Summer Adventures Part 2: Heat Wave!

Happy Monday morning from the coffee shop!  We had an awesome weekend – walked to breakfast, watched our neighborhood Seafair parade, and went to a party at a friends house on Saturday.  And on Sunday we had pancakes at home followed by a morning at the beach, and then the neighborhood summer festival in the afternoon.  I’m exhausted!

Also, how the heck is it AUGUST?!  I’m not gonna lie, I’m not very happy about it.  We have a ton of really fun stuff coming up this month, and as excited as I am about all of it, I also feel like summer is going by waaaay too quickly.  I’ve been busting ass recently to get caught up on a lot of stuff – both personally and professionally – and so I have a bunch of posts in the works for the next few weeks.  We have two big vacations coming up and I am determined to be caught up and prepared before we leave!

So with that said – how about another summer recap?  I realize all of this is totally outdated and maybe not even that interesting to some of you, but these pictures are full of amazing memories for me so I can’t just skip past them.  I left off with our Canadian adventure and visit from Casey’s parents, which brings us back to Seattle and it’s crazy heat.

Have you heard about this heat wave?  I know weather is so lame to talk about, but seriously – it has been SO hot.  In fact just this week, we broke the record and are now in the middle of the hottest year here in 121 years!  The heat wouldn’t be a big deal if Seattle was prepared for it, but since temps never used to be like this, most homes here (like ours) are not equipped with air conditioning.

We’ve had something like 11 days of 90+ degree heat (and countless in the high 80’s) – but honestly, I have LOVED it.  Yes, it’s super hot but we’re also surrounded by water and beaches for relief, and in the shade it feels really wonderful since there is no mugginess.  The only downer is that the plants and lawn are struggggling from all the sunshine, but I personally can’t get enough.

Our house is warm, but both the kids have window units in their rooms, so at long as they are cool enough to sleep I’m not really worried about too much else.  During the day, we are outside pretty much all the time.  In the mornings we hit up the parks and beaches, and in the afternoon our yard gets a lot of much-needed shade.  We have gotten great use out of this ridiculous Elmo sprinkler that my mom sent us last year (a Goodwill find!)…

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Graham loves to run through it and be dripping wet from head to toe…

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And Cullen does his best to avoid actually getting wet, but drinks excessively from the sprinkler.  Totally clean, right?

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Even though it was a million years ago now, one of the big highlights of summer so far was Fourth of July weekend.  Our dear friends who moved away this past spring came back to visit, and they stayed with us for three glorious days.  They brought fireworks with them to celebrate, and the kids had a blast doing poppers, sparklers, and other smoky things (can you tell we didn’t do fireworks at my house?). 

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They did these “smoke bombs” down in the yard that the kids all thought were incredible.  Graham loved every minute of it and yelled for more and more.

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And these charcoal snake things were a big hit too.  For some reason we never did more than basic sparklers growing up, so these were all new to me.  The kids were fascinated.

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On the actual Fourth, we invited a few other families over and had a backyard BBQ.  It was about 95 degrees outside, so we busted out everything we could think of to keep the kids cool.  We rigged up the homemade waterslide, and also set up the baseball diamond slip and slide (which you can sort of see in the background).  So ridiculous but so fun.

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I took zero pictures of the food since I was fussing trying to get it all ready while the kids napped.  But our menu included:  grilled field roast veggie dogs and hot dog buns, corn on the cob, homemade potato salad, caprese salad with blueberries, green salad with edamame and creamy carrot dressing, and cubed watermelon.  Our friends who were in charge of dessert brought homemade ice cream sandwiches that were seriously life changing.  The kids all agreed!

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One the kids were all covered in chocolate cookies and melted ice cream, it was time for sparklers!

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It was one of those perfect, magical afternoons where all the kids were in great moods – no one fought, no one cried, and all of them just laughed and enjoyed themselves.  Which obviously meant that the parents could relax and enjoy it too – such a fun day!

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After all the kids were in bed and the party was cleaned up, Casey and I headed upstairs with our visiting friends to one of my favorite spots in all of Seattle – our balcony.

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We have an incredible panoramic view of the north neighborhoods, and these is no other place I’d want to be on the Fourth of July.  You can see firework shows all across the horizon in the distance, and it’s really spectacular.  This year, we actually climbed up to the highest point of the roof and watched up there.  Let’s hope the kids never figure out what an easy climb it is…

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Last but not least, the following week brought our annual blueberry picking outing.  This was our third year in a row going with our friends, and it is so fun to watch all these kiddos grow and change as they charge through the same blueberry rows year after year.  Here are the four “big kids” from year one, when they were just babies!

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And here they are again last year, looking like legit toddlers!  Last year the new crop of babies all hung out in strollers parked in the shade because it was blazing hot and they were all too little to really participate.

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And now this year we have a wild band of little boys and one little girl they they all adore.

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The weather was perfect this year – not too hot – and the berries were DELICIOUS!  The best I’ve had by far – not too sweet, and not to sour – just right.

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These three have been the best of friends since they were 8 weeks old, and even though we miss our other little friend who moved away, it is so fun to see them all grow and change together.  They did a great job collecting berried and actually filling their buckets (unlike the previous years where they just ate them all).

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And Graham loved having his own giant bucket and endless rows of blueberry bushes.  He is so BIG all of the sudden, and I am trying to soak up every bit of his baby-ness while there is still a bit left.

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Check him out last year – about 10 months old, and perched in a stroller sipping on water while the big kids ran down the berry rows…

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And this year – a total goof who ate five million blueberries and kept me laughing the whole time.

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And to say that Graham is so big feels ridiculous in comparison when I think about Cullen.  He’s practically a teenager these days.

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When people ask how old he is and I say “almost four” I think that sounds so unbelievable.  But in reality, he is every bit of an almost-four year old.  He’s so much fun right now – not without occasional drama – and he is my best buddy.

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I love these two so much I can hardly stand it.  I knew this summer would be fun with them, but it’s already exceeded my expectations and we still have another month to go.  One many days I am convinced they are either conspiring to kill me, or they are trying to kill each other – but I fall into bed every night excited about all the fun we will have again tomorrow.

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And with that, it’s time to pick Cullen up from school and see what kind of trouble Graham has gotten into this morning.  Hope you are all having a great Monday so far.  I’m almost caught up on our summer fun, and am excited to share all the things that August will bring!