Seattle, and a break

August 29, 2011 |  Category:   life seasonal Seattle & the NW travels

Seattle…the weather has been perfect so far and such a nice and warm change to chilly San Francisco. The first thing we did was basically hand the kids off to Mark’s mom, who picked us up at the airport, and Mark and I took a leisurely walk through Pike Place Market. The market is such a different experience when you’re not walking it with kids.
We took our time at the stalls, grabbed a crab cocktail to share, bought some wine, and went into every store we’d normally avoid if we were with the girls. Made me realize that I couldn’t remember the last time Mark and I just took a walk by ourselves, just the 2 of us. Pretty sad. So we did it again one evening a few nights later. Walked down to the waterfront as the girls were being tucked into bed and watched the sunset on the pier over cones of Huckleberry ice cream.

Oh, and one last photo of San Francisco below as we pulled away from the airport after getting up at the ungodly hour of 4am to catch our Seattle flight. Look how the fog monster hovers over the city like a blanket. Amazing.

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  • Simone August 29, 2011 at 3:40 am

    You have such a lovely blog! Greetings from munich

  • Dahlia August 29, 2011 at 5:13 am

    sometimes I think you speak rather harsh about your two daughters. I understand that taking care of two young girls is not the easiest thing in the world. It’s a job and I can see how hard it can truly be, but to kind of subtly bash them is not nice. It gives off a vibe that they are just burdens in you and your husband’s already stressful lives. I understand the pressures of being financially stable as well, as money keeps a family afloat. But you always sound and look so miserable. I also understand that no smile is better than a forced one. Just know that there are people out there struggling more than you. Not saying you are better than others either.

  • Joy August 29, 2011 at 6:20 am

    I love the hustle and bustle of markets. The place teems with colour and energy. Sweet photos!

  • Clara August 29, 2011 at 8:38 am

    Well now I’m even MORE tempted to go to Seattle. Looks like such an incredible place to visit. Also glad to hear you’re getting some time without the girls, you two certainly deserve it!

  • Jenna August 29, 2011 at 9:23 am

    @Dahlia, what a nice message to wake up to this morning. I have never said I was better than anyone else. And of course I know that there are people out there struggling more than us. I have never said, written or thought otherwise. I’m not really seeing the connection between your first point about “subtly” bashing my kids and then bringing up points about struggling. It’s almost like you just wanted to throw out as many hurtful comments out there as possible.

  • Jess August 29, 2011 at 9:47 am

    Jenna –
    I have always admired not only the beautiful things that you post on your blog and your amazing aesthetic, but the way you are so candid and honest about being a parent. There are moments of such joy and connection, and then… as you so eloquently (and honestly!) point out, there are times when we feel overwhelmed and as though we have given of ourselves so utterly and completely to raising our kids that we realize we have neglected our partners, our friends and what we need as individuals.
    I have never felt that you “bash” your daughters and I believe that comments such as the ones that Dahlia made are about HER and whatever SHE is struggling with and not about you, so please do not take them to heart!

  • The Perfect Model August 29, 2011 at 10:05 am

    you don’t realize how much you need time alone with your husband, until you are actually alone… modern motherhood can be lonely and specially hard on the marriage… we are far from our mothers, our sisters… from our support committee.

    Post something about your support circle in New York… do you have one?? that you don’t have to pay of course.

    “It takes a whole Village to raise a child”

    As a woman, a mother, a wife… a professional …


    Believe ME.

    The Picture of San Francisco and the fog is good, good, good.

  • Nenette August 29, 2011 at 10:19 am

    Such gorgeous images, Jenna. Makes me miss Seattle. 🙂
    I completely agree with you re: seeing sights sans kids. There are some things I can’t just stop to appreciate when the kids are rushing me through places to things *they* would find captivating. Besides, walking hand in hand with one’s spouse leisurely taking in the various sights, sounds, and smells is a unique experience and should be enjoyed often.

  • SY August 29, 2011 at 10:21 am

    Great photos, hope you are having a wonderful time! I haven’t been to Seattle in years, but am glad to know that Sisters European is still around, I love that place.

