Sunday, December 10, 2017

Solstice Countdown

Every year we do some type of December count down to Solstice. This year, while I tried to talk Sora out of our tradition, is no exception. Here are a few things we've been up to so far.

Ice skating at open skate this weekend.
 Enjoying the luminaries at the arboretum. We got to ride a city bus for this event as an added bonus!
 We got there early before it was too crowded, so Sora enjoyed the kids craft and owl pellet dissection.
 Cutting snowflakes.
 Decorating our living tree. Last year our living tree didn't make it through the summer, so we hope to be better plant owners this year.
Sewing fleece hats and scarves for the homeless. I am pretty proud of this - I was just going to have Sora do the scarves which are no-sew, but she insisted on sewing the hats with me. Yeah!
There will be more to come, but we are almost half way to solstice!

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Tourist Weekend

Kyle and Sora's rainbow Thanksgiving feast was a hit! Sora took a day off of school to go with Kyle to the farm to get the turkey and be his sous chef for the day. That meant on Thursday she got to play with her cousins while Kyle put the finishing touches on the food.
 Sora and her cousins made up a song. It was hard to follow, but they wrote notes and everything. Most importantly, Sora was excited to play her violin and felt knowledgable, so that is awesome!
On Friday we headed over to Seattle for a tourist weekend.

We enjoyed the zoo (Sora had never been and loved it).
 Kyle and I enjoyed hot chocolate. Sora was not a fan.
 The view from our hotel.
 Sora got to snuggle up in the hotel robe.
 We bought a needle felting kit and Sora and I made a pumpkin.

 Here is Sora reading the directions and hard at work.
 Sora played at the Artist Park at the Seattle Center.

 And we rode the monorail.
 The holiday carousel was set up downtown.
 We shopped at Pike's Place Market.

 Sora and Kyle played a quick game of ping pong at a downtown park.
 Cookie decorating at the market.
 Kyle and Sora endured the art museum for me.
Our hotel room was so shmancy! It was a suite. We paid $120 for free internet, parking, breakfast, all within walking distance of downtown and Seattle Center. It wasn't sketchy at all (which is what I thought it would be) and it was awesome!
We also went to my favorite toy store and got presents taken care of for all of our nieces and nephew. We ate amazing meals, such as fancy pizza, fancy ramen, and our favorite pho.

Our weekend was so great that it might be hard to come back to reality of work and school tomorrow. Wish us luck!

Friday, November 17, 2017

Canada

We got family passports for our spring break trip. We decided to take advantage of the passports and go to Canada as often as possible! As a kid I went to Canada all the time, so it is strange that Sora has never been.

For our first trip, we decided to do a classic: ride the Sky Train and stop at the markets. This was something we take all tourists to do - Kyle even came when we were dating many years ago.
 On the way to my parents, we stopped to buy shoes (and to avoid traffic). The boots are not my style, but they made Sora very happy.
 Random whale at the first market. There was also a circus school there, which made Sora want us to move to Vancouver (for her budding career).
 Enjoying her treat after the first market on the Sky Train.
 Riding the Sea Bus (really a foot ferry, nothing bus-like) to North Van.
 Lunch at the market. Sushi and pizza. The 2 best foods in the world!

 Riding the Sea Bus back to Vancouver.
 We stopped at a fun urban park next to the sky train. So much fun!

We are starting a long list of all the amazing things we need to see and do in Vancouver and Canada in the next few years. We plan to get our full $400 worth out of our passports!

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Halloween

Sora loves Dia de los Muertos, and we were able to go to an annual party nearby. We went to see the alters downtown as well. We didn't take many photos, but here is one:
 For Halloween Sora asked to dress up as a blue jay. I sewed her a warm blue dress, orange leggings (for bird legs) and wings. Sora made the mask all by herself!

 Kyle and I have an agreement - he takes Sora trick or treating and I stay home and pass out candy. We both enjoy our role on Halloween!

 It snowed a tiny bit the other day. Sora was very excited!
 Here we are with the tiny snow flakes.
 We also had a chance to see an arial acrobat show at the local theatre. Sora was mesmerized and has a new calling in life.
 I love this theatre! It is beautiful. Also, it was open seating so we had amazing seats!
Kyle and I have tickets to see Rent here in a few weeks as well as family tickets to the Holiday symphony. So much theatre!

Monday, October 16, 2017

Epic Adventure: Day 3-5 (Up North)

After spending some time in Green Bay, it was time to head up north to camp. We stopped at all the highlights on the way.
 Donuts at our favorite bakery in Pulaski

 The fire tower in Mountain


 The leaves were gorgeous in all directions. A blanket of fall colors.
 Of course, we had to stop at the candy store in Lakewood.
 And we went for a short walk to see Cathedral Pines.



Finally, it was time to head to camp. They have been doing a big capital campaign, so some of the buildings have changed in 3 short years.

But most of the views were the same as before.

 Much easier than when Sora was 4 (the last time she attempted the rope bridge)!

We went to the nearby county park to see Slippery Rock and other awesomeness.



 The next day there was a big celebration for Kyle's former boss. He has been at the same camp for 30 years! So hard to imagine.
 Of course there was a whole hog to celebrate.

This was the first time we all stayed in a cabin (although this is up for debate) at Uni. We lived in a house while we were there, and I spent much of my time there. While I was offered a tour of the house, I chose to keep my memories preserved. Kyle's boss lived there with his young children a long time ago and avoided going back after they moved out. I totally get it. Instead, Sora loved the cabin and dressing her doll for bed (and every other occasion).

Exploring the board walk.

Sora nearly fell out of the golf cart while Kyle drove too fast around camp. Just like we never left.

Heading back to Sora's gaga ball roots.

These are the signs where Sora literally read her very first words! We passed them nearly daily and she always wanted me to stop and read every sign to her. I taught her "it" "in" and "is" and made her read all of those words.


 Saying goodbye seemed a little harder this time. There were tears from all of the McPherson clan.
 It was finally time to leave camp. We headed to Menominee and saw Lake Michigan. There was a park involved as well, of course. Sora brought a rock to hide from Yakima and found a rock at this park - it was perfect!

Sora loved the amazing hamburger that we drove an hour to eat. Plus brats. Delicious!

 All great things end though, and it was finally time to leave. We ate an amazing meal at an El Salvadorian restaurant before we had to leave.

I love this sign - yes, I feel recombobulated!

 And Sora was excellent at entertaining herself on our long trip home today.
Overall it was a great trip. It was wonderful to see so many people who really shaped who we are as a family, even if Sora doesn't remember. So many people who are so loving and kind. It is unlikely that we will be back to Wisconsin, and if we ever do go back it will be so different that it won't seem like home as it did this time. I know part of me and Kyle wanted to stay and go back to our simpler life, but we both know that we moved for a good reason, and even if we moved back it would be completely different. Plus, when you have an amazing weekend it is easy to remember all of the positive things and overlook all of the negative.

Goodbye, again, Wisconsin. If we are lucky, we will see some of the people we know and love when they visit Washington someday.