Monday, April 25, 2016

First camping trip: Jack creek.

A few weeks ago, we took a huge risk and decided to take our first camping trip of the season. 
Living in Oregon, the weather is extremely un-predictable, so although it had been nice the entire week, going up to the mountains was risky and probably crazy, considering it was only April.

I am SO glad we went with our gut and did it! The weather was amazing and the kids had a blast!

We camp at Jack creek, which is right below the Hoodoo mountain, towards eastern Oregon. It's our favorite spot.

It's right next to a creek, hence the name, so it's fun during the summer, when it gets super hot during the day. Hubby also has a portable water filter, so we get drinking water out of it, too!

He's smiling, because he's totally in his element. He would build us a cabin out in the middle of nowhere if I was on board. I just like to have a grocery store 5min away. That's not too much to ask for when you have 4 kids, right?? 

Also, don't be fooled by this picture.
It was warm during the day, like almost 80 degrees, but night time was a different story. 

I think it got down to about 25 degrees and if it weren't for the tent heaters, we wouldn't have lasted. I mean, I wouldn't have lasted. It's blasted cold. Like you can't even keep your face uncovered, cold.
So once it started to get dark, we were by the fire.

This also happens to be my favorite picture from the whole trip.
I LOVE the "fireflies". And Charlie's pretty cute, too.

I love that although Isabelle is a girly girl, she will get down and dirty with the boys. Her sweet smile melts me. 

 And I think this is the most you'll ever see of my hubby. I'm not kidding. I'm sitting here, counting all the pictures he's in and my eyeballs are getting bigger, as the number gets higher- Haha!!!

I really don't know what I'd do without him, though. I would NEVER last in the forest by myself. He is a master at it and the kids just inhale all the knowledge from him.

 And this. Um, everyone's smiling. Is there some sort of award for that?!?!

We're already trying to figure out when we can go again! 
Sure, having a shower and a real bed to sleep on is more convenient, but someones gotta make those memories, you know what I'm sayin?!

See you soon, Jack creek!!!

xo, Vera

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Wooden shoe tulip festival.

It was close to 80 degrees, it took us an extra hour to get there cause of traffic and we had 7 kids between the two of us. Worth it? you decide. 

This is only my 2nd year coming to the tulip festival, but I've already decided that it would be an annual thing. I'm a flower addict, for goodness sakes. 
Next year I'll just have to plan on coming on a weekday, instead.

The colors exploding on this one field of Tulips was insane. You couldn't help but be happy, whether you actually were or not.
Don't believe me? My boys are actually smiling. In a field of flowers. It's not a coincidence, people.

And the fact that I brought my girlfriend with me and not my hubby was probably a wise choice. 
Two women on a mission to take pretty pictures surpasses all whining and heat that could of been thrown at us. 

We promised the kids they would get ice-cream for good behavior and extra smiles, but really, the ice-cream was for us, for surviving the zoo.

 We also treated them to these barrel rides and I'll be honest, I actually enjoyed it as much as they did!
It felt good to be pulled by a tractor after all the walking. 

Not to mention, the view was quite spectacular.

And this view. 
His new thing is to tilt his head to the side. Probably cause he knows that it makes him look extra cute.

I'm also glad we didn't change after church. Cause there's something so magical about being dressed up and playing matchy-matchy with the flowers. And her hat- that she wore all on her own. *sigh*

I wanted so badly to get close to the windmill and get some amazing shots, but the line was ridiculous and the kids were losing their patience, so this was the best I was gonna get. The flowers steal the show, anyway.

 We complained about the heat, but you guys, as soon as we pulled in the driveway, it started to pour. 
Such a blessing to have gone at the perfect time!

Until next year, beauties. 

xo, Vera

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Kids Easter table.

Me doing things the night before seems to be a theme around here. 

I don't know why, but that's when all of my inspiration comes pouring in- so I'm in my flower garden at 11pm digging out mini succulents to plant in eggs shells, that I just dug out of the compost pile.
Normal? Absolutely not. 

So as the family was soundly asleep, I put together this pretty table for the kids.
I knew I wanted to brunch and color eggs with them in the morning, so this needed to happen, folks!

I had everything I needed, which made it all the more fun.

I used wrapping paper, and craft paint for the green dots, for the runner and I love how it turned out!

My cake stand served as the egg display. I just used moss to make a nest, if you will.
The next morning it was full of colorful eggs the kids had colored and drawn on. 
Also, if you notice, I have real AND faux eggs in there. I love the visual effect of the different sizes and I can always use them next year!

And believe it or not, those white eggs are faux as well!
I found them at Wal-Mart in cartons and although they don't color well in egg coloring kits {because they're hollow, they don't stay down in the cups}, the kids just used markers to color them, and had so much fun doing it!

There's those darling, succulent filled eggshells! 

They were so easy to make and are still alive! I just give them a few drops of water every couple of days and they're good to go.

I love how "Springy/Eastery" it looks and the kids were so excited when they woke up the next morning.
I know, the lighting is kind of wonky, cause first thing in the morning on a cloudy day isn't the best time to take pictures, but I had to before the table was destroyed.

The tablescape lasted about 2 days after, even with spots on the runner- I kept it on.

 I always remind my kids about why we celebrate the holidays we celebrate, because I don't want Easter to be about "Easter eggs", but they will also be little for only a little bit, so making memories for me AND them is important.

Everytime I hear this song by Lauren Daigle, I'm instantly reminded of the importance of why we celebrate Easter.

"You plead my cause,
 you right my wrong,
 you break my chains,
 you overcome,
 you gave your life,
 to give me mine,
 you say that I am free,
 how can it be."

Sometimes I wonder why I stress myself out for these kinds of things and take on more than I can chew, but am reminded when I see the kids' reaction. It's ALWAYS worth it. Always.

xo, Vera

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Noah's 7th birthday.

Between Noah's actual birthday, leaving for Spring break, Easter and life, it's been busy around here!
But better late than never, right??!

I procrastinated til the last minute, cause I just wasn't planning on throwing a party for this guy, but he kept asking, so I pulled myself by the boot straps and scrambled the night before to come up with a fun theme for the party- Which means the day of, I was the crazy lady hitting up 5 stores in less than 3 hrs to get everything I needed. Phew!

After I had set everything up, I was so glad I took the time to do it. I always feel like it's more fun for me, than them, actually. Getting there is the hard part.

The boys are obsessed with all things rocks and minerals, so I figured why not make a theme out of it. Noah was so excited!!!

I kept it fairly simple. 

I used rocks from the boys' collection, bought lanterns that were shaped like diamonds and even found salt/pepper shakers that went well with all the shapes!

I love using unexpected items- That's what makes the process so fun!

For dessert, I made cupcakes and topped them with crushed up rock candy. Aren't they so fun!

The tassels, cupcake toppers and banner I found at TJ Maxx and they were so well priced, I couldn't pass them up. AND it saved me so much time, since I didn't need to make any of them myself.
Extra bonus: because they're neutrals, I can use them for all my kids' parties.

These two absolutely hate taking pictures {like father, like son}, so the fact that I could get them to smile for me needed to be documented!

 Here's an overall look at the space.

 Now, with this party tucked away, I gotta plan Gabes birthday- It's this Friday. And then Charlie's next month. Wish me luck!!!

xo, Vera