Monday, July 28, 2014

Suite Deal!

This week has been an emotional roller coaster of incredibly high highs, and supremely low lows. The lows are done and over with (we lost our nanny #sadfaceemoji), so hopefully we just keep on being high...metaphorically speaking.

The biggest, bestest moment of our week was when we finally determined the basement was finished enough for us to start moving. We still have a lot of work to do, but I wanted to get some pics posted before our crap priceless possessions start to clutter fill the space.

Drumroll please...


As a friendly reminder, here is the Before picture.

Here we are post-demo.

And here's our happy new room again.

We opted to keep the brick of that old chimney exposed to add some character to the space.

No master suite would be complete without a master bath!


You can see the reflection of our walk-in shower in the mirror. What is not pictured is the detail work on the floor. We struggled with planning the black pattern for days. My original plan was to have a pattern of black everywhere, but it was WAY too dizzying. So this was our compromise.

There are some details in the shower as well, but we decided to go simple in the main area. 

Also, here's a Before of the bathroom...

Despite the fact that the cat won't stop meowing outside the bedroom window, we are loving the new space. It's like we are in a new house! Now we just need a new cat. Or no cat. 

That's all for now! Let the decorating begin!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Journaling a Family Vacation - Glacier National Park

I have been looking forward to composing this post for months. As a child, I would travel with my dad quite a bit, our most common destination being Yellowstone National Park. My many fond memories of these trips left me eager to expose my kids to nature like Dad did with me. Since last fall, we have been planning a backpacking trip in Glacier National Park with my dad and step-mom. It would be Everett's first big trip into nature! BUT my real cause for excitement over this trip: I was looking forward to getting some good Dad Stories out of the deal.

Anyone who has spent an extended amount of time with my dad knows that some pretty hysterical things can happen when he is in charge. On each vacation we took when I was a child, I would sit with a travel journal on my lap, pen quivering eagerly as I watched and waited for something to document: Dad catching his foot on fire, Dad driving off with a cooler on top of the car, Dad driving on the wrong side of the road, Dad driving off the road, Dad getting us lost even though we were on a road. The narratives were endless, and ammo for them came rapidly. It had been far too long since I've been able to chronicle his awesomeness in the outback, and I was looking forward to dusting off the old journal and sharing my stories via blog.

Here was our game plan: day hikes, boat rides, and 1 overnight hike in a mountain chalet. Bam! Booked! So many opportunities for my dad to make me (and my audience) laugh! One really important detail I forgot in all my planning was this: no matter how hard we try, we inevitably become more like our parents with each passing year. Turns out the joke was on me because Everett - as well as my dad and step-mom - witnessed some pretty journal-worthy deeds on this trip, with me being the one providing the ammo.

Day 1 began with me saying, "Excuse me, Sir," to someone who was blocking the entrance to a restroom. When "he" spun around to acknowledge me, I discovered it was a woman. I struck out and gave up for the day. 

Day 2 found us driving 6 hours to and from an urgent care clinic, only to find out Everett caught hand, foot, and mouth disease, thus cancelling our overnight hike into the mountains with my dad. Somewhere along that day's route, someone managed to steal our debit card number. I always love going to pay for something, smiling politely to the worker as they attempt to discreetly tell me, "It's been declined."

Even though that day's activities were cancelled due to baby sickness, it's hard to mind the detour when you are surrounded by such beautiful scenery. We made the most of it and drove over the Going to the Sun Road for the second time in 24 hours. This time we allowed ourselves a few moments to stop and enjoy the scenery.

I think we chose the wrong footwear that day.

On Day 3, a park ranger watched us with a smirk on her face as we attempted to push the BOB stroller up a hiking trail. In our defense, my dad said the trail was stroller friendly. We ended up turning around after 100 feet or so to grab the backpack.

Later that day, we went on a boat ride, which might have been the highlight of Everett's life.

