August 2016

Back in August, Michael and Colt took a boy’s trip to New York to visit Uncle Joe! Colt loved riding the train. Imagine hearing a lot of, “All ABOARD to NEW YORK CITY!!”

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Colt, perfectly outfitted for an adventure on the train! ūüėČ

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Numnum, Colt & Dad sharing snacks on the train.

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Joe and Colt – Central Park!

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Michael wears that bag everywhere.

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Colt a regular New Yorker, riding the subway.

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Museum of Natural History.

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Roar!

Joe has a great apartment and he is such a great uncle that he made his great apartment even greater with great toys all ready for Colt’s arrival!

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Teepee!

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Inflatable bouncy donkey! ???

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Mickey Mouse Pancakes!

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The best way to get around the city.

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Father son.

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Out to dinner with friends – Vinay reading to Colt.

And while the big boys were doing this, I was hanging out with this adorable little boy!

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This guy is a blast!

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Eyes.

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Love my baby.

Also, August brought us our first little homeowner-surprise hole in our kitchen ceiling!

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Yowza!

And a visit from dear friends, Katie and Mason!

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Loved getting to see these two in DC!

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Swimming pool fun!

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Selfie from our family day at the National Harbor.

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Colt loves a good carousel.

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Colt & Dad doing Spiderman hands (while Finn checks out our stash of mini vodkas).

So, this particular day I had the pleasure of watching a girlfriend’s 2 littles. It was only a work-day worth of sitting but kids were 5 months, 1, 2 and 3 years old so I was a little intimidated. Thankfully we planned ahead and double thankfully, her kiddos are adorable and super sweet and easy. We had a super fun day.

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Colt loved having a pal over!

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Hanging with a baby!

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Lunch time.

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He makes Finn look like a monster!

More August…

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To clarify: not an announcement (he’s already a big brother!), just a cutie pie.

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Typical Numnum.

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Michael and Colt at the Nats game!

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Love this snuggly angel.

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Boys!

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Neighbor friends!

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Yard bros.

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Bubbles.

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Sleeping kids are the sweetest kids.

Also, every August, the park across the street from our house turns into the Arlington County Fair. We didn’t really know what to expect but we were blown away. It was such a blast for kids and parents. We loved the neighborhood community feel of it all, we loved the atmosphere, the colors, the rides, the food and the FUN. Went every day, multiple times. Counting down until next year already.

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Those eyes though.

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Pig and goat races.

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Finn in stroller.

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Cheering for the pink team.

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Fair scene.

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Happy.

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Lamest game EVER. Colt loved it.

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He’s so cool.

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The big boys.

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Checking out the fire truck.

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YAY MORE FISHING…

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View from the ferris wheel.

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My parents were in town so they also babysat and let Michael and I go back out solo. #FRIEDOREOSJUSTFORUS

And the fair also happened to correspond with Finn’s first birthday! (Thank you Arlington County for sponsoring all of his future birthday parties.) So we HAD to get some funnel cake for the birthday boy.

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Celebrating the big ONE with funnel cake!

That weekend we also had a few friends over to celebrate! I already posted on his birthday party but here is one shot of the birthday boy.

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Finn turns 1!

More from August…

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Colt having a blast at the DC United game compliments of his awesome godparents!

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Soccer fans!

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Park playdate with Colt’s girlfriend, Aubrey.

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Cuties.

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Chalk cheeks.

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Dinner date with Kelli & Lauren!

I also tried to take both kids to the zoo by myself. We don’t have a double stroller (just never got one!) and it’s the ONE place where I have really wished we did. It was a HOT day and the DC National Zoo is so big and spread out and hilly so it was kind of a disaster with few photos taken but here are a couple.

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Petting portion.

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Precious.

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Hair after walking through the misters.

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Grill time x 2.

Michael got out to Denver for a quick weekend away with our Brazil guy-friends. They came together from New York, DC, Chicago, Minneapolis and Denver.

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Denver hike.

Which just meant that I got more snuggles with these little ones.

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Park picnic Finn.

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Colt feeding goldfish to the squirrels.

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Snugglebros.

