wine tasting at it's best


This past weekend I drove down to Portland for Monika's Bachelorette party!  Ten of us lovely ladies, including the gorgeous bride-to-be, went on a wine tour.  We traveled in style to four different Oregon wineries in and around the Portland area.  The wineries included Anne Amie, Sokol Blosser, Erath, and Rex Hill.  For the six hours that we had the limo, there was not a dull moment... The day consisted of a little snacking, laughing, gift-giving, photo taking, and ALOT of wine consumption. :) After the tour we all went back to Monika's--ordered pizza, partook in some "dirty" cake, played games, and hung out. We all had such a great time!  Monika's Bachelorette party was a success, and a memorable one at that! 

the lovely Bachelorette
travelin' in style
the candy bar (compliments of Christy)
just gettin' started
Anne Amie Winery

a little gift giving

oyster tasting at Sokol Blosser

lovely group of ladies

at Erath Winery
all the Sprague gals at Rex Hill
'Mounting the metal' as Laurie hilariously put it :)
the "dirty" cake!!!

{a casual day out }


As mentioned here--this past weekend marked the first of many celebrations leading up to Monika and Aaron's wedding.  Patrick hosted the bachelor day up here while I went down to Oregon for one of Monika's bridal showers. I know that Patrick is honored to be a part of Aaron's upcoming wedding and it was fun planning a day for him- with similar interests it wasn't difficult to say the least. Getting drunk and crazy isn't Aaron's style, nor any of the other guys that attended. Patrick organized a casual and memorable bachelor party for Aaron--centered around the things he loves in life (planes), stories, good food, and a great group of friends.

Many stops were on the agenda-a straight razor shave in the morning, stop at the Museum of Flight, tour of Patrick's jet, dining at a brew pub in Seattle, and ending with a 'night cap' at a bar downtown that hosts the city's largest selection of Scotch(a fave of Aaron's).  This casual guys day out was enjoyed by all, below are a few snapshots of the group.

tour at the museum
snapping Aaron in space

Museum of Flight

the gang

photo op by the jet

the couple's fathers

dinner in Seattle

night cap at 'Bookstore bar'

the "norm"


I get questions all the time about what Patrick does--my response is, "fly C-17 planes".  Hahah....but in all actuality he does so much more than I can ever understand, let alone describe correctly!  So--I thought I'd show you all and describe to those who are interested what a typical air drop training mission is for Patrick(with a little help from him of course!)  

The pictures and videos below show a practice air drop done a few weeks ago at Fort Lewis. This practice mission was to re-supply a forward operating base in a hostile environment.  The first video shows a platform being pulled out of Patrick's plane with a 15 foot extraction shoot. Patrick tells me that once the platform is out of the plane, it opens up and the main parachutes open.  In the video below, the main parachutes are holding 7,000 pounds of cargo--particularly 500 pounds of fuel and a container of field generators. 

The second video below shows Patrick dropping 45 Army rangers.  

It's crazy to me that this is just the "norm" for Patrick.  It's not everyday that you get to go to work and practice flying to drop several pounds of cargo down below.  He loves what he does though and I have always admired his passion and drive.  Plus--I have to admit, I think it's kinda cool. Whenever I see his plane flying around it's kinda neat to brag and say, "yep..that's my husband flyin' up there."   

--watch out world--

Yep.  Jonah is on the move!  He is officially crawling.  After many attempts to try and get it on video we succeeded last night.  Looks like it's time to baby proof little man is getting so big!  No more sitting him down for a second while I put the groceries away or put a load in the washer--I've discovered in the past few days that my little guy can move pretty far in 5 seconds! Enjoy watching him explore:)

{taking a little credit}


Back in 2008 we set up my dearest friend Monika with Patrick's college friend, Aaron.  From the moment I heard that Aaron was single, I made sure to put in a good word.  Patrick and I did our part, frequently, in-planting little seeds of information about each friend to the other.  Finally, the initial phone call was made by Aaron and it has been bliss ever since! Boldly, we predicted that they would "click" and forecasted a wedding in the future. We were right in such a bold prediction, as they are getting married this February:) 

