Monday, December 27, 2010

Abel's first Christmas

Abel's first Christmas was filled with family, laughter, games, new toys and yummy food. Of course all he noticed were the hugs, smiles and love from everyone as he passed from one set of arms to the other. He loved it!
Ian and I on the other hand were kind of overwhelmed by all of the gifts; Carhartt overalls, books, rattles, felted wool blocks, fun outfits, toy monkeys, fleece suits and more! Frankly the kid made a killing. We did realize that before his first birthday rolls around we'll have to establish a no electronics rule for gifts (ie. no batteries or cords), all of the gifts this time around will be Abel powered and we're really hoping to keep it that way.
Ian and I realized shortly before we started making Christmas dinner that we wouldn't be ready to head home after dinner, which was about Abel's bedtime, so we decided to try our first sleep over. It was great! We stayed up late drinking eggnog and playing games with Kate and Mona and in the morning I got to sleep in while Abel hung out with everyone. I told Ian we could have sleepover's every weekend!

Thanks to everyone for making Abel's first Christmas so memorable, for Ian and I anyway, it was perfect.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Homemade Christmas decorations

Ian and I have very few Christmas decorations, to be exact at the beginning of this Christmas season we had four Christmas tree ornaments and two strings of white Christmas lights. Jesika, my oldest sister, gave us the ornaments as a gift a few years ago, they're from REI; a tiny sleeping bag, hiking boot, backpack and tent. We like it that way, less stuff to store.
Because we have so few ornaments every I make decorations for the tree. This year I made decorations out of large silver coffee bags from Starbucks, red ribbon and cranberries. Maddie ate about half of the cranberries, very carefully nibbling off just the cranberries and leaving the string, so the lower half of the tree looked kind of sparse, but it was fun to make decorations and our tree was decidedly unique.
In addition to making tree decorations I made Christmas stocking this year out of upholstery remnants Jodi gave me. The are pretty nontraditional and I love them. They are large enough to hold a 22 ounce beer. This was pretty intentional, every year I give Ian a 22 ounce beer in his stocking and it never fits! I will never have to wrap another 22 ounce beer for Christmas! The stockings are also sturdy enough to really fill full of good stuff and hang. I have worried so many times about ripping off the loop of stockings, or the stitching coming out, that should never be an issue with these stockings.
While I'm sure our box of Christmas decorations will slowly fill over time, I just hope it keeps filling with homemade decorations that remind us of where we were when we made them and the fun we had in creating them.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Bath time

Abel's umbilical cord finally fell off and he had his first "real" bath! As you can see in the progression of photos he wasn't sure how he felt about it at first, but he quickly changed his mind and decided he loved it.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Snow in Bellingham

Abel only ventured out in the snow a few times, the day it started and the day it all melted! Thought we would share a family portrait to document the event. Well, Maddie isn't in the photo, she was too excited about the snow to sit still for the photo.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

More visitors

Dad and Dewey braved the winter conditions to meet Abel this weekend. And, they arrived just in time to help us cope with Abels' first bout of gas! Not the most exciting event ever but Ian and I were grateful for the help and advice! You wouldn't know it from these pictures but it was a long weekend!
Thanks Dad and Dewey for visiting and giving us a hand!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Sunshine and Vitamin D

We decided Abel was ready to venture outside for some fresh air and Vitamin D! He loved it. We think. The fall colors in the backyard are amazing right now and it felt so good to be out of the house, even though it was a pretty short (and slow) jaunt in the backyard. Ken and Mona were here so we got to take a few "family" photos as well.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Abel Frederick Rae

Abel made his way into the world on Halloween night, in the midst of stormy Bellingham weather. As many people know we had planned a home birth but Abel had other plans. After laboring overnight at home we transferred to St. Joe's, where eventually we delivered Abel via cesarean section at 5pm.

We stayed at the hospital until Tuesday night when we finally got to come home and Abel met all of the critters! Francis has been edged out of the bed and isn't impressed, Angus seems pretty oblivious and Maddie is very interested in Abel and seems to know he will be dropping food on the floor soon and that she should stay close!

We would like to thank all of our friends and family that have feed us, walked Maddie, cleaned the house and in general made us feel loved and supported. While we were well cared for and had amazing nurses at the hospital it was great to come home to delicious homemade dinners after too many hospital meals. We feel incredibly lucky to be surrounded by so many amazing people.

