Tuesday, July 29, 2014

A single girl in a double apartment

So, I live alone now.

As of today (well technically yesterday, but I'm such a strong woman that I couldn't face going home for my first night alone and stayed at work drinking wine and eating pizza instead), I officially have no roommate. I have never lived alone before, never ever, and let me just tell ya. It's weird. I only have like 4 hours of experience under my belt, but it's weird. Allie and I lived together for more than two years, and we brought Penny home at some point in January 2013, so this is all a bit different for me. I keep expecting Penny to come out of Allie's room and lick my face/hands/feet, and I keep wanting to tell Allie mundane things. So far, I've been talking out loud....like a lot. I also called my dad, and my brother, and facetimed Beth, just to break up the silence. Did I mention that Allie took the tv along with her? So, yeah. No tv. There's going to be a hell of a lot of Paul Simon and Ryan Adams on my record player for the foreseeable future.

I think it would probably be a lot different if I had moved into this apartment alone, but to have lived here with a friend and a dog for all these months and then to just come home and have them not be here anymore? Not great. I genuinely can't imagine how painful it would be to go through a breakup where you stay in your home and your partner is the one who moves out. I couldn't stand it. Every time I walk past Allie's room I start frowning. I'm really making this sound much more dramatic than it is, but really! It's weird.

Thankfully I've got a slew of visitors lined up, and thankfully I work for an amazing family that takes as much care of me as I do for their kids (I swear I'm not sucking up, I'm just really lucky), and thankfully I am relatively happy hanging out alone. But really Allie, if you want to turn around and come back home, that would be fine with me.

I also haven't even let myself begin to think about how terrifying it is to be a 20 something woman who lives alone in a city where she doesn't know that many people and she doesn't even have a baseball bat by her bed (I once dated a guy who actually had a baseball bat next to his bed....it was ridiculous and amazing), so let's not go there because it's dark out and if I think about it too much then I'll have to go out and buy myself a Louisville Slugger.

So, hey! If you're my friend in real life, feel free to call me whenevvvvver you'd like. Because I'll probably be free, hanging out in my underwear, doing sporcle quizzes and eating freezer burned grapes (seriously these are fucking disgusting, I'd rather be sucking on an ice cube). I also have big, big pickling plans for the month of August, but what else is new.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

I'm watching Romy and Michelle's High School Reunion

I don't feel like writing a preamble today so let's just get to the photos, eh? 

 I made pickles! 24 quarts. So far I've given two of them away and broken into one. They'll keep me warm all winter long, presuming I can make them last that long. (Spoiler alert: I can't.)

 So, this happened a few days ago. Tristan Prettyman is one of my favorite people on this earth, and I admire her more than I could probably explain. I've had a serious girl crush on her for a long time, and although I've seen her live before (and exchanged emails years ago), I've never actually met her. Well, she has almost 30,000 twitter followers and only follows 176 people, almost all of which are legitimate celebrities. But somehow, SOMEHOW, she started following me. I spent the rest of the day constantly checking my phone, assuming she made a mistake and would unfollow me. So far so good, but it means I've gotta up my twitter game big time. There are very few people in this world whose opinions of me I give a shit about, but she is one of them. I'm still not convinced it wasn't an accident, but I have to make the most of my time on her radar. 

 Several months ago, my brother asked me if I'd be able to make it home for his 30th birthday. I told him no, since I would be seeing him two weeks prior up north, but I was a sneaky sister and had already bought my flight home. (I mostly did it so I could see Judy and eat Art of Pizza, but he doesn't need to know that.) So I took a red eye last Wednesday night, then took the train over to his apartment and woke him up. And then we went to Six Flags! And then I was delirious from lack of sleep.

 I've loved these guys for 10 years. Isn't that nuts? It's nuts. Anyway, we trivia-ed. We weren't great. But there was pizza so who gives a shit. 

