{ To Our Moms }

A belated dedication to the two best women in our lives.

Dorothy & CJ. You are two of the most thoughtful and generous women that we’ve ever known. Throughout our many stages of life you have embraced who we have become while teaching us how to push ourselves further than we thought we were capable. You each have a knack for raising children, kids who each have their own authentic voice which you encouraged them to share in their piece of the world. Zach and I are the people we are because of you. Thank you for sharing your unique passions, your thirst for life, your hunger for being the change you wish to see in the world, and for loving us through all the highs and lows of our life.

Thank you for being a steadfast support of our New York life no matter how much you wish we were closer! One day we will all be close together again and we will be better because of your encouragement to embrace this precious time. We love you, Mom & MIL!

Happy belated Mother’s Day!

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{ Dorothy & Chris in the Big City }

After being in New York for a little over a year, Zach’s mom and stepdad, Dorothy and Chris, finally made there way to New York City! We were so excited to finally be able to show them our home and our favorite places in the city.

Dorothy and Chris were looking forward to doing some historical tours and seeing some of the popular sights so we organized their week-long trip according to neighborhood and activity. The days were jam-packed but it was non-stop fun!

FiDi & One World Trade Observatory Deck. Zach and I split up our work days so we could each have a day off with them separately as well as days off together. I spent the first day with them in the Financial District, the 9/11 Memorial and Freedom Tower. It was a perfect spring day in the city, bright skies and light winds so it was so nice to walk around and show off the sites. We hit up the Wall Street Bull and the new Fearless Girl on our way from FiDi to the 9/11 Memorial. The Fearless Girl is SO incredible and was installed around the same time as the Women’s March.

One of the strangest things about the Bull is you are supposed to touch its balls for good luck. There are crowds of people waiting for their turn to touch them. It’s so weird! When my Dad came to visit last June he took a different approach, which Chris was also happy to do in the spirit of my Dad… #goofballs #twopeasinapod

The view at the top of the Freedom Tower, the Observatory Deck, was absolutely stunning. You could take 1,000 pictures but you could never do the view justice. They have a little cafe with wine and beer so you can have your lunch with a view, too!

Anniversary & Birthday Date Night. This year Chris & Dorothy celebrated 25 years of marriage and Dorothy’s birthday was the week before their visit. We knew we wanted to celebrate them in a special way so we surprised them with one of our favorite activities, the Classic Harbor Line Cruise. The cruise is a perfect way to see the Manhattan skyline and be on the Hudson River. We did the Architectural Design tour which had a member of AIA narrate the tour discussing the various historic buildings and new builds on the island. Cocktails, good company, and a gorgeous sunset made for a perfect evening.

The Millers & the Jacobsons. The next day we spent with friends and family who live in New York. We met our friends, Andy and Parvaneh, at their apartment for a visit before we all walked the Brooklyn Bridge to have lunch at our favorite pizza place, Grimaldi’s.

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Later, we headed to Washington Square Park to visit Chris’ niece and nephew, Juliet and Leif, and their spouses Alex and Jamie. Jamie and Leif have the most darling little boy Cyrus who stole the show that evening. Juliet and Alex cooked an amazing dinner and we all enjoyed the nice night in.

By Monday morning I had to go back to work and Zach got a full day of exploring with his parents. They went to the Statue of Liberty and the United Nations for a tour of their building and visitors center. So much art and facts about the world’s history with military defense and working towards peace.

There were so many other awesome moments we had throughout the week, but for the sake of not making this blog post 10 pages I will simply recap! We walked the High Line and visited Chelsea Market, we hosted happy hour and dinner at our apartment, we spent Easter Sunday in Central Park, and one of the best nights was when we saw Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812. If you live in the city or are planning a visit this is show is a MUST. So unique and authentically different than any show I’ve seen in awhile. And seeing Josh Groban sing live wasn’t too bad either!

Dorothy & Chris. Having this uninterrupted time with you was so precious and we’re so grateful you were finally able to get yourselves out of Seattle to see our home. Your generosity in all that you shared with us during your stay is something we never take for granted. We only wish you’d let us do it for YOU more often! One day you’ll let us 😉 Thank you for experiencing our New York and all of our favorite places. We’re so happy you got to do almost everything you wanted to do. So looking forward to the next visit! We love you around the world and back!

