Monday, March 20, 2017

This and That

August, September, and October went by and we took only a few pictures. It's sad really, we did some fun things. In August we went camping on the coast with some friends. They have a son the same age as Eli and they are good buddies. Even though it was August, the weather was not very warm and the water is always cold but they didn't seem to mind. We camped only one night, but it was a great time with friends.

The only decent picture from the camping trip. 

Josh missed the next adventure because of work, but a few weeks after camping Eli and I went to my parents house in Idaho to spend time with my family. We were camping for most of the time there as well. All of Eli's cousins from the Mendenhall side of the family were there and most of the aunts and uncles.

Ginger, Eli, and Kimberly getting the last of the whipped cream from the mixing bowl.

Hanging out in the back of Grandpa's truck. (L to R: Andrew, Susan, Ginger, Kimberly, Lilly, Eli, MaKenna)

This was the view from our campsite. There was a river running right by the campsite, which was really wonderful as most of the days we spent there we over 90 degrees. The haze in the photo was caused by a huge wildfire. We went rafting while we were there (5 adults and 6 kids in one raft for 2 hours...) and from where we put the raft in you could see where the highway was closed due to the fire. 

I didn't get any pictures of all the fun we had playing with family, watching two musicals in an outdoor theater, sleeping in grandma and grandpa's camper (Eli loved the camper), rafting the river, floating another, smaller river, or riding four wheelers, but we had a great time. 

In early October Eli and I went on a hike to Snow Lake. It is just over 7 miles round trip. The longest hike Eli had done up to this point was 5 miles, so I wasn't sure if we would make it. I was ok with not making it all the way, I just wanted to see what we could do and still enjoy our day. This was one of the best days of parenthood to date. Watching Eli enjoy doing something I love was incredible. We stopped along the trail to throw rocks, we saw some pika, ate some snacks, and enjoyed one of the last sunny days on the trail before snow and weather shut us down for the season. There were a few times when he required a word or two of encouragement, but I was also completely willing to turn around before the lake if he started getting too tired or if he wasn't enjoying it anymore. That was the amazing part; he was loving it as much as I was. We were singing and exploring and laughing as we hiked. It was the best.  

Enjoying some sandwich at the lake.

The only thing that could have made the day better was if Josh could have joined us. 

Snow Lake from the top of the ridge. 

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Air Show and Bertha May

In late July we went to an air show at Payne Field in Everett. It was predominantly WWII era airplanes, which was pretty cool. I think air shows are interesting but Josh and Eli both really enjoy them.

Inside the Pan American DC-3

Two happy guys 

Eli was not a fan of the teeth on this P-40

Watching the show. 

We think this is a Grumman Hellcat

A few weeks later we went on a hike to Bertha May and Pothole Lakes. Pothole is a good descriptor for both the lake and the road to the trailhead. We ended up parking on the side of the road and walking the last hundred yards to the trailhead because we did not have the clearance to tackle the last section of "road".

The hike was fairly short and the bushes around the trail were packed with huckleberries. They were ripe, and dense, and delicious. The abundance huckleberries made up for the total lack of fish. We always hope there will be good fishing in the lakes we hike to, but that seems to rarely be the case. 

 
Trying to catch some fish

They were pretty far out on that log. 

These small frogs were everywhere. There were thousands of them hopping about. At times it looked like the ground was moving as they would hop to move away from our feet.

So tiny! They really were kind of cute.  

So many berries! They were big for huckleberries too. 

The lovely Bertha May

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Long time no blog

I wasn't sure this would happen again. Eight months is a long hiatus and I thought that perhaps this blog had died. I'm still not sure if this is one last heartbeat before keeling over forever or if it's been fully revived, but here we are.

In truth, the extended absence stems from this event. Every post after that seemed like it should have been about something else. Instead of a small, happy family on a hike, it should have been about a growing belly and the twins that would soon make an appearance or crazy life as a family of five.  Every post since then felt a little forced and fake. The experiences themselves were real and happy, but coming here to write about them was unpleasant because it was not at all what I wanted to be blogging about. But time has passed and it seems ok again. And so we will begin where we left off.

Memorial Day 2016 we hiked into Heather Lake. It was a pretty lake but there were more people on the trail than any other hike I can remember. It was a little crazy.

Heather Lake

Oh, my sweet boy

View from the other side of the lake

These boardwalks were around much of the lake. When they crossed water Eli liked to peek down to see if he could see any fish. 

Walking Luna around the boardwalk


 The next event to make it on the camera was Father's Day. Eli painted a sign for Josh and we took a few pictures to give to him for Father's Day. I love how Eli's personality shows through in the pictures.


Eli is one lucky kid. He has the best daddy around.

Nana and Lauren were in town for the Fourth of July. We are bad at getting pictures of anyone except Eli, but we were glad they came! We went to the coast with Lauren and despite the gray day, we had a marvelous time. 
Pausing from playing in the waves for a picture.

Warming up

Salty Water


A few days after the beach trip was the Fourth of July. Nana, Lauren, and the Mason's came to our house for a few fireworks. 

Sparklers! 


Getting ready for some louder fireworks

Oh, this boy!

He liked to help Josh get the fireworks ready but then would run back right before Josh set them off.

Nana and Eli enjoying the fireworks.

There is still a lot of catching up to do, but this seems like a good start. Farewell for now and hopefully it's not for forever. 

