Thursday, December 29, 2016

Seattle Part 1: Mountains

And we're a herd of turtles.
We boarded an evening flight out of Chicago and made our way from the Midwest to the Northwest. Seattle to be exact. A long overdue visit to see the other half of the Haigh family in all 3 dimensions....something Skype hasn't been able to tackle yet.

My sister-in-law was able to get us set up for a few days in a cabin in the mountains so we headed up first thing in the morning when we woke up. The drive up was beautiful. I found myself constantly snapping photos on my phone, none of which came close to capturing the view.

The girls took ski lessons along with one of their cousins for 2 days while T and I snowboarded and spent time with the other Haigh skiers. The rest of the crew stayed back at the cabin enjoying time together. Ski school was amazing. Charlotte did two full day sessions while Grace did two half days. We were a bit unsure of how it would go. Having never been on skis and being dropped at a class without us, but both of the girls absolutely loved it! They were both asking for more when it was time to head home. Think we'll need to add skiing to the annual agenda.

Each evening we came back to the cabin, put on dry clothes, warmed up by a fire, and sat down around a table surrounded by love. It was perfect. Thank you to my incredible sister-in-law for getting everything set...even down to discounted lift tickets!

Sunday, December 25, 2016


Sleeping in and Christmas don't coexist, so Christmas at our house started at 6am.
Last year we did things a bit differently and decided rather than open all the gifts at once we'd space them out over the day. It was such a wonderful way to celebrate that we decided to try it again this year. 

So early in the morning we opened stockings and gushed over the gifts from Santa (a purse for Charlotte that she had been wanting, and an Elsa doll for Grace). 

Then we took a break for breakfast. We put on a Christmas show and spent time playing with new things. We skyped with Oma and cuddled on the couch. 

And this is the way that the day went. Eat, cuddle, unwrap, repeat. 
Not a bad way to celebrate. Just one more celebration to go in the Northwest. 

Merry Christmas to All!

Favorite gifts this year according to the girls:
C = gem digging set where she had a block of compressed stone that she need to hammer and chip away to find gems inside
G = Map Puzzle

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Christmas in Iowa

It's always a bit of a dance with schedules around Christmas. We like to wake up in our own beds and see what Santa left early in the morning under our tree so usually do Christmas Day at home and then head to Iowa either shortly before or after.

This year though we did it a bit earlier because we had a trip to Seattle planned the day after Christmas. Cramming a trip to Iowa in ahead would have meant less time with Iowa family and an exhausted family of four headed on a 4 hour flight.

Christmas at Grandma's house followed by Christmas at Oma's 2 Christmas to decorate and a partridge.....wait, sorry.
It was excellent even if it wasn't 12 days.
Love that we have family so close to visit and celebrate with.
Oma - pictures of you from the weekend would have gotten me grounded so I avoided posting, but rest assured you were there!

Friday, December 16, 2016

Visit With Santa

Somewhere, 6 years from now, when I'm not expecting it I'll stumble on the absurdly expensive pictures that we paid for during this session. Instead, for now, we have this awkward angled and slightly out of focus version. 
Charlotte insisted on wearing her Santa Clause hat for the occasion and Grace was just skeptical all around but eventually made her way to the edge of the chair. 

Charlotte asked for a locket. Grace asked to "get down". 

Merry Christmas to all!

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Night in the City

We packed one bag and stuffed a night's worth of clothes for all of us and headed into the city to spend the night with our good friends.
The girls were thrilled to have a sleepover.  The adults we're excited to have a night in the city. Win-win.

Love visiting these two and watching the way that they dote on the girls. A wonderful night and I'm sure some quiet time after our departure was enjoyed by our good friends.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Tearing Up the Old Floors

We found out about 6 months after we moved into our new house that the floors would need to be repaired. In part due to the lack of support from the original beam (replaced with an Metal I-beam in June) causing warping of the boards but also due to gaps between the boards which we suspect was caused from an old boiler that used to heat the house.

After a lot of convincing (not an easy task for Troy) I gave in and agreed that getting new floors was the best way to go. Work started this week.

This is a huge project, and one that we didn't have the time to take on ourselves so we've hired help. They started by removing all of the flooring. Using a saw they pulled it up in sections. Next they removed the sub-flooring where needed and began the leveling process.

