Pictures from the Week

Monday: It snowed. I walked to a bus. It worked OK on the way in but on the way home my bus never came, so I had to do an alternative that landed me in downtown Bothell, 2.5 miles from home without a bike. Fortunately, Ian and Benji bailed me out.
Monday Snow Day 1

Snow Day at Work

Tuesday: I rode my studded-tire bike to the bus across ice without any slipping issues at all. I’d forgotten how it feels to ride a tank.
Snow Tires on Red Bike

My work had a meeting on the 76th floor and the view was, as always, spectacular.
Tuesday No Snow Day (from the 76th floor) 2

Tuesday No Snow Day (from 76th floor)

After Tuesday I didn’t take any more pictures. Sorry. I had a busy week at work, with the run-up to my first release. I only got to bike home two days, what with the horrid weather, but on the bright side arrived home early enough on Wednesday and Friday to have dinner with my family! Still figuring things out, but doing OK.

I Love Winter Mountains

Here are my 1,000 words for the day.
Norway Chill

A few more words of explanation: I went for a ride today while it was “warm” (above freezing, barely) and light. There aren’t many hours like that this time of year around here.


I’m still slow. It’s life. I consider it a win just getting out at all these days. Too bad Strava doesn’t list “got outside” as an achievement.

I finished the ride by going up my favorite local climb, Norway Hill, and the afternoon light on the mountains was just beautiful. I stopped and took some pictures, but my brand-new, super nice Google Pixel phone with allegedly stupendous camera couldn’t really capture the vividness and beauty of the scene. The mountains looked brilliantly crisp and clear, bright and clean against the cold blue of the sky. The dark green of the trees in the foreground and the cloud ceiling moving in overhead framed the mountains as if to accentuate their gorgeousness.

I love the winter mountains here, with their glittering snowpack and the sharp blue lines, the shadows and the slanting golden light, the cleanness of the air that makes everything look close and clear. Summer in Western Washington brings its own delights, but I feel that winter rewards us for going outside by offering the most breathtaking vistas just around the next corner or over the next rise.

Merry Christmas 2016

Merry Christmas to you all!
Christmas 2016

We can’t believe it’s the end of another year!
Joe-Katie-Mare Silly

I remain most grateful for the blessing of our immediate families, living so nearby and getting to take such an active part in our lives. I also am thankful for the opportunity to continue building meaningful friendships and to keep learning and growing as a wife, parent, friend, and person. Nothing’s perfect, but I’m thankful for what we have.

AND I am grateful for the opportunity to start riding my bike again, even if it was quite painful and slow. I’m not worrying as much about the usual metrics as figuring out a plan to build back up to where I was — and hopefully surpass it!

I just felt so happy out there, and when I got home — and then got to do it again today! I rode about 7500 miles this last year, with a goal of 8,000 miles; I got close, and I think I could’ve made it, had bacteria not intervened. But hey, there’s always next year, with whatever it holds.

Picture Diary: December 9-14

December 9

Snow Day!

We made a snow man in the back yard and I pulled Benji on a home-made cardboard sled for a little bit. I also went for 90 minutes of walks before the snow went away.

December 11

Sleeping in the  Nest

Only for nap time, and only on the rare occasions nap time actually involves napping, does Benji sleep in his “nest.” He has so many snuggles, plus a half-dozen blankets including one down comforter, that it’s probably similar to his mattress.

December 14

Benji Christmas Program 1

Benji Christmas Program 1

Our Redeemer Christian School’s Christmas program. Benji loved his angel halo, even though he didn’t sing for any of the songs. He’s the one in the turquoise shirt with stripy sleeves in the front row. It was exactly like you expect preschool singing to be: adorable for parents and fun for the kids. I would probably have appreciated it more if I hadn’t spent most of the time struggling not to cough up a lung.

Aaand this is where I confess that I actually wrote this post on the 16th and then back-dated it to fill in some gaps.

A Metaphor for Something

I saw this while dropping Benji off one day, and it made made me smile. Some kind of metaphor for how the Christmas season can feel, perhaps?

Friday Photos

I added a couple pink streaks to my hair.
I have pink hair now.

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But my hair just doesn’t want to soak in the color, which is supposed to be a nice baby pink to match my bike (naturally! What else?). Aunt Dana wants to go more fuchsia next time, and have it fade to baby pink. I’m still on the fence.

Benji also got his hair cut at the time, but I forgot to take pictures because I was busy interviewing him for information to put in our very own planet book. We made a book about the planets because the ones he has don’t contain all the information he wants to know. Specifically, he’s gotten interested in “cut-outs” of planets, ie, what’s inside planets.

Here’s Benji playing with the slide. It’s the summer of the slide, apparently.
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Here’s a superhero family selfie.
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And here’s Benji’s first picture, which he took himself with my phone.
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Photos from our week

I’m going to (try to) post photos from our week on Fridays. I may or may not provide explanations. Think of it as a “caption the photo” opportunity.

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This one does require some explanation. This is at our CSA, when Benji had just gotten a good haul of veggies from the kids’ garden (they’re the only ones who get carrots or snap peas this year! So jealous! He at all the snap peas one after another as he picked them). He towed this little wheelbarrow all over the CSA, from the members’ pickup area all the way out to the kids’ garden all the way out to the flowers, though high weeds and grass, with one pit stop to feed the chickens some greens. Pretty good for a boy who was sure he couldn’t pull it that far.

We’ve been missing seeing our friends! They all seem to be on vacation. It’s like there’s some huge vacation conspiracy that takes everyone out of town at once… I guess it’s called “Summer.” But anyway, our friend Will got back into town and we finally got to have a playdate! Hooray!
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65-degree drizzly weather won’t stop US from enjoying a big old puddle. No, sir. Good thing Mommy brought extra clothes.

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Our nasturtiums were wonderful, and Benji even ate some of them… until the hideous black aphids found them. We’ve never had those in our yard before, only green aphids. These black ones look extra-nasty. In a matter of barely a week, the poor nasturitums were completely sucked dry and covered in a thick, black mass of tiny bugs, and I started seeing the aphids branching out to other nearby plants, including my avocado tree! Ick. I pulled them all out, and hopefully that’s that. Next year, I’m planting pansies.

The Beach, and Stuff

The garden here is a little crazy, but lovely in the sun. Actually, everything looks nicer in the sun. Funny how that works.
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We went to the beach yesterday; pictures follow. I think somebody’s going to be very sad when our vacation is over. Benji might miss it, too.

Oh, I should also mention that Benji is fascinated with Grandpa Gary’s coffee bean grinder, and waits eagerly for bean grinding in the morning. Then he periodically tells us about it with great enthusiasm during the day.

Also still receiving great enthusiasm is the story of following a street sweeper around, a memory Benji continues to remind us of daily. He and Mom saw this almost a week ago, and still he gets excited. No memory issues for this boy, that’s for sure.

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Benji has started calling Gary “Papa,” which hardly seems fair for my dad, who somehow became “Boo-boo”… But at least now we know when Benji talks about them. He still can’t/hasn’t said “Grammy,” despite our diligent efforts to teach him. The “gr” sound seems to continue to stymie him. Other new words include cracker, uh-oh (often accompanied by an intentional drop), apple, all gone (usually for all done), ice, car, blue, red, big, doggie, truck, bus, and bleck or my personal favorite variation, bleck-a-bleck-a-bleck.