Hey February, remember Christmas?

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the daily life

Oh look who’s behind again! Christmas was just so lovely, I just don’t want to forget! So here’s a few hundred photos from then till now ;)

Something about this Winter was just so magical! I don’t know if it was the expectant feeling of welcoming a new little one any day or just the Christmas spirit in the air but it sure was lovely! The kids and I baked almost every day. I gained 30 pounds. It was fantastic! There was much heater sitting and giggling and yup, plenty of fighting but for some reason I forget to take out my camera in those moments ;)


I just love their little friendship. They have their fair share of screaming and fights, but the moments where they play together nicely are worth the whole lot! They are so protective of each other and seeing them love on their new baby brother is just the best. Kids man, they sure are great.


This kid channelled his inner boy band and all of a sudden felt like a little boy and not :'( my :'( baby :'( anymore!


And if you only knew how much he talks about his Papi. It’s all he asked for for Christmas “Papi” …every time he hears Bentley bark at someone at the door, he goes screaming towards it “PAPI!!!!” When he was getting a hang of whispering, Abbie would almost always whisper to watch a “moooooovie” and Luke wanted to join in so he comes up and whispers ever so softly “Papi Papi Papi…” It’s the dearest thing.


I mentioned we baked…

Like, so much. Definitely made up for not having a kitchen last season :)

My floors will forever have crumbs ;)

There were naps

And surprise little gifts from Mr. Mark!

I kept getting bigger and bigger. I missed the bump when Abbie was born. I do not miss the bump with toddlers around. I think they thought it was a trampoline this whole time… I’m really shocked he didn’t come out with a dented head…

We took our last family picture as a family of FOUR!

And then there was Christmas :) I just loved walking in the door to all those twinkling lights… never actually captured by camera but it brings me joy to remember nonetheless!


The night before Christmas… and a visual reminder of why we always vow next year we will only give the kids one present each… still, is there anything more magical than all the glowy lights and all the presents under the tree the night before Christmas? I dare say not. These are excellent sentences I’m putting together. We have a newborn. Also, you know your brain is fried when you’re missing all your emoticons to describe your actual feelings and are left to search for words. When you start thinking in pictures, we gossa problem.




What is Christmas without Apple Sam!? :)



How sweet is my aunt on the floor with my kids? I swear, I have the best most loving family :]

The first year I got Greg to put up lights on the side of our house instead of just on the front. It was a big deal :D

Goggles: the best gift they received? ….or the worst… cause I find myself putting them on them at least 17 times a day.

And then the panic set in cause the baby was due any day and poor Lukie all of a sudden spiked a 104 fever! I just hate when my babies are sick and you don’t know whats wrong. So we prayed that baby would wait till the Lord’s perfect timing and this sweet busy little man would heal quickly and by His goodness, everything worked out. Those rosy cheeks though… and the cuddling… didn’t hate that part ;)

I was a disco ball for New Years. Oddly enough, I thought this would be a good, festive look… until we were headed out the door and I glanced in the mirror and noticed I was dressed in an unintended costume.

And then!

And then!

And then!!!!

I just noticed the other day, his hands aren’t wrinkly anymore :'( IT ALL GOES TOO FAST!!!!!!

Just lookit those beautiful lil eyes. AHHHH I can’t get enough of this lil guy. If that wasn’t abundantly clear.


It’s sort of a fight between me and Abbie on who gets to hold him the most ;) She keeps asking and I think… mmm…. nope. MINE! Just kidding but actually it is kinda hard to give him up hehe I never want to but her massive love for him is pretty irresistible too. And just in case you think it’s this sweet scene all the time and where is Luke? Well,

This is how the majority of my pictures turn out these days ;) Luke gets so excited to hold him, he clenches his little fists and shakes and all the pictures tend to turn out blurry ;)

And then, this sweet girl turned four! Oh I can’t wait to see what she becomes… because this is all her. She came down in this ensemble and began to pose.

and pose

and pose

and you can bet Luke didn’t pick out that outfit.

the godmother there did.

because she’s the best.

Truly.


I asked her, if she could have anything for her birthday breakfast, what she would have. Blueberries, pancakes, and blueberry muffins :D so a carb breakfast it was.

And then we went to paint pottery and experience the downfall of missed naps ;)

Plus first time making that poor stroller work for three! Just wish I could remember where I put those attachments so Luke didn’t have to be crammed quite so tightly in that seat ;)


But aren’t they the cutest little concentrated souls :) They carry their proud creations down every morning and Luke calls his truck his “RAH truck” which of course means monster truck. If speaking Abbie was hard, Luke is a whole nother ball game.

And then this guy <3

And then it was home again to celebrate with the rest of our family! I so wanted to throw her a proper birthday party with actual friends but I keep repeating my moms words of “life is not a Hallmark card” and figure, a week after giving birth might not be the right year for such an event. Plus, next year is the big FIVE! I might as well start my weeping now.


Luke :) hehe these kids are my favorite :D Abbie asked for steak, asparagus …and broccoli. Always throwing me surprises, that one! Oh and the night before, she decided she wanted a chocolate mermaid cake. … … … ok.

I should be winning all the Pinterest awards ;) again, life is not a Hallmark card. Plus she saw it before we could bring it out and ruined any chance of a surprise. Me and my hormones might have excused ourselves to sulk because the silliest things get me down these days. Sigh. I’m so good at adulting. However, the most fatal error we made on this here day was to let her slip away after dinner and go lay down on the couch. There was still cake and presents to be had! And three kids in, we should KNOW: never. ever. wake a sleeping child.

She did not like her cake.

She did not like her presents.

She did like her scepter. But you know? Some birthdays just don’t turn out perfect with joyous dancing and a wonderfully happy little child… and that’s ok. It’s your birthday and you can cry if you want to, they say. I added some gold stars to my excellent parenting skills as shown by my tantrum throwing overly tired kids and called it a night. I’m winning so many parenting awards these days. So many.

Luckily, with a solid nap, the extreme new baby smothering commenced.

And we continued on with our smitten-ness of this little lad.



We sure love him <3

But basically we are back to heater sits, and cheersing our apples. Can’t complain :) Sure love this little family of mine!

Happy February!

