Tag Archives: holidays

Cannon Beach: Thanksgiving

This Thanksgiving we took a little time out. Dan and I have both been going and going and going. I’ve been out of town more often than I ever have been in the last few months and we have meetings or commitments almost every single night of the week, not exaggerating. We normally host Thanksgiving and I never mind it. I like being busy with something fun: getting a table decorated, planning food, arranging seats, that kind of thing.

Since starting work (I go in four days a week after I drop kids off until it’s time to pick them up again) and Green Apple Project as well as other little side things (Inland 360 which you should go check out because Charlotte is front and center, Lego League, Bunco, etc) I find myself not having a lot of downtime.

Before you think I’m complaining, you should know something. When I have too much downtown, I start to worry. I obsess over things, I get extremely anxious, and it’s not healthy for me. I need to be busy in order to stay sane and I’m only 1/4 kidding.

Sometimes, though, a time out is necessary so this year we took our time out at the beach.


It wasn’t beautiful like this every day. Actually, it poured buckets most of the time, but that didn’t stop us from enjoying every second of it. We took (wet) walks on the beach, gathered seashells, and cozied up in our hotel room.

The kids were so good. They watched DVDs in the car on the way over and got along while we were there. We really lucked out with them when it comes to traveling. I suppose they finally realized we like to always do adventures so there is no sense fighting it.

But they even let me take photos of them and cooperated beautifully.

My love for Hanna jams runs deep.


My parents were there and so was Josh. Tracy and Nate and Abbey joined in, too, so it was basically the best time ever.


I vote for ocean Thanksgiving every year.



Easter and Birthdays and Hot Springs

I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but a bit of time has passed since my last post. It’s not my fault.

No, it definitely is, 100%. My camera cord decided not to work and then I get cranky when I don’t have pictures and then the kids were on Spring Break and I worked a lot and then I had surgery (no, that’s a lie, but it usually gets me some sympathy) and then I finally went to Staples and got a card reader.

Let’s start with Easter. The kids got roller blades and roller skates and candy. Easter egg hunting was dangerous.

But they managed.

Naturally, Franci Pants’ basket was my favorite.


Those books. HEART EYES (I need an emoji keyboard).

But Franci Pants the baby? She was as quiet and sneaky as a fox…

While we were busy finding all the eggs (because finding all the real dyed eggs is extremely important) she didn’t make a peep and devoured approximately 5 mini reese’s cups, 1/2 a full size Hershey’s, 15 mini M&Ms and 1/3 giant bunny ears. It was a mess and a disaster. But I quickly forgot about it when I got this shot of the kittens:


Just look at all of them. *sigh*

The rest of our Easter was lovely. We went to church (all of us…a miracle), went to hunt eggs at Grandma and Grandpa’s, ate breakfast, came home, hunted some more, then went to some of our very favorites — the Sanchirico’s. The kids ran wild with their best friends, we ate some really delicious food, we laughed and we drank and we just had a really solid time.

Then it was spring break.

I survived.

And yesterday it was my birthday. HOLLLLAAAAAAA 31. We didn’t do anything crazy, no huge parties. We had breakfast with my parents and then we drove up to Weir hot springs. It was pretty incredible. The hike wasn’t too bad – flat in some parts, really steep in others, but doable. The weather was perfect: 69 degrees. The kids were stoked and so were we. We thrive off of adventures like this.

We were there all afternoon and Danny and I were in heaven — watching the kids have such a blast and not having them glued to a screen was perfect. The Lochsa river is one of the most beautiful and little creeks and waterfalls along the way make it even better.

This week I’m awfully busy, too. I have Willow Center and I’m teaching a blogging class and co-hosting a baby shower and work and school volunteering and my besties Cleo and Stella are on vacation so I don’t even get to hang with them. But I’m lucky to be so busy.

Parties and Holidays and Holiday Parties

Last week was Spring Break for the kids and it also happened to be my birthday week.