We can't wait for everyone to meet Abel! We're sure you'll adore him as much as we already do.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Our First Anniversary

When we got married we thought we should start an annual tradition of visiting a new wilderness area for every anniversary. Our honeymoon hike was in the Glacier Wilderness Area, were amazingly neither of us had ever hiked, however this year it didn't happen! Finding a new wilderness area that was easily accessible and a reasonable drive from Bellingham just fell off of our to do list and we both realized it wasn't going to happen.
So, we settled on a less ambitious vacation, deciding to stay in Mazama for a long weekend. We stayed in one of the Rendezvous Huts. It was great. It rained most of the weekend so we didn't feel like we had to be outside all weekend. We played board games, cards, read, hung out, stopped in Mazama for pastries, coffee and delicious local fruit, and meet Dad and DuAnn for dinner in Twisp (and a handoff that includes chainsaws, baby strollers, cloth diapers and lumber!).
I have to admit, we did squeeze in one short hike, to Cutthroat Lake. It was the perfect 8 month pregnant lady hike! The hike was easy, beautiful and it was cool out. And, Maddie got to run off some of her crazy puppy energy!

I do hope that next year, and every year after, we manage to find new wilderness areas to wander, but this year staying in a cabin in Mazama, watching the rain and taking a leisurely stroll to a beautiful lake was really the perfect thing.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Excelsior Ridge

After a fair amount of research, conversation and debating Ian and I decided a hike to Damfino Lakes would be just right for this pregnant lady. However, it doesn't take long to get to the lakes, at all. So we moved on to plan B, which was Canyon Lake, a small lake less than 1/2 mile from the trail, further along the same trail. It looked easy enough to get to, on the map, and it was so close! Turns out its harder to travel off trail pregnant than I had anticipated, the terrain was a little stepper than we thought it would be and the slopes were covered in slippery heather and false azalea. So, we moved on to plan C, which turned out to be a brilliant decision. Plan C was Excelsior Ridge. It was also pretty much the highest camping spot we could have chosen along the ridge, in true Rae form. The views were amazing, there were some pre-established camping sites, there was a strong breeze which deterred at least some of the biting flies and mosquitos and there was no one else up there. Oh, there was also a snow patch for Maddie to romp around in, Maddie loves the snow!

We both realized it may be the last "backpacking" trip before Squak makes his way into the world, I didn't have the most amazing nights sleep ever and honestly, it's a total pain in the ass to crawl out of the tent in the middle of the night to pee more than once! It was a great hike though and we're both already scheming and planning for Squak's first real backpacking trip.
Oh, almost forgot, the beer picture! Ian bought a six-pack before our last backpacking trip of Dales Pale Ale, from the Oskar Blues Brewery, and the plastic ring broke when he was carrying the beer into the house, which punctured a few of the cans (which are frankly expensive for canned beer). So Ian emailed them and someone came to the house and gave Ian nearly a case of Oskar Blues beer! Just thought I'd throw it out there, if your looking for good beer in cans for your next backpacking excursion (which is a strange new luxury for Ian, a result of the short pregnant lady hikes we've been doing) you might want to try something from Oskar Blues.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Squak's first backpacking trip

The Rae house has been busy lately. Between working to get both Chuckanut Builders and Wild Whatcom off the ground, finishing up house projects, raising chickens, gardening and playing with Maddie we haven't had much time to escape to the mountains. And frankly we were both feeling it. So this weekend we made our escape.
The destination was Watson Lake, in the Noisy-Diobsub Wilderness Area, east of Baker Lake. It's a popular destination, so we decided to hike into the furthest lake, on a Sunday night. It was a short hike, ~3.5 miles, over easy terrain.
But we weren't just hiking. Ian and Dennis (Ian needed a partner in crime for the weekend) were carrying their skis. Their plan was to ski on Watson Peak, in whatever snow they could find. Perhaps needless to say we got some funny looks; skis on a hot, sunny day in July and a pregnant lady!
It was a super fun, relaxing weekend. We're actually planning our next backpacking trip already!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Our first eggs!

Our chicken's first egg, it's not really a large egg though!Here it is beside a store bought egg! It's kind of punny, but the ladies have started laying eggs! Yeah for backyard chickens.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

New Pictures of Baby Rae

We had our 20 week ultrasound this Monday. We found out we're having a boy!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Maddie's first trip to the beach

Maddie loves the water so we decided to take her to the beach to see what she thought of salt water. She loved it. Lucky for us we live really close to Corey's beach so we can visit regularly! She romped around, chased sticks, dug in the sand, tried eating barnacles, chased birds, it was pretty entertaining for all of us.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

We added another redhead to the Rae clan!

