Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Holiday in MN.

Finally a moment to reflect and post about our trip to MN for the holidays.

Christmas was great! We landed in Minneapolis to a welcome train of inches and inches of snow. A white Christmas is truly underrated. Having Grandma P live so close to the airport, we decided to crash with her on the eve and listen to various college choirs sing carols while we waited for the famous cinnamon rolls to rise.

Christmas day and tons and tons of snow! So much that papa had to plow the drive with his giant man machine and the "kids" had to build a snowman.

It was great having everyone together though, and Christmas is just totally different with all the kids around. Crazier. And with a little more "Christmas magic". My mom surprised all the kids with foam dart guns and immediately a dart war ensued. Those guns were worth every penny as the dart wars went on whizzing around for hours throughout our whole visit in MN.

And Jora and her new fiance Adam popped by to say hello! I'm so happy for them and pumped to see them tie the knot next year on NYE!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

holiday posts coming.

In the meantime, I wish I was wearing this outfit. Adorable.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

As I head into the crazy that is the holidays, I am feeling a smidge overwhelmed and anxious. Attached are a few images in an attempt to chill the EFF out.

Monday, December 21, 2009

love these +

Look at this amazing shop! Lovely. Kind Boutique. I want these shoes.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

rage < reality.

So Tyson is house-sitting on the peninsula this week. And I have to say, when he first told me he was going to head out of town for our last week in Seattle, I was less than impressed. Our list of things to get done was so long, and the prospect of having to get some house stuff done without him sent me into a bit of a tailspin of rage.

After expressing this sentiment, we decided to get as much done as possible BEFORE Tyson headed out of town. Which we did. BOOM! And I realized, that in actuality this week of solo me was going to be bliss. Total bliss. You see, I will have plenty of time to hang out with Tyson in NZ. Therefore, this week is mine to spend time with girlfriends, finish holiday shopping and curl up at home. Which is what I'm doing right now.

So far this weekend I've cleaned and organized. Gone on two runs. Teresa came over last night and we had three solid hours of girl talk and a few beers. I rented Mad Men. The latest Vogue is waiting for me to page through.This morning I made delicious coffee, cut up a pear, toasted an english muffin and I'm sitting here writing whilst listening to KEXP. Heaven! I even have a bottle of Bailey's in the fridge for later. Said bottle of Bailey's was actually STOLEN from my company holiday party on Friday during a less than clear-headed moment. Whoops, sorry CW. I didn't even realize I did it until I cleaned out my bag the next morning and there she was in all her glory: Bailey's.

The point is, in reality this was the perfect way to ride out my last few days in Seattle. I do miss my sweetie, but we'll have plenty of time to catch up on the plane.

Saturday, December 19, 2009


The decision to not get a tree this year was probably smart, but a bit of a bummer. Though the holiday spirit is all around in the lights on peoples' homes and the wreaths on cars to the holiday music playing everywhere, I just wasn't feeling very holiday-ish. And I think our decision to move to New Zealand has been so intensely on the brain that Christmas has taken a back seat in the psyche. So in an attempt to bring the spirit into our home recently, we decided to pour on the holiday activities. Thick, people.

One night Tyson made fudge while we watched the Family Stone - and if you haven't seen it, its effing great. I want to BE Diane Keaten to a tee as a mother, should that role come up in my life.

Let's see, we made Christmas lists, baked cardamom and orange zest sugar cookies (thanks for the cookie cutters, Mom!), shopped at the market for gifts and we played music from Charlie Brown Christmas among a plethora of others. I have to say, it worked. Its fun to be geeky and just get into these sorts of things. Looking forward to the big day with my family in MN!

Monday, December 14, 2009

oh Jenna.

So, something terrible has happened to me this year. Just when I thought I needed to stop my maddening obsession with Anthropologie - to which I'd like to rename, Apology because I feel like they should apologize for having so many cute and overpriced things - I have now slipped into a dark place with a new and total love for J Crew. I love how their clothing always has a pop of color or shiny adornments, making their pieces classic, but beautiful.

Jenna Lyons is known in New York as the woman who made J Crew hip this year. I had no idea who she was, still don't really, but I would notice the in-store displays and catalog spreads touting "Jenna's Picks!" and found myself curious.

