair from Simply Merino. And these gloves she insisted we pick up in Germany are huge but she loves singing us baby shark while wearing them. [Socks are smartwool, boots are Kamik]

19. We closed out the year with a trip to the hospital for some follow up lab work, and she did such a good job even if it was hard for both of us to handle. All these hospital appointments were hard, but we’re down to just one follow up and I’m so thankful my boo is healthy again! I have a lot of respect for families with chronically ill kids, because it is hard to watch your babies go through hard stuff and not be able to make it better. Lastly, a huge thank you to all the wonderful people at Sacred Heart. N had to get her first blood draw, and the techs let her stay in the sling so I could comfort her, and were so gentle with her afterwards.

Winter gear for outdoors with toddlers and making hospital visits easier

Whew! And that was that. A (somewhat forced) low key holidays and too many doctors visits and we’re head on into the tornado twos.

September + October Recap

September + October Recap

When I made the (very long) list of all the posts I wanted to catch up on for the blog, I almost crossed off these monthly recaps. They’re not the most popular posts on the blog, they don’t bring in much traffic, and they’re kind of a pain to put together. But I love them so very much, and I really enjoy looking back on these for my own sake so here goes. Trying to catch up though, means I’m hoping to blog two long posts for September + October and November + December all in January. Or maybe I’ll make these a two month thing for 2019?

Here goes!!

September 🙂

1.  We had family in town for parts of Labor Day weekend (and did some actual work on the house then too), which means we made sure to take time in the evenings for fire pits and s’mores on the patio. Looking back at this summer and fall, I think we actually got a good amount of patio time in. I’m advocating for a patio heater for 2019 so that we can use that space for even more time. Anyone have one and love it?

2. We used to travel almost every year during Labor Day weekend but I put my foot down and insisted that we stay in town this year and go to Pig Out in the Park. It was a little crazy because of the construction, but it was really fun to try all the different foods and have N try them too. She had a blast and loved people watching.

Pig Out in the Park with a Toddler

3. We went out for a family dinner as well, and went to Clinkerdagger. Bonus points to them because we always love their view and they have good food on their kid’s menu (N had salmon) instead of just chicken nuggets and plain pasta. My kid would rather eat artichoke dip than chicken nuggets.

4. Running errands in the fall and getting some wrap snuggles in.

Fall Days Babywearing Spokane Falls Clinkerdagger

5 + 6. We always try to squeeze in extra time in the Methow Valley, and when we went up for Jessi + Tim‘s wedding, we managed to get lots of hiking in. We took a short stroll on one of the cross country trails by the river, then while I shot the wedding, the other two did a hike near Winthrop. Both of these photos are from our short toddler stroll.

Methow Valley Visit Mazama with Kids

7. Our last family hike in the Methow Valley before we headed out to drive home was to Cutthroat Lake. This was a beautiful hike and I was really bummed that, unlike the other family we ran into up there, we did not pack a picnic lunch to enjoy by the lake. Next time we’ll plan ahead!

8. After getting home from Mazama, we enjoyed a fairly low key family dinner out to celebrate our SEVEN YEAR anniversary. I feel like it was just yesterday that we got married, and I’m so shocked it’s been seven years (and more than a decade together). We’re taking a kid free trip later this month as a gift to ourselves so that will be nice. 🙂

Cutthroat Lake North Cascades Anniversary Dinner

9. Sometimes working from home with a toddler is easy. She naps and plays independently and it’s great. Other times she doesn’t nap and then crashes on you as you’re trying to make dinner.

10. Or, she insists on you sitting in her room while she plays with you and you try to work. Toddlers are funny creatures that I will never begin to understand.

Working from home with a toddler

11. When I drove down to Tekoa for Katie + Seth‘s beautiful wedding, the winds were howling. But they calmed down right as the ceremony started and rewarded us with a beautiful sunset that this panorama does not do justice.

Thompson Barn Tekoa Sunset

12. N has been super into helping us in the kitchen lately. It’s been messy, but she loves to stir whenever we are cooking or baking things. She asked to help us make pumpkin muffins, and so H and N made them while I was working one evening.

13. September sunsets are stunning and here’s another one just from my backyard. I miss fall.

Cooking with Toddlers, Fall Sunsets

14. Sometimes, you end up near Gonzaga on a crazy morning when you haven’t had breakfast so you can have a fasting blood draw and you snag a bagel from Ultimate Bagel and bring it home and it’s the best fuel for a long day of editing.

15. We bought an old dresser that had some really tarnished hardware and I used <science> to clean it off. Looks like it’s brass, but sadly, there aren’t enough handles for all the drawers. Much to my husband’s annoyance, I’ll probably keep them for some mythical future project.

Ultimate bagel and refinishing hardware

16. Cooler fall days meant the AC was finally off and this girl has gone blanket crazy. She was running all over with this one, giggling while we made lunch one day. Shadow was unimpressed.

17. Some days, when she wakes up from a nap, she asks for snuggles and keeps me company while I answer emails.

Working from Home with a Toddler in your lap

October 🙂

18. Early October was insane, but I took a morning to do some self care and got a haircut and did a few things that helped me stay sane through most of the busy month. By the end of the month, that morning felt like a long lost dream.

19. I got to shoot an event at Gonzaga in October and help a bunch of their students get great new head shots. It was fantastic to do, and so fun to be back at my alma mater. I remembered why I loved campus so much too. It’s strange, because I thought when we moved back to Spokane five years ago, we would spend more time there, but we don’t spend much time on campus. Maybe now that the bridge is open we will ride our bikes over there!

20. The view from my last wedding of the year, Sonja + Phil‘s day at Badger Mountain. The clouds went away and the sun came out later and it was an absolutely perfect fall day.

21. How do you manage a dog and a toddler at the vet? Very, very carefully. It isn’t always easy, but somehow we all survived.

How to manage a dog and a toddler at the vet

22. Right before we flew off to visit family in Germany, we went to this small pumpkin patch in Spokane Valley. There were no hay rides or pumpkin donuts, but there was also no traffic and it was easy to park. We found our pumpkins and did it all without (major) tears. [Minor tears due to falling down and getting dirt on our hands – the horror!]

23. Once we got home, someone delighted in pointing out her tiny pumpkin to us over and over and over.

Pumpkin Picking in Spokane

24. The last time we flew long haul with N was in March, when we went to Prague. We flew British then and had the bassinet and so this was essentially our only true lap infant trip in her two years. We got lucky on our flights to Hawaii, and scored an extra seat for our lap infant, if you remember from February. It wasn’t easy and the seats on Condor are small. But she still got a good amount of sleep in. More than both her parents.

25. She was so tired though, that she completely passed out in my arms before we arrived in Munich, and I handed her to H, put the ring sling on, and got her in it without her waking up. It was hilarous. She woke up just as we were heading out to get the rental car.

Flying with an older lap infant

26 & 27. We spent most of our time in Munich with H’s family, although we did go into the city a couple times (and we took a last minute trip to Innsbruck). N’s favorite thing was this forested area near his grandparent’s house, and the awesome playground that I forgot to photograph in the neighborhood. She keeps asking to go back there and play more!

Munich Forest Walks with Kids

28. We did escape Munich for a short weekend trip to Innsbruck, and stayed at a lovely Airbnb in Oberperfuss, a village like 15 minutes from the city center. The view of the mountains was amazing, and they even brought us fresh eggs and milk in the morning. I would 100% recommend this Airbnb for families. They had a small play structure, a pack and play we could use, and if the other apartments are anything like the one we stayed in, they’re perfect for families. Uh, don’t ask me how good their English is, we spoke all in German.

Airbnb near Innsbruck

29. We decided on this last minute trip to Innsbruck because I wanted to see the alps. So we went up the Nordkette, which was very cool but also…foggy. Dang it. However, the cable cars were a blast for all of us, the restaurant was pretty good, there was an awesome Tyrolean band playing (because it was Saturday), and N loved listening to the music. This was the trip where we really learned our lesson about ordering kids food. See, we ordered her this typical German kids’ meal (Frankfurter und Pomme Frittes – Hot dogs and french fries, because she loves both these things) but she took one look at H’s Kaesespaetzle and demanded some of it. Which is what she’s eating in this photo.

30. Downtown Innsbruck was adorable, we strolled through the beautiful buildings and tiny side streets and fell completely in love with the little city. It’s smaller than Spokane, and we loved all the mountains and the river. Bonus: it’s only 2 hours from Munich in good traffic (ha!). We’re dreaming of heading back soon.

Innsbruck and the Nordkette with a toddler

31. More food with this kid. On one of our last days we were in the city center doing some shopping and meeting up with old friends (H), and I didn’t want to eat in one of the cheesy tourist trap “German” restaurants around Marienplatz. So we found this adorable little Italian restaurant, La Valle, tucked away on a side street. N was in love with H’s pasta and the waiter who quickly switched from German to Italian to English and back again. I had some amazing ravioli that I’m still dreaming about.

32. Obligatory Rathaus photo to prove that we did in fact visit Munich proper and see something touristy.

Eating with a toddler in Munich

33. The drive to the airport was far too stunning and it made me wish I’d spent more time demanding we drive around and just pull over for me to take pictures of the fields and the perfect Bavarian blue-white skies on this trip. The weather was mostly amazing and beautiful with a few rain showers, and we were feeling bittersweet about heading home.

34. On the way home, N decided that she didn’t want to sleep across both our laps, but instead wanted to use me as a pillow and steal H’s seat. So he stood for about 6 hours on our flight. We had a long, late layover in Seattle and we were thrilled to be home and sleeping in our own beds by the time we got back to Spokane.

Mornings in Bavaria

35. A little out of order, but N’s hair was long enough while we were in Munich for me to french braid it one day. She sat still while papa distracted her and it lasted all of an hour before slipping out. It was fun to practice on her, although it’s been years since I’ve done French braids regularly.

36. N decided she would help me with my overflowing inbox when we got home and answer all my emails. Thankfully, no emails were sent on my behalf – this time. 😉

Working from Home with a Toddler

37. This silly girl! She wanted to be a superhero in her car and borrowed my scarf. She was zooming all over and the light was pretty so I took a picture.

38. With travel right before Halloween, we didn’t have much energy for costumes. We threw together these Rosie the Riveter outfits for a quick walk around the neighborhood and reused last years’ snow owl costume for a trunk or treat at her daycare.

Toddler and Mama Halloween Costume - Rosie the Riveter

And then boom! It was November and we were off running towards the end of the year. Hopefully I’ll get all caught up with these soon!!

August Recap Post

August Recap Post

August. The month of smoke, blistering hot days, and more smoke. Oof. I pitched taking our big vacation next year in August, even though I know that doesn’t work with my business, because I didn’t want to deal with another smokey summer. It’s so bad!

Because of the nasty weather, we spent a lot of time indoors and I had a pretty cranky kiddo on my hands. We could not have survived the month without babywearing, and I wore her A LOT.

1. I finally figured out how to back carry in a ring sling and N thinks it’s the best. It’s not my favorite back carry, but in a pinch, it’s nice to know that I can easily give her front snuggles or toss her up on my back.

2. Babywearing is the only way we survive, especially when someone skips her nap because she’s too excited about going to grandma and grandpa’s house.

How to travel solo with a toddler // Adventures in Parenting

3. On the days when it was hot – but not yet smokey – we spent a lot of time hanging out on our patio in the evenings after N went to bed. I’d curl up in the hammock and we’d stare at the stars. I also found out that I can do longer exposures on my phone, which was fun. Still perfecting them, but I was pleased with this first attempt.

4. More babywearing, in a new sling, after a trip to Mobius. We would NOT have survived smokey days without Mobius. Best money we’ve ever spent.

How to travel solo with a toddler // Adventures in Parenting

5. Tomato haul. We had some good producers this year, and we also ended up with a glut of tomatoes while house sitting for a neighbor. One day, I picked nearly two pounds of just cherry tomatoes! And then I did it again the next day…! Most of them were made into tomato sauce, which will be amazing on cold winter days.

6. Very very rarely does this girl need me for naps anymore, but after a busy morning, she woke up from her short nap only to cuddle me up and pass out again. I decided to soak up the snuggles because when did she get so big?!?! Aaaaaahhh.

How to travel solo with a toddler // Adventures in Parenting

7 and 8: N and I took a day trip to Seattle to visit a friend of mine who was in town from Czechia. He was passing through on his way to run a relay race, and so we decided to fly over for the day and hang out. This is me on the way to the airport, and on the way home. It was a looooooong day, but it was also a really good day. She didn’t nap well, but she was still a pretty good kiddo for me. We’re planning on doing more mother-daughter solo travel next year, and this gives me hope that I can do it all!

