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.