The dreamiest month

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12 months of Noah / baby #3

one monthone month-4one month-2one month-3Cause clearly I can’t pick just one ;) THIS BOY. I can’t even describe to you how in love with him I am. I don’t know if it’s because we had more time between Luke and Noah then we did with Abbie and Luke but AHHH the newborn phase just seems so sweet this time around. I completely forgot about the quick little breaths and the sweet little noises and how much they sleep and all the things! Plus it doesn’t hurt that he’s the most mellow little soul I ever did meet! His siblings will be screaming around him and he’ll just calmly lie there or keep on sleeping. He’s just the sweetest! Have I mentioned he’s sweet? ;) He is the first of our three kids to take a pacifier and MY GOSH is that a game changer. He’s the piggiest little eater… loudly snorting and grunting his way through all his feedings. It’s so funny! Probably the biggest, most wondrous difference of all is ….he doesn’t spit up… I never thought I’d see the day. I’ve had to wipe up like a tablespoon of something curdy mayyybe two or three times since he was born but that doesn’t even begin to count. Let’s remember how both Abbie and Luke spit up so much that a normal burp cloth did squat. If I left the house, I’d bring at least 4 kitchen towels and arrive home with them all fully drenched. And if they spit up on you, you’d have to change your shirt… and pants… and probably your undergarments. There was so much! And it was so sour and awful and so I mean… not naming favorites but… ;) this has been a lovely change in babydom. Oh! And not only that! HE BURPS! I’ve never been able to get my kids to burp on command or at least when I patted their backs. E-VER. He’s like a textbook baby. “When fussy, pat back to get out bubble.” This has never been the case. Before it was something like, “when fussy, let nurse for extended period of time and then run around shaking baby vigorously till child falls asleep. Repeat cycle every twenty minutes for four more months.” Seriously I think God knew my overwhelmedness and was being extra nice for at least month one. THANK YOU! My appreciation is through the roof! Anyways, little Noah, we are SO happy to have you in our family. Everyone remarks what a calm baby you are! You don’t like diaper changes but as soon as they are over and you get picked up, the crying stops immediately. There have been several situations where strangers ask to hold you. And for some reason I let them. And they keep holding you …and holding you… and holding you. One waitress held you and took you all around the restaurant to show you to all the guests… then back to the kitchen… wasn’t quite sure what to make of that but the point is, you’re such a sweetheart that people just can’t get enough of you! We sure love you little man! Thank you for making this month the absolute dreamiest!

Noah Phillip: Our last birth story :)

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baby #3 / Noah Phillip


I’ve been in such a baby haze lately. I don’t know if it’s because he’s my last baby or what but I can’t stop staring and sniffing and doing a whole lot of nothing! I just love this lil guy! He’s such a little dream boat. And I’m already forgetting all the things about that magical day he came into the world so here’s my attempt at remembering. Even his birth day was such a gift cause I was just so worried about the holidays and Abbie’s birthday and all the things surrounding it. And there he was plopped right in the middle so that this momma doesn’t have to throw two back to back birthdays or holiday/birthday celebrations. I’m sorta weird about only celebrating birthdays on the actual day so this was a special gift to me ;) I had been getting contractions fairly consistently for a couple weeks prior – about 5 min apart every night from about week 36 to 38. They’d disappear in the morning and reemerge the following evening. Then at 38 weeks they disappeared completely and we were left thinking oh you know, that he’d never come. So when I woke up at 3:30 with some pretty strong contractions, I just figured here we go again! I got up and walked around, drank some water, bounced on my ball, sat on the heater, made a pie. Just kidding but they continued to come so around 5, I decided to go take a bath. Everyone says that baths help you to relax yadda yadda. I forgot mine will always, no matter what time of day or night, come with a chatty child. This morning was no different and before I could inhale one deep relaxing breath of contemplation, the sweetest little girl plopped herself on the stool next to me and started in with her questions about life. She was in the bath, she was out of the bath, in, out, in, out, in, out. It was 5, 5:30, 6, 6:30 and finally I convinced her to go tell daddy “momma is in waiboah”

The kids have been… mmm… challenging lately so with these contractions or whatever they were, continuing, we thought it best to ask my parents to take them and see if they’d amount to anything. The contractions that is ;) I wanna say they were anywhere from 5 – 7 minutes apart but getting sorta uncomfortable so my mom came and sooooo sweetly picked up my hooligans around 9:30 and we all wondered if this was for real or not.
This is my early labor face. Can I just say how much I love early labor!? It’s uncomfortable enough to be like HEY SOMETHING’S HAPPENING!!! It’s totally manageable with just enough work to feel like you’re doing something. I’m pretty sure this is what labor felt like before the fall ;) Greg whirled around and cleaned up the whole house – we are talking vacuuming, sweeping, heck he probably even dusted which is something men NEVER do ;) He was amazing! Our house was sparkling and spotless and it was such a glorious day and it was q u i e t and things magically stayed in place and man, it was just the most lovely early laboring environment. So I bounced around on my ball and tried to keep moving to speed things along but if you know me, if I’m not actually doing something like a project or chore, I preferably like to be in a sitting down or laying down position so this sporadic movement became old rather fast. Naturally I found myself in said preferred position and we watched a show to pass the time, causing all those contractions to disappear completely. So up I hopped again and started to roam my very clean house once more. Greg made us some lunch, I took one bite and thought, I need to be alone. I think that’s when things started to shift and I start concentrating through them. So I hopped in our ant infested, mold riddled shower and began the real labor part. They still weren’t that close together but getting very strong so I wasn’t sure what was happening. I didn’t think my water had broken yet and I dunno… it’s just not always all that clear! After a couple hours in and out of my favorite grungy laboring place, I started getting sorta discouraged and weepy and asked Greg if we should just call the midwife to see what she thought. I didn’t think I was very far along and didn’t want to get even more discouraged but wasn’t really sure what was going on except that it hurt and things weren’t getting closer together. So she came around 2:30 and said “you are very serious” which I guess is a good sign? We decided to have her check me and found out I was at a 5 and she could feel the water bag which was such a relief because being GBS+ AGAIN, I just wanted it to stay intact as long as possible to reduce the risk of infection. Both Abbie and Luke’s water broke early on so I knew I was in labor so this was a new experience that actually offered me a lot of relief! Seeing how I was, she ended up staying which made me think this was the real deal!

