Quick Check-in | January, Sickness & What’s To Come

edith and alder

I know it’s been awhile since I last posted. It seems that life has just gotten in the way. We ended January on a pretty cranky note that resulted in little sleep and everything that could go wrong seemed to go wrong. February started off pretty good until last week when we all got hit with the stomach bug. So here we are now. While we all seem to be getting better our house is pure disaster, none of us have had a real meal in days – mostly because our stomachs just won’t allow us to and the to do list has quadrupled.

I’m hoping that this is the last of the sickness and that we can get the house back to normal and get back on track. We have a number of exciting adventures coming up in the next few months that we are hoping to share and some new fun content. So don’t worry we are still here and will be back regularly soon. Until then you can check out our updates on Instagram.

The Importance Of Date Nights

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Photo Credit: Paperfish Studios

This past weekend I found myself sitting in a dimly lit restaurant at a table for two with my husband. No kids, no distractions, just us. We enjoyed a meal that didn’t involve sticky hands, children climbing out of their chair, or racing to see if we could break our record in speed eating. We were able to sit, eat at our own pace and talk. Neil and I are lucky that talking is one of the strengths in our relationship but it isn’t until you sit down alone without the chance of distractions that you realize just how much more you have to talk about and sometimes the serious things you don’t get to talk about when your sweet littles are around. And that right there is one of the biggest reasons I think date nights are important. It’s important to be able to talk about the good, the bad and the ugly because that is what helps to make a relationship strong.

I’m not saying date nights are meant for serious convos only, it’s one of the components. The other is to have fun and remember why you got together in the first place. Taking time to nurture your relationship is important not just for the two of you but also for your little(s) because you are setting the example. If you show love and compassion and connection that only helps to teach your children those attributes.

Honestly, most weeks you can find Neil and I on the couch with our laptops, phones or tablets. We’ll check-in with each other but most of our focus is on other things or on a show that we are watching. For a while we tried to do at home date nights and we still do on occasion but the issue there is that kids often need tending to, our laptops are just a reach away and there are only so many things you can do before it starts to get repetitive and you stop having regular date nights at home or they turn into eating dinner on the couch and watching a movie which you probably would have done without the title of “datenight“.

So, now it’s time to get off the couch, get a sitter and get out for a date night. It actually took us until this Fall to really adopt this practice. Even then it was just once  per month until we realized that we needed at least two date nights a month. I honestly wish we could do one most weeks but when family lives across the country and a sitter costs $15/hour it ends up being a bit out of the budget to do more than two dates a month. Considering we only had a total of maybe 10-12 date nights and one night away from August 2012-August 2015 having two date nights a month is amazing

So, all this being said, I want you to dedicate yourself to finding a sitter and getting out at least twice a month for a special date with your partner. It doesn’t have to be a fancy dinner it could simply be coffee and a walk through your town/city. Do something that is just for you two that gives you an opportunity to connect, to talk and to re-kindle that love for each other.

 

joy, tears, heartache and a whole lot of love. | life after a misscarriage

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The past few weeks around our house have been filled with joy, tears, heartache and a whole lot of love. Two weeks ago we were in a car accident that while only inflicted minor physical damage resulted in minor injury and discomfort for the littles and myself. After the accident both littles experienced a few nights of terrible sleep, misalignment, discomfort and a whole lot more mama and dada snuggles. Luckily we are all on the up swing and the kids love their new carseats.

While the accident was a terrible event, little did we know that it wouldn’t be the end of hardships for us this month. I guess I should rewind a bit to a few days before the accident. We found out that we were expecting baby number three. A very exciting development that we were so looking forward to sharing but as life goes not everything works out. At least not at first. On the 23rd of December I started spotting and while I had no cramping or other signs of miscarriage I just knew. By the evening of the 24th I was bleeding more heavily and my midwife (who was heading out of town for the holiday) suggested that I go to the ER to get checked out. We were fortunate that our amazing friends were able to take Edith and Alder at the very last minute and Neil and I headed to the ER to inevitably find out exactly what we already knew.

