June 28, 2010

Spring Travels: Part 3

I can't believe that it's been more time since Memorial Weekend than it is until our wedding day (does that make sense?). It feels like yesterday that Steve and I headed off to Montana for the long weekend to visit Steve's childhood friend, Andrew. Andrew's parents have a vacation home in beautiful Hamilton, Montana on the club property of Charles Schwab. It's hard to do justice to this place with words or photos--green pastures, jagged forests, the kinds of mountains that engulf you from all sides. Stunning.

It's always so nice to go on vacation with people you don't really know, and leave with new friends. That's how it felt with Andrew and his girlfriend, Jaclyn. Andrew's parents are also so hospitable and humble. They were all so fun, easy to talk to, and they made sure to plan our days around delicious meals (that's my favorite way to plan).

Andrew's parents have an incredible house. We each had our own room that echoed some piece of the rustic, country feel of Montana. The pool outside is dubbed "the pond" because it looks like a natural landform with its black bottom and waterfall. And of course, there was Boomer, who is probably in dog paradise when he comes to Montana.

On our last day together, we hiked the land surrounding the club and had a delicious lunch at the equestrian center. Again, the theme here was days planned around meals. And in true Montana style, I ate burgers or steak 3 out of the 4 days.

We were going to ride horses, but rain threatened, so our ride was canceled. Andrew's dad, Eff, said "We'll do it next time." I look forward to returning someday. :)

June 21, 2010

The Things that Matter: June

Happy kids (and happy teachers) on the last day of school. We made it through another year!

Grandpas. And the incredible role they play in the life of a "fatherless daughter."

New homes and new beginnings. God is so good, and I am so blessed to experience the excitement and anticipation of a new chapter in my life.

I'm realizing more and more that these are the kinds of things that matter (wedding table numbers don't). What has mattered to you lately?

June 13, 2010

Showered with Showers

These two ladies are amazing. Jenny and Katie hosted the most beautiful shower for me a few weekends ago and it was such a great day. Everyone there agreed that they should go into the business of planning these events. The breakfast food was delicious, and Jenny's home was filled with cute details- some photos, a chalkboard with the words "going to the chapel" and handwritten labels.

It was so fun to have my mom and grandma there. I also have the sweetest friends, who brought gifts that I can use "around the clock" (I opened them in order of the assigned times)...plus I got to where this stunning veil.

The party even featured Trophy cupcakes. Delicious. Katie and Jenny I love you!! (and you're two of the most creative people I know) Thanks for the fun games, great food, and potted flower favors. Everybody loved them!

Saturday's shower was one of the three I was honored to attend that weekend. The next day, my mom's great friend, Creslyn, hosted a shower at her house. Many family members and family friends came. I don't have any pictures from the event, but someone should have definitely taken a photo of my face when Carolyn (one of my mom's friends), read off a list of "things Rachel will say on her wedding night," which is really just a dictation of what I said while opening presents (ahhh, such a classic game). There was great food, tasty sangria, and good conversation. I felt so thankful, flattered, LOVED...
Really. I went to bed on Sunday night smiling. :)

The next day was a teacher work day, and the staff at my school held a shower for me and Megan (the other summer bride). :) Again, I felt spoiled and honored by their attendance, gifts, and kind words. Oh, and we each received our own batch of cookie dough in addition to cake--they know us too well.

Truly, I am one lucky girl. :)

June 11, 2010

June 7, 2010

Spring Travels: Part 2

This spring, Chris came. And even though it wasn't his first time in Seattle, Steve and I thought long and hard about where to take our wedding day officiant and great friend. Space Needle? Done it. The major parks? Been there. Breakfast at the 5 Spot? Been there, ate that. But a ferry ride had yet to be done, so we chose Whidbey Island. And it turned out to be a beautiful day.

These guys just make me laugh. They have been friends for years, and they just "get" each other, you know? Chris gets why Steve doesn't think about wearing his work socks, pulled up over his ankles with a pair of running shoes and casual shorts. He loves that naive side to my fiance too. Steve plays along with Chris' witty discourse, adding his own comments and inside jokes. I love to hang out with them. And after throwing bread at the seagulls on the ferry and taking in the sunshine on the deck, we headed to Fort Casey on Whidbey.

Unfortunately, I was really sick that weekend, and spent most of the time, curled up in my sweatshirt, on the grass, sleeping. I did pop up from time to time to find the guys still throwing the frisbee. They also hiked down to the beach and took naps on the grass themselves.

I'm really thankful for Chris. He knows a lot, and has insightful thoughts on God and faith. He also loves really deeply, which is kind of hard to explain except that you can just tells he cares about you. That's Chris! And he needs to come here more often.

Spring Travels: Part 1

I cannot believe it's already June. Where has the time gone? Spring has been really busy, especially with traveling. In the past few months I've been to London and back (quite a miracle), spent some quality time in some beloved cities (Sea-town and Sammam) and relaxed in Hood Canal and Montana. I feel very lucky.

Our trip to London to visit my sister, Robin, almost didn't happen. But there's something you ought to know about Ronda Erlandson--that lady doesn't give up! While the volcano spewed smoke and ash, we were hopping from airport to airport pushing (and sometimes arguing) our way to London. We made it! But first, we spent a few days in New York, hoping to wait out all the smoke. Luckily, there were things to do. And we have peeps in NYC. :)

{spontaneous nicknames on a theater wall}

After the Big Apple, we visited the airports of Barcelona, Paris, and then...finally...London, where our dear little bird was waiting. :) I didn't expect London to be so beautiful.

What a blessing to get a glimpse into my sister's life in England. She is doing great, and I'm really proud of her for working so hard and adjusting to a new place. I guess you could say she's really found her wings (I know, I know...), and it won't be long before she flies on back home. ;)