I tried so hard to just stay present – not looking backwards or forwards but just taking each contraction as it came which I really feel like helped things progress pretty quickly. Also, not obsessing about how long previous labors have taken but just taking this one as its own unique experience. I actually lost track of time and things seemed to move pretty fast which was so nice! Eventually I got the chills and sorta nauseous and Greg said, “not to get your hopes up, but the last times you’ve felt sick and got the chills, you’ve been in transition…” I sorta laughed at him cause it seemed way too soon for that but sure enough, the blur came, things started getting really strong, she checked me again and I was at a 7! and then a 9 and then really felt like pushing! It all seemed so fast but it was like seeing the finish line. With Abbie, she was obviously my first and I knew I definitely wanted more kids so being in so much pain was so discouraging knowing I’d have to go through it again.. and then Luke I felt like “you’re still only half way there!!! ahhhhh” so this time, I just kept repeating to myself “this is the last time! you never have to go through this again! you can do this. you’ve done it before and you’re almost there!” My gosh that made all the difference ;) One push and that water burst all over my poor midwife haha But seriously, it was such a relief to know he was protected for so long! And then I think it was 9 minutes later, he was born! MY GOODNESS I forgot how much work pushing is! haha. But seeing that head. I’m smiling right now. I cannot even begin to describe the intense feeling of relief when he was born. I DID IT! He was here! All my fear just melted away and I was left with the sweetest most mellow infant I’ve ever laid eyes on. He didn’t fully cry for over 24 hours. He just started nursing right away and snuggled right into our family like he was always meant to be. I’m still just so in awe at how good the Lord is to us. I feel so abundantly blessed I could cry. And I do. Often. Because hormones. Those are fun eh? And here’s a healthy dose of horrible iphone pictures to document the most joyous day :)

It had been on my to do list to take one more proper belly picture before he came out. It didn’t get done. So here’s the last picture of me pregnant ever ;) I was trying to see if he’d dropped or not to see if we were ACTUALLY in labor ;)


But I should have known by the fact that Bentley was always there whenever I looked down, bless his lil doggy soul <3

Ohhh I love this picture and I wish it was bigger but that guy. He stayed behind me the whole time and held me and it was the most comforting thing to have him there for that last hard bit. He kept trying to make me laugh by talking about how much pain he was in from hitting himself in the face with a medicine ball the day before but really, he’s just the best. I sure love him.

The sweetest moment with the worst chills I’ve ever experienced! They didn’t stop all night – I was shaking so hard I could barely hold him! Again with the hormones. Them be crazy! GOSH!

The picture we sent when mom asked if the kids would be sleeping over and if she should feed them dinner… and we asked her if she’d make some extra for all of us :D I’ve always been slightly delusional about the optimal labor. One it wouldn’t hurt. Two, we’d just put the kids down for their nap and when they’d wake up, they’d have a new baby brother. So this was a close second to get to sort of surprise my family since we weren’t actually sure we were in real labor. Sorta wish I could have been there when they saw it cause I heard there was screaming :)

The best dad <3


It’s just one of my favorite parts about home births – those little feet sticking out! <3

These two women have been there for all of my kids and I couldn’t be more thankful! They are amazing!


Meeting their new brother!




Ohhh the screening test :'( what a lil trooper!

Meeting Minnow!


I can’t even describe the joy and pride and perfection of everything and I know I’m already forgetting so much but man am I thankful. Little Noah, welcome to our family. You complete us :)

May I please introduce my son!?

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baby #3 / Noah Phillip

I have Christmas and Abbie’s birthday and a whole bunch of life lately to catch up on BUT CAN I PLEASE FIRST INTRODUCE MY SON!? Oh my goodness he is the most precious gift and I seriously can’t believe he’s here and he’s ours! This pregnancy was so hard on me – I know whatever you are currently going through probably always seems like the hardest thing but really, everything seemed so amplified – the sciatica was outta control, and leg cramping every night, and ear popping was just one of those annoying things that wouldn’t go away. I got so itchy and uncomfortable at the end and I have no idea what he was doing in there those final weeks but man it hurt. There were so many stop and go contractions that made me think for sure he was coming way early but week after week we waited and waited… and waited. Most of all, I struggled with so much depression this pregnancy which in my mind would have produced a horribly tormented nightmare baby but …*insert all the happy tears*… he is the calmest, sweetest natured little boy. His labor went amazing, he’s a champion nurser. He’s just such a dream and such a gift to my weary heart. So, please allow me to introduce to you:

Mr. Noah Phillip Nettles
Born January 3rd at 4:59pm
7lbs 12oz, 21in




^^those lips though!^^

Welcome to the world Little Noah! We are so thankful you are ours!

It’s Christmastime!!!!

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the daily life


Can you hardly even believe it!? Did anyone else think that last week in November was the looooongest week ever!? It just went on and on…. but now December is here and we can officially celebrate all things festive! Greg and I even got to sneak away for a mini babymoon before our last little one gets here! I realized there is a reason they say don’t go on such trips in your last month… there was much restless leg syndrome and so much sciatica and all things pain but it was still so nice to get away. We even got most of our Christmas shopping done! We were looking at one of the books in the hotel room of castles in Europe and were thinking how nice it must be to live in such a gorgeous place.. and then started looking around and realized here isn’t so bad ;)

Really, can’t complain.

The festiveness!!!! It just makes me so happy! So much good food and games to mimic our kids cause my goodness we are nerds and apparently don’t know what to talk about anymore. Greg had me cracking up so hard over his Abbie impressions. Just thinking about it makes me smile. Anyways, it’s always good to get away with that guy :)

When we got back, we decided this was the year we should chop down a tree. I’ve never actually chopped one down and it sounded all sorts of fun.


Just look how fun. We should have come for the swings and seesaws and left for the lot tree ;) both kids were so tired and whiny and I kept finding them strewn about, resting their supposedly aching muscles.

Ha! I had no idea how big that place would be and how much of not the type of tree I wanted there was. That was a good sentence. So we walked and walked and dragged and carried and hoped no one would get lost in the forest of green and eventually just decided this year would be the year for the sad but sweet tree and started to saw the next half decent one we laid eyes on.


Greg keeps telling me it’s the saddest tree he has ever seen but I have grown quite fond of it. All in all, we got at least one tree chopping experience and the memories are already starting to warm in my mind ;)


And then came the decorating. Bless those children.

