September 18, 2009

Summer Update

It's three quarters the way through September...that's crazy! That means I've almost lived here 5 months...even crazier! The summer is slowly coming to an end. The days are starting to get darker earlier :( but it has been an amazing and very fun summer! What I have been up to, you may ask? Here's a rundown of the summer...enjoy!

Our moms visited Seattle (I blogged about that:)

We went backpacking with Bethany and Josh to a lake called Blanca Lake. We climbed 3,000 feet in 3 miles (I think...something like that). I was ready to be done by the time we reached the lake. It was a gorgeous day to hike though.

I was fortunate enough to take some time off of work to meet my fam in CO to visit Abe while he was white-water rafting and guiding again this year. We went backpacking for 3 days, except I was sick practically the whole time and slept more than I was awake, but still had fun! My grandma Judy even came and went down the river, which was on her "bucket list." It was great to spend time with them!

Shortly after getting back from vacation, one of my best friends, Carrie, and her husband, John, arrived. They were already coming out here to visit family and got to hang the whole weekend with us! We did a ton of stuff and were absolutely a good way! Carrie took most of the pics so this is the only one I have...hopefully she'll post them on facebook soon (wink, wink).

Jake's sister, Abby, also visited for a few weeks. It was fun to have her here as well. We did our best at entertaining. The pic below is at a Mariners' game. My third one for the summer :) We get see Jake's other sister, Leah, pretty often since she only lives 40 minutes away.

We've spent lots of time in parks around Seattle, just hanging, playing frisbee or bocce ball, and most recently, frisbee golf. Good times!

My other best friend, Joy, and her brother, Troy, also came for a few days. I feel so special and spoiled to have two of my best friends come to visit ALL the way from Michigan. Once again, we were very busy and gave them the Seattle tour and experience!

Jake is with a group that has season tickets to the Seattle Sounders games (soccer) so I got to go with one day. We had a little problem with the tickets at the beginning and i'm told it wasn't thier best game, but I had fun!

We spent Labor Day weekend in Colorado. We flew in for Jake's friends, Carolyn and Drew's wedding. We stayed in a huge cabin with 25 more of Jake's friends. It was a very fun weekend, but my introverted side definitely needed some lovin after all that extroversion ;)

This past week we went to see the show, Wicked. It was very fun and nice to do something out of the ordinary!
In addition to all those things, I played on a softball team for the first half of the summer. Jake and all his friends play soccer and since my foot-eye coordination is lame, I just signed up for a softball team through the City rec leagues. I didn't know anybody, but I ended getting put on the perfect team! I think we came in second to last place, but they are fun to play with and have a good level of competitiveness. We went to a few other weddings and parties thrown in there as well. We've done some bike riding and some other day hikes too.
So, as you can see, it has been a good, busy, and very fun summer! It seems like life is going to slow down, but I don't think it actually will. We are going to be joining a small group at church in the next few weeks and will begin preparing for my mom and aunt coming to visit, then Jake's cousin visiting in October, then Jake's parents visiting in November. Work continues to go well and can be challenging at times. Friends are coming along, slowly, but they're coming.
Hopefully, thats a good update for you. I will try to blog again soon, but most likely I won't, but I will try :)

June 19, 2009

Moms Visit Seattle

Nope, I didn't make a typo with moms plural. My mom and Jake's mom, Laurie, came to visit last week for one week. It was so great to have them out here and for my mom to see what I do, where I live, who I spend time with, and where I play. Here was our agenda...

Day 1 - Tuesday

Leah picked the moms up at the airport and I wasn't supposed to meet them until later but I surprised them at met them at Jake's work, the QCafe. My mom's reaction was pretty predictable - a little scream, a few tears, and a melting hug. While Jake finished working we went to Kerry Park to over look the city.

We went out to Maggie Bluff's for dinner before turning in for an early night because the mommas were tired from travel. They did secure $300 travel vouchers each for taking a bump on a flight on the way out. They were pumped!

Day 2 - Wednesday

I had to work and took my mom with me to run some work errands. We met Leah and Laurie in Alki and lunch at Spud's Fish and Chips on the water.

Laurie and Leah went to Tacoma to Leah's apartment while Jake and I cooked my mom a scrumptious dinner and walked around Green Lake.

Day 3 - Thursday

Jake and my mom were going to meet Laurie and Leah for lunch and I finagled my schedule so I could make it. I can't miss out! (wonder where i got that from???) We had the moms cook us an amazingly wonderful midwest meal then they came to support me at my softball game. Afterwards we headed to Icon Grill where got pretty much the most a-mazing sundaes ever!

Day 4 - Friday

I only worked a half day and talked the moms into going shopping with me. Pretty much the best idea, I had TWO moms to hang up the clothes I tried on. Then we picked up Jake and went downtown. We took the ferry to Bainbridge Island then walked to get some Thai food. Our waiter's name was Teddy and my mom tried to tell him her name was Trixie and he thought she said sexy. That's what you get mom ;)

Day 5 - Saturday

The five of us and Jake's friend, Ricky, who was in town went out to breakfast at 5 Spot. They have some incredibly delicious food! Then, we went to Pike's Place Market. We tried to get my mom close enough to get scared by the fish that moves. It only kind of worked.