 The next day I had lunch with my friend Claire, which I forgot to document, but then my brother and I hopped into the Revolution Taproom for a sec. It's beautiful! And smelly. 


 We had a catered dinner from the Bento Box, and it was HOLY SHIT good. 

 The theme of the party was to dress like something from the song "We Didn't Start the Fire", so naturally my sister dressed as a space monkey and Cole was Liberace. I didn't really have a costume since I flew on Spirit airlines and could only bring a backpack with me, but I wore a dress and flipped my hair and went as a half-assed Doris Day. 

 High school friends are some of the best. 

 I love this home of mine. 

Serious contender for world's cutest kid. 

 Another serious contender. 

 Cole and Anthony's company, Harebrained!, is having a big party to celebrate the success of their kickstarter this weekend, and they collabed with Pipeworks to make a new beer for it! I finally got to try it this weekend, and it was deeeeeeelicious. They ended up calling it Brief Relief, but my suggestion was "Linger-Ale". The spelling doesn't work out, but I still think it's a way better pun. 

 Mornings with Judy. 

 If we are friends in real life then you already know what happened with my flight on Sunday, so I won't bother explaining it....but despite my burning, burning anger at missing my flight, the up side was that I got to see Gus! And eat a Blizzard for lunch. I gave him some. I'm probably his favorite aunt now. 

 Such a perfect little peach. 

 Having a nephew is sosososososoososososo so good. 

 And then I covered his body with temporary tattoos of period puns. 

 Power hours til we die. 

 The other up side (upside? I need to go back to school) to having extra time at home was hanging with daddio. He looks particularly bald here. 

 Goodbye pizza, hello salad and sadness. 

I got this email today. Why would anyone disrespect a pizza with those options? Almost as bad as a cauliflower crust. 

Monday, July 14, 2014

A story about a gravel road

This summer is treating me well. Real, reaaaaaaaal well. I was a little bit nervous about it, which I know is ridiculous, because I've never spent a summer away from Illinois and wasn't sure it would feel like summer in a new place. Obviously it does because duh. We're less than a month in (officially), and I already have so many perfect summer memories. Picking strawberries and raspberries and blueberries straight off their bushes and vines, especially a morning I spent with Sophie picking raspberries that were turned into jam by bedtime. I've done a lot of running, which I don't even feel like I can call running when I could probably speed walk a faster mile...but regardless, I've spent a lot of evenings running around the neighborhood, gawking at dream house after dream house. I've started running at night here and there, which is necessary since it's 100 dang degrees day after day which means I mostly hunker down inside like I'm allergic to the sun. I went on a slip n slide for the first time!!!! That was fantastic. I'd like there to be more slip n slides in my future. We went to a music festival, ate a thousand brats, and got pretty good sunburns. I went to a baseball game, drank a lot of beers on patios, and last week Dane and I scarfed a mint oreo dq blizzard in about twelve seconds. I spent the fourth of July in the Wisconsin northwoods with my entire family (every single one! the best!), kissed my nephew no fewer than eleven thousand times, swam across the lake, went skinny dipping, played horseshoes, and then flew back to Portland hungover and depressed because I already missed my family so much. I felt like I'd just sort of be muddling through the next few months until I see them again. And oh my god I was so so so sosososososososos sosososo sosososo so incredibly wrong.