Luke was SO proud every time he got one on the branch. The same branch. Every time. I tried to wrap my head around each and every ornament getting broken and despite dying on the inside as they were flung here and there, I’d say it was rather successful!


HOW IS SHE SO BIG!? :”””(


We’ve been doing lots of baking and snuggling and have pretty much burned through every Christmas movie possible and it hasn’t even been a week but my body is done with the moving at this point so it’s been so nice to slow down :)


^^When you are just done with the holiday baking ;)
I hope you’re all having a wonderful holiday season so far! We are officially 37 weeks next week so I have all sorts of reasons to be excited and expectant :D cannot wait to meet this babe! and drink that Manhattan ;)

Thanksgiving!

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mmmm meals


Greg took the kids and left me for the morning with the instruction not to clean so naturally I have no idea what to do with myself. So here are some pictures from yesterday! I just love Thanksgiving. You just can’t beat that food and the smells and family and all the things. It’s such a glorious holiday. And we have so much to be thankful for… I always hate that question – what are you most thankful for this year!?  I always feel all this pressure to come up with a really good answer and start ranking and scrutinizing all my available thanksgiving answers to come up with the very best one which, you know, ultimately leads to feeling not thankful at all and really critical of perfectly wonderful things! My thanks seem to always come down to the five “f’s” : Faith, Family, Friends, Flowers and Food… which essentially just sums up Thanksgiving, so really I’m just thankful for Thanksgiving ;) Some pics from one of my most favorite holidays!

I’m going to try to hide the embarrassing amount of flower pictures amongst others but really they were just so pretty, I couldn’t stop! And to think, this is my narrowed down selection…

This guy <3 I love his inside out shirt and big smile. I still get so excited when I hear him come into a room :) He makes me all sorts of happy.


Everyone’s a big fan of Papi over here :)


That sweet face <3 Ughhh I adore how she asks how baby's doing every morning… even if she did tell me she didn't want a baby brother anymore and to KEEP HIM IN YOUR TUBBY! when she was mad last night ;) I love to hear her sweet prayers. I love to see her explain things so gently to her brother. And I love that she's all sorts of passionate even if it makes me want to pull my hair out 95% of the time. She's a force to reckon with and she is wonderful.

And then there’s this kid. How can you not love a boy playing with his trains in upside down fairy wings?


You didn’t even notice that extra flower picture, did you ;)


Luke ALMOST, almost, made it to dinner, bless his heart.


My Thanksgiving plate is never very presentable. Really, it’s a just a giant picture of greed but look! Flowers!

Really wish I got a better picture of this one cause she was just so dang cute wanting that giant drumstick for herself, but camera malfunctions and an intense desire to devour the substance on the plate above are to blame.


But perhaps among the things I’m most thankful for this year, is this cozy place we get to call home. Feeling exceptionally blessed and thankful. Hope you all had a good Thanksgiving! AND NOW AND NOW AND NOW IT’S CHRISTMASTIME!!!!!!!

Halloween & Florida (cause I’m feeling random)

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terrific trips / the daily life

Aaaand mostly cause those are the only photos I’ve taken lately…

Ohhh Halloween… I always feel the guilt creep in about two days before and go through the internal dilemma of whether or not to actually do something this year… will the kids even wear the dang costumes… do I really want to have that much candy in my house cause well let’s face it, the lady with zero self control is always the one that ends up eating it in large amounts… what to do what to do!? But then I get an idea and feel like I must make it happen. This year it was old people. It seemed so funny in my head. I figured we could probably scrounge up oldish people clothes and pour flour into their hair and call it a day… this is how my mind works. I see now, Abbie is at the stage of probably wanting to pick her own costumes and be a beautiful princess or something of the like – I figured this when she was wailing at the top of her lungs “I DON’T WANNA BE AN OLD WOMAN!!!” in the public restroom when I was telling her why we had to hurry up and get home. Next year, sweet girl. Next year you can be a princess. Thanks for humoring me for these first four halloweens of your life :) They finally got really excited about them when they both realized they got to wear makeup. Dream. Come. True. For both Abbie and Luke ;) Some pictures!






Abbie got really into the sour old woman character. She was cracking me up! I found out I wasn’t all that original when I went on Facebook the next day and saw that four of my friends had their kids dressed up as old people. Who knew it was such a popular costume!? Oh well, they were so cute running up to our neighbors doors and saying TWICK OR TWEAT before it was even opened. I love love love those kids of mine :)

And thennnn we were off to Florida! Ok, I’ll be honest, I didn’t really want to go because I have so much to do before this baby comes and I am just in a constant state of overwhelmed-ness and basically am just a big heaping pile of need and tears. BUT. I’m SO glad I went… I can’t even describe how good it was for my soul! We had the BEST time seeing Greg’s family and getting to celebrate my mother-in-law turning 80! I just can’t believe that – she looks so amazing! But we stayed right on the beach and the kids had the best time playing in the ocean and ahhh it was just lovely. Sure love that family of mine over there on the other side of the country.


I feel like traveling with kids will be easy… never. But all in all, they did pretty good and watching them FINALLY get excited about taking off was worth it all :)

We got in real late and woke up to this… I just laid there and smiled :)


Greg . even . touched . sand . JUST LOOKIT THAT DADDY WITH HIS KIDS! How can that not make your heart happy!?

This baby is sitting sooo low I feel like I need to carry my belly around with both hands. We went to the grocery store and I feel like people were jumping out of my way… am I really that big already!? Cause I still have two more months…


I dunno… something about seeing other people love on your kids warms the whole dang soul. Their cousins were SO amazing with them. Seriously, so thankful.


I notice most of my pictures of my kids these days are of them sleeping… I think the Lord made kids have to take naps so the parents wouldn’t accidentally kill them. I have found my bucket of love for my kids fills up tremendously when they are sleeping. Oh look! Do you see how fondly I’m talking about them? …they are sleeping now ;)


Oh look, more! But those little skinned up, missing nail, sweetest hands <3

The day Greg found out he got to wear his mothers face in public all day ;)

But look how cute everyone is!


^^When you ask her to smile these days…



I really feel like we could become that yachting family. I really feel it.

And that’s all I got because I am lame about taking pictures these days! BUT ALSOOOOOO

We came home and someone had started in on our deck!!!!! So pray that they get it sealed back up before the supposed rain coming on Wednesday! Hasn’t rained for how many months and….. ;) BUT YAY YAY YAY!!! I just love when things are happening. I feel like we are so close to being done with this and then we can just have a baby and CHILL OUT for a while danggit! So excited.

