28 January 2008


My mom has a way of finding unique gifts. This year she gave us a puzzle of our new house. It brought me hours of entertainment. I enjoy puzzles, but this one was different. It did not come with a picture on the front of the box. Instead, I had to use my knowledge of Tacoma to put it together. When I started, I had no idea how big of an area the puzzle covered so putting together the edges was tricky. One I figured out Commencement Bay (lower right corner), Brown's Point (upper right corner) and Point Defiance (upper left corner) I felt oriented.
I also knew that our house was designated by a house-shaped piece in the middle of the puzzle.
I forget how close we live to the water. I need to visit it more often.

I felt very successful and satisfied when I completed it and now I don't want to take it apart.

While I worked on the puzzle in January, I was longing for winter. So much so that Cyrus and I took a spontaneous trip to Leavenworth for 24 hours of 0 degree temperatures and snowshoeing. I had stopped hoping for snow this season since the past few times it has been predicted left nothing on the ground. This morning, I found reason to hope again! We woke up to a winter wonderland - Tacoma style. Plus, no school for me and 2-hour late start for Cyrus! I love being a teacher on snow days. A friend of mine loves them because they are guilt free - you can't do anything but stay home and play.
It snowed all morning, and then the sun came out. It will all be gone soon...

I wish it looked like this all winter

27 January 2008


Cyrus is 27 years old today. We started the weekend festivities with a game of Settlers of Catan with Abby and Tim I. and birthday cake.

Our favorite 'southern' food is Red Velvet Cake. Kelly introduced us to this gem a few years ago at Thanksgiving. At Cyrus' request I attempted to make my first Red Velvet Cake. Luckily, Kelly helped and the cake turned out great. The frosting needs to be improved ... so there will be a next time.

We celebrated again Sat. night with dinner at Cedar's...Cyrus' favorite restaurant. And to continue the food theme - Cyrus hosted a pancake party on Sunday afternoon. Friends came, Cyrus flipped pancakes, I made coffee, we ate and had a great time.

16 January 2008


I can still picture the neighbor's house across the street from when I was in grade school. It was a blue, two-story house with black and white trim and a long front porch boasting white columns. However, the image in my mind also shows the house covered in snow, too many holiday lights wrapped around those pillars and lawn ornaments on the roof and the lawn. Each year the newspaper would print a list of houses to see with the best light decorations. I don't remember if our neighbors ever made the list, but I am sure they were trying to. While I am not fond of lawn ornaments I have always loved how lights shine through the snow. It's magic.

Then, I moved to Tacoma. I miss the snow. It never really feels right to have a winter pass without skiing, sledding, ice skating, frozen eyelashes, shoveling... But the tradition of Holiday lights is strong on the West coast - especially on our block! We definately felt like we missed the memo on holiday decorations. We let our neighbors light up the block instead. But it doesn't look the same without snow.

Lights in Tacoma are meant to be at the zoo. And that's where we go see them every year. The Point Defiance Zoo sets up a beautiful display every winter. We go, ohh and ahhh, drink hot coco, weave through crowds of children and strollers, see all the favorite displays and go home happy. Here a few pictures from this years trip.

I go every year just to stand in front of this tree.

Cyrus, Abbie, Corinne and Ryan in our matching jackets