#Funemployment and Official Finale

Long time, no blog!

I think I’ll actually start with the biggest news. This will be the finale of the blog. As my #Funemployment was coming to an end, I had some realizations that I just didn’t have it in me to blog anymore. When I started the blog, it was before I had Facebook or Instagram therefore I didn’t really have a way to share pictures or stories of my kiddos with family from a far. I think I was even doing email newsletters back then. Times have officially changed and there are other ways to keep up to date on the goings on of our family so I feel that it’s time to alleviate the self-imposed pressure I’ve felt to keep up with the blog. I’ve obviously done a horrible job at it anyway being that I have pictures as far back as Fathers Day to share.

A friend showed me how she’s pivoted from blogging to make bound books for her family from the pictures she takes and I think it’s a perfect idea. I’ve always felt bad that the girls didn’t really get to see the many pictures they take and this would give me a chance to share with them. I may try to add a bit more context in my social posts in the future but for the most part am simply moving on.

I feel like it’s a good time to change for a few reasons. The girls are getting older and fairly soon they’ll start wanting more privacy or less embarrassing things shared so blatantly. I also made a mindful choice during the last month of my #Funemployment to stay away from my computer as much as possible. I spent a lot of time on house projects, reconnected with friends I haven’t seen for a while, pampered myself and mostly just enjoying my time. Now that I’m working again I am quite lucky for the fact that I have negotiated a reduced schedule again which gives me a full day off but otherwise I am commuting into Seattle the other four days a week. It’s a bit different than how I worked a reduced schedule at Moz so it will take a bit of adjusting but I’m not too worried about that.

It will be an odd adjustment for me but sometimes life requires change to focus on other things. Today I’m going to bid farewell with a wrap up of some of the fun things I did during my #Funemployment. I will say that I think it was a bit harder for me this time to not worry and step back to enjoy as I did last time. I regret that I wasn’t able to get a trip planned during my time off but I spent enough money on other things that it’s probably better for the budget that I didn’t! Since I did have nothing but time available, I felt like it was easier to do something on a whim. Something like this memory, which was one of my favorite memories during the few months.

