the oregon coast is stunning for many reasons, one of which being that the woods (which are so especially pretty in the pnw) run right into the beach. it makes each location cooler knowing that its polar opposite, nature-wise, is just a few steps away. when you're standing in the forest, you can see the ocean. when you're walking in the sand (& whether or not you leave one set of footprints, or two bc Jesus is there too, depends on the person), the trees are looming right there, practically breathing down your neck (but not in a creepy way).
the photo shoot we did with my cousin illustrates that immediate juxtaposition so well; ben & i in our boots & layered plaids, & then just a few minutes later, just a few steps away, in a breezy, lace-y dress & flower crown, & then i wore a white dress as well. HA.
some more twilight-y photos after the break, because benjamino & i were going FULL cullen. note that there is one photo of us kissing, i repeat, THERE'S A KISSING PHOTO. you have been warned.
(no matter how strongly i tell myself "this. will be. A CLEAN. MEAL!" every time i set out to feed norah, it never ends up that way. girlfriend is all about grabbing the spoonful of food, which then gets all over her hands, which then smears all over her face & hair, which happens when she rubs her eyes or nose or grabs a fistful of hair, which she's been doing lately. hence these photos above & below.)
after three & a half weeks in vancouver with ben (which took up most of the month of august), norah & i returned to my parents' house for a few days, after which ben would join us & then we'd all drive down to eugene, oregon together...& then just a few days after that we'd FINALLY fly home to new york after being gone almost all summer!...buuuut i'm getting ahead of myself.
we were in washington long enough to hit up church in my home ward one more time before our travels finally took us home. my mom lloooooves being a grandma at church:
(this despite the fact that norah's nap seeped into our ward's starting time, making us late enough that we couldn't find any available seats in the chapel without drawing wayyyy too much attention to ourselves [the bane of sacrament goers everywhere!] & were thus compelled to hold an official meeting of the hallway club)
below is norah with a hanger from the hallway coat rack, which, i don't know if the coat rack in your lds building is like the one in my home ward building (that is, if you who are reading this is even lds at all?), but despite the fact that it's there, fully functioning, with a bounty of working hangers ready to do their job, never gets used. maybe people just leave their coats in the car? or don't even bring one, because the car-door-to-chapel-door walk time is at most 20 seconds? the coat rack in my home ward building goes so unused that when something is hanging there, it's like, something's up. something's not right here. get that coat to the lost & found!
getting norah to fall asleep anywhere other than her crib is not impossible, but pretty rare & pretty hard to do. you have to exert a certain combination of patience, talent, & general jedi mind trickery. so the fact that it happened for 40 minutes in the mother's lounge that sunday counts as a giant red-letter SUCCESS in my book:
norah comes in many different forms. teething norah, covered-in-food norah, sleeping norah, & what have you. one of my favorites is post-bath, wrapped-in-a-towel, just-her-tiny-head-peeking-out norah. check that--it's not ONE of my favorites. i think it IS MY FAVORITE:
parenthood: creeping on sleeping babies since 1597 (<--an arbitrary date i came up with as i was typing this sentence)
my parents are in the midst of redoing a lot of the interior of their house (a project that's been a few years in the making, now), & when i stayed with them this summer i helped out with various decorating projects they had going on. we decided to blow up & frame several photos my dad took while he was on his mission in guatemala because, in looking through slides he had made of them, we discovered that several are CRAZY beautiful.
that red fabric!!!!
the pots. the pots! so pretty:
so pretty, right? way to go, pops!
norah saw her great-grandparents daryl & sally a few times while we were in washington...
...& the presence of grandparents allowed us to get all 4 generations in one photo!...much to norah's chagrin/surprise, apparently.
after ben's experiment finished up in british columbia, we spent the last few days of our summer vacation in eugene, oregon at my aunt & uncle's house. the cousins on my dad's side of the family are some of my very best friends--it's always a good time getting together with any of them.
we started out the long weekend as anyone would: by covering ourselves in blended tomato :)
the plan was to do facials while watching bachelor in paradise & drinking tea, & after scouring the fridge a little at a loss as to which food would be best to use, TOMATOES were the lucky food item we decided upon. i think there might have been some honey in there as well?
WE SMELLED LIKE SALSA. (which isn't the worst thing in the world)
sweaty, moldable norah hair:
it was a great thing i had a tomato puree & honey mixture rubbed all over my face, because the morning after our "facials" we did a little family photo shoot. (pictures are coming up in blog posts soon! i'm really excited to share. there are some good ones).
we (ben, lauren the photographer, sarah the assistant, :) little norah babe, & i) drove out to heceta beach, which is about an hour & a half drive from the whipples' house in eugene. you guys. THE OREGON COAST IS HEAVEN. not even like, "oh, it's heavenly to be here." like, it is where people go after they die. it is where people want to go after they die. it is...kolob?? IT IS THE CELESTIAL KINGDOM.
greeting each other with an handshake (but not an holy kiss).
sarah & norah got to hang out (& go on a legitimate hike, actually) while lauren did some photos of just ben & i.
again--more oregon coast family photos to come soon! for now, a few more pictures from around the house:
i love the way norah's & jake's heads are angled the same way:
some menfolk woke up early one morning & went off into the woods to shoot paintballs at each other, because THE PATRIARCHY NEEDS UPHOLDING, people! ;) but seriously, by all accounts paintballing was both fun & funny, & if nothing else, waking up at the crack of dawn was worth it so that this photo could be taken:
we met up with the triumphant paintballers afterwards at voodoo donuts, that perennial oregon classic:
that night joe & i discovered we were matching:
it was such a good weekend in oregon. i'm almost all caught up on documenting our summer of adventure!
have you ever dressed for a simple, easy walk out to a lighthouse only to slowly discover that what you thought was going to be a simple, easy walk out to a lighthouse along a paved path is actually a somewhat demanding hike & the stroller you thought you would be able to roll along the paved path won't roll smoothly because the paved path is not actually a paved path but rather dusty, bumpy, & tree-root-strewn trail & & you didn't bring your baby carrier so you have to carry your baby & every footstep kicks up tons of dust not to mention pebbles that get lodged tightly in your shoe & the sun is only getting hotter & to make things even more annoying you're sweating through clothes that aren't exercise clothes?
...well, we have.
we decided to walk out to the point atkinson lighthouse thinking it would be a quick, easy walk out to some beautiful scenery & then boom, back to the car, but it turned out to be a little harder & dirtier than that. there were a few times we stopped & almost turned around, if nothing else simply because we weren't emotionally prepared for anything other than an easy walk, but ultimately we endured to the end (which is a hella important gospel principle).
luckily queen norah had her attending servants carry her the whole time & also catered to that one specific hat whim she has:
so these next six (!) photos are all basically the same, but there's no way i could even pick one. they just encapsulate so perfectly all the elements of norah's delightful little personality: her curiosity, how much life & energy is communicated with her eyes, & her contagious excitement & happiness. that girl <3
& then after all that hiking & sweating...here is our view of the top 12% of the lighthouse ;)
norah's face <3 <3 <3 <3 <3
hopefully these pictures adequately communicate just how dang pleasant baby girl was the entire time. she was in an excellent mood:
witness in this next series of photos the way norah's attention turns from the camera to...something else. a bird? a plane? superman? whatever it is, it's REAL cute.