Happy Halloween {2016}

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{Eloise wasn’t sure about all of the costumed people at our neighborhood parade, but she seemed to be soaking it all in from atop Papa’s shoulders!]

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{The Roosevelt High School drum line led the annual neighborhood parade. It is such a fun tradition!}

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{I decided to make Eloise a special Halloween basket filled with non-candy goodies that she traded in her trick-or-treat bucket for (after getting lots of good advice from mamas on Facebook – thank you!) and she was obsessed! And a few weeks ago Eloise and I made a chocolate Halloween house (from Trader Joe’s) which has been decorating our dining table!}

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{Mama, Papa, and Eloise pumpkins. I asked Eloise which shapes she wanted for each part of her pumpkin’s face and this was the result!}

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{Eloise and I before we headed over to the parade. The sweetest pumpkin ever!}

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{We were trying so hard to get a “cheese” out of her, but alas, the stoic Eloise pumpkin.}

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{And football was on tonight (her favorite after Daniel Tiger!) and she found a fun new TV viewing position while she snacked on trail mix from her Halloween basket before (a late) bedtime.}

Halloween is way more fun with kids!! Eloise is just understanding the idea of trick-or-treating and we practiced a lot in the past few weeks. She wore her costume a bunch this past month, including to school where she joined all of her friends who were dressed in costume as well. It was a bit overwhelming tonight for her to be out since we have so many kids roaming around the neighborhood, but Aaron took her to our neighbors’ houses that she knew. Plus, Aaron and I get first dibs on her candy stash, with the rest either being frozen for later or given away!

Hope you had a Happy Halloween!

And if you are curious, here are the past few years of Lower Halloweens: 2011 // 2012 // 2013 // 2014 // 2015

Oh, and Eloise’s costume is from Pottery Barn Kids (that beret basically sold me!) but it isn’t available online anymore!

M

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our trip to maui!

three weeks ago, we packed up our bags, boarded a plane, & landed in Maui! it was so, so fun to be there & my mama came along which was so tremendously helpful with Eloise & helped it feel like we were (at times) on an actual vacation! {because, let’s be honest, when you travel with kids, it is a family trip, NOT a vacation}!

this was Aaron’s first trip to Maui, & my mama & I haven’t been since I was 5 or 6, so it was basically new to all of us. we had heard that West Maui as a good location & decided to stay just north of Lahaina town. this was an excellent choice! while we didn’t visit much outside of West Maui, it was perfect for this trip & gave us a really good taste of what Maui had to offer.

before the trip, I did some due diligence & checked out the guidebook Maui Revealed. I am usually not one for guidebooks, but this one came highly recommended by more than one person, so we gave it a shot. it was really comprehensive & helpful with tons of tips. I took a lot of notes & we ended up using quite a few of the tips, so I would recommend it for anyone who is thinking about traveling to Maui. we also got lots of tips from our friends & family about things to do or places to see/eat/visit – thanks everyone!

we have really quickly learned that it is SO much easier to be away from home with Eloise if we have a house, meaning a separate bedroom for her & a kitchen. so we found this pretty great condo on Airbnb which had amazing ocean views, a great lanai, was super quiet, & was within a short driving distance to town.

okay, enough words. here are some lots of pictures from the trip, & then below I have some of our favorite spots!

{we took the light rail to the airport from Husky Stadium & that is Aaron with the car seat on his back!* // WA is insanely beautiful from the air // Eloise had a backpack full of new travel toys & we even got lucky enough to have the middle seat empty so she had her own seat! // but bedtime did not go as planned as Eloise did not want to sleep… two hours later Aaron finally got her to sleep}

*we rented all of the “baby gear” except for the car seat & I would highly recommend that if you are traveling with little ones. we used the Ergo for the airport which allowed us more hands to pull/carry our luggage, & then rented a Pack N Play, an umbrella stroller, a booster seat, & a beach tent. see below for more info on the rentals!

{the biggest banyan tree in the US is in Lahaina & it is awesome! // the ocean views from our condo were breathtaking // there were nice amenities on-site at our condo including a shuffleboard court. Eloise loved it!}

{our condo was just up the hill from Kaanapali Beach so we ventured down there one afternoon // Eloise mostly loved all of the fresh (& expensive!) fruit // ahh, those sunsets!}

{we hit up Kapalua Beach which was just north of our condo a few minutes & it was perfect! it was a pretty small beach, but we were able to set up our little tent & enjoy the beach in the shade. my mama & aaron went snorkeling, & saw some fish & a turtle, though it was a great snorkeling beach. Eloise had only ever been to the beach on the Oregon coast & was obsessed with it! she loved the sand & the waves & kept saying “more more” whenever a wave went out.}

{we had lots of food recommendations, but tried to eat out either just lunch or dinner each day. Local Boys Shave Ice in Lahaina (down by the banyan tree) was super good the first time we had it, & okay the second time. it’s actual shave ice (the ice, not the flavoring) was my favorite! // we also tried Ululani’s Shave Ice which was amazing. the syrups are all handmade from scratch & the mocha add-on on top was terrific! there are a few locations around the island, but the one in Lahaina was super convenient for us, though super packed! // and finally, Star Noodle came highly recommended & it did not disappoint! we went for lunch & ordered family style & everything was delish! we even got our malasada fix (which is a Portuguese donut) with caramel & chocolate dipping sauces.}

{Aaron & I were able to get out early one morning & go on a surfing date. it was SO fun! it was Aaron’s first time, & I hadn’t been surfing in years, so we took a lesson. the breaks were perfect on the south end of Lahaina town (Break Wall, I believe) for us rookies. we were SUPER sore for the next few days though!}

{one day we took a day trip east // we visited Baldwin Beach, had lunch in Paia, & drove thru Makawao (it was super cute, but Eloise had fallen asleep!)}

{Eloise & I got to wear our matching dresses & Salt Water sandals! // we had lots of shave ice on the trip. I had this genius idea on the trip: we still don’t let Eloise have any sugar, sweets, or juice, so whenever we ordered shave ice, we would also order the smallest size for Eloise with just the ice (no flavoring) & a spoon & she LOVED it! it was nice to feel like she was still a part of it without feeling like we were breaking our own rule. // there was this super low chair out on the lanai that Eloise liked to read in & play on. she loves being outside!}

{we did one short hike to the Nakalele Blowhole & it was pretty cool. the terrain down to the ocean was this crazy lava rock that looked like it was hit with acid. and the ocean was so beautiful!}

{we hit up Kapalua Beach for a second time & even though it was raining, we couldn’t complain! there was a gorgeous rainbow that appeared when we first got there, & it was warm rain that came in very short showers. plus, our awesome rental beach tent kept us dry & was the envy of the other beachgoers!}

{we hit up the swimming pool at the condo one afternoon & Eloise is pretty much a fan of the pool. she likes to sit on the steps & splash, & also spin around in the water & play “motor boat, motor boat” which she learned in swim lessons last year // Eloise had a great time with lots of the non-toys at the condo, including this wine box! // we had a few rough nights of sleeping where Eloise would just not go back to sleep & while we don’t ever bring her into our bed during the night at home, we make an exception on vacation. she spent a lot of time tossing & turning around, but finally would go to sleep with us, usually laying right on me!}

{on one of our last days we ventured to the Maui Ocean Center which is the local aquarium & it also did not disappoint! the exhibits were pretty good, especially the big shark tank & tube. we were able to catch the information show with the local diver in the tank with the sharks & the fish which was really, really cool!}

we had the absolute BEST time & it was so lovely to be on Maui. we tried not to be too “scheduled” & found a good balance between relaxing & hanging out, & playing tourist. Eloise really loved the time we were there & was a super good little traveler, despite the difficult plane ride over. she was up super early (4:30 AM) the first morning, but considering the three hour time change, it wasn’t too much of a surprise. the rest of the time she was up slightly earlier than her normal wake-up time, but she napped really well & slept decently at night. the biggest headache about being in a warm, tropical, & sunny place was making sure she was covered in enough sunscreen (yep, first world problems!) but she is pretty good about letting me smear white sunscreen all over her every two hours!

