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This is kind of a big deal... this past week I became a US citizen! Pretty exciting. The process was really quick (less than 4 months start to finish!!). I submitted my paperwork, was fingerprinted, had my interview and civics test and then the last step is to take the Oath of Allegiance. I have begun filling the paperwork out a few times over the years, and now felt right to finally do it.

But, I will tell you how grateful I am that it was so easy for me to first get permanent residence status and then to become a US citizen. I am so privileged to live in North America. My experience immigrating definitely has an influence on my political views and I'm so excited to vote! Overall, I feel immense gratitude that there are so many paths in life that I've been able to choose. It's incredible.

To celebrate, I of course threw myself a party where everyone brought an apple pie! It was so fun and so low key and I feel so grateful so many people showed up to celebrate with me. I made a gluten-free salted caramel tart and it was so good!

It's so infrequent that I do something creative just for the hey of it. I need more of that in my life. This past Sunday, I took some portraits of my daughters. It's no easy exercise and I really try hard not to be monster mom when I'm taking pics of my kids. Totally not my strength to be cool and fun. But, I got them making funny faces and all sorts of expressions and in between those, I captured some sweet pictures of them. Obviously the baby was the hardest to take pictures of. She found a button and insisted on putting it in her mouth. Oh man... 

The days are long but the years are short. 

Conor's parents came for a visit last weekend. I overlapped with them for only a day and a half because I went on my first backpacking trip (!) with girlfriends (it was amazing!). Everyone had lots of fun together while I was gone. And I snapped a few photos from when I was around. We swam in the Spokane river. It was refreshing... 

We spent a day at Lake Cocolalla with my cousin and her daughter. I love these kind of beach days! We have so much fun and it's pretty easy to get out there! We loved playing in the water, paddle boarding and riding the sea doo. I love chit chatting with Jonica and Georgia and Maeve gets loved on. Holly and Greta tasted oreos and tried to guess the flavor. They enjoyed that game lots! 

This day totally wiped Greta out (she's still recovering from having her tonsils and adenoids removed), but I think it was worth it. 

Now I'm just really hoping the smoke goes away so we can wrap up summer with oomph! 

I really love swimming in a cold river on a hot day. I kind of like that shock to the body! This is such a good little spot to swim and it's deep enough to jump in. I was SO proud of my brave girl Holly for giving it a go! She jumped in once and then did it again immediately. And then went another time before we left! I also want to remember how generous and kind my children were on this day. They are great kids!

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