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A Christmas to Remember.


Alright! I’m home, settled and have completed a full week back at work, post Christmas in

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Meiko wearing my antlers

Colorado! I thought I’d post a “how our Christmas went” type of blog, since Lauren took the time to do so too!

 

We started Christmas Eve with Mitchell’s family. Breakfast, and stockings, and a little bit of time just hanging out. It was low-key and drama free. 4 pups, 9 people and Christmas Cheer.

After we had finished celebrations with them, we decided it was time to finish up packing, and spend some more time with Kitten before we left her for the week. (This was the longest we’ve ever left her, I was feeling really guilty.)

We had an uber come pick us up, and we nervously, and excitedly packed all our luggage in the back of her explorer, and headed on our way to the airport. I don’t fly very often, and actually, the last time I was on a plane was 2009 when my stepdad passed away. I was a little nervous and unsure how quickly we’d be able to get through security, and even more worried about how my anxiety would img_7782be on the plane. I don’t have a normal and rational fear of the plane crashing (and honestly I personally would never be afraid of that…) My anxiety about flying is ridiculous and silly, but it’s very real.

Mitchell and I decided to get to the airport early.

Never. Again.

It’s been ages since I’ve flown, and even longer since I’ve flown on my own (those of you that followed me from LiveJournal will remember the last time I flew alone was 2007 to Texas.)

Last time I flew things were a little different, and being three and a half hours early for your flight was no big deal.

So Mitchell and I thought nothing of getting to the airport a little early, put our anxieties at ease, and have a little time to relax before hopping on a plane full of complete strangers.

Imagine our surprise when we got there and our airline had a sign saying no one was going to be at the counter until 2 hours before flight. We had 2 checked bags, which meant we couldn’t go through security or anything until they were at the counter. So we had a long 1.5 hour wait… we sat, and talked, my anxiety rose, people stared at us.

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Mitchell and I post security, showing off our attire.

oh, pause! I forgot to tell you! We went to the airport in our Christmas PJ’s (Mitchell’s Christmas Pikachu PJ’s and my Bumble PJ’s) wearing our Pikachu hoodies and a santa hat, and I had antlers and Mitchell had Pikachu ears on top of our santa hats! We both had these fabulous christmas light necklaces that I found on amazon.

Once employees showed up at the counter, we lined up (took a good 30 minutes to get through the counter) and we headed off to security! Everything went smoothly, and the photo above was us celebrating finally making it through security! We wondered down timg_7799o our gate, found it, and then decided it was time to find a place to get some food and a drink or two.

We stumbled across this place called Africa Lounge. We sat in the bar, Mitchell ordered a
“large” beer (which to our surprise was HUGE) and I got their alcoholic coffee. It was super delicious, we sat, ate some food and gushed about how excited we were to be on our very first vacation!

After our meal at the Africa Lounge, we continued on to the nearby bookstore, picked up a bottle of water (mitchell has to take some congestion meds when he flies, and we both felt we needed to hydrate.)  We picked up a few fun souvenirs for Lauren and Elisabeth, and headed to the gate. We got t

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Successfully boarded on the plane!

here just in time for boarding, and loaded on the plane. We got settled, my anxiety went down a little, and we sat back and relaxed.

 

While on our 2.5 hour flight to Denver, we goofed off, closed our eyes, and made friends with the girl sitting next to us (bless her heart, I may have accidentally caught her in the background of some of our selfies.

Mitchell played some games on his phone, I listened to Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone on Audible and we both took turns watching out the window.

We didn’t fall asleep at all, but we did close our eyes, our flight left at 7, and landed at 10:30. We had been up since 8am, and with a mixture of holiday stress, and traveling stress, we were exhausted!

About 15 minutes before landing we turned off our music and chatted about how  excited

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Sleepy, but incredibly happy to be on vacation!

we were to get to Colorado and see our friends. We also looked out the window and guessed what we could see.

 

We came to the conclusion that we could see Colorado Springs, which is where Lauren’s parents live, and what we assume was a bunch of other nearby towns.

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The plane has landed! 

Our flight was pretty uneventful, we had some turbulence, that the flight attendants were spooked by, but honestly it wasn’t bad at all. It did cause one of the bathroom doors to fly open, but I bet it wasn’t closed all the way.

 

Once the plane had landed they told us we could turn off airplane mode, and we texted Lauren to let her know we had landed.

