Category Archives: Family Talk

Don’t Waste Your Life

What do YOU love? Whats your dreams, passions and what drives you?

My husband and I were talking last night about our future goals and our goals for the year. We were discussing how deeply we both want to be self employed so we can make our own hours, be with the kiddos and pass on memories as a family rather then daddy going to work all the time. I mentioned earlier this week how Cooper has a hard time when Michael is gone all week long. These are things that we CAN change if we want. God has given us the ability to work and be creative. That doesn’t mean we are all meant to sit at a desk to provide for our family. This is not the dream we have.

We know we were created for so much more and now we just have to pursue our dreams and allow the Lord to really work those out in His timing. It’s actually exciting to see what this year will bring and where we will be.

image

I challenge each of you to know your dreams and passion and to really pursue them as well. If you don’t know what they are, pray about it. God wants us to be used for His glory. What does that look like in YOUR life? Is your story similar to ours, are you wanting to pour into your family and not allow work to take over your life? Are you wanting to minister to those around you? Think through it all and comment below your thoughts, dreams and what you want for your life.

Dream big!

#dontwasteyourlife #cherishthemoment #workfromhome #selfconfidence #seekyourdreams #changeyourheart

Happy Birthday To Me

My birthday was this past weekend it was fabulous. Before I get into it, let me start by saying it was a very good birthday full of yummy food, date night and family breakfast.

BUT— lets pull the reigns on the horse for a minute and begin by stating how wonderful my birthday was last year. Last year we were in the Bahamas and Orlando for 14 days and it just happened to fall on my birthday! Okay, I may have planned it that way! :) Needless to say, it was a fabulous birthday and though this years was amazing, nothing beats a great Bahamian vacation.

IMG_3556Michael and I enjoying our wonderful travels. My husband is a must travel guy. What this means is this, he is in desperate need of a new vacation every year AND he is a great trip planner; always finding deals and steals making our trips affordable. 
IMG_3558

Just looking at this picture makes me realize how beautiful our world is and how small we are in comparison. We have such beauty at our fingertips. Praise God for beauty as it makes life more relaxing.

IMG_3560

It was paradise.

We even traveled with the little munchkin and he did AWESOME!!! He is the worlds best traveler.

Okay, enough reminiscing.

This year we went to coffee and pastries with Cooper since later that night we would be going on date night to dinner and a movie. We had yummy pastries at St Honore Bakery and fun time walking around the last Farmer’s Market for the year.

image

image

image

Later that night, we enjoyed date night with dinner and a movie. The concept is almost too simple but so worth it to me. I’m a simply gal and enjoy the little things.

Having a HOT dinner, without kids and full of good company and good food. A movie that’s entertaining, not on our couch and again, without my sweet little baby, though I love him, I enjoy a little time to myself and rarely get it. This is a wonderful way to get away!

I enjoyed myself a good 12 ounce Rib Eye and crab cakes.

My 29th birthday

For dessert we had the original New York Cheesecake! Mmmm mmm mm it was delish!

My 29th birthday 1

And the movie we saw was The Judge. It was so worth it and had a couple tears shed but for the most part it was a really good movie.

Time well spent as a husband and wife on my birthday.

Happy birthday to me and it really was! Nothing beats family time!

Thank you hubby for a wonderful birthday and thank you Cooper for being my son! :)

We’re Going Camping Now We’re On Our Way…

We’re Going Camping Now We’re On Our Way…

“We’re going camping now we’re on our way. We’re gonna climb up a mountain and run and jump and play…” This was a song from my childhood. I have no idea who sang it and what it was on, but it definitely is still a memory my entire family holds. :)

We went camping last year but Cooper was a little too young to remember. I on the other hand, remember all too well. Not an ounce of sleep was able to rest upon my droopy eyes.

Cooper had an incredible time playing in the dirt and water but by the time bedtime approached he could not fall asleep. I believe the noise was ever so present from surrounding campsites that he was so confused. He was too young to explain this to, so we bore the brunt of our sleeping while holding him and walking around. Sitting in the car trying to fall asleep. Nothing worked!

So with that beautiful story in mind, we took the risk and headed out again this year…. crazy aren’t we?

IMG_6615

He was excited to go to the “big park” as we had no other idea how to explain camping.

Watching the Gator drive around was his biggest highlight.

