Thursday, December 18, 2008

Seattle Nutcracker...and more snow!

Wednesday brought on even more holiday fun. We had a little pre-christmas celebration with Rob & Nicole and Jacqueline before they braved the freeway and headed up north to BC for the Holidays.

We had a lovely dinner at one of our favorite restaurants in Seattle...The Pink Door.

Jen and Nicole prepare for a yummy meal

We then headed off to the Seattle Center to see a performance of the Nutcracker Ballet. It's a really unique version of the ballet, with sets designed by renowned children's book author, Maurice Sendak.

Brian and Rob pose with a statue

An illegal picture taken of the set at intermission

Jen and Brian's turn to pose

We awoke Thursday morning to more new snow. The weathermen finally got it was (actually still is) really coming down! We naturally took the opportunity to take a walk around Kirkland. Very few people were crazy enough to take to their cars, leaving most streets undisturbed and gorgeous! There were tons of people on "snow days" walking around and enjoying the peace and quiet. The snow is so tranquil!

Our street early in the morning

Brian poses with the hounds

An undisturbed bush

Jen walking down to the park

Taking a break with Ponch and Polly

The snow is supposed to continue, along with extremely cold temperatures, right though Christmas. We love it know while we're sitting by a fire in our warm house, but are hoping for a break in the snow so our holiday travels are not SO challenging.


First Snow and Weekend Update!

Last weekend really brought on the Christmas Festivities and Holiday spirit! Saturday was our annual "girls" tea at the Sorrento Hotel. Another benefit of living in Seattle is that I get to attend! We had a new addition to the annual tradition...the youngest member of our little club...Rian!

Rian testing out the toddler beds before tea

The beautiful tea room at The Sorrento Hotel

The Ladies

Saturday night brought the first snow of the year. It wasn't much, but it was still fun. The hounds loved it too!

Enjoying the snow!

It was freezing, but beautiful!

Sunday night we braved the snow and icy roads to hit the town. Brian's company hosted a really wonderful night at Teatro Zinzani. The show was a little goofy, but it was a really fun night!

Cocktail Hour...or "Mocktail" hour for Jen

The "Tent"

Enjoying the show

Just the beginning of a festive and fun couple of weeks!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Belly Update

Just a quick updated picture of my growing belly. I guess there's no mistaking the fact that I'm pregnant now!

Ignore the horrible backdrop

I started pre-natal yoga last week. 8 Limbs Yoga in Seattle has an amazing program. I'm really excited to continue throughout my pregnancy.

It will go hand-in-hand with the birthing classes we'll be taking early next year at the Seattle Holistic Center!

Have a great weekend!


Late Turkey Day Update

I can't belive that Thanksgiving has come and gone!! We're well on our way to Christmas already!! We have so much to be thankful for this year, family, friends, jobs, puppies, and a new baby on the way....just to name a few!

Our Thanksgiving week was action packed, but wonderful. We drove up to Bellingham on Thansksgiving even, and enjoyed spending some time with family! Julia was back from Baltimore for a visit, so we were all reuinited on thanksgiving for lots of festivities.

Mom and Dad after a hard day of Turkey prep

The ladies

Getting ready to eat!

It was a great couple of days! We missed the Patenaude clan, but we're looking forward to seeing them soon!

We headed back to Seattle on Saturday morning, so Brian could begin his marathon prep. (Mostly consisting of eating pasta, and going to be early). We were up before sunrise to head to seattle. I dropped Brian at the start, and headed out to mingle with an odd combination of race supporters and seattle's homeless as I waited for Brian to run by.

The throng of runners headed down 5th Avenue. I had to jump off the sidewalk to avoid getting trampled!

Brian finishing the race...I swear that's him in the white shirt on the right side! (We need a better camera)

The happy runner on the monorail back to the car

How he really felt..

Brian said he had a tough race (his comments here), but he looked great to me. Two marathons in about 6 weeks is nothing to scoff at as far as I'm concerned.

We're looking forward to all that we have going in the next couple of weeks.


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Quick Weekend Update!

Another nice and relaxing fall weekend in Seattle!!

We took advantage of the beautiful crisp autumn weather on Saturday morning, and took a long walk with Ponch and Polly...

