Day 1020 | Meet Fiesty

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We woke up to a fun surprise this morning: we caught our friendly chipmunk. The boys and I immediately, pajamas and all, delivered him to his new home (one mile away and across a river) . I think Feisty will be happy there. Chase said as we were leaving, "I hope he comes back to visit." I don't think he fully understood the objective of our morning adventure. 

Day 1119 | Fabric Art

This  

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Man, it turns out that you just have to stay home for two days in a row to make a dent in your to do list. We had a couple family outings and some good quality time along the way, but the take-away from the weekend was productivity! 

My favorite project was this fun fabric wall art that we put together for the very large and very bare wall in the family room. I collected the sewing rings from a couple of thrift stores a few months ago and finally found the fabric for them this week. For under $35 we created a pretty substantial piece of art. I'm digging it. 

Day 1118 | S'mores

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The cooler temps today necessitated the first fire in our new fire pit. The boys loved having a campfire in our backyard...with s'mores and everything. I have to admit, I'm usually not a big fan of the s'mores combo, but tonight it really hit the spot. Maybe it was the company or maybe it was the cook (thanks, Chris), but whatever it was, tonight's s'more will go down as my favorite one yet. 

 **And yes, they are always wearing helmets. 

Day 1117 | A Nature Nut

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Chase had a great week as a Beaver Creek Reserve Nature Nut. He studied the anatomy of insects, can tell you the difference between a frog and a toad, learned a bunch of new songs, and spent a ton of time outside. 

Aside from a hefty commute (25 minutes each way, four times a day), it was a super fun + educational way for our little nugget to spend his mornings this week. I'd recommend this summer camp to anyone.

Day 1114 | Uncle Matt

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We sent Uncle Matt on his way this evening after a fun day together. Robbe got to enjoy some quality solo time with him, and share his favorite coffee shop with him, and even crafted with him at the Children's Museum. Chase was away at camp but it's obvious that Uncle Matt made an impression because he was included in a drawing Chase created. 

Thanks for a fun visit, Uncle Matt!

Day 1112 | Party Time

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We had a wonderful celebration of my mom today: a retirement party! A whole bunch of her friends + family partied at our house today to congratulate her on all of her accomplishments. The company [and the weather] could not have been better.

I will say, however, I am tired. We've been running non-stop since before we left for DC and I'm ready for a second to catch my breath. Hopefully nothing crazy comes up this week and our little family can enjoy a more relaxing existence. 

Day 1110 | Strawberry Picking

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Guess what? We didn't have to drive 45+ minutes and deal with massive crowds to pick strawberries this morning. Crazy, right?

I wouldn't say it was a bumper crop but we walked away with two pounds of strawberries after 30 minutes of picking so we aren't complaining. Man, berry picking is the best. 

Also, I'll take the chance to reveal our 2017 EC Summer Bucket List so I can check the first one off the list. It's going to be a good [and busy] summer.

2017 EC Summer Bucket List

  • Discover 3 new parks
  • Take a pony ride at a festival
  • Weekend camping trip
  • Pick strawberries - CHECK!
  • Pick blueberries
  • Attend a city or county fair
  • Build a tree fort
  • Bike a city trail
  • Stay up past bedtime
  • Visit an animal shelter
  • Swim in three different pools - ONE DOWN
  • Play mini golf
  • Complete summer reading program at the library
  • Ride the mini steam train
  • Eat a s'more (Chase has requested one without the marshmallow)
  • Attend an Express game

Day 1108 | Farewell, Red House

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Can you believe it's really gone? Our beautiful red house is now this lovely shade of blue. I can't say it doesn't look really nice. I can't say that it looks worse in any way. I can say it was a bit of a punch to the stomach to walk up to our little slice of DC and have it be almost unrecognizable. 

The whole trip to DC felt a little that way, actually. We couldn't have enjoyed our trip more and it was SO good to see many friends and our favorite spots in the city, but it also was sad to have to walk away again. The city is different now in a lot of ways and this little red--I mean blue--house is the most concrete evidence of the shift. 

I miss that house. I miss our friends. I miss our favorite museums. I miss the food. I miss the energy. The past year has been a total dream and we are totally in love with our Wisconsin life, but man, DC will always have a piece of my heart. 

