Thursday, April 26, 2012

Goodbye for now, Nana

My grandma called this morning to let me know that her mother, my Nana, had passed away. Nana lived to be 103, something that was hard to believe when visiting with her. While her body was failing her, her mind and heart were not. She managed to remember everyone in her extended family, including Kyle (the newest addition to marry into the family), and what was going on in our lives. That, to me, is so important and often overlooked in the business of this era (starting with me, guilty as charged). Nana got to the joy of loving not just one, but four generations of family members over her lifetime...and we are all blessed because of it!
Kyle meeting my nana, for the first and last time.
Nana - you were an inspiration to many and will not be forgotten. Ever. Love you and may your soul rest in peace with the Lord.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Day Trip to Cannon Beach

Cannon Beach is a place Kyle's family grew up spending their summers; it's also the name of our favorite sandwich at the QFC deli. A few months ago, Kyle and I blocked off the third weekend in April to do an overnight date-night at his family's cabin in Ellensburg. Due to a scheduling error, the cabin was actually in use and we had to come up with a plan B for our weekend getaway. Kyle decided it would be fun to scrap the overnight and just do a day trip to Cannon Beach, a place I had never been before. I am so glad we went! It was a gorgeous day, and we spent all afternoon exploring Cannon Beach with Kyle as our tour guide.

Relaxing on the drive down the 101...
Ready to explore Cannon Beach!
 We started off by finding the nearest bathroom, just for future reference. We then made our way down Hemlock towards the Conference Center, where Kyle has a lot of found memories.
Kyle hates it when I say "do the thumbs up!", but he did love
showing me around the grounds.

Next, we headed to the beach because I couldn't wait to see Haystack Rock. The beach was beautiful! We walked for about a half a mile to get closer to the rock before taking some pictures. There were so many couples and families around - it gave me that same warm and fuzzy feeling you get when you see loved ones meeting people at the airport after they've been away from home (if you've seen the movie Love Actually, you know the scene that's playing out in my head right now).

Next, we headed back to Hemlock Street to get lunch at Pizza a Fetta, the best pizza place in town (or possibly ever).
Hemlock Street

Pizza by the slice!
The many faces of Kyle!
Happy as a clam!
After lunch we did some window showing, where we picked up a print of Haystack Rock as well as a Christmas ornament to add to our collection. We then headed over to Bruce's Candy Kitchen. This place is a very fond memory of Kyle's, and is also the place where we ordered all the taffy from for our wedding favors (350 individually wrapped bags of 4 pieces each, to be exact).
Taffy favors at our wedding
Bruce's Candy Kitchen

Taffy by the pound!

I'm happy I finally got to see this place in person!
After Bruce's, we stopped into a little antique shop. For some reason, this never gets old for me, and I always find "something" that we need to have. At this shop, I found a pretty seashell (that I will spray paint a solid color for our bedroom) and a little sand jar. 
My finds!
Of course, we needed sand from Cannon Beach for the little jar!
Then, we just decided to spend some more time just hangin' on the beach, enjoying God's creation. Can you blame us?

We ended the day with dinner at Morris' Fireside Lodge. We were pretty pooped, and had recently discovered we were a little sunburned. It was a great way to end the day!

Giving it grace: What a wonderful day! This daycation was a much needed breath of fresh air. I am in the processing of preparing my thesis to be presented, and between work, my school, community group, and other commitments, Kyle and I don't get a lot of time to just really "hang out" together. I admit, I was pretty bummed when our original trip to Kyle's cabin got canceled. I really wanted to be mad at someone - anyone - because I had been looking forward to it for so long. In the face of my selfish anger, God blessed us with the best day we've had since we've been married (mini-moon aside) in Cannon Beach! Although we we're just four hours away, all the stress of daily life seemed to have been left behind on another planet. It was so fun to just wander around, not care about the time, not be on our phones, and just take in the moments. I can't wait to go back!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Easter, one last time (promise...)

Kyle and I were incredibly honored to play a role in this Easter's service at our church. We got asked to preform baptisms at one of the morning services, which is (I think) one of the most uniquely beautiful experiences ever. Baptisms are an outward display of an inward faith, and to be a part of that experience with someone (even just for a moment) really makes God seem big, and us seem small.

Over 420 people were baptized across all our 14 locations - what an amazing day! Here is a video re-cap from our church in Ballard. Also, here is the bigger video of baptisms from all the churches.

