Thursday, June 30, 2011


I've been eyeing these Coatt necklaces for quite some time. Not only are they perfectly feminine and delicate, the beads spell out words in Morse Code! Isn't that fun? You can wear it with a simple t-shirt and fun lipstick or dress it up with a summer dress.

Much to my surprise, this is what Autumn gave us for our bridesmaid gifts. It's like she read my mind! I love it. My necklace reads "amore" and I'm wearing it right now. In fact, I've already gotten a compliment. I think it's safe to say that she hit the nail on the head with this gift. Thank you!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Step-Touch

There is a whole lot of bad awesome dancing going on here. A big thanks goes out to Joe for catching these moves on video. I call them the step-touch, knee bounce, shakey knees and to the right, there is a guy who likes to shake his tail feather. Wedding dancing at its finest. (I promise it got better with time. Everyone has to warm up, right?)

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A Recipe for a Perfect Wedding

An amazingly fun wedding party. (Not sure what we're doing here, but I think it captured a nice moment.)

A beautiful bride in her mother's wedding dress at the rehearsal dinner.

A fun night of pre-wedding festivities with a stylish group of ladies.

A spectacular view from the cabin we stayed at over the weekend.

A makeup master.

A bride that could not hold in her excitement.

A bridesmaid that was honored to stand by her side on one of the most important days of her life. (Isn't she a vision?!)

An adorable cake made with love (and delicious lemon filling!) by Erin. And a Norwegian wedding cake for the Hellings. And homemade cookies and ice cream too!

A pitch-perfect toast by the one-and-only Karen Clegg.

A multi-generational Chi Omega tradition, singing Shades. (Look how adorable her grandma is!)

A first dance.

A lot of moving and shaking.

A handsome dancing partner.

Add it all together and you have yourself a grand ol' time.

Autumn and Ryan, I'm so incredibly happy for you both. You each deserve the best and I'm sure that's why you found each other. I love you!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Wedding teaser

I will say this: The wedding was perfect. Everything Autumn dreamed it would be. More to come, but I just had to share this precious moment - the first look. They were both beaming with love! I wish I was Dorothy so I could click my heels and magically be back in time to re-experience the whole day!

Congrats to Mr. and Mrs. Helling!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Toasts and singing

This weekend is all about this lovely lady: Autumn (well, and RyRy). I'm so thrilled to be celebrating two of the most thoughtful and fun people as they become a cute little married couple. They are perfect for each other.

So I'll be partaking in toasts and singing for the next couple days, so have a fabulous (wedding) weekend!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

I covet

Have you ever seen such a perfect dress? I am in love. Well done, Loup Charmant. It's whimsical, crisp, and looks incredibly comfy. Autumn, would you mind if I wore white to your wedding? No? Ok, done. Here comes the bri... oh wait, that's Erika :)

P.S. The only bad thing about this dress is the INSANE price. Yes, it's organic fabric, but it's still cotton. Oh well, I'll wait for the knock-off to hit the racks somewhere else.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Let the picnics begin!

Last night marked the first picnic of the summer season. It is one of my favorite summer activities - good food, good people watching, warm sun and most of all, good company. Last night we threw in some soccer with our newly purchased soccer ball, but sometimes Frisbee is fun and other times Yahtzee is the activity of choice. There is no doubt there will be more to follow because picnics are high on my summer to-do list (which I plan to post soon!). Also, Holden and Stephanie have both told me they are working on their Yahtzee dance - a public display of celebration when you roll a Yahtzee. Needless to say, we get a few looks after our dances.

Back to last night. We had a few friendly faces stop by during their runs - both Stephanie and James. Yes, that's right - believe it or not, Stephanie was running. (Maybe one day I'll convince her to go on a run with me?) That's what I love about Green Lake; you almost always see someone you know.

Where's your favorite place to picnic?

(P.S. The picnic basket up top is the one I snazzied up!)

Monday, June 20, 2011

A Quote for Dad

"He didn't tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it." -Clarence Budington Kelland

My Dad is one of the most hard-working individuals I've ever known. He lives his life with integrity, loves his family like crazy (and we all love him back!) and can make me laugh at a moment's notice.

