Waters and Mountains

Monday, June 29, 2015

I don't know if the word to use would be naive. Or maybe there is a better word. Nonetheless, I think our decision to stay in Georgia for so long was a bit of a naive one. In my little mind, the West coast, specifically Washington, was too cold for me and too dreary for me. The thought of moving here was a bit absurd for me. But when the stars aligned, and all was said, and done, and here we are - it just feels right.

I remember visiting my brother in Wisconsin 4 or 5 years ago close to Christmas time. It was very cold, and the first time I have ever seen a snow blower. We went to a local restaurant to have some egg rolls. While there, a gentleman came in to pick up an order. We got to talking with him, and somehow the conversation led to how he ended up there. Family he said.

I haven't given much thought to what he said after that until recently. It's not that Georgia wasn't close to my family, but for so long, Brandon had been away from his family, and those once every other year trips just wasn't enough anymore.

We've gotten to see Brandon's families more often already, and it has been splendid. Not only that, but the weather hasn't been the dreariness that I feared, though winter may bring that. And the waters, and the mountains. Those will have to carry me through the dreariness this winter.


Playing at Point No Point Park. What a name huh?

Flashback Friday

Thursday, June 25, 2015

I figure that I would start a new series, and this one is not about the present or future, but about the past. A long time ago when I used to run, I blogged about my running. Blogging was still really new, and it was really fun to connect with other people. I actually did make a friend who we are still Facebook friends. Today's post is actually from that time, and is a post that I wrote on my blog. It was about the Atlanta Thanksgiving Half-Marathon. Enjoy!

My net time was 2:04:something. I remember looking at my watch at the 10-mile mark and realizing that my goal of falling under 2 hours was just not going to happen. The hills just kept coming and my foot was hurting. When I crossed the finish line, I was very disappointed. I thought that I had trained hard enough and did my runs on hilly routes. Then all of a sudden, this. It was just not right, but I realize that 13.1 in 2:04 is a great feat. I should be thankful that I'm able to run. So here's a short recap.

The morning was cold, but I timed getting to the start perfectly. I got to my corral with about 15 minutes to spare and waited with everyone. Then all of a sudden, everyone started moving and I realized that after so many miles, after so many days, after so many showers, after so many stretches, here I am. I've got 13.1 miles to prove that I have been training.

I remember the first mile was 9:30. I didn't worry too much since I knew that I could make it up later. I just kept running, but not too hard since I knew that I still have a ways to go. I looked for people to pace after and once I realized that I could run a little faster, I passed him/her.

I took water only at 2 stations. I wished I had taken more water. A part of me just didn't want to stop and bother with the water, but next time I will definitely stop!

Mile 6 lasted forever. It was the end of the flatness and the beginning of the hills. At this point, I realized that I had to change my goal and accept anything slower than 2:00. Some point after this, I saw Krista! It was much needed as I have started to doubt everything and just felt down. My foot also started feeling sore, the kind of sore that you feel from standing all day. It wasn't like I was standing all day the day before. But I saw Krista and wished I had stop so we can take a picture together. I just remember seeing her and I just kept going. Then I was like, "Wait, I should have stopped. I'm sure the time difference was going to be minute!" But on I went and she must have jumped back in her car because the next thing I know, she was right beside me in her car. The right lane had been closed for the runners, but the left lane was still open. She followed me in her car for awhile until the police directed her off at which point she had to take the highway to get to the finish line. That was the last time that I saw her since traffic going into the exit was so crazy and finally when she got to the finish line, I already passed through.

I stretched out after I got some food and then I walked back to the Marta station (the train station) so I can get back to my car. My car was closer to the starting line. Since I had to wait for the train, I stretched out really well. The last thing that I wanted to do was take an ice bath so I made sure I stretched everything. On the train ride back, I realized how crazy it is for me to run from Chamblee to downtown Atlanta. I run right past Georgia State's Alderhold Building which is just plain weird. Usually I drive past there, but once a year, I run past it. Crazy thought.

Went home. Shower. Ate a little food. Missed the Lover (The boy was working today). Long Story. Made my salad. Went to friend's house. Ate great food. Came home.

I'm going to run the Atlanta Half again next year. And it's going to be faster. My little promise to myself. I'm also going to get more crowd support. Seeing someone from church there was wonderful and then seeing Krista there was awesome! It pumped me out and it just made me smile hearing someone say my name. I swear, next year I'm going to have my name on my shirt! But thank you so much Krista. You really made my day and my run. Also, thank you so much for the pictures below!

Accumulate Memories, Not Things

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The last couple of months have been a bit of an eye opener. I'm living in the middle of nowhere, in a ginormous house, living with a couple of opened boxes. The rest is still stored away, and now they won't be opened for several more months. As much as I thought that I would miss all those things, I haven't. We have been doing fine without.

We are in search of a tiny studio while our house is being built, and that means we won't have the luxury of space like we do here. Our plan is to keep everything but the bare bones in storage. I'm nervous but also excited. The lack of excess has been quite liberating. Previously, I have relied on stuff to make me happy, and stuff to fill my time. And now that I don't have stuff, I'm finding the joy in little things.

