Live so that when your children think of fairness and integrity, they think of you. The highest courage is to dare to be yourself in the face of adversity. Choosing right over wrong, ethic over convenience, and truth over popularity ... these are choices that measure your life. Travel the path of integrity without looking back, for there is never a wrong time to do the right thing.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Haliee Girl is officially a TEENAGER!

Ok, so on all my updating I am just going to leave it as is, instead of backdating to show myself I am a loser and am blogging about my daughter turning 13...3 1/2 months late! LOSER!

Happy 13th Birthday Haliee Breanne Hunter

My baby girl turned the big 1-3 April 20. *SNIFF* She is a mess this girl! Silly, Ornery, Loud Music, Dancing, Makeovers, 13 Wardrobe Changes a day, Starbucks & Jamba Juice, Junk Food Junkie, a little Sassy...but also Super Sweet, Mature beyond her years, babysitting queen, super responsible, great in school, a leader and great friend to all.

Haliee we are so very proud of you. You are growing into such an amazing young lady and are so much more perfect than even I could have imagined. These years have flown by and are certainly bittersweet. I miss my sweet little 3 year old with perfect curly locks who plays princess characters for hours but love every minute of this silly teenager you have become. From goofy dances, to power points to bribe me into midweek sleepovers, I wouldn't trade a minute. Thanks for being such a perfect little girl! I LOVE YOU BOBO REILLY! I am so very thankful to be your Momma!

Birthdays are a big deal around here. We spoil these babies probably more than we should but guess what...I only have a limited time to do this before they are making their own way in life, so too bad! :) I also always believed I'd be a Mommy to 4 and since that didn't work out, these guys will just get double the snuggles! This year was extra special as she became a teenager!

She started off with 13 gifts!! We ended up doing this the night before as Hal had to open & he wouldn't get to see her open them all. {Would you believe she was ok with it!?!}

The next morning she was all dolled up in her birthday best, ready to paint the school red! :) She received 13 pink roses at School from her Daddy & she was elated! She had a Softball Game that evening so of course Momma had to whip up something special for the team! She played against Heather & Kayla came to cheer her on! {I wonder how many more of these times I have left? HUGE *sniff*}

After the game, Ola, Papa Ken, Jeni, The Grimmetts, & Kayla came over for a quick little party. We had Pizza and Haliee's "Main Man" Cody Simpson Cake {Actually 2 cakes (shhh I know it's excessive) because Drew insisted on giving her her very own Cody Simpson Cake}. He also got her roses, he was so sweet wanting to make her feel extra special on her birthday! He couldn't have Daddy 1up him! I hope they stay this close forever!!! He kept begging me to get her more! Her main present from us was a trip for her & 3 besties to have a girls weekend of pampering! A night at the Davenport and Makeovers/Pedis! She was a little excited! Remember Drew got her tickets to Cody Simpson as his gift! :) What a lucky little girl! Erin got her tons of makeup and nail goodies as well as a giftcard (spoiled) and the Cogswells got her a few little trinkets and some cashola for our trip to Seattle for the concert! Kayla stayed up all night making her this HUGE Card. It is so neat with little memories of fun moments, goofy sayings, etc. These girls are so fun with their HUGE card obsession! It's hanging on her wall!

Here are 13 things I LOVE about my sweet princess!

  1. She has incredible Integrity

  2. She is always smiling

  3. She is so close with her brother

  4. She is beautiful inside and out

  5. She drives me crazy changing stations and plugging in her ipod in the car

  6. If she is sassy within a few minutes that little 3 year old baby girl comes back to apologise to me for having attitude

  7. She loves to dance and act silly

  8. She loves babies

  9. She will help anyone in need and is nice to everyone

  10. She is always grateful

  11. She is so very smart, responsible, & wise beyond her years

  12. She loves to work the scoreboard & snack shack at her Brothers Games

  13. She loves fashion but is always appropriate

Here is the annual birthday questionnaire! The questions are always the same, but it is so fun to see how different the answers are from year to year in their own words! Haliee wanted to be a tree when she grew up at 2! :) LOVE IT!

