Thursday, August 26, 2010

If you're lucky enough to be in Nantucket, you're lucky enough!

I had one of the most amazing opportunities last week. I went for 7 blissful days with girlfriends to Nantucket. I'd never been and have heard my dear friend Vanessa talking about this place for years. Both her daughters were baptized there and it's always been a very special family place for her so she really wanted us to see it. So Liz and I joined Vanessa plus her sister Janai and Janai's best friend from college and we headed back east! I am so fortunate that my wonderful husband gave me the green light to go and have my time while he stayed back to man the homestead and handle the kiddos for an entire week. I know it wasn't easy and I'm so incredibly lucky.

We did all the girly things - went out to breakfasts, lots of shopping, relaxed on the beach, ate amazing dinners, had a few skinnygirl mararitas along the way. I couldn't have asked for a more fun group of girls to share this experience with! I could go on and on and on...this trip was absolutely magical. I've got 100's of pictures so I'll just put up a sampling here.

Vanessa - I truly can not thank you enough for your generosity and hospitality. It was so special to see Nantucket through your eyes. I can't wait to take the families back someday.


The Nantucket airport looks exactly like all the other buildings there. Loved that! (Oh, and didn't at all love the puddle-jumper we took from Boston - scariest thing ever! My knees were literally in the pilot's back)

First day in town we headed straight for the wharf

It was really overcast but we were optimistic the sun might come out later?

Keri & Vanessa on the first beach day

3 amigos! I can't remember the last time I actually swam in the ocean

Time to hit the town - Liz, Vanessa & Keri

An unexpected FANTASTIC night! This was late night singing at the piano bar - The Club Car (Liz, Keri, Marissa, Vanessa & Janai)

Liz is glowing at 5 months pregnant!!
She was a great sport dealing with the rest of us!

Unforgettable!! Janai, Vanessa, Keri, Liz & Marissa

A day on the lake

When summer finally decided to arrive in mid-August, we were lucky enough to be invited to our friend's the Reiff's house on Lake Sammamish. What a spontaneous and FUN day! Once the clouds finally burned off, the kids decided to swim out to the water trampoline they visited last year. I loved Maggie's confidence to just go for it. No fear out of this girl! After a few hours of swimming, Jeff was kind enough to take the kids tubing. Again, Maggie loved it (Ragen was a bit more apprehensive). Jeremy came over after work and we decided to take Grace, Ragen & Maggie out on the boat again. After Grace rocked it waterskiing, my kids decided to try. I looked at Jeremy and he looked at me and we figured, what the heck?! So Ragen went first. To our total amazement, he popped up on the first try! It was incredible! After falling, he got a bit cold so he called it a day. Maggie's turn! I have to admit, I was apprehensive but I figured she had a life jacket on and Jeff & Dee are PRO waterski drivers. I knew we were in great hands. Low & behold, she popped up on the first try too! Amazing!! Both kids had an absolute ball and this is a memory we will always hold very dear. Thank you so much Dee & Jeff!


There goes Maggie to join Grace & Reese. This one isn't about to be left behind!

Grace, Reese, Maggie & Ragen
Vanessa & I went tubing too. I have not laughed that hard in a LONG time!

Jeff giving stellar pointers on what to do

So proud of this boy! (love Jeremy's "Where's Waldo" head in the background)

Monkey see, monkey do!

Absolutely amazing (she wasn't even 4 yet when she did this!)

She's four!

Oh, my sweet baby girl! How can you be four already?! Maggie is such a fun girl to be around all the time. She hangs back, slightly shy, observing everything that's going on but don't think for a second that she's not taking it all in. She keeps Jeremy and I laughing ALL the time. Her sweet nature is hard to resist despite all my best efforts. It's been incredible to see how much she's matured and grown since her ear surgery in December. She's like a whole new girl who's got to make up for lost time. I can't wait to see what her 4th year brings her! We love you so much Missy Goo!

The tradition of a donut cake and balloon for breakfast

She finally has her own bike!

Thanks Mimi & Bumpa!
Rainbow birthday party time! (I'm beaming with pride at the rainbow tutu I made for the birthday girl) :)

A mom can go crazy with the rainbow theme. Jeremy finally had to cut me off.

