The Art of Running in the Rain

"To give anything less than your best, is to sacrifice the gift." -Prefontaine



Advent of Activities Part II – 2018

Is everyone else still feeling the post Christmas glow????? Dave and I got some alone time together and it was so wonderful and relaxing. I feel like we are definitely able to make deposits into our relationship regularly even with Mira around (I mean what’s better than seeing her do something cute and looking over at your partner and seeing them gush too), but it is always amazing when we get to spend time just the two of us.

We had a great holiday and were able to spend it with family and friends. I’m definitely sad it’s over, but I’m very much looking forward to next year. My cousin and I were chatting about how if Mira’s love for Santa, Jingle Bells, and Rudolph this year are any indication of how she’s going to feel next year then it will be off the hook!! She has a dance for ‘Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer’ and she sings bits and pieces (‘ho ho ho’ and ‘hooray’).

I wanted to check in and share with you guys the second half of our advent of activities. We left off with the 13th (coffee date with mama and papa) and I have to say that one was so relaxing and it felt nice to make something that we do regularly into a special holiday event. Next up…

December 14th – Gingerbread Village at the Sheraton. These were something else! So much detail, the pictures don’t even do it justice!

December 15th – Make Christmas Crafts with friends. I have to just laugh about this one, because Mira was NOT into making crafts. We were going to put paint footprints on mugs and she was screaming not happy. This was literally all she wanted to paint. So I cooked the plate and now we will have it as a memory forever hahahaha. This kind of thing is so easy for me to let go of, it made me sad at first that she didn’t want to do it, but then I thought ‘hey we are spending time with friends, and at least she’s communicating to me what she wants/doesn’t want.’ So I think this day was more about time with friends than anything else.


December 16th – Seattle City Center for the Christmas Village. We ended up seeing a few things when we went down there…ice sculptures, fire dancers, ice skaters, and the Christmas village. Here’s a little then and now comparison for you.


December 17th – Decorate Christmas gifts. Mira was definitely in the mood to do a liiiitttle arts/crafts. I may have helped her a little bit, and there was a slight power struggle in the beginning. All’s well that ends well.


December 18th – My parents arrived this day so our advent activity was to snuggle Nonna and Nonno. Well, not really, but it definitely was Mira’s highlight of the day. Our activity was to go look at Christmas lights, there were a lot of “Santa, Wow, Balls, Reindeer” coming from the back seat.


December 19th – Seattle’s Enchanted Christmas. They definitely did a great job with the lights, and Mira had an amazing time running all around. I liked that they made it into a maze and you were suppose to try and find all the gigantic reindeer.

IMG_8238_2.jpgDecember 20th – Another Christmas treat for yours truly.


December 21st – Bake cookies. This was done while Mira was at school and my family and I packed up to head out of town for the weekend. These balls are now a yearly tradition, and man are they amazing!


December 22nd – Sleigh Ride. Definitely one of my favorite activities. We were in Leavenworth (which was a mad house of people), and we drove out a little ways to do a sleigh ride at Eagle Creek. They were so nice and the ride was awesome! Mira wanted to sing the whole time.


December 23rd – Zoo lights. This one has been a favorite of ours.

IMG_8335.JPGDecember 24th – Christmas EVE!!!!! Our advent was to open our matching pajamas and watch a Christmas movie. Outside of Moana this was Mira’s second time with TV. She was honestly more interested in playing with her Zio’s key board, but on occasion she would look up at Frosty and sing/dance to the music. Another tradition we have on the 24th is to have the feast of seven fishes. This year it was the feast of three fishes and man were we stuffed after just three.

IMG_8372.JPGDecember 25th – Open presents on Christmas morning. Mira was a bit overwhelmed by the gifts and opening took a while because she wanted to stop and play with/explore each one, which made us super happy because we knew she loved them. Another activity we’ve been doing each year after dinner on Christmas day is to go for a walk around the neighborhood looking at the lights nearby, that one is becoming a favorite.

IMG_8087.jpgIt was a great holiday season, full of so many fun activities. I know that some of these will become regulars in our ‘advent of activities’ and others were definitely just a fun experience this year and won’t be repeated.

I think my favorite part about the advent is getting out in our city and seeing all the things Seattle has to offer. I’m reminded of the ‘Happier Podcast’ by Gretchen Rubin in an episode where she talks about an image she saw in the New York subway. The sign had a box of Chinese take out and a rented movie (I think Netflix would be more relevant now) and below it said ‘why even live in New York?’ When I don’t feel like getting out and exploring I remind myself of that image and think, ‘why am I living in Seattle if I’m not taking advantage of all that it has?’

Hope you all are enjoying this time between Christmas and New Years as much as we are!

Be well.



Advent of Activities Part I – 2018

Ever since Mira was born I’ve been on a kick for family traditions. I received an e-mail from the PEPs foundation discussing the importance of traditions and recommending this book. After reading through it I was hooked on the idea of creating as many traditions with my family as possible.

Last year I started our “Advent of Activities” and even with a six month old it was a blast, so it has stuck. The nice thing about this type of advent calendar is that the prep work is moderate up front but then the rest is cake. In early-mid November I spend about two-three hours researching events and activities happening in Seattle during the holiday season and I enter them into my google calendar. Once I’ve got the timing worked out (e.g., dates of activities/events and our schedule) I write them down on little pieces of paper and put them in our advent calendar.