Jake and Ricky had to go meet up with some friends so it left us girls some time for shopping. Then we got some BBQ and took it to Gas Works Park to eat it.

Day 6 - Sunday
I made breakfast for everyone on Sunday. Yup, I did :) And grandma, I even used your pan. It worked perfect. Here's the proof...

We went to church then walked to get coffee, go to the Ballard Market, happy hour at the Matador, and went to the movie theatre to see "Up." Great movie by the way.

Day 7 - Monday
We drove to Mt. Rainier where "Team Laurie Its Your Birthday" conquered the Rampart Ridge Trail. The moms took about a million pics here but I haven't gotten them yet so those will have to wait. Then, we went to Leah's to cook a birthday dinner for Laurie!
Day 8 - Tuesday
The moms had to leave :( It was a wonderful time. We did so much more and lots of laughs. Thanks moms for a great visit! Now, I'm waiting for dads and others to come visit!

June 9, 2009


I know that moving to a new place, making friends (well, good friends at least) would take a little while with some intentionality. I feel like I've met a lot of people and some that I think would make good friends. I haven't felt lonely at all, but I think again and again I am realizing there is a comfort that you have with people when you share a deep experience. Two weekends ago, I was in one of my best friends from the World Race, Candice's, wedding. Kari, Bri, Morgan, Eric, and Jon, who were also World Racers, came to the wedding as well. Jake and I had the opportunity to hang out with Morgan, Jon, and Eric after the wedding.

It was so good for my soul. I didn't even realize that my soul needed it. For the past seven weeks I have been meeting new people. So, its been a lot of explaining my story of getting here and finding out what people do, where they live, who they know, etc. Surfacy stuff. Don't get me wrong, it has been great to meet so many wonderful people but it was just a nice break to sit for awhile and be with people that KNOW me, even though the time period they've known me is so short. It was refreshing and comforting not to think about what to try to add to the conversation or wondering what these new people I am meeting are thinking, but just to BE and to be known and understood. It was comforting that they know a part of my story, a part of who I am.

I hope this doesn't come across as me being sad or lonely because that is not at all the case. I am very happy, not lonely, still loving my time in Seattle, and am continually thankful for this new opportunity/adventure of living here! I know that good friends will come, but until then I will take these little glimpses of comfort when I can. My mom is coming tomorrow to visit for one week so that will tide me over for awhile! She knows me pretty well ;)

May 21, 2009

Long Overdue Update

So, I knew it had been a little while since I have written a blog, but I just checked- almost one month has gone by. Yikes! I feel like that is how the last few months have gone – on one hand so much has happened that time feels like its ticking slowly along, but then on the other hand, it feels like it was just February. So, in attempt to update you few faithful blog readers that have been disappointed in my blogging, I am going to give you bulleted highlights:
Housing: I moved into my house about one week after I got here. It has been an amazing blessing! I live with three other girls – Becca (nurse), Aimee (preschool teacher), and Megan (grad student). I didn’t know any of them before I moved in, but Jake knew of Becca from college. It has turned out wonderfully! I have my own, very large room in the basement and share a bathroom with Megan. Its only 1.5 miles from my work and is in a very nice neighborhood. I couldn’t have asked for it to be any better. I am still working on getting all my bedroom accessories together so as soon as I do, I will post some pics. Only downfall of the room, is its REALLY cold. I slept in my sleeping bag under my covers until I recently got a down comforter. Also, there’s these little roundish bugs that just show up dead on my carpet – I have yet to see a live one, but the World Race and the country have prepared me well!
Work: Work is going well. I currently have 12 families that I am working with. By the end of the summer, I will have 15 families. 8 of my 12 families have a head of household that is a veteran. It’s interesting because the issues are different from the clients I worked with families in Michigan, but its good and its challenging. I like learning how to handle new situations. I almost have my office arranged how I like it too. I will post new pics of that soon as well. The only downfall at work is that I work by myself so when I have a lull in my work, I don’t have anyone to talk to. So, I think I am going to feel bad for those who hang out with me after work, when I haven’t talked with people (except for my clients) all day. I do have some extrovert in me. ;)

Church: I am attending Quest Church. I have only been able to go twice so far as I have been gone the other weekend, but am very excited to be a part of this church. You can check it out at

Jake: Things continue to go well in that area. We have been able to spend a lot of time together, which has been nice. Living a few miles away vs. states away helps with that. We have been able to do lots of fun stuff and have lots more planned!
Friends: I’m working on it. It takes awhile to create some good friendships. I plan to be more intentional at the beginning of June when I am around more. We’ll see how that goes.

- I am doing well at re-adjusting to doing my own laundry, cooking, buying groceries,
cleaning, etc. My food lasts a lot longer when I am the one that pays for it. I made these
Chicken Crescent Pouches one night for dinner. I got the recipe off of Sara Luke's blog They were SO easy and delicious!

- I went to Cannon Beach in Oregon last weekend for my friend Candice’s bachelorette
party. It was absolutely gorgeous and very fun! Here's a picture of the sunset and us!

