I don't know what to write about....

It's been so long. I haven't had that much to update you on lately.

We've been less adventurous this past year, going on less hikes, fewer weekend trips, less wineries and breweries. Though we prefer to be more active and experience new things, I've realized that we've settled in to life here in Portland. This is our home. Our adventurous times look different because we are spending more quality time with friends, playing disc golf for hours, spending alone time in our cozy apartment.

Portland is beautiful, and we still have a ton to see, but we have time. I'm glad to be here, comfortable and content. I think I've worn my raincoat less than 3 times this month... not sure if I'm just used to the rain or if it's been raining less.

Here are a few things that have been on my mind:

-Stuff: why do we need it and why am I so good at accumulating it? I know why; I'm a collector, and I'm sentimental about things. But, I've been realizing more lately that they are just things. Heath and I are too practical to get rid of anything we know we could use in the future, but I've been doing a lot of cleaning out and it feels good.

-Ben Affleck: I was a little disappointed when Argo won the Oscar for best picture... I wished one of the smaller movies like Silver Linings Playbook or Amour would have take it. But I really liked his speech, especially when thanking his wife: "I want to thank you for working on our marriage for 10 Christmases. It’s good, it is work, but it’s the best kind of work, and there’s no one I’d rather work with." So true.

-Goodwill Donation Centers: Recently, I have been going to these centers where you buy by the pound... around $1.59... with my friend Meg. We've mainly been searching for baby clothes for her little girl (come soon E!!! Can't wait to meet you), but I've also found Lucy yoga pants, nice sweaters, and cloth diapers that look like new. I do love a good deal.

 -Valentine's Day: Heath and I choose not to celebrate this holiday.

-Our next purchase: the Ikea Poang Chair. We've been wanting it for a while... just waiting for the right one to come up on Craigslist. It's nice and modern, and will go nicely with the purple couch.
-Sewing: I've been doing a lot of sewing these days. I'll post more on this later.

 -2 weddings and a baby: Coming in the next 2 months. One baby making her appearance in a few weeks, making our sweet friends parents. One wedding on my birthday. And one wedding in May that my awesome husband happens to be officiating. Looking forward to this spring for sure.

Until next time...



Heath and I have been married for three years. Though there is no rush to having kids, they (our future children) are on my mind for the better part of my day. While thinking about them, I'm faced with ideas on how to raise them, who to surround them with, experiences to diversify their lives, ect.

And then I think about us, Heath and I, and the things we could start doing differently right now. I know one can never be fully prepared for babies, just like one can never be prepared for marriage; but if we have these ideas, why not try to implement them now?

I just started reading this:
I've talked about reading this book for some time, and I wish I had a long time ago... then, it might have been harder to read, more challenging, made me feel more uneasy. Now? It's like the author has been in my head for months, writing out my exact thoughts and feelings on church, consumerism, food...

I think her words are especially hitting me hard in this season. Christmas is kind of a hard time for me, receiving so much when many around me have so little. It makes me sad actually. No, I am not a scrooge, I do not mind listening to Christmas music if that's what you enjoy... I enjoy twinkle lights and peppermint sticks. But I'm also very aware and cautious of it all. I just don't want to miss the point of why we celebrate Christmas every year.

So.... This year I decided to have a handmade Christmas. I loved making clutches for the girls in my family this year, and I had an even better time giving them away.

I also made Landon (my cousin's son) a color book... and let's just be honest... I almost kept it for myself. :)

Crafting my gifts this year is one little way to simplify and refocus myself this holiday season. There are basic things in my day-to-day life that I've changed as well: making my own laundry soap, deodorant, basic cooking ingredients... but I'm always open to more suggestions.

How do you simplify? Have you read 7? Have you done anything differently since reading it?

Just some thoughts.



Well friends, we'll start off with sad news first. . . I only have 3 more weeks with the kids. Their parents decided to send them to a year-round school, which takes place M-F 8:30-3:00. So, my help is no longer needed.

