August 2018

August flew by. We in CA for almost two weeks in August, went camping for a few days, and then we were sick for another week. I can’t believe it’s September already! I don’t want summer to end yet.

Last week my friend Annie and I decided to take the kids to one last summer concert at Sauvie Island. Pure summer magic! We both took 5 kids during bedtime (without our spouses!!) and boy were our hands full. It was crazy, but so worth it! Here we are with our crew.  Jon is on my back! 



This month we also completed the summer reading program at the local library. The kids got some cool prizes like tickets to go the fair, a trail blazers game, and chiptole!

I have been living off of this: maple cardamom iced cofffee.


More garden harvest.


We made lunch using only garden ingredients. Zucchini noodles for lunch!


Ev’s bestie turned 5 and we celebrated with her at the splash pad! They had fun with the face painting. Rainbow Unicorn besties!




Kids have been playing with mud pretty much everyday. That means I am constantly giving baths! So exhausting! But, they just have so much fun. And it’s keeping them busy and content. It’s all I want!


When friends come over and hold your fussy baby and make you a bourbon lacroix drink….YES.


Ev is doing so well reading. She is pushing through her bob books.  IMG_0931

Again, these kids are living in the mud kitchen this month. Living their best life hahaha


August has been AMAZING at the garden. So many tomatoes!


After our visit to CA, we went on our first camping trip as a family of five. We survived! It was hard! Both kids ended up a sick and nights were terrible because of the fevers. Since James wasn’t feeling great meltdowns were all over the place. SO MUCH WHINING.

BUT, we did have some awesome moments too.


Curtis making dinner our first night. BBQ chicken. MmmmmmIMG_0952


The kids went fishing for the first time! Lost Lake is beautiful.








I love love love camping. Sitting drinking coffee while we watch bacon cook slowly?! So nice to be away from technology and distractions.



James had terrible first night (itchy feet…he ended up with Hand Foot Mouth!!), so he slept in until like 11am…He was so happy when he woke up.



We went camping with friends and Curtis took the kids out on the boat we rented. They loved being on the boat!




And then we went on a family ride around the lake. Later, the kids and I hung out by the water with our buddies while Curtis went out fishing ALONE.



We stayed in a yurt!


Ev having dinner while Curtis deals with a melting down toddler. Hahaha


Our last day the kids got ice cream and then Curtis and James went on the boat again and did more fishing.


What to do with all the garden tomatoes?! Honey Goat Cheese Gallette’s!



Back to home life. The best life.


Making more garden cucumbers. Love this recipe. IMG_1087

Preserving summer…because YUMMM






I started organizing our school closet for this next school year.



Ev making letters to dad. She’s been writing “poems”. SO sweet.IMG_1111



I’m getting ready for fall. Fire Cider and bone broth.IMG_1119


Oh more shots from the summer concert at a farm in Sauvie Island. Picnic dinner, climbing trees, and dancing and chasing friends. These are really kids are living their best life.





IMG_1149The sunset was amazing.


Impromptu hiking with friends. This hike leads to a children’s garden. It’s really sweet.


More picnics. Sellwood Park was really pretty. After the picnic we walked to the water and the kids played by the river. 

More garden fun! Love seeing the kids grab the food and snack in the garden while I water and weed.

More blackberry picking at the garden.



My friend hooked me up with figs from her fig tree. I made a batch of honey fig jam. YUM! The next day I made some cream scones and homemade whipped cream. Best treat. IMG_1170

Fridays are pizza night at our house. We are obsessed with our sourdough pizza dough. This week’s pizza: Delicata squash, kale, with caramelized onions and fig and blue cheese pizza.IMG_1167

We went peach picking with some of our favorite people. After some peach picking we headed over the local cider house.


We love Hood River. It’s the best day trip. Summer is all about the picnics.IMG_1195IMG_1193IMG_1189

Also, on the right is our new housemate! She is the sweetest and we are hosting her at our house until April. She is from China and it’s been really fun.IMG_1185

At the peach farm in Hood River. Look at that mountain. Mt Hood you are a beauty! We had such a hard day with the kids on this day. Ev was challenging with so much disobedience and James was fussy and needy…That night he ended up with a fever, so poor guy was just feeling sick. Ah, such is life with little people. Curtis and I are pretty much always tired, but I love making these memories with my crew.



