Archive for September, 2011


I arrived around 3 on Saturday afternoon. All was quiet and no one was crying or fussing. The sunlight was flowing through the two big windows in their colorful living room. Oliver was fast asleep in his swing by a window. Zoe and Quinn were each held by Christina and her mother-in-law. Both girls were smiling and observing me with they’re big beautiful eyes. Then, Ozzie (one of my favorite sweet dogs) greeted me with some drive-by leg kisses. Grandma handed Quinn to me and ushered Ozzie to the backyard. Holding/cradling a 6 month old baby is good for the soul. Sigh.

I must say, Christina is such a wonderful new mom. She and Justin have really tackled raising triplets like it’s no big deal. She’s so organized, but still has fun with the babes. She can hold a baby  in one arm while sitting on the ground and reach over and pick another baby up at the same time (!)  She’s also great at photographing and documenting the babies as they grow. (Check out Christina’s awesome blog). There’s so much love in their house it just might explode.

For the next two hours we cuddled with the babies, caught up on life, looked at some of the cutest little outfits that her mother-in-law has sewn/crocheted, watched Ollie sleep peacefully in his swing, photographed the babies, giggled with (and at) the babies, fed Ollie, and as Ollie awoke Quinn went down for a nap.

Christina, thanks for letting me play with your adorable babies and take some photos. I can’t wait to see them again soon! Here’s a sneak peek to some of my favorites. More to come soon.

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It’s the one time of year that we usually all get to see each other. We never know who’s going to be at which parent’s house for the upcoming Christmas or Thanksgiving, but we can count on seeing each other at the beach each summer.

Every Summer my Grandma “Gammy” rents a beach house somewhere on the Texas coast – usually near Galveston or Surfside. For the past couple of years we’ve stayed in Surfside. It’s a tiny beach town that’s pretty run down, but does the job. The prettiest waters and coolest attractions don’t matter… as long as we can spend time together as a family (usually around food). The beach seemed extra clean this year for some reason. We were in an extra large house, too.  Since most of the grandkids are grown-ups now (some of us married with kids, with the exception of 2 still in college), it’s difficult to get us all together for a week. Therefore, the majority of the grandkids only stayed for the first weekend- which included Brian and me.  We were all sad to miss our cousin, Kayla, who drove in a couple hours after we left that Sunday afternoon.

This year our time consisted of long walks on the beach (no joke) catching up with each other’s lives across the past year while the water lapped at our feet, and enjoying good laughs over delicious homemade meals (specifically Gammy’s famous cheese rolls). We’ve each grown and changed so much, while still remaining the same at heart. I love my cousins so much. I wish we could get together like this more often.

You can view the entire album here on Flickr.

Here are some of my fav’s.

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We just finished hiking up (and back down) Multnomah Falls outside of Portland. We were exhausted, snacking on fresh fruit from the farmer’s market back in Portland earlier that morning. We drove back through Portland after our hike on our way to Astoria, Oregon…. a place I’ve wanted to visit since I was a kid. I was finally going to get to check it off my bucket list.  I really enjoyed the city of Portland, but I’m a small town girl at heart and this was just the place for me. A tiny port town on the Pacific Coast at the mouth of the Colombia River. Does it get much better? Yes. The Goonies (among other movies) was filmed in the area. If anyone knows me, they know I LOVE the Goonies. It’s my favorite childhood movie and I can quote it to you in my sleep.

We drove through windy roads bordered with towering trees and forests until it finally opened up to the mouth of the Colombia River as we drove past the Warrington Bridge that connects Astoria, Oregon to Washington. We continued on through a tiny romantic town before arriving at our Bed and Breakfast. Brian looked at me as we’re driving through the town, which at the time (because it was a week night) looked a little desserted and boring, and said “I bet you the average age of people visiting here is 45-50 years old.” I just laughed because that would be the kind of place I’d like to visit. I’m an old lady at heart.

Let me just say that I’d return to Astoria in a heart beat. Brian was also ready to pack up and move to Oregon by the end of our stay. Although, we visited at the perfect time of year. More often than not it’s drizzly and a bit gloomy during part of the day, except for a few weeks during the Summer and Fall. We were in Astoria during July 4th weekend. We stayed at the perfect place, The Rose River Inn. It was beyond perfection for my ideal bed & breakfast.  It was positioned on a hill just a block above downtown. We had the corner room upstairs which was wall-to-wall windows that overlooked the Colombia River and part of downtown Astoria. Pam and her husband, who own/run it, were so friendly and helpful. They also had the cutest little pup, Penny.  Breakfast was served family style every morning at 8:30 sharp. We met some other folks (yes they were all 40+) from all over the world. It was actually pretty neat. We normally keep to ourselves on vacation, so this was a bit different for us (good different).

While in Astoria, we took it pretty slow and relaxed (my ideal ending to a vacation). The town is so rich in history and old family tales. We of course, visited the Goonies house, the Oregon Film Museum (housed in the old jail – which was also a film site for the Goonies), purchased some local food and hand painted prints at the Sunday Market, ate at Astoria Coffee House (twice b.c it was so unique & delicious), slept with our windows open!, walked along the waterfront, drove up to the Astoria Column (amazing 360 degree views), dined at Baked Alaska on the waterfront while  the sunset, and watched fireworks on the pier from our bedroom.

One afternoon we drove down to Cannon Beach (also film site of the Goonies) with the famous Haystack Rock and hiked at Ecola State Park. Wow. Now this is my kind of state park. No joke, I felt like I was in FernGully. Trees that were hundreds of years old surrounded us, Lewis and Clark ventured through the same area! I even saw a creature that I’d never seen before… maybe a ferret ? There were natural creeks all around us, muddy trails that we trekked through. It was beautiful.  The beginning & end of the trail started at a beautiful beach just a couple miles down from Haystack Rock.  There were families and dogs running along the beach in front of us while huge cliffs and forests were at our backs. Peaceful may have described it.

The Oregon coast is beyond romantic. There’s a reason why so many movies have been filmed there.

Below are some of my favorites from the Astoria area. You can view the entire album here on Flickr.

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