Perfectly Imperfect

Every day that we are alive, we are gifted with the opportunity to experience the many truths of this world; perfect and imperfect.

I’ve said often that our relationships are the greatest mirrors we will ever be provided to peer into. Every connection, should we let it, provides us with the chance to open greater to ourselves, to others, and to the earth.

In this time of reflection, during the Fall months, I am being careful to choose to be kind to myself. To remind myself that there is





the perfect mother

the perfect wife

the perfect daughter

the perfect daughter-in-law

the perfect sister

the perfect friend

the perfect co-worker

the perfect partner

I am imperfect. And I am okay with that.

I am just here, learning, loving, and listening.


We spent a few days away this week at the beach with family. It was perfect. With all of the moments of imperfect mixed in.

beach e playing in sand beach e smiles beach e smiles2 beach eli sand waves beach family beach mama chasing e beach mama eli beach opa and ash beach opa bestimore beach opas shoes beach papa ash beach papa ash2 beach rainbow beach sand shovel beach sand shovel2

The Great Pumpkin…Patch

Fall officially started on September 23rd, but you wouldn’t think it to be true around here. The leaves seem to be drying, not changing, the air is warm, not crisp, and the fall rains are non-existent. Alas, there are some recognizable signs of Autumn.

2014-10-04 pumpkin patch

As we do every year, we drove out to Sauvie Island for our first pumpkin patch experience (one of two trips planned for this fall). So many of the pumpkin patches put on a circus with corn mazes, food vendors, trains for the kids, hay rides, music, petting zoos, etc. But on this particular Saturday, our friends (“Dr.” Brad and Tiff), steered us in a new, and much welcomed direction. Columbia Farms had no lot attendants parking cars – there were only about 5 when we arrived, and the whole experience from start to finish was so carefree. I liked how “Dr.” Brad put it. Something like: “We’ve got a lot of years of going those other places. Let’s enjoy this kind of experience while we can.”

2014-10-04 walking to the patch
We just grabbed a cart and trekked across the road to the patch, which is a nice manageable size to walk through and the pumpkin variety is just right. I didn’t think to bring a knife along for cutting the pumpkins off the vines and I had not realized how prickly pumpkin vines are! At the other farms, they must be pre-cut and left in the field for people to “pick.”

2014-10-04 Brad pulling kids

E in Cart

E standing

E standing in cart

monkey in love

The boys and I picked out 5 pumpkins in a variety of colors; orange, blue, green, pink, and white with orange stripes. Once we selected our pumpkins, we carted them back over to the barn where there was a big trough for washing. I have to admit that this was a first for me – washing pumpkins. And, guess what I learned from the experience?!  Pumpkins float! Does everyone know this but me? So, with that in mind, it was a fun and interesting activity for Flo and Monkey to enjoy together, and a learning experience for me.

2014-10-04 washing pumpkins

Once our pumpkins were clean, we carted them over to the scale to be weighed. Inside the barn was a modest-sized store with goodies from the farm like raspberry honey and apples, which also ended up coming home with us.

After pumpkin hunting, and a shaded picnic, the kids enjoyed time playing together in the tunnel and hay pyramid.  It was the perfect morning.

tunnel together

2014-10-04 Flo in tunnel

Thanks friends for a nice adventure together. It is always a treat to share time with you.


As a (very important) side note, we celebrated Monkey’s 3rd birthday at “The Bird Show” a few weeks ago, which is where we have gone every year since he was born. I think it may have been one of the busiest evenings there at Chapman School, but it was still a lot of fun and we were so touched by the turnout of friends and family who came to picnic with us.

Bird Show

Thank you Monkey for all of the joy you bring to so many of us! You are a beautiful little being and we are so blessed to be your parents in this journey.




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?

Salishan Getaway & Evergreen Aviation Museum

I accidentally posted a teaser picture from my phone of our trip to Salishan last weekend during Glammy and PacMan’s visit to Oregon. Some people emailed me a bit confused. So, here is a full posting of our visit together this past week.

Although traveling with a little one isn’t always easy, we still love being able to get away when we can, and this time around we were able to head out to the coast for a stay at Salishan, which is such a lovely place.

On our first day there, we got out onto their complimentary putting course for a little family fun. Perhaps Monkey found his new favorite sport…

…or at least he enjoyed tending the flags as we putt the course. But then there was the Sand Volleyball court…

…and the Basketaball Court!

Something tells me this boy got his dad’s jeans when it comes to interests in all things sports related. Is it too early to tell at 11 months?

We had absolutely gorgeous coast weather during our stay with clear skies, warm days, sunsets, and starry nights. And one of the greatest gifts is that Josh and I got to have a few hours together each evening while Glammy got Monkey to bed and monitored him through the open door to their adjoining room. What a treat!

It meant an evening cocktail, sliders and truffle fries in the lounge before they closed each night (I am not a french fry person, but those truffle fries were darn good!)

I love when resorts plan their architecture and interior design to blend and compliment the natural and historical beauty of an area. The dark wood of the lodge and rooms allow you to fully take in the landscape. This nautical art was everywhere, along with beautiful wooden sculptures, which I enjoyed.

A room with a view. And a great one at that!

A few days after our stay at Gleneden Beach, Glammy and PacMan came through Portland for a few nights. It was humorous to me that there were two things PacMan wanted to check out while in Oregon. One being an Animal House tour while in Eugene on the University of Oregon campus, which my In-Laws happily took them on, and the other to check out Evergreen Aviation Museum while in Portland…with enough time to get home for the Packers vs. Bears game (hence, his nickname PacMan).
I hadn’t been to the Evergreen Aviation Museum in quite some time. At least, not since they built their water park (Wings and Waves), where you can “jump out of” a 747 located on the roof into their biggest slide, which you can see in the picture below. One of these days, when Monkey is a little older, we will head there. Especially now that he has completed his Angelfish Swim Classes this summer through Portland Parks & Recreation. The great thing for Oregon is that the waterpark is indoor so open year-round!

