Third annual best summer ever

I'm usually fighting back tears as I write these summer highlight posts. It is always so hard for me to say goodbye to the glorious (long) days of sunshine and carefree summer fun. This summer was, once again, the best ever. We spent the entire thing swimming, eating ice cream, and laughing and making memories with our friends and our kids' friends. Just thinking about it makes me long for those sweet summer days again. We traveled all over Washington and spent more weekends away than we did in the city. Weekends away were spent swimming, eating delicious food (either cooked over a campfire, or made by our gracious hosts' loving hands), and enjoying quality time together. Weekends at home were spent riding our new xtracycle on the Burke Gilman trail likely headed to the beach or one of our favorite ice cream spots. There are few things I love more than riding bikes with my family, breezing through the warm air, taking in all of the sights, sounds, and smells together.

Among all of the highs, there were definitely a few low points that stood out in our summer; like the time Vivienne cut herself badly on the beach and bled everywhere while we tried to Macgyver a bandaid out of random scraps of napkin and tape we found in the car. And the time we drove six hours in traffic to go camping with our church for the weekend, only to have Norah puke all over the car half an hour from our camp site, and later all over the tent in the middle of the night. Puking + camping = horrible. Lessons learned: get a first aid kit for the car. Preferably one that includes emergency puke bags.

Here are some photos of my favorite memories...

We spent a beautiful weekend in a beach house on Whidbey Island with friends. The ocean was just steps from the front porch and the kids spent hours running in and out of the surf and all over the sand.

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Our summer bucket list always includes at least one trip to Snow Goose Produce for an ice cream cone the size of our heads. No one was surprised when Vivienne's ice cream ended up on the ground. She was devastated. Naturally.

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I took the girls stawberry picking in Carnation. On our way to the farm I daydreamed about all of the delicious things we would make with our fresh strawberries. Muffins, jam, shortcake, etc. The day didn't go quite as I expected, and we made it home with a whopping 16 berries. Just enough for a (very small) strawberry milkshake, and the girls were thrilled. D14B5063 D14B5067

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We rented a rowboat one Saturday and spent the morning exploring the waterways around the arboretum. Both girls got bit by aggressive ducks, and Vivienne tried to throw herself overboard. Multiple times. D14B7279 D14B7224

Our first camping trip this year was at Lake Wenatchee State Park. The weather was beautiful and we had a wonderful time with our friends. Norah's favorite part of the trip was singing Frozen duets with Ryan, and Vivienne's favorite part was the horseback ride. I rode with Norah and every time I looked back at Vivienne she would proudly exclaim, "look momma! I riding, I riding!" D14B7895 D14B7925 D14B7946 D14B8053 D14B8095 D14B8122 D14B8135 D14B8183

Norah joined Jason for take your kids to work day at Microsoft. She was so thrilled to go to work with him, partially because she thinks that Microsoft is in the business of making chocolate. Unfortunately Bunz got lost at the office and was never seen or heard from again. Let that be a lesson to all of us... D14B1084

In other news, Grammie got a pool this summer and a sweet set up with some Norah and Vivienne size adirondack chairs. Add that to the never ending supply of ice cream at Grammies' house and it's hard to ever get the kids to leave... D14B1160

We spent a fabulous weekend at Decatur Island where there is nothing to do besides play on the beach, eat, and enjoy time with my amazing aunt and uncle. It was so wonderful to relax and unplug and enjoy our sweet time together. D14B1216 D14B1223 D14B1300 D14B1413 D14B1508 D14B1530 D14B1569 D14B1604

The next weekend we traded in sun and beach for rain and mountains. We camped at Mt. Rainier with our dear friends and spent the weekend hiking, playing in the river, and dodging raindrops. It was a bummer to be so close to the mountain and never even see it because of the clouds. D14B1667 D14B1680 D14B1803 D14B1823 D14B1868 D14B1970 D14B1999

Back to Grammie's house for more fun in the sun! D14B0637 D14B0624 (1) D14B0183 D14B4436 D14B4497 D14B4506

Our friends had us over for dinner one night and introduced the kids to their homemade water slide. This provided almost an hour of nonstop entertainment. D14B5982 D14B5983Matthews Beach is one of our favorite swimming spots in the summer and it is a perfect distance away to ride on our bikes.

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Jason loved camping in the rain on the Washington coast. The kids didn't mind, but I was not a fan because everything was wet and muddy. And cold. And that was the weekend Norah wouldn't stop puking so we packed up a night early and headed home (to clean our gear). D14B6466 D14B6505 D14B6588 Jason is in love with his new ride, and takes the Xtracycle everywhere. I love it too but only for flat rides. Hills are a beast with 60 pounds of kids on the back!

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We ended the summer last week with one last glorious night of s'mores with friends on the beach. Vivienne and her bff Sadie held hands and danced together as we watched the sunset. It was a perfect way to end the summer.

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