The End of Summer

We've had quite an amazing summer filled with travel, great times and wonderful friends and family!

Congratulations to Kim and Brian, who got married August 20th.  We had such a great time at the

Hide Out

and being a part of their special day.

Maisy rows her boat in Kirkwood, CA

Just a day after returning from Tahoe, we jetted off to Lake George, NY to visit Todd's hometown.  We took the red-eye out for the first time.  It was actually kind of nice and made the flight seem very quick, because we all slept for a good portion of it.  However, the 4 hour layover at 4 am in Chicago wasn't all it was cracked up to be.  Thank goodness they have an amazing

play area

there, where we spent most of our time with Starbucks in hand.

Fake plane posers.

Mama and Maren play in the tunnel.

Driving the cargo around.

It was a very mellow time.  We visited with family and kept it delightfully low-key.

Visiting Todd's 101 year old grandmother, Alice.  

Grandma and Maren Alice.

Todd and Grandma.

Papa J and the girls.

Papa J's back was not treating him well, so he gave me a lesson in cleaning the pool.  I have added a new talent to my repertoire.

Haley helping me frog spot.

We made the family room into a safe little gated room for the girls to play.

Maren in the playroom.

Mimi and Maisy bake.

Uncle Steven and Maisy read one of Uncle Steven's favorite books!

We even got to experience our first hurricane there!  We had to postpone Maren's East Coast birthday party a day and we lost power for over 24 hours. It was quite an experience for us.

Maisy preparing for all the water falling from the sky.

Sunset on Lake George.  View from the great room.

Mimi and Papa J threw Maren a very happy birthday gathering of family.  Thanks, Mimi and Papa J!!!  It was a joy to see all of the family we haven't seen in over a year.  Thank you everyone who came to wish Maren a happy birthday!  We wish we could see you all more often.

Happy First 1st Birthday, Maren!

We got to visit our new baby cousin, Tatum.

Tatum, Thalia (Todd's cousin), Maisy, Becky and Maren

Unfortunately, though, today, was a bit of a sad day.  Mimi and Papa J had to say goodbye to their wonderful Golden Retriever, Haley.  She was just 10 years old.  She had a splenectomy in June and it had just been a bit of a rough recovery since then.  We will miss Haley's happy smiling face and warm, kind heart.

Haley and Papa J by the pool.

We arrived home Tuesday and Maren's actual birthday was the next day.  We took her to


for her first ice cream sundae.  At first she wasn't too excited about the ice cream, but then she decided it was super tasty!

Happy birthday, Maren... happy birthday, Maren.

The next day Maisy had her first trip to the dentist.  We went to

Piedmont Pediatric Dentist

.  The hygienist was amazing as were their facilities, but they made us wait about 25 minutes to see the dentist at lunch time-  the girls were pretty antsy.  I was not pleased that that part of the experience.  Maisy did really well though, and got a clean bill of dental heath.

Maisy getting her grill cleaned.

We had our West Coast edition of Maren's birthday party here on Saturday.  We had a super fun time with all our friends and Nana and Papa.  Thank you to all of our party guests.  We loved seeing you all!!  

We closed off the driveway and let the kiddos play there with bikes, chalk and an easel.  Todd and Papa barbecued a delicious chicken and veggie lunch.  We had a make your own peanut butter and jelly bar for the shorties.

Maren in her cupcake party dress.

Maisy riding a trike bike with her fancy headband on.

Nana and Papa at the grill.

Birthday cake!

The kiddos helping Maren to blow out her candles.

Becky, Todd and Maren.  Thrilled we survived our first year with TWO kids! :-)

We opened presents after nap time.  Maren has been the most lovely baby.  We cannot believe she's already 1!  Time has gone by so quickly.  She is getting more and more confident with pulling up on things, but has not yet stood on her own.  She now has 3 teeth on top and still only 2 on the bottom.  She's signing a bit more now and has a few words she says, but she definitely is vocal and knows how to get her point across!

Maren LOVES her tights (thanks, Emily!)

Maisy was a very enthusiastic big sister helper.

Pure joy!

Maren's Birthday crown.

We went to brunch this morning at

Luka's Taproom

, one of our new favorite brunch spots as a farewell to Nana and Papa.

Maren, Nana and Papa.

So, the summer is definitely coming to a close.  Maisy is starting her full 3 day am sessions of school (Tues, Thurs and Fri) this week.  She is also going to take a 45 minute science and nature am program on Wednesday's through the

City of Berkeley Parks and Rec

for only $30 through Nov.  What a deal!  If you're looking for something like that for your wee one- cheap, check your city's park and recs listings.  Maisy also wants to take a dance class, but we have yet to sign up for those.  I feel I'm already over scheduling her!

Whew- that was a lot of update!  Thanks for keeping up with us.

Much love,

Todd, Becky, Maisy and Maren