  • Noelle August 29, 2011 at 11:04 am

    Wonderful photos! I could spend hours taking pictures at Pike’s Market. Looks like you had nice weather too:)

  • Melissa@Julia's Bookbag August 29, 2011 at 11:24 am

    Hey Jenna! So happy that our town smiled at you and gave you guys some great weather for your visit — When the weather cooperates, Seattle is glorious. (It’s the other 9 months of grey that’s a bit of a hard pill to swallow…) How fun to see the Market through your eyes, it’s making me think I should get over there before summer ends!

  • sara Jensen August 29, 2011 at 11:27 am

    Uh. It sounds like Dahlia has never traveled with children or worked late into the night so that she could spend as many waking hours as possible with her kids? Dunno just a guess. As a similar set of parents here, I totally feel this post. Just last week my husband and I were walking down the street holding hands kids free and it was unreal. Jenna and Mark, like Thor and I adore our kids and are strong parents. It takes a lot of energy to parent in a good way. It takes a lot of willpower not to take our kids into shops that we so so want to go into but dont want to torture the shopkeeper with the anxiety of our kids picking up super fragile items or rubbing peanut butter all over a beautiful scarf. Guess what? Jenna’s kids are super awesome, as are Jenna and Mark. They kids are awesome and happy because Jenna and Mark are. I think Dahlia needs to make some better choices with her nasty comments, or Ill give her a time out.

  • Abby August 29, 2011 at 11:32 am

    Oh I know that fog monster well, beautiful shot.

  • Sebbie August 29, 2011 at 12:45 pm

    Geez Dahlia, she didn’t say anything negative about her kids in this post, just that she was relishing some time alone in a market with Mark. Happy Monday, indeed.

    By the way, Jenna, that aerial photograph is AMAZING.

  • Christy August 29, 2011 at 12:51 pm

    jenna, WELCOME to you and your family. so glad you could visit seattle over one of the most beautiful weekends we’ve had all summer long (i love it here in all weather, but when the sun is out, this town is a stunner). i discovered your blog early this summer, and i’ve been stopping by regularly ever since. thank you for sharing your beautiful photography and thoughtful turn of phrase. your lovely, honest stories frequently hit home with me, and i’m sure i’m not alone in that sentiment.

  • Aya August 29, 2011 at 1:00 pm

    Jenna, I love your honesty and beautiful images.
    And about Dahlia–Sure, you talk about your struggles (financially, time-wise etc) but what I notice is that despite that you take time, make time to spend time with your daughters, do special things with them and for them and make sure your make special moments with them even if money is tight. 8 donuts for 4 people? A carnival even though it’s not your thing? Going shopping, just you and Claudine? It’s evident how much you adore your girls in all the sacrifices you and Mark make. I don’t think you are bashing them at all, or whining. You’re honest, which is so refreshing as I feel that so many other bloggers are living this life of perfect house-keeping, cooking, outfits, crafting and parenting that I can never achieve. When I have kids, I hope my life can be like your’s–warts and all.
    Dahlia–Being a wet blanket is less fun than being kind.

  • Jane August 29, 2011 at 1:03 pm

    @Dahlia – Bwahahahahahahahahahaahhahahahahahahah

    Phew, sorry, just had to let that out. Obviously someone had never actually spent any time with real children. Forget traveling, just trying to get through the mall without one of my kids knocking something over, complaining, whining, getting in a fight with their sibling, or otherwise making my shopping experience a big ball of stress is a big accomplishment!! I love my kids to death, don’t get me wrong, but the moment any family member wants to keep them for a little while so my husband and I can simply BREATH for a moment, I snatch it…and don’t rush to pick them up 😉

    Don’t sweat the haters Jenna, most of us can relate more than you could know!!

  • Sora August 29, 2011 at 1:43 pm

    Haters gotta hate. Sad.

    Jenna, your posts are always on point. I can relate as I have two little girls, myself. And, the smoke monster (love the LOST ref), I can totally relate to as my in-laws live in San Bruno and San Fran and it sure is an ever-present and undeniable presence up there.

    Enjoy your vacay and thank you for your posts!

