have a great weekend…

IMG_2257things are just as busy as ever here at the house of mayhem and chaos!  last weekend we went to portland to the oregon museum of science and industry and then to hood river.  we had a blast!  IMG_2280 IMG_2296i have work tonight and tomorrow night but on sunday, i am hosting a little gathering for my best friend’s 3rd annual 29th birthday (see what she did there?)  i’m looking forward to friends and food and kids running around!   then, on monday, christopher and i are thinking of taking the boys to see the new minion movie.  it should be a fun, action-packed weekend with a little relaxing mixed in. IMG_2331

i hope you have plans for a fantastic weekend!

family mini break…

last night we got back home from a three-day family vacation at wallowa lake in oregon.  it was more of a mini-break, really, but we all had a wonderful time.  we spent our time hiking, fishing and playing in the lake.

IMG_1355 IMG_1353 IMG_1349the eagle cap wilderness is just lovely and we couldn’t have hoped for better weather.  the boys loved sleeping in the tent and each morning harry would exclaim, “mommy!  i woke up in my tent!”

the campground had a little play area nearby and the boys loved the climbing wall.

IMG_1338 IMG_1344 IMG_6414we went into the little town of joseph to do some sightseeing and eat some ice cream.  and, we wound up bringing home some treasures.  i found the world’s best mug and the boys chose jars filled with marbles.  you would have thought they had found nuggets of gold!  apparently, marbles make for the best treasures.  i’m kind of wishing i’d gotten some marbles!

IMG_6442 IMG_6440 IMG_6449there are deer in the area of the campground and apparently, they are very friendly and used to humans.  a young buck wandered into our campsite looking for a treat.  there are signs posted everywhere saying not to feed the deer and we were strict with putting away our food each night.  however, since we were packing up, the little guy thought we’d be an easy mark for some nibbles!  we grabbed the food off the table just in the nick of time.  the boys were mesmerized by a deer so close up!  jack wanted to ride him (which we explained would absolutely NOT happen) but he actually got close enough to touch it before it wandered off to the neighboring campsite.  wow!  nature up close and personal!

IMG_1371  IMG_1363 IMG_1368 IMG_1360on our way home yesterday, we stopped at terminal gravity brewing.  it is one of the brands christopher represents and we had a fantastic lunch.  ed, the owner, and kevin, their marketing manager made time to talk to us and thank christopher for his work on selling their beer.  the beers are outstanding and you should try to pick some up at your grocer!  their outdoor seating area is spectacular and we had lunch in a little aspen grove next to a stream.

10369895_10202186269849950_5478510722435140775_nthis was a refreshing and relaxing trip that our little family really needed.  i loved not being on my phone or the computer for a few days, although there was so much to attend to when we got back.  i’m already going to be reserving a campsite for next year.






the summer list…


now that it is officially summer (yay!), i’ve been thinking about how i want to use my time and what to do with myself and the boys. school ended for them in the middle of may, and i am down to working only a couple days a week, if that, so, we have some extra time on our hands.  on top of that, christopher’s mom moved to town from santa rosa and we are looking forward to spending lots of time with grammie now.

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in thinking of what i want the summer to be, i started to think back on my summers as a kid and to what made them so great.  it seemed like my sister and i never were in the house, which is ludicrous because we lived in arizona and it is hot as blazes, so i know we couldn’t have been outside all the time – we would’ve died of heatstroke!  but, in my mind, we played outside all. the. time.  swimming at my aunt and uncle’s house was another favorites summer past time.  and the drive-in movie.


so, i started to come up with a list of things i want to do and things that would be fun to do as a family.  i think it’s important to have some “me time” scheduled in here too, because, it is summer, after all!  i wanted to have some ideas in my back pocked for things to do on any given day and some ideas for when we get bored.  i want the boys to remember summers as free-for-all-fun-times.

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anyway, here is my running list.  it’s not set in stone and it is not something that i am setting out to check off, one at a time.  it is just something to make me remember what summer is all about.

~ basking in the sun as much as possible (wearing this sunscreen, of course!)

~ living in the inflatable pool in the backyard

~ swimming lessons for the boys

~ eating from the garden as much as possible

~ hitting the farmer’s market once a week

~ taking advantage of the free/cheap kids movies at the theater

~ downtown walks as many evenings as possible

~ hanging out and drinking wine/beer with my girlfriends

~ once-a-month dates with christopher (at least once-a-month!)

~ lots of visits with grammie and the cousins

~ music practice with christopher on the front porch

~ cooking on the grill as much as possible

~ fun manicures and pedicures (and keeping my heels smooth!)

