Summer took forever to start and now it’s taking forever to end. Weather-wise. It’s mid-October now, and the weather hasn’t got the memo that it’s fall. Not cool. Literally and figuratively. And being that it’s mid-October, let’s get right to summer.
TRIPS. Summer had a few trips, some standard and some new. Each trip has its own post so I don’t ramble on here.
All about our trip Silverwood here.
LINCOLN CITY, REDWOOD FOREST, & CALIFORNIA
All about the road trip here.
A kiddo-free trip with one of my really good friends. All about Shelton here!
All about camping in a cabin here.
HIKES. Not as many hikes as planned but no complaints. Something is better than nothing! Most have separate posts, linked below for more pictures galore.
FLAMING GEYSER STATE PARK
All about Flaming Geyser State Park here.
One of the hikes that I didn’t make an individual post about. Not sure why but I’m not going back and making one at this point. Moss Lake in pictures.
All about Talapus Lake here.
An oldie but a goodie, we hit up Redmond Watershed with our weekly hiking friends. No individual post, only a few pictures. We had planned on another hike this day but there was some sort of training going on in the parking lot. We switched things up 10 minutes before we were set to meet.
BOULDER GARDEN LOOP
I’m still not over the fact Boulder Garden Loop has kid-friendly listed on the WTA page. Haha. Actually, I’m over it, I just laugh now. All about the not so kid-friendly hike here.
GOLD CREEK POND
A short one but worth the drive. All about Gold Creek Pond here.
IRON GOAT TRAIL
One of the—if not THE—best kiddo hikes we’ve done. All about Iron Goat Trail here.
Another train-themed hike, the Snoqualmie Tunnel. All about the two-mile jaunt here.
This one, no individual post. This sucker is my goal, to be able to hike up without a single break. It has kicked my ass the two times I took it on over summer. It’s just over 2000 feet—straight up—in about 1.5 miles. The legs feel great, it’s the lungs that need work. Planning on going again in the coming days. And maybe I’ll get to see the owl again. Super cool!
BREWERY PARK AT TUMWATER FALLS & BILLY FRANK JR. NISQUALLY NATURE PRESERVE
Part of the Shelton trip, Karann and I hit up both of these mini-hikes on our way home Saturday morning.
OSPREY PARK & SULTAN RIVER TRAILS
Not really a hike but kind of a hike? I’m adding it under hikes anyway. We met friends (whom we hadn’t seen in probably three years?!) at Osprey Park. I love when you meet up with friends after some time, and it’s like nothing much changed. It was so nice to see them! The kiddos played at the park a bit before we hit the trails leading to the Sultan River. Such a beautiful place!
ICICLE GORGE NATURE LOOP
Checked off during our Leavenworth trip. About the four-mile hike in this post.
BIRTHDAY SEASON KICK OFF. Laine started birthday season in July. We’re almost at the end—just in time for Halloween to kick off holiday season.
Laine’s 11! All about her birthday here.
SUMMER CAMPS. This is more for me, to remember which camps we did over summer 2022.
PCC COOKING CAMP.
ROCK CLIMBING CAMP.
MOUNTAIN BIKING CAMP.
Nothing really worth writing about. And I don’t have any pictures from the PCC cooking camp or farm camp. Swimming lessons aren’t really a camp but I’m adding it here. Also adding hip hop, which was a short six-week summer class. I wanted to be sure Saige loved it before signing up for the whole year class. I’m leaning toward maybe one camp per kid next summer. Well, probably two mountain biking camps for Blaise. And maybe a sleep-away camp for Blaise and Laine. So not one but three for Blaise. I swear, I try to cut things back and I can’t even this far in advance, haha.
Everyone needs someone in their life who looks at them the way Blaise looks at Maive! Such loving, amazing kids we have.
Highlights, check. On to going through photos from each month to remember what all we did. The scary thing is, the picture of Laine in front of the Mamma Mia poster… I hadn’t remembered going until I saw the picture?! My memory has always been shot unless you ask me to remember tidbits about people I’ve met throughout my life. I can meet someone once, 15 years ago, and the next time I see them I’ll ask about some random thing they told me. Then I look like I’m a creeper because they forget they met me—let alone told me—and I clearly remember everything about them. Haha.
JUNE. Everything school and school-year activities ended. And the summer weather never showed. Not that I’m complaining. Surprisingly, we had a calm start to summer. And by calm, I mean busy but not our normal summer busy. It was a nice change. Next summer the plan is to be even more calm.
Summer fun kicked off at Lake Sammamish on a somewhat cool day. I’m always amazed at how willing the kids are to swim regardless of the outdoor and water temperatures. One of our longtime friends lives on the lake with a private beach. They hosted a small meetup with some of the kids from the part-time public school our kiddos attend. It’s always fun hanging out with them.
