Archive for October, 2014

Happy 35th birthday, Mr. Schnell!

We kicked off the festivities yesterday with brunch at Bings – the pancakes were fluffy, the mimosas were bottomless, and we all chatted and laughed amidst the mayhem that is dining with two babies and two kids.

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We had big plans to hit the pumpkin patch after brunch, but called it off due to rain.  The rest of the day was spent holed up indoors, reading books and playing Legos.  Even Juliette fell prey to the rainy-day lazies and napped for almost three and a half hours!

But today, how the sun shone today!  We spent the morning at Volunteer Park, walking along the leaf-strewn paths, playing on the playground, soaking in autumn’s golden glory.

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Shane soaked his jeans on a trip down a surprisingly wet slide with Jules in his lap – thank goodness for backup shorts in the trunk of the car.  (And you’re welcome, to all those kids that were waiting for someone to hurry up and dry off the slide!)

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We cashed in our pumpkin patch raincheck this afternoon and made the trek out to Issaquah to check out Trinity Tree Farm.  Juliette pushed the wheelbarrow around for awhile, rode in the wheelbarrow for awhile, and finally just staked out a spot in the middle of the field to plop down and chew on rocks while she watched kids and dogs run by.

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I’m so happy to see this girl getting on board with our silly Schnell family traditions.

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Just for old time’s sake, check out this one from our pumpkin patch visit last year…We’ve come a long way, huh Jules?!

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We grabbed dinner at Tutta Bella on the way home – cocktails and pizza and gelato felt like a fitting end to a perfect day.  Happiest of birthdays to my favorite person!  Juliette and I love you so very much (for the record, I also get the urge to applaud every time you walk into the room).

Thirteen months.  It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…  Jules can be so much fun, as she finds new ways to communicate and explore and showcase her winning personality.  Unfortunately, it seems she’s also mastered the art of whining and fit-throwing, but if parenthood has taught us anything, it’s that you gotta take the bad with the good, and there’s still a whole lotta good goin’ on.

She’s so active and adventurous these days – we’ve hit the toddler gym a couple of times to burn off our rainy-day antsies and Juliette goes nuts, zipping all over the place with her push carts and riding toys.

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And check her out on this slide – I maybe should have been there to catch her at the bottom, rather than standing by with camera in hand, but it turns out she’s pretty sturdy!

Seems that slides are the new swings (I know, I just can’t stop with the slo-mo…).

We spent an overcast Friday with friends at the Magnusson Community Center for baby’s first “rock” concert.  Casper Babypants was a hit – I still can’t get over the fact I used to play this guy’s album over and over almost 20 (!?) years ago when he was singing Lump and Peaches with The Presidents.  My, how his tune has changed…

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Jules is quite the budding musician herself – she loves banging away on the xylophone Amanda gave her for her birthday.

Oh, and hey!  We’ve got a walker!  Shane set her down on her feet a couple of weeks ago, thinking she’d drop to her knees and crawl away like she usually does, but she stretched out her arms, found her balance, and then took a couple of wobbly steps all on her own, completely out of the blue!  She spent the rest of the evening tottering back and forth between Shane and I, so adorably proud of herself.  It’s no coincidence that this happened the night the Giants secured their spot in the play-offs by crushing the Pirates – clearly, she just couldn’t contain her excitement.

This walking thing means she’s on the go-go-go more than ever, but she’s still quick to settle into papa’s lap for a story.

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Our mama-Jules Thursdays are still the highlight of my week – we spent this past Thursday throwing leaves at the arboretum, then grabbing a treat at Starbucks before going a few rounds on the Madison Park slide.  Hard to believe this girl has a whiny bone in her body, right?  Riiiiiight.

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Did I say throwing leaves?  I meant eating leaves.

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I know, I should have stopped her, but her ohhhhh, that’s yucky face is just too good.

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Happy thirteen months to our autumn baby!

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Yesterday was my birthday, but we did the bulk of our celebrating today, with brunch and two park visits and a little me-time and then dinner with friends.  It was a great day.  Such a great day, in fact, that I couldn’t limit my snapshots to just 10 favorites…thus, here’s 16 on 10!

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Volunteer Park Cafe might be a new go-to breakfast spot – such a cozy vibe in there.  Juliette was clearly a fan!


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Who’s that guy out there?


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Fall is in full-swing.  And I love it.


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Park fix.


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Her hair matches these autumn leaves so perfectly.


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I slipped away this afternoon for a little treat.


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Such a luxury these days…


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Liking this color combo.


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Kubota love.


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SERIOUS Kubota love.


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Higher, dad, higher!


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First-ever ride on papa’s shoulders.


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No hands!


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Dinner with the gang.


With that, I’ve got a salted caramel macaron and a cup of mint tea calling my name…  Over and out.

We donned our swimsuits and dipped our toes in Lake Washington for the last time a couple of weeks ago – it was a scant too chilly to really enjoy a swim, but we felt like we needed to properly memorialize the end of summer with bare shoulders and watermelon slices.  It’s been such a fun, active, gloriously warm three months, as we’ve played and picnicked through nearly every park in a 10-mile radius of us.

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So of course, September 21st left me feeling a little nostalgic and wallow-y – Juliette might never wear her green-striped swimsuit again, or her trusty pink and white sunhat.  She won’t ever sit on the shore of Lake Washington and flap her arms in the same way as the water laps over those chubby baby thighs I love so much.  Dinners on the back patio are on an indefinite hiatus.  But we’re not ready to hole up and call it quits on the great outdoors just yet.  We pulled out our sweatshirts and hit the Madison Park playground last week to take their swings for a test drive.

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We’ve gone a little crazy with the slo-mo setting on our iPhones’ cameras – case in point:

Seward Park still welcomes us with open arms, though we traded in our spot on the beach last weekend for this lovely expanse of lawn up on the inner loop.

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Indulge me in one more slo-mo…

And hey, the sun still shines at Jefferson Park!

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Plus, there’s the excitement of post-season baseball to keep our spirits high – on Wednesday we watched our Giants beat the Pirates in the wild card playoff!  Juliette was mildly alarmed as Shane and I whooped and jumped over Crawford’s grand slam, but when we asked her for high-fives, she happily obliged.

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Then there was Saturday’s six-hour hum-dinger of a game against the Nationals – Juliette napped through the first couple of innings and was in bed by the time the fifteenth rolled around, but she chilled with Shane and I for quite a bit of it.  Can you say Sweep those Nats, baby?

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After yesterday’s MLB marathon, we tried to spend as much time outdoors today as possible – we passed part of the afternoon at Mt. Baker park, tossing leaves in the air and going down the slide a dozen times over.  Summer in Seattle can’t be beat, but these golden October days sure are beautiful.  And ahhhh…it was warm today – we eventually pulled off Juliette’s jacket and shoes and let her play barefoot in the grass before taking her on a jog around Seward Park.

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So happy Fall, Jules!  It’s gonna be a good one.

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