Tag Archives: travel

motivation for me.

I woke up this morning feeling more motivated than I have in literal months.  Months!  I’m not saying that I’ve been a bump on a log for the last however long (hahahahaha impossible with 2 kids) but I just haven’t felt the urge to do… more.  Than necessary.  For myself.  I’m not talking about motivation towards parenting or day-to-day life, I’m speaking to more personal…. extracurriculars?  Like writing (obviously), exercising, reading, taking time for myself etc. etc.  I just haven’t felt super motivated to do more than just get by.

Does that make sense?  Anyone else ever feel this way?  No?  Just me?  Cool, cool.  Carry on.

I took a long walk with the kiddos and dogs this morning.  (And by long, I mean it took us an hour to go around the block.  For reals, I should get a medal every time I take all four of those creatures for a walk at the same time.  A medal in the shape of a full wine glass.)  And anyways, while we were walking I thought a lot about what was floating around in my brain bag… and I think the reason I feel this renewed sense of energy, oddly enough, is that we don’t have big plans to leave our house for the next few weeks. This summer has been so nuts so far (well, let’s be honest, the past 6+ months have been nuts) that this weekend will only be the third weekend that we’ll be at home by ourselves since we moved into our house in May.   Bananatown crazypants.  We’ve been so busy making plans with this family, and that family, and friends, and more family.  And we really try to make sure things are as equal as possible with each family, which means that we are constantly making more and more plans.   Which is not a bad thing at all, but it leaves me feeling spread pretty thin at times.  And don’t get me wrong, we’ve been having so much fun and we absolutely LOVE the fact that we get to see our families and MN friends so much more now, but dude.  We went from having almost every single weekend to ourselves (in Portland) to having almost every single weekend spoken for here.  It’s been a big adjustment.

I swear I’m not trying to complain ::side-eye:: I’m more so trying to talk/write this out so I can work through the feeeeeelings.  I think I’ve just been feeling a bit tapped out lately with all travel and plans and oh!  I still have to like, parent two small humans on the daily.  When I have had a moment of free time lately, I always have some project or chore or just necessary every day thing to do.  (Do you hear tiny violins playing yet?  I sure do.)  But like I said, it’s left me with very little time (or desire) to do more for myself.  Which I think is why I’ve been feeling like an old sack lunch lately.

So. I think knowing that I have nothing to pack/plan/shower for for a good small chunk of time is allowing me to come up for air for a hot second.  (I said “hot second” to my mom the other day and she’s like… oh is that like, a sale or something? LOLZ)  In my head I’ve already scheduled workouts, made playlists, stacked up new (non-parenting) books to read, hired a sitter for date night, updated my headspace app, and made big plans to sit my yard and do NOTHING other than grill, drink wine and play in the pool with my sweet little family as much as possible.  It’s not like I couldn’t have done any of this before, regardless of any plans or visitors or trips, but I just feel so much more motivated to do these super vanilla things all of a sudden.  Probably because I now have a tiny window of space in my brain to make room for them again.

All that said, maybe this is just a fluke and in 10 minutes I’ll feel like faceplanting into mediocrity or divebombing into laziness.  But for now I’m super excited to make the most of this feeling… and make the most insignificant plans as possible for the next few weeks.  Cheers to fresh sack lunches!


our european adventure. a month later.

So it’s been over a month since we took our trip to Paris and Amsterdam, but here I am finally getting around to sharing a few photos.  This post is more for me than for you (sorry) because I want to make sure that at least some of our photos are displayed somewhere.  Otherwise they’ll be shoved to the back of my photos folder, gathering virtual dust.  Please tell me I’m not the only delinquent who doesn’t make prints or do photo books?  I mean, I always SAY I’m going to.  But then I just go on living my life instead.

Anyhoosville, this is kind of an inconsistent smattering of pics because I constantly struggle with wanting to take a shitload of photos and also wanting to experience things without the distraction of a camera.

The early-2ooo’s digital camera tourist struggle is real, man.

Anyway, I’m just going to get right into it and add captions as necessary. #always

IMG_1335I had very few expectations of Paris going into this trip, but I cannot even tell you how much I enjoyed it.
It is effing beautiful.

IMG_1419We crammed in a few touristy things but mostly just wandered the city…


IMG_1416Taking in the sights…

IMG_5974And acting absurdly American.  (eg. Man: “Bonjour madame!”  Me: “Merci!”….  ::facepalm::)

IMG_5987We didn’t actually go into the Louvre, but we did admire it.  Though I do wish it wasn’t weirdly gift-wrapped like that…

IMG_5983My best gal, Carolyn.  And my other gal, coffee.


