Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Sonoma, California








Back in November, Dustin and I escaped to Sonoma, California for a few days. It was incredibly refreshing to bask in the sunshine, sip on wine and eat the most delicious foods all weekend long. Below are the top 5 highlights from our trip.

1) Dinner at The Girl and the Fig - Country food with a french passion, served under picturesque string lights on a heated patio, drool! You must order a cheese board and the roasted chicken thighs, perfectly crisp and served with a golden raisin gastrique, pure heaven.

2) Exploring Healdsburg - On our second morning, we woke up early and drove to the The Shed to meet up with our hot air balloon group for coffee and freshly-baked pastries! After our morning ride with Up & Away Ballooning, we went back to The Shed and enjoyed the coziest brunch outside on their back patio. A few highlights include homemade granola yogurt parfaits and a farm-to-table vegetable quiche. After our brunch, we browsed the cutest shops with Flying Goat iced coffees in hand. In the early afternoon, we drove out to Bella Vineyards to explore their vineyard and wine caves. Once hunger set in and we stopped at Dry Creek General Store for sandwiches and ate outside on their rocking chairs. Quite possibly, it was the best Turkey and Chutney sandwich I've ever had.

3) The Fremont Diner - On our third day, we slept in and enjoyed a slow morning at our AirBnB. Our plan was to start our day with coffee and biscuits at The Fremont Diner before heading to Napa for a day of wine tasting. The Fremont Cafe was everything I thought it would be, charming, rustic and served with a bucket of biscuits!

4) Oenotri - Amazing Italian food, located in the heart of Napa. Think wood-fired pizzas and salumi platters, need I say more?

5) Redwood Forest  - We spent the final day of out trip hiking around the Redwood Forest. 6 miles later, we completed the East Ridge Trail. I wasn't expecting to hike nearly as long as we did, but I was immediately mesmerized by the beautiful scenery and fresh air. It felt great to MOVE after days of eating and drinking.

Below are a few links where Dustin and I drew inspiration for our weekend getaway!

The Every Girl
Goop
Local Wanderer

Lastly, a few tips on our end - we were able to save money by staying in an AirBnB and by flying into San Jose, CA vs. San Francisco, CA. By going this route, we were able to save almost half of our predicted trip costs!

Enjoy!
MM

Thursday, July 23, 2015

First Anniversary Trip - Victoria, BC




Victoria, BC is the perfect weekend getaway! It is located on the southern tip of Vancouver Island off Canada's pacific coast, just 3 hours from Seattle by ferry.

We spent our first day exploring the city. We started at Fisherman's Wharf, where we had lunch and admired the colorful and quirky floating homes. Our path continued along the waterfront, past Parliament, along the Harbor and into downtown Victoria. We strolled though unique and fun shops along the way. Our final stop, Chinatown! Here, Dustin found Canoe Brewpub an awesome spot that overlooked the marina. Refeshing drinks on the patio was in order after a days worth of walking in the sun! For dinner, we found The Local and enjoyed listening to the live music in the square while we ate.

On our second day, we decided to take advantage of our dining voucher and enjoyed breakfast on the hotel patio. Speaking of our hotel, we stayed at Hotel Oswego and had an amazing experience there. Any hotel that serves fruit + herb infused water and chocolate on our pillow is a clear winner in my book. Moving on, french press coffee and smoked salmon eggs benedict were on our menu, need I say more? Delicious. We spent the majority of our morning and early afternoon whale watching. We spent 3 hours on a zodiac tour that cruised along the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Here we saw several multiple pods of Orca whales, including their babies! After whale watching, we heading to the food truck park for amazing fish tacos and sat on the lawn as we ate overlooking the harbor.

We ended our final day biking around town! After our breakfast at Jam Cafe, we rented bikes from The Pedaler and cruised along the coast, it was simply stunning. We biked through gorgeous neighborhoods, the golf course (where we saw a deer) and the adorable town of Oak Bay. About 10 miles later, we crossed the bridge at ended up at Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub Brewpub.  A cold beer was much deserved!

It was such a fun trip! The perfect amount of relaxation, while still enjoying everything that Victoria has to offer. I'm already looking forward to our next vacation ;).

Thursday, June 4, 2015

May


May is over and to be completely candid, it was not a good month. I have been dreading May knowing it would bring my mom's birthday, Mother's Day and the day that officially marked one year without her.

May also closed one chapter and opened the next, I left my job of three years and more importantly the desk that I sat at when I found out mom passed away and my "work family" that supported me along the way.

It is so hard to sit down and write about my experiences over the last year, especially the last few weeks, but I'm encouraged to keep writing by my friends and family. I know I will look back one day and be so thankful for this blog that helped document so many memories, milestones and tears along the way.

Getting married, traveling, working, visiting family and friends, making our house a home and "adopting" Mya assure me that life goes on and you're allowed to live again.

Celebrating our wedding, holidays, my birthday, mom's birthday and Mother's Day without her evoked feelings that I haven't navigated quite yet. Experiencing each "first" is every bit as painful as the other. I'm certainly not looking forward to the next round of "firsts" when children enter our life one day.

