Summer 2017

This was the last summer before both Henry and Jane start school. I realized I would no longer be able to take them for day trips during the week anymore, that most of our adventures would be relegated to weekends and holidays. And as much as I look forward to having a little bit of free time during the week, I know I’ll miss having them around. So this summer was a big one for us. We wanted to fit in as much as possible while also taking it easy. Looking back, I think we were able to strike the perfect balance. We traveled quite a bit – to the San Juan Islands, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Oregon – and spent countless hours at the local playgrounds, hiking trails, and swimming pools. Henry can now ride a bike, swim (a little), and go across the monkey bars on his own. Jane learned how to ride a scooter and she cruises around the neighborhood just like the big kids. Summer 2017, you were the best!

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San Juan Island – Pt. 2

I’m just finally getting around to sharing these pictures from our trip in June. We spent the last day on the beach, building forts out of driftwood, digging for shells, and flying kites. It was the perfect last day to our little vacation.

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Lime Kiln State Park

Lime Kiln Start Park was only a 5 minute drive from where we stayed on the island, and it turned out to be a great spot for hiking, whale-watching, and exploring tidal pools. There are a number of trails that lead you from the parking lot to the lighthouse, along the coast, and various look out points. A couple highlights from our time there: We found a banana slug on our hike – which was ENORMOUS. Jane reminded us that she can scale boulders much faster than the rest of us. And we learned a bit about the whales that pass through and live in the surrounding waters.

The tidal pools were incredible and full of life. We found crabs, fish, sea snails, anemones, barnacles, mussels, and many others. We took along this book and used it to identify what we found as well as learn a bit about each creature. The best part was definitely the sea lion we saw splashing around just 15 yards away from us! We were all wading in the water and climbing on the rocks when we looked up and saw his head poke out of the water. He hung around for a few minutes before swimming off, giving us just enough time to get a good look at him. I’m sure it’s something we’ll remember for years to come!

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San Juan Island

 

Last weekend we drove north and took a ferry to San Juan Island. The island is known for its whale watching, Friday Harbor, the wildlife, and beautiful coastlines. On our first night there, Jane and I decided to take a drive and explore the island a bit more. We stumbled across this little trail that led right to the beach. We watched ships pass by, collected rocks and shells, and climbed across large pieces of driftwood. The perfect end to a long day!

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Getting Outside

The weather has finally warmed up out here in the Pacific Northwest and we are taking full advantage. The kids and I have been outside every day – whether it’s playing outside in our yard and neighborhood or finding new playgrounds to explore. From the moment they wake up (which is way too early) to the moment they go to bed (which is way too late) all they want to do is go outside. Which I love! Being outdoors is so amazing for children. There is so much to learn and see and climb on and explore. Henry is no longer squeamish around bugs and insects. Now, when he finds a new snail, he’ll gently pick it up and hold it so we can all take a closer look. Jane’s ability to run and climb is pretty impressive for a child her age. I suppose if she wants to keep up with Henry, she doesn’t have much of a choice! 🙂 Just yesterday Alex took them down to the lake and they saw the first baby ducks of the season! Here’s to a long summer filled with many new adventures for us!

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Happy Birthday Jane!

I remember the day Jane was born very vividly. Her due date had been April 18th, the Friday before Easter. As I was laying in bed that night, I told her she had better come out right then and there, otherwise she would have to wait until Monday. We had Easter plans scheduled all weekend that I (selfishly) didn’t want to miss. Sure enough, the weekend went by without a hitch, and on Monday morning, I woke up in labor. My Mom and sister Katie came to the house to watch Henry while Alex and I got ready to go. Through tears, I hugged Henry good-bye and told him I would see him soon. My labor progressed quickly (like it had for Henry) and Jane was born just five hours later.

Today, my Jane turns three. THREE! She is intelligent and curious and kind. She is independent and stubborn and strong-willed. She wants to do everything herself, and usually after only a few tries, she’s mastered it. Simply put, she is the best daughter I could have ever hoped for. We all love you so much and can’t wait to see all you’ll do in the next year!

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Spring has Sprung!

Winter is coming to an end and spring is finally starting to show itself! We make it a point to get outside every day and soak up some much needed Vitamin D. Our new yard and neighborhood is great for playing outside – unlike our last place where we had no yard and the neighborhood was situated on the side of a massive hill. We are taking full advantage of the extra outdoor space and the half dozen parks and playgrounds that are all within walking distance. Not only is there so much to do, but almost every day the kids from the neighborhood come and knock on our door to ask if Henry and Jane can come out to play. I can’t describe how much I love this. I didn’t know kids still did this!

Here are some pictures of the kids doing what they do best – coloring with chalk, playing hopscotch, and picking flowers.

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