CA Vacation

This California visit was so sweet. My sister in law’s wedding brought the whole family together and it was so great! I wish I would have brought my camera, but oh well. Here are some phone photos. The older two did amazing! Things like traveling do get easier as they get older. And we had to travel with a lot less stuff is just so nice. Babies need so much stuff!

I was so worried about traveling with three. It was pretty tiring, but overall they did great. Baby was challenging, but that’s a baby for you!

I wish I could have taken more photos at the wedding!

Curtis with his cousins/best friends and the babies!

These sweet girls are so sweet. Wish we lived closer to these cousins!

Babies from 2017! Love how many babies we have in the family.

Took the kids to are old stomping grounds. Ice cream shop and the beach!

We did the beach everyday because my kids are obsessed and its only 5 minutes away.

One last beach cousins with some of our favorite people!

I go to see my sister too!

We had a taco night with our old hiking friends. I love them so much! I didn’t know them very long before we moved, but we’ve kept in touch and text allllll the time and we try to hang everytime we are in the same city. I love how well the kids play!

Took a day trip to see my parents. We had to get Mexican paletas of course!

More beach and ice cream. It’s summer and vacation, so yea!

Went to a concert at the beach and had picnic dinner. We had my favorite burritos. I miss Mexican food.

Our sweet cousin took us on a coffee shop date. She is amazing and I wish she was closer!

His first time at the beach.

I got to see this sweet friend too! We picked up coffee and took a stroll around the beach. Such kindred spirits and I always feel so refreshed and encouraged after some time with her. I want to be her when I grow up!!!


Thanks to the grandparents, I squeezed in a couple girls nights and went to a couple of my old favorite wine bars. Yay!  It was really fun getting all the park dates and play dates and hang time and with family and friends and all the people we miss in Santa Cruz. The people in our lives are gold. I feel blessed. Our last night there Curtis went out all with all the guy cousins and I sneaked away to hang with Jenny and Laura. We drank tea and talked all about homeschool and books and mom life and it was life giving!


I’m updating this while the kids craft and make messes. My kids have such high energy and they are so loud! So, I gotta go and make more coffee so I can make it through part two of our day…I’ll proof read this later! haha

July 2018

Well, July is pretty much over. Hooray! This month seriously kicked our booty. Without getting into too much detail on the internet, July was a tough month for our family…leaving Curtis and I just completely exhausted and burnt out. Despite all the hard moments, there were many pockets of good. Isn’t that how life works? Our stressful month ended with California visitors! Seriously, having this family stay with us this weekend was absolutely refreshing and got us out of our funk. Yay for family! And for family who loves you, encourages and prays for you! Love you Holtzclaw Clan!

Laura and I with our babies and long morning conversations over coffee.


Oregon nights are warm! We had late dinners and lots of backyard hangs. The big kids and dads camped out in our backyard. Ev was not very into it, but James loved it. I think bedtime was like 11?! My kids just had so much fun.


We went to Pips donuts and the Farmers Market. Look at these sweet boys!IMG_0769IMG_0760IMG_0758

SO many kids! The cousins and their boys. IMG_0748IMG_0738


This month we’ve been harvesting like every week from our community garden. My first homegrown tomato! And the most lovely garden flowers. It was so fun to pick and choose and make a bouquet!IMG_0729IMG_0722

Jon is joining at the table and loves it. So fun to see them all together. IMG_0721IMG_0715IMG_0714

We went blueberry picking like 3 times this month. Oregon is BERRY LAND! All the amazing upick farms seriously makes my heart so happy. This outing was with a few moms from church!IMG_0700IMG_0690IMG_0687

We also celebrated Jonathan turning ONE!! I made his favorite (Sweet potato blackbean nachos) and a simple cake. We had small celebration with just us, but looking forward to celebrating with family next month. IMG_0668IMG_0664IMG_0663


We now have a 4 year old, a 3 year old, and a 1 year old. Phew! Pray for Curtis and I! IMG_0660IMG_0650IMG_0648


Curtis grinding the oats for Jon’s cake. IMG_0646

More garden stuff from another week.IMG_0637IMG_0636

Family blueberry picking day.IMG_0630IMG_0626IMG_0621IMG_0616

We are living in our backyard most days. SUMMER! SUNSHINE! IMG_0608IMG_0603

July was a month I took off from intentional preschool activities. It was really great. We’ve just been filling our time/days with lots of outside time, splash pads, playdates, park dates, ect. But, James has started writing simple letters on his own without my instruction…Look at that sweet E he made! IMG_0602


