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Trip to the South

We took an epic trip to New Orleans and Pensacola last November.  Ken was not overly impressed by the French quarter.  It was certainly unique.  I’m not sure that I ever need to go back there (the French quarter or New Orleans), but I’m glad we went.

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Mom and Dad and Lauren and Justin came too.  We ate SO much good food.  That was definitely the highlight.

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The Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola was incredible.  SO many cool planes.  We also got to see the Blue Angels practice, which was awesome.

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Anna was a big fan of the gulf.  She wasn’t a big fan of the sand, which she fell down in several times and got a face full.  Ooops.

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Our whole party except me and Anna chartered a fishing boat and got to spend a day fishing.  I think they had a good time, although they were disappointed they didn’t get to take any fish home.  We made up for it by buying lots of fresh seafood and devouring it.

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Daddy had fun in the gulf too!

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Not pictured: touring a battleship, walking around beautiful parks and neighborhoods in New Orleans, going to a fort, fishing off of a pier, seeing how huge the Mississippi is, having a childhood friend captain us on a pontoon boat for several hours, an art fair, playing games, watching my brother-in-law graduate from his Air Force training, and many, many amazing meals.  It was a great trip!

September 2016

My sister has been writing blog posts after a long hiatus (https://randbvance.wordpress.com/, in case you want to read about her super interesting life in Egypt), and she is inspiring me.  So here’s another attempt at getting caught up on the last year.

My father-in-law sent us a box of avocados from his tree last summer.  Anna was a big fan, and we’re still eating the mashed up avocados from the freezer.  Delicious!  Also, she was tiny and precious and adorable.  Now she’s big and precious and adorable.  Also, blond.  Probably I’ll post pictures of her from now by next June, so stay tuned…

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Then…  We went back to WA for another wedding.  This time, Sara and Michael! Look at how adorable they are.

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Their wedding was in Spokane, so we got to drive for about an hour and meet up with my childhood best friend.  She and I look cheesy, but Anna is looking good, as usual.  Hopefully she remains so photogenic as she gets older.

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Looking good at the rehearsal dinner.

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Seesters!  Do we look alike?  We’re missing one, she was stuck dutifully teaching her students in Egypt.

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Sara got married on Lauren’s birthday, so we had a birthday breakfast for her.

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Look!  That is Ben, Bekah’s husband.  I told you he exists!  Also, he’s good with babies… Anna’s been a fan every time she’s met him.

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It was an evening wedding, the reception was outside, and my photography skills are not adequate for taking pictures under such circumstances, so this is my only picture of us in wedding finery.   And with that, all 5 of us are married.  Whew!

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And since we started this post with a picture of Anna eating produce last summer, here’s one to close it out.  I harvested those red tomatoes, she harvested the green ones, then proceeded to eat the red ones.  Oh well, at least she likes vegetables!

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It’s been almost a year

What can I say? This happened the day after this kid started crawling, which was shortly after my last post was published. Turns out having a mobile kid sort of eats up your leisure time.

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We’ve done a lot of traveling and had a lot of visits from family.
First, Mom came back from Oklahoma with us to watch Anna for a couple of weeks and test our soil. It was all very alkaline, if you were wondering.
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Anna went on her first camping trip to the Sangre de Christos.
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Ken’s sister and brother-in-law came to visit us and the Grand Canyon, and we gave them a horrible stomach bug. Sorry guys!
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We went to WA for my sister Bekah’s wedding to Ben – I have a picture of Bekah, but none of Ben. He was there at his wedding, believe it or not.
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The Egyptian sister also made an appearance.
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After the wedding my parents and sister drove up to Banff with us for a fantastic vacation.
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Ken and I left them and took a few days to take Anna to visit Ken’s grandpa Larry and his aunt, uncle, and cousins in Edmonton.
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Then it was out to Jasper for some more incredible views.

