Saturday, April 30, 2016

Date nights mean good food!

We love date night and we love food, so date night is a perfect time for lots of good food!

In February, we went to the Portland Night Market, a quarterly indoor market with Jessica and Ryan. We walked through the stalls, bought a handful of art, and tried a bunch of samples of salsas and jams. Afterward, we went to Merriwether's and ate ... and ate! And then Jared and Ryan donned mustaches.

For Jared's birthday, we decided to check off a place that has been on our list for a long, long time - Screen Door. Since there was a wait, we decided to walk down the road to Pix and do dessert first! Brilliant!

It was a good warmup for what was next. Fried chicken, more fried chicken, and lots more southern goodness! Check out the size of this fried chicken!!! it's bigger than Dani's hand! And those drumsticks were first smoked and then battered and fried... amazing!!! We were stuffed!

This spring was beautiful, and we had lots of opportunities to go for bike rides for date night. One of our favorites was 17 miles on the Springwater Corridor.
 

complete with a trip to Cartlandia and 3 more food carts! Yum!

The Portland Night Market was back, and this time, it was time to hit the food carts outside. We ate our way through the food carts, trying the dumpling, steamed buns, and the fried chicken trucks.

The theme - we love to be together and we love to eat!!!

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Another Pinewood Derby

Pinewood Derby #3 for Jacob! Jacob decided to paint his car like a Wii remote. We finished all the races and didn't finish last every time (actually, I'm not sure we ever finished last), so it was a success!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Blazers Clippers playoff game

We arrived at the stadium a few minutes early so we could be there for player introductions (and get food!). Jacob got a picture with Damien Lillard and talked nonstop about the Blazers. We got our Rip City sticks on the way in, found some (original!) PDX carpet, and got ready to be loud!
 

The red light sticks gave an awesome effect in the intros and throughout the games. As usual, the stadium was rocking as the team started and was loud for most of the game. Jacob and Claire were really into it.

One of the definite bonuses was some great food! Before the game started, we started the night off with some Salt & Straw ice cream - in part because it was likely the shortest Salt & Straw line in the city! After a yummy dinner, we started the 2nd half off with some more ice cream (Jared left with 2 seconds left in the half to get a second helping, and there were only 3 people in line in front of him!).

We were all smiles as the Blazers held on for the win! 1 more to close out the series and move on to round 2! It was a memorable first playoff game for Jacob and Claire.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Claire gets her ears pierced

For Claire's birthday, she was given earrings and the chance to get her ears pierced. Kaci and Dani joined Claire at Claire's. The workers asked if they should do one at a time or both, and, just in case, Dani advised to do both - so Claire didn't end up with just 1 pierced ear!
 

After getting up and browsing for new earrings, Claire tapped Dani's shoulder to let her know she didn't feel well, and she passed out and went right down to the ground (fortunately Dani was holding her arm when she passed out). After laying on the floor for a few seconds, she woke up. She got a lemonade at the pretzel stand down the hall (because Claire's apparently couldn't give her any water).
 

She started feeling quite a bit better, but she'll always have a good story of Claire passing out in Claire's!
 

Portland waterfalls with Kaci

After spending a week with the kids while Dani and Jared were in Cancun, Kaci couldn't get enough and stayed for a few more days. The kids enjoyed having Kaci with them all week, and the feeling was certainly mutual - Kaci was loving being around them too. 

We decided to take a tour of the gorge, starting at Multnomah and moving our way down the old gorge highway. We got a little taste of Portland drizzle, but that certainly didn't stop us! Liam is starting to make this classic face in his pictures - ha!

The waterfalls were super green and running with a lot of water from all the warmth this week.
 

Jared and Torin had a great time hiking around the gorge!
 

Kaci and Torin were especially good buddies. As much of a daddy's boy as Torin is (he requires Jared to do everything for him when Jared is around), he allowed Kaci to help him! He was super sad when Dani dropped Kaci off at the airport.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Live Aqua

Precoa's annual incentive trip in 2016 took us to Cancun, Mexico to the spectacular Live Aqua resort. This year was a first for Precoa - the entire result was Precoa only! We were greeted with the most amazing floor decoration I have ever seen - painstakingly made of rice!

The view from the balcony was spectacular, overlooking the greenery within the hotel area, the beach, and the ocean stretching all the way to the horizon. We had a beautiful sunrise each morning.


Each night, our room was decorated with little extras. One night, it was a message made of rice. Another night, it was a zen garden. Another night, it was a little bell.
 

There was Precoa decor throughout the resort, on walkways, in the lobby, on the TV's, and on the pool. It was fun to know that everyone we saw was part of the Precoa group.


The first full day was a Sunday, and given the number of LDS people on the trip who had already arrived, we rented a bus and went to church with 30 or so people. It was fun to be part of sacrament meeting in Spanish - and Jared reported understanding almost 2/3 of the talks, one beautiful talk given by a woman who was baptized just a few weeks earlier.


For the first time, we did an outdoor celebration event, right on the beach! Everyone was wearing white, and it looked beautiful. It wasn't easy to put together, but it all worked
  

The highlight of the celebration event was at the end, where everyone in the audience lit a candle in a bag and brought it out to the beach, where they were brought to show a message that was visible from the hotel rooms for hours after the event.

Our schedule was pretty open for the most part, so we took walks up and down the beach, runs along the hotel road, played Volleyball, CanJam and Spikeball, and relaxed on the beach.
 

We got to spend a lot of time reconnecting with friends and meeting new co-workers, sales people, and funeral home owners.
 


The food was truly spectacular! Breakfasts were huge (this is the special Jared had the last day), and we were able to eat at all of the specialty restaurants and enjoyed amazing meals at each.


Across the street was an incredible mall. We skipped most of the stores (Prada, Gucci) and found our way to the souvenir shop to find souvenirs for our kids and a nativity for the family. The shopping carts were especially cool!
 

One of the highlights was flying!!! Both of us got to use the jet pack. It was a little tricky at first, but we were both able to get 15+ feet over the water. It was truly exhilarating! I would love to think that we looked as cool as we felt.
 


The final night, at the farewell event, they put a big glowing ball (that looked like a giant full moon). It was a pool party, so we brought our suits. Halfway through, no one was in the pool, so the Schafferes and Jensens teamed up to get the party started. We started jumping on an inflatable duck, and soon, 30 people were in the pool with us, passing around a giant inflatable ball, playing 3 flies up, making a whirlpool, and having a great time.
 

It was an amazing trip, made even more amazing by being able to spend it together.