IMG_5989And my guy!

IMG_6021And this beaut!  She did not disappoint.

IMG_1437IMG_1442We stayed about 2 blocks from the Arc de Triomphe and this was the only photo we got of it!  Rookies.

IMG_1329This photo is more like a PSA for my fellow pregos, because this was the first N/A beer that didn’t make me want to chuck the bottle across the room.  So good!

IMG_6005Sacre Couer was beautiful, but SO overcrowded.  Both inside and outside.  What is it with tourists, am I right?!

IMG_6001IMG_1311The views of the Eiffel Tower neverrrrrrrrrrrrrrr got old.

IMG_1394 IMG_1375The reason for this whole trip! My GORGEOUS bestie, Kali and her dapper new husband. Their wedding was an absolute fairytale.

Except that I couldn’t drink wine at it.

IMG_1390Ok fine, I had HALF of a glass of champagne.  So sue me.

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IMG_1370The matching Zara skirt/dress situation was purely coincidental.

IMG_1384Beautiful couple, Michelin star chef, and 2 photo-bombing bozos.

IMG_1407IMG_1388My girls, minus one limb.  (We missed you Kendra!) 

IMG_1380IMG_1322Child-free, with my husband and best friends, in Paris.  You can’t put a price tag on this stuff, people.

Except, you can.  You can actually look at our hysterical credit card statement if you want to…



OFF to Amsterdam!

IMG_6038Where it rained every day except the day we were leaving!   Sometimes I like to imagine a rain cloud following me around saying “I wish I knew how to quit you.”

If you get that movie reference, give yourself a high-five.

1511-1We loved our hotel in Amsterdam! The rooms were adorable and the staff was so friendly.  I highly suggest it if any of y’all are headed there anytime soon.  In which case, can I come?

 IMG_6032Ok can we all just admit that Amsterdam is the MOST charming ever?  Seriously, I loved it.  We felt so at home there.  I highly highly encourage you to visit if you have the chance.  And if so, can I come?

IMG_6057Never pass up European caffeine, was my motto during the trip.  

IMG_6042Waiting in line for our tour of the Anne Frank house.  Which is UNREAL.  Must do, if you’re ever, you know, in the area.

IMG_6024I mean, C’MON!

IMG_6045Casey “why isn’t anyone wearing helmets this is so unsafe we are NOT renting bikes here you’re pregnant watch out!” Thompson


IMG_6027 IMG_1516There is something so fun to me about buying local munchies.  I could have spent numerous hours in the grocery store in Amsterdam. Is that weird?  Wait… is it?  IS IT?

Answer me!
IMG_1512OMG I don’t care because look how cute these Dutch Ella’s packets are!

Processed with VSCO with 6 presetMan. Don’t you just want to park your bike here forever?

Wait, is that morbid?

IMG_1486 IMG_1482You guys. The pastries in both Paris and Amsterdam. Ugh. I can’t even think about them without
having to wipe drool off my chin. 

IMG_1477Because I’m a good wife/person/etc. I accompanied Casey to a few pubs for some beer tastings.  And let me tell you, nothing is more fun than watching other people drink when you can’t.  ::side-eye::

IMG_6047IMG_1465

Processed with VSCO with f2 presetOh Amsterdam, you charming little love bucket!


And last but certainly not least… a collage of a few of my pastry endeavors. Ahhh… memories.pastriesyo1

Thanks for sticking around til the very end!  I hope you enjoyed my Europe trip as much as I did ;)


a post about our trip to san francisco and napa. but mostly it’s a post about food.

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Our trip to San Francisco has come and gone, and all I have to show for it is a sizeable decrease in my bank account and a few extra pounds that have taken up residence on my ass.  The true marks of a great vacation.  Is what I always say.  To make myself feel better.  About coming back from vacation fatter and poorer.  This is getting sad.  It’s supposed to be happy!  Because we had a great trip!  Here let me tell you all about it!  Do these exclamation points help!

When Casey and I were first deciding where to go for our 5-year anniversary trip, San Francisco immediately popped into my mind because A. I love it, B. Casey had never been there, and C. It’s proximity to Portland.  It’s not super far, but since we did have to fly there, it still seemed pretty vacation-y.  Which are important characteristics when you’re leaving your kid for the very first time.  (He did great while we were gone, BTW.  So did I!  I swear! Are these exclamation points still working! K!)