{ 2017: Bury & Carry List }

Happy 2017! I can’t believe we are already halfway through the first month of the new year. I was recently inspired after reading this article by Maria Shriver about what she wants to “carry” and “bury” in 2017. I have found the idea of resolutions to be daunting especially because it diminishes what you learned and maybe even mastered the previous year. It begs “what more can you do?” instead of also validating your successes. Furthermore it challenged me to really consider what I am proud of from 2016, what I want to continue through 2017, and what I can truly leave behind.

What I Want to Bury:

  • Self-Doubt. There is nothing that handicapped me more in 2016 than self-doubt. When I began the year I was a successful Business Development Director at the height of my career, newly married, and about to move to New York. I arrived with confidence that I would find a sparkly new job and conquer wifehood with ease. Unfortunately it didn’t work out at all how I planned. Months flew by, what felt like hundreds of job applications had been submitted, and I was alone a lot during the day until Z got home from work. The loneliness was a perfect incubus to cultivate a cloud of fear and doubt that I was not good enough. Who was I without a successful career? Why would a man as wonderful as my husband, meanwhile blossoming and thriving in his career, want a pathetic woman such as myself who couldn’t find her way in New York? Self-doubt consumed my every day. Eventually I realized it was me who was holding me back. I had complete control of realizing my happiness and as soon as I worked on what it was that made me truly happy, outside of a career woman and being Z’s wife, I was set free from my doubt. I was a lot more than just those two things. It was finding ways to energize and inspire me. I am not perfect and battling self-doubt will always be a dynamic of life but for the purpose of this list, I am committed to continuing to pursue my happy and diminish the doubt.
  • Us vs. Them. While I don’t really want to get into the political arena on this blog, I have to acknowledge my approach to interacting with friends, family, and strangers whose political opinions are different than my own. This past year was a tumultuous and distressing time for everyone regardless of the candidate you supported. As the President-Elect is being sworn into office as I type this I am a gamut of emotions. For the purpose of this bury list, I want to work on diminishing this idea of Us vs. Them. This mentality is what got us here, divided. It’s not the first time in our nation’s history but for those living it for the first time it is painful, a state of disbelief. I look back on 2016 and interactions with some of my friends and family who I considered to be them. They supported the candidate I did not. As frustrated as that made me, I am certain my support of the other candidate made them equally so. My regret is that I didn’t engage in an adult, open-minded conversation with them. Instead I steered clear, avoided it, and judged them. Us vs. Them. I could have listened, shared passions, seek understanding in a constructive way. We are never going to be a united nation until both sides really examine the other side. It will continue to be two teams. Of course I am not naive to believe I could have actually changed those friends or families’ minds but maybe we would have understood each other better and learned something. I also know there will always be two teams but I don’t believe it has to be as harshly divided and vicious as it stands right now. As I avoid my television today I am not doing so to perpetuate the #NotMyPresident or anything like it. I’m not happy about it, not by any means. But instead of opening my social media and perpetuating the drama, today I choose to establish how I will carry into the new year, this new regime, and how I can control my piece of the world and influence positivity. How can I help to bridge this large gap that I helped build along with the other millions of us? I will continue to be authentic and steadfast in my beliefs but will not use it to shut out the other side.
  • Living in Future Tense. Planning is a way of life in the Harris household. Neither one of us are fly-by-the-seat-of-our-pants people and we are always looking ahead. That’s not to say making plans and being intentional about life are a bad thing but in our current circumstance it has hindered us. Our life in New York has always been temporary with the plan to move back to our West Coast home. At some point, however, it felt as if we were biding our time. And when I say we I mean mostly me. Anxiously planning and awaiting the opportunity to start planning our move home. Z has been a great reminder for me as I have had a harder time settling into our life. He reminds me and recommits that we want to make a life here. If we’re just watching the months tick by and counting the days until we get to go back to the West Coast we won’t really be giving our opportunity here a chance. We took a lot of trips back west last year, Seattle in particular, and we got used to seeing those friends and family every couple of months. It meant a whole year went by without an official honeymoon like we had originally planned. We sacrificed vacation days we could have used to travel the East Coast as we intended. While those trips were mostly for weddings and well worth the time and money spent we cannot do the same this year. We need to invest in our life in New York just as we set out to do. I want to miss this place when we leave it, not relish in the joy that we finally get to leave. I want to bury this living in the future and pump the breaks to live presently. Grounded in our New York life and cherishing this once in a lifetime experience. It will be gone before we know it.

