Thursday, August 31, 2017


Bainbridge Island Ferry, Seattle Washington, Bainbridge Ferry, Downtown Seattle

Well, I've done it. I've officially hit the age where I'm now "in my 30's." I'm no longer just thirty (which was a pretty killer age if I do say so myself), my grays/whites are creeping steadfastly through my scalp and becoming more and more visible, I hardly ever get carded anymore, and gosh dangit--I still feel like a kid but have all the responsibilities of an adult. Welcome to 31, Annelise.

In all actuality, I'm thrilled about turning 31. Daniel and I have accomplished some big goals for ourselves over the past year, and I can't wait to see what we will do together this year now that so many of our boxes have been checked. For instance, we recently did a very Dave-Ramsey-esque "Debt Free Scream," after getting ourselves completely out of debt for the first time in almost five years of marriage. Now THAT was exciting. I also finished up the last bit of my out-of-state training for the Air National Guard, and have no more commitments in the foreseeable future where I'll have to be away from Daniel for an extended period of time... HOORAY!

So you know what that means? That means 31 is going to be a banner year. That's what I was praying for when I blew out my candles, anyway. I've got some big hopes and big dreams, and regardless of what does or doesn't happen, I'm happier than I've ever been and there's no value or price tag I can place on that feeling.

To celebrate my birthday this year, Daniel and I road-tripped to Seattle, Washington to spend some time with my sister and family. It's the third year I've been with my sister on my birthday, and I'm liking the idea of making it an annual thing. We are 12 months and 6 days apart, so sharing our birthday weeks together is pretty darn special.

Over the course of the weekend we played games (10 Penny & Scattegories), ate all the food we could possibly fit into our bellies, took two delightfully long beachwalks and filled our pockets with agates, hugged all the family members we could find (all grandparents & one uncle), and regretted the fact that we didn't have just a couple more days to do it all over again.

Ivar's Mukilteo Landing, Ivar's soft serve ice cream
If you're taking the Mukilteo Ferry to Whidbey Island, stopping at Ivar's for a cup of chowder and a soft serve swirl cone is a must. Now the real question... cake cone or waffle? We stop every single time we take the ferry and this tradition has been a treat for me since I was a kid.

Some of our foodie adventures included chowing down on slices of Neapolitan pesto pizza and caesar salad at Village Pizzeria in Langley on Whidbey Island, savoring Penn Cove mussels and clams in green curry broth with a dessert of a key lime tart at Gordon's on Blueberry Hill on Whidbey Island, destroying a pot of chilled peel-and-eat shrimp alongside a Bloody Mary at Doc's Marina Grill on Bainbridge Island, demolishing a soft serve swirl cone at Ivar's, tasting the delights of Mexican mole enchiladas and ultimate margaritas at Senor Moose in Seattle, overlooking Seattle with a caesar salad and white chocolate mousse cake at Salty's on Alki Beach, and treating myself to a double scoop of oatmeal cookie dough and smore's ice cream at Molly Moon's in Seattle. I mean, can-I-get-a-food-AMEN?!

Maxwelton Beach, Whidbey Island, Clinton Washington
My happy place--Maxwelton Beach. I don't know how many times I've walked these beaches scouring the rocks for agates, but I will never turn down a 2+ hour beach walk or a chance to make it to the point.

Maxwelton Beach, Whidbey Island, Clinton Washington, Maxwelton Beach agates, Whidbey Island agates
I found this big & beautiful agate nestled in the tide flats on Maxwelton Beach. It was glowing just enough for me to spot it amidst the sand. I did an agate dance for that one!

Ebey's Landing, Ebey State Park, Whidbey Island, Ebey Beach agates, Whidbey Island agates
Our second beach walk landed us at Ebey's Landing, just outside of Coupeville on Whidbey Island. We took home 23 agates of all different shapes, sizes and colors. Daniel did really well... he didn't have time for the small ones that day!

Whidbey Island, Gordon's on Blueberry Hill
I hardly get to see my grandparents enough (mom's & dad's), so it was our pleasure to treat them to dinner at Gordon's on Blueberry Hill in Freeland on Whidbey Island. I don't know if I've ever dined at such a fine restaurant (read: expensive), but every penny spent was so worth the experience... plus the food was DELICIOUS, so it made for a very memorable, enjoyable evening. I'm so blessed to be able to spend time with all my grandparents and treasure our time together.

Whidbey Island, Gordon's on Blueberry Hill
This delectable dessert was the key lime tart from Gordon's. For my actual birthday, my grandma took me, Daniel and my sister to Salty's on Alki Beach in Seattle. The food wasn't quite as spectacular as Gordon's, but again... the time spent with Grandma meant more to me than any gift or birthday treat.

You know, I don't think I've ever had a birthday that I just didn't love. But this one felt different. It felt exciting. It felt real. It felt new. I felt so loved. And most of all, I feel ready for what's next. So let's go, 31, show me what you've got.  

Past birthday posts: twenty-six │ twenty-seven │ twenty-eight │ twenty-nine │ thirty

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