IMG_6604

Trying to get a squirrel up a tree with the tent poles…. needless to say, it did not workout for him.

IMG_6603Daddy and Cooper setting up the tent…

IMG_6571

Rather playing with the tent! Shouting and screaming for joy!

IMG_6600

What an accomplishment….the succeed at tent making!

IMG_6599Going for one night was a lot of work, but not knowing how Cooper would sleep, wasn’t worth the chance of a two plus camping trip.

Getting dinner prepared with a twig and a blanket on the table wasn’t too easy! But the Buffalo Blue Cheese Chicken Burgers were fantastic!

IMG_6583

Story time before bed! He loved it! 
IMG_6590Forgetting our mattress pump, Michael believes he can work up enough air to fill this sucker up. I’m not sure he succeed though I’ll leave that to your imagination.

IMG_6574

Chillaxin’ or shall I say getting ready to pass out from all the air loss.

IMG_6589

Good morning sunshine….6 am sharp, this little monster was up and ready to play. Luckily he slept through the entire night! Praise Jesus because I think we all would have reached insanity after being up all night!

IMG_6593Whoops, my mascara was played with by a little rascal.
IMG_6594We had a lot of fun but it definitely is a lot of work to camp over night and even though Cooper slept through the night, Michael and I were still pooped the next morning! We had fun and would totally do it again…next summer! 

Maybe a yurt, this time around!

Selfies at the Farmer’s Market

Farmers Market is a fun event we enjoy partaking in throughout summer. We have a great one just down the street from us; lots of vendors, delicious food and live music. Super fun.

Today we walked all throughout but as usual, ended with a cup of coffee. This was a cute little parking spot for us as a family to enjoy coffee, treats  and selfie photos before heading home.

IMG_6034We must be the “selfie” family. Most all of our pictures as a family are selfies. At least we have two plus people in each photo right– isn’t that worth something? I’m not that obsessed with taking photos of myself like some people are….ah hem….maybe I used to be… or maybe you are one of them… I’m not judging you as this may bring us closer as friends! But I will say, whether you are obsessed with selfies or not, I should have patented the “selfie” way back when, because when I was in middle school I took them all the time. And now…. it’s the cool thing to do I guess.

Enough about the selfies, lets talk sugar…

IMG_6027

Not too sure what to say other than sometimes “rules” must fly out the window. How terrible is a cake pop for you, that my friends is a question I don’t really want to answer. I’m sure with the ungodly amount of sugar it holds along with absolutely no nutritional value, I’m sitting at a lose-lose scenario. And, I’m okay with it.

IMG_6033

I’m hoping one day he will begin to appreciate all the photos I take and will offer smiles without staring at the camera as if he’s starring at an alien.

IMG_6035

To counteract all the non-smiley photos, he is the cutest ever when he crosses his legs…and he does this all the time.

IMG_6036This is a must post photo as Michael thinks he’s absolutely hilarious. He gets what he deserves when he chooses not to smile for me; a photo for the world to see. 

IMG_6041

Okay, okay, okay, a little coaxing and I can get a special  smile.

IMG_6042Sweet pea looks as if he’s ready to go golfing. 
IMG_6044

Now we begin our extremely short journey home as little man needs a nap, pronto!

Oh how we dread the end of summer. We are we an outside family and love summers here in Oregon; so many things to do. The dread of Fall bringing on the rain as it will limit our activities; not all, but some!

Moment of Truth: Thank the Lord for summer as our mood swings definitely chill out in the hot summer heat! :)

Washing Cars With Boys

Michael tries to partake in father son time after work while Cooper loves to be outside and be daddy’s little clone.  Today in particular, father son time turned from washing cars with daddy to solely washing daddy.

IMG_5876

“Whoops!”

Michael pausing to catch his breath and figure out what just happened.

IMG_5877

“Seriously, what just happened?!”

The fun in the sun car washing experience was the perfect idea on a hot day with the house doors locked. It’s funny that these “activities” take place right after the floor gets mopped. Wet grass is no bueno on mopped floors. That’d drive anyone batty. So I locked them out! :)

Cooper soaked just as much as daddy but can’t keep his shorts up!

IMG_5881

Ready- Aim- FIRE!!!

SOAKED!!!