Worth noting that the biggest surprise by far was a large hole under a corner section of the kitchen. It's walled off, not accessible from the basement leaving  one's imagination to wander....we're perplexed to say the least. In the hole was an old bicycle tire, a game piece from an old Sorry board game, and bits and pieces of trash. We'll likely be scratching our heads for a while on this one.

I'm standing in the "hole" in the picture further down. When the subfloor was taken up we discovered that the support loads under this area 1.) were in bad shape and 2.) were higher than the other support loads throughout the main level which would cause a leveling nightmare. The mister and I pulled nearly an all-nighter correcting the issue so the flooring guys wouldn't lose any time. Right about 2am, standing in the non-insulated "hole" next to the door  I was really cursing us for choosing to do this project in December.

But, things are coming along and I'm excited to get this box checked off.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Getting Ready

Setting up the first Christmas tree of the year.
While in Iowa for Thanksgiving we make sure to get a in the Christmas spirit by getting first Grandma's decorations out: snow globes, nativity set, angels, and of course the tree. Then we do the same at Oma's house. The girls like looking at all of Oma's old ornaments: baby pictures of me, old art projects, and salt dough shaped like hearts that 30 years later somehow smell just as strongly of cinnamon as the day I made them in Kindergarten.

We're getting ready for Christmas in Iowa...

Thursday, November 24, 2016


Back in Iowa giving thanks surrounded by those we're thankful for.
We spent the day with Oma, Grandma and Julie relaxing and catching up. The girls just love it here. I completely understand why.
We had a great trip with good food, a bit of pumpkin decorating and lots of giggles.

Saturday, November 19, 2016


Midwest fall at its finest. Our first fall in the new house and the leaves did not disappoint.

We scooped them into 2 big piles which the girls promptly destroyed. A few neighbors also came over to join in. At one point I think a tunnel had been constructed. 

Orange, red, yellow, purple, brown and green filled the air and clung to the girls' hair as they rolled around in the piles.  The scent of fall, and earth, and childhood all colliding into a single happy memory. Feeling grateful for the beautiful fall season, a yard that caters to our outdoor adventures and our new leaf blower which has earned it's keep this year.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Visit From Texas

We had two special guests from Texas for the weekend. Nothing fancy planned, just time spent hanging out, playing at the park and of course a movie night with ice cream. We love these two and were happy we could host them for a couple days!

Sunday, November 6, 2016


Took a few moments to capture the four of us together today. It's a rare occasion seeing that one of us is usually behind the lens, and those two sweet girls usually steal the spotlight. They're cuter than us anyways. I'm not jealous.

My heart is full. We are beyond blessed to have everything that we have.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Bedtime With Dad

Amazing to think how much love fits in this small space. One of my favorite things to be a part of each night. Bedtime is my favorite.

Monday, October 31, 2016


The weather was good this year and our new neighborhood really embraces the Halloween spirit. Two things that made for a great evening visiting neighbors and collecting candy. Too much candy, but we'll figure out what to do with it. 

Troy and I had so much fun watching both of the girls greet neighbors and run into friends they know through school. Lots of fun.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Halloween Eve

The day ahead of Halloween we had the girls get dressed in their halloween costumes so I could snap some pictures. It's hard to get them halloween night because they don't want to stop for photos between running from house to house for candy. Can't say that I blame them!

There are some woods and a creek that run through our neighborhood so we went exploring in the late afternoon/evening.

Charlotte wanted to be a Maleficent this year. Then quickly changed her mind to a vampire. She found a dress to wear and fake teeth. She wore them to the neighborhood halloween party but then the eve of her school party she changed her mind and wanted to be a bumble bee.....but she still wanted to wear the teeth. I put my foot down on driving around town to find a costume last minute and instead told her we'd see what we could make out of stuff at home. With a little imagination, pipe cleaners and electrical tape we had a vampire bumble bee.

Grace, the second that Charlotte opted out of Maleficent scooped up the idea. A pair of giant horns and a black dress and she was set.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Saturday, October 15, 2016

House Update 2016

We've been busy finishing up the main level bath and we're getting close. This weekend we worked on the vanity. The Mister completed the base for the vanity a couple weeks ago and we've been figuring out the plan for the top. 

We decided to give concrete a try. We'll see in a couple weeks how it works out.