That's right. You'd better read my writing closely.
So...surprise! We could not have been more surprised by the news ourselves. Israel seems like he couldn't care less and I'm glad he will just grow up thinking his sibling has always been around. They'll be about 18 months apart, with the youngest being expected to arrive mid-March 2009. So that's pretty big stuff.
Israel is also pretty big stuff these days, and is taking his first steps. He took two in Zack and Gala's house in Seattle and four in the Las Vegas airport on the way home. Israel will turn a year old this month and that is craziness to me! Wow. There just went a year...!
This first group of pictures is from Golden Gardens -- a nice park not too far from Zack and Gala's. We parked at the top of the VERY LARGE hill and hiked down and back up. The stairs pictured are not nearly all the ones we had to climb. I consider it my initiation back into active life after a first trimester of laying in the recliner. What an initiation that was! (Regardless of the way it seems from the last picture, it really was quite cool...I had just been working that hard!)
Our other and more major trek outdoors was with Drew and Sara, who took us to the Soqualmie Pass to hike up part of a mountain to Annette Lake. The scenery and the conversation were beautiful, though the weather was not. The hike took five hours and we all worked together to make it carrying Israel, a diaper bag, and a backpack. (I mostly just carried "Peanut.") It was probably our favorite day in the Northwest. Maybe we'll go back when we don't share part of the trail with cold rain. We all (including Israel) felt like "more than conquerors" after making it back to the car -- a good feeling!
We enjoyed all kinds of food while we were there. With Israel napping between breakfast, lunch, and dinner, going out to eat was our main outing each afternoon and evening. Our favorite place was probably a really small Mediterranean restaurant called Gorgeous George's. George was a great host/cook who is from Nazareth and loved Israel's name. We had falafel and a gyro and they were both amazing, both in taste and size! It will likely take our taste buds awhile to adjust to Indiana fare as we enjoyed Cuban sandwiches (that made your lips hot from eating them), pizza approved by the government of Naples, and Thai food that was nothing short of amazing in its own rite. There was one little spot that deserved a second trip called Molly Moon's -- an ice cream place that makes its own ice cream and waffle cones in-shop. They have the traditional flavors, which are surely really good, too...but Pat loved the salted caramel ice cream and I can't even conceive of a better taste than the balsamic strawberry I had. I would use pregnancy as an excuse to eat a pint of it a day! I wish I had good pictures from that place....
Israel was a trooper and loved the different foods as well. He ate some of everything we did (except the ice cream), but he especially liked my Thai dish, which I thought was too hot for him (even though we do give him spicy food pretty regularly). We offered him more tame things during the meal, but he kept reaching for the tofu and bamboo shoots from my "summer heat" dish. Ah, I love my son! We both agree to claim him, if only for his taste in food! This is Pat in the Thai restaurant, me eating a Scandinavian pastry, and Molly Moon's.
We loved taking in the colors and fun foods at the Pike Place Market. The booths were beautiful!
Our last night in Seattle, Jeff and Chris Ramsdale (pictured immediately below with not-their-son Miles) graciously hosted a slew of former Indiana folk at their house for dinner and tea. I wasn't able to get pictures of everyone who came, but this will give you an idea of what it was like. Believe it or not, there were several of our old Muncie friends who weren't able to make it!