Wednesday, July 23, 2014


i am trying to stick to a routine this summer (more about that here) and i set a goal in june that we'd hit the beach at least once a week. so far i've done it! between lake sammamish, lake washington and the puget sound there are tons of beaches to check out within 30 minutes of our home, so yes i will gladly take advantage of that opportunity.

i've got my beach routine down to a science -- we leave right after hudson's morning nap, bring a picnic lunch and our gear, and come home in time for afternoon nap. that gives us a good four hours to dig in the sand, swim in the water, and usually play on the playground. (most of the beaches we go to have a nice play area right next to the sand.) jack traditionally HATES water but has really warmed up to swimming in the lake -- i think he feels more comfortable if he can touch the bottom. my least favorite part of beach days is dealing with hudson -- he crawls around and gets super dirty, but is too little to do much else. once he starts walking i think our beach trips will be perfect.

the birthdays 2014

on july 12, jack turned 4 and i turned 30! a big day in the wells house, per usual. my typical rule is that i don't throw jack's party on the 12th since it is MY birthday too, but since it fell on a saturday this year i figured what the heck. i only had one major meltdown (the morning of the parties) and other than that it was pretty good. :)

jack had a dinosaur birthday party! i did a couple fun crafty things for it, like these spray painted dinosaur jars and a dino footprint sign, but it was pretty low key. (at least by pinterest standards -- do NOT search "dinosaur parties" on pinterest unless you want your head to explode.) the biggest hit was letting the kids hammer away at tiny plastic dinos frozen in giant ice cubes. we had a pinata, played some games, ate cake and ended at the park. jack said he loved it, and still talks about his party, so i guess i did my job!

we cleaned up the party, went out to dinner, and then it was MY party time. :) since i was turning the big 3-0, we decided to go a little bigger than normal -- i felt a little silly, but hey, we never do stuff like this so why not? we rented a limo and invited four of our favorite couples to come along for dessert at elliott's on the pier and an improv show at pike place market. (yes, they made me get up on stage.) it was SO fun and we got home at 1 am, reminding me that i am definitely 30 and not able to stay up that late. haha. 

it was a perfect birthday and i'm so lucky that b was fully supportive of both those crazy parties -- he always wants to make july 12th a special day for me AND jack, and he totally came through. yay for birthdays!

4th of july

the fourth of july is always my favorite holiday and this year did not disappoint. b & jack spent the morning at the skate park while i prepped a few festive dishes and listened to neil diamond; after lunch we headed over to our friends' pool to hang out for the day. from THERE we changed clothes and went to lake sammamish to a beautiful beachside bbq. we left that around 9 pm to put the boys to bed (it doesn't get dark here until 10 pm and there was NO WAY these two little dudes were going to make it that late) and listened to our local fireworks show from inside our house. it was a perfect seattle holiday with my little family -- and about 100 friends. :)

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

more june stuff

just to recap the highlights from last month. we sold my beloved honda accord (THAT is a crazy story in itself but i will spare you the gruesome details) and while my parents were in town we bought a toyota highlander! i was so glad my mom was here to watch the boys because we ended up sitting in a car dealership for like 5 hours and that would NOT have been conducive to children.

anyway here's the new ride. she's a beaut!

then, that next day, i ran my third half marathon! this was the second time i'd run the seattle rock & roll marathon and my time was better than before by five whole minutes...but still, TWO minutes over my goal time. i was not happy. :( it is a scenic course through downtown seattle, along lake washington, past the sports stadiums and up a big freaking hill (or three) at the end. brutal. oh well -- at least i had fun. my friend jessica ran it too so it was nice to have a friend to hang with at the starting line. we didn't run together but ended up crossing the finish just 30 seconds apart!

the start line is sheer chaos -- 18,000 runners!

it was so great to have b, the boys, and my mom & dad at the finish line! (well, my mom was actually there throughout the race -- she dropped me off at the start and cheered for us on a bridge near the end, screaming her trademark "woo woo!" just like she did during my marching band days. :) so fun.)

