A week ago today I returned home from visiting my best friend (and her new baby!) in Seattle.  Tabby and I have been best friends for well, ever.  Since the day she was born (I'm still older) we have been right there together thanks to our parents, and even our grandparents.  We have such a special friendship.  The kind that has stayed strong and true since she moved to Seattle when we were little.

Second grade was the very first time I visited Seattle and I've been going back like crazy ever since.  Not only do I get to see a handful of my favorite people when I visit, but I've also kind of fallen in love with Seattle as a city and even tried to convince my parents to let me move there while I was in high school.  You can probably guess how that turned out.  

Since finding myself in college, marrying Dave, moving cities and settling into "adult" life I haven't gotten to visit nearly as much as I'd love to (or used to).  Dave and I visited for Tabby and Craig's wedding a little over three years ago and spent some extra time in the city.  I hadn't been back since so a sweet new baby girl was the best excuse to book a flight to get out there and spend a long weekend together.  

Friday morning I woke up at our normal time, saw Dave off to work, shoved a few lot more things in my suitcase and hit the road to Nashville.  We live about two hours from the airport, but it's easy to navigate and has about the best flight options we can find in the surrounding area.  

After a quick layover in O'Hare along with a hotdog... because hello, Chicago!  I was off on my last leg of the trip and I was so excited about it!  After seeing Tabby's stories earlier that morning, I found it was only fitting to treat myself to some peanut M&M's on the way.  #itsjustwhatwedo

Tabby, her mom and baby Tenley all picked me up from the airport and we went straight to Bellevue Square to grab dinner at Cactus, a southwest inspired restaurant.  It was fitting that we didn't waste any time sharing chips and salsa together.  Bellevue Square is an awesome area filled with all kinds of restaurants and shopping.  If you're in the area you should totally check it out.

While we waited, I took the opportunity to officially meet Tenley Jane face to face.  I'll have you know, it was love at first site on my end... but I think it was on hers too.  We'll be friends forever, little one.  Just like your sweet mommy and me.  

After dinner we headed home and talked the night away.  Tabby's mom even joined us, too!  Around 10:30 PM, Tabby's mom (Lesa) frantically left to run by Target "real quick" after double checking that they didn't close until 11.  As soon as she left we made bets on what she would come back with.  

First on the list was peanut M&M's, second on the list was something matching and last but not least was pajamas.  This might sound crazy, but we've always had little traditions together and these happen to be part of it.  Each time we were together, we always had to get something matching... and lots of times it just happened to be pajamas.  #peanutbutterjammytime

We were right, about all three guesses.  We laughed so hard when Lesa walked back in the door showing us what she got.  This woman always made our time together so special growing up, and she continues that to this day.  She's been my second "built in" mom from the very beginning and I am so thankful for her!

The next morning, Tabby's husband Craig returned home (he's a fireman).  We all spent time together catching up, chatting about weekend plans and just being together.   Look at their calendar... "Aunite Jess Comes!" I am so fortunate to have these people in my life.  I had my morning coffee staring at this babe.  If you know of anything better than coffee in the early morning snuggling a baby... I need to know!

Craig was off to coach high school football on Saturday.  He played in high school and Tabby cheered.  I've been to my fair share of Bothell Cougar football games... and secretly (or maybe not so secretly) I always wanted to be one!

Instead of going to the game, the girls had big plans of venturing to The Great Junk Hunt and had SO much fun.  We also left with the sweetest holiday touches to add around our homes... and a thing or two that matched, because you already know.

The set up was awesome!  We all love this sort of thing, but Tabby and Lesa especially do and even participated as a vendor in the show the year before.  Their mother and daughter duo is called Home Grown Honeys Decor and they provide all kinds of rustic and vintage decor for brides, party planners and anyone in between.  They have such an eye for this kind of thing and it was really neat getting to experience an event like this with them since it's kind of their thing. 

They also introduced me to all kinds of other vendors they are familiar with and I was able to snag some great finds.  We had the best time and our house will have the sweetest little Christmas touches throughout that remind me of Seattle... although, getting it all home was another story.

That night we headed to the coaches party to visit with everyone and then headed out for an adult night out while Craig's parents kept baby Tenley.  I was definitely the third wheel, but I've always been that way with the... it's our usual.

