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Hi.

Welcome, friends! This here slice of the Internet revolves around lattes, bookshelves, Pinterest, Emily Henderson, white wine spritzers, China, brass anything, passports and my sweet family. Grammar and important worldly events? Not so much. Consider yourself warned.

The Summer of 2015

The Summer of 2015

First things first…

Did you read my last post? Were the pictures all out of whack – in that they did not remotely match the commentary paired with them? Did you find yourself thinking, “Man, Ditty has finally lost her damn mind. She should really throw in the towel”.

Yeah, about that. My professional assessment of that situation is basically that I haven’t a clue why that was happening. The post looked fine and dandy on my computer but when I pulled it up on my iPad it was all sorts of effed up. Brado said when he tried to read it on his phone, images from super old posts were showing up.

Ugh. Technology.

I have been emailing my tech guy for days trying to get everything sorted out. But as it turns out, I don’t have a tech guy (which explains the radio silence)…so there’s that.

In case you haven’t noticed, this is a one-woman production over here. And this particular woman (points to self) is kind of an idiot when it comes to anything techy. There are times when I am strangely proud of that fact but damn…it sure would be helpful to know what in the hell I am doing on occasion.

So I guess if I am going to keep up this whole blogging gig, I will just have to learn the whole Internet, huh? Or maybe…just maybe…you could learn to love blog posts that refer to pictures that you can’t actually see or that don’t make any sense. Could you do that for me? Please? Be a doll.

What? What’s that? You read the post and it looked totally fine? Awesome even? Oh…right. **Ahem** That is because I’m a freaking blogging genius and I totally have my shit together.

Moving on…

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, y’all, but summer is over. You would never know it by stepping out into the ridiculous heat and humidity, but all other signs (i.e. me having to go back to work TODAY!) point to OVER.

I don’t know about you but we had a relaxinglazy, action-packed summer. We saw tons of lovely people, absorbed the blue skies of many beautiful places and ate some seriously delicious food. It was truly fantastic.

And if I am being perfectly honest, this summer was also totally friggin’ exhausting. We slept in at least 15 different beds, had 4 different rental cars and logged upwards to 200 hours of travel time. We were constantly on the move. I can’t tell you how many times we packed, unpacked and repacked our suitcases. With all the house-buying tasks to tackle and the chasing after a very energetic little one year old, we found ourselves at the end of the summer on vapor cougar. Just flat out spent. In fact, all of us got sick. Every last one of us.

But was it worth it? Oddly, yes.  A million times yes! Because now we have a Stateside house (it is official y’all!). ROOTS!!!

Also all the running around and back and forth meant that we got to spend some serious QT with lots of “our people”. So we as unpacked our suitcases one last time here in Beijing we felt exhausted..but thankful.

Dare I say, if given the chance, I would do it all again tomorrow.

Nah. Just kidding. I’m never freaking doing that again. That shit was cray.

But just because I don’t want to do it ever (EVER!) again, I do want to remember it FOREVAH YO! So with that said, let’s revisit the highs and lows of The Summer of 2015.

The Summer of 2015 Pictorial Play-by-Play is brought to you by White Wine Spritzers: the only way to drink almost ALL the time but not be too severely drunk/hungover to parent, sign binding legal documents and/or to play Chutes and Ladders.

 The Summer of 2015 Pictorial Play-by-Play

June 10: Last day of school. Go home and pack like a crazy lady.

June 11: Depart Beijing for Boise, Idaho. Spend 14+ hours on plane regretting the decision to  not buy Finley a seat. #rookiemistake

June 12-13: Spend a few jet-lagged infused days wandering the aisles of 24-hour grocery stores. Mostly fondling the produce and admiring the many, many salad dressing options.

June 14: Brado, Finley and I drive 5½ hours to Bend. We leave Beau with the Grandparents so he could spend some quality time with them. And also so we didn’t have to listen to him moan to the high heavens while we hunted for houses. Everybody wins.


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June 15: Meet our agent and begin The Great House Hunt.

June 16: Make offer on the first house we saw. Wait. Drink white wine spritzers. Wait some more.

June 18: Find out our offer was rejected. Wallow in despair.

June 19: Look at more houses. They are all shit. Wallow even more. Drink white wine spritzers.

June 20: Drive to 2 ½ hours to Burns, OR (halfway between Bend and Boise) to pick up Beau from grandparents; After a sandwich and solid park session, we drive 2 ½ hours back to Bend to resume house hunting. This time, with two kids in tow. #notrecommended. Also…road trips with 1 year olds suck.

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June 24: Leave Bend defeated. We have no house or even a remote prospect of a house. But we need to relax and stop wallowing so we drive to base of Mount Adams to camp. Finley finds 36 new ways to kill herself. #notrelaxing.

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The upside is that it was truly the prettiest campground I have ever seen. And I had the remarkable foresight to pack doughnuts.

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June 25: Wake up in the wee hours of the morning to blood-curdling screams coming out of my one year old. Have you ever heard crazy loud screaming coming out of your child while in a crowded but otherwise supremely quiet wilderness setting? It is uncomfortably loud. I threaten to divorce Brad if we have to camp again on this trip. He recognizes the seriousness in my tone and, wisely, drives us to Leavenworth, Washington.

