Thursday, April 30, 2009


It is hard to go back to work after 5 full days of playing when you have had basically no time off since December. So unmotivated.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Happy birthday to me!

My birthday was very low key- it's what I wanted. My present was Bella. I really wanted a puppy and she was more than enough! So on my actual birthday all I really wanted was to hike and just hang out with Tim and Bells. On my birthday morning, Tim disappeared to go "run a quick errand." He returned with a huge bouquet of summer looking flowers- what a perfect husband and a great way to start of the day!

Timmy and my birthday bouquet.

And of course we had to get one of me too.

So Tim surprised me with presents!! I totally did NOT want any or expect any, but who can really complain?! In the afternoon, Tim and I went on a 6-7 mile or so hike. It was a fairly warm day out and partly sunny so it was great! We didn't take Bella so that we could go fast and do a longer hike since she really can't yet. So after we got home from the hike we had a quick snack and took her on a couple mile walk through our neighborhood. I love being outside and being active that much- it is the most perfect day when I'm that active (I know, I'm a nerd!) After all that activity we jumped in the shower and then Tim started cooking my birthday dinner. We had bought fresh wild sockeye salmon and we made garlic mashed potatoes and a tossed salad. Sooo good. After eating, I opened my presents from Tim and my parents that they had sent. My parents got me clothes and fun jewelry that I loved! And from Tim who wasn't supposed to get me present since I have my pooping monster, I got a few small things for working out (socks and a pink yoga mat). The yoga mat was especially funny because I had guessed it earlier in the day. I was totally joking because I honestly didn't expect it but apparently I was right- Tim told me he was so mad that I guessed it!

Inside of the birthday card was a library card (I guess his errand from earlier that morning). Here is why this is so exciting: I have been wanting a library card for a long time. Why? Because I can't justify buying books. It is more green to rent them from the library and I can't justify buying a book and wasting money AND trees by only reading it once. I am a nerd, we have established this. So the reason I haven't gotten a card? Because the Kirkland library (the suburb of Seattle we live in) is under re-construction and every time I try to find their "temporary" location, I can't find it. It's SO frustrating. So my sweet husband went out on my birthday morning and got me a library card which I can take to ALL libraries in the Seattle area.

Here I am reading the card from him and holding my new library card. He said the library people looked at him funny when he went to get a free library card for me. Also, you can see my new pink yoga mat to the left of me! I love it!! (It's also very cool because it is reversible- the other side is gray and is more textured which would be perfect for hot yoga if you need a better grip). It's so much better than my old one. The old one is great, it's just more masculine. So perfect to hand over to Tim so we can do yoga together which I think is what he was thinking by buying me the new pink mat.

After opening my socks that were at the top of the gift bag, I stumbled upon a little box. WTF? And I take off the ribbon... Tiffany and Co? Huh? Why the hell do I have a box from Tiffany?

Tim bought me a chain link silver heart necklace from Tiffany! We have both admired it for a long time but I had totally forgotten about it and was NOT expecting this (in all honesty, I wasn't expecting anything because we got Bella but once I figured out he had done something, I thought he had bought us some camping gear... BOY, was I wrong!) I'm pretty sure I have the best husband in the world. It was such a thoughtful gift... not to mention I love it!
Here's Tim "bench-pressing" Bella on the gray side of the new yoga mat. She's probably getting closer to 30 pounds so it's probably a decent workout.
Thanks to everyone out there who sent cards and gifts and wishes my way. My 27th birthday couldn't have been better!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Vancouver, Canada, eh?

Today we decided to take our day trip up to Canada. I have never been to Vancouver (or anywhere in Canada for that matter) but have heard that it is a pretty awesome city. Tim has been several times but more for the biking part of the city and not so much for exploring. On June 1st we have to have passports to get across the border. Since neither of us have a current passport right now, we decided to take the opportunity to go up there while we still can without a passport (not like getting a passport is the hardest thing in the world, but whatever). So we had our birth certificates and Bella's shot records and we were good to go. Of course it hit me about 30 miles from the border that I didn't have our marriage certificate on me so I was a little bit worried about getting in or out of the US since my birth certificate did not match my ID. But, 2.5 hours later after leaving Seattle, we hit the border and it was no issue getting into Canada. Of course the guy was a total prick but what do you expect from border patrol?

