Spring Holiday in Portland

This year, we had a spring holiday break in April, which is the best idea ever. It made April go by so much quicker & now there are only 3 more full weeks of school left until the summer!!! Nate is switching from teaching to Edward Jones this summer, so we will have a month of vacation & then he will start studying for tests & training. Since it is going to be a tough couple of years with him starting a new job, we decided to go to Portland for the break. Nate loves Oregon & the cold, rainy weather so much (I love the green and the food there, but not the cold). We stayed with our friends, Sean & Erica 4 nights & then in an Airbnb on the coast our last night. It was such a perfect trip & a great refresh to finish the end of the school year.

Day 1:(THURS) We got to Portland at 2:30 & it stays dark until 8, so we got to do a lot the first day! We went straight to the food trucks on Hawthorne & got a Margherita pizza & cream soda at Pyro's & the PB & J fries from Potato Champion & everything was AMAZING!!! Better than I even remembered because we were starving from traveling all day without food. The weather was perfect & the perfect amount of warm! We drove to the Rose Garden & sadly, hardly any roses were blooming yet, but lots of other flowers had bloomed & the view of the city is gorgeous! Then we headed to see some waterfalls. We drove past Wahkeenah Falls, Multnomah Falls, Oneonta Falls, & Horsetail Falls, stopping to walk to some of them. Then we went to my favorite waterfall, Elowah Falls & hiked down there. We were the only ones there, just like I had hoped!!! Then we drove back to Portland to get French onion soup and some appetizers at Petite Provence & then to get Salt & Straw ice cream. My new favorite is once scoop of brittle & salted ganache & one schoop of woodblock chocolate, sooo good!!! (All of the food was way to good to waste time getting pictures of!)



Day 2: (FRI) We started the day getting breakfast at Pine State Biscuits getting the Reggie & I had to try and recreate a picture of Nate there, but he wouldn't smile for the picture... Then we did a really pretty drive through the forest, it was amazing! We pulled over at a sign for a hike & it was SUCH a gorgeous hike! So green with a little creek running along most of the hike. It had just rained so everything smelled so fresh! Then we got hot chocolate and gibassiers at Pearl Bakery, looked in Powell's Books & Anthropologie (they had redone Anthro there and it was 2 stories & incredible, decorated way more fancy than usual!) I found the cutest, softest jeans at Lucky for a "souvenir" & then we got dinner at Urban Fondue. Urban Fondue will always be a special place because we ate their when we were visiting before moving up there to decide if it would be a good place to move. We ate there to celebrate Nate getting the job offer there & we would also go there for other special occasions. So this year we celebrated Nate getting hired at Edward Jones. Everything was just a delicious as we remembered. We got two smoked cheddar cheeses since that is our favorite, with pears & apples, & then were too full for more, so we got the Heath chocolate fondue. Soooo good!!!! Then we watched a movie with Sean & Erica.







Day 3: (SAT) We went on a morning hike to Elowah Falls with Sean & Erica & then while they went apartments shopping, we got lunch at the "Good Food Here" foodcarts. We split mac 'n cheese w/ broccoli & breadcrumbs & spring rolls & panang curry from a Thai truck. My mouth is watering just thinking of all of the amazing food. Good thing we hiked everyday so we didn't gain 10 pounds! Then we walked along the Columbia River. That evening, we went to a Jordanian place for dinner, Petra House, with Sean & Erica. It was so fun to eat there! We sat on cushions on the ground around a silver table & they brought rose water to wash our hands with at the table. It made my hands feels so smooth & smell so good. They had amazing mint lemonade that was like a slushy! We got grape leaves for an appetizer which I have always wanted to try & I really liked them. Then I got a falafel wrap, lentil soup, & fresh pita bread, all amazing. It was fun to try a new place, I've always wanted to go to a place like that where you eat on cushions, & the decorations and ambiance were incredible!




Day 4: (SUN) We made breakfast & hung out with Sean & Erica in the morning & then went for another walk along the Columbia River. Then we went to our old ward for church & talked to a few people after that were still in the ward. After church, we did a drive on the Washington side up to our favorite view in Washington. Then we drove to the dam & saw about 30 HUGE sealions! They were just swimming around waiting for fish! We headed back & had dinner & a relaxing night at Sean & Erica's.



