Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Camping at La Push

We are getting to down to our last days in Washington! Sixteen days from now we'll be saying goodbye to our home here and setting out on a new adventure. 

We had a list of things we wanted to do or see while in the PNW but since we're leaving over a year and a half before we planned, we had to whittle down that list to the bare minimum. Originally a visit to La Push got cut but after Joey took his scouts there for a campout the weekend before, we decided it was too beautiful to miss. So we repacked the tent and headed out for an overnight at the beach.

Camping at La Push was a different experience for me because you had to do about a mile hike to the beach, so whatever you needed, you had to be able to carry (and one of us had to carry Curran, so that left one pack to hold everything we needed for the three of us). No car-camping here--this was the most real deal, didn't even bring a toothbrush, bare bones camping I had ever done. But it was actually quite liberating! Its nice to leave behind every extra thing for a couple days. Its amazing what you can get by without.
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After getting to the beach we found a cozy spot to set up camp. We pitched a tent, found a stream of fresh water, and started dinner. Curran is a bit of a graham cracker fiend, so he was constantly begging Joey for one more.
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After dinner it was all about exploring the beach. From the moment we got there, Curran was in heaven. Finding driftwood and stones, crawling over trees, digging in the sand....I'm not sure I've ever seen him so content or smile so much. He really was in his element, and it was such a joy to see him play and explore. 
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He probably indirectly ate half his weight in sand, but who cares? Let them be wild and happy.
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Curran was also extra lovey. He wasn't afraid of the ocean but he wanted to hold our hands, and he spent about twenty minutes running back and forth between the two of us, giggling and giving us the biggest hugs his little body could give. Seriously the best.
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Before we called it a day we enjoyed a stunning sunset and, of course, lots of s'mores.
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Did I mention that this kid did absolutely fantastic on our campout? There were no major crying fits, he slept really well, he wasn't scared of the ocean, and there were no injuries or crises. It was awesome! 
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After sleeping in and lounging around in the tent the next morning, we warmed up in the chilly weather with oatmeal and hot chocolate. And it was just the perfect morning. A beautiful beach, idyllic Washington weather, hot chocolate, my kid happily playing in the sand, and a hunk of a husband sitting next to me--what could be better?
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We packed up our things and then set out to explore the beach at low tide. We found too many jelly fish to count, infinite mussels, and lots of interesting seaweed. It was fun to point them out to Curran and watch him go "ooooh!" as we showed him something new. 
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Seeing this little guy be free and happy exploring the world will be one of my favorite ways to think of him. There were so many reasons that we thought about not going, like rain (it rained our drive there and back, but never at the beach--can I get a hallelujah?!), timing with our coming move, work, Remy, etc etc., but I'm SO glad we did it and got to make those memories with our boy. We're really going to miss Washington, and this was a great memory to leave with.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Utah Vacation + Curran's First Haircut

Last month we took our first big trip with Curran to visit some family in Utah. We decided we wanted our main focus to be on enjoying our vacation in the moment so we didn't haul around the DSLR everywhere we went, but we did take some iPhone photos to document a little. 
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The trip there didn't go exactly as we had planned. The hope was that if we left early enough (say, 2am), Curran would sleep for a while and we could make some progress tear-free. Well the sun started coming up at 3:30am, so that didn't last long. Luckily we found a rhythm with him which made the rest of the drive doable. But after 16 hours in the car, we made it!
One of our top priorities in Utah was seeing our good friend and my old roommate, Jenna. Last time we had seen her was two years ago in DC while she was on her mission, so we were very excited to see her and for her to meet Curran.
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We decided while we were in Utah that it was finally time. Apart from trimming his bangs (which resulted in a mini Lloyd Christmas), his hair had been left alone. I had let Curran's hair be because 1) I was weirdly proud of how much hair the little man had, and 2) I had hoped that if I gave it a little more time, all of that long hair would curl like his dad's. Unfortunately it looks like Curran got my hair because it is straight as a nail. So I finally conceded and agree to get his first haircut. He definitely wasn't happy about it, but he didn't really fight it either. 
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Before || After
I miss that little ragamuffin but he is quite handsome with his big boy haircut!
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The McKennas must be rubbing off on us because we are liking baseball more and more these days. We had a great time with them at a Salt Lake Bees game, despite a little rain at the beginning. Curran also did a great job sitting with us the whole game, something we weren't entirely confident in before. 
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A year later with our pal, Curran. Love him!
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Snow cones are a big thing out there and since we don't have a place around us in Washington we definitely indulged with Jen, Lee, and Grant. Curran wasn't totally convinced but after a few minutes he decided to go for it, though I don't think it was his favorite--just more snow cone for mom and dad!
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Ok, I seriously love this. 
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Joey and I really lucked out because we got to be there when my cousin went to the temple for the first time in preparation for his mission in Nevada (less than a month! ahh!). It was really special for us to be with family in the temple too. 
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And bonus! Miles flew in from California for the day to be there as well. It was so good to see him after five years and to have him and Joey meet too.
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I think one of Joey's biggest highlights was having an In-n-Out so close. Like, we ate there 3 times in the 9 days we were there. Its just good, man. Luckily we'll be a lot closer to one soon!
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Another must on our trip was seeing Rainey and Todd. They're some of the best people I know and I couldn't wait to introduce them to Curran. And a fun perk: Todd's dad is Elder Christofferson, so Joey got to meet him (and yoyo for him!) too. One of my favorite memories is watching Fourth of July fireworks with the Christoffersons five years ago so I was glad Joey got to meet him and his wife, and to have a neat photo for Curran's photobook too. 
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Right before we left Utah, Joey and I got to celebrate our anniversary (because this happened on the actual day) in Salt Lake. My uh-mazing Aunt and Uncle watched Curran for the day while we did some baby-free shopping and enjoying a relaxing dinner at FINCA. It was the longest date we had been on without the little guy, and while it was a little weird at first, it was so nice to have some substantial time to ourselves. I still can't thank Lee and Jen enough for babysitting for us!
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Curran had such a great time with Grant and Lee--it made my heart so happy to see him take to them instantly. 
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And while he wasn't the biggest fan of Jen (which truly I don't get, because he normally loves everyone and Jen is just awesome so who wouldn't like her?), he eventually warmed up enough---until Lee or Grant walked in the door, haha!
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Thank you thank you thank you for such a wonderful week and we can't wait to see you again!

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