Tuesday, September 01, 2015

back to school

as rainy as it was (and it sprinkled! and drizzled! and poured! today), these two lovelies were so ready for the school year to begin.

and they're off!

Sunday, August 30, 2015

donuts for days

our annual family-sized george's bakery glazed donut from the duvall farmer's market:

since the boys seemed pretty intent on polishing this one off by themselves, maybe next year it's time to spring for two. 

last year's deliciousness here.

afton at the library

There is a land -
A marvelous land -
Where trolls and giants dwell;
Where witches
With their bitter brew
Can cast a magic spell;
Where mermaids sing,
Where carpets fly,
Where, in the midst of night,
Brownies dance
To cricket tunes;
And ghosts, all shivery and white,
Prowl and moan.
There is a land
Of magic folks and deeds,
And anyone
Can visit there
Who reads and reads and reads.

--Leland B. Jacobs

Monday, August 24, 2015

Clyde Lake Backpacking

Earlier in August, we loaded up the car and headed to Utah for a couple of extended family events. While there, we went with part of the Young clan backpacking to Clyde Lake. Over two days, we saw over a dozen lakes at elevations greater than 10,000 feet. Summer and Afton's favorite parts included our stargazing (the Milky Way, shooting stars, and satellites were all visible) and not getting eaten by bears (Summer later confided that all of her wishes upon shooting stars were that we would not be eaten by bears). 

Note: our outdoor camera had gotten a smudge on the lens that wasn't visible to me at the time, but was obvious when we started processing the photos. Blurry pics aren't our favorite, but they'll do in a pinch.

An unamed lake below our campsite.

The entire crew: Owen, Danton, Beka, Matt, Summer, Emme, Afton, Bryan. 

 A competitive game of hearts (score was kept on strips of bark). 

 Awaiting the bear bags in the morning. 

Flower crowns courtesy of Aunt Emme.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Sunday, August 02, 2015

dallin goes to nursery

today was dallin's first official day in nursery:

truthfully, he has been attending illicitly for several weeks -- thanks to his merciful nursery leaders -- so today was really nbd for dallin except to celebrate that he's half-way to three! (and a total hunk in that sweater/shorts combo, amiright?)

and just for fun, here's a little side-by-side-by-side-by-side of all our little wheeler eighteen-month-olds (can you tell who the baby smilers are?):

bonus fun fact, dallin and caleb are in nursery together for the next five months. the only set of our four kiddos to overlap.

Friday, July 31, 2015

i don't know about you

but i'm feeling thirty-two.

also thirty-two:

chicken mcnuggets, return of the jedi, reading rainbow, j.crew, the minivan, care bears, my little pony, sweet valley high, carrie underwood, the moonwalk, cabbage patch kids, fraggle rock, the internet, and plinko.

you're welcome.

Sunday, July 26, 2015


we waited as long as we could (in love as we were with his curls), but for this "business in the front, party in the back" baby boy of ours, 

the party 



Sunday, July 19, 2015


summer and afton helping daddy make biscuits:

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Friday, July 17, 2015

birthday revue

for afton's special day, she requested to go check out the lego store and browse the bazillion fun lego friends sets there (hint: she wants to collect them AAAALLLL!):

then we stopped by 7-elelven for free slurpees.
it's like the whole world celebrates afton's birthday!

and finally, after her birthday dinner at red robin, she chose "rainbow heart sugar cookies" for dessert. she actually wanted these cookies, but i was pretty sure going down that road would result in lying on the kitchen floor crying my eyes out at some point (curse you pinterest!), so i improvised: 

her first wish here.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

now we are six

on saturday, july 11th, at 1:07pm, our afton noelle turned six! 

afton has the most beautiful, genuine smile. 

she wants to be a fashion designer when she grows up. she spends hours sketching her designs and can often be heard complementing others on their style choices: "i like your shirt!" "that's a cute bag!" "i love those shoes!"

she loves lots of bright colors and rainbow sparkle anything. 

afton is my pickiest eater.

she is a perfectionist. she loves her things just so. she loves to organize her toys and is a master make believer. she dances. she does cartwheels. she adores her dad.

afton is silly. she has the coolest fun voices and sings the silliest silly songs. she's a talent with her vocal instrument and loves to make people laugh.

she's our resident puzzler. she loves to build (legos!) and figure things out. she asks the hard questions. she muses. she ruminates. she digs deep.

afton is summer's best friend. she is caleb's best friend. she adores baby dallin. 

we love that you're a part of our family, afton! we love watching you grow. we love discovering who you are. we love the light in your eyes and the dimple in your cheek and the softness in your heart. happiest of happy birthdays, afty bay!!

but now i am six,
i'm as clever as clever.
so i think i'll be six
now and forever.
--a.a. milne

ps - afton's birthday dress is sewn from a vintage 80s pattern i found and snatched up because it was similar to a dress my mom made for me in 1986. do you ladies remember these dresses? the puffy sleeves? the puffiest.

Thursday, July 09, 2015

going on a berry hunt

this year's pickins were twenty-three pounds.

opa d and his mini me.

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

denny creek rock slide

this past friday, july 3rd, was our first official family hike with all four kiddilies in tow.

overall, denny creek is a great trek for kids: the trail head is only about an hour from seattle, the hike is under 1.5 miles each way, the elevation gain is very mild, there are way cool mountain pools and rock slides at the end, and the trail itself is mostly in the shade (one of my favorite parts about hikes in the pacific northwest!)

for their first time out all together, our troops did really well. caleb walked the whole way -- though we did bring an extra pack just in case, the girls zoomed ahead and beckoned for their parents to keep up, and dallin could not have been a more perfectly packed babe (he didn't scream to be let out even once!)

all that being said, the excursion was not without its pitfalls. literally.

we were prepared for the kids to get tired, for their feet to hurt, for them to whine about being bored or hungry, or to complain about it taking too long or being too hot or whatever else children find in their little hearts to complain about. none of which they actually did (yay!).

we were NOT prepared, however, for the amount of falling that would occur.

the exposed roots and branches and loose dirt and rocks turned out to be quite the challenge for their inexperienced feet and legs to navigate, and it seemed like we couldn't go more than ten steps without someone ending up hands down in the dirt and bleeding. each of the three older kids came home with quite the assortment of battle scars (you can see one of summer's doozies on her knee in our july 4th pic).

welcome to the great outdoors ;)

ps: shield your eyes whilst scanning these pics: it was *bright* out there!

and for our first hike to denny creek, five years and two kids ago, see here.