Monday, April 22, 2013

Busy Season

I started a new job last fall, and every year, I will have a busy season from January through April. Between driving back and forth from Olympia (about 3 hours round trip), writing, reading legislation, providing analysis, endless meetings, and late nights, the blog has been largely ignored. 

The good news is things are starting to return to normal, so keep checking back for regular updates. 

The Patricks and Nonemachers both welcomed new members of the family. First, welcome Rory Flynn Patrick! Is he a cute little Irish baby or what?

Patrick Cousin #1 - Baby Rory!

Nonemachers are quickly growing in numbers to form an entire professional sports league, not just a fill a team roster. My brother, Matt, and his wife, Emily, welcomed a 4th daughter, Violet, a couple of days after baby Rory was born. 
Nonemacher Cousin #6 - Baby Violet!

Busy season wasn't all work and no play. We managed to get a couple of days of snowshoeing in. 

Amy, Byron, and Wyatt on the trail. 

Arlo's days in the backpack are numbered. He's growing so fast!

Quiet Mountain Scenery

Family Photo

We also celebrated Ryan's birthday. Arlo loves singing, "Happy Birthday" and blowing out the candles.

Birthday Brownies!

Arlo is starting to figure out the joy of climbing trees. 

Now we can't keep him out of them. 

And, of course, the MLS season is back. We love cheering on our Sounders!

He's a wild man during soccer season. 

To break the tension during a game, Ryan pulled out the guitar and Arlo helped with the chords. 

Another day, another birthday cake... this time with a painted face!

Practicing driving a tractor so he can help on Grandpa Tom's farm. He's ready!

And a transition to a big boy bed!

It's been a busy few months. Now, the tulips are starting to wither and wisteria buds are on the brink of bursting. Another spring and the hope of sunny weather and more adventures!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Scramble to the finish

Well, as you can tell, 2012 was a manic scramble to the finish. I have had no time to blog and here's why: 

November was a roller coaster and full of highs and lows. Our beloved pup-kid, Soma, battled terminal bone cancer for months. The only way to relieve his pain was to amputate the leg where the cancer originated. Soma rebounded like a champ and was remarkably nimble as a tripawd. Then, we did 5 rounds of chemotherapy in an effort to give us another year instead of a couple of months. 

Despite our best efforts to give him the longest and best life possible, Soma eventually lost use of his remaining back leg and was clearly suffering. We were forced to put him to sleep right before Thanksgiving. It was a crushing loss to us. We have Soma's ashes and plan to spread them in his favorite spots in the garden. 

Gone but never forgotten!

One the same day that we put Soma to sleep, my baby brother returned from deployment in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan. The sadness of Soma's loss was immediately shifted to the relief and joy of my brother's safe return. 

Mike and our mom at 1:30 in the morning after the return ceremony that capped off his long trip home.

Next, we hosted a fantastic Thanksgiving dinner with good friends and my brother, who is based about an hour from Seattle. Arlo and his buddy Wyatt worked off the holiday calories by wrestling and laughing on the couch. 

Wild Boys

Uncle Mike goofing around with Arlo after dinner. 

Our tradition is to put up our Christmas tree on the Friday after Thanksgiving. We don't mess around. 

Arlo was a good helper with the Christmas tree. 

Then, I had surgery for a compressed posterior interosseous nerve. Ryan's folks came to visit, and it was great to see them and have their help when I was stuck in a cast and basically useless to Ryan. 

Story time with grandpa


The next item on our list was hosting our annual neighborhood cookie exchange. Although I was one hand down, Arlo was more than ready to help. 

Never fear! Baker boy is here!

We got in the car and drove to Montana to spend the holidays at Mimi and Grandpa Tom's farm. Arlo was a little blown away. 

Moo, Cow. Oink, Pig. 

Helping clear snow but not on a walkway. 

Christmas morning!

Santa made Arlo a train table from scratch. 
Complete with its own whitewater rapid!

Tom and Jerry's at Grandma Dot's with family. 

More presents!


Love this photo of my beautiful grandmother. 

Lincoln Logs are classic. 

Dot's house aglow. 

137 years in 2 cups. 
Dot gave us a silver cup that has been given to babies in our family since 1875 (cup on the right) and Arlo received an engraved silver cup from longtime friends, the Kaasa's, when he was born. 

An antique "icicle bracelet" modeled by Grandma Dot. 

When 2013 finally arrived, we relaxed a bit by going for walks in parks and feeding birds at the zoo.

Perfect tree for resting. 

Feeding the birds. 

Needless to say, we are taking a breather before my busy season at work starts in a week or two. Even though 2012 was a whirlwind, we are looking forward to a wonderful 2013. More adventures to come!

Happy New Year!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Trick or Treat!

As you know by now, we love Halloween. How can you not love a holiday where dressing up, eating massive amounts of candy, and decorating to scare yourself and your friends is required?

Every year, we have a costume party, and last year we had to cancel at the last minute because Arlo came down with a rash and fever. So this year, we were ready to go all out. We had about 30 adults and kids in costume in our house. 

This year, I was hoping to make a Sasquatch costume for Arlo. We talked about it for weeks, and Arlo talked about Sasquatch nonstop. He seemed so excited. I got a few brown wigs and started hand sewing them to a brown long sleeve t-shirt and pants. Arlo liked wearing the wig but when it came to the furry shirt, he got a little freaked out. When I asked him what he wanted to be for Halloween, he said, "Um, a ghost." At least it was an easy costume to make, but my Martha Stewart, Halloween loving self was a little disappointed. 

On the night of Halloween, Arlo and his friend (and next door neighbor), Barrett, went trick-or-treating together. We had more trick-or-treaters than ever before. We had a great time and it was simply our best Halloween ever!

Arlo and Barrett before hitting the streets!

A haunting...

Scenes from our Halloween party:

Barrett enjoying the scene. 

August and his dad, Dan, talking about their favorite Halloween stories. 

Arlo watching baby Mary sleep. 
Not sure how she did it with so much commotion around her!

Batman and Robin!

Ryan went as Beaker from the muppets

As the party went on, Beaker got a little, um, worn out. 
Thankfully, Misty May Treanor from the US Beach Volleyball team was there to help whip Beaker into shape. 

Arlo and his BFF, Vivian.

Vivian was a spider -- I wish I got a nice photo of her cool costume!

Barrett enjoying her accessories. 

Eric and baby Mary.

Lining up the kids for a photo is considerably harder than it used to be

I'm not sure what Arlo is doing in this series of photos. Such a goofball!

Maybe Arlo feels like his artistic vision is compromised by the other kids?

Baby Fiona out of her cow costume. 

Fiona and Erin 

Byron, Amy, and Wyatt: Where the wild things are!

Spooky but yummy skeleton cupcakes!

You know it's a good party when you find a Lego bin on your head!

Arlo and Pat laughing it up!

"I don't know!"

Milo and Arlo are good buddies.

Messing around!

Serious talk about the upcoming election. Ok, maybe not.

Jennifer and new baby Jack.

Jack's big sister, Lucy.

Good times!