Their friendships mean a lot to both Patrick and I.  I've known Monika since 7th grade and our friendship has only gotten stronger over the years.  You know those friendships you hear about that last a lifetime?  I am sure Monika and my friendship is one of them..we are going on 17 years(that's crazy). Aaron has always been there for Patrick and visa versa.  When those two men get together the fun comes out in both of them.  It's always great to watch and listen to the two of them talk about all things from planes, music, and life in general.  

I have to mention that Patrick and I would have never even mentioned either of them to each other if we didn't think it would work.  I think we've both realized awhile ago that our friendships with each of them are special and we have always, in some ways, been protective of their hearts. Monika's outgoing, spicy, and fun personality needed that balance.  Aaron's laid back, easy going persona would do just that. We knew though, the moment that I heard the phone ring after their first initial conversation, that they would be a hit.  It sealed the deal when I overheard Aaron let Patrick know that Monika was-and I quote this, "a bombshell".  Hilarious.  That's just hilarious.  At the same time makes me giddy for the both of them.  

This weekend marks the first of many celebrations leading up to the big day. We are both in their wedding-Patrick will be the Best Man, and I am standing by Monika's side as her Matron of Honor. This past weekend Patrick hosted the Bachelor party up here and I went down to Oregon to partake in the first of several wedding showers for Monika.  Several pictures of all these celebrations will be in up-coming posts. 

Overall--we are so excited to be apart of such a special day. We like to take a least a little bit of credit in their pairing, but in all honesty both Patrick and I know that we were just small tools in God's plan of bringing these two love birds together.   

--many wedding posts to follow-- 

the "snaggle" and other inheritances


Over the past few months Patrick and I have noticed certain tendencies that Jonah has inherited from his daddy.  These tendencies clearly aren't ones that Jonah has "picked up".  I am convinced that these traits have been passed down through genetics--even if they seem silly to be genetically tied. One we noticed very early is the way that Jonah sleeps.  I wish I had a picture to help describe it.  On most nights I check on Jonah and find him sprawled and stretched out to no end.  I find him with his neck arched back as if he is stretching to look behind himself, head up and mouth wide open. Coincidently, this is how Patrick sleeps. 

From the moment Patrick and I started talking about having kids, I've always joked how I would hope for our son/daughter to have his brains and my teeth.  I chuckle as I type this because it truly is something both Patrick and I giggle about.  I've been fortunate and have never carried the need for braces nor have ever had a cavity.  Patrick on the other hand has some crooked teeth--though I want to make sure to state that if he had the chance to get braces I would most likely be a little reluctant in his decision because it's who he is, and is a valuable trait I love about him.  I wouldn't change his crooked teeth for the world:)  That being said, we felt around in Jonah's mouth last night and it looks like a couple more teeth are trying to poke through...and the gums are shaped just as I thought--around a "snaggled"crooked tooth.  Both Patrick and his dad have the same "snaggle"--up left, near the canine.  It's a quirky little trait that now(I am not positively certain yet) has been passed down to Jonah.  Yes, this is just a baby tooth, but kind of funny to see the similarity. 

Every day I swear that Jonah's hair is getting lighter.  I swear his eye color changes and is closer to a light gray hue, rather than brown.  As I see Jonah becoming more like his dad in more ways then one, I smile.  I joke that Jonah is a carbon copy of Patrick, but I really do love it.  Several people have mentioned though that they see me in Jonah's expressions. I don't believe that it's a coincidence that I am one to wear all my emotions on my face either--so I'll take that and give myself a little credit.  

Regardless of what traits Jonah inherits, I find it amazing how God creates this complexity in children.  The idea that tendencies and habits are passed down to your kin are unfathomable.   I am sure next week Patrick and I will just look at each other and smile as we discover another similarity. This week it was the "snaggle".