For one year and 8 months, I have been with Tristan and Trinity. We've been through barely walking to running, cribs to big girl beds, potty training, more potty training, writing single letters to full names, countless play-dates. . . so many things. I tried to provide them with new experiences to grow and learn. And in turn, I learned a great deal from them. They are just little people who love me so much, and I love them.

Saying good-bye to my everyday life with them is going to be tough.

Oh, I love them so much.

It's not entirely sad though. Nannying full-time has it's high points, but definite lows as well. Those lows have been wearing on me, and I'm pretty sure this change needed to happen anyway. :) Heath will be graduating in August (woohoo!!!) so we're both on the job hunt. I know I want to work with kids... that's all I know for now. 
In other news, my sweet cousin just welcomed her first baby! I could not be more happy for her, and wish I could be there to help/enjoy baby Landon. Heather, I think a Northwest trip is a must for you in the coming months! I don't think I can wait until Thanksgiving!
Isn't he precious?!
Heath was playing basketball on Tuesday night and hurt his ankle. I thought it was a break, but luckily it's just a high ankle sprain. I have a picture, but I thought I would spare you. You're welcome. 

We have crutches and an ankle brace, so he should be fine in the next few weeks. 
Heath and I aren't fast decision makers, especially when it comes to larger, more expensive purchases. But several Saturdays ago in Ikea, we almost bought this:
We didn't, deciding that it would be best to think about it first; the incentive lasts until mid-June so we've got time! And then, I found out I would be losing my job in a month. 

Ah man! We really wanted that lilac sofa... a lot. Ikea, please hang on to this sofa for a while. We'll buy it someday.  
You should listen to this. I've been fond of Andrew Bird for the past few months. #10 is my favorite. Enjoy!

Do you have any music suggestions? 


Phone Photos

We've had lots of sleepy days . . .

Gazing at Mt. Hood every chance I get (which is becoming rather rare these days... you can see the outline behind the 3 power lines, bottom right)

Runny noses and terrible head colds . . .

Crafty Saturdays, making a perpetual birthday calendar. It's useful and looks like art . . .

Box hats and puzzle pieces everywhere . . . (I love that they love puzzles; they are kind of my favorite!)


Flubber making and tea drinking . . .

And taking in the sunny days when they come. 

I am incredibly thankful for my job and these kiddos. Can't imagine life without them actually. 
Trying to take each day in as it comes. 

Until next time . . .


If you were to visit us in the winter...

We would take you on a few hikes on the coast (make sure to bring your hiking shoes... it will be muddy)

We would share several cups of tea at the Pied Cow, or coffee at Stumptown. 

We would go snowshoeing around Mt. Hood... $13 for a day of fun.

We would escape to Seattle, or maybe Canada (I have yet to go... soon, I hope).

We would watch sunsets on the coast, and run on the rocky shore to escape high tide. Hannah K can tell you all about this. :)

I'll be honest, Heath and I don't do a lot of exciting things during the winter. It's usually cold (40-50), rainy, and mildly windy. Winter activities are a little out of our price range, and we don't own chains for the car. 

Most of the farmer's markets are closed January through March, and the Saturday Market is the same. 

But, this allows for soooo much more quality time with us!!! We (meaning I) love a good coffee shop. Exploring Powells is the best. Breweries are plentiful and provide great samplers. You can walk around with us in the rain... without umbrellas. That's right, no umbrellas

There's plenty of good food. We have great friends. We enjoy card games, puzzles, having fun. 

Have I sold you yet? 

We also enjoy exploring coastal towns. Like Canon Beach... home to Haystack Rock, which can be seen in the opening scene of The Goonies.

We would have a lot of fun. I can promise you that.

Until next time.


Tire Swing

This was a good day. 

Our first vineyard wine tasting, a picnic lunch, tire swinging, and movie watching. 

I remember laughing a lot that day. Appreciating my relationship with Heath, having our money stretch farther than normal (we had several groupons), and loving the beauty of the Northwest. 

We haven't gone to many other vineyards since. We'll just have to change that this year. . .  though I don't think any of them will be as cool as this one with the tire swing. 

