I'm having lunch today with a good friend... in fact its taken us nearly 3 months to make this lunch date (a birthday treat for me). It really shouldn't have taken so long to schedule this - but I'm grateful for my good friend, and the fact that she's so patient with my busy schedule.
It got me thinking about the good friends we have as a family, and some really great times we've had together. These are two images I wanted to share of such times.
This image (above) was taken up at Lake Chelan, Washington on our 3rd annual camping trip with our "old" playgroup. The six oldest kiddos have known each other since they were 3 months old... and now the kids number 13! It is a fun week, and a wonderful opportunity to slow down and catch up with friends we don't get to see very often, because we moved so far away. In this photo, we had settled the kids down at night, outside, by lantern light, with a book on tape. Percy Jackson held their rapt attention... as they drifted off to sleep in no time at all – and the adults got to enjoy the quiet crackle of the campfire.
This image (below), was taken two years ago at North Twin lake, here in Central Oregon. We celebrated the beginning of summer by immediately heading out on a week long camping adventure. It was a magical week... with young puppies in love (literally), good ol' Central Oregon summer thunderstorms, lots of hot chocolate, dirt & best of all - great friends.
I encourage all of you to take a moment and celebrate the friendships in your lives. I know I can get too busy and wrapped up in the now, to really think about and appreciate the special people in my life that don't live under my own roof. I hope they know I love them... because I do!
It seems every year we yearn for warm, spring sunshine, and every year we are disheartened with spring snow. I say - find the beauty in it! Grab a warm cup of Chai... your favorite blanket and someone to snuggle with!
Two years ago, this was our back yard, and it was nearly May when I took these! The pups were actually puppies, and Sam was enjoying the fresh globs of wet snow. I wonder what this May will bring?
Last week, Sam brought home a story he'd written in class, about a trip we had taken. His (fantastic) teacher was teaching the students about using a repeating line in a story - and Sam had chosen "Are we there yet?" as his repeating line. This is funny, because the boys rarely say this on our trips - but, as Sam pointed out, it made for an effective story. The second sentence in the story was, "NO! Stop pestering me!"
I felt a bit put out because, like the repeating line, I rarely say this phrase (if ever), and never with an exclamation point! Well, I asked Sam about it, he went on to point out that sometimes you add details to a story to make it more interesting.
Yes, that's my 7 year old.
So, clearly the phrase, "are we there yet" has been top of mind lately. I was looking through some of my spring photos from last year and came across this beauty. Immediately this came to mind:
In honor of the launch of my travel series on the Disneyland family vacation (which is published on True North Parenting's blog, The Map), I wanted to share one of my favorite images from our 2010 visit to the "Happiest place on earth."
This image takes me right back to Main Street, USA, warm sun on my back and the promise of a full day exploring all that Disneyland and California Adventure have to offer.