  • Laura August 29, 2011 at 2:09 pm

    Love the aerial photo of san fran…amazing!

  • victoria August 29, 2011 at 4:28 pm

    @Dahlia….wow……what a strange thing to write. Why did you feel the need? Jenna’s posts are always, insightful, interesting, intelligent, and beautifully written – even if she is not completely thrilled with something. I find her to be an extremely positive person, who is always trying to do her best, and make ‘the whole thing’ work.

    I cannot even begin to imagine how you interpreted anything she wrote as child bashing and/or misery. (????)

    Her posts regarding family life are honest and on point, yet never whiny or unhappy. If you are not impressed with her or her parenting style, you should probably NOT be reading her blog. I mean really, why would you bother?

    @Jenna – Obviously you are too smart to take “that” seriously. As a mother of two (now older – 16 & 19) children, who runs a business with her husband, I can completely relate to pretty much everything you have been experiencing in regards to child raising, business and husband/me time. So many people believe you ‘have it easy’ because you work for yourself – you shouldn’t even take the time to explain the stresses associated with self-employment.

    So keep up the amazing work you are doing! You are awesome and one of my highlights evey day is reading your blog. Thanks so much! 🙂

    As a side note, you make me want to move to Brooklyn. :0

  • jen August 29, 2011 at 7:35 pm

    ha! yes, i relish those rare outings when it’s just the two of us. looks like you guys are enjoying your vacation. love your pics!

  • vinyl banners August 29, 2011 at 10:31 pm

    This is amazing! What camera are you using? Is it the camera or is it just you who are so pro on taking shots? The aerial photo is a winner! I want to visit Seattle too.

  • janet August 30, 2011 at 12:05 am

    Haters suck. You strike me as a secure enough person to not let comments like that really affect you. I hope that despite all the drama, you are enjoying this time with friends and family, and thank you so much for taking time to share these great photos with us.

  • nicole @ deliajude August 30, 2011 at 12:18 am

    i live in the land of the fog monster and most of the time love it…that airplane shot is amazing…captures the sf fog belt perfectly…before it swoops across the bay and hits the hills and lands in my backyard!

  • Kim August 30, 2011 at 12:31 am

    Dahlia just doesn’t get it. The reason why I have connected to your blog is because it was so refreshing to read about a mom with an honest and open point of view. I have found parenting to be so challenging; mostly, I think, because I had my daughter at 32 and got used to all the me time. It just pains me to watch other moms at the playground who seem to relish in the role (I mean, do they really speak in that high pitched voice praising EVERY insignificant gesture at home?). I oftentimes feel that a lot of it must be for show. I appreciate your honesty about being a mom who works full time and who can speak frankly about the fact that you haven’t figured it all out yet. That’s why your blog resonates so much; the honesty is palpable and totally relatable.

  • Simone August 31, 2011 at 12:42 am

    Your blog, your photos, your words, are all beautiful. I’m just saddened by the time someone has taken to be so unkind (and wrong). As a mum of 3 young ones who loves to read your blog I hope you keep doing EXACTLY what you are doing.

  • Christine August 31, 2011 at 2:24 am

    @ Dahlia – You suck! Every mother/father deserves a “sanity” break from their children! I know, I have two toddlers! I think it is healthy for both parent and child! You write as if you were a perfect little child yourself! Not!
    @ Jenna – I love reading your blog because of your open honesty about parenting, work, daily life…even though we live completely different lives, I feel like I can relate to you. Thank you for SHARING your life with us – your words and pictures…BEAUTIFUL!!!

