Let's Get Creative this Mother's Day

I was thinking about Mother's Day (yes, it's this Sunday, you knew that) and how there are probably some nice brunches being offered around town that I should look into.  And then when I read THIS, I was buckled over laughing in recognition that I really don't want brunch at all.  And luckily my kids are older than the author's, so I'm past those throws of chaos, yet I can still appreciate and remember the moment she is in.  Her brutal honesty was a fantastic kick in the pants and offers an opportunity for us to ponder, mothers...what do we really wish for on Mother's Day?   

Let's get the PC stuff out of the way.  I'm grateful.  I love my children very much and appreciate the health and happiness and awesomeness of our family. I'm glad I am a mother.  Glad I have one.  I don't need anything because I am loved, blah blah blah. Onto the bitchy portion...  I struggle each year with the internal pull that comes from being a mother and having a mother, so we have to share the day.  While my mom's dream is to spend some quality alone time with me and review and reminisce about how she believes this (rapidly aging) human she created is the most fantastical person on Earth, this drives me bat$*it crazy and is exactly how I do not want to spend any moments of my spare time on any given Sunday, let alone Mother's Day.  I cannot walk arm in arm with her whispering girlish secrets and cackling in contented laughter.   So I save a sliver of family time on Sunday to include my mom and promise myself I won't curse at her (outloud, c'mon we're from Jersey) or roll my eyes (when she's looking at me).  I'm definitely saving some time for kiddos- they will scamper around making me cards that very morning and writing what jobs they will do for me to celebrate my big day.  If the weather cooperates it would be fun to do a hike or bike ride or family walk together.  They want to spend the entire time together, not realizing that we already spend every single day together, mostly driving in carpool circles that give me vertigo. 

But then there's the rest of the time that Sunday- this is the preciousness of Mother's Day.  Be brave.  Take that time and make it your very own.  I know seasoned moms that make plans with each other- golf with girlfriends, go on an adventure, go to the spa, walk mindlessly around the mall, get a make-over at Sephora, hide in an empty room and drink some champagne or read a book.  Something that your normal mommy days don't ever account for.   Take a nap- that'd be crazy!  What does the important mother in your life like to do most? Give her the time to go do it.  

I need to jump start my "motherly-ness" on Mother's Day and run that day like every other- an organized and productive machine.  Don't waste a minute, between this day and one birthday a year we can't be frivolous with our allotted moments.  I was thinking of maybe putting together an itinerary that looks something like this for Mother's Day this year:

9am- don't disturb mom until at least 9.  Darkness and quiet house prevail

9:15- wake me up with head-pets and soft face tickles.  cheek kisses are ok too (pls brush your teeth first)

9:30 -coffee to mom, start cooking her 2 over easy eggs with a side of sausage, and seasonal fresh fruit (blueberries are lovely right now!)

10- family bike ride. tires already topped off with air. I'm sure the sun will be shining.

11:30-3:30 Husband/kids clean the entire house and all laundry while Mommy goes and plays 9 holes of golf w/girlfriends.  Perhaps you pack me some snacks and a some wine for the cart.

3:30 Mom and Grandma go for pedicures together while Dad/kids prep for dinner, some kids perhaps plant some flowers in outdoor pots as a fun surprise 

5  Mom and Grandma return to clean house, flowers, music, sunshine and smiling family faces.  Slow rush for hugs and mother's day cards.  A crisp Viognier and cushioned patio chair would really hit the spot.  

6 healthy dinner made with family teamwork is enjoyed by all, convo consists of funny stories from kids childhood that we all always enjoy

7:30 everyone that is not a mother cleans up.

8 No gifts necessary, but kid art is always welcomed. Well, I suppose so are spa gift cards or vouchers to get my gross crumb and baseball cleat encrusted car detailed. 

9:30 everyone goes to bed early without being asked 28 times.


Well at least this is my own warped dream of a perfect Mother's Day. What's yours? 



Polar Plunge 2017: Kirkland Style

Yesssss- it's time to pull your bikini out of storage!  Just what you were hoping for, right?

If you can't find it, just throw on a ridiculous costume instead.  This deliciously chilly event is hosted by, well....nobody! It's a citizen-driven tradition and anything goes at this Kirkland "Polar Plunge" that happens at 1pm on January 1st each year in Marina Park.  Hundreds and hundreds of certifiable lunatics from all over the area jump into the frigid waters of Lake Washington in unison. Fifty-two degrees never felt so good as you cleanse the chaos of 2016 out of your soul. Enter at your own risk.

