Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Christmas Music!

I just love Christmas. Every year I try to wait to listen to the music til after Thanksgiving, as a sort of, generally futile, attempt at self control. I make it almost every other year. This year, not so much. I love all the traditions, the smell of a Christmas tree, giving gifts, Christmas treats, sweaters, and hearing the Christmas story over and over. But mostly I love the music. I have been tucking my phone in my sweatshirt pocket while playing christmas music so its always going!

Did you see this awesome video of four guys and one piano. What a musical treat!

Here are a few of my very favorite Christmas songs, already on repeat in our house.
Sleigh Ride by Mannheim Steamroller on Grooveshark

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen by Barenaked Ladies on Grooveshark

Santa Claus Is Coming to Town by Bruce Springsteen on Grooveshark

 Silent Night by Bing Crosby on Grooveshark

 Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree by Brenda Lee on Grooveshark

(Also this album and this one).

Non-music funny: this hilarious list from a crazy kid (language warning).

Monday, December 2, 2013

Resolution Sunday: Cooking!

I am so thankful (although I haven't always been) that my mom made me cook with her all the time growing up. Some days I admittedly put up a fight, but now I know how to cook a lot of different standby dishes without recipes and can improvise with the best of them.

I am thankful that she took the time to teach my sister and I the tricks of the trade and made us participate in all parts of the cooking, including the planning, weekly. It was expected that we help (almost) every night, and now that I have my own kitchen, I am thankful that I did.

I am also thankful that Marty loves to cook. He loves to do the long, intricate recipes that are new and adventurous, and inevitably delicious. I think he is a fab cook, and I am thankful that he loves all sorts of different foods.

I am thankful that I get to cook too. Choice is a luxury, and I get to go to the grocery store and pick out what I like and what fits in the budget, and cook it in my own kitchen using my cooking skillz.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thank you

Thank you for the sun that shines through the curtain in the morning, reminding me that this is a new day. This day may hold good things, bad things, frustrating things, joyful things, but for that first moment it is simply just new.

Thank you for a husband who comes home at the end of the day ready to talk finances, ready to laugh at our inside jokes, ready to do nothing for the fourth night in a row but veg out in front of 30 rock with leftovers. Thank you for making him kind and patient, just the right amount boring, and for making him the kind of guy who cleans the toilet.

Thank you for parents and their never ceasing love. Thank you for the moments when we realize that our parents are humans just like us, and especially for those moments that we realize that they truly are super-human.

Thank you for fresh air, clean water, and coffee. For yeast that makes donuts rise and ovens that bake cookies quickly. Thank you for butter I don't have to churn and milk that comes in a jug. Thank you that I don't have get up at 5 am to milk any cows. Thank you for those who do.

Thank you for those that love us so well. For those we drink beer with and laugh with and talk about forbidden things with. For those who know we snort when we laugh too hard. For those who have to explain football plays again and again and for those who patiently remind us to let it go.

Thank you for the excuse to express gratitude and thank you for reminding us to bundle up all the thankfulness of the weekend and take it with us (that, and ten containers of leftovers).

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Resolution Sunday: My Birthday!

This year my birthday was just awesome. We went out for dinner for my birthday to a nice new place (they are all new at this point) in a new neighborhood of the city. It was only the second time we had gone out for dinner just us since we moved here in August.

For a very long time Marty has been making me promise not to plan anything for this weekend, so I knew something was up his sleeve. We headed to the zoo yesterday morning as what I thought was just the first of many activities and perhaps a night away. But after the zoo and a quick sandwich stop, we stopped back by our place to "pack our bags", but instead found a big group of my friends and family.

Marty had clearly instructed them that I "liked surprises but not being startled" so Marty walked through the door first and when I came in they gave a very friendly Happy Birthday cheer!  I screamed and threw my purse on the ground. It was awesome.
The first person I saw was my friend Jenny, who was wearing a sweater that we both own, hiding behind the couch. I honestly thought that someone had come into my house, stolen my sweater, and was now hiding behind the couch because I had walked in on the theft. That was my first thought.

My second was wondering if Marty had bought enough food and goodies to host all these people. He had.

I am so grateful for a sweet husband to plan me a party and for all my friends who love me enough to give up their saturday afternoon and for my family who drove down from our home town. I am just too flattered and grateful.

And too top it all off, my mom made cupcakes, and mom-made-cupcakes are just the best on your birthday. 