if you are planning on visiting Maui, this is what we LOVED (slash would recommend):

  • Lahaina town
  • Goofy Foot Surf School: even though it was just the two of us surfing, we opted not to do a private lesson. it was cheaper that way, plus we ended up being the only two in the lesson anyways!
  • Nakalele Blowhole hike: do the hike in from mile marker 38 and wear good shoes!
  • shave ice (yep, SHAVE ice – no “d”!): Local Boys Shave Ice (better ice) & Ululani’s Shave Ice (better flavorings)
  • Star Noodle: super good food, order family style, make a reservation, try the malasadas (hot!)!
  • baby rental gear: there are lots of rental companies on the island, but we used Nokaoi Baby Rentals and were really pleased. I would highly recommend getting the big family beach tent!
  • Kapalua Beach: a pretty small, family friendly beach. go early to get parking & avoid the crowd, or plan on parking on the side of the road & walking in.
  • Coconuts Fish Café in Kihei: we lunched here after the Aquarium and it was super delish!
  • Maui Ocean Center
  • drive to Paia and Makawao
  • Baldwin Beach
  • if you need a good pair of rubber flip-flops (called slippahs in Hawaii), go to Long’s Drugs (or Walgreen’s) and get a pair of Locals for less than $5
  • food is incredibly expensive on Maui (even in comparison to the other islands). eating in can sometimes cost as much as eating out, so keep that in mind, and we had trouble finding much organic produce. there is a Costco near the airport, but it’s still expensive and a lot of food! I would recommend packing snacks from home for the kids, & plan on spending $10 for a half gallon of organic whole milk!

Aloha Maui & a hui hou!

M

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our trip to north carolina & indiana.

{sidenote: some of these pictures i shared earlier in a weekend update so don’t mind the duplicates! also, this is a super picture heavy post.}

the first two weeks of this month we were able to get away & fly to charlotte, NC & indianapolis, IN to visit aaron’s family. we joked that we were “taking the (Eloise) band on the road” but that we were just her groupies (since everyone really just wanted to see eloise, right?).

we started out flying to charlotte (via minneapolis) to visit aaron’s older brother david & his family (jodi & their three kids). it had been about a year & a half since we had last seen them all, so there was lots to catch up on. we also got to see aaron’s aunt molly & her girls who are also in the charlotte area.

20150430_154146513_iOS{napping on the plane – score!}

WP_20150430_20_39_37_Pro {kitchen sink bath – eloise loved it!}

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{eloise enjoyed looking at kitchen fixtures with david & jodi.}

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{aaron was able to attend gavin’s baseball game.}

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{megan, rachel, aunt molly, lindsay, & eloise!}

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{all of the kiddos playing.}

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{maddie let eloise borrow her baseball hat. so cute!}

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{oh boy was it hot. like too hot to wear a shirt if you were under one year old.}

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{date night! we noshed on burgers & sushi, & it was amazing!}

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{eloise, how is that comfortable?}

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{eloise loved her uncle david. he taught her all about baseball at gavin’s game!}

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{eloise & sophie enjoying the game.}

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{maddie & eloise.}

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{we didn’t get a cousin picture until the morning we left. this is the best we could do…}

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{saying good-bye.}

WP_20150505_07_14_05_Pro{eloise & gavin were such good buddies while we were visiting!}

traveling from charlotte to indianapolis meant a stop in atlanta to change planes. our flight crew on the first leg of our trip absolutely fell in love with eloise (who wouldn’t?). she was whisked away by cindy, one of the flight attendants, & got the full tour of the plane – cockpit, galley, & meeting some of the passengers. eloise even got a shout-out during the safety demonstration & was nominated to be “Miss Delta”! it was so fun. plus, we got our own row on the flight, & eloise took a nap. fantastic!

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then we flew to indianapolis (via atlanta) to visit the rest of aaron’s family. while aaron’s dad & step-mom were out at the beginning of september (to meet eloise!), we haven’t seen the rest of the family for at least a year & a half (we were out two christmases ago). we also got to see the gilbertsons (kendra, greg, & their two kids) who were visiting from orlando. it definitely wasn’t a coincidence that we were in town at the same time!