Let’s just dive right into the pictures, shall we?

shawnnathompson_sanfran_25The very first thing we did when we got into the city was rent bikes and bike across the Golden Gate Bridge and into Sausalito.  I’ve always wanted to do it and I thought it’d be a great way for us to see some of the quintessential tourist spots at the same time.  It was amazingly fun.  Except wearing a used helmet.  That’s never fun.

shawnnathompson_sanfran_24 shawnnathompson_sanfran_23Bucket list type of ish happening right about here.  Seriously so cool, but also?  Windy, high, narrow, soaking palms. Are all other ways to describe it.


shawnnathompson_sanfran_21Casey: “No more selfies while we’re biking over a giant bridge, k?”

shawnnathompson_sanfran_22This view this view THIS VIEW!


shawnnathompson_sanfran_20And hey, how about we agree that’s enough pictures of us bike riding?

Is it bike riding or riding bike? Who decides these things?

shawnnathompson_sanfran_27shawnnathompson_sanfran_28After Sausalito we took the ferry back to San Francisco rather than biking back across the bridge, because have you seen that hill into Sausalito??? That hill is not on my bucket list.

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shawnnathompson_sanfran_30Irish coffees at the Buena Vista Cafe are da bomb!  (sorry)  They’re really good.  We stopped here for a bike break and saddled up at the bar, as we do, and there was a couple sitting next to us who we were SURE were father/daughter but then he put his hand on her knee in a not fatherly way and I’m not sure why I’m telling you this story. But the coffee, the coffee is really good.


shawnnathompson_sanfran_9If only this photo could be a scratch-and-sniff.

shawnnathompson_sanfran_7Ahh the Ferry Building.  Also known as “Wear stretch pants next time” Building.  I’m pretty sure I read that on a plaque somewhere…  We had skipped breakfast on this particular day, so we took it upon ourselves to try a selection of things from a plethora of establishments.  Which is a fancy way of saying we ate a lot.  If you happen to be headed here sometime soon, might I suggest the ahi tuna poke at the San Francisco Fish Company and the lemongrass pork noodles at The Slanted Door?  (We were tipped off to the pork noodles by approx. 10 friends, so I feel it is my duty to pay it forward.)  Then grab a couple of macarons at Miette and a coffee at Blue Bottle and you’re good to go!  You can skip the chocolate milk at Cowgirl Creamery, because Casey says it was meh.  And Casey is a choco milk connoisseur.   But their cheese looked like heaven on Earth.  So, maybe try that.


shawnnathompson_sanfran_5shawnnathompson_sanfran_6shawnnathompson_sanfran_18While we’re (always) on the subject of food, we met up with some friends for dinner one night at Burma Love.  Which we would HIGHLY recommend!  So delicious, it was.  But our very favorite meal the entire trip was at Park Tavern.  We ordered the game hen in truffle butter and I practically weeped the next morning when I realized we forgot to put my leftovers in the mini fridge the night before.  Travesty.  What’s the ruling on cooked game hen that’s been out all night?  Can someone tell me for future reference?

shawnnathompson_sanfran_17Sadly, I could not sleep in at all the entire trip.  For no other reason than my body is just used to getting up at the buttcrack of dawn.  Each night I’d wake up numerous times throughout the night and then be up for the day by 6.  Isn’t that just the saddest thing you’ve ever heard?  But dry your eyes little grasshoppers!  The silver lining of waking up early in a hotel room is that you can watch Gilmore Girls in bed.  Happy vacation to me!

shawnnathompson_sanfran_16You know what I really love about Chinatown?  Not just the little trinket shops and dim sum restaurants, although those are all lovely, but the apartments and homes above them.  I love seeing the little old women poking their heads out of their windows and hollering to their husbands below.  I think it’s charming to see the clothes pinned across the fire escape to dry.  I love when the little kiddos faces flash past the windows as they run from room to room.  It’s so thrilling to me, all that life happening right above where we shop and eat.  You know what I mean?  I kept saying to Casey, all these people live here!  We’re just here on a vacation but they actually live here.  How exciting!  Well, exciting until they see me peeking into their windows.  Then I’m sure it gets a little weird.

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shawnnathompson_sanfran_11Second trip to Miette.  Not sorry about it.  I ended up getting those candies up there.  See them?  Yah, those.


shawnnathompson_sanfran_8Ahh Mr. Holmes Bakehouse, home of the cruffin.  Guys, listen.  I know that the whole cruffin/duffin/cronut phenomenon is a bit trendy and snobnoxious.  But when something tastes as good as ^^this^^, I will happily wait in line with the rest of Instagram to get mine.  SO GOOD.

shawnnathompson_sanfran_4Ok ok enough food already!  So then we went to Napa for approximately 24 hours.  Just enough time to visit 4 vineyards and eat 2.5 delicious meals.  The .5 is the “leftover” cruffins we ate on the way there on Friday.  (Are they considered leftovers if we only bought them 2 hours earlier?  Yes.  Is the answer we’re looking for.)  Oops, sorry, we’re talking about food again.

