Sunday, June 29, 2008

Good-bye E&Y!!!

Woohoo! Although we're grateful for the experience and all that Jeff has learned at E&Y, we are ready to jump ship! Working 70+ hour weeks, working until 2am to 3am repeatedly, working through weekend after weekend, unbelievable pressure and stress on Jeff has taken its toll. Jeff has taken a job offer with Nordstrom doing SEC reporting. Get this - it will be (for the most part) an 8am-5pm job!!!!!! I'm in heaven! He can take the bus, so no more $250+/month in parking fees! Although this job will have it's own challenges, we are so grateful for this blessing.

Now the question is, how should Jeff leave his job? Please take our poll and leave any other suggestions.

1. Hire a group of actors to come to the EY office dressed as swashbuckling pirates and raid the office, shouting "Arrrrrr!" to everyone.

2. Send out fliers to all the mothers in Ethan's nursery class announcing that EY is hosting a "Bring Your Toddler to Work Day". The children will come armed with crayons, glue sticks, and sticky peanut butter sandwiches. They'd color on walls, mess up stacks of paper and leave everything... well, sticky.

3. Jeff announces that he's taken a job as a cookie accountant for the local girl scout troop. He comes to the office with his new girl scout uniform, complete with an accounting merit badge on his sash. He'll also spend the rest of the day assuring the staff that they too can have a "sweet" job someday.

Mom Haircut

Tired of ponytails, headbands, children pulling on my hair, finding baby food in my hair, I lopped off my locks and got a mom haircut - just below my chin. Now let's just hope I don't wind up in "mom jeans."

Happy Father's Day

Father's Day nap. My two favorite guys snoozing in their white shirts after church.

This was the treat Jeff requested for Fathers Day. It's a really great, light dessert - perfect for summer entertaining. It's a souped up cake mix and a yummy fresh raspberry topping. Here's the recipe:

Raspberry Cream Cupcakes

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Yield: 18 cupcakes

1 (18.25-ounce) box white cake mix (recommended: Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe)
1 1/3 cups water
3 large eggs whites
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 teaspoons almond extract
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 (6-ounce) containers fresh raspberries, cut in half or 1 (16-ounce) container fresh strawberries, coarsely chopped
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/3 cup powdered sugar, plus additional for dusting

Line 18 muffin cups with muffin papers.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Using an electric mixer, beat the cake mix, water, egg whites, melted butter, almond extract, and vanilla extract in a large bowl for 2 minutes, or until the batter is well blended. Using about 1/3 cup of batter for each cupcake, spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups.

Bake the cupcakes until they are very pale golden on top, about 15 minutes. Cool the cupcakes completely on a cooling rack.

Using a fork, coarsely mash 1 1/2 containers of raspberries in a medium bowl. Beat the cream and 1/3 cup of powdered sugar in a large bowl until firm peaks form. Fold the mashed raspberries into the whipped cream.

Top the scrumptious cupcakes with the delicious topping and serve to hungry hubby!

Alki Beach

We visited Alki Beach and it was beautiful! Here we are with the mini Statue of Liberty. I would also like to note that Ethan was actually standing still in this picture - that doesn't happen very often.

Before going, I checked the tide charts to make sure we would be there at low tide. Low tide is so much more fascinating because more sea life is exposed. I have no idea what these things are, but they looked pretty interesting.

See the Space Needle and downtown Seattle in the background!

Here is another proud parenting moment. Usually, when we go to the beach, Ethan eats sand with his hands. This time, Ethan found a plastic spoon in the sand and began eating sand with a spoon. All of my nagging about good manners at dinner time has certainly paid off.

Ethan was delighted with all of his little feathered friends.

I just thought this was a cool picture that Jeff took of a seagull swooping in for a piece of bread. We finished off the afternoon with some fish and chips at a local restaurant and headed home for nap-time (for all of us!).

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Ethan's Third Birthday

For Ethan's 3rd Birthday we went to the (drumroll, please...) the Rainforest Cafe. It was amazing. The restaurant was decorated like a (well, you probably guessed by now) a rain forest with apes that beat their chests, trumpeting elephants, giant bugs and a fountain, to name a few.

The servers sang a birthday song for our little dude and brought him a free ice cream sundae. Ethan was delighted to have people singing and clapping for him. Obviously, the expression on my face was my joy over seeing a free dessert on our table.

This was my first (and perhaps only) attempt at cake decorating. The nice thing about cake decorating is that you can really enjoy your successes as well as failures, because, well.... it's cake, no matter what it looks like. I don't think I'm ready to do a wedding cake quite yet (unless someone wants to get married at a Mariners game and then throw the cakes at each other - hey, there's an idea).

Ethan blowing out the candle! I'll spare you the rest of the pictures. Things got pretty messy after this.

Edmonds Waterfront Festival

Jeff finally sneaked past a weekend without having to work (I hope none of his managers read this and find out)! I began Saturday early by running the Edmonds 5k race (and quickly remembered why I'm not an avid runner). We then spent the day at the Edmonds Waterfront Festival. Ethan had never been to a festival like this before and we knew he would love it.

One of the best parts of parenting is rediscovering the world with your kids. We got to enjoy yummy festival treats as well as a giant super-slide. The first picture shows the size of the slide. In the second picture, I zoomed in on their faces showing Ethan's expression of anticipation and apprehension (notice Ethan clutching onto Dad's hand).

What would a festival like this be without a pony ride? Ethan got to ride on the smallest pony and clearly loved it.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Northwest Trek

Northwest Trek is a really interesting nature preserve. We went on a hour long tram ride through beautiful scenery and saw all sorts of wildlife: elks, buffalo, big horned sheep and deer - some of which were pretty close. Ethan loved seeing all the animals. Sienna wasn't too terribly interested, but she did charm several people sitting next to us on the tram.

Mother's Day

My Mom was here for Mother's Day! It was the first time we've been together for Mother's Day in 12 years! I have to say, my mom is absolutely wonderful. When she comes to visit, my kitchen is always clean, I don't think I do any laundry, and while I peacefully nap, my mom scours the bathroom while keeping both kids happy. She is amazing.

By the way, Jeff is still the most wonderful husband after 5 1/2 wonderful years of blissful marriage. Marrying Jeff has honestly been the best (and easiest) decision I have ever made. He is ambitious, hard-working, considerate, thoughtful, loving and oh-so handsome - let's not forget that one.

Salsbury Beach

So, I recently discovered a new park which I think is a must see if you have kids and want a quick day trip. My Mom was visiting and I wanted to show her some of beautiful western Washington. Salsbury Beach. Take the Edmonds-Kingston Ferry, then drive to the west side of the Kitsap Peninsula, and just before Hood Canal Bridge, there is the love Salsbury Beach. Of course getting there with the ferry and driving through historic Port Gamble is all part of the fun. Ethan loves ferry rides (what kid doesn't?). He loves flexing his arms and making manly shouting noises into the wind and running all over the boat. Ahh, little boys.

There was a great play structure with a beach close by filled with sea shells. I don't think I've ever seen so many sea shells in my life! Ethan had fun watching all the big truck going across the Hood Canal Bridge. Sienna had her first experience in a swing, which she seemed to be okay with (she might have enjoyed it more if I not had the camera in her face the whole time. She also enjoyed doing pull-ups on a bar (with a little help) and of course, tasting the metal bar (shhh... don't tell Grandma).

This picture, was toward the end of our little outing, Sienna had her mind on one thing and one thing only (in case you can't tell from the picture) ... MILK!!!!!! Ethan, in his usual form of running all over the place, fell and skinned his little knee and was a bit upset about it.

Later at home, he zonked out on the couch. Perhaps other mothers can relate, I fall in love with my children all over again when I see them sleeping. Anyway, it was so much fun having my mom around and getting away for a day!