Portlandia

DSC_0010We had the best time in Portland. This city has so many fun things to do. We spent our time wandering around downtown, trying out coffee in the different coffee shops, and browsing books in Powells. DSC_0018We walked around Saturday Market and got some donuts at the famous Voo Doo Donuts. DSC_0023We made sure to stop at Multnomah Falls and check out this beautiful waterfall.DSC_0027 DSC_0030 IMG_5138 IMG_5141We ate at some delicious food carts (The grilled cheese one is AWESOME!)IMG_5150And, of course, no trip would be complete without a soccer game. So, we enjoyed a crazy Portland Timbers game. IMG_5155 IMG_5160It was an awesome way to celebrate FIVE years of marriage. We can’t wait to see what the next five years has to offer!IMG_5163

five years later

I can’t believe that five years ago we were getting married.1 Every year at this time I am always reminiscing about that wonderful day. I know many people look back at their wedding (especially if you got married pre pinterest, like me) and wish they could change something about it. Maybe it was the bridesmaids dresses, the location, the fact that they didn’t have mason jars, or there was no photobooth with frames or chalkboard signs, or whatever it might be. But when I look back on that day, I honestly wouldn’t change a thing. Now don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t say it went perfectly, but the minor things I don’t even remember unless I really think about everything that happened that day. My mom, well she would probably tell you otherwise. She had a lot more to deal with that day than I did.3I loved that we got married in the fall. I loved the golden hills of the Goldrush towns in Northern California at that time of year. I loved the white lights strung all over my Aunt and Uncle’s yard. I loved that “Better Together” was being played on the Ukulele as I walked down the isle. I loved that I had my Grammie’s broach clipped onto my bouquet as I clung to it as I anxiously walked to him. I loved the table names and the stories they told about our life together. I loved the lanterns that lit up each table and the simple brown table clothes that lined each one. I loved that we took time to sing Happy Birthday to my Grandpa. I love that I think of him each year and know that I share that special day with him as well. I loved that one of my best friends sang “In Christ Alone” during the ceremony. I loved dancing with friends and family while they gave us that wonderful money that helped us have a wonderful honeymoon. I loved that we stood up there in front of all our family, with our friends by our side, and promised to love each other for the rest of our lives. 5But what I love most of all is that I get to wake up every morning to my best friend, to the guy that has best shown me Christ’s love, and has given me the best gift of all: the cutest 11 month-old you have ever seen. IMG_3572Happy Anniversary Love!

Going to the Jack-o-lantern . . .

Gonna get married.

You know that song that says “going to the chapel and we’re gonna get married.” Well, when we were growing up my sister used to think that the lyrics said “going to the jack-o-lantern, gonna get married.” So, every time I think of pumpkins, or weddings, I think of this song. So, when trying to come up with a title for this post, all I could do was repeat this song in my head. So, here we go to the jack-o-lantern, I mean pumpkin patch. pp1I really love Baker in the fall. Small towns really know how to do fall the right way, not only do they have downtown decorated beautifully, they celebrate all things fall. Haines, the little town about 10 minutes outside city limits, had a little pumpkin patch and fall festival this weekend. We have been wanting to take Ash to the pumpkin patch, but weren’t sure where a good one was. We knew we would have to travel a little ways to get to one, so when we heard about the one in Haines we figured that even if it wasn’t great it was close.pp6pp3pp4Well, we were pleasantly surprised. It was quaint, but adorable. It was perfect for little kids five and under. They had pony rides, a petting zoo, pumpkin bowling, food, and pumpkins. We got to take Ash around in his new wagon, thanks to Grammie and Papa who sent his birthday present early, knowing we would want to use it before the snow came. pp7 pp8Ash Daddy got to pick out his pumpkin. He got to pet his first pony, Tony, and his first sheep. It was the perfect place for Ash. It wasn’t overwhelming or crowded, and their were only other families with little children too.pp5We had a wonderful time!

Retreat! Retreat!

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We had the great pleasure of attending Pastor and Spouse’s retreat this year with both Jon and Cathleen, and Betty and Lennie. This is the first time all three pastors have attended in a long time, and a first for the six of us. We were definitely excited to get away from our busy schedule and take some time relaxing and focusing on ourselves. The speaker was great (as expected), the food was delicious, and the fellowship was encouraging. IMG_5020 DSC_0330

We also took time to play around a little. We spent our free afternoon at a really nice hot springs. This place has six different pools. The top pool is the hottest. Then, that water flows down to the next pool (the biggest) which is a little cooler, which flows into the next, and so on and so forth. Each pool is a little different and gets cooler in temperature as they go. It was very relaxing to slowly work our way down to the coolest pool. We had great conversation and fellowship while relaxing too!We also spent some time in McCall, a nice mountain resort town. We loved overlooking the beautiful lake and shopping in their cute little stores.

