Sunday, December 28, 2014

Interim Post

We're having a great time here in Michigan. It's so awesome to see my daughter blossom under the attention of family, something she's rarely gotten due to the distance between us. I'm looking forward to her having these people more regularly in her life.

It's been great for Eric and I as well. We've had the opportunity to take time to ourselves and do some house hunting without a cranky toddler. More on that when I'm home and can sit and breathe and go through photos. There's so much to talk about!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Michigan Plans

Our holiday trip to visit our Michigan family is getting some planning added to it. We fly in Christmas Day and arrive around 5 pm so I expect we'll do dinner out (sorry restaurants, we're those people, but I promise we tip well!).

In the morning of the 26th I'll be checking out a boarding barn near my mother in law's house in Michigan. It is far cheaper to board there than where I am presently and they have over 300 acres plus inddor and outdoor arena with trails on site so I could really get a lot of riding done. I just hope it's a good place. I'm a tad worried because they talk about 5 day a week turnout being $50 extra a month and they're a huge facility. But they do have stalls with runs and pasture board, so I'll see what it looks like and how we might fit in there. Plus, it would only be temporary until we buy property and get it ready for horses. And if the pasture board looks acceptable, it would save us $250/month for each month that we board in Michigan. 4 months of that is a new saddle.

The preschool that Eric's sister went to is still being run and is a Montessori school. For 5 day a week half days it's $400/month and Eric considered that reasonable to put Kaylee into, which would REALLY give me a lot of time to ride during the week! Right now I only get 2 half days with her school schedule, and for 5 half days the price increase is a great deal.

We were also handed the code for a vacant foreclosure house for us to check out while we're there, and I've got a date scheduled to visit another property and a third is in the works. I'm excited! We've actually got plans for -us- this trip (it's a rarity).

Then off to Connecticut on New Years Eve where I'm hoping to see a movie or two while utilizing grandparental babysitting :D  "Into the Woods" comes out Christmas Day and I REALLY want to see it!  Plus the new Hunger Games and Hobbit movies, if they're still in theatres.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Merry Winter Solstice!

We decided that it suited our family best to celebrate the Winter Solstice and exchange gifts then. We'll be traveling on the actual Christmas holiday and not being Christian means we really don't feel a strong tie to the 24th or 25th of December.

When Kaylee woke up we exchanged gifts. It was a lovely, small little affair and I loved watching Kaylee's eyes just get HUGE when Eric brought the gifts into our bedroom. We all snuggled under the covers and opened presents for one another and I loved it.

Eric got me a Boeing light jacket in bright pink. He got Kaylee a Boeing Bear wearing a leather bomber jacket.

Kaylee got a few Frozen dolls and a little stable for her tiny Breyer horses and we put that together for her in the living room.

I got Eric a form for making bacon bowls and a superman pajama set. It wasn't over the top and everyone got a surprise.

Here Eric puts together Kaylee's present, and Kaylee helps/hinders

The Santa Train

On Saturday we took Kaylee to the Northwest Railway Museum for their yearly run of the Santa Train. Tickets for this event sell out incredibly early in the season and this year I had finally remembered and purchased tickets for the three of us.  It was a cold, wet and windy day as we drove out to Snoqualmie and North Bend for our 1pm trip.

I was really anxious when we pulled into Snoqualmie and I saw the train sitting at the Depot with no parking to be seen. We rushed out of the car as the train left and my heart just sank. I found a volunteer who informed us that we actually depart from the North Bend Depot, just a few miles east and not only that, but things were running 30 minutes behind so we hadn't missed our train after all!

We bundled a very confused Kaylee back into the car and headed to North Bend, found parking and picked up our physical tickets. Then it was time to get on the train!

The cars were decorated for Christmas and were lovely. We walked nearly the whole length of the train before finding a seat. Kaylee was excited, though she seems dubious here.

As we left North Bend, heading west, we passed by the cafe made famous by Twin Peaks and you can see Mount Si. My phone refused to focus past the rain drops, but I really love this picture anyway.

Kaylee was excited to look out the window and kept exclaiming every time she saw any sort of standing water, thinking it was a river.
 And then we actually went over a river!

