Name of the place you visited:
Cinemark, Gateway to see Ready Player One
Thank goodness for the reserve ahead recliner seats!
Who went with you?
My husband, 13 year old son & 12 year old daughter.
How did you hear about it?
My son, husband & I read the book.
What made you want to check it out?
We all really enjoyed the book so we had the release date of the movie on our calendars.
Best things about it:
Not so great things about it:
I'd totally tell __________________ to see it.
Anyone who read the book
Fans of puzzles & figuring things out
Anyone who enjoys action, humor, fun & a tiny bit of romance.
Here's what I really think:
Go see it! It's fun & exciting & a pretty great movie for older kids & adults.
My 12 year old daughter got kind of bored midway through. She cozied up for a little nap but I don't think she actually fell asleep :) She said that she liked it when we talked about it afterward.
Have you seen Ready Player One?
What did you think?
You caught me.
My epiphany came to me from a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. My son's persistence in asking to make his school lunch caught me off guard. He was given the choice to play legos with his sister or to watch me make his lunch, but he wanted neither choice. He had to make it himself.
With reluctance, I consented. However, it was in this very moment I had the realization that I was doing too much for my kids and therefore, stunting their growth to responsibility, independence, and taking pride in their own work. I was stunned that he was perfectly capable of making his own lunch--a beautiful PBJ sandwich with a fruit, a vegetable, and a dairy item. I guess five-year-olds aren't as little as they appear.
"Why have I kept this responsibility from him?" I thought to myself. This was a loaded question with a myriad answers that led to more questions.
This moment left me with four takeaways:
1. It's okay to be needed less (independence and responsibility is a gift!).
2. I need to let my kids make mistakes and fail, especially when the price of the consequences are cheap.
3. Check my attitude and consider what unintended messages I may be communicating ("I am [not] competent." "I am [not] responsible." "I am [not] progressing in my learned skills.")
4. Recognize that my gut reactions--which naturally find their roots from my upbringing--need some repairing (Am I being particular because I was not given the freedom to be creative? Am I controlling this because I am living in fear? Am I irritated because I am being reminded of someone? Am I annoyed because of a faulty message I was given as a child?).
Growth is good.
And so are PBJ’s.
Chris is a wife and a stay at home mom of two children. She and her family enjoy hiking, kayaking, camping, playing games, and exploring new places together.
Chris writes about marriage and parenting, and shares about her insights on her personal struggles with the intention that others might find validation, encouragement, and perspective.
There’s a new trail in town, Friends! I saw a few others post about it on social media, and we just had to check it out for ourselves. It did not disappoint. This trail is for everyone and if you are new to hiking or apprehensive about trying a hike by yourself or with your littles, this is the perfect place to start.
Willamalane Parks and Rec knows what’s up. They recently purchased 665 acres of land that they are now developing into a myriad of trails for hiking and mountain biking and they have done a spectacular job. We hiked this trail the week before the official grand opening celebration. While Phase 1 was already open, it may be that more has been added in the last month or so.
I’m going to give you the textbook information first and then I will tell you what we actually did and how we turned what we thought was going to be a 2 mile hike into a 7.5 mile hike and were so incredibly happy that we did. Grab your shoes and favorite hiking companions – you won’t want to miss this.
We brought friends along for this new adventure so there were 5 kids (10, 9, 7, 6, and 4). This trail was easily doable by all and we saw others ranging from toddlers to the grandmotherly all successfully traversing the trail.
Thurston Hills Natural Area
Hours: Dawn to Dusk
Parking: Large parking lot right at the base of the trail
Parking Fee: FREE
Distance: 4.0 miles round trip
Elevation Gain: unclear
Bathrooms: CLEAN, Full flushing, running water
Trail: Well-groomed, compacted gravel
Cell Service: Yes
Potential Dangers: None
Safe to Hike Alone: YES
Carrier: Ergo or Hiking pack
Shoes: Trail runners
Kid Shoes: Hiking shoes
Backpack: Only for snacks if needed
DO NOT GOOGLEMAPS THIS ROUTE. Since it is new, GoogleMaps doesn’t quite have the trailhead right and we were nowhere we should have been and awkwardly had to turn around in someone’s driveway waaaaay off the beaten path. Don’t be us.
