Monday, April 25, 2011

spring break

This past week I have had a wonderful time off work in honor of spring break and Easter.  I think every work place should offer a spring break...a time for renewal and recreation as the seasons change.  I'm glad I didn't travel anywhere, so I could explore my neighborhood more and hang out with friends and family.

I took a bike ride to one of my new favorite places, Volunteer Park, and went into their Conservatory (it's only open during the day, so while I do walk to Volunteer Park quite a bit, it's usually in the evenings and I miss the Conservatory).

There's an orchid room, a cactus room, and a fern room.

And then there's the seasonal room, which rotates five times a year.

I so enjoyed seeing it full of all colors of hydrangeas (my favorite flower and not officially blooming til summer) and easter lilies.

Here is a view of the sunset from the top of the water tower at the other end of Volunteer Park.

I spent a lot of time with my friends Kara and Brandon (they're the ones who had the wedding on the farm last summer).  We went to a Good Friday service at St. Mark's Cathedral, which is a magnificent Episcopal church up a hill about a 15 minute walk from my apartment.  They have a big backyard we like to eat in.

I also went to a Mariners game with my friend Alana.  This night was a rare win for them, and it was a great game to be at with lots of action--15 hits.  We sat in the best seats I've ever had, on the bottom level near first base.

Alana and I went to Ben & Jerry's free cone day with my mom.

Mylee is now living at home with her best buds, Ali and Silas, while Holly finishes at PLU and packs up her apartment.

We had a nice Easter, going to church and the brunch there.  My mom and I played the bells at both services.  We went out to a Mexican restaurant for dinner :)

Also this week I baked muffins and an apple pie, visited my mom and her special ed students at school, had lunch with a friend, went for a lot of walks when we had sunshine, ate at the Melting Pot and went shopping with Holly, and joined my mom and dad to pick up a new Miata.

This Thursday, my dad and Michael and I leave for our mission trip in Ensenada, Mexico.  We'll be going with 25 other folks to build two houses.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

wall art + springtime

At Christmas I received a framed piece of art from Holly that has all the neighborhoods of Chicago graphically represented.

That inspired me to frame four old maps I have, and my dad found a print of Pike Place Market in our garage that he gave me.

So now my apartment has art on the walls, which really brightens it up!

As for the springtime part, it hasn't been all that sunny or warm lately, but I've still made it outside in between rain showers.

I went for a walk around my neighborhood and took pictures of what's blooming.

It's fun to explore and watch the seasons change in a new neighborhood!

Today my parents and Holly and I went to the Burke Museum on the UW campus to see a photography exhibit called The Owl and the Woodpecker.  Paul Bannick, the photographer, specializes in birds of North America, and his shots of a wide variety of birds are stunning.  You can see a slideshow of his work here.

We walked around the UW campus to their quad, where the cherry trees are full of blossoms.  Dad, Holly, and Mom are in the photo below if you look closely.

I can't believe in the almost 20 years we've lived here, this was my first time seeing this spring spectacle!  There are many other species of cherry trees on the campus that haven't even started blooming yet.  The place was crawling with people, taking pictures and picnic-ing and climbing up in the branches.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

happy twenty-eleven

As we start this new year, I thought I'd share pictures from my new apartment, which after paying a couple months' rent, getting a leaky gas valve replaced, and putting all my things away, I am finally feeling settled.

This photo was taken at night but shows the table I found at Goodwill and refurbished with my dad.  The wood chair I also found at Goodwill.  The two wood bookshelves and the blue arm chair are from craigslist.

My dad built me a fabulous bed that doubles as a couch during the day.  It also triples as storage with the cabinets across the back that flip up.  At night I just wheel out the mattress.

Here's a shot of it with my bedding (bird pillows handmade by my great-grandmother Gigi!) and poinsettia (a gift from my school):

This is my closet, which is actually quite large with a good amount of storage space.  I found the dresser and the five drawer chest on the right both on craigslist.  Nearly everything I bought is originally from Ikea, but I just got it at Goodwill or from another person :)

I don't have a picture of my kitchen or bathroom with things in them, so I'll try to take those in the daylight and post them next time.  I also have some artwork to put up on the walls, so I'll take a picture of those once they're up.

Here's a random picture for dad and Mike putting up the Christmas lights:

We've been having gorgeous sunny weather (although really cold) this past week or so, and my mom and Holly came over to visit me one day.  We took a walk around my neighborhood to nearby park, which has an old water tower you can climb.  We had a 360 degree view of the area.  Here's a shot of Mt. Rainier:

And here's one looking east to the 520 floating bridge, Kirkland, and the Cascades:

In early December, I got a new car!  My dad has been looking on craigslist forever, and right around the time Michael got his driver's license, he found this 2004 VW Golf.  Pretty much the same as the '98--still a stickshift--but newer and blue!  The family had to sell it because they are moving to Holland, but they've been the only owners, it has low mileage, great condition, and great price.  I absolutely love it:

One last exciting piece of news is that Holly and I are going to Washington, DC for a week in February! We're going to see two of my friends from LVC, the Uncs George and Michael, and as many monuments and museums that our time and the weather allow.  Also our Senator Patty Murray gave us tickets to go on a White House tour, so here's to hoping that we spot some or all of the Obamas :)  I'm so looking forward to's been too long.

I wish you all a happy new year!