What I Want to Carry:

  • Gratitude. We post about it on social media, we talk about its importance, but how often are we actually putting this into practice? I have learned and posed questions about ‘marriage’ this year and what does and doesn’t work for our marriage. One of the biggest things that we practiced this year which has become an integral part of our day to day is the act of being grateful. A simple ‘thank you’ goes such a long way. When Z has worked a long day and he comes home to a clean house, he acknowledges the work and says thank you. On date nights when we’ve just enjoyed an evening out, I share with Z how much I appreciate all his hard work to provide the ability to live in this amazing city and indulge in these experiences. Even something as simple as watching Sunday football together, he will thank me for creating our home and taking care of the things that make our life full. I may be overloading you with anecdotes but the point is I think we grossly underestimate how much our partners need to be appreciated and thanked. Out loud. Not carry it with us as an assumption that they “just know.” How good does it feel to hear that acknowledgment and gratefulness? Whether it’s a simple act or a grand gesture we all need and deserve affirmations for who we are and how we show up for each other.
  • Spin & Yoga. One of the best roses that came from the garden of thorns of being unemployed was discovering an active lifestyle. I tried countless fitness studios and different workouts until I found the classes and teachers that felt like home. Nothing clears my mind and makes me feel as good as leaving a class sweaty and strong. SoulCycle & mang’Oh yoga have changed me in mind, body, and spirit and I can’t imagine my day to day life without them.
  • The Lust to Wander. One of the most exciting parts of living on the East Coast is traveling to new places. It is remarkable how close these states are to one another and in a three-hour train ride you can cross over five states. Just thirty minutes north of Manhattan are forests and rivers that provide great relief from the concrete jungle. We dipped our toes into a few new places in 2016 and we’ve committed to seeing a handful of more cities and areas of New York this year. I can’t wait to see more of this beautiful coast.
  • Team Harris. I don’t particularly agree with people who say things don’t change all that much from being engaged to married. Maybe it’s because Z and I made such a drastic change to our life with a cross-country move. I still believe that the stakes are higher once you call someone your husband, not just your boyfriend. My life is no longer about just my wants and needs. I have to consider Z’s needs sometimes even before my own. What I’ve come to learn over the past year, a big lesson taught by my husband, is that when one of us is making decision they are ultimately our decisions. Z is better at change than I am. That’s just a fact in our marriage. He is level-headed and makes choices with carefully thought out logic (excel spreadsheets!) and I wear my heart on my sleeve and make choices with my gut based on the way something makes me feel. Whenever he presents a new idea, like moving apartments for example, he knows I am going to be resistant. “The market has changed, we can save money, we will experience a new neighborhood, etc.” It’s not my idea of a good time. I love our home in Murray Hill. I immediately classify it as his idea. He is doing this to me. Pushing me into this idea. But after I let the dust settle on my reaction, I always realize the same thing. It is the best decision for us. Z has seamlessly been able to change his thinking about what he wants into what’s best for us. True, it is his idea but my husband to date has never proposed something that has only been for his benefit or because he wants to do it. I am always a large factor in his consideration. We are always at the forefront of his decision making. It’s not easy to admit when you’re partner is right, especially when you want to be right. But I am happy to carry this ideology that Z seems to have adapted to so well and patiently waits for me to realize. It’s not about what I want or what he wants. It’s about what we want and what’s best for our life together. It doesn’t mean we will always agree or see the other person’s side but it’s about remembering that neither of us are ever selfishly making decisions. I want to carry this faith of partnership with me into this year and all the years ahead of us. Thanks for the lesson, babe. Even as much as I detest some of your new ideas, I am proud to be on Team Harris.

What do you want to carry and bury into this year?

Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year. Your success and happiness lies in you. Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Top of the Rock – 1.12.17

{ Cole & McKyna’s 21 Run }

November 11th was a monumental day in the Harris/Jacobson family history. The youngest members of the family finally arrived at their 21st birthday! Cole and McKyna had requested that the occasion be celebrated with only their immediate family as opposed to going with a group of friends. So we all bucked up to put our party pants on to make their 21-run with their parents and much older brother and sister and their spouses the best weekend ever!

The older siblings and their spouses have spent a fair amount of time in Las Vegas, especially in our twenties. It was surreal to be back in Vegas as we were all flooded with memories of birthdays, bachelor/ette parties, and “just because” party weekends. We had each shared our suggestions of places to go and things to do to make their weekend exactly what they wanted it to be. Also, my in-laws/Z’s parents haven’t been to Vegas for THIS type of trip and were happy to rely on us for guidance to cultivate the party weekend Cole and McKyna desired. As a family, I think we can all agree that we really packed it ALL in and it was a weekend we won’t soon forget!

We each arrived on a Thursday evening and we met up at the Bar at Times Square at the New York New York hotel (I know, I know. The irony of flying from New York to Las Vegas only to end up in New York!). Zach’s stepsister Sally, her husband Nathan and Z and I got in earlier than the rest of the family so we spent a solid hour dancing to the dueling pianos and drinking cocktails to warm us up for the night ahead. My in-laws Dorothy and Chris and Cole and McKyna arrived just at the stroke of midnight when their 21st birthday was official!

The next day we hit the pool to relax and surprise Cole & Kyna with custom shirts made by Sally to commemorate the party and its crew! The day in the sun felt so nice after leaving the cold autumn of New York. Z spent some time teaching Kyna how to play Black Jack which turned into a slight obsession for her throughout the weekend.

Since this day and evening was the official birthday we went big for celebrations. Sally and Nathan had driven in from Temecula, CA and brought with them the most incredible cake I have ever seen. We were all so impressed it made it from the five-hour drive to the hotel room in one piece! Vegas-themed and included their college logos (rival schools!) on either side of the cake. It was ridiculously cool!

The plan was to surprise Cole & Kyna in their room with the cake and presents before we headed to dinner. Dorothy had decorated their room and Z and I had prepped our present for the family to sign before the official surprise. A little backstory on our gift…three years ago I went on my first family vacation with Z’s family to Cabo San Lucas. Cole and Kyna were 17 at the time and one night we went on a pirate ship booze cruise. Cole and Kyna had gotten permission to drink, particularly since Dorothy and Chris were there, and we’d all be there to monitor. Welp, only 2-3 drinks in and they could not handle it. They were so certain they would be able to hang and within an hour of the cruise they were passed out on the side of the boat. At the time is was part comical and part bummer but when we all came to laugh about it at the end of the trip I promised that the picture I took of them would come back to haunt them for their 21st birthday.

The time had come!

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Each of us signed their personalized frames with birthday wishes and our favorite hangover cure (a takeaway from my 21st birthday that I loved!) and the gifts were a hit. It was so fun to bring it all back full circle!

Top of the World & Ghostbar. After pre-dinner cake and gifts we headed to the Stratosphere’s restaurant, Top of the World, which had 360-degree views of Las Vegas and the strip. The food was delicious and the views weren’t bad either. It was a perfect celebration spot!

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I was pretty insistent that at some point over the trip we visit Ghostbar at the Palms hotel. It was one of my favorite lounges on my previous visits and I thought it would be a perfect segue-way from our views at dinner to drinks with a view. The bar itself wasn’t actually that crowded but it made for a good warm-up for Dorothy and Chris as well as Cole and Kyna. The music was loud, people were dancing, and the older siblings were able to buck up and hang until 3:30am when the new 21-year olds were ready to go home!

Strolls on the Strip. After the late night/early morning we were struggling a little tired so we planned a low key day to get out of the casino and get a little fresh air. Since Cole & Kyna had never been on the strip we hit all the classic stops, including the Fountains at Bellagio show and walking through the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace. Later, we headed back to our hotel to watch college football at the sports bar before we got ready for our last night out. And by watch college football I mean the boys watched football while Kyna sporadically gambled, Dorothy and Chris alternated naps before the games, and I attempted to watch football before I succumb to a much needed nap.

