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Summer in Oregon: Part 1

We had the most wonderful summer at home in Oregon! There was much to celebrate with birthdays, anniversaries, a baby shower, a baby birth, and two weddings, so we were on the go a lot. Still, we managed to enjoy quality time with loved ones, some relaxing days at our beach cottage, and a trip to visit family and friends in Texas.

We kicked off the summer by celebrating my 30th birthday on our first full day home. What a welcome back! My mom and Isaac really outdid themselves with all of the planning and beautiful details. I had the most wonderful day, surrounded by so many people we love- my heart was bursting at the seams!

Jen30thBDay001A true traveler. Miss Isla did not suffer any jet lag and slept through the night. Bless her little heart!

Jen30thBDay002My mom created the most gorgeous and delicious spread!

Jen30thBDay003Jen30thBDay004Shane, Trevor and I grew up together and they were very much like big brothers to me. How fun is it that now Isla will get to grow up playing with Shane’s two boys?!Jen30thBDay005Jen30thBDay006Jen30thBDay007Jen30thBDay008Jen30thBDay009Jen30thBDay010Jen30thBDay011Jen30thBDay012Jen30thBDay013Luckily we had nothing planned for our second day home, and spent the day relaxing out on my mom’s front porch. She has the most beautiful old bungalow, and her front porch might be one of the most peaceful places on earth! Isaac decided to tinker with our new 35mm lens and took pictures around Mom’s garden. Then, of course, we couldn’t help but take some photos of Isla.

140624MomsHouse_0001140624MomsHouse_0002140624MomsHouse_0003140624MomsHouse_0004140624MomsHouse_0005140624MomsHouse_0006140624MomsHouse_0007140624MomsHouse_0008140624MomsHouse_0009140624MomsHouse_0010140624MomsHouse_0011140624MomsHouse_0012140624MomsHouse_0013140624MomsHouse_0014140624MomsHouse_0015On the flight home, Isla took notice of, and became instantly obsessed with, the spot on my hand. She still points to it if asked, “Where’s Mommy’s spot?”

140624MomsHouse_0016140624MomsHouse_0017140624MomsHouse_0018140624MomsHouse_0019140624MomsHouse_0020140624MomsHouse_0021140624MomsHouse_0022140624MomsHouse_0023140624MomsHouse_0024140624MomsHouse_0025140624MomsHouse_0027140624MomsHouse_0026140624MomsHouse_0028140624MomsHouse_0029140624MomsHouse_0030140624MomsHouse_0031140624MomsHouse_0032140624MomsHouse_0033140624MomsHouse_0034140624MomsHouse_0035Our girls!

140624MomsHouse_0036140624MomsHouse_0037140624MomsHouse_0038Isla finished up the evening with a soak in Nana’s tub. The perfect end to a wonderful, relaxing day.140624MomsHouse_0039140624MomsHouse_0040

Later in the week we made a trip down to Salem to visit Nana, Papa, and Auntie Leah. Of course we couldn’t miss an opportunity to introduce Isla to Cafe 22 and her first fresh fruit milkshake!

140626Salem001A little lemon sampling with Nana.

140626Salem002Isla’s first taste of a fresh fruit milkshake…

140626Salem003Aaaand, her second taste. Get it, girl!

140626Salem004140626Salem005After our yummy lunch we visited Auntie Leah and Uncle Moises’ first home.

The following weekend, my mom and I threw a baby shower for one of my dearest friends, Robin. I was so thrilled later in the summer when Madelyn decided to show up a little early so that I could be there to document her birth!


Father’s Day and Other Springtime Favorites

I’m playing catch up like a mad woman with our family photos (unedited images since last November!) and the blog. Before moving on to our summer highlights and more current life happenings, I wanted to share some photos from Isaac’s first Father’s Day, as well as some favorite photos from this spring with our sweet Isla…

FatherFatherFatherSo true! Isla is the luckiest little girl in the world to have Isaac for her Daddy. I plan to help her recreate the World’s Best Daddy hand print art every year so that he will have a collection.

FatherFatherFatherFatherFatherFatherFatherFatherFatherFatherFatherFatherFatherFatherFatherFatherFatherFatherOur much-loved, but short-lived crinkle nose smile

FatherSpring Favorites_0001Spring Favorites_0002Spring Favorites_0003Spring Favorites_0004Spring Favorites_0005Spring Favorites_0006Spring Favorites_0007Spring Favorites_0008Spring Favorites_0009Spring Favorites_0010Spring Favorites_0011Spring Favorites_0012Spring Favorites_0013Spring Favorites_0014Spring Favorites_0015Spring Favorites_0016Spring Favorites_0017Spring Favorites_0018Spring Favorites_0019Spring Favorites_0020IIsla LOVES to drink out of our water glasses. She gets the cutest grin across her face after she gulps the water, and you can just feel her beaming with pride!

