july looks like this

week one: so hot. sooooo hot.

Maybe this is the month I figure out how to half-tuck my shirt without it looking dumb.

Missing Utah fireworks

Berry picking: eat alllll the raspberries. Can't wait to go back for more.

Dave wore a hat berry picking, which is literally the first time I've ever seen him in a baseball cap.

Solo flight with Sam today...a little nervous.

Thinking I finally packed without packing 10 extra clothing items, so I'd have them "just in case I really need a cardigan, etc."

I still packed all my hats because I may need all 3 of them at different times, you know?

june was like this

A lot more mediocre meals than we'd like

Forgetting I was making yogurt and burning a crockpot full of milk

Driving along and noticing a small spider floating down my window; calmly grabbing the web string and throwing it out the window. whaaaaat? I'm an adult.

Reading two books within the 3 week check out period because I couldn't renew them. Record of my adult life.

Staying under the grocery budget by $2. Record of our married life, I swear. And it's not like it's make or break, but this time it was about just doing it for the sake of knowing it's possible. The key to our success, after trying many things: one store, one time per week.

Bought beautiful, lovely fabric and then cut into it using a pattern that was scaled wrong so...yeah. Still hoping I can salvage that one. Me + sewing = 2 hours sewing, 1 hour unpicking. oi.  I did make Sam a bucket hat (another pattern scaling issue, so he needs a bigger one already) and finished the quiet book I've been working on for months.

We started watching Goldrush on netflix and I'm a little embarrassed but it's something we can't look away from. So many terrible catch phrases. So many poor decisions. Nothing really happens.

Reading the same books over and over and over...

Face-timing with my sister who was on maternity leave. Why we haven't been face-timing for the last two years regularly is beyond me.

After my no-more-lateness resolution, I was on time to a few more things. Winning. 

Lots of splash pads, parks and story times.

So much assertion of independence and frustration.

Weird stretching. Sweet love for his stuffed animals. He likes to hold them, cuddle them and bite their faces. We can't get enough of this boy! Except at 8:00 pm.

A great birthday filled with donuts, favorite sweet potato burritos, rootbeer floats, strawberry cake and salted chocolate caramel tart. Dave and my MIL can really throw a party! Also I would eat salted chocolate caramel tart every day.

A new nephew that is so so cute, who I can't wait to see next week. (this was the best part of June!) 

baby standard time

I think I may have discovered a way to cure my terrible always-running-late habit. We seem to be always running late, sorry everyone. And I'm sure if you get down to it, it's all my fault. Anyways, having to get another person out the door now who can do nothing by himself except walk (and that is a huuuuge help) out of it, hasn't helped.

I always feel bad because I know lateness is rude and inconsiderate and I don't think my time is more valuable than anyone else's...I just...don't have enough of it! Ha!

The other day Sam had a doctor's appointment and they have you check in 15 minutes before your actual appointment. We are always on time to the actual appointment but usually late to the check in. I decided to bike to the appointment and park at Dave's work since it's two blocks away. I started preparing to leave 45 minutes before we needed to check in (it's a 15 minute ride) and yeah, yeah, by the time I got through the beginning lights and everything, I had 10 minutes to bike to Dave's work so I could have time to walk to the office and make it on time.

I mean, we can't be late again. They probably have a note on our file. So I biked a fast as I could and I totally made it to Dave's work by my goal time and we were within a minute or two of our appointment time. It didn't help that I went to the wrong floor (how many times have I been there?) and I ended up waiting for the receptionist anyways. And then I was embarrassingly sweaty and red-faced during the whole appointment.

I think the cure was having to physically make up the time. I had to bike a 15 minute ride in 10 minutes, which doesn't sound that bad but mind you I was also pulling about 30 pounds behind me. And I think it exhausted the lateness right out of me.

Saturday I had an eye appointment downtown and I left 45 minutes early (nice bonus was I was going by myself, so I only had to get myself out the door). I took the street car and walked some and was fifteen minutes early. Unheard of! I then had to wait 15 minutes past my appointment time. Karma? Sunday: 10 minutes early to church. So far, I'm nailing this on time thing. We'll see how it goes in a few days.

My point is if you are also struggling with being on time, maybe make yourself have to get yourself there via your own two legs. Either the physical exertion or the consequences of that exertion (red face, sweaty) may motivate you to not be late again. And seriously, get moving out the door like an hour and a half before...when will I figure that out??

pick all the strawberries!!

Oh my, I can't get over these photos. Sam looks like a monster, I know.

Our friend Sara invited us to go strawberry picking with her two Fridays ago, and of course we were on board. Picking your own berries is like the number 1 perk of living in Portland. They are fantastic. And for the last two years, we don't end up going until the last week of good berries, and I always resolve to go earlier.

It turns out the last week of May has the BEST strawberries. It was addicting to pick them. Everywhere you turn, more ripe berries!! I think we ended up with 8 pounds? (besides the 2 pounds we froze, gone by Monday). We went again this past weekend and got another 10 pounds? I don't know, but again, it's addicting. You can't let these strawberries go to waste!

