Well, hello there! Gosh guys. So much to say, and yet I don’t know where to start – so I’m just going to ramble for a minute. I’m sorry it’s been so quiet here – I know some of you have been worried! I didn’t intentionally take (twenty!) days off from writing, and every single day I have sat down to write and ended up doing other things.
I have so many things that I want to tell you about and share, and I’ll get to it all eventually. The truth of it all is that I’ve been chasing after two little boys who enlighten, enchant, and exhaust me in ways I could have never imagined. I feel like I’ve grown a lot this summer. I’ve spent so much time outside, surrounded myself with water, been lucky enough to see family and friends – and I’ve found myself mostly unplugged, more disconnected than I’ve been in ages, and thoroughly refreshed by all of it.
When the weather cools and the drizzle begins, I’m sure I’ll take up solace in the comfort of my keyboard and my office chair again. And as it always has, this space will continue to ebb and flow – both in content and in frequency – along with life’s seasons and changes. I so appreciate all of you who have hung on and continued to support and encourage me through it all.
Let me just tell you guys – two kids is no joke! There’s plenty more to say on that another day, but the bottom line is that I’m caring for someone most of the time. And I don’t mean that there is twice the amount of laundry, twice the toys to clean up, or twice the sunscreen to apply (although all of that is true).
What I mean is that there are two big toothy grins to greet me every morning. There are two very different personalities – one wanting focused attention on puzzles and make believe games, and the other beaming for more peek-a-boo and discovering the thrill of summer splashing. There are two little bodies to hug and hold and comfort, and who both believe in the magic of mama’s healing kisses. There is twice as much love, wonder, and growth to cherish and to desperately try to hold onto before another day passes.
And so, I haven’t been writing. But I promise you, I have absolutely been living.
And so with that said, let me show you what we’ve been up to! I’ve said it before, but I’m saying it again. I think this might be our best summer yet. The weather has been absolutely perfect, and while we certainly haven’t done it all, we’ve done so much more than I thought we would.
We kicked off August with a mom’s group trip to the blueberry farm! We went to this same spot last year, all of us chasing after toddlers and sweating through the heat with various stages of pregnant bellies.
This year, the bellies have all become babies who had a stroller party to try to escape the hot, hot sun!
Graham ate his weight in juicy berries, and as I watched him jam fistfuls into his mouth, I laughed thinking about how I quartered Cullen’s blueberries until he was something like a year old.
And just as he did before, Cullen put every berry in his mouth and not a single one into the bucket. I only got him to stop by telling him he was going to turn blue!
He has grown up so much this summer. It is simultaneously amazing and heartbreaking to watch. He looked like such a BABY just a short summer ago…
And in the recent months he has transformed into every bit the little boy. His arms and legs seem like they have doubled in length, his signature belly has all but flattened, and his wit and charm truly scare me for the teenage years.
I feel like one lucky mama.
We took the boys to an outdoor summer concert (Graham’s first!). Despite the smiling photo, it was a pretty big disaster. Maybe next year!
Oh, and in the four weeks we had between travels, Cullen became fully potty-trained! That felt like a really big step, and while it felt like the biggest deal ever for the first week or two, now it feels like old habit. It is so nice to just have one kid in diapers again! Also, toddler boxer briefs – are you kidding me?? Don’t worry, he also got a haircut.
With each passing weekend came more summer fun. My best friend, Lindsey, came to visit and we had THE BEST time. We were able to do and see so much, and I felt so refreshed and relaxed after spending a few days with her.
We took a spin out on Lake Washington on a friend’s boat.
And stayed out way too late.
We ate a lot of delicious summer treats, including these incredible ice cream sandwiches.
And I made lots of vegetarian BLT’s – a summer staple!
We fed the giraffes at the zoo.
And we did a family night out at the Mariners game!
Graham discovered straw cups and smoothies…
And Cullen pretty much lived on homemade popsicles.
The final piece of our backyard transformation went from this weed-covered dirt pit…
To this patio paradise! The backyard is my happy place.
Graham turned ten months old, and has absolutely come to life this summer. He is a fearless and sensitive little jokester who keeps all of us laughing as we watch him discover the world.
Maybe I’ve just totally forgotten the baby phase from the first time around, or maybe it’s because he has an older brother to mimic, but I am constantly amazed by how curious and brave he is. He wants so badly to keep up with the big kids, and I want so badly for him to stay little just a teeny bit longer.
And while much of summer has been planned around the youngest boys, Casey and I have also taken a bit of time aside for just us two. We’ve stayed up late and cooked yummy meals, we’ve planned unique date nights, and we capped it all off with a sunset sailboat ride around Lake Union.
We’re finishing up our summer fun with some travel! We have two big family vacations planned for this year (one with each of our families – and almost back to back!). We just got back from one trip, and we leave for another in a few days. I’ll be back soon to fill you in our adventures in the San Juan Islands.
Happy summer! I missed you guys!