Sunday, January 26, 2020

april 2018 misc.

And to finish off April, we have ... 

Earth-Day excitement!

Porter's promposal to this sweet girl!! Which involved singing to her (with his bro. and buddies) in front of about 75 surprised onlookers.

Happy Birthday to G-ma Loo:-)

And sunny family day at the park ...

Looks like the man bun is still going strong!;)

officially 16! (april 2018)

I feel like I should re-name this post "the man bun b-day" ... that seems to be the dominant theme. Or maybe "crazy Hawaiian shirt b-day" ... or "weird paper swim trunks" b-day. Whatever we call it, we were all pretty excited to celebrate James' big 16th birthday!!! 

Mae seemed especially excited ... which makes me wonder if she was just looking forward to having another driver around for late-night Target runs;).

We all had fun giving him prizes like wacky socks, throwing darts, sentimental gifts .. 

And swim trunks that hadn't arrived on time for the big day:-).

I'm telling you, her excitement is definitely suspicious ... but she really does love her big bro!!

Happy Birthday James!!!

construction updates! (april 2018)

Watching the restaurant come together piece by piece was for sure the funnest part of this endeavor. 

We loved stopping by regularly to make sure things were on track and see what had changed

It's crazy how little things, like vinyl signage on the door, can be so exciting!

Kevin teamed with our awesome builder Peter Jones (Pantheon Construction) to manage the project. He also worked hands-on a lot in the beginning with demolition. After that, he would still assist with little things here and there.

I helped some with demo as well ... but mostly just admired;).

Our amazing kiddos (and sometimes friends;) also did a lot of work!!

They were great about jumping in and helping with demo, trucking things back and forth, helping with the heavy lifting (like with this beast of a trash receptacle).

It was hard work, but I think they enjoyed it quite a bit as well ... talk about a family project!

During this time we were also taking care of a ton of back-end work and beginning to interview and hire.

We're almost there!!!

Easter 2018

Family-room mini Easter egg hunt, baskets full (but not too full;) of candy, the traditional chocolate bunny, and Cadbury eggs for The Dad ... that some of the kids then try to steal. Must be Easter morning!!

These two were definitely the first ones digging in.

The olders are a lot more mellow these days when it comes to holiday mornings, but they're still great sports about it and try to make sure it's special for the youngers. 

Even if they enjoy teasing each other, more than checking out the Easter baskets. 

Mm hmm, there's those Cadbury Eggs.

After an Easter worship service, focusing on the purpose and the true excitement of the day--our glorious Lord and Savior Jesus Christ--family bonding and tradition continues. What a perfect combination!

Mae baked us a delicious "water color" cake

And then we finished off with a "cousins" Easter egg hunt ... this time we got super lazy and did it in our tiny backyard;).

No worries, the kids didn't mind. 

Despite the sunshine and all the boys in short sleeves, it was actually a very brisk Spring morning. This girlie and I made sure to bundle up before heading out!!

My family sometimes (oftentimes??) makes me want to pull my hair out, but I sure to love them.

Monday, October 7, 2019

let the training begin (march 2018)

And to finish off March ...

We took another massive leap into the unknown (directly related to the first massive leap of restaurant ownership) and started attempting to learn how to actually run a restaurant--something of which NEITHER one of us had any spec of experience.

Just a day or two after getting back from the Utah trip, Kevin and I rushed off to Kamloops, British Columbia for a couple of weeks of restaurant training. We had a fantastic trainer with lots of experience in the brand and in the industry as a whole. We also had a wonderful team of assistant trainers (her amazing team;). 

I think it's safe to say, though, that all the training made our heads spin, and partly just showed us the insane amount of information we still had no clue about.

Not only were we training on the technical aspects of working in the restaurant: how to make all the menu items, how to prep the actual food, how to handle and store everything according to food handling best practices, how to run the point of sale (till/cash register), etc. etc. etc. 