Anyway, Sam didn't mind hanging out in the dirt, especially when he got the hang of picking his own berries, ripping the tops off and eating them. He only ate a few green ones. And yes, they were unwashed and dirty, but oh well. I'm pretty sure it's worth the peace and quiet (and immune system building, riiight?). And I got one hour of it while we picked berries in the beautiful mid-morning weather. Sam only sat on a part of the berries and we only got mostly covered in red/dirt.

If you want some fresh strawberries, come on over!

sam's a real portland kid now

A few weeks ago we bought a bike trailer (and then carried it home in the stroller via the farmer's market and the street car...poor planning on our part) and over Memorial Day weekend we finally took it out for a spin.

Before that, however, we had to find a helmet for Sam. All the times we tried on helmets went very poorly. Last summer Sam happily wore hats and sunglasses but this summer, he is refusing to wear anything on his head. But I found one small enough and we let him play with it for days before we had him wear it. He discovered his love for buckles, and play with them anywhere he can find them.

>>Last week, we were at Ikea and for 20 minutes Sam sat buckling the child seat buckle and when he'd clip it together he'd look at me with a big grin on his face and say "I did it!" (I think he is just copying specific phrase inflection: eye-DIH-ih...but seriously, so cute).

On Memorial Day we biked to Sauvie Island to pick berries. It ended up being a 24 mile round trip (!!) and I have no idea why I thought that would be a good ride after our Saturday 4-miler. (so my first and second real bike ride in over a year) 

But slowly (so slowly) and surely, I made the return trip. I just think our bodies are amazing; I was dead tired, but somehow my legs just kept going. Sam did really well for such a long trip, only crying for a few miles on the way home. I felt the same way, but what choice did we have? We had to keep going! Next time we'll plan a little better as far as bringing enough snacks to fuel us (me) for the ride home. 

We also picked a pound or two of strawberries and ate them all night long. (fresh picked strawberries = the best) We had some friends over for dinner and games (made these burgers) later in the day. A great weekend!

Sorry Sam.


Sometimes I am surprised at how shy Sam can be. I think "oh, he loves water/climbing/whatever, he'll love this!" and then he clings to me and doesn't want to whatever we are doing. We try to go to story time when I remember and he is usually so hesitant to participate until they pull out the big bucket of toys or bubbles. But I can't blame him; I wouldn't want to run and play with 10 complete strangers with no warming up first. I can't say I mind all the extra snuggling that shyness brings.

We met some friends at a splash pad a couple weeks ago (already?) and I thought he'd love it, but he refused to play. We retreated for some lunch and then I showed him how he can climb up the steps and splash in the water. He just wanted to wander around the block, avoiding the water all together!

It's so new being involved in a developing personality, but I'm learning how to not force what I want Sam to do on Sam, and let him figure things out. Except when he runs for the road, which is often.
This is his "ooooh" face. He purses his lips up, points to things and says "oooh, what's that?" I love it. He always makes people laugh when he does it, especially after he has been crying or it's quiet and you hear him "ooooh"

dentist to pancakes. I'm sorry, where were we?

I felt like I found some sort of clarity today as I was wearing over-sized sunglasses and staring at a fluorescent light, waiting for the dentist. I was tipped back slightly and it was almost relaxing. I found myself smiling as I realized they were playing a song that, once upon a time, Dave knew on the guitar and would play for me while we were dating. Then they played some "semi-charmed life" and yeah, it was just a weird time for reflection.

I was also waiting for my all-clear from the dentist. I haven't had cavities for a few years because, guys, I don't mean to brag or anything, but I floss every day.

boom, two cavities. One of them wasn't even one that was on "watch". In 6 months, just a new cavity. I'm trying to figure out what was different about the last 6 months...perhaps all the flat bread?

And to add insult to injury, this is the month we didn't even eat any sugar! How did this happen? curse you, genetics.

So yes, we decided to go without any added sugar all month. Not in like a "sugar is the devil" way, because generally, I'm not one to eliminate a whole food group/category (unless it's medically necessary). Although if I were, I do think sugar would be up there. Anyway, I read an article about a family who gave it up for a year and had a lot of benefits from that. I figured we could do a month and just see. We didn't have any special days (I'm still dreaming about the salted caramel chocolate ganache tart we had to pass on for my brother-in-law's birthday) because Dave was like, "if I eat any, it's over."

Have we noticed any difference? Dave will tell you emphatically no. I, however, think one month is not enough to really say (I am still waiting for my miraculously clear skin people claim to get when they give up sugar; perhaps next month is when I will notice that there was a difference?), but I do think it has been easier to wake up in the mornings. I also don't think we ate so much sugar before that we felt poorly, so maybe it wasn't really enough to make a difference. But obviously we are more aware of what we are eating, especially where sugar is involved. The biggest change was breakfast, as Dave looves his cereal. We mostly ate these waffles and these pancakes (sans sugar).

I am proud of us for sticking with it. May is long, people. It was kind of fun to have a challenge to do together, and maybe by the end that is all it's about. We made it this far! To say the least, here's to a weekend of chocolate chip cookies, Salt & Straw ice cream and real maple syrup. (cheers to our friends Alli and Shane, who did the sugar-free month with us!)

And then, you know, a future of mindful eating.

anyone done anything crazy like this?