Labor Day Love.

Here it is Thursday, and I am just now finally coming down from what was a wonderful weekend spent with family.  Saturday afternoon, both my sisters and my nephew arrived, and we spent the next four days in a whirlwind of playgrounds, delicious meals, and Seattle sights.  It was perfect.

Other than when we flew my mom out for the weekend to help us move to our new house in May, we haven’t had any visitors here in Seattle since last Christmas!  And this was our first set of visitors in our new space, which made it extra fun. 

I didn’t capture all of our adventures, as I wanted to soak up as much family time as possible, but I did lug my big camera along to a few of my favorite places.  Sarah has actually lived out here with us for the past two summers, but my big sister has only been out here twice, and both times were for winter holidays.  So she has only seen Seattle in the cold, gloomy season, and I’ve never had a chance to show her how incredible it is here during the summer months. 

We were blessed with absolutely perfect late summer weather, and were able to get around and do so much.  We spent Monday morning enjoying a hazy summer day at Golden Gardens beach.

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Cullen and Jonah are just four months apart in age, and this was the first time you could really see them develop a relationship of their own.  They communicated clearly with each other, danced, sang, laughed, and had fun causing all sorts of trouble as a duo. 

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The whole time they were here, any time I went into Cullen’s room after his nap or in the morning, he skipped right past “hi mom” or “good morning” and went straight to “Jonah?”  This gives me hope that someone is definitely ready for a brother! 

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Throwing rocks together into the Puget Sound.  Better than throwing rocks or sand at the moms, right?

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Toddlerhood sure does come with it’s challenges, but overall I have found this age (so far) to be such a joy.  They are both so happy to be exploring the world and discovering new things, and it’s so neat to watch Cullen’s personality come through as he relates to other kids.  I was happy that, unlike a few months ago, there were very few meltdowns over things like sharing and attention. 

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They look and act almost nothing alike, but they are two peas in a pod. 

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This is the first summer we have spent in Seattle without Sarah, and I sure have missed her.  I think she will end up out this way soon enough, and holding onto that hope helps ease the distance for now.  Cullen adores her.  I’m a big fan too.

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A loving photo with mom.  Sigh.

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Slightly better.

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Our crew, minus Casey (who acted as photographer).  We picked the absolute right day to be at the beach, and practically had the place to ourselves.  Perfection.

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Another one of my favorite family outings this weekend was to Ella Bailey Park.  I think this park is the hidden gem of Seattle – never crowded, and yet high up on a hill with some of the best views our city has to offer. 

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So beautiful it looks fake, and yet so real and so much fun. 

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Monday evening, Casey stayed home on baby monitor duty so the three of us could enjoy a dinner out together.  We had a nice night out at Café Flora – one of my favorite vegetarian spots.  Such a treat!

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We also spent a good amount of time at home, just enjoying our space and the chance to all be together. 

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We spent our last evening together at another pretty park, watching the boys dig in sandboxes and run around in the open grassy space.  It was really nice that Casey was able to join us for almost everything we did too.  Always more fun with dad around!

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Everyone indulged me for a final family photoshoot before our visit came to an end. 

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The original purpose of this visit was for Rebecca to make one more big trip before both of our families grow again this fall.  It will probably be a while before either of us is able to travel to the other again for some time, given that we’ll both have newborns (and toddlers!).

Check us out two years ago, pregnant with Cullen and Jonah, and celebrating Rebecca’s baby shower – 16 weeks and 36 weeks along!

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And here we are this time – 35 weeks and 32 weeks along with two more boys!  Strange to be the one who will (mostly likely) have the first baby this time.  I’m excited that our boys will all have cousins so close in age!

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My high school yearbook quote was, “How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard” (by A.A. Milne) – and that feels very true today.

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Missing them all dearly now, but so grateful for a wonderful long weekend spent together.