Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Helvetia Farm's Lavender Festival

This last weekend my Mom, Aunt Michele, cousin Jessica, and kids traveled to the gorgeous Helvetia Farm in rural Oregon to participate in their annual Lavender Festival. My Mom was super excited about it since this is their family tradition. 

 When you first stroll on to the farm, the heavenly sweet smell that of lavender envelopes your senses and the gorgeous violet display of delicate herbs absolutely astounds your vision. It's breathtaking! I wished that I had my nice camera but alas, I has to make do with my IPhone. Pity!
The festival was small, friendly and quaint! We could hear thunder in the distance, the shop owners were incredibly sweet and friendly, acoustic music filled the air with relaxing melodies. It was perfection! 

Leilani shares a bench with cousin Bella.
She posed all on her own and we three adults hovered around her snapping our cameras like mad women! Seriously though, too cute! I even saw an elderly lady taking photos of her haha!
Leilani enjoyed her first bounce house experience with her cousins. She was running around and laughing up a storm! 
All the ladies minus Bella.
We sampled yummy lavender soda and cookies, petted the plush alpacas and let the kids play.
She was having a ball!
The festival was so lovely! Afterwards we dined at the famous and historic Helvetia Tavern.
Lei loves Michele!
Thank you for an amazing and memorable afternoon ladies! We had such a wonderful time!

Aerial Ropes Course with Mike

On Mike's last day in Oregon he really wanted to try out an aerial ropes and obstacle course that is actually nearby my Mom's home. It's called Tree to Tree Adventure Park. My Mom said that she would watch Leilani since it was three hours long so this was officially our first date since our dear baby was born! A BIG deal for us! 

I'm pretty afraid of heights but was willing to give it a try since Mike really wanted to do it. It was an experience that was straight out of American Ninja Warrior!

There were a few parts where I got pretty scared like when the boards beneath your feet started to move with the wind or your weight but I overcame my fear by counting to myself. All mind tricks! 
At first the instructor shows you how to work the hooks and gives a little bit of safety instructions and then they just let you go at it! There were six courses. All of them had zip lines too which made it even more fun! They were all ranging from about 20-60 feet in the air. Yikes! I completed three courses and of course Mike accomplished all six! He would! Once they took away the ropes that you hold on to I was done! 
Ultimately, it was a really unique, challenging and fun date together! I couldn't believe that Mike completed the black course! It was so scary!!! The zip lining was awesome and I would definitely do that again! This husband of mine is always pushing me and I love it! I'm so proud of us for accomplishing this together! Here's to more future dates! 

Cannon Beach

A few weekends ago, Mom and Bob took us on a fun day trip to the beautiful Cannon Beach! It was a pretty misty morning and Haystack Rock loomed up mysteriously from the Pacific Ocean.
We looked at the tide pools and Leilani really wanted to swim in the ocean. Sorry chica! The water is freezing! That didn't stop her from continually running to the water. Later we enjoyed yummy seafood at the famous Moe's restaurant.

Afterwards we went to the Tillamook Cheese Factory, had a tour and satires their amazing ice cream! Seriously, the best ice cream ever! Leilani had a few licks and was in baby heaven!
Sooooo yummy!

It was such a fun day with family. Afterwards Bob drove us up a mountain and we went shooting. So awesome! I'm so happy that Mike and Leilani have been able to experience so much of Oregon's beauty! It really is an incredible state!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Forest Grove, Oregon

I have been so excited for our trip to Oregon! My time here is always packed with family, friends and activities and I soak it all up! I've already been here for two weeks and will be here for about a month total. Mike could only stay for five days and we miss him. However, I'm so grateful that one of the major perks of being a stay-at-home-mom is that I get more than two flippin' weeks of vacation! I've been looking forward to these long trips with family for years! Believe me, I will definitely make the most of it!

On the day that we left for the airport, we encountered a stressful hurtle. Our ride totally forgot about us so I called my good friend, JoAnna, in a panic and luckily she was able to give us a ride at the last second. We are forever indebted to her! 

In addition, our flight to Portland was delayed for two hours so that wasn't much fun but overall the five hour flight want too bad. Leilani needed constant entertainment for the first two hours but gratefully slept for the last three. Praise the Lord! Seriously, an answer to my prayers! I was so exhausted by the time that she fell sleep. We were so relieved that she did well though. There were many babies on the flight and several we're crying through the night but not Leilani. (Not that I minded the other babies.)

When we arrived in Portland, it was really late and by the time we got to my Mom's home it was basically 5 am our time. We barely slept at all that night.

Consequently, we spent our first day in Oregon just chilling out at my Mom's home. We went for three walks, Leilani was THRILLED by the menagerie of pets and just visited.

She won't leave these kitties alone. She loves cats so much. They are so good with her too.
We enjoyed running around in the grass, which sounds weird, but Leilani doesn't get to do it often since we live in a condo. 

That night we went for a family walk and the sunset and scenery was breathtakingly gorgeous! Oregon has amazing sunsets! I'm so in love with the west coast and appreciate it so much more now that we live so far away. I've been dreaming of large and affordable west coast homes ever since we've arrived. Sigh.
See why I love Oregon so much? It's an awesome place and the weather is perfect in the summer! I'm so grateful to be here with my fam bam!

Boating

Several months ago, Mom and Bob bought my late Grandpa Mike's old boat from my aunt and refinished it. Last Saturday they were so kind and generous to take us boating on nearby Hagg Lake! I can't imagine living so close to such a pretty place! I appreciated all of the work that they put into our trip. They are fantastic hosts!

I have countless of fond memories of boating and fishing with my Grandpa. It felt so natural to be back on the water with my family. They are such fun loving individuals and I love it! I miss their lively and funny personalities when I'm on the east coast. If only I could bring them back to D.C. with me...

It was a beautiful and perfect day! The weather was warm and pleasant! 
Sarah and her friend, Kate, before getting pulled around the lake.
Leilani did extremely well! She napped, played, didn't mind being held the whole time, etc. I couldn't have asked for a better behaved babe!
At first, we took a tour of the lake and then went swimming. It was so cool and refreshing and even Leilani went for a dip. She hated her life jacket but did well.

Mike, Madeline and I before our turn on the raft.
Ultimately, we loved boating and enjoyed such a wonderful, relaxing day together! Bob's daughter, Sarah, was also able to come. We all loved getting pulled on the raft behind the boat! Maddy was flying, we kept telling Bob to go faster and we were laughing our heads off! That is the most that I've screamed and laughed in a looong time and it felt oh so good! Can't wait to go again in a few weeks!