Our first trip to the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival, Mount Vernon, WA

Our first trip to the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival, Mount Vernon, WA

  I love to spend time in Skagit County with my family. It’s a wonderful area to get the kids outdoors. Mount Vernon is a vibrant, historic town with fun people. When I met my husband, he was living in Mount Vernon and I was living in Seattle. At first I wondered if this guy […]

Our community is grieving: the Oso mudslide and life in Arlington, WA

Our community is grieving: the Oso mudslide and life in Arlington, WA

  That’s me in a duck suit, walking in the Arlington 4th of July Parade with my twin ducklings, 2012. The Oso mudslide tragedy on March 22nd forever changed the communities of Arlington, Oso, and Darrington. I live in Arlington with my family. I’ve volunteered here, raised my twins here, and had my business here. My family is […]

Thinking outside: the Nakashima Barn and the Centennial Trail, Arlington, WA

Thinking outside: the Nakashima Barn and the Centennial Trail, Arlington, WA

  I’ve been attracted to barns for years. Where we live, there are plenty of achingly beautiful barns, some just barely standing, all wind-worn and faded and whispering history. I imagine them as grand debutantes, then taking their place as hard-working contributors to the kind of small farming many of us have recently come to […]

Jumping in mud puddles: exploring Spencer Island Park, Everett, WA

Jumping in mud puddles: exploring Spencer Island Park, Everett, WA

  We’ve been all wrapped up in the everyday for a while. As much as I can wish there were some grand plans in the making, we’re really just doing “us” right now. We’re not the family that’s jetting off to Brussels or Buenos Aires any time soon. The travel writer in me wants to […]

How to take great photos of kids: 5 tips from Jon and Rach Photography, Arlington, WA

How to take great photos of kids: 5 tips from Jon and Rach Photography, Arlington, WA

  Around the holidays or any time of year, capturing memories by taking pictures of my kids is one of my favorite things to do, but I’m often less than satisfied with my photos. I use my phone, I use my point and shoot camera, and I even use my DSLR. I like some of […]

Our holiday traditions: The Lights of Christmas at Warm Beach Camp, Stanwood, WA

Our holiday traditions: The Lights of Christmas at Warm Beach Camp, Stanwood, WA

  The Lights of Christmas at Warm Beach Camp is one of those experiences that stays with you. My husband and I started going before we had kids, and now with our twins we’ve been making it a part of every holiday season. I remember pushing the mammoth double stroller around the lights, wondering if […]

Preschool educational DVDs: 5 of our favorites

Preschool educational DVDs: 5 of our favorites

  I’ve been working on having more opportunities for preschool learning experiences at home with my four-year-old twins, and I’m impressed with what’s available in DVDs and downloads. There are a lot of choices I skip, but there are also some I feel good about my twins watching. These are fun, engaging preschool educational DVDs […]

Birding with kids: Fir Island Farms/Hayton Snow Goose Reserve, Skagit County, WA

Birding with kids: Fir Island Farms/Hayton Snow Goose Reserve, Skagit County, WA

  It was one of those grey Pacific Northwest days, when the rain seems like it never quite starts but you know it’s either ahead or behind you. We set out in the car to fill up a Sunday morning with something I hoped would be an impressive sight – the “sea” of snow geese […]

Keeping it local: five ways to shop small for the holidays

Keeping it local: five ways to shop small for the holidays

  Holiday gift-giving can be a great expression of love and appreciation. But sometimes it can feel a little rushed, and maybe a little impersonal, too. This year I’m looking forward to focusing on simplicity and giving where it’s meaningful to me. Those who love and support my family are top of my list. Looking at the abundance […]

Where do you shop for Thanksgiving dinner? Fantasy food haul from 21 Acres Farm Market, Woodinville, WA

Where do you shop for Thanksgiving dinner? Fantasy food haul from 21 Acres Farm Market, Woodinville, WA

  There’s a lot to love about Thanksgiving food. I read a lot of blogs and magazines and as far as I’ve seen, nobody has been able to alter the Thanksgiving menu to make it anything other than a homey, hearty, traditional feast. It’s about family, being thankful, and celebrating food. The meal is at […]

O Christmas Tree: early holiday inspiration at the Festival of Trees, Cascade Valley Hospital, Arlington, WA

O Christmas Tree: early holiday inspiration at the Festival of Trees, Cascade Valley Hospital, Arlington, WA

  It’s a little early for Christmas trees. Still, I couldn’t resist stopping by the Festival of Trees at Cascade Valley Hospital in Arlington, Washington. I’m trying my best to make our holidays special now that my twins are 4 years old and really getting into them. I’m not a natural talent when it comes to […]

Favorite little parks: Marina Beach Park, Edmonds, WA

Favorite little parks: Marina Beach Park, Edmonds, WA

  Parks are a big part of my life with four-year-old twins. For us, we look for smaller ones, like little neighborhood gems that are well-maintained and quiet. We have a few within walking distance of our home, which was an important reason we decided to live in our community. We also venture out when I hear […]