How to travel solo with a toddler // Adventures in Parenting

9: While in Seattle, we decided to visit the aquarium. N is absolutely obsessed with fish and anything in the water. She was in heaven, and I had the hardest time keeping up with her. She flat out ran from tank to tank to point out all the fish, adored the sea lions and the otters, and then properly collapsed in my arms on the train back to the airport – where we of course ate some mac & cheese while waiting for our (delayed) flight home.

10. We tried to put in one of those in wall tunnels for our tv cables, but ya’ll, old homes are strange and we ran into some obstructions in the wall. In order to properly skim the patches, I decided to skim the whole area. It’s now painted and I even moved the TV over above the piano (we don’t watch TV that much). I need to get an updated photo, because we’ve hung a bunch of art up on the walls now, and it’s looking so good!!

How to travel solo with a toddler // Adventures in Parenting

11. We had one morning where it maybe dropped into the 60s? And N insisted on wearing her boots, jacket, and wool beanie when we went out to pick the garden. She’s been my little garden assistant this summer, helping me pick all of our produce, and I can’t wait to have her help me plant the garden next spring! [Also: one of our trees! That one is a peach tree]

12. One of the varieties of tomatoes we planted this year ended up growing HUGE tomatoes. This wasn’t even the largest one we picked, but here it is against a toddler for scale. It’s basically a pumpkin, haha! The variety is an Italian Heirloom, if you’re interested. We liked them, they were good to eat and didn’t have too many seeds, which I love since we mainly harvest our large tomatoes for making sauce for the winter.

How to travel solo with a toddler // Adventures in Parenting

13. Another cool morning, another use for a sweater (knit by my grandma for my cousins when we were kiddos) and her hat. She only wanted to walk, so we did and she had a blast watching all the trash trucks come through the neighborhood before playing on the slide and swings.

14. Helping me unpack some new memory cards. This girl is my big assistant in my office, and while that sometimes means I can’t find what I’m looking for, I love that she comes in and plays so that I can get a bit of work done while I’m home with her!

How to travel solo with a toddler // Adventures in Parenting

Whew! And that was that. August was a bit of a slower work month for me, which was nice because I had a bunch to catch up on from July and now September and October are really busy too. I can’t believe it’s almost the end of the month and it’s FALL!!

July Recap Post

July Recap Post

I was pulling all the photos together for July’s post, and I kept saying to myself, there’s no way we did all these things in July! And, wait, did I not get photos of XYZ thing either??? Haha, I guess it was a busy month. It feels like just a couple days ago, we were in Portland at the end of June, but now it’s the almost the end of August and summer is basically over. This is a long post, because it was SUCH a busy month. Not sorry!

If there is any downside to my job, it’s that summer is my busiest season and I don’t have enough time to enjoy every minute of the summer. But, as you’ll see, I managed to squeeze in a little hammock time last month.

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1. I got these adorable glow stick ears at the conference in Portland, and little miss wanted to wear them around. Of course, she won’t ever wear a headband…

2. Walks with the family. With it being light so late, we try to get out for a walk and sometimes a little playground time after dinner and before little miss goes to bed. Sometimes we just play in the garden, but basically we’re doing everything we can to soak up every ounce of sunshine this summer.

Living in Spokane with a Toddler and Renovating a House

3. We made it up to Greenbluff for a family day and picked a load of blueberries! Someone had a blast picking them and shoving them in her mouth, and we even convinced her to put a few in the bucket. However, I think the highlight was getting bounced around in the wagon. She kept squealing with glee.

4. An inflatable pool, the greatest swimsuit ever (thank you, baby Gap), and a sunhat have brought us hours of fun this hot summer. She loves splashing around in the pool, and then running throughout the yard to dry off a bit before hopping back in. Maybe next time we visit the ocean, she won’t be so against going in?

Living in Spokane with a Toddler and Renovating a House

5-8. The biggest thing we did in July was get the floors refinished upstairs. It’s something we’ve dreamed of since moving in and finding out that two of the three bedrooms had original hardwood underneath, but we met with a contractor a while ago who told us it wasn’t worth doing, and then never sent us a quote. So, thank you to our friends who had some work done on their house recently and recommended I reach out to their floor guys. I would 100% recommend them, and if you’re looking for someone in Spokane, drop me a message and I’ll get you their info! They were fast, kind, and let me hop up to take photos as much as I wanted (which was a lot).

Freshly sanded – the first coat going on – after the first or second coat dried – all done and furniture starting to come back in (before we put the rug back down).

