Monday, February 25, 2008

We are a couple of lucky ducks!

Those of you loyal blog readers may remember a while back when we missed the opportunity to buy an awesome glider from Costco. Well, we went out to lunch after church with a friend who had never been to Costco. Lunch for a buck 50 can't be beat, so hot dogs it was. While meandering the aisles I told her about our disappointment with the chair. After we finished exploring, we back tracked to find Joshua. Low and behold, there on the end of an aisle all boxed up was one and only one of the very glider we loved! And better yet, it was $60 less than the last time we saw it!!! I sat on the box so nobody could sneak away with it while Joshua got a cart. Wahoo! Getting it into the car was not such a lucky story. It just wouldn't fit. But, Heather offered the use of her minivan to transport it. A fair pay back for the $1.50 lunch I think. :) So now I am home sitting in the living room with chair parts all around me waiting for Joshua to get home and get it assembled. I'm so excited to try it out!

We spent all day Saturday painting the baby's room. We decided to use a pale green on three walls and yellow on the wall with the window. Now all we need is a crib, sheets, car seat, stroller, diapers, .... you get the idea. :)

Saturday, February 23, 2008


It's Valentines weekend and after reading and hearing about this new popular trend called a babymoon, we wanted to try it. First the thought was to do another big road trip, but that would take too much time and a lot of expense. So we decided to stay more local, as there are already so many great things to see in this beautiful state of Washington.

We chose Leavenworth as our destination of choice. It is a small Bavarian village nestled behind the jagged peaks of the Cascade mountains. During the 1960's when the major railroad stopped passing through their town, the residents had to find a way to keep their community from becoming a ghost town. "Let's make it a German village and expand tourism." Everyone agreed and so became the town.

From the inception of the trip, I wanted to find a place that felt like home and had a place where people could gather at the end of the day and play games; like a bed & breakfast but bigger. The Enzian Inn fit all the criteria and more.

In the mornings, a full buffet breakfast was provided for all guests, with a live performance of the Alpenhorn on outside deck. Afternoons could be spent Cross Country Skiing at any of the six surrounding trails with skis provided by the Enzian. In the summer they offer rounds of golf at their Championship Putting course. At night in the main lobby, which was opened up to the two floors above, they played piano music. Also provided were indoor and outdoor pools with hot tub, excercise gym, and a racketball court.

For our room, we chose the bridal suite; actually it chose us as it was the only room left when we booked our stay. But we couldn't have asked for anything better. His & her sinks, double headded shower, whirlpool tub, wood burning fireplace, balcony, and a king sized canopy bed.

When we arrived, Erin was tired from the three hour drive and wanted a nap before perusing the town. As soon as the front desk handed us the keys, she took her's and bolted to the room while I was left to get our luggage. It took me a while to move the car around the parking lot, find a dolly, and wait for the elevator. Meanwhile, Erin get's to the room, but the bed is on stilts. At 5'2" she's not that tall, and being pregnant, she's not that agile, and being tired, she isn't thinking clearly about how to get into the bed. When she finally does achieve success in climbing into the bed, I arrive at the door and cannot figure out how to unlock it. She reluctantly falls out of bed again and helps me in, and we laughed about the situation.

In town, the shops are fairly unique with original items from the area or imported from Germany and other mountainous regions of Europe. For dining, I really enjoyed King Ludwigs, as they had authentic German fare and had a live polka band with dance floor. Erin's favorite was the Gingerbread Factory, where they made some delicious sandwiches and, of course, fantastic gingerbread cookies.

The evenings were my favorite part of the trip, everyone gathered around the fireplace, listening to piano music, drinking coffee, and playing games or puzzles. We noticed several times that they would be playing modern Christian worship songs. It certainly felt like home to us, and I'm sure we'll be going there again in the future.

The picture below shows Erin smiling because she knows she's just about to whoop me at dominoes.

Click on the images below to see them larger.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

How to use a Macy's gift card to buy shoes from Marshalls: a lesson in customer service.

We set off today to find a new pair of brown shoes for Erin's growing feet. Erin was given a Macy's gift card for Christmas and this seemed to be the perfect way to use it, since Macy's doesn't have a maternity department. We arrive at the Tacoma Mall Macy's and go through their selection of shoes, only to find a pair that almost works. We make the purchase anyway, exceeding our $50 gift card by $37. Knowing that we may get a better deal, we headed to the Super Mall Outlets. There at Marshalls, Erin found her favorite shoes, by Born, in the size, color, and comfort that she was looking for. The price tag? $50. Excited by this great find, but bummed for making the initial purchase, Erin was feeling anxious about her shoe buying adventure. I told her it was okay, we could go back to Macy's and get a refund on the first shoes. As we drove back, we wondered how they would perform the refund. Our question was answered when the clerk asked, "You want this all back on the credit card then?" Without pause, "Yes." came simultaneously from our lips. And that is how you use a $50 Macy's gift card to buy shoes from Marshalls.
In other objectives for the day: Erin's fingers aren't a slim size 5 any longer and her wedding and engagement rings don't want to fit as they once did. Since the sight of a bare finger is too much and sometimes leads to near tears, she wanted a temporary replacement ring. We searched several stores including Wal-Mart for a $15 CZ ring that would still give the appearance that she was still married. Side note: did you know that Wal-Mart keeps their CZ rings behind the glass counter for a sales representative to show you? Wierd. I thought that the ring should be a little different from her real one and perhaps have some colored stones just to be fun, but she was set on having one that looks similar to her real ring. We didn't purchase any because the options are either too "blingy" or of the incorrect size. However, a girl at Macy's said that they could resize it for us for $20.
Distance between Tacoma Mall and Super Mall - 16 miles
CZ - cubic zirconia - a synthetic diamond simulant
What Joshua Wanted - Duck Shoes - Got 'em