We had such a nice, relaxing Father's Day. It actually started on Saturday with dinner - a special request for steamed cod with ginger and scallions. Followed by some delicious wine and a movie. On Sunday morning, my mom and I made a healthy, but tasty egg scramble. There was talk of going for a hike, but due to the rain over the past few days, we thought the trails might be a little muddy. Then there was talk of going into town for a movie. But what we finally opted for was relaxing on Samish Island, enjoying each other's company... and a few great movies :)

Love you so much, Dad!

(P.S. Dad, you were so intrigued of my blogging last night, that I couldn't even finish this without you seeing!)

The Swedish Finale

The long-awaited moment: the vacation wrap-up. I'm sure you're all very disappointed (or thrilled?) that I won't be reminiscing about our adventure on the other side of the pond. From Östersund , we journeyed to Borlange, Göteborg, Helsingborg and then back to Malmö. On this leg of the trip we visited the last bit of my family and some of Joe's family. It was fika after fika, but as always, a wonderful time.

We visited Joe's cousin Tryggve and his family Sanna and Py (though the little one was put down for a nap before I could snap a photo) - What a cute family. And they are all extremely artistic; even the little girl's finger paintings were masterpieces!

Then we met up with another cousin, Mickey and family friend, Henrik. They kept asking Joe when he was moving to Sweden - noting that there was need for people in health care IT who spoke both Swedish and English. (My mom isn't too fond of this idea :))

Next in Helsingborg, we met up with his cousin Mariah (pronounced Maria) and her boyfriend, Andreas. Helsingborg is a port town right across the water from Denmark. We had even more coffee and then they took us on a quick tour around the town. Since it was his hometown, Andreas knew all the little details to highlight during a quick visit.

In Borlange, we met up with my final family members - Sonja, Al and their family. They made us a nice home cooked meal, filled us with some sort of Apricot liqueur and even set us up in a hotel. They also spoke in 80% Swedish because they said, 'it's the only way you're going to learn.' Needless to say, I didn't follow some of the conversation :) But once again, another great visit.

So that concludes our trip to Sweden. I wish I could go back tomorrow. But alas, that's not in the cards, so for now I will just look through my pictures again for the 117th time.

top pic/via

Friday, June 17, 2011


My Friday in numbers for you.

  • Day one of my new office. All by myself. (View from office window #1 above, window #2 below - not too shabby!)
  • Day two of Kathryn not being in the office. I wonder how long I can deny this fact?
  • Day six of no sugar. In an effort to manage my sweet tooth, I'm giving it up at least until the wedding. But then will eat all of the homemade ice cream they plan to have at the wedding. All eight flavors.
  • Week one of training. Well, not really, but I have to get back into the running habit for my upcoming training for the Skagit Flats half marathon in September!
  • Year 4 of "chaperoning" the BEHS FFA (that's Future Farmers of America for those of you who don't speak the official language of Carhartt) Mariner's outing with Stephers and family.
  • Year 27 of celebrating my phenomenal Dad for Father's Day on Sunday.

TGIF, friends!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


After Sundsvall, we headed inland to Östersund - even though it's in Central Sweden, it's really one of the last actual towns before the woods, woods and more woods of Northern Sweden. This is where my family is originally from. In fact, I was able to visit the Bjarme home that has been in our family since 1853! (Though it was built in the 1700s!) It was awe-inspiring. I may or may not have gotten a tad bit emotional...

A large group of family came together to have homemade waffles, coffee cake and without fail, coffee. It was so, so nice that they organized a little gathering for us. I was on cloud nine.

The house in incredibly preserved. For being wood, I'm shocked at how well it's kept up throughout the years.

And a tour of the inside, which felt like you walked directly into the 1800s.

Look at how short the doorways were!

The history was in the details.

My great grandmother, Elisabeth, is seated on the far right. Since her mother (my great, great grandma) died in childbirth when she was only 16, she ended up raising the family. Talk about growing up fast.

After our morning fika at the family home, we met up with my cousin Erika (I know, such a great name) and her boyfriend Johan. They took us on a nature walk, alongside a river. It was just what we needed, a little physical exercise! Something you don't get a whole lot of on vacation.

Toward the end of the hike, it started to blow, but it was so worth it. It's so interesting how different our landscape is!

Isn't it pretty?

Post hike, we went out to the local pub for brews and grub. It was scrumptious. Then headed back to Jan-Erik and Carl-Gustav's homes. (P.S. This picture was taken around 11, if not later. It never got dark in Östersund!)

