3rd Sober Birthday

On this day 3 years ago, I quit drinking alcohol- cold turkey. With the love and support of my fiance Tony, I have been sober ever since and they have easily been the best years of my life. Every year Tony makes a point to celebrate this special day. Here’s a quick little history of my sober birthdays thus far.

My first sober birthday, Tony not only showered me in gifts but he also took me out to my favorite cupcake shop Saint Cupcake.

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After that, cupcakes became a positive and personal symbol of sobriety to me. So the following year, I got a tattoo to represent my commitment to my sobriety by Lisa Maurine at Icon Tattoo.

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This year, my friend Yvonne and I made cupcakes that looked like my tattoo!

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Tonight, Tony made me a delicious, super healthy dinner. I was also surprised by a super sized red velvet cupcake and treat called a “princess cake”.  Amazing!!!

I’ve changed and grown so much through my sobriety. I am so happy and am looking forward to many more amazing sober birthdays!!! ❤

The Perfect Dress

I went wedding dress shopping for the first time with my mom and niece Anika.

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They brought me a beautiful flower

I formally asked Anika to be my bridesmaid and she said yes!

Our first stop was Ania’s downton

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After a lovely time there, my mom took us out to lunch.

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Nearby were some beautiful cherry blossoms, so we were able to snap some awesome pictures.

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Next we headed to David’s Bridal. There were sooooo many options there!

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It was really fun and I even tried on a few Vera Wang dresses!

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All the dress pictures are top secret since Tony can’t see them, but there were some beautiful ones and few that I was ready to pull the trigger on. I just had to remind myself that it was my first time out and to be patient. Wedding dress shopping was so fun and equally as exhausting. I can’t wait to do it again!

Engagement Picture Adventure

I enlisted my very talented brother Justin to take some engagement photos for us. Our first session was of various city shots in Portland. Let me tell you-  it’s really weird for me being on the other side of the camera! Here are some out takes and funny test shots- but no spoilers for the real deal once they are ready to be posted.

First we had lunch at McMenamins White Eagle. There was a big Polish festival going on- which apparently was big enough to pack out the bar! Part of the festival was a lady doing face painting- so Diesel got his face painted like a tiger and Justin took this gorgeous shot

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I brought my bag of shoes and clothes and make up. It felt like I was lugging around a whole suitcase of stuff!

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During this test shot Justin yells “Act like you’re getting married! C’mon!”

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Since neither of us have done engagement pictures before we were a little clueless

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It ended up being a lot of exercise too! Hiking up to and across bridges… up and down stairs… often in heels…

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I also worked up a good sweat doing the robot- despite Justin & Tony’s pleas for me to stop

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Justin insisted on busting out the fish eye lens- even though I can’t stand it!!! I’m glad he did though, because those shots came out gorgeous! We couldn’t help but retaliate a little bit with fish faces though.

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We got some amazing shots and had so much fun!

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We even let Diesel sneak into one

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Afterward we all enjoyed much deserved coffee and hot chocolate treats at my favorite coffee shop Albina press.

 I can’t wait for our next shoot!

Tulips: Round 2

In order to ensure that I didn’t miss out on the Tulip farm (like I did the previous 3 years), I booked myself to go with people two different weekends this month. I did this assuming at least one would fall through- and what do you know they both came through! So on Saturday I went again with boss Lady (Jolene) and one of the ladies at our new location- Traci. Traci just became a born again Christian on Easter- so it’s neat to be someone who is also new in their faith. Off to the tulips!

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Since we got there right when it opened, it wasn’t crowded at all. Plus even more tulips had bloomed since my last visit!

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I had a great time getting shots of the old tractors

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This time there were also shoemakers making those wooden Swedish clogs by hand.

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Without Diesel with me this time, I was able to check out the booths

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Jolene bought us each a boquet of tulips and Traci got us a mini tulip keepsake for our desks.

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I’m so happy that I finally made it out to the tulip farms this year- twice even! I can’t wait to bring new people every year so they can experience it’s beauty.

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Art Imitates Life: A Cupcake Story

My Yvonne is a cupcake genius and has been teaching me how to bake and decorate them. This time we made cupcakes based on my tattoo, since my sober birthday is coming up on Monday! I have been sober from alcohol for 3 years!!! Cupcakes are a big part of that because when I celebrated my first sober birthday, Tony took me out for cupcakes! The following year I got a cupcake tattoo on my sober birthday as the previous years celebration was such a wonderful memory. So in continuing the tradition this year- on to the cupcakes!!!

It had been a few weeks since Yvonne and I hung out so we both had found perfect gifts for each other in the meantime and were so excited!

I got this rad T-shirt!

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I gave her a pair of handmade cupcake earring I got at comicon. They were so cute I almost kept them for myself!

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After presents we picked up our dinner at her favorite Vietnamese place- YUM!!!

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She taught me how to make her incredible chai cupcakes and we quickly made a baking mess in her kitchen!

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Next we make the pink cream cheese frosting- Yum!!!!

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Yvonne instructs on the way to frost cupcakes

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My turn!

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They turned out not horrible! Yay!!!

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Now add some sprinkles…

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add the finishing touches…

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Look familiar?

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What a relaxing and awesome way to celebrate 3 years of happiness and sobriety! I can’t wait until our next bake date!

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Bagby Hot Springs Hike

Another beautiful 70 degree plus day demands hiking! My mom swooped up Diesel and I for a hike up at Bagby Hot Springs.

The drive up the was amazing!