Spring Favorites_0021Spring Favorites_0022Spring Favorites_0023Spring Favorites_0024Spring Favorites_0025More painting fun with our little artist!Spring Favorites_0026Sampling the paint is still just as fun as painting with it.

Spring Favorites_0027Spring Favorites_0028Spring Favorites_0029Spring Favorites_0030Spring Favorites_0031Spring Favorites_0032Spring Favorites_0033Post-painting bath time!

Spring Favorites_0034Spring Favorites_0035Spring Favorites_0036Spring Favorites_0037Spring Favorites_0038Isla’s first tippy cup.

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Leah Ramos - September 15, 2014 - 4:34 am

I miss that beautiful little human being. These photos put that ache in my heart! Can wait for Christmas!! YAY!

Isla’s First Easter

Isla’s first Easter was so lovely! We celebrated with close friends a few days beforehand at our house, and Isla ate lots of yummy pureed carrots! On Easter Sunday the three of us spent the day together, and Isla opened her first Easter Basket. I’m not going to lie, I’ve been planning this Easter basket since I was pregnant. I was just a tad excited for this fun parenting milestone!


We didn’t need anymore baskets laying around our house, so I used one from Isla’s room and filled it with goodies for both Isla and Isaac- I definitely did not buy my baby Frank’s Red Hot sauce- ha! Isla’s portion of the basket included some Easter and Spring board books (Spring, Easter, and I Love You, Honey Bunny), these wonderful crocheted egg rattles (she still LOVES these and plays with them nearly every day), this sweet headband, and two pairs of these darling ruffled diaper covers. Isaac received a new tie clip, as well as some of his favorite hot sauces, natural peanut and cashew butters, and the best smelling lemongrass soy candle.

140420EasterBasket_0002140420EasterBasket_0003140420EasterBasket_0004140420EasterBasket_0005140420EasterBasket_0006140420EasterBasket_0007Isla wore this insanely adorable chocolate Easter bunny onesie during the day, and how I managed not to get pictures of her in it still amazes me! Looks like I’ll just have to remove the applique and add it to a new shirt next year so we can enjoy it some more- it is seriously that cute! I did, however, manage to snag a few photos of the Easter Bunny earlier in the week…

Easter Bunny_0001Easter Bunny_0002Easter Bunny_0003Easter Bunny_0004Easter Bunny_0005Easter Bunny_0006I just couldn’t resist. I sure hope she doesn’t hate me for these!

Nana and Papa’s Asian Adventure Part 3: Shanghai

After our stay in Thailand, Nana and Papa flew back to Shanghai with us to spend a week and get a glimpse of our life in China. Enjoying a little downtime after vacation, we took a lot of neighborhood walks and enjoyed cozy evenings at home. Isaac even took Papa on a spin on his motorbike around Kangqiao. Still, we didn’t let Nana and Papa leave without exploring a little bit of the biggest city in the world! I didn’t bring my camera for many of our outings, but we had a great time showing them a handful of our favorite highlights around Shanghai. We sipped basil martinis and dined on yummy food with our “Shanghai family” at Sichuan Citizen, visited the ever-entertaining marriage market in People’s Square, walked the Bund and surrounding neighborhoods, dined on Hunan cuisine at Lost Heaven, and did our best to buy out all the purses, jerseys and shoes at the Science and Technology fake market. Of course, as soon as Nana and Papa left we thought of so many more places we should have taken them! Guess they’ll just have to come back!

140405Shanghai_0001Skyping with family back in Oregon.

140405Shanghai_0002We had a belated birthday celebration for Sandy one evening and ate entirely too much!

140405Shanghai_0003140405Shanghai_0004140405Shanghai_0005140405Shanghai_0006140405Shanghai_0007140406Shanghai_0001140406Shanghai_0002At the Shanghai Marriage Market, where parents and grandparents post advertisements in hopes of finding the perfect match for their children and grandchildren. You’ve truly got to see it to believe it!140406Shanghai_0003140406Shanghai_0004140406Shanghai_0005140406Shanghai_0006140406Shanghai_0007140406Shanghai_0008140406Shanghai_0009140406Shanghai_0010140406Shanghai_0011Selfies at The Bund. It’s a must if you visit Shanghai.

