What a Weekend!

To use a favorite Otis phrase- this weekend was “literally epic!”

On Friday afternoon we hit the road for the 3.5 hour drive to Kennewick, WA. We arrived at our best friends’ house around 8:30pm. Otis and Eli took to the basement to concoct LEGO masterpieces. Amelia and Lucy immediately donned princess dresses and began tending to their menagerie of stuffed animals. The parents capitalized on this rare gift of demand-less, squabble-free time and enjoyed some wine and beer and catching up. We let the kids stay up way past their bedtime in the name of Slumber Party!

On Saturday morning I left Brad and the kids with Jodi and family and headed off to meet up with 4 of my students at Mid-Columbia Ballet in Richland. You see, after years of dreaming of starting a dance class for kids with special needs, I was finally beginning my training. We attended a training with the incredible Rebecca Rogo, founder of INCLUDE (Inspiring, with no Challenges or Limitations, the Universality of Dance Experiences).

What an inspiring day! We watched 11 children with special needs interact, follow directions, stand on one leg, create, and dance, dance, dance. So many smiles! I am so incredibly excited to bring this program to the community of Vancouver. One of the aspects that is truly genius in this program is it’s use of Dance Partners. High school students from the ballet program dance alongside children with disabilities such as autism, Down syndrome, and cerebral palsy. The obvious benefit of this is the ratio of instructors/assistants to students. Many of the students have their own Dance Partner and at the most there are 2 students per Dance Partner. But the true impact extends far beyond the impact on the INCLUDE students. Through their use of dozens of Dance Partners a year as well as the creation of their sensory friendly performances, the INCLUDE program demystifies disability. It is easy to be afraid or wary of things we haven’t been exposed to. By bringing the special needs community into their school, Mid-Columbia Ballet is educating so many people and creating friends, advocates and champions for those with special needs.

Stay tuned for the launch of INCLUDE at Columbia Dance!

After our training finished I grabbed the family and we hit the road to Spokane. You see, the second leg of our trip also had a purpose. It was time for the Moore family to rescue a new dog!

Our rescue beagle Lani passed away 2 years ago. As some of you may recall, Lani was found in West Virginia, abandoned with her new litter of pups. She was starving and even in foster care they couldn’t fatten her up because with her litter in the house she wouldn’t stop producing milk. Brad and I took this terrified beagle with sad eyes in as a foster pup and adopted her soon after. Over the next 10 years she moved cross country and became a big sister to our two human babies.

Well our family has missed having a dog these past few years, Miss Lu in particular. So after Christmas we began searching for our next four-legged family member. We quickly learned that finding a rescue dog suitable for a rambunctious home with a 2 and 5 year old was going to prove quite tricky. Most of the rescues we read about needed quite homes without little ones. So I reached out to an old friend of mine. For 11 years I saw Phillip twice a year when he be would travel to Marin to fit my students in their pointe shoes. I knew, from Facebook, that in his retirement he was volunteering at the Spokane Humane Society so I figured I’d ask him to be on the lookout for a rescue that would thrive in our chaotic house.

As luck would have it, his good friend Stephanie was fostering a mama dog named Ally and her 11 puppies for Must Luv Boxer Rescue. Phillip connected us and we got our application in right away. The pups are called the Preschool of Rock.

Hendrix, Benatar, Joplin, Ozzy, Bono, Tina Turner, Freddie Mercury, Joan Jett, Sting, Stevie Nicks, and Bowie are pretty much the cutest pups and they were being raised by a lady who owns a dog training business. Ideal!!! So I starting tuning in to the weekly live feed on the pups and as cute as they were, Brad and I were once again drawn to the mama. Stephanie put mama Ally around kiddos and reported back that she did great and that she thought she’d be an excellent family dog. And so that is who we headed out to adopt this past weekend. We stayed with Phillip and Sally Saturday night and then headed out Sunday morning to collect our new family member and head out on the 6 hour trek home.

