The River

The river is our favorite place to be on hot days...
and since we got to Washington, it's been day after day of glorious sunshine.

We especially love when we can go there with some of our favorite people.  
{Cousins Ferris}
{Cousin Milo}
{They were panning for gold!}

{Could these two be cuter?!?}
{Love their team work}

{My sister Roxanne & her youngest Milo}

{Love that boy & his mama!}
The feeling of the sun warming my freckled skin while I read a good book beside the Washougal River is one I pull up from my memory many times during the long, dark winters in Alaska.  The river and I were overjoyed to be reunited!

Turns out Jack is brave like his mother.

We both love catching crawdads.

They made Milo a "pool".  He was tickled.

I swam out to "the rock" this particular day and the boys were so adorable, cheering and counting down my jump.  I stood there feeling so proud to be their mama.


My boys-- I love the river so much, and I love sharing that love with them.  They are all three fish, and it is so fun to watch them swim, collect rocks and jump off "the rock" just like I did as a child.

And these two, that share my love of the river? I love being there with them, too! (My mom also loves the river, but she wasn't here this day!)

{Jack, Ferris, Milo, Wyatt & Logan}

"The tans will fade,
but the memories will last forever."



Shelly's All Time Favorite Summer Reads

 So, I'm a reader. If you don't know much else about me, that's a big one.  I love my husband, I have three kids, and I read.  Boom. You now know all the important facts about Shelly Cunningham.

That said, I haven't been able to read since we got back to Washington! I don't know if it's cause we were settling in, or I was choosing bad books... but I haven't been gripped by a book in over a month. And now I am slowly dying. (Okay... that was dramatic... but it's how I feel!)

So to inspire myself to pick up a book again, I have compiled a list of my all time favorite summer time reads.  They are perfect for a day at the beach, reading around a campfire or sitting on a blanket in the grass in the sunshine.

 Barefoot by Elin Hilderbrand

The Island by Elin Hilderbrand

all by Anita Shreve, my all time favorite author

(The next two are YA, but I really enjoyed them!)
The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series by Ann Brashares


And my dream list for the summer, 
aside from re-reading all the classics listed above:

The Rocks by Peter Nichols

The Rumor by Elin Hilderbrand




Happy Father's Day!

 Josh, for nearly twelve years you've stood by my side.  For seven of those years, it's been as a father, my co-parent.  As soon as we got pregnant with the twins, you've been fully committed to being the best dad you could be.

And thank goodness for that, because I literally didn't have enough hands to do all the parenting myself.  

Some days aren't pretty... 
Some days we are tired and grouchy and this whole parenting thing sucks us dry...

But other days? 
Well, other days it is smiles and hugs and all the good things.  
And like you said when you proposed, the good outweighs the bad.

 You've made some huge sacrifices for our boys (and myself) including finishing college during their infancy (still not sure how you made that happen!); moving to rural Alaska by yourself for six months to provide for them and allow me to be home full time; and more recently to starting and finishing your Master's Degree Program.  You are an amazing example of hard work, perseverance and sacrifice.

 They look up to you and want to be just like you.
I hope they are.  Because you are incredible.

Thank you for the love, the laughter and the lifetime of memories yet to come.
We love you!



A Big Boy Birthday Party

"I'm going to be four!"

Today marks Wyatt's 4th birthday.  To celebrate, Josh barbecued chicken wings and we ate double chocolate cake after dinner.  He is so happy to be four.  "A big boy" he says joyfully.

A few days ago, we had a "big boy" party for him & his brothers.  We ate cupcakes, opened presents and swam our little hearts out.  It was so wonderful to celebrate our three beautiful, happy, healthy boys here at home with our family.

How blessed we are.