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Blake was here...


top shelf of the fridge
These days, you just never know what you're going to find where around this place.

It's Friday and I have no news...


Except that I bought a bridesmaid dress yesterday because I'm going to be in my cousin's wedding this summer and I LOVE IT. 

And my sister and I hosted a Premier Designs jewelry party last night and made enough desserts and treats for 30+ people. 

And then after coming home I contemplated being wild and crazy and staying up to watch the royal wedding, but wimped out (or was very wise, take your pick) and instead dreamed about it all night long. 

And have been watching wedding coverage all morning today. 

While eating leftover no-bake cookies from last night's party because they call to me.

And in case you're interested it's cold and rainy here in Oregon. STILL. 

But the forecast calls for 70 degree weather on Sunday which is perfect because we're celebrating my little brother's 30th birthday. Happy b-day Jamin! I sure love you!

Awkward and Awesome


- tiredly sitting down on the toilet after a long, hard workout and realizing you haven't even pulled your pants down.
- trying to get back up off the toilet after that long, hard workout.
- realizing at 7:15 pm on Wednesday night that you have kid's nursery duty at church, and it started at 6:45 pm.
- putting your homemade BBQ pulled pork on the stove top over low heat to warm your sauce and then rushing off to church, forgetting to turn the burner off. This is not only awkward but also quite dangerous, and stinky as well.  

- pre-burned BBQ pulled pork. YUM.
- realizing after three straight accident-free days (and nights!) of your youngest child wearing big-boy underwear and taking himself potty when needed, that he is FINALLY potty trained! YES!!
- watching your husband tiptoe across the yard in his socks with his son's BB-gun in hand to get that dastardly gopher that's being digging up holes all over the place. Yes, it was a gopher. And it was HUGE.
- giving your hubby air high-fives through the window after gopher TAKE DOWN!
- asking your three year old what he's doing when you see all his toys laid out across your ottomans, and hearing him answer, "I'm habing a gawage sale!"

- Okay, that's totally awesome.

What I Wore Wednesday


A couple of thoughts first...

Non-fashion related: I just watched the movie The A-Team. Am I the only one who loved it? For some reason I seem to remember it semi-failing at the box office... which I can't understand because, awesome! Unless it's my way-to-easy-to-please movie standards. In which case, problem solved.

Fashion related: After checking out Anthropologie online for the billionth time this week, I have again come to the same conclusion as always that I do not like that store. I'm sorry. I know for sure I'm a lone wolf here in my feelings. But I have no desire to ever shop there. Please still be my friend.

And now moving on to my outfits, which have nothing to do with what I just got off my chest. 

evening church service
tee: Shade
wrap sweater: Kohl's
jeans: Gap - Goodwill
sandals: Target
necklace: Fred Meyers

grocery shopping
(funny sidenote: I was recognized in Target by a lady who has seen me link up every week to WIWW on The Pleated Poppy! What are the odds?!!
I immediately thought: "I hope my outfit passes her approval!")
shirt dress: Charlotte Russe
leggings: Walmart
cardigan and flats: Old Navy
belt: yard sale
flower necklace: SarieJune

hair cut & shopping with sister
shirt: Kohl's
skinny jeans: Target
new adorable sandals: Target
scarf: American Eagle
bracelet: Goodwill

shopping & park
(I think this outfit looked cuter in m head. Phooey.)
top: Shade
jeans: Old Navy
sandals: Payless
bracelet: Premier Designs

Easter service
dress and cami: Target
cardigan & belt: thrifted
heels: Payless
flower pin: Maurice's

Prayer group
(some days I just have to completely dress for comfort. Like today.
Except for the scarf, which I basically did zero justice.) 
sweater: Aeropostale
jeans: Levi's - Kohl's
Uggs: ebay
scarf: SarieJune
bracelet: Goodwill

bible study
blouse: Dress Barn
cardigan: Old Navy
skinny jeans: Target
boots: Walmart
necklace: Wet Seal

Linking to The Pleated Poppy
the pleated poppy blog

Easter weekend report


I would like to start by saying that in a cruel twist of fate we enjoyed the most beautiful day so far this year on Saturday, the day before Easter, and on Sunday morning woke to rain and temperatures in the 50's. 

Typical, Oregon, just typical. 

We made the most of it on Saturday however, playing at the park in town, spending time outdoors, and hiking down to the river again.

Kendall's Easter work of art - a fancy mud pie.

"Happy Easter"

The river has gone down so much in just one week, which made for great rock-throwing fun.

Russ and I just enjoyed the view and the amazing fact that we own this piece of property. We are so, so blessed. 

After the hike back up we watched a family movie and I made the sinfully delicious Easter candy caramel corn, which took till 10 pm, and resulted in me nixing the Easter Story cookie plans because I still had to iron our Easter outfits. 

I lack time-management skills.

My friends Jana, Sarah and I (thanks Therese for the picture!)
Our church had a fabulous Easter service on Sunday morning and all three of our kids were in choirs. 
Including this little lamb, who was in the "iddy-biddy" kid's choir for the first time. He looks quite angelic here but in actuality he is pleading for candy after falling down the steps coming off the stage and crying quite hard. We felt he more than deserved a treat of course :)

After church we headed over to Tim and Cara's for a huge family dinner, during which I took not a single picture of anybody but my own three children during the egg hunt. FAIL.

It was tons of fun though, with games, loads of food, and an NBA playoff game that kept us there until almost 7 pm because SOMEBODY couldn't leave without watching till the very last second. I'll let you guess who that might have been.

And that was our Easter!

Now to go pay a little visit to the kid's Easter candy haul...

death by chocolate


I made this for Easter.

And then I ate it,

And ate it,

And ate it some more.

(It's the darned white chocolate drizzled all over the top. I just can't say no to white chocolate.)

We had a wonderful Easter, by the way. But I'm going to have to talk about it tomorrow. 

After I've slept off my gigantic sugar overdose.

Good Friday


Here's my short list of why it IS a good Friday...

1. I LOVE celebrating the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus my Savior - and with chocolate no less! 

2. The kids have no school today. This means we did not have to get up before 7:00 am. Hallelujah.

3. I'm getting my annual haircut today! Yay! (I don't mean to go a year between cuts... I'm just really bad at scheduling appointments)

4. I'm excited to make these with my kids tomorrow night - I'd never heard of them before seeing this post and think it's such a fun idea. 

5. I'm also excited to make this to take to our family dinner on Easter Sunday (if I don't eat it all before then that is. And that is a real possibility because, did you notice? White chocolate!)

6. I'm tickled when I see my kids copying little things that I do (in this case, the often used post-it reminder), and in such cute writing too :)

Cooper's reminder to himself to pack his lunch yesterday
7. I'm still relishing in the absolute best moment of my day yesterday; when I was approached by a complete stranger in Target because they recognized me from my blog!

It went something like this:

Stranger approaches timidly: "excuse me, this may sound funny, but do you blog?"
Me (extremely surprised): "yes I do!"
loveliest lady I've ever met: "I read your What I Wore posts every week!"
Me (with beaming grin): "Oh my gosh that is crrrazy, I can't believe you recognized me!" (and then I ramble on like a crazy woman for several minutes)
my new best friend for life: "Ummmm okay... buh-bye." (vows to never approach a stranger she recognizes from the internet again)

Just kidding on that last part, although I wouldn't be surprised if that's what she was thinking because I all but hugged her and took her home with me, she made me that happy. I know it's silly, but that's the closest I'll probably ever come to fame and it felt goooood. Shoot, it was the best moment of my WEEK.

Happy Easter everyone! 

A walk to the river


Across the back yard and through the brush, to the river we go
 Down the slope and through the tree field, to the river we go
 Around the curve, continuing down, to the river we go
 Beyond the trees and through the stickers from Hades, to the river we go
  Next to the giant Maple, take a sharp turn (and a gulp of air as you look down a very long hill), to the river we go
  Down the first steep slope of doom, to the river we go

 Stop for a breather and smile at your boys, to the river we go
 Glance back at the hill you just came down, and cry that you'll have to return up it, to the river we go!

Around the bend, to treacherous slope #2 of doom, to the river we go
The final turn, we're almost there, to the river we go
Follow your boys, pretending your leg muscles don't hurt like the dickens, to the river we go

Stop to rest, take a glance to the right, to the river we go
At last we're there! Sit down and enjoy! To the river you've come!

Now hike around, and laugh and play, exploring with your loved ones.
(and put off heading back up the hill of death for as long as you possibly can!)

 The end.

What I Wore Wednesday No. 40


We're on day three of sunshine here in Western Oregon and we're crossing our fingers that it's here to stay. For a week at least. That's the best we can hope for really.

On the fashion front: How far into spring is it appropriate to wear a winter scarf? I am enjoying a little neck warmth with my flats and sandals lately, and it's also a convenient spot to hide a little wrapped chocolate for an on-the-go treat. Hypothetically speaking.

dress: Goodwill
cardigan: Old Navy
leggings and boots: Walmart
necklace: Plato's Closet

shirt: Kohl's
jeans: Gap - Goodwill
flats: Steve Madden - Goodwill
scarf: Old Navy
bracelet: Maurice's

(had to go to a funeral today)
dress and cardigan: Old Navy
leggings and tights: Walmart
belt: garage sale

cami: Diviine Modestee
cardigan: Old Navy - yard sale
skirt/belt and flower pin: Maurice's
boots: Walmart

shirt: Ross
skinny jeans & sandals: Target
scarf: gift

shirt: Target
jeans: Kohl's
boots: Steve Madden - thrifted
necklace: Romy

Thus concludes my 40th week of WIWW posts! Thanks to Lindsey at The Pleated Poppy for hosting the fun link party every week.
the pleated poppy blog

We don't want no stinkin' time share!


Russ and I arrived at our scheduled appointment at Vacation Internationale last Friday evening armed and prepared to fend off ALL sales tactics that might make us cave in and purchase into a vacation program that we had no interest in.  All we wanted was our free trip, man!

The first thing we discovered was that the sales guy that called us and scheduled our appointment told us no less than FIVE lies to get us there. Hmmm, what kind of havey-cavey business were these people running?! Russ was ticked and ready to walk then and there... except we had driven an hour to get there and were starving (due to lie #3: to come on an empty stomach because there would be plenty of hors d'oeuvres... yeah, there was a small platter of cookies) and the apologetic sales manager offered us dinner out at The Olive Garden if we stayed. 

Sold. Heck, we were already there, kid free and with no other plans - a paid dinner at one of our favorite places meant a done deal in our world.

And thus began the most excruciatingly high pressure sales pitch we have ever encountered. Picture the best and most savvy car salesman you've ever met and multiply him by 100

These people pulled out all the stops. At one point the woman making the main presentation to the room full of couples talked about her deceased daughter and the amazing vacation pictures they had to remember their time with her, and we looked around the room and at least two other sales people (one was assigned to each couple) had tears streaming down their faces. We're pretty sure that was a completely fabricated story and they were all a bunch of unscrupulous actors... especially after our personal sales lady went on to tell us about her own child that she also lost, and the effect this wonderful company has had on her family since then.

It was actually amazing Russ and I didn't laugh in her face. 

The more we said no, the longer we had to stay and face a higher-up employee, and the longer it went on, the less friendly Russ became until I was the one doing all the talking because I was afraid he'd be incredibly rude if I let him answer. And let's be honest; I can't be mean to save my life.

(And speaking of honesty, if I'd gone alone I would have bought in after sales pitch #3 because they were going to give us a FREE 8 DAY CRUISE!)

Thankfully I wasn't alone and we made it. After 2 1/2 hours and four different sales personnel, we were finally sent to Sergey - the mostly non-English speaking man who would give us our free weekend trip voucher (and our free dinner gift certificate). We picked San Fransisco and when he left the room to get our paperwork we heaved a huge sigh of relief that the stress of the evening was over. 

Little did we know that he would come back with a fifth and final offer, "You buy for two thousand?", less than half of their last price quote, with a sales man waiting outside the window for a discreet yes or no nod. That time we did laugh out loud - but still said no. 

And then we were finally free - Woohoo! We actually felt quite accomplished to make it out alive and still debt-free (we're not sure any other couple did!) and we celebrated in style at Olive Garden with appetizers, salad, dinner and dessert. Because remember, we were STARVING.

It was an interesting night to say the least. And believe it or not, we totally enjoyed ourselves :)

Monday confessional - playing hooky


Yesterday morning at around 8:30 am, Russ realized what a gorgeous day it was going to be and suggested we play hooky from church so he could cut and mow the trail down to the river on the back of our property and take the kids down to play. 

I said something along the lines of "yeah right, get out of bed and ready for church, Mister" and continued getting myself ready... but the idea of a fun family day sprouted in my mind and before long it had grown wildly. I came back into the bedroom and suggested we surprise the kids with a trip to the beach for the day - since we only go once a year, and never just on our own. 

Sadly Russell poo-pooed my idea soundly, even though I tried to sell him on it for a good 5 minutes; he had no intesrest in driving 3 hours round-trip on the last day of his weekend, but said he wouldn't be opposed to spending the money it would have taken in gas to get to the coast to take the kids to a movie, as long as he could still have his afternoon to work on his trail. 

Which is how we ended up skipping church and driving to the mall at 10:20 am instead. 

I choose not to dwell on the message we might have sent our kids yesterday (we really do love church!), but rather the memory of the initial confusion on their faces when we went the wrong direction (Blake noticed first!), and then their growing excitement when we wouldn't tell them where we were going. When they finally guessed a movie (after Disneyland, buying a new trampoline, and buying a puppy) we told them we were going to see "Rio" and they were ecstatic. And rightly so... it was a fantastic movie!

Blake, under the assumption that one must ALWAYS consume popcorn at the theaters, asked for some about 30 times.
We said no to the popcorn, but yes to Mommy's white chocolate mocha. Mmmm :)
My little movie buddy and I. We laughed so much together.
Afterwards we ate lunch at the mall food court and then stopped at Yogurt Shack for a dessert treat on the way home, throwing caution to the wind after such a foot-loose and fancy-free start to the day.

Then Russ had his afternoon to clear the river trail and we spent the last couple of hours of sunlight exploring the woods and hiking around along the river banks. 

It was a perfect day. We had such a great time with our kids and they were so full of love and gratitude for the time together all day that we really felt it was worth it. More and more we are seeing the value in investing A LOT of family time together and yesterday was just another reminder of that. 

Which helped make up for the sadness I felt when I realized we'd missed Palm Sunday at church. Darn!

Just in case you're wondering why we did all the spending when we're still on BUDGET LOCKDOWN... it's thanks to a little thing called my husband's side-business. Him and his buddy refurbish and resell these:

And in the last four days they sold 6! Hello fine weather - we love you and the motivation you give folks to buy play sets for their kids!

And that's how we played hooky. 

p.s. Wondering about the Friday night sales pitch we were going to and whether I held strong or not? Come back tomorrow for the story, it was QUITE the event.