Summertime in the PDX

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Just a little bike ride

Just a little bike ride

As usual these days, it’s been awhile since my last entry. A lot has happened since Peanut’s passing this spring…vacations, camping, work and, well, summer.

Summer in Portland is frenetic. I’ve come to learn, and not necessarily accept, that summer does not truly begin until the 4th of July. Up until then, the weather still remains partly cloudy, with the occasional sun break and temperatures ranging from the 60-70s. Definitely not splash park or outdoor pool weather, and even camping is risky. A couple years ago, Curt, Laird and I went camping the last week in June and were more than annoyed when it rained the entire night and morning. And so when summer does finally arrive in early July, we (and the rest of Portland it seems) put it into overdrive and cram every activity that can be done in warm weather into two months before the thermostat goes down yet again in September.

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Potato sack races at the campground

At the beginning of June, we headed to Orlando, where we met up with my family who flew from Hawaii. While there, we soaked up the shockingly not-too-humid 80-deg weather and exhausted ourselves on roller coasters, water rides and theme park food. Laird seemed to have a blast at the hotel alone and almost overwhelmed at the sight of Dr. Suessland at Universal Studios. We jumped aboard an airboat to spot gators and headed to the coast to meet up with friends and beach comb for shells. Poor Leini was immediately hit with a stomach bug on arriving in Florida and really only enjoyed the last half of the trip.

Kennedy Space Center

Kennedy Space Center

Hawaii cousins

Hawaii cousins

Crashed on the couch the day after coming home from Florida

Crashed on the couch the day after coming home from Florida

For the 4th of July we finally made it back to Nebraska and Iowa to visit Curt’s family. The day we left for Omaha, little Leini decided she was giving up crawling and began to walk 100%. She hadn’t shown much interest in walking prior, so I thought for sure she would be crawling her way to preschool. Within just a few days, she had the toddling-thing down. No doubt trying to keep up with her brother and tag along with all her cousins. Our 10 days there went quick visiting family and friends and relaxing on the Iowa farm with sweet Grandma Rose (who almost outdrank Curt till the early morning hours!)

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Senibar serves nightcaps until 1 am

Laird enjoying a little treat from Grandpa Paul

Laird enjoying a little treat from Grandpa Paul at the Omaha Zoo

I can walk, no problem

I can walk, no problem

Hangin' with cousins :)

Hangin’ with cousins 🙂

The rest of our summer agenda will likely include a couple more camping trips, bbq-ing and swinging in the hammock. Portland really is the most perfect place to be during the summer.  Please visit us sometime!

Cooling off by the Missouri River

Cooling off by the Missouri River

Just another day in an Iowa cornfield

Just another day in an Iowa cornfield

Blueberry picking

Blueberry picking

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A visit from Aunty and Uncle

It’s been a rather sad week for me.  The kids and I dropped my sister and her fiancé, David, off at the airport on Sunday morning and after a week of fun and adventures, the house now feels rather empty.

Uncle, Aunty and Laird

I think they have very similar features

When they arrived a little over a week ago, we didn’t give them much time to settle after their red-eye flight touched down from Honolulu.  We quickly packed up our camping gear and headed straight for our favorite beach camping spot.  Although it was windier than we would’ve liked it, I think we all enjoyed watching the sunsets on the beach and playing in the sand.  The rest of the week was filled with Laird’s birthday party, preschool day at Oaks Park, blueberry picking, eating at food carts and chasing down candy at the Multnomah Days Parade.  So much activity that you can imagine why I feel a tiny bit blue.

Our beach getaway

Someone has found a buddy

Something about having kids makes me ponder all these things in life that never bothered me before.  Such as, before I had kids it never bothered me that I lived so far away from my family.  I had lived on the mainland for 13 years and not once did I truly consider moving back to Hawaii.  Yet shortly after Laird was born I really began to miss my family.

I think a lot of these thoughts stem from memories of my grandparents when I was a child.  I was lucky to have both sets of grandparents living on Oahu and they were never more than a half hour drive away.  They dropped me off and picked me up from school, cheered me on at my soccer games and we often spent the night at Grandpa’s and Grandma’s.  They were just always there.  And now that L&L are here, it’s hard for me to imagine them not having that same experience of growing up with their grandparents.  Who will be their #1 fans on the sidelines?  Who will be the ones to spoil them with all the things mommy and daddy won’t give them?  Why is Hawaii so da@# expensive?!

It’s always the hardest when my family leaves after visiting or when we return from vacation.  And as the weeks go by, and life continues on, my sadness lessons.   I try to live in the moment and, thankfully, L&L keep me busy enough that I never have the chance to be sad for very long.  Plus, I remind myself that God has a plan for us and is continuously opening and shutting doors along the way.  As much as I miss my family, I’m not ready to leave our friends, church and home that we have here in Portland.

So for now, I just beg my family to come and visit us or take my kids (and, sadly, leave my husband) for 3 weeks to visit them.

The night my sister and David left, Laird said he wanted to say our prayer before dinner and this is exactly how it went: Dear God, thank you for Aunty Steph, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Riding the Tilt-a-whirl at Oaks Amusement Park

Lots of smiles

Uncle and Leini at dinner

Waiting for the Multnomah Days Parade to start.  How does the weather change 40 deg overnight?!!!