Miss Bella getting comfy for the car ride- she did great!

And on our way out of Seattle... headed north!

I decided to drive first. I made it just across the border and Tim took over. I'm glad, too. There are crazy drivers up there in the city!

And we made it!!

We stopped just across the Canadian border to let Bella pee and to get a map of Vancouver.

Looking down from a hill to the city. It is stunning, actually... people were right!

Bella liked it too... actually she was probably more fascinated with the camera but oh well.

And approaching the city...

So I thought this was funny- "Canada's gourmet burgers & spirits?" Do I not know something about Red Robin? I thought it was an American chain. Hmm.

Entering Chinatown! Apparently it's the 3rd largest Chinatown in North America following San Francisco and New York. I had no idea but after visiting, I would believe it!

And leaving Chinatown. We also visited several other districts in downtown Vancouver but I don't have pictures. There was a lot of construction going on, presumably to prepare the city for the 2010 Olympics. The Chinatown district was the most impressive.

Headed out of Vancouver, we stopped at Stanley Park for a picnic lunch. This park was HUGE and beautiful. Not to mention, it was about 70 degrees and sunny in Vancouver. We got so lucky given that it was 50 and rainy in Seattle! It was awesome just sitting out in the sun. Definitely a perfect day.

Walking around a little trail after lunch, we saw a "Calvin squirrel" (aka: black)- something that does not exist in Seattle. We only have brown ones.

And standing by a little swamp/wetland type thing. It was really pretty.

Looking over the bridge that connects Stanley Park to North/West Vancouver.

And crossing that bridge...gorgeous mountains!
A view of Vancouver as we were crossing the bridge.
The km/h signs cracked me up. Obviously I KNOW we are in a different country, it's just one of those things little differences from the States that amuse me.

We were going to go to this thing called Capilstrano bridge, which basically just looked like a bridge you cross in the middle of the forest. We got there though and it was a huge tourist trap. So we drove up the road further and found this little park and giant dam- gorgeous, same views and so much less of a cluster than the tourist trap!

Standing at the fence looking up at a huge waterfall caused by the dam.

Self portrait. Lovely!

And looking down from above on the waterfall.

A view of a little lake a mountains. Beautiful!

Miss Bella loves being a world class traveler!

After a day full of exploring, we decided to head back down to the states. We were tired and traffic was starting to get crappy from rush hour. So we headed back not knowing if the US guys would let us in (with my whole birth certificate not matching ID situation coupled with the US being much more stringent than Canada on who they let in/out). While we were waiting in line at the border we snapped a shot of the peace arch which we didn't get on the way in.

We also got a picture of the inspection sign... and luckily, they let me back in! This guy was even more of a jerk than the Canada guy. Unbelievable!

On the way back down, we had a great view of Mount Baker. I think Mount Baker is 10,000 feet (in contrast Rainer is 14,000) so when you're driving in Seattle you can see Rainer down south and Baker to the north plus all of the ranges in between... on clear days, of course. Once we got this shot of Baker and continued to head further south, it kept getting cloudier and cloudier. By the time we were back in Seattle it was raining. We were glad we left town for a day in the sun!

On the way home, Winston hit 66,666 miles old. This is very impressive since I have basically only driven 16,000 miles since I have been up in Seattle. In contrast, in my few years in Phoenix, I put on 45,000.

We wore the puppy out. She decided to cuddle and pass out with Mr. Monkey on the way home and proceeded to sleep the whole night. It was way too cute. The day up in Vancouver was perfect and I'd definitely recommend that people check it out- it would be fun to spend more than a day up there as well which is on our agenda for sometime in the future. Also on the agenda for explorations north of us are Victoria, San Juan Islands, and Whistler. I guess we'll be needing those passports fairly soon after all!

Monday, April 27, 2009

A sunny day in Seattle complimented by crumpets

Today Tim and I decided to drive to Seattle. We haven't been over there in a while and since it was a great sunny day, we figured, why not? It was Bella's first trip to the Seattle scene and boy, she did not know what to do with herself.

She LOVES people and there are so many people down there, I think she was just overwhelmed. It was hilarious. She didn't even jump because there were too many people around so she couldn't figure out who to peg. We got a lot of attention... everyone wanted to pet her and talk to us about her so it was a bit of a slow go as we were walking around but she loves the attention so all in all it was a great adventure.

