Thursday, November 9, 2017

The cousins & Grandpa visit!

This past July we were given a truly miraculous gift. Not only did we get to hang out with the Ball cousins for a couple days, but we got some super amazing quality time with Grandpa Freeman, Ed's step-dad. Since Ed's mom died, things have been hard. But time has passed and God has granted some healing and some new experiences and a new graciousness with each other...and I feel like our family received it's own little miracle. Plus, we also get to have his Karen (whom we are so much looking forward to meeting in person) in our lives.

Our time with Ed's family in July was precious. We didn't do much...we explored on the snow at Mt. Baker (because the hike we headed up to do was impassable due to snow) and made some awesome memories sledding! We played a lot of corn hole, ate a lot of food, laughed, talked, played games, and more. It's easy with them, and now even sweeter.

We had some time with Grandpa before the cousins arrived and it was so good to get reacquainted.

Then the cousins came and the crazy cousin fun began!

The pictures below all uploaded kind of out of order...but I'm too tired to fix that. They're all from the same good enough. ;) We had a great time at Mt. Baker!

And there was lots of fun just hanging out at home, too. The cousins did a sleepover (because they came up in their trailer and parked at the KOA behind us, so one night HAD to be spend together!) and we just enjoyed being together.

It was hard to say goodbye and we can't wait for our next trip together - hopefully a vacation to Banff this coming summer, if we can get those details worked out!! These few days were a salve to my soul and a gift from God. 

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Joys in July

The rest of July went by surprisingly quickly...of course there was lots to fill up the days!

I had a sweet, sweet, almost 24 hours in Leavenworth with my BFF from the east side. We spent years together working as GEMS leaders for WA state and I love our friendship. She is fun, godly, sincere, devoted, passionate, & generous. Since we didn't get to have our weekend together at the GEMS conference this year (neither of us could go), we opted for meeting half-way-ish between our homes and spent the time talking, walking, shopping, eating, and talking some more. 

Since Elise didn't get a birthday party in June due to the Africa trip, I took her and her BFF, as well as Becca and one of her BFF's (sister to Elise's BFF) to the waterslides up in Canada for an afternoon/evening. We had a great time! Those 4 girls all get along incredibly well and we are blessed to call their family friends.

It was a beautiful day to be at the waterslides, but it wasn't too crowded! It did start to cloud up a little as we were leaving, but you can't beat that beautiful sky!

I also got to have a much-needed coffee date from one of my Mt. Vernon BFF's! I got to share all about Africa and catch up on her life a little as well. We do not see each other nearly enough!

Sarah & I did Ragnar again! Okay, Sarah did the Ragnar and I drove. Love spending time with that running girl!

Those two...teammates in high school, on Ragnar, and now in college! Love them both!

 One evening the whole family headed to Berthusen Park so all the girls could run and Ed & I walked. We explored in places we have never seen before and got face to face with this owl! I have never been that close to an owl, I don't think. Not even in a zoo!

And I got to watch a sunset at the bay with my guy and my little girls. I need to do that more.

Coming up next...the other main event from July...cousins & Grandpa visit!!