We got 2 years

Mr. Wood and I have been married for 2 years and 1 day. And it is true, marriage really does get better every year. For that fact alone I will continually be grateful and work hard for the marriage that we have and that we want.


Our celebration was a little more home-based this year. Saturday Mr. Wood took me on a torrential rainstorm roadtrip to Draper, then back to Provo with calmer weather and Black Sheep Cafe. It’s pretty swanky, Mr. Wood even ordered Rabbit which was so tender and delicious. I got the Navajo Taco Trio, which was also quite good, but maybe not as swanky..


look, it’s us on the actual 2nd anniversary day. August 18th 2013

He also gave me a bouquet!


Mr. Wood once promised he would only give me flowers when I least expected it. Now, I’m a hard one to surprise. But I really didn’t expect flowers on my anniversary! That would be too obvious! So he got me.

Then Sunday, our real anniversary, I was in charge of the meal.



I got out Grandma Malaska’s China.


There was a blackberry apple pie


Mr. Wood made some fresh bread. I called up a creamy balsamic basil salad for the first course. And finally, Steak “au Poivre” with a creamy red-wine and mushroom sauce. Really an improvisation, which is what I get for not deciding how to make the steak until Sunday. With a side of Crispy Parmesan Roasted Potato, and Garlic Sesame Green Beans.

It was almost as wonderful as 2 years of marriage to your best friend.





Oregon step 2

Day 2 in Portland we roamed Portland parks. We were too busy to take many photos.

1st: Mt. Tabor: A little dormant (dead?) volcano in the middle of town, and excellent viewpoints.


2nd: “Forest Park”: There is a point when the city ends and the forest begins. Here you will find Forest Park. We read Colin Meloy’s children’s series “Wildwood” earlier in the summer, where he refers to Forest park (aka wildwood) and St. Johns, so we had to visit. This is a good old forest, that is difficult to find entrance to.




3rd International Rose test gardens: When I was young I was convinced this place was unbearably huge. One could hardly traverse it in a day without a nap and a snack. Maybe it isn’t as big as my childhood, but it is still gorgeous and very large.


It’s like. a million roses.

4th and Last Silver falls: where we camped for the night! Wow, camping is a lot more fun with your husband. Then say when you don’t get any sleep because 20 teenage girls are chittering about the bishop’s son nonstop.


Of course there are hikes. But we were pretty pooped by then to go very far. There is also a river where Mr. Wood called his manliness to him so that we could jump into it at 8:30 at night. In the mountains!

I’ve always liked this hike because you get to walk underneath the fall!

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That morning we packed up before the camp awoke, and left for the coast! Finally, the sweet spray of ocean! The clean air! The smooth sand! And the constant 30 mph winds!

We stopped at Devil’s punch bowl, saw some tide pools, walked around historic Newport Bayfront where this happened:


Yeah! So, right as we were driving on the street at the bottom of the photo we watched as a river of fish guts rolled down the hill. Those huge boxes? All tumbled out. All filled with fish remains. Nasty.

Don’t worry, they brought in a small firetruck and snow shovels to clean/spray it out.

The coast, though gorgeous, was a complete sandblast. So no pictures. But Mr. Wood again subjected himself to freezing Oregon Waters and dunked in the ocean.

IMG_1363We stayed at Nye beach. Exhausted.  And enjoyed the views from or window.

While at the coast it is hard to imagine how people live without the coast.




The next morning we enjoyed a frigid kite fly, then headed somberly back to the Desert. Where we now reside.



The Oregon Trip

IMG_1227 We had a road trip! I grew up in Oregon, and it was about time to visit the place. Mr. Wood had to see if it really was the over glorified sanctuary I always described it as.

Turns out it is.

We left Sunday evening, which led to our first “sleeping in a rest-stop” experience. This one appropriately called “dead man’s pass”.

We drove through the gorge to get into the state, which made our first touristy stop “Horse tail falls”. Sure we could of gone onto the more popular, famous Multnomah type falls, but after Idaho anything seems breathtakingly gorgeous. And who needs crowds?


The fresh air, greenery and peacefulness of moving water is perfect for healing a weary travelers soul.


After that we slowly made  our way to Corvallis. Maybe a little to eager lay down straight we stopped at Avery park for a nap.

