What I’ve been Doing…

Thought it might be a good idea to do a post of what I’ve been up to since my Christmas break started last week.

On Friday, Jason and I headed out to do Christmas with his extended family.  We had a really fun time celebrating, played a lot of games, and ate some great food! I got caught up on my baby time holding his 6 months old neice and playing with his 2 year old nephew.  Love them.

This is while we were out shopping for a gift and we took Grace to the car.  She liked Uncle swinging her car seat back and forth. : )

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We did a Christmas gift exchange where we each brought a girl or guy gift and then drew numbers and picked a gift from under the tree.  Originally I drew a pretty “Mom” necklace (which I was tempted to make a joke about having a special announcement- but refrained) but I traded with an actual mom and came home with this.

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Do you have a candle/wax warmer? I am excited about it.  I have heard of Scentsy and all those but never had purchased one.

Monday night was Christmas bunco! I came home with a big candle, a $10 Starbucks gift card, and one of the Starbucks reusable tumblers.  I am obsessed with those by the way.  If you don’t have one, you probley need one.  It’s only a dollar : )

Monday and Tuesday I did a lot of relaxing and caught up on laundry/some chores, as well as the usual Bootcamp (which is still killing me in a very good way).  I also did all of this:

Christmas Card writing

Christmas Card writing

present wrapping.

present wrapping.

Then yesterday I spent most of the day in the hair stylist’s chair.  It was fun…up until the moment my stylist received a phone call that she was being sued.  This with me sitting there with bleach foils all over…wondering how long they were supposed to stay on there.  Despite that bad news, everything came out how I wanted!  (after 3+ hours)

My new hair looks a lot like the old hair just an inch or two shorter with freshened up layers and some caramelly-brown highlights.  Bleach is your friend.

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date night of course

date night of course

Last night I met up with Jason at Pastini Pastaria after Bootcamp for a mid-week date night.  I expected Bridgeport to be crazy and to have to circle the parking lot for 15-20 minutes to find a spot.  Imagine my surprise when I parked within 30 seconds of arriving there.

Have you ever been to Pastini?  This was my pick.  Jay and I had never been there together.  I first went there with Corban while working/at our annual Sunriver retreat.  Then about a year and a half later, I happened to be sitting at the Bridgeport location when I got the call that I had gotten the job with Lilly.  So this restaurant and I have some history.  My favorite thing there is the Gorgonzola Chicken Salad- which is no longer on the menu but they will still make for you if you ask.  Jason had their Mac and Cheese with Bacon [shocking] and we were both pleased.  You should try it if you haven’t.

Then we went to see this movie.

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It was not exactly what I thought it would be- a good one to wait & see when it comes to Redbox.

Anyway, I am just loving my relaxing week over here! Hope you all are enjoying this time preparing for Christmas!

Blog challenge.

Recently a dear friend of mine informed me she was doing a December blog challenge- to blog every single day! She informed me my best version would be blogging once a week.  Love real friends.

I am a #sporadicblogger, but maybe someday it will stick?

What’s been up lately?  I like recaps best when they’re by photos.  Instagram is more my speed and something I can typically keep up with.  [Also, does anyone even remotely like facebook anymore or is it just me annoyed with what it has become lately?]

Here’s what I feel lately: grateful.  This is a crazy fun season of life.  Friends getting engaged, friends getting married, buying houses, having babies.  I am so happy for all of the joyful announcements and celebrations all around.  God is good and faithful, and He answers our prayers.  For a long time, I thought I could settle for less than God’s best and be happy anyway.  I don’t think so anymore.  Mostly I just thank Him that He has brought me to where I am today.  It makes me want to cry how undeserving I am but how loving and gracious He is in spite of my weakness.                                                                  Enough with the watery eyes, let’s photo bomb!

August.

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Fallin in love in the sweet heart of summer.

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On a date at the Oregon State Fair.  This day was so fun, and Jake Owen put on a great show.  It is my personal belief that you cannot go to the fair without ending the night on the ferris wheel.  Turns out I found someone who agrees with me.

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September brought 1 last boat day and then all of the fun of football season!

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On to October.

Image                      My childhood bestfriend got married. So happy for her.Image                              Fun at the Pumpkin Patch #rainy

Image                                    Jasons first Beaver game ever. He is a good sport.

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Sometimes I think he is so cute I have to sneak a picture of him.

