Beach time!

After the craziness of the end of the school year and the dance recital (which involved people staying at the house), I was so grateful that I had booked two nights for us to go to the beach. On Father’s Day, we packed what we needed and headed an hour west to Neskowin. Neskowin is home to one of my favorite beaches but we haven’t ever stayed overnight because it is so close to home.

Not long after we got to the beach house, Joe and Taelin changed into their swimsuits and were down on the sand.

Those are my people. I love them. A lot.

My mom and dad, who still live in Montana, were visiting and my sister and her husband came down from Seattle for the weekend. My sister had to head back to Seattle that night so we made it easy on ourselves when deciding on dinner. We started a fire on the beach and roasted hot dogs and marshmallows. Not your typical Father’s Day dinner but it worked.

You can see we brought the dog for her first trip to the beach and I think you could say she loved it. Actually, what she loved most was chasing seagulls. We have never seen her run so fast or listen so poorly. The girl actually got herself in a bit of trouble when she went barreling into the ocean towards a rocky edge that had seagulls sitting on it. We are lucky she was able to get herself out of trouble and back on land.  She was exhausted afterwards.

I taught Taelin the art of reading at the beach and I would have gotten a picture of that but I wanted to be a good model for her and keep reading myself. It’s my responsibility.

It was also my responsibility to make sure there was enough food to eat while at the beach and I decided that one way to make that happen was to buy a giant Costco cake and take it with us. It was a good call as you can see my sister and daughter looking pretty comfy and cool…with their chocolate cake.

When you look at this picture it almost looks like there is sun shining and I guess there must have been but for the most part it was pretty cloudy/foggy. But, we still had an amazing time and I can’t wait to spend more time at the beach!

Oregon Sand Dunes…It’s About Time!

This past Saturday, I checked off #9 from my 101 in 1001 list, ride on the Oregon sand dunes. We have been in Oregon for 17 years and had yet to experience riding across the sand dunes.  I originally had planned to make this part of our summer road trip but as I got planning I found other things I wanted to do, so I decided this needed to happen on it’s own.

I made a reservation earlier in the week with Sandland Adventures for a 1 hour ride.  We were all feeling really excited about it and Taelin and I would be lying if we said we weren’t also a wee bit worried as well. I know myself (and Taelin) well enough that we both took Dramamine before we went and I am SO glad we did.  I have no doubt we would have been feeling gross 10 minutes in and it would have not been nearly as fun. Here we are before going:

Our driver’s name was Kyle and he was so great! He made sure everyone was having a good time and stopped several times to tell us what we were looking at or to describe something about the dunes.  There were 3 other kids on the ride and he was constantly checking in to make sure they were doing ok.  He was also a bit of a crazy driver which, if I had to guess, is a bit of a requirement! There wasn’t anytime during the entire trip though that I felt unsafe. We were so strapped in, we weren’t going anywhere! I did have a moment of panic at the beginning where Joe looked at me with some worry because I didn’t look so good but I just employed some deep breathing and then was fine.

The hour went by so quickly.  Most of the time was on the sand dunes but we did get to go down to the beach which was very cool.

Even though we were bundled up pretty well, Taelin got really cold.  She didn’t complain at all but I think it made the last part of the ride a little less fun for her. She is so dang tiny that it doesn’t take much for her to get cold.  An extra pair of socks and some gloves would have made a big difference for her.

When we were done, we had so much sand everywhere…in our hair, ears, clothes. I had three shirts on and I still found some in my more unmentionable parts. It is hard to believe that there is enough sand left for how much it seems everyone must take with them.

I am so glad we finally did this. We had a lot of fun and have declared that we need to do it again, this time taking a certain favorite family of ours with us. It is truly a beautiful part of this state and one that shouldn’t be missed!

Pickle Jinx

A few weeks ago we sitting at the table eating dinner and talking when all of the sudden Taelin yelled, “Potato jinx!!!”

She looked rather proud of herself.  Joe and I mostly looked at her strangely because while she and Joe did say something at the exact same time, it had nothing to do with potatoes.  I asked her what she was talking about and she just kept staring at Joe until finally he said, “There is no such thing as potato jinx.”

To which Taelin said like she was meeting Joe for the first time, “Hello, there is no such thing as potato jinx!” which was followed by a fit of giggles.


We finally got the explanation that Potato Jinx is a game that they play at school.  There is no owing anyone any kind of carbonated beverage in this version of jinx.  A potato jinx is called when two people say the same thing at the same time.  Then the person who called potato jinx listens for the next thing the non-potato jinx calling person says.  And then that becomes their name.

