A Walk in the Woods

I have a feeling that this could be the title of many posts in the future of this blog... and I'm ok with that!  One of the things that Jesse and I love to do together is to GET OUTSIDE!  We love to find fun things to do outside of our apartment and go explore new places. We love to get out in nature any chance that we can.  Last weekend was our first full weekend here together and we knew we wanted to start checking some hikes off of our list.  Since I am pregnant, we know that over our time here the length and intensity of our hikes will be limited, so we are trying to knock out some of the harder trails early and save some of the easier ones for later.

We woke up Saturday morning, cooked breakfast, got all packed up, and headed out the door.
(Sidenote: from the moment we pulled the pack out of the closet, Turner was going crazy trying to get in it.  He loves that thing and was so excited to go for a ride, which in baby-terms means he was incredibly whiny the whole time that we were getting ready to leave because he wanted to be in pack RIGHT NOW.  From now on, we will wait until we are about to walk out the door to get it out.)  We made a stop at a Crema, a yummy coffee shop in the area, got two honey vanilla lattes, then we were on our way!

All I knew was that we were going to see some waterfalls, but that was about it. Jesse had planned this excursion and Turner, Maggie, and I were along for the ride.  The hike was supposed to be about 5 miles and we would see 10 waterfalls along the trail.  It pretty much started out on an incline and followed lots of creeks and waterfalls. It was BEAUTIFUL.  I know I said this in my last post that everything here is so GREEN.  Well, this hike was no exception.  Beautiful tall trees, everything covered in moss, rocky creeks with crystal clear water.. the colors were so intense that it looked like an over saturated photograph. Many, many, many, many switchbacks later, we made it up to Wahkenna Springs where we stopped for lunch.  We snacked on peanut butter and honey tortillas along with carrots, while Maggie played in the springs.

We got back on the trail, only to make a wrong turn onto a different tail and found ourselves 1.5 miles back where we had already been.  We contemplated going on back down and saving the rest for another time, but we decided to turn around, do that extra mile and a half again, and get back on track for the rest of the hike.  So, in the end we added 3 miles to the original 5, but we totally made the right decision! Once we got back on track, the rest of the hike was (mostly) downhill and was gorgeous.  The views of the waterfalls were amazing.  I felt a little like Pocahontas looking over the edge of a waterfall from above to the tumbling water below.

The end of the hike brought us to one of the most amazing waterfalls I have ever seen - Multnomah Falls.  I posted a picture online Saturday of it and was surprised how many people knew of it because I had never heard of it before!  http://www.oregon.com/attractions/multnomah_falls

You can get to this waterfall without doing the entire hike... many people just walk right now from the parking lot (which is right off the interstate).  You can walk up just a little ways to stand on the bridge that you see in these pictures, which is pretty amazing! If you are feeling up to it, you can walk a little farther and get to an overlook at the top of the waterfall, but it's pretty steep.

Overall, we had a great time doing this hike and were incredibly sore the next few days afterward... Maggie included.  I can't believe that there are amazing things like this so close to the city.  A short, 30 minute drive from Portland and we were somewhere that many people have on their list of "must-sees."  Pretty cool.

As far as how things are going here in Portland, my first week here was kinda hard and lonely. It was mostly overcast and rainy and Turner was a fussy pants adjusting to everything. I am very much a people person, so it can be hard for me to adjust to being somewhere where I don't know anyone. I've made it a point to get out more during the day this past week and it has made all the difference - along with the SUNSHINE and 70 degree weather and a kid who loves being outside. I've even met a few moms at a nearby playground, so that's good.  I know that these things come with time.  I'm really excited to explore more and get to know the area better as well as the people who live here!  Stay tuned for more of our Pacific Northwest adventures!



Hello from Portland!

Hey guys!

We made it.  Whew.  That was a rough flight. The first hour and a half was wonderful... reading a book on the iPad while eating a fruit and cheese platter and drinking a sprite...sleeping baby in the carseat....I thought, "Ahh, this is nice. I can do this. I have such a great baby"... that is until said baby woke up and decided to whine about EVERYTHING for the next 3 hours. Then he SERIOUSLY needed a diaper change (that took 20 minutes to clean up in the tiny plane bathroom) and ended up forcing us to have a complete outfit change.  However, I will say he was quite the ham walking up and down the plane flirting with all of the passengers. We survived the last hour quite well thankfully, and I was so relieved when we landed at PDX and we got to see DAD! A 5 hour and 30 minute flight with a very mobile one year old ALL BY YOURSELF is not very fun, but we made it!