July 2016 in Vail, Colorado

Just days after we returned from our beach week in South Carolina, we repacked our bags and headed to Vail to spend the week with Michael’s family. His family has gone to Vail for the past 4 summers and although we’ve only made it to the latest 2, it’s a sweet tradition and a beautiful place to gather. And Vail temperatures definitely beat the heat that we were feeling in DC and they were going through in Arizona!

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Airplane Part 1.

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Airplane Part 2.

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Airplane Part 3.

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Going with Dad to get the rental car.

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Finn sticking with Mom and all the bags.

One 4 hour flight to Denver + 2 hours in the car + one Colt puke in the car RIGHT before we pulled up… AND WE MADE IT!!!!

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Cousin Soren leading Colt around!

One highlight of our trip was an¬†amazing outdoor Symphony performance of Beethoven Lives Upstairs. Preempted by the instrument “petting zoo” where the kids¬†could touch and play the instruments.

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Colt desperately trying to play the euphonium.

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Harder than it looks but he got it.

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Soren, Shannon, Lise, Nana, Colt & Mom.

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Colorado pool time! We brought Finn’s float with us.

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Family photo in Vail village.

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Finn! Almost 11 months.

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Vail Village.

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Colt and Papa.

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Patriotic Colt and Bear.

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Colt wearing his new light-up Sketchers from Nana and his Camelbak from Lise!

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Lise on the Berry Picker Hike.

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Beautiful hike.

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Hiking Mikey.

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Fun at the top of the hike! Although if memory serves Colt screamed through most of this.

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Some hike, others gondola. Either way, Colt is ready with his Camelbak!

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Gondola pals! Colt and Nana!

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Evening out with the crew.

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Park day!

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Swinging baby.

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Hat bros.

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Playground with a view.

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Nana and her boys!

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Splash park fun!

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Bright eyes.

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Love this face.

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Colt and Papa checking out the hot tub.

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Off for a ride!

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Such a handsome little love.

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Colt getting all up in his face.

We also had a mini party to celebrate the July 7 birthday boys!

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73 and 3! Looking good!

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After.

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Another day another airport.

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These two.

 

Summer 2016 in SC – Beach Week

At the end of June our family packed the car and headed to South Carolina for a couple of weeks. Michael had to travel for work during the first half of our time there but returned for beach week. Here are some pictures from our time!

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Ready for the next 10 hours!

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Beats.

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Sleeps.

We kicked off the time in South Carolina with a visit to my grandparents’ house on Lake Murray!

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Summertime Fincher.

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Lovin’ life.

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Lake lounging.

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Colt’s airplane arms.

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I think this is the ride¬†where Michael flipped all 3 of us off!! Woops…!

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Finn loving his new Clemson gear.

Back in Columbia…

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Colt!

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My parents got a sandbox for their yard and it was a HUGE hit!

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Sandy Finn.

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Sweet face.

We checked out the water park at Ft. Jackson.

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Colt ready to go!

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Finn in on the action too.

My grandparents also took us all to the zoo!

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Colt & Finn with Nanny & Papa at the new otter exhibit.

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Colt’s favorites are the elephants!

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With Nanny and Colt.

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Feeding giraffes is always such a highlight!

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The gorilla was putting on a show!

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Colt riding a pony!

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Mom and Colt on the zoo train.

One evening Colt was thrilled to go watch my mom compete in a tennis match which she OF COURSE DOMINATED!

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Colt watching Gigi on the courts.

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Playing in the dirt with Gigi in the background.

At my parents house the kids run the show.

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Finn exploring.

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And I wonder why he always wants to climb into the dishwasher while I’m trying to do dishes!

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Riding his bike around their neighborhood.

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Finn learning to pull up in the crib.

After a week in Columbia we drove to Charleston for a week at the beach with my family!

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Driving to Charleston. First stop – airport to get Michael!

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Second stop: Meredith & Andrew’s house where Colt promptly made himself at home on the drum set.

