Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Everything Outside

Howdy family,

welcome to kind-of summer time. it's at least sunny and we have months of outdoor adventures ahead.  On one of my work from home days we took a bike ride to a local lunch spot.  It's been many months since we did something like this.  It was one of those moments we hoped for and dreamed about for so long.  The weirdest thing about not being able to do these simple things with Kendra is the crazy amount of enjoyment I get from them now. 

And then, just like that I was in Dublin, Ireland.  My boss walked into my office and said, "you're going to Ireland in a few weeks" and then, here I am.  I brought home a tin whistle, an Ireland shirt for each of the twins because I was given specific instruction not to come home empty handed. 

Once I arrived back home we spent the Memorial day weekend hanging out with neighbors who are fast becoming friends.  If Kendra gets to know Suzanne half as well as the twins are getting to know their kids, then we'll have a fun summer. 

One of our couple friends bailed on coming over to our house for dinner one night so we asked if our neighbors wanted to join us.  we ended up hanging in their backyard afterwards eating smores. 

My new employee and his family joined us for weekend fun at the lake.  We went to Vasa Park where the beaches were clean and the lifeguards were plenty.  These water slides were only good for a few trips for Easton and Layla because they aren't comfortable swimming deep in lake water.  They are used to clear pool water and somewhat clear ocean water. 

The beach was toasty, the sand castles were plenty, and rocks were pretty enough for Layla to take a handful home and add to our rock jar.  Her favorite part of the beach was collecting pretty things.  Easton's favorite part is building, then knocking over sand castles. 

Our neighbors on either side of us took a three-family trip to swamp creek.  not even kidding.  that's what it's called.  We rolled up to the parking lot and I thought it was a joke, but then we walked down the path where it opened up to this amazingly clear creek and pleasant creek bank spot. 

My neighbor Clay built a little minnow holding tank area and we filled it up with lots of hand-caught minnows.

We brought plenty of shade to keep the pesky sun from cooking our fragile Seattle skin.  The ladies had plenty of hang out time as the kids explored and played in the water.  This was the most relaxing day of the year so far for us. 

This is my favorite picture lately because there is so much symbolism embedded in it.  We are hand in hand physically and spiritually.  We are more "one" now than at any point in our marriage.  I'm shirtless because it's hot and there is no symbolism at all.  just an observation.  Anyway, this leisurely walk through the creek is how this last year has felt.  It's not like floating in a massive river or struggling to swim up a river.  just a stroll in the sun even when the sun is not shining. 

After our trip to the creek we had dinner at our house to celebrate Kendra's birthday.  These are the adults who are our neighbors on both sides.  The kids were running around the house like headless chickens and nobody cared.  I gave Kendra her birthday gift at dinner.  I handed her an envelope with the cash to pay for our entire Disneyland trip and cruise in Florida this coming February.  I've been saving up for over two years, but didn't set up much fanfare around the presentation so it wasn't epic.  even so, the vacation will be and that's the important part. 

Here are some of the neighborhood kids who hang out at our house regularly.  I see much less of Easton and Layla than I'm used to because they are having a blast playing with friends every day after school.  They are looking forward to summer, but they have no idea how great it's going to be.

Easton asked me to buy him a fidget spinner.  I gladly did and then gave it to him as he earned it.  I said he needs to fidget on all of the windows in the house with a cleaning cloth and some window spray.  It's amazing what they're motivated to do when earnings are on the line.  I'm hoping they will do more things for one another out of love instead of for rewards, but it's a work in progress at nine years old.

See you soon!

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