March was a crazy (and fun) month for us.  We traveled to Mexico & Idaho (see photos) & celebrated 3 family birthdays.  We enjoyed a much-needed week of fun in the sun, in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, with Bryan (Brett’s brother), Jenn and Alex.  We rented a condo on the beach, which gave us daily access to all the fun activities that sand and ocean waves can provide.  We did a little sightseeing, a little shopping, enjoyed some yummy Mexican food and lots of ice cream. 


Dahlia and I flew to Pocatello, Idaho a week earlier, then Brett & Matea did a father-daughter road trip to join us!  Although it is sometimes a challenge to have 4 little girls under the same roof, the opportunity for them to spend time together was priceless.  Not to mention the time we get to spend with Sandy & Steve, chatting around the dinner table.  We came to find out that our trip was quite timely, as they prepare to move across the country for Steve to persue a PHD at Temple University, PA.


We survived all the birthdays that March and April bring to our family.  Dahlia turned 1 and Matea turned 3.  I also got another year older!  We posted photos of their parties, along with other events and travel of the past few months.  Dahlia is currently getting all 4 of her 1st molars, but is handling it surprisingly well.  Matea had a rough week last week for reasons that are completely unknown!  Every so often she goes through a thankfully, short phase where we think, "who is this child?!"  She wouldn’t take her nap for 2 days, cried uncontrollably at the silliest things and seemed to pout more than smile.  We can only assume that being 3 years old is harder than we think and that a lot of developmental changes are taking place and messing with her usual happy demeanor.  Or perhaps she was just tired of the rain.


Just as Matea seemed to cheer up, spring arrived!  Not to say we will have sunny, warm days from here on out, but I do feel it’s safe to say that the worst is behind us.  With more snow than we can remember in our lifetime in Seattle, I don’t think there is a single person in the Northwest that isn’t glad to feel the sun on them today!  The main difference is that the trees and shrubs are blooming.  Things are starting to show color and buds are beginning to burst open.  We have also started to see a ton of rabbits outside again.   Dahlia loves to look out the window and look for them and it seems amazing to me that we will often spot one hopping through the yard. 


We just returned from a picnic and a short hike on Cougar Mountain.  We drove up to the County Park (less than 10 minutes away) and found a trail that leads off in various directions.  We had been following horse hoof tracks in the dirt, when all of the sudden a beautiful brown horse and rider came towards us.  I’m pretty sure it was the first time Matea had touched horse.  She seemed excited and a little timid at the same time.  Dahlia was on by back in a backpack and she kept bobbing up and down as if she was riding a horse too! 


Yesterday morning I went on a long’ish run on a trail I had never been on before.  I had to drive there, but it was flat, which was a nice change from all the hills around our house.  I am training for a 1/2 marathon in June, so I was desperate for such a trail that I could use for my longer training runs.  It was so enjoyable!  But I know that was mainly because it was the first time I had ever been on it.  By late summer, I’ll be dying for a new trail again.


Later that day, we walked to the Arbor Day / Earth Day celebration at a nearby park.  People were flying kites, planting trees and volunteering to beautify the park.  Brett & I used to volunteer for things like this before we had kids, but like many things in our life, that has taken a hiatus until the kids are a bit older (and can pick up a shovel and help too!).  Still, we constantly talk about ways that we can volunteer our time to the community.  Matea is getting old enough to "give back" and they are certainly never too young to learn about that concept.  We spent the morning visiting the various booths, and then let the girls play on the slides.  We found a new trail on our way home!  Our double-jog stroller had a heck of a time going through a small rocky stream and under a canopy of low, moss-covered trees, but it was exciting for the girls.  To feel so far away and in the middle of nature and to end up at Starbucks, isn’t such a bad thing.  I like this area more and more every day. :) 


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