Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Year Six

It's Our Six Year Blogiversary!

So much has changed since that very first post

At the time, we had recently gotten engaged and were beginning to plan our wedding.

Then, over the course of the past six years, we got married, sold our condo in Ballard, moved to Snoqualmie, had a son, and had a daughter.

And that's only the tip of the iceberg.

As life gets crazier, this blog gets quieter. I only wrote 55 posts in the past 12 months, which is an all-time low for me. But that's still more than one post a week, which I don't think is all that bad considering the fact that I work full time and have two tiny humans who require my near constant attention.

I've been working really hard to, at a minimum, write about the important events in our lives, and to include as many photos as I can. I'm learning that although the days sometimes seem so long, the years pass by in the blink of an eye. So it's important to me to document our memories as often as I can.

This blog continues to be a reflection of our lives, and my hope is that perhaps someone besides Stewart enjoys reading it. If not, at least it will be something that we have to look back on someday when we're old and senile.

Anyway, without further ado, here are this year's highlights...

To those of you who've continued to follow along on our journey, thank you — we're so glad you're here, and hope that you'll continue to follow along. 

Cheers to luck and love. 

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Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Baby, You're A Firework

Happy Birthday, America!

This year, the Alway Family celebrated Brexit 1776 at the Christiansen Lake House.

We really debated about whether or not to let Ryder stay up late to watch the fireworks, since Stew and I both had to work the next morning (and we also have a four-month-old baby to consider). But in the end, we decided that childhood memories are more important than sleep deprived parents. Plus, Ryder had such a blast last year at Brett and Haley's fireworks show that we would have really felt guilty depriving him. 

So we packed up and headed down to Lake Tapps to spend a day in the sun followed by an evening of fireworks. Have I ever mentioned that I hate fireworks? They're so dangerous...

It was an absolutely beautiful day on the lake, and Brett and Haley have the perfect holiday party house. 

Ryder did some swimming in both the lake and in the kiddie pool.

Eventually, he was joined by some lady-friends.

Kiley basically did what she does best... sat around lookin' good.

This is the face of a child saying, "OMG Mom, no more selfies!"

The guys setting up for the big fireworks show.

Ryder was extremely entertained by one of my personal childhood favorites... Pop Its! 

And of course sparklers are always a hit with kids... as well as Stewart.

Ryder actually made it until the big fireworks show started at about ten o'clock. 

Luckily, Kiley had gone down for bed hours before and slept right through the entire thing.

The show was amazing as usual!

Even though we didn't get home until after midnight and everyone was super tired the next day, I'm still glad that Ryder got to experience the Fourth of July properly.

We hope everyone had a safe and happy holiday!

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Sunday, June 25, 2017

Memories in Port Townsend

My family has been taking trips to Port Townsend, Washington since before I was born. In fact, we still own the property near North Beach where my Grandpa was born. It's one of my favorite places in the world, a charming, memory-filled place that's just perfect for weekend getaways.

A long time ago, we planned a trip there to celebrate my Grandpa's 83rd birthday. It seems like just yesterday that I was there with baby Ryder for Grandpa's 80th birthday. But even though he's since gone on to bigger and better things, we still wanted to spend the weekend together in Port Townsend, maybe his very favorite place in the world, to remember and celebrate his life.

Gosh, I sure to miss him. 

But it felt good to be together for a weekend of memories and healing.

My parents got an awesome camp site right on the beach at historic Fort Worden, and it was an absolutely perfect weekend to spend on the Olympic Peninsula. Temperatures were well into the high 90s at home, but in Port Townsend we enjoyed breezy low 80s and lovely sunshine.

Ryder loved going for scooter rides around the campground.

Lounging at the camp site.

Hanging out with Aunt Erin.

Extended family hanging out after a birthday dinner for Grandpa.

Kiley spent a fair amount of time napping in the RV.

She also got in some cuddle time with Papa.

Ryder loves the beach.

I mean seriously, if we didn't actually force him to leave, I think he'd stay there until the end of time. 

Digging, throwing rocks, looking at various creatures, building sand castles, helping search for sea glass... He never runs out of fun activities. He never gets tired, or hot, or cold, or hungry.

It's his happy place.

As for Kiley, she's pretty much just along for the ride and game for anything. We just post her up in the shade and she's good to go.

Nana is happy to play at the beach with Ryder for hours and hours.

Ryder catching a ride with Uncle AJ.

Just like I did when I was a kid, Ryder loved exploring Fort Worden. 

Originally designed as a military base during World War II to protect the Puget Sound, the original coastal artillery batteries are perfect for climbing and exploring.

One thing that we never miss in Port Townsend is getting ice cream at Nifty Fiftys Soda Fountain downtown. 

Stew and Ryder always choose bubble gum ice cream. 

Like father, like son.

Thanks to my wonderful, amazing grandparents, Port Townsend has been our family's home away from home for more than 30 years. I was Kiley's age when I first started going there. And even though, for the first time, my grandparents weren't physically present on this trip, the memories they spent a lifetime creating will live on through the generations of people they left behind.

I think that's pretty special.

And I can't wait for my children to experience their own lifetime of memories in this incredible place.

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