Also, here are some pics of our experience in the baptismal:

Also, my grandma and grandpa, aunt, mom and her boyfriend Dave joined my dad, sister, Kyle and I for church this year. It was so wonderful to look down the row and see so many important people in my life, all sitting together to celebrate our risen God!

Giving it grace: We know that if we were being judged accordingly, Kyle and I would never deserve to be a part of something so special. Jesus died for our sins, though, and we are seen as righteous before God (talk about grace!). Because God is SO gracious, He lets us be a part of His work here on earth. And for that, we're very grateful!

Behind the scenes

 I got a little crafty in preparing for Kyle and Heather's party...I mean, what's a party without party decor?!

The birthday bling for the twins

The clue cards

The "leave a message" station

The beginning of the dessert table centerpiece...
First I used Modge Podge to secure the letters to the craft paper....

Then I proceeded to wrap the letters like one would wrap a present....

Still wrapping...(it's ok if Modge Podge gets on the exposed
side of the paper, because it gets covered later on).

Next, I made a cut-out to cover where all the paper edges met in the middle.

Apply the cut out...

And lastly, I applied lace craft paper the same way as the colored craft paper!
In hindsight, I should have used actual lace because it probably would have
 folder more easily around the ridged edges of the letters.

But I still think they turned out pretty good!
H and K centerpiece for the dessert table.

All the gals from our women's Bible study chipped
in by bringing a homemade dessert!

Mary Ann, Cheryl and friends spend the evening prior decorating the Roof House.
See the balloons and tissue poms in this photo? They were all over, and it looked amazing!

Kyle and Heather's 30th Birthday

Last month was Kyle and Heather's 30th birthday! As a brand-new wife, I felt that it was important that I not drop the ball on such an important milestone. Also, parties are way more fun when you're married, so any excuse to throw one is great!

I was so excited to plan something memorable for Heather (Kyle's twin sister) and Kyle, that Adam (Heather's husband) and I began talking back in early February about what we should plan for them. We ended up planning (ok, it was mostly Adam...he has amazingggggg connections) a progressive evening for the twins, culminating in a surprise party filled with family and friends.

Heather and Kyle thought they were going out to dinner with Adam and I. Little did they know...

First, I surprised Heather by showing up at her house prior to her "leaving for dinner". She was given a pink crown and "30th Birthday" button to wear. We loaded her into the van, and told her we were off to kidnap Kyle. Heather asks a lot of questions, so we had to instate a "no questions" rule.

Next, we arrived at UpTime (Kyle's office), and I surprised Kyle with a sash and a button of his own to wear. Adam then presented Heather and Kyle with a basket of food, much like the popular food show Chopped. They had to open the basket and, based on the items inside, try to guess what the evening entailed. After that, they got their first clue, and the added surprise that Zeke and Bekah would be joining us for the evening!

Stop #1: Firefly Kitchen

Outside Firefly Kitchen, the first stop on the tour
Firefly kitchen is a local fermentation business that makes really yummy kimchi, kraut, etc. This was, of course, one of Adam's connections (I don't know anyone cool).

Getting a tour of the kitchen.

Fermenting in process!
Free samples - awesome!
Kyle and Heather also got free reusable totes. Score!

Opening their next clue...

Stop 2: Domanico Cellars
Next we drove about 3 yards east of Firefly Kitchen for a wine tasting at Domanico Cellars (another wonderful connection of Adam's).

Stop 3: Dinner at Tulio with Kyle and Heather's parents!
After a quick wardrobe change at the church, the twins opened their next clue that led us to Tulio. They were extremely shocked to walk in and see their parents, Pete and Mary Ann, sitting at our table! Pete and Mary Ann had been at UpTime when we initially surprised the twins and had played it cool, so the twins were very surprised to them at dinner!

Stop 4: Surprise Party!
Pete and Mary Ann gave the twins' final clue to the waiter to put in their dessert menus. Instead of ordering dessert, their final clue instructed them to head to the Roof House (a private area above a local business owned by Kyle's uncle) for dessert with a "few family and friends". They were incredibly surprised when they got upstairs and found dozens of family and friends were there to celebrate with them!


Kyle's mom Mary Ann and his aunt Cheryl - party planning experts!

Birthday Twins!

All in all, it was a really, really, really great night! Many thanks to all who helped put it together. Happy 30th Birthday to a wonderful husband and incredible sister-in-law!

PS - Big thanks to Mara for taking all the pictures!