labor day in the carolinas

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This past Labor Day weekend we flew out to the Carolina’s to visit my family. Why did I travel across the country when I’m 34 weeks pregnant, you ask? Well, we hadn’t been to my parents house in nearly two years, UW dental program apparently hates their students and forces them to go year-round (that’s right, no summer break for poor Joshy!) so there’s never a long break where we can just fly across the country for a week. AND this would probably be the last chance to fly over there until Josh graduates in June.

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UW Dental Program had a faculty retreat Thursday, and then Josh was able to take Friday off and with Monday being Labor Day we saw this as the perfect opportunity to brave a cross-country flight with a toddler and come out for a few days. 

 ^^^ Yay for pregnancy making my face swell up!!  -_-

^^^ Yay for pregnancy making my face swell up!!  -_-

Of course I didn’t look up the requirements for flying until the day we left. Apparently you’re allowed to fly until 36 weeks (cutting it a little close), but you need a doctor’s note from 28 weeks on. I decided to wear a baggy sweater and put on my resting b*tch face so no one would ask how far along I am – and it worked!

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We had a jam packed weekend with fun and lots of good food. (Why is it that no food is better than your parents’?) Plus one of my sisters drove down from Ohio to surprise me with her family, which was the greatest surprise ever! This was our first time visiting that Madelyn was old enough to really play with her cousins and she had a blast, it was a constant toddler party. (Madelyn is the 9th grandkid on my family's side, and this baby will be the 12th!).

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My parents live on top of a mountain and they have a ton of land, with a small peach orchard, huge garden, and hiking trails. They’re also installing a fire pit and massive play set outside. When they moved from Colorado to South Carolina they planned to move into their perfect retirement house, which is quickly becoming the house of every grandchild's dream. I wish I was young enough to run around their property and feel the type of magic and wonder you only feel when you're a kid. 

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So here are a few photos of M and I outside my parents house, playing and exploring while awkwardly taking photos in front of a bunch of worker dudes that were installing the playground. And huge shout-out to that kimono from Pink Blush that I am obsessed with! Here’s the link to it. Pink Blush’s kimonos are my absolute favorite, some are bright and colorful like this one, but they also have more neutral color ones. Basically pick your poison and they'll have it *two thumbs up*.   Also, here’s a link to my maternity shorts which are also from Pink Blush.

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Big thank you to Pink Blush for sending the products for me to review on my blog! You guys are my absolute favorite. 

 ^^^ My parents' peach orchard and garden

^^^ My parents' peach orchard and garden

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olympic game farm

Josh and I have been trying to be more of those “fun” parents that plan activities and go on day trips. Especially with this being our last year in Seattle, we might as well take advantage until the Army stations us in the middle of nowhere Arkansas (or somewhere to that extent).

So to celebrate Memorial Day we decided to plan a day trip to Sequim, WA, and take Mads to the Olympic Game Farm. The day before we dropped off Molly at the grandparents’ house, and then we (over) planned so we could get there before the rush and spend the rest of the day exploring the island. We looked up the route and decided in order to get to the farm before they open we’d need to wake up at 4:30AM and catch the 5:30AM ferry.

You know you're waking up too early when the sun generally rises at 5AM and you're awake before then. The best part was when we ended up getting to the farm an hour before they opened. Turns out it was a 2.5 hour trip total, not 2.5 hours from the ferry dock to the farm. We WERE first in line, until we decided to get some gas and within 15 minutes the parking lot was full. How that is possible will forever be one of the mysteries of the universe. 

The Olympic Game Farm is the most random zoo type thing I’ve ever been to. You can feed bread to llamas, deer, yak, and scary as hell buffalo (we’ll get back to those buffalo later). Along with those animals are tons, and I mean TONS of bears. Wolves, at least 50 peacocks, a single zebra (?), and lots of tigers (??). Most odd assortment of animals I’ve ever seen. There’s also a goat petting zoo, a small “aquarium” that consist of a large tank full of salmon and trout, chickens, and bunnies galore.

Overall it was a very interesting experience, except feeding the animals which freaked me the hellz out. Josh thought he was SO funny rolling down my window and holding up a piece of bread so a GIANT buffalo head came intruding into the car right in front of me and a foot long tongue unfolded right by face. There might have been some cursing and a small tear in my eye. Brave Madelyn was shrieking with joy while I coward behind her and shrieked with fear. 

After we drove through the farm it was only 9:30AM (we also thought it would have taken much longer than it did). We headed to the coast and drove through lots of neighborhoods with big beautiful houses and stopped at every beach we saw. We also went to this adorable and extremely unaffordable farmers market, and then ate at a cute little 50’s inspired diner for an early lunch.

And then we unfortunately got stuck in traffic waiting for the ferry that started an hour away from the dock(!). Luckily Madelyn took her first long nap in practically years and slept through two hours of traffic.

Riding the ferry that afternoon when my eyes weren't half-closed and bleary with sleep was probably my favorite part of the trip. I realized why McDreamy in "Grey's Anatomy" loves ferries so much, there's something kind of serendipitous about them. Plus Madelyn and I got ice cream on the ferry (because they have a food court, how freaking cool is that?!) and ice cream always makes things more magical. 

That day the phrase “this is why we aren’t go-getter adventure type people" kept entering my mind. But, even though so many things went wrong with that trip and we were extremely sleep deprived (which turned out to be unneeded) it was an amazing adventure. We made lasting memories, and it was at least all worth it for the videos I took of Josh feeding the animals.

It's amazing how being a parent challenges you past your point of comfort, and forces you to do better and be better. Forces you to get out of the house every day, to go on adventures, and to live in a more memorable way. 

madelyn's three-asaurus birthday

When I asked Madelyn what she wanted to do for her birthday party months ago she declared, “dinosaurs and pink (strawberry) ice cream cake.” Now that she’s older and has actual friendships I figured it was time we threw this girl her first birthday party – especially before this baby comes and rocks her world.

I’d like to point out that I haven’t thrown a party since I was in middle school, and it was a little traumatic, only three people showed up and it scarred me for life. But thanks to Pinterest I was able to combine her two favorite things for her birthday party – dinosaurs and the color pink.

ALL of her friends came (she’s more popular than me I guess), and she didn’t even slow down to eat all of the delicious food her Yia-Yia (grandma) and I prepared. In fact, note to self, next time only get half as much food. We were eating cold sandwiches and dinosaur cut PB&Js for a week afterward.

Shout out to Josh who also had a dinosaur themed birthday party when he was a kid, only it was a little less feminine. The older this kid gets the more she morphs into her father. They both have an infinite love for ketchup, and they both like to continually remind me to “chill my bones” *insert eye roll*. Not to mention their personalities seem to be carbon copies. 

 ^^^ Ice cream cake has an oreo & butter crust, pink starawberry ice cream in the middle, with a hot fudge topping and oreos sprinkled on top. 

^^^ Ice cream cake has an oreo & butter crust, pink starawberry ice cream in the middle, with a hot fudge topping and oreos sprinkled on top. 

Happy Birthday to my sweet girl, can't wait to see what all "3" brings us.