You see every type of person at this event which makes it even more special.  A true collection of our city's people. Some bring a friend or even their whole posse for moral support.  It's not easy to chicken out once the siren blares and everyone runs westward with jaws clenched and eyes at the horizon.  Essentials for your outing include: water shoes (rocks- ouch!), big towel, warm dry clothes and hat, phone to take pics (you'll be proud after). Side bonus, the polar plunge is also a great cure for a hangover. ;)

Happy New Year Kirkland. See ya in your skivvies on the first. 


Columbia Athletic Club Shares Their Traditions

CACad  Brenda Kauffman, the Membership Director at Columbia Athletic Club at Juanita Bay, who also happens to be a recent recipient of the Anne J. Owen Award from the Kirkland Chamber of Commerce for her community service (woot woot!), shares her favorite local holiday happenings with us.  Exciting news also worth mentioning is that Columbia just remodeled a room in their facility to be an ImpacTraining Studio.  Maybe I'll see you in there in 2017?

From Brenda...

My favorite Kirkland holiday tradition is the Annual Tree Lighting produced by the Kirkland Downtown Association.  I love it because it’s a great way to kick off the holidays and it gets me excited for the season.  This event gets bigger and better every year, changing locations to make sure there’s room for everyone, which keeps it fresh and fun.  I remember years ago we had reindeer in a fenced off area and roasted chestnuts over an open fire.  This year there was snow for the kiddos to go sledding, while everyone listened to Geoffrey Castle on the electric violin.

At Columbia Athletic Club we like to thank our members with a big holiday party in December. 
This year we also celebrated the Club’s 35th Anniversary and had nearly 300 folks attend the bash!  Continuing the celebration of this milestone, we’re offering very exciting promotions until the end of year. So if your New Year’s resolutions involve improving your health, while having fun doing it, December is definitely the month to get going! Email brendak@columbiaathletic.com or call 425-821-0882 for more info.

Neal Smiles Orthodontics Teams with Mary's Place for the Holidays

DrNealIt makes me happy to give thanks and do a special shout-out to the Kirkland Weblog advertisers during the holidays.  It's a great opportunity to hear what their favorite things are during this season and what traditions they embrace. Thank you, Neal Smiles Orthodontics, for being a Kirkland Weblog partner and helping to keep our readers 'in the know.'  There are still a few days left to stop in their freshly remodeled office (just north of Juanita Village) to donate coats and clothes to Mary's Place.....


Each year at Neal Smiles Orthodontics, our team looks for ways to help give back to our local community, throughout the year and especially during the holidays. Dr. Michelle Neal, of Neal Smiles Orthodontics prides herself on giving back with local school sponsorships, hosting free community events and a Candy Buy-Back program each year that supports our troops and military service. This year we will be hosting our second annual, Holiday Donation Drive with Mary's Place. Mary's Place is a wonderful organization and family shelter that empowers women, children and families. They've given us a list of the most needed items like personal toiletries, socks, warm jackets and clothes, and they also accept Amazon Smile gift cards. We will be collecting new, and gently used donations from now until December 21st at our office, in Kirkland Washington. The more we can spread this information, the larger our efforts can be to spread holiday cheer to those who needed most this holiday season - Information is available on our website: www.nealsmiles.com and on our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/NealSmiles or call our office at (425) 823-1234. Thank you for your generous support and for helping us make the holidays brighter for Mary's Place and our community!

At Neal Smiles Orthodontics, we look forward to decorating for the holidays each year not just for the holiday cheer, but because we have our 'Giving Tree' on display. This is our tradition, each year, where we collect donations for charities. In past years we've donated hundreds of gifts to many organizations such as Children's Hospital and Mary's Place. Our team looks forward to the growing amount of gifts on display under the 'Giving Tree' as we receive donations from our patients, fellow dental professionals and the community. Come by our Kirkland, Washington office to view our tree on display and to drop off your donations, now through December 21st.


Being Thankful, Then Shop Local

Happy Thanksgiving, Kirkland!!

After the turkey coma has worn off and the last slice of pumpkin pie is gone,it's time to get to shopping. We know you'll be clicking away on Black Friday while watching the Apple Cup, but then on Saturday, THAT's the day.  The one where you re-emerge from your house, breathe in some fresh PNW winter air and head to your favorite little shops for "Small Business Saturday' on 11/26.  This is how you keep your credit card warm...the downtown merchants will all be open until 8pm or later.  So show the locals your love and enjoy great customer service while giving back to your community.  Some shops will have giving trees and also offer special promotions throughout the season. 

Also on Sat 11/26 you can preview the Kirkland Art Center's Holiday Art Market 11am-6pm. Shop for unique handmade gifts created by local artists.  This fabulous market will run from 11/26- 12/24, Tues-Sat 11-6 and Sun 12-5.

Don't forget about WINTERFEST!  The same Sat 11/26 (I told you to rest up for this day!) there will be holiday caroling, shopping, family activities and Santa in Peter Kirk Park from 3-6:30.  Watch the tree-lighting at 5pm. Then on Sunday you can rest again.....