The kids adored her immediately. She was a trooper on the 6 hour drive home and she slept seamlessly in our house the first night. Our Ally Zeppelin Moore is a keeper!

So yes it was quite a weekend! Excited to start these new chapters!

Dear Otis- 5 years!

Dear Otis-

You are finally 5 years old. Your dad and I were saying that it seems like you’ve been 5 for months, but perhaps that’s just because you begin planning your bday parties 6 months in advance. I think it’s also partially because you are an old soul.

Your attention span often surpasses adults. You can study your Pokémon cards for hours, complete a lego masterpiece in one sitting, and you are even starting to tackle Nintendo.

You are also Lucy’s third parent. Often this is wonderful as we hear you saying “Lucy what color is that? Purple? You are right! Good job.” You quiz her about her day and teach her so so much. At times you veer towards the realm of enabler, catering to her every need. We are trying to help you say no to her, because Princess Lucy does not need to be calling the shots around here. You two have plenty of bickering moments. We even got you a locking cabinet for your birthday to keep her from getting to your prized possessions and unleashing the wrath of Otis. However, more often than not she’s your favorite playmate and you adore her.

You have your official first day of Kindergarten in 3 days, but you got to do a full week of kindergarten half days in preparation and you did great. Nerves for sure, but no tears, and when I’d ask you how your day was you’d reply with “Awesome!” I think you are going to love it. The other night we were reading and you got so excited and said “mom- I know that word!!!! It says art!!!!” I see a lot of proud moments in your future.

That said, you do have your demons. You are incredibly hard on yourself especially when it comes to art and legos. You choose to color in the lines, even though nobody is asking you to, and when your hand doesn’t obey you’ll rip the paper and shout “it’s horrible!” The other night when you were struggling to build your new LEGO spaceship you started crying and said “I’m having a stupid day.” My heart absolutely broke. Your perfectionism serves you so well, but we have to continue to help you have patience with yourself.

Some of your recent masterpieces-

We’ve had a big break through with swimming after a few years of failed swim lessons. You like things to be your idea so now that we live by a creek that you want to swim in you willingly and happily go to swim class. Granted all you are doing so far is completely assisted by the instructor, but the fact that you are excited about it is huge. Other physical accomplishments include learning to swing all by yourself- not even a starter push and pumping to get super high. And you also love to hike now, regaling us with your knowledge of bird and insect life along the way. We love our explorations!

You planned a pretty sweet Pokémon birthday party complete with an Eli sleepover. The two of you like to “chat” in bed and you even plan out your talking points- “first let’s talk about Pokémon, then Sonic the Hedgehog, and then Transformers.” I thought it pretty impressive that you have so many friends after only a few months in Washington.

I love that we got a fair bit of mom and Otis time in this week before you are off to real school. I love our conversations and jokes. While you test my patience at times, you also make me laugh and amaze me constantly. You are a kind, thoughtful, goofball and I love you so much! Happy 5th Birthday!

Mom

Long live art (and a Becky update)

If you are reading this, you likely know me pretty well, and if you know me pretty well you know that I am a planner, a lover of control, a woman who walks the fine line between Type A and OCD.  It’s just in my nature to crave control, stability, and a clear path forward.  And, as a result, change has often been a scary concept for me.  Change inherently brings with it a level of unknown, and I don’t like the unknown.

Now over the years I have developed an impressive array of coping strategies to address my aversion to change.  In college when I was receiving rejection upon rejection from ballet companies and had no idea where I would physically live or how I would pay the bills in a month’s time, I assuaged my anxiety by not only creating a Plan A and B, but plans all the way up to the letter M.  So long as I could manage to follow one of those 12 plans I would be in control.

Later in life when I was asked by my doctor to create a “Birth Plan” I chose for my plan to be that I had no plan.  I had heard enough stories to understand that labor rarely goes according to plan so I decided that rather than have the stress of straying from my plan I would just not have one at all.  That way no matter what happened, things would be going according to my plan.

