First Birthday Celebrations

The theme was Winter ONEderland and let me tell you the weather fulfilled that perfectly. It snowed all day, which left many of the guests unable to attend the party, but since everything was bought and ready, the show went … Continue reading

Sand Between Her Toes

We made our first trip out the coast this past weekend, and boy did my little girl LOVE the sand! She was completely obsessed with it and wanted nothing more than to play and sit in it. This trip was … Continue reading

We Survived Camping with a Baby 

Call us crazy but this past weekend we took our almost 7 month old, dog and ourselves camping with another family (who have 3 kids themselves). We were 12 miles from the closest town, with no cell service, and a … Continue reading

Prep for Camping with a Baby

Alright so we are braving a weekend in the great outdoors with our 6 month old. Naturally being the excessive planner I am, I’m already prepping for the trip even though its 2 weeks away. I’ve come up with a … Continue reading

But Your Baby Doesn’t Even Understand Yet.

My daughter is 5 months old. She giggles, smiles, rolls over, and kicks her legs like crazy but she still doesn’t have much understanding of the world around her. Often times I hear from friends and family “Why are you … Continue reading

Our Trip to the Oregon Zoo

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Yes I realize that my 3 month old will not remember a thing from this trip but I was still so excited to take Charlotte for her first (of many I’m sure) visit to the zoo. This was also a great way for me to practice keeping expectations realistic in order to avoid being disappointed (see previous post: Expectations Versus Reality).

Going into the trip I was pretty positive that she would sleep the majority of the time and I was okay with that; I was still excited to watch her react when she was awake and to take a bazilllion pictures. Well the pictures just didn’t happen, for a multitude of reasons, but believe me, I was ready! I totally looked like one of those crazy tourists with a big camera around me neck!  We went with some friends and their 3 children between the ages of 9 and 2, and we had our diaper bag strapped around the double stroller they had rented (I will never again go without our own stroller, I don’t know what we were thinking!), so it was hard to get things in and out of the bag without holding everyone up constantly. With little ones, being held up just isn’t an option! So not having access to the bag meant no quick snapshots (mmm…or do I mean selfies) with my phone or retrieving the adorable sunglasses from target that I forgot to put on her (see them on her here: Instagram because they really are adorable). Besides all of that it was super crowded and really hot for us here in the pacific northwest! My husband had her in the chest pack (she was snoozing away) and we just didn’t want to block all of the other little ones that actually wanted to see the animals to take pictures of our sleeping baby. So we ended up with very minimal pictures. That being said I had a blast!

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You guys not having my phone ALL day and not being obsessed with getting the perfect shot constantly meant that I was engaged in our day. I was able to make memories with my husband and our friends. Putting away my phone was pretty awesome! There was no “hold on I need to type the perfect Instagram caption” but instead I was present and didn’t miss a thing! I loved the day and I want to make more of an effort to do this more often so that I can fully enjoy my friends and family without interruptions.

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We do have annual passes (thank you to my wonderful parents!) so I’m not denying that next time if its less crowded and she’s awake I will probably take those bazillion pictures because I can’t help it! I’m totally a mommarazzi.

P.S. If you are ever in Portland the Oregon Zoo is absolutely fabulous! It is easy to walk with little one’s because it is not overly large but it has a ton of great exhibits including an entire area for animals found her locally (black bears, cougars, etc), a huge new elephant enclosure, and my personal favorite animal the polar bear!

Have You ever had an experience where you disconnected from social media and had a fabulous time? Share it with me below!

Love Always,

Sam

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What I’ve Learned from Living with My (Amazing, yet Very Dirty) Husband

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I realize that I am completely bias when I say this but I honestly think that I have the best husband; he’s not only great to me but he is an amazing father to Charlotte. Being his wife and living with him has definitely taught me some life lessons, and believe me, some were difficult to wrap my head around.

If you read my “about me” page (and if  you haven’t you can check it out here) then you know that my husband is a logger here in Oregon. Now before you start throwing negative opinions my way (not to accuse but a lot of people actually do) I want you to realize that I am an incredibly protective and proud wife, let me explain the state in which my husband comes home every. single. day. He works HARD all day out in the woods, often on the side of a mountain, so needless to say he comes home filthy. I mean to the point that he has dirt in the creases under his eyes and his pants could practically stand on their own. His arms are covered in scratches and I can’t begin to tell you the amount of times that he has had poison oak. I truly and utterly appreciate the work he puts in each day to support our family rain or shine he is out there running up and down that hill. All this being said it is next to impossible to keep our apartment spotless or even remotely close to perfectly clean at all times (and that was before the baby!). So here is my life lesson #1:

A clean house is never more important than family or your sanity.