The beach week was in celebration of my mom’s 60th birthday that previous May. She and my dad joined together with my dad’s brother and his wife and they rented an awesome beach house for all of their kids & grandkids. There were 4 from my parents generation, 8 from my generation and 7 little ones (ages 10 months, 1.5, 3, 4.5, 6, 8¬†and 10) so it was a full, FUN house. The house was a block off the beach and had a great pool that was well shaded in the afternoons so the routine was usually beach in the morning, pool in the afternoon. Some highlights included celebrating the 4th of July, celebrating Colt’s 3rd birthday and lots of family time! Here are some moments from the week!

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Dad & Colt.

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Dad & Finn.

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Colt & Augusta Clare digging at the beach.

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My brother Brad and Augusta Clare. Love this pic of them.

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Sweet little May.

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Pool scene. Colt…

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More.

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Spiderman goggles!!

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Finn loved floating in the pool.

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The best little infant floater.

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Harper bros. #matchingsungas

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Love snuggling this guy.

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Beach babes.

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Besties Augusta Clare & Colt.

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Patriotic Finn.

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At the coloring table.

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Face!

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Laughing the days away.

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Finn and Aunt Suzanne!

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Colt with Delaney and Gavin.

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May and Finn building with blocks.

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Family 4th photo.

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Colt’s first¬†time really watching fireworks. Best view on Dad’s shoulders.

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Colt learning all about block towers from big cuz Gavin.

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All 8 of my generation: JC & Matt, Michael & me, Brad & Suzanne, Jenna & Mark.

On July 7, we were so happy to celebrate Colt’s 3rd birthday!

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Birthday table set-up, all ready for the birthday boy.

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Birthday morning at the beach.

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Birthday kite flying.

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Birthday brother.

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Birthday playing with Augusta Clare while Finn crawls headfirst into the surf.

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Birthday playing with Dad.

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Jealous.

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Fun on the beach!

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Mom & Finn.

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Family photo with the birthday boy.

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Birthday Colt.

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Love our 3 year old!!!

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CAKE and PRESENTS!!

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Evening walk on the beach with this cutie pie.

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Papa with his granddaughter and granddaughter in law. ūüôā

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Our attempt to get the great grandparents with their 4 great grands.

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Lunch with these cuties.

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Family Photo Shoot!

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Harpers on the beach!

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My parents with their kids & grands!

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Beach crew (minus Mark & Jenna!)

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Beach boys.

June/July 2016 in Virginia

JUNE:

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June 1 little Finn! 9.5 months

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June 1: Colt, almost 2 yrs 11 months.

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Dad home from work! We love the run-able / bike-able commute.

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Picked me a flower. Of course I loved it.

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“School with Mom.” Colt learning how to read.

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Summer soccer camp!

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Stretches with the coach.

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My little Mr. Blue Eyes.

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Summertime = splash parks.

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Front yard flowers! A fun discovery for the first summer in our new house.

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Presh little Finn.

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Park picnic.

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Future Mustang?

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June 10 РThe Joneses stop in for a quick visit! Always love seeing our Brazil friends.

June 10-12 Harpers visit! Air & Space Museum + Nationals Game.

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Colt flying a plane.

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Papa, Astronaut, Colt & Nana.

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Colt leading Papa around!

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Nana with her little boys.

Touring Jones Day’s DC office space with Michael’s parents and brother before heading to the National’s game.

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Colt’s and Finn’s first major league baseball game! Go Nats and Go (Bryce) Harper!img_1024img_1025img_4311img_1029img_1031img_1036img_1038

More fun in Virginia!

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We love the Train Park!

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Colt’s sweet spider family.

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Long Branch Nature Center.

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Watching the turtles.

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And snakes.

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Backyard t-ball zinger. All lefty at the plate.

Michael randomly won an¬†opportunity to go to batting practice at the National’s park one Saturday so here he is!

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Batting cages.

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Surveying the field.

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Zinger.

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Front yard hose fun!

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Father’s Day 2016.

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Another day another park.

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Big brothers are superheros. (Little brothers are too!)

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Dad + Box + imagination = FUN!

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Rocks in the creek.

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Sweet Finn! 10 months.

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Finn gets mobile and Colt gets a shadow.

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Hard at work.

JULY:

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Finn happy to see his great Aunt Patsy!

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Family visit!

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Touring Michael’s office.

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Starting to get hands-free.

