entering into summer

Things are in full summer mode in our house now (well, except the weather, which is drizzly and overcast today). We’ve been busy working and playing outside, keeping up with Luke, and embracing summertime fun.

IMG_6589We added another raised vegetable bed and a couple wine barrels to our garden so we have more veggies this year. As always, we probably started a little later than we should have, so hopefully everything still works out okay. Luke loved using the new garden bed as his own personal play space for a couple days. Then he helped Ian plant seeds, which he loved. Almost every time we are outside he “plants seeds!” by moving around dirt or whatnot with his shovel. He will also walk around the yard asking what different plants are called – definitely his father’s son.

IMG_6597_2The kiddo also takes after his dad in his love for smoothies. He’s also mastered a pretty awesome “cheese” face.

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And he turned 2! We had a family bbq at my parent’s house, which worked out well since they are on the south side of the Skagit River bridge, which wasn’t fixed at the time, and Ian’s family all lives south of there. Luke loved seeing all his family, getting lots of attention, food, and some great play time with his older cousin Isabel.

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On Fathers Day we headed over to a local berry farm for their Strawberry Festival. We enjoyed free strawberry sundaes and Luke enjoyed a few turns on the tractor train. He is kind of obsessed with driving lately – he recently realized that he always has to sit in the back seat of the car, and now every trip involves his loud protests to “drive!” or at least sit in the “front!” Well, this little tractor train was perfect – if you ask him about it, he usually says “drive!” It may have been the best day of his life so far.

It is so fun to see his personality emerge. The minute we got out of the car and he saw the train, he hustled over to it and wanted to get on. So in he went, and a minute later he was headed out into a field with a bunch of kids he didn’t know and a man driving a tractor to who knows where. We waved as he rounded the corner and he was just happy as a clam, even though he probably had no real idea of where he was going. I had to laugh, because I was the exact opposite as a child – I would have had to watch the train go around at least five times or more, so I would know what would happen. And if there were too many other kids I didn’t know, I probably would have had no part in it. To Luke, it’s all an adventure and every kid is a potential friend. It’s been awesome to get to parent this brave, extroverted little guy.

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A few days later we headed out to another berry farm to pick strawberries. We picked 18 lbs of yummy berry goodness – well, I use the term “we” pretty loosely. I picked a couple pounds while Luke ate a few, then I spent the rest of the time running around with Luke while Ian picked, we all had a great time. We spent the next few nights putting up 17 pints of jam and a few pints of strawberry syrup. Luke got pretty creative in finding ways to nab a berry or two…

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So that’s what we’ve been up to lately! I hope your summer is off to a great start as well!

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running through the pumpkin patch

We headed over to Bellewood Acres a couple weeks ago to pick out our pumpkin and some apples. Last year Luke fell asleep during this trip, this year he wouldn’t stop running! Bellewood changed its location, which was a little sad to us – now they have a huge market and restaurant area, but the farm just isn’t as homey as their old one. Nevertheless, Luke was super excited to be there and run up and down the rows of pumpkins. Here are some photos from our time there.

Giddyup.

Seriously, he ran the entire time.

…with the occasional break to excitedly point to various pumpkins.

Me and my little man. Such a big boy now.

My boys. Love them.

He loved all the colors and textures.

It was a fun family outing.

I’ll be back later this week with some exciting news, stay tuned!

so long, sweet summer

Despite the beautiful sunny days we’ve been having around here, I’m starting to embrace the fact that fall has arrived finally arrived. We had a long, full summer, and I am grateful for every moment.

This past spring, when the sunlight got longer and the weather started to take a turn towards warmth, all my emotions and memories from last summer started to come rushing back. And it was wonderful. Last summer was definitely one of the best seasons of my life.

Not to go all Koine Greek on you, but last summer I felt like I was living in kairos time. Chronos is the word used to describe chronological time, but kairos is a special experience of time – an appointed time, or an experience that is beyond the normal chronos of daily life.

