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Long Live Spontaneous Adventures

On Thursday night we decided at the last minute to head up to Seattle to spend New Year's with my brother and his family. It's about a 4-5 hour drive from our house in Eugene to their house in Tacoma.

Liz, my sister-in-law, and I had talked about maybe getting together for New Year's but didn't make any firm plans. I got an email from her on Thursday afternoon telling us they were planning to go over to my cousin's and we were invited if we felt like making the drive.

The deciding factor in heading out of town for me was this: I want to make more time for good stuff with people I love.

First and foremost that means planning more adventures with my siblings and their kids. Two weeks ago I was able to use miles to book tickets to take the kids and visit my sister in Charlotte in March. Go miles go.

So we packed up the car Friday morning and hit the road.

Someday down the road I'm going to do an album of all these photos I've got of Lucy and Anna together. It always looks like they are sharing special little secrets.

Not long after we arrived it was time to head over to my cousin's house for a perfect kid-friendly New Year's Eve party.

Crazy boys. Lots of jumping, running, eating cupcakes, watching movies and being silly.

The girl's did some coloring at a station my cousin-in-law set up (such a great idea). Anna was in bed by 7:30pm. Lucy was up for the distance after almost falling asleep once.

The photo of the backyard fireworks I took at a super low iso (like 100). I set the camera on a table they had outside and just pushed the button once the firework started. It took a super long time for the shutter to close and this was the result.

After playing games and a bit of merry-making, we were back at my brother's house by about 11:15pm. It was pretty much the maximum for the kids (besides Anna who'd already been asleep before we had to take her out to the car).

It was a great way to spend the last night of 2010.

On Saturday we headed up to Seattle to Pike Place Market.

Turned out just about everything was closed - tons of people walking around with nothing open. Not super great when you've got four little kids who were looking forward to lunch at the Market.

While figuring out what was next we hung out a bit at the small park right below the Market.

It's been years since I've been to the Market. I've got good memories of going there with my parents as a kid: sights, sounds, smells.

Love you Liz.

Having a chat while waiting for burgers at Dick's.

She's almost two and she totally knows it.

We ended up not staying up in Seattle too long since so many things were closed and it was really, really cold. Back at my brother's house we hung out before having Thai food for dinner (Simon eats "chicken-on-a-stick").

One of my favorite parts of the weekend was getting out and running near my brother's house. On Saturday I cruised neighborhoods and on Sunday I ran along Ruston Way. It was really, really cold but the sun was out and the view was amazing.

We love you guys and hope to see you again soon!

Long live spontaneous adventures. Long live getting out of our house and going and seeing and doing and celebrating.

PS: Look for that long list of words coming tomorrow morning.

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45 thoughts

  1. Kathleen says…
    01/03/2011

    As a mom/sister/daughter who has long lived very far from family, I'm so glad to see you took the opportunity to spend time with yours. MIne has been a two days drive ----LONG DAYS----away for so long and we have had to make "family" out of friends. You will NEVER regret the time----what a blessing to have an opportunity to spend time with cousins!!!

    Reply 0 Replies
  2. Tinka says…
    01/03/2011

    Some of my fondest childhood memories are of the times spent with my first cousins. Summers were the best because we would spend a week or more in Houston visiting and then they would come to San Antonio to stay with us. Sadly, that closeness faded as we got into high school and our lives took different paths.

    Reply 0 Replies
  3. Susan says…
    01/03/2011

    Those adventures rock! I love it when my sisters (and my sisters and my mom) come up for the day - to go to shops here in Savannah. We do the 'who can spend the most in this store' game, we eat lunch, share laughs, and they go home - 4-5 hour drive back. My brother is only 2 hours away and we need to have a "spontaneous" adventure - well - it is on my 47 before I'm 48 but still...

    Reply 0 Replies
  4. Maureen says…
    01/03/2011

    Hope that fireworks shot can be reinserted. You have us guessing!

    Spontaneous is so often good because we don't have expectations built in like we do when we plan it out. I too had a lot of cousin time when I was a child and it's something my children missed by living overseas so much of their life.

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. Ali says…
      01/03/2011

      HA - not sure why that didn't show up. I re-inserted it now :).

  5. Sally says…
    01/03/2011

    Loved this post. We had a similar (well, sort of) experience on New Year's Day. The place we wanted to go was closed... http://sally-drinkingfrommysaucer.blogspot.com/2011/01/best-laid-plans.html Here's to learning to roll with the punches! Have a great day, Ali!

    Reply 0 Replies
  6. dawn says…
    01/03/2011

    How fun and awesome for the cousins to be together. Great way to start the New Year. Love all those photos, can't see the fireworks one though, hope you get it to show for us. This is exactly what I want to do with my one little word "time" this year. I have family nearby but we only see them at 4 holidays and it's not enough with everyone growing up so fast. You should make a " cousins" book for both Anna and Simon they would love it and they could add their own thoughts to it. Thank you for sharing.

