Sunday, September 6, 2009

Vegas Baby!

Clark had to go to Las Vegas for a few days so Brad & Destenee and Marshall & Stephanie agreed to watch our kids so I could go with Clark. We had so much fun!!! We stayed at the Belagio and watched the fountain show from our room. While Clark was in meetings I explored Vegas, took naps and lounged by the pool. One evening we went to a Cirque du Soliel show called Ka, it was awesome!! We ate at In & Out Burger and had frozen hot chocolate at Serendipity.

Summer Trips

We've made some fun trips this summer. We've visited my parents quite a few times, while there we've been to the water park, met our new niece and cousin, gone boating on the river and seen lots of family. In fact, this summer the kids have seen every aunt, uncle, cousin and grandparent they have.
In July we went to Utah for a Hartley family reunion. We had fun visiting with everyone and the kids had a blast playing with their cousins. While in Utah we got to see our good friends from Maryland, the Clausers. It was so good to see them, we really miss them! We celebrated Isabelle's 7th birthday while in Utah and went to Leatherby's for ice cream to celebrate.
We got to visit with my brother David and his wife Sarah and their cute little girl and Aunt Cherie while in Utah. It was fun to see them as they are now all on the west coast.
We had the opportunity to go to the Oquirrh Mountain temple open house and we visited BYU campus and of course the BYU bookstore.

Finally, an update

Okay, I know it's been a while since we've updated our blog, but we've been busy having a fun summer. Here are a few of the things we've been up to.

We've had lots of fun exploring Seattle. We been to the fish market quite a few times, we've been to the Seattle Aquarium and the Woodland Park Zoo a few times, we've spent a lot of time on Vashon Island where we love to play on the beach. We have been to a few Mariners games, the last one we went to the girls got to run the bases which was pretty cool.
For our 9th anniversary Clark and I went to the Space Needle and had dinner at the restaurant at the top of the Space Needle.
We've been to the sculpture park and the gum wall (the gum wall is a building near Pike Street Market where people have stuck their gum over the years. The wall is covered in gum....gross! The kids love it though).

Sunday, May 17, 2009's May! Sorry! Blame FACEBOOK.

Mothers Day - Laura was pampered on Mothers Day. Highlights included a 2 hour nap, dinner and a movie (Sleepless in Seattle). The girls each gave her a gift and a card. Laura got some "bling" from Isabelle, a potted flower from Kate and a chocolate bar from Natalie. Ethan and Clark gave her a new set of scripures (with her married name).

Picnic - We live by a very cool park. There are trails, kids play areas and a lake. We took Grandama & Grandpa Jones and Hartley for a picnic. The wind was a little cold (in the shade) but the weather was otherwise beautiful. The girls loved watching people fish.

Baby Blessing Sunday - The Hartley's and Jones's made the trek to Seattle for Ethans baby blessing. He was a very happy and cooperative boy the whole time. Wearing his white tux, Ethan was quite the ladies man! (Don't ask about the bonet Clark confiscated and threw away never to be spoken of again!)

Sorry for the delay in updates...we have been enjoying Facebook.

Clark, Laura + Kids

Sunday, February 22, 2009

He's Here!!!

Ethan Grant Hartley was born on Feb. 9, 2009!!! He weighed 8lbs 14oz and was 20 inches long. He is a very sweet and mellow baby, the only time he really cries is when he is getting his diaper changed. His sisters adore him and are constantly showering him with hugs and kisses.

We're a little late getting the news out because his birth was followed with some complications for me which resulted in an extra week in the hospital. But we're all home and healthy now and we're excited to have Ethan in our family!

Pictures of Ethan

Friday, February 6, 2009

Hello Seattle!!

We are just about settled into life here in Seattle. Clark has been at his job for about a month and loves it, we found a great house in a great neighborhood, Isabelle started school and we're starting to make some friends in our ward and neighborhood. Here are some things we love about living here:

-The neighborhoods are wonderful! Everything is so clean and nice and there is a park or a playground on almost every block.

