Washington :: June 2021

 

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Back in the summer, we took a family trip to Washington state to experience a bit of the Pacific Northwest.  I had never been to Washington before and once I started researching the area, my excitement to see all there was to offer rose & I couldn’t wait to get there!  It was an incredible trip, especially with the kids.  Everything is about being outdoors, seeing all of the sights, boating, eating, the weather was beautiful most of the week except for maybe a light drizzle here and there. We spent 4 days in the San Juan Islands, Friday Harbor, specifically the Roche Harbor Resort which was amazing.  There are restaurants on property, a “heated” pool (kinda- not according to these Florida boys who like bath water pools, but there were plenty of Canadian kids in it enjoying it), beautiful views, and even a sculpture garden!

We rented a boat one of the days to go out and visit the other islands, Orcas Island was absolutely out of a fairy tale.  So beautiful and quaint.  I have a video of the boys playing in a grass Labyrinth that was surrounding a flag pole which overlooked the views of the water, and all you hear is their sweet laughter and small birds chirping  in the wind, like something out of Disney, seriously.  Like, is this real life?

The latter part of our trip was spent navigating the ferry system (Ha ha ha!) and getting over to Olympic National Park.  We had a few guided tours to explore the tide pools and visit the Hoh Rainforest, highly recommend both!  The boys went crazy touching all the creatures in the pools, learning all about sea anemones and the tides, they loved climbing the rocky terrain, and while we were at the rainforest, we were greeted by a mama bear and 2 cubs!!!!!!  I was distraught, but the kids were so fascinated.  Literally, mama and babies came out from behind a large bush while we were walking the trail, were within 15-20 ft from us and she and babies went directly to a huge tree behind us and started climbing so fast and high… my heart was racing, but it was incredible to see and experience.

Our last night was spent in Seattle, which I didn’t love, but we did go to the aquarium and the famous market which was entertaining for the final hoo-rah, but no need to stay there longer in my opinion… until they clean it up a bit…

Looking back at this trip, it’s been months since we did this one, it was probably one of our best trips to date.  There was so much adventure and excitement the whole time!  Definitely loved (almost) every minute of it ;). 

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A Southwestern Celebration :: Decade Anniversary

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A long overdue post… again.

Husband and I celebrated our ten year wedding anniversary in April, yes, April… and it was amazing!  We really made up for the loss of not taking last year’s trip by going out west and enjoying the Zion/ Utah scenery!  We stayed one night at Under Canvas Zion.  It was a true glamping experience i.e. canvas tent, wood fire stove to keep you warm, zero electricity, gorgeous views (see above), but the “glam” part- running water (toilet and shower) woo hoo!  Some tents had this option, some did not.  It was an experience for sure!  I’m not a good camping buddy, so this was a challenge for me- I hate being cold and as soon as the wood fire went out at like 2 a.m. I was over it.  I also enjoy hot steamy showers and this was just never going to happen with a canvas tent letting all the warm air out :(. The views and food made up for all of this, and it was only one night, so we got through it.  I’m sure Bennett & Remy would have loved this.

The first full day we were there we hiked our first slot canyon with a local guide.  It was awesome!  Then we moved on to Zion National Park- did a quick hike for the incredible view of the canyon, then moved on to the resort I knew I would never ever ever ever ever want to leave, Amangiri

Now this was what I had in mind when celebrating my TEN YEAR wedding anniversary.  It was magical.  I’m not really going to elaborate on it, just know that if you go, everything will be handled, all luxuries in your head will be real, and prepare to be catered to the bougiest extreme.  We did a day on Lake Powell- again- magical.  Lots of slot canyons, my favorite was Labyrinth Canyon :)

I love these adventures that Husband & I choose to go on together.  It’s so fun to road trip together, jamming out to our favorite songs and laughing about all of life’s ups and downs that we have made it through so far… We talk about our babies WAY too much, but definitely had the best uninterrupted conversations about how wonderful life is right now.  Can’t wait to see what the next ten years hold for us, my love!  I’m so glad you’re my person.


Bennett Wesley :: Six Years Old (tomorrow)

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Once again, I’m sitting here writing out another post for my oldest boy’s birthday.  Another trip around the sun for his beautiful soul.  Another blessing of a year in my life, having him as my son.  Where to begin?  This angel of a child who makes me proud to be his mama every single day, I don’t know where to start.  Let me try…

This boy… budding baseball player, avid martial arts student, math lover, dinosaur expert, reading extraordinaire… bicycle rider (two wheels only)- sometimes with only one hand(!!), master of interpretive dance, repetitive song listener (current fave is Thunderstruck by ACDC), maker of gourmet peanut butter and jelly sandwiches… role model big brother, focused student, and free drawing enthusiast… you are a rare gem, my handsome boy!

Ok, story time.

Bennett has always been a bit on the shy side, never thoroughly enjoying the spotlight and big crowds.  Last year for his birthday (of course Covid was new) we had a very small, family only, party for him and he was in heaven.  He loved it!  He’s a simple man, doesn’t need much to be content…  I absolutely love this about him.  So this year, I have chartered a fishing boat and captain for him and his best buddy and their dads to  go out tomorrow morning for some goooooood fishin’.  When I told him that’s what I planned and that family would come over later in the day to swim and have cake, he seemed totally fine with that idea.  Well, two days ago, I was at the school fundraiser art show and ran into two moms of kids in his class, both of which told me that Bennett, “invited them to his party on Saturday”…. ummmmm…. excuse me, what?!?  I explained to them that I had not planned a big party for him this year, that family was coming over and I was going to attempt to make a Oreo cookie cake for him… and they totally understood! I had to laugh for a moment, because this is SO unlike him… or maybe it IS!  As usual, I checked his take home folder that evening and saw a piece of paper with writing on it.  It said:

Bennett’s Birthday

3 days

(Lists 5 kids names- who I won’t mention) with check marks next to the names

Oreo 

Cookie

Cake

For some reason, in that moment, as a mom, I felt like I had dropped the ball.  This whole time I’m thinking he doesn’t need a big party, he likes his small circle (just like mama), but in reality, this year he has gained a whole new confidence in himself that I must have overlooked.  It was so sweet and sad at the same time, that he made his own little invitation list and checked it off one by one as he invited his buddies from class.  Dropped. The. Ball.

I went to bed uneasy, but woke up refreshed!  I emailed his teacher, who is the sweetest by the way, and asked if he could bring cupcakes to school on Friday, she said YES, of course, and they will sing happy birthday to him and he will have that special time with his classmates :).  He was so excited getting ready for school today, because he knew the cupcakes would be happening.  It was so cute.  And I think he is still totally content with how his birthday will be tomorrow with his close buddy and family (and friends who are family).  I pinky promised him that next year, in first grade, when he turns seven, I will throw him the biggest birthday party and he will be able to invite whoever he wants- so if anything happens to me- Husband, you better fulfill my commitment!!!!  I think it’s so telling of how much he has matured this past year.  His confidence level has grown tremendously, and I’m in awe.  So proud of him, as always.

Bennett, I love you so much.  You are such a huge light in my life and I hope you shine brighter and brighter, as you have been, for the rest of yours!

xo Mom

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Special thanks to my beautiful friend Laura Gattis for always taking the most organic photos of my children.