The kiddos’ Wilderness classes held a graduation at Tolt MacDonald in early June. We went. It was a nice celebration of all the kiddos, in all their different programs.
Saige and Baby must have been in school because I don’t have them in any pictures from this outing. I remember hitting the trail and Starbucks, and then stopping by the yellow park on our way home.
LAST DAYS OF SCHOOL
The kiddos on their last days of school programs. Laine was in the middle school play at her part-time public school. She did great! She and Blaise are both signed up for drama this school year. I was surprised Blaise wanted to take drama but I know he’ll be great just like Laine. And ice cream for the younger gals after their last day of school.
Haha, not really. Baby loves one of our friend’s youngest kiddo, and I hear is really great with her when she’s over. I’m surprised but not really. All of our kiddos love babies. And a dip in the hot tub on a chilly summer day, at her friend’s house with the baby sister.
Maive! It felt like we spent every Thursday in June at Tolt MacDonald with a group of friends. Probably because I think we did?! Maive on one of those Thursdays. She’s such a sweetie!
One of our friends moved to Gig Harbor in 2021. We finally made it down there to check out their new digs and visit. It was really great seeing them after so long! They’re doing great and the new house is beautiful. I love this change for them. The kiddos didn’t skip a beat after not seeing them for so long.
The plan was to hit the bowling alley before regular school was out for summer, to avoid crowds. Little did we know there’d be a school field trip at the bowling alley the day we decided to go. Haha. Thankfully the field trip ended at noon so we only had to kill 30 minutes. We ordered pizzas and had lunch in the dining area while the field trip finished up. I’m not sure how much bowling happened for the younger kiddos but the older kiddos seemed to enjoy themselves. About halfway through, a 20-something guy—who looked like he takes bowling seriously—started bowling in the lane next to the big kiddos. It was cute to see them mimic him. I think he even offered some pointers? I wasn’t paying too close of attention since I was now with the younger kids at the arcade machines. It was a fun early summer outing!
Saige and I went to Redmond for a double date with her buddy and her buddy’s mom. Her friend is in remission from cancer (yay!) so we get to see her more these days. This day we met at RTC for some shopping at Claire’s, dinner at Red Robin, and pottery painting at Paint Away. It was a fabulous outing and we look forward to seeing more of her friend! And bonus for some Saige and me time.
It’s a bonus to have friends who live on lakes, especially in summer. The kiddos visited their buddies who live on Lake Marcel for an afternoon of summer fun. I ended up leaving Blaise and Laine for a while longer as I left with the younger gals to hit the Carnation Farmers Market.
This is not my thing. I’m not a big fan of the Carnation Farmers Market. Not because it isn’t a great thing, it is! It’s just that I like to be invisible in the community in which I live. This is why I like to do all the things in Redmond or Woodinville, where I’m just another person. Carnation is small, and the same people go to the market every week. People with kids in the same programs as my kids, people who work around town, people in our neighborhood… I tend to avoid situations where I see people I know. But I took one for the team, and we hit the Farmers Market this day. We stayed just long enough to buy popsicles and eat them. Then we left. Of course the kiddos saw several of their friends so that was a plus for them. Although, as much as I want to support small businesses, $16 for popsicles (plus a $5 tip) was a bit much in my book. Brian ended up taking the kiddos to the market a few weeks later and found the food to be expensive. And we’re not big that’s expensive! people.
This day ended up being a bit intense, in a good way. We met up with a friend at Farrel-McWhirter at 11am. While we were there, another friend was there meeting one of their friends. After a few hours, my friend left and so did my other friend’s friend. We decided to stay and play together. Laine had practice at 4pm so we had to leave about 3:30pm. But the kids were having a great time! I ended up calling Brian who came to Farrel-McWhirter to grab Laine, and took her to the gym.
The rest of the kids and I had additional plans to meet up with other friends at a softball game, where one of the siblings was playing a championship game. In Kirkland. I needed to feed the kids because I hadn’t planned on being gone from home all day. I ordered pizzas to grab along the way. Of course it was close to 5pm and traffic in Redmond was busy, even for a post-pandemic WFH crowd. We grabbed the pizzas and made our way over to Kirkland.
It was fun to watch the softball game and to see the kiddo we know in action. They ended up losing pretty quickly, making this their last game of the season. The girls seemed disappointed—rightly so—but I thought they did a great job regardless of losing. There was a nice end-of-season ceremony before the game was officially over. We stayed for it all, and then some. We decided to hit the playground at the park to play some more. But not before grabbing ice cream from the ice cream truck. What a day! We didn’t get home until after 9:30pm. Maive was exhausted; all the kids were. A fun summer day for sure.
