The Emerald Girl

The Emerald Girl

life in seattle
oh, and remember to take your leftovers so that you can give them to hungry street people

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Cutting down the Christmas tree

Traditions and family seem to travel well hand in hand. Traditions root us. They make us feel like we're apart of something. They bond us together with those who share them with us. Traditions bottle up the past so you can easily take it with you through the future. We are a country with so many celebrated traditions yet so few. Perhaps because so many of us come from "broken" families, traditions are broken too. As much as I may push away from commitments, my heart longs for grounded traditions.
This past weekend we started a new tradition. We cut down our own tree. It sounds cheesy but it was a fun afternoon adventure in which we drove towards the mountains, drank eggnog lattes, went to a crowded tree farm, scouted for the tree, cut the tree together and then went home to decorate. It will be a tradition we look forward to. I can imagine when my kids are older, excitedly asking when we're going to cut our tree. I can imagine them taking their significant other and then their kids. That's the joy of traditions. To be deeply rooted. 

I think I'm going to share more Christmas traditions in an upcoming post. Does anyone else cut down their tree?
PS I made a vlog of our adventure and trimming the tree once we got it home. If you haven't subscribed to my YouTube channel, go now!


Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Making plans to travel

Last night we booked our annual trip to the desert. Palm Desert that is. As the total dinged just under $600, I was joyful and sorrowful that this would be the last plane ride we only have to pay for 3 out of 4 of us. This time next year and Morgan will have to pay for her seat.
February is the perfect time of the year to travel somewhere warm for those of us living in the Northern part of the United States. It's not called mid-winter break for nothing. January is often the longest month on the planet so having something to look forward to will make the days go by quickly and it's the perfect time for a vitamin D pick-me-up.

Booking this trip has me excited for Matt and I's future travel plans. For as long as I can remember, I have fantasized about living in other cities. Never permanently, just temporarily. My brilliant idea is this: every summer, go somewhere new, for 6(ish) weeks. Six weeks is the perfect length of time to really immerse yourself in another city and experience life.

First on our travel list is either NYC or Ireland. I'm really leaning most towards NYC. The city of all cities. The city I've dreamed of for so long but never visited for fear of never truly being satisfied anywhere else.

What are your travel suggestions for places that would be amazing to live?

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

The blog

One of the best reasons to buy a Mac is because it has free video editing software on it, iMovie. I finally had a chance to learn how to use the app over the weekend and am now having so much fun making short videos. I spent some time listening to free music on YouTube but really need to spend a lot more time looking for the right sound. Right now I'm just using my iPhone to film which seems to be working just fine in terms of quality and a great place to start. If for some unknown reason, I end up with an ungodly amount of free time (between juggling 2 kids and work) then maybe I'll upgrade to a camera made for filming.

Since we're moving today, I made this little walking tour of the only thing that I will miss about where we live. We're a block away from Kerry Park, one of Seattle's most iconic parks and a major tourist destination. The park that never sleeps. Only the locals know that if you keep walking down the street you come to another breathtaking viewpoint of the sound and across the street is a secret garden park that we used as our own personal backyard over the summer.

Goodbye, Kerry Park, I'll miss you.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Growing out of comfort zones

"Great things never come from comfort zones". I don't know who said this but it's true. Throughout life, people's comfort zones evolve. That's called growth.

Sometimes we're forced into situations and sometimes we have to push ourselves. For me, the last 18 months have been a bit of both but mostly it's been a lot of me being forced into situations that are not my comfort zone. New living situation (that's about to change again, thank God!), new job, new kid, new friends.

Here's a specific, not super personal, example. My Instagram growth has been purely based off of stepping out of my comfort zone. I am an introvert, and shy, and way too introspective for my own good. So putting myself out there on IG felt so incrediably unnatural and very uncomfortable. Liking other people's pictures, commenting on strangers feeds, using trending hashtags. (Of course, that's exactly what "social" media was made for but ya know). Once I really got into it, the walls of my comfort zone expanded pretty quickly. I'm at a different level than I was a year and a half ago. Although, I don't have a clear end goal in mind, I can see that because I broke through my own personal barrier I'll be able to reach for whatever the next level is when it arises.