A mindful conversation


Remember the movie, "Look Who's Talking"?  Iam sure the writers of that movie had fun coming up with a script!   Sometimes I really wonder what is going through little Jonah's mind.  Is he just rambling to ramble, or truly having a conversation?  Is he mimicking sounds he's heard?  This video is pretty funny-just watching his motions and thinking what could possibly be going on in that little mind of his.  

-- my birthday gift --


It's my birthday tomorrow.  It's kind of crazy how as you get older birthdays become a whole new meaning.  I've thought a lot today about past birthdays.  When I turned 10, I remember meeting, who is now my dad, Mike at the Konditorei (a local desert/coffeehouse in Salem). My gift was a balloon with a stuffed animal inside it.  I thought that it was the coolest present.  I would never have guessed the plan that God had for me and my life after that birthday.  When I turned 16, my friends and family hosted a surprise birthday party.  I remember stopping home to get something my friend, Candace, absolutely needed before we headed out that night.  The house was pitch black.  To my surprise there stood all of my friends and family.  At 19, I celebrated at Red Robin with new friends from SPU.  When I turned 23, I flew home from NC to spend my birthday with friends and family.  I remember on my 27th birthday it snowed.  I remember slumber parties, a new pager(yes..I said it when I was 15. I thought I was so cool), inheriting my mom's toyota, and the ever present thought of my birth mother each birthday.  I can remember moments of each birthday, that's why we celebrate them--To remember them by and to reflect on each passing year.   

It's the eve of my 29th birthday.  I don't know if it's because I've been reflecting on past birthdays or the aftermath of those reflections that have given me an abundance of gratitude as I type.   Tonight I went in to Jonah's tears--fed him some milk and just held him.  I couldn't help but be so thankful.  I cuddled him and thought how blessed I am to have an amazing family.  I remember the day he was born.  I've posted how special that day was, and is to our family.  As I ponder on my birthday tomorrow, I cannot help but think of what it must have felt like to be my own mother.  I imagine her holding me, just as I held Jonah tonight, enjoying the gift God had given her.  The gift of being a mother is what God has given me this year.  Motherhood has given me the chance to reflect on life and the joys that God brings us. 

This year I know will have special meaning.  Even though it's not the big 3-0...(I truly don't know how I feel about that birthday..luckily I have a year to ponder on it), I think it will have special meaning.  Hopefully the day, just in itself, will stick out in my mind in later years. This year I am a mom.


Jonah the jumpin' machine


We took this video a while back, and I just found it on our computer and had to post it.  He loves this jumper and it gives him all the exercise he wants!  This video makes us laugh every time we watch it.  Enjoy!

Grandma Reimer


This Saturday will be one year since my Grandma passed away. I don't know if it's the time of year, or just the complexity of how our minds work that have allowed me to remember and reflect on who my Grandma was and the special place she will always have in my heart.

These past couple of weeks I really have sensed my Grandma and her presence. She's been all around me. The candlelit service on Christmas eve allowed me to reflect on the traditions she and my Grandpa bestowed. The simple act of baking cookies yesterday made me remember of when she taught me how to get all of the cookie dough off the sides of the bowl by scraping with a knife. It's always a flick of the wrist and knock of the knife on the bowl-something that I do to this day. The picture above reflects the last time I saw her-Thanksgiving 2009. I was pregnant with Jonah, and she asked me when I was due. I told her April 9th. She simply stated, "April 12th is a good day." That day signified love and hope in my grandma's life, as it would have marked my grandparents 65th wedding Anniversary. Of course, God knew that Jonah would come on April 12th. When my grandma passed, I feel like God gave that day to our family and simultaneously allowed my grandmother to leave her legacy.

Little instances like these have given me a picture of who my Grandma was- faithful, perceptive, and hopeful. Amongst the business of life, I love when I am reminded of her. I hope when memories come to the surface in the future that I will continue to see and learn of the wonderful woman my Grandma was.