Weekend Away

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Aw, helloooooooo out there. I feel like it's been so, so long since I've had time to be here. The holidays are so busy. New Year's always stresses me out. It was my birthday a couple of days ago. My brother-in-law's is today. My mom's is tomorrow. My sister-in-law's is the same day as mine. My other sister-in-law's is in a few days. It just goes onnnnnnnnnnnnnnn and on! Andy, Amelia, and I went to Skamania Lodge in the Columbia River Gorge for the weekend. It was really, really nice. It's about an hour east of Portland. We got there on Saturday afternoon and left Tuesday morning. It's a nice place. We splurged on a fancy suite with a fireplace. There isn't a whole lot to do there at this time of year — we took a hike on Sunday and it poured cold rain the entire time. But it was nice. We spent hours and hours in the pool and hot tubs both Sunday and Monday. I think my favorite time was floating around in the outdoor hot tub on Sunday when it was cloudy and rainy and foggy and freezing. It felt like we were in some medieval hot spring. We had it all to ourselves on Monday, literally. We were the only people in the pool all day. It was so weird to just have so much time to do nothing. I clutched a big rubber ball and just floated around aimlessly. Paddled here and there. I thought about my life and the new year and the new decade for me, thought about all the things I am happy about and all of the things I want to change about myself, all the things that worry me, all the things I want to accomplish this year. I never think this way at length but I was thinking this way in the pool. I was making lists in my head. I have so many ideas and things I want to do.

At night, we always turned in early. Andy was fighting a cold. We watched Nickelodeon shows that we never watch and it was a blast. All these kid sit-coms. I laughed out loud at every single one. Mimi stayed up late. We snuggled in the bed. The wind howled outside. It's very windy there and the wind whistled in the fireplace and against the windows. On Tuesday morning, the morning we were to leave, it was basically starting to rain ice and I couldn't see across the river we were in such a cloud . I flipped out and hustled everyone into the car because the weather report seemed to indicate things might get worse. I really did not want to get stuck out there. And honestly, I was ready to get back to regular life. Turns out that right where we were at the lodge was the worst — the road was fine. But I was still ready to go home. We drove back through the gorge through the rain and the pines, listening to Woody Guthrie singing about the Columbia River. Amelia had learned the song at school and we sing it around the house often now. When I asked her if the river was what she expected, she said no: She said she thought it would be "rolling," and made big circles with her hand. It was so adorable. Roll on, Columbia, roll on. When we got home, we found this gorgeous cake that my sister, who had been house- and pet-sitting for us, made for me. I squawked with delight. What a treat. Andy and Mimi went to the grocery store and bought stuff to make individual lasagnas and they spent the afternoon making them. We had such a nice dinner, and such a nice weekend. I feel just beyond blessed in so many ways. Andy and Amelia are literally two of the nicest, sweetest people I have ever met in my life. I love them so much.

Today it's been back to school and work for all of us. When I got home after drop-off, I realized I hadn't been alone in the house for weeks. It was quiet and clean. Luckily I had done a lot of cleaning before I left, and we'd put all our Christmas decorations away. Everything was nice. The studio and office are not nice because we're in the process of reorganizing them. But everything else was nice. I felt my shoulders dropping. I photographed all of the advent calendar treats I just haven't had time to show you yet. It felt good to get a little bit caught up. I made some things I want to put in my web shop next week. I watered my plants. I drank a cup of tea. I ordered a 2019 calendar. Then it was time to go back to school for pick-up, and then ballet, etc. But honestly, I'm so happy to be back in the routine. Hello, January. Here I am.

P.S.: I have done a lot of knitting that I need to photograph and get on Ravelry. But I did finish a little hat for Mimi and it is the Faded Splendor Tam. It actually matches her plaid coat perfectly, but she didn't bring that one on the weekend. All of the yarns I used were various fingering yarns that I dyed myself. This hat is supposed to look like a beret (we were trying to make a hat that looked like the one Annabelle wears in Mary Poppins Returns [which we've seen three times now, and it is awesome] but I think I need to block it on a plate to give it that beret shape. Alas, it's cold here and Amelia doesn't really want to take it off! I'm so pleased by that I can't bear to swipe it from her for the time it would take to block and dry it right now. But I really want to see if it can be a beret! :)

36 comments

Sweet weekend, sweet cake, sweet birthday! As a mom, it pains me to say it...but Amelia looks a bit grown up. What a girl. Great hat, too! I'm going to try fair isle one day. Happy Birthday!

As soon as I saw your (beautiful) photos...I knew it was Skamania Lodge! I stayed there while attending a wedding a couple years ago. Love the rocking chairs and the large fireplace and view! Our children enjoyed the pool and hot tub. There was a rainbow in the evening while they were swimming. I really enjoyed their 24 hour coffee bar (the best coffee!) and their restaurant was tops. Andrea

When I saw the Mary Poppins Returns movie at the theatre, I wanted so much to pause it so I could get a good look at the beret. So happy to see you made one and did a close-up of it. Well done.

What a wonderful weekend getaway! I understand what you mean about wanting to get back home... when a break is perfectly timed, it's a splendid thing, but letting it drag on can ruin it all. Amelia's hat is wonderfully cute!

Individual lasagna? Small household now....share?

Happy Birthday, Alicia! Among your many creative talents, you are so good at capturing photos of beautiful moments. The photo of Amelia's hair waving in the light and the ones of her dancing outside in her yellow coat are so amazing to me. Such "ordinary" moments, gone in a flash, so full of beauty and magic. Thank you for sharing your life with us here. I look forward to every post; they bring me such light and peace.

Every time we drive along the Columbia I think of that song (my mother in law sings it to all her grandkids often in her pretty pretty sing song voice.)

