Friday, May 30, 2014

Little Things

My mom was the queen of small gestures. She always had an eye for the perfect gift and the perfect words to write in a card just because she was thinking of you.

The small things are what I am missing most.

  • Her extravagant "Good Morning" and "Good Night" text messages.
  • Lunches, shopping dates to TJ Maxx, Costco trips followed by the two of us splitting up our bulk items for me to take home.
  • Home projects with one another.
  • Telling her secrets and having someone to tell anything and everything to.
  • Watching the weirdest shows together. The Kardashians, Jon & Kate + 8, The Little Couple, 19 Kids and Counting, Teen Mom, Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy were our favorites.
  • Cards, trinkets and other "just because I thought of you" gifts.
  • Walking the dogs together.
  • Wednesday dinners and weekends spent with one another.
  • Her perfect entertaining capabilities. Appetizers and spreads complete with cocktail napkins and wine 
  • Cooking spaghetti, macaroni and cheesecakes together.
  • Playing sequence and inviting the neighborhood ladies to join.
  • Here excitement for the tiniest things.
  • Secret trips to McDonald's with one another to eat a double cheeseburger.
  • Going to 5th Avenue plays
  • Her holiday decorations, string lights and birthday cookie cakes.
  • Her odd but cute "profile pictures" on Facebook

Words About My Mom


Maureen was my mom's first friend here in the Pacific Northwest. We were extremely close to her entire family growing up, she also threw my bridal shower! Maureen spoke about my mom at the memorial and I thought it captured my mom perfectly. I felt peace listening to Maureen's words because they were true.  A little good, a little bad and a little humor. Her speech is below if you wish to read.
How do we say goodbye to a friend who touched our lives in so many ways and left us too soon? 

We miss her.  We will continue to miss her.  She left a legacy for all of us.  We are all a little better having had her in our lives …  But, in Susie’s typical no nonsense way, she would want us move on and get on with the business of living.  Living is both easier and harder now that she touched our lives.  Easier because she modeled for us how to be strong and how to have faith and how to find joy in the simple things.  Harder because she touched us—through her many kindnesses and special ways—and we don’t want to let her go.

Almost twenty-five years ago I met Susie at our church nursery soon after we had both arrived to the Northwest. Our friendship was instant. We raised our kids together—and we, too, grew as our lives took unexpected turns.  I moved around the country, but the distance was never a problem.  As many of you know, Susie was as good a long distance friend as she was a neighbor.  We picked right back up with each phone call, visit, and move.  Oh, how we laughed together.
Over the years, I learned many valuable lessons from her.  She taught me to give my small children Benadryl to knock them out on plane rides…  She said it was a public service.  She taught me how to survive when our husbands were on business trips.  Simply make the day shorter—feed the kids at 4, pajamas at 4:30 and put the kids to bed at 5—then put your feet up and pop a cold one.   Susie had so many helpful parenting hints she could have written a best selling book!

Susie was humble about her many accomplishments:  She made each house a home through many moves.  She was an awesome mother to two wonderful young women.  She made room and had the time for her aging parents.  Miss Susie created a preschool program and was a beloved teacher; some of her students are here today.  Susie went out of her comfort zone and sold space in the family’s parenting magazine.  She dreaded approaching people for a sale, but she cherished the relationships she made as a result.

Susie touched many of you through church: Sunday School and Bible studies, dinners and wine tastings, or through play productions.  Susie was a mentor through Communities in Schools, connecting with and guiding Mia.   Babies R Us was lucky to have her for a few years, as was the Breast Center at St. Francis.  Her efficient manner reduced stress and her gentleness and kind words surely brought strength to many women.

When I think of Susie, I have to smile.  She was one of those women who made us feel good.  She found joy in small things.  She had a gift for making everyone she met feel special—whether it was a hug, a card, a little gift, or a quick phone call, she always remembered each of us. Of course, she was the first to get her Christmas cards out—the day after Thanksgiving—hers was probably the first in your mailbox as well. I will miss that envelope with her distinctive handwriting and a least one heart or smiley face announcing that it really was the beginning of the Christmas season.  And, she had beaten me again!

I remember the call I got from Susie two Christmases ago. I heard the fear in her voice and the hope in her message and what she wasn’t telling me.  I grieved that day!  I thought of Molly and Megan and what they would go though.  I thought of how fragile life is and how we don’t know from one day to the next what might come our way.  But, I knew the power of prayer, and like the rest of you, got busy on my knees. 

Prayers were answered: her birthday passed.  Another Christmas, and finally her 55th birthday, and Susie was still with us.  During that time, she got to share Molly and Dustin’s engagement and bridal shower.  She saw Megan working hard in grad school and see Megan and Craig in a loving marriage. Despite her illness, Susie had time for all of us: our birthdays and special events, our fears and illnesses were still acknowledged with calls and prayers and cards. 

