Monday, June 27, 2011

After the wedding day...

that I posted after in my last post, all we wanted to do was die, er, well, at least not think about wedding stuff again, ever. Or at least for a day especially days where it was supposed to be 75 degrees and sunny. So, we got up, vetoed all talk of wedding and wedding related items and headed straight to Bastyr/St Edwards park where we ran a 7.5-8 mile loop. It was gorgeous.

Not sure what the gray strip is here (perhaps a bad photo operator) but you get the idea of what it looked like when we ran by the water.

And a shot of Justin as we are getting ready for the "extrememly difficult" part as the trail tells us. It was difficult, per the usual. Though, it's not like a typical hike where it's difficult for 2 hours, it's a fairly short lived ten minute difficulty. With slugs. I hate slugs.

After our workout, we went home and immediately packed up a picnic to take to the beach where we plopped ourselves by the water for the better part of the afternoon. I'm not sure we said more than 10 words to each other as we were both completely mesmerized and fascinated by people watching.

A view from where we sat. Gorgeous. And not a cloud in the sky. Again, it's not even JULY. Sssh, don't say it too loud, it might ran for the rest of the summer if Seattle starts to act "normal."

And a picture of us blinding the beach with our whiteness but working on a bit of summer color (and, truthfully, we both even got a little pink)! Perfect summer day.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Wedding weekend

This weekend was filled with a ton of wedding activities... at least yesterday. Check out our blog (click here) for what we got done. Not only did we get a lot done but there was wine involved so it was a success by all accounts in my book!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

More nostalgia

We had to bring in pictures of ourselves to work circa 1985 for our firm's 25th anniversary party. Kind of a then to now sort of a thing. Here's what my mom sent me to pick from (IE: me in 1985):

Any guesses on which one I picked?? Actually, the first one... with the book. Golfing was a close second. As were the suitcases.

And a current "now" picture... Sort of. With "winter hair." It was taken for the same 25th anniversary party but at the end of January, um, when my life was HELL and I was operating on about zero sleep and complete stress. Why in the world professional pictures were scheduled for then along WITH the anniversary party, I'll never know. But, at the end of the day, we made it through!

Friday, June 24, 2011

After a particularly hellish week...

I was surprised by my wonderful boyfriend, yet again, with an awesome care package complete with nut butters, protein bars, water, and flowers. Oh, and got  a special delivery from him to give me these things. All of my favorite things! I think he was partly concerned for me that I might die. Only my problem was wasn't lack of nutrition, mostly stress and lack of sleep. Which by the way? Who are those people that DON'T eat when they are stressed/or tired? They LOSE weight at these times. I want to punch them in the face. When I am stressed and tired, all I DO is eat. And eat terrible... well, terrible for me. Basically I ate 400 pounds of peanut butter last week. Like the big vats of Adams peanut butter from Costco that is "supposedly" 72 servings. Um, yeah. Gone. Some might label peanut butter as health food but I'm just guessing here that when you consume massive quantities of essentially fats (ahem, "healthy" fats), it's really not so healthy. But I was stressed. And tired. And only wanted peanut butter, chocolate, and a side of wine. As it always goes.

The week (in JUNE, might I add. HELLO WORK GODS, it is JUNE) was one that was a mini busy season revival. Yes, I realize how unfair this is. Usually this week of hell hits in, oh, May. Which is bad enough since it is May and all but June? Ludicrous. It kept getting pushed back so I knew it was inevitable and I knew it was going to be rough but I had sort of forgotten (or at least blocked) what it was like to work hard and long and how much energy that just sucks out of you. In busy season it's one thing but outside of busy season? You just aren't prepared for those kinds of hours. And thinking that hard, MY GOD, my head hurt from thinking so much. You have to realize that us CPAs really only use our full brain capacity for about three months out of the year, maybe 4. After April until after summer? We are pretty much on OFF.

So anyway, yes, wah wah wah, it was rough. I know, things could be worse, I could not HAVE a job, or be homeless or have no food or warmth or have some terrible disease. I KNOW. But, it was hard and now I am just going to continue to whine for a second here. By the end of the week I was operating on about 3 hours of sleep and couldn't even form clear sentences if I tried. I'd used too much brain capacity? Maybe. So maybe I was also forgetting to eat too, thus, my boyfriend's worry about my lack of nutrition. Though I seriously doubt it judging by the fact that my pants fit tighter and the peanut butter was gone. Perhaps existing solely on peanut butter for the week put me in some sort of nutrition deficiency? Or maybe I forgot to drink water. I don't know. It was all a blur. I do remember that the three hours of sleep was made worse by the fact that when I was sleeping, I was DREAMING about work and the plan of attack for when I eventually go to the office. At which point, I woke up and said, "Screw it" let's just get this show on the road. So by the end of the day, I looked and felt like I'd been on some sort of crack for thirty years. BUT, I met the deadline. WIN. And then in my infinite wisdom (which I always get when I'm exhausted), I decided to do my long run anyway that was planned for that day. Oh really, body, you're going to crash on me NOW? Screw you, I'm running anyway. It's called adrenaline, or a natural high from finishing the deadline... USE IT. For 5.5 miles. I did it. And then I died. FAIL. 

