Life Gets In the Way

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The view of our newly remodeled kitchen.

It has been a long time since my last post. We returned home after being away for two months to a brand new kitchen, a life and business to catch up on, the start of a new school year and many more odds and ends to take care of. I finally sat down to log the stats of our entire trip, which I have been wanting to do since the beginning. Stay tuned for a detailed post. It is in the works!

In the meantime, I am switching gears. I leave behind a summer of growth…of wonder, beauty and pure joy. Also of some stress and sadness. Yin and yang. Light and dark. It was an epic journey and I would do it all over again (and actually hope to do something similar again in the future!) The time we spent together as a family was priceless and unforgettable. As daily life crowds back in and the strong bonds we created this summer are stretched, I am so incredibly thankful for the time we had. Life is great.

Cooking While Camping with a Tower Garden

CookingIt has been a lot of fun eating off of our Tower Garden on this trip. We have had many salads and have lately been munching on green beans as we walk by. I was able to add basil, oregano and thyme to our spaghetti sauce last night, but this dinner was by far my favorite. We camped back-to-back from Oregon to California and didn’t feel like doing any grocery shopping during the drive from one spot to the other. So we used what we had in our dry food bin and what was left in our cooler to create a tasty dinner. I sautéed some carrots with olive oil and dill from the garden. I toasted walnuts and threw them into quinoa with some thyme from the garden. We had salads and couscous. It isn’t too difficult to eat healthy while camping after all!

Camping on the Coast of Central Oregon

I am so thankful we decided to spend two nights camping in Oregon. I have always loved the forests and the coast. I was especially excited to get to spend some quality time with my BFF and her older daughter. Miss A and Aaron are the same age, so it was particularly sweet to see them interact together. Thinking back at how far Anne and I have come from science class in 9th grade – it was very special to say the least. Here are some pictures from our adventures on the central Oregon coast!

It hit the second day we were in Cornelius, OR, (Portland area) getting ready to drive to a swimming hole on the Wilson River to meet a friend and her daughter. Paul was golfing and I was left to get the boys ready and in the truck for our day trip to the river. The boys didn’t want to go. They wanted to stay and play with some toys. After a couple melt downs, I finally had them headed to the truck when Grayson stepped in bark chips in bare feet and ended up with tiny slivers on the bottom of both feet. We were late to meet my friend. I wanted to cry. After picking out as many slivers as I could, I carried him to the truck. The dogs were loaded, the boys in their seats and we headed out. I was relieved until I realized that it was 11:30 am and I didn’t have any lunch packed for the boys and I to eat at the river. We were a mess inside the shop where I ordered some sandwiches and the boys cried over my sandwich choice, Grayson refused to walk on his slivered feet, and I was near tears yet again. This was the moment it dawned on me: we were road weary, at our limit. As we finally headed out to the open road to drive down Highway 6 towards mile marker 15, I looked forward with a sense of relief to the week and a half of camping coming up; some quiet time in the woods to decompress and continue our journey home. Needless to say, once we got on the road, the boys and I had a great time singing to DCFC and an even better time playing at the river. Sometimes you just need to push through the frustrations to the good things.

Overscheduled and Under-Timed in Portland

We have some wonderful and very close friends in the Portland-area. Some we acquired during the two years we lived there and my “BFF” from high school lives there now. Originally we planned to spend more time in the area

, but after making some adjustments to spend a longer period of time in Colorado, we ended up with only 2 1/2 days in town. Needless to say with all of the people we wanted to see, we were on the go the entire time. Ron and Melinda were such wonderful and patient hosts as we loaded and unloaded the boys and dogs at their house while we went to various places. All in all, we had some quality time with friends while playing at the coolest nature park, dining at Thai Orchid with friends from my days at Integra Telecom, golfing in Banks and playing in the Wilson River. We definitely could have easily spent a week in Portland, but are happy we got to spend the time we did.

“What’s It Tahuya?”

I saw this phrase on our friends’ son’s t-shirt and loved it.

Our neighbors and friends from back home have a wonderful cabin in Tahuya, WA – a tiny little town along a beautiful, winding road along the Hood Canal and mouth of the Tahuya River. Our friends were such gracious hosts for our two nights and a day with them. We had delicious, hearty meals and great company.

tahuya2 Our day in Tahuya was apparently the third coldest and windiest day on record. While my visions of sitting outside on the Adirondack chairs while watching the kids play on the beach did not come to fruition, we spent a relaxing day in doors, finishing a puzzle, snacking on some fresh food and baking cookies. I used to suffer from “need to be doing something” syndrome, where a day spent indoors without any plans would have sent me into a panic. Maybe having 3 boys or this trip has changed me. I had no cares and enjoyed a fully “down” day with our friends.

The day we left promised to me a much better day. The sun shone through and the wind settled to a nice breeze. Unfortunately we had plans with other friends in Portland and had to leave after a great breakfast that morning. Thank you to Dawn and Torren for being such wonderful hosts! We thoroughly enjoyed our visit!Tahuya

The Elusive Giant

Bend, OR to Tahuya, WA 6 hours, 326 miles

The highlight of our trip to Tahuya was by far the short but awesome sightings of Mt. Hood as we drove. One moment it was barely there. Around another turn, it would be hidden behind the clouds. Even when we lived in the Portland area and I saw Mt. Hood frequently, when it was visible, it always gave me a moment for pause to take in its magnificence.