IMG_5875

This was quite the experience to watch unfold before my very own eyes while listening to the commentary take place. Cooper using his vast vocabulary trying to piece together sentences that make no sense while Michael tries to explain to Cooper to point the hose at the car while getting sprayed directly in the face. Laughter partakes on both ends. Michael proceeds to walk closer to take the hose from Cooper while getting soaked yet again. The laughter eggs Cooper on just leaving for a wet, sloppy mess.

Pretty funny if you ask me….

Movies in the Park- The Sequel

Despicable Me 2. That was the chosen movie for Friday movies in the park last week. I have yet to seen the first tale and to be honest, did not even see this one. Little Cooper was so rambunctious that by the time the movie started and we all began to settle in, Cooper did not. He wanted to play til morning came.

This little wild man kept the evening bright and exciting. But come 15 minutes into the movie, Cooper is refusing to whisper and fake laughing to follow the flow of the crowd. When his little laughs were so loud and persistent, we knew it was our cue to leave. It was adorable but than we found ourselves laughing, probably annoying everyone around us. We became that annoying family.

We packed a picnic and the dinner menu was Chicken Taquitos.

While we ate, Cooper played! Off he’d go pushing his truck through the mud and the muck trying to conquer the world. It was almost as if Road Runner was on our hands with his fast paced feet racing under him with nothing to hold him back. Where he was off to was beyond me, but he would go- stop – and off again he’d run. Parking his truck up against a tree, running to the sidewalk only to stop and glance back giving us a smile, reassured that we were still watching him.

IMG_5794

“What out, here I come!”

We bring a couple of his favorite toys and let him go crazy with no walls to hold him back.

Break time-

He’d come running back for a bite to eat and daddy would dance around with his little jammies on his head making Cooper laugh hysterically. I on the other hand would dart a look of disgust. Michael thought he was so funny because Cooper would laugh and continue to laugh asking for “one more.”  I knew I needed to steer clear as much as possible to make the moment end, hoping onlookers were distracted by something else. The problem with my husband…he knows when to keep at it. If I get embarrassed or disgusted, he will persist to make me even more uncomfortable. Any of you who know my husband, know that he has no fear of what others think of him; a great quality but an embarrassing one for me. :)

IMG_5808

So gross… I mean…funny?

Chill-axing with daddy!

IMG_5806

Mommy was chop liver tonight. Cooper was so excited to spend time with daddy and I gladly watched while I considered this my “break” of the day. :) Sweet boys!

IMG_5805

Watching the movie screen get set up.

Taking lessons from Daddy. I’m not sure what it was for, but they had fun!

IMG_5787

Play time begins-

“I’m not too young to wrestle with daddy!”

IMG_5798

Little Cooper giggling beyond belief wondering if we can find him under the blanket.

IMG_5797

“Can you find me if I hide under here?”

Daddy being discovered under the blanket. Cooper was so excited to play hide and seek. This little boy MELTS my heart!

IMG_5796

I found daddy!

I love this man… I’m happy he’s mine and can enjoy amazing moments like these together.

IMG_5793

He really is a little monkey…Cooper that is! Although I think he gets it from daddy!

IMG_5795

This is a sneaky little face :)

We would laugh at Cooper and his sneaky little smirks on his face….what was he up to in that little head of his?!

IMG_5815

Such a beautiful night

All in all, the night was beautiful and extremely fun. Cooper had a blast and was thoroughly worn out and ready for bed by the time we got home….(sigh)…perfect night with the family.

1-2-3 Barf

Easy as 1-2-3. My poor little man got his first bout of the stomach flu this morning. 2 separate play-dates lined up, both at water parks, fun in the sun and yummy snacks and a blanket. We were in it for the long haul. All packed up with goodies, lunch and toys and off to the park we go. About two miles down the road and on the freeway, my little man lets out a 5 second cry and off with the projectile vomit while I immediately pull the car to the side of the road. Not sure what to do, I offer him a little water and back home we quickly return.

“Bye-bye! Wes?” he muttered through tears and uncertainty. Poor boy couldn’t understand that he was sick and needed to rest on the couch with his Mommy. A stinky car needed cleaning. A car seat that was just washed yesterday needed to be returned to the washing machine. A little boy doused in his own chunky vomit needed to be hosed off, a blanket filled with the remainder needed immediate attention. My little boy was covered from head to toe.

