washington day 6 – boulevard park

day 6 already.
where does the time go?
i was up and at my friend’s house for another 2-mile walk by 7am again this morning.
i’m so blessed by her company.
i even took an “us-ie” photo today.
but the only way she’d agree was with my PROMISE to not share it on the blog or Facebook.
(i didn’t say “instagram” but i’m not going to post it there, either).
hopefully i’ll see her on sunday when we both look “pretty-i-fied” for church and we can get a photo then.

on my short drive home, i got a text from my sister-in-law suggesting a morning at Boulevard Park in Bellingham (it’s on the water and we were hoping for a cool Bay breeze).
i rushed to get ready and get us all out the door.
as we were leaving, dad was finishing up a project in his shop…

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and then 32 minutes later, we were here:

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a beautiful park along the water.
it’s where dave and i got engaged.
we took the munchkins there 2 years ago when we last visited.
it was fun to be back there today,
even though we didn’t walk the park.
or walk the boardwalk.

the playground is fun and it overlooks the water (from a very, VERY safe distance):

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Michelle, check this out:

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This was a metal “diving board” (or bouncing plank, i suppose) on the playground. it had holes in it like all the bases of our AZ playgrounds do. but she LOVED it here. She even BOUNCED herself on it. she wasn’t scared. she didn’t freak out. it was about 3 feet off the ground. She continues to surprise me.

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check out the cutest little shoes:

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(i must confess, i sent them to him.
but they ARE cute.
mint green with navy whales.
just his style!)

(Michelle – but then she got up to about 6 feet and freaked out.
As usual. I still say we’re making progress!)

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(sweet cousin shared all of his birthday sand toys with the gang!)

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^^^ this little one was strapped into the stroller for a little bit in an attempt to corral him!
but then he was set free:

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she loved this rock – it had holes

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sisters:

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i LOVE this photo:

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rachel and i were talking about kids’ clothing from h&m. especially the adorable $4.95 sundresses for little girls. a few weeks ago, i let samantha choose ONE (b/c she got FOUR last summer and they still fit her!). she let alex choose. alex chose the bunnies.
it turns out that rachel had bought the SAME dress for her little girl.
and we BOTH packed the bunny dresses for this family weekend.
when the girls found out, they made plans to wear them today.
and they did.
and they look ADORABLE.
it’s almost an h&m ad!

these two had fun searching for, finding, and studying pretty/cool rocks
(which we then left at the beach):

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along with the playground and the water, boulevard park is super cool b/c of the trains that fly by.
but those trains also have LOUD whistles.
whistles that get blown multiple times in a row.
whistles that scare little kids:

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but taryn enjoyed the snuggles!

but guess what?
when mommy stopped snuggling/protecting him from the whistles,
he came to me.
smart boy.
auntie tam loves him!

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i’m really hoping to make him love his auntie tam!  :)

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look at the cute 4-year olds:

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we decided to leave the beach while the cousins were doing so well (you know, before tempers got really short and tantrums broke out and mommies decided it was nap time for the mommies as well as the cousins!). and we headed into fairhaven for lunch at the colophon cafe.

this sweet cousin was so very helpful as we herded 5 cousins across the street:

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and our amazing waitress made sure to get EVERYONE in the photo
(but i assured her not to worry about smiles or even all eyes looking!):

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auntie tam’s lap was a good place for one cousin while waiting for food to arrive:

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but mommy’s lap is always a favorite for the littlest munchkin:

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(okay.
truth be told:
ANYONE’S lap is a favorite place for the littlest munchkin).

while we waited for our food, the cousins ran around the green and the stage area:

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i hope our little family of five gets back there next week.
it’s a fun town to photograph.
and there are fun places to shop.
and the kiddos will enjoy it.
and village books is cool.
like super cool.
so cool that they’re building one in downtown Lynden.
THAT will be pretty fantastic.
but, as usual, i digress.

i accidentally cut off davey and samantha’s faces in this photo:

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we were in the elevator.
my munchkins LOVE the elevator.

and more cousin love and help as we walked back to the car:

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these two 4-year olds were HILARIOUS in the car:

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they kept kissing each other’s hands (after we told them to stop biting each other)!

and then the littlest cousins enjoyed nap time.
i took my munchkins back to grandma’s house and then i went to the store.
by myself.
and i treated myself to this:

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if you don’t know, it’s the world’s BEST mocha milkshake.
seriously.
a starbucks mocha frappe has NOTHING on this bad boy.
and you have to remember: I HATE COFFEE.
seriously.
can’t drink it.
not even a hot mocha.
but this?
this hard-ice cream milkshake is the bomb.
if you haven’t had one, it’s worth it.
i think this is the smallest size.
and i think i remember that it has FOUR shots of espresso in it.
oops.
i might be up all night.
but it was worth it.
i might have to walk 10 miles a day for the next 10 days to work it off.
but again, it was worth it.
mmmmmmmm.

there’s no easy way to do this segue…
so i’m just going to go for it.

earlier this week, a friend posted a photo at this cool ivy-heart on a building.
in downtown bellingham.
i’ve seen it a lot before but i’ve never known anyone personally who’s been there.
but this was different.
so i know where it is now.
and dave has agreed to a mini photo shoot there.
with us AND the kiddos.
(i guess we’ll use the timer function on our camera?!)
but today, in preparation for that photo session, my husband sent me this:

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he took it from one of the windows in the Faithlife main office building.
see the blob in the middle of that building?
it’s a heart-shape?
yeah.
that’s it.
it’s even cooler up close.
(or so i believe from the photos i’ve seen).
i’m pretty excited.
it’s the little things, right?!

anyway, unrelated to ANY of that, the cousins and siblings and spouses and grandparents all got together again tonight for dinner (brother/uncle Tom, we STILL miss you!).

grandpa finished up a project (minus paint) in the garage this morning (remember that photo from earlier?):

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some of the kids loved it.
some other kids were content with a bucket.

