We made a quick trip to Portland this weekend for a family fix – 24 hours to catch up with Mitch and Kathryn and love on those sweet nieces of ours. We ate ice cream cones at Ruby Jewel’s, we cheered on Elise at soccer practice, we hit the Kenton Street Fair, complete with bratwursts and puppet shows and face-painting.  We read books and painted and wrapped baby dolls in little purple blankets.  Never a dull moment.

Elise is FIVE and all big-girl now.  She is extremely inquisitive and will keep you on your toes with her myriad of questions: “Which way are we driving?”; “North?  Can you drive to the North Pole?”; “Why is that man on the street corner holding a sign?”; “If he doesn’t have a house, where does he sleep?”  Mitch and Kathryn are so good at constantly staying engaged with her – every question of Elise’s gets a thoughtful answer, even if it’s at the end of a string of 27 other “Why’s”.  She still loves super-heros and anything pink; on the flip side, spinach is disgusting and hair-brushing is absolute torture.

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And Morgan…she’s still quite the heart-melter.  She is chatty like her sister – it just takes a little more effort to decipher what she’s talking about.  “Hay” is her name for Shane, “Hide you!” is her version of “Found you!” in a game of hide and seek, “No ah-eh” is her proud declaration of “No accidents” after a successful day without diapers.  She can be cranky (she is two, after all), but she can also laugh like her joy knows no bounds.  A simple game of peek-a-boo, and she’ll be rolling on the floor, squealing with unbridled delight.  She is always on the go – running from one room to the other, climbing on furniture, gently pushing Uncle Shane into the closet for another round of hide-and-seek.  She took a little tumble off the playground slide today, and while I felt bad for her scraped-up palms, those few minutes when she quietly nuzzled into my chest and let me wipe her tears were precious.

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Love you, girlies.  So so soooo much.