I also fell in love with a man who loves change- be it trying every IPA known to man or every instrument he can get his hands on, my soul mate has zero aversion to change.  While I have built my skillset by staying in jobs for 4 years and 11 years, he has built his skillset by changing jobs frequently to stay relevant and cutting edge.  Granted he works in the fast paced world of technology and I work in the old world of ballet, but nevertheless I have been privy to the benefits of welcoming change into one’s life from watching him.  And over the years he has worn my distaste for change down.  If it weren’t for Brad, I would probably eat the same meal every night, live in the same house for decades, and wear the same clothes I wore in high school (ok this I actually still currently do :).  And I would be happy, but I would be stagnant.  And I don’t want to be stagnant.

So when faced last September with a potential opportunity to make a major life change I didn’t run the other way immediately.  I stuck one foot in to gather more info.  A school that I was acquainted with through a regional dance organization was conducting a nationwide search for a new Artistic Director (their long-time director was retiring).  A new job for Becky?  Huge change!  A new job in Vancouver, WA?  Colossal change! Sell a house, buy a house, uproot two kids and a husband, start a new job!  Well when I looked at it that way I was terrified, but I also knew that I would regret not pursuing it further.  So I somewhat reluctantly applied.

After an initial remote interview, they invited me up last January for a 4 day interview process.  On the flight up I remember saying to Brad “I just want to leave knowing 100% what I want.”  After all, I liked working at Marin Ballet and I liked living in Petaluma, so I didn’t need this change.  I didn’t want to feel wishy washy on which path forward was the one I wanted.  Well, after 4 days of observing, teaching, meeting and presenting, I got my wish.  I knew 100% that I wanted to be the new Artistic Director of Columbia Dance in Vancouver, WA.  The Columbia Dance community- students, parents, staff, and board members completely drew me in.  I felt welcomed, appreciated, and needed.  I can honestly say that I felt compelled to join an incredible organization.  Compelled is a strong word, but that is exactly how I felt.  I just knew that my particular skillset and passion were the right fit for Columbia Dance.  As a good friend and mentor once said about me landing at Marin Ballet, it was kismet.

I am now a month into my full-time new venture (after months of working part-time remotely) and my feelings remain the same.  I am so thankful that I didn’t let my aversion to change prevent me from pursuing this path.  I am already rather in love with this organization and here is where I ask you to help support my love for this organization.  Columbia Dance has embarked on a Capital Campaign that will allow us to purchase the incredible building that we are in and allow us to have a permanent home.  This purchase is truly imperative to the school thriving and if you are in a place where you are able to donate to a non-profit organization, I can attest that this is a very worthy cause.

I know that there are so many organizations worthy of our donations.  And I know that it’s hard to choose to donate to the arts when your heart is tugged in all directions.  Brad and I currently give recurring (in absurdly small amounts as befits our current finances) donations to Brady Center for Gun Violence, Metavivor Metastatic Breast Cancer Research, Planned Parenthood, and Gigi’s Playhouse Down Syndrome Achievement Centers.  We could easily tell ourselves that we are doing enough, but we will absolutely be donating to Columbia Dance’s Capital Campaign because arts are as important as everything else.  AND . . . and this I feel ridiculously passionate about . . . arts education is essential, crucial, and imperative to the future of this country.  I can speak first hand to say that taking ballet doesn’t just help you be a good dancer.  It helps you be a good person.  At Columbia Dance (and all the other schools I have taught at) we are in the business of creating good people.  Ballet training gives kids a strong work ethic, a sense of self-esteem, and a place to relieve the stress that is causing widespread anxiety among today’s youth.  When they enter the studio they leave their stress (and cell phones) at the door.  The endorphins feed them, the music feeds them, their classmates feed them.  We can’t be the best people we can be unless we are thriving ourselves.  Art feeds us and I truly feel that in this day and age when we have access to all information and all news on our cell phones, we need to be fed more than ever.  It has gotten so hard to “turn off” or “unplug” and as a result I feel like we often walk around feeling completely depleted.  Depleted people cannot give their best to society.  Art revives us and inspires us.  Giving children the gift of art in their lives gives them a leg up on loving who they are and giving that love back to the world.