Heath is coming with me to work tomorrow. I always love those days because we get to have a "trial-run" of how we'll work together as parents. It's usually helpful and always a lot of fun!

--Tristan and I were discussing what we could do with Mr. Newton on Friday. Eventually, he asked me if we had kids, implying that he wanted to have a play-date with them too. I replied "No, not yet". To which he responded, "Well. . . I can be your kid, Katie! I can stay with you guys 3 days a week, and with mommy and daddy the rest. I just love you four so much!" (referring to his mommy and daddy, and Mr. Newton and I) Ha! Tristan definitely makes my days interesting.--

More on nannying and the kids later. I honestly feel like I have kids, and just get to have quiet dinners and full nights of sleep. You know, it's the perfect equation really. ;)


Did you know...

a. Cherry trees have started to bloom here. Unfortunately, it's the beginning of February. The weather has been unseasonably dry and warm... not that I'm complaining, I'm just hoping our spring and summer flowers and berries will come in as they should.

b. Speaking of berries, my favorite thing to do up here is go berry-picking. Whether I'm with the kids, a friend, or by myself, I seem to find a lot peace at the farms. I am thankful for the farmers who work so hard to provide quality, reasonably priced products ($1.50 per lb. of raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, or marionberries).... mmmm I can't wait for June. (I tried to freeze several pounds of berries this summer, but I ate all of them before they could make it into my freezer.)

c. I've taken 11 baths within the last 6 days. Let's just say I've been a little under-the-weather, but I'm finally getting better!!! Heath hasn't picked up this terrible cold yet... keep your fingers crossed.

d. Putting together my mom's book for Christmas was one of my favorite things. Receiving emails from her friends (really, I consider most my friends too!), reconnecting with people I hadn't talked to in years, and being reminded constantly that we are loved and supported was an immense blessing. thank you for contributing.

e. I chose to focus on three activities for the new year. Running, Reading, and Cleaning. I recognized I wasn't very intentional with my alone time last year for many reasons, so I wanted to concentrate on things that would make me feel better and be better. Reading is my favorite thus far. I'll be running a 1/2 marathon in July.

f. Kisses from Katie was such a beautiful story. I literally couldn't put the book down. It made me aware of the types of things and people Heath was surrounded by during his time in Africa. Loved it, highly recommend.

g. I'm a non-fiction kind of gal. I don't mind if it's heavy or sad, I just want to be able to understand the majority of what I'm reading :) Got any suggestions for me???

h. Trinity (2 yrs. old) and I were talking about our nearing play-date today, and I asked her if she was excited about playing with Ellie... "No thank you, Katie. I just want to be with you. You's my favorite."

i. Most of you are probably aware of this already, but I am a Pinterest fan. I'm on pinterest more than facebook for sure. The creativity and visual interest bring me in every time.

j. Heath is awesome. How lucky am I to have such a sweet husband who works to understand me and grow with me. I am really thankful for his strength and love for me.

k. Tristan refers to Heath as "that big, tall, silly guy". The kids love Heath so much and they've only been around him a handful of times. I guess they think he's pretty great too.

l. I am currently reading The Happiness Project. A friend gave it to me to read one year ago. I was not in a place where I was capable or ready to hear it's message. Now, I am pleased to say that I am capable and very ready to work on being happy and growing daily. And that feels good.

Obviously I've missed writing on this; I have more to say, but I don't want to scare you away. I'll have letters m-z another day.

What brought a smile to your face today?


Things I'm thinking about...

1. I'm sorry for leaving you for so long. I know my previous "Collections" post was interesting, but not 2 months worth of interesting. :)

2. Yesterday I heard thunder and immediately stopped what I was doing... NW Oregon is not often graced by thunderstorms. Let's just say I haven't heard thunder for a whole year. I was a great treat to sit on our porch and listen, a nice reminder of home.

3. Since April I have had dizzy spells on the barge (at work). This concerned me for a while until I realized it's boating season and the barge is slightly affected by wake caused by the hundreds of boats that pass daily. (just so you know, it didn't take me long to figure that out!)

4. The farmer's markets have been open for the past two months and we are soooo happy to see them again. I'm taking the kids to Sauvie Island later this week to the "you-pick" farms. Due to all the rain (it's been a long spring), all the crops are running several weeks behind, but hopefully there will be some strawberries to pick!

5. I have lots of pictures to share, but first I have to figure out the new blogger. Lots of things have changed during my break from the blog. Pictures include: cute kids, recent hikes, friend getaway over Memorial Day weekend, our apartment, Mom, Aunt Lynn, and Heather's visit, and recent crafts. Stick around, they'll be posted soon...

6. Recently, I've been thinking a lot about our future kiddos. I attribute most of this obsession to the line of work I'm in. I love my job, feel exhausted at the end of everyday, but it is completely worth it. We have names for two of our kids; Heath thinks we have three, but I am strongly opposed to naming one of our kids "Flora". Please back me up on this people. We don't plan on having kids anytime soon, it just excites me to think about what our future might look like in the next 5 years.

7. My family has gone through lots over the past several months, and I'm so glad I'm on this side of it now looking back. There have been and will be major changes, and it's hard to picture what my time will look like when I go home for Christmas this year. It will also be the first time to visit Tennessee without my granddaddy Daniels around. I have missed his laugh lately...

8. This can be held accountable for most of my depressed feelings lately.... we had our first 80 degree day this weekend, and have had only a handful of days in the 70s this whole year. Thus, the sun has not been around for a while. Not trying to complain... I still LOVE living here and am blessed to be surrounded by beautiful scenery daily. We are now recognizing though, the importance of a Hawaiian getaway, which we will be taking Spring of 2012. Good solution, huh?!?

9. Couponing. I'm not going to be the extreme couponer like the ones featured on TLC's tv series. I have been buying Sunday papers though, and follow 2 blogs that basically do all the work for me. I'll post more on this topic later; we did save $30 on last nights grocery bill solely due to my couponing! It feels nice to save our family money.

10. Things I'm excited about:
-Katie Buckel's visit!!!! (next week)
-Tommy and Emily's wedding (August)
-Newton family visit... and Granny and Pawpaw making the trip to see us!!! (August)
-long weekend trip with Heath to Seattle (2 weeks!)
-I'm sure there's more, but I have to leave in 5 minutes for work, so the rest will have to wait. Until next time friends.



I have plenty of them.

My favorites are craft related, though cookbooks, ticket stubs, and themed mixes from Heath are cherished and greatly appreciated.

You see, I have this little shelf in my craft room. It holds my most important collections.


I display items that inspire me to be creative. I started collecting vintage cameras years ago, and mom has helped me add to my collection. Old books, lots of fabric from my favorite place in Portland, colorful thread, postage stamps, and buttons, of course.

I'm pretty sure I was meant to live in another era. I love old things. Give a an Estate or yard sale and I'm one happy lady.



I've collected buttons for as long as I can remember. If I could keep only one collection, this would be the one for sure! I keep them in several mason jars, but I would love to display my favorites in some way.


So, now I need your help. Your input if you will.... got any ideas on how to make use of and display some of my treasured buttons?
A pillow, frame....

Help please! :)
Have a lovely weekend friend.


Spring is here...

or atleast the Northwest's idea of spring.
It's a bit more colder and rainy than I'm used to, but still beautiful and welcomed.

april 1

Cherry Trees. They might be my new favorite tree. These soft pink blooms are everywhere. This was an unexpected treat.

april 3

I've seen lots of rainbows from the barge. This one was the most vibrant I've seen; look for the pink and purple.

april 6

april 5

Farmer's Markets are finally open again. Which means we can eat plenty of these sugary strawberries again! yum.

april 4

Hope you are having a great week. We are really excited for next week! My mom, aunt Lynn, and Heather (my cousin) are coming to visit! Woohoo! Can't wait.

april 2