Wednesday, August 20, 2014

To Be 20 Again

It does me good to see old friends.  My closest non-sister friend from college, Megan, visited, and even though we hadn't seen each other in over 4 years, it was like hardly any time had passed at all, save for the fact that between the two of us, there were 3 more children in the picture.   That first night when Meg pulled up, I think I did a hopping kind of run down the driveway...I felt like a kid again.  I loved having her and her girls in my home, to watch our kids play together, to be able to walk and talk and laugh until 2 a.m., just like we did in college.

And of course, visitors means doing touristy things, like visiting the Chinese Gardens, which I hadn't been to in years.  We got about 5 minutes of peaceful enjoyment looking at the fish and scenery before Henry decided he just had to run.  

Oh well.   Luckily no one fell into the koi pond. 

Some of us had some peaceful moments too.

After the garden, we headed to the Portland Farmers' Market to fill up on fresh fruit and baked goods.  Claire informed me that here, Meg was being a mama bird, dropping berries into the kids' mouths.

Of course, we were just a little goofy too.

Here we are, a little more grown up.  I guess.  

As if the baked goods and fruit at the market wasn't enough sugar, we had to hit up a bakery.  I did some research and found Petunia's Pies & Pastries.  It is completely gluten free and vegan.  I was skeptical.  I've had gluten free baked good before, and I've always thought that the texture was just not quite up to par to my gluten-loving taste buds.  But man, did this place change my opinion of the possibilities.  

 To say that we all indulged would be a bit of an understatement.  These were just the things that I bought for Claire and myself.  Her cupcake was chocolate, of course, with pink edible-glittery frosting.  I got myself a mint chocolate cookie sandwich, and probably the best dessert I've eaten in a long time, a hummingbird cupcake.  It was my first experience with hummingbird cake, and it was glorious.  I never would've imagined that baked goods without eggs, cream cheese, etc. could be so tasty.

I think Meg and her girls were happy with their selections as well.

It's kind of funny to be all grown up.  Sometimes I think back to college, and long for the simplicity of life (though of course, it didn't feel that simple at the time).  It sure was a lot of fun.  But it is immensely satisfying to have relationships that last, that allow you to let loose just a bit, to be able to behave like you were when you were 20, but in a totally mature way.  And to have a friend and watch your children develop friendships as well.  Claire still talks about playing with Lily and Noli.  I hope we can do it again soon.  Thanks for coming, dear friend.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Let It Go

This video was taken months ago, but I just have to put it on here.  My kids are kind of funny...they like to pantomime with movies that they know really well.  Well, Frozen has become such a movie.  So, for your viewing pleasure, is Claire's rendition of Elsa singing "Let It Go."  Henry copies everything Claire does, so he is trying too.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014


I took the kids to the zoo.  The thing Henry was most excited to see were the construction vehicles at work making a new animal habitat.  

Monday, August 11, 2014

Like Sister Like Brother Like Sister

She's obviously a Belnap baby.


And like her sister and brother before her, she has chosen, although she has settled on the classic thumb.  I secretly could not be more delighted.  They are all just a little different.  And it's just plain cute, if you ask me!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Nap Time

We're pretty serious about our Sunday afternoon nap.  

Friday, August 1, 2014

Summer Discoveries

If there is one activity that has carried over from my childhood to the lives of my own children is that of looking for nature and then, often, taking pictures of it.  It's something that I always remember fondly when I look back at my youth:  going for walks on the weekends, looking for deer, birds, or other creatures, participating in the junior naturalist programs at the state parks when we camped, etc. And my dad almost always had a camera in hand, taking pictures of the scenery.  I suppose that I hope to instill in my children a love for the outdoors as well.  

As I was looking through old pictures on my phone, I came across two that I wish would've made it into last year's blog posts and family yearbook - pictures of some outdoor adventures.  So I thought I might throw them in here for the bug and amphibian edition of "Things We Discovered This Summer".

These were taken in February/March of last year at the Tualatin Hills Nature Park, one of my favorite local places to walk.  We discovered a newt!

Claire looked so cute in her pink dress, standing in the bright green mosses in early spring.  She looks so little!  Strange to think this was just a year and a half ago.

And this summer, we discovered dragonflies,

a hornet nest (I found this kind of gross, but Claire thought it was cool, and would check on it regularly),

a frog,

and more dragonflies.

I think Claire is already taking after me.  Whenever she sees something of interest to her, she yells, "Mom!  Take a picture!"  Before I know it, she'll be carrying around her own camera, taking pictures of her own discoveries.

Harper Turns 3!

We sure love this little girl, and we were excited to wish her a happy birthday.  But, of course, this little sassafrass decided to have so...