Sunday, October 24, 2010

Yeah, yeah, yeah, get off my back...

So as you may have noticed, it's been a little while since I last posted a blog update. I know. I've been meaning to, and we keep doing cool thinks and I keep thinking it's going to be so fun to do a post about this, and then I remember what all i have to blog before we can get to it, and I get all kinds of overwhelmed and just scrap it for another day. Anyway. It's another day, I've forced myself. And I've decided to just throw all of August into one giant post since once I've over that it'll be a lot easier to get some of the smaller posts finished. Okay, done with my whining, on with my typing...

We (being me and the kids, because someone has to work to allow us to do this stuff...) went home for THE. ENTIRE. MONTH. OF. AUGUST. Bottom line: it was FAN.FREAKIN.TASTIC. This wasn't just a "Hey, my work travels well, lets go to Seattle for a month" kind of trip, it was a "My cousin is getting married, half of us are in the wedding, and by God, I'm not missing a moment of this" kind of trip home. And I don't think there was one thing we missed out on. We got out there the 31st of July, and didn't come home till September 1st.

First up on the list was just enjoying the fact that we didn't have to cram a million things into two week's worth of vacation. So we went to watch a bit of my brother Ben's swim team practice at a pool that Jeff and I both have spent many hours in.

After Ben was done with practice, we got the kids into their swim stuff and hopped in with him. This is the same pool that I did two swim team's worth of practice in, Jeff did his diving and water polo in, while we were in high school. Oh, and there's this whole other lifeguarding/swim instructing thing that we did there through high school (and beyond for me) too. Yeah, you could say that this pool is partially responsible for the existence of my kids. It was like a crazy homecoming, life coming full circle kind of thing for me. Except for the power-trippy, lifeguard, who clearly didn't know my history with this building, gosh I hope I wasn't like that as a guard. It was really cool watching my brother enjoy swimming so much too, it's pretty clear that us Schwabs are good in the water, my only regret was that I didn't race him. I fear that as he goes into middle school this year, my day's of being able to beat him are quickly passing me by.

Then there was the bridal shower, but I was far too busy helping Lori carry out the party to stop for 4 seconds and take a picture. Moving quickly on to the bachelorette party. If you weren't there then you don't know, and that's all I'm saying about that, other than that it was beyond amazing and so much fun. Having all of us together was like the stars aligning just right, I don't think this has happened since my wedding more than 7 years ago.

I also was part of the birth of what will hopefully become a family tradition, the maiden party of Merv, the party gnome. I swear one of these day's I'm going to create a facebook page for him and all of his awesomeness. That way I can keep up with him from many miles away. Maybe one day someone will drive him out my way... hint hint.

Getting back from the bachelorette party, it was time to get on some real wedding seriousness, like baking a million delicious rosemary cookies that Amanda used as her favors. The really special thing about baking cookies, is this is where the flower girl truly fell in love with the bride. I mean seriously, we had talked with Haley about her responsibilities, but Amanda might as well have been a unicorn as far as Haley was concerned. Amanda showed up that night with a cupcake apron for her to borrow and let her help her all night long baking the cookies. LOVE.

Once the cookie baking was done, Haley cuddled up with "Pumpa" and got ready for bed. Prior to staying at my Aunt Linda's house while she was on vacation, we stayed two of the best weeks of my life with my dad. He really got to spend some quality time getting to know the kids and vise versa. It was perfect, there just aren't any words for it. On a side note, the cookie night ended perfectly, Dad showing his sisters Tosh.O. We had been watching this show and any re-runs and on-demand that we could find and just peeing ourselves wishing everyone could see it.

One of the things I was most looking forward to with wedding prep was taking Haley to her first mani/pedi. While she didn't get the whole deal (we had to keep her attention level in check), she did get them painted. We walked in and she immediately picked the brightest shade of purple on the wall... yeah, not so much. We were able to talk her down to a nice shade of sparkly pink. She did great! I can't wait to take her back and do it again... maybe for her birthday.

The next day was the wedding, we took off to get our hair done and all dressed up pretty. It was an incredible day filled with love and the greatest family ever! Haley and I were so honored to be a part of it. As a side note, I wish I had pictures of all the silly faces Haley was making while she was getting her hair done, I know I'm biased, but she was the cutest flower girl around (lots of other people said so too, though).

Three generations getting ready for the wedding. By the way, LOVED my hair that day. I need to pay someone to make my hair look like that everyday. This is my Aunt Judy (mother of the bride) helping cut the strings out of my dress. Jeff joined us for the wedding but left the next day to go on a week long fishing trip for salmon in Oregon.

From weddings, we went to farms. This is the Elliott Farm. They've known Jeff longer than me (by a long shot), and that's really saying something. If you know my son, than you know that he loves, all things boy, and that by no means stops for tractors, cows, and other livestock. So we never miss a chance to get our personal farm tour. This time happened to come with a ride on the tractor (hauling poo... does it get any cooler?!). Bruce Elliott is officially the coolest guy Kale knows, he drives a tractor and Kale also got to "help" him work on his house, which involved tools too.

Jeff came back and joined us for the last little bit of the trip which meant a play date for the boys. No, not Kale and Luca (his pre-determined BFF), but for Jeff and Sonny. Luckily they picked a great new park in Auburn and the kids had some fun too (though I'm not sure it was as much as the dads). This is one of the swings that fits many kids, Haley loved it, I'm not so sure Luca thought it was cool.

Here's how you know she's my kids. She loves spinning rides. It was painful getting her off of the merry-go-round to go do other things around the park. You couldn't spin it fast enough for her, and she had a blast.

Okay, so if you look at Krystal's facebook page, Luca is the happiest kid you'll ever see. He just really didn't think I was the coolest person in the world. Little does he know. But this is a great picture of Aunt Krystal, Uncle Sonny and (someday) Kale's Brother from Another Mother.

See?! Proof he was on a little bit of the vacation with us! The boys just loved running around the park together (this time my boys, not just Sonny and Jeff).
So the greatest vacation ever! I have to say it made me kind of homesick being around for a longer period of time. It really gave me a taste of what it would be like to live out there with my family, and it felt good. But then I came back to Colorado and it's nice here too. So I've decided that everyone in Washington just needs to move to Colorado with me. Problem solved. See you all soon!

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