Monday, September 26, 2016

Discovering a New Part of Bahrain

Whenever we need a weekend away, we tend to head to Bahrain, but we are so routine that we normally stay at the hotel attached to the mall. It's easy: there are movies, shopping, and great wine at the hotel lounge. This time, however, we branched out and headed all the way to the tip of Bahrain to a new hotel for us, the Art Rotana. And it was gorgeous! A huge fountain that did a musical display much like that of Dubai, four pools, the beautiful Gulf right there, and a lot of kid waterpark fun.

Here's the swanky marina right next door and a part of the heart pool. Those yachts are just parked there. Also, way in the back of the photo are the "new" islands they are making. This is fascinating to see machines take sand from the bottom of the ocean and create new islands from them. Much of Bahrain is made like this.

The best part of the weekend, other than Sojo going with friends this time and having a blast running around, was that we rented a jet ski for the first time ever. We've always wanted to do this, but it's never come to fruition until this weekend. The water was amazing blue, and we got there early before all the crazy drivers came out to play on the jet skis. Sojo was kind enough to share some of her time with me so I could also get my first ride.

The weekend felt like a real getaway, and we can't wait to go back. 

Tuesday, August 30, 2016


A few summers ago, we decided to take advantage of our beautiful forested areas nearby and do some summer hiking.

When my brother and his wife came to visit, we wound up driving over 2.5 hours to get to a national park, and, although it was beautiful, it's kinda far to go. At least we had good company.

Little did we know that a gorgeous hike around a lake was just ten minutes away from us. That Anderson Lake was our last hike of the summer, and it was a beauty.

We love our town so, so much. Glad that one day on the beach, we found this log that shows someone else feels the same way.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Fourth Grade

After what seemed like a pretty long summer vacation, we are back to school. Sojo started fourth grade yesterday, and the shift in maturity and the growth spurt in the last few months have definitely indicated that she is an upper elementary girl. Her new teacher is quite the techie, so she is excited about that connection.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016


Port Townsend is a peninsula, so there are lots of different beaches to choose from and all are close in proximity. I adore that there are so many: there's the sea glass beach with great tidepooling, the beach by the ice cream shop where Sojo and her cousin made their own parkour course this summer, the best driftwood beach by the marina and the skipping rocks beach by the coffee shop. We make it to the beach just about everyday in the summer, and that is downright dreamy to me. Sojo is often crazy enough to even get in the very frigid water for a bit.

Feeling homesick for beaches now. Our two lives are so vastly different. 

Monday, August 22, 2016

The Pits

This summer, the cousins and Sojo took full advantage of our local skate park and improved their BMX skills. On top of that, they wanted to go in "the pits," which are the advanced skating areas. This was freaky to me but very cool to them. Their goal was to get out of the pits in an American Ninja Warrior , warped wall sort of way. It was definitely a good exercise in persistence, as well as good exercise in general. Sojo woke up the next morning with sore arm muscles, which seems like a perfect thing in the summer.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

That's a Wrap!

Another school year is coming to a close, and third grade is done and dusted. We teachers work an extra week after the kids go, but that still means vacation for Sojo. And, as she is getting more and more independent, that means she can stay home by herself instead of coming to work with us as she normally does.

It was the best year ever for her, and she has a renewed spark for learning. Her teacher was so good at celebrating everyone and making them feel wonderful and capable. Sojo, not often a gushy kid, wrote her teacher a letter that said: "Thanks for accepting me for who I am." Truly, at the end of the day (and at the start of the day as well), that is what matters most and what helps kids succeed.

One more week before we are off to Port Townsend for some hopefully cooler temps and loads of family time.

Thursday, June 02, 2016

Nine Wonderful Years

Lucky for us that our Family Day occurred over a long weekend, so we drove over to Qatar for a vacation by the sea. Nine years together. Wow. I can no longer say that it feels like yesterday because it doesn't feel like yesterday; instead, it feels like the most beautiful, slow-moving passage of time together. As always, we are grateful for this special girl to be our daughter.

Highlights of the weekend included seeing the new Angry Bird movie, loads of pool time, and her first-ever milkshake. That one was a big hit!