Monday, July 27, 2015

that time we went out west

Here we are at the end of July, so naturally I'm giving the people what they want: a very timely and relevant post about our Spring Break trip that we took four months ago. I aim to please. And I'm clearly right on top of my blogging game...along with every other type of game. Cleaning game, grading game, cooking game, haircut and yard work games - the person right there on top? That's me.

So, Spring Break!!! At the beginning of April we went out to Portland to visit my brother, Justin, and sister-in-law, Jamie, and had such a great time. They completely spoiled us by making tons of kid-friendly plans and making us feel so welcome, despite the fact that my sister-in-law was leaving for a month in Nicaragua the day after we left!

Before flying out, we stopped for a night in Toledo to spend time with Jason's brother and his wife. The kids were thoroughly entertained by their cat - I think Milo spent the majority of our time there either chasing her or asking where she was {hiding from Milo} - and thoroughly freaked out by the number of stairs in their house. The next day we walked down to the Mudhens Stadium and the farmers market before packing up and heading to the airport.

I don't want to brag too much, but the boys were completely awesome on our flights. I had prepared myself for the worst {meltdowns, vomit, embarrassment, and tears}, and there was literally none of it. Gehrig spent the entire first flight looking out the window exclaiming, "This is amazing!! I can't even believe this!" And Milo, while he was freaked out by take-off, just clung to me and Jason for a while before settling in with an iPad and snacks. The worst thing that happened was a spilled Sprite all over my lap, but I'm fairly sure that was my fault. You can't take me anywhere.

We arrived late the night before Easter {the boys were troopers with the time change and still woke up around 6:30 Portland time every morning, which was another pleasant surprise}. The next morning Justin & Jamie set up an egg hunt for the boys before we trekked out to see the Columbia River Gorge and Multnomah Falls. All the green was a welcome sight when everything was still so gray and leafless in Michigan.

We did a lot of walking around their neighborhood {Gehrig loved the goats in the front yard of a house down the block}, drinking delicious coffee and eating amazing food. Those food trucks?? I'm still craving more of the Hawaiian pork stir fry I had on Easter. Jason said he'd fly back to Portland just to have another Dutch turkey club sandwich on a waffle. Not to mention the free malasadas Gehrig got for finding an Easter egg outside the Hawaiian cart. Dreamy.

The next night we had dinner at Mississippi Pizza where "Mr. Ben" performed kids songs and we got to eat amidst an entire restaurant full of families with 1-6 year-olds and it was so loud and so fantastic, especially because that was our kids' crankiest night. Meltdowns are no big deal when literally everyone in the restaurant has kids with them. Other fun things included a stop at Powell's and a park {grass! green grass!}, staying up too late playing Settlers of Catan, a trip to OMSI, which had so many awesome things that captivated the adults right along with the kids, and watching Milo go crazy every time he saw a dog, which happen to be everywhere in Portland.

On our last day we headed to the Oregon coast with Voodoo Doughnuts in hand. I was so excited to see the ocean {large bodies of water calm my soul} and it did not disappoint. We had fairly rainy weather all week except for our day at the beach, which was sunny and peaceful and magical. We dug in the sand, gathered shells, played frisbee and baseball, and almost had to leave when Gehrig scream-cried over a dead crab. We left with sun-kissed cheeks, sand in our shoes, and the memory of the boys' first time at the ocean.

After a home-cooked meal that night, we packed our things and got ready to leave early the next morning. It's always a bummer saying goodbye to family, especially when we don't have a "next time" in mind. Milo especially misses Victor, their cat {notice a theme with him?} but I'm so glad we were able to take the boys on this little adventure to visit our far-away family.

Happy Spring Breaking! {If you're into that sort of thing in the dead middle of summer....}

Sunday, July 5, 2015

A Third

I'm not a frequent Facebook poster, aside from my sparse blogposts and pregnancy announcements every couple years, so I forget how lovely people are when I share such happy news. In case you weren't waiting expectantly for my post and missed it, I am due with babe 3 around Christmas. We are of course thrilled to be welcoming a new baby this winter and I am so grateful for everyone's well-wishes. 

This pregnancy was a bit of a challenge for the past 3 months since I felt sicker and much more fatigued than I did with any of my others. Not to mention some heavy, uncontrollable emotions that just kept dragging me down past the point of rationality. But I really don't want to complain because it of course could be so much worse and things are definitely beginning to look up {as in, I'm not spending half the day alternating between the couch and the bathroom and I don't break into tears as much as I did for the entire month of May. Woohoo!}

I'm also ridiculously lucky that Jason is home for the whole summer, so after weathering the storm of baseball season {so long, five straight weekends of tournaments!}, I've had more chances to hide from the kids and nap than I deserve. Also, let's talk for a minute about how happy the boys are to have this guy around. Finally they have someone here who will wrestle with them, build them a fence for hitting home runs in the backyard, and buy them donuts at the grocery store. What a lucky group we are.

He's also been telling me for weeks to sit down and write a blog post because he knows that writing is one of my happy places. I'm really going to try taking his advice more often. He's a smart man and the fun parent and I can't wait to see him with another babe in arms.