He released his blanket for the first time allowing me to wash it while he repeatedly uttered “tink, tink” otherwise known as stink. He was beginning to understand his blanket carried the chunky smell that was so terribly potent while giving me a chance to wash this sucker without a meltdown.

Covering the couch in our park blanket to avoid any further mess, we got to rest on the couch while sipping some ginger ale and watching Cars the movie. He sat very well, but would get bouts of pain and point to his tummy. Refusing to nap, I tried to get him to rest on the couch and as that proceeded to fail, I scooped him up to walk outside and admire the few remaining blueberries on the tree for a hopeful distraction. This distraction worked only for a moment as he wanted to walk himself back inside and “BAM,” he fell to the ground busting open his big toe from tripping on who knows what. Sobbing hysterically I scooped him back up while blood showered my shorts and shirt; leaving me not only smelling of vomit but now covered in blood.

image

(Sorry it’s a little blurry. Very difficult to take with a sobbing child)

I finally got the band-aid on which was a nightmare in and of itself as he only knows them from our frequent visits to the hospital. Finally, the task was accomplished and my little man stoped crying. Had he not stopped crying, I feared another round of vomit would take place.

Finally, I coax him into a nap. Sweet baby needed to rest. Meanwhile, I needed to clean the car. I feel terrible for my poor boy, but oh how terrible a smell especially when baking in the sun for a couple hours while I tried to man the house, so-to-speak. While walking around aimlessly trying to figure out where to even begin, I gazed upon the interior of the car to find projectile vomit resting upon my iced coffee and water. Woo-hoo for me. I pulled the mats out and began to wash them clean while I Lysol-ed what used to be in liquid form, but now crusted upon the leather. Washing the car seat, wiping down the chunks matted in places I didn’t know existed and vacuuming the remainder. Finally….mission accomplished. Every thing was clean…so I hope.

He is still resting as we speak. So….I truly hope this bout of whatever he has is through. Hoping for no further messes but a bed and a tiny body longing to be cleaned upon his awakening. I have high hopes that he will drink fluid to keep from our usual dehydration. I have thankfulness in my heart that we aren’t managing all of this in the middle of the night. I am sustained as-of-this-moment.

Moment of Truth: It’s easy as 1-2-3 and the mess came forth. But it’s never as easy as 1-2-3 to clean up what has been done.

Movies in the Park

If you want a cheap date night or family night, look for your local movies in the park. In Oregon, you will find them all throughout the Portland-metropolitan area. In our own neighborhood we have them every Friday night, and just one stop further, we have them every Thursday night.

This has been a great past time memory that we have participated in since Cooper was born. And although Cooper hasn’t been old enough to enjoy the movies, he has enjoyed playing in the park and having a picnic. Last night was fabulous. The weather was perfect, overcast skies, and an over zealous baby! He was beyond happy and content pushing his little truck around, playing in the water and most of all…playing with his mama. ;)

We went 2 hours early to the park to enjoy some time playing around and also because I wasn’t sure if Cooper could manage that late of an evening. We got home at 9:30 about 45 minutes after the movie was set to begin. Cooper had a blast and so did I.

IMG_5166

This is a great water park

IMG_5165

Ready-Set-Go

IMG_5164

And he’s off…

IMG_5180

Playing in the Water

IMG_5162

And out of the water

IMG_5195

Trying to wear mama’s shoes

IMG_5192

Taking a breather from playing

Mommy and me

Mommy and me

IMG_5184

Adorable

Getting ready for the show.

IMG_5155

IMG_5156

Making himself comfortable

Oh what a night… so many activities took place just while hanging out in the park for one night. Tired little boy slept extremely well! 

4th of July Extravaganza

This past weekend we went to Bend, OR as a family to get away and relax in the beautiful weather and scenery surrounded by four beautiful mountains. We had a great time full of fireworks, swimming, walking, river, Mt Bachelor, petting zoo, bouncy houses and watermelon eating contests. It was incredible.

Our little man did very well without naps and later bedtimes. I never worried about this previously, I was a very relaxed mother when it came to bedtime as I knew my son was a great sleeper. But now that he’s older and has been having some health issues, I tend to be very “by the book” so to speak; our book that is. I was a bit apprehensive over his lack of sleep and the high heated weather, that for sure he would come down with a fever. To my surprise and with great joy, he didn’t.

