Look out snow covered Mt Rainier, I’m wearing shorts!

Ok, so I’ve lived here for over a year now and this is the first time we’ve gone to the mountains. I mean, I can see Mt Hood and Mt Saint Helens on a clear day but we hadn’t actually trekked over to these beautiful stone monuments until a few weeks ago (and we still haven’t actually “trekked over” to either of those mountains yet). We went to Mt Rainier instead! And little did we know that there would still be literal walls of snow in late June…

Patrick and I have been talking about going camping again basically since it started raining (so it’s been a while!) and we planned a brief trip to Mt Rainier. I was responsible for making sure we had everything together as we went to REI and got Patrick a new sleeping bag (he nearly froze   last summer when we went to Crater Lake), a nice blow-up insert, and I filled up the cooler full of sandwhiches for the road and raw meat for the burgers we were going to grill. I had my first aid kit, sunscreen, bug spray, protein bars and a gallon of water.

Unfortunately, I forgot the tent.

My bad. I don’t know how I missed it…

Anyway, due to me forgetting the only thing that makes camping actually camping, we got to stay here instead. With an attached bathroom!

Pretty, right?
So, we really had no idea that Mt Rainier would still be covered in snow in late June (clearly!). The last time Patrick was there, which was a while ago, he went in late August and believe me, two more months of 80 degree weather will make a big difference. I think we’ll be going back in about 6 weeks to get the whole experience and hopefully be able to climb the mountain trail this time. It was still fun though and very beautiful! I kind of liked playing in the snow in my shorts and it definitely looked like a winter wonderland. I mean, it’s not very often you get to throw snowballs or go sledding in the middle of summer 🙂
Ridiculous!  Anyway, there was really only one hike that we took where the trails weren’t covered in snow. This wasn’t one of those trails… but the base of it was gorgeous and relatively snow free.
One last picture and then I’m off to do house work 🙂
Aww!

Camping and company

Last month we ventured out on our first camping trip in Oregon. We headed over to Crater Lake and got to see snow in August! It was pretty amazing. Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the U.S. and the second deepest in all of North America. Its water is brilliantly blue as it has very little pollutants due to its lack of tributaries (some of the purest fresh water in the United States!). The lake is fed entirely by rain and snow and I wish these pictures could do it justice:

See that clump of trees? They call that Wizard Island because it looks like a sorcerers hat and when the fog rolls in it tends to disappear. The little white speck below it is a boat and they give tours out to it. Next time we go I want to take one 🙂

I love the snow on the beach and the mountain in the back- it was breathtaking!

And to show you how vividly blue the water is just notice how washed out the sky looks. That lake glows!

As we drove around the area (the lake has a rim you can drive around that is 33 miles long, not to mention twisty and terrifying) we saw some gorgeous things. Like this cold white stuff:

Another amazing view below (ridiculous, right?):

And my personal favorite. I thought it looked like a sea monster with tentacles coming out of its mouth and head… pretty gnarly 😉

Now, if I was really a good blogger I would have chronicled our tent setup, our long attempt at a camp fire (it finally caught on), and made a video of us freezing our butts off while we desperately tried to get comfortable. This is only the second time I’ve gone camping. Once in Texas in February (32 degrees, thank you) and in August in Oregon (40 degrees, oy). Both times it was the worst sleep of my life and I still want to do it again. It’s a sickness really. Someone, please help me.

Anyway, I think it was a day later that we had company again and this time it was Patrick’s mom. We had a really good time while she was in town even though her trip was brief (she was getting ready to go to Mexico for 3 months so it’s amazing that she was able to come at all!). We had kind of a low key visit which is always nice but we did head to Multnomah Falls for a little bit. Benne, these are for you (and seriously the only pictures I took while you were here, what was I thinking?):

She looks so much like Renee Zellweger, I love it!

So that’s all folks! Short but sweet. Next time around I’ll show you pics of Forrest and Eric’s visit, we went to Yaquina Head Lighthouse so stay tuned. It was also amazing 🙂

Mom’s in town!