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We had a quick visit with Ken’s parents and brother back in WA, then home.
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We took a quick weekend trip to Mesa Verde.
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And that brings us to the end of the summer, which is probably enough for one post. The other thing that we did at the end of the summer was stopped using cloth diapers sometime around 9 months old. The aged poop from daycare was getting to be too much to clean off. I was pleased with our cloth diaper experiment though. I think we saved money. And that is how exciting life gets with a small child. Diapers rank on the same level of excitement as trips to some of the most beautiful places on earth.

Oklahoma!

We drove to Oklahoma for Memorial Day weekend. 10.5 hours there. 10.5 hours back with an angelic 6 month old. She was really good in the car, only cried inconsolably twice, both times when she had a poopy diaper and we were still 20 minutes from anywhere we could stop.

The reason for the trip was to see my grandparents. They were totally charmed by their first great-grandchild!
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My parents, two of my aunts, one of my uncles and three of my cousins also showed up, so it was great to see everyone! Four generations!
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Dad and his sister.
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Dad and two of his sisters.
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Anna was definitely the star of the show!
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Her first experience with a stream. They’re not very common in NM!
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Smocking: a project completed.

You may remember how I wanted to make Anna a little smocked dress. Well, I did manage to get that done. On Easter morning… It actually wasn’t quite done, but it was good enough for her to wear it. It’s the first garment I’ve ever made without a pattern. And it works! It’s big, it may fit her for another year, but that’s fine. The smocking isn’t the most perfect ever, but I’m happy with how it turned out for my first try.
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Here’s a couple of views of her wearing it on our trip to OK with my cousin and my dad.
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Catching up on cute baby pictures, because that’s all we take around here these days.

I think this picture sort of sums up our lives. Surrounded by furry beasts and baby toys in our little living room. Delightful! I don’t know where Tesla was. Evidently missing the party.
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My first Mother’s day with an exterior baby.
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Good to the very last drop.
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This child has the longest eyelashes!
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She’s a deep thinker sometimes.
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Six month picture. I forgot to print out a sign. I and all my sisters, plus our good friend Zoae wore those pink pants. That makes Anna the 7th baby girl to wear them!
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Nothing is more delightful to this child than a petable animal.
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I tried my hand at taking 6 month pictures. I wore this dress in my 6 month pictures. This is the one that I printed out to hang on our wall.
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But this one is my favorite!
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Here’s me: Do we look alike? Thankfully, I don’t think she got my ears.
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Here’s her dad. He’s not wearing the same dress though. I think he has the funniest eyebrows I’ve ever seen on a baby. But this is coming from someone who evidently had no eyebrows as a baby and is even now somewhat lacking in the visible eyebrow department. Go ahead, scroll back up to the pictures of me as a baby and on Mother’s day. It’s true.
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We went canoeing. It was a little bit of a fiasco.

We took Anna canoeing sometime before she was 5 months old. Ken’s mom shuttled the car for us and it was a bit of a fiasco getting in because the river was higher than when I had done it before and the nice sloping river bank was under three feet of rushing water. There was a very nice fellow fishing who helped us get launched – he even laid in the mud to hang on to us while we loaded up. Thank you anonymous, kind fisher-gentleman!

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Anna did ok – she wasn’t super happy about the life jacket, which was sort of… large. I think she was pretty hot before the sun went away behind big, threatening clouds. She wouldn’t cry if I was talking to her, but I couldn’t do that and paddle, so Ken was stuck paddling most of the way, and an upriver wind came up near the end and was pushing us back upriver. Did I mention it looked like it was about to pour? Also, the Rio Grande is different than any of the rivers we’re used to paddling, it has a sand bottom and it’s really hard to tell where the main channel is and where it’s super shallow, so we ran aground a couple of times.
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We made it to the take-out uneventfully and it didn’t even rain on us. It was more of a character building experience than we wanted it to be, but we did see a beaver swimming, so that was very cool.


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