If you made it this far, I thank you for listening.  If you are inclined to donate I thank you for not just supporting my new endeavor, but for championing art.  Checks payable to Columbia Dance can be mailed to Columbia Dance, 1700 Broadway Street, Vancouver, WA 98663 or you can pay via credit card by clicking this link http://columbiadance.org/capital-campaign/

 

Farewell Fairview

In 2009 two newlyweds named Brad and Becky vacated their one bedroom place in Berkeley and purchased their first home on Fairview Terrace.

This was one of the best decisions we’ve ever made, giving us 9.5 years of incredible memories. When I mentioned checking out Petaluma as a place to buy our first home, Brad was skeptical. I convinced him to take a day trip up just for fun 😉 and after visiting Tall Toad music, walking the downtown, and popping into an open house of a place with a chicken coop in the backyard, he was completely sold!

The rose colored old carpeting, backyard mural, and grandma style wallpaper didn’t scare us. The views, the space (4 bedrooms and a bonus room), the workshop, and the ability to walk to downtown made us fall in love with the place.

Lani, the beagle, especially appreciated the 180 degree viewing opportunities.

The downstairs bonus room was dubbed “The Rumpus Room” and was inaugurated as a band/game room.

With no kids at the time, we had no idea what to do with the 4th bedroom . . . so naturally we created a yoga/sitar room.

Chapter 1 of life at The Fairview was filled with visitors. We hosted 3 couples from out of town for New Year’s Eve. We had a blast creating their “guest rooms”. Even if their room only had an air bed, it came with a placard naming their room and the amenities it included- bottled water, free WiFi, etc. We got very creative.

We hosted full bands of musicians from the east coast too! The more the merrier was our motto especially since it took us a while to meet local friends.

Once we met some locals we hosted weekly “Walking Dead” viewings.

Brad’s brother even lived with us for a bit when he moved home from Japan.

The plan to have kids took longer than expected, but we kept our young selves busy with our critters,

Brad’s bands,

Becky’s teaching,

Exploring the outdoors around us,

And, of course, the growing of beards for Brad (I mean we lived in a town with a festival called Whiskerino).

Phase 2 at The Fairview started with a bump called Rubis.

The resident of my belly was to be named Ruby if a girl and Otis if a boy so until we knew the gender he/she was Rubis. We used my pregnancy as a good excuse to give The Fairview a makeover. We’d already spent way too many hours painstakingly scraping wall paper and painting rooms, but now we added new floors, windows, toilets, and created a baby’s room of course.

Oh dear- one kid on the way and we were full on adulting 😁. I even traded my hot rod in for a sensible vehicle.

On August 19, 2014 Otis took up residency at The Fairview.

And through him, I became completely entwined in the Petaluma community. I joined the Petaluma Mother’s Club and met some of the best friends I’ve ever had in my life.

Otis, too met life long friends (who he still plays with).

Lucy joined the Fairview tenants list on May 27, 2017 and suddenly all those bedrooms had true uses. Bye bye yoga/sitar room!

Our get togethers at the house became even more lively with the addition of kids. Birthday parties, Christmas parties, impromptu happy hours- such great memories having our Petaluma community in our home!

I can’t tell you how this gang ended up in Lucy’s crib at last year’s Christmas party- we simply discovered them there having a blast!

Petaluma we are going to miss you so much! From sweaty July days at the Rivertown Revival Festival

To the Christmas season kick off of Santa’s riverboat arrival-

You are a unique town that is irreplaceable and we are so glad we spent nearly a decade with you!

