Spruce Goose

Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum with the folks was such a fun trip! The museum is almost 2 hours away from Portland (if I remember correctly) but the drive is pretty and the destination is amazing! Lucas turned into a 5 year old boy as soon as we walked through the door. Even since we moved here he has wanted to go see the Spruce Goose and we finally made it!

IMG_2426_1

IMG_2423_1

Almost all of the workers at this museum are volunteers who work there because they LOVE planes. While we were admiring this plane (above) an old man came up to us and without being prompted told us the entire history of the plane and how it has been used. We also learned that this and many other planes in the museum are in working condition and are for sale. If you have a couple million dollars laying around you can use it here. I love people like this old man who live to share their passion with others.
IMG_6124_1

My mom calls my dad a “motor head” because he loves anything with an engine and usually knows exactly how it works. Here he is passing along the information :)IMG_6128_1

IMG_6163_1

This plane is SO BIG. You have to see it for yourself.IMG_6129_1

IMG_6130_1

There is a tv outside of the Spruce Goose with a movie playing about the creation of the plane and Howard Hughes, the man who was tasked with the project. So naturally we had to get our photo taken with Howard. We learned so many cool facts about this plane! We already knew it was made entirely out of wood but we didn’t know that they kept tons of beach balls on the inside to help it float. Also, Hughes was a clean freak and made all project workers wear cotton booties so the plane wouldn’t get dirty.
IMG_2496_1

IMG_6144_1

IMG_6149_1IMG_6162_1

IMG_6169_1

Mom and Big Tuna Visit Portland!

We picked up my parkents from the airport on Friday and took them straight to a dinner reservation at our favorite pizza place, Apizza Scholls. This was just the first stop on our weekend food tour : ) Saturday morning we stopped by Screen Door to put our names on the waiting list then used up our hour wait by exploring Olympia Provisions. We left with mini breakfast meat pies and saved them for Sunday morning since we were on our way to stuff ourselves with southern food. The chicken and waffles were amazing as usual but this time we tried the bananas foster and almost died of happiness. We ate it so fast I couldn’t even get a picture of it. If you go for brunch you have to try it! IMG_2409_1

IMG_2415_1

IMG_2416_1

IMG_2420_1

We had to walk off brunch so we explored the Saturday market and found several impressive street performers including the man below. We were so full from brunch we skipped lunch, went to the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum and caught an early dinner at Dar Essalam. Moroccan food is always a good idea.
IMG_6122

To celebrate Lucas’ birthday my parents made aebleskivers, sausage and hash browns for our friends. Shayla’s birthday is close to Lucas’ so we put some candles in an aeble and sang to them. Haha it’s pretty clear they were thrilled about it : )IMG_2429_1

IMG_2437_1I’m sad you could only stay for 2 days but so happy you came to visit! Please come back any time : )

Oscars Party 2015

I’ve never been one to look forward to the Oscars, I usually just google the dresses the next day, but I can’t say no to a party. The Garfields are big movie critics and the perfect people to host an Oscars party! They provided score cards for guests to predict winners, amazing food and a red carpet entrance that I failed to take a photo of. The selfie-stick photo booth was my only contribution. I made it mostly because I wanted to make the props with my new silhouette machine : ) In hindsight I should have made the backdrop big enough for 14 people, not just 2 haha.IMG_2245_1IMG_2242_1Desserts are always a hit but this bruschetta (made by Kelsey) tasted like heaven. I could have eaten the whole plate myself!IMG_2251_1

IMG_2258_1

IMG_2267_1

IMG_2272_1

IMG_6098_1

IMG_6103_1

IMG_6108_1

Japanesse Gardens

IMG_2001_1

The best kept secret about the Portland area is the county library cultural pass. Like most people, we LOVE exploring touristy places but hate paying the entrance fees. Each county library system has their own list of museums/sights which you can check out a cultural pass for to get in for free! Some passes are more popular than others so if you want a popular pass you have to reserve it ahead of time (more on that later). For the Japanese Gardens we just walked into the library the day we wanted to go and the pass was available : ) With or without a pass I think the Japanese Gardens deserve a visit. However, the admission price is $12/adult.IMG_6001_1 IMG_6006_1 IMG_6010_1 IMG_6013_1 IMG_6023_1 IMG_6025_1 IMG_6033_1 IMG_6036_1 IMG_6037_1 IMG_6045_1 IMG_2005_1