Living in Spokane with a Toddler and Renovating a HouseLiving in Spokane with a Toddler and Renovating a House

9. THIS rarely happens anymore, but getting your floors refinished is hard work and sometimes you just wanna nap on mama. I’m trying to enjoy these moments instead of stressing out about all the things I needed to do while she napped. I know before I know it, she’ll be off to school and I won’t have these snuggles anymore.

10. I stopped by the beautiful library at UW after a meeting and had to snap a photo of this bookshelf. Remember: divided we fall. We are stronger together, we are a common people who should all want the same things – life, liberty, and equality.

Living in Spokane with a Toddler and Renovating a House

11. The stairs at the library at UW are so good. This building is beautiful and it almost makes me wish I had actually transferred to UW. Almost. #gozags

12. The green was gorgeous on such a beautiful July day, and it was calm and fairly tour free (the same could not be said for other areas of campus). College campuses just fill me with so much hope and energy. And make me want to buy school supplies – haha!

Living in Spokane with a Toddler and Renovating a House

13. One of the strange perks of my job is getting to do crazy things, like climbing up on a rooftop to photograph the street fair. It was both exciting and terrifying, climbing up a ladder to a roof with my camera in my hands, and then making sure I wasn’t too close to the edge. I could even see my house from the roof (not pictured).

14. Hammock time to recover from shooting street fair and then an event in the same day. I was exhausted, but hey, this little lady was around to keep me company and play peek a boo while I recovered.

Living in Spokane with a Toddler and Renovating a House

15. I’m super thankful for a sweet husband who says ‘you go alone to pick berries, we’ll do stuff at home’ and then I can pick tons of berries for us to make jam and freeze them because our toddler is a blueberry monster and we go through so many of them every week.

16. Out of focus and I really don’t care. She’s gone through a phase again where she’s not a fan of babywearing, but that day she wanted up with me. And then proceeded to blow raspberries on my back and giggle while we made lunch. That dimple gets me right in the feels.

Living in Spokane with a Toddler and Renovating a House

17. I shot an elopement up at Mt. Spokane and it was so dang pretty! Right after I packed all my gear into my car, it started raining! And it was only like 72 out. By the time I got back to my house an hour later, it was 93 and sunny. So crazy that it’s so much cooler up at Mt Spokane!

18. If you’ve ever wondered what the best thing you can buy for your kid/spouse/yard/house is, it’s a hammock and a hammock stand. We use ours nearly every day from May-October, and the since it’s been so smokey and we’ve been inside more, we’re all a bit cranky. I’ve napped in it, read stories in there, and snuggled this silly kid (and my husband).

Living in Spokane with a Toddler and Renovating a House

19. Remember those blueberries I bought? Yup. Getting ready to freeze them with my favorite kitchen assistant. Who’s wearing an apron that once belonged to my grandma or great-grandma.

20. And…boom. It was a busy month and sometimes you just gotta crash out in the back of the car with your bunny.

Living in Spokane with a Toddler and Renovating a House

May & June Recap Post

May & June Recap Post

I got taken out by a late spring cold in early June, and I just haven’t been able to catch up. Life is completely bonkers right now, but as my blogging backlog just grows and grows, I know I need to try and catch up a little bit!

It’s funny to look at this photo first photo, because it’s so dang hot out right now, but I do remember that May started off cool. I really miss those 50 and 60 degree days now! This spring, little miss has been a lot more insistent on going outside. We spend a lot of time out in the yard now.

In early May, we were able to get out and go to Cirque du Soleil‘s Crystal, which is Cirque on Ice. It’s been a dream of mine for ages, so I was thrilled when my husband surprised me with tickets. My mom came to watch the kiddo, and we go to go out for a nice dinner beforehand too. It was one of the greatest things I’ve ever seen! I wish I could have gone twice!!

Cirque Du Soleil in Spokane on Ice

We did another round of swim lessons in the spring (and we’re doing another round this summer too!) and little miss was one of the best swimmers in her class. I can’t be surprised, because she takes after her dad, who is totally a swimmer too. She was aces at jumping into the pool with him.

H, my mom, and a few of our friends ran Bloomsday again this year. We missed it last year, because we were in Germany, so it was great to see everyone running again this year. H didn’t have the best time this year, but he’d been dealing with some injuries and wasn’t able to run as much as usual in the spring. Little miss had a blast watching everyone and cheering as they ran by!

