The holidays are so much more fun when you have kids! We were happy to kick off the 2012 holiday season in October with heading to the pumpkin patch to pick a couple pumpkins, carving said pumpkins and taking Evelyn Trick or Treating.

Our little Jessie the cowgirl

We even ran into some friends…

Over the past few week, we have had oodles of visitors coming to see us in our new home! It has been such a blessing to see everyone and fortunately Bellingham has been having one of it’s nicest summers in recent history. We’ve been having a blast.

Our first visitor was my best friend, Jess! She was up in Washington for a baby shower and tacked on a few extra days to come and spend some solo time with Evelyn and I. We had such an amazing time together, chatting, drinking coffee, running, exploring Bellingham, having Happy Hour and chatting some more. It was amazing to see her and have that time together.


Next up we had a visit from my mom and Helen. They made the long drive from Bend to see us and spend a few days en route to British Columbia to visit some of Helen’s family. Evelyn loved spending time with her Oma and Nana and getting to eat lots of meals out in Bellingham!


Having just relocated back to British Columbia, our dear Canadian friends from Regent College days are now within driving distance to Bellingham! We could not be happier about this! Shelley, Levi, Avery and Ella and made the drive (which was supposed to be 4 hours and turned into much longer with a 4 year old and 10 month old, but they made it!) over the border to see us for a weekend. Spending time with them is so easy and comfortable, it is always such a joyful time together. We enjoyed some ice cream and time at the park during the day and evenings were spent chatting and game playing (adults only!). It was perfect and far too short!


My sister, Mandy, was our next visitor. She drove up from Portland to spend a few days with us. Auntie Mandy is so much fun and of course I love spending time with my sis. We had a very relaxing and refreshing time together!


The Hernandez clan were next up on the schedule and we couldn’t wait! It is always so wonderful spending time with Derek’s sister and family. The cousins love playing together and the adults love relaxing with a cold beer and conversation. Richie (aka Tio) was kind enough to give of us all haircuts while he was here, including Evelyn’s very first haircut! Thanks for visiting, we had a perfect time as always!


My mom came back for another visit and this time she brought my dad along with her! It was a short but sweet visit. My dad just loves being a papa and Evelyn loved spending time with him. And of course it was quite handy having them here to babysit for our anniversary date!


Yesterday we had the honor of having some special visitors from Vancouver come spend the day with us in Bellingham! We went to church with Fran and Andrew during our Regent years and were in a home group with them. They became very dear friends during those years. They now have a daughter, Anica, who is 6 months older than Evelyn. We loved having Fran and Anica down to visit for the day. The girls played great together and Fran and I got to spend lots of time catching up.

That concludes our visitors thus far. Tomorrow my sister, Annie, is coming to visit for a couple days before her and I head off to Seattle for the weekend. Then I know October will hold at least a couple more visitors. I think this is more visitors than we ever had in Vancouver, Scotland and Bend combined! What fun!

Last week, Derek and I celebrated our NINTH wedding anniversary. I can’t believe it’s been 9 years, though looking back, it sure has been a fun ride with so many adventures.

My parents were in town visiting and Derek got off work early which created the perfect opportunity for a special date night!

Derek arrived home from work to pick me up, and gave me some beautiful flowers!

Then we snapped a few photos of just us, and were on our way!

We headed out to a couple local wineries (Vartanyan Estate Winery and Mount Baker Vineyards). It was a gorgeous afternoon/evening and wine tasting was the perfect choice!

After much wine and a great recommendation, we ended up at Milano’s Italian Restaurant in Glacier, Washington where we enjoyed a lovely dinner together reminiscing  about the past 9 years together.

Last month, I had the amazing opportunity to reunite with some of my nearest and dearest girlfriends from Vancouver days. You may remember we did a similar trip 2 years ago. We are on track to do these reunions every 2 years. Grace and Shelley did great updates on their blogs if you want to check them out.

Shannon, Jess, Shelley and I all arrived in Boise to meet up Grace and the fun began!

We promptly headed to Happy Hour at a local Boise restaurant and I am pretty sure we never stopped chatting. It was so refreshing and real to be with these amazing friends.

After one night at Grace’s house, we packed up van and headed  two hours North to Grace’s family cabin on Warm Lake.

We arrived at the cabin and the relaxation began!

We spent 3 glorious days together floating, drinking, cooking, eating, hiking, laughing, talking and of course, dancing


Words can’t really describe the unique and genuine relationship I have with these friends. I miss these ladies on a daily basis and I am so grateful that we were all able to be together, even if just for a short time. I look forward to many more reunions for years and years to come.

Well, we now officially reside in Washington! We’ve been here 2 1/2 weeks now and honestly it feels like we’ve been here for months. We love it here and are settling in quite quickly.