Let me back up to a couple months ago (maybe a month?) when I realized Danny was in the beginning stages of planning a surprise party for me. As sweet and thoughtful as that was, the mere thought of a surprise party for me sent me into panic mode. I shut that down. Quickly.

Instead, I decided to plan my own party. Now, you can haha all you want, but planning parties is my favorite thing in the world and 30 is a big birthday and I figured that if there’s any time to be bossy about your birthday, it’s a milestone birthday. And I count 30 as a milestone.

I didn’t want to plan my party because I was afraid Danny would do a bad job on his own. Not at all. I wanted to plan it because details are my very favorite. I love planning everything from what the food will be served on, to the lighting, to the musical playlist to party favors. I just love it. In a past life, I think maybe I was an event planner in NYC or LA or someplace busy and fun like that.

So I planned my party.

Truth: it was pretty great.


I started Friday with a trip to Costco where we got chicken and beef and tulips. Such a great trio.

Food and decor.

I gathered up all our vintage Pepsi and 7-Up bottles and put the tulips in. They looked so cute.


On Saturday I made the champagne cake with champagne frosting thanks to the book that Lily and Pat got me. I had a little help, too.


(it eventually turned into this):


While I was doing that, Danny finished up the table.

HE FINISHED UP THE TABLE. Wait till you see what he made with some help from Kelly in the shop.

Are you ready?  Look:


It is amazing. It can seat 12-14 people and is pretty to look at. He distressed and stained the boards then added really awesome nails. It looks like something straight out of Restoration Hardware. Ah, I’m so lucky.

Then we set up the tables. I got little clay planters from a store in Moscow (The Storm Cellar) and added $2 flowers to them.


Along with the tulips and some candles, it was perfect.

Then I put together the plates which were actually boxes from Shop Sweet Lulu:

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The drinks? Oh, nothing too special….


We love our cocktails over here.

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The first is a blackberry cocktail, the second a whiskey/sour cocktail. Both = delicious.

We also made shrubs (they are my new favorite) and had beer and wine and mixers.

They were enjoyed.

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And the food was enjoyed, too! Because….tacos.

Okay, in San Francisco, Lily and Pat took us to a place called Milagros that served the most delicious coconut shrimp tacos. While ours weren’t as good as those, they were still pretty good.

And when people plate their food (haley) like they are professionals, it makes it on the blog.


And it also makes it on the blog if you make plates that look like this:30-89

I mean, to each their own.

We made aioli (chipotle and pineapple) and had homemade guacamole, salsa fresca and flavored salts.


And while I think I have pretty spot-on judgement when it comes to food and drink, I happen to be even better at choosing friends and company. Because it was the best time ever.

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I’m convinced I have the best friends in the universe.

And how do I show my friends I love them? Gifts.

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Canned sparkling wine, hanging plant, tiny notebook and Tattly’s. That’s a solid gift. I also threw in some chardonnay blondies I made. Because, ya know, I make boozy desserts.

I have a hard time being mushy in real life, but it’s easy on the internet, so here it goes:

To my friends, thank you. Thank you for being friends with someone who isn’t always easy to take. Who can sometimes be crazy and anxious over ridiculous and annoying things. Who does things like plans her own birthday parties when you try and do something nice like surprise her. Thank you for bringing gifts even though it said “NO GIFTS” on the invite. You’re nice. Thank you for hanging out with us and for making me feel like the luckiest 30 year old in the entire world.

You’re basically the best.

tarachristiansadiejustinhaileyhaleybrookmarkaliciatobesuzannejenbrandonpaullizwhitneyjason you’re the bee’s knees.

And we finished the weekend off with even more celebrating.

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I broke down and was the mom who bought character shoes for her kids.

I say that like it’s the first time. Oh, silly Ruthie, there are character shoes in every freaking room in this house. This is my life.

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Alice might be the most fun at the moment when it comes to celebrating. She’s all in and loves every second.

