Sunday, March 20, 2011

Guess Who Rolled into Ptown Last Wknd...

I was met by this spunky little lady when I arrived at the RV park where Brian, Tess and Co. made their temporary home for the weekend.
Dora, named by Sydni, is Brian and Tessa's most recent addition. Dora's a very special fifth wheel and this past weekend was her maiden voyage as a member of their fam.
Sydni was...
And happy to be on vaca.
I was thrilled.
We are besties for life.
This lil guy didn't demonstrate nearly the excitement over his reunion with Auntie Meg. It's ok, Buddy, I'm still workin' on you. Someday you'll get how cool I am. ;p
Here's my kitchen in it's happiest state, full of family, just the way I always imagine it should be. ...and here's my beautiful sister, putting Romie (our espresso machine) to work and concocting delicious beverages for the rest of us.
This was a daily, if not a multiple-times-per-day, event throughout the length of their stay. Mmm, a weekend of togetherness filled to the brim with Family and "Foffee," as Sydni would say. Does it get any better than this?!
On Saturday morning I took Tess to Portland's 23rd Ave. It was a "Have To" on my list of sister activities. Oh goodness, I love it there. Turns out Tess liked it too. Really, she's just head over heels into Pottery Barn. Fortunate for me, among all the pretty things it boasts, 23rd has one of those too.
Our first stop was Lush. We flitted through this scentsation of a store, enjoying all they had to offer, from handmade soaps to perfume to sugary lip scrubs. Sydni even got a foaming bath bomb demonstration from the comfort of her cozy stroller.
Side note: Mom and Tess, you're exempt from answering this question because the three of us have been over this time and time again but to anyone else who may find themselves reading... Do you, too, ever catch yourself wishing you could experience being a little person all over again?! I could seriously go for being hauled around in a safe, cushioned carseat, pushed in a plush stroller, tucked in my favorite blanket...etc. I am confident that, if given the chance, I'd be eternally happy. Hmm, try explaining that to a kid that wants nothing but to be OUT of his/her stroller...

We hit up a few of my fave boutiques including Ether, where I almost always find something irresistable. On this particular occasion, I honestly thought I was browsing until I saw these babies!
I recently bought this cute dress for one of our upcoming summer weddings.
I couldn't get the image of those shoes paired with this dress out of my I bought 'em! Quite frankly, Ether is affordable and they seemed a perfect match so, why resist?
I mean, look at the details, so "tute!"
(Forgive me, for constantly quoting Sydni. I can't help myself.)
Lately, I've frequented Restoration Hardware in order to buy paint for mi maMa. Everytime, I can't help but think of Tess and how much it reminds me of her style. I loved finally getting to stroll through the store with her and leave with some inspiration for her living room redo.
After being reprimanded for taking pics in Lush (hehe!), I had to be sneaky in the remaining stores. Bear with me, despite the major decline in photog quality...

Ah yes, and then she spotted Pottery Barn across the street...
[Check out that grin!]
Pretty, Tessa-ish things everywhere!
Oooh, the decisions...
More than a little happy with her purchases. :)
On our way out of Portland we came across a lot of these...
The city's got more one-way's than this country girl is used to maneuvering...
...but we made it home...
...without getting lost, even!
[And that is an accomplishment worth mentioning.]
Once back safely in the much quieter 'couve, we threw together some lunch.
These little people, they get HUNGRY! :)
This is my spin on a Tessa classic: the broiled bagel sandwich.