Allie is leaving this great northwestern state in three weeks, so at the start of July we made pretty specific plans for each weekend, in order to ensure that we cross everything off her bucket list with plenty of time left over. The weekend of July 10th and 11th was bookmarked as camping weekend. We kinda sorta thought about going up to Orcas Island or Vancouver Island (because I've still somehow never been to Canada), but that would have required more planning (and a ferry ride, and I'm not all that into ferry rides to tell ya the truth), so it didn't happen. But we had a bag full of camping stuff left over from our weekend at Sasquatch in may, so we put that in the car along with a tent and some sleeping bags, and decided to go camping anyway. We had a vague plan to head into Mt Hood National Forest, and even bookmarked a couple of campgrounds that seemed nice, but when we put the dog in the backseat and headed off on Thursday, we genuinely had no idea where we would end up. We only had to drive for about forty five minutes when all of a sudden we were in the middle of the woods, following the highway along the Clackamas River. About two minutes later we came up on a campground that had the word lazy in its name (right up our alley), so we pulled in and checked it out and decided that for $21, it would be the perfect place to stay. Our campsite had its own small path down to the rocky river, so we drank beer there in the evening and ate cinnamon rolls there in the morning. No complaints. We also slept like three sardines in our tiny little tent, with the pup right in the middle of us. I woke up Friday morning to birds chirping and a dog furiously licking my face.

After a quick drive back into the nearest town so that I could get enough service to pay the electric bill that was due the day before (I'm great at being an adult), we headed back out into the woods, in search of our next spot. We were determined to float around in a mountain lake at some point, so we headed up toward place called Breitenbush Lake. Well, the directions to get there are pretty simple; take the main highway to a particular forest road, follow it for 28 miles, then turn onto a different forest road and after 7 miles, voila: the perfect camping spot awaits. That can't be too tough, right? Dead wrong. We followed forest road 46 for 28 miles, but where forest road 4220 was supposed to be, all we saw was a half-faded sign for "Skyline Road" and a windy gravel road beyond it. We determined that that was our road, as poorly marked as it was, so we got started. Seven little miles was all we had left, so we were pretty excited. Well, the thing I need to emphasize is that it was a gravel road. We were in Allie's Nissan something-or-other that is just a normal car, which she purchased in the Chicago suburbs without even the slightest thought in her head that she would ever find herself trying to trek it up a gravel forest road. Well, very long complainy story short, we made it 5 of the 7 miles before we decided we needed to turn around. Allie had to get out and walk around for a minute at some point, and I don't think I've ever said "it's okay, it's going to be okay, we won't get stuck, it'll be fine" that many times before. After about 30 looks exchanged between us where we silently wondered if the transmission had just flat out fallen out of the car, we resorted to having one person drive (3 mph) while the other person walked ahead of the car, moving any potentially hazardous boulders out of the way. I was the rock-clearer for about a mile, and at the end of it I just wanted to laugh and scream and put up the damn tent in the middle of the road. There were so. many. rocks. And they were all huge, and potentially fatal to her car (which I named Fiona and feel pretty good about), and it was just a genuine nightmare. It probably took us 2 hours to drive those 5 miles in, decide to turn around, and drive them back out, and when we finally hit pavement the relief was visible. And then I pulled over and we sat on a hill drinking a beer to memorialize the occasion.

After that giant speed bump (which was really more like 10,000 tiny speed bumps for 10 miles), we set our sights on a different lake, one that had a paved road for most of the way. We listened to Goldfly, my favorite Guster album, because I forgot to mention that Allie and I are having a high school music resurgence this summer. It's been a lot of Guster, OAR, Dispatch, and I even made it through about 5 songs on a Howie Day cd before I had to laugh at how bad it was and turn it off. Anyway, at this point we were feeling like there was no way for the day to go but up, so we happily listened to the sweet bongo sounds of Guster while working our way up to the lake where we would eventually stay for the night, Olallie. And it was everything we could have dreamed of: perfectly spaced, uniform green pine trees against a pure blue sky, with a lake so still that you couldn't tell what was a reflection and what wasn't, all completely overshadowed by the particularly majestic Mount Jefferson. So we found a campsite (which was really just an area along the lake that didn't have a sign saying we couldn't camp there, so we decided it was fair game), put on our suits, and splashed around in the water before taking a two hour, much deserved tent nap. And then I went off in search of firewood and came back with a bundle of wood AND all the fixings for smores. I didn't tell Allie and about 2 minutes after I got back, she mentioned how bummed she was that we didn't buy smores stuff. And then I blew her mind. And then we drank wine and played cards (and ate smores), and it felt like a real camping trip. Also there were no bathrooms at that campsite. Yep.