-Half day kindergarten. I LOVE half day kindergarten. Isabelle is in the afternoon class so we don't have to wake up and rush out the door. We walk her down to the bus stop at 11:15 and she's home by 3:20. I am amazed at how much she learns in just those few hours at school, it seems like she does more in those few hours that she did all day in her previous school. Isabelle loves it too. She loves her teacher and her class and has made lots of new friends.

- We are so close to Costco!!! Oh Costco, how we've missed Costco!! Since moving here we have spent a lot of time and a whole lot of money at Costco.

-The people are so nice here! I went to Target and an employee came up to me and asked if I needed help and then actually took me to the aisle I needed! If you've ever been to a store in Owings Mills you would know why this made me so excited. And it's not just the people at the stores that are nice, it's just the people in general here are nice.

-The cost of milk. Wow. In Maryland we were paying $4 a gallon, here it's $1.98. We'll be able to go on a vacation with all the money we're going to save on milk!

-The bus system. Clark has gotten familiar with the bus system here and has found it to be a great way to get to work. He doesn't have to deal with traffic or parking, it's great.

We found a fabulous house to rent until we find something we love enough to buy. Things we love about our new place:

-So much space!
-2nd floor laundry room (I'm never going back to laundry in the basement!)
-2 1/2 baths, we've never had more than one bathroom!
-Walk in closets. Wow. I've never had this much room for clothes, now I need to go shopping!
-A walk in pantry in the kitchen
-A garbage disposal (I've never had one, now I don't think I'll be able to live without it)
-Gas stove. I've always heard how gas stoves are so much better than electric and now I believe all the hype.
-My absolute favorite thing about the house is that it has a huge soaking tub in the master bath.
-It's in a great neighborhood with lots of kids that are the same ages as our kids, in fact there are 2 little boys on our block that are in Isabelle's kindergarten class and one of them has a sister Kate's age.

Here are some pictures of our new place.

Good-bye Maryland!!!

Good-bye Maryland, Good-bye Owings Mills! Here are a few things we're really going to miss:

-All of our great friends (how will we live without the Clausers?)

-Being so close to Aunt Cherie (luckily Southwest runs some great sales so she can visit often)

-The wonderful Hampstead ward

-Being close to DC and all the great stuff there

-The metro (yeah it could be scary but it was so convenient!)

And of course we're going to miss our house. 15 Walk Ave. was our first house, we put a lot of work into that house and we had some really great memories there: pool parties, campouts, birthday parties and holidays. We were lucky enough to sell our home quickly to some great people, hopefully they'll enjoy it as much as we did! Here are some of our last photos of Walk Ave (I can't figure out how to get the pictures to post where I want them so the post starts with our last pictures of Walk Ave., you get the idea).

Saturday, January 17, 2009


So we moved our stuff out of our Walk Avenue house between Christmas and New Years. We rented shipping pods to send our stuff (aka junk, worldly possessions) to Seattle. It was too difficult to get the pods up our street so we made 2-3 trips by truck/van/SUV to the pods shipping center in order to pack our stuff.

Thank you Derrick Stark, Matt Clauser, David Taylor, Paul Anderson, and Cherie Jones for all you hard work! It was fun to have so many well educated people trying to figure how to pack pods efficiently. Let's just say at times (during pod packing) we looked at each other and laughed at "how many graduates do you need to figure out how to pack a pod?"

Laura and I decided that we would only take to Seattle what would fit into the two pods. The rule became "If it doesn't fit, it doesn't go". This rule really helped us both 1. dejunk and 2. replace old stuff that we should have replaced long ago.

Once the pods were filled, we sent them on their way. Clark followed a few days later (Jan. 1st) in order to begin work on Jan 5th, 2009. Laura, the girls and Grandma Jones followed on January 8th, 2009.