“I want to go on that jumpoline!” Lake says tonight as we walk by some neighbor’s yards. Yes, Lake that is so sweet! We do have some neighbors right across the street that have actually extended you an invitation to jump on their trampoline all summer long.

Sounds like a perfect summer day for a jumpoline!

Bon Voyage

Lake’s grandparents the illustrious NanaBaba came to sweep Lake for a week away. It came at a great time since Lake is “not yet three” but nearly so and has fully entered his exuberant phase. Sometimes too much exuberance for mama to handle! Thank goodness for the unstoppable energy of Nana and the solid foundation of the Baba and the boundless love among Lake and those two. We celebrated a quick belated Mother’s Day for my incredible mother “the Nana!”

Then it was time for piling into the car with destination Pier 91 Smith Cove Cruise Terminal. I waved goodbye as the three of them embarked on a week of cruising up and around southeast Alaska with Holland America. The big boat!

Bon Voyage Lake! You’re in good hands! Enjoy your adventure!

And enjoy it he commenced to fully and immediately embrace the cruising lifestyle!

Right up to Juneau! Looks like perfect days! I’m glad you’re spending it together!

Boy in the Boat

Lake is a boy who loves being in the boat and on the water! Reading Boys in the Boat while pregnant with Lake Michael and I had grand aspirations for Lake being a big tall strapping crew member at UW and rowing to Olympic Gold. Then after a couple years he started to develop his own personality and it becomes harder to project our own fantasies and imaginations onto him. Now we just are along for the ride. And what a ride it is!

Lake had a thrill renting kayaks from Agua Verde Paddle Club with Luisa when Jo was visiting last week. Boy in the kayak on Lake Union.

And paddling around with us and Jo earlier this month in Eastern Washington. Boy in the Canoe on Newman Lake!

Were aoften our and about on the Washington State Ferries. Here’s a happy Boy in the Ferry Boat on the Salish Sea!

And now Lake is getting all packed up and ready to set sail to Alaska on the cruise boat with NanaBaba! Thank you in advance NanaBaba for the upcoming Alaskan adventures. So exciting to be sleeping in the boat and on the water for a whole week.

Luisa’s Birthday Entertainment

We celebrated Luisa’s 20th Birthday with an evening of joy filled antics. To start we sang “Happy Birthday, dear Luisa” and opened presents… Lake helping. Then we bicycle caravanned down to Greenlake and had dinner at Rosita’s where Luisa was serenaded by the mariachi band. After dinner we rode our bicycles around the lake, Luisa pulling Lake in the trailer. Michael and I were riding the tandem bicycle and it was quite a thrill! Such a beautiful evening. There was even a rainbow! We horsed around on the beach for Luisa’s amusement. You’re only turning 20 once! But we can all relive the feeling. So much fun! Happy Birthday Luisa! A perfect day, a perfect age… we’re glad you’re spending it with us!

Nora’s Farm

Lake loves to visit Nora and Ed on “Nora’s Farm” where they have nine sheep, 12 chickens, two dogs, a barn cat, and one ten year old angora rabbit (Robert). It pleases me that Lake loves it so, as I’ve been loving coming here myself to visit Nora on her “fiber farm” for over twenty years now. We like to eat fresh farm food and have long deep conversations.

It was good to be back in the lovely spring weather, everything so bright green, Lake learning how to pee in the bushes, and us all eating kale and arugula blossoms out of the garden. Our last visit here was a memorable Groundhogs’ Day visit filled with Snow, Sea, and (naturally) Sheep. We were visiting Nora’s Farm right at the beginning of the infamous Seattle Snowpocylypse of February 2019. We were there when the first flakes began to fall. It was magical and we didn’t want to leave. But we did get out before being snowed in. It turned out they were snowed in for a week! It was cute that this Mother’s Day weekend, Lake remembered their sheep dog Buddy fondly as “Snow Dog”. He was keeping a close eye on Snow Dog so as to minimize getting snooped!

Lake and I find the sheep to be so interesting. It’s fun to get up close and say hello! They have really big coats now, so they were panting in the heat, even in the shade. Shearing time is coming soon, friends!

We were invited out to especially to visit the six new baby chicks. We thought we might be able to pet them, but at only 3 weeks old, they weren’t so very sociable yet. Really fun to watch their little chick antics though and listen to them cheeping.

The weather was heavenly and the pace was deliciously leisurely making for a lovely visit on Nora’s Farm. On Sunday we went into town to Fort Worden State Park and visited the Port Townsend Marine Science Center Aquarium. Nora wanted to introduce us to the octopus. How beautiful and smart and gracefully she moved.

We all had fun “petting” the sea anemones, sea stars and worms with their delicate fans so reactive to our touch!

And in the end we were really tuckered out and it felt good to have a cuddle and read our books!

Thank you Nora and Ed for the rejuvenating visit on your farm! We hope we didn’t wear you out overly much and wish you and all the farm residents well… until we meet again!

Bloomsday 2019

Bloomsday is a family tradition going back to my grandparents. If you’re interested in making it part of your tradition too, I invite you: it’s a 12 kilometer road race (run/walk/stroll) in Spokane, Washington… always the first Sunday in May. This year it was a beautiful sunny day and we joined 34643 total runners and walkers to complete the 12K 7.5 mile race.

Thanks to our first au pair Joanna-Denise coming to visit all the way back from Germany to push Lake in the stroller, Michael and I got to run together. So kind of her to make a returning guest appearance at Bloomsday. So while Jo was pushing Lake with Denise, Michael and I actually raced it together! We somewhat surprised ourselves with the achievement of 9 minute splits! It had been a while since I’d run it as opposed to walked this race given maternal factors. This year I ran fast and I finished 13th among the women of my own age (356). Yea mama!

Lake had a great time too! At 2:31… his time was really compliments primarily of Jo’s muscle as he rode along in the stroller eating fruit. Auntie Denise also helped out with the pushing and kept the pace brisk. Lake “ran” 20 minute miles for 7.5 miles! Way to go team!

What a memorable Bloomsday 2019. The whole VanLaanen Family earned their finisher t-shirts this year! Maybe next year Lake can run a few of those miles!

Bloomies to Newman

Newman Lake is exceptionally lovely the first weekend in May. Hence our family tradition to make an early season pilgrimage to Point Petite with Bloomsday as the excuse. NanaBaba have spruced it up something fierce, hot showers and potable tap water to name a few luxury improvements. We enjoyed ourselves thoroughly!

Here were the first warm days of the year… we were quite lucky in that regard with our timing. Many folks were out as a result. More than usual, we remarked. There were many neighborly visits sprinkled throughout our long weekend. Friendly Folksy We quickly fell into the rhythm of the lake lifestyle and adopted a relaxed pace of fun-filled family activities. We canoed at sunset, practiced yoga on the dock, sat around the cozy fire, waded, swam and went hiking in the woods. So relaxing! My happy place is becoming my family’s happy place, too. So special!