We got off the plane, and Mitchell went to the bathroom while I explored a nearby gift shop.

I looked for snacks but decided to just wait until we left the airport.

While walking to baggage claim, we found this guy, so we both decided to pose with him, I don’t have a copy of the photo of me, because it is on Mitchell’s phone, and I’m too lazy to ask for it. 😀img_7851

We wondered our way down the escalator, to the train, and then to baggage claim.

Once at baggage claim, we heard several people pointing and saying “They were on our flight!”

All day people were snapping photos of us, pointing, and cheering us on. The flight attendants, and everyone we came in contact with loved our outfits and Christmas spirit. How else would one travel on Christmas eve?? 😛

Our bags were the first off the plane (WIN!) and we headed out to get in the car with Lauren and Sidney!

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Lauren’s photo of her stocking goodies

Once we got to their house, we had a snack and went to bed, we were exhausted! We woke up the next day to a delicious breakfast cooked by both Sidney and Lauren, and enjoyed their company.

 

We all had agreed that we’d spend the day at home just relaxing. So we did, and it was wonderful. We opened stockings, ate yummy food and played games together.

later in the evening, Lauren’s parents came, we had dinner, opened some wonderful and

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Christmas Dinner, sorry, I had eaten most of it already

thoughtful gifts, and enjoyed the company. It truly was one of the best Christmases we’ve had, ever. Good food, good company, lots of happiness, and love. I am so grateful for Lauren and Gene inviting us into their home on such a major holiday! We are so lucky to have such loving and caring people in our lives!

 

Ken and Kathy (Lauren’s parents, two people I have always adored) brought some gifts for everyone, and some delicious Christmas dinner!

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A thoughtful ornament made by Lauren’s Family

After Christmas dinner we hung out a bit more and went to bed. We didn’t have any solid plans for the week, but I think the plan for Monday was to go into Denver and look at the Capitol building, get brunch and explore a little.

 

We woke up Monday morning, and Lauren told us that the Capitol building was closed, but we could still go into the city if we wanted, we ended up deciding to not do so, but we did go to the COOLEST museum Mitchell and I have been to.

Lauren took us into Denver to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.

Boy was it busy there! So many people had the same great idea we had, but that didn’t stop us! We spent a whole 5 hours at the museum and still didn’t see everything. I’ve included some of the photos we took there, below.

We came home that night, and relaxed, played more games, and enjoyed good food.

img_8021Tuesday, we went into Denver, saw Lauren’s work, and went to the 16th Street Mall and

went into the cutest little store called I (heart) Denver and bought souvenirs for Mitchell’s mom and our friends Katy and Adam.

 

Then, we went to REI to rent snowshoes, for our snowventure the next day! The REI we went to was MASSIVE. As a Seattleite, I honestly have never seen an REI as huge as this one. It was amazing!

We came home after a very long day out (another 5 hours) without lunch, starving, and exhausted. We ate dinner (Noodle soup made by Lauren.) img_8036

After dinner, we sat down and worked on our D&D characters with Elisabeth and Lauren.

Lauren, Gene, Sidney and Elisabeth have been playing D&D for quite some time, and Lauren has been inviting me to play for just about as long as she’s been playing.

Mitchell and I discussed it and decided we wanted to give it a try while we were in Denver, so that night we sat down, created our characters, and played the first half of our very first D&D adventure!

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We were off to a rough start, both rolling 1s, but I ended up having much better luck the rest of the game and kicked major butt.

We played for about an hour that night, and had a blast, but by the end of the evening, we were exhausted. I went to bed after we finished D&D for the evening, Mitchell stayed up and played video games with Sidney.

The next day, Wednesday, We woke up early, layered up, and took the snowshoes up to the Rocky Mountains.

It was just Mitchell, Lauren and I, but we were all super excited to snowshoe together!

We packed up, got in the car and headed toward the mountains. Lauren took us to Estes Park. It was a little bit of a drive, but it wasn’t too bad. I enjoyed looking around, we drove through Boulder, and even drove past the hotel that inspired The Shining.

As we climbed higher we saw our first snow flurries (first for the entire visit, Denver didn’t get any snow, it was colder here in Seattle!)