  • What is your favorite color?: PINK

  • What is your favorite food?: KETCHUP

  • What is your favorite song?: IYYIYI by Cody Simpson

  • What is your favorite band or singer?: Cody Simpson

  • What is your favorite TV Show or Movie?: The Ellen Degeneres Show

  • What is your favorite Hobby?: Playing Softball

  • Who is your BFF?: Kayla, Heather, & Ally

  • Who do you want to marry?: Cody Simpson

  • What is your biggest accomplishment this year?: Making Honor Roll again

  • Who do you most admire or look up to?: My Parents

  • What do you want to be when you grow up?: A Culinary Artist

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Our 15 Year Anniversary~San Juan Islands January 2011

So I am finally blogging about our 15 year Anniversary trip. Ridiculous! But at least I will have it journaled & can laugh at myself once these kids are grown and I have all the time in the world!
Hal and I stayed 8 days and it was amazing and weird at the same time. We do everything as a family and have never left our kiddos for more than a weekend. I guess it's the 1st step in keeping me sane when they leave for College!
We had the best time. It was so quiet, slow paced, and beautiful, just what we were hoping for. No agenda, no rush, so different from our everyday madness which we would never trade but wow how awesome to just relax. In some ways it is hard to believe it has been 15 years in others, I can't really remember much of my life without him by my side. I am so thankful for this Man, words can't describe how much I love him and how much more I love him than the day we married although I never thought that possible. Thanks Halarini for being my best friend and love of my life. I can't wait to blog about our 50th and beyond!

The 1st night we drove to Anacortes where you catch the ferry for the islands. {We may have made a little pit stop in Snoqualamie at the casino} but...very late into the night we made it! We had a little tiny room right on the water! Super cute & within a stone's throw of the ferry landing.

The next morning we got up and we were so nervous we would mess the whole ferry thing up, we arrived early enough to catch the ferry before us by accident! :) I was freaking out we were on the way to the wrong island{after the Tacoma mishap one can never be too sure}, but we were fine! These things are huge & I mean HUGE! It was really cool, totally affordable, and very easy to use! The picture I took of the inside was not even a 3rd of the length, but it was really hard to capture.
It was about an hour ride which really went fast. It was so neat, the water was like a lake and we had fun dreaming of retiring in some of the quaint and not so quaint residences along the water! There were fishermen setting crab pots, and some birds, etc. It was only January so no luck on much wildlife, but still quite beautiful!

We arrived super early as we caught the ferry almost 2 hours before we were planning, so we decided just to go check out of hotel anyway and try to check in before we went to lunch. Our 1st night we stayed at The Rosario.
One of the coolest things about these islands was all the history. It was completely unexpected and such an awesome place to learn about.

The Rosario was a compound of sorts for one of Seattle's Richest Entrepreneurs of his time Robert Moran. He was a Navy Ship Manufacturer and retired on Orca's Island. The place was just awesome. The main house had it's original copper roof left to patina in the sea air, original wiring on the exterior lighting (which I am so amazed works frankly) with very little change. The home was so modern for it's time and it's fun to learn how they lived back then. The ornate architecture and woodwork is so incredible. The 1913 pipe organ {which still operates daily} and 1900 Steinway Grand Piano were crazy beautiful, I can't imagine coming there and being able to hear afterwards!

We stayed our 1st night in the Rosario Round House. Mr. Moran originally built this house {which is made solely out of concrete} as a getaway of sorts to teach his children basic life skills. He wanted his children to know how to cook, clean, and make pottery as they had help to do all of the basic daily chores. Once a month they would spend a week in the round house and the children would live as regular children. The inside has obviously been renovated to a single suite, the kiln is no longer inside, and it is now SO AMAZING!!! Here is the pathway leading up to the round house from the main grounds.

It was right on the water, very secluded and just gorgeous inside and out. The bathroom had heated floors and a huge dual shower! The living room was so cozy, it was awesome to sit by the fireplace and stare out at the incredible scenery.

Mr. Moran donated 5,252 acres of land near his home to the State of Washington and is now known as Moran State Park.

It is hard to tell in this picture but the road from the Rosario to Moran State Park is seriously completely level with this body of water.

There are no large predators on the island, they were hunted to extinction for their fur in the 1800's. As a result there are small deer everywhere!

