Exploring Portland


Recently, we hopped on the southbound train and took a trip to Portland, Oregon. This year, instead of taking one big vacation, we’ve opted for several small, weekend trips. This trip to Portland was the first. We used it as our anniversary celebration as well!


This was my first time taking a train anywhere. It was amazing, and made me feel simultaneously British and fancy and giddy like a first year on my way to Hogwarts! If you’re in the area, I’d recommend hopping aboard:)


After we arrived in Portland, we walked to our hotel and found out we were the “guest of the day!” So, we go a free bottle of water and a room upgrade to a better view! If you look closely, you can see Mount Hood on the horizon.


Portland is a small city, which was great for us as we were car free and needed to be within walking distance to anything we wanted to do. We spent the weekend traipsing around town and enjoying too much foodtruck food.

Afternoon tea at Lan Su Chinese Garden.


Oh, and don’t forget our obligatory stop at Voodoo donuts!


Vegan Oreo+Peanutbutter, Vegan Maple, Old Fashion, and Crème Stuffed


Perhaps most notably, we made it out of Powell’s without purchasing a single thing! Maybe I was sick, or maybe I’m really starting to embrace the “more is less” philosophy but either way, somehow how it happened, and I’m not even upset about it! Ha! That’s not to say we didn’t spend a few hours wandering around the seemingly endless shelves and browsing!


Thanks, Portland!


I’ll be home for Christmas!

~6,000 miles and 7 days

It’s 4:30 am on a Friday morning, snow is falling, and a sweet friend is waiting to take us to the airport. After six months, we are about to breathe that gloriously warm and humid Texas air.

After boarding, I fall asleep and wake up nearly 2 hours later expecting to be somewhere over Utah. Instead, I find us still on the Seattle tarmac waiting on the THIRD de-icing machine to show up and prepare the plane so we can leave. After missing our connecting flight in DFW, we get assigned to a new flight, and now have a two hour layover. The layover gives us the opportunity to meet up with Jordan as her flight comes in just two gates away from us!

When we finally get to College Station, the first step off the plane brings with it a muggy breath of air and I know I’m home!

We spent a few days in College Station celebrating the coming of our Savior with John’s side of the family. We broke bread, opened gifts, played games, skyped with family afar, and took a family picture. It was a wonderful celebration!



Taylor Family 13

Next up, we headed to East Texas and started our time with my family with a celebration of 50 years of marriage for my grandparents!


I adore these two!


Over the next few days we ate more food, opened more gifts, and played more games (I’m sensing a pattern here).

I just love this one of Papa acting like a complete kid over his gift!


Finally, we loaded up the car again and headed to Oklahoma to round out our trip with a visit to John’s dad’s. More food, gifts, and games!

Our last stop was a visit to my favorite grocery store! I couldn’t help but stop in and tell it how much I’ve missed my food having a branded Texas logo on it!

Our trip was one of the most love and fun filled Christmas’ I’ve ever experienced. It brought so much joy to finally see our family again and laugh together! Thank you Jesus for bringing us salvation, your love, and a wonderful family!