Thursday, July 3, 2014

hudson is 1!

this cute boy turned ONE on june 18! it's true what they say about things going faster with the second kid -- i feel like he was just barely born and now he's already been here for a year.

we celebrated his actual birthday with shots (sorry, buddy) and a little family party at home. he was so excited about his birthday balloons, not so much about his party hat (which lasted three minutes for these photos and then was never worn again).

this guy is the cutest, wildest one year old ever. he's into everything, always climbing onto something or getting himself stuck somewhere he can't get out. i delight in seeing what he picks up on -- he folds his arms for prayer whenever we sit down at the table, he holds cell phones up to his ear and combs his hair with a baby comb, he very clearly shakes his head for no and points for yes. he just barely started saying "eese" when he sees something he wants, too, which i think means "please" and it's just too adorable. he does sound effects whenever a toy or animal catches his eye, and learned how to drive himself forward on our fire truck push toy. hudson is obsesssssed with b, and with jack to a slightly smaller extent. he's getting his four front teeth but has a giant gap between them. we love this boy!

then, that weekend, my parents came to visit and we threw him a real birthday party! i made some pretty hilarious decorations (you can see more of the party over here), we opened a few presents and he got another cupcake. it was a fun and simple day.

happy birthday, huddy! we love you!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

utah in june

whew! june was SO CRAZY. obviously, since i'm still trying to catch my breath and it is currently july 2. haha. it was just one big thing after another -- so much fun, but so chaotic.

june 5 was jack's last day of preschool. he LOVED school this year, loved his classmates and most of all loved teacher robyn. at the end of may, we found out she had decided to retire and wouldn't be coming back in the fall -- a heartbreaker. we were sad to see her go, but i'm excited to see who replaces her for next year.

we had an ice cream party on the last day, said goodbye to everyone and then hopped on a plane to salt lake city! (me and the boys, that is -- b had to stay home to work. wah wah.)

we stayed at my in-laws and PACKED in the fun. one day we went to the newly reopened aquarium which jack adored of course -- he's really into ocean-related things right now. i'd argue the SLC aquarium might even top our seattle one (which is weird, since we live on the ocean, while salt lake is a thousand miles away from it) but their walk-through shark tank and live penguins took the cake.

usually when we come to utah it's for a short time and we're busy with family events, but since i came for a longer stint this time i was finally able to see some of my friends who live nearby! i still keep in touch with most of the girls i met in the dorms my freshman year at BYU, and i feel so so lucky to count them as some of my best friends. i can't believe we've known each other for 12 years! i think we will all be lifelong friends; even after not seeing them for years on end, we all picked up right where we left off. good friends are the BEST and i love these girls so much. 

i also got to meet up with my friend laura from pasadena -- we never actually lived in pasadena at the same time, but we have since rendezvoused in utah, california and hawaii. i love it! 

luckily we still got to fit in a lot of family time too. :) all the wells family got together to throw hudson an early first birthday party, so he got a good trial run at eating that cupcake. he wasn't too sure about it. 

my sister & bro in law live in bountiful now so i got to hang out with rachel a lot and it was awesome. we are both perpetually scheming a way to live on the same street as each other and i can't wait until that dream comes true. i love being with her, and she is the best aunt to my boys who adore her too. 

we headed down to provo one day and got to visit my cute grandparents, who met huddy for the first time. always so good to see them!

we also took a trip to my alma mater! it feels so good to walk around and reminisce about the good old days there; i have nothing but good memories from BYU. although it does feel weird to be there with my two children, ha. (this is jack complaining about the bright sun...oy, seattle kids.)

my wish finally came true when i got jack a BYU jersey. now b's favorite utah jersey will have some competition on game day. :) 

while on campus, we discovered the bean museum had just reopened after a lengthy renovation. we spontaneously decided to visit and i was so glad we did! i vaguely remember the museum from visiting once or twice in college (it's right next door to my dorms, which have now been torn down :( so sad!) -- it was pretty musty, dark, and green-carpeted. the green carpet is still there but the addition is beautiful and both my boys LOVED it. (hudson became very animated at each animal, pointing and reaching for them while he squealed. it was really cute.)

exceptttt for the upstairs, the "predator and prey" room. lots of animals depicted hunting / killing / eating each other -- a little too traumatic for this almost-4-year-old. here's jack demonstrating his scary bear-attacking-a-moose face:

but anyway -- the ACTUAL reason for taking this trip to utah (ha!) was so i could teach a PR workshop to a group of bloggers. i loved getting to know these savvy women and had so much fun!

on my way out, i finally got to try some of the famous waffle love truck (why does utah have the BEST food ever?! i need to go back just to eat) and then we headed home to seattle. i needed a vacation from my vacation after all that but it was so worth it and so fun!