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I took the kiddos to a festival all about agricultural in Oregon…and they loved it! They got a kick out of all the animals and watching their excitement (and hearing the giggles) was priceless. Brycen wanted to touch and feed everything, but Airlie was more reserved. She would just observe and if the cows mooed too loud, she’d back up behind¬† me. It was quite adorable.

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They especially loved the bunnies. We kept having to go back for more snuggles with them (there were quite soft and adorable).

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I love the looks in the picture-from both Airlie and the girl holding the calf. Serious stand off.

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This sow with her little piglets was the cutest thing ever. This (and the sweet cows) is one reason why I am vegetarian. They were too stinkin cute.

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Watching little chicks just breaking free from their shells…

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And this sweet colt (part pony/part donkey) was less than a week old. Ridiculous.

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Oh and these guys, alpacas…they just make me laugh. All of them had different hairstyles.

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One of their favorite parts was the kiddos went on their first pony ride. I wasn’t sure if they’d actually follow through, but they were stoked. Afterwards, Airlie told me that as she was riding the pony, she imagined it was a unicorn, which she still wants to ride one day…

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Another favorite part of today for Airlie (since she actually finished hers) was the soft-serve ice cream. Brycen switched his for some local berries they were passing out.

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We had such a fun day. On our way home, the kiddos giggled and talked about all the animals they wanted to get for home. Airlie told me she wanted to visit a farm every day. The agricultural festival was free for kids and such a fun way to educate the littles about Oregon farming and where their food comes from. They met local farmers, learned about the animals and had an awesome time. One thing we missed was the tractor ride, but Airlie wasn’t quite into it this year. Next year, Brycen will for sure be ready too. I can’t wait to take them back next year!

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And lastly, here is an oldie that my sister sent me today (not even knowing that I was at the festival!) of us when I was about 6 months on my first horse ride!

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These two love being outside and lucky, we do too. When they’re in the woods, they explore the forests.¬† Here are some recent pics of the littles enjoying our local forest and playground.

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wpid-img_20150404_112422553.jpgOn our hike, we were on the search for trillium flowers. Airlie and Brycen get so excited when they see a colorful bloom within the green understory. This video cracks me up because they’re excited, but also because Airlie is telling Brycen about poison ivy and not to touch it (while she is touching it, but no, it wasn’t actually poison ivy!). And of course, he touches the plant!

Happy kiddos at their favorite “see-saw park”-even though I don’t have any pics of them on the see-saw. When I look at these pics, I still hear their sweet giggles echoing around. They’d laugh at each other waiting to come down the slide, then run to something else together. My favorite part, besides watching them enjoy the park, is just feeling so grateful that they have each other to share their childhood with.

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We explored a new trail the other week and it was a beautiful nature preserve, owned by The Nature Conservancy. It is only a few miles from our house and this was our first hike there to search for the Camas Lily (Camassia). The kids loved the trail, which started in the forest (with lots of poison oak on the edges!), which included some beautiful forested wetlands and then the trail opened into an even more beautiful meadow (almost) filled with flowers (and some hummingbirds!). The Camas Lilies bloom around this time, so even with the poison oak, we will be taking the kiddos back to be immersed in a sea of purple flowers.

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Camassia Hike

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These days I truly feel I can’t keep up. I always have a to-do list with way too many things I don’t have the time to accomplish. For example, the kids pictures…which I have thousands on our laptop…I told myself each month I’d go through and organize them. I used to be able to print a handful and keep them in their baby books. I haven’t done this since last year. When will I have time? I know I’m rambling, but it’s always something. One day, maybe, I won’t have days where I feel exhausted and overwhelmed. But I also know one day, I’ll look back and wish I was, just so I could have these two little sprouts as toddlers again.

Let’s see…what’s been happening around here. We had Easter and a super fun egg hunt around the house and of course, decorated eggs. They woke up to bunny prints throughout the house, leading to their baskets. They were so excited and truly thought the Easter Bunny left them. This year, I actually put a few chocolate treats in their eggs, which they didn’t have last year. (Although, our kiddos aren’t used to eating so much sugar and the next day actually had a bit of a belly ache!). Later that day, we hiked our local trails searching for the Easter Bunny. The kiddos found some eggs in an old tree stump. Brycen was super excited when he found them filled with snacks, but Airlie said those were snacks for Mr. Bunny (I think she was willing to give it up since it was cheese and an orange).

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Here are some pics from our Easter morning hike. Kids searching for eggs was adorable…as captured in this video clip. The kiddos had found the Easter Bunny’s stump and eggs, which Brycen ate. So, he was searching for Mr. Bunny and more snacks to leave him. I just can’t get enough of their sweet voices. It melts my heart.

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Tryon Easter Hike

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Hanging Around

This past weekend, we hit the trails both days. Saturday we hiked with friends in the Gorge and on Sunday, I took the kiddos to the local state park with a friend and her littles. Airlie and Brycen love the trails. Each night, I’ll ask them to tell me about a favorite part of their day. Both of them talked about how much fun running on the trails, searching for trillium and touching the slugs.wpid-img_20150328_104900136.jpg

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We also explored the local children’s museum recently. My favorite part is watching them play together. They used their imaginations in the imaginary vet office, giving the animals some shots and taking the for walks.

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The weather has still been beautiful around here for early spring. We’ve been hanging outside as much as possible, even Kaya’s been soaking up the sun.

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They say the sweetest little things. The other day, we were driving past one of my favorite barns and I was telling the kiddos how beautiful it was. Brycen was being silly, telling me he didn’t like the red barn. So, I asked Brycen if he was a city boy. He replied with no. Then, I asked if he was a country boy. He replied no. Then he told me he was a snuggle boy. Yes, Brycen, you are my sweet snuggle boy.

And while we were in the yard this weekend, they were using their imaginations-pretending they were dolphins, airplanes, princesses and dragons. They made airplane noises on the swings, telling me they wanted to visit NJ. The cutest was when Brycen told me he was a dragon that didn’t breathe fire, that it breathed snuggles. How stinkin’ adorable.

Most happenings involve these two playing constantly around the house. Their stories fill my heart. They are inseparable from the time they wake up (before 6am) until they go to bed. Brycen is so patient with Airlie and her desire to dress him up. I know he’ll probably hate these pictures when he’s a teenager, but I love it now. Pure innocence and fun. All I want their hearts to feel carefree, spirited and full of love, laughter and light. My favorite part of being a mama is watching their hearts spread that love and light to those around them.

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Lately

How is it that these kiddos are getting oh so big? It seems that every day, I am in awe that while they are still little ones, they aren’t babies anymore. I find myself reflecting on how quickly the days and weeks go by. Things are busy. Sometimes life feels crazy. But these two keep me grounded. Their innocence and love of life just remind me to stop and listen. Listen to their voices. Those sweet voices that will not always sound the way they do now. The way they call me mama and tell me they just want snuggles. I should always, always, want to take them up on it. But sometimes, I say “in a minute, mommy is just finishing ___(laundry, dinner, cleaning)”. Then later, I find myself filled with that mama guilt (does it ever go away-probably not). How can I not take them up on that offer when one day, they will no longer want to snuggle with me at all? But then there are those days when I am completely devoted to just having fun. Enjoying the silliness, exploration and creativity of a 2 and 4 year old. Like the other night…they wanted to sleep together, so I told them I’d get them bunk beds. That led to giggles of wanting a “bonk bed”. Check out this video:

This winter, we have had amazingly beautiful weather. We have been playing in the yard..

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And a couple of weeks ago, I took the kiddos to the zoo-which we absolutely love. It was one of those days, when the kiddos we perfect little listeners and got truly engaged with learning. They were inquisitive and spent more time observing than past visits. We also went on a short train ride around the zoo, which got them super excited because we had never done that before! It was one of those days that just made me feel blessed that I get to be a mama.

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Oh these little ones…I took them for a walk the other night in the stroller with their pajamas. Even though it is almost spring, it felt like a summer night. It was beautiful. On our walk, we stopped under the flowering trees, observing their colors and scent. Once home, I just continued to observe them, running around the yard chasing each other and staring at the sunset in their pajamas.

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A day at the beach

Yesterday, we headed to the coast to enjoy the beautiful weather. It was in the 60’s with a perfect blue sky and two perfectly happy kiddos enjoying a day at the beach. Oregon beaches are absolutely amazing. Most days, you may be the only person walking on the sand. Yesterday, we headed to a beach where we could drive our truck right on the sand. We unpacked our gear and at first, the kiddos wanted to hide from the wind in the car. Airlie told us it was too windy, too sandy and she wanted to go home. But after a quick adjustment, she was running around the beach singing how much she loved the wind and playing in the sand. She especially loved doing her “exercise” by jumping off the tailgate into the sand.

P1060516 P1060517 P1060523P1060527P1060497 P1060486 P1060474 P1060473The kids created a “beach tree”, collecting sticks and telling stories. Brycen loved it so much, he snuggled next to his tree and pretended to take a nap. Before we left the beach that afternoon, he even went back to say goodbye to his beach tree.

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P1060487 P1060482P1060484 P1060481We had such a great, simple day at the beach. Hanging with the littles, watching them play, listening to their sweet voices create. My mind can go back to walking on the beach pregnant with each of them. I remember when they each took their first sandy steps. Now, they run in the sand together. My favorite moments are still just watching them, taking their sweet innocence and pure love in like the ocean air.

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