Home is where the heart is.

Monday, March 29, 2010

A couple of weeks ago, I packed my bags and headed out of the desert. Towards water and green and family, I headed home. It was just exactly what I needed.

My beautiful mama picked me up from the airport and drove me the three hours to my tiny hometown on the beach. It was two days of sleeping in, reading, watching movies, sitting on the deck, playing with my mom's dogs and talking about life.

Even though I hated growing up in a town that still has almost no cell reception and is only two miles long, there is no other place in the world I can feel as still or as peaceful. I hope everyone has a place like that, a place they can breathe.

Duey, my buddy.

My mom's dog Rusty was once called "a scholar and a gentleman" and the proudest part of his day is when he gets to bring in the paper each evening.

At my mom's house, we sit on the deck, drink (although I stuck to sparkling cider for almost a week after my birthday), eat cheese and crackers, look out at the bay, talk politics and laugh for days. The motto out there on the deck is just what the napkin says - "Why limit happy to an hour?"

After my perfect few days at the beach, my mom and I drove to Seattle where I was reunited with my sister and two of the great loves of my life, my nephews.

Max is almost six and Jude will proudly tell you, "I two half."

The first night I was in my old city (Westport, WA is where I was born, but Seattle is my soul), my sister, brother-in-law, my brother-in-law's brother and his wife all went to a beach themed auction for Max's school. This is a photo from the auction.

These four people are some of my very best friends in the world. Don't they look fun?

That night, my sister Debby came and hung out with my mom, the boys and me. Poor Max was recovering from the stomach flu, but rallied a little watching James and the Giant Peach. As for Jude, well, that little two year old is in love with his Auntie. Plain and simple.

As he was sitting on my lap watching the movie, he would look up and say, "Attie, I happy." I would tell him that I was happy, too, and give him a hug. Then a few more minutes would go by and he would say, "Attie, I love you." He melts my heart. I even taught him to say, "I'm Attie's boy."

Yeah, it's a little love affair between a toddler and his Auntie.

The next day I enjoyed a gorgeous spring Seattle day.

That evening, the ladies in the family - minus my mom who had to go back home - went out to dinner at my favorite restaurant in Seattle, 611 Supreme. Drinks, crepes, laughs.

Pre-dinner photos on the lake

Debby and Yen

Monica and me

Whenever I eat at 611 Supreme, and keep in mind that I've been going fairly regularly for ten years, I eat the same thing. Le Jardin (sauteed mushrooms, spinach, tomatoes and gruyere cheese) - add the smoked salmon. It's just so good. On this visit, however, I tried a new appetizer. And then I had it again for desert. (Which may or may not explain why I need to get back on the gym wagon as soon as possible.)

Le Amandine (almond butter, gruyere - my favorite - cheese and toasted almonds). So odd and so wonderful.

The next day was all about family. More children. More love. Blue eggs (and ham).

Then my Danny came over and filled me in on his recent trip to New York and gave me a (very) detailed account of the Sex and the City tour. Love it... and him.

Overall, it was an amazing trip home. Westport. The beach. Sunsets. Mama. Good food. Great conversation. Seattle. Ceviche. Friends. Rock band. My sisters. My nephews. My family. My heart. Home.

Gifted in the Art of Happiness.
{A Birthday Party Post.}

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Last week, I threw myself (with the help of Autumn and Jenner) one really, really fun birthday party at the Golden Nugget. You may think as you get older, that your birthday celebrations need to become more mature, more serious perhaps, but just take a look at the photo coverage below and tell me there is a better way to turn 32.

I hope when I someday turn 72 that I will still rock a costume, drink too much and sing karaoke with wild abandon. I really hope so...

It was almost impossible to come up with some of my favorite photos of the night. With three photographer friends in attendance, we had over 500 pictures by the end of the night. Below are some of my favorites.

This post doesn't really call for many words, but I will share this... After posting my bday party pics on facebook, a friend from grad school wrote, "Kathleen, you are gifted in the art of happiness." I can't think of a sweeter sentiment to kick this off.

Believe it or not, this guy is actually partially responsible for bringing Jenner and I together.

You'll notice in some later photos, my boyfriend took the art of costume the most seriously. It was almost scary...


Up until my 30th birthday, I always wished for the same thing when I blew out my candles. Love. After I met Jenner, I didn't know what to wish for anymore. It's been fun trying to figure that out.

I love this photo because I look so happy.

At one point later in the night, a stranger came up to me and said, "My mother wore that exact same outfit in a glamour shot fifteen years ago." That statement alone made the night a smash success in my eyes.

Embracing my inner rock star at the Beauty Bar.

The whole night was just too much fun. As hard as it has been to move to Vegas and away from my friends and family, my birthday party reminded me that if you're happy, wherever you are, love will follow you. And I'm really loving my new home and my new life.

Special thanks to David Resto and Aaron Garcia for some of the amazing photos.