Family Mini Vacations: Visiting Oregon

It's been a busy and exciting summer! We've pretty much been out of town every weekend from the end of June until August. Duuuude, I'm exhausted!!! We've been having so much fun, however, all this traveling has made me painfully aware of what a homebody I am. I'm the gal who loves wearing jammies and hanging around the house with the people I love. If you add in a few good friends who are willing to hang out with me (double fist pump if they bring wine and are also wearing their jammies) then you've made my day, week, month and year. I am incredibly thankful that we've been able to make many memories with family and friends this summer. Now that our summer traveling is over, it is time to get our family back into a routine and our home back in order.

Speaking of the house... It's a complete wreck! Laundry piles and messy rooms for daaaayyys. I have consistently been avoiding taking care of the household in between outings/parties/play dates/trips, etc. What can I say? I like living in denial. I've heard many (tidy) people say "Never leave your house messy before going out (whether for a short or long time) because something could happen to you. Then people will have to come to your house to take care of things/your affairs if you're in the hospital (or if you die) and then they'll find out just how big a slob you were." Yeeeaaaah... our family doesn't live by the rule. I desperately want to, and wish we'd care more about improving in this area, however, most days it's like this: "If we all get into an accident and die and people have to come to our house to handle our affairs, then they'll finally know our secret... that a small army of hoarders lived here and that our clutter would have eventually taken over the planet. Therefore, it was probably a good thing that we passed on. Godspeed and I hope y'all make it out of our house alive." Oye! St. Martha, intercede for me. I need all the help I can get! 

Anywhoo... Here are a few pictures from the first mini vacation we took this summer- a super short, crazy, trip to Eugene, Oregon to visit friends and to see our sweet Goddaughter bapized. We drove there and back in three days with four little. See... CRAAY-ZAAY! Thankfully they did much better than we anticipated although I would have preferred that they slept longer than 20 minutes on the way up. We had the best time staying with our dear friends and being back in one of our favorite cities! While we love living closer to family in California and wouldn't trade it for anything, we truly miss living in Oregon. We miss all of our friends there, the feel of a college town (which definitely  bleeds green and yellow), the community, the beautiful surroundings and the simplicity: life feels slower there- you can exhale, stop to appreciate the river, take a walk or a bike ride and no one is going to get after you for not rushing off to be somewhere more "important."  A piece of my heart will always be in Eugene and I look forward to visiting again soon. 

Here are a few pictures from our weekend. Enjoy!

Oh heeeeey, Oregon! What's that? Is that water falling from the sky? 
Been a looooong time since this California girl has seen rain. 
The kids were totally freaking out in the back seat by the way, shouting,
We had to remind them to calm down and that the liquid falling from 
the sky is in fact just water and not toxic waste or something.
Also... I didn't pack the appropriate clothing for this kind of weather. For ANY of us. 

We arrived safely to our friends' house on Friday evening and stayed up late catching up while the kids played. 
It was like no time had passed at all. I loved every minute of it!
Matthew did too...

 On Saturday we decided to hit up Papa's Pizza for lunch. They have good pizza but more importantly, they have a neat play place for kids (think McDonald's play place but bigger and with a few more things to do, plus an on duty chaperon. Though I wouldn't rely on said chaperon too much. Matthew walked up the Skeet Ball machine several times while the "chaperon" was staring off into space in his direction). Either way, this was exactly the kind of place you need to go to when you are you are meeting up with friends for lunch and there is a total of eight kids (six of them boys) that need to eat and run around. 

Later that day we headed to the church to see our sweet Goddaughter baptized! 
Welcome to the church, little one! You are so loved!
[insert pause to die from cuteness overload of Matthew in his outfit, 
hamming it up for daddy and the camera. That kid knows how to work it.]

On Sunday we got to have one last with meal with our friends before heading back home
(like I said, it was a super short trip). It was very hard for me to say good bye. 
We have been tremendously blessed with INCREDIBLE friends that span from coast to coast. 
My heart often longs for all of my close friends to be together in ONE place. 
Then I can soak up their friendship, make more memories, smother them and
then maybe hug them all to death. Ohhh that would make my heart so happy! 
That also sounds like a fantastic idea for my next birthday party. Just sayin'... ;) 

Okay, forgive me for daydreaming and getting off topic. 

Anyway, we had to leave beautiful Eugene, but not before stopping by to show the kids The University of Oregon and Autzen Stadiumand making a quick trip to The Duck Store.
I can't believe that the last time we were at Autzen Natalie was about a year and a half.
Good grief, I miss that stadium. There is nothing quite like it.   

Yell ((OOOOOOOO!!!))

Because... I LOVE MY DUCKS!!!

Mr. I'm Not Going to Take a Picture and You Can't Make Me. 
In his defense, his allergies were bothering him and he was miserable.
Poor kid.

And then we were finally back on the road. Doesn't this picture of Mt. Shasta 
make you want to sing songs from The Sound of Music?

The Mister brought me back a little something from my favorite winery:

That's all for now. 
Until next time...