Yesterday morning we woke up, birds chirping and Penny licking us to death, but there were mosquitoes every every everywhere, so we packed up the car in about 4 minutes and got the heck out of there. But we didn't want to go straight home, since (as I mentioned earlier) it's been 100 degrees in Portland every day for about the last 10. A ranger we met the first night (from Milwaukee!) had suggested a swimming hole down by the river, so we headed that way. At this point I was just a total broken record talking about how beautiful everything was and how great the weekend had been, but when we got to that swimming hole, I was actually rendered speechless. It was exactly what you've always pictured as a swimming hole, secluded and surrounded by trees, with water clear enough that you could see to the bottom and lots of giant boulders around the edge for sunbathing. I couldn't have made up a more perfect spot had I been trying. Allie dipped her toes in before deeming it too cold to go anywhere near, but I decided I was going to swim whether I liked it or not (and I did not). I've gone swimming in some pretty, pretty cold water before, but this was a whole new level. You know when you get into super cold water and instead of getting used to it, you just feel your toes start to slowly go numb? This was like that, but it also felt like there were shards of ice coursing through my body. When I finally got all the way in and started swimming, I could actually feel my body slowing down as its internal temperature dropped. It was nuts. But I swam across the length of it anyway, before posting up on a rock and sunning myself (for about 15 minutes before I got nervous about a sunburn and decided we had to leave). Basically, it really was perfect. And the best part of all is that from my doorstep, I could be on one of those boulders in 45 minutes. It's a dream life sometimes, that's for sure.

So, that was our big adventure. It was so much fun, and I just feel bummed that we won't have a chance to go camping again before Allie leaves. Neither of us minds sleeping on the hard ground, and we're ex-camp counselors so we can build a fire and set up a tent in less than five minutes, so we were meant for camping. Especially out here, where the temperature drops enough at night to make for easy sleeping, I'm probably better off out in the woods than in our hot, un-air conditioned apartment during this hot summer swell. I'll be back at that swimming hole the next possible minute.

The rest of the weekend was devoted to turning cucumbers into pickles, and about 2 minutes ago I just heard the last of 24 quart jars make that popping noise to indicate that it sealed properly. That noise is one of the best in the whole world.

Oregon has amazed me from day one, well really even from before day one, but this weekend was one for the books. I'm so, so lucky to live here. 

Monday, July 7, 2014

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

A half year review

July starts in four minutes, meaning that this year is just about exactly half over. If you know me at all, you know that this is about the point in the year where I make some "no really, I can't believe it's already July" comment. This year is no different. I can't frickin believe it's July. I just shook my head over here thinking about it. How did that happen? How does it ever happen? 

Anyway, I'd like to do a small recap of the first half of 2014 so I don't have to try and think through 12 whole months of life when the end of the year arrives, which will obviously be here before I know it. I always, every single year tell myself I'll start Christmas shopping in July. This is my warning. 

Anyway. 2014 in review, part 1. 

January. January was difficult around these parts. The first few days were fine, and then I had to deal with some shit that sucked and I was an angry mope for a few days. And then I broke up with my boyfriend, who I was completely in love with, because the timing sucked because it's always the timing, isn't it? Anyway, it wasn't the greatest start to a year. There was a lot a lot of lost love. BUT! On January 18 (I'll always remember the date because it was the night the Lifetime Original movie Flowers in the Attic premiered and I looked forward to it for literal months), my sister gave birth to a perfect human named August. I got a nephew, and I cried no fewer than 400 separate times that weekend, and my sister was amazing and still is and it was hands down the highlight of the year. Duh. 

