January Misc Roundup

Hank turned 1! Also, “home” life: mosaic books and Tinker Crates at our rental house, a couple of field trips, Lucy at school, and our first cobbled-together movie night at the new house.

A long weekend at the Aldridges’, including a day on the tubes:

Here’s what all-new floors and doors looks like while it’s happening. Notice Lucy’s “bedroom” in the living room.

C U T E  P U P P Y  T I M E

December Misc Roundup

Every year, while we have entire families gathered, we make sure to set up a tripod and snap a photo. Here’s the Swank gathering:


And the Jensons:


And some fun images at Liz & Jeff’s house:

School and activities keep the kids pretty busy. Here you can see the results of the project-based learning (PBL) program at Summa, a lucky shot of Will doing screen printing, some Trackers action, and a couple images from our bus commute (Hi, Uncle Sam!).

Some images from closer to home: cousin Ashton turned 2, Lucy got her first tie shoes, and they both love their Pley subscriptions.

Christmas day at the Jensons in Washougal.


The first photo here is the last one we have from our Portland house. The rest are from one of the Airbnbs we stayed in after our old house was sold, but before the new one was ready.

Winter Break

While us grownups were in Orcas Island, the kids spent a lovely week down in Salem with their Swank grandparents:

My mom flew out for a visit, and the kids and I took her straight from the airport to the beach. Becky was supposed to meet us out there, but a snowstorm stranded her in our construction zone of a house:

I eventually rescued her with the Jeep, and we all got some lovely winter beach time together.


November Kid/Parent Retreats

Ben and Lucy

Lucy wanted to practice her tattooing on me, so I told her I had one arm left. The next morning we ate breakfast and got dressed to go to Crossfit, we had a bit of time left over, so she worked on making her own (cardboard) laptop from the Hello Ruby book we funded on Kickstarter. We made sure to fit in some pony time, and a bike trip to Salt & Straw, and a showing of Minions at Kennedy School over dinner. During a trip to the grocery store, she weighed very carefully the relative merits of a stuffed raccoon and a plush octopus, finally settling on the one with more pink and spots.

Becky and Will

We drove two hours to our lodgings in Klickitat, which is a tiny little town up the gorge, listening to How to Eat Fried Worms on the way. We spent the whole next day at the Columbia Gorge Discovery Center, which has a ton of great exhibits, and hikes with stunning views all around. We even had a fox as a companion for about half a mile.

That night we hit Burgerville for dinner, followed by a surprise showing of Goosebumps, which Will claims is the “scariest movie of [his] entire life.” He was so scared he was holding his ears.

The next morning we spent some time in our backyard, on the Klickitat River, and took a tour of the Bonneville Dam on the way home, including the locks and the fish ladder.

EtW: Sen Yai (Thailand)

We ate in Thailand, and our faces almost melted off. Also, Andy Ricker is a god among men.

This is part of our Eat The World challenge. Check out the whole thing.

Sen Yai is an offshoot of Pok Pok that specializes in authentic northern Thai noodle dishes. The decor, the beverages, the utensils, the extra sauces you can pile on your lunch – you realize right away that this isn’t like the “Thai food” you’ve ever had before.

It’s better, is what it is. It’s spicier, sure, and that posed a problem for Becky, who can’t handle too much capsaicin, but it’s also just… better. The crispy chicken is crispier, the greens greener. We loved it, and would recommend it to just about anyone.

EtW: Aberus (Ethiopia)

We visited Ethiopia, sort of. And it’s a tasty place.

This is part of our Eat The World challenge. Check out the whole thing.

We sat down at Aberus, and it was a tiny bit like visiting an actual foreign country. pretty clear we were the outsiders. We were the only white people there, and we’re pretty sure the only ones speaking English. We had no idea there was such a big Ethiopian community in Portland, and its epicenter is literally almost in our backyard!

And while yes, there is a dinner plate under all that food, the brown thing is actually a sheet of thin bread, and so are the rolled-up things on the other plate. This is injera, and it is your primary utensil; you tear off a piece of bread, make a little taco, grab some other food with it, and stuff it in your mouth before it can get all over the place. Once most of the stuff has been eaten, you tear up the bread on the bottom and eat it, too, because all the sauces have soaked into it, and it’s the best part.

This was delicious. The people were friendly and helpful when we were confused on how to eat our food, and even though we couldn’t understand the chatter of the other patrons, the feeling we left with was warm, comfortable, and happy.

November Misc Roundup

Will and Lucy have been settling into their new school nicely, and we started practicing the transit commute. One day was “dress up like a role model” day, and they both decided to dress up as us!

I took the kids to a Minecraft party at one of their friends’ houses. They had a baby guinea pig!

We love museums. Will and I visited the Oregon Historical Society’s WWII exhibit. Becky took Lucy to the Blue Man Group exhibit at the Children’s Museum. Oh, and the kids had a day off from school, so Becky took them to JJ Jump Extreme!

While Becky and I went to San Francisco, the kids spent some time with the Swanks.

I took the kids to visit OMSI, where the GUITAR exhibit was on.

Miscellany: Dia de las Muertas, helping move Grandpa Ken’s trailer, shop-climbing at Costco, portraits with Connor, and a light assist at a portrait shoot.


#100: Create the “100 Things in 2016” List

This is part of our 100 Things in 2015 challenge. Here’s the full list.

Now that we’ve posted the 100 Things in 2016 list, we can officially ring in the end of 2015!


So what have we learned this year? Well, firstly we reaffirmed our finding from last year – that life happens, and the list must adapt, just like we do. The list isn’t a hundred tiny goals, it’s one big goal – to lead an interesting and eventful life. The first rule of 100 Things for us is to always keep that in mind, and not feel like a failure when we need to swap some of them out.

We’re doubling down this year on personal achievements; each of us has seven Things that are just ours. We liked what happened with them last year, but we ended up finishing early, so adding more seemed like the right thing to do.

We’ve also made a few Things into permanent fixtures, like the two road trips, and Pajama Day. Our whole family liked them so much, we decided they were worth making into traditions.

A big adventurey thanks to 100thingsblog, where we got the idea for this challenge in the first place. They continue to inspire with their yearly lists, too!

Here’s to a fun-filled 2015, and an eventful and interesting 2016!