But while we’ll miss this oft stinky little town immensely, it’s the people we’ll miss the most. The Monday afternoons at the park,

the Saturday evenings at Pinky’s Pizza parlor,

and the too many to count outings to The Block.

All excuses to spend time with our friends!

Our house and this town have been the backdrop of some of our live’s greatest memories and friendships. We became the family we are today in that home! As we start Phase 3 in Vancouver, WA we’ll hug these memories close. It’s the end of an era for sure!

We out!

Dear Otis- Pre-School Grad

Dear Otis-

You are officially kindergarten bound after a fantastic Pre-K year at You & Me Childrens’ Center. I truly believe that we found the perfect pre-school for you. After 3 years at Tia Amelia’s daycare we decided last August to enroll you in pre-school to help prepare you for kindergarten. It’s always hard choosing a school, but somehow luck was on my side and you landed at the perfect place! Here you are on your first day.

We had a few teary drop offs the first week, but Teacher Kelly would pull you aside and distract you with an art project. She “got you” right away.

You love learning! You are so proud to be a Wise Owl at You & Me. You love to come home and tell us all about the letter of the week or the nature walk you went on.

We enjoyed a Halloween Parade at your school (you were Rocketship Man).

And a trip on the Polar Express.

You even let me come read The Nutcracker to the Wise Owls.

You have learned to write your first and last name and you like to write random letters and ask me what they spell or copy my own writing.

You love to do art.

Teacher Kelly and Teacher Nancy gave you a chapter book when you filled your Pom Pom cup for good behavior.

You made all sorts of friends- Bodhi, Baen, Will, and Liam being your closest buds. Will taught you all about bugs and snakes and Liam taught you about birds. You are quite the naturalist! We are going to attempt to be pen pals with them.

All in all, its been a great year and we are so proud of you. To quote Teacher Kelly “you are a kind boy and you use your thinker.” Thank you to Teachers Nancy, Kelly, Nell, Donya and all the rest of the staff for starting your education in a fun and exciting way!

In Otis’ own words “you are the best school I’ve ever seen! You rock!”

Dear Lucy- 2 Years Old

Dear Lucy-

You turn 2 today! You are definitely a big kid now with the vocabulary and mood swings to match. Some of our favorite Lucy sentences include “daddy back work right now.” Poor dad- you love to send him to his office. “Lucy do it-” this is usually pertaining to putting your shoes on by yourself. “Too scary-” applies to anything you don’t want to do. “Too spicy- applies to anything you don’t feel like eating. You are also pretty good at please and thank you and you never miss the opportunity to say “bless you” when someone sneezes.

Your face is extremely emotive. It’s usually pretty clear to see how you feel about things.

You want to do all the things your brother does. You like to count, usually saying “six seven eight.” You like to state your age including quarters- you currently are steadfast in your belief that you are 6 quarters old. And you LOVE to read. If someone isn’t available to read to you, you simply “read” to yourself. You sit through 10 minute long books and will sit in your room on your bear chair for up to 45 minutes perusing your library.

You have started to sing songs. Happy Birthday and Itsy Bitsy Spider are faves, and then, of course, there’s the Paw Patrol theme song. You’ve got that one down pat!

You have a strong opinion about what you wear, with hearts being your preference, and you are pretty tolerant of my hair styling (and Tia’s too).

You still go to Tia’s where, according to you, you play outside with Eeeooo (Leo) and Peyee (Perry) and always eat pizza for lunch. You also took a little soccer class at a Mother’s Club field trip.

You are pretty adventurous, already climbing all over playgrounds, and much more comfortable straying from mom than your brother is.

Your are my Baby Boot Camp buddy where you like to hang with Grace and eat snacks.

Lylah and Julia are your other best buds

Buy Otis is hands down your best friend (even if you bully him a tiny bit).

