So I did the math, y’all…and, as of last week I’m officially leaving the PNW in 8 weeks. EIGHT WEEKS! *gasp* I can’t believe it. I can’t believe a lot of things. I can’t believe we’ve been here for four years already. I can’t believe how much I’ve come to love things out here. I can’t believe it’s all coming to an end… Ya see, I left a piece of my heart back in the South, where my roots are, my family members are, and my lifelong friends are. But, I’ve realized as it’s quickly all coming to an end here…I’ll be leaving a piece of my heart here too. 💔😢*holds back tears* Seriously…but more on that later. Continue reading “Travel Guide Along The Columbia River Gorge: Waterfall Edition”
In case you haven’t heard it before, weekend adventures here in the PNW are my infinite staycations of escape with timeless memories I get to make with my family. This week in the PNW wonderland tour, we headed southeast to the general direction of Mount St. Helens with no real planned destination. Our day started off cloudy *enter shock here* as we landed our first stop at the Mount St. Helens Visitor Center at Silver Lake. I’d seen some gorgeous panoramic views of the mountain from other Instagram users I follow from this location so I was eager to get my photographic geek on.🤓📸 Sadly, the mountain was not in view so we grabbed a park map and headed further east to the Johnston Ridge Observatory. It was only about a 45+ minute drive along some state road, but with beautiful views of the once bare valley and other little pull-offs and viewpoints along the way.
The views at the top were so pretty…it took us, like, 15 minutes just to get out of the parking lot! It was so peaceful and picturesque I didn’t want to leave! I mean, even just the wild flowers in bloom during summer were enough to fill my creative cup. But, alas, we did just drive 1.5 hours to see even more from ol’ Helen.
There was a small fee for adults, but because we are military we get free entry to all National Parks…it’s a park perk if you will. 😉 The gift shop/observatory was really nice inside with interactive maps and diagrams throughout. They even have a movie theater where they play a short film on the history of Mt St Helens and the astonishing resilience of nature after she erupted in 1980. *This just in: according to Wiki the Mt St Helens’ eruption was the most deadly and economically destructive volcanic eruption in US history.* Who knew you’d be hit with historical facts on LtL?? For those of you that know me, you can close your mouth now…😧
Ok, that’s enough education for the day…now, please scroll through and enjoy some pics!
^^^ I spy with my little eye…👀
^^^ There she is, playing peekaboo
^^^ Caption this: I’m the king of the worldddd!
^^^ There were (squirrel-sized) chipmunks running all around, so to keep B entertained a bit longer we told him to call for them along the trail. This is him calling “Helloooo, Chipmunkss!” More accurately heard as “hewooo ????”
This is the ledge outside the observatory with indescribable panoramic views of Mt St Helens, trails, mountain ranges, and rivers…all of this greenery sprung from hundreds of square miles of thick ash. The fortitude of nature after seemingly zero chance of life is giving me all kinds of symbolism over here, y’all…
“By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.” Hebrews 11:3
I hope y’all enjoyed our day trip to Mt. St. Helens! Geoff and I both agreed another trip is in order before we leave when she is out and about, shining bright for her viewers to admire.
Happy weekend all!❤️
Lemons to Love,
“For behold, the winter is past; the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth, the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land.” Song of Solomon 2: 11-12
This weekend I went to a baptism for a friend of mine out here in the PNW. The day was really special to me — to celebrate the sweet spiritual life of one precious baby and to share that time with a special friend of mine and her sweet family — they were all sentimental moments that reminded me of the day Brooks was baptized at my home church and celebrating the start to his walk with Christ…not to mention my responsibility to raise him to know Him. In the Priest’s sermon he compared baptism to a 10 million dollar bill; not very useful for a trip to Starbucks or treating a group of friends to dinner — but break that bill into smaller ones, and you’ve got yourself a lot of gifts to share with the world! Just like being baptized. What good is it if we do nothing with it? Being baptized is something to share daily with those around us — with acts of kindness and gifts of our love, through Christ. I just loved that analogy.
Now, what does all of this have to do with my tulip festival outing? Here’s my church-to-tulip fields segue 🙂 …the symbolism behind the spring blooms. There is a lot of hard work, preparation, and patience that go into the ‘final product’ of a tulip field. But with those commitments comes a promise of the fruits of our labor. The newness God promises after a baptism and the fresh beginning He offers when we ask for forgiveness — these are what I live for…what get me through those dreary seasons where the bloom seems so far our of site. These tulip fields out here are too beautiful for words or even the attempt of a snapshot in a photo, but they remind me that “the rain is over, and the flowers appear on the earth.”
Take all of that as you will…. 🙂
So back to our trip to the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival! I just had a spontaneous moment one morning when I woke up and thought ‘why not?’ Remember when I went up to the Skagit Valley tulips with friends a few year back? Well, now that we live a little further south I wanted to check out the tulips I’d seen amazing pictures of down in Oregon. I honestly was just expecting the fields of colorful tulips, but when we pulled up there was so much more! I love it when a little trip turns into so much more than you expected. I had such a genuinely fun, sweet time with B going through the rows of tulips. They even had a kid area with bungee/harness jumping, pony rides, slides, food, and more! The festival goes until May 1st, so any WA friends y’all should definitely make the trip down. (It’s way better than Skagit in my opinion).
I think this is a pretty photo heavy post, y’all…so, #sorrynotsorry! 🙂 There was just so much to see, do, and capture.
Quick side note: These pics are not super imposed or saturated in color….the colors are actually that gorgeous and vivid! …and B is actually that delicious. 😉
^^^ He had SO much fun running through the tulip rows. There are signs everywhere that strongly suggest state admirers not to pick the flowers. I deterred him at first, but there may have been a tulip or two plucked by tiny hands (shh, don’t judge).
^^^ That’s a good day of play right there 🙂
^^^ This was a BUMPY tractor ride through the tulip fields they had for the kids. B was a little unsure at first but was laughing and loving it after the first few bumps. 🙂
^^^ To say that he loved the pony ride would be a major understatement!! He kept cracking up and saying ‘moo’ — I love this kid!
^^^ Such a ham!
^^^ Ma! Let go! I gotta ride!
Disheveled hair, exhausted and so so happy. I’ve LOVED this time I’ve gotten with just B and me while Geoff has been gone. There have been so many sweet moments that really fill my heart…and totally make up for the mommy failure moments, temporary single mom life, and screaming toddler tantrums. He’s like my little tiny human BFF — I love his spirit and carefree disposition on life.
Geoff gets home in less than a week! Can’t wait for family adventures to begin! We’re hittin’ the ground running with a special weekend trip away the first weekend he’s back! ….you know they’ll be a post on it. 😉 Aside from going home, we’ve never had a family over night trip since we’ve lived here. I think it’s about time we make that happen.
Have a great week!
Thanks for reading…