We had a busy weekend but, thankfully, managed to get a lot accomplished. Birthday party and soccer on Saturday, 4 hours (!) of weeding on Sunday, shopping and laundry. Then we finished it off by watching Game of Thrones and Mad Men. I went to bed WAY too late thanks to a Portland Trailblazers basketball game that went into overtime. But they won so I guess it was worth it.

I also finished my 2013 photo books – only 4 months too late for Christmas but a huge load off my mind.

Oh, and it was Easter yesterday – which has a lot less meaning for me here than it did in Australia where it’s an actually HOLIDAY. Still, the boys enjoyed their little visit from the Easter bunny who apparently did extremely well in the gift department this year. Who knew Mixels would be such a popular choice? And the chapter book Thomas received? He already finished it. Of course they received some chocolate as well and I made the mistake of letting them have some before taking them grocery shopping with me (Kei was playing golf). I thought about leaving them them at the store but didn’t want to be arrested for disturbing the peace. Good thing they started out in my favor thanks to some great report cards.

I also continued my habit of not taking even one photo.  I was simply too busy and covered in dirt to even think about it.

So, I’ll share some photos from a brief visit downtown a couple of weeks ago. I chased the boys around with the camera while they tried to avoid me. I supposed we’re hitting THAT stage in the love/hate relationship with having their photo taken. Made for a few fun shots though.

Happy Easter Monday!

Samuel’s pose in this one cracks me up.

Samuel was trying to “help” me take Thomas’ photo.

Hiding from the paparazzi.

Not So Sunny, Sunriver

I think this might have been the very first year that we’ve actually planned a Spring Break location. Spring Break seems to sneak up on us and every year I find myself wishing we’d done something fun. So, on a whim (and after a few drinks on Superbowl Sunday) I signed up to organize a group family vacation to Sunriver, Oregon.

This was our second trip to Sunriver. Last year we stopped for a couple of nights as part of our Great Oregon Road Trip. We went in August. It was sunny and warm (although bug-filled). This year was much different. I suppose I should have realized that heading to a higher altitude in March was not going to bring me the warm weather I craved, but I truly didn’t expect snow. Of course my “friends” at work told me that snow was normal over Spring Break AFTER I returned.

Still, we didn’t let the weather dampen our spirits. The Mums (and one of the dads) all headed up on Wednesday afternoon, with the rest of the Dads joining us on Friday. We stayed in a large vacation home that didn’t feel too crowded, even with the full group eight adults and seven kids. We spent our time playing board games, swimming in the SHARC indoor pool, taking a trip down the tubing hill, playing tennis in hail (yes, hail) and relaxing in the hot tub while the kids were occupied with a movie. It was a wonderful chance to connect with old friends and let the kids loose to explore – when it wasn’t snowing, raining or hailing, that is.

And I took about 20 photos. That’s well below my average for a four day vacation. I think I need to get out of the winter photo rut and start shooting again soon.

Here are the few I did manage to take of a great vacation with great friends – but next time, let’s try for Hawaii.


When Charlie Came to Visit

I realized last night that I hadn’t yet posted all the photos from my Brother’s visit way, way back in February. I blame this oversight on my crazy work travel schedule, Spring Break and the allergies – oh, the allergies.

I love cherry blossoms but hate that they’re slowly trying to kill me with their beautiful pink blooms. If I weren’t so vain, I’d skip the mascara in the morning and rub my eyes all day crying “WHY ME!!!” I know there are far worse ailments but, honestly, right now I feel like gouging my eyes out.

Sorry – sidetracked. Back to February.

My brother, Ben, his wife Emma and two-year-old Charlie came for a long weekend visit in the middle of their multi-city US trip. It was wonderful to see them and Portland did it’s best to make them feel welcome by raining buckets and buckets. I think it was nature’s way of saying “I know I’m having a great time ensuring Australia dries up into a shriveled prune, but look what I can do on the other side of the world! I’m multi-talented.”

Still, we had fun finding ways to keep three boys entertained. We dug the Toy Story box out of the basement, planned a trip to the indoor playground, saw the Lego Movie, did some shopping downtown and took a break for some ice cream on Mississippi. This wasn’t Ben and Emma’s first time to Portland so we didn’t feel the pressure of showing them the sights. Instead, we were able to relax and let the cousins get to know each other a little better. Thomas relished his role as the big kid, Samuel enjoyed not being the youngest for a change, and Charlie? Well, Charlie just followed them wherever they went and laughed at all their jokes. Friendships were definitely forged.

If all goes according to plan, we hope to get these boys back together again soon.

They’re all waiting to jump out and scare Kei.

Friday Flashback: Baby Brother’s Birthday Edition

Feeling nostalgic on the Eve of my baby brother Jonathon’s 34th birthday.

I call this one “Deer in Headlights”.

(side note: My other brother, Ben, had very pink cheeks and I really wish my hair had remained that thick and shiny)

And this one I’ve titled “unfulfilled musical dreams.”

Bonus points for the circa 1980 Bonds Wondersuit. I don’t think they make them in that color anymore.

And, finally, “End of Summer Glow”.

This one just screams Aussie Kids. I don’t think there can be any mistaking where we came from.

Happy birthday, Jonathon. I hope you celebrate just like we did in the good old days – with lots of food, lots of fun and a nice long nap at the end.