DAY 5: (MON) We went to Pine State Biscuits for breakfast again & got the Blueberry Cornmeal Pancakes. They were soooo good & now I really want to try and make them myself! And I also got a biscuit with Marionberry Jam which I looooove!!! Then we headed up the coast. The drive was beautiful , so much green & so many streams everywhere. We did a long hike, Cape Lookout Hike, along the coast. The view were amazing! Then we went to the Tillamook Factory & ate some cheese curds & looked around & then we had a picnic outside with smoked cheddar (from the factory), a baguette, Crater Lake cream soda (tradition), sun dried tomatoes & Honey Dijon chips. We had pretty much that exact picnic there 2 years ago! Then we got ice cream from there & headed to our airbnb. Tillamook is so beautiful, tons of rolling green pastures with cows, horses, & sheep. We were staying in Bay City & only 3 minute walk from the beach! We walked down to the beach for sunset & were the only ones on the beach! After sunset, it felt so nice to have a relaxing night, watching a movie.



DAY 6: (TUES) Our last day, we had breakfast from the lady who owned the airbnb (it was a bed & breakfast). She was so nice & used to live in Scottsdale! Then we drove up the coast to Cannon Beach. I love the huge rocks that the waves crash on & there were also tons of birds!!! We saw TONS of Puffins!!!! We walked along the beach & in the tidepools & bird watched for awhile & then headed on the road, back to Portland. We got lunch at the huge group of food trucks on Alberta (Ma's dumplings from the "Dump Truck" & Korean tacos) & then stopped at Voodoo Donuts to get some to bring home for family. Then we were off to the airport & back home.




It was such a fun trip & just what we needed! I am so glad Nate & I have so much fun traveling together & having adventures!!! (There may have been a few arguments when I was starving & wanted to use my gps (geepy) to find the food spots while Nate wanted to find them by memory- hangry + wrong turns= not a good combo) but everything else was perfect & it was such a fun trip! The weather was so nice & only rained a few times! It was so nice to be able to see Sean & Erica! & to have no plans other than hikes we wanted to do & places we wanted to eat! That area will always be special to us since it was the place we lived our first year of marriage!!!







Sadness & Hope

This past weekend, we stayed with some friends that we used to live by. It was so great to see them & even though it had been 2 years, it felt like it had only been 2 weeks since we'd seen them. One of the days, as we were hiking, we got on the subject of having kids. I nervously shared that Nate & I had been trying to get pregnant for over a year and a half & haven't been able to yet. Then my friend excitedly shared that she was actually pregnant. She told me that when she started trying to get pregnant, she had to wait a few months before getting pregnant, so there was hope for me. I am so happy for her that she is pregnant, but at the same time I felt so sad & had to hold back tears. When Nate & I got back to our car, I had a long, hard cry. I almost never cry, but lately I have been having some hard cries. I know that a 18 months isn't a tremendous amount of time to be waiting & many, many others wait much longer, including my sister who is a great example of a wonderful mother & always makes me feel better when I talk to her.

The rest of the visit, my friend kept talking about pregnancy symptoms & hard it was to not be able to feel like eating anything when she loved eating so much. It was hard for me to not say anything & act sympathetic when I would give anything to be pregnant & have a baby. I don't blame my friend for hurting my feelings because I know she didn't mean to & I am so excited for her to be a mom.

I did decide that if & when I do get pregnant, I will do everything I can to be sympathetic for others that might be struggling with infertility. I will be so grateful to be able to be pregnant, & I will do everything I can to be the best mother & to appreciate every moment. I am writing this down so I remember, but I promise myself that I will not complain about pregnancy, no matter how uncomfortable I may be. I am so excited for the day when I will be pregnant & the excitement that will bring. Nate & I already have baby names picked out & I scared Nate a little the other day by sharing some baby names that would go together cute in case we have twins when I get pregnant (for some reason I have always had a feeling I would have twins). I have hope for the future & am trying to do everything I can to prepare to be a mother. I am thankful for my Heavenly Father & even though this experience of infertility has brought sadness, I know that I have grown closer to my Heavenly Father, learned to be more sympathetic of others & unseen trials they may be going through, & I know that when I do have a child or children, I will have a deep appreciation for them & the role of being a mother.