  • Anni August 31, 2011 at 7:46 am

    Regarding this comment above: When I stumbled upon sweetfineday I was initially captivated by the beautiful pictures. However I might have saved this to my photography/inspiration folder and maybe looked at it from time to time. Then I started reading and was amazed by the honesty and the modesty displayed in the writing. Many blogs give you a weird sense of hightened and beautified reality. You start wondering why your life seems so dull and is not filled with pink maracons, flowers by the bed and a husband making you chocolate croissants in the morning before you start your weekend(which is free, of course) with a nice stroll around a fleamarket where you stumble upon the perfect white garden table and a red polka-dotted dress for a dollar.
    The writer of sweetfineday impresses me with her appreciation for her family and everything beautiful whilst keeping it modest and honest. I get the feeling that she is not afraid to be honest enough to write about her struggles and that raising kids is not just fun and games. In the media, having a family is often presented as some kind of cute adventure where the kids have fun playing and the devoting mum pops some chocolate cookies in the oven. Raising a family can be tough. People should be respected and loved for their honesty. And that the author of this blog loves her family with all her heart becomes clear in every image and word she writes, so that comment is just making me sad.

  • Rachel August 31, 2011 at 9:52 am

    I just had to go searching out the rude comment referred to in your most recent post and I can just see this woman sitting in front of(hiding behind) her glowing computer screen, wrinkling her nose and passing judgement on people that are succeeding in ways she probably is not. Keep on keeping on Jenna! Your blog gives me so much insight into what family life may be like someday, and regardless of the hard moments you talk about, you can tell that you know it’s worth it everything is. Enjoy the rest of your trip!

  • jess August 31, 2011 at 11:36 am

    sure is easy to talk smack from a dark room w/ a computer protecting you. dalhia must not have kids, i’ve never met a parent that didn’t enjoy a little time away from their kids to re-connect w/ their spouse every now and again, it keeps you sane. i looove yr blog jenna, i dont know you obviously, but you seem like a very nice, thoughtful person who loves yr kids VERY much! what dahlia said has never even occured to me while reading yr blog, i can tell you have nothing but love for those girls.
    p.s. i’m so sorry about yr kitty 🙁 i teared up reading yr post, losing animals is the worst, so, so sorry.

  • Frau Rabbit September 1, 2011 at 2:21 am

    Hello Jenna, I love your blog and couldn’t stop reading it when I first came across it a few months back. And yes, I went back through the archives and was so glad to have a nice backlog to catch up on. With several friends who are now new mummies, I can see from exchanges on the various forms of social media that parenting is a subject fraught with tension and conflict and can draw out claws even amongst friends. I love your unwavering honesty in dealing with it. It just rings false (to me) when someone proclaims that parenthood is a walk in a park, that every moment with the baby/child is utterly magical and that life before parenthood, bah, seriously not worth living. Also, there are so many blogs out there offering no more than curations of beautiful (and unattainable) things and presenting an unreal Smurf-like utopia (not that I don’t enjoy those blogs…). But yours is the first (that I have come across) where the curation of beautiful photos and objects is placed in the context of a real life that we can all relate to. And finally, before this turns into a scary stalker-like essay, I really admire your courage in presenting your life as it is, warts and all. Keep writing!

  • Kayla @ Exquisite Banana September 1, 2011 at 11:39 am

    @Dahlia: Ouch. That’s just rude and uncalled for and completely untrue. Jenna doesn’t deserve words like that…nor does anyone. Get off your high horse.

    (Hi, Jenna. Sorry, couldn’t help myself. Hope you are having wonderful day!)

  • Visty September 2, 2011 at 3:17 am

    I have to be honest, my first thought when I read that you “handed off” the kids to Grandma was severe jealousy. We live hundreds of miles away from family, and the family we do have is not involved in that way. My kids have never spent the night at Grandma’s house, and they likely never will. I love them deeply and completely, and yet I know I could be a better mom if we had a little free time now and again. It is just the reality of our lives that we are parents 24/7 without any help. I can’t imagine anyone begrudging you, or any parent, a little breathing space.

    Your blog draws me in again and again, and it’s not your honesty, really, but the fact that there is a seriousness and depth in your writing that I suppose shallow people could interpret as “miserable”. I see it as introspection, a quality that very few people have, unfortunately. I don’t want to come here every day and read about your super fun this and your really awesome that. I want to read real thinking.

  • Erin September 2, 2011 at 3:32 am

    LOVE what Kayla wrote!

  • kimia kline September 4, 2011 at 8:41 am

    fog monster indeed. wow! what an amazing pic. that fog tortured me for 2 years….so so glad to be in the sunshine now.