Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Sesquecentenial Post

A lot of folks in the blogosphere like to celebrate their 100th post. I noticed this a lot on the Giveaway Day. Many people had saved their giveaways in honor of their big 1-0-0. I quickly checked my count and realized I was already up to 148! Who knew? I have been working on a tutorial and thought that would be a great sesquecentenial post, however I am having trouble getting more than 4 photos in a single post. Any tips?

So, for this post, this, my 150th post, I am going to create a 'tag'. You know those things where you have to answer the questions and then pass it along. This is a photo tag. I tag everyone in the entire blogosphere MWAH HA HA! (deep breath).

Here are the rules. You must not use a car. You must not change (clean) your surroundings. Pick up your camera and take pictures of the following:

1. Your kitchen.

2. Something in your house that is red.

3. The view from your front door.

4. Something outside that you can walk to (no car!).

5. One of your meals today.

Yes, this is completely random but I have been thinking about the photo tag thing for awhile ever since my friend, Angi, posted pictures she took on a walk around her neighborhood. There is something very insightful about a person's surroundings.
Please comment on this post when you have done it so I can check out your photos! And stay tuned for my first tutorial. . .and my photos. . .where did Chris put the camera?

Friday, December 12, 2008

Reversible/Adjustable Party Hat TUTORIAL

Here it goes, my first tutorial. I hope it makes sense, let me know if you have any questions or suggestions. I am sure there are better ways to to do this, but I kind of made it up as I went so there you go. Sorry, Anna (giveaway winner), you got my first trial so yours in not really reversible, and is a little small. I got at least a little better. Here we go!

1. Cut out four circles of fabric and two circles of interfacing. All should be the same size. You can vary the color and prints for the fabric. Here I have a strip and animal print that i will use for one side and two polka dot circles that will be the reverse side of the hat.
2. Fuse the interfacing to one set of circles (should be both circles of one side. . .for me, I fused to the polka dots). You can interface all four circles but I have some thick stuff right now and my first hat turned out rather thick (sorry, again, Anna).

3. Pin, then sew one circle from each side to one circle from the reverse side (right sides together). For me, this meant I attached a polka dot to the stripey circle and the other polka dot was sewn to the animal print. Leave a 2 inch space to turn the circles back. Back stitch on each side of your 2 inch gaps.

4.Trim close to your seam with pinking shears (if you have them) and then turn your circles right sides out through the gap you left.
You don't need to worry about stitching the gap closed just yet.
5. Turn your circles so the 'front side' is facing up (for me that is the stripes and animal) and overlap one circle onto the other by about 1/3. Make sure that the 2 inch gap you left is part of the overlapping sections.

6. Sew the curved section you pinned, then flip over and sew the other flap (overlap from reverse side) down. You don't really need to pin this down since it is already in place. Just don't let your fabric slip. . .like I did. . .then you get to unpick. Weee!

When you sew the circles together you will close the gap you turned them right-side-out through.  Just make sure that the seams are tucked (or pressed) in.

The photo on the left is what your seam should look like if you also let your two-year-old control the foot pedal while you sew.  
7.  Fold the hat to make the "hat shape".  For me, that means folding (kind of rolling) the polka-dots to the inside.  Make sure the bottom scallops are even, then pin or glue (I glue) in place.

8.  If you didn't glue the flap before sewing you will have to glue the top now.  It is darn near impossible to sew all the way up to the tippy top, so just go as far as you can, rolling and scrunching the hat as you go and then take the easy way out. . .glue the last two inches.

9.  Repeat the sewing and gluing of the flap on the other side.

10.  Make the tassel.  Cut a strip of wool felt about 5 inches wide and 6-8 inches long.  The wider the piece, the longer the tassels. . .the finished tassel will be half as long as the width of the piece you cut.
I hope that makes sense.  Keep reading.  
11.  Fold the felt and cut strips most (but not all) of the way down, like in the picture.  
12.  Unfold the felt and roll it so the strips are on the top and bottom of the tassel and it is all connected in the middle.  

