Part 2 of Summertime Catch Up

Oh dear lord, the summer is officially over.  Not just summer.  OCTOBER.  How does this keep happening to me?  I keep feeling like at some point, I’m going to get caught up on everything, I’m going to be at a place where I am only looking ahead and planning for the future…  dudes.  Apparently, Not. Going. To. Happen.

So let’s keep talking about what happened several months ago.  🙂

Coming back to the city after Yosemite was a bit sad– I felt like Evelyn never wanted to enter a house again.  And the drive home was HARD, way harder than the drive out because we tried to do it during the day, which means Evelyn was awake, which means we took her out of the woods and strapped her into a seat for 14 hours.  Ugh.

But we made it home, and hopefully she isn’t scarred too much.

She is hilarious.  The summer was HOT– the hottest on record for us.  We got Evelyn sandals, which she wore a ton, but of course, whenever she was prompted to grab her shoes, she grabbed her boots.  Girl loves boots.  She must be a Portlander.  😉

She is also obsessed with all things electronic, probably because we really try to keep her off of them and yet she sees us using them.  So she loves to have people show her pictures of herself on their phones (not a diva at all, friends), and she LOVES Skype.  If anyone wants to Skype with her, you just let me know.  She thinks its fantastic.  I can’t tell if she really understands what is happening, mostly because every time we call my dad via Skype, she tries to feed him things, and then just laughs when he pretends to do so.  So silly.

Speaking of silly.  The other day, I was prompting Evelyn to get dressed, and of course she is getting to be quite a big girl, guys.  So she wants to put on the pants herself.  Only, she can only somehow manage to get both legs into one pant leg– like, separating and finding both legs is too complicated.  So, both legs in one pant leg, she stands up to pull them up, and can only pull them up so far.  Then, she hobbles around looking for me and saying help.  Holy crap, it was hilarious.  Sadly, I was laughing too much to take video so that you could share in the hilariousness of the situation.  Next time, I’ll try to do better for you.

July was a bit of a crazy month for us– I’ve already mentioned working full time (you guys are all probably rolling your eyes at me right now because everyone except me works full time.  But listen, guys– Portlanders have all banded together, and we’ve all decided that even if you love your job, working all the time is silly.  So part-time is where it’s at!  Anyway.  I digress).  So in addition to being at daycare more often, Evelyn had to have a new daycare provider because our usual one was gone on vacation to Ireland.

Who knew that the single most stressful part of having a child would be child care?  Seriously.  Finding reliable and affordable child care is the WORST.  Terrible.  The people are wonderful once you find them, but dang.  The search makes me want to break things.  Hopefully I don’t ever have to search again.

Anyway, so for that month she was with a lady named Ina and several other children, including one of my co-workers sons Leo.  Who Evelyn was obsessed with.  Also, she was obsessed with his toys, especially his Big Wheel bike.  She would wake up in the middle of the night saying “Big Wheel!”  Either that or “Rock!  Big rock!”

I think she was having a bit of a time processing all the adventures we were having.  🙂

One day, Jason and I come home, and we start chatting with Evelyn about her day.  These are her responses:

Evelyn, did you have fun with Ina and Leo today?
I do!
Did you go to the park?
What did you see at the park?
Wing! (Swing)
Did you see trees at the park?
Did you see any animals at the park?
Were there birds?
Did you see a dog?
How many dogs did you see?
Did you see a bear at the park?
How many bears did you see?
What color was the bear?
Boo. (Blue)

Oh man.  She answered with such certainty.

I went on my first backpacking trip since college!  It was completely awesome.  We got a group of ladies together, friends of mine, friends from work, etc., and spent two nights and three days out near  a place called Shell Rock here in Oregon.  12 miles, 2500 feet of elevation gain, we picked wild huckleberries and got totally poured on in a day long downpour (kept hiking anyway, set up camp wet, nothing can stop us!!!!).  We fit all 8 of us into one 2-person tent to eat chocolate and snacks and tell stories until it was dry enough to find some wood to make a decent fire.  We ate a delicious and huge gourmet dinner.  We saw like 5 lakes.  It was AWESOME.

Evelyn was at home the entire time!  I think it was the longest I’ve been away from her.  Let’s be real– it felt great!  And also sad, because I missed her. But I did not miss carrying her over 12 miles.  So.  Compromises.

I definitely want to do it again.  It even makes me want to try a solo backpacking trip, which would NEVER have been on my radar before.  I think I have a long way to go– I’d like to make sure I know the trail well, and would want to practice a bunch first (aka go on more backpacking trips than 1), but still.  Wild, Cheryl Strayed, here I come.  Or maybe not.

 Kirsten’s photos of our trip:

Estelle’s photos:

A personal favorite of mine.  Caption contest?

And then, at the end of this most amazing of trips, this photo series happened.  Thanks to Estelle for capturing the magic.  I’m sure you guys will appreciate it.

