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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