2015 in Pictures



We took Ruby on her first trip to the beach, spending my 41st birthday at Agate Beach.


We had half our driveway depaved (and eventually fenced off) so we could enjoy more garden space (and privacy!). We’ve since planted blueberries, salmonberries, hostas, and more on the right side and mondo grass in front of the asters on the left…and of course, more to come!


A new client flew me to Central Oregon to meet with their team – ended up hiring four people for them!



Life began to emerge from the garden


So I introduced my husband to the Native Plant Sale – the equivalent to getting concert tickets for garden junkies like us!


…and convinced my husband we needed to add a whole bunch more raised cinder block beds to the garden…something the dog thought was awesome (but my back did not!)


And my very favorite project, building this big ol’ compost bin from old fencing. I built the bin and Dan built the lid, and we came up with the divider so that after one filled up, we could let it heat up and do it’s thing while filling the second. Rad.



Seed starting began for our tomatoes! This was the first year we bought ZERO tomato starts. With the proper amount of light, heat and water, it worked like a charm – pretty nifty.


Spinach emerged in the pots!


It was so mild we grilled our salmon burgers on the BBQ!


Ruby got to check out puddles at Sandy River Delta 🙂


And our new dogwood tree that Dan planted for me (so he could pick me dogwood flowers like the song says, he told me…awwwww!) began to bloom in our front yard 🙂



We built our very own clothesline! Using instructions from DIY Diva and enlisting help from Isaac, our 15 year old neighbor who we like so much (sadly, his family had to move as the landlord has since torn down their home to build 2 tall skinnies – UGH!), we now have a much more permanent way to dry our clothes outdoors after the prior umbrella style one broke beyond repair.


We got our 3rd rainbarrel and I immediately had to decorate it!


And thanks to a surprise windfall with my work, we were able to start planning a repiping and bathroom remodel – provided we did the demo. Best investment EVAH!


And Dan kicked off another project, using scrap wood to build this mason bee house (it worked!). LOVE!



Our garden began to grow!


We celebrated our second year volunteering as readers with these awesome kiddos for SMART.


Celebrated our 1st anniversary at the coast!


Rode all over town!


Finally cleaned and organized the garage!


And I cut all my hair off 🙂



The crazy heat meant one thing: swimming! The Washougal River was pretty awesome to cool off in.


Our garden was in crazy growth mode 🙂


We drove south to the Mother Earth News Fair down but ended up having more fun checking out the covered bridges out in the countryside near Scio. Checklist for 2016!


Got some nice quiet time together 🙂


Ruby was diggin’ the onset of summer as well!



Dogsitting for our neighbors meant two snoring pups!


Escaped the sun into the forest of Oaks Bottom – noice!


And the greatest thing ever, our repiping and bathroom remodel, making our sole tiny cramped 5×8 bathroom into a thing of beauty. The demo with our own two hands, 2 weeks without a real shower, and pain of picking out tile? All worth it. (Check out our before & after here)



Toad lilies in bloom!


Obsessed with watching bees in our sunflowers.


2015 was a banner year for okra – who’da thunk? And they are so gorgeous!


Lotsa salsa from our garden harvest!


Hiding under peach trees at Sauvie Island – he’s grinning here, as he doesn’t realize how much intense prep & canning is up ahead for him to help with, bwahahaha!



Dan turned 48 at the coast and loved this hike up the dunes at Pacific City – as did the dog!


Homemade hot sauce!


Family photo 🙂


Harvesting from the garden truly rocks!



I got to see the queen, Madonna herself, sing live in PDX!


I got to meander through the gardens of Monet’s home in Giverny! A very awesome escape just a week after our first failed IVF transfer.


We hiked at Eagle Creek


We got a great WAY comfy HUGE sectional – finally!


We tried…and were unsuccessful.


Kept falling in love with this guy as we ventured into Paris during our grief.


I’m so grateful for this love we have. Being in France was tougher than I anticipated. I was in so much emotional and physical pain that it interrupted a lot of the peace that usually comes to me when I travel, and when I think back, I think of how much stuff got me more upset than I would in reality, and it made me sad. I’m glad we went, but it was so soon after the bad news that I think I missed out on a lot of bliss that I could have had doing this another time. But no regrets. I was with my sweetheart through it all.



Our Thanksgiving Day hike was the best medicine.


This guy does it for me. How I love him so.


And the garden went to sleep…



We bought a car – whoa!!!


Dan got a Mark Fitz original from St Kilda from Santa 🙂


We got genealogy-happy and built our family trees on Ancestry.com (this is his great-uncle during WWII with the skin of – I swear – a snake they caught in Western Australia!). I got over a thousand years back on my mother’s side and ~ 500 years on Dan’s side – pretty amazing eh!


Twas a Feliz Navidad eating our homemade Cuban dinner!


And in keeping with our mellow vibe this holiday season, we were homebodies on New Years Eve (hey it was COLD – wind chill at 20 degrees man!) and ordered Italian delivery from Mama Mia Trattoria, made whisky toddies, and watched a wee-bit-younger Jennifer Lawrence kick ass in Winter’s Bone. We made it just to kiss at midnight then promptly passed out within 10 minutes :-). Happy New Year!


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