......Until Google does their holiday lighting on 12/2 from 4:30-6 (lights on at 5:30). Arrive early to check out the life-sized people snow globe.


Clap   Kudos Korner--

Congrats to Barbie Collins Young! She was recently promoted to Executive Director of the Kirkland Downtown Association, which 'magically' puts together many of these amazing local events in partnership with our businesses and citizens/volunteers.  We appreciate you Barbie! 

Kirkland's Oktoberfest Planning Committee just announced they are donating $17K in proceeds to local charities.  Not only is this a super fun event but it also gives back to the community in which it lives.  Here are the charities doing a happy dance right now: American Cancer Society, Eastside Timebank, Imagine Housing, Kirkland Downtown Association, MEOW Cat Rescue, Rotary Club of Kirkland Downtown, and Sibling House.

Time to Get in the Spirit


Downtown Kirkland Holiday Wine Walk- I know, I had you at 'wine' didn't I?  21+ only, THIS Fri Nov 18th 6-9pm, check in at the Heathman. Advance tickets $25, at door $30 and includes 14 wine tasting tix and you'll have fun hopping from merchant to merchant for your tastings.


Kirkland Turkey Trot- Hopelink's 16th Annual 5K Family fun run and walk.  Sunday Nov 20th, 10am at Marina Park. Register here.

Heathman holidays- afternoon tea, and special dinners for Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and New Year's Eve can be found here.  Call 425-284-5900 for reservations.

Thanks to "A" at Simplicity Decor for throwing a super fun holiday shopping party to get us all in the spirit. Yes, Christmas is around the corner.  For reals. Enjoy the wonder.

Holiday volunteering in downtown Kirkland- check out the sign up's here so you can jump in and help on Nov 17th, 19th or 26th.  Tis the season for lending hand.

Carillon Point- 12/15-31 is the Gingerbread Display in the Woodmark Lobby.  And don't forget the Argosy Christmas Ships 12/18-23 which is always a favorite tradition.

Santa's Mailbox is coming to Kirkland! The Kirkland Parks Foundation has secured funding for our very first mailbox that sends St. Nick's letters directly to the North Pole.  And, yes, your letters will be answered!  hohoho.  Thank you KPD and merry donors. The mailbox will be found in front of the downtown Bank of America right after Thanksgiving until Dec 24th. 


4th of July

Fourth2016Crowd  Fourth2016Mermaids  Fourth2016SeahawkTruck   Fourth2016Lambo

Fun Fourth in Kirkland! Little chilly for me, but good times nonetheless.  Thanks to the organizers, sponsors and volunteers and especially all of those that have served and sacrificed for our country.  Happy Birthday Merica! Sharing a couple of pics- what's a parade without mermaids?  Lots of representation from the die-hard Seahawks fans.  My son is still talking about that Lambo.

Who won the Big $$ in the float contest??  The Mermaids took second to this one, Falun Dafa, which was pretty impressive I'll agree.

Fourth2016YellowFloat  Photo Credit: KDA



Prizes, Sand and Progress

Celebrate Kirkland! 4th announces $1000 and $500 cash prizes for the best parade entries!

Here's a fun opportunity to increase participation and excitement surrounding the Lee Johnson Auto Family’s annual 4th of July Parade with the theme “It’s a Small World”.

Celebrate Kirkland, in partnership with the Kirkland Downtown Association, is including $1000 first place cash prize for the best parade entry in the annual Lee Johnson Auto Family 4th of July Parade. Included in the contest is a $500 cash prize for the second favorite entry and all entries will be competing to receive high scores from an independent panel of judges. How's that for ya? God Bless America.  Sign up on the Celebrate Kirkland website.


SandMarinaParkphoto: KPF
Help fund new sand at Houghton and Marina Beach. Fresh sand for the beginning of summer!

The Kirkland Parks Foundation had so much fun providing fresh sand for the beach at Marina Park last summer that they are doing it again—and they are including Houghton Beach this time around! From now until June 30th, you can help support this project to provide new sand just in time the start of summer.

Who doesn’t love playing in the sand? Sand castles! Sand angels! Wiggling bare toes in warm sand! Our waterfront parks are a huge attraction for kids but do not naturally have very fine sand.

Let’s bring in some fresh sand to play with.  Each beach needs two truckloads of sand and each truckload costs $500, for a total of $1000 per beach. It's super easy to donate here.