13.  Sew or glue it shut.
14.  Stick the tassel into the hole at the top of the hat and blind stitch or glue (or both if you are paranoid like me) it into place.  Make sure that the tassel is centered in the top so that it is nice looking from each side.

15.  You are done!  You can reverse your hat and have a tassel on each side.  And you can adjust the hat for a smaller noggin by folding up the 'cuffs' at the bottom edge like this sidewise picture shows.

Now make a bunting and napkins and give it as a 'birthday' gift to family and friends.

Sorry the pics are not so good.  I did get a new camera for Christmas that is supposed to take fabulous indoor pictures. . .as soon as it is opened.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

And the Winner Is. . .

Anna from Anna's Nest. Her blog is amazing so you should check it out.
I tried to link it on here but it isn't working. Try you won't be sorry!
I also should say that I was lucky enough to win 2 patterns from Kekya Lou's etsy shop. I am very excited to try them out. Thank you to everyone who entered my giveaway. I hope I can do another one soon. It was sure fun to see so many comments on my post! Good luck with holiday shopping (or crafting). I am really having a hard time typing after driving almost 400 miles today. I think I should sleep and try again later when I can spell.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Happy Birthday GIVEAWAY!!!

It is Giveaway day in Blogland. Go to (click on blog) to check out the master list of the handmade giveaways today. I think there is something very valuable and endearing about something that has been made by hand. It is unique, it is worked, it is special. What better than a handmade item to celebrate the unique and special people in our lives. I am talking about birthdays people!

I am giving away a fabric celebration bunting and a special birthday hat. The banner has multi-colored and patterned triangles that will surely make any party more festive. It is trimmed with stripes cut on the bias so you can stretch it from the rafters and party like its 1999, only greener!
The party hat has coordinating fabric and a jaunty 100% wool tassel on the top. It is sure to make any child the captain (or princess ) for the day. Also, the colors for both the banner and the cap are gender neutral so bring on the boys!

Leave a comment ON THIS POST. I thought to require you answer a question but I couldn't think of a clever one. Instead, if you leave a clever comment I will put your name in twice.
I will hold my random drawing of those who entered on Sunday, December 7. Good Luck and Happy Birthday to those December birthdays (like my grandma, my cousin, Jesus Christ, and many others!)

Saturday, November 29, 2008

A Matter of Taste

Things Lily will not eat:

Mashed Potatoes with Gravy
yogurt covered craisens

Things Lily will eat:

Plain yogurt
Erbaviva diaper cream

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Feeling Elfy. . .or Felt Elfy

This probably should go on my sidebar under "what I am making lately" but I am just so excited about it that it is getting it's own post.
For Christmas, Lily is getting a little kitchen set. It is a darling wood one that reminds me of the pink one from Pottery Barn but is priced less than that of a real kitchen (like PB). To go with her new digs I thought I had an idea to make the play food out of fabric and felt. I hadn't seen much plush food but when I started researching it online there are quite a lot of culinary crafters out there. I even saw some plush food recently at a specialty toy store. I just finished the breakfast tonight and although the syrup looks more like black-strap molasses ( I may need to rework that!), I am really happy with the results. What do you think?

This is when I wish I WAS a photographer. They look better in real life. I guess I shouldn't wait until the black of night to document my projects.
I thought the strawberries would be the hardest because of the embroidery, but they were the most fun. I think I will make more. The eggs, which I thought would be the easiest turned out a little trickier than I thought. My favorite is the print for the banana peel. Can you see the sugar spots! I was so happy to find it. A lot of the fabrics I am using are recycled (thank you to my sister's and mom for their thrift store give-aways!) but there were a few things I had to have, like the vintage prints and 100% wool felt. Maybe I will try felting my own wool next time.

