Every so often I get in these phases where I really miss living in Washington. Don't get my wrong, we like Texas, but there's something uniquely special about the Pacific Northwest that you can't find anywhere else and that you can't really understand until you've been there and seen it for yourself.
Our love for Washington runs pretty deep - Taylor grew up just outside of Seattle, my dad was born there, I grew up visiting the city, my sister lived there for a couple of years, Taylor & I lived there and it's also the place where we got married.
I guess you could say that we're pretty fond of the city + the surrounding areas.
And since I didn't have a blog during our time in Washington, I've never really shared a whole lot about our time that we spent there. A lot of our favorite memories are from our time living in Seattle, so I thought it would be fun to share a little bit about our time living there.
We moved to Washington in July of 2016 after Taylor had accepted a job as the Athletic Trainer at Mount Si High School in Snoqualmie, Washington. We moved in with Taylor's dad + stepmom for a couple of months while we looked for a car + a place to live. I actually took those couple of months and didn't work, because we were getting married that September, so I spent that little bit of extra time getting things ready for the wedding.
We had our wedding ceremony at the University of Washington Catholic Newman Center and then our reception was at the Great Hall at Green Lake - both in Seattle.
We didn't go on a honeymoon right away - high school football season was in full swing, which meant that it was tough for Taylor to get anytime off of work so we decided to save our honeymoon for later in the year. We did, however, take a mini-moon and stayed a couple of nights at The Woodmark Hotel in Kirkland, Washington.
The view from our hotel room at The Woodmark.
And this was just next to The Woodmark - we took a walk and found this cute bench right on the water.
After the wedding, I landed a job and we found an apartment in Bellevue, which is a cute city just across the bridge from Seattle. Taylor actually grew up next to Bellevue in a town called Kirkland and I remember when we first moved there, Taylor suggested that we look in Bellevue and I didn't really want to. I wanted to live in Kirkland, because like Bellevue, it sat right on the water, but it had more of a "beach" area where you could hang out and sit by the water.
Well, we ended up in Bellevue and thank goodness we did. I loved our little Bellevue life.
Our little apartment - this was close to when we were moving, so it was a bit empty here.
We loved our apartment. Like, love, love, LOVED it. It was really small - less than 600 feet, but that didn't make us love it any less. We got lucky when we snagged this place - the mom of the best man in our wedding was actually living here before us and she essentially offered it to us before it could ever officially go on the market. Seriously, this place was a hidden gem. It sat right in downtown Bellevue, walking distance to restaurants, shopping and all of that good stuff. The location was perfect. And it was a STEAL.
It also had A TON of windows, so it was always super bright and happy. Despite being only 600 or so sq. feet, it never really felt all that small, because of how it was laid out. It was just so perfect and I miss it daily.
This was home.
We love you, Apt. A4.
This is just outside our apartment. The complex was small - only 8 or so apartments and it was sort of hidden at the top of the hill. It was our little hidden gem.
Check out this view! This was from the top of the hill where the apartment sat. Also, speaking of that hill - it was a beast and we walked up it ALL THE TIME.
We walked everywhere when we lived here, which I think is one of the reasons we loved it so much. We walked to the movies, the grocery store, the mall, etc. You name it, we walked there.
One of our favorite things to do was walk to our favorite restaurant, Tavern Hall, and share a flatbread, and sweet potato fries while we drank a couple of beers. Tavern Hall and a bunch of other restaurants were sort of connected to the mall, Bellevue Square, so we always liked to walk around there after or before we went and ate.
Tavern Hall! They still have the best sweet potato fries EVER.
Our other favorite thing to do? Every Sunday morning after Church, we'd go to Top Pot Doughnuts and each get a donut and a coffee. Taylor would always get a Mocha and I'd get a London Fog. The people at Top Pot ended up knowing us and even started having our coffee ready before we even showed up, ha! We'd also buy newspaper every time and read it while we ate our donut and drank our coffee.
See? Our usual.
Here's another view from the hill. Funny story about this view - we were actually on the roof of these new townhomes that were being built right next to our complex. We wanted to check them out just for fun, so we went to the open house and asked how much they were going for and the realtor said that they were STARTING at 2 Million dollars! Then the realtor went on to ask if we were interested and we kindly said no and chuckled as we walked out. Before we left though, we took a full tour of the place - the best part was this million dollar view - literally.
