We managed to squeeze in one last weekend getaway with the gang before settling in at home for this final stretch of waiting for the baby to arrive.  Three glorious days at an amazing house on Vashon Island with 14 of our best buds – our kid-free days are ending with a bang.

We arrived at the Vashon Lavender Farm on Friday evening, poured ourselves a couple of cold drinks, and kicked back for a weekend of eating, lounging, and laughing.

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We passed hours upon hours on the house’s spacious porch that weekend – we ate our meals out there (dang, our friends know how to eat), we read books out there, we caught the morning’s rays and the evening’s view of Rainier out there.

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I use the term “kid-free” lightly in reference to the weekend, as we were joined by three kiddos and three new babies (we’re in the midst of a baby boom!).  Initially I wondered whether Shane and I would be overwhelmed by the presence of so many littles, but my fretting was in vain.  I completely forgot – I’m married to the baby whisperer.  And these just happen to be some of the sweetest children on the planet.

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And check out these proud poppas, with baby O (3 months old), baby N (2 months old), and baby W (one month old, napping in his little green floor cushion next to Jon).  Shane will be in good company come September.

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Our all-day porch lounging was interrupted only by brief rounds of soccer or bocce ball, and a short trip to the nearby beach.  This is where I could wax poetic about the perfection of Pacific NW summers, but I think I’ve already done that on this blog.  A few times.

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The lavender was free for the taking, so the ladies spent a few minutes on Sunday afternoon doing some harvesting.  It smelled a little like heaven out there.  And Jess’s lavender-infused cocktails and mocktails tasted just like summer.

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We took one last stroll through the lavender field on Monday morning, pausing to soak in the sun and snap a few baby bump pics.

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And then it was time to catch our ferry back to Seattle.  So long, Vashon…

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We’re already making plans to return next year, with three more babies in tow.  A few of us were talking on Sunday about what it will be like in 10 or 15 years, when we’re planning these weekend getaways with our teens and pre-teens.  Will they groan at having to spend so much time with mom and dad’s friends?  Or will we need to keep an eye on any budding adolescent romances?  Will they hole up inside and play video games, or still want to throw the Frisbee around with Shane and Jason?  How will they all fit on that little green couch for the obligatory group photo?  Joking on that one.  Kind of.  I can hear it now:  “Geez, Mom, another photo?!”

Speculation aside, it’s a blessing to grow older with these people, to continuously build up our memory bank with laughter-filled meals and long talks around the firepit.  Looking forward to years more of these easy-going adventures.