One of the pictures from last year (we went to the Seattle Center to see the little village and decorations).


I decided I’m going to go over the first half of our advent calendar with you guys and then follow up with the second half in an upcoming post.

December 1st – West Seattle Christmas Tree Lighting. Unfortunately I couldn’t be here for this one, but Dave and Mira attended without me and had a blast.


December 2nd – Coffee Shop Date With Papa.


December 3rd – Christmas Ornament. Mira loves Moana so we hung a new ornament on the tree.


December 4th – Christmas Stocking. Mira was super excited to see her stocking for the first time.


December 5th – Christmas Treat. This one was more for me because Dave was on a sugar strike and Mira doesn’t really eat sugar.


December 6th – Treat With Mama. Mira and I went to Bakery Nouveau and enjoyed a yummy and entertaining date.


December 7th – Christmas Carolers in Westlake Center. This one has been my favorite so far. Mira loves music and she was sooooo into all the singers. Everyone did such a great job.


December 8th – Greenlake Pathway of Lights. Unfortunately this event was a bit of a let down. It was nice to be able to take Oliver with us, but it was so crowded I thought Oli was going to get trampled. Although, It was amazing to see a hot air balloon in the middle of Seattle.


December 9th – Cookie Decorating. Mira enjoyed a frosting-less cookie (**Me: Mira doesn’t eat sugar. Also me: Here, have this cookie Mira**), but I enjoyed the cookie decorating. It was my first time making royal icing and I was pretty proud.


December 10th – Christmas Socks. Mira and I went to pick out socks, we had a conference and decided that because her and I already had enough socks, and Dave was in need of socks, we would donate our pairs to him. It was really cute when I asked her “Should we just get papa a bunch of socks?” and she shook her head ‘yeah.’ Already so thoughtful.


December 11th – Walk With Mama. Sometimes when it’s cold out we can forget to enjoy the outdoors, so I like a good reminder to get outside.

December 12th – Bellevue Garden D’lights. This was absolutely beautiful! I’m sharing two pictures because not only were the lights awesome, but the gingerbread display gave me serious cookie decorating envy!



December 13th – Coffee Shop Date With Mama & Papa.


It’s been so much fun so far and I can’t even wait for some of the events that are to come.

Oh, and in case you were wondering just how deep the Moana love is…(don’t judge my attempts at singing this song…I think my voice is a little tired from belting it out).


Merry Christmas!!!!

Be well.

Christmas 2015

I love Sundays!  Even though the work week is looming and that means I’ll get less time chillin’ with the husband, it also means a day of decompressing guilt free.  I’ve also been trying to use my Sundays to do meal planning so there’s less frantic assembling during the work week.  Today I’m prepping a polenta lasagna and cutting up vegetables for a home style salad bar.

I wanted to recap on some of the holiday happenings from this Christmas.  I get more and more excited about these recap posts ever since taking that happiness course.  One of the exercises proven to increase happiness and decrease stress is to reflect on photos of happy moments, and after I’ve completed these posts I do feel great!   I think there may be a correlation with posting happy photos on social media as well, I’d love to see research on that.

We started our trip with an early morning flight, Dave and I headed back up to my homeland to visit my family.  We had such a good time, but man did that week fly by.  We flew with the animals, and although I felt like Oliver should have been so happy to be with us in the cabin he was pretty much freaked out the entire time.


Charlie was in cargo, I just had to not think about him because I know that old man was nervous the whole time.  All in all I would fly with them again, especially if the trip is over a week and dog friendly.  It ends up being less than a sitter and I LOVE having my little dudes with me whenever I can.

We were very excited to see nonna!


The gentleman in the background is my zio Antonio, he’s my nonno’s brother.  It’s so nice to visit him and his wife; Dave loves the glimpse into my background and I love seeing someone who reminds me a lot of my nonno.


You can’t get away from their house without feeling full and a little drunk.  I hope that’s how people feel about my place 🙂  *oh, Daniel*


Zio makes his own wine, and this year it was out of this world.  I can’t even describe the flavor it had, unreal.



He was very excited about this bottle, you pretty much grab it by the butt and boobs (censored terminology for the interwebs).


“Ma, whatayagonnado?”


Following the delicious wine, zio wanted Dave to experience some Italian beer.  Dave said it was crisp and refreshing, but more than anything it was fun to try beer from Italy.

After visiting with zio and zia we headed to my auntie Lauren’s house for dinner.


We all got the grey memo 🙂


My cousin’s daughter is so incredibly adorable!!  I just kept wondering if they made that outfit in my size.



So many Christmas day memories in this house.  Also, did you catch nonna downing the wine?



Proud parents with chez Lauren!  Her meal was fantastic!!!!


I had the most adorable view during my dinner!


My grandpa’s birthday is Christmas day, so we always have christmas/birthday combo celebration.  The gift he was opening was from a family friend, Rocco.


It was a coffee mug with pictures of all of my grandparent’s six children (two of which are no longer with us anymore).  Everyone was pretty happy about the memories.  There was one for all of the aunts/uncles and my grandparents, very thoughtful!


After dessert it was photo time and then we played heads up.  What a fun Christmas!!  Hope yours was filled with family and laughter too!

Be well!



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