Sunday, August 22, 2010

Chateaux de Samples

My goodness, has it been a month since I posted? Holy cow where has the time gone! Not sure if you all know this, but I mainly use this blog as a running journal of our lives. I think it's great that our friends and family can see it, but at the end of every year I have all my posts printed into a coffee table book so we have a running list of pictures and my journaling of what we did that year!This month, August, has been a BUSY one! Our great friends, Matt, Wendi, Abbey, and Emma, are living in DC for two years while Matt is on "assignment" with PNNL. They absolutely love it back there and now I see why! We decided to take a week long vacation out there to see them and spend some fun time touring DC!

First things first ... at 9 months here are Braxton's stats: 23lbs (85% percentile), 31inches (97% percentile), 7.5 head circum (75% percentile). He started crawling AND pulling himself up while we were in DC too (9.5 months). Now he is into everything! He loves to crawl to the fireplace and stare at himself in the glass! His schedule is 7am - bm & yogurt, 11am - bm & fruit, 3pm - bm, 5pm - dinner, 7:30pm - bm and to bed! He sleeps until about 6am sometimes 7am if I'm lucky!

He is such an easy baby and Blake and I feel soooooo lucky! He has so much personality and I love to hear him babble! His favorite word to say is "da-da" but he also likes "ga-ga, ba-ba, and sometimes I get a "maaaaaaam" He loves to clap and waves at everyone (we tell him he is very polite!) and now dances by moving his butt back and forth on the ground and turning his hands together ... touching the backs of each of his hands together in front of his chest and moving them in and out!). Every stage gets more and more fun! We can't wait to see what's next! But my favorite part of the day is at night when he's eating his bedtime bottle and we just stare at each other. I hope I never forget that feeling.

Back to Chateaux de Samples....we arrived on Monday evening and in true Wendi fashion, our entire trip was scheduled. (this is a trait both Blake and I love! We love being busy and on the go!). Monday night I had a shoot (Yes, she put me to work in DC) and then we spent the night just hanging out in their gorgeous townhouse. Wendi is stellar at decorating so she could turn a shack into something out of a magazine!

Tuesday Blake and Matt had to work, so Wendi, myself, and the kiddos went to the mall for the better part of the afternoon! She introduced me to great stores like Papaya and Charming Charlies! That evening Matt & Wendi babysat Braxton and I took the Metro into DC too meet Blake for a date night! We saw Mary Poppins at the Kennedy Center (A-M-A-Z-I-N-G) and had a great sushi dinner! Wednesday Wendi, me, and the kids drove into Alexandria ... a photogs dream. Colorful staircases, beautiful, old architecture and buildings, unbelievable textures. I could have died taking pictures there!

That night we hung out at the Samples house for a great dinner and after everyone went to bed, the real fun began. Wendi and I had the best bonding night of our friendship. Here's the only way I can explain it ... when I was little, my Mom's life-long friends (namely Aunt Nancy!) would come to visit. I loved to hang out with them and would always be sad when I had to go to bed. I wanted to just be around them and feel "adult-ish" and hear their stories and see what it was they talked about. I can remember laying in bed and hearing them a floor above me LAUGHING until the wee hours of the morning and even at 8 years old wondering, "what are they talking about? How can they talk and laugh for so long?" ....well, Wendi and I have turned into my Mom. Now I know what my Mom and her friends were talking about! Old times, growing up, marriage, kids, life, things that shaped us, and everything in between. This conversation started about 9pm and lasted until after 2am!!! During it I peed my pants, Wendi cried from laughing, and we ate more Greek Russian Mexican treats than our stomach and thighs would like to remember. What we talked about will have to go to the grave with me, but here are some inside joke highlights to keep you guessing .... Wendi, here's to:
Dips bars; looking at people with towels on their heads sitting on couches and having an ah-ha moment; the forbidden FB; two words = middle school; bagels; kissing in backyards in the middle of the night; becoming bf/gf through a note; how the same person can change your life, then ask you to a dance and not remember changing your life; and through all of this ultimately ending up exactly where you were supposed to be in life ... but a little smarter.

Thursday Blake, Braxton and I went to the Air & Space Museum and then that night we all went to our other friends' Pete & Anna for a BBQ. It was there we all noted how life had changed. A few years ago, we were all at Jackson's after work. We were having a beer and no one had anything to rush home to. We laughed, took our time eating, talked, laughed and finally left the bar at who knows what time. Skip ahead 4 years. Shouting threats at the older kids, "If you don't eat your dinner you can't play" ... Blake and I rotating Braxton from lap to lap so one of us could eat and hold him so he didn't destroy the Tensmeyer's house as he pulled everything from every shelf. As we talked, every other sentence someone had to feed a child, change a diaper, discipline someone, or remind them (ah-hem, Braxton) not to eat carpet fibers from the rug. Ahhh life as parents.

Friday was awesome! Wen watched Brax all day and evening so Blake and I could go into DC and do all the tourist stuff! We went to all the monuments, memorials, and tourist attractions like the Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument, White House, Ford's Theater, and the Smithsonian museums. Blake and I love museums so that was our favorite part! I even got to see Dorothy's ruby red slippers (they wouldn't have fit on my big toe!! ... I'm pretty sure she had her feet bound ... lol).

Saturday we spent the day at National Harbor walking around the shops, eating great food, and then flew home! It was sad to leave them because we had such a good time. But also nice to get home and back into a routine....however I miss my dungeon at the Samples (their guest room is in the basement and it's cool and dark and we love sleeping there!) One morning I slept until 11am!! Thank goodness Blake was there to take care of Brax!

Vacations like that always make me feel recharged and ready to go! I can't wait to see them next ... we love you guys like family and are so happy our families get to grow up together and have lots more nights eating too much, drinking great wine, and laughing way to loud!

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