Her name is Maddie, she's about seven months old, we think she's an australian shepherd/border collie mix but there must be some retriever in her, she loves water! She's smart, funny and we adore her.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Our first ultrasound

We had our first ultrasound, the baby is ~2" long, and was frankly pretty mellow during the ultrasound. I think little Squak (the babies nickname) was pretty tired after a late night out! We saw the Devil Makes Three last night, with Hillstomp and Robert Sarazin Blake, a fabulous show. The ultrasound tech said Squak looks healthy and everything looks "normal", she estimated our due date at 10/12/10.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Angus guarding the ladies

The chicks are doing pretty good. Although we're realizing its harder than we thought it would be. It's been kind of heartbreaking. I should have known they wouldn't all make it but I wanted them to. A few have died, among them was Hairy, we had feathers on her feet. I should have waited to name them. The rest of them seem to be doing well. Running around, eating, sleeping, pooping. And, Angus finally realized we have live birds in the house. He can be found that late at night watching over them. I'm not sure how we're going to "introduce" them but I have faith that we'll figure it out.

Monday, March 1, 2010

The chicks are here

The chicks arrived bright and early this morning. They are so freakin' cute. Two of them didn't make it, but the other 24 are eating, pooping and drinking up a storm. We stood over the chick box for awhile, dipping each chicks beak into the water, making sure they knew where the food was and measuring the air temperature to make sure it was warm enough.
They finally all settled down, just a few cheeps every now and then. Frankly, it's kind of startling to go in and check on them. It think they're pretty exhausted and almost all of them are just sprawled out on the ground! Apparently that's normal, they are babies after all, they need alot of sleep.
I am so excited to watch them grow up and identify them. One of the chicks has feathers on it's feet!!!!! I'll post pictures later!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

February in Bellingham

I love our property. At the far north end we have an active deer rub. We see countless birds every day. A family of raccoons hangs out in the fir tree east of the house. The old shed outback is weathered, slowly being covered by moss and lichen and lets be honest, it looks perfect in our backyard. The apple trees have low branches that are perfect for sitting and while your there why not check out the lichen and moss covering the branches. Add to it that the yard is crazy beautiful right now! The forsythia, quince and plums are blooming. Indian plums are beginning to leaf out. The grass is a brilliant green. Bulbs are pushing their way out of the ground.
And sitting here wondering, how did we get so lucky and am I really going to be able to wait until April to start planting?

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


We finally ordered chicks! We've been talking about it for months. They are set to arrive March 1st, in the mail! We ordered them from McMurray Hatchery in Oregon. We weren't sure exactly which kind of chicks we wanted, we just knew we wanted to try heritage breeds, so we got the assorted variety! The Rainbow layers to be exact. Sounds like they will be a mix of white egg layers, rare/heritage varieties, heavy breeds and araucanas. Sounds like a great way to figure out what kinds of chickens we like.
I'm pretty excited to have 25 chicks running around, all different shapes, sizes and colors. We aren't sure what the cats will think of them, especially since they need to be inside for at least 5 weeks! I'm sure we'll find the cats perched beside the box with the chicks in it more than once.
Yeah for chickens!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Yard work......with multiple chainsaws, a nine inch chipper and the dump trailer

None of our house projects have been on what I would consider a "small" scale. We're kind of in this all or nothing phase. This weekends project was no exception.
Two huge spruce trees were commanding all of the sun on the south side of the house and had to go. So, we invited our good friend Carson Sprenger, owner of Rainshadow Consulting, over to cut them down! While he was at it we also asked him to cut down an ivy covered pine in the backyard (where the dog pen will go someday), a small snag and another small spruce near the fire pit. Perhaps the most exciting event of the weekend was learning how to use a chainsaw. I was kind of hesitant at first, but after some practice I've decided chainsaws are fabulous and I should have learned how to use them earlier in life.
The yard is still in recovery mode, most of the limbs have been cleared and the wood chips piled, but there are still piles of firewood rounds waiting to be split....and a dog pen to be built!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Squirrel Gumbo

I bookmarked a recipe for Squirrel Gumbo today. Is this a new beginning or the beginning of the end?