Saturday, July 30, 2011

A Western Washington July

Every wonderful place to live has a drawback. Yet if you are privileged enough to decide where to live you are willing to take the draw back to reap the benefits.  LA has great weather but if grossly overcrowded, the Midwest has four seasons but is land locked, the South has mountains and beach but faces unbearable summers and big gross bugs etc. So for those of us in Western Washington we are willing to tolerate darkness, clouds, and rain for 9 months a year because we know the 3 summer months (here it is July, Aug and Sept) are long, in the 70's during the day, cool enough to sleep with a blanket at night, and free of mosquitoes and flies (that's right we do not even have a screen door).  The mountain snow is low enough to hike in August and  lakes warm enough to swim in without a wet suit. They say July5 is the start of summer, and while it is usually true, this summer has been the exception.

While the rest of the country hid in their AC for most of July, we froze in the 50s and 60s with all too much rain. The girls wore summer dresses inside with the heat on and put on jeans and sweatshirt outside. Moral was a bit low. Yet knowing that the rain would return in just a few months we made the most of every summer moment we could. After a day at the pool, I think it is safe to say summer is here. No AC needed but blue skies and sunshine have finally arrived. Below are some of our June and July highlights.

Meals on the deck

The Washington beaches have more rocks then sand but the girls do not seem to mind. The views and wildlife are truly amazing. The picture above was taking at Birch Bay State Park

The girls taken in the scenery
Healpee (as they say) Daddy wash the windows

Morgie watching squirrels play in the cedar in our front yard

Washington's three biggest exports are apples, marijuana, and berries. 
So we took the opportunity to go strawberry picking.

 Addy tasking the product ( it is a good thing she did not have to weigh in 
and out it would have cost us a small fortune)

Morgan actually put the berries in the bucket, Addy just ate them off the vine

If Morgan put a good one in Addy removed it to taste for quality 

We left with 22lbs of strawberries.

No big surprise who likes strawberry ice cream

So we froze some and Justin lead the jam making party with the rest

Us girls assisted

We have also been making the most of our lake side sandbox
Our crew hanging by the lake
 I took the girls to nature baby class at marine park. 
They loved looking for crabs, purple star fish, and playing with seaweed

 Vern has a hard start to the summer. The tumor on her side got very large and we feared her time was short. So at the recommendation of our beloved vet, who believed Vern would do well under surgery (she is 14), we had the 6.5lb tumor (mind you Vern is only 35lbs) removed. Well Dr. Johnson was right. Vern did great, drank a big gulp from the fountain of youth and is a much happier girl. She is my first baby and we are so grateful for her health and every day she shares with us.

We have spent alot of time at playgrounds

 Alot of time
 Laughed a ton
And helped Vern heal - hear she is sporting her Iowa City American Leagon poker tee shirt
Stay tuned for more summer adventures with the DuPre family

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Our East Coast Trip Part 3- Myrtle Beach, SC

We left Atlantic Beach and drove three hours south to spend some time with Justin's dad and Diane. There we enjoyed some good meals, quality pool time, and a great visit with family.

John always makes a point to dig up some great kids toys. Addy and Morgan loved the big piano.

 Addy and Grandaddy playing in the yard

 Addy really liked the multch

A good night story the night before we left to go home. 
Thank you for a great visit!

Our 2011 East Coast Trip- Part 2 The Carolina's

From New Jersey we flew to Myrtle Beach SC. We spent a few hours with Justin's dad's family and then  drove 3 hours to Atlantic Beach NC. The beach is always a highlight of our trip. The weather is warm, the beach is 2 blocks away, and Justin's friends come from all over the state to hang out. Within a few minutes of arriving the girls jumped in the wagon and Grandma Judy pulled them to the beach. They love the wagon. we fill it with beach toys and head out to the sand.

Morgan took to the beach quickly. She played in the sand and put her toes in the water
(Oceacee as she calls it).
At first Addy admired the sand from the safety of my lap but in no less then a day had toys in hand and was planning the next castle

Miss Morgan's toes in the sand

The biggest highlight of the beach was meeting our new nephew Brock. "Baby Brock" as Addy and Morgan now refer to him is sooooo cute and Jill is an amazing mom.

Brock Nelms


looking too cool

walking out to the beach with Grandma

Addy showing off her water shoes (thanks Gena! Great hand-me-down)

Riding out on the pier

What a view

Addy loving it

Pier and Reed Williamson (one of Justin's oldest and closest friends)

Addy enjoying the beach scene

Addy helping Grandma with Brock

 Mark (another great hometown friend of Justin's) came down from the mountains with Phil (a great college friend) and he awesome son Wilson.

 Addy building a sand castle with Grandma

 Paul, Justin and Phil hanging on the beach

Lauren and Macy Ford look so cute in the their matching suits 

Jason, our Bellingham friend who moved back to Virgina, 
drove down to hang with us and make sand castles

 And what is a good beach day without ice cream?

 The start of another beach day

The next set of photographs 
 were all taken by Justin's close friend Mark Newton
He is an very talented and it is so nice to see him each year- thanks Mark 

One day we hope to live closer so that the Carolina beach is not so far away. Until then we are grateful to have had such a nice visit with Justin's mom, sister, cousins, and quality friends. Thank you to all that made the drive- we miss and love you.