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    Emily Malone

    culinary arts grad. nutrition facts lover. vegetarian chef. marathon runner. country music maniac. failed dog trainer. barre fanatic. loving mama.

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    A Look Back.



Fourth Festivities.

Happy Fourth (errr, Fifth) of July!  We had a fun, festive family day with a good combination of activity, food, and friends – exactly as it should be.  Our day started off pretty early with plans for a morning hike.  We decided to try something new and drive out to the Snoqualmie Pass area to hike Rattlesnake Ridge

I read a bunch of reviews online ahead of time that said this hike was “an easy day trip” and “great for kids.”  I have since decided that the people who leave hiking reviews on WTA are all hard core hikers and have different expectations and definitions of “easy” than I do.  Ha!

It was a beautiful hike, but anything but easy.  We climbed an elevation gain of 1,160 feet that went straight UP – inclined the entire way.  I was expecting it to be pretty low-key, but I found myself having to take a lot of breaks to catch my breath and drink some water.  Climbing two miles up is tough!  Good thing we had gorgeous views to encourage us to keep going.

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I didn’t take a lot of pictures along the way, mostly because Cullen had a really hard time in the hiking backpack.  I feel like a lot of you comment that you are amazed that we take him out so much and do all these things with him, so I thought I’d keep it real.  He is definitely not always good, and we have our fair share of toddler disasters too.  He spent pretty much the entire trip up whining into Casey’s ear and squirming around in the backpack trying to escape. 

We kept promising him that when we got to the top he’d be able to get out and stretch his legs.  And then we finally got there and discovered that the top was pretty much a rock cliff – yikes!

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The views were absolutely gorgeous, but I suddenly found myself having a bizarre fear of heights.  The overlook of the trail was literally just a series of large boulders (with a giant hole in the middle) and no level ground to stand on.  It was also really crowded!

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But the views were absolutely breathtaking, even on a cloudy morning, and I wasn’t willing to retreat before pulling out my camera for a few clicks.

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Twenty-six weeks pregnant, and looking incredibly nervous about the massive cliff directly behind me.

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We hiked back down to a small clearing area and let Cullen out for a few minutes.  Normally he really enjoys our hikes and points out things like birds and trees, but this just wasn’t his day.  It happens.

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We slowly hiked the two miles back down, which was almost as hard physically as climbing up.  The trees were so deep and tall, and the weather was perfect.  Even if it was harder than expected, I was still really glad we gave it a shot and experienced a new trail. 

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Somewhere about halfway down we realized Cullen was being alarmingly quiet, and we turned around to see him passed out in the backpack. 

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I think a lot of his grumpiness was probably just him feeling extra tired for some reason – it happens!  He was totally conked out and didn’t even wake up when Casey took the backpack off back at the car. 

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Four miles round-trip and a climb of over 1,000 feet – we were all WIPED and ready for a nap.  We headed home for a family snooze.

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Once we were all rested and showered, we headed to our friends’ house for a low-key backyard BBQ.  They had a delicious spread of festive food, including a giant grilled portabella mushroom that got added to this plate after I snapped the pic. 

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Cullen discovered his buddy Max’s golf caddy and took possession over it the entire time we were there.  Thankfully Max was willing to share.  He has a strange obsession with trash cans, and he thought this was his own mini garbage can to pull around.  He collected cups and napkins to fill it up with all night long.  Sigh, so weird. 

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Barbecue boys!

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Check out this hilarious photo series of his buddy Nisso having the audacity to try to touch the golf caddy…

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The next photo would have been Cullen screaming and freaking out about his precious “trash can” – but I jumped up and intervened.  Eventually they sorted it out, as usual.  Silly boys.

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After dinner it was time for some festive desserts!  Casey and I brought a big box of firework donuts from Mighty O – our favorites.  So pretty!

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Festive family.

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We headed home around bedtime, but not before snapping a few holiday photos to look back on next year. 

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I’m so thankful for such wonderful boys in my life.

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And another one who will be here before we know it!

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It was a fun, family Fourth – one of my favorite days of the year. 

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Once Cullen was in bed, Casey and I headed to the balcony off our master bedroom to enjoy some treats we brought home from the party…

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And I sipped on my beloved Dry Soda – a Seattle specialty that is not to be missed!

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We have beautiful panoramic city views of many different neighborhoods from our new place, and a gorgeous pink sunset felt like the perfect end to a great day.

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Casey and I sat outside for a few hours and just enjoyed each other’s company – watching fireworks above the hillsides all over the city.  It was awesome.  We were able to see several different firework shows all at once, and I couldn’t stop thinking about how grateful I am to live in a new place we love so much. 

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Unfortunately the dogs didn’t have as nice of a night.  Huey spent the entire night barking non-stop, and Indy ended up curled up in my lap in a ball on the balcony, shaking like a baby.  Poor pups.

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Hope everyone had a nice, festive Fourth!  What a treat that the weekend is just around the corner now.  Enjoy!

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71 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Lauren @ The Highlands Life     at 9:10 am

I love that picture of Cullen sitting in that chair with that golf “bag”, holding his cup. Looks like such a big boy.

And I love how happy you sound when you talk about the new house. What a wonderful place to be in life.

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Verna     at 9:14 am

You look so great!

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Emily Malone Reply:

Thanks Verna!

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Julie @ Swim Bike Running on Empty     at 9:22 am

Our poor dogs felt the same way! They can handle everything but fireworks. Poor guys!

Well done with the hike. I don’t enjoy heights either so picking something to focus on when on the top of the mountain is key. The views are always worth it though :)

Love your festive outfit, too!

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Sarah     at 9:24 am

Where did you get your maxi skirt? Love it!
You are so lucky to have such amazing views too!

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Emily Malone Reply:

Old Navy maternity. Borrowed it from a friend!

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Kim Reply:

II have the same one :) super comfortable!

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Catherine     at 9:41 am

Just wondering if you’ve tried Thundershirts for your dogs? I don’t know if they would be a worthy purchase since July 4 is only once a year and Seattle doesn’t get many storms, but I’ve had friends with a lot of luck using them. As usual, beautiful pictures. I still can’t believe Cullen is going to be a big brother so very soon! :)

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Emily Malone Reply:

They don’t actually usually get bothered by thunderstorms, and we get very few here in Seattle (like maybe 1-2 a YEAR). Most of our rain is just drizzle. :) But fireworks are a whole other story, OMG.

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Melissa @ Suitcase and Heels     at 9:46 am

Ok, that picture of Cullen just chilling out in a mini Muskoka chair, one foot in the golf caddy is just too cute.

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Samantha     at 9:52 am

Morning! I laughed a bit about your WTA Rattlesnake comment. And yes, people have fallen on that ledge area. As a long time area hiker I do know the trails pretty well. If you are getting to the point that you want to stay fairly level and let Cullen start hiking a couple of my recommendations:

Tiger. I-90 Side (Hwy 18 side trails all tend to climb pretty quickly). Swamp Monster Trail and The Bus Trail are often popular with the younger ones.

Soaring Eagle (Sammamish Plateau/Issaquah Highlands area. I actually enter from Trossachs Blvd which is a very under used entrance. Warning, right now you are looking at nettles.

And finally the Pretzel Tree Trail, Squak Mt. pretty much made for kids including a “story line.” Shorter, zero elevation more or less, and there is a standard loop trail in the area as well if you want to do more. This is off the May Valley Rd.

None of these will net big views, but pretty in their own right. Of the three Tiger will probably be the most crowded on the weekends.

Have a good week!

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Jen @ The Well Read Fish Reply:

I have taken some of your recommendations here too. Thanks!

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Samantha Reply:

Good. Hopefully one of them will work for you! While I don’t have kids I am the oldest of 6 and have hiked with many friends with kids and have definitely learned that kids ability and endurance (physical and mental) vary greatly. In my mind the importance is safely and a good experience so they will keep wanting to hike. :)

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Emily Malone Reply:

Thank you so much for these awesome suggestions! Definitely bookmarking. I am not surprised to hear people have fallen at Rattlesnake — I couldn’t believe how casually people were lounging around the edges. Yikes!!

