Tuesday, September 04, 2018

The Enchanted Forest

For the past two weekends I thought I'd be moving into my house. Alas our lending company took their sweet time and the owners refused early occupancy therefore our moving date has been pushed back again...but fingers crossed for this weekend! So we just got extra time to be touristy on the weekends as I thought of evil things in my mind I could do to the sellers of our house who clearly are heartless and want me to drive 3 hrs daily as school starts this week and we live circa 45 minutes away from Liv's school. I digress....so last weekend we checked out The Enchanted Forest which is just outside of Salem. It's a quirky family owned little theme park. The rides are mostly carnival type but there are a few coaster types. There are elaborate storybook scenes set up throughout the park and I loved it. I thought it might be a little juvenile for Liv but she loved it too! The owners opened it in the 70's and are still alive and working it and driving their little mopeds around the park. We also went to Pietro's Pizza beforehand and let them play a few games, our kids are lame though when it comes to pizza places and want to order spaghetti or mac-n-cheese...who are they?! Be a kid! Eat a pizza and be happy! Here are pics from our day!
Ryan in the crooked little house
We watched an interesting retelling of Hansel and Gretal
We split up to let Ryan ride the big rides with Liv and I did little rides with Haven. The lines weren't long but you pay per ride so we let them choose.
Here is a video mash up of a lot of the things we did. It's my first time to use this video app so hopefully it works!

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Happy 14th Engage-a-versary!

Then and Now!
Fourteen years ago Ryan and I were in college on summer break. I had just returned from a mission trip to Northern Ireland. I was home in OKC for a brief time and then the two of us headed to see his family in Oregon. I had a hunch he miiiiight propose to me while we were there but I didn't know when (turns out he didn't know either). On a trip to the coast in Seaside, Oregon is when he popped the question. I think we've only been there once since then, so it was very special that on the exact anniversary of our engagement we got to go this year and take our girls (who couldn't care LESS about our engagement but they do LOVE the ocean!)

They both played for hours in the water and got completely soaked of course. It was actually warm enough that I'd wished I'd brought their swimsuits! We had a picnic and played in the ocean and sand and visited the little aquarium and fed sea lions and found the beach he proposed to me on and ate dinner with a scenic view and headed home in vancala. 
I might've fallen asleep on the blanket but woke up to discover they'd tried to replicate our sand castle! The tide was winning though.
They loved holding crabs and touching sea stars and anemones. I was completely creeped out by the eels and octopi.
Seaside was the end of the Lewis and Clark Expedition! Well according to this sign. Could be fake news.
Beach on one side, mountains and lakes on the other, pretty beautiful!
It was a really fun day and I kept trying to remember what I was thinking on that day 14 years ago. I'm sure I was already planning a wedding in my head, and just being a general lovesick girl about the blue eyed boy sitting next to her wondering what "forever" would look like. She wasn't thinking about the hardships they would face or the arguments they might have or the beautiful and hilarious children that would come from them, and that's ok because she knew in her heart and head he was the one she wanted to do life with no matter what it brought them. And 14 years later we both agreed we would do it all over again in a heartbeat!

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Meet Vancala!

Guess it's time for an update! We welcomed a new member into our family last week. Liv had a few names for this new blessing up her sleeve but once she laid eyes on her she proclaimed "That's a girl! Her name is VANcala!" (Rhymes with MANcala...ya know, that game with marbles?) We bought her from a guy off of Craigslist. She's a 2007 Toyota Sienna with like 48 cup holders and not too many miles on her. She's got a few stains and scratches already so she's all ready for kids to ride in her!
The girls ask to play in her regularly like she's an extra playroom so I think we made a good choice! Liv can't decide where she likes to sit best yet. We had her less than 24 hours before we took our first family trip in her. Stay tuned for our engage-a-versary adventure!

Tuesday, August 21, 2018


After weeks of house hunting, and birthday parties, and weekend plans, it was finally time to cash in on what we came to Oregon for....free overnight babysitting! Ryan and I lovingly ditched our girls with the grandparents and headed to Portland for the evening. We saw the new Mission Impossible movie, went van shopping, ate at a Lebanese restaurant, and strolled along the river by our hotel. On Saturday we took the OHSU tram up for a view of the city and went on a hike at the top. It started raining while on the hike but the trees had such a canopy we didn't get that wet. I saw a man hiking alone with a large cat perched on his shoulder and I wish I would've taken a pic but I was so astounded by the site all I could do was stare. Ryan stepped on a banana slug though and I remembered to get a picture of one...that he didn't step on! They are sooo huge and weird. I look forward to more extended dates and adventures with this dude.
Our first Lebanese cuisine. It was pretty tasty.

View from the tram and from the top!
Hiking in the rain! I hate it when we match but it's all we packed!
Check out the size on that slug!
(So yes a weekend away means we do have a house under contract, but I haven't posted about it for fear something will fall through. For the moment it looks like it won't close until September, but we hopefully can move in before closing since it is empty so we can be somewhat settled before school starts. More on the house news later!)

Thursday, August 09, 2018

Latourell Falls

Uncle Mike is the trail king in our family and we were fortunate to finally get to reap from his expertise last week. We drove to Portland, picked him up, and drove a few more miles to one of the only trails in the area still open after the horrible forest fires last summer. We hiked up Latourell falls and then back down. It's about 2.5 miles total and Haven walked just about the whole way! Olivia ran ahead and ran back to us so many times she might've done 5 miles. The girls really liked going close up the falls. Liv stood under the upper falls and got pretty soaked, next time I'll have her shampoo while she's there.
Liv being her usual daredevil self. That's a log across a great abyss.
Enjoying some snacks from Aunt Debby at the lookout point.
That's Liv in the pink shirt
Enjoying the lower falls up close and personal!
The basalt columns are pretty amazing and look just like Giant's Causeway in Northern Ireland but upside down! (I almost linked to that post but then realized I wasn't blogging then!)
Mike had lots of trail post highlights for the girls to search for like the grandpa tree and the Lorax tree.
You can judge the fun factor of a hike by how much dirt Liv is covered in by the end of it!
I'd say it was a fun time!
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