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Archive for the ‘get outside!’ Category

A few more photos from our snowy weekend…

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The snowflakes actually began falling on Saturday night when David and I were sitting along the window at Mkt. enjoying a pre-dinner date night cocktail. The snow created a novel and unexpected romantic backdrop to our night out.

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We spent Sunday morning playing in the backyard and building a small snowman with a carrot nose and chocolate covered almond eyes.

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Sadie was interested in this new method of food offering…!

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And, Jack loved his snowman!

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A few weekends back, we took our first hike of the year- Twin Falls. It was the first official hike that Jack did all by himself (no carrying required) and it was kind of a tricky walk in the woods- steep in some spots, icy mud where the trees gave a lot of shade, and 3 miles long. Even Miss Sadie made the hike with us…but, she suffered from the exercise later on in the week when she had a sprain in her right shoulder which made getting around a big challenge for her- poor old girl.

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Despite a few bouts of whining from Jack that he was tired, I think we all had a lot of fun. It felt so good to be outside, taking big breaths of crisp and fresh Pacific Northwest air, and enjoying each other and the day away from distractions.

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Already excited to do our next one and so happy that I have made this a priority of ours this year!

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Cheers to a fun and picture-worthy 2013! May 2014 be filled with people you love and unimaginable adventures!

Happy New Year! xxo!

PS I posted a similar (shorter) video on Instagram a few days ago…maybe you saw it there; if not, follow me over there!: stephaniebrowngoat.

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It’s difficult to find words to describe the elation and comfort of being surrounded by family. There’s even greater elation and, thus, a greater challenge in describing the feeling, when surrounded by said family whom normally reside over 2400 miles away!

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We felt lucky. I know that much for sure. Spending our weekend in a beautiful cabin rented by Dad in Cle Elum, playing at Suncadia Resort’s Harvest Festival, running through the mountain trails, soaking in the sunshine and the views, and enjoying drinks and good times.

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I love each of these people. So happy that I can call them mine…and, over the moon that they came to visit! Thank you Aunt Diane, Uncle Wayne, Martha, Jessica, Mom, and Dad for a fantastic Autumn weekend!

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Blue skies, moderately warm temperatures, endless sun, ice cream (more on this addiction later…let’s just say it’s a bit out of control!), beach days, wading pools, flip flops, skirts, shorts, picnics…and BERRIES! So many plump, delicious berries growing in fields all over the northwest right now just waiting to be plucked from their bushes.

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My absolute favorite fruit is raspberries (in actuality, it’s probably in my top five favorite foods list if I were to create one) so I was one very happy girl yesterday when we went berry picking with some friends at Biringer Farms and discovered that the raspberries were at their peak! We only spent an hour or so in the fields, only picking from a few rows, but we got such a wonderful bounty of huge, red, juicy raspberries!

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We are trying to enjoy them in their pure form as quickly as possible since no amount of sugar or even buttery crust could possibly make them better, but I do plan to make at least one berry crumble pie later this week with some of the smashed ones.

Summer is just delightful, no?!!

P.S. Our berry picking adventure 2 years ago, just a few months after moving here— look how little Jack was!!!…sigh.

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Just wanted to stop by and say hello! I haven’t forgotten about this space (on the contrary, I actually have many ideas for new posts), but summer life takes on a direction of its own and before I know it, our calendars are overbooked with activities that have us playing in the sun, visiting more with friends, and lingering longer over meals since the sun doesn’t disappear from the clear Seattle sky until after 10pm. It’s a glorious time of the year!
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I plan to pop back in soon with some recipes and to share photos of our summer time fun, but right now I’m just going to kick my feet up and sip an iced coffee on my sun-drenched deck.

PS I just chopped about 9 or 10 inches off my hair (you can see it in the bottoms photo)! It feels good to have shorter, bouncier locks for summer!

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Recently, we spent a week at Lake Chelan sharing a vacation home with our dear friends- Amy, Phil, Johanna, and Britta. It was nothing short of gorgeous and immensely fun! The glacier-fed lake, which is nearly 55 miles long and located in northwestern Washington in the Cascade Mountain range, looks like the Caribbean Ocean with both turquoise, greens, and dark blues coloring its clear water. And, the surrounding hillside reminds me of Tuscany- gently rolling hills dotted with homes, villas, the occasional tree- ponderosa pines, vines of grapes, a patchwork of lush green orchards, and many wineries. One afternoon, I took a walk and was able to get to a height above an apple orchard- it was especially pretty looking down on the neat rows of apple trees leading to the Caribbean blue waters with the Tuscan-looking hills in the background. Off in the distance, the mountain peaks still held snow, making the landscape even that much more rich and stunning. What an insanely beautiful place!