We pulled into the park, only to have a ranger tell us it wasn’t safe for her car. He directed us to another area (Devil’s Gulch) to snowshoe. So we turned around and headed there. Sadly there wasn’t enough snow to snowshoe, but we did hike! We saw some amazing sights, and several elk! It was all around a great time!

We came home that evening, and went out to dinner at a vegan restaurant called Native Foods. (There’s one in Oregon, and I plan on visiting it!)  The food there was DELICIOUS, and I wish we had one locally!

After dinner,

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The last photo I took at Lauren’s house

we came back, finished out or D&D, I made butterbeer and then we headed to bed.

Thursday, we woke up, hung out, and Lauren and I went to return the snowshoes that we sadly didn’t get to use, and we came home, relaxed, since it was our last day there, and played games. I went to bed around 9pm. We had to be up and out of the house by 3:30 am.

We packed everything up that night, and said our goodbyes to Elisabeth, (Sidney was already in bed) and set our alarms for our early wake-up.

We sadly woke up, loaded up the car and headed to the airport before anyone else was awake for the day.

 

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Gene came with Lauren to drop us off. We said our goodbyes and headed in. The atmosphere in the airport this time wasn’t quite as chipper, and the lines were longer. We
waited 45 mintues to check our bags, and then 30 minutes through security. Then we had to ride the train to our flight. We got some breakfast at Dunkin Doughnuts, and then we got to the gate with just 5 minutes to spare before they boarded us.img_8243

Our flight home was uneventful, I slept most of it, and woke up just in time to see this beautiful view!

Overall, it was a wonderful way to spend our Christmas. Mitchell and I had a great time, and definitely plan on visiting again! We both agree that this was the best way to spend our favorite time of the year!

Below, are some photos I didn’t include in the post, mainly Lauren’s cat Pippin.

 

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“You’re off to great places, today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, so get on your way!”


I thought that Dr. Seuss quote was perfect for this post! I am currently cozy warm under a heated blanket in, what is now, probably my 2nd favorite state ever. Colorado!

We arrived on Christmas Eve, and I am so glad we are here! Our wonderful friends, Lauren and Gene (and Sidney and Elisabeth!) welcomed us into their home, with such hospitality that I’m not sure we want to leave! (Don’t worry, we’re coming home though!)

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We have had so many adventures already, and I am so incredibly thankful to have such wonderful people in our lives!

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Colorado is everything I thought it would be, and more. It’s a drastic change from the hilly rainy PNW, but I think I could get use to the flatlands, and directional differences if we ever needed to move here.

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Their museums are 1,000,000 times better than ours in Washington, and the hospitality here is like nothing I’ve seen before.

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Tomorrow, for the first time ever, for me, we’re going SNOWSHOEING! I hope to have many amazing photos to share and I cannot wait to make even more awesome memories!

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Engagement Surprise!


A couple of weeks ago, someone we know got engaged. I mulled for a couple days about the “right” engagement gift, and decided a gift basket for her, and a little fun gift for him would be the best decision.

First step, the “perfect” engagement card. Someone else had gotten her this card, which Mitchell and I thought was pretty entertaining. I thought I’d take a comical standpoint for the card, and since they have been together for over 5 years (I’m not certain HOW long, but I know it’s at least been 5 years, but probably 6 at this point.)

So I came up with my own idea for a card, and went to work. I have access to a die cut machine for free (thanks to being a Teacher!) So I was able to create a couple cute designs for the card.

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Above, is the outside of the card, I think (I truly hope) she and her fiancé’ will get a kick out of the “FINALLY!” 🙂

Below, I’ll include a photo of the inside card (before I wrote in it, but I figured that part didn’t matter any way.)

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Then, I added a few small touches to the back of the envelope (Their initials) and the front. I’ve blurred out her name, just for privacy sake.

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Now, onto the actual gift!

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I truly lucked out on that basket, how cute is it? I hope that in the future she’ll either be able to use it in her wedding (pending her style) or at home for things in the bathroom or even treats for her 3 dogs.

I gathered some items I thought she’d enjoy. I’ve photographed this process as well (of course I did…) The first things I got together for her, were a “pampering” jar. It’s simple, just a mason jar with some goodies for her in it. Pinterest is great for labels for things like this. Simple, and fun.

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Inside her pampering jar, I included two overnight face masks from Sephora, an under eye mask, Julep Nail polish, some hand cream and chocolates.