~ drying the clothes on the line in the backyard all summer long

~ going to the free concert in the park on thursdays

~ reading as many books from the library as we can

~ staying up late for the 4th of july fireworks

~ tent camping at least once this summer

~ cool outside art projects like this one and this one

~ pickling and preserving the garden bounty


what is on your summer list?




vacation: crazy or crazy-good?

we took a road trip last week.  1200 miles each way to arizona and back. in the car. with the boys.  it seemed like a good idea because i have really fond memories of taking road trips on vacation, and because we haven’t had a proper vacation in over two years, and because i have horrible memories of flying with the boys when they were 9 months old.


so, i did a lot of pinterest research on road trips with littles and prepared as best as we could.  things that worked: cookie sheet trays covered in chalkboard paint with velcro straps to fix onto their carseats; movies on the iPad; snack bucket between their seats and hotels with swimming pools.  Things that didn’t work: magnets for their trays–jack started eating them; toy bucket between the seats–everything wound up on the floor of the car; window jellies–also tossed on the floor after being torn to shreds; coloring books and stickers–jack ate those too; headphones for the iPad–the ones we got didn’t work at all (apparently, “noise reducing” means you can’t hear any movie dialogue. but we got new ones in phoenix.)

but, we got there safely and the boys were troopers.  i mean, real superstars!  they didn’t have any real meltdowns and chris and i didn’t fight either!  we saw some beautiful scenery as we traveled through 6 states.

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our visit was relaxing and full of time with family that we haven’t seen in several years.  my grandma just turned 90 and it was wonderful to see her with the boys.  i also was able to reconnect with some friends i hadn’t seen since jr. high and high school!  it was really wonderful. the boys played in the sun outside every day, got to see my dad and uncle’s motorcycle shop and we all went to the zoo.  harry said his favorite part was  petting the sting rays and jack said his favorite part was the car ride!  they crack me up.

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we got home a little earlier than expected on sunday, so we unloaded quickly and sat down with a nice pint on the front porch.




i’m back…sort of…

so, i’ve been out of the loop for a couple weeks and i have really been horrible at posting.  like, not posting at all.  i absolutely love blogging, but my family is my first priority and blogging takes a back seat–even the cake of the mondays.


we are currently on a 1200 mile road trip with the boys to see my family in arizona and are getting ready to return home tomorrow.  two days in the car each way has been crazy interesting.  they were little troopers for the first half of the trip and i’m sure they’re going to do great on the way home.  i will post lots of pictures and my sanity-saving tips as soon as we get back into our home routine.

before we left on vacation, we all got the plague.  super horrible flu/colds.  that kept the cake of the mondays on the back burner for a couple weeks.  that too will make it’s return to the blogosphere when we get home.


the best part of our family road trip vacation has been seeing my family and friends that we don’t see except every few years.  visiting with grandma, who just turned 90, was a special treat.  the boys got to ride on papa’s motorcycles and we all went to the zoo.  the weather in arizona is glorious!  harry has been a little blue since it’s been so cold and dreary at home, so he has been especially excited to bask in the warm sunshine.  we needed this decompression time since we haven’t taken a real vacation in two years.


anyhoo, i will be back at it in full in about a week or so.



vacation planning…


christopher and i didn’t take a vacation at all last year.  we didn’t even get to the north american organic brewer’s festival — which we’ve gone to ever year for the past 6 years except the year the boys were born.  but this year, we are going on vacation.  as a family.  more than once.

beer fest

i just finished booking our reservations for a camp spot at the glorious wallow lake in eastern oregon.  it’s not too far a drive, it has a fabulous lake and lots of fun things to do, not to mention terminal gravity brewery in enterprise, oregon, right on the way there.

i really want to teach the boys to fish. there is a great little creek running through the campground with lots of trout.  i was about their age when i first started fishing and they’ve been asking lots of questions about where meat comes from.  i’m pretty sure jack thinks when an animal dies it magically turns into food, so this will be a very eye-opening experience for them.


christopher and i want to make sure we are taking the time as a family to travel and experience our summer vacations.  this spring, we are planning to drive to phoenix to see my family.  we contemplated flying, but getting on a plane with twins is a nightmare (we did it once when the boys were nine months old) and we think driving will be better and we can take our time.  we are planning on going the utah route for it’s scenic beauty and the fact that we can stop at uinta brewery and squatter’s along the way.  we are also going to be going to the north american organic brewer’s festival this year, come hell or high water, because it’s portland, organic beer, family-friendly, and in the mississippi.  we go with our friends and it’s a great time.


since it’s been so long since we’ve gone on an actual vacation with the boys, we are a bit out of practice.  any tips you have for mega-car-traveling with small children are appreciated!

here are some blogs and pictures of places on my “wanderlust list” (which you can see on my pinterest feed on the traveling wilburys board) and some other things i like to look at about traveling:

a great camping with kids checklist

a weekend away in a treehouse.  can you just imagine? via creature comforts

i’m pretty sure my fairy godmother lives here

these pictures are the washington cascades.  and also, hello, the blog name is f-ing fantastic!

this is my dream