Sunday, May 01, 2011

All Moved In!

Yes, we are now in our new house. We feel like we've just taken the biggest breath of fresh air since moving in. We are in a newer, cleaner home much like our home in Denver. The views are beautiful and the voices of the neighborhood kids laughing and playing make us feel like we are in the right place. Yes, it has been quite busy since we closed on the house a little over two weeks ago but we have made great progress in unpacking and organizing our home. Much credit goes to my parents who arrived on Good Friday. We were lucky enough to have them spend Easter with us as well as spend the whole week with us afterwards. My dad was our own little handyman and helped put up decorations, unpack, build shelves, caulk our shower stall, you name it, he did it! My mom, on the other hand, relieved me of all my kitchen duties by cooking all week! It was so nice to not have to worry about what was for dinner that night and I was able to run many errands to Costco, Bed Bath and Beyond, and Target (much to those store's delight).
There are a few more boxes to unpack but we are now just taking it slow and taking it one step at a time. My main concern was the kitchen and I really could not sleep well knowing that it was utter chaos. It is now all set up so I can relax a little easier.
In other news, Mike was recently recruited to be the head coach of Alex's soccer team. Yes, our own Mike who has no soccer experience whatsoever has taken on the task to herd 2-4 year olds every Saturday morning for the next 8 weeks! He is excellent with kids so I have no doubt that he will succeed in this new adventure :) Alex is gradually learning soccer skills and how to work with a team. He does tire easily and isn't too keen about actually "fighting" for the ball. He is excellent when it comes to drills though :)
My mom took a million of pictures during their stay so here they are!

Blowing bubbles with Grandpa!

Our little fish during his swim lesson

Don't quite know what this pose is about

He got the "Hustle" medal during soccer!

Eva and Grandpa

My girl with flowers in her hair :)

Someone's getting tired!

Go Alex!

Coach Mike talking to his players


Dinner at Jak's Grill

Ready to go out for dinner!
Yep, that's me huge as can be
Playground fun!
Alex is apparently a bunny rabbit of some sort

Friday, April 08, 2011

Terrific Two's

We celebrated Eva's 2nd birthday yesterday and quite frankly, I am still recovering from it. No, there were no shots of tequila or late-night partying (okay, okay--it was a late 9:30 bedtime for the kids). The day started with chocolate pancakes for the birthday girl, a romp in the mall playarea, Build-a-Bear, Gymboree clothes shopping, lunch at Mickey D's, Top Pot Doughnuts, and finishing the day off at Maggiano's. Quite eventful since I flew solo the whole day up until dinner time. The kids were great but signs of exhaustion were definitely showing by the time we were driving to the restaurant.

Mike and I can't help talk about how Eva has grown into such a sweet, lovely, funny little girl. She is a constant source of entertainment and is never short on telling her brother how to behave or be careful. She loves loves to tell her "Kuya" what to do. When dinner or lunch is all set on the table, she's the first to say "C'mon Kuya! Eat!" or "Oooh careful Kuya!" after he jumps off the couch. I am always laughing at her antics. She talks A LOT! This is quite a difference from Alex's verbal skills which truly didn't develop until he was well past 2. She can repeat most if not all of the words we say to her. She communicates her thoughts and needs in complete sentences. She loves reading much like her brother does. I've often caught her sitting on the glider with book on hand and describing the pictures she is looking at. There are moments that she even repeats the sentences verbatim (obviously from memory but impressive nonetheless). Her favorite books are from the Disney Princess series and Henry and Mudge readers. The Henry and Mudge books were bought specifically for Alex but Eva took a real liking to them and now has claimed them as her own. We have had this blog for over fives years and it really has served as a journal of our life. Mike and I always talk about how we need to write down the milestones and funny anecdotes about the kids and this really has been our way of documenting those moments. So a few things come to mind that I've been meaning to write down and here's the perfect opportunity. So bear with me. Feel free to skip!

1. Eva refers to a spoon and fork as "Rice". Why? Because what is most served on the spoon/fork in our house? Rice!
2. Eva loves to sing "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star", "Happy Birthday", and has most of the ABC song down.
3. As of 4/7/11, Eva can count 1,2,3,4,5,7,8,7,8,9
4. She can identify the colors red, black, blue, pink, purple, and white
5. She knows most animals including hippos, penguins, koalas, etc.
6. Loves to twirl around with her hands up in the air like a ballerina :)
7. She loves to jump.
8. Favorite past time is snacking. Pirate booty, Z-bars, crackers, apple juice. Dinner? Lunch? Not a big fan.
9. She says "Buy that" when she wants something. I'm guessing she's repeating what I say when she asks for something in the grocery store. "No Eva, we need to buy that first before we can eat it."
10. Prefers Mommy to put her to bed at night. I'm flattered but man, sometimes I just want Daddy to take over!