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Learning the art of the fort.

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Duplos train & tracks compliments of the Hudsons!

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Colt dominates the dentist.

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Adventure outdoors.

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Superman. Even down to his undies.

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Pool fun with Dad and Colt!

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Park twins!

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Happy camper Finn. July 30.

April 2016 – Week in Arizona

Last April (almost a year ago…eek!) we flew to Arizona!¬†img_0660

We were visiting for a family friend’s wedding in Sedona so after we landed we drove straight there¬†to the Harpers’ property at Hidden Valley.

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Colt loves it.

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Feeding the ducks!

Sweet little visit from Sharon’s sister Patsy and brother Tim¬†for a hand of Pfeffer.

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Great Aunt Patsy and Great Uncle Time with Finn!

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Colt is a focused Pfeffer player.

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Colt and Papa!

The rehearsal dinner Friday night was western.

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Aunt Lise with her boys in their perfectly fitting Western wear.

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Yeehaw.

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Mike & Shannon.

A couple pictures from the wedding and party Saturday.

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Colt opening up the dance floor.

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Rent the runway triplets.

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Photo booth.

After the wedding, Michael had to fly to Brazil for work for the week so the kids and I stayed in Arizona. Since we were there for a full week, Michael and his parents decided to take advantage of the time and get Colt into swim lessons with the amazing swim instructor, Marta. The Harpers originally met Marta when she taught the Harper kids to swim back when Michael was 2 or 3 years old. Soon she¬†stepped in to fill the void left by an au pair and has worked for his family ever since – currently their Home¬†Manager! So, she’s basically family. But her hidden talent is definitely swimming lessons. People come from all over Arizona to have her teach their kids – especially since pools are so common there so water-safety is essential.

Colt was only 2 and a half and had NO swimming experience. We only had a few days so they coordinated with Marta to have him take lessons every morning and evening for 5 days. The first few days were pretty brutal and Colt would seriously resist getting dressed and ready for it, but just when I was ready to pull the plug, he turned the corner and started to like it. img_2956img_2958img_2960

By the end of the week, Colt was able to jump into the water, go under and come up onto his back totally on his own. Then he learned how to float and paddle over to the wall until he could grab on, flip over and “monkey” across the wall to the side of the pool until he reached the steps where he could¬†get out. I was amazed by the incredible progress and accomplishment! We celebrated his “graduation” with medals and gifts.

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Excited for his lesson!

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Graduation gifts!

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Facetime with Dad to show off his medal.

And when we weren’t swimming¬†we were busy¬†enjoying¬†time with family in Arizona!

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Bubbles with Lise in the backyard.

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Happy Finn at 8 months.

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Driving down the lane.

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Colt and cousin Julian at the children’s museum.

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Finn!

To close out the trip I did one of the bravest things ever and flew with both boys by myself from Phoenix to DC. The Harpers walked us up to security and Michael met us on the other side but I was nervous about the 4 and a half hours in between. Thankfully it was before Colt was really potty trained (so no emergency runs to the bathroom!) and before Finn was mobile so he stayed relatively content in his carseat (I think the only time we’ve bit the bullet and bought a seat for a baby under 2). Not sure I could do it again right now but it was worth it to get that sweet time with family! ūüôā

Spring 2016 in VA (April-May)

April.

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Settling into our home. Flowers on the table are hydrangeas straight from the yard!

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Colt chasing a friendly bunny in our neighbors’ yard.

One weekend in April, Joe came down from New York to visit. We had some friends over to watch basketball and grill out!

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Michael manning the grill.

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Sports & drinks.

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Kids running around the yard.

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Finn & Uncle Joe.

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Old man Colt.

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Jumping on the bed.

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Some morning painting.

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Learning the color wheel.

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Basement, teepee Finn. Just chewing on a plastic chicken leg. Normal.

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Apple slice floor picnic.

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This FACE.

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2 years 9 months.

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Balloon room at Busy Bees!

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Random tiny little snow.

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Tiny little snow = Tiny little snowman!!

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Snow soon melted and left us with spring weather again.

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Yard boys.

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This is never what you want to see on your monitor.

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Life is just hard sometimes.