Thursday, June 23, 2016

10 Years and Still in Love

In May, Josh and I celebrated our 10 year anniversary. We stayed in Vancouver B.C. for the night and Eli got a vacation with the Mason's. This was the first time we have left Eli for a night and were worried how he would do. Other than vomiting on the porch as we were dropping him off, there were no mishaps and he had a great time. Thanks Dan and Ashley for letting him stay with you!

Our trip was delightful. We stayed in an apartment in downtown that we rented through Airbnb. It wasn't until after we paid for the rental that the owner disclosed that the building didn't allow short term rentals. The owner said if we were confronted by the leasing manager that we should tell him we were friends or relatives visiting from out of town and that he (the owner) was "a 30 year old white male. Make it work." Luckily, we didn't run into anyone as we were coming or going.

Finding parking near the rental was troublesome. Not having GPS and a multitude of one-way streets were problematic for navigating but we eventually found an overnight parking garage and stowed the car. The rest of the day we walked around downtown and did some souvenir shopping. That evening we we ate our anniversary dinner at a place called L'Abattoir. It was excellent, or at least my food was excellent. I had duck breast with a foie gras cream and it was probably the best plate of food I've ever had. Josh's food was good, but not quite as exceptional.

On day two we rented a tandem bike and rode around the Seawall in Stanley Park. Stanley park is in downtown and it's huge, over 1.5 square miles (for reference, Central Park in NYC is 1.3 square miles). We took our time and spent close to two hours pedaling around the exterior of the park.

After Stanley Park we went to Lynn Canyon Park which boasts it's suspension bridge. It was nice, not particularly thrilling, but pretty and it was enjoyable to spend time with just the two of us. We drove home after Lynn Canyon. Getting to the border with traffic and construction, again without GPS, was a little tricky but we managed. While at the border two cars ran into each other trying to cut the line. No one was hurt and the cars were barely damaged but the drivers were quite unhappy with each other. It didn't delay us and added a bit of a spectacle to help pass the time as we waited to cross. So while unfortunate for the two cars involved, it was mildly amusing to us.

View of the harbor and downtown from the bike bath.

Our wheels. 

Lighthouse and North Vancouver in the background.

This guy is fantastic. He was the designated driver for our ride as bikes and I are not always a good idea. Especially not in situations with heavy pedestrian traffic. But being in the back seat meant I got to take pictures and video while pedaling about. It was pretty fun.

At Lynn Canyon

Root stairs

The suspension bridge.

It was a great trip. Not because anything we did was singularly spectacular but because we were able to spend time together, just us. After 10 we still love spending time together and we love each other more than when we wed, a decade ago. That, I think, is worth celebrating. 

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Eli says...

Lately Eli has said some things that I have found to be particularly cute and want to remember.

If I say "I love you to the moon and back" he will reply "I love you to the moon and front".

Instead of saying upside-down he says upside-downside.

Dinosaurs are often called dinosaurus.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Barclay Lake

Josh started a new job the second week of May. After four years at Getty Images, he has moved on to T-Mobile. He is working as a contractor for them, but the job has the potential to be contract to hire. He is still learning the ropes but so far it's going well.

Josh had a few days between jobs and we took advantage of it by doing a hike to Barclay Lake. It is about 4.5 miles round trip to a nice lake at the base of Mount Baring. There were only a few other people on the trail, so we were able to enjoy some solitude.
Trail running

This is a pretty cool bridge

Josh hid off the trail to "scare" us as we hiked by. Eli wanted a turn to hide and scare us. This is the hiding spot he chose...

A forest ranger was at the trailhead as we were beginning our hike and he mentioned that they had to clear 129 downed trees from the trail that spring. A huge wind storm came through over the winter and caused an incredible amount of downed trees throughout the whole area, but this trail was hit especially hard. This downed tree made a good bridge for Luna though. 

Mama and her boy

At Barclay Lake

Mount Baring

Our favorite hiker.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Birthday Coast Trip

Clamming has been on my "to do" list since moving to Washington five years ago. So this year for my birthday, Josh took a few days off work and we went to Long Beach, WA to clam. There is only one low tide per day open for digging, and the days we were there it switched from the evening to the morning tide. We got into town in the afternoon, went clamming that night, and then woke up the next morning and headed back to the beach for some more. It was so much fun and we all really enjoyed ourselves. The only down side was that we didn't actually get any clams... I'm not sure if the tides weren't quite low enough or if the place we went had already been heavily clammed, but we got skunked. We will have to give it a go again soon because it's probably even more fun if you actually get clams. 

Once we arrived we checked into our rental and went straight to the beach. The path from our rental to the ocean went through a wooded area and then dunes. There had been so much rain that the path was more puddle than path. Luckily rainboots and raincoats are standard beach gear for the Washington coast, so we were ready for the puddles. We trudged through and it was actually pretty fun. 

You can't clam until low tide and the first low tide was at 8pm (after dark) so after exploring the beach we ate dinner at a restaurant in town then headed back to the beach to try our hand at night clamming. We donned headlamps and flashlights and were chased about by the waves. The stars were out and it was fantastic. As previously mentioned, we were unsuccessful, but it was still a fun adventure.

The following morning we tried again and had just as much fun in the daylight as in the dark. After about an hour on the beach it started to rain so we packed up and started back home. We had a lovely trip and it made for a memorable birthday.  

Some of the puddles were too deep for Eli's boots. Daddy to the rescue!

Out of the woods, into the grass.

From sand to sea

Throwing sand is always fun

Foamy surf

My boys

Going to explore the waves. 

Running from the waves

All three of us

My boy and I

 I'm not sure why, but I really liked this half buried sign.