The packing, the loading of the moving truck and the long drive North with a busy toddler all went better than expected, it was flawless and successful, however upon our arrival to Bellingham things all began to spiral downhill quickly. The house that we rented ahead of time ended up not working out and we had to bail on our lease. So about 3 hours after our arrival we were essentially homeless and at a complete loss. Luckily we had some very gracious friends who said we could stay with them for the week until we figured something out. Despite their kindness, we were devastated. After scouring Craigslist and every local Property Management website, moving all our stuff into a storage unit, finding a place then not getting our application in soon enough, we decided that maybe trying to sort out some kind of temporary housing would be best. The next morning, the perfect house suddenly showed up online. We called immediately and were able to view it right away. The owner/landlord was awesome, the place was new and lovely and the best part was that it was vacant and ready to be moved into immediately! 2 days later we had all of our stuff out of storage and into our new (much better than the first place) home!

In spite of our rocky start, we truly are enjoying here. Derek is now almost 2 weeks into his new job and loving every minute. Evelyn is growing more and more comfortable in our new home and is a happy girl. Ev and I are enjoying our little routine being at home and getting out and about exploring all the fun things to do in our new city.

A pond in our neighborhood. Evelyn loves throwing rocks into it and looking for ducks.

Boulevard Park on the water. Amazing!

Farmers Market

Berry picking

Whatcom Museum – Family Interactive Gallery

Enjoying our backyard

We have also been blessed with exceptional weather and have been outside, in shorts, most days. It’s been lovely. Okay, come visit us!

In just two short weeks we will be leaving our home State and the place we have called home for the past 2 years and heading North for our new adventure and new life in Washington. We are beyond excited as everything is falling into place perfectly. We found a place to live, Derek has an official start date at his new job, rental truck is booked and boxes are being packed.

Meanwhile, at home, we have been attempting to potty train Miss Ev and she’s almost got it down! We’ve also been enjoying time with friends, exploring Central Oregon and soaking up the sunshine (finally).

This afternoon, my sister is throwing us a going away BBQ and we are looking forward to enjoying good beer and food with friends. Should be the perfect send off for us. And tomorrow we will celebrate Derek’s 3rd Father’s Day just the 3 of us.

Let the packing continue…

From Oregon to Washington we will go! Not a far move, but a move nonetheless. D and I were actually talking about how this will likely be our easiest move yet. No borders to cross, no 10 hour plane rides, just pack up a U-Haul and drive there in 1 day. Woohooo!

So yes, we are moving to Washington! Derek has taken a job a Logos Bible Software as a Contributing Editor on the Bible Reference Team (in the publications department). This is so exciting for us and Derek keeps saying, “I can’t believe I will be getting paid for doing this.” We went to visit back in March and it felt like home almost immediately. Maybe because it’s still in the NW and maybe because due to it’s proximity to Vancouver, Canada, but either way it just felt right.

We are not quite sure when we will go but sometime in the next month or two is a pretty sure bet. We can’t wait to embark on this new adventure.

I almost forgot to do a blog post about this! Evelyn’s 2nd birthday has now come and gone, I can hardly believe it I have a 2 year old! She’s such a big, happy girl.

Friday, March 30th, was her actual birthday and we enjoyed a nice mellow day together and gave her our gift first thing in the morning and then we had a great breakfast out with my family.



My sweet birthday girl

Out to lunch on her bday

blow out the candle

The next day, Saturday, we celebrated her birthday with a party! We had Evelyn’s little friends and our family over to celebrate. We even had some come in from out of town. It was a great celebration.


Decor & food

Decor & food

Decor & food

Sonny & Jackson



blow out the candle




Gift time

more gifts





Elmo leg warmers

It was such a special day with wonderful people. Happy birthday, sweet Evelyn!

Ev’s 2nd birthday is just weeks away, I can hardly believe it! Thanks to the world wide web and my good friend, Pinterest, I have been inspired to do lots of things myself in preparation for her Sesame Street Themed birthday. Here is what I have been up to…

First we had to get a picture of her for the invitation. This was quite a challenge and after several attempts, we just had to settle on one we were “happy enough” with and that also fit the invitation properly.

And the finished product:

Next up, the birthday banner. I am still working on getting the final product done, but I have to say that without my moms Cricut machine, I could not have accomplished this. It’s amazing!

And my final project (so far…certainly not my last) is a craft project for the kids. It’s a “make your own elmo face” kind of thing that I intend to affix to a large popsicle stick and have set up at a table for the kids to glue together.

Stay tuned to see what else I come up with!

This weekend, Evelyn and I decided to take advantage of some chilly winter days, stay inside and make some homemade playdough!

Making Playdough Ingredients

Making Playdough

Making Playdough

Making Playdough “What’s next, mom?”

Making Playdough

Making Playdough Purple playdough!

Making Playdough

Making Playdough Successful playing!

Making Playdough

Playdough Recipe:

2 Cups Flour

1 Cup Salt

1 Tbsp oil

1 tsp Cream of Tarter

2 Pkgs Kool-aid

2 Cups Boiling water

Boil water. Mix all other ingredients together in a large bowl.
Add boiling water, stir and knead.