I like this slightly eerie view of the Wings and Waves 747 taken through the Evergreen Vineyard. Yes. The museum also has a vineyard and my mom and I made sure to enjoy a glass of wine out in the courtyard while PacMan checked out the second building of the museum since he was driving us home.

Have you seen the Spruce Goose, built during World War II by Howard Hughes? That is one BIG BIRD! I can see how it only made it into the air for a mere minute. But, it is definitely a sight to see! Monkey certainly enjoyed checking it out along with the many other planes:

Look at how tiny the tale of that other plane looks up against the nose of the Goose!

Self Guided Toddler Tour

Now that monkey is walking and running everywhere I have my hands full so we probably spent about 2/3 of our time visiting the museum flying a paper plane in the grassy area in front of the main building, which he liked very much!

I cannot believe it but I don’t have one single picture of him with Glammy since I spend much of my focus on the little Monkey!

It was a visit that was short and sweet and I didn’t get the dates right on my calendar so Josh and I didn’t have the days off that we had planned for, but we had a great time when we were all together and I am sure that my mom enjoyed the toddle age with Monkey.

A Buggy Adventure


Camping and being out in the wild woods is something I love and like most people out there, don’t get to do enough. I promised myself that we would take the Little Monkey to the woods this summer. Though we cheated a little by reserving a rustic cabin at Olallie Lake Resort, I’m glad we did because it protected us from the drones of Mosquitos that were out. Our little cabin worked out to be the perfect trial scenario for how real camping or…gasp…even backpacking might go in the future.


What was supposed to be a two night trip to Olallie Lake turned out to be a one nighter due to how buggy it was. I’ve gone there several times before and never had quite this problem but apparently I was there in August or September when the Mosquitos are not as bad.


The owners of Olallie Lake Resort had given The Monkey this handy little net hat which proved to be very useful on the hike. Josh and I didn’t get bit as much as we had expected to but we were also doused with Citronella oil. Despite the bugs, we still managed to get a good little hike in around Monon Lake, which we discovered is still a snowed in and flooded during one leg of the trail. I didn’t mind though…it was fun to put my Chacos to good use and skip through the creeks and shore.



As usual, The Little Monkey was a trooper…or in this case, a happy camper. It was all a good experience but we decided to head home a day early to perhaps head out on a less buggy adventure.


On the Move

Every May, Josh leaves for his annual fly-fishing trip on the Deschutes River with his step-dad (otherwise known here as Cool Dude).  This year, my brother was also in tow.

After many years joining Cool Dude and friends on the water, Josh decided he has become serious enough about the past time to start collecting his own gear. So for Christmas, I splurged and gifted him a pair of Simms waders, and his parents gave him a matching vest and some starter flies in a tackle box.

Take a look at his past trips here and here.

Meanwhile, back home Gigi and I spent some quality time with the Little Monkey who was on the verge of crawling every day his Papa was away…

It was as though he was waiting for his papa to see the exciting new leap in person, because today, at 8 months and a day, our Little Monkey is on the move!!!

Our First Vacation as a Family

{photo by josh montgomery}

Every year, my hubby’s birthday falls during Spring break – a time when so many people are traveling and it becomes difficult to plan much of anything, so this year, we took a trip to the Oregon Coast!

Little Monkey and Papa Monkey have a special connection between their birthdays. The birthday of one marks the 1/2 birthday of the other.

This coastal adventure turned out to mark many firsts for all of us! Get ready for a mad photo montage!

First time for Hubby to turn thirty….something!

First time for Little Monkey to see the Ocean!

You can see that the winter storms have washed quite a bit of debris onto the shore…

Though the sun was out, it wasn’t exactly a warm day, so we had to be sure to keep the little monkey all snuggled up!

{photo by josh montgomery}

{photo by josh montgomery}

First timefor me to visit Heceta Head and Heceta Lighthouse

We learned about the history of the lighthouse and about the glass prisms that allow the light to be reflected outward in great distances.

{photo by josh montgomery}

First time as a family to stay at the lakehouse!

First time to take in gorgeous sunsets from the dock as a family. 

First time my lovely husband has ever woken up early just to photograph the sunrise…

First time for Little Monkey to sit in a high chair…

Our very FIRST family vacation together (outside of visiting relatives) and it was perfect!

Just Around the Bend

In a mere hour, Portlanders can drive and find themselves standing on a windy beach by the rolling pacific ocean. Three hours in the opposite direction from this fair city, you can reach Bend, Oregon. Home to nearby Mt Bachelor…

…and home to this lovely little family!

The only one missing in this photo is their adorable son who was at his kindergarten class when this photo was taken.

We headed east to Bend for a few days, where Josh and old pal Gernot played in the snow up on Mt. Bachelor while Aspasia, the kids and I all caught up and played in town.

On our last morning before leaving them, we took a little hike up Pilot Butte on a perfectly sunny day, where we could see all of the surrounding mountains.


It was really nice to get some fresh air and sunshine! And so great to have Little Monkey meet our long time friends.


A Winter Walk

We have had such a mild winter so far and I’m not complaining about it one bit!

Today, the three of us took a little winter walk in Powell Butte.

I just loved the way the marsh looks in the winter time with the wheat color grasses.

Josh got to get his new shoes muddied up the way hiking boots should be.

It looks like the parks department will be spreading bark mulch along the trail soon. We enjoyed taking in the scent of the ground bark. Musky earth!

Through Orchard Loop trail.
We are so lucky that we don’t have to leave the city to be in places like this!