labors of love

Wow, what an action-packed and lovely Labor Day weekend we had. Last Wednesday, Ian and Elena’s Nana came to visit for a few days, in part so she could help us fill a childcare gap on Thursday and Friday while we were in-between schools, on daycare break, etc. Besides having the help, we were excited to have someone actually visit us when it wasn’t pouring rain and cold out. I mean, this was our opportunity to show someone that we weren’t totally crazy for moving to Oregon and we planned to take full advantage!

Enjoying the Portland Farmer's Market

Of course, the first night she was here we sprung it on her that we also happened to have a goodbye party to attend for Jeff’s boss, so not only would be gone all day, but until late that evening as well. But by Friday afternoon, Jeff was able to wrap up a bit early and the whole crew headed out on a little zoo adventure and guess who they happened to run into there? (Okay, so maybe it wasn’t a total coincidence.)

Flower vendor

Saturday morning brought more sunny weather and a trip to the Portland Farmer’s Market. After some strolling, of course it was time to get something to eat. With the line at Pine State Biscuitsunfortunately being about two days long…seriously, they’re just biscuits people, albeit quite good ones…Nana proved her worth by scoping out an egg dish specialty vendor where two of us ordered chilaquiles. (Ian had a muffin from a bakery vendor – shocker – and Jeff opted for some pork confit crepes.) Yowsa – were they ever good! This was not your average dish; they were making fresh corn tortillas right there and it was all piled high with fresh and extremely tasty veggies. (And we all know if I’m saying that, it must have been incredible.) It was all so good that it almost – noticed I said almost – stopped me from getting some sweet treats for us from the Two Tarts bakery vendor on the way out.

One cranky 21-month-old girl who shall remain nameless told us it was time to head home for a little group rest. By then the wind had started to pick up outside, which is a bit unusual for Portland in the summer, and the air was getting visibly hazy and smelled of

Strolling the international rose test garden

smoke. We figured out that it was smoke settling over Portland from a wildfire near Mt. Hood. Ick. So much for clear summer air. Regardless, after Elena’s nap we took a stroll through the rose garden before heading back home to rest up for a yummy beef stroganoff dinner, courtesy of Nana.

Sunday we headed to Cannon Beach for the day. We usually go at least once a summer and last year’s trip, Elena was still not walking so this year, boy did she ever get a kick out of playing in the sand. It was great fun to see. And Ian, who in previous years definitely had some fear of the ocean, seemed to more than make peace as he ran full force toward the waves – frankly making me a little nervous given the current status of his swimming skills.

beachin' it

Once again, thanks to Nana, a very tasty and always requested pre-made King Ranch Chicken casserole awaited a very tired crew at home. Still she found the energy to give them both baths and play about 50 games of tic-tac-toe with Ian. Before we knew it, she was headed back to Atlanta on Monday and we had two sad littles ones for sure. It always strikes Jeff and I when we have family come to visit how incredibly nice it is to have a bit of help and a break from having to be “on” at home 24/7.

Thanks to Nana for coming to visit Portland! Here are some more pictures from our Labor Day adventures:

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