Tag-Archive for ◊ Family ◊

Author: aaron
• Saturday, December 25th, 2010

Dear Family & Friends,

Go Go Gadget Christmas Letter! What, you mean that didn’t work? OK, well I suppose I’ll sit down and write one. Here we go. 2010, in 500 words or less…

Life as a family with two young children can be a blur. In fact I remember my own mother telling me that she doesn’t have many memories between the time that my brother Sean was born and when we all were finally in school. Our days are quite FULL. Sometimes you can’t remember if you’re playing “Hiding Kitty” or “Wrestling Doggy” or whatever other game has just been invented on the spot. My hat goes off to my amazing wife who continues to stay home with a couple of endlessly energetic, imaginative and demanding boys.

Speaking of my wife, sometime around December of last year she decided she was a runner. One thing I’ve learned about my wife in the last eight years is once she decides something then you’d better WATCH OUT! She went from casually jogging around Greenlake to an organized 5k on Valentines Day to a half marathon in Tacoma in May. And as if running wasn’t quite interesting enough she figured biking and open water swimming might be fun too, so she participated in the Danskin Triathlon in August. Finally in October, in The City of Roses (aka Portland), Sarah ran her first marathon. Twenty six point two miles ladies and gentlemen! And let me also point out that it was pouring down rain for at least twenty five of those miles.

I’m still working my day job as DER SERVER MEISTER of The Omni Group. Seriously, it’s a pretty great gig. I get to help some really smart people create awesome products that I honestly believe are exceptional. Also, the fact that it takes less time to bike to work than it does to drive thru traffic doesn’t hurt. When I’m not wrangling servers I can be found cycling, playing pinball, or riling my boys into a cacophonous frenzy exactly five minutes before bedtime.

Joel and Isaac are amazing. Joel talks and plays and talks and runs and talks some more. The kid has no sense of shame or personal space and is quite determined that it’s his duty to inform every single person at Trader Joe’s that he is “Buzz Lightyear and look at my cool LASER!” Isaac is expressive and emotional in every non-verbal way possible. His frantic laugh is pure delight, but his disappointed scowl will break your heart. He has a tender spirit and loves his doll like it’s his own little baby.

We continue to enjoy living in Ballard (or Crown Hill, depending on who you ask) which is the perfect mix of neighborhood-y familiarity and grown-up city attitude. The only thing that could make it better would be having our family closer. Hope you all are surrounded by those you love this Christmas!

Peace on Earth,

The Bendicksons

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Author: aaron
• Tuesday, February 03rd, 2009

Holy buckets! Well that entire month just kinda got away from me. Sorry ’bout that.

Here’s the thing about January. It’s more or less a holiday month in my opinion. In fact, in the Bendickson household, the holiday season starts the week of Christmas and doesn’t let up until after Sarah’s birthday on January 24th. In those four weeks we have Christmas, Second Christmas (usually with whichever set of parents we didn’t see on Christmas), my birthday, New Year’s, Macworld Expo (yes it’s an official holiday), MLK day, and Sarah’s birthday. That typically leaves us with just enough time to come out of our starch/sugar coma and catch our breath before Valentine’s Day.

In other non holiday related news, we’re in the final few weeks of single-kid-dom here. Joel’s baby brother is gestating right on schedule and should be joining the rest of us out here in “red-pill” land ’round about the end of March. Joel seems excited about the prospect of being a big brother. As you can see here he’s already scheming away with his unborn sibling, plotting against us.

“Dude, there’s only two of them! We can take ‘em!”

Joel, Mommy & Baby

Joel, Mommy & Baby

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Author: aaron
• Thursday, January 08th, 2009

The snow has melted, the Christmas cookies are (pretty much) gone, and we’re FINALLY getting around to mailing/delivering our Christmas cards. We really did try to get them out before the holidays, but alas the crazy weather we had delayed delivery for like 12 days (at least that’s the story that FedEx is giving us).

If haven’t received one yet, you will soon. In the meantime here’s the “online” version. Happy New Year everyone!

Christmas Card Photo 2008

Greetings and Merry Christmas!

2008 was quite a year for Joel, Sarah and me. We hit the ground running (so to speak) in January when we sold our house in University Place and moved up to Seattle. I’d been commuting to my job since May of 2007 and we were anxious to move north and shave a couple hours per day off of my drive. Luckily, we found a cute “brickie” complete with playroom and great backyard in the Crown Hill neighborhood of Ballard. My commute is now 3.3 miles, straight down 15th Ave. I still listen to the traffic reports my way into work, just to gloat to myself a little.

We spent the summer getting to know our new neighborhood and enjoying the local restaurants, parks, and beaches. We dove into a couple minor home improvement projects on our new home, specifically tiling the bathroom and repainting Joel’s playroom. We also hired our neighbor who was just finishing up a multi-year building project on his beautiful craftsman home to transform the decrepit old pile of shingles and sticks at the end of our driveway into an actual garage. It’s not quite big enough to be a two car garage, but it is a perfect “one car, one sound system” garage.