Up until a week ago you would sleep through the night consistently after family storytime. Nightmares seem to have just appeared for you. You’ve got front teeth and molars but nothing in between. You are obsessed with cats and dogs. You would eat soup and oranges for every meal if we let you. And you are the biggest snuggler I know. You always want to climb up to our laps for hugs. We love you so much Lu!!!!!

Festive for Days!

Christmas spirit was off the charts in the Moore household this year! We had a blast indulging in all things holiday for the last month.

Brad was sick Thanksgiving weekend, but still managed to haul all 5 boxes of decorations in from the shed before collapsing into bed for 12 hours straight. With my Elves in Training we managed to have the house fully transformed to wonderland by November 24. Each morning thereafter when Lucy awoke she would utter “light, lights, pretty lights” until all Xmas lights had been plugged in.

Hmmm . . . What else did we do? What didn’t we do would be the more concise answer, but here we go.

Greet Santa as he arrives by Riverboat ✅

Gingerbread house ✅

Christmas movies ✅ (Elf and The Santa Clause were hits)

Costco impulse buy ✅

Nutcracker Storytime at Otis’ pre-school ✅

Cookie decorating after Boot Camp ✅

Go see the Nutcracker ✅. Grandma and Otis went on a date for this. Special outfits, lunch out, and attended the performance with friends. Favorite character- the Nutcracker himself. Favorite scene- the Battle Scene.

12 Days of Jolly the Kindness Elf ✅. This was new for Otis this year. Among my favorite Jolly requests- make grandma and grandpa lunch (salami sandwiches of course), help mom clean for the party (“mom would you like me to sweep the floor for you?” 🤗), make cards for your teachers

And bake cookies to thank the Nutcracker dancers (damn that Jolly is ambitious). Goal- 100 cookies. Actual- 40 cookies.

Holiday outfits ✅

Don’t worry- Brad has matching pjs too. He is just too wily to be caught on camera.

Polar Express day at pre-school. It was so freakin’ (don’t say that word mom) magical! The Polar Bear even made an appearance!

Christmas Party ✅. This year’s title was Moore Merriment Happy Hour. I’d consider it a successful party when you go to check on the “big kids” and find them all in the little kid’s crib 🤷‍♀️

Xmas light drive with hot apple cider ✅

And that brings us to Christmas morning. So many smiles!

It really is my favorite month of ever year! Traditions abound and family is cherished. Magic is real and joy is tangible. Until next year!

Dear Lucy- 16 Months

Dear Lucy-

And you’re off!!! You have completely transformed in the last 4 months. You walk, talk, build puzzles, and hoard legos.

Let’s start with walking. Your dad and I spent the last month saying “she’s walking, oh wait, not really.” You had the ability but lacked the desire. You’d take 6 steps and then be done for the day. Otis had the most luck with coaxing you to walk.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FYXofG8ZD5Q

We kept waiting for you to figure out how cool walking is. Lo and behold one day it clicked and you’ve been doing laps ever since!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MwysuuNoLNo

You’ve also found your voice. You have a breathy “hi,” a valley girl “byeeeee,” and a tiny and adorable “baby.” You like to feed your babies bottles and burp them. You say “wa” for water. I’m finally “mommy” and Dad and Otis are both “dada.” You’re even trying to say purple. And what you can’t say you can understand. You point to your nose, ears, mouth, head, and belly when we talk about them. When we ask you to get your shoes or your baby you wander off and return with the requested item. That brain of yours is definitely full steam ahead right now and you are loving all of your newfound knowledge.

You also finally got teeth this month- 6 of them! It’s like all of a sudden you decided not to be a baby anymore.

You definitely have a temper and you are living proof that patience is a learned skill, not an instinct. Too bad teaching this skill requires letting you scream about the great injustice of us not giving you the marker that you can’t reach. How dare we withhold the god-given right to markers/legos/instant food/whatever your mind is set on in that moment. 😂 The good news is that you are making serious progress on this skill set and are quick to turn on the charm once your rage subsides.