This year is gonna be dynamite!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Resolution Sunday: French Bakeries

(enjoying an actual French Bakery)

This week I am thankful for french bakeries. We visited my very favorite one, the one by Pikes Place, where my love for all things French Pastry started. This Saturday we went downtown and pretended to be tourists. It was pretty surreal, doing things that I had always done as a tourist thinking "we live here now".

I am 99.5% sure that heaven smells like a french bakery, so buttery and warm and just a touch sweet. Mmm..... I love the almond croissants and pain du chocolat. Really anything with warm and flaky crust.

I am just so grateful that these places exist.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Birthday Month!

This week was Marty's birthday week. Remember this story about his birthday? We were remembering when I came up from college on a Wednesday, even skipping a chem lab, to surprise Marty for his 18th birthday. I went with his family to a fancy pants restaurant in Canada and I drove back down to college the next morning. This was, of course, a huge deal at the time. And a whole decade ago (wait, what?).

This year we are back home, which means we get all sorts of family love on our birthdays. Marty's twin brother is back in town after a couple years in Paris and we are happy to be all in the same place. We made homemade sushi on the floating home that Sam and his girlfriend are renting on Lake Union, drank local beer, and played a new game. And of course ate The Carrot Cake. I even made Marty's mom tell their birth story, which I am sure the boys really enjoyed.

Happy birthday to my rockstar of a husband. We are the same age for exactly 8 days (and that is neat)

Now, on to my birthday week!


Your Friday Feelgoods -

Batkid in San Fran

MY mom is the best

I am craving watching the sound of music, but not with a grump

I don't have kids but this is funny.

Now these are some cats I like.


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Resolution Sunday: The Seattle Sun

In Seattle, you really appreciate the sun. Whenever it is out, even in the slightest, people are outside and enjoying the natural beauty. I am remembering so much about life in the PNW just after being back for a few months. One thing I am remembering is how people say that the sun is out, even if it can just be glimpsed behind a sea of clouds. In North Carolina, they called that a dreary february day.

I am grateful for the Sun when it does shine here in Seattle, and for a community that values living in the moment, enjoying and preserving nature, and being eager to point out all the bright sun shiny moments. This picture is looking the building where Marty works on Lake Union, with the space needle behind it.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Resolution Sunday: My mom loves holidays

My mom loves to decorate for holidays and its the best. She has kept our artwork from when we were kids and still hangs them proudly around the house. We have also collected quite a few trinkets here and there too, like the pumpkins we painted in ceramics class we took all together. I love that she gets them all out and love to recount all of the stories of each object or "art" piece.

My mom also loves to send cards, so I was so happy to get this handmade one.
Look at this awesome picture I drew when I was small. I was always a stickler for facts. (It reads: This pumpkin weighs 612 pounds and that is true).

And she sent me these ghosts clutching candy corns to put on cupcakes.

I am so grateful my mom loves holidays and thinks to send me cards, encourage my baking habit, and is still proud of my artwork.

Friday, November 1, 2013


Hey Y'all, its Friday! We are seeing our families this weekend, and I am pulling out the ol' purple tutu for a 5k on Sunday. Did you do anything fun for Halloween? Did you look as awesome as this kid? Don't forget to change your clocks this weekend! 

Isn't this an hysterical picture? I can't do a jumping pic for the life of me. Honestly.

Remember yesterday's post about getting lost in space? Here is a funny follow up...

Check out this map of people dying and being born. It will put you in a trance (and then maybe make you feel clastrophobic).

Which state matches your personality? Apparently I belong in Georgia.

When do you drink your cuppa joe? I like mine after breakfast, apparently I was on to something!

My hometown is making the news big time because of a battle about a coal shipping port they want to put there. A small town county council election will most likely have a huge impact on the coal industry.

Need a pick me up? Check out this one.

Have you seen this video? And just for the record, boooooo buckeyes.

Will you go see the remake of Carrie? Here's a creative trailer.

We have officially hit fall here in Seattle, which made me laugh at this graph... Happy Friday!

The Week That Wasn’t by Sarah Lazarovic: Toronto Seasons (well, most places in Canada really)

Mostly because I have a recent love affair with Toronto, but also because New England is like this, though less extreme. But back to Toronto, I’m going to hit you up this summer, so watch out.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

My Biggest (irrational) Fear

Okay, here it is, my Halloween inspired confession. My biggest fear, or rather my biggest irrational fear.