XS. A couple weeks before the trip, Cole had mentioned his favorite DJ, Diplo, would be playing at XS at the Encore the weekend we would be there. Dorothy immediately jumped to action to figure out how we could guarantee entry for all of us at this very popular club and also allow her and Chris to be able to sit down throughout the night as opposed to standing all night on the dance floor. After some research between her and Z, they landed on a surprise bottle service table for the night. The plan was to make Cole and Kyna stand in the general admission line (which was SO long!) to make them worry we wouldn’t get in and eventually Z led us to the other side of the club with the much shorter bottle service line. Once we got into the club Kyna and Cole thought their brother was some kind of Vegas bad-ass hustler but once we arrived at our outdoor table the surprise finally revealed itself. Cole and Kyna were so surprised and thrilled at the plan and it really made the entire evening!

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So you know how I mentioned that Dorothy was concerned her and Chris would need a place to sit for the night, which prompted the bottle service conversation in the first? Ha! They were on their feet for most of the night until 2:30am when we called it quits. They were dancing and even had people coming up to our group to dance with them! Love you two so much!!!

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We danced the night away and seeing Diplo was a total blast! Kyna eventually reached her limit at 2:30am when she requested to go home so she could sleep and wake up early to play Black Jack before her flight. Ha! Z created a gambling Black Jack monster! To be fair, she did bring home some winnings. The boys ended up staying at XS later than the rest of us and didn’t get back to the hotel until 4:30am which included a food run to Fatburger on the way back. Everyone woke up ready to kiss the weekend goodbye, feeling accomplished, exhausted, and a little dehydrated!

Cole & McKyna. Welcome to 21. You’ve now officially crossed over into what will be the most fun time in your twenties. Embrace the responsibility, enjoy the silly good times, and continue to be the best friends you are to each other no matter how far apart you may be. Your bond is enviable and perfectly unique and I’m proud to be your sister from another mister!

Dorothy & Chris. I don’t know many parents that would be willing and able to participate in such a trip. You really are the most stellar and selfless duo when it comes to your children and there are no lengths you wouldn’t go to make them happy and feel loved. You’ve created quite a motley crew and I’m honored to be a part of it.

Sally & Nathan. I missed your kiddos this trip but truth be told I absolutely loved getting time with just the two of you. Between you guys and Z and I, we make such a playful and easy dynamic that I am so grateful for. Thank you for the belly laughs and memories we made together on this trip. I’m already planning the next trip in my head!

Harris. You are the best big brother ever. Your soft spot for your siblings only makes me love you more every time we’re with your family. You are always willing and able to give what you can to make every situation memorable. Also, thanks for cutting yourself off at XS so you wouldn’t be hungover for our anniversary the next day. You’re the best.

{ September in Seattle }

I am almost caught up to present day on the blogs – woohoo! This post was particularly fun to put together as it included so many of my favorite people in one of my favorite places on earth. Zach and I had committed to a 10-day trip in the Northwest (for what felt like almost ALL of September!) and we packed A LOT into this trip. While it felt like we barely had a minute to spare, it was incredibly fulfilling to see so many people that mean so much to us and to squeeze us into their very busy schedules. My heart is full of gratitude for each and every moment.

Boats, Baseball, & BBQ. From the moment we landed on the West Coast we jumped right into a full and fun itinerary. We had a handful of people that also travelled great distances to meet us for our first weekend in town. Zach’s cousin, Autumn, flew in from San Jose, his Aunt Donna and Uncle Mark drove in from Ellensburg, some of our closest friends, Ryan and Tiffany made the trek across the state from Kennewick, and Z’s oldest friend Becca and her husband Leonard and their kiddos Laney Belle and Graham changed their entire weekend schedule to make it to Seattle to spend the weekend with us. We are grateful beyond words for each of you!

We kicked off the weekend with a family dinner to celebrate Autumn’s birthday at one of our favorite Italian restaurants, Serafina. It was so important and incredibly special to spend our first evening with our family. We hadn’t been altogether since we moved to NYC in February so the whole evening meant a lot to us. A smorgasbord of food, wine, and fun was had by all! So much fun that with the three hour time change, Zach and I realized we had actually been awake for a full 24 hours since we left New York. Totally WORTH IT.