Sitting outside of the crumpet shop. Bella was a little cold sitting in the shade so she was hiding between Tim's legs.

Crumpets apparently are messy...

And another shot where you can see Miss B... I really love these crumpets. Their tea is amazing as well!

And a shot of Bella and I... I was trying to cuddle with her to keep her warm. She was definitely shaking!

And a close up shot... aren't we cute?

We started walking around the market and the park... where we warmed up in the sun. Bella was so distracted here. It was hard to get a picture because everyone kept walking up to her. In fact, I snapped it right before two ladies came over to talk to us.
I always love going over the bridge to Seattle to Pike Place and to the crumpet shop (which is of course at Pike). It's such a neat area and one of the reasons that I love living here. I am also glad my parents came out last August and we discovered the crumpet shop... mmm...

Saturday, April 25, 2009

The beginnings of the birthday weekend

Today marks the first day of the beginning of my birthday weekend. I took off Monday-Wednesday to just enjoy time off with Tim who also took those days off from work. We don't really have anything major planned other than a trip to Canada for a little trip at the beginning of the week. This weekend will be mostly low key as Tim has a test tomorrow for work stuff.

A few days ago, Tim told me that the bakery in town that we have gotten my german chocolate birthday cake from had discontinued it. I was SO disappointed. It is the best testing cake ever- natural (of course), not to mention now it is just tradition. So I said to go and get the type of cake we had for our reception. It is equally as good, in a different way.

Well, the first surprise happened this morning when Tim got home from work (he works 24 hour shifts so he worked from 7am yesterday morning to 7am this morning). When he walked in the door, I had a funny feeling that he was up to something. He went up to take a shower but was acting very funny... like asking me if I could get him a drink of water WHILE he was in the shower. Um, that just seemed weird so I said that and told him that I didn't want to (ok, that is bitchy but I was starving and fairly grouchy, I will admit it). Plus it just seemed weird.

So we go downstairs for breakfast and I look in the fridge and see a big white box. WTF?

IT'S MY CAKE!!! And not just ANY cake, it's my german chocolate cake! YES!!!! Apparently Tim was tricking me the whole time. He claims that I am hard to surprise so he has to trick me to do it. I am not complaining, I LOVE surprises.
So after that, we had a leisurely day. We took Bella on a small 3 mile hike (which is actually a mile over the amount she is supposed to walk at one time because large breed dogs-especially boxers- are prone to hip dysplasia). We then went and bought fresh salmon and potatoes to make for dinner... of course the part I was most excited about was the cake! We never eat the cake right on my birthday, it's more fun to eat it for a week.

Bella and I after the hike. She is growing so much. She makes me look like a midget. Maybe someday I will be rid of the stupid glasses.
And another one. She was giving me a kiss and we tried to capture it. And YES... I am wearing hiking pants and a fleece. And I even have hiking shoes. I never would have believed it either. It's ridiculous.

Tim "prepping" the cake with fresh organic raspberries- yum!

And, voila! MMMM.... It was amazing. Happy birthday weekend to me!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Enjoying the warmer weather

I was going to title this post "It's finally spring in Washington" but I figured I would totally screw up something in our weather pattern by jinxing us with that title. We have had a great string of spring days- sun, 60s, and even some 70s. It's been awesome. Even the animals are loving it. After a nice walk with Bella today, I decided to take a couple of shots at all of the animals (it's also proof that they all really do get along)...

Tyson, Bella, and Calvin. Bella and Calvin are pals. Tyson is a bit more skepitcal of her. But then again, I have determined he is just a grumpy old man type of cat who is just an ass to everyone unless he decides at any given moment that he doesn't want to be. Usually this only happens with Tim...his favorite person in the whole world.

Bella looks like she is up to no good... and no, she is not starving. She is just still growing so much that you can still see her ribs. She eats like a horse (and the "right" amount) but she grows so fast that she hasn't really filled out yet.

Bella given her buddy Calvin a hug... or tackle.

This looks like more of a nice hug. By the way, believe it or not, Calvin usually instigates these instances by batting her in the nose. It's pretty funny.

Tuckered out puppy after a long walk and playing with kitties and toys. She was passed out and snoring but the camera click woke her up. Still an adorable picture.