Next week: Lunch. On the menu? PB&J and cheese sandwiches (with veggies), pretzels, apple, cucumber slices any more ideas?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Nilsson Family Photography

In the past few months I have stumbled upon several blogs from friends I had in high school. Although I knew these folks were talented I had no idea that so many of them were into photography. I think I have four friends from high school that are doing photography semi professionally and several others who are enjoying photography as a hobby. To be honest, I thought that if any one should be gifted with a camera it should be me! My mother is amazing, as many of you know, and I would think photographic skill would be genetic. As it turns out, I did not inherit the artist's eye but the photography gene may still run in my blood. It seems the photogene skips a generation. Lily love the camera, or being behind it, anyway. She always wants to hold the camera and the other day I finally let her. I showed her how to push the button and let her have at it. As you will see from the following photographs, her talent is undeniable. Her sense of focus and (insert photographic terms from Wikipedia) is amazing. I think I have my retirement locked it with this one. And really, lets be honest, maybe I should pursue that modeling career. I love how she has captured my true self.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

My Burrito Overfloweth

While driving by some houses Lily started her mantra “a nack! a nack! a nack! a nack!”. She wants a snack and she wants it now (for those not fluent in Lily-ese). 20 minutes from the grocery barren apartment and without even a breath mint in my purse, the Carl’s Junior drive-thru was like an oasis through the snow flurries. As we drove up to the menu I was shocked to see that the six dollar burger was actually under six dollars (something we had always joked about in Maui, where said burger is $7.25) and the menu had an additional mexican food side. This was a further bonus because Lily loves beans and will eat almost anything wrapped in a hah-tee-tee (tortilla). We scanned the choices of value menus, double patty value fries with 14 taquitos, AHA! a $2 burrito! Perfect. Get it. Let’s go. Remember the mantra is sustained throughout the whole drive-thru, Carl’s Junior rediscovery experience so it was more stressful than it sounds here.
When we pulled to window #2 I thought my problems were over (I realize there are real problems and driving with a hungry two year old isn’t one of them, but right then, in the rental car, looking at horrible houses, in the snow, away from anyone I know, I felt like it qualified) but when my would-be salvation was handed through the window to me I knew something was wrong. The bag was heavy. The bag should not be heavy. I looked inside to see at least a full gallon of refried beans wrapped in a to-scale map of Salt Lake county. How am I to give this behemoth to my toddler to eat unsupervised? And perhaps more importantly (I mean, it was a rental so who really cares?), who knew you could buy a burrito the size of a Beamer for under two bucks? I was shocked (nack! nack! nack!) what was I going to (nack! nack! nack!) do? I couldn’t hand this water balloon of a burrito back to her. I could just see the beans pouring out of the bottom of the giant tortilla like a faucet onto her tiny lap. I tear off a piece of tortilla near the edge to abate the yelling and buy some time. (I WANT BIG PIECE! BRITO!) At this point I did what I can assume any mother would do. I opened the burrito, scooped out 3/4 of the beans with my fingers onto the thin plastic wrapping paper (which is on my lap), re-wrap the tortilla and give it to Lily. Then, I lick the beans of my fingers. I glance out the window to the car next to us. That’s right, Lady, I’m eating refried beans off of my lap with my pointer and middle man and I like it, AND it was under two bucks so you tell me what is wrong with that.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Birthday Take Two

Lily's official bday was here, in Utah, and my family couldn't resist celebrating. We had a fun little Hello Kitty/Cinderella party. Little Lily has been fully taken by the Disney Princess movement. It all started with a Cinderella audio tape. The songs led to the book which brought on the costume, movie, slippers, and doll. (thanks mom and Alyssa!). It turns out that Cinderella is my mother's favorite Disney movie of all time. I guess she bought the movie for Lily before she was even born. Ahem. So, when I told her that Lily was loving Cinderella, it made my mother's day. When Lily opened the movie, she kicked her legs with glee and screamed. It was so cute. She didn't really want to open the rest of her presents. She was glad she did, though! Yes, she was Cinderlly for Halloween. I will post pictures. . .someday.

Friday, October 31, 2008

A more positive book review

The terrible twos are upon us and although I swore she would potty train early, Lily is refusing to use the toilet this week. We have, however, found a meeting of the minds with this outstanding book about potties. There are a lot of potty training books. Most I have read are decent but not for the everyday read. This one, however, is my favorite and I recommend it to all whether you have kids or not.
My favorite part are the tricks that played by and to the potty.