January Eats

IMG_1605_1Por Que No? for Alyssa’s birthday dinner! (don’t worry, the selfie stick obsession wares off soon… haha)
IMG_1606_1

IMG_1615_1

New Years Eve dinner at Pizza Smith! We spent the rest of the night playing games at a friend’s house and were in bed just before midnight. #signsofaging
IMG_1874_1

Kelsey made the most delicious carnitas tacos for her birthday dinner. I was sad she had to cook on her birthday but happy that she made the carnitas because we would have messed it up for sure! She got the recipe from THIS cookbook.IMG_1981_1While our husbands were out of town on the Precoa recruiting trip we tried a new restaurant downtown. This place is called The American Local and I highly recommend it! (not pictured: the best brussel sprouts I’ve ever had, mismatched silverware and tiny water glasses.)

IMG_1633_1This clearly is not a restaurant but I have no where else to include this gem. I made everyone take a selfie stick photo during the first marketing department meeting of the year because, why not?

1/16th of Snow

Lucas started skiing, like his brothers, when he was 4 or 5 years old. He loves it. I tried it once or twice in 6th grade. And I don’t really care for the snow. But Martha, my mother-in-law, gave me all of her ski gear so I agreed to a ski lesson from Handsome. For 95% of the day I LOVED it! I enjoyed getting to glide on top of the snow instead of touching it.

We prepared ourself for a rainy winter here in Portland but were surprised with an abnormally mild winter. Which means less snow for Mount Hood. The mountain received 1/16th of the normal snowfall this winter. Luckily they keep the bunny hill covered so the terrain we explored was fine and avoiding the dry spots was good for my agility training. The season’s lack of snow was unfortunate for the advanced skiers (Lucas).IMG_1669_1

IMG_1674_1

At the end of the day we decided to try a new run before heading home. My legs were super tired but I thought it was worth a try. I thought wrong. The run we chose was a harder and longer route than we thought we’d agreed to. I may or may not have cried the whole way down…

IMG_1684_1

One Saturday we decided to ride our bikes to a yoga class at our gym. Since I had recently acquired a selfie-stick and brought it everywhere, I made Lucas take this photo with me at a stop sign. I’m glad I did because this is the only photo we have to capture the memory of us choosing to ride our bikes on a busy road in 37 degree fog at 9:30 in the morning and me crashing. The photo below is one of two bruises the crash gave me.

IMG_1626_1

IMG_1648_1

A random weekend in January was sunny and fairly warm so we used the new tennis rackets we were given for Christmas. Thanks mom, we love them!
IMG_1935_1

Game Night

After the company-wide service activity and meeting we held a big Game Night! Unfortunately we had to keep most of the lights on so the dealers could see the cards clearly or the pictures would have looked cooler. Even though these pictures are lame this event was a great success! Everyone who attended had dinner, gambled fake money to win tickets for real prizes and had a blast cheering on each other! I highly recommend Wild Bills if you want to have a casino party. Their dealers were so funny, patient with beginners, encouraging and knowledgable. I was one of several unexperienced gamblers and they walk you through each game step by step without dulling the game for the card sharks. Many of the dealers were retired folk who took this job as something fun to do in the evenings and they are such fun people, I’m glad they came to our party!

IMG_1924_1

IMG_1906_1

IMG_1908_1

IMG_1909

IMG_1917_1

The President of loves to play strategy games so we offered people cash if they could beat him at connect four. I don’t know how many lucky people walked away with $20 but I know there were a few!IMG_1920_1

In attempts to increase party excitement (mostly to encourage people to check out the event instead of going straight home) we gave everyone a code to try on this briefcase lock. The winning code unlocked $300 cash! We originally fanned the cash out and it looked amazing but everyone picked up the briefcase and moved it around so by the time it was opened it was just a pile of money.

IMG_1903_1

The photo booth was a huge hit!

15753967754_96f5f1cf2a_h

15756405633_e83662da8f_k

15756414713_ff90717959_h

16190188379_370ece8b55_h

16190197249_c86167cb19_k

16350416976_11a8825843_k

16374685311_47c541d776_k

16376389935_9c85c6d7b5_h

16376393545_e08bd75bb1_h
IMG_1961_1Unlike latex balloons, these metallic ones stay plump forever! I didn’t want to throw them away after the party so I added them to the front desk and they looked just like this for over a week!