Oh and here’s my front porch cause my new numbers came in the mail today and it finally feels completed :) Ohhhhh it feels good to be out of my funk. So many exciting things happening! AND NEXT WEEK IS THANKSGIVING!!!! Hope you all have a wonderful one! From someone who struggled with thankfulness all last year, choosing to be grateful despite our circumstances is the best medicine I can think of :) But danggit it’s hard sometimes! Here’s to trying to see the positive, together :) Love you all!

Things that make me happy

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the daily life


A while ago, the kids and I went on a walk that strangely represented life for me, right now. It was a gorgeous day, we went to my favorite place – the ocean, and somehow, everyone was so miserable it was almost funny. Lesson learned – always bring the stroller and MY GOSH I wish I had a stroller to carry me through this last bit haha. I keep telling Greg, I’m just done. I literally cannot handle any more. More renovation stuff, more people coming and going in my house all day, more screaming/crying/whining kids, any sort of decision ever, not to mention another baby AHHHHH… I’m so past my limit of being able to handle things despite being in such a lovely, beautiful time of life, that anything – ANY little dang thing will just make me burst into tears. I’m fun.

So anyways, here are my kids stopping every. two. feet to look at pebbles. Not the birds, not the ocean… dirt. There was so much crying, so much saying, I CAN’T DO IT ANYMORE! I NOT KNOW HOW TO WALK! CARRY ME!!! After asking over and over if someone needed to go potty, she realized she did need to 15 minutes into it. There are no potties out there. There were so many tears on not wanting to wear a diaper. There were tears over the treats I brought. There were tears over the wind and over not letting them get too close to the cliffs and being thirsty and heck no I didn’t bring water cause I thought it was a short walk! They both insisted on wearing their boots which came off promptly 3 minutes into this particular outing because their feet were hot and then their feet were hurting and then and then and then. So many things! Mostly, there was one step forward, two steps back and attempts to carry two heavy kids the entire way but literally my pregnant self can’t do it right now and all I wanted to do was sit down and cry right there with them cause we were in the middle of nowhere with no help or car in site.



And so I did. And it took I think 4 hours to go 2 or 3 miles. And that moment was so nice to sit with them but the rest of that adventure was h a r d. And that’s life right now. I’m trying to make time and enjoy my babies especially since we’ll only be the four of us for so much longer, but i’m not gunna lie – it’s been hard! Everything is taking so dang long and all I want is to have my house back and nest and snuggle my babes and make a mess in the kitchen without someone walking in and probably not judging but in my head they are and you know, constantly having to discipline your kids in front of other people is hard! it’s exhausting and it wears you out especially because you get in your own head so much and everyone raises their kids differently and it’s just hard (do I keep saying that!?) to always be on display and to not be able to go outside in your own yard cause other peoples stuff is everywhere and your very busy son gets into everything and anyways, I feel like we are close. We have to be, right!? It’s been over a year. And it’s difficult for me to get past that fact honestly. Because in my mind I keep repeating …four to five months… they said it would take four to five months…. and I have done everything in my power to keep this project moving forward and a couple weeks ago we went zooming past our one year mark. We are getting our house painted right now (yipppeeee! betcha can’t guess which color ;) ) and same thing. He said it would take three weeks and we are currently on week six. And the guy is moving as fast as molasses in the wintertime and I want to pull my hair out and do the dang thing myself. Not to mention, every single window is boarded up making our house mighty dark and depressing to be in, so I try to plan some outings but then the kids get sick and YOU JUST HAVE TO LAUGH because WHAT IS HAPPENING!?


Anyways, I don’t mean to complain… I’m so thankful for everything going on, I’m just beyond ready for it to be done. It’s been a long year. So in an effort to get out of my shlump, here are some things that make me happy :)
Umm, how can you not love them!? They’ve been so disobedient lately and just driving me to the edge but seriously, they are the best. One day I was on the floor crying (how unusual! ;) ) and Luke walks in and sees me, looks at me so confused, then raises his little pointer finger and runs off. He comes back with a dish towel and starts scrubbing my face. Ahhhh. I love that kid. He still doesn’t talk a whole bunch but he’s got a heart of gold. They both do really. Abbie can literally feel what you’re feeling. She is probably the most empathetic person I’ve ever met which makes it so hard to be such a mess around them so much lately, but hey. life’s messy and imperfect and the sooner I can come to grips with that, the better it all will be :)
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And then there was that day we made some cookies and they both (all on their own) grabbed their camp chairs and scooted them in front of the oven to watch… and then cheersed their milk and my goodness I swear I can’t take the cuteness!
They are very into cheersing right now. They will not drink their drinks until they have cheersed everyone at the table but most importantly, each other, which often involves quite the stretch ;) it gets me every time :)
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Something about this combo just looks correct. But start praying for this momma now if he’s gunna play football cause AHHHH injuries!

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We had just come back from the store and always load up on tons of fruits and vegetables but had forgotten to get actual lunch stuff so I made a rainbow plate of sorts and Abbie just kept saying Oh my goodness momma, THANK YOU for making such a beautiful rainbow lunch! Thank you momma! Thank you! haha I guess I should be putting more effort into presentation these days ;) And they both ate the whole thing! So if you’re trying to get your kids to eat more fruits and veggies, try the rainbow… it’s magical, after all.

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Sibby’s been slacking on the gopher front lately but she’s been doing a good job at making more friends…

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We’ve been searching for venues for TAYLOR’S WEDDING!!!!!! Oh and yes, they couldn’t walk anymore here too and there was crying and screaming and drama. So much drama, guys.

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They learned the joys of painting on themselves. This was the first time. The following times have been so much thicker and messier and no pictures were taken. So when mom decided to let them paint with oils, you know, the most toxic paint ever….
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I was so surprised at how well they did! Proud momma.

