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.

1983, baby!

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.

Sunday, July 05, 2015

emily runs

so this july 4th, i ran my first 5k.

those of you who have known me for some time will know how adamantly, for many years, i have eschewed personal fitness. but after turning thirty-one and delivering my fourth child and not being able to walk up the stairs without feeling winded, i finally thought, "shoot. it's time to get in shape." 

my weapon of choice has been p90x, which i have loved and followed religiously. but there's also a group of kick-butt ladies around here who are avid runners, and they invited me to run this 5k in carnation, wa on july 4th. 

i decided not to train specifically for the race and instead see what my baseline time might be under race conditions without having prepared (i went out for a run for the first and only other time about two months before this). it was a fascinating experiment, but probably not one i'd recommend outright. 

my friends vickie and joanne (shown running below), who could have schooled me twice over in this race, stuck with me to the end, and i reached my goal of coming in under thirty minutes.

i'm still not sure i hear the siren song of running, but let's just say "the run" and i learned A LOT about each other yesterday, and i can totally see how this stuff gets addicting. now that my first race is in, i'm already raring to see if i can do better. 

vickie, joanne, and me nearing the finish line.

part of the crew after the race: joanne, brittany, erin, me, and vickie.
(why yes, we are the mothers of seventeen children. thanks for noticing :)

and a big shout out to my husband, my kids, and my parents for making it out early in the morning to watch me cross that finish line! mwah!

from sea to shining sea

happy fourth!