Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Visitors from Reno

Our friends from Reno, Brett and Julia came to Oregon to show off their newborn twins and to spend a little time with us.  They stayed at our house for a couple days, but unfortunately, it was a crazy week/weekend, so we didn't get to see them as much as we would have liked.  Either way, we had fun and we miss them.

We took advantage and had a girls night out.  We saw the play Chicago and hit up Voodoo Donuts.  Megan and I reminisced of our downtown stroll near the homeless shelters, but this had the added bonus of being late at night, and lots of the "unique Portland people" out on the town.

We went to the zoo, and we wanted Julia to come back to the true Oregon experience, so we ordered rain.  

Come back again soon Nelsons!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Preschool Northwest

Briz has been going to daycare/preschool since she was 18 months, so this felt a little bit anti climactic.  However, this was her first day at her NEW school at Nike.  We have been on the wait-list for this amazing school for two years, so we were all pretty excited she got in.  She was mostly excited about her outfit on her first day.  My favorite thing is that I don't have to pack her a lunch.  Oh, well, I also love the fact that they send home an email every day she goes, tells us a detailed play by play of what they have done.  And they give me specific follow up questions to ask when Briz gets home. Yippee!  Excited to see her grow and learn and make new friends this year.

Thursday, September 19, 2013


Labor Day Weekend was a bit of a bust, but we still managed to have fun as a family.  

We were excited to go to the beach on a supposed sunny day.  The Oregon Coast fails again!  At least it was still somewhat warm.  But the fog was crazy.  It was so bad that a crabbing boat came speeding into the shore, slamming on the brakes as it crashed into the sand - it couldn't see that the shoreline was there.  

We headed to Pacific City so we could climb the dunes.  Briz was a champ and ended up climbing the whole thing to the top.  For those of you who know Pacific City, you know that's a feat for an adult, let alone a four year old.  My calves were really sore the next day.  We jumped and sprinted down the huge dune, and Briz just giggled the whole time.

Nick followed that up with some handstands.

Love the feeling of putting on a warm sweater after the beach, and getting into a warm, cozy car.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Holland's 2nd

Holland had her second birthday and it was a sweet simple day for our family.  Briz had been ecstatic about having a birthday party for her and eating cake and ice cream.

Nick and I shed some tears thinking about what Holly would be like as a two year old and reflecting on all of the many hard moments in the last two years.  But thinking about her as a two year old, and also about her birth makes me smile.  I'm glad we can do something to make the smiles continue.

We met at her grave with some family and friends to write messages on balloons and let them go.  It's funny, but we got just as excited to see how high the balloons get.  This year, they seemed to follow the sun, right where it was peaking out from the clouds.

And then there was some that got caught in the phone wires :/  Good job Papa!

Her grave is starting to look a bit more mature.  For a while, the grass wasn't grown in, but now it's starting to look more like the others.  It looked particularly pretty that day with all of the flowers people brought.

We got a lot of support from our family and friends, who let balloons go. We loved it!  It seems kind of silly, but it really does mean a lot to us.  

Above is our friends Steven, Meredith, and Weston letting go of balloons in Massachusetts.

Paul, Mac, Dane, and Lincoln in California.

Grandma Great in Utah.

Pops in Utah.

Briz asked that Holly would send her a rainbow for her birthday.  Brittany sent us this picture.  Briz thought it was pretty amazing.  But she was also not surprised at all.  

Daniel, Carly, Sadie, and Elise in Utah.

Molly, Michele, and Maryjane in Utah.  And it was MJ's birthday too!  What a nice cousin.  Aunt?

Ronell, Bri, Palmer, Portia, Teya, and Thatcher in Washington.

After balloons, we had cake and ice cream at our house.  It was a rainbow cake, per Brizzy's request (notice a theme?).  

It was a good day.

We love swimming

Thanks to Uncle Mark and Aunt Susie we've been able to do it a lot this summer.  And Briz has started diving . . . or, belly flopping.  But still, we applaud her efforts.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Fun Run

We had our pretty awesome Primary activity, if I don't say so myself, the Annual Fun Run.  This was our first time going because Briz hasn't been old enough to run in the past.  But we were fresh off of our Epic Relay, and so she was pretty interested in being a "serious runner."  And she definitely was serious.  She was so focused, she refused to give any of the leaders high five.  The few days before the run, she kept saying, "I think I'm going to win."

She ended up running the 1/2 mile run without stopping, and then the 1 mile run.  I don't think I ran a mile and a half until I was 14.  Nick says she runs just like me, but maybe there's hope for her yet :)

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Riding Dirty

 I get really sad about Brizzy getting older, but sometimes it has its perks.  I love that she has started to get really good at riding her big girl bike, and she wants to go on bike rides with Mom and Dad.  

We tried taking her training wheels off last week, and it maaay have been a bit premature.  I think I need to load her up with sugar next time we try that :) 

Monday, September 9, 2013

Oaks Park

In the little amount of time that we have been home, we have been trying to take advantage of the Oregon sunshine and fun activities.  One of our favorites is Toddler Time at Oaks Park.  Briz got a little bummed that she couldn't go on some of the bigger rides, but having Piper there to play with helped console her.

Thursday, September 5, 2013


No, this isn't a spiritual reference, although while running in this race, I did pray a lot, so that kinda counts.

Brittany, my most amazing sister in law decided to support her brother and put together a team for the Cache Teton Relay.  I really wanted to run in the Oregon Epic Relay this year, and didn't get to, so I was excited about being able to run in a relay this year.  And it was great having an excuse to train.  

It was SO incredibly fun because we had a team of Cottle cousins.  But it was also SO incredibly hard.  I thought I had trained adequately but I thought WRONG!  I highly underestimated the 100 degree weather and the miles and miles of straight up hills with no break.  Yeah . . .but I did it.  I survived.  I laughed a lot, and I almost passed out.  It was a great weekend.  

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Ainge Cabin Time

After the wedding, our family went up to the cabin.  Nick decided to rent a boat, which was one of the best decisions he's ever made (maybe second in line to marrying me.)

There was some tubing.  Although the tubes were impossible to get back on, once you fell off.  My arms hurt for a week, just from trying to get back on the tube.

Palmer loved going for boat rides.   That's all he wanted to do.

Dane, on the other hand, did not love the boat.  But his parents tried really hard to get him to love it.

Nick helped all of the kids knee board.  And Palmer had a traumatic experience when he tried it on his own and forgot to let go of the rope.

 Brizzy's new pose for every picture. Ugh.  

Roasting marshmallows is a must.

These girls love each other  . . . most of the time.

Briz rolled around in the dirt.  Her bath water turned a gross brown after.  But, that's what the cabin is for.