In February, I got to fly home to see this new perfect nephew of mine, and also to put in some quality time with my nieces and grandma. Back in Portland, I think I just spent that month going to the beach and hiking waterfalls and trying to wrap my head around a winter that wasn't completely horrible for every single day in February. But there was a ice storm that kept us inside for 4 days, cooking everything we could find and watching impressive amounts of Friday Night Lights. I genuinely don't remember anything else about February. 

In March I went to Idaho! Kari and I met for a Boise rendezvous, and I got pulled over for driving the wrong way on a one way street, and we visited an abandoned penitentiary and some breweries and checked out the infamous blue football field (don't worry, I had no clue what it was either). I also went on some dates, which were mostly nice, and chopped 11 inches of my hair off because I felt like it. 

April was beautiful. There was a Korean cooking class at the beginning, where I made some friends (who I still have yet to call.....oy), oh and I got my nose pierced on the first day of the month. It hurt. I cried. It was worth it. Then Kari came to visit again, and Allie and I spent the majority of both of our (sizable) tax refunds at a strip club (her name was Elle and we regret nothing), and Kari and I raced out to the beach one night after work to catch the sunset. I started writing for Thought Catalog, which was a really weird and new experience (online commenters, man...), and then for the last 11 days of the month I went to Europe! I crossed Germany, France, Belgium, and the Netherlands off my list, and I still think about all four (particularly France) every day. It was amazing. I got to see what 7 million tulips look like, I was humbled at the beaches of Normandy, I took lots of solo sunrise walks, and I confirmed that French bread actually is the best bread. I never thought I'd be a Europe person.....I was very wrong. 

May! I love May. You know this about me. Kari came to visit again, we went to Seattle and saw a Mariners game, and she got her first Seattle dog. The next weekend was Beth's turn to visit, which meant waterfalls and beach and sleeping next to my best friend for 4 days, and also it meant champagne. Then, like 3 days after her visit ended, Allie and I spent 5 days up in the middle of Washington at Sasquatch! It was the most fun I've ever had at a music festival, and we met really fun and funny and ridiculous people, and we saw Outkast (!!!!!!!), and came home sunburned and exhausted, as we should. You know what's great about festivals in the PNW? No mosquitos. And totally reasonable weather. No more sitting in the sun, feeling my skin melt off until evening. I could get used to that. 

And now it's June, meaning somehow it's already been a month since my dad came to visit? Good god. Anyway, that was the best time ever. We visited Mt Hood, and Bend, and the ocean, and I had my first Pliny, and I showed him how perfect our neighborhood is (seriously, jackpot), and I just loved every minute of it. But then he had to leave and I was consoled by my brother's arrival 12 hours later. Which meant pizza, the beach (again, yes), tacos, the arcade, and hearing all about his awesome and amazing new job. And then it was pickling weekend, which was successful as far as I know, but I actually don't really know because all the jars are hiding in the back of a cabinet, busy turning into things I can add to my football season bloody marys. And then on Tuesday Allie turned 25 and I baked her a rhubarb crisp, and then on Wednesday Abby got here and we ate and drank for four days, and then yesterday our friend Emily got engaged, and then today I went on the slip n slide for the first time in my life and fell 100% in love. You better believe we'll be doing it again tomorrow. Also, very importantly, my grandma turned 97 years old today. That woman is a force to be reckoned with, and if I have the chance to grow old half as gracefully as her, I've got a lot to look forward to. 97! It's baffling. 

So, anyway. I guess that was my month. Oh, I forgot to mention that I went for a run tonight (one point one mile, aka I promise the point of this story is not to brag that I went for a run), and I totally ate it on the sidewalk. Skinned my hands and knees for the first time......in a really long time. Thankfully no one was around besides a cat that actually looked embarrassed for me, so I got up and laughed and kept going. But yeah. I tripped over my own feet tonight. 

30 minutes have elapsed which means it's way past time to go to sleep. But also it means that it's July!!!!!!!! I don't have many complaints about the first half of this year....godspeed, second half. 

