Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Hood River & Camping

And this blog post concludes the documentation of our family trip that happened OVER A MONTH AGO.

Of course we made a trip up to Gramps and Grams's farm in Hood River. Does anyone get tired of seeing pictures of my kiddos at Rasmussen Farms? I sure don't.

We always take pictures on the Rainbow Chairs. Always.
Gramps and Jude, inspecting the growing pumpkin patch.
Delaney and Jude got to be the first kiddos to explore the Corn Maze.
Jude was in heaven. This kid needs acreage to roam and run free.
Gramps and Grams with their Great Grandkids
Grams and Delaney, with Mt. Hood peeking out from behind.
A Rasmussen family tradition, the weighing of the baby on the pumpkin scale.
King and Delaney. This girl loves animals.
Farmer Jude
Random bonus picture: Jack and Delaney, having a bubble bath in the kiddie pool outdoors. These "cousins" love each other!
We also had the opportunity to go camping with my folks. We stayed in a yurt at Lost Creek campground in the Mt. Hood National Forest. It was absolutely beautiful and I wish that we had more time to explore.

Delaney, sweeping the yurt.
Steve and his baby man.
I love this family shot!
Sporting a very vintage Beaver sweatshirt.
Look at these happy Beaver campers!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Oregon--Jefferson Adventures

This past August we made the journey northward to visit friends and family in Oregon and everywhere in between. Each time we make this trip, the kids become more and more travel-friendly. Delaney is in the sweet spot of road tripping--she's content with copious amounts of fruit snacks and unlimited Ipad time. Jude, on the other hand, isn't quite there yet. But, like I said, each trip seems to get a little bit better.  

While in Jefferson, we did many farm-y things. We picked strawberries, attended a tractor show, canned pickles, and rode in Uncle Jimmy's "really, super-big" tractor. I'm grateful that these Californian kiddos will be well-rounded and in touch with their country roots.

We can't pass up a visit with the Lances when we travel through Redding. It's so fun to see these kiddos develop friendships with one another even though they live so far apart.
And we can't forget about Auntie Kobbs! We got to eat bagels together at the legendary Bagel Deli in Redding. Any time we get to spend with Laura is priceless.
Once we made it to Jefferson, Delaney got put to work with Grammie picking strawberries. And she's also dressing herself these days, can you tell?
Jude enjoyed the fruits of their labor! 
Delaney always helps Grandpa with the chores around the house. Feeding the sheep is one of her most important responsibilities. 
Here we are with the family at The Great Oregon Steam Up. It's an annual tractor show and proved to be more fun than I remembered from years past.  
Delaney and Grandpa in line for the hobby trains. These two are quite the pair!
Jude, pumping water. He could have stayed here all morning. 
I'm not sure what's happening here--is she giving the tractor a hug? 
Fair-skinned Jude needed something to protect him from the sun, so Grammie bought him a John Deere hat. Perfect for this good ol' boy. 
Back in Jefferson, feeding the sheep again. This time Yoppie got to help.
Best friend Beka (and Yoppie's mama), Steve, and I decided on a whim to can some pickles. It was quite an adventure. We didn't really know what we were doing, but we had the internet to guide us.
Fortunately, our long-time family friends Mary and Joanne came to our rescue. Alison, Beka, Joanne, and I all grew up with one another. Mary was our 4-H leader in our days of yore, and Mary is sort of a canning expert. We gladly handed the reigns over to her and the pickles turned out fabulous! 
We also had dinner at Uncle Jimmy's place and had fun looking at his farming equipment.

Uncle Redneck and Delaney went around the field for a bit, and I tried not to fret too much about my daughter's safety.  
Of course we had to include Jude in on the fun as well.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Astoria & Seattle

The husband and I celebrated 10 years of marriage this August. We were babies when we got hitched and somehow, despite the ever-increasing grayness in his hair, Steve looks exactly the same. And when I mean exactly the same, I mean the totally handsome Stevie Dream Boat that I will forever cherish.

A few people have asked for marital advice from us recently, and I just giggle to myself and wonder what a kid like me could possibly have to offer. And then I remember that, with a decade of marriage to Mr. Dunlap under my belt, I'm not so much of a kid anymore. But as for advice, to quote the Dowager Countess of Grantham, "Marriage is a long business." When it comes down to it, you will spend the majority of your life with your spouse. Not with your parents or your children, but your spouse. I know Steve and I had it pretty easy, being best friends and all. But we've had to work to continue that friendship, and we will always work on bettering our friendship. Great marriages don't just happen; they are a labor of love.

Anyway, we celebrated our anniversary while on vacation with the family in Oregon. Steve and I left the kiddos with my folks in Jefferson for a few days while we explored Astoria and made a quick jaunt to visit friends in Seattle. Let me tell you what: Astoria is our new favorite town. Portland, Seattle, San Francisco--you've got nothing on Astoria. For starters, it's gorgeous. Astoria is located at the tippy-top of Oregon, right where the mouth of the Columbia River spills into the Pacific Ocean. It's old, has great history, and is a mish-mash of different cultures. People are friendly, the food is eclectic, and I got to have aebleskivers for breakfast. It's not overwhelming like a big city can be, but it has enough culture to give it that funky, urban feel. Also, Goonies was filmed in town (and Kindergarten Cop--bonus!). Anyway, I heart Astoria and would like someone to please purchase me a summer home. Thank you.

The huz and I ate some pretty fantastic food.
See what I mean by fantastic?! Aebleskivers with lingonberry syrup for breakfast.
This was the scene from the rooftop terrace of our charming hotel, Hotel Elliott.
The side of our hotel, peeking out. They advertise "Wonderful Beds," and they did not disappoint.
Housed in a historic bank, Marie Antoinette's Cupcake Parlor had these amazing little diorama-like scenes scattered about the place. The shop was filled with beautiful things, just for the sake of beauty. Love it.
It's no secret that I'm a fan of ice cream. No secret at all. On vacation, you get to eat as much ice cream as you want. Did you know about that rule?
The majestic Astoria Column. There's a lot of history etched on this baby.
Stevie Dream Boat at the top of the Column.
Karen at the top. I was a bit wary of climbing up the steps inside, as I'm not overly fond of enclosed spaces or heights. But then a couple of kids whizzed by me on their way to the top and that pretty much sealed the deal. The view of the Columbia and the Pacific made my uneasiness totally worth it.
Just taking in more of the local history...
What's this? Just the Goonies House. Radical!
This town is full of history. I wish we had more time to explore...

After our wonderful but short stay in Astoria, we hopped in the car and headed north to Seattle. Our dear friends from college, Candace and Joel Morris, recently became parents to the lovely Baby Bowie. It had been WAY TOO LONG since we had spent time with those dear friends, and we were so anxious to see them in action as mom and dad. Although we don't get to see the Morrises very often, they will always be family and feel like home.

Candi, Steve, and Bowie
Proud Papa Joel
Uncle & Auntie...and a lopsided Bowie.
This friend will always have my heart. I'm so glad that she's a mom...Candi is a gifted nurturer. 
The family--minus our offspring.