Polly, enjoying the water

Brian poses by the lake

Jen with the hounds

More gorgeous fall foliage

Errands and house cleaning took up most of our day on Saturday. After Brian's 15 mile run on Sunday AM, we headed out to Woodinville to pick up some wine club selections that had been sitting for a while. Brian tasted some yummy wines as we visited Distefano, JM Cellars, and a new winery called Altered State of Wines. Altered State is a second label of Alexandria Nicole. They featured less expensive wines, one of which has a timely name of "Recession Red." Quite good (according to Brian), and a nice price point of $16.

Last and certainly not least, we have our first baby picture!!

12 weeks, 4 days

The little guy or gal was wiggling around and moving all over the place! It was so cool to see the baby in action! Another 8 weeks or so, and we can find out if it's a boy or a girl!!

Have a great week!

Jen and Brian

Monday, November 10, 2008

Weekend Update!

Another great fall weekend...that absolutely flew by! Not TOO much excitement to report, but those kind of weekends are often best sometimes...

Brian hit the rainy road early on Saturday morning for his 21 mile run....The last BIG one in preparation for The Seattle Marathon on 11/30. After a proper amount of recovery time, we headed over to Madison Valley to do some more house hunting. It really is an ideal neighborhood for us...we feel like we're getting closer to finding something!

Beautiful fall foliage in Madison Valley...

We then headed over to the Frontier Room for yummy barbeque, and then took a walk through downtown seattle.

Pike Place Market at night

We decided we needed some dessert, and headed to the bar at The Pink Door in Post Alley. We enjoyed some yummy creme brule, profiteroles, and coffee!

Dessert at The Pink Door

We were SUPPOSED to then head to The Showbox to see Ozomatli play...we've had tickets for ages. However, things were running late, and they weren't supposed to go on until 11 or we were incredibly lame and sold our tickets to a young couple who seemed they would enjoy the show a lot more. (Or at least make it through the opening act without having to take a nap). was a great night.

Sunday was spent running errands, relaxing, and cooking the homemade version of Etta's famous clam chowder.

Have a great week! It's another gorgeous fall day here...


Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Yes We DID!!!

What a night last night!! I feel so privileged to have been a part of this amazingly historic election. I was so excited when I woke up yesterday morning, because for the first time in a long time, I felt an overwhelming feeling of hope. The only thought I my head as the day wore on, was that no matter WHAT happened, our country was in for an incredible and much needed change, and that was wildly exciting to me. When the news flashed on the screen that Obama had been declared the winner, I was overcome with emotion, as was much of the country I'm sure. I couldn't help but feel a palpable shift in energy, be it imagined or otherwise.

Both men gave amazing speeches last night. After so many years of feeling anticipation and dread whenever our President began to speak, it was a revelatory moment to realize I did NOT feel that way about either of the candidates for this year's election. McCain's concession speech was dignified and touching, and clearly came from the heart of a man who truly loves the United States of America. I don't doubt for one moment that he will continue to have an incredibly positive effect on this country working with Barack Obama. He said:

"I urge all Americans who supported me to join me in not just congratulating him, but offering our next president our good will and earnest effort to find ways to come together to find the necessary compromises to bridge our differences and help restore our prosperity, defend our security in a dangerous world, and leave our children and grandchildren a stronger, better country than we inherited."

Hopefully his message will reach those who feel disappointment today, and we can move forward as one united, and very hopeful country.

Obama took the stage in Chicago, in front of a crowd that I longed to be a part of, and began with:

"If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible; who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time; who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer.

Its the answer told by lines that stretched around schools and churches in numbers this nation has never seen; by people who waited three hours and four hours, many for the very first time in their lives, because they believed that this time must be different; that their voice could be that difference.

Its the answer spoken by young and old, rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, black, white, Latino, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, disabled and not disabled - Americans who sent a message to the world that we have never been a collection of Red States and Blue States: we are, and always will be, the United States of America.

Its the answer that led those who have been told for so long by so many to be cynical, and fearful, and doubtful of what we can achieve to put their hands on the arc of history and bend it once more toward the hope of a better day.

Its been a long time coming, but tonight, because of what we did on this day, in this election, at this defining moment, change has come to America."

Change has come to America, and it feels incredible!! Today is an amazing day for many reasons...

With hope,


Monday, November 3, 2008

The Holiday's Have Arrived!

The Holiday's have officially arrived at the Patenaude household!

Brian and I kicked off a relaxing weekend with a very tame (but lovely) Halloween celebration at home! We passed out candy, enjoyed a pizza, and watched scary movies.