Congrats to Friends of FSH Research!
Kirkland non-profit, Friends of FSH Researchwhich was​ founded in 2004, raises funds to stimulate research interest in FSHD​. On Monday the City of Seattle will present a proclamation noting June 20th as an International Day of FSHD Awareness.  FSHD is the most popular form of muscular dystrophy in the adult population. There is no cure for this progressively disabling condition. Over the past 12 years this volunteer-run organization has provided over $3 million dollars to FSH related projects.  They spearheaded the first FSH project to be conducted in Seattle in 2005 and have provided $1 million in funding to the Hutch and $1 million to the ​University of Washington.​ Their 13th annual auction will be on January 21st at the  Bellevue Hyatt. 


Kirkland "Hawkhouse" Comes to an End?

The infamous Kirkland Hawkhouse with the lighted Seahawks display at 11217 NE 100th St is winding down for the season and may be for good.  Here's a posting they had on Facebook the other day.  It made me feel like I need to call 911 or a counselor or maybe go knock on their door with a hug and a beer.  :(


       I'd like to take this time to announce that next Saturday January 2nd I will be shutting the doors for the year and most likely for good at this location.  I know this is going to suck for a lot of people and children near and far. I am making this decision based on the actions of a few people.  The constant slander, rudeness being talked to like I'm a worthless human, and the actions taken that have caused unlimited amounts of anxiety and depression. Some stuff said publicly has also put my family in danger and fear of being robbed for false accusations.       
      I can 100% relate with kids who get bullied who decide to take their own life. Through this whole holiday season instead of enjoying the smiles that people have and tears of joy seeing the display I have been praying every night that I will not wake up the next morning. I will never disclose these individuals because I would never want anyone to treat them the way they treat me or say the things they say about me. I will just pray that they can find happiness in their own lives because obviously these actions come from something deep inside them where they are hurting. 
       I completely understand the headache of the traffic etc. I have timed it from the freeway to my house on a closed evening and the busiest evening and it took me 1 minute and 44 seconds longer to get past my house. (and there were 3 cars unloading so probably took me longer than normal) So if someone is in a hurry that 2 minutes can be very frustrating, but I'm sure the people without homes to go to that receive food and toys from the public really appreciate the sacrifices made in those 2 minutes.
      I know a complaint is I make profit off of my display , but anyone with an I.Q. above 40 would know that is not possible. Other big displays in our state that collect strictly money and have been doing it a lot longer than I have, have never collected more than 7,000 in donations, and they do not collect food and toys so they only except cash. A lot of donations I receive are food and toys. I don't know if they do not realize over the 5 years I have spent over $50,000 on materials that I save up just to put something cool on for the community. Not to mention all the hours of work I lose doing the display. Which I realize is my choice but seeing people so happy makes it worth it.
      I spend over 400 hours setting it up, about 200 hours opening the house to the public, and another 150 or more taking down the display. So almost 800 hours of labor, basically 20 work weeks of time on this. Again I would like to apologize to the community and say thanks to the thousands and thousands that love it and sorry to the couple that hate it.  Merry Christmas, Happy New Years, and Go Hawks

Nobody has Time to Read Right Now

It's the week before Christmas.  Who has time to read blog posts?   Not me.  Hence, there are bite-sized blips below for our overwhelmed December brains. 

ChristmastreeDT2015  Pretty tree.  

It is in Marina Park this year in case you haven't spotted it. Yes, it's the same park you will be doing the Polar Plunge on Jan 1 at 1pm. Be there.

Common Folk Co in Kirkland Park Place (soon-to-be Kirkland Urban) is clearing out all inventory right now.  Their official closing date is 12/24 but they are hoping to get rid of everything before then. There's not much left, but they're practically giving stuff away at garage sale prices in case you were wondering.  

Geoffrey Castle, a local electric violist who was recently awarded the 2015 Champion of the Arts by Kirkland Performance Center, has a holiday CD called "Noel: A Celtic Christmas."  He has a  pretty a cool spin on some familiar holiday tunes.  Great last minute gift. There may even be a few tickets left for his holiday concerts at KPC on 12/18 and 12/19 if you hurry!

SeahawksHouse2015 <--sparkly Seahawks House so you don't get bored

Rikki Rikki- decided to stay open a little bit longer than the end of the year.  Went in for a farewell Sakitini (always delicious) and now they are staying open until Feb 20th. More Sakitinis for all of us! And their website says they got voted "Best Asian Cusine" (their typo not mine, for once) six years in a row 2010-15.

Kirkland Park Place Theater is having a final viewing party of the classic "Last Picture Show" on Monday Jan 11th with the movie starting promptly at 6:30. Proceeds from the movie to the Kirkland Chamber, KDA, and Kirkland Performance Center

Stay up to date on the Cross Kirkland Corridor saga regarding Sound Transit and the potential of having bus rapid transit or light rail on the trail.  A community update meeting is scheduled for Jan 11th in the evening at Lake Washington Institute of Technology. Details will be here.