Thursday, February 4, 2010

Our First Family Vacation

We took our first family vacation this past week to Leavenworth, Washington. It was absolutely incredible. It was a perfect balance between activity and utter relaxation. The first night there I lit candles and took a long, hot bath. Aaron did his equally enjoyable activity of reading a zombie book. We curled up on the couch with a fire and my newest favorite artist, Norah Jones, and I achieved a level of relaxation I had no idea was even possible. To have nothing hanging over us for a whole week. Amazing. We had a leisurely morning with a big breakfast before we headed outside to the beautiful winter wonderland the next day!

The weather was beautiful. I was hoping we'd get to
see it snow. That didn't happen, but the ground
was beautifully covered beforehand so I didn't mind too much.

For anybody who knows me at all, they know I have
a sweet tooth I rarely deny. I've tried to keep Elijah
away from sugar for the most part, but vacations are
made for fun. We started the vacation with a trip to
Cold Stone for ice-cream and while Aaron made a quick
dash into Barnes and Noble, Elijah and I got to check
out a pet store. Elijah probably would have thought if
this is it, I LOVE vacations. There was so much more though!

This is from our first morning. I wish this captured
the snow-covered mountainous view we had! I couldn't
help but praise God throughout this trip. So much
was provided by Him to make this the perfect trip. Our
unit was so comfortable. The view was stunning.
And, we had been given stuff when Elijah was born all
the way up to the trip to make it perfect and yet affordable
for us. He had boots, snow bibs, coats, hats and
mittens, and even a toddler sled.

Getting ready for the snow! It didn't take Elijah
long to learn how to say the word snow! He
completely cracked up as Aaron and I would toss
snow at each other and him. He even joined
in the fun of throwing it as best he could. At times when
we were inside he'd beg, "Snow! Snow! Snow!"

Walking in the snow proved to be a
big challenge for our big boy!

He's gaining confidence! This is right outside our unit.

Our lovely home for the week!

Elijah's enjoying life on his toddler sled given
to us by my mentor, Daudette, and her family.
Thank you Catey family!

Elijah is quite the affectionate little guy and if he
doesn't get enough hugs and kisses, he'll just grab
me to let me know. He gives a great eskimo kiss!
This is the beginning of our snowman. Don't let the
photo fool you. Aaron and I did all the work while
Elijah just tried to eat the snowman. Pretty cute!

Who knew creating snowmen was such a labor of love!

With all the work that went into this little snowman,
you didn't think we'd stop with just one picture...

...or even two!

Aaron is such a great, involved daddy! It is
such a joy to see them delight in each other.
This is Elijah's all time favorite activity. You
match the puzzle pieces of the mommy and baby
animals. He's still totally into animals.

Downtown Leavenworth

We had to go outside and brave the snow in swimsuits to
at least give the hot-tub a try. Elijah did NOT care for it though.

To my surprise, Elijah was pretty mild mannered most
the trip. We have experienced some sizable melt downs
lately and I thought our vacation might be filled with them.
But, he did very, very well. He definitely knows what he
wants and does his best to get said desire though. He had
his first store bought cookie on this trip and was not ever
going to forget this new word cookie after such a delightful
experience. We wanted to make sugar cookies together as a
family and I made the mistake of telling him what we were
making. We couldn't understand why he couldn't eat them
after we decorated them with colored sugar. I ended up
having to give him some alone time to recover from this
injustice. After he saw them come out of the oven it made
more sense the next time we baked cookies.

Just being adorable! If you saw the other side of
his face you may consider calling CPS. He did a
face plant sledding down a hill and the snow was
pretty unforgiving. Additionally, on our trip, Elijah
fell into the corner of the outside closet wall at a
pretty good rate of speed. He has a nice cut and
some serious black and blue bruises on his chin.
This is just to note a few of the best battle wounds
of the trip for our little warrior! He is pretty tough
and bounces back quickly.

Just being adorable...again!

There was a beautiful trail that led us to the Wenatchee
River and then to downtown Leavenworth. We walked
to the McDonald's where Elijah had his first happy meal
since we didn't anticipate being out for lunch. To his
delight, he learned to drink milk out of a straw.

Elijah's favorite activity in the snow...eating it.

Elijah gives a whole new meaning to shoveling snow!

In addition to the great sledding hill right outside
our place, at the bottom of the hill was a city park
with a couple great playscapes!

Time to continue the journey of life! Thanks for
sharing in this glimpse of our journey!