Swim lessons and watching bloomsday // Spokane with Kids

With all the construction downtown this year, we had to take a slightly longer walk around to the finish line this year. The bonus was that we got a great view of the falls!

Last spring, we had to cut down the huge maple tree in our back yard. It was a total bummer, especially because it left us without half of our hammock “stand”. After a year of debating what to do for a stand, I snagged this one on sale at Lowe’s. It’s the favorite place in our yard. N will sign “please” and ask ‘ammock? ‘ammock? Up?! because she wants to get in.

Hammock Stands and Spring Adventures // Spokane with Kids

We’re still doing monthly photos each month, although I’m not as good at getting them right on the 8th each month. Oops. In May, I finished up, and turned around to find her checking out my camera. I also find a lot of random, blurry, photos and selfies on my phone!

Little miss is currently not a huge fan of being worn right now. With as hot as it has been, I don’t really blame her. But I do feel a bit bummed when I see these photos. Please let me snuggle you again soon, kiddo!

I have to laugh looking at this photo, because back in May, we were planning to plan paint the floors. A while back, we’d had a contractor out who said they weren’t worth sanding and refinishing. But, if you follow me on Instagram, you know that we met with another contractor who said it wouldn’t be an issue and they’ve been sanded and refinished and are currently ready to have furniture put back on them.

If you’re planning a wedding, you need to chat with the lovely ladies at Nic Nac Nell’s! They’ve got the most adorable collection of vintage things that will take your wedding from ordinary to extraordinary. Look, I’m a huge huge fan of DIY, but there’s also something to be said for letting someone else doing the hard work, and you’ll still have plenty of variety to choose from at their showroom.

Painting hardwood floors and touring Nic Nac Nells

We finished off the month of May with a Memorial Day hike with this crazy crew. We’ve been trying to get out more, and while we were originally planning to go to Bowl & Pitcher, we’d heard there were a bunch of mosquitos, so instead, we went over to Post Falls and Q’emiln Park. In Wenzel family tradition, we grabbed donuts on the way home.

I’m pretty sure I’ve posted similar images before, but our dog is seriously the most chill dog when it comes to our toddler. She is constantly sitting or climbing on him, and he never complains. But he is also super protective of her and any other kiddos who come to visit us.

Hiking in Post Falls with Dogs and Babies // Spokane with kids

I’ve been trying to grow radishes for nearly every year we’ve lived in this house, and I’ve had a terrible time of it. Every year it’s been something different. One year, the slugs got to them, another year I planted them too late and they bolted. This year, they were beautiful. Finally.

I picked up some rhubarb at the farmer’s market in early June and whipped up this Rhubarb Cake from my favorite German Baking Book. It was tangy and sweet and paired perfectly with whipped cream.

Little miss is the best shopping assistant, and she was helping me get some photobooth supplies in June for Pride in Perry. She had a blast waving the flags around, and then had even more fun hanging out at the booth during the event.

We’ve reached a stage where N is quite stubborn about what she wants. She picked out this outfit, and then insisted on boots, even when it was 80 degrees out. [Oh, do you see those trees in the back??? They are peach and plum trees. I’m so excited!] I had to hide her boots so she wouldn’t try to wear them this week when it’s 90+.

Little snuggles with my girl are the best, even if they’re usually happening when she’s tired and cranky.

I am so so thankful for family who watch our girl so that we can sneak off on dates. H’s mom came to town for a few days, and we got to see a movie together.

Road tripping to Portland with this girl and we packed up our snack pack to fit all the fruit and veggies in it. This girl is all about her produce. Fingers crossed it stays that way, although, I may need to have a bigger garden soon!

We went to Portland so that I could attend WDS for the third time, and it was wonderful to see old friends, to hear some fantastic speakers, and to run into people I wouldn’t have expected to see, like my friend Sachin, who is a wedding photographer out of Vancouver, BC. I am endlessly thankful to WDS for giving me the courage to step out and live the life I have now. I don’t know if I’ll be able to make it back next year, but I really hope it works out!

Whew! And that’s that. Technically, that last photo was taken on July 1st, but whatever. Next time I do a recap, I’ll get to share my new floors! I might drop down to doing these every other month and doing two posts? What would you all prefer? I know these are mostly for myself, but a lot of you love these posts. WDS has given me some great ideas, and I’m trying to carve out time to develop them and share them with the world.