PWCL

In mid-November a coworker and myself created a gratitude tree by our front desk. The events team wanted to celebrate Thanksgiving in the office by prompting people to reflect on what they are grateful for. The tree we painted started bare but filled in with gold leaves throughout the month. It became a conversation piece for coworkers. Leaf listings included everything from, “My sealed juvenile record” to “My parents’ Netflix account” and “Family, Grace and Hope.”

GratitudeTree

IMG_1455_1_1

After Thanksgiving our gratitude tree turned into the giving tree. I left up the gold leaves and added red ornaments to kick off our annual service activity. Each ornament had a wish list item written on it and people could volunteer to donate items by taking the corresponding ornament off of the tree.As people brought in their donations we traded their red ornaments for green leaves with with their names. It was neat to watch the color of the tree change through the process.  All of these donations were collected to support the Portland Women’s Crisis Line.

PWCL is an organization which helps victims of domestic and sexual violence. Their phone line takes over 22,000 calls every year and offers emotional support, transportation/shelter vouchers, clothing, food vouchers and anything else they have to give to help individuals escape dangerous situations and get back on their feet.

IMG_1883_1

We were overwhelmed with how many donations we received! Clearly our two large gold boxes were not big enough to hold everything : )

Unfortunately there are only a few local shelters and PWCL has a limited amount of motel vouchers and many of the victims they help are homeless or become homeless when they leave their unsafe home so they need supplies to keep them warm on the streets. In addition to collecting clothing and enough hygiene items to create 75 personal kits, Precoa purchased hundreds of yards of fleece and as a company we created 120+ warm blankets.

IMG_1653_1

IMG_1900_1

Kind cards of encouragement was not on the wish list but I felt like it was a small source of hope we could add to our donations. This fine group wrote over 100 anonymous cards that will be given to men, women and children escaping scary situations. Although a blanket will keep you warm, I think the tangible evidence that someone in the world cares about you can be extremely comforting. I hope whomever receives these cards feels the love that was put into writing them! IMG_1695Thanks to this group we cut all of the bolts of fleece into blanket size pieces in just over an hour! This would have taken me a week. Thank you!

IMG_1889

IMG_1892

IMG_1893

IMG_1894

We used offices, conference rooms, the break room, hall ways and even the small pathways between cubicles to fit all of our blanket-making stations.

IMG_1988_1

The women that run PWCL are incredible people with huge hearts and it was such a pleasure getting to know them.

Tyron Creek State Park

It’s embarrassing that a state park is so close our apartment and it took us 6 months to find it. Better late than never! There were so many short trails that web together we could have explored for hours but we started in the late afternoon and just stayed until the sun went down. IMG_5931_1

IMG_5933_1

IMG_5941_1

IMG_1941_1

IMG_1949_1

IMG_5950_1

IMG_5952_1

IMG_5970_1

IMG_5958_1

IMG_5972_1

IMG_5986_1

IMG_5996_1

This covered area is near the parking lot and has a great view into the trees. Lucas and I sat here and talked forever.

Multnomah Falls

Starting in January our church time switched from 10:00 am (the perfect time!) to 12:30 pm. We decided on the first Sunday to see how much we could accomplish before church and ended up driving to the Columbia River Gorge (1+ hour each way), hiking to 2 waterfalls, taking the scenic highway to the Vista House and returning with just enough time to shower and run to church. It was wonderful.

Multnomah Falls

Multnomah is the tallest waterfall in Oregon (611 feet) and the second tallest perennial falls in the United States. (or so I’ve been told) It is also one of the most accessible because the base is roughly 100 yards from a parking lot. The hike up to the bridge is a nice half mile stroll but you can get to the very top if you commit to 2 miles of switchbacks. We’ve only been to the bridge : )

IMG_1778_1

IMG_1793_1

IMG_1801_1

IMG_1785_1

IMG_1804_1

IMG_1805_1

Elowah Falls

We originally wore rain jackets because the weather forecast called for light showers but they proved useful when Elowah Falls drenched us! This was a fun, fairly short hike to a beautiful 213 foot waterfall. …we got a little lost on the way back and had to off road through the brush. Oops.

A perfect Sunday morning adventure.
IMG_1812_1

IMG_1815_1

IMG_1816_1

IMG_1824_1

IMG_1830_1

IMG_1839_1

The Vista House

Until this mini trip Lucas and I had never been to Crown Point to see the Vista House. We actually didn’t know what it was. Turns out… this building is a memorial for Oregon pioneers and has the most beautiful view. Hopefully next time we come the sky will be clear and the view will be even better!

IMG_5914_1

IMG_1851_1

IMG_1843_1

IMG_5913_1