In July we found out that we’re pregnant again (well, specifically Sarah is pregnant… I just helped a little). It’s another boy and we’re expecting him to come along at the end of March. We’re still brainstorming names, but we have already started talking with Joel about his little brother. For the most part Joel seems to get it and is excited. We’ll see how it goes once the little one comes along and Joel is no longer the center of the proverbial universe.

Sarah’s sister Charissa is currently living with us. In addition to attending Mars Hill Graduate school in Seattle and working part time, she provides us with some (much needed) occasional babysitting. Most times its like having another parent around to help with Joel, but every now and then it’s like having an extra kid around too! (just kidding Charissa, we love you!)

I’m enjoying my job at The Omni Group as their Systems Administrator. It’s a fantastic place to work. Even though we’ve doubled in size over the last year it still feels very much like a small family business. And, now that my family lives so close, Sarah and Joel have been able to stop by for meals and the occasional coffee break. I appreciate the fact that Joel knows where I go during the day and is familiar with not only the office itself, but my co-workers as well. In fact he knows most of them by name!

Sarah is enjoying staying home full time with Joel (soon to be “the boys”). She attended a Birth Doula training course at Seattle Midwifery School this winter and will be pursuing certification sometime after baby number two. She’s enjoying MOPS in Ballard and is still part of a Tacoma based mom’s group that was started after Joel was born.

Joel continues to amaze us. Some fun tidbits: He does a spot-on (and hilarious) impression of Eeyore. He’s quite the baker; see his recipe for Pumpkin Muffins on our blog. He loves reading books, especially Thomas the Tank Engine & Bob the Builder. He loves helping daddy in the yard with raking, painting, and operating his backhoe. And he’s STILL pretty much inseparable from his Pooh Bear.

That’s it from us for this year. Hope this letter finds you well and (once again) Merry Christmas & Happy New Year. Blessings!

Aaron Sarah & Joel

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Author: aaron
• Tuesday, December 02nd, 2008

Holiday weekends are great. Hanging out with the family is one of my favorite things (and I’m not just saying that) but after a few days of schedule-free lounging things start to feel a bit, well… dull. That was the case for us this past Sunday. We’d just come off a great Thanksgiving celebration with the Hulet’s and enjoyed a couple days of downtime, but by Sunday we were BORED! Sarah took matters into her own hands and mandated that we would all be going swimming at the Mountlake Terrace Pool. She collected our swimming paraphernalia and we loaded into the car, all the while coaxing Joel with the promise that “we are going swimming”!

Now you have to understand that the thing about the Mountlake Terrace Pool is it’s not just your typical boxy boring indoor pool. It’s a totally decked out, hexagonally hip “Pimp-My-Pool” kind of pool. They’ve got a kid friendly Leisure Pool area, a “Lazy River” area you can float along on inner-tubes, tons of colorful water playthings. It’s cool. So cool in fact, that the woman we talked to on the phone cautioned us that we’d better show up early because it reaches capacity pretty quickly and then they can’t allow any more people in.

We arrived at 11:50 (five minutes after the start of open-swim) after getting briefly sidetracked by Google Maps not-always-so-accurate directions. Sarah unloaded Joel from the car as I ran around to the front door to make sure we got in line. Behind me I could hear Joel’s excited little voice, “we are going swimming”! I rounded the corner and was of course greeted by a bright red sign stating that the “POOL IS FULL”.

Strike one.

I returned to the car to break the bad news. Joel was not exactly, um… thrilled with the idea that we NOT in fact going swimming and had to get back in the car. In an attempt to ward off his tantrum we decided to spend a few minutes in the outdoor play area next to the pool complex. I asked him, “Joel, would you like to play on the swings?” “YEAH!”, he exclaimed. Excitedly he climbed back down from the car and jump-skipped across the parking lot (holding my hand of course) towards the play area. “I’m going to play on the swings”, he kept repeating cheerfully. We hopped the little molded-cement curb onto the soggy cedar-wood chip covered ground and beheld the kid-sized plastic play fortress before us.

No swings. Strike two.

Now this is the point I start thinking to myself “well this certainly can’t get any WORSE” and wouldn’t you know it, I’d be wrong again. As we had sort of trudged our way over to the soggy, no-swing-bearing, play forte-de-lame I glanced backwards and noticed that the building just next to us is sporting a 15 foot floor-to-ceiling glass wall through which we have a perfect view of what… yeah, you guessed it, the FILLED TO FREAKIN’ CAPACITY POOL! Happy kids and their much-more-punctual-than-us parents are frolicking about in their Wonka-esque Happy Water Play Park Land and we’re standing outside in the dismal, soggy, Thanksgiving-weekend-in-the-northwest gray “play” area with NO SWINGS. Joel shuffled wide-eyed over to the huge glass wall and held his hand up to the transparent barrier (somewhat reminiscent of the way an inmate might look longingly at the free world outside his prison window that he’ll never again get to experience), he looked up at me and said pitifully, “I want to be swimming”.

Strike three.

Shortly we were joined by several other families who had also arrived too late to be allowed into the pool. We all tried to make the best of our consolation-prize play area and for what it’s worth Joel did seem to have a good time. He really enjoys watching and playing with other kids. Here’s a shot of him “smiling” from atop the play fortress.

Next time we’re getting there early!

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