cheeseburger

Update

Where’ve I’ve been?Β Yep, I kind of dropped off the planet for a bit.

The good news: I lost 3 pounds! After our mini-vacation to the beach I came home and weighed in. I’ve been taking a break from the low carb diet since before Thanksgiving. Mostly because it stopped working, but also because it was just too much of a struggle for me. I realized that it’s just not the best diet plan for my lifestyle. It works for about 3 weeks, then the weight loss stops and I am justΒ miserable.Β So anyways, the diet is on hold. I’m eating whatever I want but staying in my calorie range. I have no idea how I lost 3 pounds, but it was a nice surprise on the scale!

The bad news: Michael got laid off. It sucks. It’s hard. It’s terrible timing. Michael is feeling very optimistic. I’m trying to be optimistic. We’ve been through this before. He’s already gotten a lot of leads and referrals to other jobs, so that’s good. But not exactly how we wanted to go into the holidays…

The upside to unemployment, Michael will be finish all the house remodel projects! I am looking forward to having that stuff finally done. (Over Thanksgiving break we painted the kitchen and dining room after living with primer white paint for years! It looks so great!)

I’m feeling pretty Grinch-like this season. Part of it is the job stuff. But the big part is that it’s been a really rough year for us (and a lot of people) and I miss my cat a lot. It’s hard not having him around but I get through it. This time of year? Not so much. Yggdrasil LOVED Christmas. He loved sitting underneath the tree, sleeping and purring and just enjoying the lights. He loved it when I would wrap Christmas presents (and he’d try to help LOL). He absolutely loved bows and ribbons (and our presents could never have bows or ribbons because he’d steal them!). So everything is kind of a reminder and it’s sad and my heart hurts

We did get a tree. I’m glad we did. It’s cheering me up a little bit. And Logan helped decorate! You can see a little video on instagram. πŸ™‚

We topped the tree with an angel that Logan made at daycare! πŸ™‚ So far he’s doing really well with not touching the tree. Most of the ornaments are felt just in case, though.

For Christmas Michael and I decided to go out on a date night instead of getting each other gifts. We didn’t really need anything anyways.

We went to West Linn and walked around the cute little area and then went to Allium for happy hour. We got drinks and shared an order of duck fat fries. πŸ™‚

Later we went to 1933, a pub with really good food and a huge tap list. We each got a Boneyard beer. Michael got the Prohibition Burger (he said it was outstanding) and I got the prosciutto flatbread.

It was really good! The flatbread was grilled with prosciutto, arugula, goat cheese and balsamic. Very delicious!

The bar was playing Christmas music, which was really nice. It was a quiet evening just the two of us. I guess a SantaCon pub crawl was making their way through the local bars and would be heading to 1933 but sadly, we missed it. We had to get home to relieve the babysitter.

It was a nice night, low-key but fun, and I think it will be a new tradition for our Christmas Date Night. πŸ™‚

 

Falls Creek Falls

On our last day in the Gorge we got up early again and had breakfast out on the deck one more time before packing up and heading home.

We stopped at the North Shore Cafe again so I could get coffee and then we started the drive toward home–with one stop first: Falls Creek Falls hike in Gifford Pinchot wilderness. It was sort of on the way to the Bridge of the Gods just by Carson. It was a really beautiful drive through the forest and then you go off the main road and drive about 2 miles–VERY SLOW miles–on a dirt road with humongous potholes. It was slow going and very bumpy. We got to the parking lot and it was about half full (when we left it was all full).

The hike started out in the trees immediately and we hiked alongside a creek that was sometimes pretty fast. There was a suspension bridge we had to cross that was pretty cool. Usually Bella is super freaked out by bridges and won’t cross without a lot of coaxing and help but she did GREAT! Maybe she is getting over her fears.

It was nice that this hike was in the forest and shaded. The day was warming up nicely. Logan loved the hike. He babbled and high-fived Michael and talked to people and dogs that we passed on the trail. πŸ™‚

The hike was deceptively uphill. It gave us some nice breaks and leveled off here and there (unlike Weldon Wagon trail hike that was constantly uphill) and we got to a fork in the trail and saw this sign:

We were almost to the waterfall! Apparently this hike is a 6-ish mile loop but we didn’t plan on doing the whole thing. And talking to some hikers that were coming down the trail, apparently the other part of the hike is a lot of scrambling on rocks. Not ideal with a dog and baby.

We got to a few parts of the trail where there were washouts but for the most part it was a well-maintained hike.

There was another little bridge near some mini waterfalls. It was cute!

Then we were finally to the waterfalls! It was about 10 degrees cooler by the falls. They were gorgeous! So much prettier than Multnomah Falls, in my opinion.

The falls would have been a perfect place to have a picnic lunch but we didn’t have one. πŸ™‚ So we headed back down the trail. Logan was on borrowed time and would need food and out of the hiking backpack soon. We are good if we have 2-ish hours to hike with him. He’s getting better, though, each time we go.

I posted a video on my Instagram if you’d like to see it. πŸ™‚

Pretty good stats for a hike! Afterward we drove to Cascade Locks, crossing the Bridge of the Gods back into Oregon, and stopped at the East Wind Drive in for lunch. FABULOUS burgers and curly fries! The place is always crowded. I’ve only been there for ice cream cones after hikes, so it was nice to get food there. We’ll definitely be back!

We went to the Cascade Locks marina and park for lunch –devoured our burgers–SO HUNGRY! And then let Logan run around a bit for the drive back to Portland.

It was a pretty fabulous little vacation for us!