After docking, Everett plunged himself into a few lakes, leaving Jeff and I running desperately behind him, unsuccessfully trying to catch him before he dove into the glacial water (we've got a runner!). Other judging parents were watching while their perfectly behaved children played on iPads.

Everett threw a tantrum when I wouldn't let him throw himself into the cool, calm waters of Grinnell Lake.

This day ended with Everett bolting from the table in a restaurant, causing a waitress to trip, and almost capsizing her giant tray of hamburgers. Apparently, we need to stop taking this kid out in public. At least he slept well that night.

By Day 4 I had given up. My kid was a pig pen. He smelled like maple syrup, not because he had been eating syrup, but because he had been running around in the wild for so long. However, he was having a BLAST. I'm pretty sure this was the best week of his life - probably because he could only eat milkshakes with the virus that was attacking his throat...

Look at that face! This child is obsessed with Trader Joe's dried blueberries.

We all showered that night and got packed up to return home. Although our vacation was not what we had originally planned, it felt good to be in the mountains, away from distractions, and with my family. 

I will say this: Dad, being true to his calling for getting people lost, turned our 5-hour journey home into 9 hours by dictating the "shortcut" to us. Note to self: never take Dad's shortcuts. At least the view was good.

So there you have it! Our journal-worthy trip of 2014!

Our home for four nights: The Swiftcurrent Motor Inn Cabins.

He hiked a fair distance like this.

Check out this overexposed picture I took of a mama and baby moose!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Whiskey Ginger

What's your favorite summertime activity?

Some of my fondest memories involve sitting outside on a hot evening sipping a cool beverage. One of my favorite beverages, and one of the easiest to make, is the Whiskey Ginger.

I don't add a whole lot of extra things to this drink (like actual ginger) because 1) I think spending money on garnish is silly, and 2) I'm a mom - which means the purpose of drinking is to drink, not to prep.

  • Fill a standard sized tumbler or glass to the brim with ice cubes.
  • Sprinkle in a few drops of bitters.
  • Pour 1 shot of whiskey over ice.
  • Fill remainder of the glass with ginger ale
  • Sip in the company of good friends.

 Drink responsibly!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Beach Pictures Galore

Here come some more memories!

Big Jeff building a beach fire using an old headboard from the beach house. Classic.

After spending a few days at the Oregon Coast (playing in sand, building fires, etc.), we headed back to Portland to spend some time on the Willamette River.

FYI toddler life vests are the worst.

But these cute Puddle Jumpers are great!  They are Coast Guard approved and won't strangle your child! Seriously, Everett couldn't even stand up in his life vest because it was choking him so much. Puddle Jumpers are a much more comfortable option. Jeff's parents picked this up at Target. We will be buying one to keep in Spokane too.

That's all for now. I hope you are enjoying your week!

Monday, July 7, 2014

4th of July Parade! {Cannon Beach, OR}

We are back from vacation, and have a lot of fun memories to share. I was ready to post about 50 pictures from our last 2 weeks of adventures, then thought better of it, so will share little snippets of memories over the next few days.

We spent our 4th of July in Cannon Beach, OR. Everett saw his first fireworks and attended his first parade that day. He loved both!

I love small town celebrations, and we were glad Everett was in a good mood so he could appreciate all the sights and sounds. 

I've been reading a lot of murder mystery novels lately, and it seems like the big crimes in these stories always happen during a small town parade (for a familiar example, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo). However, I am happy to report that as far as I know, there were no homicides in Cannon Beach that day.

 The weather at the coast was perfect!

OBSESSED with the lady blowing bubbles at her lemonade stand.

My favorite beach house mug...obvi.

After the parade, we went for a hike, played in the sand, (had a bath), made a beach fire, then bundled up to watch Grandpa light some fireworks.

That was our 4th of July in a nutshell. It was a good one. Be prepared for more awesome/annoying pictures from our many vacation adventures!

Also, we will be leaving for another vacation this Saturday. Betcha can't wait to see those pics either?
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