140406Shanghai_0012140406Shanghai_0013140406Shanghai_0014140406Shanghai_0015140406Shanghai_0016140406Shanghai_0017140406Shanghai_0018140406Shanghai_0019Yep, Sandy, that face pretty much sums up how everyone feels about Shanghai at one point or another!

Xie Xie, Nana and Papa, for making the long trek over the Pacific to spend these precious weeks with us! It was truly a joy and such an honor for us to be able to share this part of our lives with you. What adventure should we go on next?

Sandy Marshall - September 14, 2014 - 3:54 am

Truly a sweet ending to our time together…hanging out in your beautiful home…and yes, enjoying the best birthday cupcakes ever!!! Many snuggle times with Isla….and many walks around your neighborhood. A bit of a glimpse of China…and we look back with fond memories of special times with you! Thank you for your gracious hospitality! You ask what adventure next??? Well….we will have to think about it! I am sure we can come up with something grand!!! =) love and hugs! <3

Nana and Papa’s Asian Adventure Part 2: Phuket, Thailand

After the EARCOS conference ended in Bangkok, we all flew down to Phuket for the remainder of the week to relax at one of our favorite spots in Kata Beach, Sawasdee Village.  Our days were filled with many happy hours at the pool, balmy sunset walks on the beach, pineapple rice and pad thai, glorious foot massages, and delicious banana splits at the 8-Fold restaurant down the road. It was just the relaxing time we’d hoped for, and we enjoyed every moment together. We were so happy to share a little slice of our beloved Thailand with Nana and Papa!PhuketBlog001While Phuket tends to be busy, and not necessarily one of the most dreamy, relaxing areas of Thailand, we cannot say enough good things about the Sawasdee Village Resort. This was our second stay and we absolutely LOVED every minute there! As soon as you walk onto the lush grounds of this quaint resort, all of the hustle, bustle, honking, and chaos of the town melt away and you experience nothing but tranquility!

PhuketBlog002PhuketBlog003PhuketBlog004PhuketBlog005PhuketBlog006PhuketBlog007PhuketBlog008PhuketBlog009PhuketBlog010PhuketBlog011PhuketBlog012PhuketBlog013PhuketBlog014PhuketBlog015PhuketBlog016PhuketBlog017PhuketBlog018Isla loved, loved, loved swimming in the pool! I could not get enough of her in her darling little swimsuits and Babybanz sunglasses!

PhuketBlog019PhuketBlog020PhuketBlog021PhuketBlog022PhuketBlog023PhuketBlog024PhuketBlog025PhuketBlog026PhuketBlog027PhuketBlog028PhuketBlog029PhuketBlog030PhuketBlog031PhuketBlog032PhuketBlog033PhuketBlog034PhuketBlog035PhuketBlog036PhuketBlog037PhuketBlog038PhuketBlog039PhuketBlog040PhuketBlog041Enjoying her new books from her wonderful aunties, Rachel and Cheryl, while modeling her cute suit from sweet Auntie Leah.

PhuketBlog042PhuketBlog043PhuketBlog044PhuketBlog045We managed to pull ourselves away from the resort a handful of times and wandered down to the beach during a few evenings. We spent time walking along the sand and enjoyed pineapple fried rice at a beachfront restaurant as the sun set.

PhuketBlog046PhuketBlog047PhuketBlog048PhuketBlog049PhuketBlog050PhuketBlog051PhuketBlog052PhuketBlog053PhuketBlog054PhuketBlog055PhuketBlog056PhuketBlog057Little Miss Isla, always making friends wherever we go!


PhuketBlog058PhuketBlog059PhuketBlog060PhuketBlog061Also during our stay in Thailand, Isla had her first taste of rice cereal. She took to it like a fish to water! Baby Girl loves her food… like mother, like daughter!

PhuketBlog062PhuketBlog063PhuketBlog064PhuketBlog065PhuketBlog066PhuketBlog067PhuketBlog068PhuketBlog069Mmmmm… loving that nummy food!


Nana and Papa, practicing their “wai” =)

Kob kun kaa, Thailand! Thank you for another amazing adventure. Until next time…

Sandy Marshall - September 14, 2014 - 3:44 am

Love love love!! You captured our time….many days of relaxation and fun with our baby girl Isla and the both of you!!! God blessed us, and we are so thankful we had the chance to experience Thailand with you! <3 Thank you for capturing the moments that will now last a lifetime!!!