08.20.14 | STATE FAIR FUN

 ^^his very first amusement park ride, other than the kiddie train at enchanted forest.

so, last weekend was busy, let me tell you. not only did we see the hot air balloons and go to portland to omsi, we also went to the oregon state fair. yeah, once monday rolled around we were exhausted. it took all day to recover. c;

we had planned on getting there right when they opened, at 10am, but ended up arriving a tiny bit past 11. that's what happens when you're chatting with dish network about an auto-pay issue for way too long. ugh. anyway, we got there and luckily i had purchased our tickets ahead of time to save some money and we got to bypass the ticket line! our first stop was to check out the kiddie rides. i figured landon wouldn't want to ride anything as he's a little tentative when it comes to doing new things. he surprised me though and wanted to ride some cars or trucks as soon as he could! he saw this truck and was sold. my little guy, he sure is growing up.

after rides we visited some animals, walked around some booths, ate fair food, walked around some more, and then headed home once it started to get really hot. that evening, my mom came over and watched the kids so justin and i could go back to the fair and have a little date night. i love going to the fair at night - it's so magical! i had some major mom-guilt though because we found the family section when we were there without the kids and gosh, there was a petting zoo and exotic animals (like tigers and snakes) and we missed it earlier in the day. #momfail

we had such a good time at the fair again this year. i love going every single year. it was a tradition for me growing up and i intend on keeping that tradition with my kids. now, way too many pictures. not sorry.
^^all i wanted to do with him was ride the carousel. he seemed excited about it and then as soon as i tried to get him to ride a horse, he flipped. luckily i convinced him to sit on a bench with me so we didn't lose out on our tickets. he seemed to enjoy that a bit, even if i was a tad disappointed.
^^sorry for the butt shot. that cow in the back was staring right at me so i had to get her pic. plus, cows are so cute!
^^the best animals at the fair - the clydesdales!
^^one of my cousins was showing their cattle this year and even though we didn't actually see them, we got to see their bull!
^^boys and tractors.
^^all landon wanted to do was get claire out of the stroller so he could get in. this is him telling me that.
^^and this is him showing me how tall he was - almost as big as the tire!
^^from on top of the ferris wheel.
^^this ride was correctly named. no way was i getting on that thing. 
^^i didn't go on the swings this year but i had to get a picture of the ride itself. i just love the ornate details of it. especially at night. c:
^^the starship 2000 is another of my favorites. 
 ^^okay okay. i may have a slight obsession with the ferris wheel. it's just so pretty at night!

until next year, fair!

08.29.14 | FOR THE KIDS

alright alright alright. after checking out the hot air balloons on saturday, we headed north to visit omsi with justin's brother's family. the special exhibit that was currently going was all about dinosaurs and since landon hasn't really been introduced to dinosaurs (other than dinosaur train) we thought it'd be fun. and it sure was! omsi is such a blast, guys. even if you don't have any kids. c;

so jackson (my nephew) is OBSESSED with the dinos. like, he's been to this exhibit a dozen times? something like that. and he still wasn't tired of it. when that kid likes something, really likes it. c; we had so much fun spending the morning with him (and his parents). thanks for the invite, guys! 

and now for pictures.

^^getting two kids to look at the camera at the same time is almost impossible.
^^i'm still working on figuring out my camera settings for use in darker places, without using my flash. or really, just not blinding everyone with the flash. so, a few of these pics are super dark and/or grainy but some others are way bright. i'm okay with it. plus, you really get to see landon's "smile" face when the flash is on and it's AMAZING.
^^see? one picture without flash, one with. the struggle is real. (my kids are still cute, though.)
^^this t-rex moves. and makes noise. it's cool.
^^the archeological dig table. where more throwing "sand/dirt" around happened than digging for bones. i think these kiddos could have played here for an hour if we would have let them. 
^^fighting to push the elevator button. jackson won, and then promptly tried to push the emergency button. c; 
 ^^trying to break free, maybe? this was in the toddler play area, where kids under six could play. they had all sorts of things to do: a market, water tables, sand area, forest area (caves/trees/animals), this block area, and i think a dress-up area? it's pretty awesome for the littler ones.
^^and now i'm gonna brag about this gal for a minute. see those blocks up there? the cylindrical ones? yeah, she stacked those ALL BY HERSELF. on top of those other blocks that were standing on end and were on top of other blocks. she's awesome, that gal.

08.28.14 | FULL OF HOT AIR

so last weekend was a busy one. we did so much stuff! the first thing on the agenda was getting up bright and early saturday morning (at 530, to be exact) to watch some hot air balloons take off at the nw art and air festival. we stopped in at our favorite donut shop on the way, for a nutritious breakfast, and then were on our way.

as we were getting close to the location, we could see all of the balloons already filled up, ready to take off. i was a little bummed because seeing them fill up is one of my favorite parts but whatever. besides, there were SO MANY people there that we couldn't even turn off the main road to get close enough to park and walk. people were even parking on the side of the highway. it was crazy guys. we turned down a side street, in a little business-y area. we drove around a bit, hoping to find a way to walk over to the park when we found ourselves in a roundabout. we decided to just get out there, since no one else was there, and watch the balloons fly away. turned out to be a great idea, because the balloons flew directly overhead. and it was awesome. 

alright. now for way too many pictures.
^^you see that face?! priceless.
^^last year, claire was only about a month old. she was strapped to me in the ergo and basically slept the entire time. plus, like a one-month-old was gonna care about some balloons filled with hot air? this year though, she loved it. 
^^so, these guys were cool. they lifted off at the same time, all three of them. unfortunately i didn't get a shot of them facing us. but i liked this view better anyway, as it looked like they were actually flying away from us. we asked landon which balloon was his favorite and he said these bumblebees. mine too, bud.

until next year, art and air festival!