Missing mom at our wedding just two months after she passed was by far the hardest thing I have ever been through. The small wedding details didn't matter to me. Instead I wondered why couldn't she be there to help me get ready? Why wasn't she able to dance and celebrate with all of the family surrounding us? Why wasn't she there to tell me how beautiful I looked? Why wasn't she there to give her blessing to Dustin and I?

Moving into a new home without being able to show her pictures saddens me everyday. I know mom would have loved our home. I know she would have been up to help me decorate, explore our neighborhood and drink lots of wine with me on the couch.

Selling the home we grew up in and dividing up mom's stuff made things permanent. We no longer had the comfort of her home, her scent and her beloved items surrounding us anymore.

The easiest way to write about grief is by jotting down things I've learned/thought/felt along the way and will continue to feel, so please bear with me as I don't expect any of this to have the flow and organization that it should.

I've learned that grief come unexpectedly. I'll be walking down the street, browsing the grocery store aisles or working at my desk when I'm suddenly struck with a flood of memories.

Grief will isolate you and make you feel terribly lonely. You'll feel extremely distant from family and friends. You are experiencing such raw emotions that most can't relate too. This is especially hard in a new marriage. Thank you to everyone who hasn't given up on me, especially Dustin who has to live with me and love me through every up and down.

Not all grief is the same. Not one person is our family is experiencing what the other is. You should not compare your feelings to another. If you are sad, then be sad. If you are happy, then be happy. Don't feel the way you think you are supposed to feel.

Greif doesn't seem real. So many days I go to text/call me mom and suddenly remember that I don't have that luxury anymore. It feels so surreal and the numbness starts to sting again.

There is no remedy, solution or quick fix. Everything just takes time. When you are a planner and organizer by habit, this is so tough.

Everyone had their own relationship with mom and they will focus on their loss. She was a sister, a best friend, a mother-in-law, a neighbor, a mentor, a long-time friend and a co-worker to many. Everyone is dealing with their own loss, not everyone will share yours.

Greif isn't temporary, it's a lifelong struggle. It's a hurdle that you have to jump over every day.

One last thought. If a person was worth being in your life, they are worth grieving over. For 25 years, mom was someone I never thought I could live without. Her absence will always leave me with an everlasting feeling of being homesick.

I recently read this excerpt from Lament for a Son, and it was beautiful. So I thought it was the best way to end this post.
Rather often I am asked whether the grief remains as intense as when I wrote. The answer is, No. The wound is no longer raw. But it has not disappeared. That is as it should be. If he was worth loving, he is worth grieving over.
Grief is existential testimony to the worth of the one loved. That worth abides. So I own my grief. I do not try to put it behind me, to get over it, to forget it… Every lament is a love-song.XO

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Home Update: Our Dining Room







The two tricky things about this room included the tight space and randomly placed electric panel. We needed furniture that would fit the area, but would still leave enough room for guests to feel comfortable when seated. Simplicity was the ultimate goal.

Because of the awkwardly placed electric panel, the wall was bare for almost 9 months. I ended up framing these Rifle Paper Co. kitchen prints and I really like they way they look in here! The chairs blended right in before the walls were painted so the light color really gave this room a fresher look.

The credenza is my favorite piece in here. We do not have a pantry, so it houses the majority of our serving dishes. I even have my parent's wedding china and my Gran's vintage dish set. I love the mix of old and new.

If you want to see where inspiration came from in this room click here.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Everything Happens for a Reason


Oh boy, I love this.

Where Have I Been?

Hi there, have I lost my lovely blog readers? We have been busy over here with house projects, trips and lots of visitors! Let's rewind a bit...

My sister and her friend Allie drove over to Seattle for the weekend. We went to the beach, ate at Marination Station and visited a friend who just had twins!







Katie, Thayer and Addison came into town! We pretty much did every kid-friendly activity there is to do in Seattle. Grown up activities included strolling along Pikes Place Market, lunch at Lola, shopping at Nordstrom and dinner at 913 Wine Bar on the cutest (heated) patio ever.





Kid-friend activities included Ride the Ducks, Fremont Troll and cruising around at North West Trek!









We went to the beach almost every day!

   
          
          

Mya discovered a love for seaweed...



Addison got to see Baby!


We reenacted our wedding about 100 times, Addison was the bride of course.


We baked!


Tried on Dustin's glasses!


Broke into our own home!


Mya is going to star in a commercial, starting next week. Be on the lookout if you watch HULU, Pandora or KING-5 television ;).



We celebrated Kari and Drew's wedding on a beautiful day in Woodinville!


It's been a busy few weeks, but lots of fun! I am excited to get back to blogging on a regular basis :). 

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Blogger's Block


Hello blog readers! I'm still here. Currently experiencing a writer's block. Be back soon :).

PS - See the glimpse of gray behind Mya? We have been busy bees over here painting over our gloomy tan walls, hooray!