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We hit several of Lake Chelan’s wineries while we were visiting- there are more than two dozen wineries surrounding both the north and south shores of the lake. Our first tasting was at Wapato Point Cellars and the bonus here was that it is family friendly and has a small play area on the grounds. This means the kids were well entertained while the grownups tasted wine!

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Both couples enjoyed a date morning (sans kids) where we did something active as a couple and then enjoyed a wine tasting at the Lake Chelan Winery. This winery had my favorite wine of the trip, a white Syrah, which went perfectly with our grilled vegetable and mozzarella pasta dinner.20130508-055700.jpg

We also did a girls only outing to Vin du Lac , a charming French inspired winery (note the Eiffel tower in the second photo) with amazing views! The weather was perfect and we indulged in a few wine flights on their lovely patio and then ended with a glass of sweet and florally Gewurtztraminer.20130508-040110.jpg

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One morning, we hiked at Echo Ridge…it was fun to see a different part of the area and to try to picture what the cross country skiing would be like around there, but the older kids weren’t that into walking so the dads ended up carrying them and, of course, baby Britta was carried, which left me as the only parent free of carrying extra kid weight! We saw a few deer on the hike, lots of pretty yellow Baslamroot flowers, and great views! The kids had fun looking for bugs- we found a cool lizard- and building a “bird nest”.

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We spent a lot of time playing on the beach and just really trying to soak in the views! Jack looked at us from time to time while involved in play and said, “it’s really pretty here, right?”. “Yes, baby, it is,” I always replied with a smile and a happy little sigh.

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This was really a perfect trip to do with friends! The area is so relaxed…it was a joy to be able to spend so much time with our great friends with no real agenda. We ate fantastic meals, soaked in the hot tub for hours, indulged in many tropical drinks and local wine, and were able to comfortably spend lots of quality time with each other without rushing home for naps or bedtime! Our rental house, Lazy Creek, was the perfect find (thanks to Amy!) with a pool, hot tub, multiple outdoor seating areas, great views, and lots of space to claim as your own.

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Jack and Johanna “got married” several times during the week which looked like lots of hugging and tumbling and spinning around…clearly, they are quite fond of one another!
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On our last day, just the three of us visited Blueberry Hills Farm where we had brunch. It’s a few miles outside of town. Looking out from the restaurant’s elevated back deck, you see rows and rows of blueberry bushes which we explored after our meal. They smelled wonderful as they were in full bloom…too bad we weren’t there during the picking season! On our way out of town, we made one last stop to Lake View Drive-In. We weren’t overly impressed with our lunch there earlier in the week, but, man, their milkshakes are delicious- we had to have another one for the drive! My favorite was peanut butter hot fudge, which had a rich peanut butter flavor and a ribbon of thick hot fudge marbled evenly throughout…mmm!

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I also found a home that I’m pining for right on the north shore of the lake!…I took pictures of the home and will do a separate post next week. Oh, house dreaming is fun!

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Despite the number of times we uttered this phrase over the weekend(!), we all had a really fun time in the surprisingly springy weather painting eggs, hiding and hunting plastic eggs filled with toys and candy, cooking food on the grill, and enjoying cocktails in the backyard.

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We started a tradition last year that Jack plants a jellybean on Easter Eve and in the spot where it is planted, his Easter basket appears the next morning…he loves picking out just the right place and making sure the jellybean is completely buried under the dirt. And, his excitement the next morning is completely infectious!

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What a smile new Crocs (indoor shoes for school) can bring, especially if they are super hero ones!

I hope you had a fun Easter weekend too!

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“It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold; when it is summer in the light and winter in the shade.”
–Great Expectations

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Saturday. It was exactly one of those type of March days. And, I spent the majority of it outside planting flowers, gardening, playing, reading, and drinking a warm Earl Grey tea latte when the shade covered our lawn. It was pretty close to perfect (would have been better with David around). And, now we have our first lettuce crop growing and the radish seeds planted. Dots of color are popping up everywhere. And, we are all excited to be outside!

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We haven’t really been affected by the time change yet as our Sunday was quite gray and drizzly and we didn’t really notice when the sun rose or set…but that’s okay. We spent our day indoors going to see a Pinocchio play and eating a dim sum lunch with friends. We do live in Seattle after all and the gray and drizzly makes the sun even that much prettier!

I hope all of you had a great weekend too. Are there signs of spring in your yards?

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Jack wrapped up his month of ski school at the end of February. It was a fun experience for all of us and it definitely accomplished our goal of exposing him to the sport of skiing and allowing him to become familiar with the equipment and the mountain. We are looking forward to yearly ski vacations as a family!

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Practicing with Dada and Carol, his instructor.

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Carol, the ski instructor, and our friend, Hanna, who was in the same ski class with Jack.

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Superman, I mean Jack!

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Look at that hair- he already looks like the stereotypical snowboarder, no??!

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Practicing his superman ski arms while showing off his cape that we kept hidden under his ski clothes!

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