TOLT MACDONALD, AGAIN
Another Thursday, another day spent at Tolt MacDonald. Complete with head shaving! Saige’s shaved side had grown out quite a bit so one of our friends offered to shave it for her. She has battery-operated clippers so it worked out well! I think we must have spent a good six hours at the park. The fun kept on going.
Not sure where the other kiddos were this day?! Looks like I had Maive on the trail and we stopped for ice cream at Blake’s.
A few pictures from June at home. Baby with some kinetic sand. A tired toddler. And baking creations from either Blaise or Laine (I can’t remember whom, Blaise I think?!).
OUT & ABOUT
Laine and I saw Mamma Mia! again. Maive at the yellow park. And Maive at her first dentist appointment. We take over the dental office when we go, haha. All five kiddos are still on the no cavities list!
It’s a zoo around here, haha. We have squirrels, chipmunks, birds, lizards, snakes, bobcats, bunnies… the list goes on. There’s even a bear who lives on the hill behind our house. Some June critters. A bird flew into our house. That was fun! I was eventually able to get it back outside. But the poor thing was freaked out. It kept banging itself into the windows between the blinds. Sherman is back! Maive and I were on the front porch when she said, “There’s an alligator on the step!” Haha! I looked and it was Sherman! He’s been with us for years. I love the little guy. And yes, it’s him. He wasn’t afraid of me like the other lizards. He remembered! And a cute little bunny who was hanging out in our back yard.
Maive isn’t going to miss out on workbooks. She wants to be like the older kiddos. Although I think she spends more time lining up the crayons than actually doing any workbook pages. Not that I expect her to or anything. Whatever the two-year-old wants to do, works for me!
Maive has an unhealthy obsession with Band-Aids. Every time we go to Target, she has to have a box. We have all the bandage tins from Welly, and probably a few duplicates. And a new lunchbox for the toddler because why not? Target always tells us what we need, haha.
JULY. July kicked off birthday season with Laine and we spent the later part of the month on our road trip. The rest of the month in pictures, which should be quick!
FOURTH OF JULY
This is the one holiday I sit out. I’m not a fan of anything Fourth of July. Unless you count the quiet alone time I get at home while Brian takes the kiddos to the pancake breakfast and parade. Carnation’s thing is the Fourth fo July. They have stuff going on the entire day. This year Brian skipped out on the fireworks. It was questionable if they were going to have them. I forget why, maybe smoke or heat? Whatever the case, they did happen but Brian and the kids decided to stay home. Maybe my lack of interest in the holiday is rubbing off on them.
TOLLGATE FARM PARK
This is one of those parks I always see but have never been. Until this July day. Blaise and Laine had cooking camp in the morning; we set off to North Bend in the afternoon with all the kiddos and Brian’s mom. It was a hot day and during typical nap times, so we pretty much had the park to ourselves other than a few dog walkers. No complaints other than there is minimal shade. The kiddos got their play on at the play structure before Blaise, Laine, Maive, and I set off on the trail that circles the park. I want to go back on a cooler day to explore the trails a bit more. It appears they venture off from the park to other areas in North Bend.
If we’re in North Bend, the kiddos never let me forget there is a frozen yogurt place there. Of course we had to hit it up, it was a hot day and all.
More summer lake time! Another fun summer day. The highlight of this day was there was a grandfather at the beach, and he had a jet ski. He was giving rides to the kiddos at the beach. It’s a private beach so it’s not like he was taking random kiddos out on the water. I mean, he was, but it’s a small community so the beachgoers are all somewhat connected. Our friend knew him. Blaise loved the ride! I’m not sure where Baby stands on going out; she gave mixed reviews.
Eh, I haven’t been into the trail much these days. But that’s a whole other thing. I did hit it often enough over summer. A few pictures from different outings.
ROTARY COMMUNITY PARK
Not the park we planned on but the park we ended up going to this July afternoon. The original plan was to drop Laine at the gym and meet our friends at Wilmont. We managed to park and get out, and walked toward the playground. There was some sort of event going on, with fenced off areas and tables set up. People everywhere. I had a feeling parking was limited. I called our friend and she was looking for parking. We decided to head to Rotary instead. So much better! It was quieter and the trails there are so pretty. The kiddos played at the playground before we hit the trails. None of the kiddos wanted the time to end—we decided to grab dinner at Red Robin together. We ended up staying out until it was time to grab Laine from gym at 8pm. Another fun summer day, where we just let the day organically happen.
A summer staple, a trip to Remlinger Farms. We’ve been going long before we moved to Carnation. Visiting Remlinger was my only exposure to Carnation before we bought our home here. Saige was at her summer farm camp so I only had four kiddos. When you have five kids and you’re missing one, it feels off. I’m always doing a headcount and it throws me off when I’m missing only one. If I’m missing two, no biggie. But only one, it feels weird. We met our friends there and spent the day before leaving to grab Saige from farm camp. It’s funny, Blaise and Laine say they’re over Remlinger but they have a great time when we go, haha. We’ll see how much longer they’ll enjoy going.