We will definitely check these out!!

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Jen @ The Well Read Fish     at 9:58 am

I love Rattlesnake Ridge, but I do think I recall a few miles of up-up-up!

I love some of these pictures – they’re too much!

Also, surprisingly my cat was freaking out about the fireworks too. She growled (like a dog!) every time one went off…which was often. Frankly, I am terrified of fireworks. I’m the only adult I’ve come across that feels that way. It’s FIRE in the AIR!!!

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Emily Malone Reply:

Haha FIRE in the AIR! You are funny. :) I guess a bunch of boats caught fire near Gasworks and we could see HUGE plumes of black smoke drifting toward Magnolia. Fireworks can definitely be scary!

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Lee     at 10:03 am

Sounds like a great day. That’s awesome that you can see fireworks shows from your house. The only thing I saw was my next door neighbors lighting fireworks pretty much next to my bedroom window and my dog subsequently freaking out.

Not sure why I chose your blog as a place to vent about that. :)

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Emily Malone Reply:

Haha that sounds terrifying! Also, saw your comment on Sarah (ShuBox’s) blog. Ummmmmm — you have some news to share?? :)

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Lee Reply:

In due time… ;)

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Erin     at 10:04 am

I’m dying over the pic of Cullen in the Adirondack chair. So cute!

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Madeline @ Food Fitness and Family     at 10:22 am

Looks like a picture perfect 4th to me :0)

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Melissa     at 11:10 am

Cullen.

That backpack.

Cuteness overload!!!!

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Erin     at 11:15 am

I love that soda too – I had no idea it was from Seattle! It reaches grocery stores all the way here in Georgia.

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Emily     at 11:18 am

I’m dying to know how you kept Huey from waking up Cullen with all that barking! Our dog barks at things constantly (we joke that he even barks at leaves falling on the lawn) and no amount of white noise can keep our toddler asleep during that ruckus.

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Emily Malone Reply:

Casey and I were just commenting last night on how lucky we are that Cullen sleeps like a ROCK. He has a window unit AC unit and a ceiling fan running in his room, which helps with some noise. And we kept Huey locked in our room with some music playing (trying to down out the fireworks so he wasn’t as scared). But there was definitely still plenty of noise, and thankfully Cullen slept through it. He’s been dealing with their barking since day one, so maybe that has helped?

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tracy     at 11:25 am

Poor pups! I had to put my 13 yr old Lab down on Tuesday and my only consolation was she didn’t have to deal with 4th of July fireworks this year. They hate them so much!

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Emily Malone Reply:

I am so sorry for the loss of your pup. :( How sad!

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Shel@PeachyPalate     at 12:14 pm

The four boys are so cute on the steps!!! Another couple of years and they’ll be up to real mischief! That looks like an awesome plate of treats :)

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Alice R.     at 12:52 pm

Thanks for letting us go with you – it was fun!

My son was over here in the afternoon with his year old pup and girlfriend trying to avoid the firework fear. They feed special treats constantly while shooting off fireworks. I think it worked because she was wagging her tail, and going forward to sniff.

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anon Reply:

Yes! This works so well. A little bit of training In combination with calming treats from the pet store, & my dog was comfortably chewing a bone the whole night.

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Jacquelyn @justjacq     at 1:00 pm

Lol I love the boys picture. Love that the boy on the left is having his own laugh fest and the one on the right has no clue, or care, about what is going on. Toddlers are so funny when they interact!

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Emily Malone Reply:

They are ridiculous! :)

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J     at 1:14 pm

Emily, I love that you guys are also getting great use from your Poco backpack. We’re currently backpacking through the UK with our toddler and ours has been our savior! The sushade, rainfly and diaper pad are getting a LOT of mileage. It’s all good so long as every outing includes a good bout of green space or playground time. People think we’re crazy to do this with a 14 month old, but having 2-3 pieces of really great gear can make all the difference!

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Emily Malone Reply:

Sooo awesome!! Yes, the promise of room to stretch legs and run around was definitely key, and it was a sad disappointment to realize that was definitely not happening at the top! You guys are inspiring.

