Paint Selection: Brainstorming & Collecting Swatches

We went to Sherwin Williams last night to look at paint colors. Did you know that they have 154 varieties of each color hue on the color wheel? Talk about options!

Our current studio apartment is red, orange and blue (see below). We love it, but it is definitely bold, and I’m not sure I’m ready to paint an entire house this um, bright.

How do I incorporate color without it being too much?

Especially when not only do Jeremy and I have different color preferences, but colors themselves evoke emotions, and rooms are often used for multiple purposes. Hmm.

I like grays, and less bright blues and purples (top left); Jeremy likes bright shades of blue, and more warm colors, like red and orange (bottom left).

Some shades of blue we both like on the right! Blue will obviously be in our future house, but I don’t want the whole house to be, well, you know, too blue! And I’m as equally opposed to a monochromatic whole house scheme as I am to each room being totally independent of the room next door. I want each room to flow and for there to be flow from room-to-room, but I have no idea how to create a palette we will both love.

But I love learning and color, so this is fun research. As I have been researching, I have learned that each color is actually made of two: the hue (aka the primary or secondary color we reference) and the undertone. For example, do I actually prefer purple with gray undertones, or gray with purple undertones?

I also learned that undertones may be the secret to solving my dilemma. In choosing paint colors for a house, it is often the undertones that determine whether combinations work well (or whether they don’t!). So it is important to consider the undertones both within a room and room-to-room. First, you have to know what they are (uh oh) and then your goal is to use either the same or coordinating undertones.

To be continued… Paint Selection: First Samples

Laguna Cafe

My thoughtful mother-in-law bought me lunch today in honor of my birthday! We had a lovely visit, just the two of us. Not to mention, delicious burgers and mushroom brie soup.

I had originally wanted to go to Laguna Cafe with Jeremy on my actual birthday, but since the rest of our excursions were downtown, I decided it made more sense to lunch at Sante. Turns out I was able to try both! What a surprise treat!

I had been to Laguna at its previous location (Regal), but wanted to check out the new spot (formerly Cafe Capri on 29th plus a little more). It seemed to be the same fine dining establishment, though it did lose the ambiance of the previous location’s outdoor setting and gain more traffic noise.

We celebrated my sister’s bachelorette dinner here several years ago. I also came with a friend once and we were so impressed with the owner’s friendliness and knowledge of wine. Add in today’s opportunity to connect with Mama K and I will continue to associate this cafe as a great place to connect with ladies (though I did miss that view!).

First Home Hunting: the Beginning

“House Hunting is emotional,” our realtor commented during our two hour meeting with him yesterday. I wanted to scream, “YEEES!”, but I said, “It is.” I was so grateful he understood that aspect and to hear that we were not alone in feeling this way.

The Hunt Begins

We started our search about two months ago. We had been browsing on Zillow for six months or more and had swung by a few open houses when we saw a house a couple blocks from Manito Park for sale for $150k. We gave the realtor a call and he said it was already under contract, but asked if we’d be interested in meeting.

We’d heard this invitation from several realtors, so I was surprised when Jeremy gave an enthusiastic yes. He felt like he connected with Ben, and said, “He is just like us.” We began the search with Ben warning us it might take awhile to find something because spring had cleared out a lot of inventory.

To read about our First Home Purchase Offer, click here

First Home Purchase Offer

House #1


We didn’t think we were in a rush, but two weeks after first meeting up with our realtor, we made a same-day offer on an adorable house in the Comstock area. Listed at $170k, it had multiple offers and we  won at $180k, moved forward, and then realized we had bid more than we felt comfortable with for a house with no dining space. The seller also disclosed some unexplainable water in the basement.

As much as we loved the charm, we are considering waiting for something that also has more space and a smaller budget. Maybe even wait until next year so we can save for a larger down payment?

end of May house

Read First Home Inspection

Walking Wednesday

Do you ever have scheduling conflicts? How do you react? Do you get stressed? Or maybe you never plan anything?

I’m a planner, and this week was one of those when trying to coordinate schedules with others was complicated. I mean, how many coffee dates can you have in one week? In one day? How much time do you have to simply converse?

I had too many things going on this past Tuesday to take our regular walk with my friend Courtney [Scheduling Conflict #1], so I asked her to bump it to today. Of course, at the time I asked her, I had no other plans for the morning. I did have plans to walk with my sister later that day, but I thought two walks on a 75 degree June day, why not?


Then my sister Katlyn asked to change our regular Wednesday afternoon walk to the morning [Scheduling Conflict #2]. Knowing it’d be another week before we got together if I said no, I agreed, even as I thought, “Well, the plan for Wednesday morning is a bit ridiculous.”

