Monday, September 15, 2014

Moonpaper Tent

I might have made a WEE mistake deciding to have Edie's birthday party on the Sunday afternoon following Jeff's high school reunion. We were just a tad sleep deprived slash hung over that day… But her actual birthday fell on Labor Day weekend this year and after a cursory check with the parents of her school friends, I confirmed that most of them would be out of town and unable to attend a party that weekend. I had plans the weekend after, so I booked it for the weekend before her birthday. And since the rest of the weekend was scheduled for Bellingham and high school reunion antics, Sunday it was. We hacked it. Barely.

We got home with an hour for me to pick up the cake I'd ordered and hoof it to the venue we'd booked in our neighborhood. This place is a weird, but sort of great space for kids parties called Moonpaper Tent. In Jeff's own words, "Is this basically just a weird lady in a costume hanging around in a rented space?" Yes, Jeff. It kind of is. But the package included dress up, face painting and an hour of imagination around Edie's chosen topic (Unicorns and Mermaids) so she pretty much loved it and word on the street is one of the other kids at the party is now having HER party there, so I think it was a hit. All I had to do was show up with the cake, unicorn plates, and goodie bags (all thoughtfully selected before our trip to Orcas (thank god)). Some photos of the party:

Face painting and dress up to kick the party off.

Making magic wands to help with their imagination/play/story/make believe/whatever:

Edie's wand:

Edie asked for strawberry shortcake, and then I stuck these amazing Unicorn toothpicks from my neighbor into it to make it more "Edie":

Friday, September 12, 2014


These piggies area ready for Hawaii!!

I said goodbye to Edie this morning when she and Jeff left for school. My Mom picked her up early and took her and my niece Caroline back to Bellingham for a cousins weekend. I feel very lucky to have 2 sets of grandparents nearby who love Edie to pieces. And I also love so much that I've raised this incredibly well adjusted kid who didn't have a problem saying goodbye to her parents (but DID say that she loves me and will be happy to see me when we get back). I think I was more sentimental than her saying goodbye. Actually, I know I was. I always feel a little emotional about getting a plane to leave her behind, but I'm also so much looking forward to reconnecting with Jeff for some QT in a place that hopefully demands nothing of us but relaxation.

We leave tomorrow morning, but I've scheduled a few posts for the next week while we're gone so do check back once in a while! 

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Orcas Vacation - Part 3

Towards the end of our time together, our friends and their 2 kids came and joined us for 2 nights. Finn is a year and a half younger than Edie and they managed to play fabulously together. This is a game Jeff invented and played with the kids for about 2 hours. It entails throwing a stick out in the water and then making the kids rake it back in using another stick. I think they would have played it another 2 hours if we'd let them, but their legs were turning blue:

Early morning reading:
This bucket washed ashore one morning and became highly coveted:
Sun in the eyes:

We roasted our dinner and dessert that evening on the beach:

Jill and Gillian:

Gin and tonics on the deck:
Edie reading to Maddie:

Happy hour on the beach, with snacks on the makeshift drift wood table:

Wednesday, September 10, 2014


You guys. Prepare to be super jealous because Jeff and I leave on Saturday morning for Maui and we are staying in what looks like my own personal paradise. This little cottage is fully fenced in and private. AND we have our own private pool, outdoor shower, fire pit and oh my god I'm really excited. Is it Saturday yet?

Happy 10 year anniversary to us.
PS don't show Edie these photos because she might kill me for not bringing her. But I can hardly wait to read books, sleep in, float in the pool, take naps, drink tropical beverages, go to the beach, and do all of the things whenever I want. I'll take Edie to Disneyland again later this year (hopefully) to make up for it. For now though, she's excited to eat treats and watch movies all week in Bellingham. Is it Saturday NOW?

Orcas Vacation - part 2

This is the part of our trip where Jeff joins us on the island and the three of us have adventures. Later in the week, some friends join us for a few days. First up is a photo that Edie took of Jeffrey picking us up on the beach for a Whaler ride:

Most nights, we liked to take an evening cruise along the shore of the island while eating chips and drinking gin and tonics in big plastic mugs:

Then we'd come home and whip up easy dinners, like these little sliders that were very tasty:

Our view first thing in the morning:

Edie and I, out for a little row boat action:

Dipping her toes in:
My favorite kind of Orcas lunch: weird hodge podge salad. This one is quinoa, feta, veggies and peperoncinis, pumpkin seeds and lots of pepper and lemon juice:
Embarking on another pre-dinner cruise:

Love this shot of Edie enjoying the boat ride:

We've reached this lovely age where she LOVES being in the boat, understands most of the safety rules involved, has total confidence navigating/getting in and out, likes to help with things like the anchor and tying on to docks, and we can just cruise as a family and point out cool stuff like seals, herons, and sea lions. This was really a big growth year for Edie and boating. She's always loved being at Orcas, but this year showed a marked increase in appreciation and ability. How lucky is this kid to be raised around boats and the water? And so far, it would appear that she has the Culver stomach of iron (as opposed to the Bruton stomach made of flan that's sat in the sun too long).

No filter:

Checking out tide pools in the early morning:

Eating a classy happy hour in Friday Harbor one evening:

It's about an hour and a half boat trip in the tiny Whaler to Friday Harbor, and this is our second summer making the trip. I was worried that last year's fun adventure was a fluke and this year would be forcing the issue, but we had an idyllic time really. We had really good clams with chorizo, shared some wine while Edie ate fish and chips and then got ice cream from Friday Harbor Ice Cream:

Jeff and Edie walking under the sign in the distance:

We asked Edie to hold onto the dock while we filled the tank with gas, but we looked a minute later and she'd looped our bow line onto the cleat like a pro!

We built this awesome fort on the beach:
Waiting on the beach for Jeff to get us:

Grilling some pizza on the BBQ:
Punching the pizza dough down:

This was also the year Edie stopped being a wuss about holding live crabs:
Doing art projects:

Rocking our berry colored pants on the beach:

Rocking our unflattering puffy coats to stay warm when we go fast in the boat:
And lastly, getting ice cream on Blakely Island: