Good friends and animals

This last Saturday we were able to squeeze in some time with friends, the Newtons. It is always wonderful hanging out with them. These pictures are of last Saturday when they surprised us by taking us to the Woodland Park Zoo (Seattle)! Thank you Josh and Erin! It was so surprising and fun, we love hanging out with you both. Your little son, Jakob, is adorable and I look forward to the times he and Emma will be able to hang out just like we do together. Love you both!

* Be prepared for tons of pictures- you have been warned. Oh and click on one if you would like to see it bigger.

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Duvall, Washington

We went to Travis’ high school reunion this last weekend in Redmond, WA. It was really cool to be able to meet so many that I’ve heard about. Trav is also one of those people who keeps in contact with a lot of his old friends- the polar opposite of me. There was good friends, food and dancing. Not to mention a couple of shmoozy guys who were hoping I was Trav’s girlfriend. *eewwww

Anyways, we were able to spend a nice relaxing day with Trav’s family Sunday. Then again, any day in Duvall is relaxing and chill. ¬†Altogether it was really nice and surprisingly humid. Enjoy the pictures! I had a hard time choosing between the 189 we took that day. I will¬†definitely¬†be posting more tomorrow.

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My Granmom and her warm Garage.

Right now, as summer is in full swing garages are getting hotter and hotter. I’ve heard people complain about it as they go from one air conditioned place to another. Yet, as you can probably predict, I love hot garages. And it’s not just because it warms you from the inside out¬†immediately. (Which I love) I love warm garages because of my Granmom.

Or at least it reminds me of her. Wierd huh, ¬†not as typical as flowery scented perfume or a certain meal. Nope, warm garages. I usually smile and take my time getting in the car because it brings me right back to being with her. She lives in Austin, TX and I don’t get to see her that often…that’s more of an understatement. I rarely see her. And I hate it. We get along so well, which makes it way worse. I love talking with her about everything. We get along so well and when I’m visiting we have many late nights talking. I am a little obsessed with knowing as much as I can about my Grandad (whom I never met), Aunt Pat (she was the definition of a free spirit) and other family persons and dynamics that used to be. I love looking at old pictures and reading what they have written to my Granmom. For some reason it is deeply personal and I feel as though I have a fuller picture of who I am and what kind of family I came from.

So back to the garages…when I walk into a warm garage I am imediatly transported to her house in Austin. I have the familiar feelings of being with someone I love and going on an adventure to Taco Bell. Whom my Granmom knows the drive thru lady’s name and gives her presents. It means walking around her car and just looking at all the pieces she’s collected thru the world as a military wife. Each piece has history. She has history. And in her garage it is actually¬†tangible. I feel like I can touch history. You can reach out your fingers and touch what had at one point been half way around the world, and see the world thru their time. All it’s differences and complications but also…possibly, simpler maybe.

You can see faded colors and imagine what they have seen. What they’ve heard. And how it’s impacted the members it belongs to.

For example my Granmom has a very flimsy table and chair set. Super old and I always expect the chairs to creek and fall as I sit on it. This table and chair set belonged to my Aunt Pat-who technically never was my aunt. She was the woman who raised my Great Grandmother-‘Granny’. My Granmom’s mom. Aunt Pat, the free spirit. She, in that time, was not only a free spirit but someone who did not conform to social norms. She was a single woman who raised my Granny all on her own. She had a job, chose to sacrifice for Granny when a man proposed and actually bought a house all on her own-in the 1920’s. She loved wearing bells in her hair because she liked hearing the jingle and thought colors were there to make the world a brighter place.

She owned that table and chair set and painted it blue, red, green, yellow, orange, white, blue again, green, yellow, red, purple, white again, etc. This set was constantly changing colors. It was a fond memory for my Granmom.  She has since then kept it, had it dipped (took 3 times to take away all the paint!) and had it redone. She eats at this little set everyday, which is by her kitchen window where she watches her fake snakes scare me and the squirrels away from the bird feeders.

She has told me many things about my family and I think what touches me is that I get to experience it with her. I get to sit at the table where my Aunt Pat would sit with my Granny. I can touch the pieces my Granmom has brought back from England and Israel when they were stationed there in the 60’s. I slept in the bed that belonged to my Grandad’s parents. And get to look at the mirrors that used to reflect the faces of my family I would never see.

All these thoughts, feelings and tears overwhelm me in the summer time all thanks to warm garages. And it’s one thing I look forward to.