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Inside the basket, I also included a mini-bottle of Lamarca Prosecco, and two cans of Sofia. I chose these two drinks because she introduced me to Sofia (which is so tasty, and I love that it comes in cute cans with straws) and Lamarca is one of our favorite proseccos.

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Next, are two paper folders to help her keep her wedding planning organized. I purchased these from one of her favorite stores, The Paper Source. They’re cute, fun and colorful, just like she is!

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Then, I felt that though those things are fun, I wanted to include something… useful for her planning process. I looked around at all the local stores, and did some research. I decided to get her two books to help her with the planning side of her wedding.

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The first one, is The Bride-to-Be Book: A Journal of Memories from the Proposal to “I Do” I bought this one because the reviews were great, and it looked super cute. I know not everyone is into documenting everything like I am, but from the looks of it, this book is great for people who want to document things, but never know how, or never have the time. I hope it’s a great tool she enjoys using.

Next book I found while googling gift ideas for men. (For her fiancé’) Kinda funny how people don’t really give the male half of an engagement a gift. It’s The Knot Book of Wedding Lists. I guess the Knot is a huge wedding resource (well I knew that sorta, several of my friends have used their free wedding websites.) The reviews on this on Amazon are all over the place, but since they’ve only been engaged a couple weeks, I’m hoping it’ll help her out!

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Then, on to two cute/fun gifts I tossed into the basket. The first one, is a SUPER cute mug that is made specifically to be held in your left hand, to show off your RING! I found SO MANY variations on this, but this one was my favorite. I know she’s incredibly excited to be engaged, and I hope she enjoys this mug! I also thought it was pretty cute/funny that she had posted this photo a few days before I bought the mug. 😀

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Finally, the most necessary of all gifts, a tiara that says “BRIDE TO BE” It’s pink, It’s tacky, it’s full of bling, and it’s Furry. What else could a girl want?

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That’s the end of her gift basket. The photo above is one she took after she got the basket. We actually dropped it off at her Fiancé’s work so he could take it home and it’d be there to surprise her. I’m really hoping she liked it, and that the items will be enjoyable/yet also helpful to her.

Like I had mentioned above, I thought it was funny/weird how we don’t buy the guys engagement gifts, It’s just as exciting for them, right? haha. So I picked up a cute/fun book for her fiancé and one other small thing. It’s called The Groom’s Instruction Manual. It’s suppose to be funny but also serious and helpful for him. I hope he likes it 😀

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DISCLOSURE: This post was not sponsored in any way. The views and opinions in this post are mine.

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Mini-update


I haven’t posted in a while, I’m sorta in-between figuring out what exactly I want to do with this blog. I’ve been thinking about re-vamping it – and even considered moving it to another host site, but I still haven’t been able to figure out exactly what I want to do.

Maybe, I’ll work on finalizing that tonight. For now, you get a personal post.

Not much is going on here, just the same old same old. Getting ready for the school year, we aren’t allowed to go into our classrooms yet to set-up, but we’ve been working on getting everything else together. I’m incredibly excited to meet all the students this year! I’ve been lucky to build great relationships with the students and their parents so far.

In other news… My birthday came and went, and it was wonderful. I am so incredibly lucky to have such wonderful people in my life. Mitchell and I have been able to build a wonderful and strong little family with our group of friends. One of our incredibly wonderful friends made me Quidditch themed birthday cakes!

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Things we did for my birthday:
Spent the day relaxing at Alki
Had a fun game night with all 12 friends who were able to join us
Spent another day on Lake Washington
Went hunting for Pokemon with our friends Katy and Adam
Had another game night with our friends Katy and Adam, and Katy (who also made the Quidditch cake) also made me homemade kettle corn (YUM!)
My co-worker made me chocolate covered strawberries
I read Harry Potter and the Cursed Child with my oldest friend, Allyson

It’s safe to say, I was incredibly spoiled, yet again. I don’t know how I managed to get so lucky!

 

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Sephora Play!


Are you ready for this month’s Sephora, PLAY! subscription? Here’s what I got! I’ve put descriptions of each photo in the captions of the photos, because I’m short on time today. I promise a better post next month!

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Opening the box!

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This month’s bag!

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A photo of all the items

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TARTE TARTEGUARD 30 SPF SUNSCREEN: You can never be too careful!

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BECCA BACKLIGHT PRIMING FILTER: I don’t use primers, but I’m interested to see how it works for me!