This was the kiddos’ first wedding. It was a beautiful day for a beautiful couple! And I love how the picture of our kids looks like we’re a modest church-going family. Haha! I’ve never seen Baby dressed up, she looks adorable! All the kiddos do, although I’m totally biased. Blaise was thrilled to remove his belt and untuck his shirt once we made it home. But he never complained once. The wedding was at Tolt MacDonald park with the reception at Miller’s in Carnation. It was perfect.
The Gorge. Absolutely gorgeous. And The Lumineers! Amazing. I hadn’t been to a concert in years, and this one did not disappoint. My friend and I arrived around 4:30pm and spent the afternoon hanging out before The Lumineers started close to 9pm. There were opening bands who played from maybe 7pm until The Lumineers took the stage. It was a really great concert. My only small complaint is that one of my favorite songs, Big Parade, they modified performing live. Other than that—which isn’t a big deal—I would do this night over and over again. We left for the hotel in Ellensburg, arriving after midnight. The hotel oversold rooms! No room for us. We decided to drive home instead. Eh, not ideal but it worked out.
Some photos from home in July. Block building, painting, making silly faces, a rare toddler napping, celebrating eleven, cookie baking, cuddling the guinea pigs, remembering Technoblade, and squirreling!
AUGUST. I’m really trying to be finished with this post. One more month to go, phew. August, in pictures (and thankfully, there aren’t many!).
OUT & ABOUT
Let’s see. The younger gals at Blake’s with Brian, while I took Blaise and Laine to Redmond to do an outdoor escape room. Which was surprisingly better than I thought it would be, other than the heat. And we learned a bit of Redmond history. The kiddos at the Minions movie. They look thrilled that I took a picture, haha.
An afternoon (and dinner) spent in Kirkland. We went to our friend’s house to hang out together. Saige has been buddies with her friend since preschool, and her friend’s little brother is Maive’s buddy—they’re in preschool together now. These kiddos are so great together!
By August, I was summered out. All I wanted to do was sleep in and stay home. We did on they days we didn’t have plans. Even though the summer weather started late I was already over it by August. And we had traveled, with more travel on the lineup, and I was just tired.
Okay, let’s see. Maive and Baby dressed up for no reason other than they like their ‘fits. Snuggles giving me the stare-down as I ate a bowl of ice cream. She magically appears whenever there’s food around. A Maive is Cute book, made by Saige. Baby focused on making bubbles. Saige made her own breakfast, which she does almost daily. Baby reading on her Kindle while snuggled in a sleeping bag. I may have embraced the air conditioning a bit much over summer. Baby and Maive stacking tiles from a game. Maive still asleep one August morning. Baby and her buddy playing a fishing game.
And lastly, a pie celebration, Brian was promoted to principal. He’s so funny, he’s not an I want a promotion guy. In all his years, he’s never asked for a promotion or expected one. In fact, whenever he tells me he doesn’t think he’s doing well, he gets promoted. Haha! Seriously, without fail, he’ll be like, I think I need to step it up at work. And then the next week, he gets a promotion. He’s always enjoyed his profession, and works because he actually likes what he does. He doesn’t do anything above what he feels is necessary because he already has high standards for himself. And he won’t give up his work-life balance. He’s one of the few people on his team who doesn’t go above 40 hours each week. He refuses to work harder, only smarter. He says that if he can’t get his work done in 40 hours each week, then he’s not doing a good job. Rambling on, we’re quite proud of the guy! Especially me, watching him from high school on, and seeing his career progression over the years. And hearing all about the good and bad every night over the past 25ish years, since he started working as a software developer back in our college days.
This is where, totally unrelated to anything promotion (kind of but not really), I think alimony should definitely be a thing for any partner who finds themselves divorced after being married for decades, supporting their spouse in their career progression. I get so frustrated when I read negative comments about spouses getting money in a divorce for doing nothing. Brian’s where he is in his career because he has the support of me, who manages all things outside of his work. Not that he—or anyone else—can’t do it all, but likely with sacrifices. When there is a partner who takes on all the physical and mental loads of running a household and/or being the primary caretaker of kids, they are working in their own right making life easier for their partner. Not that there are any plans for us to divorce. At least not on my end. Nah, Brian says it would cost him too much if we divorced, haha! I digress.
That took forever. All finished, phew. It’s already mid-October. Which means I’m still behind on posts. Three birthdays, another trip, September, and almost October to catch up on. And one more birthday to go before all things holidays kick off. Not that it matters to anyone but myself. I better get to it…