This is a LOT to learn all by itself. 

But in addition to ALL of that, we also needed to somehow learn all the details of actually managing the restaurant. Hiring, training, scheduling, catering, marketing, book keeping, small business taxes, labor and industry regulations. Yikes!

It was crazy hard work, both mentally and physically. AND at the same time, we were still overseeing the actual buildout of our space and many other start-up phase tasks back at home.  

Overwhelming is an absolute understatement. 

During the first week Kevin and I were both there together.

You can pretty much always leave it to K to have plenty of fun despite all the craziness of the situation! Whether it's being a little to excited about coloring on the soup/water of the day board ... 

Or joking around all day with our super knowledgeable trainer.

Or just making sure I took the time to sit down and actually eat something ... there's so much I needed to learn, I could hardly take a break:/.

The second week I would be on my own ... definitely an intimidating thought!!

After a weekend home to celebrate Easter with the fam, I headed right back up to Kamloops to get back to work. 

It was a pretty uncomfortable situation being alone in a strange city (country even), staying in a strange home (albeit it nice and welcoming, thanks to Airbnb), learning a strange (to me) business, and being away from my family day and night. Something I had definitely never experienced before as a SAHM of 16 years. 

To avoid absolute panic;), I tried to focus on soaking up as much knowledge as possible, and enjoy the wonderful people who were giving up so much of their own time to help me learn. 

Like this cute and incredibly capable girl right here!!! Ms. Cayle herself.

Truth be told, as much as I missed my family ... and tried to trick myself not to, by binging late at night after training on This is Us (thank you, Canadian Netflix!! US Netflix could learn a thing or two;) ... the time actually did end up flying by.

Before I knew it, the week was over and I was saying goodbye to the wonderful Brenda ... 

And the cozy city of Kamloops .. it's down there somewhere ...

And driving back home to Seattle (essentially in snowstorm--seems to be the theme for March) to be back in my own little comfort zone with my big crazy family!

Sunday, October 6, 2019

utah shenanigans (march 2018)

And what else happened in Utah?? 

I can pretty much sum it up with ... Family, Fun, AND Food! Lots and lots of food:/. Yikes!

We were lucky enough to be there for this little cutie's baby blessing.
(family pic on the day of)
Also on the day of the blessing, we had the awesome surprise of running into a super cool friend from our Houston days. He was a teenager then and is now a grown man with a family ... meaning, K and I must be getting old:(.
Blessing-day Bonus ... K managed to get his hands on this stylish ride and went for a nice Sunday stroll;)

We were also lucky enough to do a little shopping ... or at least Joseph did.
Looks like some of us mostly just hung out getting a mall massage. Woo woo!

Here's a brief intermission for the food part. I was seriously not kidding about that!

This is just a tiny sampling of all the eating we did:/ ... 


(fast-serve Korean food)

Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory
(this place sure ain't kidding around when it comes to sweets)

Mmmmmm, someone PRETTY PLEASE bring one of these to the PNW
Take a look if you're curious (

Oh, and Miss Mae's cake shop;). 
Happy b-day Aunt Allie!
I should probably mention that all this eating meant we really needed to spend some time at the local rec center!!

Okay, and back to the trip!!:-)

One day we stumbled across the RC Playground at the Provo Towne Centre, and enjoyed an hour or two there as a family.

But the best part is that we did a lot of hanging out with the cousins (and aunts, uncles, etc.). This is without a doubt the favorite activity of every one of our Utah road trips.

Playtime at the Discovery Park in Pleasant Grove ...
We love us some Darren, Heidi, and co.
K's amazing little sister:)

Hangout time!!
The boys especially liked Big D's basement man-cave;)
But anywhere we go together seems to be never ending excitement
Even here, doing who knows what!;)

Sadly, the trip went by WAY too fast, and it was quickly time to say goodbye and head back home. 

Welcome back to the Evergreen State.