The followed by a lovely meal at a friend’s house and then one of my favorite less known places near my home-town Corvallis. Kings Valley is best viewed near sunset and is the purest form of “my Oregon” that I know of. “My Oregon” being the Oregon I remember growing in, running in, driving on gravel roads for hours as my family explored every nook and cranny. Just forest.



Beazell Forest is always my first stop in Kings valley. It has some lovely moderate hikes straight into old forest, complete with bubbling brook. It also has this quaint empty house.


After a quick tromp we headed towards Fort Hoskins. Which includes a very old orchard and some gorgeous views.



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Day 2: a tromp in downtown Corvallis.


Okay. So I only have one picture of my teenage stomping grounds. But who cares? We were having to much fun. The Carlson’s treated us to lunch at American Dream pizza. The website makes it look kitsch. But it is a cool kid staple of Corvallis life. Pizza that is so good I won’t even try to explain. But just know it is worth it.

Day 3: Portland, the city

We used airbnb.com to find accommodations in Portland for 2 days. The owners were kind enough to let us use their bikes. So we started off day 3 with a 14 mile bike ride twisting around highways, towns and forests on the outer edge of Portland. Then we set off into the big city starting with a lunch at Burger Guild. You probably know Portland Oregon is one of those “hip” cities. Don’t roll your eyes. We all know if it wasn’t for “hip” we wouldn’t have cool new forms of popular food. Take the Food truck. Without hipster cities the food truck would of never developed into more than just hotdogs and falafel.


Burger Guild. I don’t even know why we were compelled to find this among dozens of others but it was so worth it. Packed in a parking lot dedicated to food trucks, this under-reviewed gem has my new favorite burger. Shoot. I don’t even know what it is called. But all his burgers (yes it is just one man) are stuffed with delicious. Mine had kalamata olives, feta and peppers. Mr. Wood’s was filled with Muenster cheese, mushroom and some spicy pickled pepper mix. So good! If I had to build a pro/con list of moving to Portland Oregon, Burger Guild would weigh heavily in "Pro’s” column. 


Oh what is that? Sweet potato fries dusted with fresh herbs? Oh thank you burger guild. Thank you very much.

I am tempted to turn the rest of this post into a food blog. But I won’t. Let’s move on.

IMG_1283Did you know you can take any public transportation around Portland Oregon all day for only $5? Yeah. You can. But Mr. Wood and I are crazy and drove in. Bonus, we got to stop by the mall. The train is actually quite nice though, and we rode that across the bridge.


We forgot to take pictures most of the day, because I just love wandering through a big city. And it is so fun to do with your spouse. Portland is part old, part new, part creepy, part gorgeous, so perfect for exploring.





We spent the afternoon walking through several districts, getting lost in Powell's book store. Stopping at fountains and parks and anthropologie. Oh, Boy’s Fort or “Manthropology” was a new favorite of mine. Part collection of aesthetically pleasing items for the male, part botanical shop. It smelled really good. Tired feet and Eye weary we meandered back towards place to rest, only to be deterred by ice-cream. “Salt and Straw” ice-cream to be specific. So creamy, so worth it.

With that, I will end. The rest of the trip will have to be documented in part 2. But don’t worry, we aren’t dragging this out into a trilogy.



Wood Time


There comes a time in most every family where 2 birthdays fall nearly very close to each other, and since we are all getting older we just celebrate them together. And there comes a very special time in ones life when you are the only adult to get a picture with said birthday sisters. Specifically because you made the cake. Well. Actually Mr. Wood made the cake, I decorated.

Really we mostly just have pictures of blurs of grandchildren (no, Mr. Wood and I do not have any grandchildren of our own) so this post is dedicated to the not blurry photos of a recent birthday celebration at the woods house.

Okay, maybe just the above picture and the then the pictures we took outside by the fire-pit.


Or fire-storm, as all the photos seem to indicate (note grandchild blur as reference)





While the adults sat around the firestorm, we let the children entertain themselves with 200 sparklers.

Mr. Wood and I couldn’t help but take more photos.



hidden messages


The youngest, making their own Pokemon like balls of energy. But even at a young age their grace and force is obvious.


The Cauldron”


“Love and 2 small children”


“The Face in the Darkness”


“The Dance”




“The Tree of Life”


“The Ritual”


“Triple Points Bonus”

And if we are going to be honest, maybe a few of us adults might of realized there is more fun to sparklers then merely observing.


Till the next firestorm….