Rainbow food of course. My mother in law made the fantastic rainbow jello - a huge hit!
Note to self - those pinata's are indestructable. Even the 6 year olds were having a tough time.

More delicious cupcakes from Mimi!

Why is it that at all birthday parties the kids have to sit on top of the kid opening presents?

Again, Jeremy cut me off with the rainbow loot!

Tennis Week

How does so much time get away from me? Oh yeah, those 2 darling little blond haired kids that I have with me all the time! Well, in an attempt to briefly catch you up I'll start here...

Every July, the Seattle Tennis Club has a member's only tournament called Tennis Week. For as long as I can remember we went as a family many times during the week to watch my parents and/or my parents friends while they played during Tennis Week. Last year was the first time Jeremy or I ever played in it. It was my very first real match - I'd only been playing for about 2 months. I was petrified! It didn't go so well but we had fun (plus the winners buy the losers drinks so we ended up with lots of free drinks that week!).

Fast forward to this year...Jeremy and I decided to play together again. I also played ladies' doubles with my childhood friend Kelley Stryer. Jeremy played singles as well. It made for a busy week of trying to find babysitters as no matches are set up ahead of time and you usually have 2 days to get the match scheduled and played. In the end Kelley and I didn't do so well (next year, right Kell!?!) and somehow Jeremy and I ended up winning our flight! We had an absolute blast playing together and I feel like I gained a ton of match knowledge by playing with him. We walked away with the crystal barware from Kusak's that is given away each year to the champs of each flight.

While we were thrilled to win, our Tennis Club bill was brutal that month after buying all those losers drinks. Oh well :)

Kelley & I at our first match. Our moms were Tennis Week partners back in the day.

Mark & Melissa were in town for a bridal shower so they came to cheer us on in the finals!

I take my ready position seriously...

Champs!! (no clue why my arms are folded like that?!)

The same week, Maggie had her 1st tennis lesson at the club. She loved it!
Getting a few pointers from Coach Jonathan

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Breaking tradition

This was the first year in who knows how long that we didn't spend the 4th of July at the Seattle Tennis Club. There were several factors that went into our decision but it was a tough choice to forego our annual tradition of spending the day at the STC and watching the fireworks there. Intead we went to the Strickland's new house for a lobster boil. It turns out that we definitely picked the right year to skip the STC given the driving rain and cold temps. Each year it's hard to keep the kids entertained between dinner and the fireworks and this year in the rain would have been miserable. Plus our dear friends the Stryers weren't going to be there which was a major bummer for the kids. At least at the Strickland's they could swim in the warm water and then go right inside to watch a movie. Sadly we didn't get to have the tennis round robin we were planning due to weather. Rob & Vanessa put together a fantastic party and we had a great time celebrating America with great friends!

Keri with our hostess, Vanessa
Keri, Liz, Ali & Vanessa

The best margarita machine EVER! Because the first batch always goes too fast...
Maggie & Ellie swimming despite the cold and rain
Ragen is a little apprehensive with the live lobsters
An old fashioned lobster boil

Ragen & Reese seeing how many tattoos they can apply without supervision

Daddy helping with the poppers

Ragen loved the sparklers and writing his name in the air

4th of July in the neighborhood

Each year our neighborhood puts on a 4th of July bike parade and picnic. We meet at a local park and bike decorations are provided. This year they added a balloon guy which kept the kids busy as they waited in line for the perfect balloon animal. After the bikes/scooters/strollers were decorated, the fire truck led the parade around a loop in the neighborhood. This year was a bit different since Ragen was newly on 2 wheels! Jeremy helped him along the parade route and I ended up pulling Maggie on her scooter. We were both exhausted at the end!

Happy birthday America!

Parade begins
Go, big 2-wheeler, go!!

Annual shot with the fire engine

Monday, June 21, 2010

A relief!

I nervously drove up to Susie Gravrock's for swimming today. Last year, out of the 4 days in a row that Maggie took swimming from Miss Susie, she cried for 3.75 days of it. It was awful! I was so thrilled that Maggie got right into the pool today and happily did everything Miss Susie asked of her. Way to go Mags!


Maggie and her friend Sarah from school

Backstroke kicks (which she enthusiastically made into Rockette kicks)

Diving off the side

Class always ends with a jump off the diving board!