It’s been a grand couple of days – heaping loads of sunshine, quality time with friends and family, a Sunday full of rest.  Glorious.

Mitch and Kathryn rolled into town with the girls on Friday afternoon.  We spent the evening on the back porch, the guys toasting to the weekend with beer and fresh oysters, the girls with bowls of ice cream.

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We kicked off Saturday with a bakery run, and then made our way to Jefferson Park for a playground fix.  Morgan’s face absolutely lights up when she sees a swingset – she could spend all day in one of these things.  And apparently Uncle Shane loves his swing-time as well…

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At 11 am, the water fountains came alive and the girls squealed with laughter as they raced through the spray.  Talk about unbridled summer joy.

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We spent Saturday afternoon with friends and family at Lincoln Park, celebrating baby Schnell’s upcoming arrival.  It was all we’d hoped our baby shower would be – lots of laughter, blessings for our little one, and dinner hot off the grill, set against the backdrop of a gorgeous Seattle summer day.

(photos by Jason and La Verne)

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We were spoiled with an abundance of gifts, from snot-suckers to beautiful blankets, but our favorite present by far was this personalized piece of artwork, brainstormed by Nance.  The leaves on this tree are made up of the thumbprints of the people at the shower – it will hang in baby Schnell’s room as a reminder that he or she has a huge family of people that already love him or her, people that have walked alongside us in our journey to become parents and will continue to walk with us as we cross over from waiting to raising.  I asked Shane on the car ride home last night how we managed to get so lucky, to be surrounded by people that are so full of generosity, of genuine kindness, of a willingness to cry hard with us when we need a shoulder and to laugh even harder with us when we need to let loose.  And to think that our baby will enter the world with all of these incredible people at his or her side – there may have been a happy tear or two falling behind those sunglasses of mine.

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We made it home in time for baths, books, and a quick snuggle on the back porch before bed-time.  Ahhh, Morgan – kill me with your sweetness, why don’t you?

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We said good-bye to Mitch and his family this morning, after one last run to the neighborhood playground for a go at the swings and slides.  As usual, I’m already missing those Jarrell girls like crazy.  It was fun to have them in our house for a couple of days, to see them first thing in the morning, to nap with Morgan in the afternoon, to get out and enjoy our neighborhood parks in a whole new way.

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The flip side to all that fun was that it left me totally tuckered out, so I Sabbathed well today: naps, baseball, reading, Thai take-out for dinner.  I found myself wondering what life will be like when we have kiddos in our house that don’t leave on Sunday mornings.  But then I rolled over on the couch and went back to sleep.  We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.