{& these photos are in no particular order…}

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{eloise & charlotte LOVED each other. charlotte kept saying “baby baby” to eloise. i can’t wait to get these girls together again!}

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{uncle aaron loves to play with all of the kids, but sometimes needs to catch his breath.}

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{frankie loved eloise too & helped me feed her one night.}

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{eloise loved all of the attention during her meals.}

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{crosby, kenley, & eloise.}

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{a mother’s day selfie with kendra!}

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{eloise & her great grandmother eileen.}

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{eloise & beau, aaron’s parent’s dog. eloise enjoyed beau since he let her get closer than sadie ever does. he liked to sniff & lick her face though so every time she saw him she would make a face!}

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{i got in a free golfing lesson courtesy of aaron & sam!}

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{eloise & charlotte. eloise has a way larger head & charlotte has longer arms & legs, but basically the same size.}

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{eloise was playing with her aunt cari.}

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{eloise got to meet her great grandmother eileen. it was the sweetest thing when we were all sitting down at the table & eileen looked at eloise & said “she has my thighs!”}

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{four generations of Lowers.}

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{eloise loves to play the slapping game & her papaw sam was happy to partake!}

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{crosby, kenley, & eloise. the best we could do of the three of them!}

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{group shot of mamas & babies.}

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{love those gilbertsons!}

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{kenley & eloise.}

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{mamas on mother’s day – aunt kathi, kendra, me, & diane.}

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{can we please live closer or do this more often?}

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{eloise was enjoying a delicious brunch!}

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{i was comparing my feet to frankie & teddy, they are 4 & 8. teddy & i have the same size feet & frankie isn’t far behind!}

20150510_000730208_iOS{it took a few days but charlotte finally warmed up to aaron! they were so sweet together.}

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{frankie helping me feed eloise.}

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{our niece mallory feeding eloise.}

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{play time with nana, charlotte, & frankie.}

 

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{eloise had so much fun with nana & charlotte.}

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{eloise also got to meet her great aunt susan.}

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{eloise & i practiced crawling down the hallway. i think she had more traction on the carpet!}

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{me thinks someone dropped a toy down there.}

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{kendra, kait, eloise & me.}

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{all of the (baby) cousins!}

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{kenley, eloise, & charlotte.}

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{me, kait, & eloise.}

WP_20150512_18_34_04_Pro{attempting to do bedtime on the flight home. it was mostly successful but ended up being more of a nap!}

I come from a pretty small family who lived mostly in the same place as I grew up, so marrying into such a big family has been a lot of fun! we were excited to see everyone & catch up, & also be able to introduce eloise to her extended family. hopefully we will be out to visit again soon!

M

my weekend in pictures.

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{my last day of work was on friday. so strange! hello maternity leave!}

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{whole foods was having a huge sale on bars on saturday. aaron decided we should stock up!}

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{we were the clampetts this weekend when we picked up some box springs for our new bed & had to tie them up on the roof of our car!}

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{we met some friends at black raven brewery for a great date night!}

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{so enjoying peach season! & thanks to my husband for removing all of the skins… even though he thinks it is so ridiculous.}

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{after a few trips back & forth over lake washington this weekend, we finally got stuck at a bridge crossing this morning. at least it was a pretty view of the lake!}

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{we spent some time at the house this weekend & started moving back in. good thing we are getting some help with cleaning since there is a layer of dust on everything!}

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{we finally got summer weather back in the PNW! I always worry about keeping sadie cool when the weather is hot. then I see her lay in the sun & I realize I shouldn’t worry so much.}

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{lots of cleaning was happening this weekend. I think this is foreshadowing what our foreseeable future looks like.}

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{lots of painting – by our subs – was completed at the house this weekend!}

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{another dinner date this weekend with friends at skillet diner in ballard. so delish!}

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{sadie was loving the cold concrete floor at lowe’s this evening. I sort of wanted to lay down with her!}

we had big plans to spend lots of time at the house this weekend & really start moving in. we were a bit foiled when there was still interior painting being completed in both our old space & new space. we did the best we could but still have a long ways to go – that’s the way renovations work, right? the weather was absolutely amazing though so it was such a great summer weekend. I officially start my maternity leave tomorrow & have about a million-&-a-half things on my to-do list before baby lower makes an appearance. how was your weekend?