And do you know what? It was a wonderful Wednesday morning. I walked from 8:30-10:00 with Katlyn and then we visited for a bit more. Then I walked with Courtney from 10:30-12. Both were great opportunities to exercise, but more than that, both were time well spent with awesome ladies. The weather was perfect, and even though walking all morning was not what I would have planned, it turned out to be one of my favorite Wednesday mornings. [Lesson learned: Sometimes scheduling conflicts turn out to be blessings in disguise.]

Post Falls

We went climbing outside yesterday. The weather was wonderful and it was a great way to start off the summer solstice.

It was our friend Joe’s idea, but I was curious to climb in Post Falls again too. The last visit I made here was last summer and it was a mixture of success and tears. I knew I had improved quite a bit in confidence and ability at the gym, but outside is a whole different creature. Jeremy is always happy to “vacation” climb and was an excellent guide.

Jeremy led a 5.9, 5.7, 5.10c and another 5.9. Joe climbed all of them and I climbed the first 2 and started the 10c. (Notice my pinky wound from climb 1 – no idea.) Jeremy climbed them all again so he could clean up his gear. Good teamwork, everybody!

Post-climbing, Joe and roommate Zach joined us for pizza and salads. Check out Trader Joe’s Garlic & Herb dough. Hungry from our afternoon adventure, we ate quickly and then enjoyed chatting outside on the front lawn.

When Zach mentioned the summer solstice, Jeremy and I remembered how we had intentionally set up a bunch of yard games to welcome in the season last summer and no one came! We chuckled because this year we didn’t even realize it was summer’s launch… and the party came to us!

I see a bit of parallelism from summer kick-offs to my climbs at Post Falls … so much past effort and work vs. routines that become habit and make a difference. Trying hard vs. this is who we are.

Father’s Day

Personally, I have always liked Father’s Day. It is a good excuse for family to gather and I like the opportunity to express genuine appreciation to my dad.  He is on the East Coast this year and I missed celebrating my birthday and Father’s Day with him in the same weekend! One of those unspoken rituals we both love.

For some, the word “father” connotes more complicated, or even harsh, thoughts and emotions, but I will save that thought for a later date. Today, I write, just to say thank you to all the Fathers out there. We need you and you are making a difference.

I think of my father who has been a pillar of wisdom and stability. A man who always loves me and always believes in me. A man who is not afraid to tell me the truth and who leads by example. Thank you.

I think of my grandfathers who loved their families well and worked hard to provide them. Thank you. I think of my uncles who encouraged me, made me laugh and always wanted the best for me. Thank you. I think of other fathers I have known who have provided strength to their worlds and I am grateful. Thank you.

We celebrated today with my husband’s father and family. IMG_3355

Here is the best snapshot I got of the brothers today, floating in the Spokane River as they did as boys, growing up with a father who spent time with them. So fun to watch 🙂 Thank you.

Check out the video clip on facebook to see live action!

Or check out this video of some local kayakers on the same part of the river 😉

Downtown Spokane Birthday

Yesterday, I wrote about mixed feelings and the idea of a dualistic nature. Here are some other aspects of yesterday’s birthday that may reinforce your understanding of the complexities of geminis, or at least, me! 😉

Birthday Morning

I started the day as previously mentioned… contemplating and writing at Madeleine’s, our local patisserie. My husband, Jeremy met me after wrapping up an early day (finals week), and we headed across the street to a new-to-us bistro. Santé, impressed us with their service (both hostess and waitress) and their menu. I said “Bonjour” to a native French friend of mine. We discovered the James Beard Blended Burger and the flavor was amazing! I’d show you a picture, but I was too busy enjoying 🙂 Taste one yourself before July 31st and then vote for it using the link above.

Next, we headed next door to Auntie’s Bookstore, which recently changed ownership, but promises nothing quintessential will change. Surprisingly to me, I wasn’t in the mood to browse books for very long. (Perhaps I spent too much time at the coffee shop?) But my handsome husband never minds the bookstore being speedy.


We walked over to Riverfront Park and found a bench along the river. First official day of summer break for local schools and not quite 70 degrees meant the Red Wagon was well-slid or slided-on? We sat enjoying the view, observing the people and reading a bit. Did I mention I love our city?

Birthday Afternoon

Though we had planned to go climbing at Wild Walls, even had our gear on us, the people running by actually made us want to jog along the Centennial Trail. But sadly, I had a headache (maybe I was tired, maybe I ate too much pastry, maybe I always know when the rain is coming, idk) so we headed home. We ran into a new friend of Jeremy’s on the way.

