Candice came to visit! It was so epic we have only a few photos....
I wanted to leave this next photo out because I am having skin issues...but I'm trying to not be that vain.
We mostly spent time together while helping me get my life back on track (clean out the refrigerator, clear out my closets, exercise, etc.) Candice babysat the 2 boys one morning, we made the pilgrimage to Cafe Besalu in the rain, and we made Raspberry Blood Orange Bars (like lemon bars...) Delicious!
Here is Elliott in the morning before Candice came. (I spy the dried apricots that gave him stinky toots).
Today is my 29th birthday! I went walking with my boys and planted seeds - giant sunflowers for Elliott, Cerinthe major 'purpurascens' for the bees, and a seed mix to improve soil and insect populations....should be good. Tonight, we planned to go to Yogurtland as a family, but a few hours before we went, I uncharacteristically mass messaged my local friends to see who might want to join us. I was very happy I did; it is great to celebrate with friends and this year I wasn't able to host my annual mushroom themed birthday party potluck due to tiny home/ongoing remodel/new baby. A picture from tonight:
And some pictures from last year's mushroom party: My dear Adam made something of his own volition for the potluck! (Pastrami and cheese on toast)
The famous mushroom log cakes. This year's flavor combos were hazelnut with orange marmalade filling and almond with cardamom filling.
An early shot of the mushroom potluck...
Thank you friends!
At 29, I am now older than my older sister ever was: Briana died almost 3 years ago, right before her 29th birthday.
While in California visiting my parents, Uncle Thom had a Cross Country race at Irvine Regional Park. We made a day of the event because there are many fun things to do, like a mini railroad, pumpkin patch, horse rides, and surrey bikes!
I picked Adam up at the airport that morning and we got to ride a school bus!!!!! into the park because there was a ton of traffic from the race.
(Adam is wearing his favorite shirt for airport travel...)
Lion got a turn, too.
Mom and Thom:
Thom and Elliott:
The surrey bikes were my favorite family moment. Picture the six of us crammed in, swapping seats, taking turns pedaling, Adam sweating bullets to get us up the hills, me hanging on for dear life as we careen down them. It was exhilarating exercise and bonding.
In October, Irvine Park has a pumpkin patch with funny "photo-op" backgrounds. Here are several:
I made the annual October trip down to my parents' house for my mom's birthday and my 10 year high school reunion! Haha, what a funny thing...Dana Hills Class of 2003.
It was Elliott's first flight as a 2 year old, when he has to have his own seat. I had started potty training him a few says prior and he was enchanted by the airplane bathroom. I was curious how it would go flying with a newly potty trained kid, but like usual, Elliott rose to the occasion and all went smoothly.
So far, we have enjoyed our time with Grandma Beth, Grandpa Brent, and Uncle Thom. We even went to a pumpkin patch and petting zoo (Zoomars in San Juan Capistrano) with Grandma's friend and her grand kids.
The mini farm had a hilarious guinea pig area where you could catch and feed guinea pigs.
Grandma loved them, but Elliott only wanted to watch from a distance.
Funky little guy
I loved the pygmy goats
Elliott wanted to go in the mini house, but the goat jumped up on the porch to defend his home from intruders!
I looked in the window and there was a giant sheep sleeping on the floor. It was so large it must have barely fit through the door.
Lost in the straw maze with bed head
Then we rode the train
And took a nap (in underwear) on grandma's leather couch.
Our Elliott has been with us for 2 years now. We love watching him grow and find him a true delight every day. He truly is a gift from God :)
We partied at Idylwood Park on Lake Sammamish in Redmond. There is a grassy area with tables and park equipment, plus the lake front beach that is perfect for kids.
....and here is the grand finale gift from my parents:
(Elliott has been dying for a skateboard for months. In April, at my parents' house, he was most frequently found outside on the skateboard. He "rode" it on the grass because it was less slippery. He can do little tricks, like ollies, which he first called "skateboard up!" In fact, my parents wrote a little note with the gift that said, "An ollie a day keeps the doctor away. Happy Birthday, Ezzie! Skateboard Up!")
Elliott has been dying to ski but his crazy parents have had so many house projects going on combined with pregnancy and taking care of newborn Arlin, etc. Finally, the weather brought plentiful snow to our Cascade Mountains and we had a Saturday dedicated to skiing before Elliott's hydrocele surgery.
We rented gear for Elliott, loaded up the 4 Runner, and drove to Steven's Pass. I dropped Adam off at the lifts so he could get started while I parked in the boonies (it was a crowded Saturday), dressed the boys in snow gear, and hauled everything but the kitchen sink up to the lodge :)
After staking out an area in The People's Lodge, Elliott and I went snow tractor hunting. Adam met us for lunch but Elliott would not re-enter the lodge for fear he would never get to ski...
Poor little guy - he wanted to ski so bad!
And ski he did! He took to skiing like a pro 2.5 year old and wore us out with his unquenchable energy. All in all, he probably skied about 4 hours. Adam bribed him with hot chocolate to get him back in the lodge at 9 pm! He insisted on skiing to the car and fell asleep before we had packed up and left the parking lot :)
(here is E trying to cut in front of others...)
Adam convinced Elliott to come in for lunch and resting.
Elliott's new ski friend Margot:
Here is a video of his ski jumps, inspired by the recent Sochi Olympics: