Ellie’s first year at school complete

And just like that, Ellie is no longer a kindergartner. Today is Ellie’s last day at school before the summer break, and they had a school assembly where parents were invited to come along, so I broke away from work to attend.

Each grade sang us a song, and several groups were highlighted and praised for their efforts and achievements during the year. This included the top two boys and girls in each grade from Running Club, where the kids are allowed to voluntarily run around the track at recess and have their laps recorded by a teacher. Apparently, Ellie was one of the top two girl kindergartners (out of ~40) that ran the most laps throughout the year, so she got a gift card and recognition for that.

Continue reading “Ellie’s first year at school complete”

Lilac Days

We had heard about this small lilac garden in Washington, about an hour away from us, that had the most beautiful display of lilacs, so we took a trip up to see them and we weren’t disappointed.

The kids humoured us as us adults walked around, but they made the most of it too, and enjoyed smelling the lilacs, not to mention that we got some adorable pictures of the kids.

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Visiting the Cherry Blossoms in Portland

We live in the PNW because we love everything about it, and we live that reality out. At every opportunity, we’re out seeing all of the beautiful sites around us.

For whatever reason, in the first two springs here, we didn’t get a chance to make it down to Tom McCall Waterfront Park to see the cherry blossom trees blooming in early spring, but we didn’t make that mistake this year.

We have a lot of cherry blossom trees here in Portland and they’re just a beautiful adornment to an already beautiful city.

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Family pictures 2018

After we discovered Jess and Jon at Cascade Photography last year and fell in love with the great job they did on our family photos last year, we asked them to come back and do some more photos for us this year.

Fall is a perfect time for family photos in Portland because the leaves are beautiful and colourful and of course we can include those pictures on our Christmas cards.

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April – June 2018

As the weather cleared up and Ellie completed her fifth trip around the sun, her personality just keeps coming out more and more.

These photos help to show how much she’s coming out of her shell and that she isn’t afraid to be her, which I love. I don’t want her to ever apologise for being who she is.

She upgraded from her balance bike to her first real bike at Christmas and once the weather cleared up, she was able to start riding around and she’s getting pretty good at operating the bike by herself. She’s still got training wheels / stabilisers on for now, but those’ll come off soon enough with how well she’s progressing. Continue reading “April – June 2018”

Ellie’s 5th birthday

Ellie celebrated her fifth(!) birthday this summer. To celebrate, we invited a bunch of her friends to come and celebrate at Enchanted Forest: a theme park based on fairy tales which hasn’t seen too many updates since the 1970s. However, all of the adults agreed that that was part of its charm; it isn’t flashy or over the top, but offers some great entertainment for a reasonable price without going crazy.

For her actual birthday, she was insistent on wearing her princess dress, and looked beautiful and grown up. Continue reading “Ellie’s 5th birthday”

Family vacation to Bend, OR [VIDEO]

This summer, we made the decision to take our family vacation in Bend, OR. Bend is characterized by the high desert climate, notably different from the wetter climate on the west side of the Cascades (where Portland is), but its craft beer scene and its many options for outdoor adventure.

It was a pretty low-key affair and more than anything, it was just a good break from the everyday slog of life at home, but while we were there, we definitely took the opportunity to do some activities that we wouldn’t ordinarily be able to do.

For example, we took Ellie and Jack horseback riding which went really well. Jack definitely needed some convincing, but once he realised he was OK, he loved it up on the horse. Continue reading “Family vacation to Bend, OR [VIDEO]”

January – March 2018

December was largely a write-off because of sickness throughout the house, however we got right on with enjoying the new year.

Ellie spent a fair amount of time building the Lego sets that she got at Christmas. Ellie and I also participated in a 13-week Daddy-Daughter Ballet class: she was definitely the better ballerina, but it was nice to have that special experience with her.

It was a pretty mild winter all told, to the point of us being able to visit vineyards towards the end of March in the sun with short sleeves on. Continue reading “January – March 2018”

Ellie and Daddy do Seattle [VIDEO]

This past weekend, I took Ellie to Seattle for a little daddy-daughter weekend before she starts school in a couple of weeks! We had so much fun seeing the sights and I cherished the opportunity to dote on my little girl, and do things like get dressed up and take her on a date.

We got up to write a lot during our time in Seattle. We:

  • Rode the light rail and the monorail (this is exciting to Ellie).
  • Went on a dinner date together, with Ellie in her princess dress and me in a shirt and tie.
  • Went up to the Space Needle and watched Seattle from high up, with the city lights aglow (Ellie often says how pretty the city looks at night because of all the lights.
  • Went to Pike Place Market.
  • Grabbed breakfast at Wayward Vegan Cafe (this wasn’t planned, but Ellie wanted waffles for breakfast, so the girl had to have waffles!).
  • Spent a few hours in the Pacific Science Center.
  • Went on the Seattle Great Wheel.
  • Grabbed breakfast together at Starbucks.
  • Went to Genessee Park to the Seafair Festival so that we could watch the Blue Angels. Continue reading “Ellie and Daddy do Seattle [VIDEO]”