Midwest 4th of July.

We spent the 4th of July in the Midwest visiting family & friends and meeting our new nephew Beckett! We enjoyed newborn snuggles, a short break from Caden (thanks G&G), sprinklers, sparklers, a date at the art museum, feeding giraffes at the zoo, and a sweet double date with Kyle’s sister and brother-in-law. Thankful to make some memories with family this summer!

Home.

The past month has felt like a whirlwind of emotion and transition for our family. Our exciting news is that we purchased our first home! Our path toward homeownership has been long and winding, but ultimately we felt that this timing and this particular home were both right. The packing/moving process was a fun challenge with an inquisitive toddler who wanted to break into every box and run underneath our feet, but it has been so beautiful to watch Caden’s joy as he romps around our new home with so much room to play! While moving can be disruptive on so many levels, we are now starting to feel more settled, and so thankful for this blessing, and so eager to make new memories in this new home!


A Week in AZ.

The Zabels soaked up some Vitamin D during a week in AZ visiting my (Elise’s) parents. It was a bittersweet trip as it was likely our last time staying at the house that my dad built in the pines of Prescott. They are in the process of selling the house to move up to Washington! We went for hikes, celebrated Easter, and Kyle and I even got a few days away baby free! I am thankful for more memories made.

Summer Dreaming | 2019.

Given the lovely sunshine this past weekend, we took our first family bike ride of the year. It got us excited to think that summer is just around the corner - with long days, a warm sun, and opportunities to adventure! We are continuing our tradition of making a summer bucket list to anticipate the season.

2019 SUMMER BUCKET LIST:

Bike rides on the Kirkland Corridor

Exploring local parks (Caden’s favorite)

Camping with friends

Trip to Milwaukee to meet our Nephew!


Previous Years Summer Dreaming: 2014201520162017, 2018


Whistler With Friends.

Our theme this winter has been playing in the snow. We left Seattle last weekend just as “snowmageddon” was melting and headed north to Whistler with friends to snowshoe and ski.

We crammed three families with four kiddos under the age of four, all in the same Airbnb. I was a little nervous what kind of chaos might ensue, but the trip totally surpassed my expectations! We had a wonderful time hanging out and watching the kiddos enjoy each other.

One highlight for me was taking Caden snowshoeing. Our last experience was a short/failed attempt, but this time he loved it! We went to the Whistler Olympic Park (definitely check it out if you love Nordic skiing and snowshoeing). The weather was clear with lots of snow and beautiful views.

On the way home we stopped for lunch at Aslan Brewery after a long wait at the border crossing.

So thankful for friends and weekends away!



Savoring Saturday | Snowy Seattle.

This weekend Seattle braced for “Snowmageddon” (more snowfall than Seattle has seen for years). People were frenzied with nerves and excitement. Grocery stores were selling out of basic supplies. So we stocked our pantry and hunkered down. Snowy days stir up for me all the cozy feelings of Koselig (the Norwegian version of Hygge) — cue warm layers and wool socks, hot coffee, a good book on the couch, and the flicker of candles. I also love how the snow brings quiet to the city as the flakes fall in silence and the streets are empty. However, despite the weather, we still made a point to get outside. We built a snowman (Caden’s first), sledded with friends, and played at the park. It feels like a winter wonderland!

Leavenworth Weekend.

We headed over the pass to Leavenworth for a weekend away with friends.

A few memorable moments:

  • Seeing Caden explore the snow at his own pace (cautiously).

  • PB&J sandwiches in the car after a short/failed snowshoeing attempt.

  • Hot-tubbing after the kiddos went to bed.

  • Bratwurst and beers at the Rhein Häus.

  • Enjoying time with friends.

Documenting | 2018.

Memory keeping and documenting are something our family values (probably Elise a bit more than Kyle). I love being able to look back on journal entries, blog posts, and photographs to be reminded of the grace and goodness in our lives. One rhythm I have tried to cultivate is creating a “Family Memory Book” at the beginning of the new year to encapsulate images from the prior year into one tangible book. We just got our 2018 book in the mail and I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out!

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year.

This holiday season was filled with family, feasting, giving, receiving, and Caden requesting Jingle Bells to be sung on repeat (he says “ji-ma-go, ji-ma-go”). We enjoyed hosting “Nama” and “gampa” (Elise’s parents). Caden did fairly well with the Christmas tree. He loved seeing the lights turn on, and there were only a few ornament fatalities. Per tradition, we baked our Pulla Bread (a Finnish coffee bread) on Christmas Eve and went to a candle light service at our church. One thing that I don’t want to forget is on Christmas morning when Caden exclaimed, “mail came!” as he saw all the gifts under the tree. A huge gift for Kyle and I was a few days away (baby free) and a handful of date nights (thanks grandma and grandpa)! Our tree has been taken down and our decorations boxed away, but I want to savor and recall the sweet moments of the season for as long as possible. Now it’s onto 2019!

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

The Zabels

A Week in Wisconsin.

We recently spent a week visiting family in Wisconsin and taking in the beautiful fall colors. Caden loved being outside, exploring the barns, and seeing the kitties and the “neigh” (horse). We took a day trip to a pumpkin patch and watched a lot of Brewers baseball. Kyle and I even took a few days away (baby free) to relax and recharge!

Here are a few photos from the trip.

Summer Fades to Fall.

I always feel like the summer speeds by and it’s all I can do to buckle up and enjoy it!

Our summer was filled with bike rides, park swings, a few weekend trips, farmer’s market flowers, picnics, the occasional date night, water table splashing, furniture re-arranging, and a half marathon.

Here is our summer in photos:




Camping | Diablo Lake.

We took our first camping trip with Caden.  I'll be honest - it was a lot more challenging than we anticipated. There were a host of factors: rain, cold, sleeplessness, and diaper blowouts were all at play.

But if I'm honest, there were also some joys amidst the trials: watching Caden explore in the woods, hiking as a family, finding reprieve at a nearby park, and seeing Diablo Lake (it was beautiful even in cloudy rainy weather)! 

I think the biggest takeaway from this trip is: no matter how much we plan and prepare, we are ultimately N O T in control. I'm learning to embrace the challenges of disrupted plans and seek joyful moments amidst them.