The next day we coordinated an even bigger group of friends and family to attend the Mariners’ Game. All eighteen of us occupied the bleachers in Center Field for beers, hot dogs, and good ol’ fashioned Seattle baseball. The view from the cheap seats was actually perfect and the game turned out to be a great one! We were particularly jazzed that our friends, Erica and Jon, brought their two-year-old Finley for her first ever baseball game. Thank you for braving it so we could spend time with you, Rayments! So glad Fin ended up loving it (AKA distracted herself with her iPad and only stopped for dance party breaks with her Auntie Jojo) and that you two could enjoy the game, too!

Sunday! It’s now been a full 48-hours since we’ve been back and the fun bus was still full speed ahead! Most of the folks that joined us for the game met us in the morning at Zach’s parents’ boat, Big Gin, to spend the morning out on the water in the Puget Sound. It was supposed to rain and by some miracle it turned out to be an absolutely stunning day. Thank you Captain Chris and Dorothy for hosting such a fabulous morning!

We wrapped up boating and headed back to the condo to meet the Lundgren family and we all watched the Seahawks game. Sadly, the game didn’t end in our favor but the afternoon was still a blast with kiddos, pizza, beer, and belly laughs. There is never a dull moment with this group! It was also the first time Zach and I were meeting Becca and Leonard’s baby boy, Graham, who was born the month we moved to NYC. What a babe! We couldn’t get enough of him!

Graham’s big sister Laney and I had a bit of fun with all the lipsticks and glosses I hoard in my purse. Every time she put on a different color she insisted we take a selfie. How can you say no to this cutie pie?!

After the miserable end to the game, we rallied and headed to our dear friends, Augie and Laura’s house, for a BBQ. They offered to host a get-together at their home while we were in town and it was such an incredibly kind gesture. After a weekend of hosting I was happy Dorothy and Chris would be able to relax and that we could have an intimate evening with some of our best friends in their gorgeous home. Augie and Laura has just gotten married weeks before so it was so nice to be able to see them and spend quality time with them after their whirlwind wedding weekend. I WISH I would have taken photos of this evening but I didn’t take a single one. I’m chalking it up to the fact that I was so wrapped up in the moment I couldn’t be bothered to grab a camera. I was fully present. Instead of photos I am left with memories and moments of one of my absolute favorite nights from our trip. It was one of those evenings that reminds you what life is truly all about. Family, friends that feel like family, good food, and big laughs around the dinner table. We were so touched by the impeccable meal Augie and Laura prepared and the overall evening they put together. Augie and Laura – You two are the real deal. Your thoughtfulness in hosting such a beautiful evening touched us all that night. Can’t wait to come back and do it all over again! Thank you times a million!!

Friends, Colleagues, and Babies. The following week was a whirlwind. We visited our friends Heather and Brit and their precious toddler Jackson at their new home in Bryant Park, went out to dinner with some of my oldest college friends, Kelsey and Kyle, had lunch with Zach’s college buddies Lars and AJ, and we somehow found time during the day to visit with old colleagues from our former roles in Seattle. Zach’s grandmother, Thelma, was also kind enough to take the bus from Ellensburg to spend a few nights with us. Thank you to everyone who squeezed in time to see us. We loved the short but sweet hours you were able to share with us!

Weekend in Portland/Vancouver. Our last weekend in town we headed to Vancouver, WA for our friends, Mitch and Kylie’s wedding. Mitch is a friend of Zach’s from college and fraternity, so per usual, the wedding felt like a WSU college reunion. Most of our friends were staying at the same hotel so it felt like a 24/7 social affair. Zach and a few of his friends were in the wedding so on the day of the ladies headed to Portland for a workout at YAS Portland for spin and yoga followed by beers at 10 Barrel Brewing. By some twist of fate one of my mom’s best friends (and basically a second mom to me!) Helen was visiting her son Max in Portland the same weekend. They joined me for drinks before I went back to Vancouver for the wedding. So happy I got to see you both!

Kylie & Mitch’s Wedding. The big day was beautiful! The weather couldn’t have been better and it was such fun to see these two tie the knot with some of our closest friends. The bride made her appearance and she looked like a Marilyn Monroe look alike! Simply gorgeous, Kylie! The day was filled with food trucks, corn hole, good music, and a stunning Northwest sunset. And it should come as no surprise that as soon as the DJ started playing music we all tore up the dance floor.