This makes me think about why it is that we start to accumulate so many things, and whether these things actually mean anything to us. Personally, I always feel like buying this one thing will make me happier. Sometimes, they really do. But other times, they really don't. The thought of getting the item makes me happier than actually having it in my hand. Once it's in my hands, that excitement is gone, and I'm wondering what the next item that I want is.

The most happiness that I have felt has been spending time with family. And I want my spending to reflect that. In the past and even currently, it does not reflect that. Over the next couple of months, I'm going to really work on that - accumulating memories, and not things. I'm thinking of a challenge for July, and I hope you'll join me!


If you ever get the choice to drive alongside the Columbia River, I hope you pick the Washington side. You'll never be disappointed. I promise!


Tuesday, June 23, 2015

The best part of a new city is? All the exploring! The few times that we have been in our new city, we have found a lot of fun things to do around town that is not only cheap but also fun. I think living here will also be really nice because we are so close to Oregon, and if we get bored of Washington state, we can drive right over to Oregon.

This little park has a cool water area that kids can run around in, and climb on. Mason had a blast playing, and climbing, and splashing!

That White Kitchen

Saturday, June 20, 2015

I finally finalized our cabinet color this week, and I feel so much more at peace with what we picked. I'm still a little undecided on the cabinet handles, but that seems so minor compared to how I was feeling after last weekend. 

I have always loved a white kitchen, and was really hoping for one with this house, but decided that I will wait until our next house for a white kitchen. Practicality-wise, it doesn't make sense right now with a little one. That doesn't mean I can't still window shop & dream, right?

While looking through these, I keep thinking, why? What is so appealing for me on why I want a white kitchen? Personally, my favorite colors are black, grey and white. I know, pretty blah huh? But I am a pretty basic person when it comes to things. The things that appeal to me aren't the in-your-face things, but the more muted things. The basics. And the whites in these kitchen makes it look so clean, and provides such a great backdrop for decorating the house as a whole. The kitchen itself can be white, but when you add a pinch of colors here and there, those colors are even more intense. 

Those top see-through cupboards are great for showing beautiful dishes. I really like the lighting they put in here too. 

Transitional Kitchen by Scottsdale Interior Designers & Decorators J & J Design Group, LLC.

That ceiling! I really love a nice crown molding, and the crown molding in this kitchen is beautiful. Doesn't that island just make you think of making a nice big Thanksgiving dinner with family? I can just imagine myself making turkey, stuffing, Hmong sausage, sticky rice, egg rolls, and all the works.

Traditional Kitchen by Columbus Kitchen & Bath Designers Kitchen Kraft

This kitchen just looks so comfy to me. I just imagine my boys sitting, and doing homework there on the table, while I whip up some yummy dinner.

Kitchen by San Francisco Furniture & Accessories One Kings Lane

I love the archway, and the openness. It looks like it opens up into a family room, that probably has a fireplace :) The built-in bookshelf is smart!

Traditional Kitchen by Woodbridge Architects & Building Designers Huestis Tucker Architects, LLC

We are getting a buff-colored subway tile in our kitchen. I saw this and thought, wow! The backsplash looks great against all that white! That circle chandelier is actually a nice touch to complete this kitchen.

Farmhouse Kitchen by Mill Valley Architects & Building Designers Richardson Architects

I think this may be my favorite! I like the greenery they put up top there, and will have to keep that in mind when decorating.

Traditional Kitchen by Santa Ana Paint & Wall Coverings BEHR®

That skylight right?! Ridiculous. I have no words!

Traditional Kitchen by London Kitchen Designers & Remodelers Woodstock Furniture

Speaking of kitchens, I'm making Brandon's cousin's stuffed shells tonight! He has talked about these infamous stuffed shells for as long as I remember. And she visited this past week, and made some so I thought, perfect idea for dinner tonight.

Have a great rest of the weekend!


House Update: Breaking Ground

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The first time our builder told us the house was breaking ground, we were so excited. A couple of days later, we visited the site only to see some stakes on the ground, and some dirt moved around. So the second time they told us the footings were in (which was this past week), we visited, and lo and behold, there was actually something there! We are slated to be in at the end of September, but this could move into October!!! Why? Why? Why October? What happened to under promising, and over delivering?!!! My fingers are still crossed on this

We also got to pick our counters, floors, cabinets and boy, was that overwhelming! We did ended up picking some things, but all those things are going to be changing. Except for the counter tops. Those are not going anywhere but in my kitchen!


Lake Life

Monday, June 15, 2015

We got out to the lake this weekend, and Mason got to put his little toes in the water. We brought along a little floaty thing for him, but he was not a very big fan of floating along. I was just glad he wanted to walk around. A part of me feels like he is going to walk any second now, but the way he always looks down at his feet, I don't know if he'll ever be able to balance!

Speaking of being outside, the weekend was wonderful, except for the fact that there is something is blooming, and causing me some major allergy issues. I'm fine in Washington State but in Oregon, it's a different story. I'm not used to having these allergy issues since Georgia's pollen did nothing for me. My eyes are itchy, my nose runs, and it just takes it out of me. Yuck to allergies!