They took me to McMenamins which is an old high school turned bar, restaurant and total incredible venue.  The concept has been done in a few other locations (mostly in Oregon), but the place was SO neat.  I was sad that Dave wasn't there to experience it because he would have LOVED it.  

We ate at North Shore Lagoon which overlooks the indoor swimming pool and then grabbed a drink from The Whiskey Shed and walked around exploring the property... even the hotel.  They know me too well, I absolutely loved this stop and the three of us had such a great time catching up.

The next day, we were up bright and early for baby snuggles... the sweetest!  Since the football team won Craig had a coaches meeting to attend but before that we all headed to lunch together at Trails End, one of their favorite spots.  The Seahawks were playing and their homemade chips (loaded!) were too good.  It was the perfect venue for lunch during game time in Seattle!


More girl time was on the agenda for us which is one of my favorite things about visiting.  Another favorite thing of my about visiting is getting a glimpse into their lives there.  Tabby, Tenley and I headed to Historic Downtown Snohomish to grab some coffee and do a little shopping.  

Her mom ended up meeting us too and we had the best little afternoon walking around together checking out the little stores they visit often.  I was so thankful to have this time with them, but found myself feeling a little sad when the stores mentioned coming back the next weekend for their holiday open houses knowing that I wouldn't get to join in on the fun.  Since I was little, I've always dreaded our time together coming to an end during every single visit.  #stillbreaksmyheart

That night we headed to Tabby's parents for dinner.  Her mom randomly threw a cake together spur of the moment for us to celebrate everything we had missed being together for lately.  It was the sweetest and I just love her soul.  She always makes things so special when we are together.

Once we got home, we changed into our matching Christmas jammies and had a movie night... which we didn't stay awake for.  Matching jammies are such a fun little tradition for us and it was so sweet to have little Tenley in on the action this time around.

We were up bright and early the next morning (#babiesdontsleep) and enjoyed some girl time in bed while Craig fixed us breakfast using their own eggs which was pretty neat.  I cannot explain how special this time together was.  Staying with them while Tenley was so young really allowed me to feel such a part of things and be there for the sleepless nights and blowouts and I still wouldn't trade it for a thing. 

We finally got ourselves together and ran by to see Tabby's cousin and her little boy who I hadn't gotten to meet yet.  Then we enjoyed a little down time in Mill Creek at the Spotted Cow for a coffee date.  When I'm in Seattle, I take every opportunity to fit in as many coffee dates as I can.  

I ended up bringing home some of their coffee beans for Dave, but wished there would have been a good way to get their chocolate chip cookies back as well.  I am officially jealous of the Seattle crew that can hit up this little stop (and all the other fantastic coffee shops) on the regular.  

After that we stopped by Tabby's school for me to see her classroom and then grabbed her mom and headed to do some more Christmas shopping.  For this trip, I had absolutely nothing on the agenda other than spending time with them and each day really was so perfect.  Time together is all we wanted.

We ended up at Triplehorn Brewing in Woodinville after our shopping and Craig and his parents both came to met up with us.  It was really nice to see everyone again before heading home the next day.  And I guess I have a thing for babies and breweries... what can I say?

We headed back to Tabby's parents with take out pizza to spend some more time with her dad... and have him pack up all of my Christmas decorations to be shipped back to Kentucky.  I ended up just checking the box as my luggage and saved about a hundred dollars.  "Ma'am, what's in the box?"  To which Tabby and I both replied "Oh, just lots of Christmas cheer!"  I'm happy to report it all made it to Kentucky safely.

Tuesday morning we were up early again... there was not much sleeping this trip to Seattle.  Tabby, Tenley and her dad took me to the airport as Craig headed to his next shift.  No matter how old I get or how many times I've done it before, goodbyes at the airport never get any easier.  It's only been a week and and I already miss them all (and the Pacific Northwest) like crazy. 

After jumping on a plan to Seattle to meet this sweet two month old face to face I quickly decided we'll be friends forever.  That long weekend is a trip that I will cherish forever.  The time together... the late nights, the early mornings, the spit up and car cries.  I am truly grateful to have this special friendship in my life and am feeling so blessed to be on this sweet journey together as she is now a mom.  

I already can't wait to visit them (and Seattle!) again!

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