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BENEFIT COSMETICS THEY’RE REAL MASCARA: I am really REALLY excited for this!

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TOCCA BEAUTY FLORENCE: I’m disappointed in the size of the purfume samples, as you can get these free inside any Sephora…

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BAREMINERALS bareSkin bronzer: I’m not a bronzer type person, but the paper that came with the box has me intrigued and I will be trying it this time!

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Bumble and Bumble don’t blow it: SUPER excited to try this – as It’s exactly what I’ve been looking for, in regards to my hair!

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Sephora Play!


Last year, about the time I started having issues with my IPSY subscription, and started considering cancelling it (which I did do, last August.) Sephora announced their very own subscription service! I was super excited, and put my name on the waitlist immediately.

I got an email about a month (maybe more) ago that Sephora’s subscription service is now available in our area!

This post is about my very first box from Sephora Play!

Disclaimer: I am not paid or sponsored by any of the companies listed in this post. This is just a review/un-boxing for entertainment purposes only!

Lets jump into the unboxing! The box itself is super cute!

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As you can tell – I obviously blurred out my address and such. When you first open the box you’re greeted with box/Sephora related paperwork.

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Each month has a theme, and this mont’s theme is the forces of nature. It also includes an in-store bonus. This is the Play pass, which if you bring it into the store you get an extra 50 beauty insider points, with any purchase. Which is pretty cool — though I’m not sure what the points are for at this moment.

A booklet with each product, and an explanation is also included. I’ve included a photo of this months below.

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Now lets get to the good stuff!

Not pictured: Tarte lip crayon.

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how cute is the bag that it came with? I love it!

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Each box comes with a fragrance, this month was Orange Sanguine. It came with a super cute postcard!

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Also in my box was Amuse Bouche in Kimchi by Bite Beauty. I have pretty fair skin, but it has a rosy tone to it, and lip colors are usually pretty tricky for me — but I think this one is pretty cute!

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My box also had Origins Maskimizer + drink up & clear improvement masks. I’m pretty excited to try these out!

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This month’s box was big on skincare – which is okay with me! It also had Korres Wild Rose sleeping facial. Which I’m not sure how I’ll feel about that, as I can’t usually sleep with scented things because I always wake up with a sore throat…

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Finally, Briogeo don’t despair, repair! Deep conditioning mask… for your hair of course! as someone who struggles with her hair, I’m super excited for this too!

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Month #1 down, and so far even better than Ipsy was. For $10 I’d say this is by far better than ipsy… but I can’t be certain until I’ve had it a couple months 😉

Do you have a favorite subscription service? Do you like reading this? Let me know! I still get Julep – but stopped posting because life got busy. I know I gained many more readers once I started posting these, so I’d be interested in knowing if anyone is still interested!

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“With so little sleep at least you’d think I’d find some peace in my dreams in my dreams; but my mind still winds up on the same thing, the same scene, the same themes”


I definitely think I’ve used this song as a title before. Oh well. We’ll all survive 😀

Things are still incredibly busy but I love it. This last week our friends Lauren, Gene and Sidney came to visit. They were here for about 24 hours, so though the visit was short it was a lot of fun. We played games, went for a couple walks and hung out. We took them to MOX Boarding House  for dinner. We played SuperFight! and enjoyed some time with good company.

Once we came back, we played Sushi Go, Exploding Kittens, and Coup. We also re-introduced Gene to the Lion King on my Super Nintendo. He and Sidney played it for a while, and we all went to bed.

The next day, we went for a walk down to the local pastry shop, Belle Pastry. After breakfast we walked home, played some more games (Sidney and Gene played WiiU, and Lauren and I played Sushi Go.) Then we went to Uwajimaya and for a walk at the Bellevue Botanical Gardens. Once we returned home it was time for them to pack up and head up north to visit their friend Elisabeth.

I am so glad they were able to join us for the short time they were here. I wish it were longer, but now its our turn to visit them! I hope that one day this year we’ll be able to fly to Denver and spend a couple days with them. You forget how wonderful people are when you only get to video chat with them once a month.

Then, the next day, we had our friends Tim and Caroline over for a game night. We played Coup, and Sushi Go with them. Caroline had to leave early but we also played RhinoHero and Love Letter.

Mitchell and I also played a round of Card Wars this week.