- I must be addicted to road trips. 33 hour trip from MI to Seattle, 4 hour trip one way to
Cannon Beach. 10.5 hour trip one way to Idaho this weekend. Jake is in a wedding
there. It should be a good time! And after doing 33 hours, 10.5 hours is nothing! FYI,
my car is named Vinny.

- I’ve made my schedule at work so that I get done at noon every Friday. Two Fridays ago, Jake
and I went hiking at Mount Si. It was a four mile hike to the top. It was really cold when
we got up there, there was even snow still left. And the clouds came in so we couldn’t
even see the good view, but it was fun and good exercise! The pic is of us at the top of
the hike. As you can tell, we couldn't see anything, because we were on the edge of a

- I got my Washington State Driver’s License on Friday. I just received it in the mail today. It’s
kind of weird not having a MI license, but don’t worryI still know where I’m from!

- I haven’t shed a tear since before leaving MI. I think it’s a good thing though, just that I am
content with how things are going.

I feel like so much more has gone on and more things have happened, but can’t remember right now. I guess I should blog more, huh? Anyways, I am enjoying Seattle and the change in my life! It was very much needed and has worked out wonderfully so far! Hopefully, I can write a blog sometime with some heart felt emotion vs. just an information update. Thanks for the many notes, cards, money, encouragement that many of you have sent me. I feel very blessed!

April 25, 2009

Random First Thoughts About Seattle

Here's a short list of my random first thoughts about Seattle...

- Dogs. Everyone, I mean, practically EVERYONE has a dog. And the owners all have to carry around to a bag to pick up its...well, you know. I don't think I could do it. I think its the temperature that would get to me. AND they even take them to the mall. I was at the mall the other day, having coffee with a friend when I saw a lady pushing a cart with a weiner dog where a child would sit. It's actually pretty ridiculous, but entertaining at the same time.

- I know I live in a city now, but holy houses, cars, and people!!! I went running the other day and the neighborhoods just went forever and ever. It was crazy! I guess its much different from running the country roads of Parma. A good different though. Here I can run 20 blocks and see the water! And everything is in bloom here so I can smell the trees and flowers when I run.
A-mazing! (The hills suck though.)

- Parallel and back-in diaganol parking. Both things I haven't had to do much of before in my life. I'm learning and improving!

- Diversity. I love it! Parma/Spring Arbor obviously aren't the most diverse communities so just seeing and interacting with people different than me is refreshing. I could choose almost any type of food and find a restaurant in a somewhat close distance.

- Weather. It has been rather beautiful here thus far. I am thankful for that! I think it helps with the transition.

- Staying up late. Wow, I think I have stayed up until at least midnight every night since I've been here (well, not the night before my first day of work, i think i was in bed at 11:30 then). At home, I went to bed around 10:30. Definitely a lifestyle change, but am enjoying it! I'm still young, right?

- I get excited about Michigan. We went to a concert the other night and one of the acts said they were from Michigan. I got excited! Then, we saw a guy wearing a Detroit Tigers hat at Trader Joe's and I was excited. Kind of weird, but guess its just a little taste of home.

- I've realized that in Parma/Jackson I think I forget about God's creation and his ability to create all that is around us, but here each day when I see the mountains or the water, I am reminded of God's creativity and how big He is truly is. I am very thankful for that reminder. I wish I could remember that at home too. I hope that I don't ever get used to the mountains and ocean and forget about who created them.

All in all, my observations and thoughts have been positive. I am so thankful and feel blessed that living here is part of my journey and part of this season of life. God is truly faithful!

April 22, 2009

No Longer A Vacation

Hey everyone! I made it through my first day at work. It was great! Nothing too exciting happened. It was great to learn more about the agency and what my role will be. If you want to check out thier website, its I am excited about the possibilities in this position and feel that I will have more than enough work. My office used to be a utility closet so it is itty-bitty. The door can't even open the whole way because it hits my desk. Oh well, what can you expect from a nonprofit. I like it and glad it is mine. Although I will miss being able to chat with my fellow cubicle workers. Here are some quick pics I snapped:

(view from my door, i do have a gigantic comfy chair though:)

(view from inside my office, I can't wait to make it all cozy:)

(the common area where I can meet with clients)

(the kitchen area, bathroom, and on the left are two computers for families to use)
I didn't get a chance to take a picture of the outside. Well, I did have a chance, but didn't take it. It will come soon though!

April 20, 2009

70 degree and sunshine welcome

After getting the car packed...

And driving 33 hours...

We made it to Seattle!!!

It was sunny and 70 degrees in Seattle today. I think it wanted to give me a warm welcome :) The car ride was fun and was pretty flawless except for a little traffic near Chicago. The time went by fast as we had plenty to do with chatting, music, and all the gifts and snacks from our parents and friends. I can't wait to get some exercise after eating and sitting for 33 hours.

And with some family and friends slipping us some generous amounts of money before we left, we were able to make it out here without any cost to us. We even were able to treat ourselves to a celebratory breakfast. Thank you so much!

I start work on Wednesday and move into my housing on Sunday! I'll keep you posted! Thank you to all who prayed for our safe travel!