Happy Birthday Mommy – 2014

Today the four of us celebrated Jessica’s birthday. Since it fell on a Monday it seemed like a perfect excuse to use a personal day at work and make a long weekend out of it. We lucked out and had beautiful weather, so we all hopped in the car and headed to the ferry terminal in downtown Seattle. Soon enough we were on our way to Bainbridge Island for a day of fun exploring a kids museum, walking along the water looking at boats, and having lunch. On our way to the island Ava was thrilled to be out on the deck of the ferry taking in all the scenery. It was super windy and a bit chilly but she didn’t care, in fact getting her to leave the ferry and go down to the car was a chore of its own. I had to bribe her by saying that we were going to look at more boats in the water and maybe we’d find some ducks.

Ava is currently in what I’m calling a ducks and fireflies stage. She won’t stop talking about either of those creatures and is obsessed with seeing them. The funny thing is that she hasn’t even seen a real firefly, but she saw some glowing lights in a tree at the mall and now she’s obsessed with them. Luckily quenching her duck fix is pretty attainable around here so we’ve been going to the park frequently to look for them. Saturday afternoon we attended a birthday party at Seward Park, which is right on Lake Washington, and there were plenty of ducks for Ava to obsess over. Of course getting her away from them usually requires a bribe of some kind. I’ve found that chocolate chip cookies work well…

After we left Bainbridge Island we drove up north to Mill Creek to check out a house for sale that we found online. We’ve been getting pretty serious about buying something lately and actually contacted Aunt Carol today to start the loan qualification process. Yesterday we drove around for a few hours looking at places, but today was better because we like the Bothell / Mill Creek area so much better than what we had previously seen. There are a few houses up there that we’re interested in so hopefully something will work out. Either way its fun (and maybe a little stressful) to be looking for something to buy. We know we plan on being here for the long-term and even if we can’t get our ‘forever home’ right now, we can definitely get something nice. It certainly beats paying someone else’s mortgage for them.

While driving around Mill Creek today we were really impressed with the neighborhoods. There’s a golf course in the complex, a swimming pool, and a couple really nice big parks all within walking distance. The other great thing about that area is the schools. Both of the elementary schools near the houses we’re looking at are graded 10 out of 10. For comparison sake, most of the elementary schools we found in Seattle scored between 1 – 5 out of 10. This simply wasn’t an option so finding an area with good schools for the girls was a top priority. Also, from an investment perspective, houses in good school districts are much more desirable and carry a higher resale value so its a no-brainer.

Hopefully it won’t be long before we have an update on the house situation. The idea of moving again soon doesn’t exactly tickle my fancy but becoming a home owner for the first time will (hopefully) be a great experience. Everything else is going well, just staying busy as ever. I’ve only got about 8 weeks left in school so ideally we can schedule a move right after I finish, but we’ll see. If we have to pull the trigger early and move before I graduate I’m sure I’ll figure it out.

Elise has been crawling for a while now, and it seems like she’ll be standing on her own very soon. She loves to stand up but needs help to stay up. We were just looking at pictures of her from a few months ago and commenting on how much she has already changed. Ava is starting to look a little different now simply because her hair is long enough to tie up in the back. Her hair is so fine that it doesn’t stay in the hair tie for very long, and before you know it she’s got a bit of a lion’s mane going on, but its super cute. Here’s some recent photos, most of which were taken today on our adventure to the island.

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