Monday, August 25, 2014

Summer Beach Pictures 2014


Last June we had our Summer Beach Pictures taken by my Friend Tammy at Howarth Park in Everett.  Honestly, this year we had discussed choosing to pass on Summer family pictures for a plethora of reasons but mainly the cost.  In addition to purchasing attire to wear, it can be so expensive to pay a photographer to have quality pictures taken.  However, in early June I saw a beach mini session special from Lisa J. Bruce Photography as I scrolled through facebook.  Knowing that we were already planning to be in the area for Independence Day I went ahead and booked a mini session for July 5th, 2014  again at  Howarth Park. 

This year we choose to include our family dogs in our pictures.  I realize that because we have had our dogs for many years that both our Chihuahua Tinkerbell and our Toy Poodle Mr Lucky’s years are numbered and one day we will have to say goodbye. So capturing a a few images with the kids & the Dogs seemed like a great way for the kids to be able to look back & remember the pets of their younger years. It was a nice thought.  It can be tough enough to get the kids to look at the camera and cooperate but two kids & two dogs?

In addition to our dogs, the other difference our friends & family will notice with this session is Issac’s baseball hat.  Oh how I fear the wrath of Kindergarten because he will not be allowed to wear a baseball hat at school.  But Issac is super attached to his baseball hats since the day he got his first one for his fourth birthday.  We agreed to allow his to take pictures with and without his hat to capture his true five year old self. 

It was also nice for Tyler and I to get a couple pictures of just the two of us taken; often we are busy taking the pictures.

At the end of our session Lisa told us were the coolest parents because we let our kids play in the water?!?! Seriously, how can you take kids to the beach in July & not let them get wet?

I think it is always wonderful to have more family pictures for the collection because we never know what tomorrow will bring. When I look at old pictures I remember the kids in that age & stage and it makes me smile.  I can't wait to look back on these pictures & remember the sticks & rocks that occupied the children's minds and the laughter we shared as Josie shouted; "Oh, NO! My dress is wet!" 

Fireworks, Friends and Fun

Maddison, Issac, Josie & Haley

When your babies are babies and you’re nursing them in your postpartum glow everyone tells you how fast the time flies, they only stay little for a minute and to enjoy every precious minute.  Here I am going back and realizing that I have been digitally documenting our Independence Day and our adventures for four years.  Reading my old posts from 2011, 2012, and 2013 melts my hearts with the sweet memories and makes me realize how true all those advice filled comments were. 

This year we once again visited the Auburn Airport to watch the Emerald Downs Fireworks show on July 3rd.  I had packed up a dinner, a few card games and some glow sticks to entertain us as the evening sky went dark. The kids always enjoy it but this year Issac fell asleep waiting for dark. 


Friday we headed north to celebrate Independence Day with the Wagester family.  The kids played in the back yard on the swing set and in the pool most of the day.  Once the sun went down they put an air mattress in the driveway for the kids to watch the Dads go crazy with the fireworks.  We enjoyed some burgers and jello shots.  We spent the entire day relaxing and enjoying our freedom to enjoy life.  A perfect day.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Father's Day Camping Trip

Usually Tyler & I camp at a state park.  They need funding and are usually monitored by Forest Rangers which offers my mind a little bit of security & safety.  However this year we are feeling adventurous; for Father’s Day we planned a trip to the Grandy Creek KOA with our good friends the Wagester Family.  Our kids just enjoy playing with each other and care for one another as if they’re family. 
 I will be honest about two things; first off weather was not the best and this location is designed for RV camping & Yurt Renting and we were in tents.  That being said the weather Friday night & Saturday was decent, not warm but jeans & tee-shirt weather. However, Saturday night it pounded rain all night & continued to rain Sunday morning as we packed up.  The Tent camping sites are few and far in-between and offer little privacy. You could hear the conversations of the people next to you loud & clear.  Also, at State Parks you can usually fit two or three tents comfortably at one site & at the KOA you have to pay for a site for each tent!!!
 Being in a tent site had one big perk and that was that we were next to the playground, human sized chess board and bouncing pillow.  Our kids being age’s 3-7 meant that they spent the majority of their time jumping up & down on that big yellow pillow.  We also spent some time go on walks and bike rides.  The kids also enjoyed playing in a gathering of large trees.  I will also say that the organized activities at the KOA are very nice.  They held a movie on the lawn, a glow stick hunt, hay rides, ice cream social and pancake breakfast.   
 All in all we had good company and made some more great memories.  Is that not what Summer time is about? Enjoying life & creating memories. We think so!  Thank you to the Wagester Family for such an amazing time!