So, that's our girl in a nutshell. She is an absolute joy to be with. I can't believe she's two years old but sometimes I'm surprised she isn't already because of all the milestones she's reached. She will no doubt be a great big sister because I see the caregiving/nurturing side in her. Happy Birthday Baby Girl, we love you!


Eva- One Month Young


Eva- One Year

Eva- Two Years Having fun with Daddy Beautiful Girl

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

One Year Later

Yes, it has almost been a full year since my last post. It's been quite a year packed full of adventures. I've tried writing posts about it but it just seemed so long-winded and honestly, I just got too tired of remembering what happened. So, here is a quick review of the past year.

2010:
April- Eva's 1st birthday
May- Melissa's college graduation and Bridal Shower
June- My mom's surprise 60th birthday party, Melissa's and Cameron's Wedding, Mom and Dad's Church Blessing and Wedding
August- Mom and Auntie Josie visit so Mike and I could have a quick get-away to Las Vegas. Had an absolute blast. Can't wait to go back!
-Alex's 4th birthday.
September- Alex starts his first year of preschool!
October- Discovered we are expecting our third child! Due June 20th. Visit from both parents. Weekend trip to Vancouver and Victoria BC.
December- First Christmas in Seattle

2011
February- Found out the baby's sex---BABY GIRL!
March- Purchased a house in Snoqualmie, WA

So, as you can see. It's been quite a ride so far. Adjusting to Seattle has been far more difficult than we anticipated. We missed Denver immensely and the weather affected us more than we thought it would. It was hard not being in our own home and the rental home we are in needed a lot of work. There were many instances where Mike and I just looked at each other and asked, "What the heck did we get ourselves into?" I just kept reminding him that our journey here has to have purpose. We prayed for guidance every step of the way and we knew that God played a big role in where we found ourselves. Things started to unravel when we enrolled Alex in preschool. School definitely let Alex blossom into a very intelligent and articulate toddler (is he still considered a toddler?) Anyway, about one month into school, he knew how to read on his own and write his name! We couldn't believe how fast he was progressing. His teacher spoke very highly of him and despite a few "re-directions needed", she thought he was a very bright boy!

I also joined a local Mommy group called MOPS. It is a national organization that has groups throughout the country. This particular group meets at our church and I have never met such a wonderful, warm, and inviting group of women. I felt so welcome and made some great friends over such a short period of time. It has definitely helped me settle into our new city by knowing such a great women who are so supportive of each other.

As I type this, I am in my 27th week of pregnancy. Although I felt a lot of nausea and heartburn during my first trimester, this has been quite a smooth pregnancy so far (knock on wood). I have been trying to stay active the third time around so as not to gain so much weight. I'm hoping the third time is the charm because man, losing the baby weight is hard! The baby is doing great and I am so excited to have another little bundle of joy in my arms again :)

Our second biggest news is our new home purchase! Yes, Mike and I are absolutely giddy about this. We had decided to start looking just to learn more about the market and keep our eyes open. We didn't expect to purchase in such a short amount of time. We found a great realtor and one of the first houses we saw just kept calling our name. There were even subtle signs that the house was meant for us. For example, the current owners are ASU alumni and their little boy had a ASU hoodie hanging on a coat rack (identical to Alex's own). A detail that immediately caught our eye. Also, in the little girl's room, there was a framed Denver Post newspaper from the day the girl was born. It was too much of a coincidence. After seeing many, many more houses, we just thought--hey, it's the right price, the right school, right everything! So we put in an offer and after a little negotiation, it was accepted! We are scheduled to close on 4/14 and are hoping to move in as soon as the carpet is cleaned and the housecleaners are done.

Here are a few pics of the house:



The front of the house

Entry

Second Floor

Girl Room

Kitchen

Family Room


Sold Sign!

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

HAPPY BIRTHDAY EVELYN CLARE!

Just a shout-out to my girl Eva. Happy birthday sweetheart. We love you so much and thank the Lord for blessing us with you!

(Pics to come as soon as I start to feel better from an horrible horrible cold....)

Monday, March 22, 2010

Apartment Livin'

It's been seven years since Mike and I lived in an apartment and it takes some getting used to! The creaking floorboards (I swear they're playing Wii up there), the slamming doors, and the running water is worlds apart from the quiet surrounding of our home in Denver. However, I'm sure the incessant screams and shrieks coming from our apartment is giving our neighbors a run for their money!

We are happy to say that we did finally decide on a rental home here in Seattle. It seemed like a long process (it really only took us a week to find one) but bringing two kids with us as we toured the homes did not make things easy. We are staying in the city of Sammamish which is in the "Eastside" of Seattle. The house is surrounded by tall trees and we looking forward to BBQ's in the great deck behind the house!

Mike's mom visited us last weekend and is now officially our "First Visitor!" We showed her the sights including the Space Needle and Pike Place Market. Mike and I were also to go on some much-needed date nights! We had a great time with her.


