Bucket List = BUCKETED

Two weeks ago today, I boarded a plane from Denver to San Francisco with my dad to celebrate his 60th birthday. Dann met us there and, a couple of hours later, my mom, both of my brothers, both of my sisters, my brother-in-law, and baby V all arrived on the same plane from Denver. My sis-in-law and sweet baby Jay joined us periodically throughout the trip via the wonders of modern technology.

Since my dad grew up in the Bay Area but none of us (his kids) had ever spent any time there with him, we decided going there together to celebrate the fact that he'd made it to 60 would be fun. I hoped it would be special and meaningful for him, too. I'm not sure I've ever seen my dad quite so excited. He woke up super early every morning and moseyed down to Fisherman's Wharf to watch for boats coming in and pick up some sourdough bread for the rest of us to eat. We all tagged along on Father's Day, of course.

We took a tour of Far Niente, we ate at Fenton's, we ate at Scoma's, we spent a day in Castro Valley where we ate at Dell's and saw where my dad went to high school. We drove to the first house my dad ever lived in, and he and his oldest sister walked up and knocked on the front door. No answer, but we got a picture. We ate at In-N-Out three times in 4.5 days. Everyone but my mom and dad and the baby went to see Chelsea Peretti's live show taping. We walked halfway across the Golden Gate Bridge. We laughed. We cried. We made memories. 

At the end of the trip, Dann and I said goodbye to my siblings at the airport and then flew home to Seattle. I couldn't have asked for a sweeter way to say so long to my family, and I'm so thankful for my dad and his life and his influence on all of us. Happy birthday, old man. Here's to the next 60 years.  

Good Times Never Seemed So Good

Remember when my brother's baby was born four months ago and I could barely contain my joy and excitement? Well my sister Kate and I flew to South Carolina last weekend to meet the little dude and I sort of felt like I was dreaming the whole time, it was so delightful. 

Little man weighs sixteen pounds now, so my arms and shoulders and back have been sore for a few days, but oh my. What a treat to spend a couple of days on the farm, sharing meals with Mark and Brita, and getting sweet baby Jay to giggle by belting out a modified version of one of Neil Diamond's greatest hits. The good times really are sweeter these days, and I'm so so thankful.

Seattle So Far

Yo! Good morning! It's looking like it's going to be another sunny day in Seattle, and I couldn't be happier. After seeing twelve potential homes over the last four days, I think we found a winner. We've also eaten a lot of good food, had a lot of good coffee, and I even had an hour to walk down to Pike Place Market and see the tulips yesterday.      

I've got three more days here and I'm hoping to visit some bookstores, libraries, bakeries, and museums. We'll see how much I'm able to make happen. I'm also scheming up a way to celebrate spring break wing break, obviously.

This post and everything I'm doing this week made possible by my wonderful cousin Caleb and his delightful wife Daron. They straight up gave us their car to use, which has made everything easier. They're the best kind of people and we're super thankful for them.

For The Record: A Weekend In Telluride

If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram, you may already know that I spent the weekend with my mom and sisters in Telluride. We had a blast and the scenery was breathtaking from the moment we left home to the moment we got back. Plus we got to celebrate my sister Kate's 27th birthday with dinner at the top of a mountain, so overall it was a pretty okay trip.

Since getting married, I have craved stories about the youth of my parents. There's something about starting a new little family that has prompted me to want to know all I can about the one I started out in, where it came from and how it's connected to me, how it's shaped me.  

When I found out that both my brother's wife and my sister are planning to birth their firstborns before February of next year, my desire to have a record of our family history kicked into overdrive. I want these kids to know they are loved, that they come from a long line of people who have worked hard, played hard, struggled, triumphed, and really lived.  

One of my favorite stories is the one about the time my mom, her two sisters, and her mom took a trip to Vegas together. One night the fire alarm went off in their hotel and my mom and aunts had to get my grandma down the stairs in a wheelchair. Before leaving the room, my grandma insisted they get her can full of quarters so she could hold it in her lap. My mom cries tears of laughter at the memory every time she recounts the story of the wheelchair bumping down the stairs, quarters jingling all the way.

So over the summer, when we found out that my pregnant sister and her husband were planning to move back to Denver, I decided it was time for a weekend trip with my mom and my sisters. My mom took a few similar trips with her own mom and sisters when they were all living, and it just seemed like the best way to welcome my sister (and her little fruit roll-up) back home.

I think we laughed the hardest when our gondola car took off from the mountain in the dark after Kate's birthday dinner. We picked up speed and my mom shrieked and we were all a bit nervous and the memory is one I will cherish forever.