After several hours spent in the ER it was confirmed that I indeed did miscarry at six and a half weeks. As we know all too well, nothing could have prevented this miscarriage. It was likely a chemical pregnancy and therefore the accident wouldn’t have been the cause. Nonetheless, it was still shocking and saddening.

So as you might already assume these last few weeks have been challenging for all of us. There is little time to grieve when you have two beautiful babes longing for your attention. There is also a part of Neil and I who are ready to just move on and try again. Because, as you might be wondering, this third baby is one we planned. One we want so badly to add to our little family and one that we hope will join us in the next year or so. So while there have been lots of tears and heartache this month we are looking forward to the start of the new year and the exciting adventures in expanding our family.

[Travel Oregon] Christmas In The Garden at Oregon Garden Resort

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We recently had the opportunity to stay at the Oregon Garden Resort and to visit their Christmas In The Garden. We had attended the Christmas In The Garden last year but we didn’t get to really visit the garden or the resort so we we were thrilled to have the opportunity to do both. Luckily this year besides being a bit chilly we lucked out and had no rain.

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Now Christmas In The Garden is a yearly event that happens at the Oregon Gardens. It features a traditional German Christmas Market and has a beautiful display of lights through the forest. This year they even had an ice skating rink that we unfortunately didn’t get a chance to visit but it looked really fun. 2015_11_29_OregonGarden-26

We arrived in the afternoon, checked into our room and had a snack before heading down to Christmas in The Garden. It was so nice to be able to just head straight from our room and walk over through the garden. Such a beautiful spot and I imagine even more beautiful in the Spring when everything is in bloom.
2015_11_29_OregonGarden-21These guys got right into the spirit and jumped into the sleigh to pretend they were off on a ride through the snow.

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Throughout the forest there are these little spots to stop and sit by the fire. Its so pretty and such a nice spot to warm up unless you have little ones who find the fire amazing and want to try and touch it. Maybe another year we will be able to enjoy these fun little spots.

2015_11_29_OregonGarden-3For my fellow Elf lovers you’ll love this light display as well. One of my favorite scenes in the movie.

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We were visiting on a Sunday so things seemed a little bit quite. I remember that last year their was live music and the garden was bustling and there were also a few more children’s activities such as face painting which we were sadly informed doesn’t happen on Sundays. Anyways we walked around checking out all the light displays, stopped for some chocolate, popcorn and a beer before taking our two exhausted little ones back to our room where we turned on the fire place, enjoyed some snacks and watched a Christmas movie.

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Overall we had a nice visit to the Oregon Garden Resort and Christmas in The Garden. The kids loved all the lights and walking through the forest at night. The accommodations at the resort were very nice and I loved that we had a little balcony off the back of our room that over looked the garden. We didn’t get to take advantage of the hot tub or the spa but I’m sure they are nice. The only thing I would suggest if you do plan to visit the resort is that you look at the suggestions for places to eat in the area or take advantage of the mini-fridge and microwave in your room. 2015_11_29_oregongarden-bed

We want to thank the Oregon Garden Resort for allowing us to stay with them and to visit the Christmas in The Garden this year. We look forward to visiting again in the Spring to see all of the beautiful greenery and flowers in bloom.

 

Christmas in the Garden will take place through Jan. 3 (excluding Dec. 24 and Dec. 25). Event hours and activities vary by date; for a complete breakdown, visit www.oregongarden.org/events/christmas-in-the-garden.

The Oregon Garden Resort is also hosting a New Year’s Eve celebration on Dec. 31 with live music in its Fireside Lounge. If you’re interested they have a family package includes admission to the outdoor ice-skating rink and Christmas in The Garden, a s’mores kits to enjoy by fire pits, a bottle of sparkling cider and party favors.