It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas

There is a local family that goes all out with their Christmas decorations every year. Santa frequently stops by to pose for DIY photos, and they even have a snow making machine installed on the side of their house. They also collect for the NW Harvest food drive every year.

Every where you look is decorated, every square foot of the lawn. Aaron and I marveled at how much was involved. Not just the electricity, but the hours of work that must have been involved. I can’t even wrap my head around the planning, organization, and storage considerations for this annual project.

Gem marveled at the whole thing, too. “Mommy, Mommy, look, look!” Over and over again. Everything was so amazing.


It is a bit gaudy, and definitely over the top, but that’s part of the appeal. I love a little exuberance every once in a while; it can be so freeing and refreshing.

Do you have any extreme holiday houses near you?

That’s one way to light a tree

That’s one way to light a tree

I love it when people think out of the box for holiday decorations. tree with lantern

This tree full of lanterns is so festive, but also, so interesting. I could sit and look for hours. Well, if it wasn’t so cold.   lantern tree

Have any decorations captured your interest this season?           lantern

I {heart} Seattle

It was a crisp October morning, 21 years ago that I moved to Seattle. I was 21 years old. That’s half my life.


I was the girl from the small town in Alaska. I had a line on a job, and a line on an apartment and roommates. Neither were set in stone. It was all a big gamble.


My friend, Russ, picked me up at the airport and drove me to the place I was staying. He pointed out landmarks along the way, as I experienced Seattle traffic for the first time, and the downtown towers loomed in the distance. I was at the same time wondering what I’d gotten myself into, and falling in love with my new home town.


The most important and amazing events of my life happened right here in Seattle.


I fell in love. I fell in love again when my child was born. I beat back cancer. I grew into my own skin and learned to love myself. I surrounded myself with intelligent, authentic, and compassionate people who share my values. Of course these things can be done anywhere, but in Seattle, the fit was right.


Access to art, culture, education, excellent medical care, urban villages with a small town feel and the benefits of a big city, mountains and water – yes, I definitely {heart} Seattle.



Pacific Science Center Tropical Butterfly House

Pacific Science Center Tropical Butterfly House

Hot, humid, and swarming with tropical butterflies of all colors and sizes, the Pacific Science Center Tropical Butterfly House is a touch of the tropics right here in Seattle – and a great way to spend the afternoon with your favorite kid, or kid at heart.


Gem was so taken with the idea that a butterfly might land on her that she stood completely still for what felt like F O R E V E R (and probably even longer for her) waiting for one to come and say hi. The rules were very strict: NO TOUCH! However, if a butterfly lands on you, well that’s their choice. It took a while, and Gem managed to keep from reaching out and touching them, and finally one crawled right up on her finger. She was elated.


The butterflies would often land right on the floor, so it was important to watch your step carefully. Occasionally one of the butterflies would be sitting on the floor injured. Stepped on? Perhaps. Or it could have been injured elsewhere, and then just landed on the floor to catch it’s breath. Gem was looking for a butterfly under this caution sign, with no idea a blue morpho was fluttering around right next to her.


I kept thinking that the Pacific Science Center would be a great place to take her when she gets older – but I was missing out. It’s really appropriate for all ages – and even has a toddler explore area for the littlest ones.



Burien Wild Strawberry Festival

Burien Wild Strawberry Festival

I’m always on the lookout for free and awesome things to do with my family, especially things that are appropriate for the little one. The Burien Wild Strawberry Festival was the perfect way to spend Fathers’ Day Weekend. A small town festival with all the typical carnival rides and games, and entrance was free.

burien wild strawberry festival


The festival was in the downtown common area, with a view of Mt. Rainier,


and we could even watch the activity at SeaTac Airport from the top of the Ferris wheel.


There were plenty of activities for the kids. Some we had to pay for, like the rides,


but many more were free. A bouncy house, several different kids art stations and play stations, and the Firefighters let my little one sit in the driver’s seat of their ladder truck, and taught her all about dialing 9-1-1.


There were plenty of cultural events, including a Chinese dragon winding it’s way through the crowd,

dragon 2

and later found resting.


And when the sun got just too hot, we went underground to watch the breakdancing competition in the parking structure.


I love, love, love little festivals and fairs, and this is one of the better ones I’ve been to. We’ll be back next year.

How did you spend Fathers’ Day Weekend?

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