The kids goofing around in the bathtub

Our Alex

Our Daddy


Mike

Our baby girl!

Nana with her grandkids

Red is Alex's favorite color

Walking in downtown Seattle

Looking up at the Space Needle

Beautiful flowers at Pike Place Market



Monday, March 08, 2010

We're here!

Yes, we have safely arrived in Seattle. I cannot believe that within a few short months, our lives dramatically changed. It seems like it was just seconds ago that we were living our life in Denver, going through the motions and routines we were so very used to. Mike going to work, taking care of the kids, working on my business, fantasizing about purchasing our forever house. We never thought that in less than six months, we would pack up all of our belongings, put our house up for rent, and move to Seattle. If someone had told me that, I would have said they were crazy! But alas, we are here and I truly believe in God's will and guidance. I am excited to see what opportunities and adventures lies ahead!
As for now, we are staying in temporary housing which is basically a fully furnished apartment. Although it is small compared to our house, it is a marked improvement from the tiny hotel room we were staying in. Now it's time to start searching for rental homes so we can move-in by the end of the month.
We are also now official landlords! We found renters after only a week or so after the house became available for rent! So we spruced the house up and left it in impecable shape (almost better than when we moved in!) We are excited about this new endeavor and hope it works out!
Will try to update frequently and post more pictures of our new life in Seattle!

Friday, February 26, 2010

For Rent

Yes, the official "For Rent" sign is now up in our house. We've had about five interested parties walk through our home and lemme tell ya, it is EXHAUSTING. Utterly exhausting to put away all the toys, clear the counters, make the bed, and make the house look somewhat presentable. At least the house looks nice! Our official move date is Tuesday, March 2nd---that is, when the movers arrive. They will pack for two days and load on the third. Our flights are booked for Sunday, March 7th! So, it's definitely getting closer. We are hoping to have renters lined up before we leave. As for our own house hunting, it's slow going. We can't really do much unless we are already physically in Seattle. Thank goodness for temporary housing because it will give us time to really hunt down the perfect house. As previously mentioned, we are renting for a few different reasons. First and foremost, we want to get to know the area. 2nd, we need to save up for a bigger downpayment. Housing in Seattle is significantly higher than Denver!

A few last pictures of the house before it is stripped of all furnishings :(

Formal living room

Family room

Kitchen and Dining

Nursery

Pirate Room

Master Bedroom

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Seattle or Bust!

Many of you have heard that we are leaving our home of seven years for Seattle, Washington. It came as a big shock to us when we learned that Microsoft would be closing down their Denver offices by March 31st. They are moving Mike's team out to Fargo, ND and Mike had the option of interviewing for a position out there. We contemplated making the move to ND and looked at all the positive and negative aspects of living in such a northern state! We decided to explore other options first so Mike decided to interview for positions in Seattle. Mike really enjoys his job as a Program Manager and wanted to continue down that career path. We also knew that being at the headquarters would provide more opportunities for growth in Mike's career development. Mike was fortunate enough to interview for two positions. They were grueling 8 hour interviews which consisted of the toughest questions I've ever heard of. I think a normal person would have walked out within the first hour crying! I know I would! Mike was offered the second position he applied for. We were ecstatic to hear that he received the job but it was a bittersweet moment when we realized that we would be really leaving Denver.

It was here where we started our life together. We purchased our house, started our jobs, and started our family. I had already (happily) resigned to the fact that this would be where we would raise our children even well into retirement. But alas, the waves had changed and we are now traveling down a different path. Mike and I have always maintained that whatever happens it is through God's will and we entrust ourselves to Him. We have prayed a lot this past several months and have continually asked for guidance. We are not only responsible for ourselves now but for two little ones and that is what is important to us. We want to make sure that where ever we go, we can only enrich their lives and provide them the tools to make them happy and loving individuals. We are confident that Seattle will be a great environment for the both of them.

We are now in the process of looking for house in Seattle (to rent for the time-being) and getting our Denver house ready to be rented out. I am comforted by the fact that we will still own a house and property out here.

We had the chance to explore Seattle last weekend on our "House Hunting Trip". Surprisingly, the sun showed itself on our last day there! Here are some pictures. Enjoy!

Beautiful pic of Daddy and Daughter on Valentine's Day

The sun reflecting off Puget Sound

Alex the Pirate!

Alex and Mike at the Hat and Boot's Gas Station

Our hotel room.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

It's been a staggering 3 months since my last post and I don't have time to update the blog with all of the activities of the last few months. There was Disneyland, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years. Very busy indeed. All I can say is that we are so very fortunate to see our family and friends during the holidays. Disneyland was especially fun and I truly never knew the "magic" of such a place until I took my kids there. I cannot wait for our next trip!

Most recently, we took Alex and Evelyn for a much needed haircut. It was Evelyn's first time and she did great! Here are some pics!