I used to stress so much about keeping our apartment looking “perfect” because I thought that was what a good wife was supposed to do. Well I hardly had time to sit down and enjoy time with my husband (before baby). I would do normal chores during the day between classes and homework (i.e laundry, dishes, vacuuming), and when he finally got home from work I was finishing up dinner followed by going around cleaning up the trail of dirt he left behind. Let me also say that Alex (my hubby) tries so hard to be clean and to help me out but ladies I think you can relate; men are oblivious. I love him dearly but he will never see the black finger prints on the cabinets, the dirty elbow marks on the counter, the endless amount of calamine lotion (poison oak remedy) all over the bathroom sink, floor and shower, and that’s okay. I do my best and prioritize chores, and I schedule some of the major ones during the week so that way I know they get done. I have given up on keeping up with everything, and I’m okay with that. I may have a few dishes in my sink, some dog hair in my carpet, and dirt in my entry way but being snuggled on the couch with my husband and daughter is much more important to me.

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Alright on to life lesson #2:

Spontaneity is good, and I need more of it.

I am one hundred percent an addicted planner and list maker (anyone know of meeting for this?). I love my cute little planner and all my cute little journals full of lists and ideas, but this has definitely led to some difficulties in life (see my post on Expectations Versus Reality). My husband is the type of guy that flies by the seat of his pants; he’s always down for a spur of the moment adventure and I need this in my life! I’m terrible at going away from “the plan” for the day but I always have way more fun when we do. Without him I’m afraid at the rigidity (you guys I cannot for the life of me pronounce that word) that my life would have. Thanks honey for always dragging me out of my comfort zone.

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Lesson #3 is a little more broad:

Men who work hard are not less than those that make millions.

I grew up with my dad being an engineer. Now I’m not saying that he didn’t work hard because he most definitely did but it was a different type of work than what my husband does now. Living in white collar suburbia there was always a sense of being better than those that held the manual labor positions. I deeply regret ever having this sentiment and I swear I will teach my children to never think this way. If you’ve never been around those men that work out in the elements doing hard, manual work then I’m afraid you might not appreciate them for who they are. Just because they don’t have a college degree or wear clean, pressed clothes everyday does not mean that they are beneath anyone. My husband is one of the smartest people I know, and let me tell you when he talks to me about work I am amazed at the amount of technique, skill, and brains it takes to do his job safely. I’m happy to have learned this lesson and I am even happier to pass it along to Charlotte.

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 And last but certainly not least, #4:

He has taught me to love myself.

I’ve been with my husband since middle school, so it feels like we have grown up together. I’ve gone from an awkward, self-conscious 13 year-old girl to a confident wife and mother (side-note: I’ve gotten to see my husband come into his own also, from a kid trying so hard to fit into southern California to a self-assured man that knows who he is in Oregon). Every single day at some point in all the craziness my husband tells me I’m beautiful, and not in the obligated husband-wife type of way, but in a way that is so genuine that it always seems to pause the hectic-ness for a second. Having someone that I know loves me for the good, bad, and the ugly (because I am totally an ugly crier, not Kim Kardashian status but close), gives me the self-assurance to hold my head high each day. Naturally I am a very shy, reserved person who hates confrontation or voicing my opinion but his strength and constant love has given volume to my voice. Now I have the confidence to put myself out there more because I know that at the end of the day he’s standing there arms wide open. Having him behind me has made me realize that if he can love everything about me it would be silly for me to not do the same (that’s not to say that I don’t have those days where I think less of myself; we all do).

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All of these lessons have also showed me what I hope to teach my daughter to look for in her future husband. For her I want a man that thinks of her as his whole world, and will do anything in his power to make her happy. Someone that holds her accountable, supports her dreams, and pushes her outside of her comfort zone. The amount of money he makes, and the things he can buy her isn’t what matters; it’s how he treats her. This is what I hope to pass onto her because her daddy is all of this to me and more.

Thank you honey.

Is there anything that you feel like her husband has brought to your life?

Love Always,

Sam

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Charlotte Autumn’s Birthday

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January 8th, 2016

Our little girl entered this world, and we are so in love with her. Her and I are both happy and healthy and doing well at home.

Our Labor:

Okay so I have to admit that I sort of feel like I cheated for my first labor and delivery process because I had a scheduled induction. I didn’t have the panic at home or while out running errands of my water breaking or feeling my first contraction. My husband never had to rush home from work or rush us to the hospital for the delivery. We woke up early the morning of and I had a good breakfast while we packed the car and got everything together (like seriously I feel so lucky to have such a calm start to my delivery). I checked in at 7:00 am and my labor was officially started a little after 8:00 am.

See this is all of us before being taken back…pretty relaxed right?

