Polar Express – December 22, 2012

December 26th, 2012 | Posted by james - the dad in Family - (2 Comments)

The weekend before Christmas we took Gavin for a ride on The Polar Express, and to visit Santa at the North Pole!  Gavin had a blast playing in the snow and riding on a train (his first time).  We’re definitely going to head back to the Polar Express in the years to come!

The Grand Canyon Railway in Williams, AZ.


A really neat old train.


Gavin having fun playing in the snow.


Sipping on some hot chocolate (Gavin calls it hot coffee).

A special present from Santa!


Mommy and Gavin snuggling.


Our silly little guy.


A view of the train depot.


The weather is just about perfect now in Phoenix, so we decided to head out to the Desert Botanical Garden for some nice scenery and a walk. During our visit we were able to visit the Monarch Butterfly Exhibit, which will be wrapping up soon since it’s getting too cold outside for the butterflies. Gavin had a lot of fun searching for items on the kid’s scavenger hunt, and picked a big plastic ant as his prize for completing it! The garden is a great place and we’ll definitely be heading back soon!

Easter – 2012

April 15th, 2012 | Posted by james - the dad in Family - (1 Comments)

We’ve been in Seattle for about a year now, and last Sunday marked our 2nd Easter away from home. We would’ve loved to spend time with the rest of our family, but the flights to So Cal were so darn expensive. We still had a great Easter on our own and Gavin had a blast.

We started things off on Saturday by decorating hard boiled eggs. Gavin started with a nice multicolored egg, but with his second egg moved into the dunking phase. He kept dunking his egg, and hand, into each color for a good 30 minutes until they we’re both a nice dark green/purple color.

On Sunday morning Gavin woke up and found a surprise from the Easter bunny!

After he loaded up on candy he was ready to go on an egg hunt! The Easter bunny hid eggs all around and Gavin ran around searching and gathering them up. This year was his first real Easter egg hunt, and he loved it!

Chanin worked her usual magic in the kitchen and whipped up deviled eggs, potato cheese casserole, green beans with bacon, honey glazed ham, green salad with homemade dressing and rolls. Later, we finished it off with strawberry shortcake. Mmmmm…

We had a nice Easter and our little guy had a lot of fun!

Click the button below to view a full screen slideshow!

Day at the Park

November 2nd, 2011 | Posted by james - the dad in Family - (2 Comments)

Now that Fall has begun, the weather here has really started to cool off, but the partly cloudy skies and crisp air we had this past weekend made for a very nice park day.  Here are a few pics!


Click button to view slide show:


For our 5th Wedding Anniversary, I wanted to surprise Chanin with something different and a little adventurous.  After dropping Gavin off to spend some time with his cousins, we headed to Seattle Seaplanes for a scenic flight around Seattle.  We were both a bit nervous since this was our first flight in a small aircraft, a Cessna 206, but it turned out we had nothing to fear!

We hopped aboard the little plane and taxied out to the “runway.”   The runway always changes and is dependent on the boat traffic on the lake.

Once the Captain saw a break in the traffic he revved up the engine and we were soon airborne!

We flew the route below, but not in the same order.  Overall, we got a really nice birds eye view of the city and surrounding areas.


After the flight we made our way to Ray’s Boathouse for dinner and an amazing view.  Between the two of us we enjoyed salad, salmon, sablefish, a crab cake, sturgeon, nutella mouse cake, Caramel Pot de Crème (basically fancy caramel custard), a brewski, a fancy cocktail, and coffee.   Mmmmm, I’m getting hungry just thinking about it.


We had a great time celebrating our 5th Anniversary and are looking forward to many more!


To view a full screen slideshow click—>>> HERE.

For Father’s Day 2011 Chanin and Gavin took me to Rainin’ Ribs (menu) for some finger lickin’ good BBQ.

I ordered the 1/2 rack of baby backs with fried pickles, hush puppies, and a Deschutes Twilight Summer Ale to wash it all down.  Chanin ordered the “Who’s Your Mama” with a side of Brunswick Stew.  The “Who’s your mama” is a humongous pulled pork sandwich with coleslaw piled on top.  Both the ribs and pulled pork were smoked perfectly and very tasty (all smoking is done on site with fruit woods).   All of the sides were very good as well, with the hush puppies being the unexpected favorite.  They were fried up just right and had a hint of jalapeno in the batter.  Little Gavin munched on home-made french fries and sweet corn bread.  YUM!

Eatin’ ribs with my two favorite people while overlooking Lake Washington on a Sunday afternoon.  You can’t ask for a better Father’s Day than that!


Arizona State Fair 2010

November 20th, 2010 | Posted by admin in Family - (0 Comments)

We made it out to the very last day of the Arizona State Fair this year on a nice, warm, clear, November evening.  We enjoyed many of the attractions including going on some of the kiddy rides with Gavin, visiting with the baby animals in the petting zoo,  doing a little shopping, listening to the local music, and pigging out on a lot of fatty fair food.  Below you can take a look at some of the pictures documenting the fun time we had.  Gavin really loved going on the rides and eating curly french fries and funnel cake.  We are already looking forward to our trip to the fair again next year!

(Click on the pictures below to see larger images with text.)

Free At Last!!

October 27th, 2010 | Posted by chanin - the mom in Family - (7 Comments)

After 3 LONG months, I am finally out of my Thoracolumbosacral Orthosis (TLSO)!!  It’s such a liberating feeling to, once and for all, be free from the confines of that thick, rigid, plastic torture device.  Okay, it wasn’t that bad.  While the brace did fulfill its general duties, by squeezing my spine into place, and keeping me from bending or twisting, it also provided a few extra and unexpected services as well.  After just the first week in my TLSO, I soon learned that it also served as an excellent heating device. Unfortunately in July through October in Arizona, a heater is the last thing I needed, or anyone needs for that matter.  So for the last 3 months, I have not been cold one single day, just sticky, sweaty and hot.  I am now very much looking forward to some cool winter weather.

Another lovely perk I received from my ever-so-snug brace, was the inability to overeat.  With the constant compressing embrace of my reinforcing friend, I was regularly reminded of when I should put my fork down and stop stuffing my face.  Putting it simply, making a glutton of myself ceased to be an option, and I was forced to eat smaller meals throughout the day.  This may not seem like a hard endeavor for most people, but when my mom was here cooking up a storm of all my favorite recipes, it was agonizing at times.  My mom makes the best buttermilk waffles with homemade syrup ever!

So, now that I’m free, there are a lot of things I’m looking forward to getting back to.  Of course, I will have to take things slowly and limit myself quite a bit, but I’m just excited that I can now give Gavin soft, “real” Mommy hugs.  I love my baby so much!  I’m also actually looking forward to helping James out a lot more with the chores around the house, and cooking big meals again for the family and then cleaning up the mess I make in the kitchen myself.  I’m so very thankful to both James and my mom for helping me get these seemingly simple, but necessary, things done during these last few months.  Never once did either of them complain to me about the stress these tasks must have added to their daily routines.  Thank you again Mom and James.  I love you both tons!

And lastly, on a simpler note, I am just really looking forward to once again dressing in normal clothing.  No more big baggy pants that fit over my brace and tight, spandex shirts to fit under it.  Yay… I get to be me again!