tuperware drawer

I started writing this post weeks and weeks ago, but never got around to finishing it up until now. We received quite surprising news in December that we are expecting again and quite honestly, I still feel in shock! Of course we feel so lucky to have another little blessing be joining our family late this summer (August). But, for someone who has always been such a planner like me, a surprise like this can really shake things up! I should know better by this point in my life than to think that we are fully in charge of how our paths will unfold. So, I am taking it all day to day and rolling with the punches…or in this instance, the nausea (morning sickness).

Now that I have that announcement out of my system, let’s get into what has been happening around here (aside from the obvious planning for another baby!)


Taking the month of December off from working was such a great joy for me because it is the perfect time of year to have the chance to reconnect with friends and family, and plan a few adventures here and there.

Disclaimer: I apologize in advance for the poor quality of my photos. Ever since Monkey has been on the move, I’ve neglected taking out my good camera since it’s such a commitment to carry around, so I tend to rely on my phone to take my photos.

holiday decor

The start of the holiday season brought Josh’s sister Olivia to town from the east coast. It has been over five years since we last had the chance to catch up with Olivia, so that was a special visit.

olivia and asher

Monkey enjoyed sitting on Auntie Olivia’s lap and sharing his books and toys with her.

We also got to see Josephine and visit with her a bit as well. She started at Portland State at about the same time Monkey was born and between our two schedules, our visits anymore are few and far between and so treasured when they do take place.


The following week was my brother’s birthday. As someone who does SO much for everyone around him, a few of us got together and decided to do something nice for him as well. We threw him an intimate surprise dinner party…which, I later learned may not be the best fit for my dear brother. Doesn’t like surprises??? We must be related!

Sterling is not a fan of cake, unless it is a giant Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup cheesecake, (custom-made by Portland Style Cheesecake), which his lovely lady, Nancy picked up for the party.

I didn’t want to ruin the cake with a bunch of wax dripping all over the chocolate, so I ended up finding these candles instead to throw a little humor in there…

old cake

ster in balloons

Despite his near heart attack as he arrived to what he thought was a babysitting gig with Monkey and saw friends and family jump out instead, I think he calmed down enough to enjoy himself. Though when planning a surprise dinner party, it would probably be best to have the person arriving with him keep him from eating a whole pizza a mere hour before.

About a week after the b-day celebration, I had my very first mama getaway without Monkey. My friend and fellow spa connoissseur, Jessie and I headed up to Mt. Hood to be snow bunnies and spend some time in the hotel spa. We are really good at doing this kind of thing together. In fact, I am not sure why we haven’t started our own spa magazine at this point so we can do it for a living. The questions always crosses our minds.

jessie at timberline

gov camp museum

jessie and keely at timberline

I’ve heard so many mamas talk about how difficult it was for them to head out on their first overnight stay away from their little ones, and of course I missed Monkey dearly, but I received plenty of photos from Papa to ensure things were all fine and dandy at home), so I have to admit that I relaxed into the whole adventure just fine.  Though, I guess 15 months is a while to wait before doing something like this for the first time!

Shortly after my trip to the mountain with Jess, Monkey and I headed for the warmth of Tucson, AZ….or so we thought. It was raining throughout most of our visit but the sun came out long enough for Monkey to become infatuated and engrossed by his shadow (something he hadn’t yet discovered yet while living here in Oregon – no wonder).


Monkey and I got to spend plenty of quality time with Glammy and PacMan…and when the sun finally did come out at the end of our stay, we went on lots of neighborhood walks to enjoy the views of the Tucson and Catalina Mountains.


Upon our return from Arizona, Josh and I had our first ever getaway together (Monkey stayed comfortably at home in Olpa and Bestemore’s care). We headed up to Seattle for an overnight stay at The Edgewater (a beautiful hotel, with a long rock and roll history, situated on the Puget Sound). We had a relaxing time together and got some serious laughs in while catching Louis C.K. at the Paramount Theater.


It was a perfect escape. Olpa and Bestemore were so wonderful to stay with Monkey for the night so we could get away. Good thing the world didn’t end, as our anniversary fell on the Mayan calendar’s ending this year.

aniversary_game of chess

I love that our nightcap was to play a game of chess near the cozy fireplace in the lobby.

anniversary_view seagull

Once back from Seattle, we packed up and headed down to Eugene to spend Christmas with all of Josh’s lovely family (pictures have not been uploaded yet so that will have to come in another post). It was a great end to the fun-filled month but unfortunately, that was about the time my morning sickness kicked in, so I wasn’t feeling at my best.

So that was December, in a nutshell. Then, New Years Eve came and went and we are already into 2013! I can hardly believe how the time has come and gone so quickly.

I’ve been thinking about my theme words for 2013 (a tradition I started a few years back after being inspired by my friend, Cinda).

Last year they were JOY and ABUNDANCE. The year prior was BELIEVE and CREATE. All were so fitting for the journey I embarked on each year.

In 2013, my theme words are:


TRUST because at any big decision or new journey I’ve made up until now,  I have sometimes second guessed myself or second guessed how the universe will come through to help me move forward. But, it always works out. And I need to trust that to be the case.

SUPPORT because I feel so incredibly blessed to have such an amazing support system around me, and have felt so very grateful to everyone who has offered us their support in so many different ways over the past years. But, I do know that an area of weakness for me is having difficulty asking for help when it comes to personal things. I know it is important for me to grow in this regard and allow that support system to be there for me in times of need.

So, there you have it! A whole lot of information for one blog, isn’t it!? What will your theme words be for 2013?

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