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The Easter bunny who visits our house is not the most creative. But, I will say, Easter is easiest in a home that is generally cluttered because it’s easy to hide eggs. So, I mean, there’s that.


Eggs on the diffuser. Boom.

Out of all the baskets, of course Francescas was my favorite. Take a look.

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The others? Full of crap. Seriously. With the exception of reading books for Alice and a cool lyre for Jamie, it was mostly just a lot of candy and plastic stuff. Whatever.

And then, an Easter miracle happened. All 8 of us went to church. It may have been crazy and it may have been loud, but we were there.

Then we skedaddled to Grandma and Grandpa’s for an egg hunt with the cousins.

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And champagne with raspberries is certainly a plus, huh?


And while eggs were torn open (money!!!) and cousins played, Miss Franci just took it all in.

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I forget how busy holidays are.

After grandma and grandpa’s, we went to Liz and Pauls which was basically the best time ever.

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Liz and Paul are the type of people who aren’t rattled by anything. Your kids could be running wild in the house, making a giant mess, yelling, being naughty, etc, and they will be calm and smiling. They don’t think twice about grabbing your baby from your arms or helping your kids get food or drinks, and they are the easiest people to just sit and talk with. They are interesting and smart and kind and generous and are pretty incredible parents.

Their kids are just the best.

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Celebrating Easter with them couldn’t have been a happier time!

Mostly because of this (puff cigarette, leather jacket and ray bans??):

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Hope you all had a really fantastic Easter!

Easter Prep and Surprises

One of my girls’ favorite things in the world is having friends over for an activity. Yes, an activity. Yeah, over to play is fun and great, but when there’s an activity involved, it’s even better.


I made some Easter cookies (egg and rabbit shaped of course) and some frosting and thought maybe some friends would like to come and decorate with us. I was right, they did.

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Have you guys checked out Alison’s Cookie Party? Alison is great. She’s so fun and creative and doesn’t care if she looks silly — she does what she wants and I love that. She also is good at making and decorating cookies and her instruction booklet (in pdf format) is awesome. Easy, quick, and delicious.

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Of course we invited our girls next door

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And obviously our kindred spirit family (Liz and the kids) and we went to town.

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It’s easier not to do these types of things. To just sit and watch tv or make the kids play outside or let them have video games on. But it’s so much more fun to watch them with their friends and see how happy they are. And I like my grown up friend time, too.

Jamie decorated and ate his “abstract art” cookie, but then quickly switched gears to snap circuit building.


Alice was very busy — going between cookie making and roller blading and Stampy Cat watching and baby playing. She’s hard to catch.

After everyone went home, I cleaned up. You guys, disposable table cloths are the best things everrrrrr.


And then Suzanne came by.

I cried today.

She had this made for me:


That’s us. It’s my clan. Here’s some close ups:

You guys…I’m holding a camera, my hair is green, I’m wearing skinnies and flats, and I’m drinking a Starbucks. Franci is wearing moccasins, Danny is drinking a Pepsi, there are snowboards in the background and look…he’s wearing a Gorilla Skate shirt!!


Maria is eating an ice cream cone (newsflash, she loves ice cream), has ballet slippers draped over her arm, is on roller blades, and there are chickens at her feet. And Jamie!! Wearing my favorite shirt (from Passive Juice Motel), reading books about Greek Myths, and his hair is perfection. And little Ollie…holding on to a big pink balloon, wearing Hello Apparel shirt, and 2 perfect piggies.

And a pumpkin for Clay.


Look at Charlotte’s Belle dress!!! And that tiara. And holy  heck, her deedee. And Miss Alice. Fairy wings, that backpack (she packs EVERYTHING AROUND), and a little skateboard. easterprep-110

This gift took a crazy amount of time. Suzanne had to send this artist my instagram feeds, my blog, and then answer a ton of questions to get us looking like this. And like this, I mean perfect.

I CRIED!!! Effort and thoughtfulness and friendship always gets me. *sigh* what beautiful friends I have.