Sunday, June 22, 2014

First kiss stories, part 1

Time for a new series on my blog, where people recount the stories of their first kiss. This is Allie's.

"Well, I think we were dared to do it. because people were obviously like "ohhh Allie and Doug!". We were at some sort of party. We were all jumping on the trampoline, and then someone was like "I dare you!" and they all ran away and then we kissed/sort of made out and it was very broken and terrible since it was both of our first kisses. And then I think we dated for two weeks and never kissed ever again. And we broke up because school was ending, and we just like left each other for the summer and didn't talk to each other. The next year we saw each other, and we were friends through the rest of middle school, but we just....he was adorable too, he had a stutter but only when he got nervous. So right before our kiss he stuttered...it was adorable. I hope Doug Mack reads this. I think we're friends on Facebook. Wait dude. He went to Colorado! Hahahaha he went to Boulder. Here, you can look at his photos and see if you knew him." - Allie

Saturday, June 21, 2014

It's an Ingrid Michaelson morning

When I was in college, I had a list of blogs I read pretty regularly. There were maybe 25 or 30, and they were mostly just women in their 20s and 30s writing/posting about pretty things. I got rid of that computer a while ago, so I don't have that bookmarked list anymore, but there are still a few I read/follow on instagram/try to emulate in my real life.


Over the course of about the last year, I've slowly realized something. Almost every single one of them is Mormon. It's become sort of a running joke between Allie and I (mostly just me, but she entertains my ridiculousness sometimes) because every month or so I'll say guess what.....another one of them is Mormon. Last night, it happened again. It's starting to blow my mind. But then, upon further thought, I realize it makes a lot of sense: these women seem perfect, with perfect husbands and perfect beautiful babies, and they have endless time for literal hours at the playground (I start to lose my mind after about 20 minutes) and book clubs and prop styling and being perfectly made up every day and I just should have known it was too good to be true. I gravitate toward Mormon bloggers. Who would have thought? Not me. Absolutely definitely positively not me.

Anyway. That small rant is over now. Cleanse your brain because we're going to talk about my family now!

I have one dad and one brother. Just one of each. They are my guys. And for the first half of June, I spent 11 days with them. Dad visited first, for six days, and I took him to the airport at noon on a Monday. Cole's visit was 5 days long, and I picked him up just after midnight on Monday. Well, technically Tuesday, but you get it. Their visits were separated by 12 hours, half of which I spent furiously (like fast not like angry) grocery shopping, washing the sheets and towels, and cleaning everything that had gotten dirty in the last week.

I really really get along with my dad, and I really really get along with my brother. They are the only two biologically related men in my family (the other two are add-ons thanks to marriage to my sisters), but in a lot of ways I'm more similar to them than to my mom and sisters. Well, I guess maybe that's not completely true. I'm a lot like one of my sisters, too. But Anyway. There is almost no one I'd rather travel with than my dad (Beth, you scrape ahead here....don't tell), and I think he feels similarly (my mom scrapes ahead, but that's about it), so we do a lot of it. Traveling. The first time I ever visited Oregon, my dad was with me the whole time. The second time I ever visited Oregon was when I moved here. Because of this, I've always wanted him to visit so I could show him how different the city is as a resident rather than as a tourist. Also, when we visited the first time it was never quite sunny or clear enough to see Mount Hood. I genuinely didn't know you could see it from Portland. My first week here it poured rain every day, so it wasn't until I kind of knew my way around when one day I was driving over a bridge and my HOLY SHIT THERES A GIGANTIC MOUNTAIN VOLCANO THING WHERE DID THAT COME FROM IS THAT EVEN REAL moment happened. I stress that I kind of knew my way around at this point, because if I hadn't, I would have crashed my car into something. So when he came to visit, I prayed for good weather so he could see the mountain, and figured the rest would sorta work itself out. Well, it was just about the best stretch of weather anyone could ask for, and we spent our visit non-stop doing stuff. And usually I hate non-stop doing stuff, but this was perfect. Trips to mountains and to the beach, a stop at my favorite crab shack, visits to good restaurants and my favorite brewery, yadda ya. It was a perfect visit. And then he left and I had 12 hours to regroup for the next one.

Cole got shitty weather. And I feel so bad about it. Last time he visited was in December, and it was hands-down the coldest Portland ever got this year. It wasn't Chicago cold, but it was still freakin cold. So this time around I was super hopeful, since he was visiting in mid-June. The ten days or two weeks or so before he visited were absolutely perfect, day after day after day, and then about the day after he got here, it all went bad. 50 degree days full of rain and gloom. One after the other. We even went to the movies one afternoon just because wandering around outside wasn't much of an option. (I saw The Fault in Our Stars, which I've written about on here before since I loved the book so so so much, and I was sort of half excited and half nervous to see the movie because I didn't want it to let me down....and it did not. Ansel Elgort's acting was phenomenal, and I was a sad puddle of tears for the entire second half, exactly as I should have been.) So, Cole kind of got screwed. But we did still go to the beach and visit my favorite brewery and run around for two hours at the nickel arcade. Plus, I'm going to see him again in like a week and a half, so we'll just play outside then. It'll all work out.

I dropped Cole off at the airport at 10pm last Saturday night, came home and immediately took my pants off and watched Orange is the New Black season 2 in about a day. And slept in my bed for the first time in almost two weeks. Futons are fine, for a little while, but that's about it. Since they left things have been pretty low-key around here, which basically means I've just been cooking a lot. Our next visitor won't be here for a whopping five more days, but we've got Allie's birthday before then, meaning life is still just completely nuts. Plus, Allie is moving out in just over a month (I'm not ready to even start thinking about that yet), so it won't be long before I'm a Portlandian who lives alone. Which is fine. I think. I won't be wearing pants very often, that's for sure.

So, yeah. That's been my life. Mormon blog reading and family visits and pantslessness. Here are some photos, none of the first and third items but a few of the second and also just some other stuff. Because if you don't post the iPhone photos, did the events really even happen?

One last thing: it's the longest day of the year today! I think? It's cloudy here. I'll probably do a dance or something.

 He's somethin. 

 I gave this bubs his own popsicle the other day (I accidentally got sugar free ones and do not regret it) and he was covered in streaky red lines by the time it was over. Worth it, I'd say. 

 Road trip! 

 Somehow in the past few months I've become notorious as the girl who makes pretzels. And last weekend Cole told me he doesn't really like soft pretzels, so I immediately had to make him change his mind. I made a few batches of giardiniera recently, so I stuffed that in there after the boiling but before the baking, and it was genuinely one of the better decisions I've had in recent memory. Cole worried that baking it in might make the pretzels vinegar-y, but this was not so. They were so good!!!!! If you want the recipe you're just gonna have to ask. 

 I amassed a collection of confetti a few months ago, painstakingly, and then we went through about half the jar the other night by throwing them in each other's faces while simultaneously taking photos of it. It was really really fun. And almost worth the hours I spent punching out all those little dots. 

 I found confetti in my bra two days later. 

 My god. The hydrangeas here. I knew they grew a lot better out here than at home, but this is INSANE. The colors! I didn't know these colors even existed outside of a Pantone box until they just started showing up on bushes outside of houses in my neighborhood. They are beautiful. I'd steal all of them from everyone if I were confident I could actually keep them alive. 

 He loves to see his face in the camera. I love to see his face in the camera, too. 

 A very short field trip to the farmer's market!

 My first rainier cherries in the pacific northwest. It felt like a big moment. 

This kid. The first boy I ever really babysat for. He is pretty much a grownup now, and he face timed me the other afternoon just to show me his brand new Joakim Noah jersey. I could kiss him. 

I should probably go exercise because I don't remember the last time I did that? Ugh. Happy Saturday, babes!