Monday, August 17, 2009

The rest of July

Since it's almost September, I suppose it's time to update the blog with some July photos! Time certainly got away from me after the 4th, as I was focusing all of my energy oN enjoying the last weeks of my maternity leave. It was a great month, filled with family events and all sorts of good stuff!!

The weekend after the 4th brought some more family fun with a bbq at Brian and Lisa's house. Almost the entire Stephan clan was there, and it was wonderful to see family that we don't get to see that often.

One of the twins (I'm so sorry Kelly...I don't know if this is Lucy or Madeline!!) drools and enjoys some tummy time.

Jules and Grandpa chillin..

Mom and Dad enjoy the bbq

Brian (looking very zoolander) and Lily beat the heat in the shade

We spent the next couple of weeks basically trying to stay cool, and enjoying the summer as much as possible. It was just SO HOT. We took early morning walks, hid out in our air conditioned bedroom, and took Tango lessons. Okay...well only I took tango lessons, and it had nothing to do with the heat...but it was still fun.

Lily, avoiding an attack from a stuffed octopus

Naked baby on a cashmere blanket

Naked baby on a cashmere blanket, take 2

So...Apparently Seattle has quite a Tango scene and Nicole and her sister Jacqueline have been taking lessons. They roped me into a Tango festival that offered lessons and dances! In prepartion for Seattle "Tango Magic," Jacqueline (who has turned into a tango pro) gave us some lessons. I have no pictures of said lessons, but I do have some pictures of Elliot and Charlie showing us THEIR version of the tango. These pictures (Taken by Rob) are way cuter than any pictures of me would have been.

I believe they're dancing in "open embrace."

I love the fact that both kids have food on their faces.

Then it was time for the actual festival...and man...tango is HARD. Two days of lessons was not enough to make me even somewhat competent, but it was fun to dance and try something new. Someday when I have some free time, maybe I will try it again. We took lessons at the University of Washington, and then headed to downtown Kirkland on Sunday night for an outdoor Milonga and Salmon Bake. I was too afraid to dance, but here is a picture of the pavilion. It was wall-to-wall with Tango fanatics...

The mass of dancers in the pavilion

The heat continued, and we continued to fill our days trying to stay cool!

Ponch and Polly relaxing in the Sun

Lily, sporting a shirt designed by her Dad

We love to take walks down to the wetlands by our house. It always looks different, depending on the season. On this visit, we saw that the little ducklings and baby turtles are considerably more grown up, and the whole place was filled with beautiful lily pads.

Our last order of business in July was our Anniversary dinner at Nishino. Julia graciously offered to Lily-sit on our night out. We've been to Nishino before, but this time we went for the chef's choice Omakase menu. Only food that good could have made me forget that they didn't have air conditioning on a day where the temperature reached 100 degrees. It was seriously one of the top 5 meals I've ever had. 9 courses of amazing sushi/Japanese food. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. We didn't get great photos of all the courses, and these don't do them justice. If you like sushi and live in MUST MUST MUST go for this omakase at some point.

Brian getting ready to dig into the first course

The first course, before being demolished

The requisite chopstick pose

An amazing ceviche. I seriously considered drinking the marinade that was left after I inhaled this.

This (I think) was a lightly crusted and seared piece of yellowtail. It was, of course, amazing.

Another course, toward the end of the dinner.

This dessert doesn't look like much, but it was perfect on a hot day. Fresh fruit, and homemade mochi ice cream...Yumz

A satisfied customer

I don't have a picture of it, but my favorite course of the night was a piece of seared ahi with fois gras, drizzled with a balsamic vinegar reduction. I almost fainted it was so good.

I will stop with the food madness now.

So as you can was a great month!

Next post...Julia's graduation and Walla Walla wine tasting!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

4th of July Celebration

Long overdue...but it's been so hard to sit in front of a computer for an extended period of time!

Fourth of July in Lynden was a blast! Literally....Thanks to Bo's crafty negotiating skills at the "rez," we ended up with quite a selection of fireworks to blow off in the back yard. We headed up early on Friday, managing to sort of beat the traffic.

Brian bounces Lily on the ever-present bouncy ball. I really don't know what we'd do without it.

Lily beats the heat in the shade of the back yard

Nana and Lily spend some quality time

In other news...Hogan got her toe amputated...and here is the resulting look she's sporting.

Exhausted after a long day!

The next day my Dad, Brian, and I hit up Raspberry Ridge to play a quick round of golf before the festivities began. Then it was back home to celebrate! Kim, Bo, and Rian arrived (with Fireworks), and we were off and running. We spend most of the day yelling "Wait until it's dark!!" to Bo and Brian, as they let off firework after firework. The phrase, "That would have been pretty in the dark" was uttered more than once.

This amazed me...the firework stand actually sold a pre-packaged child sized backpack that was filled with fireworks. We're not talking sparklers and poppers, which would have been bad enough...these were full on fireworks in a CHILD'S backpack.(Some of them were really cool though...and please know...she only had her hands on it for this picture!)

Bo shows Rian the finer points of those little nuggets that pop when you throw them on the ground.

Rian and Lily had matching fourth of July outfits.

Yep..these will never be worn again. Sure are cute though!

The "quiver" of fireworks.

Brian risks life and limb for our entertainment

We had a few misfires...this one not only broke through the launching pad, it put a crater in the lawn below. This was when most of us began to take cover.

One of Rian's fountains

Brian and Lily lounge around the back yard

Chillin on the blanket

Cue series of adorable shots of the "many faces of Lily." Cute...


Even cuter


And too cute for words

After a wardrobe change

Hey look..a firework that looks like a flaming pile of poo!

Rian supervising the show

Bo takes a break from the pyrotechnics and poses with his lovely wife!

Papa and Rian surveying the damage to the yard

The 4th of July is my Brother's favorite holiday

Bo turns the corner from "lover of fireworks," to "crazy pyro!!"

Rian is shocked at her Dad's behavior starts to get dark, and Rian experiences her first sparkler!

I get into the act

Brian shows us both up, with his patented "four sparkler/one legged technique."

When it got dark enough, we unleashed our finale firework, which was ominously named..."Meet the Neighbors." It was pretty awesome...25 shots into the air, with appropriately patriotic music playing in the background. My Mom took an amazing video of this...which I will hopefully post HERE when I get my hands on it!

The next day, with our eardrums still ringing, we headed off to Lummi Island in the San Juan's for "Shrimp on the Deck" at the Willows Lodge. A little restaurant on a tiny island, with AMAZINGLY fresh food and a gorgeous view.

A gorgeous setting for dinner

Spotted prawns, so fresh, they were jumping out of the cooler they sat in on the deck. The Chef cooked them right there, and served them moments after preparation. They were seriously some of the best prawns I've ever tasted!!

Mom and Dad...happy after a wonderful weekend!

Smiling after an amazing meal (and the fact that Lily slept for the ENTIRE dinner!)

It was truly and awesome weekend spent with family! We're looking forward to upcoming visits from Jenny, Sean, and Adriah, and a big family wine tasting trip to Walla Walla!!

In Lily news...She had her 8 week check up! She's healthy as a horse...9 lbs, 10 oz...22 inches long. I think she's had even more of a growth spurt in the past week or so. She's sleeping throug the night almost every night. (6+ hours a night..knocking on wood.)

More adventures to come!