Last summer was such a blessing – Luke entered our family so quickly and seamlessly, a perfect gift from a gracious God. We spent hours snuggling, staring at him, just being together as a family of three. Luke was on a 3 hour schedule, but we still lived beyond that. I was working 15 hours a week, but I was able to take Luke into the office with me – though it often took me 7 hours to get in 5 hours of work, it didn’t matter. We were together and content; it was such a special season where chronological time mattered a lot less than the time we were experiencing.

{And don’t get me wrong – there were days when I prayed for grace, grace and more grace; but God always delivered on that, with the added bonus that Luke was a very content newborn.}

I remember times last summer when I would think about what this summer would be like – would it even compare? The joy and contentment I felt in becoming Luke’s mom was so incredible, it was hard to imagine life beyond that season.

And really? This summer was great. Different, but so great.

Naps in the yard were replaced by lots of play in the kiddie pool and splash table…

It’s funny, because gardening seemed challenging last year – trying to fit it into his 3 hour cycles. I imagined that this summer he would be able to play happily next to us while we worked… that didn’t happen until a couple weeks ago. Finally his quest for dangerous places and gross things to put in his mouth was replaced by a new satisfaction in simply playing in the dirt.

I will say that he and Ian had the cutest little routine all summer. Ian would get him all set up in the stroller and take him out to water the plants and tend to the garden. My energetic, always-moving little boy would sit contentedly and watch his daddy, often for an hour or so. I would look out the window and see Ian explaining something to him and Luke would be watching with such an earnest little face. Freaking adorable. And sometimes dad would let him hold the garden tools.

Last year outings to the park were more for my sake than Luke’s. And it was really only fun if I happened to be babysitting an older kiddo – though I’d never complain about those newborn snuggles.

Luke’s first trip to Boulevard Park.

But this summer Luke was all over trying the slides, climbing up stairs and finding awesome mole hills to destroy.

Adventures and outings were a ton more fun this year. Last year Luke hung out in the ergo when we’d go somewhere, which he absolutely loved.

This year he got to participate in whatever we were doing, and, like any kid, he just loves to be included. Okay, he especially likes to be included when it comes to food…

Luke’s first gyro at the St Sophia Greek Festival.

One thing that people pick up on pretty fast is that Luke is very excitable. When he sees someone or something that makes him excited, he starts making excited grunts and sounds and points to everything in sight. So taking him to new place is a lot of fun because he reacts so much. A trip to the Vancouver Aquarium was a recent favorite.

Again, it was just a really fun summer. There were definitely moments of kairos, and the chance to experience the growing joy of really knowing someone. Last summer we nurtured and cared for a tiny little baby; this summer we watched our baby become a toddler and develop all kinds of new skills and aspects to his personality. It is such a privilege to be his parents, and every season brings new joys and challenges – I am grateful for the past and excited for the future.

Typical family moment captured by Evantide Photography.

family vacay to sequim

We quickly named this vacation “the trip of the pointing finger,” as Luke is really into pointing at everything he sees these days. This photo was taken outside of Port Angeles, where we stopped to check out some tide pools.

We took off for 5 days last week to go on our first real family vacation. We chose Sequim because it’s pretty chill – there were short day ventures that we wanted to do, but still plenty of time to keep Luke rested and us relaxed.

Luke was ecstatic to spend so much time together as a family, and he was especially wanting time with daddy this week. They were really in sync with each other, as evidenced by their matching expressions on the ferry ride…


Ian found us an awesome little place right on the straight. It was perfect – quiet with a great view, 2 bedrooms and a kitchen, and lots of open space for Luke to crawl around and explore.

The view from the living room in the morning.

Luke hanging out with his toys – I’ll be writing about his fabric photo book soon!

We checked out the Dungeness Spit one afternoon. Luke loved playing in the sand and getting his feet wet.

We also drove up to Hurricane Ridge. The views were beautiful – we are so lucky to live in such a beautiful place. I was reminded of that, not only by the scenery, but also by the ridiculous photo-taking of a scruffy looking deer. I always wonder where those people are from…

Tourists go crazy over a deer sighting.