I am honestly quite scared of this, even though I 100% realize that it is just simply never going to happen to me. Not ever, no way, guaranteed.

That's because I am afraid of being lost in space.

Yeah, that's right, lost in space. But really, imagine it, you are all suited up for your space walk and somehow you get disconnected from the spaceship. And you are just floating! Without control of where you are going! And with no hope of being rescued! Cuz, well, you are in space!

Holy cow, isn't that just terrifying?

Annnnnd, you have to end your own life, which means you have to chose how to do it (although I would assume that my extensive astronaut training would train me the best way to do this). Honestly, I am shuddering just thinking about the lost, out of control, hopeless feeling.

Anyhoo, that's my secret oh so irrational fear. I have had to admit it a little more than usual lately, especially with this movie out now.

What's your irrational fear? Any really silly fears that you can admit on Halloween?

Here are some real astronauts, doing their real astronaut thing.

An astronaut mom.

An astronaut who went blind temporarily in space (apparently tears don't fall in space).

Bowie in space.

Sunrise in space (astronauts see 16 a day!).

Views of the earth.


Sunday, October 27, 2013

Resolution Sunday: Once a logger....

This weekend was homecoming at our alma mater, the University of Puget Sound. And we were in town to go! We went, met up with some friends and my cousin who is a current student, and got to go to the football game (d3 football!)

I am so grateful that we went there, to a small(ish) liberal arts school in T-town. It really prepared us both, and we may have had a fun time here and there as well. We hadn't been back in five years, and there are two new impressive buildings which (almost) made me want to go back through it all again.

I am excited to be back in the area so that we can do more alumni gatherings and involvement.

Once a logger, always a logger!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Our High School Selves

This week I gave a couple of presentations in a high school nearby and had the opportunity to walk through the halls at passing time and at the end of the day. I filed out with all these high school kids, chuckling under my breath the whole way, as so many familiar scenes played out in front of me. Awkward boys play fighting with the girls they liked, brooding kids with the weight of the world visibly resting on their shoulders just above their overweight backpacks, masses of girls smashed together conspiring in code about boys and cheap jeans and Friday night plans.

I recently was driving with a friend and passed a lone teenage guy at a bus stop. He was looking off into the distance wearing his emotions on his sleeve, and we joked about how he was probably pondering how to ask a girl to the dance, or perhaps he was moody because his parents just didn't understand, or was heartbroken because that girl had just did a number to his heart and the world was surely going to come crashing, crashing down all around.

Oh man, we laughed, remember when the world would come crashing down one minute and the next life was teaming with opportunity, or love, or excitement? The highs man, the highs. But oh wow, the lows.

Watching those kids in the hallway yesterday I stood for a minute and let them push past me as a stream of laughter and hormones, they never seemed to care that I was there. I thought mostly of Marty and myself, stopped dead in my tracks by the fact that we had started here, here in a world that is so different from where we are now. How did we make it from those high school halls to this small apartment - in a blink of an eye, in a drawn out decade of adult choices and squabbles and spaghetti dinners and fake-it-til-you-make-it.

I asked Marty this as we were brushing our teeth last night, getting ready for bed in our little duplex apartment that our high school selves pictured as a fairy tale dream where we could wear our pajamas all day, wake up next to each other, and never have to be back at home for curfew. We dreamed this place but left out the student loans, the bills, the hard work of more than a decade of growing up together and apart.

How did we get from there to here? Isn't that just unbelievable? How did we make it?

Marty with a certain smile says its just because we are stubborn. But then his smile broadens a bit and he adds: Stubborn and incredibly lucky.

After our teeth were brushed and our nightly chores done, we started laughing about something I can't even remember. We sit together, squished on the top of the carpeted stairs. And we push ourselves, giggling like our high school selves, down the flight of stairs bumping on our backsides. When we reach the bottom, I say that was the first time we had ever done that together, and even though its just a silly, trivial, late night lets-pretend-we're-kids thing it feels like a big-new-adventure bringing in all the big-new-adventures in our next decade.

The next decade of being young, stubborn, and so so so lucky.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Resolution Sunday: Sunday night dinner!

For the last five years, in North Carolina, I have been aching to have my nearest and dearest living far away over for dinner. I love hosting and cooking for a crowd, or just one guest, and I loved having people over in North Carolina, even to our small cramped apartment where all I could offer was an extra helping of spaghetti and a space on the floor.

