Thursday, April 28, 2011

Adventures in Washington, Part II


So one thing that I really enjoyed was getting to meet up with a lot of friends that I haven't seen in awhile. Including Sherri and her boys. Not only did I get to snap some family photos of them, but I got to hang out with her for awhile and catch up.

Okay, so this is Bubs and Sam playing Tiddlywinks. After rising at 5:30am, getting his juice and cheese, watching Dora and snuggling, next on Sam's list of To Do's is to play Tiddlywinks. No joke. And this kid is good!

Before we left NC, Russ asked Brook if she'd send him a letter. She said, "I'll send you FIVE letters!!" So we did lots of letter writing, and the kids were pretty stoked to actually get letters back. They really started missing their dad.

Sam, hard at work washing whatever needs washed...the sink, the floor, the ceiling...

Ladies, do I have a treat for you.

You see, I have a brother. A single brother. One who likes sunsets and long walks on the beach. And if you play your cards just right, all of THIS could be yours:

I know, I know, the humbleness is overwhelming, isn't it?

One thing I really enjoyed was getting to spend some quality time (although not nearly enough!) with my brother. I haven't had the opportunity to really hang out with him for years due to his mission and us moving, so it was really fun to hang out and get to know each other as adults (not that we always acted like adults...).

He is one pretty cool dude, and not just because of his sweet ride. I realized that we are way more alike than I ever thought, and I really enjoyed the conversations we had. I really love this dude.

Oh, and ladies, if you're still gazing...I'll add that he is really great with kids.

Good ol' Uncle Chris never fails to make life entertaining for these two.

Chris mentioned hiking around The Palisades, and since I can't even remember the last time I was there, we decided to take the kids out to hike around. I'm finding that these two really love hiking around, so I'm definitely trying to add more of it to our daily activities.

It was a pretty steep climb (you can barely see the waterfalls back behind Sam in the above photo), but like I said, the kids loved it. I only wish we would have set out earlier so we could have spent a bit more time there.

We were both a tad nervous though, as Chris reminded me that Brooklyn and Sam are about the same age he and I were when we went to The Palisades one year and Chris fell into the water and nearly drowned. We both have vivid memories of it, but definitely different ones. It was interesting comparing what we remembered. And it definitely made us much more cautious, particularly with Captain Do What He Wants Because It Sounds Fun Even Though It Will Get Him Killed with us....sigh, that boy will be the death of me. But he did well.

Chris was trying to teach them the finer art of rock skipping.

Towards the end of our Washington visit, we took a few days to go visit friends on the West Side. First stop was my childhood friend Olivia. I have photos of me, barely walking, at her older sister's birthday party. Yeah, that kind of childhood friend.

It's fun though because our girls are about the same age apart as we are, so it's kind of trippy.

And I have to tell you, this Elexia girl is one funny kid. She has some pretty awesome parents, and they have definitely bestowed the gift of pure Wit on her because she's something else.

It was cold and icky outside so we went and checked out the Pacific Science Center since it had been years since I'd seen it and I figured the kids would enjoy it. It definitely would have been a bit more fun if it weren't so packed, but it was still good.

The kids had a blast though. They had some robots to play with, and Sam was dancing with him, lol.

The next day we spent with our good friends from our WSU days, the McHargues, who we really miss. Even more so after having visited them. You know you occasionally find that friend who you can talk to about anything or even nothing at all? Or you could just sit around and stare at the wall with? Who is always into the same kinds of stuff as you? It's not easy to find. Especially when you're married--it's hard to find another couple that is that easy to get along with. But hot dang, these guys are the real deal. And I am utterly horrified I didn't get a decent photo of them. Doh.

Anyways, what's even better than having such amazing friends is when your kids all get along like peanut butter and is Brooklyn and Jenna in May of 2007. We all went camping together and the girls had a blast...

...apparently not much has changed...

Lacey treated us to some DE-licious cupcakes. There had to have been at least a cube of butter in my cupcake alone...but oh it was sooooooo good.

Before we had Brooklyn, Russ and I fell in love with Jenna when she was teeny. And although this was the first time I've met her, Miss Jaeley was no different. Such a sweet little thing!

Kids + water = there is no way you're getting out of here without soaked kids. We actually did surprisingly well, thanks to the toys that were just around the corner.

I could seriously just eat her up.

We weren't sure if this photo would be possible with all of our little monsters running in opposite directions, but we did it!

I loved watching these two play. They got along so stinking well.

And Sam? He just preferred to play with the doggy door. Whatever.

These photos just scream "childhood" to me. They were everywhere...hide and seeking, pretending they were riding away, jumping off rocks, picking was awesome.

After all of the playing, Ron came home and asked what was for dinner. Brooklyn requested strawberry waffles, and he obliged. It was so SO good to catch up with them again, and it was really tough to leave...Brooklyn cried for the first 10 minutes after we drove away. Sigh.

The next stop was at Laura and Nick's house! They live on Fox Island, which I fell in love with. Quiet, secluded, was wonderful. And the company wasn't so bad either! It's always an entertaining time sitting around and shooting the breeze with them. Plus, Laura makes a mean from-sratch chai tea. YUM. I've been an addict since.

While we were there, we went to a kind of a Mommy and Me group that was just getting started. They met at the community center, which was a very old building--I loved the charm of the old woodwork and old chalkboards. Cool building. The kids had a blast playing with toys, making Easter crafts, and playing at the little park they had there.

They have a great backyard, complete with a swing-set and clubhouse.

I was curious how Sam and Little Nick would get along (they are about 6 months apart--Sam's younger), now that Sam is getting more interested in playing with other kids. They did awesome together--the longer we were there, the more they played together. One would randomly put his shoes and coat on and go outside, and the other would usually follow suit. I'm bummed we couldn't stay longer and get some more playing in. Alas, we shall have to return soon.

...To Be Continued.

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