Polly tries to get into the celebration by dressing up as a waitress

Our pumkins

Saturday we headed over to Seattle to run some errands, and eat lunch at Etta's. (One of our favorite Seattle restaurants) We wandered around the market and downtown a bit after brunch. It certainly felt like a new season had arrived. The city was bustling, and the Christmas theme was leaking into many window displays in the downtown shops.

After Brian's 15 mile run on Sunday, we treated ourselves to some massages in Kirkland, and spent the afternoon cleaning the house and putting up our Christmas tree. (Feel free to start making fun now...we don't mind) Yes it's early, and we do not care a bit. The tree makes our little living room look so cozy!

Our "early" Christmas tree

Brian and I both love Christmas, so we figured...Why not??!?


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

What a mess!

I got home for work yesterday with the intention of relaxing after a long day, but when I opened the door to my house and was greeted by Ponch, I said, "Where's Polly, and why does it smell like a winery in here?" Much to my surprise, and not to my delight, I saw Polly on the OTHER side of her gate, standing in this mess:

Good times. Officially, I have no idea what happened. It appears however that Polly somehow managed to jump on to the counter top and rummage around enough so that she knocked the wine rack off the counter and on to the floor below. Somehow, one of the unopened wine bottles broke, spreading glass and soaking wine into our white carpet. So, the carpet is in an extreme state of messiness, and all of my guitar notes were ruined. (Thankfully, my guitar was not.) Polly was also so kind as to step directly INTO the puddle of wine, and wander around the living room, leaving lovely little wine stained paw prints all over.

Does this look like the face of a canine that could make such a mess:

The carpet looks better, but not great. I think I might have to rent one of those fancy carpet cleaners this weekend. Oxi Clean can only do so much.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Weekend Update

This fall weather here in Washington is absolutely amazing. We both know a time will come in a few months when all there will be is rain, so we are trying to enjoy this as much as possible! The varying colors of the trees are truly astounding. We really enjoyed the drive up to Bellingham this weekend, it was truly gorgous!!

I was attending a bridal shower for my cousin Kelly, so Brian tagged along to make a weekend of it. We met my Mom, and stopped at a farm to get some pumpkins for pumkin carving!

After a delicious dinner on Saturday night, we carved pumpkins and relaxed!! The next day we enjoyed another amazing fall morning, and played a round of golf at Raspberry Ridge.

After golf, the bridal shower, and another gorgous drive back down to Seattle!

Have a great week!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Weekend Update

What an amazing weekend! Brian and I headed out early on Friday morning to rendezvous with my parents for the drive over to Lake Chelan area. Since wine tasting was sort of the theme of the weekend, we couldn't resist a stop at Wedge Mountain Winery for our first tasting. We met the winemaker, and tasted some yummy wines!

The view from Wedge Mountain Winery

Bo, Kim, and Rian had already arrived at Desert Canyon Resort, and were ready for golf when we pulled in. It was a very windy and challenging 9 holes, but we had a great time despite losing so many balls.

Rian giving Bo some much needed golf advice.

Brian in the sand...

The view from the signature hole..

The next morning we woke up and enjoyed a golf lesson from our resident pro...Bo. We then packed up the cars and headed out for tasting! We hit KarMa Winery, Chelan Estate Winery, Nefarious Cellars, Tsillan Winery, Tunnel Hill Winery, Benson Winery, and Vin Du Lac Vineyards. The wine was great, better than expected, but what really impressed all of us was just how gorgous Lake Chelan was. The scenery was out of this world, and none of us had been to a wine region where there was a body of water so close. It made for some spectacular views.

One of the many scenic views...

Some grapes fresh off the vine

View from Nefarious

View from Vin due Lac

Family photo!

We were also lucky enough to celebrate my Mom's birthday on Saturday night! Bo and I worked together to create Mom's chosen meal of ribs, corn, and cupcakes. We also enjoyed some of the delicious wine we purchased throughout the day.

The next morning we set off for home, stopping in Leavenworth, Washington to enjoy some brats,beer...and a couple more wine tastings. Leavenworth is the Pacific Northwest's very own German town, and we took advantage of the shops and purchased some attire for my "Jentoberfest" party coming up!

Doesn't it look like we stopped in Germany on the way home?

More fun hats...

It was a great weekend! Thanks to everyone for making it come together!!


*PS...thanks to Mom/Jani for all the photos!!