Happy Birthday to you! Your vacation sounds like a perfectly lovely way to cruise into a new year <3

Happy Birthday to you, and Happy New Year! That looks like a wonderful break. It's nice to have breaks and then it's nice to get back to the routine! After my busy Christmas I am tackling the housework properly - but it feels good to do it. A Winter instead of Spring clean. I bought a new iron today. It irons cottons and linens properly, unlike the old one. I am ridiculously happy with it. Also happy with the new string of white feather fairy lights. Amazing how small things can lift the spirits just as well as the big things! Wishing you all a wonderful year. Looking forward to reading about your makes and new creative pursuits. And thanks as always for creating a truly lovely blog that is such a joy to read.

Happy Birthday and Happy New Year! I look forward to your posts so much - they are such a lovely respite. Thank you for sharing.

Happy Birthday~ Happy every day!
I feel like pouring a cup of tea, and chatting about all the ways I can relate to your post, or am carried away by the beauty of what you are sharing. You have a gift, Alicia, for making yourself a warm and inviting friend, and inspiring engagement with you, with the world.

Happy Birthday! What a wonderful weekend away. The cake your sister made is beautiful <3 Gotta love sisters! I LOVED the knitwear in Mary Poppins Returns, aaahhh. My daughter and I are scheduled for our second viewing :-D

Happy, happy birthday to you!

What a lovely getaway. It sounds like it hit just the right spot. Happy belated birthday. The cake looks delicious. I enjoy reading about food in your blog and would love it if you would share some more recipes.

Lynn Marie says: January 10, 2019 at 03:34 PM

I boxed Christmas up on Monday and am now in the process of cleaning every room in the house top to bottom including shampooing carpets--it feels so good to be doing it. I always do fall or winter cleaning because when Spring comes, I want to be outside enjoying it and welcoming it! I love your post about your weekend away--so good to go and so good to come back. I can't wait to hear about what is in store for all of us through your web store in 2019!

*H*A*P*P*Y* * *B*I*R*T*H*D*A*Y*!*!*!* Alicia!! And to all those celebrating birthdays in your family! That is so cool that you had a getaway at Skamania Lodge.. I love that place. Now I'm wishing we might stay there sometime soon! I adore the hat you made Mimi.. I even googled the hat from the movie and love it! I actually have in mind to make a winter beret with icy blues, silvery grey, snow whites. Have a wonderful week.. looking forward to revisiting the advent box I enjoyed of yours over December.
((hugs)), Teresa :-)

Two years ago (in the fall) I rode my bike from Sumas, Washington to Bakersfield California. I so remember days like you experienced - cold rain, but the still the beauty was so overwhelming. I crossed the Columbia river on the Bridge of the Gods on a rainy day. We found a delightful little hotel, Cascade Motel, I think (my brother was riding with me at that time) where we got everything dry overnight. Then we ate the best breakfast I've ever eaten at the Egg River Cafe in Hood River, Oregon. I can remember it so well. You post reminds me so much of that time. Thank you for sharing your memories.

Happy New Year Alicia!
How your girl has grown over this last year. Her face has changed in the same way my granddaughters have. Somehow the same but no longer little girls. It's sad but wonderful.

Thankyou for all your patterns. I am constructing Mr Fox as my handwork in an evening, It's summer here so watching the sunset change the light in my sitting room as I work on him is my current pleasure. The girls are excited to see how he turns out. They are away for summer holidays so I'm hoping to make a lot of progress before they get back.
I used Miss Doe dress pattern to redress a much loved mouse last week. You may have seen on Instagram.

All good wishes to you for 2019. It's a year of finishing things for me. I included Fox in this as I've actually had the pattern for a long time! :-/
Regards
Di.
Fremantle
Western Australia

I just wanted to say that I really appreciate that you allow us to be a small part of your life and also letting us see that wonderful girl grow up! Thank you !

Happy Belated B-Day Alicia! Many happy returns of the day!
Oh that cake your sis made looks to pretty to eat. I bet it was delicious.
I hope to visit Skamania Lodge one day. What a wonderful place it must be. BTW: I get my best creative thoughts while in a bath. It just seems to take away the outside world so you can relax and think of all the good things or creative thoughts. Maybe it's just me (smile).
Amelia's tam is beautiful. Love the colorways you've created. Perhaps a kit is in order (hint, hint). I also love the Deep Woods Toque https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/deep-woods-toque and that Flugeldar will soon be knit up for my hubby.
Here's to a wonderful and peaceful New Year for you and yours!

Wow, that cake looks so good!!

What a nice birthday. And so nice to see your smiling face, too!
I'm glad kids are still singing that wonderful song about The Columbia River...and it's an excellent song to waltz to, if you are ever so inclined.
Happy New Year!

What a perfect birthday weekend! I was just showing my husband the photos and said to him, "We HAVE to visit the west coast!" (We're in the Chicago 'burbs.) The cake your sister made you is one of the prettiest and coolest cakes I've ever seen. Creativity obviously runs in your family! Like another reader commented, I would love if you could post about the individual lasagnas. :-)

Sending more belated happy birthday messages, dearest Alicia! As always, these peeks into your life are so special. May the coming year (and did you say new decade?) ahead be full of more love, beauty and happy creating!

I hope to spend some time exploring the Columbia Gorge in the future. Retirement is approaching for me and my husband. We have a first grandchild due in Oregon this summer so plan to come for an extended visit. Perhaps we'll get to this beautiful lodge, or some of the other places mentioned by your faithful readers.

Happy belated birthday Alicia! Thank you for all you share!

It sounds like you had a lovely birthday weekend away with your family! Your cake is beautiful and looks delicious!

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About Alicia Paulson

About

My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at aliciapaulson.com

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Photography

Since August of 2011 I've been using a Canon EOS 60D with an EF 18-200mm kit lens and an EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro lens.