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My contractions intensified and grew closer and closer together rather quickly. My mom stayed in the room with us up until I got my epidural. I finally was able to get it a little after 11. So let me be honest here I had planned from the beginning to get an epidural, I have so much respect for those who choose the natural child birth route, but it is not for me! I wanted relief from the pain (contractions seriously are rough to go through!) and the epidural was so nice to have. Now getting the thing itself was a whole other story. Having contractions while sitting up getting prepped for the shot was so painful and uncomfortable but thankfully it only takes about 5-10 minutes to start working, and then relief sets in. Oh but lucky me! I got to enjoy my epidural for a little over an hour before I started to feel pain again as I got ready to push. (I was planning on taking a nap but between my grandma and mom wanting to say hi one last time and being ready to push so fast there was no time for that!)

I pushed a for a little over an hour and let me tell you it feels like the most intense workout of your life. The reward at the end makes everything so worth it, though! The look on my husbands face when they placed her on my chest is something that I will never, ever forget. My big, tough logger was on the verge of tears out of pure excitement and joy. We had our little girl after what felt like the longest last month to an already seemingly long 8 before that.

Happy Birthday Charlotte!!

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Love Always,

Sam

P.S: Hopefully you ladies had a smooth labor and delivery too!

Foodie Adventure in Portland

Alright so since my due date is Thursday the hubby and I decided to take a morning trip to Portland to try out this place for breakfast (seriously we drove 45 minutes for food talk about pregnancy cravings!). I am obsessed with Food Network and have seen this joint featured on shows (I think it was Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives but I’m not positive) and ever since we saw their food we having been dying to try it!! So the place is called Pine State Biscuits and man was it worth the drive! If you are ever in the city of Portland make sure to try this place for breakfast or even lunch. We went to their location on Division Street and we both agreed that the neighborhood itself was awesome and filled with great little shops and restaurants; nothing lacking in Portland quirk and charm.

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If it wasn’t 25 degrees outside and windy we would have totally walked the neighborhood and checked more of it out but seriously my face hurt. We both want to take another trip to look further into what’s around Pine State (with the baby next time of course!).

Alright so onto the food. It was delicious!!! We ordered what is called the Moneyball with sausage gravy (they have a mushroom option). So basically this an order of biscuit and gravy but the added bonus is that it comes with, wait for it… an over easy egg on top (yum, I know)! Since I’m 9 months pregnant of course I had to order a piece of fried chicken on the side so that I could truly enjoy all of the amazing-ness of this place! Everything was delicious! We also ordered two lemonades (which is legit lemonade made from lemons not powder or concentrate!) and our total was under $15!! That’s a pretty sweet deal if you ask me!

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Further down Division Street is another Portland staple worth checking out: Stumptown Coffee. Their coffee is uh-mazing and believe me we know good coffee here in the Pacific Northwest! It’s available in select grocery stores here in the Willamette Valley but it definitely tastes better from the source. Make sure to try their cold brew it is to-die-for! There is also a location right in downtown so there are plenty of opportunities to try out this local favorite.

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We finished up our very chilly morning with a walk at Mt. Tabor park, it was short lived, however because again my face seriously hurt from the cold. This park has a spectacular view of the city and a ton of hiking and biking trails along with a cute playground area. It’s a great escape right in the city, another great gem of Portland.

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All in all we had a fun mini adventure in Portland. The city has a lot to offer and there are so many other places we want to explore (and food we want to eat, like a lot more food to try). I have to say I love this beautiful state we live in.

P.S I know no fashion or pretty things in this post but hey our little adventures are one of favorite aspects of my life and I promised to share a little bit of everything.

Love Always,

Sam

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Christmas Eve in the Snow

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Well we had no chance at a white Christmas at home so we decided to go to the snow instead on Christmas Eve!! Living in Oregon we did not have to go very far (especially since this winter has been crazy already!). The drive out was absolutely beautiful! If you haven’t spent time in Western Oregon in the winter I recommend it! The views are like no other!

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We pulled off a side road and let our crazy, little four-legged girl go crazy! She absolutely loves the snow, and her favorite game is trying to catch snowballs! It was much needed family time just the three of us before our new, precious little girl joins us (shortly, hopefully). It was an easy little afternoon, filled with lots of laughs and soooo many pictures, like seriously it was a little crazy how many we took!

It was a good thing we left when we did though the hubby saw the snow coming and we drove home through a pretty good amount of snow falling (nothing too bad we were safe). Here’s my handsome husband by the way, I just can’t resist because I love this photo of him oh so much!

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Well to finish up let me tell you a little bit about what I wore to enjoy our snow day. I layered a long sleeve thermal (which is pretty snug these days!) under my maternity flannel. Layered a scarf I got last year from a boutique in Medford and my favorite red wool coat (it’s a few years old but I found it at Alloy). My headband is from Forever 21 and it is my favorite place to get cute accessories for a steal! My shoes were not ideal but hey we live in a valley and hardly get snow! With two wool socks on I managed just fine, though. Combat boots are always a girls best friend for adventures!

Share some of your Christmas memories in the comments below!!

Love Always,

Sam