Monday, September 28, 2015

The Rest of Summer

Summer started out slowly, and then flew by all at once. With only a week and a half left before school started, we headed to one last Mariners game with my parents, my sister, and her family. It was the first Mariners game for my brother-in-law, and my niece and nephew...AND it was kid's day at the ballpark. The kiddos got Mariners backpacks and were able to run around the bases after the game. Such a great day. 

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On the very last day of summer break I decided to surprise Avery with what we ended up calling "The Best Day Ever." Our day started out waiting in line to get Dutch Brothers, which I usually have no patience for, but Avery loves their Grasshopper steamers. Then we headed to the Portland Art Museum for the morning. She especially loved Monet and all the modern art...and anything that looked like Pride and Prejudice (those were her exact words). She's definitely mine.

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After the art museum we headed to Powell's Books. Avery had some money saved up, and the kid is almost a bigger book freak than I am. She was practically hyperventilating in the store and I had to ask her repeatedly to stop shrieking because she was startling the other customers. There was a lot of loud gasping, following by shouts like "THEY HAVE AMERICAN GIRL BOOKS!?!" "MOM! MOM!!! NANCY DREW!" "LOOK AT HOW MANY RAMONA BOOKS THEY HAVE!" "HOW WILL I EVER CHOOSE?!?!" She narrowed it down to eight books (because I'm a push over and it was the last day of summer). She did chip in her ten dollars, and left the store like it was Christmas morning.

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After that we headed to Avery's very favorite restaurant, which we also went to on the last day of summer last year - Island Café. Erik actually delivers mail there when it's open (it closes in October for the fall and winter). We shared a turkey sandwich, fed the ducks and hung out on the patio in the warm sun watching the last afternoon of the summer fade away. And we didn't even mind.

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And one more from Instagram...


Even though I was ready to be done with the long, hot summer days, the lack of schedules, and the constant packing and unpacking from camping trips, I do miss summer a little bit. It was a beautiful season of new adventures, wonderful memories, family, and friendship. I feel very blessed to have a job that lets me have summers off with Avery, and be present in these moments with my beautiful girl and my handsome husband. I'm the luckiest girl in the world.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Bike Skills Blowout 2015

Yesterday we headed to Castle Rock for the annual Bike Skills Blowout at the Castle Rock Bike Skills Park. It's a little bit of a drive, but my brother was working at the event and invited Avery to come and check out the park. The event is for kids through middle school, and there are 22 challenges that the kids can try. If they complete (or attempt) 15 of these challenges (for which they earn a helmet sticker) they receive a medal. Avery was a little nervous at first, but after starting out on the pump tracks with Uncle Preston, she grew confident enough to earn her medal just as the event was ending. She was very proud as the event staff counted her stickers, rang the bell, and announced that she'd completed enough challenges for her medal. Lunch was provided by a local church, and then Avery was able to ride a little more before we headed home for the day.


Thanks for inviting us, Uncle Preston. It was a great day at the bike park, and Avery can't wait to go back and practice for next year!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

First Day of 2nd Grade

Today Avery started 2nd grade. Somehow my beautiful little baby is now seven-years-old. She's still beautiful, but she's also smart, funny, tall and strong. Avery is a walking contradiction of the best kind...she's shy and brave, cautious and adventurous, defiant and obedient, serious and fun. She is the most complex little human, and every single day I fall a little more in love with her. My heart melts at night when she stays up reading chapter books, or when she requests to watch Anne of Green Gables over Disney movies. She likes football, climbing trees, sewing and crafts. She's me, and Erik, and a person all her own. Which is what every kid should be. So today this amazing little person is in 2nd grade, and I'm just here wondering where the time has gone.

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Friday, August 28, 2015

Camping at Deception Pass

A couple weeks ago we took our tent trailer to Deception Pass, which just happens to be one of my favorite places on the planet. We fished, we explored, we hung out with family, we visited with old friends, we ate good food, Avery earned a Jr. Ranger badge, and we all slept warm and cozy in our trusty tent trailer. I'm convinced that buying the pop-up is just about the best purchase we've ever made. I'm already planning our camping trips for next summer, and I can't wait!

So here's a glimpse into our adventures...starting with the first night at West Beach.

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The next morning we packed up a picnic lunch and headed down to Ebey's Landing, which is a National Historic Site on Whidbey Island. We explored the cemetery and the blockhouses, walked the trail to the Ebey House, had a picnic on the beach, and headed to the wharf in Coupeville, which is also part of the historic site. And Avery earned her Jr. Ranger badge, which she was very proud of.

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We left Coupeville to meet up with some friends who live on the island, then we headed back to do a little fishing and watch the sunset at North Beach. And what a sunset it was.

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The next day we wandered through the little shops in Anacortes, then we headed back for an afternoon of fishing at North Beach. After dinner we went to West Beach for the sunset and then made s'mores over the awesome gas fire pit that my parents brought (because fires are banned in Washington indefinitely).

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On our last full day Erik and I decided to take my parents up to Mt. Erie to show them the views. It's a sketchy drive, but totally worth it. We could see some storms rolling in, but the rain held off and even lunch at Rosario Beach turned out to be beautiful. Avery and her cousin, Bella, found hermit crabs in the tidepools, and Mom and I collected rocks and watched kayakers in the bay. 

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We also stopped at a little gas station/supermarket with the most inappropriate, yet hilarious, picture cutouts that you will ever see. Avery and Grandma as topless mermaids? Why not?


Pink salmon don't come through the area every year, but there were plenty off the beaches of Deception Pass while we were there. Everyone was fishing, and everyone was catching one (or two or three)...well, everyone except our fishermen (and fishergirl). People were reeling them in left and right, catching their limits, and still our group didn't catch any. After dinner we headed back to West Beach for our last sunset (and a little more fishing, because even little kids were still reeling them in). The guys never did catch anything, but the cotton candy sunset was sure something.

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What I wouldn't give to go back already. Such a special place.