When the uncomfortable becomes comfortable that's when you know growth has occurred. (This is not the only type of growth to occur but concerning the quote). When you have a new uncomfortable.  Is this the path to greatness? I don't know. But I do know self-improvement is an essential part of life and relationships. Tip: don't compare yourself to others. In the balloon analogy, you'll either blow up too much or deflate.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Dahlias from the farmers market

The season for fresh, live flowers at the Farmers Markets is coming to an end. Such a sad time of the year when farmers markets begin selling those dried flower bunches that are completely unappealing to me with their drab, dead, lifeless colors. I'm hoping to snag just a few more before they're completely gone but for now I'm happy to have a chance to imitate the beautiful floral photos that dance through my Instagram feed. Pro tip: don't buy the pre-made bouquets. Lovely as they may be, I find that a vase full of the same kind has a much more beautiful effect.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

We're moving!

We are moving next week!

We are moving next week.
I didn't imagine I would feel such a mixed bag of emotions. This blog has well documented my hatred for the apartment I live in and the deep emotional toll moving last year had on me but if you missed all that, then just know that the past 15 months have been some of the most physically and emotionally challenged years of my life.

When searching for an apartment, Matt and I didn't want to move just to move. It had to be the right place if we were going to invest in moving again and didn't want to move into a place only to move again at the end of the lease. Stepping into the new rental felt good. It felt right. So that was a complete relief. But it's far from the urban neighborhoods we've lived in the past 7+ years. We're used to walking downtown. We're used to the hustle and bustle that comes with being right in the mix of the main hub of the city. (I admit I feel slightly overdramatic when I say this because we are only moving 4 miles away and not even out of the city but we certainly are not walking downtown).

My heart longs to feel home. Not just familiar but really at home. I'm surprised at how important a physical location is to making me feel at home. Oh, the things we learn about ourselves when forced into uncomfortable situations. Right now, the new neighborhood is unfamiliar and unknown. The people, the places, the sights and the sounds.

But I do have hope.

I do hope that this new place becomes our home quickly. That my family returns to a balanced state. That we find happiness together again under a new roof. Though, I know, I'll need to remind myself daily to choose happiness and gratefulness.

Moving day is next week! (Along with Thanksgiving, I know). We're more than excited about this new adventure and every time we notice our current gross apartment  the excitement grows. I'll share more in the coming weeks of our new place and the new neighborhood.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Visiting the Smith Tower in Seattle

The Smith Tower is the oldest skyscraper in Seattle, being completed in 1914. Fun fact, the Smith Tower was the tallest building on the West Coast until 1962 when the Space Needle was built for the Worlds Fair. The building is a landmark of the Seattle skyline and it's unique architecture has always captured my heart. The building sits in Pioneer Square which is a neighborhood filled with so much character, defined by brick and vintage details. Recently, the Seattle Met magazine has been running ads that the observation deck in the Smith Tower is open to the public. I couldn't wait to visit and the tour was more than I expected.
The views were definitely my favorite part. I'm in love with the charm that is downtown. There's something so magical about city life. People always talk about the "energy" of cities and it's so true. I just feel alive, I love the hustle and the bustle.
The interior is remarkable. The elevators are made by Otis Elevator company and have to be run by an operator. They are original to the building and perhaps one of the most charming things about the Tower itself. Fun fact #2, they are the same elevators as in the Empire State building.
Upstairs is decorated with an Asian flair to pay homage to one of the cities great trading partners. The bar is open all week and is especially busy during happy hour when the sky is dark and the city shines. I'd really love to go back and see the views at night. Overall, the entire visit was well worth the ticket price and something I highly recommend for locals and visitors alike.
Lastly, it's well known on Google that the very top of the tower, the triangle, is a private residence. This alone has held my intrigue in the building for years. First of all, the views, I mean come on, there is nobody else in the city who can boast that view. How in the world did that family land such a deal? It's incredible. Check it out here.