    Reply 0 Replies
  7. Bree says…
    01/03/2011

    How fun :-) I love adventures like that

    Just so you know the fireworks shot isn't there.

    Reply 0 Replies
  8. Tina says…
    01/03/2011

    Making time to be with those you love is the best, especially when you have kids. It does take an effort, even when those you love are close (in my case) but totally worth it. My kids are teens and still talk of all the time we spent with family and friends.

    Reply 0 Replies
  9. Leora Henkin says…
    01/03/2011

    Happy New Year Ali! We had a similar spontaneous celebration with my sister and brother in DC. The only bummer was the long drive home to NC yesterday and the school/work reentry this morning!

    Reply 0 Replies
  10. playcrane says…
    01/03/2011

    Spontenous adventures! Now if that isn't play than I don't know what is.

    Reply 0 Replies
  11. Chris says…
    01/03/2011

    This post is perfect for me! It embodies my word/goal for 2011, and is the perfect kick-start for that. Thanks so much for sharing another great slice of your life with us!

    Reply 0 Replies
  12. MARSHA says…
    01/03/2011

    i thought it was just me that could not see the firework pic. it sounds like your had a great time with family. i always liked seeing my cousins when i was growing up. have a great week.

    Reply 0 Replies
  13. paula s says…
    01/03/2011

    Thank you for sharing a small part of your life. Those are some great pix!

    Reply 0 Replies
  14. cori jepsen says…
    01/03/2011

    Hi Ali,
    My Mom and Dad are just outside of Portland...you are in a beautiful part of the USA...there is nothing prettier than the north west!!

    Reply 0 Replies
  15. Alison says…
    01/03/2011

    Looking forward to seeing the list of words. I'm having a hard time deciding on mine. I thought about "change", since I am getting married this year and in the midst of a career change. However, last year was so full of change (moving, leaving my job, going back to school) that I don't think that word leaves me with a sense of purpose or excitement. I'm trying to think of a word that incorporates both change (the upcoming wedding and job) with stability (creating a home for myself and my partner, working on my faith). A tall order!

    Reply 0 Replies
  16. Helen says…
    01/03/2011

    Ali, totally with you on the 'making time for important things with people I love' idea....it's just a matter of consciously deciding to do it. Life is chock full, yes, but usually of things that can wait. Quality time with family cannot wait, should not be made to wait.

    Reply 0 Replies
  17. Queen Mary says…
    01/03/2011

    Great pics Ali! I can't believe how bit that young man of yours is getting! Eons ago when you were in DC we chatted a bit, I'm sure you won't remember, but my son has decided to pursue a PhD in neuroscience for education -- not many out there, exciting stuff for him. He's invited me to an evening of imagination and the brain -- his advisor is involved in this group -- it looks way cool -- she started as an artist then did neuroscience to see how it all works! It's never too late to start over!

    Reply 0 Replies
  18. Queen Mary says…
    01/03/2011

    PS, the pic of the girls putting on their shoes? Totally keep that in case one of them becomes a shoe you-know-what like my daughter! EXCELLENT then and now pic!

    Reply 0 Replies
  19. Deb Pereira says…
    01/03/2011

    Ali, I live on 35th just two blocks down from your brother. I also run this neighborhood and Ruston way often. It's such a beautiful place to live and makes for some scenic running routes. So glad you enjoyed yourself here.

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. Ali says…
      01/03/2011

      Awesome Deb - it's such a beautiful spot :).

  20. joni possin says…
    01/03/2011

    I would love to see an album of photos with Anna and her cousin. They are sooooooo adorable and DO seem to be sharing secrets. I love watching Anna grow up.

    Reply 0 Replies
  21. Rebekah Pontow says…
    01/03/2011

    Wow, I love this! I think I need to add spontaneous to my life too!

    Reply 0 Replies
  22. Tweets that mention Long Live Spontaneous Adventures | Ali Edwards -- Topsy.com says…
    01/03/2011

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Ali Edwards, Josephina Mydreama. Josephina Mydreama said: Long Live Spontaneous Adventures: On Thursday night we decided at the last minute to head up… http://goo.gl/fb/1X2Yg [...]

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  23. Katie @ cakes, tea and dreams says…
    01/03/2011

    Oh, I love this. What a fantastic family adventure.

    Reply 0 Replies
  24. Robyn says…
    01/03/2011

    that's awesome Ali! there's nothing like spending time with family & you're creating so many great "cousin memories"!

    Reply 0 Replies
  25. Jennifer Camplin says…
    01/03/2011

    What a fun way to start the year..

    Glad that your whole family went out there!!

    Reply 0 Replies

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