Your favorite activities right now are keeping Otis’ tiny legos in your fist for hours, taking the cap on and off an empty chocolate milk bottle, dancing anytime you hear music, and playing with your brother.

You love reading books, adore pigs, and are an avid hugger. Your impromptu hugs are, hands down, one of my very favorite things in this world. You exude happiness and love and, as you leave your baby days behind, I find myself simply adoring the kid that you are blossoming into. I love you so much!

Love,

Mom

The Hills Hit the Road

Dear Hill Family,

We miss you already. Damn you Eugene (Oregon) for being so adorable and affordable!

Jen and Noah- you were Brad and my first Petaluma friends. For years Brad and I joked about stopping people on the street to ask if they’d like to be our friends. We even joined a meetup group because pretending the ‘How I Met Your Mother’ cast were our friends just wasn’t cutting it. The meetup is how we had our first “date” with Jen. We went to a Chris Robinson concert together and hit it off. Some might even say that she started dating Noah soon after in order to solidify our friendship. She knew that a musician boyfriend would complete our foursome 😂 and he did.

Noah and Brad played in 4 different bands together and all of us (minus me) formed the utterly delightful Little Mountain String Band. Long live rural rock!

We had standing Sunday night dates to watch The Walking Dead together. One couple cooked. The other brought alcohol and dessert. We loved your chicken, rice, and kale every time you made it for us and you didn’t mock us when we ordered delivery.

You made us karaoke (so many times) and even that didn’t break our bond!

We added kids to the mix in 2014 (Otis), 2015 (Abby), 2016 (Frankie) and 2017 (Lucy). These extra family members only strengthened our friendship. Watching our kids grow up alongside each other has been so much fun.

Our camping trips are special memories to me and I hope to keep adding to them in the future.

In 2016

In 2017

Get togethers with you guys are always exactly what we need- mutual chaos of course, but somehow stress relieving. We share our latest parenting catastrophes and always find the humor in life.

I still can’t believe that you are no longer an impromptu happy hour text away. Your moving has been a tough one for Brad and I, but we’ll just have to look forward to visiting you in Eugene.

Here we are (looking terrible) ringing in 2013 and then ringing in 2018. It’s been a great ride!

Trios in Tahoe

For 4 years, three moms have taken to the roads each August, schlepping all sorts of kids’ gear, and braving toddler/baby shrieking and carsickness for a fun-filled Tahoe weekend. We can say we do it for our kids and that is the truth. But the full truth is that we do it for ourselves. Spending 48+ hours with your two best friends is heaven, and a highlight of my year. This annual weekend trip has become all the more important now that one of those friends lives in Washington state. I am so thankful to keep logging these memories with these two women!

The toddler trio has turned into the Pre-K trio. They had a blast living together for 2 days. One of these years we’ll let them all sleep in the same bedroom, but this year we chose sleep for ourselves over this option.

It’s been so fun to see them grow up over the last 4 years!

Year 1
Year 2
Year 3
Year 4

This year the Dad trio joined us which made for more lifeguards and child holders, as well as more boating, drinking, and naughty games of cards against humanity once the wee ones were asleep.

And these 2 little ladies rounded out our gang.

If last year was the “who has to go potty?” year, this year was the “how the hell do we get them out of the water?” year. Teeth chattering and lips blue- they never wanted to get out.

The good news is that we felt the same way!

We lured them out with the promise of bunny sightings. I love our little “hikes.”

And, of course, the secret room was a highlight, as were viewings of Toy Story. I don’t know why I get such a kick out of them watching stuff on a 10 inch dial tv, but I do. They were quite confused by the concept of rewinding the vhs. 😂

The kids were completely spent at the end of each day. Lucy brought back memories of Baby Allie when she fell asleep at the dinner table.

Allie 2015
Lucy 2018

11 people in one condo, 5 of whom are under the age of 5, certainly requires a bit of chaos.

But it is so totally worth it!

Counting down to next year!