I know that everything worth waiting for is worth it. I didn't get married until I was 26 which is old in Mormon time. When I am sad about not being pregnant yet, I think about waiting to meet Nate & get married. I had so many experiences before getting married that I am so thankful for. If you asked me right when I graduated, I would have said I wanted to get married at that time, but now I can see that the timing of meeting Nate & getting married was perfect for both of us. I know that is how it will be when we have our first child, that I will be thankful for the time leading up to having them and the strength and closeness with the Lord that I gained. But in the moment it is harder to see. I am thankful for the experiences I have had as well as the trials. I know that they strengthen me and bring me closer to my Father in Heaven. I know that the Lord knows best and I trust Him and His timing.

"Everywhere in nature we are taught the lessons of patience and waiting. We want things a long time before we get them, and the fact that we want them a long time makes them all the more precious when they come." -Joseph F. Smith.

"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths." -Proverbs 3:5-6



Cheryl's Wedding

This past weekend we went to Nate's cousin Cheryl's wedding in Santa Monica. Nate had been feeling sick all the week before & after saying a prayer the night before we were supposed to leave, he slept well and woke up feeling a lot better. We were so glad that we were able to go! The wedding was in Santa Monica, so we stayed at a hotel with Nate's dad & brother. I was amazed to be greeted with a warm cookie, that never happens at a Best Western.. The night before the wedding, we went to John & Jill's for a BBQ. A lot of Nate's cousins were there & it was really fun to meet and hang out with them! The girls all helped Cheryl tie bows on flip flops for the reception (such a cute idea to give out), & then we all watched "Father of the Bride". It was such a fun night & I kept thinking back to my own wedding and everything leading up to it!



The day of the wedding, we went to the best breakfast place, "The Pan". They had amazing pancakes with coconut & pineapple syrup & delicious breakfast potatoes. We went back to the hotel after & Nate took a nap since he was still feeling a little sick, & I went down to the pool.


A few hours later we headed to the wedding ceremony. It was such a beautiful ceremony & was at a huge cathedral with beautiful chandeliers and stained glass. I loved how it was so dramatic with the music and everyone looking when Cheryl walked down the aisle with her parents. After the wedding we took pictures and then headed to the Beach Club for the reception. I have to say, that was the best reception I have ever been to. The Beach Club was so pretty & opened up right to the beach! The food was amazing! There were tons of waiters with horderves at the beginning and then later on they had a dinner. We spent time visiting with Nate's cousins, going to the photobooth, dancing, & walking out on the beach. It was such a perfect night! Nate & I kept reminiscing on our wedding & how happy we are to be married to each other! Cheryl & her husband, Christopher seem perfect together & make a great couple! We were so happy to be able to be at their wedding!

Butterfly Garden

When Melissa & Jenna were visiting, Mom, Britt, Matt & I went to Butterfly Wonderland in Scottsdale. On the way there, we stopped at Carolina's for some amazing Mexican food. There was a big dilemma when Melis thought she ordered double beans, but instead ordered double rice. Luckily, beans from all were shared so it was ok! (Melissa loooves her beans! haha!)

The Butterfly was awesome! First, you watch a 3D Imax video and then they show you butterflies in different stages of chrysalis' & then you go in a huge atrium with hundreds of butterflies. It was so cool to see so many different kinds and colors. Jenna was the first to get a butterfly to land on her head! She had worn a flower clip & we put lots of real flowers on her head too. After walking around, we found the butterfly hotspot place to sit and butterflies landed on everyone! It was really fun & I can't wait until I have kids & can take them to places like that!




Just trying to get a shot of me with the butterfly, haha!



It was sad to say bye to Melissa & Jenna, since they were leaving the next morning. I wish I could visit them more!!!

Melis & Jenna came over to our house one night and Jenna took Blitzen on a walk. She was soooo happy and having soooo much fun! We were all cracking up at how much she loved it! And she also renamed Blitzen, Rhonda, which Nate was not happy about, haha!

Flickr Images