She really isn’t. But she was here in August. BUT before I get into the randomness that ensued, I must include a few photos that I took with this blog in mind. MY CATS! I would tell you all the cute things they do but the truth is, they are really annoying. If they aren’t crying for food then they are crying to be let outside. Or they’re puking. Or they’re fighting. Or they’re scratching on our door for attention at 1 a.m. OR they’re chasing each other around the house, running into things and sliding on our wood floors… I love my cats?

I seriously don’t know how fatty (i.e. Pebbles, the calico) didn’t roll right off the chair… moving on!

So, my mama came back to see us about 2 weeks after we moved in, on August 1st. In an attempt to convince her that it’s awesome here, I took her to a few places that were just gorgeous! Granted, I didn’t have to do much convincing because the weather totally behaved for her. It was perfect! But I took her to the Japanese gardens, the Rose gardens, Multnomah Falls and some of the downtown sights anyway. Poor Patrick didn’t join us very often as he had a root canal the 2nd day she was here. So being a good wife I completely abandoned him and set out on the town with my mom (I’m sorry babe)! Let’s start with the gardens:

Bigger than her face! Crazy!

So, none of the “overview” shots really turned out well. There is simply no way of capturing those gardens in a photograph. There were roses everywhere! And this place was huge. We went here on our honeymoon (this park has the Japanese gardens and the zoo in it, too) but we had no idea the designated are for the roses was so enormous. I seriously remember a tiny space with hibernating plants and I thought, “Oh, that will be nice in the summer” but WOAH! Nice is an understatement. Anyway, I really shouldn’t go on about it because nothing I can say would do it justice. You just all need to come down here in July or August and we can tour the gardens together. It’s ridiculous. And so are the tiny ones:

Almost as adorable as my cats…

The Japanese gardens are next and I didn’t take too many pictures that day. I took TONS when I first went and I’ll probably take even more in the fall but it really didn’t look much different in August than it did in January. Which is kind of awesome.

Nice right? But the view at the top is even better!

I get to see this mountain every time I cross the river. It’s freakin’ gorgeous! I never thought I would live somewhere that has mountains AND a beach within 70 miles! That’s a little insane. Especially if you lived in the middle of Texas.

We also went to Multnomah falls in Bridal Veil, Oregon (love that name). This place is beautiful (shocking, I know) but seriously! The scenic route, which is super curvy and treacherous, is full of waterfalls, hiking trails and camping spots. All of this is right off of a major highway so you don’t have to take the scenic route but if you have time, you should. We saw so many falls that aren’t actually visible from I-84 that it’s worth the nausea.

This is roughly 620 feet tall. It claims to be the 2nd tallest year-round waterfall in the states but it is the tallest one in Oregon. We hiked up to the top of Multnomah Falls on our honeymoon and it is a pretty damp trek. It’s only about a 1 mile hike but I wouldn’t suggest it in cowboy boots. It’s quite slippery and if you look over the edge I can pretty much guarantee you’ll envision your untimely death. Due to your lack of proper footwear.

Mom didn’t venture too far. The heights really can get to you. But she liked it on the bridge!

And then things got REALLY crazy!

She’s a great cave monster 🙂 She’d be even scarier if she was in focus!

On our way out we saw Horsetail Falls (along with a whole bunch more) but didn’t stop for many. At the base of Multnomah Falls is a lodge that serves some pretty tasty food and we had eaten TONS! After walking up to the bridge we were tired and this is all we had the energy to look at:

Why do I even type? I should just take pictures of signs that tell you where I’ve been! Boring, I know, but I can’t resist leaving it in here…

This was actually pretty cool! So when I took this picture I was on a little ledge but if I had followed the trail to the ‘beach’ I would have seen this enormous tree with crazy roots that were sticking out in all directions from the sand. There wasn’t a big crowd at this sight but there were still some shoeless kids climbing all over this tree and some dogs splashing in the water. It felt like we had accidentally come across someone’s private pond. Made me want to go swimming 🙂

So, that’s mom’s visit in a nutshell. We also went to this adorable coffee shop that opened up about 2 blocks from our house (www.lattedacoffeehouse.com). We hit it up every morning. It’s kind of my new place to go since I can walk there and they actually have Almond syrup. Best lattes ever!!

