Corona-Style Visits

I was able to escape my family yesterday for an outing (with masks and social distancing, of course) and took my 2 little dogs for the adventure. I met up with my mom and our friends and walked nearly 3 miles around Coupeville, WA – which is a lot for little dogs with short legs! The view was gorgeous!

These are the beautiful Pacific Northwest days that fool people into moving here, not realizing it does rain here 8 months out of the year.

Silly doggies!

After our trek, we socially distanced on the porch and the dogs had treats. They were definitel worn out and ready for a mellow 4th of July.

After our dog walking adventure and heading back up to my hometown, Mom and I decided to do a drive thru coffee and head to a park with the dogs just to sit and continue our visit. The dogs were tired and it was time to go.


Anytime my mom get started on what we call, “Solving all the world’s problems,” (and seriously there are a few!) parting ways typically takes a minimum of an hour. Or 2. Possibly canceling later plans. It was simply a lovely day. As we eventually made our way back to our cars, she backed her car in so we could chat, “just a little while longer” but let the dogs have some A/C, water and a comfy rest. And then a friend joined us.

You cannot see it in these photos, but there is a WASP-BEE-Murder Hornet flitting between our cars. We would roll our windows down, chat for a bit, and then scramble to roll the window back up as it flew back by. Side note: this is the one time that it does not pay to have power windows. No matter how hard you press that button, the window will only go up at the same slow speed. Manual windows – you could crank that puppy as fast as your arm would go and get that window up quick!

By the 14th time of windows up-down-up-down-up-down trying to avoid said murder hornet, we were laughing hysterically, simultaneously speaking on our phones. Second side note: Did you also know there is a delay when you use a cell in close proximity to the person to whom you are speaking?! We discovered that and played “foreign film montage”!

Silly from the fresh air, the exercise and/or the ridiculous wasp, as well as an overdue visit amidst a global pandemic, we did eventually bid farewell (3 hours later, whoops!). It was just what the mental health doctor ordered!

Minnesota Madness!

We made a whirlwind surprise trip to Minnesota last week to visit Eric’s family before his upcoming deployment!
Flying with little kids is really not for the faint of heart – but we did it and we all survived!
The flight there couldn’t have been more perfect! As you can see, Jake was sleepy as we were getting ready for take-off! 5 minutes into his movie – and he was out! Hannah slept through take-off, landing and the entire flight in between!


Jacob catching some zzz’s after the first day of travel! Poor bubba! Globe trotting is hard on little ones!
Squeezing in visits with friends and family in 3 days was a bit tough, but luckily there were lots of fun playground opportunities in between!
Jake was enthralled (for 5 minutes) with Uncle Steve’s video of trains!
Hannah hangin’ with Pop-Pop Stoffers! Not sure where she got “Pop-Pop” from, but that’s what she calls her Grandmas!
And of course the hotel had a pool and a jacuzzi – a must for any family vacation! We were so happy that many of our friends and family were able to come see us to minimize traveling in the car for the kiddos!


Jake and Hannah were both in heaven!



While visiting a family friend, the kids got to sit on a real tractor!! They were so excited!!




I think Jake was ready to take it home!!!
And Hannah got a seat in Ms. Fannie’s super cool Camaro!!!



Being silly!


 Getting out the sillies!


 Super fun at Uncle Greg and Aunt Marty’s!!! Jake was SOOO thrilled to ride such a big “monster truck”!! (Hannah was of course “all done” half a block down the road!)
 She loved Buddy!
Great food and fun!! (I even tried smoked duck for the first time! Pretty darn good!)
And then back home again! This time the boys slept while Hannah and I played with the phone!
Overall – it was a great trip and all things considered, the kids were FANTASTIC! It really was a quick trip and so hard to fit time in to see everyone, but we made it work and I’m so glad we got a chance to see our Minnesota family before Eric’s departure 🙂

Flying to Minnesota….

One of the things packed into this crazy month before D-day is a whirlwind trip to Minnesota to visit with Eric’s family.

As I sit here on the plane I am feeling grateful that Hannah is snoring peacefully, Jake is (for the moment) thoroughly engrossed in a movie he has seen 5000 times. We planned well and wore the kids out with strategic stops at a friends’ to play, to eat and thank God for the person who came up with the idea for a children’s play area at the airport! I could kiss them! Pure genius! (and might I mention they have a family restroom as well as a nursing room!?) Again, pure genius!

While watching the kids play and frolic about burning off pent up energy I was struck by how disengaged the other parents all seemed to be. (No judgement – just observation. Who knows how long their layovers were!) There were about 6 other families and about 5 of the couples were into an iPad, a smartphone or otherwise engrossed in something other than the kids. The 6th couple was frantically trying to keep their what looked to be 18 month old from enjoying himself at all! It was hilarious that in a virtually rubber room this kid wasn’t allowed to climb or jump and the mother never smiled, but was biting her nails looking frantically to gauge his next move – and then attempting to prevent it! (I so used to be THAT mom!)

And then there was us. Our kids were the LOUDEST kids in the room! (shocking, I know!) For the record, the play area was surprisingly quiet or well insulated! Eric was in the middle sitting on the floor playing WITH the kids. I love that about him…

It was fun and I have to say that without a doubt THE easiest flight with the kids!