Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Bike for burgers.

Today was a beautiful day. Sunny, mostly warm, and not windy at all. It was the perfect day for a bike ride. And with my basement currently a hot mess while our rental company repairs flood damage from last week,  I needed even less motivation than usual to get out of the house!
 Zeke is happy because he is finally allowed to ride up on the deck instead of the rear Yepp seat. He's pleased with himself. Gideon rides on his own for at least a mile of our rides these days. We drag that balance bike all over town.
We had a pleasant ride into Lake City.
Gideon rode extra carefully down this hill as he had a wipe out on a hill last week that left him unscathed but embarrassed.
Eventually, though, we got near the busy part of the neighborhood and I had Gideon join Zeke on the bike. There's just not a safe place for him to ride.
We arrived at Dick's Drive-In and the boys got to spy on Aunt Autumn being trained. Maybe next time she'll pack our burgers!
The boys were in remarkably good humor despite the fact they haven't been napping well with their room all pulled apart. We weren't ready to go home yet but I didn't want to spend any more money as we prepare for our Pgh vacation. So, to the park!
One of my favorite things about the sides I made for my Bullitt is that you can just unclip them anytime you want. There was no seating at this park so I just unclipped one side and sat on my bike deck. Win!

Friday, February 7, 2014

Full circle.

I just signed up to go on our church's women's retreat. A weekend away with the women who make up an important part of our church body. Besides the fact that I LOVE PEOPLE, we are fairly new to this church so I am excited to get to spend some quality time getting to know these ladies.

There was a cost associated with this retreat and when I went to pay (online registration is the BEST) there was a box where you could enter a dollar amount to contribute to scholarships for those in our church for whom the cost would make the retreat impossible. It struck a chord with me and after checking with Silas (yay for budgeting!) I doubled the amount due so I could cover the cost of the retreat for someone else.

I bring this up not to pat myself on the back. Not to brag about how much money we have or how generous we are. I mention this small thing because I have spent more than half of my life being on the receiving end of such gifts. And it is hard to convey the joy I have in finally being able to pass this blessing on.

Our family was dirt poor when I was growing up. My mom was a single mom of four children. My father, a soldier, was out of the country for most of the year. And when I needed things, people in our church frequently paid for them. People gave us scholarships for 4h trips and homeschool field trips. Adventures to the roller dome, the water park, and the bowling alley. To movies, the zoo, even the lame and overpriced museum in our small town.

As I look back on my childhood I realize how many things my friends' moms paid for that I didn't even notice at the time. And I remember the money that would show up in our mailbox with no return address. And the boxes of food that would appear on our doorstep. And the bags of clothes and shoes. I remember the people who would invite us out to eat after church and then pay for our meal.

You know who you are. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Your money was not wasted and it is bearing fruit.

Freely you have received. Freely give.
- Matthew 10:8

Monday, January 13, 2014

Groceries by bike.

My last great adventure of 2013 was a shopping trip to Costco. There are some things in life that I just have to do, things I can't give up. Shopping at Costco and getting lunch for dirt cheap in their food court is one of them.
 I'm not sure why I decided that riding to Costco was something I needed to do but I did and so on our first free day we went.
 It was less cold and rainy that it had been in awhile so we only had to wear sweatshirts. We later put on gloves too.
 Gideon brought a stick named Mr. Stick along for the ride.
 It's about a 5 mile trip and right in the middle of those 5 miles is an enormous hill on 155th. I almost didn't post this picture because it does NOT do the hill justice. I was already half way up this hill when I took picture. It is a truly monstrous hill. I tried so hard to make it up without having to walk my bike. But ended up have to take a breather.
 I always always take applesauce packets on bike rides for when I push myself too hard and need instant energy.
 I took the side off the Bullitt so I could sit on the deck and rest for about ten minutes. I cannot say enough good things about the sturdiness of the stand. Gideon helped Zeke have a drink.
 Once we were over that abominable hill, though, we reached the Interurban Trail which only had tiny hills and inclines.
So it was an easy 2.5 miles to Costco once we reached the trail.
 We did our shopping and indulged in our (my?) favorite treat, Costco pizza.
I bought two chickens, two loaves of bread, a giant bag each of lettuce and broccoli, and a Costco sized bottle of wine.
 Then we loaded up. I wrapped my ring sling around Zeke because I suspected he would fall asleep and biking with his head laying on my back is not my favorite.
 My suspicions were well founded and by the time we reached Central market he was asleep.
 I used the sling to cover up my Costco groceries when we went in.
 At Central Market we added to our load tortillas, cheese, spinach, butter, celery, lemons, limes, cake mix, jello, ricotta, whipping cream, ginger ale, orange juice, coffee, two pomegranates, and other bottle of wine.
The groceries, plus our bag of snacks, diapers, water bottles, etc... took up the whole deck so Gideon rode home on the top tube.
I made him a seat with the ever versatile ring sling and he stood on the little step that extends back from the deck.
 I considered trying to make it back up that hill on the way home without walking the bike but we came across this accident and I had to walk around it anyway.
 We returned home triumphant! I wondered if I would have bought more if I had been driving our minivan. It's possible, but I bought everything on my list and anything extra would probably have put me over budget anyway. Also, I didn't need to buy toilet paper.
The next week I also went grocery shopping by bike, this time because I lost the only key to my minivan. I opted for the shorter 1.5 mile trip to Fred Meyer. Here's a video from that ride.
I'm currently planning another Costco trip for the end of this week as I just used the last of my 5 lb. bag of chocolate chips...