 One of the other train cars.
 Once we reached Snoqualmie (again) everyone disembarked and we were treated to hot cocoa or coffee, freshly baked cookies and a visit with Santa. The cookies and hot cocoa were provided on a kitchen car. Here you see the water heating for coffee and cocoa!
 There was even a train table for the kids to play with while the adults stood by space heaters and snacked.
 This is the outside of the kitchen car.
 Inside the depot where part of the line wound while we waited for Santa.
 The line. It wasn't that long but we had a tired, cold toddler on our hands. I was a bad mom and did not give her the best footwear for this outing.

 When we finally got to see Santa, she promptly laid down and didn't want to go near the poor man.
 She clung to Eric instead while I took the picture and then we moved on, with a small flashlight acquired for Kaylee as a gift (part of the ticket).
 We visited the gift shop and picked up a silly gift for our friend Dave, who volunteers at the museum and is a train fanatic then boarded the train for our return to North Bend.
 Family picture!
We headed over to visit our friends Cortney and Dave, who live in Snoqualmie. I had made a saddle pad for Cortney as a gift and I wanted to give it to her since we were in the area. Dave's sister was also visiting for Hannukah and we chatted for a short time before making the hour long trip home.

Terrible but typical Western Washington winter weather and Kaylee enjoyed the train.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

To Do:

1. Apply for an Environmental Quality Analyst position with the Michigan DNR because it's also in Warren (where Eric will be working) and it's the kind of job I've been wanting to do!

2. Pack up most of my sewing supplies. I still need to finish Cheryl's blanket for Sara but that shouldn't require more than thread, scissors, my sewing machine and a seam ripper. Probably my chalk too, but for that project I might use wall chalk instead!

3. Finish the blanket for Cheryl.

4. Call real estate agents about viewing some property while we're in Michigan after Christmas. We fly there in a week.

5. Contact a friend of Eric's from high school who runs a horse barn and get some recommendations for vet, farrier and saddle fitter.

6. Paint the stair risers once Eric has cut them to size.

This move is getting more and more real!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Baking: Chemistry in the Kitchen!

I have a cookie exchange on Wednesday with the Moms Group that has been my in person support since Kaylee was born. Now that it's official we are moving to Michigan for a GM job, I want to spend as much time as I can with them. However, the host's house was just exposed to croup and I have a currently sick child... so I don't know if I'm going on Wednesday. But at the very least. I have the holiday barn party on Friday where these will be greatly appreciated!

I had issues though. The recipe gave me an oddly dry mixture when all was said and done. It did not look like I could roll it out and use a cookie cutter.

This is the recipe I used. It came with the cookie cutters. Between the anise seed and the clove, I definitely had a gingerbready smelling dough!

After consulting social media (facebook) I decided to add another tablespoon of butter, this time melted instead of just room temperature. I mixed it up and thought it was still too dry, so I added about a tablespoon more milk. It was an umeasured dollop, because kitchen chemistry is not exact, or so I like to tell myself. This helped, and I figured as I rolled out the dough, the flour I used to keep everything non-stick would make up for the extra moisture.

Sure enough, it rolled well, had good cohesion and the cookie cutters worked fantastically!

On the drying rack.

Now I just need to decorate them, which is my plan for tomorrow night. I bought a ton of icing at the store today because I just don't feel like making my own. They should turn out pretty cute!

It's official official

Eric just got the job offer a few minutes ago complete with salary package and everything. Oh boy. It's getting even more real! We'll be Michigan residents in a few months.

Kaylee is already helping us pack. She doesn't believe that boxes should be closed.

Thursday, December 11, 2014


Eric was just given the option of choosing which group would make him an offer at GM.

Michigan here we come.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

New Beginnings

I think from this point on I'm going to be cross posting here at Blogger. My previous journaling has been with Livejournal with a backup at Dreamwidth, but it seems all the cool kids are over here, and I can do a lot more here as well on the google platform.

 I'm opening with the news that we are likely moving to Michigan, and in the next 2-3 months. It's a little crazy to contemplate. But it's also exciting.

Eric (my husband) is currently on a flight back from Michigan where he interviewed with a major US car manufacturer and the hiring managers expressed strong interest in having him working for them. There's a lot of big changes coming. Who knows what the future will hold.

As a bonus, have our new laundry room sink that was just installed by plumbers not 30 minutes ago. I LOVE IT.

And now I'm going to be selling the house it's installed in. At least I'll be pleased having potential buyers looking at it.