I will post more personal pictures (and posts) soon. My computer is completely full and my external hard drive I use to transfer downloads, tv shows, pictures (space suckers in general) is on the slow boat with the rest of our earthly possessions. We were told that one of our cars has arrived. I took that as bad news as I thought all of our stuff was shipped together.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Go ahead and hate me.

I realize that by writing this post I am opening myself up for a stoning. I know this and yet that is part of the very reason why I want to write this. Maybe the traumatic move has made me crave misery, it liking company and all. Maybe I just want to get it off my chest. Maybe I just want to see how many people will respond. So here it is:

I don't like Twilight.

I read the book. Every teenaged girl in my ward was aflutter about it and talked of nothing else. My sister, Tori, said it changed her life and she (self admittedly) doesn't like to read!
I. Was. Bored.
How many times can you compare skin to marble? How many times can you try to make stalker-like behavior seem romantic? How can you possibly think about a 400+ year old man (we are going to let it slide that he is a vampire, which is a whole other issue) pursuing a 17-year-old girl and not be creeped out?
I saw no reason for Bella and Edward to be in love. Bella is so painfully desperate and self patronizing it made me ill. Edward is not nice. And it was boring! I admit, the last third of the book was easier to digest. I actually wanted to finish reading it. The getting to that point, though, was painful. I did start the second book while we were house-sitting (they owned two copies). I haven't felt any rush to finish it although I did like it better than the first. At least Edward was gone for most of it and there was some plot right from the start.
I guess what I don't understand is the outright infatuation of this book by people like me: Stay at home moms in their late twenties and thirties! I can understand high school girls swooning over a perfect "bad boy" and falling head over heels for no reason. That is what people who have never been in real relationships think that love is. Or should be. Or could be. But really? It is really that popular with us older gals?
Maybe I just had my hopes up. I guess I heard how good it was and how much better than Harry Potter (gasp!) it was and that it was the most well written, edge of your seat, page turning novel ever. And it wasn't. It wasn't horrible, but it wasn't great.
On a somewhat unrelated note: Isn't the basis for the entirety of Bella and Edward's relationship is that E is so hot he is painful to look at? Then why, oh why, is he so ugly here?

Cedric was cute, so what happened?

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Marie-Therese Gown GIVEAWAY !!!!!!!

Marie-Therese Gown GIVEAWAY !!!!!!!

I know I have sung her praises before but you all need to check this out, especially you, Angi. This dress is amazing. This is the standard for our next swap. Just kidding. Oh if I could sew like this! It makes me miss my boat bound sewing machine.

Lily's Hawaiian Party

Lily had a great birthday party/We Will Miss Our Friends in Hawaii party. Before I had kids I was convinced that my kids would not wear clothes with characters (everybody says that, I think) and Chris actually said "There will be no Elmo in our house". I don't really know how it happened, but Lily loves it all. First Elmo and Hello Kitty and more recently Cinderella and her other princess pals. This party was all Elmo and she loved it. Thanks to all of our awesome friends that we love so much and miss for bringing yummy food!

I can't upload any more pictures right now, but I will try tomorrow.

Happy Happy Birthday Lily!

Little Emmie-do. Lily's idol.

Tay-Tay. This girl is so darling. She could sing Twinkle Twinkle before she was 2! We will miss her.

The birthday girl.

Friday, October 17, 2008


We are officially moved into our new apartment. It is only a one bedroom but bigger than our place in Maui. The last two weeks have been mayhem of garage sales, furniture buying, (utah's own craig's list) and survival. It still hasn't sunk in. It feels like we are on vacation. Maybe not. It doesn't actually feel like anything right now. I am a little numb. I am excited to get into a routine of life. I can't wait to meet some people around our new home and to find out all the cool things about Utah that I never knew. This place has changed a lot since I was in high school.
Today we had gorgeous (75 degree!) weather. We went on a hike with my parents and David in the fall colored canyon. It was so beautiful. Just beautiful. I hope this weather sticks around for a few more days so we can enjoy the outdoors before winter.
I realize this is a pathetic post. My other one was so sad sounding, I had to post something new. Now that I am typing, however, I don't really know what to write.

