Friday, June 14, 2019

Settling In and Growing Deep

Dear Charlotte,

And just like that, we've hit 8 years... 8, 8, 8 is great... Happy 8th Gotcha Day to you precious girl. It has been a year of settling in... Settling into our lives here in Washington, settling in as a family of 7, and settling into what you enjoy doing and how you spend your time... figuring out now that we're planted, how to let our roots grow deep. 

This was a year, where you've begun figuring out "who you are"... and "how you fit/belong". Lots of emotions have come and gone, blowing through in and out like a quick tornado. It can be intense, but we know that it happens as you navigate your way through it all. We're figuring this all out together.

Your love for others is apparent... it is a beautiful, wonderful thing to witness... especially as you age. It looks a little differently year after year... less selfish and more "others before self". It's beautiful to watch with your siblings, and even more so with those around you that you don't even know.

You are heading out of elementary school in a few days, and into Middle School. Just as you settled down into knowing your surroundings and how things "work", it's time to move you along to the next phase of schooling. You have absolutely not one fear in your bones about it. Your excitement, gets us excited for you... Your'e brave and bold, and we can't wait to watch it all unfold.

You've grown to really love singing alongside your choir. You moved from soprano to alto this year, and just like any change that comes to you, you welcomed it. Your voice is maturing, but it's still as wonderful to listen to, as it was the first time we heard you hum a tune.  Loving music has also evolved into you learning how to play ukulele and the xylophone in school... ukulele club was one of the things you loved most about school this year. You even played "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" for the talent show.

Every year that passes, brings us closer and closer to you, and we are ready for another one.

You are such a blessing to us... keep on celebrating life precious child,

Daddy, Mommy, Marley, Finn, Josephine and Mable.

Check out Gotcha Day 7 here
Check out Gotcha Day 6 here
Check out Gotcha Day 5 here
Check out Gotcha Day 4 here
Check out Gotcha Day 3 here
Check out Gotcha Day 2 here
Check out Gotcha Day 1 here

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Sunday, June 02, 2019

How 37 feels

37 trips around the sun... what a wonderful adventure... 37 still feels like the beginning. I feel excitement over it, ready to explore more and more and at the same time, settle into a rhythm. A rhythm of a little less "unplugged" from noise (being weighed down by too much on my "to do list" or that something needs to be a certain way, etc.)... knowing and believing that I am beloved... what a beautiful, freeing feeling.

"Let the King of my heart
Be the mountain where I run
 The fountain I drink from
Oh, He is my song
Let the King of my heart
Be the shadow where I hide
The ransom for my life
 Oh, He is my song" - King of My Heart, Bethel.

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Saturday, June 01, 2019

Leavenworth, WA / Colchuk Lake

When your husband tells you he's whisking you away for an adventure (and it's 2 nights, not 1...) but doesn't share where you're off to... you go with the flow. Of course, I asked a million questions about what to pack, hoping he'd budge a bit... nope. No budge. He had everything lined up, the sweet dear ones that would be looking over our kids, the destination, the place we were staying, the things we'd be doing... it was dreamy not having to plan anything. As soon as we were headed East, I had suspicions... and then we took the turn off for Leavenworth, Wa.

Leavenworth, Wa, is a place I've been hoping to visit for quite sometime... it's a little Bavarian town, nestled in the alpine hills, right outside of the Wenatchee Forest, in the valley. A little taste for Germany, but just a 2.5 hour drive to get there. It's also a little hub for those that love being outdoors. The hiking, climbing, rafting... all at your fingertips.

After checking into our fancy hotel (the hubby picked one, a spa, where kids aren't allowed and where you can only speak with "inside voice"/noise level 1)... we ventured around... taking in all of Leavenworth's quaintness. We even enjoyed some of the spa pools/tubs/baths/saunas for a little bit before turning in for the night.

The next morning, right after breakfast, we left for a hike that was rated a 4 out of 5 in the difficult department. I definitely questioned the decision for this hike (it was an Enchantment Lake hike)... and whether we were capable of surviving it... since, we hardly hike. The hubby was confident in our physical condition/ abilities... said Crossfit prepares us for this. The drive wasn't too far out of Leavenworth... heading towards the mountains. Once we hit the back roads, they became VERY bumpy. We had almost 15 minutes of pure "off roading" bumpiness to navigate through (and my coffee went EVERYWHERE... yup, I'm that person doesn't like to put the plastic lid on a to go cup). When we got there, there were already a bunch of people parked (and we thought we were early)... definitely a place that people must hike to to camp, and also to hike early for the sunrise.  Getting started, it felt like a breezy walk... which then started to have a gradual incline. Then, we were picking up elevation like crazy the last hour of the hike. We stepped up high over some fairly decent sized boulders, crossed over waterfalls, and FINALLY made our way to the most gorgeous view of the glacier lake. It took us nearly 3 hours to get there... but worth every minute. The view was breathtaking, the water was so fresh and cold, the smells coming off the mountain were delicious (all the pine trees) and the company (my hubby) was wonderful. To see such greatness that God created... is so overwhelming. To see it on my birthday, just felt like the best present... We ate a quick little snack lunch, and made our way back down... which took another 2.5 hours... so about 6 hours roundtrip, with our stops included. When we got back to the hotel, the hubby had scheduled massages for us... and we finished off the day with a yummy dinner.

We haven't had many days together (without kids) for years... so what a special treat this was, to connect, talk (without interruptions) and share dreams for the future... Hubby, you did well.

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