Well, Sunday we had nine people (nine!) in our little apartment here in Seattle. Our chairs included an ottoman, an office chair, and a exercise ball. We are hoping to have one of these a month with our friends and I am so grateful that we know all these awesome people here in the area. My mom always taught me not to be afraid to 'mix friends', so we are inviting people from all areas of our life. Good thing we are only friends with awesome people. 

(I made these enchiladas and this mexican chocolate cake. Both turned out delish. Highly recommend.)

Look how squoooshed we are!  

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Resolution Sunday: Friends as good as family

This weekend I got to see my friend Lindsay and her Dad. They visited my hometown and hung out for a whole day there. It was a perfectly awful fall day in the PNW, with rain and wind and grey to spare. But we had good food, good beer, a few apple treats, and of course good conversation. 

I am so grateful for friends that are as close as family, and that we become part of each others families. The sad thing is that Lindsay lives far away in Colorado. 

Lindsay is a soul sister, we met in college and just are on the same page about so many things. And she has an awesome family. And she thinks mine is too. I am so grateful for that. Meeting friends like this is kinda like chemistry - when ya know, ya know. 
Ya know?

Monday, September 23, 2013

Resolution Sunday: A place to live!!

Tiny house in the woods

So as you know, finding a place has been really hard. The rental market in Seattle is totes cray-cray (that means its really crazy) and there are a large number of people who apply to live in each place, and every place gets snatched up in a day or two.

house  in the woods

We had our prayers answered and finally, after months of searching, found a place to live. It's a nice, temporary place for us and we are excited about it. Its a duplex in a sea of apartments but it is close to the highway, and in a convenient neighborhood. We have loved our now almost six weeks of living with our friends, but we are moving in on Friday and are way stoked. Which also means we get our stuff on Friday, so no more living out of a suitcase I packed with my August clothes for NC!

House in the woods

I am so grateful!  (None of these houses are ours, obviously, but aren't they cute?)

Friday, September 20, 2013


What are you up to this Friday?

I am sitting at home watching reruns and gearing myself up for a weekend of car shopping. We sold our only car back in NC and have been borrowing Marty's brothers til he comes home in a couple weeks. So the pressure's on to buy at least one car in the next two weeks!

Anyway, here are some fun reads from the interwebs from this week.

Do you shop at Whole Foods, or as we call it, Whole Paycheck? You may feel like this lady.

There has been a lot in the news about Obamacare lately, because of the new laws that come into effect in a couple weeks. Here are some editorial/funny takes on that: From Steven Colbert 1, 2, For the lovers of Breaking Bad, From the Money perspective, a little from the NYT, And Why does health care cost so much?

Let's throw a little love to Science! I know a lot of bright people who work for nothing, just for their love of discovery. A discovery that may one day save lives.

And how about some funnies!

Its Football season again!

I watched this quite a few times.  And sorry, but I had to throw in a little potty humor.

Oh, and how about a few life lessons from LD?

Happy Friday!! We are happy to be here, but sending our love to those back in red states.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Resolution Sunday: Safe Spaces

This week I am grateful for the safe space we have built for ourselves over the years. Transition can be rough and slow and we are in the middle of a few tough decisions, and about to be down to one income. We are both feeling a little rough around the edges and a bit more, uh, vulnerable than we perhaps may like.

But we are going through it together and have had some really awesome moments already here in Seattle (like this Sounders game). As I told Marty the other day, I am pretty stoked to be doing this life thing with him. We sure have a crazy good time together.

__ __ __
(For other sappy thoughts, try this one and this one)

Thursday, September 12, 2013

The last month

The last month has been quite a whirlwind. A month ago today, Marty defended for his PhD. The weeks leading up to it were stressful in part for that reason, but also because we were planning our move across country, finishing up our NC bucket list, and bracing ourselves for the uncertainty of transition.

Our families came to help celebrate and also to help pack us up. It was definitely for the best, but it added a little bit more logistics to the mix. I bribed them with dinners out, a baseball game, and  the return of their favorite children (jk).

I threw Marty a big party for his graduation and invited all his lab and our NC friends. Some of our NC friends had already moved away, but we had a great time saying goodbye and eating cake. I knew Marty wouldn't want to actually walk in a graduation, so I got him this cheesy paper hat just so we would remember why we had all come together.