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Ok there’s been lots of painting cause how many things can you really do inside all day!? But I love how classic this picture is on how they approach life ;)

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Greg and I even got a day date in there… dated July 15th…. and that might be part of the problem here ;)



Naps have been t o u g h lately so this was a bloomin miracle and melted my heart right into a puddle. Ahhh it’s so hard when they need one so bad but they just will. not. take one. Everyday over here ;) But anyways, they never fall asleep on me anymore so this was so special :)

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Speaking of! This never happens anymore either! Greg keeps seeing these moments and saying, this might be the last time! I think he’s just making a game of it now and seeing how much he can make me cry ;)

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Our bathroom is basically DONE! I just need to touch up the walls in a couple areas and scrape the floors of all my paint splatters and such but eeeee! it feels so good!

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AND OUR KITCHEN IS BASICALLY DONE! Just waiting on one more appliance cause our ice maker never did work – long story – lots of ugh ugh ugggghhhhhs and I have to paint a couple more trim pieces and touch up some paint in there and then !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So if you’re wondering what we are waiting on, we need to build our step back out from the kitchen which meant we had to take out our sliding door in our bathroom and replace it with a window so the step wouldn’t hit it – so that got done and now we just need a step! But our guy is gunna take a couple weeks off and then come back and so we wait :) it’s what we do nowadays. And then after that, we built our kitchen to have a deck on top that would come off of the guest room. So we have to still demo that, put in the deck and make the window in that room, a door! AND THEN WE WILL BE DONE. …until the next project ;)


TADA!

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Luke made it to two before losing his nail… ugh it was sticking straight up yesterday but still won’t fall off and ahhhh it just gives me the creeps. WHAT DO YOU DO!?

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He’s still the cutest dang kid.

These are horrible pictures but Greg made me the most phenomenal birthday dinner. He’s the best.

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That cat has been throwing herself at Bentley who just does all he can to tolerate it but really, these situations are the best to stumble upon. They happen each night, much to Bentley’s horror <3


Before, middle, after! Ahhhh I can’t wait to throw my vine back up there and see her all shiny and newish :) not to mention being able to see out of my windows again! It’s the little things, guys. But this is very exciting for me :)


She’s been asking me to take their picture lately and I mean, how can I not! I just love those two <3


I told you, he’s been needing his naps!

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My cousin birthed the most precious little girl! Greg gets emotional when he holds her bless his soul :):)

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Seriously cannot wait to see these kids with their new brother. Cannot. WAIT.


Hehe – at my dads birthday party, we were placed next to a large table of women. There was cackling.

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We went up to SF to pick up a new bed for Abbie and went home with a minivan. I have mixed emotions ;) I really loved my 4Runner but this new cat, I dunno, she’s got some fun features and not feeling crammed especially with another carseat soon, is pretttttttty nice :)

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This was Abbie’s first picture where we were almost all in the frame! So proud :)

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I’ll say it again, how can you not love her!? This was intentionally posed by lil miss herself.


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Fall, you guys. It’s my favorite.

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There was the fair, and pony rides, and heart bursting!

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Greg sent me this picture. This was me as a child… I would always line my stuffed animals and baby dolls up and sleep on the very edge… now that I think about it, I still do that except they are real baby dolls ;) but seriously, this boy loooooves his babies and well, if I haven’t said it before, I really love him.

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We weren’t going to go to the pumpkin patch this year cause we sorta just ran out of time and have so much to do come every. weekend. just trying to get everything done so it can just. please. be done! but we went to the one in town and the kids had the best time!

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hehe I just love these pictures of Luke wayyyyy back there. He’s just sitting in the pumpkins. He has no intention of keeping up. Again, this was me as a child so… what do I expect?

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Bless him <3

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And last but not least, this baby. Honestly, I’ve been such a mess this entire pregnancy if that wasn’t abundantly clear – blame it on hormones, or the stressful stuff going on, or getting no sleep or whatever but I have not felt like myself at all and the sciatica kicks in at about 12 everyday and wrecks me from getting anything done for the rest of the day and I feel like someone is just saying REST DANGGIT but my determined little self keeps saying m u s t…..g o….o n. How ironic that this little one’s name is Noah which literally means rest. I’m so dang overwhelmed and have so much I want to get done before he comes but ahhh what a wonderful reminder to let go of perceived perfection and just be. I lie in bed for those three hours I’m up in the middle of the night every night and just dream about him and it’s really such a special time that I am trying so hard not to miss. I can’t wait to meet him despite being wayyyy in over my head already. THANK GOODNESS we have an amazing God that carries us and reminds us that little babies don’t need perfect houses or open windows or a finished step or a deck. They just need a whole lot of love and that’s something I have a whole lot of to give. So little Noah, we really can’t wait to meet you in our messy little world. You are such a gift.

Happy Tuesday!

BOY OH BOY!

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baby #3

Excuse me for the overload of basically the exact same picture… they just make me smile so dang much, I’m putting them here ;)

IT’S A BOY IT’S A BOY AND I STILL CAN’T BELIEVE IT! I am so excited to meet this little man but my goodness have I been in shock lately! Who knows why I have thought this baby was a girl this whole time but MY I was SO convinced… looking back now I see I ignored all the signs of boy like craving sauerkraut and having a low belly etc ;) anyways, when that blue popped out of the canon I can’t even describe the shock and confusion that went through my mind haha. We even had a back up cake that also said blue…. and I was STILL confused… I had to look at the card myself! AND STILL. Talk about denial ;) Lord knows Lukie needs a brother because he’s currently his sister’s dress up dolly.


I heard them snickering from behind the table and out they come, hand in hand in little tutus …
….
This pregnancy has been such a shocker since the beginning… we had been trying for a while and there were months we definitely should have gotten pregnant and let’s just say, this particular month, we definitely should NOT have gotten pregnant ;) but here he is! And that’s why the Lord makes me smile cause He’s in control and I’m not and His way is perfect even if it’s not what I would have chosen… but let’s be honest. I wanted four kids back to back to back to back – as in preferably nine months apart from each if that were even possible AND PRAISE JESUS that didn’t happen ;) Anyways, ahhhhh I’m just so excited about this baby! Here are some horrible pictures from the most wonderful night! I swear I watch that video of the reveal at least once a day cause it just makes me so happy! So bummed I didn’t get ANY pictures of Greg’s cool team boy and team girl cocktail/mocktail drinks but such is life. We had the best time getting to find out with everyone. I feel like I’ve been so self conscious with this third baby cause it’s like, your first – everyone is excited then second – YAY they get a sibling! and then third is like, ….oh….yay…. so naturally I figured no one would want to come but I’m so glad we have such amazing family and friends that are willing to drag themselves to our little party because having a full house makes my heart so unbelievably happy and have I mentioned I’m so excited about this little life and just just just just I love you all…. yada yada yada … hormones over here ;)



And yes, I’m still finding confetti. We can’t wait to meet you baby boy! Blessed, we are <3

Our First Family Vacation!