The next day- the care package. After a bit of sleep. And meeting the deadline. Finally. I felt slightly more alive. And it was Friday so that automatically made everything better. Date night at our favorite sushi place in Seattle with some good wine and chocolate + more peanut butter for dessert followed in the day after the care package. Then, I remembered. It's not busy season. This was short lived. I made it. It's almost July. SUMMER. All became right with the world again. 

Gorgeous roses.

Oh, yes, and he also got me a PLANT. And I love him for continuing to believe in me and the fact that one day I'm going to find my connection with plants. That being said, bets on when I will kill this one? We all know how awesome my green thumb is.

Monday, June 20, 2011

A father's day.

Yesterday, after an 8 mile (miserable) hike due to the fact that the weather was nasty and my legs were sore (aka: they hurt like hell and I was being stubborn about it and dead set on completing the hike) we took the boys and headed to Justin's brother's house for a father's day BBQ where Justin and I played paper, rock, scissors for who would get to hold this cutie:

He obviously won. At least for a while. It WAS his day after all since he is the father of the two of us. But then her adorableness ruled and I had to steal her and cuddle her myself. Is she not the cutest baby you have ever seen?

Speaking of father's day. I am a HORRIBLE daughter. In the chaos of getting to Jordan's house then taking Bailey to Justin's mom's house, coming home, realizing that the next week of work was going to be a cluster in all ways imaginable, I totally forgot to call my dad. Completely spaced. I pride myself on always remembering birthdays and "special" days and I totally forgot. I texted my brother and said, "I completely forgot to call dad!" And he texted back, "Well, that's better than me. I actually SAW him and totally forgot to say anything." Which made me feel slightly better. Until my mom called and said, "So what did you do Sunday?" Whoops. Anyway, I think my dad knows how much I love him everyday and that he is the best father. And I'm pretty sure I won't forget next year. It's what we like to call an isolated incidence.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Another day of reflection.

We've had a few of these days lately. Today was the memorial for Justin's grandpa who passed back in April (see here). It was determined to have the memorial of his life a couple of months after he passed away as this weekend was the wedding anniversary of he and his wife (Justin's grandma). It was a good day of talking to people, most of who I didn't know but they were all very sweet. Below: some pictures of us before we headed to Justin's grandparents house for the memorial.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Running and reflection.

We got back to Seattle yesterday after spending our last day laying low- going to the gym and then spending time with family who came over to celebrate my grandpa's 92nd birthday (which happens to be today-WOAH! 92 years young!)

It's always hard for me to leave Kansas City, I guess because I do have so many fond memories there as well as so much history. And, of course, friends and family. I feel perpetually guilty when I'm back there because I wish I WAS there more- for my family, friends, and just because I do miss all that the midwest encompasses. This time in particular I was moved by the thunderstorms and just the pure essence of summer in the midwest that takes me straight back to my's like a giant warm fuzzy blanket that you never want to forget- the smells, the warmth, the feel of it around you. But then, I'm back here in Seattle and though very different from the midwest, I realize that I DO love this city. It DOES feel like home. I WOULD miss it if I were to leave.

I'm not sure if I'll ever not feel guilty about not living in Kansas City but I do know that I made the best decisions I could for my life and so far, they've worked. I have a good life, a good job, and I've met incredible people along the way. And even though I'm physically far away, it's really not THAT far... a measly 3 hour flight, right? I was thinking about all of this today on my run on a gorgeous Seattle day after leaving one of my favorite clients, a day where I appreciate all of the beauty that is Seattle and really enjoy what I do up here. I don't know what the right answer is and if it's normal to always feel this sort of internal conflict or tug between choosing where you sometimes feel the pressure to be versus where you want to be (and sometimes you really do want to be in both places!) but I do and I guess I'll just embrace it. It is difficult to live away from a place where you do have history but you also have to make the decisions that are best for you...and visit "home" as much as possible. Anyway, enough reflecting.  Pictures from the run:

On my run, I saw little kids running around in bathing suits. It was 60 degrees outside. Now THAT is a true "Seattle-ism" that will always crack me up, especially after my Phoenix summers of 115 million degrees. 60 degrees = brrr no matter how you slice it. Oh well, I guess it is at least evidence or a hope that summer is truly around the corner up here in the pacific northwest.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

First time golfing. June 13, 2011.

On Monday in Kansas City after a long walk/run in the woods that morning, we took Justin to his first round of torture, er, golf with the Baker family. We do this to all the boys I bring home just to make sure they are tough enough to hang with this fierce crowd. Kidding. Sort of. He's gotten out of it so far as it's been too cold everytime we've been back. But, he should probably get used to it as it's a fairly common activity for our family. And in all reality, I think he's completely on board. After spending 3 hours at the driving range with my pops, I think he's got the golfing bug. And, he's actually not too bad! (Shocking *sarcasm* given his competitive nature). Here are the shots from the day:

Ta da! All in all, it was a great day, as always (even though my mom, Justin and I lost the scramble to my still rockstar dad. How is he SO GOOD? Oh wait... practice... I, however, SUCKED due to lack of practice. Or perhaps, I just subconsciously wanted to kill several squirrels with my line drive chips and out of control drives?)