Planners, we rarely give ourselves chunks of time that are well, unplanned. So deviating from the plan felt freeing, even though it was a bummer to feel not great on your birthday. Remember, there are expectations! Sigh and a 😉

We watched two 20-min episodes of House Hunters and I took some advil and was somewhere between rest and a nap. Did I mention sometimes birthdays are stressful? 🙂

Birthday Evening

I felt better after the medicine kicked in and we decided to get dressed up and go back downtown for dinner. We went to the Safari Room, part of the Davenport Hotels. We spoke to the friendly hostess briefly and our waitress was exceptional. We enjoyed tomato-pesto flatbread, caesar salad with spicy shrimp, Arbor Crest “Conner Lee” Chardonnay for me and an Oregon IPA for Jeremy.

Next, we walked through downtown and over the suspension bridges, across the and around to The Blackbird Tavern. Also, a new-to-us restaurant, here we ordered dessert for me and a Green Flash IPA for Jeremy. “Spring” was amazing – Chamomile cake, bay leaf & lavender sorbet, honey meringue, bees wax butter cream – umm, yes please! (Again, documenting these moments is a somewhat new idea, alas, I will have to go back for a photo.)

The barista was very good at her job. We also ran into our friend Joe from Soma who waits tables at The Blackbird and is also born in the month of June. A few minutes after we saw him, we saw Michelle, whose family I know well and we learned she works there as well.

Jeremy didn’t mention to anyone that it was birthday. I told him I wanted it to be a secret birthday, like I would know, but everyone else would not. I wanted us to make decisions about what we would do and factor in both our preferences like usual, not just do what I wanted all day. I think he compromised a few times anyway, but hey, it was my birthday 🙂

Introvert Birthday

This is the excerpt for your very first post.


It’s my birthday!

“And we’re going to party, like it’s my birthday…”

Actually, we’re not, and I’m glad.

Honey Latte. Pain (pronounced pan not pane!) au chocolate. Creating a blog. This is how I choose to begin my 34th year.


I reflect on what has transpired since June 17, 1982.

…from my childhood in Virginia Beach, VA through beaucoup stops along the way that led to this calm and sunny morning in Spokane, WA.

Mixed Feelings

Gemini. The constellation takes its name from twins Castor and Polysomething. Personally, I don’t believe in the signs of the zodiac, but I have always related to the idea of a conflict between who I am and who I am perceived to be, a struggle between what my head thinks is socially accepted, or expected of me by others, and how I feel.

Maybe this is why my birthday brings a mixture of excitement and pressure. Who doesn’t want to be celebrated? Who doesn’t love a day dedicated to them? This may come as a surprise to some, but I don’t actually like being the center of attention.

I play that role for you. It comes naturally at times. It fuels my pride, and it makes me feel uncomfortable, still I perform well when I believe it is expected. It brings joy to others, and a bit of unpredictable to those around me. And I like blessing them, and I feel like I’m loving them. Or am I trying to earn their love?

Mixed Signals

People ask: “What do you want to do for your birthday?” I hear: “I assume and expect you to include me in your plan and give me your time.” I think: “I will offend you if I tell you the truth.” I feel: conflicted.

Truth? I actually prefer nothing from you. I wish you would understand. And I feel confused because what you see as a gift of your time to me feels like an expectation from me. And because I love to invest time in people, just not today.


Today, I want to sip coffee slowly while the sun illuminates a magnificent view of our beautiful city outside the window. I want to browse the book store because just seeing books makes me smile. Take a walk, try a new restaurant, take the day as it comes. I just want to be me.

My truth feels controversial because what I actually want is potentially at odds with what others would want. Some ask: “Why would you choose to spend time alone? On your birthday? When others want to celebrate you?”

Mixed Expectations

Suddenly, a special day seems to require me to change all the rhythms I like. Eat big portions and extra sugar when I prefer several, smaller, relatively healthy meals throughout the day. Squeeze in time with many when I like unhurried, one-on-one conversations. Overload my schedule with back-to-back activities and deplete my energy instead of feel energized.

Maybe it’s all in my head, or maybe there is a difference between loving others and the way they receive love. Maybe your perception of me and what you think I would want to do for my birthday is incongruous with what I actually want. Maybe you don’t know me as well as you think you do. Maybe I just want to live today like any other day because I love my life and because I’ve learned that boundaries are an important part of it.

Next year, maybe I will feel different. Maybe I’ll invite a bunch of friends over for a BBQ. But until then, why not do what I actually want to do today? Because some days, the best gift I can give myself, from you, is space and time to listen to my own thoughts. Even if that day happens to fall on my birthday. And that is okay. Isn’t it? 🙂