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terrific trips


Well I guess we’ve gone camping as just our family but this was like a real stay-in-a-hotel-and-such family extravaganza! And we had the best time! I must say I was equally looking forward to and dreading this trip for quite some time. Something about 10hrs up and 11.5hrs back + eating most meals out with two squirmy hooligans is enough to give me the hot sweats. BUT they did amazing. Seriously… it was probably all the prayers I was begging strangers on the street to pray for us but by jove, they probably cried an hour total of the entire car riding experience – from Santa Cruz to Eugene to Seattle to Cannon Beach and over to Portland and back. That’s a lot of cooped up ness and they were seriously baby rockstars. And Luke, bless his soul, had to sit in his carseat for that first leg on his very special 2nd birthday. We sang him happy birthday as many times as we could fit in and despite being strapped in all the live long day, he really seemed to get that that day was a special day just for him. We made it up to Eugene in time to get him a cake and celebrate in the hotel with my folks. OKAY I said this was just a family trip but the first part was for my cousins wedding… AND THEN we broke off on our own and explored all them beautiful green states. So there.



Of course I brought hats. They are hands down the best part of kids parties. In my humble opinion :D


This kid got like 15 different types of balls and ball games. HA! They were actually really fun to play with in the various parks we found and it really seemed like Luke knew this was all for him despite his sister opening all his presents. He’s just the dearest boy. I love him so much.

^^This is the face he makes if you ask him to smile for the camera. Ya. It’s the best. Please don’t ever change little man!!!

Abbie was a flower girl….



I was fairly positive she would freak out and start crying but that’s why Dani was the backup! But then… at the turn down the aisle… there was some loud wailing coming from that precious face (mind you my kids have a fun trick that if one starts crying, the other will also) so Abbie starts doing her blood curdling scream of sadness and then I hear Luke going off and then Dani says heck no I’m not going down that aisle and MY BRAIN YOU GUYS… it just doesn’t function all that well these days. I cannot make decisions and it drives Greg crazy but here I was all alone staring at the aisle with all those people waiting. Naturally I became the flower girl and thoroughly embarrassed myself and family forever more. MOVING ON.


But seriously, my cousins and these babies filled my whole soul up. They are so sweet with them. THANK YOU!!!

Also, little girl dresses. <3



This is my dad’s cousin. He married my mom’s sister. And my grandma married my grandpa and my grandpa’s sister married my grandma’s brother and you thought I was joking when I said we had a close family. It’s all legal I swear.

THE FACE THE FACE


Uh ya he was in heaven with ALL THOSE BALLS TO PLAY WITH in the trees! ;)


We are immaturely amused by flower crowns

Congratulations Lizzy and Joey! Wishing you a lifetime of happiness and adventures!

Then we were off to Seattle! We definitely listened to the Sleepless in Seattle soundtrack and pretended like young Tom Hanks was just around the corner at all times. I’ll tell you what. I’ve never seen so many people wearing backpacks as I did in Seattle. Like everyone! And their mother! Found that sorta amusing ;) and practical! Anyways, the Space Needle. Wasn’t going to go up it cause I heard it was real expensive and such a touristy thing but HEY I have no problem being a tourist and we had some time to kill when we got there and it didn’t seem that busy and MY GOODNESS it looked cool! Like, it doesn’t look all that neat in pictures, in my opinion, but in person, it’s a really cool structure! I loved seeing it everywhere plus it made it a whole lot easier to orient oneself. Anyways, we decided to pay the tourist fee and head up. And then it began.

You guys, Abbie. I love her to bits but she is afraid of life right now. Either that or she’s just stubborn and doesn’t wanna do things she doesn’t wanna do. And she did NOT want to go up that. We were getting the major stink eye from erryyone around us for good reason. She’s quite loud :/ but I just knew if we could get up there, she’d see how cool it was! But they wouldn’t let us up… or refund our tickets haha. So being the frugal lady I am and not wanting to waste ALL the tickets, I took Luke up and honestly, it was one of the highlights of my trip. IT WAS SO GORGEOUS! SUCH a pretty day and the light and THAT VIEW and there weren’t all that many people up there and I just so wish the other half of my family was there with me. But, it has these glass walls that lean outwards. And something about seeing my baby boy leaning back over the city was making me a little weak in the knees. Plus those tiny gaps that he kept reaching his arms through… okay ever since I went sky diving back in college, I’ve had a bit of a fear of heights. I dunno why it came on suddenly but I was definitely getting a little queasy watching him despite the beauty and excitement of it all :D


Aaaand I totally forgot to take pictures of the actual view for Greg. Wife fail. I was so focused on Luke not falling out of the imaginarily large crack! Plus I thought for sure he’d go up after me but apparently my view salesman skills aren’t up to par. Anyways, my tourist self totally recommends it if it’s a nice day and not too busy :D


And then we had the best pizza picnic below where the kids could run and play and Abbie could tell me 100 more times how NOW she really wants to go up the “Pace Needo” and NOW she’s really brave. This continued for the rest of the trip because well, you can see it wherever you go as a constant reminder of the fun that could have been ;)
Honestly I really liked Seattle. We’d turn corners and there would be giant water park feature things or live music or something going on and the weather was so pretty (as I hear it is all year long! ;) ) and we just had a really good time! And THEN AND THEN that night we put the kids to bed and watched Sleepless in Seattle IN SEATTLE and my romcom loving self was so happy ;) Never realized what a creeper she really is in that movie but I still love it.

The next morning, since Greg didn’t get to see the view, I had heard Kerry Park had a spectacular one as well and according to Google, it was less than a mile away! They didn’t mention that lil walk was entirely uphill. San Francisco is well known for having crazy steep hills BUT NO ONE MENTIONED Seattle has hills that rival those! Bless my dear husband for pushing that stroller the whole way up. I think my buns are still burning.

They have the CUTEST neighborhoods around there! When we could see through our sweat and catch our breath, all the houses were just so adorable with the most incredible views. Naturally all the ones we liked were 5 million + . I’ve noticed this is my range for houses I like in any area ;) I should probably get a job.


