Carter Turns 4

We had such a fun day celebrating Carter’s birthday!  I’ve come to accept that I’m really no good at surprises… especially for Carter!  I wanted his birthday to be everything HE wanted so there were zero surprises for him and I think he had the best day ever.  The week before his birthday we went to the grocery store and he picked out his cake.  He chose every detail of the cake and when he saw it on his birthday he was beyond thrilled with it!  I took him to the store and he picked out the party hats, plates, napkins, table cloths, piñata, candy, etc.  When it was all pieced together for his party he was so excited!


It was a simple party at a local park where we invited his friends and they basically ran around playing together the whole time.  Just what Carter wanted!  We had cake, did presents, and then the piñata.  It really was a perfect little party for Carter and we are so proud of the big boy he is becoming!  We are also so grateful to live in such a wonderful place with amazing friends who came to support Carter!


Summer Days Got Me in the Pool

Remember last winter when we experienced crazy low temperatures and crazy amounts of snow here in Hood River, OR and it was not at all expected?  Well, hello summer.  You guessed it, crazy high temperatures and crazy lack of rain that was not at all expected.  Where does that leave us?  In weather that is over 100 degrees for almost two weeks straight!!  Again, crazy.  Luckily we have A/C at home, there are some great indoor places to visit downtown Hood River with the kids, and we happen to know some amazing friends that have a pool!


They also have these cute playground toys on their deck and for a while there I was worried Zellie would never want to get in the pool because she was having way too much fun on these!


For some reason Carter always seems to get spoiled!  Our friends recently purchased this jet ski for the pool, and I would have never guessed it, but IT ACTUALLY WORKS!  Like it actually has a battery and little motor in it and can be driven around the pool haha.  It goes very very slow which is good, but man did it make Carter feel super cool!


This little one LOVES the water!  She would try to swim on her own constantly and usually she refuses to wear any sort of floatie.  I’m not really sure how we tricked her into wearing these ones actually haha.  Her favorite thing is to “jump” off the side of the pool into the water.  She really just steps off, but she thinks she’s jumping and it’s the cutest thing ever!  As you can tell, she also likes to be thrown in the air and splash back down into the water 🙂

Carter learned to swim without a floatie earlier this summer, but he refuses to do it haha.  There was a time for a little bit during this pool day that he did take his floatie off and he practiced swimming on his own some, but then dad challenged him to a splash contest so this kid rushed to get his floatie back on and continued to jump in the pool over and over again for the next hour!


And an accidental baby bump glamour shot 😂 I asked Scott for something very specific that was not this at all… Obviously he didn’t even pay attention to what I was asking (he was also trying to keep an eye on two kids in the pool and not get our really expensive camera wet).  But I’ve documented my 31 week baby bump and that’s an accomplishment for me so I’ll take it!

Hood River County Fair

Oh, hi there.  I’m Emily and I’m really behind on blogging… Seriously though there are five drafts sitting in my “Posts” section and I don’t even know what I was planning on doing with some of them since it’s been so long!  I’m attempting to catch up though so yay me!  These photos are from when we went to the Hood River County Fair a couple weeks ago!


The fair took place a few days before the crazy heat wave came through Hood River so it was actually beautiful weather that evening!


Can we talk about this Sonnet James dress for a minute please?  It isn’t a maternity dress, but it’s so comfortable for maternity!  Scott actually got me this dress for Christmas last year.  Yes, he bought me clothes without me picking them out and yes he did an amazing job!  I love this dress and how functional and comfortable it is.  And I’m excited that I’ll get to wear it just as much after baby comes!


So, sad story about the fair… Scott and I had a little miscommunication about who was going to bring the cash, but we didn’t realize it until we were at the entrance…  We figured at the entrance they would take card and then we’d use the little cash that we did have to pay for the kids to ride a few things.  BUT, the entrance did not take card, they were cash only.  They said there was an ATM inside the fair so we gave them pretty much all of our cash and were hopeful that the ticket counter took card, and if not that we’d have the ATM to get more cash out.  Well, the ticket counter definitely did not take card either!  AND lucky us, the ATM was totally busted.  Poor Carter was so excited to ride the airplanes, trains, and carousel but he didn’t get to because his parents forgot the cash!  Luckily there was a whole section dedicated to the FFA and 4H programs so we spent almost 2 hours looking at and petting animals haha.


Zellie is obsessed with animals so she was having the time of her life squealing at all of them 🙂


28 week bump date photo!  I’m 32 weeks now and boy, let me tell you, 4 weeks makes such a huge difference in that belly size!  No joke, I totally feel pregnant now that I can’t bend down without grunting and you better believe I need help getting back up.