For those of you who aren’t “in the know” about Leavenworth (which was us before we got there), it is the kitschiest little hipster German town this side of…well, Germany. We check into the world’s most German (but not) hotel. We eat Brats. Beau runs around. Finley bathes. Brad drinks beer. And I rejoice in the fact that we are not camping.

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June 26: Wake up and drive to Winthrop, Washington to meet up with some of our besties. We swim in lakes. Play Games. Drink. Laugh. Repeat.

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I can’t tell you what happened right before the above picture was taken. But I can tell you that it was wrong. So, so, so wrong. And I can never unsee it.

June 29: Drive to Walla Walla, Washington. Check into hotel. Wander the downtown. Which, FYI, is very cute and artsy. Decide that we should really come back here sometime…without kids.

June 30: Drive back to Boise. Unpack. Do Laundry. Pack again.

July 2: Fly to Norfolk, VA (via a long layover in Minneapolis where we hit up Mall of America and Nickelodeon Universe. Beau was in heaven).

July 3: Experience what can only be described as the world’s most frustrating and horrible day. It involved a battleship. And some serious meltdowns. And macaroni falling down my shirt. As we are tucking our defeated selves into bed, Brado checks Zillow and finds our house. Our spirits are lifted.

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July 4: Drive to Virginia Beach (Sand Bridge actually) to hang with my family and best friend. I don’t think we saw Beau once this whole week. He was way too busy playing with his cousins, building sandcastles and diving in the pool. It was awesome.


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July 6: While still in Virgina Beach we decide to make an offer on “the” house – sight unseen.

July 8: Receive counter offer from sellers. It kinda sucks. We drink white wine spritzers and wait for clarity on what to do. It never comes. Shocker.

July 9: F*#$ it. We accept sucky counter offer. Trail of paperwork begins.

July 10: Fly to Minneapolis at the crack of dawn. Stay in hotel downtown. It has a water park inside; which I now realize was all part of Brado’s master plan to brainwash Beau into thinking Minnesota is the greatest place in the whole wide world (P.S. it worked. He is still talking about that damn water park).

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July 11: Booked a babysitter and attended our good friends Aly and Shane’s Wedding. Had so much fun. Probably the most fun out of everyone there. Ummm…definitely. Mostly because I forgot to eat, drank lots of white wine spritzers (without the spritzer) and got seriously drunk. Also, they had a killer band.

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July 12: We spend the morning nursing THE WORST hangover of our lives. Which was awesome because our kids were pretty wide awake and ready to play. I’ll spare you the details but let’s just say that simple tasks like ordering yogurt at Dunn Brothers Coffee proved to be beyond my capabilities that mournful morning. Eventually we had to check out of our hotel. So we went to a park.

Well…actually…we did not GO to a park, per se. Rather, we slept in our car which was parked in a parking lot next to a park. It was not our proudest moment. After a much needed nap we gathered up what was left of our dignity and headed to BBQ at our friends Nick and Erin’s house. They kindly let us crash with them for 2 nights and eat their food. They are awesome.


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July 14: Head over to our friends Billy and Ellyn’s for rest of our Minnesota stay. We zoo it up, swim in lakes and mostly just laugh at the ridiculousness that comes with the territory of being a parent. It is so fun to parent in packs. Parenting alone sucks. Parenting side-by-side with other people who are also parenting is flippin’ great. Bring back village life. I’m a fan.

July 17: Fly back to Boise. Unpack. Do laundry. Pack again.

July 18: Leave kids with grandparents. Drive to Bend.

July 19: Toured our soon-to-be new house for first time. Breathed a huge sigh of relief because we realized we loved it even more than we thought we would.

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July 21: Drive Back to Boise. Unpack. Pack.

July 22: Brad flies to Colorado at the crack of dawn for his man trip. He spends the next 4 days climbing big, big mountains, eating tortillas with tuna and cream cheese and watching a moose.

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July 23: I drive to 6 ½ hours to Portland, OR to see my girl Jenny B. We do nothing and talk about everything. She fulfills my lifelong dream and takes me to Schoolhouse Electric. Let’s not talk about what I bought and how much it cost.


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July 26: Brad flies back to Boise. I drive back to Boise. Unpack. Pack.

July 27: Collect the kids. Load up the car and drive to Bend. Tour our house one more time. This time with the seller present so she can tell us the ins and outs of our new digs. She is AWESOME! She invites us to spend the whole next day at the house by ourselves. Just to sorta play house. We take her up on the offer.

July 28: Play house. Go to the neighborhood pool. Hit up the river. Lounge. Even take a nap on the couch. Round out the day by having dinner and drinks with the seller. Make plans to be friends forever.

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July 29: Choose the hottest day of the year to visit Lava Lands National Park. Oh and we forget to pack a lunch. As you can imagine, it was awesome.


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July 30: Drive back to Boise thoroughly defeated. Unpack.

July 31: Beau gets sick. I start packing.

August 1: Finley gets a rash. I keep packing.

August 3: Brad gets sick. I go last minute shopping.

August 4: I get sick. Stuff the rest of our shit in a bag.

August 6: 6:45 a.m. hop on a plane back to Beijing. Curse the heavens that we didn’t purchase Finley a seat. #fullcircle

So…yeah. It was some summer. And we are NEVER doing that again.

You want to see us next summer? You know where we will be:

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Pumping, Pondering and Partying

Pumping, Pondering and Partying

Pending

Pending