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Trip to the midwest #2. June 12, 2011.

Again, completely miserable title. So sorry. It is what it is.

Before I launch into this fabulous day #2, a couple of forgotten pictures from day #1:

COWS. Cows, cows, cows! Spotted as we were pulling out of the wedding celebration that was in the middle of nowhere and PROOF that it was in the middle of nowhere.

And Justin riding along in the hoop-de-van (he gets great amusement that I drive a mini cooper in real life and a mini van when I'm at home-HILARIOUS, I say, with sarcasm). And, here- pasture out his window, again, PROOF. It was literally farmland. A great experience for Mr. V to have.

Ok, so day #2. After an exciting day the day before filled with weddings (ok, one wedding) and friends and family, we got up Sunday morning to go to church with my parents, where we saw more friends and family. Above- photo shoot after shoot. Below- I like to call it "the many faces of Jenn" (aka: embarrassing- Why must he take so many?? And how did he do it so fast without me knowing?)

And oh, finally, a cute one of us! After the mini photo shoot, we ate lunch with my parents then my mom and I headed out to shop while the boys (my dad and Justin) headed to the driving range for Justin's first official "Dave Baker golf lesson." They were gone for about 3 hours and didn't want to come home so I'd say it was a success. I think we may have another golfer on our hands....

After golfing and shopping, we headed to my brother and his roommate, Jon's, new house in downtown Kansas City (sort of by Westport). I LOVED this cute little neighborhood and was completely jealous. Their house was so cute inside. It was actually a decent size, too!

The above is a shot of the guys as we were walking down the street to dinner- fric and fracs, an old school Kansas City joint. And with that, we wrapped up the end of another great day in KCMO.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Trip to the midwest. June 11, 2011.

Perhaps the most boring title ever, I apologize.

We got into Kansas City at around 10pm Friday night. And then listened to an incredible thunderstorm around midnight. It was like a welcome back present to me from my hometown. I do miss a good thunderstorm. Though with the Joplin tornado fresh in everyone's head, it was a little freaky.

After a bit of sleep, we woke up the next day ready to hit the gym. And let me just say, if I haven't mentioned it before- gyms in the midwest are HILARIOUS. I did not KNOW it was possible to work out in carharts and cowboy boots. I also did not get the memo that I should be working out in carharts or cowboy boots (or both!) OH, and average age of people there? About 88. And I'm pretty sure they could have kicked my ass. Justin and I stick out like sore thumbs when we go to this gym.

After the gym we OF COURSE had to get root beer milk.

I think this root beer milk might be one of the top three reasons (if not the top reason) that Justin agrees to come back to the midwest with me. He's in love. With the milk. "It's like a root beer float." (and Jenn gags). Root beer = nasty Milk= nastier and the combination = gag. But, I'm glad you love it baby!

Did I mention how incredible the weather was back in Missouri on this day? It was PERFECT. About 80 degrees, sunny, no humidity. We agreed that everyone that was complaining about the heat back there in the prior week was lying. No way could it go from sticky hot to perfect. Oh wait. We are talking about the midwest here. Sorry, had a quick lapse of memory on the fickle midwest weather.

Anyway, regardless, we took the opportunity to sit out on the back porch to enjoy the weather for a long while before we had to be at our next stop...

...which just so happened to be a picnic wedding celebration in (I have really no clue where but somewhere remote and rural) Missouri for one of my best friends from college, Miss Jill and Kyle (who had been married earlier that morning!) Wow, overuse of parenthesis- sorry.

A shot of our spot for the afternoon. I do miss a good midwestern picnic on a farm. Nothing quite like it.

And above- a shot of all of the girlfriends from college with the beautiful bride in the center. PLUS, there are THREE babies in tummies up there too! (NOT MINE). Although, I swear everyone we know is pregnant so hopefully that baby virus doesn't hit me too soon... More pictures of the pretty girls to follow in our little photo shoot:

After hanging out for a few hours visiting with old friends, Justin and I took off to head to Lenexa, Kansas where we went straight to my aunt and uncle's new house. They just moved back to the midwest from San Francisco (I KNOW). Their house is gorgeous and we spent the night sitting on the patio, chatting, drinking wine and eating. It was great to visit with them and even though I know it was a tough move, it's great to have them in a place that I know I'll see them more frequently. Of course, I was so wrapped up in talking with them, I forgot to take pictures. Oh well.

After spending several hours with my aunt and uncle, we headed home... it was a day full of fun- one of the 10 days of perfect weather the midwest has a year, good, old friends, happy occasions (congrats Jill and Kyle!) and catching up and spending time with family. Doesn't get much better.