Birthday Karaoke in the Mall

Kristine and I had just left Target, which is attached to the mall, to buy her birthday present together – a FitBit that I’d later wrap with the kids and Kristine would pretend was a surprise. This is what our birthdays have become. Last weekend, I’d had pre-knowledge of my birthday gift, too. As Kristine and I walked through the mall, pondering this clinical approach to celebration, we passed the karaoke booth. I was nostalgically thinking about all our visits to Ozzie’s over the years when Kristine said, “Hey, do you want to sing karaoke with me for my birthday?” I said yes.

Happy birthday, Kristine. Heaven is being locked in a mall karaoke booth with you for eternity.

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A Long Goodbye

For weeks, all anybody in Seattle has been talking about is Viadoom, the anticipated gridlock to follow the permanent closure of the elevated portion of Highway 99, otherwise known as the Viaduct.

As Ruby and I departed the Henrybuilt holiday party on Friday night (Henry and Kristine had left earlier), I remembered the Viaduct was scheduled to close – forever – at 10pm. It was 9:45. We could get to the Viaduct in 5 minutes. I asked Ruby if she was up for an adventure. Silly question.

Ruby Wins

Every day, for more than two years, Ruby has been asking for a pug. And every day, I have steadfastly held to my no-pet position, citing everything from logistics to her daily chore track record as my rationale. It’s gone back and forth, with each side digging in deeper. It felt like the Cold War. Every night at the dinner table, Ruby would have another impassioned speech for me – à la ‘Mr. Gorbachev tear down this wall! ‘ Ruby wore me down. She outspent me in the emotion department. She spread her propaganda around Fry Lodge with her cute pug sketches, pug posters and Doug the Pug Instagram shares. She turned Kristine and Henry into allies.

A few weeks ago, I woke up and decided I didn’t want to be on the wrong side of Fry Lodge history. For her 10th birthday, we would give Ruby a pug. We surprised her with it on our drive back from Grandma and Grandpa’s house after Thanksgiving. She was shocked. She was victorious.

As Ruby turned 10 this weekend, it became clear we had made the right decision. Ruby is starting her second decade a new person. Every morning and evening, she takes her new little buddy, Arlo, for a walk. She feeds him, cleans up the occasional mess, and prefers playing with her puppy over watching YouTube videos.

Ruby had a birthday slumber party on her actual birthday. Arlo was the star of the show. The girls chased him around the yard and then took 15-minute turns holding the puppy as they watched Christmas movie classic, Elf. Both Arlo and the girls were moving a little slowly this morning.

Detente is over. Ruby won. All is good at Fry Lodge. Happy birthday, Ruby. We love you more than you will ever know. Thank you for your tenacity.

Happy New Year from Fry Lodge

The Fry Lodge Year-in-Review video is a good opportunity to reflect on an entire year of adventure, change and growth for the Fry Family. 2017 was quite a year. We made some nice friends in Bellingham, traveled all around North America… again, and [re]learned several skills, including snow skiing at the end of the year. We can’t wait to see what 2018 brings.

Happy New Year to the Fry Lodge Faithful!

2017 Fry Lodge Year-in-Review | soundtrack by B.E.R. (The Night Begins to Shine)

Henry Takes Tacoma

Six months of tournaments culminated this weekend with Henry’s participation in the 2017 Washington State Chess Championship Tournament at the Tacoma Convention Center. To qualify, Henry had to win at least 3 games in at least one qualifying tournament this year. He managed to do that in all six tournaments in which he played. He had to turn it up a notch for Tacoma, though, as every kid there had won at least as many games as he had; and most had been playing for several years. H-man took it all in stride, winning two out of his five games in the state tournament. We’re so proud of you, Henry!