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As we were driving home from a birthday party one evening we saw three hot air balloons. They looked like they were landing so Leah and I decided to chase them and see where they were going. We kept stopping to take a picture then realizing it was possible to drive closer to the balloon. Eventually we were really close!
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As we were watching the balloon deflate, the owner of the balloon said that kids could take a moment and hop in the basket. You didn’t have to ask Leah twice!!! She was excited!
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We have decided we want to do ballooning for Leah day in a few years from now and will share the experience with Daddy and Cassie but for now, it’s one we were happy to enjoy together.
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Cassie was on most of our fun drives, too (of course). We love listening to Kidz bop when we drive and I realized the reason we’re so happy when we hear “Party in the USA” by Miley Cyrus. When I was pregnant with them I binged watched “The Hills” and believe that they ingested a love of reality TV from me through that experience. Or at least they grew accustomed to putting our hands up and playing our song while the butterflies fly away…
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We renewed our membership to the Pacific Science Center and took advantage of going when there were no crowds. We really enjoy this museum and their awesome expeditions like this cool Lego Art one they had, The Art of the Brick.
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I really loved being home and able to take the girls to every appointment they needed. I was there when Cassie got her braces off and the whole office sang to her and gave her a cake!
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She wasn’t the only one with dental work. The top left picture is what I texted my dentist after I broke my temporary crown. At least I had hours on end to spend in the dental chair to get a tooth repaired that I’ve been putting off for a while. I was also able to put off other things like running errands to hike, or even when I chose to take the girls out of school for an appointment but kept them out to go to lunch, hit the beach, do anything we wanted. Maybe not the best example but I don’t really care… I was spending time with my kiddos.
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I also took advantage of the events at school. They have an October morning celebration where they encourage everyone to walk to school and the police, ambulance and fire truck are there to check out.
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We also renewed our Daisy’s membership but bridged to become Brownies! The girls happily received boxes of brownies for their reward and were mostly excited they didn’t have to tie the strings on their uniform anymore.
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Both girls received awards at the first assembly of the year. I have caring citizens in my house and am very proud of them.
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I didn’t actually get to go to that assembly because I had an interview but luckily Cory was able to go and take pictures for me. Speaking of interviews, I found the random picture I took of my “interview outfit” when I was deciding between the brown and blue shoes. I chose blue. I guess they worked. There are other super random pictures I found on my phone. I think I would categorize them as “home and halloween” photos?
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Other things that don’t have a long tale but relate to my #Funemployment are these pictures of the afternoon we took care of our friend, Zelda so her Mom and Dad could go out on a date. We had fun! Babies are so sweet when you get to give them back and sleep all night…
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We also played with friends our own age as much as we could. It’s fun to reconnect with old friends and spend time with new ones as well.
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Then we had park time. Lots of park time. I laugh when we go to a park and they play more on the trees or surrounding area than the actual park. No matter where we played, we still played and that was the important part.
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I played with friends my own age, too! I didn’t take a trip on an airplane but I did spend one weekend in Leavenworth with previous coworkers who were all laid off from Moz. It was a good weekend. We all chose one meal to make and thankfully I have pictures of a meal that was a success because my meal was a bomb. Not the bomb, a bomb. I learned that cooking on electric is a LOT different than gas like I’m used to.
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I did master the art of German drinking at Oktoberfest when we all went to share an evening of imbibing and festing together.
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Three of us dressed up and we actually proved that girls sit around and braid each other’s hair when they’re on vacation together.
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It was a rainy weekend and a rainy evening but we had a great time together.
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But back home I went to spend time with this clan and take advantage of the prep time to do something awesome like make mummy hot dogs for dinner. Or go out to dinner with Daddy because, like I said, the budget has gone out the window.
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That being the case, we had a lot of fun having manicures and pedicures, going to Target and doing take out for dinner. Because why not?
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Why not also splurge on fun plays like the fancy ones at the Seattle Center where we saw The Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe. We also celebrated the opening of Kidtown Park at our church which is an indoor playground that was created about 6 years too late for me. I did, however, go to the Mom’s group on Tuesday’s and got to know other Mom’s at my church so that was pretty cool.
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These things are pretty cool, too. Random shuffleboard afternoons, fall TV shows and of course pumpkin- anything pumpkin!
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Pumpkin is always a treat but let’s just finish this blog with the real treats. I think my favorite sweet find of #Funemployment was SÜSU Rolled Ice Cream. This stuff was at one of our local farmers markets and it was seriously amazing. They just make ice cream right in front of your eyes by spreading cream and sugar on a super cold plate then adding some fancy stuff and scraping it into these rolled patterns. Basically just watch the video on their website but honestly, it’s amazing.
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We also enjoy Holy Cannoli, any trip to Yogurtland, a Lady Yum stopover and I had some beverages that I enjoyed to celebrate the signing of my employment contract and may coffee that I questioned on November 1 since it was not red again this year.
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Some of the best treats were the unplanned times we could grab a cupcake, enjoy a glass of wine with a friend or eat a lunch on the town because we didn’t want to go back to school. Or the fact that I had time to make the cupcakes for our birthday party and I do have to say they turned out pretty darn good!
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And finally, I am looking forward to things being pretty darn good at my new jobby job.
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I took advantage of my last few weeks and got approximately a third of my house completely painted but now I am again commuting away four days a week. At least I have a lot of audiobooks to listen to (like “The Everything Store” about Jeff Bezos).
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I also still have #FridayFunDays, or as we will now call them #WednesdayPlayDay. Don’t worry Sally Jewell and Jill Biden, I won’t let you down! You were proud of me for my work life balance and I am determined to keep it rocking.
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Now because I can’t end my blog with a picture of an ex-CEO, I will throw in this picture from tonight when the full fam went to a Husky game and took another picture in the stadium five years later from the last time we were there.
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It’s actually funny to me to see how much work it was to do a night like described in the linked blog. When we went to the game tonight, it was super uneventful. The kids actually watched basketball for the full time and we had soft pretzels and dippin dots for dinner. That was it. There’s not much of a tale to tell therefore my tales are told for now. So long, farewell. See ya later.