It was a very bright and sunny day…had to include this blooper…!

We are so happy for you Mr. and Mrs. Angus! We hope the day was everything you hoped it would be and more and that you’re loving the first few months of newlywed-hood as much as we did!

Last Day with the Hawks. The day after the wedding we headed back to Seattle for my final day in town. Z had a few extra days left in Seattle for an annual corporate work retreat so before I headed back to New York we managed to squeeze a Seahawks home game into our schedule…despite my red eye flight home that evening. I know, we’re crazy right?! We are big Hawks fans and season ticket holders and it was our only opportunity to go this season so we jumped on it. It was an awesome game against the 49ers and we took home the W! It was a sad departure to leave a few minutes before the game ended with tearful goodbyes between some of our best friends (miss you already Malia, Jeff, Laura, and Augie!) that we share our season tickets with. So glad we got to have those last few hours with everyone at the CenturyLink!

Dearest Seattle. Thank you for spoiling us with your last days of your sunshine season. You continue to take our breath away and we miss your green backdrop and your beautiful waters terribly. The concrete jungle of NYC pales in comparison to your natural beauty. Thank you for housing some of our favorite people in the world. It always warms our heart to come home and find them thriving and growing their careers and families. Our hearts ache when we have to leave you and especially those people we love so much. We’re so grateful we got to spend as much time with you as we did this summer. See you in 2017!

 

{ Visit to SoCal }

In addition to being back in LA for Allie and Eric’s wedding we had several days to spend time with my family and friends. It is likely our only trip to SoCal this year and we cherished every minute of time we had there.

Jess & Newport Beach. My soul sister and best friend Jess lives in Orange County and we had to make a visit to see her darling beach bungalow apartment and show Zach Newport Beach and the Peninsula. Jess and I have spent a lot of time there over the years so it was a blast to reminisce and visit some old bars and restaurants we used to frequent. The visit was not without a stop at a real deal Mexican restaurant. The Mexican cuisine is SoCal has yet to be matched in any of the other cities I’ve lived in so I always make a point to eat a local spot when I’m home. And of course, we had to make a trip to the beach to put our toes in the sand and ocean. I miss it so much! Thank you for hosting us for the day, Jess! We loved seeing your digs!

Parents Night Out. My parents wanted to show me and Z their favorite new spot at the Hermosa Pier, Greenbelt, so we made it a night out and had dinner and drinks by the beach. Dinner was followed by one of our go-to’s that makes the BEST speciality cocktails, La Pamilla. Even though we had just seen my parents in NYC it felt so good to have the more quality time with them to pick up where we left off from their visit. Big laughs and strong cocktails!

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Family Friday. I am so lucky to have a family that will go above and beyond to make time to see us when we’re in town, even for the short window of time we had to spare. Grandparents, cousins, aunts, and the kiddos came out to spend the day in Manhattan Beach with us at the house. It was such a wonderful day with good eats, cold drinks, some neighborhood games of Horse, and quality catch-up time.

I insisted on getting a group shot of everyone. The first pic was the best version and the one below it is an example of what the other shots looked like haha. We were just missing Jords & Rick, Uncle Gary, Brooke & Clint, Greg & Nicole, and Jon & Voula!group-shot-nicegroup-shot-prep

One of the highlights of the day was that Papa drove my car, Pearl, from Glendora where he has been keeping it for me. Crazy stupid how much I miss that car! The subway is not nearly as enjoyable as driving your own car. It was so fun to see it again. It feels like I haven’t had my own car in years! Thanks for taking such good care of her, Papa 😉

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The kiddos eventually took off with their GG/my aunt and the adults made our way to a couple of local breweries in Torrance. Loved all the belly laughs and beer tastings with each of you!

So incredibly grateful for all the quality, albeit brief, time I had with all of my family and closest friends. I miss each of you everyday and Z and I can’t WAIT for our next visit! We’re missing California like crazy. Blessed to call such a wonderful place HOME.

Mom & Dad. Miss you everyday. Grateful this long distance life is only temporary and soon we will be back on the same coast! In the mean time, thank you for always being the most gracious and FUN hosts a daughter could ask for!