Not surprisingly then, Jenna has used her razor-sharp style intuition to renovate and design her tall, slender 1890s house in Brooklyn, which she and her husband, artist Vincent Mazeau, rescued. The house was a two-year project before it became a home.

Usually I like things more in the vein of modern, clean either I'm having a girlie day mentally, or I'm seeing and realizing the value in a few soft pieces mixed in.

Friday, December 11, 2009

buh bye.

Tyson and I decided to have a little going away gathering last week. Instead of hosting though, we just told everyone to go to this strange, little dive bar really close to our house. 'Round 8:30pm.
Girly picture, minus a few:

Oh it was so fun to have nearly all of our friends in one place. Tipping drinkies back and playing shuffle board or telling a joke or something.

And alas, we closed the bar down -which doesn't usually happen these days anymore. For this, we paid dearly on Sunday. All of Sunday, until Sunday was totally over and we went to sleep waiting for a new, better-feeling day. But oh it was worth it. People have been so fun and excited for us that its wonderful. And really, all of our friends have helped us to get to this journey. People have suggestions, words of advice and ultimately support. My parents! Gosh my parents have been so cool and positive and supportive. Its really great.


Of course I've been totally nostalgic in thinking about leaving (even if it is for just a few months). First friends in Seattle:

New friends in Seattle:

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Renter relief.

Holy Cow.
I hesitate in even writing this as my potential renter gal HAS signed the lease, but we have not done the exchange of funds just yet. That plan is scheduled for tomorrow evening. I'm just holding my breath because this process of finding a renter has been incredibly stressful. So stressful in fact that I seem to have given myself some mild TMJ and my face hurts like crazy.

You know that feeling when you are interviewing for a job you really want? And you're super pumped, but you don't want to get too excited, because you don't want to jinx it? Yeah I felt that. And, I also felt as though I couldn't really get super pumped for New Zealand yet, OR start packing or getting ready because we had to keep the house just perfect for showings. So with all that said, I'm am just overflowing with waves of excitement and anticipation. I can't believe it! We're off!

Sunday, November 29, 2009


I realize maybe that my blog isn't the best place for political chatter. Considering, too, that I am becoming less and less political. However, I thought this video was both hilarious AND scary.


We had a lovely Thanksgiving weekend.
Tyson's sister, Tracy and her hubby, Scott hosted us along with their Mother and some friends from their church. Thanksgiving is not only a great time for reflection and thanks, but for eating! The Mikula's dominated the turkey, stuffing, gravy AND pumpkin cheesecake. Yum. Seconds. We played several games, all of which Scott won. I am bound and determined to beat him at Settlers of Catan at some point in my life. Life goals, people.

Unfortunately, I didn't have my camera in tow for our Friday snowboarding on Crystal Mountain. It can be hit or miss in terms of weather and sun on WA mountains. Friday was a blue bird day, and as a result Mt. Rainier was just stunning off in the distance as we road up the chairlift. I stole some photos from someone else online because it really is an incredible sight.

I road with Tyson, Buckley and Pete - three incredible boarders - and I was pretty intimidated. But I just tried to keep up and not make people wait. At the end of the day, the old adage rings true in that if you do anything with people who are better than you, you are bound to get better. I had the best day boarding I think I've ever had. It really was a great, great day. We also capped it off with a visit to a friends cabin on the mountain. It was another pang where I felt a strong need to save all my cash so that someday I may plop down on a couch in a cabin of my own.

One of Tyson and I's favorite things to do is consume brunch. Whether its going out to Coastal Kitchen, Portage Bay Cafe or making epic brunches at home. We woke on Saturday and made pumpkin pancakes, and an egg scramble with peppers, sausage and avocado, and sliced pears. YUM! So much yumminess this weekend! I really enjoy listening to This American Life while making breakfast, and if you're interested in a great TAL story, listen to this one!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanks.

