Saturday, March 26, 2016

Jude is 5!

On Friday, my sweet Jude Dude turned 5! 
Jude woke up early that morning to a brand new toy waiting on the kitchen counter, nibbled the frosting off his donut for breakfast, made a trip to the YMCA to play, blew up balloons the rest of the day at home, enjoyed a celebratory dinner of hot dogs, french fries, and watermelon--all per his request--with Nana, Grandpa, and Uncle Nick, opened up a new color-changing Doc Hudson car and soccer ball and net from Nana, jumped with little sister on a new mini-trampoline from us, and blew out the candles on his purple (favorite color) monster, rainbow cupcakes from Nana!

It was low-key and without Adam this year, but the festivities are going all weekend as Adam returns. Which is a very Stevens way of celebrating birthdays.

Hey Jude,

You are just the sweetest, funniest, happiest, silliest, kindest, most curious and best hugger and snuggler of a boy ever.
I just love you to absolute bits, bud. 
Right now your favorite shows are AFV and anything Winnie the Pooh. Your favorite toys are color-changing cars from the Cars movie. Your favorite thing to do outside are swim and play soccer. Your favorite lunch is an "eggy" sandwich with oranges. Your favorite dinners are pizza, spaghetti and meatballs, and hot dogs, with ice cream for dessert. 

Anyone that knows you will say you love everyone, have a joy for life like no one they know, always celebrate the little things, and are the best big brother ever. 

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Lately in Bellevue

This Wednesday we're moving out of our apartment in Bellevue to a beautiful home up north. I can't even tell you how excited I am!
Our own (rented) home!
With a huge, gorgeous backyard!
I can be AS LOUD AS I WANT blasting whatever effing music I want.
I can stop yelling at my kids for jumping up and down on the hardwood floors.
This is amazing. 
Guys, I can plant tomatoes if I want. TOMATOES.

Although thoroughly looking forward our move, we've really enjoyed our time here in Bellevue. It's a beautiful, small city (size-wise it reminds me a lot of Portland) and it's been so fun just to walk everywhere with the kids, pick up our groceries, go to the park, get gyros, and not worry about parking or traffic. 
Here's a few photos taken over our last two weeks here. 
Some of which are new favorites of mine. 


This one of this girl. Gosh, she's such a little beauty. 

One night we got pizza on the go and he just sat down on the street corner waiting for our turn to cross, munching on a slice. This kid is so funny these days. 

Hope you're all having a great weekend!
Tonight we're watching Jurassic World and eating Oreo's thins--the mint kind.
Pretty sure tonight is a major step up from last.
Although, we seem to have fun no matter what. 

Friday, March 11, 2016

Must Love Dogs

What are you doing tonight?
We're eating sorbet and Vienna Fingers in bed while watching Must Love Dogs on Netflix.
LITERALLY couldn't be any more cool, could we?

Speaking of loving dogs, here's a throw back to our last visit to Shake Shack in Austin, when Scout met the fluffiest dog her little body could handle. Her love for (big) dogs is amazing. And my heart aches that our new place doesn't allow dogs.
One day, sweet Scout, one day! 

Haha I love the way these photos show exactly how this went down. First, she looks up for approval from the owner. Then, she lightly pets and faintly smiles, and then quickly becomes infatuated. Petting this sweetie was the only thing she wanted to do the rest of the night! 

Friday, March 4, 2016

New Home in Seattle and Bye for Now to Great Friends

Sooooo...we're back in the Pacific Northwest.
Isn't that ridiculous? 
I mean, it's pretty hilarious, right? 
We literally made a circle. Well, more like an upside down pyramid, but nevertheless, nearly the biggest wobbling pyramid one can make in these United States. 
I know what some of you are thinking--"Can't they just make up their minds?"
"Do they actually like doing this?" "Have they no sense of direction?"

To be fair, the answer to all of these questions can be partly answered "No."
But in all honestly, it's 90% yes. 
1. Each move we've made has been brought about by careful fasting and prayer. 
Each move has been agonized over and included extensive pros and cons lists, with carefully constructed maps of where the best pizza and gyro places are. 
2. We actually do like moving. Although each move has been more difficult to make than the last, we have had some pretty stellar adventures, seen amazing things, done amazing things, and been influenced and forever befriended by some pretty incredible people. 
3. Our sense of direction is always moving upward. And with every move, we've been lucky to do just that in not only our careers, but in our closeness as a family and the joys we've experienced together.

That being all fine and good--I'm sort of over it. Now that Jude is on the verge of Kindergarten, I'd really like this one to be the last for awhile. I know awhile for us isn't awhile, but give me like, I don't know, five years and then we'll see what happens?

How was it moving from Austin to Seattle? 
How nice of you to ask. 
It was unbelievably difficult. 
I'm still in denial. 
You know when they talk about how for a young mom the perfect utopia would be for girls like me to live in the same area, with kids all the same age, with all of us in the same stage of life, with the same interests, same sense of humor and same instinct to give one another and one another's kids the shirts off our backs at any given moment, and to have our kids play together nearly every day, eat lunch together, and do regular girl's nights together?

I had that village. The same village most women are only lucky enough to have hazy visions of--only to be cruelly snapped back into reality by the sound of their kid being screamed at by some perfectly shaped helicopter park mom (are those moms really always coming from the gym?)

Leaving the village of genuine, down-to-earth, beautiful moms, dirty leggings and day-old-makeup and all, has been one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. 
I remember the moment it happened, too, when I realized I had it. 
We were at JoDee's house. The place was in pandemonium. No one cared. The kids were alive. And then I overheard someone say, "Hey, can Scout eat this," and my beautiful friend said, in her familiar, matter-of-fact way, "Oh yeah, go ahead. Scout can have anything." 
And then it clicked that my daughter didn't have one mother here. She had 20. Twenty young, energetic mothers that loved her and loved my son and would take them, without question, anytime I needed to go grocery shopping, to the dentist, to a work meeting, or would even just grab Jude on their way to the park while Scout napped. 

I could go on. And on. And on. 
Like, how Liz always told me how hot I was that day, or gave me her crazy eyes of "tell me what's going on immediately" when things were less than awesome that day.
Or how whenever Anna found out Adam was out of town she'd immediately coordinate doing dinners together that week. 
Or how they all reassured me that my crazy was also their crazy and that nothing was all that bad because we had each other. 

And then, to make it even worse, these friends threw me a beautiful outdoor surprise going away party, with twinkle lights, sit down dinner, games, memories and even a freaking painted Space Needle backdrop. 
Up until then, I had bottled up my expanding emotions to be unleashed at another time. Preferably while on my own, in Seattle, in a dark closet for 12.5 minutes (hours?)
But instead, I lost it. Right in JoDee's shoulder. I couldn't think of anything more touching, or more personal, from women who's efforts towards me I felt like I was being disloyal to. 

They're my people. And so the real question is, Carrie Bradshaw:
How do you find the motivation to make new friends, when you already have best friends just a plane ride away? 

To all my loves in Austin: I love you. You've all been there for me during a time in my life when I didn't think I could do anything on my own (I mean, when do I ever?)
Thank you for being more than friends, but true sisters. 
Bye for now! I have a feeling a few years down the road some of you will leave Austin and maybe be that much closer to me! 

Come visit! Anytime! You can sleep in my bed!
Seriously, I mean, Adam won't be there and I'm not giving a beautiful, ]flying unicorn some dumb air mattress to sleep on.

text me all the pics I have with each one of you from that night and I'll add it here to have forever!

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