Leah's Birthday Week

First off if at any point in this post I offend you, stop being so sensitive!!  So it may or may not surprise you that I am that person who usually mocks the person who takes a random birthday off work to sit at home and surf the web in their underwear or refuses to do anything Christmas related on their December birthday.  I am not saying that there are not plenty of birthday that should receive extra attention.  Anything ending in a five or a zero earns you a round of applause in addition to your annual birthday card.  No seriously, unless you are under 21 or over 65 you really don’t need to put in a paid time off request or call in sick to work.  Go about your day and enjoy your special meal & sprinkled cake in the evening like a sensible adult.  Please go about your business, enjoy your 117 social media birthday shout outs, enjoy your gifts and wake up smiling the next day.  But with that being said…In addition to an amazing Mother’s Day, 2014 also delivered a pretty awesome birthday…Week!!

I started my festivities on a Sunday afternoon in Ballard with my two best friends; Shobi & Di.  We enjoyed lunch and walked around the Farmer’s Market before enjoying a paint n sip class put on by PaintNight Seattle.  The place was set up neatly before we arrived and the class was well structured.  Two complaints- people, especially armature painting students, deserve more than one paint brush & the bartender could have been better at offering drink refills.  Otherwise we had a fun time & I think we are for sure going to be doing it again!  When I got home from my afternoon with the ladies my Mom, Tyler and the kids were waiting with my favorite; chocolate on chocolate topped with chocolate cake and steaks and shrimp for the barbeque. 


My actually birthday was on Monday.  Although Tyler had to stay home and work; the kids & I were fortunate enough to be able to take a road trip with my Mom for a few days.  We left n morning and arrived in Astoria Oregon just after 11am and enjoyed lunch.  We spent the afternoon walking the boardwalk and playing with our walki-talki set.  The we rode the old town Trolley and enjoyed a prime rib dinner before watching the sunset over the Columbia River from our hotel room. 

Tuesday after breakfast we went to explore the Astoria Column.  Holy Smokes that was some stairs!  You would assume that we would get to the top and take a break.  But honestly, the height scared me so we threw our lil airplanes over, snapped a few quick pics and headed back down to safety.  Then we located our airplanes and spent a good hour flying them on a grassy hillside.

Next we visited Fort Stevens.  What an awesome place! No joke, I told Tyler I would love to go camping there sometime for a long weekend or even an entire week.  Sandy beaches for miles and miles. Hiking and biking trails and a super cool ship wreck!  We enjoyed the cool breeze and the foggy glum like true northwesters and had ourselves a good ole time. 

Then we traveled to Vancouver for dinner at my Grandpa Phil’s house.  I wish I could say that we had a nice, uneventful visit but I have a three year old.  The car ride didn’t sit right with Josie and not long after we arrived she vomited chocolate milk & French fries EVERYWHERE & all over ME.  Hi grandpa, how are you? The fun didn’t stop there. I gave Josie a bath & changed her clothes so that my Grandpa could give her carrots and she barfed a second time.  New clothes, round three of vomit.  New Shirt and round four was outback in my grandpa’s garden…I wish this was a joke but this is a true story.  I am so grateful for my Uncle’s wife Melissa who gladly strapped on some blue gloves & cleaned up each pile of barf with a cheerful smile.  We darted out of my Grandpa’s with our heads hanging a lil low from embarrassment to get to our hotel room in Kelso and have her vomit water a fifth and sixth time. Finally around ten I got Josie to hold down some fluids and medicine and she woke up the next day fine.  

 Above- My Grandpa Reading Curious George to the kids.
Bellow- Issac & Josie with my Uncle Greg, his wife Melissa & my cousins Jacob & Emma

We spent Wednesday and Thursday in the front yard of Ron & Ruth’s log cabin.  The kids spent the entire day outside getting dirty, climbing in trees, digging holes & baking mud pies.  It is always good for my soul to go visit my angel Ruth.  She has a unique way of uplifting me and reminding me of my own personal journey and triumphs.  It was also nice to catch up with my childhood best friend, Becky.  Time & distance has never prevented us from enjoying each other and it was awesome to see our children playing together. 

Thursday night we were happy to be back home.  The kids were beat as I tackled the laundry and packed my bags for another adventure.  I was excited to be invited on the preschool’s aunnal Board of Directors retreat to stay at Teacher Carol’s “cabin” on Guemes Island in Skagit County. 

I spent Friday & Saturday night enjoying the presence of a group of amazing women.  Wine, puzzles, hot tub and so much laughter that my gut hurt the next day & I think someone may have tinkled in their pants! The weekend was filled with breathe taking views and good conversations.  I feel extremely blessed to be on the Preschool’s board of directors with these women.  The life and classroom experiences that they bring to the table are extraordinary.  I love to hear their stories and words of wisdom.  
 There you have it.  My BIRTHDAY WEEK!!!  I have never one who likes to go big for my birthday but this year this is just how it played out and minus a night out with my hunk of a husband the week was perfect!