Day 1107 | DC to EC

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We made it back to EC this afternoon. Now that we have tucked the boys into bed and are unpacked and starting the recovery process, I can officially say that our trip to DC was a total success. The boys were total champs and put up with all the social visits and schlepping across the city without so much as a breakdown or complaint. I know, I can barely believe it either. Well, for the record, there were two *smallish* breakdowns. Chase was totally bummed out about the fact that our rental car looked too much like our silver Honda. Robbe couldn't believe that I didn't pack his roll of scotch tape to fix the magazines he carries around all the time. That was it. Pretty serious, huh?

For a quick summary of our trip:

DC Trip 2017 in Numbers

  • 4 full days in DC
  • 1 uniquely decorated vacation house
  • 2 museum visits
  • 3 trips to playgrounds
  • 4 houses where Miles napped
  • 12 hangouts with little friends
  • 15 hangouts with big friends + 1 work happy hour
  • 5 servings of ice cream
  • 2 frivolous stops on the Metro
  • 1 nighttime drive-by tour of a few of the monuments
  • 3 days of 90+ degree heat
  • 1 item left on the bucket list (when we tried to get Indian food yesterday, the restaurant was closed...boo!)
  • 2 walk-bys of our old houses. 
  • 10 pounds of cheese given out
  • 14 stamps collected (thanks, Postal Museum!) as our only souvenirs from the trip.  
  • 1 car rental shuttle ride for Mama Kitty (pictured above)

Day 1106 | DC Day 4

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It's late and I'm exhausted but I can't help but be beyond grateful for another lovely day in the District. The heat + traffic can't keep us down! Thank you, friends. 

2017 DC Bucket List

Day 1105 | DC Day 3

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It was another busy day in DC. We had a quiet family morning and then enjoyed a lovely evening with another family that we miss dearly. Oh...and we checked a few more things off the to do list. We're getting really close!

2017 DC Bucket List

Day 1104 | DC Day 2

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We titled today "Friend Day 2017." It was a whirlwind of emotions as we divided the day up into three segments and spent it with three separate families. My goal for the trip was to see my friends, but not only that. I wanted to actually have quality time with them and catch up. That we did. The boys were super patient as we lugged them to house to house. It was so sweet to see them remember their friends and get right back to where they left off (mostly Chase, but Robbe said he remembered, too).  

Thank you to all our friends who made time to accommodate our schedule today (and thanks in advance for the friends who are going to be doing the same over the next few days). I felt so happy + excited to spend even a few hours with these folks and yet I left feeling a bit sad. It's sad to say goodbye [again]. It's sad to realize first hand that time just keeps ticking by and that you're not as close with people as you once were. It's sad to look back on this old life and accept that you're not a part of it anymore. 

But, don't get me wrong, I left the houses beyond happy to continue to cross paths with these beautiful people and will [undoubtedly] see them again. 

p.s. Red house isn't red anymore! The top right photo is what it looks like now. I'm still digesting my feelings about this. I'm sure it'll resurface as a future blog post.
 

2017 DC Bucket List

Day 1103 | DC Day 1

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It was a long day full of DC fun. We started out with a donut + coffee at one of our favorite markets, then hit The Mall for the National Air and Space Museum, then headed over to the National Postal Museum before having lunch at Union Station.

But that's not where the fun ended: the boys and I headed over to our old neighbor's house for naptime + playtime while Chris met up with his old colleagues. A quick dinner on the outdoor patio at Whole Foods and then back to vacation home for bedtime. Oh, and then I snuck out again to spend some quality [kid-free!] time with another friend on the Hill. 

Whew. I'm tired just writing all of that. And worst of all, after that crazy day, we only checked 1.5 items off our Bucket List. We better step up our game tomorrow.

2017 DC Bucket List

Day 1102 | A DC Adventure

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We're back in DC!! It was a long day of travel filled with car ride, shuttle rides (Chase's personal favorite), and a plane ride, but we're here now and are super excited for all of our adventures.

We've got quite a jam-packed schedule with a full DC bucket list to show for it:

Day 1101 | Garden Boxes

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As promised, here's what's going on in our garden boxes. Look how good these veggies are looking! We've got tomatoes, broccoli, green beans, leeks, green pepper, cucumbers, and carrots all starting to make an appearance. I know *practically* nothing about gardening so maybe this little experiment will fail miserably, but you've got to start somewhere, right? And the boys are just so excited about snacking on the fresh produce...if they can stand the wait.