This pig was so funny!  It jumped up in excitement as we were walking close to it so Scott and the kids went over to pet it.  It was wagging it’s tail and twitching it’s ears and then slowly started to melt to the ground as the kids were petting it haha.  This pig loved the attention!


Even though we didn’t get to do any rides this time, we still had a lot of fun as a family and I’m so grateful for these kiddos of mine!  I’m the luckiest momma!

Wahtum Lake Hiking

A couple weeks ago we spent a Sunday afternoon hiking around Wahtum Lake in the Columbia River Gorge.  Well, the goal was to hike around the lake and make it to an incredible view spot, but we were having a really hard time finding the right trail… so we ended up walking back and forth on the same 100 yards of trail and then decided to just make our way down to the lake and let the kids explore for a bit!


Even though we were very confused as to where the right trail was supposed to be, it was a beautiful day with beautiful weather and we were surrounded by the most beautiful scenery!  After we turned around for the 5th time or so, Carter started to get a little annoyed haha.  He didn’t understand why we couldn’t keep going on the trail and we didn’t either!  And then there’s Zellie who is completely chill pretty much all the time and was loving the ride in the Ergobaby carrier.

Carter pretty much lived in the Ergobaby carrier for the first 18 months of his life when we lived in 12 countries, so sometimes it feels like we never use it for Zellie.  But we really do use it so often with her and she loves it so much!


Here Carter is hiding the stick that I asked him to put down because he kept “accidentally” tapping the back of my leg with it while we were hiking haha.  I turned around and he quickly threw it under his shirt!  Cheeky boy!


Wahtum Lake is stunning!!  The lake itself is hard to access and not really great for kids to play at, but Carter jumped right in with Scott (a little above Carter’s knees) and excitedly attempted to help catch crawdads.  Zellie on the other hand was not so happy that she was confined to sitting in a little rivet of tree roots to keep her safe, she would’ve much preferred to be in the water with the boys!


There are so many things that I love about our Ergobaby carrier, but mainly it is just so comfortable!  We’ve had this same carrier since Carter was a few months old and both kids have used (and abused!) it, but it is still in great condition.  Scott will even carry Carter in it when we go on really long hikes and Carter needs a little break!


Even though we’ve loved our Ergobaby carrier I know that there are some other styles and brands out there.  As we are prepping to add baby #3 to our adventure team I’m doing a lot of searching in regards to what will be the best for our family!  I’m so grateful to everyone who responded to my questions on Instagram and Facebook a few weeks ago!  Your comments, experiences, and suggestions have all been so helpful!  We’re excited to find a carrier that will work best for our situation and to keep hiking and exploring as a family 🙂

Backyard Camping

Sometimes life gets crazy, and no matter how hard we try to plan and execute our plans they just don’t work out.  Recently our family schedule has been super crazy and Scott and I have felt overwhelmed with the idea of planning out a camping trip for the family. Any time we tried putting something together it seemed to not work out and we were getting discouraged, ready to give up on a family trip for the month of July all together. BUT then we realized that we have this large backyard that we can set up a tent in and we have a fire pit to do a campfire and it was all at the comfort of our own home! No need to do extra grocery shopping or meal prep, no need to pack up the car with camping gear, no need to pay for a campsite and guess what… The kids loved it just as much!! 🙌 We are eager to explore new places and camp outside of our backyard next month, but this was the perfect thing for our family the other day and we all had so much fun!


The kids’ favorite part about camping is definitely the tent.  They love jumping around on the mattresses haha and I’m sure they were in there for a good hour just jumping around!


We made Braaibroodjie (South African grilled cheese) and oh man did it flood back memories of our time in South Africa!  We made some amazing friends while in South Africa and they introduced us to these amazing grilled cheese sandwiches.  Definitely my favorite thing to cook over the fire!


What’s a campout eating without ooey gooey roasted marshmallows and getting extremely dirty in the process?


This evening camping was a really special one for us.  As the night sky grew darker Scott noticed that there were several bats flying around.  He then spent about an hour talking with Carter about the bats and how they don’t see with their eyes, but use their ears.  I obviously don’t know all the scientific details about bats haha, but Scott surprised me with everything he knew!  Though I’m pretty sure all of his facts came from The Magic School Bus 😂


Carter demonstrating flying without his eyes 😊


Carter was explaining to Scott everything he knew about bats and even though none of it was right (except that bats fly haha) it was adorable to see how knowledgable he felt and excited he was to talk about it.


Once the first stars made an appearance they pointed them out to each other.  Zellie just ran around in the tent, still jumping all over the mattresses haha.  It was so fun for me to step back and watch Carter; he is so eager to learn!  I think I’ll be doing an at home pre-school with him this year, or maybe a mom co-op one and I think he’s so ready for the challenge!