Monday, May 29, 2017

Memorial Day Weekend at the Ocean

Happy Memorial Day!

In acknowledgment of the fact that it is not National Barbecue Day, I'd like to first take a moment to remember all those who have given their lives serving in the country's armed forces.

Thank you for your service. 

You made the ultimate sacrifice so that the rest of us can continue to enjoy freedoms that we take for granted every single day.


This year, we chose to celebrate the holiday by planning an Alway family trip to Ocean Shores, on the Washington Coast. The entire rest of the state was experiencing an uncharacteristic heat wave that weekend, so we were excited about the prospect of finally getting some sun and warm weather on Washington's typically dreary coastline.

Ah, what silly dreams.

Just as we rolled into town, so did the fog, and it didn't lift for the entire three-day weekend. But hey, and least it didn't rain! 

And we still had a wonderful family getaway at the beach.

Ocean Shores is just a couple hours drive from both Seattle and Portland, and it has miles of beaches perfect for walks, kites, and sand castles. There are also tons of restaurants and shops in town. We rented a lovely little beach cottage with Russ and Patty for the weekend at Oyhut Bay, which I highly recommend. It was quaint, clean, and cozy, and just a short drive from the beach and town.

I've mentioned before that Ryder absolutely loves the beach, so this was the perfect holiday weekend getaway for him.

I literally had to drag him away, freezing cold and filthy, after almost four hours of beach time fun. 

And although it was cold and windy, Kiley actually behaved herself as well. I just bundled her up into the front pack where she cozied up and took a nice long nap, which helped me stay warm as well.

A bunch of our good friends actually ended up spending the weekend at Ocean Shores, as well!

Remember just a few short months ago when Haley and I took this same photo at Ocean Shores on our Beach Babymoon, but the babies were inside?! Time sure does fly...

Besides spending time at the beach, we actually didn't do much other than hang out at the cottage. We were just happy to be together and spend time relaxing as a family.

Kite flying with Grandpa.

Ryder was so tired that he fell asleep on the couch at 6pm!

My best friend Tara actually rented the house right next door with her sister and her family, which allowed us to have some fun adult time in the evenings. They had the awesome idea to pick up the supplies for Beer Pong, and we had a pretty epic tournament one night.

It was a wonderful getaway filled with family and friends!

We hope that your family had a wonderful holiday weekend as well!

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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Port Bair

Since I've been on maternity leave, Stew and I have been trying to plan some special trips and visits with some of our favorite people. Recently, we were able to head over to my aunt and uncle's in Port Townsend for a beautiful couple of days at their beach house. 

Their beautiful home, "Port Bair," overlooks the Puget Sound, and we were lucky enough to get an absolutely gorgeous stretch of weather during our visit. Each day we took the funicular (a specialized tram on cables) down the steep hillside to their private stretch of beach. 

Ryder was in heaven throwing rocks, chasing crabs, digging, and looking for treasures.

I absolutely love beach walking, so I was content to wear Kiley in the front pack and walk for miles up and down the beach.

Ryder also had so much fun playing on the patio with Auntie Elaine.

Sitting on the patio is literally like being away on a tropical vacation. We enjoyed a delicious dinner of homemade wood fired pizza and cocktails as we watched an absolutely breathtaking sunset.

Ryder helped Uncle Mike with the pizza dough.

We finally popping the cork on the bottle of champagne that Mike and Elaine gave us back in 2010 for our engagement! I'd say it was about time...

One of our favorite parts of traveling to Port Townsend is the ferry ride!

Sometimes it's so nice to get out of town, even if it's just for a short visit. The kids had a blast, and Stew and I got to relax and get away from the day-to-day chores that always seem to consume us.

Many thanks to my aunt and uncle for their generous hospitality. 

We'll be back again soon!

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Sunday, May 14, 2017

These are the Days

The days are long, but the years are short.

I don't know if I've ever heard a truer statement.

This Mother's Day, my first with two children, I am feeling extra fortunate. With the addition of Kiley to our family, I feel like the missing piece of the puzzle has been added, and our lives are finally complete. I've been lucky enough to stay home with my children for the past three months, and even though the adjustments have been difficult at times, I try constantly to remind myself that even though some days seem long and hard, the years are already passing by in the blink of an eye.

This video, created by vlogger Esther Anderson of Story of This Life, really resonated with me today...

I can only hope that my children's days are filled with just a little bit of magic.

As for me, I had a wonderful day with my little family. Stewart took me shopping for some new bling, and I spent a wonderful afternoon on the couch napping with baby Kiley. Seriously, is there anything better than a good nap?! No, no there is not.

Becoming a mom has changed me in indescribable ways, and the love that I've been graced with continues to awe and humble me every single day.

I love you so much, Ryder and Kiley. Thanks for letting me be your Mommy.

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