My wild children.IMG_0598

I’m telling you, Oregon and it’s amazing bounty of summer berries…More BERRIES! Blackberries are everywhere in Portland. The blackberries in our backyard are finally ready! So we pick some almost daily. Stashing them in the freezer and hoping to make this jam for canning club. I’ll probably make a cobbler or some muffins too. What else?!IMG_0589IMG_0588IMG_0584


Another awesome haul from the garden.IMG_0573IMG_0570IMG_0566

I GREW ALL OF THIS! This newbie gardener is obsessed.IMG_0565IMG_0564


I had planned on having a slow summer mostly at home. But, this month is when I started to feel brave enough to go on outings with the kids, ALONE! This past year I have mostly stayed close to home, our community group or our co-op. When I did go out, I never went alone, as the thought of wrangling three children made me really anxious. Praise God for his strength and peace though because all that anxiety and fear is gone and I am so ready to adventure with my crew again! I’ve been taking them to the splash pads a ton. They love it! IMG_0560IMG_0559

Curtis had his CASA volunteer training on Jon’s actual birthday, so he wasn’t going to be home. So, we met him for lunch and then the kids and I went to go get ice cream. Happy Birthday, Jon!IMG_0551IMG_0548IMG_0537IMG_0533IMG_0519IMG_0517

Look at the fun stuff I got at canning club. My kids LOVED the ginger spiralized beets. They ate it out of the jar! Haha. IMG_0510

Bourbon Peach Pie because SUMMER.IMG_0509

We spent the 4th of July at our friends new house and hung out and grilled some food. The kids had so much fun with the fireworkers. Although, their faces don’t show it! Hahaha.IMG_0505IMG_0504IMG_0497IMG_0494IMG_0459IMG_0454IMG_0451IMG_0447


Curtis has been working a ton this month. It’s so nice when he’s home! img_20180723_165544556

We went to a local baseball game.’img_20180714_133049174_burst001

Had a donut/park date with a couple friends too.


Post evening splash pad. We went to work on the garden and then picked about 2 pounds of blackberries. Blackberry brambles are everywhere!! Even at our community garden.img_20180729_210413154_ll


It’s 1am and our house is 82 degrees because we have been experiencing at heat wave AND our central AC broke! So, super late bedtime tonight. But, cold brew is waiting for me tomorrow morning. Yes, iced coffee in the morning because tomorrow is supposed to be our last HOT day.

JAMES TURNS 3 & Other June Photos

This past weekend James turned THREE! We celebrated with tacos, grilled corn, homemade strawberry coconut milk paletas and a bonfire. The kids brought bathing suits and we had a pool party. We even bought a slip and slide! It was so fun. Pam and Jimmy were here, so it made the weekend extra special. I wish I took more photos , but, Jon was SOOO clingy at the party!

The besties roasting marshmallows.









Instead of a cake, I made paletas and we sang him Happy Birthday.







We had 40 people (half of them children! 😂) in our teeny house. I was worried how it would all play out. But, everything turned out great. And there was plenty of food left over too!

Birthday morning. We made pancakes with homemade whipped cream and strawberries and then opened gifts and hung out at home most of the morning.







Grandma and grandpa stayed for a week. Love this sweet morning breakfast scene.



Other shots from the month. Preschool at home. More learning about garden stuff. We also made “chocolate mud” (avocado, cocoa, and a tiny bit of honey) and talked about the difference between soil and dirt in regards to gardening.









Celebrated the first day of Summer with painting suns, going on a walk, and baked shortbread cookies topped with edible flowers.



Made a gift for some neighbors.






IMG_0270 (1)


Enjoying that “chocolate mud”.


We’ve been eating most dinners outside because SUMMER! I made some strawberry shrub cocktails with strawberries we picked. Mmmmm.


June 2018 Part 1

June has been really busy already. And before bombarding you guys with SO MANY PHOTOS, I am going to do two posts.

Here are a few crappy phone photos. For my birthday I went to brunch with a couple dear friends at Tusk. Then it was followed by a local plant nursery where I picked out lovely plants! Birthday weekend was going to include a family trip to Vashon Island, but, my dad unexpectedly had surgery, so we stayed put. It was a very emotional weekend for me. It’s hard being far from family in these situations. Praise God my dad is doing great now.

