Swedish Fish, Gummy Bears, and Gatorade...

This is a guest blog so I apologize if you were expecting a fun post from Jaime about Eli, but I thought I should let you know about the weekend away I had with 4 close friends (Rob, Micah, Matt, and Brad), to a Men's Conference at Hume Lake.

The weekend started Thursday afternoon when we all piled into a small SUV with all our gear as we headed down 99 on the 5 hour trip. Hume Lake is a place where Jaime and I like to visit a couple of times a year, and I was really looking forward to sharing the blessing with the guys, who for the most part haven’t been there since high school days (vivid memories flooded back the entire weekend).

We checked in late Friday night, which entailed getting our name badges, and then headed for the evening snack and possible sign up for optional activities (paintballing, high adventure, mountain biking, etc). Once we were all in the queue to sign up for all these extra activities, we all came to the same conclusion that we could probably just make do with all the ‘free’ activities, which we didn’t quite realize at the time but was a decision that we were going to be thankful for during the next two days!

Over the next two days, our schedule was set with Breakfast, Morning Meeting, Lunch, Dinner, Evening Meeting, and Evening Activity (Comedian/A cappella Group). The only thing left to do was work out how we could cram as many ‘free’ activities as possible into the other open slots. Did I mention we are 5 guys, averaging 30 years old and are still as competitive as when we were 18!

Friday and Saturday saw the following take place:

Two games of Kajabe Can-Can
Four rounds of Disc Golf
Basketball Tournament (1st place)
Horseshoe Tournament (2nd place)
Dodge ball Tournament (1st place)
A hike around the lake
Four games of Volleyball

Thankfully no-one got injured but we were all hurting on the ride home Sunday afternoon, but needless to say the only thing that kept us going throughout the weekend was...

Swedish Fish, Gummy Bears and Gatorade!!!

As for the actual conference itself, I think we all took something away from the speakers and saw our friendships grow – what a blessing it is when you can compete and make fun of each other on the Disc Golf Course, and then later that day have you arm around them worshipping God together!

Guest Writer (Grant)

What's Missing From This Picture???

Eli had his first visit with the Dentist today! He was super brave and the dentist was awesome. There were even video games in the lobby, what kid wouldn't love that?! Aside from the fact that he is 2.5 and probably should see a dentist anyways, he also had a little accident while we were away celebrating our anniversary and therefore the need became greater. Take a look at the photo below and see what's missing? (here's a hint: look closely at his front teeth!)

To be honest, when you take a little boy with as much energy as Eli has, as much spirit and "gusto", and then put 35 pounds of body weight behind that...I'm surprised this is the first major incident we've had and I'm pretty sure it won't be the last. Gotta love those boys!!!!

Can You Tell Me Where the Nearest Starbucks Is?

Grant and I were able to escape for a few days and explore the home of Starbucks...Seattle! We wanted to visit somewhere new this year to celebrate our 7th anniversary and Seattle was on both of our lists, so that was that! Nana and Papa picked up Eli on Friday for a fun filled weekend and we flew out that afternoon. There was a ton to see and do and our downtown hotel was the perfect base. We could walk everywhere and used the buses when we wanted to go a bit further out.

We had to hit the Space Needle of course, the original Starbucks, we took the Underground tour (interesting and hilarious by the way), walked the waterfront, mosied through Pikes Place Market more than once, watched glass blowing in progress and went to an improv comedy (super funny!). We had a jammed pack weekend but because we could do things on our own time (no naps, bedtimes and meal times to contend with) it was amazingly relaxing! Grant even managed to fit in an 18 mile run (I know, he's crazy, but I got to sleep in). Grant and I both decided that while it was certainly special to be celebrating our 7th wedding anniversary, it was more fun just to be hanging out with your best friend and enjoying the company.

I could have taken a bazillion photos but Grant promised he wouldn't wait for me (after about 20 shots of the fresh flowers, three steps into our walk, at the market) so here are my favorite that highlight the trip:

Some special treats from sneaky friends!

These flowers were amazing and only $5 for a good sized boquet! I informed Grant if we lived there he'd have to bring me flowers more often

Views from the top

Visiting the Seattle Glassblowing Factory. I loved the curly glass "vines" on the pumpkins!

Seattle by night

The original Starbucks (I don't know if you can see, but the original logo was brown and the swirling hair was not providing any covering for the ladies top half! Ah-hem!

Side notes:
While I realize that Seattle is the home of Starbucks, I was still shocked that you could pretty much see one at all times. There was only one occasion that we walked two blocks and couldn't see one, we were worried the world was ending! :)

Favorite Quote:
Across from the market place was an old scraggly looking man with two cats wearing sweaters. As we walked past, I overheard him telling a woman, "...and I AM qualified to tell you that cats like to wear sweaters!"

Things I Learned:

Last week we were able to watch our friends' two children, so they would be able to celebrate their 10th anniversary. We had a great time, are totally exhausted and feel really bad for anyone that has triplets and starts with three right off the bat. But other than that, here are a few very important things I discovered:

1. Meal time, bath time, play time...pretty much everything is messier in 3's!

2. Eli & Haylie CAN love each other a little too much! By the end of the week they couldn't stand to be apart, but couldn't really handle being together either!

3. A never ending trail of sippy cups is inevitable.

4. It is exhausting repeating instructions three times for everything.

5. Sometimes its OK to serve Mac n' Cheese and green beans twice in one week and call them balanced meals.

6. I can handle anything as long as I get "nap time" every day.

7. Costco is perfect for larger families. Huge carts to contain children and samples; what more could you need on a LONG Sunday afternoon?

8. Chaos always feels better while drinking Diet Coke and eating gummi candy

9. Anytime an adult jumps around, acts silly or plays in the sprinklers it lifts every one's spirits!!!

10. While I am so thankful for the 1 on 1 time I get with Eli every day, I think we could handle a few more...as long as they come one at a time!