October review 2017

October was a crazy busy month that needs recapping. At the beginning of the month, my Mom came to stay with us for the week. She blessed us by watched Zach overnight so Luke and I could go away for our 5th year Anniversary. Yes, it’s been five years.

It took several months to pump and save up the milk needed for that one night away, but it was worth it. We drove out to Westport where we visited for Valentine’s day last year (for more see Day-cation) and stayed in a cottage on the jetty with ocean views. We toured Westport Winery, they had good red wines. Then we tried a unique dinner from Aloha Alabama, a Hawaiian/Southern BBQ fusion restaurant.  I had my first Poke bowl and Luke of course had brisket and ribs, it was great. We thoroughly enjoyed the first full night of sleep in more than four months. In the morning we stopped by Granny Hazels for specialty chocolates, and a thank you treat for Mom, then got coffee and headed back home. It was the perfect get-away.

That week Mom and I did fall baking and holiday décor shopping. I treated Mom to the Country Chicks Fall Festival  at the local fair grounds. We loved exploring vendor after vendor or shabby chic and country themed fall décor and goods. The place with abundant with pumpkins, wreaths, and holiday signs. We walked away with a felt green pumpkin and a used very cheap Pendleton wool blanket as well plenty of ideas for home decor.

The next weekend Mom and I drove down to Stevenson WA, along the gorge, where I helped Mom-in-law with a day conference while my Mom, once again watched Zach. The next day we met my Dad for lunch in Woodburn, did a little Christmas shopping, then Zach and I drove back home in time for our small group at church that night.

We had one full week and weekend to re-group, during which we fought seasonal colds. Then we left at the beginning of the next week for Luke’s parent’s place. Luke and John left early Tuesday morning for a week of hunting at their “elk camp”. Mom-in-law and I had the week together with Zach. During the week, I got a few Christmas cookies made (yes I have to start this early to get them all done; at least this year). We also did Christmas shopping, went to a few meetings, and Zach did a great photo shoot. Zach’s great-grandmother visited on the weekend, then the men came back on Sunday afternoon.

We packed up and left the next morning headed back home then took the CRV in for work. The next day was of course Halloween. On Halloween Zach turned 5 months (more on this to come)! I drove Luke back and forth to work and used the car to run errands and take Zach to a doctor’s appointment.

Because of the crazy-busy month we did not have time to work out any creative or special family costumes like you see all over facebook or pinterest. But Zach and Luke were able to show-case what I got Luke for father’s day: coordinating star wars shirts. I was also wearing a black and grey shirt with yellow words “star wars” on it (although no pics of me).

We ate my homemade pumpkin sausage sauce over gnocchi, our Halloween/Fall Fest special dinner. Then we got in the car (for the fifth time that day) and drove over to the church’s Fall Fest. We toured the games and activities checking them out for future years. Since we live on a country road, we didn’t get any trick-or-treaters but think the church’s fall fest will be a fun alternative in future years.

So, that is our October, and why I was too busy to be blogging. How has your fall been going?




Holiday Season Part 1

Well the holiday season came and went by in a whirlwind and now it’s back to the new/old routine for 2015. Luke has been back at work for a week now and I have meetings to prep for the new semester starting this week. But before we move onto the new-year goals I thought I’d share about our first married Christmas out on the West Coast.

We flew out on Monday December 15th and got to the Portland airport late that night. We were greeted by Luke’s parents who we hadn’t seen in more than a year and a half and Luke’s brother who we had last seen before we go married in July of 2012. We got to the Greene house and ended up staying up late talking and trying to wear off the jet lag.

In the next few days we decorated the Greene Christmas tree and enjoyed spending time with the niece (4) and nephew (2) while listening to old Christmas tapes.


We took the time to sneak off for a date to see the Hobbit: Five Armies and get some northwest teriyaki chicken.

Then also ran errands and went Christmas shopping. After a day of shopping with Diana (Luke’s mom) we ended up at Bob’s Red Mill where we got dinner and goodies to make her gluten free organic versions of my chocolate baker’s cookies.


At the end of the week Luke and I did an early Christmas present for the Greene family: a homemade dinner for 10. We decided on a menu of our grilled tilapia fish tacos with all the fixings. We also made a large bowl of guacamole and a side of refried black beans . For dessert we had my lime brownies.


Not at all the traditional Christmas dinner but everyone seemed to like it pretty well.


The next day we took family pictures for the Greene side then packed and headed to the coast for Christmas with the Halvorson side of the family in Florence OR.

Halvorson Christmas is up next post.