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sterling and rachel – aren’t they a good looking couple?
i think so.
maybe i’m biased.
then again, i’m not related to either of them by blood.

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that cousin found something pretty cool inside that bucket.
what could it be?
old dirt and leaves and who knows what else:

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(auntie tam pulled him out of the bucket AFTER taking this photo.
he was unharmed and had zero dirt in his mouth.)

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this photo was taken during a “beat box” rendition of the “ABCs” by uncle & auntie,
just for alex:

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she’s such a doll:

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can you tell which cousin gets defined as one who “flits about?!”

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still in their matching dresses (both of my girls tried to change mid-afternoon.
i knew this evening was coming, so i had them stay in their dresses.
matching dress photos are so cute!)

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(see all those practice golf balls?
there were about 20 of them when this evening adventure began.
by the end of the evening, we knew where FOUR of them were.
does anyone want to come find the other 16 for us?!)

there were a lot of rogue balls this evening.
grandpa even climbed up a tree to get the soccer ball:

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sterling was in a nearby tree for moral support.
but he jumped down before i could get a decent photo:

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and then the men and boys had to search for more balls:

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“please, daddy.
i KNOW i can find it.”
(he’s only 17 months old.
i’m guessing his actual words were “dada dada.”)
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several games of CATCH happened tonight:

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and then we did some outdoor glamour shots.
well, maybe not “glamour….”

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and then this one wanted a turn:

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this one, too:

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and then i thought it would be a great idea to do an impromptu photo shoot with the girls in their matching dresses. only it was like trying to wrangle three… well, little kids…

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so i got nothing spectacular.
but i tried.

and then the munchkins got to see THIS GUY for the first time in two years:

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yep.
that’s uncle jeff.
they love him, as you can tell!

i’m honestly entirely UNSURE what’s going on here between these cousins, but it makes me laugh to see the crazy animal-like jump re-enactment occurring here:

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that’s auntie taryn:

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i can only imagine the conversations that were not really happening in the photo below….
“so… you’re 6 weeks older than me, but i’m taller than you.
you go right and i’ll go left and they won’t know who to chase or where to find us!”
or how about this one:
“if you act this way, at this time, they’ll get you a cup of milk!”
or this one:
“so if you cry hard enough, they take you OUT of that jail they call a bed!”

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they’re two little mischief makers.
and they probably take after these two: a daddy and an uncle:

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auntie taryn LOVES books.
she always picks out good ones for gifts.
she also LOVES to read to the cousins.

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I GOT IT! I GOT IT! I GOT IT!
i finally managed to snap a decent SMILING/HAPPY photo of this cousin:

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and a few minutes later he was walking around in one of his mom’s flip flops!

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after a delicious dinner of ham, sweet potatoes, salad, and green beans (yes, with bacon and onions!), it was time for treats… the fruit bars were a bigger hit tonight than the ice cream treats!

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(^^^ i LOVE his tongue in that photo!)

every lick and every flavorful drip is important….

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just a TEEEEENY bit of chubs here:

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and a lot of fun “popsicle cheers” here:

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um, yeah.
that’s the popsicle going into his mouth VERTICALLY!

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he is seriously the cutest, most photogenic little kid.
he’s chill.
he smiles a lot.
he drools like crazy.
he’s just super special.
and he’s super easy to take photos of.
LOTS of photos.

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i don’t think this is how grandpa intended this game would be used:
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after treats, it was time for some beauty parlor action….

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samantha did auntie taryn’s hair
(it was in a low ponytail and then tied off two more times on the ponytail)

and then alex wanted to play with auntie taryn’s hair.
and cousin wanted to play with alex’s braids.
it was a hair train:

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and then samantha had a new customer:

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(grandmas are super tolerant, yes?!)

it was about this time that one cousin was really unhappy in the pack-and-play and dad & mom were done fighting it for the night. he was still pretty crabby. but sometimes it’s not worth the battle. even when mom’s exhausted.

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uh oh.
must actually be getting late.
another cousin is showing signs of sleepiness…
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i’m not sure what was in the smoothie in this mickey mouse cup,
but it gave him a second wind:
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time for some uncle/nephew bonding time:

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remember how i said auntie taryn likes to read to the cousins?
samantha does, too:

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this is what it looks like to have FUN with a plastic bat:

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this is what it looks like when your dad is taking it away from you (because you weren’t careful about those around you) and you’re holding on for dear life b/c this bat is the ONLY thing in the entire world you want right now:

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and this is what it looks like when dad proves he’s stronger than you:

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life is hard.
especially when you’re 17 months old.
and you’re tired.
and you’re out of your routine.
and you don’t get to sleep in your own bed.

and she retains her title of “cousin who can best entertain ANY of the other cousins:”
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his little laugh is infectious!

and, well, just because i have them and they’re each fun photos in their own way:

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the best way to say “good night” to uncle jeff is to have him get you all wound up by hitting balls to you so you can practice fielding and throwing:

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…or to get big, BIG hugs from him:

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…or to run around the side of the house, yelling in your sweet but a little loud voice: “GOOD BYE UNCWE JEFF!!!” (no photo available).

and then grandpa was home (he had a meeting earlier):

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and it was time to go inside,
wash our filthy feet,
and head to bed:

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if you’ve hung in there this long,
BLESS YOU!
these kinds of blog posts are more about me.
it’s what i saw.
what i want to remember.
and if i don’t log it here right away,
it’s forgotten
(b/c i have the brain of a 40-year old now).
so thanks for taking this little very long stroll with me tonight!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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