off i went, into cold, grey washington….

consider THIS your warning:

this is a ridiculously long blog post with well over 50 photos

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so it’s true. it was over a month ago that i packed my bags with warmer clothing (it had been in the 80s* here in Arizona!) and hopped on a delayed plane and jetted off to washington for a long weekend (thursday to monday).

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there was a specific purpose for my adventure:

babies.

yes. babies.

three of them, to be exact.

miss abby:

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mr. wesley:

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and mr. cooper:

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three sweet babies belonging to three very special friends.

first up is little miss abby…. who isn’t very little anymore. she was born in november to my best female friend on this planet:

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carrilee.

and baby abby has THREE older siblings:

henry (turned 8 a month after this photo was taken):

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jorja (will be 6 in july):

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and albert (will be 3 in june):

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(here’s another view at sweet abby)…

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i actually spent three different “sessions” of time with carrilee (with and without kiddos) at her house. she kept her schedule clear for my weekend visit and i’m so thankful she did. it’s been far too long since we’ve been able to simply be together. chat. chill. laugh. engage. focus on a movie. i miss her tons. she really has always been like a sister to me. it was NOT easy to move 1000 miles from her. it’s not easy to have her so far away. it’s not easy to see her once or twice a year.

next up is mr. wesley, who was born in january and was two months old when i finally got to meet him. his sweet mama is my sister-in-law, rachel:

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so that makes wesley my nephew. and he has one sibling, amity:

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i know, right?! she’s a doll filled with more personality in her 3-year old body than most people emote in a lifetime!

amity and i had a grand time dancing and listening to music and coloring and playing with her blocks and eating lunch and smiling at each other and making goofy faces and doing all kinds of FUN things that she loves.

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(since my visit, she has been enrolled in a dance class. you never would’ve guessed that she LOVES it, would you?)

Amity had a LOT of fun playing with her grandma and her new “quiet” blocks and trying on he new outfits from grandpa & grandma and (gasp!) skipping her nap.

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(i spelled “amity” and then in front of that, she spelled “auntie tam” and behind her name, she spelled “nah-ma” (her name for grandma).

but as much fun as she and i had dancing and reading and coloring and being goofy, and as much as she thought it might, the visit did NOT revolve around her. not completely, at least. i DID get lots of sweet snuggles from this not-so-little guy:

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oh how i miss these sweet baby stretches!

and i miss babies falling asleep in super-cute positions:

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(i COMPLETELY FORGOT about the sleeping but wicked head-tilt position!!)

but i DID get to see his eyes  and practice some photography skills as he spotted his dear mama:

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and then he was asleep again (so thoughtfully dressed in one of the outfits i sent his way after he was born!):

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(if you can’t tell, it’s a onesie with the abominable snowman – so appropriate for someone living in western washington – and it says “FEED ME” which is ALSO appropriate for this chubby-chunky boy!)

after meeting 2/3 of the babies i journeyed to see, i have a small hiatus from baby-holding, snuggling, cuddling and loving. i spent time with some grown-ups doing fun things like shopping, eating, talking without being interrupted by children….

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i am SO THANKFUL for my saturday with julie. she is one of my dearest friends. thanks so much, julie, for giving me the better part of your saturday!

i also saw lots of familiar faces at church on sunday (though i only photographed two of them):

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it was SO CRAZY-FUN to see Christy (photo on the left). her family recently returned “home” from a decade in the mission field in indonesia. when she and richard first went to indonesia, they were married with no children. now they have FOUR children! and i just “happened” to be in lynden the weekend they were at the church talking about how God closed the doors for THEIR life to be in indonesia at this time.  they live several hours south of lynden, washington now (near their families).

but the craziest thing of all about church on sunday…. it was a day of CELEBRATION. my in-laws have been at this church for TWENTY years. yes. twenty. their first day at Grace Baptist Church in Lynden, Washington was on march 6, 1994. their ministry has morphed many different times over the past 20 years and their family has changed drastically in the last 12 years (their 4 children are college graduates, 3 of 4 children are married, they have 6 grandchildren…). so i just HAPPENED to be at church the DAY there was a large and informal reception after the two church services to celebrate their service and ministry:

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aren’t these flowers BEAUTIFUL?!:

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and on the morning of my last half day of my trip, i finally got to meet, hold, snuggle, kiss, cuddle, love on and photograph Baby Cooper, who was 13 days old in these photos:

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cooper is the FIRST child in his family. he belongs to my brother-in-law, Jeff, and his wife, Taryn. darling cooper had only been home from the hospital for a day or two when i met him – he was in the hospital for an extra long time after they discovered he had sepsis! he was treated and recovered and released, though, and we are all VERY thankful that he’s alive and healthy and HERE!

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(i LOVE this photo of grandpa & grandma ogling their 3rd grandson!)

cooper looks a lot like his daddy. and he seems to act like him, too:

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he knows that there could be BETTER photos of him, so he changes his pose ever-so-slightly:

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to get the “oohs” and “aahs” from all the ladies!

i LOVED every minute with this sweet boy (i even changed his diaper and got him dressed!) and i can’t possibly spend enough time visiting with his parents…. especially since they’re now, well, PARENTS. gasp! feels so weird to type that about jeff and taryn. (they started dating when i was pregnant with davey and they got married when samantha was about 8 months old).

ladies-man-cooper has one issue that he’s going to have to overcome, however, to get his father’s complete respect…. cooper is going to have to give up sucking his thumb:

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see, jeff was a thumb-sucker. and as ALL of us former thumb-suckers know (yes, i am shamelessly admitting that i was a BIG-TIME thumb-sucker back in the day), it’s about more than the thumb vs. a pacifier. it’s about your teeth and your smile and your self-confidence and orthodontia bills and so much more. so even though sweet Coop is only 13 days old here, his daddy is being vigilant to try to prevent him from getting too attached to having his thumb in his mouth.

sometimes Cooper even listens to his dad and CHEWS on his hand instead of sucks his thumb:

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yeah. sure. i guess being a canibal is better than being a thumb-sucker.

i DID manage to snap a few photos of the new parents WITH their darling cooper (it wasn’t easy, trust me, for me to STOP holding this precious bundle). I’m sharing ALL of these family photos because even though Jeff and Taryn look the same in every picture, sweet Cooper is telling us a story. are you ready to hear it?

{yawn}. maybe i AM tired after keeping these crazy people up all night…

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but i’d rather be held by my auntie tam as i fall asleep:

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no.

really. you crazy, sleep-deprived people need to know that i’d rather be held by my auntie tam as i fall asleep:

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why are you not listening to me?

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{yawn}. oh fine. i guess i’ll just give up.

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but i know she’s taking pictures so at least i’ll look cute for my auntie tam:

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and then i went to the airport and flew home to my fabulous family. and i was greeted with hugs and kisses and hugs and love and hugs and squeals of “mommmmmmmmmy’s hoooooooome!” and more hugs.

and there was this special gem, too:

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“Dear Dave 3, I am so happy that you get to pick up mommy.”

written by Samantha.

so even though i miss those three VERY SPECIAL BABIES and their families, i was happy to get home to my husband and my own “babies” (and warm, sunny weather).

2 thoughts on “off i went, into cold, grey washington….

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