Thank you for letting me scrounge around your garage Granmom and keep you up at night asking you tedious questions about Grandad. For making you dig up pictures and old writings of your dad’s, Aunt Pat and Grandma and Grandpa Ho. I feel like a fuller person hearing about everything. I love it and I love you.

Yours Always,




We’re heading to Seattle today for Trav’s 10 yr high school reunion (he’s old!). It should be interesting and fun. Staying with his parents and we haven’t seen them in a long time so it should be good for them to see Emma. Yesterday we went to the park and I took some pictures of my little model girl.

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Fathers Day

On Fathers Day we went to Mt Taber to walk around in their beautiful park area. They had great scenic views. Trav had fun with the camera and captured a few pictures. I edited some to post here. Later we went out to eat. Hope you had a great Fathers Day!

*for those of you who can’t see my pictures I’m working with Travis to fix that. Sorry and thanks for your patience!

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This Sunday is Fathers day, I’m actually really looking forward to it. I have some fun ideas in store for Trav and of course they are all a surprise. I love looking at him when he’s racking his brain trying to figure it out as we’re driving to some unknown place. It’s a control thing. I realize and accept it. And also have no desire to change it.

My ideas start tomorrow. There is a big thing planned and he should be pretty surprised. hehe All I’ll say is it’s at 1pm and will last for a couple hours. Emma’s Best friend, Rylee, is having her big 2 yr birthday party Saturday and we wouldn’t miss it. I’m really hoping for no rain, just so all the kids can go crazy outside. ūüôā

It’s a sunny day here and we had an outing to Starbucks. So much fun. Making appointments, CLEANING TONS, and getting back into beat of our schedule and demands.


I have a message I need to prepare for tomorrow. Nervous like normal, but I’m also feeling like I can’t wrap my head around it all till I process the feelings inside and¬†unfortunately¬†you, reader, have to read it here. But you have a choice and can stop reading and wait till I post about food or some other lighter subject…you’re choice.

First: Kerstin, I haven’t¬†replied¬†to you via Facebook becuse it seems so shallow to write a message on there. (to me in my craziness) For some reason Google/Skype seems more real and authentic. How weird and ‘ uh, ok’ is that?! But even with that said, I haven’t written back to you and I’m sorry. I would like to talk, but really feel the need to have a sounding board. Just someone to listen. You up to that?

Second: I am feeling lonely. Like there isn’t anyone here that understands how I am feeling. The only people I can imagine are missionaries already abroad. There are tons of things to do, and I’m tempted to write it all down but I think the post would turn into a ‘poor me’ post. I don’t want that. What I want, I guess, is just a open forum where I can express my feelings and process as I write.

Everywhere I look people are so focused on their lives, their business and whatever is in front of their faces pretty much. And no, I’m not bitter, more sad. I see others, including myself, who desire hard but real relationships and encouraging words for the path their on. Even when I’ve expressed this, people listen (thank you!) and days later I see no desire to help. It saddens me. I am a somewhat mature person (or so I like to think, hehe) and can take it all with a grain of sand. But I know others who would shrivel up and die inside.

I find myself a lot more emotional (yay!) and with all the things we are having to juggle I wish there were people out there who would encourage out of their deficiency.

And yes, I am walking the talk. This last weekend I was feeling discouraged and plain hungry for any encouragement. I instead gave out of what I had. It was wonderful, hard, but wonderful. It was awesome to see how the words given to me were embraced.

Please give. I know many people say they don’t know what to say. How about the obvious? ¬† ¬† ‘You have a smile that’s contagious’, ‘When you walk into the room, I look forward to talking with you’ , ‘I know you’re discouraged, but hang in there. I love you’ Might feel fake or obvious but wouldn’t you like to hear these words?!

Just some feelings I am feeling. Here’s hoping I don’t break down and cry my eyes out tomorrow as I speak. I’m speaking on taking responsibility. How ironic huh.¬†Definitely¬†feeling awkward. Wasn’t arranged that way, got the word last weekend. Here’s hoping God wants to speak out of this cracked pot.

And now I have to push Publish before I chicken out and delete everything…

Too many beach pictures!

You have been warned…We went to the beach this last weekend. Here are some pictures. It was a fun weekend with friends, annoying whistling toys and lots of food. Took too many pictures and will now have to go through tons,and keep only a few. Hate that.

I’m busy hanging out with my sister while she’s in town, love it when she’s here.

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Congratulations Lauren!

What a weekend. Fun but I’m really tired. Thus this short entry.

Congratulations Lauren! You are the winner of this set! Thank you to everyone who has commented. I hope you win in the future!