 After a crazy week of packing up, and selling some of our stuff, we packed all of our stuff into a pod and they took it away, to meet us at some unknown date in the future (I tried not to worry). We barely, I mean barely, had enough room in the pod for our stuff. Its amazing how much stuff you accumulate over five years. We spent all of those five years in the same apartment, which was something we never imagined we would do. 

To take a much needed rest, we headed to the mountains for four days of pure nothing. Our conversations were of which movie to watch next and what we thought of our books. We left the real world behind for four days, both to recoup from the previous few weeks but also to energize for what was ahead. We booked a guest house on Air BnB which was fabulous, cooked at home, took one long drive in the mountains, and attempted to collect ourselves. As icing on the cake, our downstairs neighbors at the rental were three horses. We also ate a bbq place in Asheville I had been dying to take Marty to called 12 bones (look it up if you are in the area).

We headed back to the triangle for one last night with my friend Kendra and it happened to be her birthday so I had to get her a cupcake the size of her head. But first, we had to stop at the Wendy's we had passed nearly every time we went out in Carrboro. This Wendy's was special because no matter what time of day, there was someone in the drive thru. For five years it was a challenge to see if the drive thru was empty. It never was.

We flew out of NC on a Wednesday to Indianapolis for a wedding of my friend and co-worker. We stumbled in to the coolest bar on the way to the wedding reception, where I got to be the emcee. That was interesting because half the wedding guests were French and I know two words in French. 
The words for pineapple and the word for grapefruit. 
Suuuuuuper helpful.

 , o
And then all of a sudden we were here! In Seattle! 
Where paying five dollars for a latte is the norm!
Three weeks in and we are doing fine. 
Slowly transitioning. But doing fine.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Resolution Sunday: These guys

See these good looking folks? Marty and I went on a double date to his Junior prom with these guys. Since then, they have been in our wedding, we have been in theirs. Jenny and I were in kindergarten together and have been friends since and Woody was Marty's first friend when they moved into town in the fourth grade. I am pretty lucky that Marty's bff married one of mine. Makes things a lot easier. Because they are so kind and generous, they are letting us crash at their place while we are looking for a place of our own. Two weeks in and things are going great. (I do hope to get out of here while we are still all friends, though).

We've been through a lot together, including this moment New Years 2006 where we recreated our junior prom picture in the middle of a hotel in Vancouver. That prom picture is probably the worst picture ever taken of us. This is not far from it. This second  picture is us just last weekend. We are so fortunate to have friends we can can be totally ourselves with, who know all of our juju (and we know theirs...), and who will take us in and help us out when we need it. Love you guys.

Friday, September 6, 2013


This week was Marty's first week at work. I really could not be more proud of him. Lately when we were meeting new people, he would answer "I am a cancer researcher". (NBD).He is going to thrive here, I just know it.

We are currently living with friends and looking for a place to live, caught up in a total rental craze in Seattle that is making it very hard to find a place to rent. It has rained every day, I have already spent an hour in  traffic going no where, and I am already wearing my NC winter clothes. But man, I am glad we are here.

Plus, I didn't know I married such a big man on campus.

And on Thursdays, he takes his mocha with whip.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Resolution Sunday: This Moment

At this moment, or rather when this picture was taken,

I was running around the lake in my hometown back in Washington,

(something I couldn't do five years ago).

The wind was blowing, the air was fresh

a local band was playing on my Pandora.

People were walking their dogs and running past me.

I even ran past a couple.

I was alone but my family was just down the road.

The nostalgia of a past chapter was just settling in my mind,

The next one just beginning, not yet overwhelming.

And I felt home.


Monday, August 19, 2013

Resolution Sunday: PhD!

Photo: Introducing Marty "curing cancer is just my day job" Whittle, PhD.
I am so grateful this week that Marty is now a Doctor! (Not that kind). 

I am so proud of his hard work, diligence, and creativity needed to succeed in the hard sciences. He graduated with his PhD in Pharmacology (drug discovery and development) this last week and will continue his career as a post-doc in Seattle in only a handful of days. He will continue to specialize in cancer biology, moving from breast cancer here in NC to pancreatic cancer out in Seattle.

I couldn't be more proud, really.

Grad school was tough on both of us at times  - a lot of long weekends, little pay, and a lot of general science related frustration - but I am thankful today that we made it through. More importantly, that he made it through, and that he has finally graduated with his PhD in a very tough and honorable field.

WOOT WOOT !! Go team us!!