Monday, November 3, 2014

Summer Stay-cation

Trying to get Shad to take any time off work is like pulling teeth. He is just so busy and stressed with all that he needs to accomplish at work that he doesn't want to take time off unless it is really necessary. He had saved up so much vacation this year, because he hardly took a day off last year. Luckily he is getting better! We finally planned out a BIG family vacation for the holidays (Florida for Thanksgiving! Whoop!) AND I got him to take a few days off this summer. Just to have a stay-cation together as a family. Just to finish up any home/yard projects and enjoy the summer weather together, and to just have a breather from work. I'm not sure how he doesn't get so burned out, with his long days. But, as always, we are very thankful for his wonderful job and really have nothing to complain about. We are very blessed. 

First things first. We had to get the crew looking' good. It had been YEARS since I had haircut. And I hardly ever go out and spend money on such things. But I decided since he was going to be home I would take advantage of some me time. I went to a local salon and paid way to much for a little pampering and a fantastic haircut. :) 

Me and my boys after haircuts all around! 

After the morning of pampering, Owen was really into the idea of bowling. So we decided that we would take the family bowling. It was a hit! The kids all loved it. Even Kaisa! Owen is such a funny boy sometimes. He really doesn't do well with loud noises, so he plugged his ears the ENTIRE time, even though we were the only ones in the whole place, so it wasn't loud. And he seemed a little stressed out, but he said he loved it and wanted to go again. So its a win, I guess! 

Look at those smiles! 

The end results... not my best game. But Owen didn't do too bad! 

We also took the boys out for ice cream together. As you can tell, they enjoyed it. :) 

This boy loves him some chocolate ice cream! 

A favorite summer pastime for all my kiddos, running through sprinklers!! A must do on our Stay-cation. 

Oh man, it doesn't get much cuter than Kaisa in a swimsuit! Seriously, adorable. 

One morning we also had some old friends from our time in Spokane move into town and invited them over for a morning of catching up. We both had 3 kids since we've last lived in the same area, so we let the kids play for awhile. I love getting together with old friends. Unfortunately, I did not take any pictures of our first reunion together.  

Owen absolutely LOVES Seattle. He loves going downtown and seeing all the fun spots and skyscrapers. He also LOVES the sounder. So we decided to do one day in Seattle with the kids, walk around, pack a lunch, and let Daddy and the boys ride the sounder home. It was such a fun day, and Owen and Nathan loved every minute of it! 

Our first stop was Daddy's Seattle office at the Columbia Tower. Just the boys got off with Daddy to ride to the top and take in the view of the city. (I didn't want to pay to park on a weekday!) 

They love their city! 

This picture melts my heart. SO CUTE. 

Afterwards we drove over to the Seattle Center and walked around the space needle, which of course the boys love. And then we walked down to the Sculpture Park. We had never been, and I really wanted to go. I wish we had more time! It is such a fun park to walk around and you get a pretty spectacular view of the Olympic Mountains and The Sound. 

View of the city from the park. 

View of Olympics. 

Pushing these strollers up and down the hills of Seattle was no joke! Ha. 

We then rode the monorail, another favorite of the kids, to walk down to Pike's Place. Owen loves walking around looking at the fish and the water. And for some reason he is super obsessed with the Gum Wall. Funny kid. 

The monorail. 

My personal contribution! 

Love this boy. 

Water Fountains are so much fun. 

The kids love this International Fountain. Kaisa was super bummed about having to leave it. 

After more walking around, and eating our lunch/dinner, we knew it was time to take the monorail back to our car and head over to the main event: The Sounder! I dropped the boys off and they were eager to get aboard the train! 

On the Sounder. 

I met them at the station, and they were beaming. A real train. And if you know Owen and Nathan, trains are nothing short of awesome. 

The next day, just happened to be my birthday. So I was able to plan out my day. Shad and I had heard there was a root beer store up in Lynnwood, with free tastings on the first Saturday of each month. So we packed up the kids and grandparents and drove an hour to the Root Beer store! It was hilarious. Like wine tasting for Mormons. We tasted all kinds of Root Beer. Who knew there were so many!?! Some were very, very not good. The guy who worked there took his job very seriously and was very into all the different kinds and tastes off all the root beers. Like I said, hilarious. There was even some on tap, for premium root beer floats! We bought a bunch of different kinds of root beers. Yum. 

Here the kids are tasting their root beers! 

And since we just happened to be in Lynnwood, I thought we'd stop at Cafe Rio for my birthday lunch! So Yummy!!! 

I came home to treats on my doorstep and more treats brought over by good friends. I'm a lucky girl. Turning 29 certainly tasted delicious. 

Sweet Owen even made me this sign. Lucky mom. He's really into writing block letters these days. 

My parents took the kids for the night, and Shad and I went out shopping at south center and walked around for an evening kid free. Overall a successful birthday.

Evening the sunset knew it was my special day. So pretty. 

Sunday, of course, we went to church and recovered from a fun staycation together. And prepped for a Monday back to reality. I think we will do a Summer Stay-cation again next year. No stress of travel and a chance to enjoy all the fun things we have here around us. There really is SO much to do around here!