This was our beautiful drive!
image

image

Redmond hosts a large kids activity center at the fairgrounds each year on the fourth of July. It was free admission, free activities and most of all…free watermelon that was homegrown. This watermelon was probably the best watermelon to date. It tasted as if it was freshly picked and cut on the spot. It was so good my husband even ate it and he hates watermelon.

(High hopes that my watermelon grows to be that tasty)

So DELICIOUS!

image

They had a brand new Semi-truck out on display. They let Cooper climb inside and play with all the gadgets. He was beside himself. So cute!

image

He played in a bouncy house and had no fear. Sweet baby!!!

image

Jumping and jumping. Finally we had to have the volunteer go in and pull him out because he was having so much fun, he did not want to leave.

image

The petting zoo. Pygmy goats and llamas.

image

One of the many water features for him to play in…

image

This fairgrounds had the best kid activities especially for a fourth of July weekend. It was a small town feel. Very friendly and very focused on kids. It was great! :)

After our extravaganza we went to dinner at a local pizza joint and Cooper was beyond wild from lack of sleep and excitement. He wanted to play in the arcade area for-ev-er!

After dinner we walked across the street and got the little popper snap fireworks that go off when you throw them. Cooper was hilarious and kept asking for another one. Michael would throw them super close to Coop’s feet and he would laugh and jump all over. Me on the other hand….well I wasn’t that excited because last year Michael threw one at my leg and ruined my white capris. I hole burned right on through. So this year, I was very clear to keep them away from me. :)

IMG_4963

Stomping on the little buggers

IMG_4976

“One more!”

IMG_4965

Completely unafraid…

IMG_4966

Throwing fistfuls at a time

IMG_4967

This is our firework show: Perched by the window watching the show take place at 10 pm while Cooper slept soundly by our side.

Getting ready…

IMG_4981

The following day we drove 25 minutes to Mt Bachelor. So close and Cooper loved it. Great change in scenery as he’s our little outdoor baby.

IMG_4992

IMG_4995 What a beautiful drive.

IMG_4993

Later we enjoyed a walk along the river through the middle of Bend. Cooper really hoped for a kayak ride.

IMG_4999

He loves putting his toes in the sand and the water.

IMG_4997

Later that evening we went back to the river and took take out for dinner. Cooper was so excited as usual, that feeding him always becomes an issue. He is so ecstatic that food seems extremely unimportant to my little man.

IMG_5001

Daddy trying to bribe the kid with food…

IMG_5018

Stopping for a brief moment to take a sip of milk….and off running again

IMG_5007

Family Photo

IMG_5005

The following morning we headed for our much needed iced coffee and found a playful area with a coffee stand together. Cooper was so happy to play in the water and play with his trucks along the ledge. We hung out for a couple hours and let Coop get wiggles out before beginning our long trek home.

IMG_5024

We talked….

IMG_5027

Cooper played!

IMG_5026
Goodbye Bend! Hope to see you soon! 

IMG_5009

We had such a good time! It was relaxing and beautiful! Is it time to go back yet….? 

Tractor Cake

image

My sick little baby trying to have a good birthday! :(

My son had his birthday a couple weeks ago and as you all know, we headed to the beach to have our trip be quickly interrupted with an ER visit. Although, the first couple days were great, the last two were horrible. I state that very matter-of-fact as they were legitimately horrible.

For my sons first birthday, I didn’t get the pleasure of making his cake as we had moved 1 week prior and we were hosting dinner at our house. I also had planned a friend birthday party the following day at the zoo with lunch and cake. I had very little time to do much more than that. So, this year I was adamant that I would make my son a cake he would love; tractors!!!

I used two bread pans and baked the cake and manipulated the cake in more ways than one to turn it into a tractor. It was pretty challenging to say the least, but it worked out. I will also state that this is the first time I’ve ever made a cake into something other than a circular pretty cake. Practice makes perfection– so I hope!

IMG_4807 IMG_4808
IMG_4811 IMG_4812I used Kit-Kats for the wheels and smoke stack. 
IMG_4814

 

Moment of Truth: Manipulating a cake isn’t the easiest thing, especially for the first time. You make a mistake and you must keep going. Though there are many imperfections, I was thrilled to have it resemble a tractor that my son would be utterly happy about. :) The older he gets, the better I will become! :)