Monday, June 27, 2011

One

One year ago today.

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He still snuggles me. Just like this. Thankfully now his face is fatter and mine is slimmer.

Some 365 days later…

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More here.

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In honor of ONE I’ve only fully cried ONE time today. This is impressive, considering I’m super weepy. I feel so differently about Max turning one than Anderson turning one. I could blame it on a lot of things. My mom got an earful of those things this afternoon, but still, I can’t quite identify my feelings today.

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Any one else out there spent their 2nd child’s 1st birthday bawling?

I love, love, LOVE you Maximuso! Happy Birthday my sweet baby.

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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Here’s to Alaska

(John Denver anybody?)

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Have you ever had one of those family vacations that was just magical? The kind where everyone gets along, shares, laughs and thoroughly enjoys each other? My family had one of those vacations two weeks ago. We took a 7-day cruise through beautiful Alaska. No kiddos. Just the 10 of us: adult children, spouses and Mom & Dad. Was this our first vacation ever where no one disagreed and there was NO drama? I think so. And it was just magical. My family members are my friends, and I recognize how special that is. All was not perfect, (see lowlights) but most problems happened before or after the actual vacation and in hindsight, they just made things more memorable. Right, Dad?

Highlights:

Being home alone for 2.5 days before the cruise while Harley traveled with the kids to my in-laws. Also my 6 hour flight to Seattle all alone.

Views from a mountain top in Ketchikan.

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Harley winning an Elvis impersonation contest and being awarded a bottle of champagne.

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The food and the ample time and freedom to enjoy it. Favorites: salmon, sushi, lobster, chips & guac and swan shaped cream puffs.

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Family book club: The Hunger Games.

Allison’s schedule.

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Watching cute old people dance.

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Napping poolside.

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Sailing through Tracy Arm Fjord. Beautiful! DSC_0277DSC_0301 DSC_0274IMG_5168

Hiking to Mendenhall Glacier. Then jumping for joy.

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Whale watching in Juneau.

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One perfectly warm afternoon spent in the sun.

DSC_0230DSC_0225Lots of family gaming.

Surprising my mom by showing up to dinner wearing a bridesmaid dress (my aunt’s) from her wedding.

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Great family discussions over pleasantly drawn-out, multi-course meals.

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DSC_0350DSC_0360 Zumba class with about 50 women and my dad. Sadly no pictures.

Sailing on the lovely Sapphire Princess.IMGA0009DSC_0403

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Shopping in Skagway.

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Watching my dad debate whether or not to approach Mike Huckabee (yep, he was on our boat), decide to do it, walk all the way up to him, then chicken out. For the record, my dad isn’t really a fan, but he wanted to wish him well. Also for the record, later in the week my dad successfully approached Huckabee.

Dancing with my sisters.

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Cheryl teaching me and Lisa a Body Jam routine around midnight in the dance club, then Cheryl not batting an eyelash as 5 total strangers joined in.

DSC_0397 Poolside pizza.

Days at sea. My family loves these. On vacation and at home.

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Dressing fancy.

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Alaskan wildlife.

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Getting tight with one of the ship’s entertainers: a ventriloquist from Lancaster County who just happened to be on my flight. He also happened to be a Mennonite. Fascinating guy. He and his wife make a (good) living traveling the country with a bunch of dummies sharing Biblical messages. I couldn’t get enough of his peculiar life story.

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Victoria, Victoria, Victoria. Peacocks roaming, flowers blooming, waves lapping… I LOVED this gorgeous British Columbia capital!

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Virgin strawberry daiquiris and the pool boy (Tom) who kept them coming.

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“Team Mikey” winning the ship’s group game “Majority Rules” and being awarded lame prizes.

Seattle! Seattle is so great!

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Unlimited, uninterrupted time with Harley.

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Knowing my kiddos were in excellent hands, which spoiled them rotten, down in Jerome, Idaho.

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And the number one highlight: belly laughing with my family. Time and time again.

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IMG_5392 Leapfrog outside the Governor's Mansion in British Columbia.

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Can you spot the creeper above?

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Lowlights

Not packing appropriately for cold weather, wind and hikes.

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Cheryl & I humiliating ourselves singing the wrong karaoke songs in the wrong keys.

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Packing waaaay too many people and bags into one car.

IMG_5437 IMG_5438 IMG_5457 Road tripping from Jerome, ID to Sandy, UT with four kids 3 and under.

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Locking the keys in the car at a gas station in Washington state.

Running out of gas in Idaho.

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But let’s end on a highlight picture. Fabulous vacation! I love my family!

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