M

my weekend in pictures.

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{sadie cuddling with the bump.}

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{hit up the nordy’s anni sale with my mom on saturday. haven’t been to the anni sale in person in years since I always pre-sale. what a nut house!}

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{I finally decided I could wear a pair of birkenstocks. then I found out my feet are too small… #fail}

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{got the car seat this weekend & finally got to see my cover in action!}

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{found my grandmother’s old slides & enjoyed lots of slideshows of her life.}

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{finally got the glider for the nursery delivered! it is living in the living room until the nursery space is ready.}

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{started doing lots of baby laundry. #nesting}

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{went on a double date to see begin again with aaron & my parents. it was really cute & has a great soundtrack!}

this weekend we had the pleasure of hosting my parents & some cooler summer weather! I feel like we got quite a few things checked off the to-do list which is feeling really great. a little weird to be going into my last week of work this week – it’s hard to complain about monday morning!

how was your weekend?
M

my weekend in pictures.

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{at our childbirth class this weekend we learned about how baby lower will navigate the pelvic bones – pretty crazy stuff!}

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{sadie & my 35 week bump!}

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{in the middle of a diy project for the house & so excited about it!}

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{fro-yo doesn’t doesn’t last long around here when its 90 degrees. & there is no A/C.}

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{a much-needed car wash!}

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{admiring the gorgeous salvaged wood floors at the house. more pics to come on thursday!}

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{we dined in west seattle with some friends & enjoyed the view of the seattle city skyline.}

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{tried marination ma kai – a food truck turned restaurant – & it was awesome. there wasn’t shave ice since the freezer was out which was a bit of a bummer. 90 degrees + pregnant misha = wants shave ice}

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{walking out of whole foods this evening the sky was breathtaking!}

this weekend was hot, hot,, hot! a lot of you can easily do high 80s or low 90s without breaking a sweat {pun intended!} but I know you are doing it with A/C. I was able to make it most of the day, but by about 5 or 6 I was ready to be cooled down. luckily both mornings this weekend we attended a childbirth & breastfeeding class at swedish hospital – it was not only very informative but had A/C! I am gearing up for my last two weeks of work before I start my leave {!} & looking forward to enjoying some summer before baby lower joins the fam {though a bit cooler would be more pleasant!}. how was your weekend?

M

my {long holiday} weekend in pictures.

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{me & the bump celebrating the 4th of july.}

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{the land of nod store is under construction & has a pretty fun entryway right now.}

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{sadie’s new dog door at the house. pics to come later in the week of the rest of the house!}

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{we attended a very patriotic party to celebrate america’s birthday.}

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{the annual 4th of july parade in our neighborhood. such a treat!}

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{we stopped by to see andy & hailey, & sadie loved sleeping in the grass lake-side.}

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{sadie insisted on sitting right in between us during a small fireworks show. she didn’t last long before she wanted to be inside away from the noise. poor kid.}

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{we went to ikea to pick up a few things for the house. #nesting}

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{& amazingly it all fit in our car! sadie & I shared a seat in the back, but it worked. thank goodness we have a hatchback!}

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{I finally found some time to finish up a sewing project for baby lower that I started some time ago. hope to share pics soon.}

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{due to the many residual fireworks over the weekend, sadie got to sleep in bed with us. she hated it, obviously.}

what an awesome weekend. can every weekend be a three-day weekend, seriously? we got to sleep in, see lots of friends & family, & check some things off the ole’ to-do list – doesn’t get much better than that. we were a bit disappointed in the weather this weekend {rain when it wasn’t actually forecasted} but it is definitely feeling like summer here in the emerald city. I am still in shock that we are already so far into july – slow down summer!

how was your weekend?

M