Category Archives: adventure

The busy season

I really try not to use the word busy to describe my life in a conversation when someone asks how things are going. Because as a family with two young children, two working parents, a dog, two houses and 12+ acres to take care of, that’s just life. Our reality every day. There is always something that is going on or has to be done. I’m sure much like yours. We are a culture of go-go-go.

But it seems like starting around mid-May life gets kicked up one notch further. This year, despite my best efforts to “keep things simple”, is no different. Well, actually that’s a lie…it is different than previous years but not because we have any less going on…in fact this year we have even more going on than years previous.

Because on top of the Mother’s Day, Andy’s birthday, Rylee’s birthday and end of the school year junk like graduation, classroom clean-up and what not we always inevitably deal with, we’re throwing a memorial weekend camping trip with friends into the mix. Then there’s also Andy’s trip to New York for his best friends wedding and we can’t forget about our family trip to Hawaii for my sisters wedding the week after that. Oh yea, and my sister’s shower/bachelorette party.

I was looking at a calendar the other night and we literally have something going on every single weekend until mid July.

On top of the weekends being booked, I’ve got extra work stuff happening after normal work hours that I’ll being doing on some nights during the week.

So right now? I think I can say we’re busy. But at least we get to top it all off with a week in Hawaii, right!?

So yea…if you need me in the next few weeks and I’m not at work or with my family, I’ll be one of two places…either standing outside at 6 AM with a hot cup of coffee watering my flowers trying to relax before the day even begins, or sitting in a corner making to-do lists like a crazy lady making sure we don’t forget to pack our kids along with our pillows for our camping trip.



This weekend rocked so hard.

Oh man, last week drained me. I was ready for the weekend. And the weekend? Did not disappoint.

Saturday morning was pretty laid back…Andy worked outside for a bit while I hung out with the girls. While Reese napped Rylee & I had a tea part picnic then packed up a real picnic lunch. The whole family piled in the car and headed into town. While I got my hair cut, Andy took the girls to a nearby park where they played. After I was done, they picked me up and we ate lunch out of the back of the car.

After lunch, we headed down to the fairgrounds for the big home & garden show. It was packed! We strolled the aisles looking at ideas for a chicken coop and for our back patio we’ll be putting in this summer. {side note: Can I just point out that this will be the first year that we’re able to spend money on Our OWN house instead of dumping money into our rental! Holy crap we’re excited.}

Apparently the home show was just too much excitement for the girls because they both passed out while we were walking around. I had Reese in the ergo and Andy was carrying Ry. He got the short end of the stick on that deal!


On our way home from the home & garden show, Rylee was chattering away, then out of the blue said, “I’m so glad we’ve had a family day today.”

Back at home Andy went back to work outside while Ry played in the SUN! I tried to pick up the house a bit. After Reese woke up from her afternoon nap, I fed her, then Ry and I loaded back up and hit the road. We picked up my dad then went up to Corvallis for the OSU women’s gymnastics meet. For the first 20 minutes or so, every time the gymnasts did something {anything} she’d stare in amazement and half-whiper “whoaaaa”.




Ry did pretty well, only asking to go home just before the very end. It was about an hour past her bedtime and she was beat. But apparently on the walk out to the car she got a second wind because she was awake the entire 45 minute drive home asking my dad to tell her stories about when he was little. It was just as heart-warming as it sounds.

Yesterday was spent working around the house trying to catch up on everything that didn’t get done on Saturday. Andy worked outside all day {country living folks, the work never ends!} while I took the girls grocery shopping, then came home and busted out 6 loads of laundry, cleaned out the fridge, cleaned the kitchen, made some baby food for the week and a bunch of other random stuff.

We topped off the weekend with enchiladas for dinner and fresh brownies for dessert!

My soul needed the weekend is a serious way…sunshine, family fun mixed with just the right amount of work.

How was your weekend?

Currently v.2

Eating…pizza for dinner tonight. The last few nights I’ve ended up overwhelmed over the tiniest little things and I hate it. So, tonight, as per my sister’s wonderful suggestion, I’m picking up Papa Murphy’s on the way home from work. We never do that…in fact, I think this will be the first time I’ve ever just picked up a pizza on my way home on a whim.

Drinking…a giant Starbucks Iced Coffee. And yes, I realize it was only 30 degrees this morning when I left my house. I don’t care. I didn’t have any coffee beans ground last night when I went to get the coffee pot ready and I wasn’t about to accidentally wake the kids to do so. So instead, I packed the kids up 10 minutes early and hit Starbucks before work.

Listening…to nothing. I really love silence.

Reading…nothing. I just finished the book I was reading {The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks} last night. I’m already wondering what I should pick up next. Shhh…don’t tell anyone, but I think I actually like reading now.

Thinking…about all sorts of things. First being my upcoming girls weekend trip I’ve got planned with these girls. Four weeks and counting down. I need this. I think we all do. The other thing I’m thinking about is last night…when the girls & I got home Rylee noticed the giant puddles in our driveway and asked if she could jump in them. I figured, why the hell not. We both had a blast…her jumping, me watching. It’s making me smile just remembering her giggles.


Linking up with Lindsey over at OtandEt!

Not just dudes turning left.

Up until last weekend, the extent of my NASCAR knowledge came from watching the movies Cars and Talladega Nights. Not kidding one bit.