shawnnathompson_sanfran_26shawnnathompson_sanfran_14^^This place^^ was THE most beautiful winery I’ve ever been to. (Thanks A&A!)  It’s in a cave and the wine is insane and everything is extremely elegant and sophisticated.  Everything.  Except… that they use Softsoap handsoap in the bathrooms?  I mean, there is absolutely nothing wrong with Softsoap.  We’ve bought Softsoap before.  It just surprised me that this winery, with an LED light installation on the ceiling of the bathroom, had a row of Softsoaps lined up next to the sinks.  I mean, I guess if you’re going to save money somewhere it might as well be on hand soap, right?…

Yah, I’m not sure what’s wrong with me.  I need to get a life, pronto. 

Anyways, Softsoap and all, it was amazing.  We bought one bottle of wine there that cost Crosby his freshman year of college.  Sorry, kid.  Freshman year is overrated anyways.  #not

Processed with VSCOcam with 6 presetThis day also happened to be our actual 5-year anniversary day.  So.  Smoochies must be smooched.


shawnnathompson_sanfran_3Another beautiful winery, where we tasted wine at 9:45 AM.  WHAT IS THIS LIFE.


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Annnnnd then we left.  Which means we’re done with the pictures.  Which also means you made it to the end of this post. Great job, blog soldiers.  Thanks for indulging me.  And another big huge thank you to my mom and stepdad, who took perfect care of our little guy while we were gone.  Couldn’t have done it without you!

Ok sorry, one more photo! And one last happy 5th anniversary to my guy.  Love you more than cruffins and game hen, Mr. T.

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a wednesday brain dump.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetYou know when you’re grocery shopping with your baby in a front-facing carrier and you lean over to grab a package of refrigerated tortillas and then your baby vomits directly into the cold case?  Yah, me either.  (::side-eye::)

So hey, how is everyone doing?  It’s Wednesday.  So… there’s that.

We’re off to a great start aren’t we?  I apologize.  My brain is not really firing on all cylinders.  It’s just so full of things lately that I feel like it may or may not explode.  Work things (I’m doing some part-time writing work. Ye$!!), fun things (my mama is flying in today! and Mother’s Day is coming up, and we’re taking trip to San Francisco next week!) and then also just everyday things (laundry and vacuuming and diapers! and dog walks and both the post office AND UPS, because I must have accidentally budged in front of an elderly person at some point in the past and attracted some really bad waiting-in-line karma.)  Believe it or not, I am not actually complaining about any of this.  I swearsies.  I’m just working it out on paper (screen?)… and I think I’m inadvertently using this blog post as my to-do list for later today.  And in that case, buy coffee creamer and parchment paper.

Circling back to that San Francisco trip I mentioned, next week is Casey and my 5 year wedding anniversary.  I know what you’re thinking, how could I possibly be married for 5 years?  I don’t look a day over 21!  Right? ……?…..?…. Alas, I am not the spritely young buck I once was. I am now a married-for-five-years-has-a-kid-found-a-gray-eyelash-a-few-weeks-ago-still-scarred-by-it-30-year-old.  And anyways!  The point of this is that we’ve been married for 5 years and want to celebrate that so we’re taking a trip to SF/Napa, just me and my bae (<— gross. I won’t attempt that again, promise.).  We’re SUPER excited but I’m also internally freaking out over leaving Crosby for 3 nights.  We planned this trip a few months ago and I thought that by now I’d be “ready” and “okay” with leaving him for a few days, but you know what?  It’s going to be hard.  I’m used to being with that little poop factory all day, every day.  My mom is going to be here to watch him so I know he’ll be juuuust fine.  It’s me that I’m worried about.  I’m just really going to miss him.  I guess what I’ll have to do is drown my sorrows in a nice big glass of Pinot.  It’s really the only way I can see myself getting through this.

So anyhoodles, if you have any recommendations for things to do in SF, let me know!  I think we’re going to be touristy for the most part, since it’s Casey’s first trip there.  We’ll probably visit Fisherman’s Wharf and the Ferry Building and maybe rent some bikes and take them across the Golden Gate bridge.  And then we have a couple of winery tastings scheduled in Napa, thanks to a few lovely friends who are members at fancy pantsy wineries.  (Thanks pals!)   Sidenote: One of the first times we hung out with one of these friends was at a party she was throwing at her condo.  We didn’t know at the time that she was such a wine connoisseur (totally had to look up how to spell that word.) and so the expression on her face when I told her that the wine I’d brought to her party was bought at the Rite Aid below my apartment, was priceless.  I mean, I’d bought the most expensive bottle they had!  $14.99!  Good times.  Anyhoo!  Wine!  We’re gonna drink some!