Family photo!

Luke exploring with dad.

Sequim will host its annual lavender festival soon, as they have many lavender farms. We stopped in at one to look around. When I see these pictures, I realize how big Luke is getting!

I look like I need a nap.

One of the things I was super excited about doing was going to the Olympic Game Farm. I went with my family when I was younger and I remember laughing so hard. It’s this crazy little farm that has animals that have been used in movies, and you drive through in your car and feed them through your window. I’m not even joking – elk, bison, llamas, yaks – they come right up to your car for bread. I laughed just as hard going through this time, especially when two bison were trying to stick their heads in our car and Ian was yelling “wifey!” while Luke sat on his lap looking somewhat perplexed by the situation. It was so much fun, and our car still has some lick marks on the doors and windows.

Luke spots a prairie dog.

Bison eye.

They also had a small freshwater aquarium, which Luke enjoyed.

More pointing…

One of our last stops in Port Townsend before taking the ferry home was at Dogs-A-Foot, a yummy little hot dog stand! Also, there was a thunderstorm passing through, which made it extra awesome.

So all in all, it was a great family vacation! We all had fun, got quality time together and had a chance to relax.

Summer is in full swing around here, but I’ll try to be back soon to talk about the two fabric books I’ve recently made for Luke! Until then, enjoy the sunshine!

it must be spring

That’s my excuse for being absent from this little corner of the internet.

Half of you just want to see photos of Luke, so I’ll get that taken care of right now…

Yep, he’s still a happy camper. Mama is going through a bit of a “he’s growing up so fast!” panic, so baby boy may be getting extra snuggles and cuddles at the slightest whimper.

So for the other half of you that are hoping to hear about my latest crafting endeavors… well, you’ll just have to hold tight. I am on the cusp of finishing this incredibly awesome project for Luke – I’m so happy with how it’s turning out! So stay tuned for the reveal.

And what about the project I mentioned last time? Oh, as predicted, it quickly took a turn and spiraled into a huge undertaking. I’d say I’m about 10% finished. Yay.

What else have we been up to? Dealing with 5 yards of compost (okay, that’s all Ian – I’ve only pulled a few weeds here and there), planting some of our veggies, and getting the yard cleaned up when it’s sunny (or at least not completely soggy). I also took action on my obsession to make crockpot yogurt. More on that later.

Ian and I have also been discussing painting our shed (I know – why would we even think of covering up that pale pinkish awesomeness?!). As often happens with these conversations, it spiraled into trying to find a paint color for the eventual painting of our whole house. Of course this happened after our bedtime, when our judgment isn’t at its peak. The next thing I know, we’re using one of those useless paint preview programs where you upload a photo and play around with different colors. This is the photo we uploaded:

I then spent the next ten minutes snickering about the awkward/creepy Ian in the window. We don’t even know what’s going on with this picture – is he kneeling? sitting right up against the window? We may never know.

On that note, I’ll wrap this up. I hope you are enjoying springtime as much as we are!

more light

I have been so surprised by how much I’ve enjoyed “springing ahead” with daylight savings time this year! I love the cozy, winter days and don’t mind the dark evenings. But this year I’m really welcoming the extra light in the later hours. I feel strangely nostalgic and sentimental – the brighter evenings trigger memories of  having Luke last summer, and it makes my heart so happy to remember those early days of falling in love with him.

It also makes me excited for things to come this spring and summer. Baby boy seems to LOVE being outside – in his swing, going for a walk, or inspecting the garden with daddy. I’ve let him play in the hazelnut shell mulch a couple times, and he has been fascinated by them (he’ll actually examine them for a good five minutes before attempting to taste them – that’s a long time for him!).

I’m excited to work in the vegetable garden again, growing yummy sugar snap peas and tons of lettuce.

I’m ready to see our hibernating flowers blossom and bloom again.

I’m looking forward to laundry drying in the breeze.

I am trying to be patient as the weather catches up with the extra light, but it’s not easy.

What about you? Has the added daylight cheered you up?