I do have an important announcement: My phone does NOT like Utah. It doesn't ring 95% of the time. It doesn't tell me when I have messages. I checked last night and I had almost 20 messages that the phone did not even have listed on the little 'you have this many messages' thingy. If you are one of the dear, dear people who have called me in the past 2 weeks, thank you. I am not ignoring you. I have a phone manufactured somewhere near the River Styx. It is trying to further isolate me in this lonely world to which I have come after being cast out of the garden of Maui. I will try to call you back (oh yeah, my phone only lets me call out if I am actually on I-15 and then it is really hard to hear) but maybe we could reconnect through email? Facebook? Smoke signals? Our contract only has 1 more month. Maybe then I can get a big girl phone. One with a screen on the front. That makes and receives calls.

Monday, October 6, 2008


Moving is hard. Change is hard. Living at my parents is easy. Perhaps too easy.
The last two weeks in Maui were crazy, busy, tearful, sad and sleepless. There is so much I could write, I don't know where to start. Maybe later my mind will find clarity. For now, we are in Utah. We have an apartment in Sandy that we haven't moved into. We miss our friends. I miss Maui. I am excited to have new adventures here, in Utah. We did take a drive up the canyon on Sunday and walked in the fall foliage. It was stunning. That was comforting. Then Lily threw a fit about putting clothes over her swimming suit to go to the pool and I got sad again. I think once we get settled, get a routine, make some friends, and get our stuff off the boat, I will be able to muster some positivity. But right now, I am still sad.

"I would rather get a beating than move"
~Kenneth Beesley (my grandfather)

Tuesday, September 30, 2008


I have always thought of myself as somewhat athletic. If not athletic, then at least agile. I dove competitively in HS and college and even had a brief stint with pole vaulting at SUU. I like to run. I like to hike. I like exercise. Because of these reasons, my thought to pick up the stretch bands and hand weights the other night when Lily went down early and Chris was at tennis did not, initially, seem like such a wild hare (or is it 'hair'?).
I dug the 8 pounders out of the cabinet and put on a sports bra and a new attitude. Upper body and abs shouldn't be out of my realm. I have an empty house, a couple of season premiers on television and some new motivation in the form of the excess movement around my mid section and thighs whenever I move quickly. It has been a little over a year and a half since real, sweaty, exercise has been a part of my life. As it turns out, the "use it or lose it" bit actually holds some water.
As I switch on the TV I start feeling even better. Just the idea of working out has edged the endorphins out of hibernation. I start bouncing to House's angry diatribe and punching the air in my kitchen/living room. I add a few kicks. My knee starts to whine and I remind myself to not get in over my head. I do a few more minutes of faux-cardio and then sit on a towel to begin the strength training portion of my work-out. I take the latex bands in my hands and wrap them around my feet that are outstretched in front of me. I pull back a few times. Ouch! That hurts. Maybe I should try something else. I remember something my mom told me about working out your chest muscles first so I fling the bands around my back and hold one handled end in each hand. I pull forward. ONE. Release. TWO. Release. THR--OUUUUUUCCCCCCH! The band suddenly rolled up my back and neck pulling the first two inches of hair at the nape of my neck with it.
So there I am. Stuck in a latex noose. Alone. Wearing a purple sports bra. I try to relax the tension I have on the cords but quickly find that it then entangles more hair in the evil, Chinese finger trap at my neck. I can't pull out further because, well, I am a wimp who counts walking to the mailbox twice as exercise lately and even if I could go-go gadget my arms further out it would only rip the hairs out of my neck. I try to quickly yank the band away from my neck, coming to terms with the hair-loss this requires. PAINNNNNNN! Unfortunately my hair density at the base of my necks is lacking. To pull the caught hairs would mean bringing the skin along. Frack.
I consider my options. Wait until Chris comes home. I can't imagine holding this position for another minute let alone an hour. My arms are engaged remember? I could call Chris and tell him to come home.
"Chris, come home quick I am tangled in the exercise bands."
"The what bands?"
"The exercise ones. You know the purple ones. Well, one is orange, you know they are in the cabinet with the- gah! it doesn't matter I am tangled, come home and save me."
"I am playing tennis."
"And I am dying a death of slow scalping! Am I on speaker phone?"

