37/52 Our Trip to Roche Harbor | San Juan

Thankful thankful thankful. That about sums up how I feel about having taken our VERY FIRST VACATION JUST THE THREE OF US (back in September)! Yep, just us since Marlow was born. I tell you what. It was 100% necessary and needed and worth it. We got to spend uninterrupted time just being together. Just typing that makes me want to cry. Not in between work and bedtime, not in between errands and play dates, nothing. Just hanging out and scouring beaches for shells and eating ice cream and going to the park. Take me back now. It was wonderful for rejuvenating us and for boosting our parenting confidence. That was what I wasn't expecting. I was totally expecting renewed sense of appreciate for each other, yes, but parenting? It was a rare, long stretch of time that we got to parent together, like at the same time, for a long time. We got in a groove. Marlow responded well. We didn't worry about potty training. We felt like rockstars. For like a minute, of course. ;) In the end, I can't wait to do this again and make a tradition out of it. Thank you to our aunt & uncle for lending us their beach rental for a getaway. As I approach a very, very busy season for our family, I will try with all my might to remember what this quiet time felt like and how much it is needed in our everyday life.

I tried, really, to remember to take photos, but I am truly not very good at remembering. Here is a little bit of our vacay:

28/52 | Painting with Juju

Here's a throw back "one-a-week" photo set from one of my mom's visits this summer.
I love that I caught them in this fun moment painting and giggling and learning how to draw smiley faces. My mom used to paint back in the day. She really is an artist and has a natural ability to draw. Growing up, she would always leave cute drawings and florals on notes to us. I hope Marlow always gets to create, paint, and do crafts with her juju. Mom is such a natural at bringing out children's creativity and letting them make "messes"— I have so many memories of getting free access to the kitchen to make any kind of crazy concoction I wanted! I'm so thankful that Marlow gets to experience the same joy...hopefully in mom's kitchen, not mine. ;) Just kidding. Kind of.

25/52 Big cheeses

This little girl turned 2 1/2 this last week. She's cheeky and funny. Clever. Independent. A jokester. She loves singing especially Twinkle Twinkle Traffic Light (look it up) and Bidi Bidi bom bom (yes, Selena). She loves soccer tots and swim lessons and camping and feeding chickens, picking berries, doing "tricks", watching Daniel Tiger endlessly along with singing every single song on the show. At night she likes talking about "animals and friends." She loves all her family members and always mentions how she misses them. She always asks for noodles and okasu. She says funny things like, "Hey, be nice to me." and "Should I be shy?" and "Hey mom/dad, watch this cool trick!" or two weeks after our fish died, "Hey! Where's fish?!" Marlow he is in the ocean with his friends. "I want him to come home RIGHT NOW." And things that make us melt like, "Mommy, can you snuggle me?" or "um um my dad and my mommy are my HAPPY!" OMG Mar you are our happy, too.

22/52 Raindrops & Rain boots

This little nuggeteer is just more than words can contain these days. She's pure joy. She's been adding to her comedic routine by initiating a wild, fake laugh that instantly has us in an uproar and all laughing genuine belly laughs. Sometimes she uses this tactic to get out of being in trouble. She's full of mischief and big, expressive love. She's mastered bedtime stalling. She knows how to work a deal for yogurt drops or five more minutes of Daniel Tiger. She can go from making us crazy to saying things like "I"m so happy you're here." or "I'm so proud of you mama!" and bam you're an instant pile of mush. She's become a real backyard adventurer running around barefoot and laying in the grass staring at the sky in between feeding chickens and squashing ants. We constantly look at her and marvel. Love you cheeky.

17/52 Buds

Sometimes you just have to hang out with your buddies in the backyard flower patch. No big deal, guys. We were so happy to have our friends visit us this last weekend! It was the first time I was able to get these boys in front of my camera, too, which made me super happy. 

Though as parents we are always tired, it rained, and it was chaotic, adorable fun, there's nothing like a weekend with friends that's full of laughs so hard they make you pee your pants and too many snacks and staying in your comfy clothes all weekend. Booyah. 

The personalities in this one omg.

14/52 Twirling

I am behind on my one-a-weeks...again. Can we all just agree that this will be the norm and I'll just quit mentioning it? Ok deal. But I have excuses! Really! Maybe, maybe not. However, I did take two big trips in the last two weeks. Let me tell you.

I went to New York to visit my sister. My husband gave all his miles to me and my mom so we could have a girls' weekend. He's pretty special huh. :) It was the longest and the farthest I have ever been away from Donald or Marlow. I missed them, of course. And I missed Easter (insert more mom guilt here). But these things were expected, what I wasn't sure about was how I'd feel being just me! I was with my mom and sister, but no one was relying on me for food, to read to them, rock them, clean up after them, wake up early, change their diaper, etc. It was like the old times guys! No, not really, but it was nice for a few days. But mostly I missed them.

Then there were the feelings about my sister being so far away. It hit me pretty hard the first night, especially after a full day of flying. This kinda sucks. This is far. This is not a weekend trip for her anymore. Sigh. But, this is temporary (hopefully? maybe? could she go farther? let's not talk about it.) and also very exciting. She's always wanted to this and she is doing it. That's part of what this phase of life is all about. The phases of our lives are also in giant contrast on this trip. But it's cool. I like it. She likes looking into my life with my 8-5 desk job, momtogging, toddler craziness, backyard chickens, marriage, and a partridge in a pear tree as just as much of an adventure as I see her world-traveling, dating, moving, international entrepreneurship, foodie, well-rested life....maybe? lol It's awesome. I love her and am so thankful for my family and that trip. And in all fairness, I guess I may or may not have moved to Arizona for a couple years at one point. That was far then. ;P

See everything we did in NY here.

When I came back it was this girl. In a tutu. Talking not just in full sentences but now singing in full sentences about her day. Her friends. Animals. And Taylor Swift. Her random thoughts. She's taller and funnier. Loud as always. Opinionated. She twirls and twirls and twirls. And laughs her cackle laugh. I get dizzy watching her. And I hope it's always that way.

Disclaimer: Do not judge me on my unfinished being-built-ins and the toddler mess that owns them right now. I promise I'll post pics when it's finished. Do not hold breath.

(Taken in 2 minutes this morning. Blurry photos included because that's what it feels like.)