We have had an awesome time since arriving in Portland.  It is BEAUTIFUL.  Yes, it has rained a little bit every day, but it doesn't really bother us at all and it means you get to see pretty rainbows! Everything is GREEN. Flowers are blooming everywhere.  Everyone is out walking or biking.  The city has a very laid back, chill atmosphere and we are loving it! Everyone is so nice.

Jesse has about a 12 minute walk in the morning to the light rail, then about a 10 minute ride to his office.  Not a bad commute!  This morning, Turner, Maggie and I decided to accompany him on his walk.  It was very nice and felt great to get out early in the morning and get some exercise.  We loaded Turner up in the hiking pack and were on our way.

Here are some photos I took along the way.

I promise to keep the blog updated with all of our excursions here!  After Turner wakes up from his nap we are loading up the stoller and going exploring.  Hope you all have a great day!



100 posts later...

Ahem... hello.  AC here. This is my 100th post on the blog! Yes, we are still alive and well! Just slacking off the blog again recently. A lot has happened since I last posted!

- Turner turned ONE!

We celebrated this guy's birthday with Jesse's family while visiting Edisto Island, SC the weekend before his birthday, again with just our family of 3 on his birthday, with friends later that week, and again with my parents a few weeks after his birthday when they came here to visit.  4 birthday parties means 4 cakes and lots of fun! I can't believe he is one year old.

- We found out that we are expecting Baby English #2!

BIG surprise here.  I was having some suspicions that I might be pregnant so Jesse convinced me to go ahead and take a test.  I was reluctant to take one, because I was scared of what it was going to say.  Is that bad to admit?  We were hoping to start trying for #2 in the coming months, but I wasn't sure I was ready for it yet.  The two kiddos will be about 19 months apart and as time has gone on, we have gotten really excited about adding another person to our family.  It really is such a huge blessing and I keep daydreaming about this new little one. Another boy?  Little girl? I am 14 weeks along, so we've made it to the wonderful 2nd trimester! Baby English #2 is due on October 2.

- We are moving to Portland, OR this summer!
So, in Jesse becoming a Presidential Management Fellow, part of the requirements of this position is to do a 4 month detail (think 'rotation') in another part of the Forest Service to gain diversified experience.  So this summer we will be living in Portland, OR while Jesse works in the Regional Office in Portland as well as the Gifford Pinchot National Forest office in Vancouver, WA.

Check out this video of the Pacific Northwest National Forest:

Very cool. We are really excited about this experience!  We have a place to live in Portland and have found some pretty great tenants to sublease our place here in Del Ray. Very thankful for that! Jesse and Maggie head out on Monday, April 8 (Jesse's birthday) to begin their trek across to US and Turner and I will fly out to meet them in Portland on Saturday, April 13.  We will be back in the DC area mid-August.

- Kelley and Trae are engaged!
A few weeks ago, Trae proposed to Kelley one day after school and they are getting married on July 20!  We are so excited for them to begin their life together as husband and wife.  I am extremely honored to stand beside Kelley that day as her matron of honor and Jesse is excited be one of Trae's groomsmen!  Wedding planning is in full swing! We will be flying back to MS mid July for the wedding and Turner and I will most likely be staying in MS until it's time to come back to DC.  We are so excited for Trae to be joining the family!

- Turner is walking!
T man started walking a little over a week ago and it is SO MUCH FUN! He is so much happier now that he can walk around.  He looks like a little frankenstein. Maggie is his best friend and he loves to now chase her around the house.

-Turner got his first big boy haircut!
Last Saturday we took Turner to Westover Barber Shop for his first haircut.  This place is known for little kid haircuts and I'm so glad we went! Annie did a fabulous job and Turner had his first sucker afterward. They take each kid's picture after their haircut and later add it to the wall.  The place is covered in pictures of adorable little kids. Jesse even got his haircut too. (Not just for kids!)

I guess that is all that we have been up to recently. Ha. Hopefully I won't have SO MUCH to post next time.  I'll try to do better to keep all of you updated on our life in Portland!