A little two much "The Injury" from The Office for me. plus, how would I dial the phone? This gets me thinking. Maybe I could get one hand out and then untangle my hair. I take my right foot and lift it as high as it will go: About three inches off the ground. I scrunch my back down, being careful to keep the tension even on my death trap. I slip my toes into the handle and take my hand out. AAAAAAH. I am rocking on my now unevenly placed butt cheeks, my leg not being as dextrous as my hand is not so good at holding a steady tension.
I really should have known better. Genetics was against me. It was only a matter of time until I encountered an embarrassing exercise incident. My mother once dropped a hand weight on her big toe. She couldn't walk right for weeks. She lost the nail, of course, but it was a complicated recovery full of ingrown toenails and frequent stubbings.
On a separate occasion, my mother once tripped during an aerobics class obstacle course. She was a little short jumping over a box of some sort, caught her toes, fell over a padded something and hit her nose on a mini tramp. Blood bath.
My father was once on the losing end of a battle with a broken kick boxing bag. No, that isn't true. I do feel like I am picking on mom a bit, though. Back to the story:
My hair! My neck! Who cares? What is that on TV? Scary images are flashing before my eyes! What happened to House? I could use him about now. Not some scary JJ Abrams X-files meets Lost! Felicity too tame for you buddy? I start ripping the hairs out of my neck one by one, still with foot in handle. I am just praying Chris doesn't bring his buddies in but also praying that he comes soon. I am stuck with a horror show in front of me and swiveling on my one grounded cheek to change the channel is out of the question. I tried. It hurt.
I finally get the latex monster off my back (or neck) and throw it (and a good chunk of my hair) to the side. Maybe I should stick to swimming. I am sticking to Felicity. Fringe was frightening.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

A Song to Brighten Your Day

Check this guy out. Listen to the whole thing. I bet you listen to at least three more of his songs on YouTube.

Good Question

Angi brings up a good question, although one that that brought me to tears.

Should I change the name of my blog?

If you think, yes, then leave a suggestion for a new name.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Ten Three

October 3, 2004 I moved to Maui. I am not a brave person by nature so making such a drastic move was terrifying. I remember talking to Erin on the phone after being here a week or two. I hated it. I was lonely, missing Blithe, and felt completely uncomfortable. I don't handle change well.
Months later, I had made new friends, met some of the most amazing, giving people I had ever known, learned to surf, eaten lau lau, been put in the Young Women presidency and found a job. I was a part of the island. I belonged.
October 3, 2006 our first child is due. Although she didn't come on time, that date, the third, sticks in my mind as I repeated it, stared at it on the calendar, and told it to people over and over again. Exactly two years after I stepped foot on this island, I was to bring another person to it.
Now, as the two year anniversary of Lily's birth approaches, four years after I moved here, I am feeling incredibly nostalgic. I have changed, I think in mostly good ways. I have learned so much from the friends that I have met here and from the island itself. It is amazing what you have time to notice about life and nature without the seasons to distract you.
I have never been subject to such beauty and generosity as I have here. With groceries 30% more expensive than the rest of the nation, you wouldn't expect to be invited to dinner 5 nights in a month, or to have a potluck at church three weeks in a row. Even the snacks at nursery are full meals!
I love Maui and I can't wait for the adventures that wait my family in the next two, four, or forty years to come.

Chris has accepted a job with Sherwin Williams in Sandy, UT. We move October 3, 2008.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

I've Been Dreaming. . .

"Meg, you look just like Giselle. If your hair was longer, and red, and if you got a facial."

~Johnny Kirton. Age 6

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Dance Baby Dance

Lily loved the live music at the Farmer's Market in Bend.

