August in Review

September is more than halfway over already and I haven’t yet posted about August. But the wait is over folks!

I know we were busy; but what were we up to?

We spent much of August enjoying the summer weather; which usually included daily trips to various parks around the county. We also had a variety of medical appointments; well checks, follow ups, dentist appointments, eye appointments and even a brain MRI for myself (thankfully that checked out normal)! We were also preparing for Kristin and Brian’s wedding, buying Callie an entire new wardrobe (this little lady is growing!), getting Eli’s back to school supplies and school clothes, prepping and throwing Kristin a bridal shower, mourning the loss of our beloved pup Lola, enjoying a weekend trip with friends to San Juan Island and trying not to cry about our oldest going off to Kindergarten! It was a month of fun, and to be honest, it also held a fair amount of stress and sadness.

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Callie’s glasses arrived.

Callie’s glasses arrived and we were so excited to pick them up so she could start to enjoy the benefits of better vision. She has been great about keeping them on and keeping them in good shape. We’ve had to make adjustments to them with the help of the optical staff so that they sit better on her nose and don’t slip down while she is playing. I do wish that I was able to communicate with her about her vision so I could know if her prescription was correct or if there was more we could do to assist her in this area. We follow up with her ophthalmologist at the beginning of October.

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Luke watering in our new tree.

After losing our big, old rock pine this June we hemmed and hawed about what to do with our now bare-looking backyard. Ultimately we decided to buy a new tree; this time a baby Northern Red Oak. It should grow quickly in this climate and we are hopeful that someday we will have some great backyard shade again. In the meantime I may need to relocate some very sad shade plants that spent the summer in full sun! We replanted grass where the old tree stood and decided to wait on leveling the lawn until we make some bigger decisions about our home and property.

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Sticky S’mores!

It is no exaggeration when I say that Eli and Luke look forward to the Antique Tractor Show all year long! This year Andy took them to enjoy the fun and Callie and I spent some quality time together. This event is a highlight of the summer for the boys! They’ve learned so much about the different models of tractors, steam engines, threshers, etc.

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Luke and Eli at the highly anticipated Antique Tractor Show
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Watching the saw mill.
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One of our last photos of Lola; with her buddy Wiley.
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Sharing a book
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Beach Day at Semiahmoo
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Beach Day at Semiahmoo
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Beach Day at Semiahmoo

We don’t get out to hike much these days because of the logistics of hiking with three little ones. In reality, Eli is an excellent hiker and he is very capable. Luke is three and doesn’t really want to walk if he doesn’t have to, even on a flat sidewalk. He also gets car sick (so we discovered). And Callie isn’t quite ready to navigate the trails; though I am sure she would attempt it happily. So, I carried Luke and Andy carried Callie and our gear. It was exhausting! Luke weighs 40lbs and climbing hills with him on my back was a huge feat for me. We made it, we enjoyed it (mostly), we avoided major injury and avoided vomit in the car…so I would call it a win! But we might not try it again until next summer. Here’s to hoping Luke starts to like walking again.

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Hiking the Dock Butte Trail
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Callie, Eli, Luke and a very muddy but happy Lola keeping watch on the Dock Butte Trail
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Andy and I and Mt. Baker from the Dock Butte Trail

Each year Andy checks the schedule of the Abbotsford Airshow and drives the boys north to the Canadian border to catch a glimpse of the jets flying. The boys love it! He captured this photo of them watching together.

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Watching the Abbotsford Airshow from afar

Callie had a follow up doctor appointment at UW Medical this month and of course she just charmed everyone’s socks off! Most people just can’t handle her cuteness; personality, pigtails and tiny glasses seem to do the trick! She was an awesome travel buddy; playing happily in her carseat and napping on the way home. She is doing fantastic; making strides in her growth and development! She continually amazes us at her joyful attitude despite the difficulties she’s encountered in life!

Another very popular event around here is the NW Washington Fair. It, too, is highly anticipated. And of course, one of the best parts is that there are so many tractors to look at, sit on and pretend to drive. We also love the animals, ice cream and rides. Eli saved his allowance and birthday money so that he could go on rides this year and Luke joined him for a few. They had a blast! Callie loved to see all the animals and we were busy learning the sign language to teach her the names of each of the animals. She now knows and uses accurately, Dog, Cat, Cow, Horse, Sheep, Pig, Bird and more!

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Checking out the Tractors at the NW Washington Fair
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Callie on a Tractor at the NW Washington Fair
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Petting Zoo at the NW Washington Fair
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Luke and Eli on a roller coaster ride at the NW Washington Fair
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Andy and Eli attended the noon time Demolition Derby at the NW Washington Fair
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Apples are nearly ripe

The Blaine Library hosted a “Roadeo” with all the awesome trucks from Blaine Public Works. The boys and I headed over to check out the backhoes, lift truck, street sweeper, fire truck, ambulance, police car and more! The Sugar Shack Ice Cream Truck even made an appearance so we indulged in some delicious treats.

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Blaine Library for their “Roadeo”
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Blaine Library for the “Roadeo”

On August 20th I hosted a Bridal Shower for my beautiful sister. It was a lovely morning celebrating her upcoming wedding with her friends and family. Somehow after putting it all together, I didn’t manage to get a single picture!

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The next morning, on August 21st, we said goodbye to our sweet dog Lola.  It was an incredibly sad time for us. Lola was ten years old, so we knew that she was reaching an elderly age, but she hadn’t been showing many signs of slowing down. We, of course, had hoped to have many more years with her.

On Saturday evening, the night before Lola died, I encouraged Andy to take Lola with him to our friend’s home and I am so thankful that he did. Andy was walking over to help our friend move some equipment and I thought Lola might enjoy the outing. Andy rode his bike and Lola ran along side him. She loved visiting our friend’s house because they live along the creek where she can swim, and their home backs up to a large field where she can run. She had a great time playing while Andy worked; then rested at his feet on the patio when the work was done. She walked home that night with Andy, he gave her a treat, then we said goodnight and headed upstairs while she remained downstairs. She had a perfect evening and nothing seemed amiss.

When we woke in the morning to get ready for church, Andy headed downstairs before me to let Lola outside to use the restroom. I came downstairs a few minutes later. Andy mentioned that Lola didn’t seem to be feeling well and when I looked in the yard I couldn’t immediately see her so we went to find her. She came to us when we called, but laid down right away and I could tell when I looked at her that she was very sick. Her eyes looked sad and fearful, her tail was down, her ears sagging and she seemed miserable.

I said to Andy, through a broken voice while trying to push away my fear, “I know I tend to exaggerate sometimes but I think she is dying”. We encouraged her to come with us and she was able to walk into the house where, just as she did every day, she went into the kitchen to her food bowl. Only this time she didn’t eat, but plopped down uncomfortably on her tummy, legs splayed to each side. Andy quickly began frying her an egg to see if she’d show any interest and I tried not to panic. After a short debate of whether I should call my Aunt, also Lola’s veterinarian, at 6:50 in the morning on a Sunday, I decided it couldn’t wait. Trying to hold back tears I explained what was happening with Lola. She asked me to look at the color of her gums; they were grey. Things looked grim. My Aunt instructed us to get her to the emergency veterinary clinic as soon as we were able. We hung up.

Andy called the emergency clinic to let them know he’d be on his way and while he was on the phone and I sat with Lola she lost the contents of her stomach, let out a soft sad and sudden yelp, fell to the side and had what we believe was a heart failure. It was unbearable to witness! I comforted her as much as possible, reminding her what a good dog she was and how much we loved her; she hadn’t completely passed yet. Andy carried her to the truck and loaded her into the passenger seat. We said goodbye. Lola didn’t make it to the veterinary clinic but breathed her last breath in the truck with Andy.

It has been lonely without our sweet dog Lola. She was truly the greatest dog and we know that we will likely never have another dog as loyal, friendly, safe and well behaved as her. She leaves a pretty big dog shaped hole in our hearts and its been a huge change in my day to day routine without her by my side. I really realize, now, how much I had relied on her for comfort when I was sad, stressed or worried. I also feel very strange going for walks without her on my left side trotting along next to the stroller. We miss the click clack of her nails on the cement when running up to the house, or the jingle of her collar. My feet are cold when I read books to the kids in the evening because there isn’t a dog laying on them any longer. There isn’t anyone waiting for us when we leave the library, or the bakery, or when the kids are done swinging at the park. We miss the joy that she brought us and we long for her to still be around.

I had really hoped that Lola would live a longer life so that we’d be able to enjoy more years with her but I also selfishly thought, “wouldn’t it be nice if she lived a few more years so that when she did pass we would be in a better place to raise a puppy?”; knowing that it would be difficult to no longer have a dog in the house.  At this point in our life, with a 5 year old, 3 year old and 2 year old we do not have the time or energy to train up a puppy; but someday I do look forward to having another doggie companion. In the meantime we will live with the many many happy memories we had with her.

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Lynden Library with a play Clifford dog Luke named “Lola”

At the end of August we were blessed to take a weekend trip to San Juan Island with our good friends, Zach and Ashia. On our way we stopped in Anacortes to visit my Grandma Faye. It was my grandma and Callie’s first meeting! It was so nice to see her and I really cherish the time we have with her. I have many lovely memories of the days spent visiting her and my Grandpa Lars as a child and I look back fondly on those visits. I do wish I was able to get down to Anacortes to see her more often. The kids were good sports and posed for many pictures!

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The kids with Great Grandma Faye

We loved our time on San Juan Island. It was relaxing and so enjoyable to be with friends!

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South Beach on San Juan Island
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Family Trip with Friends to San Juan Island
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Luke at South Beach
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Eli at South Beach
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Eli and his drawing of a jelly fish

Since we are already more than halfway through September, maybe there will be another blog post in just a few weeks time; no guarantees though. There should be some exclusive information on Eli’s first day of school, my sister Kristin’s wedding (spoiler alert: it was beautiful), and maybe definitely even more medical appointments! Thanks for following along. See ya next month!

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