DSC_0347As I think about retreat, I can’t help but reflect on the sessions. Through the captivating stories, humorous tales, and eloquent words, Scott Daniels vividly captured the struggle of Jonah. As I reflect on this, I continually return to this question: Why are we so often missing out on God? Why am I sometimes so focused on life that I don’t see God? That I miss out on his love? Jonah’s story, and his anger for Ninevah in the fourth chapter, really forces me to examine my own life, and my own Ninevah and struggles that take over my time and focus. Jonah is so focused on his anger towards Ninevah that he misses out on Ninevah repenting to God. God is redeeming Ninevah, but Jonah can’t see that. What is God redeeming in our lives that we don’t see? What am I missing out on? These are thoughts that I know I will continue to reflect on throughout the coming months.

DSC_0335I am glad to have had this opportunity to worship alongside the others in our ministry team. Although it was difficult to be there without Ash (who got to stay home with our friend Brenda and her family), we were able to relax and spend sometime with our ministry team. It was a great time.

IMG_5035(But, it sure was nice to be back home with him!)

month ten

Yesterday, we reached ten months!

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Right now this guy has four teeth (with two more on the way). He spends most of his time traveling along the edge of the couch to the coffee table. He is getting so strong, it won’t be long before he is standing on his own and taking his first steps. He enjoys reading his books, throwing his books, and playing fetch with his books (and other toys).

ten1He is very focused and intent on learning the world around him. He loves watching people. When he finds someone, he focuses in on them, intently figuring them out. His big, always prevalent, smile hasn’t changed (except those two little teeth you see peeking out from the bottom of his mouth). He continues to laugh all the time, and snuggle when he isn’t feeling good. And, most importantly, he continues to bring happiness to those he encounters everyday!

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We love this little guy! He really is the best!
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bath time

This kid loves bath time. He could spend hours splashing around and chewing on his toys. He has on occasion, heard the bathtub water running and came crawling in trying to climb into the bathtub. He also gets upset every time he is taken out, no matter how long we let him play. Sometimes, we even wait until his hands and arms are cold because we know how much he loves it, and he still cries. This kid is crazy, but we are loving every minute of watching his personality come alive.

Our lesson: Stay out of the splash zone! This kid is worse than Shamu!

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explorer

I love watching this kid explore. He insists on pulling himself on everything, being able to see what is happening in all areas of the house.feet a1 DSC_0038 Today he insisted on watching his daddy mow the lawn. Unfortunately, he is not quite tall enough to see out yet. But, give him time. I know it won’t be long now.

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sweet home

We are so happy to finally buy a new couch. It has been five years of us waiting for this moment. In honor of our new couch (which came today, yay!) I wanted to add a new pillow. So, I made this one.

DSC_0161I really like all those wreath designs with sayings that are really popular on the internet and pinterest right now. So, I thought, why not make one on a pillow? I embroidered the wreaths and flowers. I wanted to tie in the coral curtains and frames with the couch, so I made sure the back of the pillow had a coral print. I cut the words out of black felt and glued them on with fabric glue. It was great that I happened to have all the supplies at home, so it cost nothing. Score! DSC_0133 DSC_0138

Now, I can’t wait to make another pillow. I’m excited about the new design I have come up with.

DSC_0148 DSC_0177Well, I better go, we are busy cozying up on our couch and watching some episodes of Alias, now that Ash is ready for bed.

watch him grow

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I can’t believe that Asher has been outside this world for longer than he was in my belly. It definitely feels like he hasn’t been around that long!

Watch him grow here!

 

The Boiling River

I am finally writing about our favorite parts of our trip to Yellowstone and Grand Tetons National Parks. Here is the first place we loved.

When researching the things I wanted to see in Yellowstone, I did what every girl in her twenties would do: I searched Pinterest for every pin even remotely related to Yellowstone. Of course, I created a board to gather all my pins and spent way more time than I’d like to admit searching and reading all the blog posts about the coolest spots and best things to do with a family in the park. Through my search, I found a lot of pictures of people swimming in hot springs in this place called the Boiling River. I knew this was one place I really wanted to explore.

north entranceThe Boiling River is actually part of the Gardiner River. This river is located almost at the North Entrance of the park. Just a little past Fort Yellowstone (If you are coming from the south). There is a little parking area, which will most likely be full of tons of cars, many have to park on the other side of the road or anywhere they can find. It is pretty well packed for a hot springs in the middle of the summer. Once you park, there is a half-mile trail that you must hike to get to the pool, but it is pretty easy and well-maintained.

boiling river1So, How does it work? How are you able to swim in the scalding hot water? Well, at part of the Gardiner River, the boiling hot water from the Boiling River flows into the freezing cold Gardiner River. The water mixes to create a nice hot bath area. Now, don’t be fooled. There are spots where the rushing cold water will get you, while other spots will shoot out really hot water. So, be careful. Rocks have been strategically placed to give a nice wading area. So, the fast rushing river doesn’t take you downstream. Be sure to wear water shoes (those rocks hurt) and don’t put your head underwater (there are signs everywhere telling you not to do this, even though many didn’t listen) since you could get sick from the exposure.

IMG_4604 IMG_4594We enjoyed the nice warm water. Although, I think I would enjoy it more in the fall or spring, when it isn’t too hot outside. But hey, who would ever turn down a chance to swim in a hot spring in Yellowstone?