Bend 2

The house we rented in Bend was so sweet. The young couple that owns it really had gone over the top to restore the little one bedroom gem. The slate floors, salvaged barnwood and corrugated metal accents were amazing. There were a lot of little accents like this lamp (below) that made the place so cool. I thought I took a picture of the kitchen, but I guess not. They had green drawers and cabinets that were so cool with the whole decor. My favorite part was the sliding door to the bedroom. The bedroom had a huge, maybe 8 foot wide doorway trimmed in barnwood. They had made a sliding door from the barn that was amazing. It slid on the old slider thing (what is that part called that a door slides on. . . I want to write 'castors' but that is the chair wheels right?) and had the corrugated metal on one side and bamboo on the other. Sweeeeeeeet. Really, it was awesome. Again, where is the picture I took of that? Oh yeah, the big screen tv wasn't that bad either.

I would love to live in Bend, in one of the restored arts and crafts style houses. I could just imagine myself hooking Lily up in the bike trailer and cruising down to the park for a little picnic. Or maybe we would take a little float down the river and feed some ducks. I daydreamed like this the whole time we were there. I even started feeling a little sense of urgency like "we MUST move here. . .NOOOOOOW" but today as Chris and Lily and I walked down our street and I looked down at Maalaea harbor with the sun setting behind the West Maui mountains, I realized there is no rush. We love it here too.

A Bend in the Road

Although I loved Portland there was one, serious, downfall. I had the worst headache in my life. I have only had one other headache of this proportion and it lasted one day. This one started two days before we left and the stabbing pains and debilitating nausea lasted eight full days. Ironically, or maybe not, the only time I wasn't clutching my head in agony was during a dinner with my dear BFF, Claudia and her hubby, Adam. They were so sweet and treated us to an amazing German meal in a darling neighborhood of craftsman houses that would make you drool even if the spatzel didn't get you. I really think her friendship cured me. After that dinner my head slowly improved each day. Later that night, at about 11:30 pm, Chris and I were lying in bed with Lily between us (that is squishy in a queen, let me tell you) and I realized something. It was our anniversary! Although the overall purpose of the trip was to celebrate our 6th anniversary (and the super cheap tickets Chris found) we had both forgotten about it that day. During the course of our busy day (and my headache turning me into super evil Meg) we had both forgotten that this was the actual day. So I turned to Chris, thirty minutes before our special day was over and I said "Happy Anniversary". It really had been a great day. Thank you, Claudia, for helping us celebrate. I really love Claudia so much.
I was sad to leave Portland, especially because another BFF, Beverly, was on vacation and didn't get back until we were 300 miles away. Dang you, fate.
We did have to leave the City of Roses and although my headache was starting to fade, we had another hurdle before our trip was over. We booked a night on the coast before heading to our second leg of our vacation. Unfortunately, we booked through and they, despite taking our money, neglected to book us a room. On Labor Day weekend. In a small town. With a toddler. Remember the headache? It came back.
No one at would help us. In fact, they hung up on us twice. We were stuck in the lobby of a hotel that does not have our reservation and has no rooms. On top of it, the room that we were supposed to have, didn't actually exist (two beds, ocean view, breakfast. . .this hotel only has one bed, no view, no breakfast). The manager of the fake hotel was so nice and even yelled at a person (poor guy, I think he was in India and no clue what was going on) for us. She let us hang out, use the internet, use the 'potty' and she even found us a room. She had a friend who is starting a B&B out of her home. I guess she hasn't really started it yet, or something but she had a room open. I was really not excited since she said it was in a house with a SHARED bathroom. I was thinking it was going to be disaster. I pictured some hick with an extra room trying to earn a little money for her fake flower arrangements and yarn for the sweaters she knits for her 87 cats. I pictured sharing a bathroom with a greasy vagrant just strolled in from town on his way to his sisters for the holiday. I was afraid. I was mad. My headache was back with a vengeance.
As it turned out, the house was clean, right on the ocean, big, and nice, albeit decorated with a lot of silk flowers. We didn't see our host except for the wonderful tour and when we came back from dinner and she offered us a plate full of homemade cookies. Really, this woman was so excited to have someone stay with her, it was a little endearing. In the morning we awoke to a huge breakfast of fresh melon and fruit, pastries, bagels, juice, milk, and more. It was so perfect (except for paying twice for the room). Lily could run around outside in the fenced yard, or inside in the spacious living room. She even got to watch Cinderella.
Lily has been somewhat obsessed with Cinderella for the last week or so. I bought a Cinderella book at a yard sale and read it to her on the plane, we have been singing the songs (or the first two lines of each that I could remember it) and listening to the audio tape (yes, tape) that I took from my parents' house in January. She had never actually seen the movie, but was very familiar with the concept. Well, I think I was more excited that she was for her to watch the actual movie. Lily loved it. Okay, she loved the songs that we fast forwarded to. Well, the ones that actually featured Cinderella. The rest of the trip she would request 'Cinderelly song' and the she and I would sing and dance to "A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes" it was very cute. Chris even was persuaded to dance with her once. Oh! I almost forgot. Once she started dancing to my rendition of the classic Disney tune and she stops turns to me and says "Me. Dress! Dress Mama! Dance dress!" Translation: "Mother, I need a dress. There is no way I can possibly perform a suitable dance interpretation of Cinderella without a dress to twirl in!" This has been a requirement ever since.
Off we were to Bend. This is my favorite (and pain-free) part of the trip. This town is amazing. It is the high desert and through some of the most gnarly mountains I have seen. The Deshutes River runs right through town and the whole city is kept up so nicely. We rented a small house blocks from downtown, numerous parks, shopping, etc. We only got in the car once the whole time we were there. It was amazing.
Here are some shots from Bend:

