I recently spent a week with my family in Washington to say goodbye to my Grandma and attend her funeral. While the purpose of my visit was sad, much of the time was spent in good company with my family, seeing cousins I haven’t seen in years, and enjoying the hot summer weather of Pasco.
This week came at a great time because I was feeling super burnt out and anxious all the time. I’m one of those people who can never fully relax at home because I’m always thinking about all the things I should be doing.
At my moms I had to worry about the care of TyTy and my Grandma and that was all. My mom took care of me, made my meals, did my laundry, and babysat so I could go running. My mom and I are both morning people, so we really get a lot of quality time in on our visits.
TyTy did SO WELL travelling! On the way there he slept or sat quietly and played on the plane. At no point during our three hour drive, first flight, layover or connecting flight did he fuss.

Spring Break

The day after I left Alberta, it snowed! It was May 3rd or 4th and it was still snowing. Pan over to Washington and it was +27C.
My mom has a nice outdoor patio and Tynan loved going in and out and playing outside.
At one point, we bought him an inflatable pool and from then on, he went “swimming” 2-3 times every day. 
One day it was overcast and he was leaning over playing in the water contentedly with just his hands. He looked up at me, grinned, and dove into the pool in all his clothes.I barely had time to pull off his little Jordan’s. Ha ha!


The weather was incredible for running. I had taken the week off before because I had a mild sprain from playing too hard in middle school PE. But my ankle felt great after a long break and the views from the Richland running path of the Columbia River were amazing!

A humid breeze ran off the river and the waterfront homes had fragrant flowers. I often felt like I was running in Hawaii.  

One day, a big old timey steamship docked on the river called the Queen Empress. I was fascinated by this and researched this river cruise company. Turns out, my brother-in-law Nick’s Grandpa started the company! Crazy. I’m already working on him to get me a discounted trip.  


While I got in my weekly runs, I didn’t get my long run in which makes me a little nervous. But running here sure beat running in the cold, Alberta winds!


I almost never visit the States without going out shooting with my brothers. This time, we used a pistol and while I was the only one who didn’t hit anything, it was still fun to try.


It certainly wasn’t all fun and games. During the first part of my visit we had many tearful visits to my Grandma and then at the end we celebrated her life with a funeral.  

My cousin Felita said something so true, “Granda’s final gift to us was the gift of being together.” My cousins live far away and we hadn’t all been together since we were children. It was so great to spend time and get reacquainted with my cousins.


As I said the weather was hot, so when I suggested a family tubing trip, everyone jumped at the chance. We didn’t have quite everything we needed so after a quick shopping trip we had $5 tubes and matching swimsuits for the girls.  

We went to the shallow (but fast moving) Yakima River as it is early in the season and the water would be too cold on the Columbia River. It didn’t start out the best because as we loaded in, the river swept us away, and my cousin Tautua was the last to launch. His $5 tube popped when it hit a rock and we were quickly going down the river. Tautua had to run along the river edge and jump in and join Ben on his air mattress.  

This was such a fun activity and gave us quality bonding time together. We talked about everything and laughed so much

Snoqualmie Falls

On the way back to Seattle we made a pit stop at Snoqualmie Falls. I had been there years ago with Bruce and wanted to show my family how cool the falls are from below. This attraction has REALLY grown in popularity since 10 years ago as the parking lot was full and there were a ton on people.  

We started at the top and enjoyed the view from above for a few minutes.  

The “hike” to the falls is about 800m but it was a hot, humid day and the greenery was incredible. I couldn’t stop thinking about how it was summer here and barely even spring back home.  

On this hike, Tynan’s diaper leaked and he and I are both soaked in baby pee in this photo! Ha ha

But another thing changed in the last ten years. They built an observation deck far from the bottom of the falls. The only way to access the spot I was in was to back track halfway and take a river access trail to pick along the rocks.  

We wanted to do that, but we were running out of time and opted to head home instead. I was sorely disappointed I couldn’t take them to the base of the falls, but we all agreed, hanging out with each other was all that mattered.  

And just like that, nine days had flown by and it was time to head home. I cried saying goodbye to my mom. Something about becoming a mom myself has made me want her around more and I miss her more than before.  

Once more, TyTy killed it on the trip. He looked so cute waddling around SeaTac with his little baby backpack on, talking to anyone who would look at him.  

We’re back home and back into the swing of things now, but I’m so glad I was able to be there for my mom, Grandma and family during this hard time.

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