On Saturday night we met up with my sweet, sweet, SammiSam. 
(SammiSam 'n I, we're soul friends.) 
Brian and I knew we wanted to take Brian, Tess and Co. to the Widmer Bros. restaurant, Gasthaus, and it seemed fitting that that be where they meet Ms. SammiSam herself, considering that she's the one who initially brought Brian and I there. 
Silly children!
Handsome fellows!
The evening ended up being quite complicated because it had slipped my someone's mind to make reservations and every restaurant in the greater Portland area claimed to have 1+ hour wait. In the end however, our tummies were the happiest they'd been in a while. It was an unpredicatable night, one I will never forget. :) Due to the lengthy wait, Bro-In-Law Brian scored a Darigold plant tour while us girls and the kiddos headed to Lloyd Center where Momma Tess enjoyed a few moments of uninterrupted shopping time, all thanks to Sydni's newfound love of escalators.
Speaking of dinner, Tess, check this out!
Meet SammiSam!
This is her, immediately after finding this, my sock, in her lap at dinner. I grabbed my camera out of my bag at dinner and thrust it into her hands to capture our side of the table. Apparently, out with it came a spare sock. Is it that I do my best with my Marry Poppins bag to always be prepared...or just that my bag is so big that things get lost in the depths for indefinite periods of time? Hm, I'll let you decide. :) ...sorry, Sam!
Good times.

When Sydni discovered the Carousel at Jantzen Beach, she was ecstatic, frantic even, to get herself on one of those horses. She kept calling it "that merry-go-round" and saying, "ooh, I think I could do that, I really think I could do that! It's my favorite thing ever to do!" It brought me back, I remember that enthusiam. I remember when carousels were the coolest thing next to having a horse of my own. I remember being that little girl. Tess had to watch from the sidelines so that her vertigo wouldn't act up but the rest of us, we rode that carousel! What else is there to do when an authentic, vintage carousel presents itself, especiallly when it's the fastest carousel this side of the Mississippi?!
Okay, okay, so judging by the picture, the children riding the above carousel would each be launched off the side by their very speedy horses. Maybe it wasn't actually going that fast. Maybe my camera settings did play a role in making it appear slightly faster. Either way, it did go pretty fast. :)
Oh my, could she be any cuter, waiting in line in her pj's?! I think not.

Seriously, Bro-In-Law Brian, you are such a great daddy.
(You picked a good one, Tess.)
My man. Big guy, little pony.
Quote by Sydni right after I took the above pic.
 "Dad, tell Auntie Meg to stop taking pictures. I just want to ride!"
It was an overwhelming weekend for Finn. When Tess and Sydni paused for a minute on the couch, Finn saw an opportunity, one he'd been missing. Lap time!
Before Finn knew it, the Crazies were back to this...
The night before they left, we realized that we had a very necessary Ikea run not yet checked off our list. So [my]Brian, Tess and I left awesome daddy, Bro-In-Law Brian, to get the kiddos ready for bed, in bed, and hopefully asleep before we returned. We arrived at Ikea just before closing and scurried around, lists in hand, trying to locate the correct pieces and make it to checkout before they kicked us out. Here are a few cell phone pictures from our crazy trip.
Above is one of Tessa's newest pieces of loveliness.
This beauty now resides in her living room.
Doesn't it look great?! She emailed this pic to me so that even I could enjoy it from afar. Thanks, Sister, your house looks FAB!
Because living this experience was exhausting enough, allow me to make a long story short and say...
"Who knew there was a Box #2?!"
Here they are with the new purchases. It was close but we did manage to make it out before they locked the doors. (At one point Tess actually voiced that she was afraid. What would we do if we were to get locked in overnight without cell reception, she wondered?
 Brian and I always have time to stop at this joint...
 After scurrying through Ikea with big, heavy boxes of unassembled furniture in record time, we figured we'd actually earned it for once.
Mmm! We figured a girl can't go wrong with dulce de leche frozen yogurt, but we took Yo Cream up on the offer of a free sample anyway. ...and then proceeded to fill our cups. :)
As always, the weekend flew by in no time and it was time for Bro-In-Law Brian, Tess and Co. to head for home.
But thank you, SydniSue and Kolter, for leaving behind a trace of each of you.
Kolter, everytime I walk in my living room and see the evidence of your two cute front teeth, I think of you. I see your huge blue eyes and toothy grin and you make me smile...
SydniSue, everytime I go to bed and see this evidence of you "beautifying and moisturizing" when you were supposed to be napping, I think of you. I see your twinkling eyes and moisturized lips and you make me smile....
...Leave it to kiddo destruction to make this auntie smile....
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