Tuesday, December 23, 2014

A Year in Review, Part 1: Seattle

Here are some numbers to consider:
5 Cities,
4.5 Years of marriage,
4 States,
2 People.
2 Degrees,
1 Love.

Oh my gosh, we are so mushy, I know. 
Even though a squeaky track record and smiling Facebook profile pics might prove otherwise, I sometimes worry that all I'm doing isn't enough.  I should be having babies, or I should be the president of some charity organization on top of school and church callings and marriage.  But then I take a deep breath, unplug myself from the cycle of negative thinking, and reflect with gratitude on the 23 years of life I've lived, and the 4 years I've been married to Mike.  We really have done so much together.  I'm a little bit of a restless soul, and need to be continually moving, forward or at least somewhere.  When I was married in 2010, I never really thought I'd be able to do all of the things and go all of the places I wanted to; but in these past four years, all of my need for travel and adventure have been met in unexpected ways.  We've lived in Provo UT, Laramie and Casper WY, Seattle and Spokane WA.  We've celebrated successes of family and friends and have some of our own, received our bachelor's degrees from BYU, gotten accepted into graduate and medical schools, etc. etc.  
This isn't meant to be a brag-alog; just a reflection that as you do what you can to be the best you can, the Lord fulfills his promises and over time you can achieve all that you desire.  

Our Year 2014 

in Seattle looked a lot like this: 

We loved living in our 4th floor Lake City apartment

We discovered lots of little eateries and specialty stores over our year's stay.  One of the places we frequented was "The Root-beer Store"; stocked with 300+ root-beers and other flavored drinks.

Mike was invited to present a poster based on his ruop experience at a convention in Carmel, CA in January along with a few of his classmates, and I got to come along!  Along with attending the conference, we ventured onto the beach, did some sightseeing, spent some time in San Francisco, and took the ferry to explore the infamous Alcatraz Island.
Million dollar homes by the seaside

Our view from the 20th floor or so in the hotel
We went on a scenic drive "17-Mile-Drive" that bordered the sea Pebble Beach, the famous golf course.
This was appropriately called "Sea Lion Rock" because it was covered in the animals and smelled like fermented fish and urine even from a mile away.

All the med school students were drooling at this ritzy Pebble Beach golf course & resort.  Maybe someday we can actually afford to be patrons here!

We snuck upstairs to the medical ward about 15 minutes before it was open for the tour, so we were the only two people up there.  It was so creepy with the light streaming in through the windows and no one else around.
These floors have layer upon layer of history

The hydrotherapy room

We went out for sushi with everyone
View from the top of the iconic Lombard Street.
The Golden Gate Bridge

For Valentine's Day, I made some cards and crafts for the kids I nannied and for my siblings, and Mike and I went out to celebrate.

We spent a lot of time hanging with friends, and celebrated Easter with some of the greatest people we know (Dan, Aaron, Tara, Yvonne)

We watched UW compete in the Windemere Cup rowing competition with some WWAMI classmates & friends

We watched a couple of Mariners Games with friends

We had lots of game nights peppered with amazing Asian cuisine (Dan is an amazing cook)

We were visited by my old roomate and her husband who now live in Idaho.  We went on a chocolate factory tour, ate some king crab, and explored some of the tourist sights together.

Mike devoured his king crab legs.
We went on the Theo chocolate factory tour that included lots of free samples!
And drove past the iconic Fremont bridge troll, occupied by a bus-full of Asian tourists.
One of the coolest tourist attractions in Seattle is the underground tour that takes you beneath the city exploring the history and literal foundations of a place built on the hard labor of rough characters and the work of "seamstresses"
The underground tour winds through the old streets of Seattle, two stories beneath the current city level and is full of relics of another time such as this rusted sign.
Despite the expense, the Space Needle really is a must-see attraction; Its view of the city is unparallelled
Because the restaurant takes about 30 minutes to rotate the full 360 degrees over the course of dinner, lots of these little cards would appear on the windowsill from kids who were charting our rotational progress.  We would, of course, write and draw pictures back.

Mike and I attended the medical school gala, or "Med Prom" together and danced the night away.

Mike finished his first two years of medical school at University of Washington, and had a white coat ceremony to commemorate the transition from "book-learning" and class lectures to clinical coursework and rotations "out in the field".  After the ceremony and a gathering with some close friends, we celebrated with Mike's parents by exploring the Seattle City Center & taking a ferry to Bremerton where we toured a Naval ship.

I got to visit my cousin Amanda & attend her wedding to an amazing guy named Tanner in Salt Lake City, UT.

We had lots more adventures in the city
There are a lot of homeless people in downtown Seattle

Here's Mike with UW's mascot

Gasworks Park

The view from Gasworks Park
Spring in Seattle is one of the most gorgeous things I've seen

View from the ferry
One day, Mike and I took the ferry to Bainbridge Island for a little "stay-cation" at a cabin B&B on an organic farm

This is what we found in the closet.  Suuuuper creepy.
We made frequent trips to the farmers market just downstairs from our apartment
Another park on the beach in a giant birdhouse

Mike's sister Ruth came for a visit
Macaroons at an amazing French Bakery

Japanese Kubota Gardens
Discovery Park

Celebrating Bastille day at a festival
View from Jetty Island

I went for frequent runs and walks on the trail around Green Lake
Green Lake

 I ran my first 5K "Refuse to Abuse" with my friend Elisa

We relaxed at the beach at Jetty Island

We hiked to Snoqualamie Falls

For our 4-year anniversary, we stayed two nights at Anniversary Inn, the themed hotel we stayed the first night of our honeymoon at.  The theme of this room was "Fire and Ice"
I love the things people write in the guest book!