Anyway, that’s it for today. I’ve got a cup of red wine (yes, a plastic juice cup) and some chicken nuggets waiting for me so I think I’ll go ahead and get to my heart healthy dinner. Until next time!

Our first trek!

As most of you know, we ended up moving to the Portland/Vancouver area in early June. Well, it took us a while to actually do some sightseeing. The first place we ventured to was the beach. Cannon Beach to be exact. It is the cutest, most picturesque beach town I’ve ever seen and if it wouldn’t cost us over $150, 000 to have a house for 3 months out of the year, we would totally move there. For real. It’s precious! One of the best perks about scoping this place out (which is only an hour and a half west of us, by the way) was that we found this adorable, independent fabric shop on the main strip by the beach called Center Diamond Fabric Store ( http://www.centerdiamond.com ). I had been drooling over some fabric for quite a while when I got the idea in my head to make my own soundproof tiles for my office space. This tiny room I’m typing in also houses my piano, my music stand, and ALL my music. Anyway, I’ve seen some cute ‘art’ that doubles as cheap soundproofing material and the fabric I wanted to use for this project has been really hard to come by. Well, low and behold, little Cannon Beach actually had it in stock! I know, super boring story, but this was probably the most exciting event about our move! How dull am I? So here’s the fabric, and here’s the store (I told you I was going to be posting gratuitous amounts of pictures now that I have a new computer).

So cute!! I also have some coordinating fabric to go with it and to make curtains and stuff. We’ll see when all that happens.

This was such a fun little shop. It makes me want to take a trip to Cannon Beach every time I feel like looking at fabric. Who cares if Portland is only 2 miles away? This comes with the ocean! Right next door was a beautiful blown glass shop. They had some gorgeous pieces and you could also watch the artist work. I want to live here!

And yes, I know my pictures are awful, but I was trying to get these while we were walking so don’t hate.

Off to the beach! First up, the overall view of the beachfront part of town. Not to mention the ridiculous hills in the background. Good grief, just give me a tent and a blanket and I could have spent all of July there.

The main attraction for this particular beach is the big formation called Haystack Rock. If you want some fancy pictures, you can google it. It’s cool. And there a lot of rock formations along this beach, it reminds me a bit of the Maine coast. It’s really pretty and clean. The only drawback is that it’s a bit chilly. And if my family is reading this, I think you would agree with me that when you hear “beach” you think “heat”. I can’t help it, I still want my sand to be hot and my skin to be steaming! BUT this is beautiful. And if you want to smell that salty air and listen to the waves crash, this will do quite nicely. Just wear a sweater 🙂

And *Inhale*……..  Ah. Salty, sea air.

Now on to something awesome and a little creepy at the same time. Mound of starfish, seashells, and oysters. Oh my!

Weird. And a little gross. But from a distance, it’s totally fine! Way less slimey.

Oh! And the most important part! Patrick met his sailor twin there in Cannon Beach. It was  a truly eventful trip. Who knew he had a brother?

As a matter of fact, it was such an exciting encounter (although he was trying to mask his true feelings) that we skipped and danced down the street with an intensity that blew his shorts off. Again, who knew?

Seriously. Who forgets their pants?!?! Granted, these were maybe large enough to fit a 6 year old. But, nevertheless,  it’s awkwardly funny. You know, if you were there… *uncomfortable chuckle*

Good times.

So, I’m hoping to take one more trip there before fall settles in. It’s supposed to be in the upper 80’s/ low 90’s in Vancouver next week (I know, it’s awesome!) and it’s usually about 10 degrees cooler on the coast. I’m thinking that will be the time to go… you should all move here. Convince your in-laws that they need to come too and just move. I mean, I know it’s going to be rainy this winter but it sure beats 112 degrees and months of rainless days. Although, I say all that and yet I kind of miss that scorching heat. We were in Austin this past weekend and it was 107 and I thought it felt awesome! I’m not kidding! It was the epitome of summer and all my great memories of summertime in Midland and Austin came flooding back to me. Patrick’s not too keen on booking more weddings in Texas after this spring but I’m gonna need to feel my skin fry every now and then. Texas folks, here I come! Just let me use your pool.

Whew!

The time has come!