During our visit in Östersund, we stayed with Carl-Gustav and Ann Marie on Lake Storsjön. We would end each night with more coffee (I know, they love their coffee!) and conversation, even if it was 11pm! They made us feel at home. It probably helped that Carl-Gustav always had a smile on his face :)

We stayed in the most perfect yellow guest house on the lake. I guess when my grandma last visited, she wanted to move in and I certainly don't blame her.

Have I convinced you to visit Sweden yet?

Kathryn, the New Yorker

Today is a very sad day. Another one of my favorite people is leaving me. Kathryn is off to the Big Apple to be a cute, little New Yorker. Her hubby Pat just finished dental school at UW (congrats!) and will be specializing in pediatric dentistry. Somehow this means that they have to move across the states, leaving all of us Kathryn-less.

I can't even begin to tell you how much she's meant to me over the last four years. Spending 40+ hours a week together at work definitely makes you realize how important it is to have good coworkers. But Kathryn is more than a coworker, she is truly an amazing friend. She is one of the most thoughtful people I know and says the funniest things without even trying. We've gone through a lot together - week night trips to the Little Red Hen (ouch), running a half marathon, venting when necessary, dancing the night away and witnessing Andy's pool table incident, and so much more.

Not only that, I partially attribute meeting my main squeeze to Kathryn. She encouraged me to give Match a try time and time again. Then when I finally gave in (after a few glasses of wine), she was the only person I told for a long time. My post-date sounding board, if you will. Thank you Kathryn, for encouraging me to make one of the best decisions of my life.

You'll be very missed. GMMB won't be the same without you. But luckily, I'm due for a trip to New York. So get that futon ready!

P.S. Kathryn is following her dream and doing to pursue Kathryn Bradley Photography full-time, so if you know anyone in the big city who needs a photographer, she comes highly recommended!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Parents and pop culture

Sometimes parents and pop culture phrases just don't go together.

Like when my mom told me this joke awhile back:

Mom: How do you wake up Gaga?
Me: Mom, do you mean Lady Gaga?
Mom: Yeah, yeah, yeah. So how do you wake her up?
Me: Umm, I don't know. How?
Mom: You POKE her!
Me: Do you mean you poke-her face? (i.e. Poker Face)
Mom: YEAH! Get it?!

This is one of the many reasons I love my mom.


Sundsvall and Uppsala

After Stockholm, our road trip began. We rented a minature car and headed north to Sundsvall, which is on the east coast of Sweden. (I keep kicking myself for not taking enough pictures along the way, but it was a beautiful drive north.) Sundsvall is a large enough city to have all of the things you'd need, but small enough to have a slower pace of life. We stayed with my grandma's cousin and her husband, Gunda and Lelle. After staying in hostels for the three nights before, it was a welcomed change to stay in a home.

Gunda, Lelle and their daughter Tina and her boyfriend Håkan took the day off to take us around town. We took a scenic walk up Norra Berget (North Hill), which had an incredible view of the city below. Then wondered around and had fika up top.

At the top of the tower, it was quite windy, but the view couldn't be beat.

They also took us to Kultur Magasinet, which is four old, renovated buildings merged into one - combining the buildings with a glass structure. These run down buildings now house the city library, museum, shops and more. The best part? Lelle was acutally one of the engineers on the project, so we got to hear the firsthand stories about how the project came to life.

One night, we had a family gathering - playing in the sun followed by a delicious dinner. It was Gunda, Lelle, Tina, Håkan, their children Embla and Dexter, Lars, his wife Tine and their children Sara and Lukas. The little kiddos are absolutely adorable. I've promised Embla that I would learn how to speak Swedish if she learned some English. Better get on those Swedish lessons!

Gunda and Lelle were such great hosts. I've heard their names many times before, but the last time we saw each other was in 1986. Needless to say, my memory does not go back quite that far. However, they whipped out the photo album to share their favorite photo of me - my dad and me dancing at a wedding. I have to admit, it was pretty darn cute. (I also like the uber 80s fashion from the photo album!)

Before Sundsvall, we did make a quick day trip to Uppsala where Joe studied for a year in college. It's a cute little college town, very focused around the university. I've heard so many stories about his year abroad, it was neat to finally see it in person.

They have a giant, beautiful church in Uppsala. (Interesting fact: Around the year 2000, after nearly four centuries, Sweden finally ended their union of church and state - it was one of the world's oldest state churches.)

And believe it or not, Uppsala has even more bikes than Malmö!

Related Posts with Thumbnails