No Place Like Home.

Hello from Ohio!  One of my best friends in the whole world is having a baby, and there was no way I was going to miss celebrating with her.  Saturday was filled with all sorts of baby shower fun.  She looked so gorgeous!  She’s due the day before Cullen turns one – crossing fingers they might share a birthday.

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Since we were going to be flying all this way to come celebrate, we turned it into a mini family reunion.  My big sis flew down from Connecticut with my nephew – a cousin reunion!  We haven’t seen each other since Christmas – nine painfully long months.  Last time we were all together, Cullen was 9 weeks old, and Jonah was six months.

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Nine months is an eternity in baby years, and here they are now – 15 months and ten months, and way too much fun together.

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As you can imagine, I took about five hundred pictures of them together.  It is HARD to try to get two babies to look at a camera and smile at the same time!

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Sarah came down from Indianapolis to make the weekend feel complete.  It has been amazing.

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Casey came too!  He is actually traveling for business this week, so I’m staying in Cincinnati for a few days to hang out with my mom, rather than be in Seattle alone for no reason.  Counting down until we see him again on Wednesday.

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My mom is in Grandma heaven – two babies under one roof to snuggle and rock to sleep.  Last time…

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And this time!  They look so grown up, and have a LOT more hair.

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I dropped Casey at the airport early Sunday morning, and spent the whole drive back thinking about how different it feels to be back in a place that I spent 28 years.  For the first time since we left, Cincinnati just feels different to me.  I can’t quite put my finger on it.

When I’m in Seattle, it never feels like a big city to me.  But walking around Cincinnati, I’m reminded of how a smaller city looks and feels, and I find it comforting.  I was one of only a few cars on the road on Sunday morning – something that I can’t even imagine happening in Seattle.  I don’t really feel like either is better than the other – just different

One similarity?  Awesome farmer’s markets!  When I still lived in Hyde Park, this market was four booths in a bank parking lot.  Now it has taken over the entire Hyde Park Square area, and I was really impressed with the quality and variety of vendors. 

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The boys loved being out and seeing all the people.  Cullen hasn’t been feeling well this trip – really stuffy nose and hoarse voice – so not much smiling out of him.  His spirits are good, but I can tell he’s just not his usual bubbly self.

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I was surprised to see they even had someone selling kombucha!  I was going to buy a bottle, but I took a sample that turned out to be cayenne pepper flavored.  WAY too spicy – too bad! 

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I talked to a local woman who started the Five Star Foodies brand.  She was sampling vegetarian sloppy joe’s with vegan sour cream – absolutely delicious!

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They sell at markets as well as in regional Whole Foods stores – highly recommended if they are in your area!

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She also had delicious flavored ciders.  I tried hibiscus – very unique!

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It has been PERFECT weather this weekend.  A crisp fall breeze with warm sunshine.  I wanted to stay outside all day long.

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I passed this homemade popsicle stand and was really intrigued by avocado.  Definitely want to try these next time!

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And maybe these…

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We had some extra time to kill before we needed to be home, so we all hung out in the square fountain area to let the boys play for a bit.  The fountain was a big hit.

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Cullen kept laughing and trying to grab the water with his little fists.  He had so much fun, I’m going to take him back there today.

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When I was little, I grew up eating ice cream on the ledge of this fountain, and splashing in it on hot summer days.  I always get really emotional and sentimental when I come home, and seeing Cullen playing in my old spots is really special.

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When I was in high school, my friends and I would sit on these benches and hang out after school.  My family would walk through the square on the way home from church on Sundays.  And now my baby is running down the  same sidewalk.  Sniff.

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There was a band playing in the grassy area, and the boys loved listening to the music and dancing.  It has been such a treat to get to be here together.

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I think we have a mini musician on our hands.  Or maybe a dancer or producer or something.  Cullen is obsessed with music.  He claps and dances, and is totally mesmerized.

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The only time he stopped moving all weekend was to stare at this woman singing and playing her saxophone.  He stood there for ten minutes without moving.  Time to buy more baby instruments!

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Sarah heads back to school this afternoon, and I’m spending the rest of my time here visiting with my mom and some good friends.  No matter how long I stay, it always feels too short.  I love Seattle so much, but this week I have a major case of the Cincinnati-s.  There is truly no place like home. 

A yummy dessert for you tomorrow!