Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Meeting Zora and Exploring Woodburn

See that beautiful girl in the red jacket? That is my dear, dear friend Zora, whom I haven't seen in seven years, which is far too long! After Brailey's rock climbing on Wednesday, we met Zora at Panera Bread in Tualatin, and it was like we had never been apart for all those years. Of course we have kept in touch, but not nearly the level of contact we want... I first met Zora in Portland back when I was in college at the University of Portland - we met at a Jazzercise class, and hit it off instantly. She is originally from Puerto Rico, where most of her family still lives - it is on my bucket list to go to Puerto Rico with her, someday. She is one of the most special, incredible, amazing people I know, with a heart of gold and a spirit to match. Even Brailey enjoyed her company (she had to sit through all our talk). She said the two of us were very funny and entertaining! Zora has two daughters, and her youngest is the same age as Brailey. We are going to hook up more often so our girls can get to know each other and we can continue to grow old in our friendship. Zora is running her first half-marathon this fall - yes, I told you she is amazing! She flew all the way from Pittsburg and drove down to Burns, Oregon from Portland to be in my first wedding, years ago. Words cannot express how near and dear she is to my heart... She is beauty personified, in every way.

Later, because Britt had a field trip to Woodburn on Thursday, Brady and Britt drove to Portland Wednesday evening and we were able to reunite for dinner and swimming. Brailey missed her brother like crazy! Truth be told, we all missed each other. YES! It was only one night and part of a day, but frankly, I just don't feel whole without my entire family together. We felt like Brailey's Discovery Girl was a once in a lifetime experience, also, and so we all wanted to enjoy it and make the most of it.

Britt's class was supposed to "wear red" on the day of the field trip, and so I put Britt in one of my favorite sweatshirts of his. After dropping Brailey off at her photo shoot, the boys and I enjoyed breakfast and then Starbucks. And we took a couple of pictures before they headed south to Woodburn to meet the bus full of second graders, teachers and chaperones from Buena Vista.

Below you will see Britt with his best friend, Daniel, at the end of their Woodburn field trip. The two of them were luckily placed in the same group (thank you Senora Downes!) and Daniel's mom was their chaperone (thank you Jesus!). Brady, for his part, had as much fun as the kids as they visited the tortilla factory, a bakery, a boot shop and much, much more in Woodburn's Hispanic District. Britt and Daniel both liked the library the best. They had a muy fantastico time!

Brailey and I met Brady and Britt at the end of the field trip in Woodburn. It was perfect timing! We got there at the same exact time as they were finished. So we decided to hit the outlet stores while we were there. The picture below is our reflection in one of the store windows... By the time we got home, we were completely exhausted, but we went to bed early and a good night's rest had us ready to rock and roll for one last day of school and work and then Lanie's half-marathon on Sunday. Needless to say, it was a wonderful week for our family, and one that flew by, packed full of love and excitement.

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