I hope you had a wonderful weekend!


Running Errands

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Running errands with a baby is a bit challenging at times. I think the easiest way to look cute is to add a nice pop of color, easy slip-ons, and a few simple but fun bracelets. Did I mention these slip-ons are $10?!!! Hurry!

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Happy 11th Months!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

How can it be almost a year already? I feel like just yesterday you were looking up at me with those little brown eyes, and laying there, not knowing how to crawl, or open drawers?

You can now stand up in your high chair if I don't strap you in. You can hold onto furniture and walk alongside. You still love when we walk you, your face just turns into the biggest grin. You know to clap when we sing "If you're happy, and you know it, clap your hands." You love seeing other kids when we go shopping, although sometimes you are not so sure of them when you have to play with them. You are very observant, and love to stare. You have gotten good with scrolling on my phone. Daddy wants to get you a touch screen computer monitor, but I'm not so sure I want to get you into electronics yet (You are not even one yet!) You sweat quite a bit when you are hot, so you may not end up with my no-sweat genes. You love to sit in my lap when we read. You don't like loud noises. The other day, I tried to pump up your pool, and you crawled over, head down, with big tears in your eyes. You are very sensitive to noise, and the quietest sound will get your attention. However, you don't care about noise very much when it comes to you doing the noise making. You love to scream, and shout. You love to pucker your lips together, and make the O sound like you are in trouble. You just recently learned that you can do the same but hold the O sound longer to sound like you are understanding. You say mamamamamamamamama. I'm trying to get you to do the same for dadadadada. You don't go down as easily for a nap these days but you take one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Sometimes you will stand without holding onto anything if you are busy; that is, until you realize what you are doing, and then you find the closest thing to hold onto. I hope this means you will be walking soon! I just started feeding you cheerios, and you really like them. You also really like eating off our plates, and your mouth will sometimes water when you see me getting some food for myself. You put everything in your mouth, and though you try to be sly about it, I catch most of them (I hope so, at least!). You are active, active, go everywhere. You love to take things out of boxes, like your diapers. You don't just take them out and move them aside, you are very dramatic and sure about where you are putting them, and that usually means over your shoulder and behind you. You love climbing, on the stairs, on boxes, on me. Whatever you can stretch your little legs to, you will. And I hope you will always climb, no matter the obstacles, to get to where you want to be. I love you always.


My Fair Lady

Monday, June 8, 2015

I'm sitting here, thinking about what a fun weekend we had with my sister in law and her family. I especially am grateful that we live closer, and that Mason can spend time with his cousins. They love him, and he loves them. His littlest cousin Wes is always trying to carry him, and it's the cutest because Wes is not much bigger than Mason but he wants to carry him, and stroll him along in his stroller.

We went with them to the Renaissance Fair, and got to watch some fights, and practice some archery. I had never done any archery before but it was actually really liberating, and fun! Maybe a possible future sport for me???? ;) We also got to visit the farm where Brandon grew up, and Mason saw some chickens.

This is a short weekend for us here, and then we are off again.


Workout Status

Thursday, June 4, 2015

I just started Cross Fit & I'm loving it so far. It really is more like a love/hate relationship. I have been going only a total of 3 times, and I haven't done the same thing twice. There is a work out of the day, and all the classes that day do that same work out. I love that the moves are more nontraditional, think tire rolls.

My June work outs that I'm planning are:
Monday - Cross Fit, walk 3.5 miles
Tuesday - Card deck work out
Wednesday - Cross Fit, walk 3.5 miles
Thursday - Card deck work out
Friday - Cross Fit, walk 3.5 miles

Saturdays and Sundays are rest days. I'm walking with a couple of ladies from church and we walk approximately 3.5 miles. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, we do the card deck work outs. Basically, you use a deck of cards, and based on the 4 suits, you decide which moves for which suits. One suit is cardio, one is legs, one is abs, and the last one is arms. The number on the card is multiplied by 2 for the time, or doubled depending on the type of exercise you are doing. It's such a smart idea, isn't it? You shuffle the cards, and pull the cards off the top, and just do whatever move the card tells you. I think it's brilliant.

The most fun part has been doing it with a group. I'm so much more of a social exerciser, and being with the ladies help, and working out with everyone else at Cross Fit helps. We'll be moving at the end of the month, but I'm planning to take these ideas with me when we move!

Once while driving back from Oregon, we got to see the sun set. It was beautiful, and we had to stop to take some pictures!

First in Flight

Monday, June 1, 2015

New Zealand apparently has beautiful waterfalls so I'm earmarking that for another place that I want to visit. We did see a waterfall on our way back to Washington. Mason was getting tired of his carseat so it was a good opportunity to get him out before the rest of the way home.

The longer that I am in Washington, the more that I love it. There is water everywhere, and the greenery never ends. Hence, the Evergreen State.

On another note, I did change our license plate to our Washington plate (finally!). It's so nice and new, and makes me want to go get my car washed ASAP. I miss a garage, and I miss a clean car. The Washington plate reminds me of the North Carolina plate because of the colors. Every time I see a Washington plate from afar, I always am thinking it's a North Carolina plate. First in Flight right? ;)


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