April Recap Post

April Recap Post

I’m looking back at April, and I don’t feel like I took many photos, because the whole month felt long. And it seems, a month when my girl changed a lot. The last few months have been pretty rough on me, I’ve been dealing with some things behind the scenes and I think I’m going to take a while to step away from social media and maybe even the blog. My mental health hasn’t been what I need to to be to be the best version of me.

1. When you don’t want to wear pants, but it’s still too cold to go without? Leg warmers. And then she pulled up her shirt and started dancing. You’d think that our kitchen was a scene from Flashdance.

2. We picked up a double layer ring sling from Wildbird in early April, and as soon as I pulled it out of the box, she was demanding snuggles. It’s been in heavy rotation the last month or so. We’re fans of the bright blue!

Babywearing with a wildbird sling to making working from home easier

3. Walking home from the park with Grandma, in the sunshine on a beautiful spring day. We try to get out to the park almost every day, although now that the garden is coming together, we spend more time playing in the backyard.

4. Sometimes when I work, this lazy bum hangs out in my office and naps while our girl naps too. Here I was all bundled up in a sweater and a scarf because the heater in there was broken. It’s fixed now, so of course is 80+ outside. I’ll need it again in the fall, right?

Grant Park in South Perry Spokane with a rainbow in the Spring

5. I got N this rain suit from Oakiwear, and the first time I put it on her, she had an absolute fit. But then I shoved her out in the rain, and she ran around an empty park until her little legs didn’t work anymore. And now she loves her rain suit. Basically, she’ll do anything to be outside in any weather.

6. We went to Leavenworth for a few days to join H while he was at a work conference. They did a little painted rock scavenger hunt, and it turns out, my toddler is amazing at finding rocks. I’m not surprised, but she kept bringing them to me, including this beautiful heart rock.

Hunting for rocks and playing in the rain is easier with an Oakiwear rain suit

7. There is a goat behind a fence in Leavenworth (not this fence) and so N had to peek through every single fence to see if she could find the goat again. We wandered all around downtown, checking out the toy shop and having lunch outside while dad worked.

8. Hmm, should I do a spa day, or go golfing while I’m here? We stayed at Icicle Creek, which was a great place to stay with a kiddo. We opted to stay in a suite, so she could have the living room and we had some privacy in the bedroom (so I could work while she napped). Icicle Creek also had an arcade room, mini golf, and a small playground. We watched the big kids play in the arcade room, and spent a lot of time playing at the playground, as well as just walking all over the grounds there. Everyone was super nice, and even though it was slightly out of town, I’d stay there again. Although, the covered pool was a bit too cold for her, I think it’d be great in warmer weather.

Traveling to Leavenworth with a toddler can be easy with these few tricks and tips

9. What do you do when your toddler has had enough of being in the stroller and you’re walking along the side of the highway? You toss them up in a back carry so they can snuggle you and see all the big trucks go zooming by while you walk back to the hotel, of course.

10. I had a sweet little wedding at Gonzaga, and I had such a kick being back on campus when school was in session. The guys of DeSmet saw us, and started playing the wedding march through the (always present) speakers. Some things never change.

Babywearing in Leavenworth and at Gonzaga University for a wedding

11. I also got called for jury duty in April, but luckily didn’t get chosen to serve. It was an interesting experience, and someday I would love to serve, but maybe when I’m not juggling work and a toddler at the same time? Luckily, there was wifi and I had my laptop, so I was able to get a decent amount of work done while waiting to be called.

12. That tired toddler crashed out in her new ring sling, so I covered her up and pulled out my laptop to answer emails. Working from home is always an adventure, and whenever I figure something out, our status quo changes. It means I no longer get to work for hours and hours (unless she’s gone!) and instead, I work in short bursts of time whenever she’s napping, or otherwise occupied destroying my office.

How to juggle jury duty in Spokane with being a work from home mom

13. More sling naps. She’s getting so heavy, this really isn’t comfortable anymore, but I love the snuggles too much to try and transfer her or wake her up.

14. Now that spring is here, we’re spending lots and lots of time in our garden! I can’t wait to have help picking tomatoes and peppers and all our other veggies all summer long. My mom got her some tiny gardening tools, so she likes to “help” me weed and plant and water everything.

Keeping a toddler entertained and safe while gardening