Joe declared it dumb right off the bat but it didn’t stop him from trying to be the first one the next time he and Taelin said the same thing. There were varying degrees of success for the potato jinx caller to have something hilarious to call the other person. I apparently am slow because I always seemed to be the one with someone staring back at me waiting for me to say something. After a few times, I figured out to just say my name and then was dubbed a party pooper for not playing along.

Then last week, I was driving Taelin somewhere (probably to dance) and we were talking and to my surprise I was able to shout, “Potato jinx!!” (It is a bit funny to me that I can’t remember what we were talking about but can remember after.)

Taelin looked at me with a flat expression and said, “It isn’t potato jinx.  I was wrong.  It is actually pickle jinx.”

So I responded, “Hi, it isn’t potato jinx I was wrong it is actually pickle jinx.”

I got nothing back. Just a “mom, you aren’t pulling it off so just stop trying” look.

Taelin went on to tell me that she was wrong the first time she told us about it.  That it wasn’t actually ‘potato jinx’ but ‘pickle jinx’. I am fairly suspicious that just when I finally was able to be the one on top, all of the sudden the rules change. I informed Joe the next time we were eating and he too was suspicious but rolled with it because that is what you do when your eight year old comes home claiming to be the expert of a game she plays at school.

So, if you find yourself talking to one of us and we by chance say the same thing at the same time, don’t be alarmed if we scream “Pickle Jinx!” at you.  And then, think of something really clever to make us repeat back to you.

Here is a picture of Taelin at school dressed like a fish.  I shouldn’t be surprised that she comes home with games about fermented vegetables.

The Signs of Summer

After today, Taelin has 14 more days of school until summer officially starts! I love our life but I am most certainly ready for some slower days.  Here are a few more signs that summer is coming.

We have a few plans for the summer but for the most part it is unscheduled time.  I am so grateful that we will have the time off together.  Usually, we make a list of things we want to make sure we do over the summer but we haven’t started making that yet.

Summer is coming!

A night of painting

Earlier this month, I signed up for a class at Young at Art that was different than others they had offered in the past.  It was a party celebrating a local author and her first published book.  One of my best friends and I decided to sign up and we had a great evening.  We got to meet the author and get her new book autographed, paint a canvas inspired by the cover of the book and got to sample some yummy wine!  It was a bit out of the ordinary for a weeknight but that is part of what made it so fun!

Here is my canvas at the beginning of the night.  When I looked at the finished product I was a little worried about how I was going to get there but with great instruction and a glass of wine, it turned out not half bad!

I might have made a bit of a mess of myself.

I already read the book we got and will include that in my month wrap-up.  I will say I didn’t love it.  I feel a bit bad saying that but it’s true.

One of my favorite finds of the evening was the wine that I sampled.  I am not a huge wine fan and don’t know a lot about it so I always feel a bit weird when put in a situation like wine tasting but the lady doing the serving was really quite laid back.  I actually enjoyed the wine so much that I bought a bottle to bring home and it made a lovely addition to a steak dinner we had later that week.

 All in all it was a fun night. A little uncomfortable at times, but fun.  All day before the class, I was feeling like I didn’t want to go.  There were all kinds of reasons I was thinking up about why I should stay home instead but I sucked it up and went.  And I am glad I did!

April Showers Bring May Flowers

We certainly had more than our fair share of April showers last month.  I don’t have any numbers to back it up, but I have to believe that we broke some kind of record for consecutive days of rain. We had a little break in the weather last weekend and so we decided to hit up the Wooden Shoe Tulip Fest.  It was great to be outside and have it actually feel like spring.

Besides just looking at the tulips, they have a lot of activities and photo opportunities.  This one might be one of my favorites. 

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Pneumonia and Bronchitis and Puking…oh my!

There will be no pictures in this blog post.  You are welcome.

Easter did not go quite as planned.  Joe started feeling sick last Thursday afternoon and has pretty much been in bed with a fever since.  The lingering cough I have had for awhile decided to double down and my body hurts from coughing so hard.  Then Taelin decided to throw her hat in the ring for a glorious 10 hours of throwing up.

Eggs, not even hard boiled yet, are sitting in the refrigerator.  Plastic eggs are filled and in a bucket on the table with a note from the Easter Bunny.  Gatorade and saltines were the only things anyone was eating for dinner.   Continue Reading

Planning a Road Trip and Why My Sister is Awesome

Last night I was on my phone with my sister, trying to figure out some details about a road trip that my little family is taking.  We have a few scheduled stops (the places we are going to be sleeping because I don’t want to be looking for a hotel with a tired kid)  but I was freaking out a little about getting around, what we were going to do, how we were going to meet up, etc, etc, etc.  I was making myself crazy.  I want the road trip to be fun.  I want us to enjoy the time together and discover some cool things on the way.   Continue Reading