When Toyota mentioned that they’d like to send some of the TWIN members to a NASCAR Immersion trip in Charlotte, NC I thought “sure, that might be fun” but I had no idea it would be as amazing as it was.

I’ve spent the last 3 days since I’ve been home trying to process the weekend. If you ask me about it, I will go on and on and on so trying to pear it down to a blog post (or two) is giving me some trouble. I don’t know where to start because I want to share all! the! things! Right now. The food. The People. The cars. The sounds. The strategy. The stories. Well, I guess technically, I already shared some about the food but I think you get the point. Every single one of my senses was in overdrive this weekend. {seriously, no pun intended} I feel like every single item on our 2+ day agenda could be its own blog post. But, like my husband, I’m sure you don’t want to hear me/read about me going on and on and on about NASCAR. I get it.

So, with that in mind…let’s see…highlights…


We headed to Joe Gibbs Racing Shop where we got to check out the Fan Fest they were hosting, tour the garage and meet Joe Gibbs himself. We also met JD Gibbs (president of JGR), Darrell Wallace Jr (driver for JGR) and Bryan Cook (Digital Marketing Manager for JGR)

After some lunch and free time, we loaded back up the shuttle and headed to the race track! That night, Toyota driver Joey Logano won and we got to go down to Victory Lane to help celebrate!!


We started the day by touring Michael Waltrip Racing Shop. We got the play-by-play of how they build their cars. Then we got to play around a little. {side note: if you don’t know the story behind Michael Waltrip, I highly recommend his book In the Blink of an Eye. Amazing story.}

(Images courtesy of Toyota Racing)

After that we headed to Darrell Waltrip’s Race Shop {yep, they’re brothers}. Darrell Waltrip was one of Toyota’s first partners in NASCAR. Darrell is one of the NASCAR greats. He was a kick in the pants. We also got to meet his crew chief and his wife. He gave us a crash course in NASCAR 101. He let us climb into his cars. He shared a bit of his testimony with us.

From there we headed down to the racetrack. Hung out in the suite for a few before we hit up the FanZone. We walked around a bit, then went to the Toyota PitPass display where they announced the winner of the Breast Cancer Awareness shirt design contest and presented a check to the Carolina Breast Friends foundation. Then, before going back to the suite to watch the race, we headed into the infield where we toured one of the trucks, hung out on pit road and talked with some women in racing.

Based on our time spent hanging out with the pit crew (AKA: the cute Canadian ex hockey player) of the #15 5-Hour Energy car, I decided that was the car I’d route for that night. And guess what…it won!!

Sunday I flew home. And read this book nearly the entire way. I only have about 10 pages left.

Just like my last Toyota trip, I have come away with so much respect for this company. They really know how to do things right. They’re committed to diversity. Toyota Racing is a seriously impressive division of the Toyota family.

(Image courtesy of Toyota Racing)

ToyotaWomen, left to right: Shannon, Amanda, Stacey, Kristi, Suki, Christen, Mary Lou Hamlin (NASCAR’s Danny Hamlin’s mom), Andi, me, Janice, Maricris, Kitty

I won’t lie, the whole weekend I kept quoting Talladega Nights in my head. I couldn’t resist.

I could go on and on and on about my weekend. And who knows, I may feel the need to share more details on particular parts later on, but for now I will sum it up this way…while I wouldn’t call myself an all-of-a-sudden NASCAR fan, I have a much greater appreciation for the sport and that weekend was a once in a lifetime experience. One I will never, ever forget.

If you ain’t first, you’re last.

Shake -n- Bake baby.

Disclosure: I was selected for participation in the TWIN community through a program with Clever Girls Collective. I did not receive any compensation for writing this post, or payment in exchange for participating. The opinions expressed herein are mine, and do not reflect the views of the Toyota.

Another Quickie

Mind out of the gutter people!

I’m only in the office 3 days this week so my to-do list is packed.

Andy was working down at the rental pretty much all weekend {new renters moving in this weekend! yay?} so it was just the girls and me for the majority of the time. Which, by the way, was fine by me since I’ll be gone this coming weekend and he’ll get them all to himself.

Saturday was a pretty normal weekend day for us. I did my meal planning and made a grocery list then the girls & I hit the grocery store. Got home, had lunch, put the girls down for nap. I washed/folded/put away a lot of laundry this weekend. A friend had come over to help Andy trim the crap out of the apple tree down at the rental so we grabbed pizza for dinner. I freaking love pizza.


Sunday the girls & I met my cousin for coffee and a walk along the river. It was great to get out and enjoy some of the last few days of sun before Oregon weather really sets in and it was really great to spend some time with my cousin! Even though she only lives a few minutes away, life tends to get in the way. {that seems to be the case with most things, right!?} Reese was clearly not impressed with our coffee stop and I’m pretty sure that blueberry muffin went straight to the crazy part of my kid’s brain!


Ry had a blast switching between riding her bike and walking. {country girl still needs some work on her bike path etiquette.} Reese slept the entire time, of course.


When we got back to the Jeep Ry munched on a snack and we continued to visit. Then I fed Reese in the car while Rylee picked all the m&m’s out of her trail mix. {mom of the year right here folks!} After Reese was done, Rylee snapped a few pics with my phone.


Last night I went to town scrubbing down the kitchen sink and counters. Such a rewarding feeling! {holy crap, I’m a boring adult.}

It was nearly long enough, but all in all, a great weekend. Happy Monday!