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Pausing to ponder some incomplete thoughts.

It's more than a week into January and I'm still soaking up all the rest I can get.
 I'm stealing all the hugs and kisses and coffee dates I can from my family.
I'm baking all my favorite things and eating second helpings of them.
 I'm reading books I've been meaning to pick up for months... years even.
I've laughed at a lot of things I would usually stress about.
 Silas and I have been trying new places to eat and discovering fun things to do here in Seattle that we've missed, even after living here almost two years.
We sit around in our jammies a lot.
 The boys and I have taken a whole day to do our grocery shopping by bike.
 And have taken time to stop at the playground just because we happened to pass one.
I've been making my bed (almost) every day. Weekends don't really count.
I'm still working on a few sewing projects... but that's about it. I'm going into this year with the intention to savor the good moments. And forget the bad. Not that there are not bad moments, but they are not worth remembering. 

Those are some of my thoughts. 

And my closets are half way decluttered!!!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

New Year. New Thoughts.

As soon as my closets are decluttered I'll get around to writing them down.

Happy New Year. Hope 2014 is full of grace and rest for you.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Christmas Eve Eve

Two little Santas are running around eating every crumb of a goody they find lying around.
 I am drinking Dutch Bros. Coffee in my awesome Christmas PJs.
 Zeke and I finished our Christmas shopping with help from Aunt Autumn and Aunt Emily.
My soul feels content.
No matter what, it's Christmas. Christ came. Christ is coming.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Christmas tree by bike.

Part of what's great about cargo biking in Seattle is the amazing community of people who are also hauling their kids and other various things by bike. In the past it was always so fun for me to read about my friends binging home their christmas trees via cargo bike. A quick google search of "christmas tree by cargo bike" is super fun and you can see Julie wrangling her tree from last year here. This year I am so happy to be one of the many cargo bikers who are bringing their christmas trees home by bike.
 Here we are all ready to go. I removed the seat and one of the sides to make room for the tree. Since I could only carry one kid plus the tree, Autumn tried out her family bike chops and carried Zeke on her bike for this trip. Best. Nanny. Ever.

 Here we are at the lot near our house. The boys can't wait to explore.
 Gideon helped carry the tree to our bike.
 As we loaded the 6 ft tree onto our bike and I strapped it down with bungee cords I started to get nervous. Had I over estimated my bike skills? What if I couldn't keep my balance with the huge tree all lopsided on my bike?
 Had I just made a huge, embarrassing mistake? It wouldn't be the first time.
 But to my surprise I literally could not feel the difference between riding without the tree and riding with.
It looks odd and unwieldy, but my bike still rode like a dream. In fact, something I've noticed about the Bullitt is that it is actually easier to ride and steer when it has a full load on the deck.
We are all happy after a successful group effort to bring our tree home.
Gideon and Autumn give our tree some love. This was before we unwrapped it and found out that it was an even bigger tree than we thought.
Zeke just wants to eat the popcorn and cranberry garlands.
I made a felt ornament to honor our trusty bike.
Whew. I'm tired. Time to relax in front of the tree with a warm mug of tea. 
Happy Advent and Merry Christmas.