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jan-instagrams

Just in case you’re dying to know {wink, wink} what we’ve been up to outside of the blog, instagram is a great place to find out.  I’m not great about using facebook, twitter is still over my head and this new video thing called vine? Not sure it’s up my alley either. But I just can’t get enough of instagram. It’s so easy to document little snippets of our day and see what my friends are doing in their real lives, too.

So here’s a snippet of our month:

jan-instagram

We enjoyed the chilly but bright sunny skies, we played with our pup, we skied {me for the first time in 16 years!}, we worked, we dressed ourselves {hence the inside-out tights}, we crafted, we bowled, we celebrated.

It was a good start to the new year.

{you can follow our day-to-day here}

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I went with my daughter to the ballet

  Last Saturday was a special day for me and my baby girl {who is really not a baby anymore}.

In our neighborhood of friends, there is a little group of girls all about the same age. It is the most darling thing to watch these girls become friends and do girly things together. Each of them has a brother {or two} and we do plenty of non-girly things as families {camping, crabbing, sledding, etc} so just spending the day with the girls is a special treat.

This past weekend, we celebrated one of the girl’s birthdays by going to the ballet. The moms and daughters dressed up, drove in to the city and prayed that our babes would sit quietly through the show.

I’m sure this is a special moment for any mom-daughter duo. But particularly so for me as this is the stage on which I lived out my little girl ballerina dreams.

I adore ballet and still wish I had the dedication, the grace and the feet to be a real ballerina.

All of the girls did amazing well. They sat through the show in awe of the pretty, sparkly costumes and ballerinas. Audrey was adorable. I could not believe she understood the story even though it was new to her. She teared up when I told her Cinderella couldn’t go to the party because she didn’t have a pretty dress to wear.  She was mesmerized by the carriage {not sure why, but she was very into it}, and at each intermission she didn’t want it to end. I really didn’t know what to expect taking a 2 1/2 year old to the ballet. And I’m trying to be careful about putting my own dreams on her so I didn’t want to talk it up too much. If ballet isn’t her thing, I want to be okay with that. But she loved it. She can’t stop talking about it. She wants to go again.

It truly was a magical day for me as a mommy of a daughter.

Please don’t get me wrong: I love my boys. I’m so glad to have three of them to learn from, play with, enjoy. I even took them to the ballet last Christmas. I grew up with two sisters, have only one boy cousin and nannied for a family with three girls. I understand girls. I like pretty things and fake eyelashes and am not a fan of rodents or insects of any kind. I’m girly. So to have a daughter that I can identify with in these ways is a blessing. This in no way diminishes my love of being a mom of boys, I’m just thankful that I also get to explore my feminine side by being a mom of a girl.

A girly girl who also likes the ballet.

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5 things learned while on a mini-getaway

Our family took a mini vacation earlier this week on a whim. We planned on staying one night, but once we arrived, we instantly changed our minds and decided to stay two. Funny how a getaway will do that to you.

Here’s what I learned on our little trip:

1. Sunshine is good for your mental state

Western Washington has had a very gray summer and we needed some sun. Just a few hours east lies Lake Chelan with its bright blue sky, fluffly clouds and warm, dry air. We needed that.

2. Spending the few extra dollars on a hotel room with an adjoining bedroom is totally worth it.  It was so nice to put the kids to bed in one room so Ryan and I could cheer on the US women’s gymnastics team {okay, maybe it was just me} while sipping a glass of wine {see #4} late into the evening.  Have you ever sat in the pitch black trying to be silent while your children fell asleep on the next bed over? It’s not that fun. Small conveniences like the door in between rooms make all the difference. At least when you are traveling with children.

3. Days of lounging at the pool while our kids swim in the pool are almost here.

My little ones are still a bit too little to take my eyes off them, but I did spend a few minutes laying on a lounge chair {about 12 inches from the edge of the pool!} while they played on the steps.  A-ma-zing.

4. Not all wine tastes like nail polish remover.

I think it was these teensy grapes growing on the vine at the winery we dined at that convinced me to give wine another try. I’m glad I did. Especially since we were in the middle of wine country and ate at wineries each night.

While dining at the winery, we sat next to a nice family who we eventually struck up a conversation with and realized we had many things in common.  A little later, we ran into dear friends who also happened to also be vacationing at Lake Chelan.  It is people that make life interesting and enjoyable and so it was fun to meet some new friends {hi, Ben & Abby!} and connect with old ones {love you, Scott & Erica!}.

5. Even though it is a lot of work to pack up a family of six, drive four hours to a so-so hotel, eat out for each meal and share beds, these family moments are worth every ounce of energy and each penny spent.  We don’t getaway as a family often and so when we do, we try to make the most of it. I am thankful for a three-day getaway to just take a step away from the normal routine and enjoy each other.

And now I will catch up on housework and emails and half-finished projects that I’ve fallen behind on.  I guess that’s what happens when you take a vacation on a whim.

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snippets of life with instagram

Instagram has me hooked. I like it even more than facebook.

You choose who you’d like to follow, then get to see their lives through images. It’s a polite version of voyeurism. I’m a reality tv girl, so it is completely up my alley.

My favorites are photos with witty captions. Jami Nato is the absolute best at that. You should follow her.

I was talking to my friend about it this weekend and she thought instagram was just a fancy camera app. Not True! Well, it is, but there’s more. You take a photo, use a cool filter to make it look all artistic and post it to your feed. Add a caption if you’d like {please do – that makes it more fun}. Then those following you can view your photo and leave a comment.

We probably have enough status updates with facebook and twitter, but if you are a visual type, instagram might capture you like it has me.

Geesh. Can you tell I’m infatuated?

Since we’re talking about instagram, I thought I’d share some snapshots from the past two weeks taken with my phone {with captions underneath, of course}.

Have a peek into my life:

First little ballet shoes. Be still my heart.

The most adorable quilt made by my sister’s mother-in-law for her new baby boy due in just a few weeks. Isn’t it beautiful?

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all in favor of camping say ‘I’

Like many, many other families this past Memorial Day weekend, we traded in our insulated homes, our fluffy mattresses and modern conveniences like sinks and electricity for this crazy thing called camping.

{taken on our drive over to eastern washington}

Camping is a weird thing: we pack as few belongings as possible to go sleep in the dirt. In a nylon tent with only a zipper protecting us from danger. We cook food on a tiny gas stove and wash dishes in a plastic bin with cold water. We go to sleep with hair that smells of campfire and wake up bright and early when the sun comes up {and the seagulls dive bomb the campsite looking for scraps of food}.

It’s inconvenient. It’s a bit of work. It’s very dirty.

But it’s so good.

Time together outdoors with our families – without work or computers or phone service – just campfires and freeze tag and swimming in chilly lakes.  And s’mores. Don’t forget those. With peanut butter, please.

We went camping. It was inconvenient. It was a bit of work. It was very, very dirty.

But it was just what our family needed.

All in favor of camping, say ‘I’.

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