^^That face!!! <3


AND ALL THE HYDRANGEAS IN EVERYONES YARDS! It’s like they actually get rain.


We had such a fun time finding the playgrounds around these little neighborhoods. I love seeing the kids so happy :)



I did make the mistake of sitting in one of those ^^ myself. With no one around. Omgosh I started laughing and I couldn’t get off. Tears were shooting out of my eyes, my glasses were sliding off my face, and my hands were full so I couldn’t hoist myself out. I was a sight. I feel like Greg always finds me in these sorts of circumstances. Somehow he still loves me ;) My dizzy, giggly self was awfully thankful.

^^When you ask her to pose…

They sure thought those pink chairs were awfully cool.

My personal favorite bit of the Seattle portion of our trip was going to the lighthouse at Discovery Park. There was almost no one there and it was just so peaceful and slow and lovely. The kids loved throwing stones in the lapping waves and it was just one of those tranquil moments I’ll always remember in my mind.


I loved how much water there was up there! Are they considered lakes or is it still the ocean? Either way, I loooooved it. It’s everywhere! You go over one hill and there’s more water on the other side! And it smells like the ocean but feels like a lake and it’s perfect.


We thought we might as well check out the market while we were there but honestly, I don’t know if it’s being smacked in the face by little hands 1000x a day but I get people overload quite easily these days and that was a lot of people.


What’s this you say? Oh, just the line for Starbucks. I told Greg, WHO would want to wait in that line!? And he said WE DO! Insert inward screaming noooooooooooo! But we made it! And got our coffee made at the very first Starbucks store so, *official tourist*


^^And this is my son drinking straight black coffee and saying mmmmm as always. He’s all man.


^^Greg took this fabulous picture of me right when a guy ran up and said “THERE’S A RAT IN YOUR STROLLER! IT’S HEADING TOWARDS THE BABY!” So we grabbed the kids, tipped it over, stuff was going everywhere and sure enough. Hiiii rodent. Greg was like, what’s the big deal… we have like a million of those in our house. But really, how creepy. How long was it in there and what if we had folded it up and put it in our car!? The guy said, “welcome to Seattle…” and I felt just like Amy Adams on Enchanted… “thank you!” a little kindness goes a long way even if it was meant sarcastically ;)


Later that day we drove our car right onto the Ferry and went over to Bainbridge Island… can you tell we were avoiding the city?! But honestly, we had so much fun. Anywhere the kids can run and not have to be perfectly still and quiet at all times, I’m a big fan of.


AND THEN THE NEXT DAY – I clearly seem obsessed with this movie but we were there RIGHT!? So, on our way out of town we might have stalked that lil houseboat in the movie. It was hard to see and i’m not even sure it’s the right one ;) (I think it’s that one on the end below) But it was kinda fun seeing where they filmed Sleepless in Seattle and see how unrealistic the scene is where she stops her car in the middle of the roaddd!? cause there’s really no shoulder… Come on. They made it look like such a quaint little house boating community. Probably the same way people think my house is clean the majority of the time. Hardy har har.


And then we headed to Canon Beach on the most gloriously beautiful drive… and even got a little rain!



We were looking at the weather and it was like sunny, 80’s/90’s the whole time and we were bummed it wouldn’t feel correct you know? But honestly, so glad it didn’t rain the whole time cause we would have had a hard time doing anything let alone walking around town! And that the kids weren’t freezing. These are all good things.


Can you tell they were excited to get out of the car!?



^^This one is one of my favorite pictures cause I was like, where’s Luke?! And then I spotted him back there ;)


Look at that precious little face. JUST LOOKIT IT!

Baby squats, man. I’m slightly obsessed.


Not to mention those precious little people together <3


LOVED Cannon Beach. Wish I could have had some beer but HEY. Still was pretty fun :) And it was surprisingly warm! Definitely was expecting that to be one of our colder days but it was mighty lovely down there. Sorta reminded me of Carmel looking over at Pebble Beach. But then those rocks. Can’t compare anything to those glorious rocks :)

And then we were off to Portland where Greg got to wear this awesome giraffe robe that still gives me the giggles! We ordered room service cause we are just uuber luxurious and the kids were SO happy for all of three seconds.

Real life.

But then we finally got to celebrate Luke man properly! I love this picture cause asked me to take it and went over and posed just so. He’s just so dang dear. I love him. Have I said that already?

We went to the Portland Zoo and LOVED it. You could see so many of the animals pretty close up and it was just so beautiful, not too big, and just kinda perfect for that day.


My favorite was seeing the cougars cause I don’t think I’ve ever actually seen one in person. But we do have those where we live (didn’t tell the kids that ;) ) so it was just kinda crazy to get to witness up close!
And the Vultures. Those were crazy too. Oh and the bald eagles! And of course the elephants. OKAY I LIKED THEM ALL. I do love animals :)


^^Success ;)

The next day I wandered out to find us some crazy Portland donuts.


I wish I could have captured their squeals on camera when I surprised them with such a breakfast but I never get any of the good stuff on film BOOOOO. Sooooo no one tells you those fruit loops are mighty stale, but I guess it was worth the experience. I like me an ordinary glazed donut (sprinkles if I’m feeling fancy) so I’m probably not their target client ;)


Then we were off to the falls to ward off the inevitable diabetes that would soon be overtaking us. The hike I pictured was really just a walk across the street but it was still so beautiful :) And then we were off to find some Salt & Straw ice cream to make ourselves feel really good! Naturally we avoided the city again cause *lines* and *people* ;) and ended up at Lake Oswego which again, was so cute!

hiiii Greg

And then the kids found a splash pad that they HAD to strip down and go in. My kids are slightly terrified of water so I was surprised they showed any interest at all and I was certain they definitely wouldn’t be getting wet. I was wrong. But they had the best time and that made us mighty happy.


^^when you ask them to not drink the water


The next day called for new donuts which again, so good but just gimme an ordinary donut! ;)


There was a trip to Powell’s where I envisioned us each picking out a special book but really was just me frantically grabbing all the books Luke was hurling from the shelves while Greg leisurely looked at first editions of Lord of the Rings ;) It ended faster than anticipated but was followed by the most delicious brunch and just exploring around the city!

And then came 12 more hours in the car and the most wonderful feeling of being h o m e . I love home :) Happy Thursday one and all!