Boating on Lake Washington
We loved Bellevue. I'm not sure how else to explain it, except that it was totally "us". We had our favorite restaurants, our favorite stores, favorite places to walk, favorite neighborhoods to drive through, favorite grocery store, etc. Not to mention, it sat right on Lake Washington and you just can't beat that.
If we didn't feel like doing anything in Bellevue, we'd often drive over to Kirkland (just next to Bellevue) and hang out around there. We loved Kirkland too - the city sits right on Lake Washington and has a really cute downtown area where you can walk around. We just loved to walk around downtown or the water.
Bellevue, and even Kirkland, felt like home. We were so central to everything - it was only a 10 minute drive to downtown Seattle, a twenty minute drive to the mountains and a twenty-ish minute drive to the beach. Perfect, I know.
That's our city right there!
We've lived a lot of places and I think I can speak for both Taylor & I and say that Bellevue was by far our favorite place to live. Of course, our time there wasn't perfect - we certainly had our struggles. Besides Taylor's job (more on that later) and the rain, the other thing that I often struggled with there was finding friends - I worked 50 hours a week nannying one little girl, so it was hard to get out and meet friends outside of that. Honestly though, even with those few challenges, Bellevue was a really good place to call home and we were lucky to live there.
Both Taylor & I got really lucky with our jobs. I found a nanny job & Taylor got his AT job at the high school, which is what brought us to Seattle in the first place.
A good chunk of my time in Seattle was spent with this little munchkin. I nannied this cutie full time, but rarely ever posted any photos of/with her during that time. Honestly, I couldn't believe that this was my job. We had way too much fun and it never really felt much like work - don't get me wrong, there were hard days, but even the hard days were overpowered by some sort of joy.
We went to the zoo, mall, pool, music class, aquarium, park, etc. Often times Taylor would even join us, because he didn't have to be at work until 1 in the afternoon. It was seriously so fun.
And to top it off, we LOVED her mom & dad. We still do - they've become good friends of ours.
I started with her when she was just 4 months old!
Isn't she the cutest??!
This is her dad by the way = aka "my boss", He was having a big Halloween party at his office, so I dressed P & I up as Monkey's and we went to visit her dad at the office party. May I remind you - this was my "job".
Snoqualmie - this is where Taylor worked.
Speaking of jobs - Taylor loved his job. Like I said earlier, he was the Athletic Trainer for Mt. Si High School. Taylor was meant to work with kids - the students loved him and he loved the students. The total downfall to the job was the hours - he didn't start work until about 1:00 pm and wouldn't get done until about 7:00 PM, unless there was a game and that meant that he would be there until the game was finished - 9:00/10:00 PM or later.
The upside though to the job was that he would spend the mornings nannying with me. That's when we'd usually go out and do things, like the zoo, mall, aquarium, etc.
If I am being 100% honest here, I was not supportive of Taylor's job. I hated it. I hated his hours and I hated the one or two weekends that he had to work. I really didn't like it and I'm honestly so ashamed of that. I didn't go to the games as often as I should have and I definitely didn't support him in working there, despite knowing how much he loved it. Taylor's decision to go back to PT School so soon was heavily based off of me wanting him to get a new career - something that had better hours and better overall for our family.
He was so good there though and the staff & students loved him. I'm sad that it took this experience to look back on to realize how important it is to embrace the season you are in, despite the challenges that you may face. What seemed like such a big deal back then, seems like nothing now. Friends, listen to me - embrace the season. It's not forever and you will miss it when it's gone.
It's funny to say now, but I actually miss that job of his. It was a good one and he was good at it. His dad also worked in the same town that Taylor did, so I'd sometimes go up and see Taylor at work and also go & see his dad the same day. Some days we'd all get together for lunch or grab coffee or something. It's that sort of stuff that I miss a ton.
Here's Taylor in his office. What a cutie.
Our jobs kept us pretty busy most of the time - I worked 50 hour weeks & Taylor worked a 40+ hour week. But, when work was done, we loved getting out & about doing anything and everything. I feel like we were always doing something, and as I look back through all of our pictures from Washington, I realize how much we actually did. We had so much fun while we lived there - it was nice, because we were close to all of of Taylor's family, so we'd see them often. Plus, there was so much to do around where we were, so it was easy to get out and find something to do.
Ok! I'm going to break it here to keep this at a reasonable length.
Next week I'll finish part 2 and share a bunch of our favorite memories from our time in Washington, but for now, here's a ton of fun pictures from that year that I've never shared before. Enjoy!!
I'm Emilee. 26. Homebody. Believer in a simple + intentional life. Daughter of the King. Living in Austin with my hubs.
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