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Kristi     at 3:18 pm

Oh my goodness. That is the cutest picture of Cullen asleep in the backpack. Swoon!

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Elisabeth     at 4:16 pm

Love the family pic of the three of you! :)

I also LOVE your scarf! Where’s it from?

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Emily Malone Reply:

It’s made by Tuesday Scarves here in Seattle! Love her!

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Sarah     at 4:24 pm

Wow you kept it “real” for once. One thing I don’t like about your blog is how perfect you make everything in your life seem. Your kid has meltdowns and you have bad days like everyone else. Maybe if you admitted that more often people would relate to you a little more and stop questioning why they aren’t as ‘perfect.’

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Emily Malone Reply:

And yet, when I DO write about having bad days or feeling down in the dumps, I am told that I am whiny and ungrateful and all I do is complain. So there is no solution, other than to keep being myself and write about things as they happen – both good and bad. For what it’s worth, I don’t hear much feedback from people who say I am un-relatable or perfect. I’m sorry you feel that way!

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Sarah Reply:

A while back you wrote about how you were having a bad week because Casey was out for work and you didn’t have enough time for yourself. So many women commiserated with you and offered up advice on how to find time for yourself and also shared how hard it is for them as mothers. The very next day you did a ‘clean-up’ post about how you were just overreacting and how your life is actually great and even better than you let on because you try to downplay your life so as to not come across as bragging. Something about that particular post rubbed me the wrong way. It made me question how much of yourself you truly hold back on your blog. It’s like we all get this refined and carefully sifted you. I believe in being a positive person but I genuinely appreciate when a woman (especially a fellow mother) can just represent the ebbs and flows of being a mom. Having said all that, I do apologize for being harsh..nobody needs that, especially not you.

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April Reply:

I get really sick of reading comments like this on people’s blogs. You seem to be under the incredibly mistaken impression that it is up to Emily to manage other people’s self esteem. If you read this blog and then beat yourself up about why you aren’t “perfect” then that is something broken in YOU and complaining to try and get other people to modify their behavior so you don’t feel that way is ridiculous, self-serving, and dumb because it accomplishes nothing. Work on yourself before you try to work on someone else.

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Sarah Reply:

Umm yea okay. Thanks for your input.

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Christy     at 5:30 pm

Hi Emily, I’m from the seattle are and now live in Ann Arbor. Have you tried hiking Mount Si? I remember it being a little less strenuous than Rattlesnake. The best hike IMO though is Tiger mountain. It is pretty challenging, but you get to see out of 3 tiger points. It’s awesome! I miss seattle, I really love reading about your seattle outings!

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Emily Malone Reply:

I have heard both of those are great hikes! Definitely adding them to our list. Thank you!!

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Suzanne     at 6:42 pm

You’re still so active- way to go! Happy fourth :)

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Sarah @ Making Thyme for Health     at 8:24 pm

The pictures of all of the boys together where one is trying to take Cullen’s trash can are hilarious! That is so funny that he collects trash, I love it. Your hike was beautiful and you look great!

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Carley@OptimisticHealth     at 10:35 pm

Sounds similar to ours minus an intense hike with a kiddo! Seattle is so freakin beautiful, as your pictures display!

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Shari     at 5:52 am

I just read a book (Allie Larkin’s WHY CAN’T I BE YOU) that mentioned hiking in Snoqualmie. Sounds – and looks – like a beautiful area!

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PhillyLass     at 6:46 am

Lavender soda?!!! Where has this been all my life? Off to google to find the nearest store that sells it…

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PhillyLass     at 6:46 am

Lavender soda?!!! Where has this been all my life? Off to google to find the nearest store that sells it…

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Michelle Klein     at 10:27 am

Just love your post today, frankly I love all your posts! I giggled so much reading thru the parts where Cullen was doing his thing with the golf “garbage” cart and the pictures to boot, was sort of like a comic strip, lol. Kids are terribly funny and I’m so glad you are enjoying his little quirky behaviors. I really needed a laugh, having a rough patch here myself. Thanks for sharing and please don’t worry about negative feedback, you simply cannot please everyone all the time, don’t try!! :-)

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padma     at 2:16 pm

Seeing your pictures make me want to move to the northwest area. Except that I really can’t stand the cold haha…But I do want to visit. It seems like a lovely place. And I want to go hiking…those views are so beautiful and serene.

