Greetings from the desert! I am spending time – without my family! – in eastern Washington this weekend, providing a third set of hands to my dear friends TJ and Jaralyn who just had their second baby. Two babies in under two years: send good vibes out into the universe for them!

My first week of summer vacation has consisted of equal parts rushing to get my big old to-do list done and realizing I can slow down because I have a lot of time. It’s like pressing “play” and then “fast forward” on an old tape player over and over. It takes me about a week to get into the slow rhythm of summer.

I’m almost there.

Meanwhile, here’s my week in cell phone pictures. Do you use instagram? I’m kellisamson if you want to start following me.

SangriaYum. Sangria. More specifically, the Pioneer Woman’s sangria. All the more reason to love her.

We had my husband’s dude book club members over, along with their families, last Friday evening to celebrate the solstice belatedly. There was none of this left by the end of the party!

"Movement"If you’re just joining me here, I should tell you that I have been taking part in the Photo-a-Day June challenge on Instagram. On this particular day, the assignment was “Movement.” So this is from the passenger seat of the car, heading out of Olympia on I-5 toward Tacoma for my big date with Mr. Fresh Scratch.

Random Aside: Under that overpass were about 9 BMWs pulled over in the median with a couple of cops. The drivers – all appearing to be in their 20’s – were just milling about with their big sodas. It was very perplexing!

Grandma's Camp ItineraryWhile the Mr. and I were on our day-long date, his mom kept our girls. This was her itinerary. Smart lady, no? Always good to have a plan and surrender to occupying the little ones.

Truth Like the Sun CoverI just finished this book last weekend, Truth Like the Sun. Totally recommend it if you live near Seattle. It takes places during the Seattle World’s Fair. Excellent historical fiction by my friend Jim.

"Something Cute"This assignment was “Something Cute.” What is cuter than my two girls snuggling-up their Auntie Evie, especially after she had just taken them to the toy store and out for frozen yogurt? Not much, I tell you.

Auntie Evie is moving away in one week to Hawaii. {sniff}

"Where I Shop": Target“Where I Shop.” I have to say, as much as I adore Target, having to go there four. days. in. a. row over the past seven was not fun. We have been switching some rooms around in the house this week, getting rid of the play room, moving the piano, cleaning out the garage…and those things require supplies. Like enormous tubs for Little People. And stuff.

And my blender broke. Apparently this is not common-place for all, but this was my fourth blender since college. I guess I use my blenders more than the average bear. What can I say? We like drinks smoothies at our house! The Vitamix was out as an option due to the crazy-high price, so I went with the $99 Kitchenaid, which was about 4 times what I had paid for blenders in the past. Let’s hope it shows me it was worth it.

The first strawberry-banana smoothie we made in it was the best-tasting ever at my house. So far, so good.

My Powder Room“My Bathroom.” Our house was built in 1989 and has not been updated since. Until I came along, that is! Being teachers, we have to go painstakingly slow when it comes to projects at home because they always come with a price tag and, you may not know this (chuckle, chuckle), but teacher’s aren’t exactly rich. The bathrooms in our house are absolutely dated (pink tile, pink walls, gold fixtures…all in my master bath), so I started small with the powder room downstairs. Voila!

"On the Shelf": Fiesta Ware“On the Shelf.” This is my nicest-looking kitchen cabinet, holding all of my Fiesta Ware. In the coming years, the doors will come off permanently and everything will get painted white.

Charley B's Grand OpeningHere are the girls, waiting in line at the grand opening of Sweet Charley B’s Cupcakery on Thursday. It was totally worth the wait! I think this place will put the other two cupcake shops in town out of business in no time flat. Amanda is a sweet mama who lost her middle child, Charley, to strep b very suddenly two years ago yesterday. She baked to heal her heart and remember her time in the kitchen with her sweet-toothed daughter, and it turned into a business.

If you live in Olympia, definitely check it out next time you’re at the farmer’s market! It’s across the street. But go early because she’s been selling out by the afternoon!

She also sells candy by the pound. Oh, my.

Off to hold a baby,

Mrs. Fresh Scratch

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