Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Russ' Birthday Weekend

October is a month full of birthdays!  Two weeks ago we celebrated my sister, Tricia's, birthday at Musha in Santa Monica (pics posted soon) and this past weekend, we celebrated Russ' 31st!  I remember when I took him out for his 20th...wow, time flies! 

Hiking is Russ' favorite thing to do and so I thought it appropriate to find us a hike in the San Bernardino Mountains.  Only one short hour away from LA, we may as well have been across the country.  We hiked the Momyer & Alger Creek Trail.  It's a short hike but it was pretty tough...the altitude made a big difference (about 7,100').  We hiked in about 4 miles to Alger Creek and spent the night in a great little spot right next to the creek.  We spent the better part of Sunday morning taking baths in the freezing cold creek and hiked over to Dobbs Peak.  The hike offered beautiful views of Mill Creek Canyon and Yucaipa Ridge - - it was really beautiful.  While the country is dry, there are many trees and with the fall colors changing, it was a perfect time to go.  The best part is that Russ woke up on his birthday in the woods, a place where he feels most at peace. 

We managed to make a quick pit stop in Oak Glen to buy all things apple.  We bought apple cider, apple butter, apple pie...I only regret that we didn't make it in time to buy apple cider doughnuts...next time.

We made it back to LA to meet up with a small group of friends at Spring Street Smoke House to enjoy Russ' favorite...burnt end ribs with lots of sauce!  The perfect ending to the birthday weekend was the Baskin Robbins ice cream cake...again, Russ' favorite.  I feel really blessed to have such a wonderful husband and while, he doesn't like making a big deal about his birthday - - he's a big deal to me and deserves a day/weekend that is all about him.  I'll have to start planning next year's adventure soon!   

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Seattle Weekend - Porter Abo's Baptism

We had a wonderful time in the Northwest this past weekend.  The focus of our time there was to meet our "newest" friends/babies (Cora and Porter) and to participate and support the Abo's in the baptism of our godson, Porter Abodeely.  It was truly one of our best weekends "home".

I flew up a day early so that I could travel to Leavenworth to visit the Torrey, Jenelle and baby Cora Landgraf. I also had never seen the "new-ish" Mapel store!  Yes, it had been almost two whole years since I was in Leavenworth! This is something I won't let happen again because it is such a quaint, picturesque, fun little town.  Next year, we are going to try and make it up there for Oktoberfest!  Baby Cora was as precious as her pictures.  It was also cool to see Jenelle and Torrey as mom and dad and they really make a great team, which was nice to see.

Our little Godson, Porter!

Mama Kerwin and Russ

JJ and Russ debating the best way to remove a red wine stain

I headed back to Seattle pick up Russ late Thursday and we spent the better part of Friday catching up with mom and dad Kerwin and enjoying the beautiful lake view at their sweet little house.  I also managed to catch up with a good friend and former colleague, Shannon Boldizsar, at the Westlake Starbucks!  We then headed to the Abo's to meet our godson, Porter Abodeely, for the first time and then it was cocktails for all and a night out on Capitol Hill.  .

Roomies, Me and Annette
Saturday was another beautiful day and Mom and Dad Kerwin took us to get foot reflexology/massages for our birthday presents.  After that, we headed back to Seattle to have dinner at our favorite restaurant and old neighborhood hangout, St. Clouds.  I was mostly excited for the Penne Pasta, Pork Tenderloin/bacon dish and of course, the hot fudge sundae!  Not to mention, our good friends, Jackie, Annette, Jeffrey, Emily Gretchen and Andre joined us so we had a chance to catch up.  Porter was a little rockstar and is such a good baby!  We could be convinced, if I knew our kid would be as easy as he is.

Andre, Gretchen, Jackie, Russ, Jeff and Me at Madrona Ale House

JJ, Emily, Russ, Annette, Jackie, Piper, Ang, Jeff and Rett (Porters sleeping behind us)

We ended our weekend with the big finale!  Russ and I are honored to be Porter's godparents and we participated in the baptism ceremony.  The service was really beautiful and the message was about caring for all children, a fitting topic given the baptism of Porter.  The service made Russ and I internalize our committment to pray and care for Porter for the rest of our lives and we look forward to every moment of it.

Katie (Godmother), Piper, Porter, JJ, Russ and I at the baptism

One of my favorite pics of Piper and Porter at the post baptism brunch
All in all, a great weekend.  We both commented on how it was a perfect balance of rest, relaxation and friends.  We are already gearing up for the next friend-weekend extravaganza, which is fast approaching! Napa Valley 2009 in three weeks!  Six couples, one house, many bottles of wine, one party bus and costumes to boot....priceless!