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Sarah     at 2:17 pm

Umm yea okay. Thanks for your input.

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Susan (susonia.com)     at 1:55 pm

Oh, how I miss BC, when watching your pics of your beautiful hikes!!! I know you’re in Seattle, but still… And I love the chevron maxi skirt! Too bad I’m not pregnant, haha (although I do still have my post-baby belly…)!

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Jacquelynn     at 7:52 pm

Oh my gosh, that pic of you standing by the cliff/ledge made my knees weak! I think the description of the area is what got me. I am so scared of heights!

Sounds like a wonderful day!

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sarah crosby     at 9:39 pm

youre looking so good! looks like a great 4th! my favorite was the ones of the kid taking the toy away from cullen. My son is a few days younger than yours and i had to chuckle cause my son would do the same.

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kristen | verbs and vignettes     at 4:36 am

happy fourth!! the night on the balcony actually sounds like the best part to me. :)

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Hilary @ PeanutButterSpoonfuls     at 4:55 am

What a gorgeous hike! I love Cullen all slumped over in the backpack. Ours will fall asleep in the car or stroller no problem, but never the backpack. He must’ve been exhausted!

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deva by definition     at 6:36 am

That dry soda looks and sounds divine! Our 4th of July weekend was really really really wet! We saw fireworks at the Reds game on Wednesday night but the game on Thursday was called due to rain (which was a bummer!).

Your pictures are fabulous and Cullen is adorable!

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Ingunn     at 8:31 am

I think Rattlesnake is easy…but I’ve never hiked it while pregnant or carrying a small human on my back. :)

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Emily Malone Reply:

I mean a lot of people looked like they were doing it with NO problem! Maybe I’m just really out of shape. Cullen whining the whole way definitely didn’t help!

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Ingunn Reply:

You’re not out of shape, you’re gestating a human being inside of you!

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Shannan     at 1:22 pm

Sounds like a great 4th! You got some really great family photos! :)

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Christina     at 2:01 pm

I have never laughed as hard at one of your posts, as I did for this one. Cullen’s trashcan obsession is absolutely hysterical to me. The way he is giving Nisso the stink eye in that second picture is hilarious!

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Daily Garnish » Blog Archive » Weekend.     at 2:58 pm

[...] What a weekend!  I felt like we did so much, and yet somehow still felt refreshed and relaxed at the end of it (despite my swelling ankles!).  Casey had to work on Friday, but it still felt like a longer weekend since we got to spend Thursday together celebrating the Fourth.  [...]

Theresa     at 4:16 pm

What a beautiful hike! My parents always tell a story about a family backpacking trip when I was little. Apparently I was not feeling it one day and they bribed me to finish with m&m’s! So funny…but it worked because I love hiking and being outdoors! It looks like you had a wonderful weekend!

[Reply]

krista     at 5:40 am

OMG my 17 month old is OBSESSED with trashcans too! Doesn’t notice cars, trucks, sprinklers…but can find a trashcan in any setting!

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Maria     at 10:43 am

Thanks so much for the recommendation on the hiking backpack a few months ago. We tested out our Osprey on vacation in New Hampshire this past weekend, and my husband loved it…and more importantly, our daughter loved it!

Maria

[Reply]

Emily Malone Reply:

So happy to hear it! We love ours!

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Kathy     at 1:01 pm

I’m not usually a blog commenter, except: Toddler Sequence. I cannot stop laughing at those boys! Chaos on the left. Kid on the right who looks the same kind of bored in every shot.

SO FUNNY.

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turfgirl     at 1:16 pm

we LOVE paseo’s. we have driven down from vancouver bc just for a sandwhich once. my husband kept telling me about it and i was like meh. then he got one and i ate the entire thing from paseo’s to our hotel downtown.

[Reply]

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