When we were about five minutes away from the trailhead, we found a little lost boy on the side of the road! He must have been all of 3 and could barely talk. He led us back to where his fathers car was, but his dad was nowhere to be seen! Some nearby campers helped us look for the missing father but to no avail. We left a note in the car and drove a half hour back to the ranger station to call 911. After waiting about 20 minutes for the police to show up, the father randomly showed up. He thanked us, grabbed the kid and took off. The police said they still planned to follow up on the whole thing. Crazy!

Anyways! Back to the hiking! So we drive the 30 minutes back and began our hike.

It was 70 degrees and there was still snow on the ground!

The hike went a long a river so we were hiking to the sounds of rushing water and were able to pull off and take some great shots!

Of course there was the usual natural beauty Oregon has to offer

and even some urban beauty too

Yeah, that is a blue hollow stump filled with glitter. Only in Oregon…

We crossed several beautiful bridges

The hot springs themselves were neat, but not so much sanitary…

We ended up just checking them out and passed on actually using them. Which was fine because we had plenty of fun just hiking and taking pictures.

The drive home was just as beautiful

and we ended the day with a nice healthy dinner at Mcmenamins

A super fun hike! Maybe next time I’ll get up the nerve to actually get in the hot spring tubs 😉

Record Store Day

Every year my boys and I attend Record Store Day. It’s a Saturday in April where there are several special, limited edition, record releases. The stores also do fun things like giveaways and free Voodoo doughnuts.

Our first stop is usually Everyday Music in Beaverton

We scored some free swag

and some free Voodoo Doughnuts. I keep telling Diesel there’s more to record store day than doughnuts- but he doesn’t believe me.

We scored my Social Distortion record and then headed off to the downtown Everyday Music to hunt for the Cursive record!

It was really foggy and cold that morning- so the forecast of 70 degrees for that day was looking doubtful…

I came across this sign on our way to the records store which made me laugh because reminded me of Portlandia!

The Everyday Music downtown also did up Record Store Day right with cupcakes!

Cursive record acquired- onward!

Next stop is Music Millenium- usually our shortest stop because it’s so crowded!

Shopping for Justin’s birthday present!

Music Millennium is in such a beautiful neighborhood so I always try to get some good shots when we’re down there.

Next we head out to our final record store Everyday Music on Sandy. On the way there we spotted Shepard Fairey street art

and this gem!

After shopping with Diesel all day I’m about ready to lose my mind

Everyday Music on Sandy. Here a I found the special RSD release of the Empire Records soundtrack. This is significant because I had watched the movie for the first time the night before and instantly fell in love with it.

By the time we headed back to our side of town the weather had turned warm and sunny.

So naturally the perfect end to this Record Store Day would be…

Another successful Record Store Day! Rock on!

Tulips are better than one

For three years I’ve wanted to go to the Tulip Farm and somehow it fell through every time! This year I was bound and determined to go and made it happen! Linda, Diesel, and I visited on Sunday. It was one of those rare spring days that was sunny, warm, and PERFECT!

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The tulips were nearly in full bloom and the color was amazing!

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I never knew there were so many varieties of tulips!

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We all came ready with our cameras and had a blast taking tons of pictures.

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They had lots of fun kid stuff and face painting too!

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Flowers are like little I love you’s from God ❤

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Derby date with my boys

I love roller derby! I’ve been going to bouts for over a year now. Recently, Tony brought it to my attention that he and Diesel and never been to one. Somehow that had not occurred to me- so I immediately bought us all tickets to the next bout. This bout was awesome because it was in the Colosseum and it was the travel team vs an out of state team. I had never been to a bout like that so even I was pretty excited!

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Everyone was hyped up and there were pegacorns everywhere!

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The junior league opened up, so it was The Bros vs The Princesses- each team wearing different colored tuxedo t-shirts.

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The main event started and was of course awesome.

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We were losing until the last 5 minutes when our team kicked ass and pulled out a hail mary win! That was the BEST bout I have ever been to! Everyone was standing and cheering- what an awesome first bout for my boys!

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Hippity Hoppity Easters on it way!

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Easter is usually one of my favorite holidays of the year because it’s full of family tradition and fun. This Easter was extra special since I became a born again Christian last Christmas. To fully understand and be grateful for Gods sacrifice and gift and celebrate his love made this Easter so wonderful and memorable ❤

The first and favorite tradition for Easter is coloring eggs! Every year we go over to Linda & Jeff’s (Tony’s mom & step dad) house to color eggs.

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This year we also had a sweet congratulatory card for our engagement a bouquet of red carnations waiting for us too!

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We did the obligatory Easter egg hunt at my boss lady’s church- which was awesome! They has the “Lizard Man”, bouncy houses, face painting and a ton of other stuff! Diesel even won a giant dragon kite that I can’t wait to take to the beach to fly (although we really wanted the giant stuffed animal moose *womp womp*).

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Oh and a picture of Mr. Boss lady that will forever haunt him 😉 He should have given me those ears! *mwuhahahha*

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Boss lady invited us to Easter Sunday at her church. He husband is the music pastor- so it was cool to see him preach and her sing. It’s so cool to see people in a different light like that.

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The other fun tradition is the hiding and finding of eggs on Easter at Linda and Jeff’s with all the kids. It’s fun to watch some of the kids get older and more excited about hiding the eggs than finding them.

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The egg hunt is followed by a delicious Easter dinner with spiral ham, mashed potatoes, and all manner of desserts- YUM!

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An honorable mention also goes out to boss lady for this perfect Easter present!

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A truly wonderful Easter. I’m so blessed in so many way.

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