Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Japanese Garden

Grandma and Grandpa Raab came for two weeks - it was a fabulous visit, with lots of celebrations (St. Patrick's Day! Dad's birthday and my birthdays! Easter!), good talks, outdoor adventures, and tasty food. They left last night and everyone was sad. 

These photos are from our visit to the Japanese Garden - always a favorite spot. 

Monday, March 28, 2016


Easter morning! The children gleefully demolished their chocolate bunnies and jellybeans and marshmallow puffs, and then we had a practice Easter egg hunt (the eggs were hidden all around our house, but they were empty).
Breakfast: blueberry and raspberry oatmola, boiled eggs and avocado toast.
The Hoangs arrived and Popo braided the girls' hair. :)
After mom and dad Raab arrived, following Easter mass, we had a bigger, better Easter egg hunt over at the school field and playground.
Sebastian was so excited to catch up with the girls (who had been given 1- and 2-minute head starts) that he whacked his face on this bush.
Sebastian, Liesl, and all four of their grandparents!!
Easter lunch: roast leg of lamb over flageolet beans; swiss chard gratin; roasted parsnips, carrots, and romanesco; buttered asparagus; mesclun with radish, apples, fennel, and pistachios. And an almond carrot cake.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Easter preparations

On Saturday afternoon, my mom and dad arrived in town via Amtrak to celebrate my birthday and Easter. It was really special to have all four parents/grandparents here for a holiday celebration, and the children were really excited. We dyed Easter eggs together.
After the children went to bed, I tasked dad and Steve with reassembling all the Easter eggs, which were jumbled together in a big paper bag. (Tough job for a color-blind man!)  And then Easter bunny Steve set the table with treats - a big basket for the family, and two smaller bowls for each child.

Friday, March 25, 2016

40 years!

It was my 40th birthday today, and it was wonderful - full of my favorite people and favorite things. When I blew out the candles on my cake, my wish was pretty simple: more of the same, please.

The birthday celebrations actually started last Saturday night, when Steve and I had a date night dinner at Little Bird and then were treated by Anne and Cuong to an amazing performance by Northwest Dance Project. There were three works, by three different choreographers, all very different in their approaches and all very compelling. The middle piece was dark and heavy - about death and war and anguish - in the final moments, dirt came raining down on the stage and the dancers performed their duet with the dirt all around them. It was extremely powerful. The last act was light-hearted and inventive and really showcased the dancers' fluidity and grace - we really enjoyed the whole performance and were really happy to be there with our friends. (The best birthday present! Thank you, Anne!)

On Sunday night, Adrienne and Jeff opened up Planet Granite after hours for a climbing party - it's so fun to be there when the gym is officially closed. All the routes are open and you feel like a super special insider. All of my closest girlfriends came - Anne, Elise, Mary, Paula, Michela, Elizabeth, Yomari, Crystal - and some of their husbands too. We climbed and laughed and talked and climbed, and then at 9 went to St. Jack in the Pearl for a late-night dinner and drinks. The meal was fine, but the drinks were amazing and the company such fun. We laughed and laughed until they kicked us out to close down. (The best birthday party! Thank you, Adrienne!)

Today, I started off with a run along the neighborhood trails - 4 miles of straight up and down - and lucked into seeing a great blue heron down by the pond. Then we had a family hike in Forest Park - we revisited the wooden shelter, since the children were really excited to show it to Steve, and he wrote me a birthday poem in the journal. We walked along Firelane 7, the Wildwood, and up the Ridge trail - muddy, and cloudy, but not raining! We came back come to get cleaned up and eat lunch with mom and dad Raab. Mom showed up with a surprise: she'd baked a cake! in her rental cottage! The children gleefully helped assemble the cake layers and apply the ganache frosting, and gave me their presents - purple tulips and a balloon from Liesl, and a king-size pack of Reese's peanut butter cups from Sebastian. My children know me too well.
We had a quieter afternoon - read books, played in the sunshine at the field - and then went out to pick up some Easter treats and to eat a wonderfully tasty and inventive dinner at Xico.
What a happy day. How lucky I am, to be turning 40 in such shoes. Bring on the next 40!