A Berry Old Blog

Is this how it happens? Do people realize that they’re over four months behind in their blogging stories so they decide to just give up and stop? I’m not going to lie, there’s definitely a risk and I’m quite worried about some of my summary posts where I put together the best pictures from the months or year but as for now, I’m still trucking!

The story for today is from our adventures in berry picking. They started with the strawberry picking we did one afternoon at Remlinger Farms. This was one of the first times we’ve been here and didn’t do the full day of activities but we still had a great time picking!
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We beat the rain, ran through the fields and quickly gathered a large amount of strawberries to jam.
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Before we headed home, we took a quick pit stop inside and had to hop on the train for old times sake.
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Then we took our pickings and headed home to make something sweet out of them. This years recipe was a spicy strawberry ginger jam that tastes delish!
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What wasn’t delish was the mess of the kitchen I got to clean after the canning…
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Another picking excursion was to Raising Cain Ranch for raspberries on a #FridayFunDay afternoon.
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We did a lot of picking but we had some playtime as well!
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At one point, Cassie was capturing pictures of me and I LOVE the way Leah turned around from picking (and clearly eating) to get into the frame with me. Obviously we can be hams if we want to be…
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This is one of the millions of reasons why I adore our #FridayFunDays!
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Another reason is getting an amazing picture like this.
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The final berry picking excursion was over a weekend in July when Cory was out of town and we headed up north to hang with our friend, Michelle. We went back to Bryant Blueberry Farm because we had such a great time at their festival last year and were determined to enjoy it again. Pony rides, face painting, balloon animals and lunch- all for a $20 entrance fee.
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There was blueberry picking too, of course!
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Look at our bountiful berries!
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After we were done with the day, we headed over to Michelle’s lovely lake for some water play.

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The kids may have played with the water a bit more while we played with the wine.
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To conclude the evening, we made some amazing grilled pizzas on Michelle’s new pizza stone and they were incredibly tasty.
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The next morning was another treat when we cooked ourselves some mason jar lid pies with all of our berries.

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I have no issue with pie for breakfast!
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Just like luckily my kids have no issues picking blackberries while I drink wine and hold the ladder. No joke.
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But we spend a lot of time making wonderful masterpieces from our many berries. And it makes it all worth it in the end.
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Happy berry season! (many months ago…)

Rangers Most Valuable Player

Since I have more time on my hands now, I am digging through the many archives of videos and pictures that have been piling up on me. By the way, that was sarcasm about having more time because I actually have less time since my time is being taken up with many other things which I’ll soon be able to tell you about if it gets wrapped up this week (fingers crossed!!!)

Now I’ll go back and share some of my favorite pictures from Leah’s spectacular softball season.
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She really did hit her stride this season, especially with the hitting. These are my favorite hitting pictures because it looks like she had such a big hit that the gentleman watching face palmed with shock.
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One of the kids favorite parts of the season is the fanfest that the teams do to kick off the games. I was in Ireland when they had this event and I heard that I missed a VERY rainy day. The girls had great attitudes and stayed through the end when they won the big bucket of candy!!!
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Luckily a few of the other coaches and moms are good about having nice cameras to send me action shots of my favorite player.
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I mostly get pictures in the dugout when I can stop her for one minute to smile.
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As you can tell, Cassie chose not to play again this year. I’m really hoping she changes her mind for next year but it’s pretty doubtful. I told her a long time ago I wouldn’t force her to do an activity more than once so I’m following through with that but she does enjoy mooching on the parties and the snacks whenever possible.
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The end of the year party was full of trophies and even framed pictures for both the players and the coaches (Cory is an assistant). He’s pretty used to being beat up by these kiddos and they did nothing different that day when they took him down by pulling on his t-shirt.
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Cory was gifted with a framed collage that all of the girls in action and they signed it as well.
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Leah was given her own collage and I even made one of the photos! You can see me doing what I do best, recording every hit I possibly can.
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Here are some of her greatest hits I captured through the season:

And this montage holds a few more:

This includes videos of her running home, playing first base like a rockstar and being ready for anything:

It makes me happy to see how much this kid loves softball and I know she’s just going to improve over time.

Keep it up, Leah!!!