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November brought this boy’s birthday!!! We went to the beach with his family for the weekend.Image

I love #datenight.  The best thing about living in different places is how excited we still get for every Friday night!Image

Another place I have been spending a good amount of time in the last month: the gym.  I joined my Mom’s bootcamp class after attending on a whim and a 2 week free trial.  I have never felt so sore/strong/hurts so good.  If you’ve seen me in the last couple weeks, it’s quite likely I’ve made you feel my bicep.  #normal  I really am enjoying it though, and the fruits that come with the labor ; )

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This might be my new favorite picture of us…except for how classy that dusty mirror is.  Oops.  This was our pre-Thanksgiving date night.  I decided to dress up for fun, and unbeknownst to me, Jason did too.  He wanted to keep it a surprise where we were going and Homeboy hit a homerun when he took me to Rudy’s.  We had the best time!

ImageMy cousin’s sweet baby in the jam jams I got him at Thanksgiving.  I love getting together with all of our family.  It goes too fast, but is such a sweet day.

December so far ; )

This weekend we went to the Zoolights (thank you, Boeing!) with Jason’s roommates and their girlfriends.  It was a cold and rainy night, but we had hot cocoa and an umbrella.  Afterward, Jason took me to Portland City Grill for dinner.  Such a fun night!

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This month is off to a VERY wonderful start, and I cannot wait for all of the great times ahead with family and friends for Christmas!! Christmas, you are my favorite!!!!

Seattle.

So. Last week the Walkers went on a mini getaway to Seattle for this girl’s birthday.  [You might remember we have done this once before.]

Typically we just go for a long weekend.  We take the train, we eat real good food, we watch some baseball games, we shop at the Flagship for the Nordstrom Anniversary sale, and then we hit the Spa.  It is kind of the best thing.

As expected, all good vacations start like this:

And then we took this:

This year we stayed here.

in downtown Seattle.  I did already Instagram this, but here’s the view from our room.

and at night:

So pretty.  Our family friend is a VP for Red Lion Hotels and he hooked us up with a great view.

We stayed across the street from one of my favorite Seattle staples- Specialty’s Bakery.  We may or may not have gone there every day for breakfast.[and by gone there every day, I mean 2 of the times this nice couple I know brought me breakfast in bed. #sleepyhead]  I discovered this place while in Seattle back in ’09 with one of my Colorado roommates. And yes I know, who has diet pepsi as their breakfast beverage? This girl! #Iamclassy

 

 

 

Well who do we have here? TWalk would probably kill me for this paparazzi style shot. I don’t care.  I think they’re cute.

 

 

These next few pictures are from our last dinner- right on the Waterfront.  The first picture has a shot of the brand new ferris wheel in Seattle [not a fair, a permanent fixture]. Maybe next time I’ll ride.

We had the best waiter ever and we kibitzed about everything from the Mariners, the weather, food, to his slow pitch softball team.  It’s a restaurant league.  Homeboy was the funniest.  He seemed to think we had to wait unnecessarily long for our meal (We were fine with it), so he sent over the owner of the restaurant and an offer of 2 desserts on the house.  Who were we to argue?  The first was a chocolate souffle that Mom and I shared and it was #unbelievable.

I will conclude with this final thought: If you are one of the ‘Spa girls’ then you should probably add the Spa Nordstrom to your bucket list.  I have dreams of taking friends there someday.  It is almost as good as Heaven, and I look forward to my time there pretty much all year.  Even when I worked for Corban, it was worth the splurge.  Best pedicure of your life people.

I mean HI, please look at these.

I am even dreaming of buying one of their amazing robes- but I know it won’t be quite the same ; )

Long time no blog.

hmmm. It doesn’t really even make sense to try to summarize the months of May and June because it wouldn’t do them justice.  There was lots of fun to be had!

There were many dates.  Lots of ice cream eaten.  And some days on the boat.

This was my very favorite weekend:

[Memorial Day]

At the Civil War game in Corvallis.  Let’s put it this way: only one of us could be very pleased with the outcome of this game and that was me.  Beautiful day for baseball : )

I took this photo from our dinner table on the Seattle Waterfront. I love food, don’t get me wrong, but I am a total sucker for good atmosphere. And this one was pretty amazing.

Also:  I experienced this place for the very first time.

http://www.papahaydn.com/

I told Jason that night that I thought I could die happy 🙂

Dessert might be the way to my heart.

 
June was very full too.  More of the same with dates and dessert, but some very special additions too!

There was some running happening: (in the rain no less)

I got to meet a just-born baby (and then I cried like one, naturally):

Then a very very special thing happened: Two of the dearest and sweetest tied the knot.  God could not be more honored by their love and relationship.  The wedding was a beautiful, sacred, holy day that many have prayed for for a long time.  (Some people get tears in their eyes just blogging about it, ahem)

God is so good and faithful.  Sometimes I feel like we rejoice even more knowing the long road that led to this moment.