Welp, the baby just woke up, so that’s about all I’ve got for you today.  Have a great Wednesday, homies!

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babymoon trip or whatever you want to call it.

shawnnathompson_babymoon_21Two weekends ago, we went on our babymoon.  It sort of makes me cringe to say that, because I think it’s a ridiculously stupid word.  Babymoon. Like I picture babies showing their butts and stuff whenever I hear it. But you know what?  A vacation is a vacation and I’ll take it and call it whatever the pregnancy god’s tell me to.  Baby butt vacation, sign me up.

We decided a looong time ago that we wanted to take a little getaway before Tiny Thomps arrived.  We started a little vacation fund basically the day after we found out we were pregnant.  Casey and I don’t go on many trips alone together.  Actually, the last one we took alone was our honeymoon OVER FOUR YEARS AGO.  (Apparently we only take trips with the word “moon” in them.  Read into it what you will.)  I mean, we’ve definitely gone places since then… to see family, to visit friends… it’s not like we never get away.  We just rarely get away just the two of us.  Since we’ve had a crazy busy summer, August was the earliest we could make it work.  And since August is right before September, and I’m due to birth a child in September, we didn’t think we should really travel very far.  Nobody wants to deliver a baby on a plane.  Or on the side of the road.  So we stayed somewhat close-ish to home and went to Sisters, OR for a long weekend getaway.  If you’ve ever been, you know how sweet and quaint and lovely it is.  We stayed at an amazing lodge right on the edge of town that had a movie house, brewery and spa on site.  So go ahead and feel a little jealous of us, we won’t mind.

shawnnathompson_babymoon_2shawnnathompson_babymoon_16 shawnnathompson_babymoon_4shawnnathompson_babymoon_20shawnnathompson_babymoon_7 shawnnathompson_babymoon_12You guys!  I got to ride a bike!  And when I say bike, I mean an adult-sized trike that was really only meant for the lodge staff to haul stuff around the grounds, but of course they let my charming pregnant ass borrow it.  I can’t quite put into words how excited I was to go on a bike ride, especially since I haven’t hopped on one since before I was pregnant for fear of falling off. (It’s happened before.)  I don’t really like to imagine what I must have looked like riding this thing but I loved every second of it.
shawnnathompson_babymoon_13shawnnathompson_babymoon_14shawnnathompson_babymoon_5shawnnathompson_babymoon_15shawnnathompson_babymoon_17shawnnathompson_babymoon_6shawnnathompson_babymoon_3We went on a little hike one morning, which lasted all of 1/2 of a mile before I panicked about going into labor in the middle of the woods and turned around.  I was then followed down the trail by a large-sized squirrel, who I can only assume saw me and figured I had massive quantities of food to share with him.  shawnnathompson_babymoon_1shawnnathompson_babymoon_9We treated ourselves to a couples massage – which was Casey’s first massage ever, which also must be documented.  Can’t you just feel his excitement?!  Also, please excuse my naked face. I didn’t wear makeup all weekend long – per Casey’s orders.  He actually like, insisted on it.  I still don’t get it but I love him for it. 
shawnnathompson_babymoon_10Another first… sorta.  This was Casey’s first hamburger in over 2 years, since we stopped eating meat.  Kind of a big deal.  He didn’t f*ck around either – this beast had bacon and gorgonzola cheese sauce and a whole pile of onions.  Cue the meat sweats.
shawnnathompson_babymoon_11shawnnathompson_babymoon_8shawnnathompson_babymoon_19We listened to some great live music at dinner on our last night.  Though I must say that the singer had somewhat of an… ugly singing face.  You know what I’m talking about?  Lots of singers have it.  Dave Matthews has it.  Jessica Simpson has it.  It’s as if their face is physically rejecting the music out of their body.  It’s really distracting and it makes me uncomfortable.  I have such problems.shawnnathompson_babymoon_18The thing of it is, it’s so easy to lose track of what it means to be a husband/wife in everyday life.  Things get busy and you fall into a routine and then you naturally take on these other roles that sometimes distract you from being couple… instead we become the dog walker, the cook, the bill payer, the errand runner, etc.  And we know that once the baby is here, it’ll be even harder to prioritize “us”.  So we truly appreciated and made the most of having this time alone to just be together with no distractions, no dogs, no yard work or meals to worry about.  It really was a great baby butt vacation. 

So. We’ve officially crossed the last of our big summer plans off our list!  Next up, childbirth.  No biggie.