In the middle of this park stands Mt. Constitution at 2409 ft. I had no idea there would be a mountain on these islands! It was FREEEEZZZING up there but you could see Seattle, Mt. Rainier, Mt. Baker, the Cascade Mountain Range as well as the Olympic Mountain range on the Olympic Peninsula. It was so breathtaking. This lookout was so neat but we hurried through it and just shot a few quick pics on top as I swear the windchill was cold enough to make you faint.

It was much less cold off the summit. Still brisk, but hikeable! The lakes were frozen and the natural springs not flowing, there were neat little frozen fibrous looking water crystals coming out of the earth everywhere. There were tons of places to camp. Neat little day camp covered picnic areas.

The rest of the time we stayed at The Outlook Inn. It was perfect and right in town. A jet tub, fireplace, towel warmer, heated floors, and incredible view!

We hiked down to the water on a cute little trail. The only complaint I have about this place is I believe they must have made the trail markers in the 1800's. Their distance measurements were a little off. If is said a 1/4 mile. I think they should've placced a 1 in front! Everything was alot further away than expected! The water is so crystal clear and calm on the sound. It does not even seem like the ocean. Hal kept trying to get me to go on an adventure with him around this rock that was totally in the water. He finally went alone telling me he was going to find a treasure I wasn't. I laughed telling him that treasure was going to be in the thanks! Not swimming weather! Here he is posing after slipping a few times on the rocks, but he made it there and back without falling in just to prove me wrong! ;)

Next up...A lighthouse and lime kiln. This is where you can see a ton of Whales April - Sept. We weren't lucky enough to see any it was still too cold. We did however see some huge cargo ships oohhh aaahhhh.

The next day we decided to ferry over to the main island of San Juan via Friday Harbor. This is a much more populated island with tons of restaurants and shopping, a hopsital, etc. Still so very quaint and locally owned...I could SO live here!!! We ate at an amazing little waterfront restaurant...the food was so yummy! There were super cute little shops we meandered through & even found a super cute candy shop with all kinds of fun & unique stuff. We got some prizes for the kids...even some baseball cards to feed my husbands obsession :)

Hal heard from a friend about the American and English Camps that were still standing and available to tour. Apparently in the 1850's The U.S. and Britan were able to resolve a peaceful agreement on the this land however, that almost ended in war when an American shot and killed a British pig grazing on his farmland. Who knew?
Here is the tour of the 2 camps. 1st up...The American Camp. Definitely the lesser of the 2. Not so cute... :) Grassy farmland...a little inland, not too exciting, and pretty ugly really lol.

Next, the English Camp, just beautiful, right on the water. Here is an old cemetary again a little 1/4 mile (actually more like 3/4 mile uphill) hike away from their camp. The only 5 soldiers who lost their lives during this time actually drowned.

The English Officers built this garden for their wives to make them feel more at home. What awesome husbands! It was so beautiful I bet even more so when it was spring and everything in the centers was in full bloom. They resided up on the hill overlooking this amazing garden and water~

Next we went to Roche Harbor. It was a cute little town with tons of history as well. Super cute & an ecclectic mix of old and new. They had some awesome achitecture, more lime kilns, and some cute little cottages you could rent right on the water with a public pool, tennis courts, volleyball, etc. We are going to bring the kids back with us sometime. It would be a fun little place to camp (well cottage camp!) ;)

We saw signs for this Mausoleum & decided to take one more of those "Short hikes" before we caught the ferry home to see it. There were random little picket fence enclosed graves all over on the way. It was kind of weird, several were Chinese, I can't remember who they were...

We finally made it to the mausoleum and it was incredible. It is amazing how intovative their design was for this period. So neat! Again a ton of history. Because it took much longer to hike here than we expected, we ended up running all the way back as it was a 45 min drive back to the ferry & we were scared we'd miss it and be stuck on the island for the night. :)

On our way back to Anacortes we decided just to sit in the car on the ferry and all of a sudden we heard this super loud helicopter which was flying right next to us. It was crazy close, we could see the men inside perfectly. It was a routine coast guard check of the ferry and they hovered there forever...well until I got the camera out & ready...Hal just was able to grab a few shots as they flew off. We had the best time, we ended our trip at the Seattle Outlet Mall and Hal spoiled both Haliee and I with a Coach bag...darn! I LOVE this cute tall guy!