- A healthy and awesome family.
- Great friends.
- My health.
- An adventure ahead of me, and all that comes with it.
- Tyson.
- Pumpkin cheesecake.
- Beer. Goooood beer. Like Deschutes Black Butte Porter. Yum.
- Tyson's bread.
- Cheese. I love you, cheese.
- Visitors this year in the form of my parents, my mama, my Gma and my lovely girlies Haley and Kristi for their mucho supportive Marathon surprise trip.
- The physical and mental strength I was able to drum to achieve said marathon.
- The trees and beaches and mountains of WA.
- This American Life, with Ira Glass.
- Cooking with Tyson. Cooking or Baking. Anything that involves us chatting over a beer or a glass of wine whilst chopping, stirring, flirting and usually listening to something great on the radio or itunes. Seriously one of my top five favorite things to do in life is this.
- Coffee. I don't who to love more, coffee or beer.
- Cup of Jo blog. Fantastic.
- Vogue magazine.
- Laughing. I really, really love to laugh. And for funny people.
- Running. Running rules!
- Biking. Biking rules!
- Happiness. Happiness Rules.
- My cell phone - the vehicle that connects me to my glorious buddies back in the great state of Minnie!
- Red Light vintage. The best store in all of Seattle.
- The ability to let go. Its really not easy for me. I make lists. I plan ahead. I dream. Dream BIG. And its been a learning experience to let go of all that is "expected" and to derail from the plan that has been my life. But in allowing myself to do so, I've created an opportunity to see a new direction my life could take. I have no idea what that direction is, and THAT is what is so exciting! Its wonderful. Its scary. But its pretty darn exhilarating!

Cheers to 2009. Its been, and will continue to be a great year. I have much to be thankful for and I'm sure this list could swell to so much more. Happy Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Bend, OR.

A much anticipated, um, last weekend.

A weekend at a B&B with great friends. Cabin Creek B&B in Bend, OR to be specific.
Dinner + Bathrobes + slippers + hot tub + fireplaces in every room = Splendid.

A nice, little Saturday.
A game of football + horses + a tour of Deschutes Brewery + a dinner out + back to the B&B for some hilarious games = a moment of reflection and an intense feeling of gratitude for said experiences.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Tom and Meg UNITE!

There's nothing more fun than attending a wedding you know is going to be a blast, but also, for a couple you know are so great together. Tyson's brother Tom recently married his long-time (insert awesome) girlfriend, Meg, and we had been looking forward to the wedding for quite some time. We traveled to Milwaukee, WI on a Thursday and were whisked into a swirling mix of social fun upon arrival.

Tyson's other brother (he has a lot of them), Tim, owns a brewery in Sonoma, CA. Earlier this year Tyson, Tom and mama Kathy traveled across the country in a van transporting Tim's beer from CA to Milwaukee for the big event. Many things throughout the wedding weekend were surrounded by tipping more than one of those beers back and enjoying every sip.

The Beer!

Friday the ladies made their way to the nail salon for mani's and pedi's while the guys played some frisbee golf over a few brews. I definitely wasn't expecting to be a large part of the wedding party festivities, but really, Meg was so gracious in inviting me to everything! I was able to ride with the wedding party, sit at the head table and also stay in the bridal suite the night before the wedding. It was such a treat to get to know Meg even more, but also meet and spend time with her sisters. Great family!

On a whim, my parents who happened to be attending a wedding in Appleton, WI the following day, made the last-minute decision to come to Milwaukee for part of the rehearsal dinner. It was great to see them, and to introduce them to both the Goeppinger's and the Shelton's! We may have made a fatal mistake in not realizing how potent Tim's beer is though...


The bride and groom-to-be and Toby and Missy::::

As expected, the wedding and reception were a blast. Tyson's college friends, Dave and Jen, were also in attendance making all things on the dance floor glorious. Our standing joke with them is that we will eventually all live on a commune and share household responsibilities as well as closets.

There were several gong-show-esque moments including wedding guests singing the National Anthem and Tom and fellow University of Illinois friends and guests dancing in village people costumes whilst Tom bounced around doing the Chief Illini dance in full headress. Yep, it was that kinda wedding. Off the chain. Super fun. And I didn't want it to end.

Tyson was also the best man and had to give the speech! Those things are hard to do and if ever tasked with a Maid of Honor speech I'm really not sure how I'll step up to the challenge. He was great though, and I was so proud of him.

I guess when I think back and try to sum up the whole weekend its really hard to do. For a family that lives all across the country from each other I'm constantly amazed by their love and support for one another. And they really are fun. Tons of fun! I was sad to leave on Sunday not knowing when the whole gang will be back together again like that.

Cheers to Tom and Meg for a great wedding and for being a lovely couple. I wish you all the best in life!