It’s been too long since we’ve seen those darling little girlies, so we headed down to Portland yesterday morning for a couple of days of  catching up with my brother’s family.  It was a quick trip, but so good for my soul – Elise and Morgan continue to be lights of my life, and I’m so, so thankful for our quality time with Mitch and Kathryn.

It was a sunshiny afternoon when we arrived and we were eager to get in a quick run to the playground before naptime.  Morgan is suddenly very quick on her feet – gone are the days of her scooting around on her chubby little arms and legs (sigh).  And Elise is nearly impossible to keep up with – that little lady’s abundance of energy astounds me.

We played hard, and then rested hard.  Uncle Shane tucked Elise in for her nap, and Morgan snuggled up with me in the living room.  Best feeling ever.

Kathryn booked a sitter for the evening and so the grown-ups went out for a night on the town.  We feasted on Indian food while chatting about family and travel and current events – I feel so lucky that the four of us enjoy each other’s company so much.  It’s a good, good thing when the family and friends are one and the same.

I love waking up to the sound of the girls chatting on Sunday mornings, getting out of bed and poking my head into the kitchen, where I’m greeted with smiles and sweetness and plans for a day of fun and play.

I promised Elise a special treat from the neighborhood coffee shop, so we bundled up and headed over to Posies for bagels and orange juice.

Elise was intent on stopping at the park on the way home, and so we spent awhile playing on the swings (huge hit), testing out the teeter-totter (not a huge hit), and climbing/crawling/sliding on the jungle gym.  Shane takes the cake as best swing-pusher ever – Elise squealed in delight as he propelled her from behind, from in front, and from…below.  Silly Uncle Shane.

We went back to the house and tea-partied and read and played music – Elise sang her own rendition of Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed and strummed her guitar.  Mitch has high hopes for this one.

Morgan’s not quite ready for sing-a-longs yet, but what she lacks in verbal skills she makes up for in facial expressions.  Her winning grin is a guaranteed heart-melter.

Praise God for family and babies and Indian food and sunshine.  Life is grand.