Yes, you’re welcome world.  You probably needed that.  🙂

The weekend after my backpacking trip, Jason was running in a relay race called the Cascade Lakes Relay.  It’s over 200 miles, lots of uphill, with a team of like 12 people.  Running all day and all night for two days.  Sleeping in a van full of sweaty runners and their dirty socks.  Running in the desert in 100 degree heat.  I know guys, it sounds like a DREAM!  Ha.  But lately Jason is really into running.  So he joined this team with some of the folks he runs with on Thursday nights, and was really excited about it.

They did really well too– they took 15th overall, and 8th in their division!  Big time.  Evelyn and I drove out to meet them in Bend where it ended and got to hang out and meet all the folks, it was a good time.

Oh man.  And in amongst those things, we spent 4th of July at our friend’s lake house in Vaugn, Washington.  We went to Leavenworth for a weekend.  We had my birthday, visited my grandma, went to a wedding…

Here are some pictures.

4th of July:

Julia with a sparkler mid-swim.

The hat.

Leavenworth weekend:

Chalk Monkey.
Enjoying the ‘wing’.

Post crazy head smash.  She’s Pig Pen.

I think I remember how to do this…

Looking for airplanes.

Also, I did several weeks of this:

Now, if that’s not a cheesy camp counselor photo, I just don’t know what is.

There was also a ridiculous series of events that happened during our summer camps, but it’s really not the sort of thing that can go on a blog.  Remind me the next time we hang out and I’ll tell you.  It might have been the most amazingly ridiculous series of events that could have happened to me.

I turned 34 this summer guys!  It was a great birthday.  I had to work (I love you, summer programming!), but it was a good day with a bunch of really amazing world changers from the MENA region, so I left inspired, which doesn’t always happen.  Jason and I had a date night and ended up laying on the grass of the community garden, looking at the stars, almost like we were 10 years younger.  It was wonderful.  Plus, we had a BBQ at my sisters the next day, and my family is pretty great.  Silly, but great.

Naked cornhole?  Literally?

Plum face.
Plum picker.

Thinking about summer programming– I
wish I had parenting advice to give.  Or life advice, really.  It
really is amazing how the older you get the more you realize you just
don’t know.  In summer camp, I met some amazing students.  Really
respectful, engaged and interested people.  How do you raise such
children?  Is it inherent in them?  We had some amazing conversations about some really challenging topics, and I certainly don’t remember have that kind of talk, thinking about that kind of thing, at that age.  I think I was just trying to survive high school.  I could only see the future as far as turning 18 was considered.  These students we see from the MENA region– I see the future in them.  What
will the Middle East be in 10 years?  We’re giving these kids tools, knowledge… but the reality is that they have extremely hard tasks in front of them.  We’re seeing the worst humanitarian crisis of our generation with the civil war in Syria.  They will have to rebuild.  They will have to find peace, not just in Syria but in all of those nations embroiled in war and conflict, afflicted by climate change and dwindling resources… it’s amazing to feel like you’re seeing the future being built right before your eyes.

Sometimes it’s really hard to balance all those things I feel like I have to balance in my life– and when I have summers like this summer, I feel, more than anything, privileged to be able to work with such amazing youth.

OK.  Sorry.  My rant is done.

This summer there was a wedding, plenty of baby time, silly Evelyn activities:

Baby Claire, Evelyn and Baby Jude.

Baby bonding at the wedding– we even danced our booties off with babies attached.  It was a proud day.

I climbed Mt. St. Helen’s!  Like, for real this time!  As in, I actually achieved and got to the top.  Dudes.  Mountain climbing is hard.

The magical party bus, owned by Rayne Zaughsome.


How close is too close?

Who wants a cookie?

Jason had an epic birthday party, in which Evelyn pooped on another lawn.  It was amazing.  I’d left the beach early to head back to Crystal’s house before phase 2 of the party, so that we could get set up.  Evelyn was playing in the kiddie pool fully clothed.  I decided to take off those clothes, including the very saggy diaper, and almost immediately she squatted on the lawn to do her business.  I ran inside to grab something to clean it up, and by the time I got back, she was back in the kiddie pool,  naked, rubbing her butt along the bottom of the pool to dislodge any remaining poop.  Oh man it was gross.  Needless to say, that was the end of pool time. 

What is it with kids and pooping outside?  Or is that just Evelyn?  Maybe let’s not answer that question.

Apparently on Jason’s birthday I didn’t take any pictures of Jason.

So many things!  I visited my brother, Adam and Maia moved to town and then promptly left again, my sister bought a house, we visited Kansas, we climbed in a couple indoor bouldering comps…  this blog is devolving into random words and pictures.

Introducing the nieces and nephews to another amazing game that they will soon become addicted to…

Evelyn and Uncle Bob!

Evelyn LOVES Michael Lary.

Top of the climbing wall with Nim.

‘Driving’ Grandpa Jimmy’s truck.

Kansas BBQ– delicious.

OK.  So there you have it.  Another super random blog that took me two freaking months to write.  🙂  Hopefully the pictures are enough to make up for my random rambling.  Bye friends!

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