We had almost forgotten how much we love camping. Last year, we went solo with Caden and had a rough go, but this year we armed up with a bunch of good friends and had a blast on the Washington coast! We had a group of 15 (with kiddos) which meant lots of extra hands for cooking, cleaning, tending the fire, and playing with the kids. We made epic breakfasts, played at the beach, and enjoyed time together around the campfire. I also loved seeing Caden run free along the shoreline and romp around the campsite with his other friends. Cheers to campfire memories with good friends!
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!
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!
We celebrated Mother’s Day by dedicating Caden at our church. Our prayer is that his life would be one marked by strength of character and love. What a blessing it is to be his mama.
1 Cor 16:13-14
We celebrated Caden’s birthday by doing a few of his favorite things: hiking, playing at a park, and eating pizza.
Happy 2nd Birthday Caden! What a joy it has been to watch your kind and curious spirit grow. I can’t wait to see how you change this coming year. We love you!
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.
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!
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!
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!
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.
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!
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
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.
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:
We took a weekend ferry ride up to Victoria, B.C. to drink high tea, sightsee, and enjoy a wine festival with friends! Victoria is such a charming city; it was a great way to cap off the summer! Here are a few photos from the trip.