Monday, January 30, 2012

A Busy January

I'm really behind on the backlog but I don't want to go even further in the hole so I'm getting January done before going back to September.

January is usually a month of rest and recovery. Not for this girl! I started it out big on New Year's Day by planning a trip to Mexico with my friend Jacob. I hate planning things too far in advance and we leave THIS SATURDAY for a week in the coastal town of Chacala - did you know you can get to Puerto Vallarta in a 4.5 hour direct flight?? - and I'm so excited I can hardly contain myself. In fact, I don't contain myself - I've been jumping around saying things like "a week from today we'll be laying on the beach/drinking on the beach/in a hammock on the beach/hiking in the jungle near the beach!!" Everyone but Jacob hates me.

Birthday Girl

I turned 30 on January 5. At the time it was a little traumatic but I think I've settled into it. During the day I went to the Olympus (aka Korean) spa in Lynnwood, where I got a body scrub - if you've never had it done, trust me when I say that the amount of skin they get to come off your body is disturbing at best. On my way home I got a call from someone trying to deliver flowers which is scary for me since I've only ever gotten flowers twice, both in semi-creepy situations, but luckily they were from my fabulous friend Annie in Los Angeles. Thanks Annie for not only breaking my creepy flower streak, but going to extremes to make sure you ordered my favorite flowers.

That night I had a party in the back room at Liberty on 15th to celebrate. It was, if I do say so myself, an incredibly fun night. To get to the room you have to walk through a door that looks like a wall and then you stumble into this large area filled with couches and good lighting. A steal at FREE to rent, but you do pay in lost time trying to reserve and then confirm your reservation. The staff were incredibly friendly and helpful, though. My sister Anne plus Morgan and Nathan made different kinds of cupcakes, people drank freely even though it was a Thursday and therefore a work night, and a lot of people stayed way later than they intended. I have a lot of blurry photos from the evening, and this is me giving what I think was a pretty bad speech:

My sister Tessa and I were the last two left and we spent an hour singing along to her iPhone music - everything from Disney (a lot of Disney) to Don McLean to Amy Winehouse to Garth Brooks to Billy Joel. The staff were highly amused by us. This is me singing and gesticulating to the song "Just Around the Riverbend" from Pocahontas, I believe:

The next day started a birthday weekend at a coworker's house in Plain, WA. The pass was clear and the drive was lovely, with a requisite stop at the 59er Diner for lunch before finishing the last few miles off. Once there we split into two factions: snow and spa. Amber and I suited up to frolic in the yard while Dustin, Jacob, and Robyn headed for the hot tub, where they spent most of the weekend. Anne got me these amazing snoveralls for Christmas (I've been told they're called 'bibs' but snoveralls is a WAY BETTER WORD) and I can't get enough of them:

Unfortunately our plans to build a giant snowman were foiled when we discovered that week-old snow is hard as, well, ice. Instead we found a sled in the shed and did a little gentle slope sliding before deciding to build a cooler for our drinks next to the door. This took longer than you would have thought (you can barely see the hot tubbers in the background):

That night Robyn made her mom's amazing homemade beef noodle soup and we did some more hot tubbing before turning in.

The next day the rest of the troops descended on us and Amber, Shawna, Katie, Toddler J and I headed to local Wenatchee State park for cross country skiing while everyone else stayed behind to laze. The park was not only gorgeous, but almost completely empty - talk about tranquil. Here is Lake Wenatchee. We were lucky to get a clear day and the mountains reflected perfectly in the water.

Amber and me before I put my skis back on:

We brought a sled to pull Toddler J around in and did some serious sledding down a massive hill. Everyone went twice and I was somehow really bad at it! The way I was sitting or steering or something kicked all the snow up in my face, blinding me so I couldn't really see if I was about to hit a tree. I guess I never learned how to sled as a kid. Here we are at the top of the hill:

That night Katie, Shawna, and Amber made pulled pork mole tacos (I pulled out all the ingredients and made them for us to eat twice after dinner that night) and Casey followed up with a delicious tres leches birthday cake. Robyn had written some "Elizabeth trivia" and Katie and Casey tied for the win.

It's amazing how much lazing you can fit into a short weekend and we took full advantage of the cozy house by sprawling all over it:

The next day was Sunday and Dustin made my favorite breakfast, biscuits and gravy with eggs and hashbrowns. There was also considerable mimosa consumption by the non-drivers.

After breakfast we all took off in separate carloads, with the original group staying a few hours longer for one last hot tub and a quick walk in the snow. Here are Jacob and I on a nearby pedestrian bridge:

Thank you to my friends who made this weekend so special!

Snowpocalypse 2012

I think the whole country knows that Seattle got a nasty week of snow/slush/icy rain two weeks ago. I admit that we are sometimes wimps, as the LA Times proclaimed us, but this was a particularly nasty week and hey, no one calls us wimps but us! This article is a good explanation of why Seattle shuts down when it snows - stop judging us and blame the hills.

Not too much to report on the snow week. I did have to go to work since I live so close, but don't worry - I wore my snoveralls. Obviously.

In the evenings I watched the drunks sled down Denny a few blocks from my house and I consumed 2 seasons of Say Yes to the Dress on Netflix. Overall not too traumatic but I was glad when it melted.

Winter Wedding Bells

Our dear family friend Jamey was married on January 21 and my whole family turned out for the affair. The wedding was the Saturday after the snow and even as of Friday the streets were still a mess. Luckily it warmed up enough to melt the street ice, and what was supposed to be a day of dumping rain miraculously turned into a gorgeous, sunshiney afternoon. What a lucky break! The reception was at Shilshole Bay Beach Club and the sun set over the room - bright and beautiful.

I can't remember the last time my family was together and dressed up - probably another wedding - but we so rarely get family shots that these are already dear to me. You'd never know it was January in Seattle!

We had so much fun seeing old friends, dancing the electric slide, and avoiding the bouquet.

The very next day I got even MORE family time as we celebrated my mom's and my birthdays, including MORE gourmet cupcakes by Anne. Confidential to my family: I love the hell out of you guys.

Weekend Visitor

My friend Meagan was supposed to come up for my birthday weekend but the flu waylaid her for a few weeks. She came up this weekend instead and we had a blast. Friday night we had a dozen oysters at Taylor Shellfish Farms before going for a late dinner at Terra Plata, both in nearby Melrose Market which I highly recommend checking out.

The next day we went to Ivar's for lunch - touristy but good - and then giggled our way through Ye Olde Curiosity Shoppe. I'm embarrassed to say this is the only photo we took all weekend:

That night I made kimchi fried rice with the last of the old batch and the first of the new (both so good) and Nick and Jacob came over for a game of Settlers of Catan. After that the four of us headed to a Jet City Improv show in the University district and our jaws hurt from laughing so much - man they're funny.

Sunday was a lazy day of shopping and a late brunch where we played rummy and drank warm drinks before heading to her aunt and uncle's incredible condo over Kerry park for dinner. It flew by but I have it on good authority that I'll see her again soon.

And now it's January 30 and I'm somehow caught up for the month!


momma arch said...

Good grief. What a busy January! And now Mexico. Lucky girl! You'll have lots more stories to share.

Anne said...

I'm digging my celebrity status in this month's blog... cupcakes, snowverals, weddings, oh my!