Shane is not one for moderation.  When he orders a pizza, he wants to eat the whole thing in one sitting.  When he decided several years ago that he wanted to take up running, he thought registering for a marathon would be a good place to start.  And when Jack asked him and Jason a couple of months ago to take part in a 100-MILE bike ride near Deception Pass, Shane jumped at the challenge.

I’ll admit, I’ve been slightly less than supportive about the whole thing.  All the bike gear purchases, the Saturday mornings spent pounding out the training miles while Jules and I were left to fend for ourselves, the post-ride aching back and muscle spasms that left him laid up.  I didn’t expect his race would be so tough on me!  And so all of us, die-hard bikers and hard-core mamas, decided to turn race weekend into a special little getaway at an incredible rental house in Bellingham.  We rolled up to the house on Friday afternoon – as we walked through the lush front yard, complete with a waterfall, I knew we were in for something good.

20140907 bellingham5 sm

And then…BAM!  We stepped through the front door and were greeted with a panoramic view of the water – the deck was insane.

20140905 bellingham1 sm

20140905 bellingham2 sm

The kiddos were eager to explore the house, which meant pulling all the books off the coffee table and then pounding out a few tunes on the piano.

20140905 bellingham3 sm

20140905 bellingham5 sm

We had our own little happy hour out on the patio with white wine and fresh oysters.  Once the kids were in bed, we popped open another couple of bottles to enjoy with Jack’s famous spaghetti and meatballs.

20140905 bellingham6 sm

20140905 bellingham7 sm

20140905 bellingham9 sm

20140905 bellingham8 sm

As we watched the sun set over the bay, I realized I can’t imagine ever living anywhere other than the Pacific Northwest.

20140905 bellingham10 sm

We watched the stars come out and then turned in early on Friday, as the guys had to get an early start the next day.  Correction: some of us turned in early.  As Shane was laying out his race clothes before bed, he realized he’d left his bike shorts at home!  He and Jack made a 10:30 pm dash to Walmart in desperate hopes of finding a replacement; Walmart didn’t come through, but Jack did – he got in touch with a friend that was joining them the next day and asked him to bring a spare pair.  Crisis averted!

The bikers headed out at 6 am on Saturday and the rest of us spent a leisurely morning at the house.  After naptime, Juliette and I joined La Verne and Nico on a trip into town to check out the Bellingham farmer’s market.  We grabbed lunch from a food stand there and then swung by Fairhaven on the way back, treating the babies to a taste of our strawberry rhubarb ice cream.

20140906 bellingham1 sm

Nico has just started walking and is so adorably proud of himself with each step he takes.

20140906 bellingham2 sm

When the guys returned that afternoon, they were a little sweaty and a little stiff, but also giddy over their impressive pace – turns out they had finished in first place!  (Shane – this is where I apologize for not being more supportive and tell you that I’m really, really proud of you…).

20140906 bellingham3 sm

The kids ate their dinner out on the deck while we all put our feet up.

20140906 bellingham4 sm

20140906 bellingham5 sm

And then Juliette ran shirtless for the evening, after painting her tank top with spaghetti sauce…

20140906 bellingham6 sm

Gosh, these boys are sweet to Jules – especially Gryffin, who is so quick to snuggle her and to make sure she always has an assortment of toys at her fingertips.

20140906 bellingham7 sm

Leave it to Jack to bike 100 miles and then cook dinner for all of us.

20140906 bellingham8 sm

Again, we dined on the patio and watched the sun set and chatted until the guys could hardly keep their eyes open.

20140906 bellingham9 sm

We were all up bright and early on Sunday.  Catching the misty pink light of dawn was decent consolation for not being able to sleep in.

20140907 bellingham1 sm

The childless dinnertime chats were pretty great, but I also loved the mornings as we all roamed around the house, drinking coffee while the kids played and read books in their PJs.  Felt so much like we’re one big family.

20140907 bellingham2 sm

And breakfast mimosas made the mornings that much better!

20140907 bellingham3 sm

I didn’t get to do quite as much quiet porch-lounging as I’d hoped, but I didn’t mind – Juliette was a lot of fun to hang with this weekend.

20140907 bellingham4 sm

It felt good to have our goofy, smiling little girl back after the tough time she’d had in California!

20140907 bellingham6 sm

20140907 bellingham7 sm

20140907 bellingham8 sm

20140907 bellingham9 sm

The Rusts rolled out for a family hike around 11 and we headed out around noon, not wanting to leave a minute earlier than the required checkout time.  Thanks, gentlemen, for putting in all those miles on your bikes so that I could eat oysters and ice cream.  I suppose I actually made out pretty well in this whole deal.

20140907 bellingham10 sm