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Monkeys

We were visiting Aaron’s parents last week. We hit up our favorite summer swimming hole, Steamboat Creek. There’s a series of waterfalls, a sandy beach, and perfect spot for cliff jumping into deep cool swimming holes… the place is incredible. Holly and I stood at the top of the 15ft jumping off point. We held hands and she nervously chewed on her finger nails. I ask her if she wanted to jump and she said she was scared. Really scared. She asked if everyone would be proud of her if she jumped, and I said we’d love her no matter what, but that we would all think she was the bravest 6 year old we knew if she did. She thought about it some more and rubbed her belly that was floating with butterflies. I told her that whenever I’m afraid of anything I take a deep breath, count to three, and just leap. She said ok. She held my hand tighter, we counted to three, and jumped. She is one amazing little girl. It’s not that she is fearless, just the opposite. She’s full of fear to the point that she can feel her tummy turning into knots and chews down her fingers  to raw skin. She always find the courage to leap despite her fear.

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It’s no fun having a broken clavicle bone during the best days of summer vacation. Somehow though, even with his arm wrapped up in a painted navy blue sling, he finds the pleasure in sitting and watching. He notices things. He finds frog-barfing-snakes hidden in tiny little cracks by the creek, and accepts help walking back and forth through the running stream. He watches and smiles at his sister jumping off cliff tops, and explores the colorful river rocks with his Grandma. He makes the best of his time in a beautiful place, taking it all in, noticing the things too small for the rest of us to see.

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On the last morning of our trip Holly pulled me away from the breakfast table and whispered in my ear. She didn’t want everyone to watch, but she wanted me to pull out her very first, extremely loose bottom tooth. We took a deep breath, counted to three, and I pulled it out. She’s the bravest girl I know.

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I dare you to read this post by my friend Shelby and not get a bit choked up about what she had to say. As I look through these photos from our Road Trip around Oregon I can’t help but feel my heart burst with happiness. If I could have one wish for what I hope to contribute to Jonathan and Holly’s lives, it would be to create all the magic I possibly can for them to play in.

Our photos from the natural hot spring at Paulina Lake, Crater Lake National Park,  the Oregon Caves, Redwood Nation Park, Blacklock Point, the Oregon Dunes, Newport, and Lincoln City.

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My Grandma first took me to see Annie when I was 10 years old. Today as I sat in the audience watching Holly perform as a little orphan, hearing that familiar music ring in my ears, I couldn’t help but think of my Grandmother. I’m so thankful to her for sharing her love and passions with me, and smile that the sounds of Annie will forever be associated for me with people I love.

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