She was also surrounded by love—Molly and Megan were at her side.  Her siblings have done more than any siblings I have ever known.  Becky and Debbie, Jeff, Kent, and Greg, you are an inspiration to us all about what it means to be family.  Your mother Marge would be proud. 

Susie was supported as well by friends—holding her hand at the doctor and taking notes for her, visiting her, carting her around, sending food and flowers and well wishes. Eventually, Susie allowed more of us the gift of caring for her personal needs. She accepted what little we could do with love and kindness and dignity and humor. 

We will miss her.  Life will go on—a graduation, a wedding, holidays, babies born, and other life events—and if we look, we will sense her among us—in a tender touch, a greeting with her signature back rub, through a child’s eyes, in a thoughtful note sent from one friend to another, in a clean, tidy home, and through a loud, piercing whistle calling us to pray and eat and gather round.  She is with us.  
Maureen, your words were perfect. You captured my mom and her spirit perfectly. Thank you for sharing.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

West Seattle Favorite - Marination Ma Kai

I was first introduced to Marination Station when I was an intern at The Fearey Group. Our CEO would bring in boxes of their Ginger Miso Tacos and Kalua Pork sliders from the mobile food trucks. From that moment on, I became obsessed. There is something special about their signature Nunya Sauce paired with a sweet hawaiian rolls. Every bite is so delicious.

Now that I am close to their West Seattle location, it has become one of my "go-to" spots. I love taking people here because of the great view, fun atmosphere and of course, great food!

It was also voted one of the top ten places to grab a drink in Seattle!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Happy Memorial Day! I hope everyone enjoyed their weekend and took an extra day to relax and remember what this day is all about.

A lot went on this weekend so let's begin with Friday night. After work, Dustin and I headed to the gym before walking up the street for dinner. Our sweet friend Kyle (who lives in Denver) had made us a dinner reservation and paid for our meal as well. It was a lovely treat and very generous of Kyle to think of us during this tough adjustment period.

I woke up early the next morning for a morning run. This view, I never get sick of!

I headed down to visit Becky afterwards. Becky and I had the tough task of going through mom's closet. It became real as we sorted through her beloved items, shared stories about the garments she wore most and somehow decided what to keep and what to give away. It was an emotional task, but I was happy that we could laugh our way through it. I (Mya too) couldn't stop smelling her clothes, just to remember her scent before she became sick.

Shortly after, I had a dress fitting with Georgia! She is truly amazing and such a good friend to me. It was good to share some more smiles and laughs.

After our work day was over, I treated Becky to dinner, we walked the pups and then headed back up to West Seattle.

On Saturday morning, Dustin and I walked to a local bakery for breakfast before browsing our neighborhood Farmer's Market for spinach, jam, asparagus and peonies!

Later, Becky drove up and we drove over to Woodinville, WA for some wine tasting!

Then, we prepared a meat and cheese spread with pita chips (and more wine!)


Monday rolled around and we chose to fill our day with wedding errands and enjoyed a ice cream break with our friends Rita and Steven from school. Time to start another work week. Happy Tuesday everyone!

Monday, May 26, 2014

2 Weeks

Today marks 2 weeks since my mom left us and this morning I found peace when I read John 16:33.

Megan, Becky and I have all read "Jesus Calling" in the mornings. Truth be told, I haven't read from this devotional book in almost a year. This morning I downloaded the app (no excuses now!) and I read "In a World of Unrelenting Changes" and it just hit me.

John 16:33 -

"I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.]

Friday, May 23, 2014

Las Vegas Recap - Last Night

Our last night in Vegas ended at the Palazzo in a gorgeous suite (thanks to Sharry!) We dined at Sushi Samba where we were surprised to find a bottle of red wine and a bottle of champagne from one of M+P's college friends (an employee at the hotel). A favorite food of the night was the beef gyros and the sea bass, double yum!



It was a good night and we all woke up ON TIME to catch our early morning flights. Thank you for an incredible weekend ladies, I felt spoiled beyond words and extremely loved. We are so lucky to have the friendships that we have with one another. How blessed are we to have this group of childhood friends that we literally we grew up with? No distance will take that away from us.


Thursday, May 22, 2014

Las Vegas Recap - Day 3

Day three kicked off with coffees, egg scramble and a WORK OUT! Okay, I know everyone thought we were crazy but we had a blast. We did about 3-4 circuits and each girl picked out which workout their "station" would be. It was very fun!

After our work out we headed to Katie's pool for a more relaxed time than the day before. Katie and Farrah even provided more drinks and a fruit tray, talk about 5-star service! Basically I was spoiled the whole weekend.






Then is was time to head to the hotel and pop some bottles... in our limo!




We arrived in style, that's for sure!