 

I was very honored to play a tiny role in their special day.  This was so much fun.  There were a lot of precious practice sessions with the sweet bride leading up to her big day. Loved that.

 

We had a lot of fun at their beautiful rehearsal dinner at the Wild Pear.

I felt it entirely appropriate that “the camo dress” make a reappearance in honor of its previous debut at a VanDyk Family event. ; )

 

 

Finally, the 30th was also this little lady’s birthday!

 

Happy Birthday, Mama!

 

 

 

Sunny Days.

My Word. The sunshine this weekend was just unreal.  I enjoyed myself to the max.  One of those weekends where you feel like … I did that to the fullest, I didn’t waste a minute and I would like to do that again 10x over. : )

Saturday looked like this:

 

 

Gosh I just love these boys.  They played unbelievably well and it was a wonderful game.  We went with our Pastor of my parents’ church in Stayton, plus his wife and daughter.  It was such a great time, and some of us may have come home with pink shoulders. Ahem. : ) Plus clearly Benny is my boy ; )

Did anyone catch the sunset on Saturday? It was gorgeous and I caught it while driving home at the end of the night. Like most things God made, this photo will not do it justice.

*Also an expert eye may notice a little bit of Instagram-ing going on.  After some subtle encouragement from a strong and sweet friend, plus a little lesson from a boy- I joined the ranks and I’m working on it.  Follow me if you wish : )

On Sunday, I slept in and went on a little hike with a boy.  We started at Marquam Trail and ended at Council Crest- which is the highest point in Portland.  It looked like this:

It was really fun to be out in the sunshine all day long, and to enjoy the beautiful weather and views!

From our hike, we went down by the waterfront to walk and have dinner at McCormick and Schmicks.

Then we went to church here:

http://www.ajesuschurch.org/

and ended the night with this:

uhhhhhhhh dying.  We have had this twice already together.  He likely did not know what a test it was when I asked: “What kind of cheesecake is your favorite?” (while on our way to the Cheesecake Factory) Lucky for him he came up with the right answer.

Hope everyone had a great weekend and enjoyed the sneak peak of summer as much as I did! ; )

 

 

What I’ve been up to…

 

 

Vacation was amazing. 85 degree sunshine, pooltime, good baseball, and good food.  You get the idea.  It was so relaxing and somehow even 6 nights is too short when you are having such a great time.  Our baseball team went 4-0 during the games we attended. Thank you for that!

Somebody had a birthday! I gifted him and my mom a 1 night stay at Salishan Resort on the coast.  We went to Best Little Roadhouse to celebrate.

Went to see the Blazers on a date with a boy.

Celebrated this beautiful friend on a lovely day with some wonderful women.

Love love love these girls.  Over the years we have been through and seen it all, and still God is faithful.

Half the group about to be Mamas? NABD. I’m behind 😉

Saw this with a boy at Bridgeport last night.  Let’s be honest, the theatre was full of pre-teen angst and I wanted to run around the theatre covering their eyes at certain points.  It was good but consider yourself warned.

In a couple hours, I’m off with BW and TW and Pastor Ron and his family to see some Beaver baseball. Doesn’t get much better on a sunny Saturday!

Goodness.

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Is it alright if I check the weather for Phoenix on my iphone several times a day?

I CANNOT WAIT to be in the sun and by the pool in a few short days!!!

#vacationobsession

I am going to have one heck of a week at work trying to get everything wrapped up before I take off.  Too many people to see, meetings to attend, and conference calls to hold before I can leave for Paradise.  Things have been a little bit dramatic lately, and I am ready to get the heck out of here!

I have had the best weekend hanging out with BCW, as TW is in Oklahoma visiting her sister.  BW and I have gone out to dinner, discussed every possible thing sports-related, rehashed the current events in my job, watched lots of March Madness, went to see some Corban Baseball under the lights, and even squeezed in a DQ run. Mom claims to be jealous- but we know she is having a great time.

Another highlight was the beautiful sunshine that came out today!!! Managed to squeeze in a good walk with @Sfrost.  It cracked me up when I pulled up to Riverfront Park and it looked like the entire city of Salem was there acting as though it is the first day of summer.  I can’t remember the last time I saw it that packed.  Clearly I am not alone in missing the sunshine.  I just feel lucky that I was able to drag a certain Someone out in the crowds 😉

And special shout-out to the people at the park with their cat on a leash.  I would never be brave enough to be you.