We got both of our computers completely set up today and I can finally upload pictures. Be prepared to be bombarded by limited text and TONS of photos (stories are more interesting if they have visual representation anyway)! When I can figure out how to make a pop-up blog, you’ll never want to leave 🙂

So, first up. The one and only picture of our house:

So cute….

Interior pictures WILL follow (our kitchen is turquoise!) but not until the house is clean. Again. It really has been clean since we moved in, I swear! I just haven’t chronicled the event yet. I’m going to blame it on the fact that it only happens when company is coming, thus the frantic, spaztic, stressed out nature of my brain at the time… someday I will clean it just  for us but, until then, it remains a pigsty unless there is someone we need to impress. Or at least not repulse.

Alright, on to the garden. Our landscaping, as a whole, is lacking. We haven’t really done much so I don’t have sweeping pictures of our backyard yet. That will have to wait till we really work on it this spring. In the meantime, I have been taking pictures of what we do have.

This is  from a new rose bush I planted in our flowerbed. They don’t have the sturdy, traditional petals like the pink rose bush that was already established at our place but they are the most fragrant ones I have ever encountered. Amazing!

This guy decided to erupt with 14 buds from one stalk. It was the most beautiful cluster of neon pink!

While we were aware that we had a rosebush in the backyard, the hydrangeas were a big surprise.

This is one bush in our backyard. We have 2 more giants in the front! This one has multi-colored blooms that range from pink  to blue. It’s beautiful! It’s so nice to have flowers like this that you can just cut and put on your kitchen table. We have had fresh flowers in the house since we moved here. It’s been such a luxury! I plan on expanding our garden so that we can have some diversity but my goal is to have loads of good ‘cut’ flowers so I can experiment with arrangements. Can’t wait!

All right, that’s it for now. I’m extremely sleepy and am therefore lacking wit and interest… I’ll post again soon with pictures of our beach trip!

Anyway, I’m off to school tomorrow for my first day in my new master’s program (who knew I would wish for the days of familiar music theory?). I’m embarrassingly nervous but a little excited too. So here’s to new adventures in a completely foreign subject! GAH!! WHAT WAS I THINKING?!?!?!?!?!

*deep inhale*

I’m fine, I’m fine. Really, it’ll be fine…

New state, new adventures

A word to those who know me:

Yes, I am blogging. And no, I don’t think that I am so important that you will be anxiously anticipating every Times New Roman word that arrives on your softly glowing computer screen. BUT I figured for those who aren’t in daily contact with my mom, this may be something interesting to glance at every few months just to see what’s going on in our distant world.

I only ask one thing of you: don’t judge my poor grammar and excessive use of run-on sentences.

We did it! We made our move official over a month ago and the house still isn’t fully unpacked… it’s amazing how time consuming re-organization can be (or rather, organization in general). Our two bedroom house is getting there though. We have a basement full of boxes that can stay put while I sit on the floor of my little office and wonder “Where did all of this come from and where am I going to put it?” Ah, the joys of hoarding (on a very small scale, mind you). My husband told me I should take before and after pictures of that one room but to be honest, it’s a little embarrassing! I figure the before and after photos of our garden would be more interesting and less humiliating for me. We’ll see if that happens! I’ve been remiss on the ‘before’ photos and the ‘after’ photos don’t have the same impact if you haven’t seen what we had to work with… ‘sigh’. I’m sure there will be something disastrous to showcase at some point. Meanwhile, I have one photo of our house that my old computer deigned to upload (that’s a whole other story). Unfortunately, it only shows the chimney…

By this time next week (I’m crossing my fingers) I’ll be writing on a new computer, and with that working luxury will come a world of photos! Plus, more updates on the adventures we have already had (illustrated of course).

So I leave you with the joy of knowing that it is 76 degrees here, breezy, and sunny. But don’t be jealous my fellow Texans, I’m storing up the sunshine for the 6 months of damp darkness that will inevitably come. And then you can gloat that it’s 76 degrees and sunny where you are! Until next time, enjoy your weekend and that summer heat~

On a side note, I don’t plan on blogging on a daily basis. I’m thinking with my propensity for procrastination, once a week is a much more attainable goal. Plus, I don’t do many interesting things and I seriously doubt a recount of my two cats daily activities qualifies as ‘interesting’.