{Forever Friends}


I feel that I can safely say friendships ebb and flow throughout life. I think the older I get, the harder this lesson is. I want to find people to invest wholly in, be invested in and know these friendships will be forever friends. I realize though that there are so many barriers to making friendships last a lifetime.

I am blessed to have a lifetime friendship with my dear friend Raena. When we met in the 5th or 6th grade I think we were what you would call "frenemies" And then somewhere in Junior high we started becoming friends. In high school our friendship was solidified through our coming to Faith together in a local youth group. In fact, all those years ago, it was a phone call from Raena inviting me to church that started this faith Journey.

In college we visited one another and wrote each other often. I still keep my container of letters from Raena. Since our early 20's, life has taken us in different, time consuming directions: grad school programs, marriage, children and life in general. We don't pick up the phone often, we email only a few times a year, and letters... well do Christmas cards count?

The cool part is that Raena and I have such a shared history and years of friendship, that it feels that we just pick up where we left off. I can be open, honest, and authentic with her.

I was super blessed earlier this month that Raena took her first vacation out of Alaska in a long time to come to Seattle with her daughter Haven. My favorite highlights were our quality conversations, laughing together, reminiscing, and of course seeing how taken Haven was with Paul.

Here are some photos from our visit!

Enjoying Kerry Park

Enjoying the 4th of July at the Zoo! 

The easiest way to get a toddler from Point A to Point B

 Sometimes a little hand holding is needed!

Happy Haven at Molly Moon's

When Charlie had to sit, Haven felt like she had to sit too! 
This included when we stopped at street corners.

A little Monkey time before we head to the airport.

Our farewell photo! 
Thank you Raena for blessing me with so many years of friendship!

Paleo Strawberry Coconut Ice Cream {Dairy & Egg Free}


Seattle has been heating up these past few weeks. The warmer temperatures mean cold treats are a must! Ice Cream has been our favorite cool down treat lately. 

However, after some recent allergy testing for Paul we learned that dairy and eggs are a no-no for him. I've also been experimenting with dairy more and it turns out when I eat too much, my face breaks out. So we're back to 'no dairy' in the house. 

I was recently reading this blog post for homemade Strawberry Ice Cream from The Pioneer Woman and I knew I wanted to make it. The trick was figuring out what to do instead of dairy, eggs, and the white sugar! Coconut milk and honey to rescue!

This recipe is easy, quick and delicious!

A quick note about honey. Not all honey is created equal! I used clover honey for this recipe. However I've noticed different brands may have different sweetness factors. Yep, sweetness factors. Start off slow with your honey and taste test along the away.  I know, I know, taste test ice cream? You're welcome!

Without further ado:

Strawberry Coconut Ice Cream
Adapted from The Pioneer Woman

  • 3 Cans Coconut Milk (Full Fat)
  • 2/3 Cup Honey (more/less to taste)
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Bean Paste (or Vanilla Extract)
Strawberry Puree:
  • 1 LB Strawberries (hulled)
  • 2 Tbs Honey
  • Freeze Ice Cream bowl per manufacturers directions
  • Chill coconut milk for at least 30 minutes
  • Mix coconut milk, honey, and vanilla in a large bowl to a smooth consistency.
  • Puree strawberries and honey in food processor and add to the coconut milk.
  • Now pour this mixture into your ice cream maker and freeze it according to your ice cream maker's instructions.

July What?


How is it already July and where did June go?

Team O (or 'te amo' as the customer service rep from Redbox pointed out to me last week) has been a little lame on blogging during the month of June, but that is because we've been running around, staying busy, and having fun!!

Here are a few highlights of June. We kicked June off in Portland celebrating the birthday of our little cousin!

We went to our buddy Max's first book reading and signing. It was pretty epic!
We finally found a new couch for our living room, then said couch would not fit up our stairs so we bribed a group of friend to make this happen:

Paul ran a half marathon! Charlie and I cheered from the sidelines.

My cousin Lisa and her little one drove up from Sacramento to visit!
And we topped off the month with a little rest
and a church BBQ, where the only photo I took was holding the baby! But how could you resist! Isn't she the cutest!

Not pictured for the month of June: Community Group Reunion, Graduation Party, Baby Dedication (yay Olivia!), and Birthday parties!

Now on to conquer July!