Another weekend, we also explored some new trails with some friends. Curtis and I had to stop by drive through coffee at like 3pm, because life with young children…..WE ARE SO SO TIRED. This is Ev’s bestie. We love this family a ton.

On my actual birthday Curtis took me out and we listened to music, had yummy sangrias, and talked the whole time. The little things.

I love this sweet little friendship that is forming. I am still hanging out with this family for our weekly English lessons.

We had our last preschool Co-op Day. We celebrated with a waffle bar!


I was standing in the kitchen and saw my kids. I had to take a photo. Love seeing all THREE at the table together. So unreal.


The state of my house usually. IMG_0048IMG_0053IMG_0056

Meal times are my favorite. IMG_0072

Loved this little scene. Bread rising, strawberry shrubs in the making, and dehydrated kale for snacks. I love the kitchen.IMG_0045

Made some shrubs for canning club. IMG_0046IMG_0047

His first summer popsicle. Almond butter banana pops!IMG_0042

And we went strawberry picking. I took all three kids by myself and we picked 6ish pounds! That weekend I canned lots of jam (strawberry rhubarb, strawberry honey thyme, and strawberry lemon preserves). Look at this baby! IMG_0085IMG_0090IMG_0091IMG_0095IMG_0098IMG_0102IMG_0105IMG_0109

We’ve been going to our garden every day. We harvested our first things…RADISHES! I may have screamed. Growing something is amazing! IMG_0134IMG_0135IMG_0136IMG_0140IMG_0141IMG_0142IMG_0145

While I am weeding or watering, the kids are usually running around the property. Running up and down the hill picking raspberries! IMG_0146IMG_0153

I told Curtis to take a picture of the kids and I in front of our first garden. I’m such a sappy mom.

I have no idea what I am doing, but hopefully things will continue to grow!IMG_0164

This picture give me all the feels. My babies! Garden and humans. 🙂IMG_0170


Ok, so I may have waited too long to pick the radishes. They were spicy! So I pickled them and it mellowed the flavor. I’ve added the pickled radishes into everything…salads, sandwiches, and yesterday it was a great addition to my soba noodle cold salad.IMG_0266IMG_0194

Saturday morning breakfast is an event. Sourdough pancakes. YESSS. IMG_0185

I found Ev climbing our fence. of course.IMG_0188


Father’s day weekend. Breakfast on the patio, hike, donuts, and then we had friends over for scotch and pie. That evening we had a thunderstorm. It was so cool! It rained off and on all evening. All the kids just ran around barefoot in the rain. It was so great. Thankful for Curtis. The best dad and partner. IMG_0199IMG_0245IMG_0257IMG_0258IMG_0259IMG_0262

My heart.

My friend Lydia takes wonderful photos. I love the photos she’s taken of us during the last couple of holes we’ve been on.

Look at those babies. I can’t believe I get to be their mom. I fail almost every day, but I’m trying. This motherhood gig is hard. But, I wouldn’t trade it.

These are the Days



These are the days. Jonathan is 10.5 months! I can’t believe it’s been almost a year. I see his “babyhood” disappearing as each day goes by. And it hits me. He is our last baby! I can not imagine our lives without babies in our house. These are the days. The hard days. The most precious and fleeting of days. Today was a regular day. We met friends at a park. I was a hot mess (like always when we do outings) keeping an eye on all of them, nursing, getting out all the snacks, asking James if he needs to go potty for the 100th time,  dealing with tantrums when it was time leave, the older two fighting in the car (a new thing), and Jon crying because he hates to be contained these days. But, there was so much good today too. Sitting outside with all of them. Having the older two help me pack the carrots while we made fermented carrots. Watching them play outside while I made the pizza dough for dinner. I love my life. It is hard in so many ways. And parenting as introvert with basically no breaks ever is demanding and leaves me depleted and grumpy most of the time. But, I wouldn’t trade this life with my babies. They won’t be this little forever. When Curtis asks about my day, it’s always so hard to answer. Our days are long, exhausting, and mostly difficult, but there are always such good tiny moments sprinkled throughout. I asked Curtis to take a photo of me while I held Jon today. I really wanted to remember today. As simple and normal as today was.