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The sweetest little yard helper.

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Fincher smiles!

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Coltchie smiles.

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Coltchie creation.

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Colt loved to set up toys to encourage Finn to crawl. And sometimes give him a little push as well. ūüėȬ†

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Finn, however, loves to just model.

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Family visit to the national zoo.

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Anteater.

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More modeling from this funny little honey baked ham.

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Superman just drinking milk and watching some cartoons.

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Day 2 of Superman.

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Gigi and Pasha stop through for a little visit.

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And delight Colt by taking him to the Natural History Museum!

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Colt & Bear!

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More crawling practice.

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Brazilian bros!

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Strolling.

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And scooting.

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Captivated.

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Colt exploring in the distance.

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Blue eyed baby.

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Almost positive he’s roaring in this moment.

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Sunshine!

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Swinging over at our neighbors’ house. LOVE having neighbors who are also real friends.

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Snuggle bug.

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Playing “catch.”

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Starting to get some teeth!

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These two just kill me!

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Really grateful that there are so many wonderful parks in Arlington. 

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Finn loves it too.

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Colt’s dinosaurs helping him do his dinosaur puzzle.

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Loving his new Ninja Turtles puzzle!

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Cheese!

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Always gnawing on something.

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Sailor Finn!

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Colt’s room after we finally added the¬†second bed – also known as “Uncle Joe’s bed” since he was the first person to bunk up with Colt.

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Finn + Laundry.

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Snuggly bedtime Fincher.

 

 

Easter 2016 in SC

(Still playing catch-up!) Earlier in 2016 Michael was still traveling a lot to Brazil for work. He needed to be in Brazil the week before Easter so we decided to have my mom fly up to VA so that she could help me do the drive with the boys from VA down to SC to spend time with family there that week. Then, Michael met us in SC for Easter and we were all able to return to VA together as a family. Here are some pictures & memories from the trip.

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Making our standard Cracker Barrel stop along the drive!

Easter-week activities at my parents’ church.

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Colt & Finn are happy to meet the Easter Bunny. 

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Finn at 7 months old! Had just gotten his first tooth!

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At the Easter Egg hunt!

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Finn & Pasha.

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Kids settling in for some scripture readings.

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Colt was a huge fan of the whole Easter egg concept. 

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Gigi introducing Finn to dolls.

Meanwhile, Michael was hanging with our friends back in Brazil and sent me these pics with the Parkers’ precious kiddos who are both within days of our two.

 

 

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Michael & Jack.

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Little Finley!

During my week at home, my parents let me leave Colt with them for a day so that I could visit a dear college friend for an afternoon in Atlanta. Finn was happy to have come along for the ride with me though!

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Finn!

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So happy to meet Bess and her 2 cuties.

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With Bess and her princess Mary Carol!

Next morning back in Columbia.

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Sweet boys!

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Necklace making with Colt.

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All set up to race matchbox cars down the hill across from my parents’ house.

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Colt always took the better cars…

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Funny bath Fincher.

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Loves the bath.

It was during this trip that Colt wrote his name for the first time. He has a really simple name to write and it’s obviously not perfect but he did it totally unprompted so I was kind of shocked when I saw it so of course I took a photo.

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“Colt” – age 2 yrs 8 months. Showing me it’s time to start working on writing!¬†

During our visit, my mom also introduced Colt to the whole concept and process of dying hard boiled eggs. He was a HUGE fan AND it got him to eat hard boiled eggs (at least for a while…).

 

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Egg-dying 1.

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Egg-dying 2.

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Egg-dying 3.

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Egg-eating 1.

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Egg-eating 2.

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Puzzle-building 1.

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Puzzle-building 2.

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Puzzle-completion!

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Egg-dying 4.

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Egg-eating 3.

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Nanny & Papa with their great grandsons.

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Easter Sunday with Gigi & Pasha.

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Michael is back!

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Brad’s family visiting my parents’ house as well.¬†

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Michael catching up with May.

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Easter egg hunt with the cousins.

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Colt, Augusta Clare and Gabriel.

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Pasha entertaining grandkids. 

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Henry & Margaret teaching Colt cornhole. 

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Fincher Fam!