On the boardwalk on the way to Bend.


Hanging out at the park

Testing out some kayak skills at the children's museum

Rose City

We went to the OMSI (Oregon Museum of Science and Industry) expecting to be intellectually stimulated with history of the city and science. This expectation might have come in part from my current reading of Bill Bryson's A Short History of Almost Everything. This is my second read of this awesome book. Really, if you love history or science or just a great story telling then this is the book for you. Anyway, at the OMSI we discovered it was more of a children's museum. We were pleasantly surprised by how many fun things for kids there were. Really, the whole museum is geared for school age kids. There is a huge room for preschoolers that Lily could have lived in. She had so so so much fun.

This guy had ONE HAND and he could play! This was at the portland saturday market. I thought it was going to be a farmers market again (even though Chris told me we have been to this market before so I should have known) it was more arts and crafts. I was disappointed but we did buy some really amazing batik reproductions from a local artist. That was a good find.

"rock a baby" . All concerts should be outside and should have rocking chairs available.

More Portland

Nothing like a little spin to get a smile.

We got to go on a hike to Multnomah Falls. It is the second biggest fall in the United States. Very pretty. Chris and I came to Oregon while we were dating and we did this same hike. Chris and I have a picture of us in this same little cave. And look! Lily is LOOKING AT THE CAMERA AND SMILING. Really, this is a miracle. Don't believe me? Look back through the pics. There is maybe one other picture that fits that criteria.

Boo! Having a little fun at Ikea. Chris had never been to Ikea. Now, he is dead set on living in 590 square feet and getting the most out of some Scandinavian storage.

The Beaver State

Oh sweet Oregon! How I miss you!
We had so much fun! With minimal set-backs which will be discussed, our trip was fantastic. It was the perfect balance of sight seeing, relaxation, a little splurging and outdoor bliss. We had a great time spending time as a family and exploring new territory. I am not really sure the best way to document our trip. The travel log style, although fun for me to read, seems daunting to me. I think I am going to post the pictures and ramble about them as I go. Yep. That is what I am doing. Here I go!

Farmers Market in Portland. There was so much good food here it was insane! We had an artichoke and cheese tamale, lamb pita, golden raspberries, blackberries, tiny apples, cucumbers, carrots, melon, blueberries and homemade chips. MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM!!!! Lily had fruit all over her. People were commenting on her face and shirt swimming in blackberries while she chomps down on a half a cucumber in one hand and a fistfull of golden raspberries in the other. I think she could have been the market poster child. It was so cute.

Dang it! I still can't get the pictures to stay rotated unless I export each pic. I am way to lazy to do that so I guess we can all just rotate our heads. Lily sure enjoyed the sites and sounds of the big city. She thinks every building of four or more stories in "mama doctor" because my doctor has his office in one of only three tall buildings in Maui.

Chris at Voodoo donuts. See previous post for the 'splanation of this one.