Instead, Take Hwy 126 east toward Springfield. Turn left onto Main Street. Go down to 75th Street. Turn right into the parking lot. It's seriously that easy. Berean Assembly of God will be on your left at 75th Street and you will see a big sign indicating Thurston Hills Natural Area on your right. You can’t miss it. The parking lot has ample parking and two clean, full-flushing bathrooms. The start of the trail is directly in front of you. It is clearly marked and just right there.
The trail then continues into a wooded area much like Spencer Butte. The morning we went was incredibly foggy and added an eerie beauty to it. The trail contains constant switchbacks throughout, tricking you into forgetting that you are actually climbing and keeping you wondering what’s around every corner.
Because the entire area is still under construction, the trail just ends right around the 2 mile mark. There’s no hill top experience, gorgeous vista, or shocking sight. There’s just more semi-blazed trails that are not complete or groomed. So if you are the kind of person who feels satisfied by this, perfect! Turn around now and head back the way you came and congratulate yourself for a job well done. Four miles! With littles! You did it!!
Now, If you are slightly (er, completely) obsessive about seeing a trail to its end or you simply want to explore the UNGROOMED area, then by all means, keep going. Just know that it is very, completely, unimaginably muddy. Oh so muddy. Squishy squashy - lose your shoes in it - muddy. But if you have kids able to walk their own like we did? It’s worth every single step.
At the juncture where the groomed North Access trail “ends”, and the ungroomed trails begin, you will see a sign that looks like this:
Stay with me. It gets a little confusing. The trail marker in that above picture says SPINE TRAIL. But at this point, we just kept going straight up. It leads you up and up towards what I’m thinking someday will be a summit. This way gets steeper and muddier and after 20 minutes or so we decided it wasn’t safe to continue because getting down was going to be a slippy-sloppy mess. (Plus we ran into a guy on the trail that said it continued for another 20-30 minutes of slow-going mud and never gets you to a definite destination.) So we turned back to the aforementioned juncture pictured above.
The SPINE TRAIL leads you down another 1.3 mile ungroomed, muddy trail that takes you to a small plateau. The youngers made it most of the way and could have pressed on, but there had been too many shoes lost, slips, falls, and rescuing out of sinking mud. One adult turned back with the smalls while I continued to the end with the bigs. As mentioned, it was very foggy, so I’m not sure what the views (if any) there would be from here.
There are signs for more trails and another large trail map.
We then trudged back through the trail, found the rest of the party, and made it back to the car way muddier and later and with many more miles in than we had planned.
To sum up:
We LOVED this hike. Loved. I am so so glad we took the time to slop through the mud and explore a beautiful area right so close to us. The kids loved getting muddy and being allowed to just get dirty and explore. If continuing on through the mud is available to you, do it. But GO PREPARED. Bring extra clothes, extra shoes, towels, blankets, boxes for muddy clothes in your car, etc. And maybe don’t wear your favorite clothing….or white.
If you are just starting out, have littler littles, don’t have time or desire to explore, you will STILL love it. There was a steady flow of people on the graveled path to make you feel safe, the trail is easy to traverse, and the elevation not too hard. We can’t wait to get back on this trail when it’s a bit drier and explore all the unseen things.
Have you tried this trail?
Do have some tips to add about hiking in mud?
Can’t wait to hear your thoughts!
Jenna Eads is a full-time Special Education teacher, wife to a photographer, and mom to two kids ages 10 and 6. Their life is anything but slow or boring. She loves going on adventures with her kids and listening to them as they see and experience new things and new places. See all of her posts here.
Unless you’ve been living in a bunker, you may have heard that Essential oils are alllll the rage! They are quickly making their way into all kinds of products in the marketplace as one of the “must-have” items for the home. And it’s true, they’re wonderful! My biweekly column, Healthy Kids, Happy Home will focus on creating a Happy Home with worthwhile tips on supporting kiddos emotions big and small, projects for family bonding and routines, recipes and crafts! Less toxins = happier homes, and that is our goal in this space!
Before we get going on all of the great things you can do with Essential Oils let’s take a look at some must know terms I’ll be using
Let’s dig in…
Essential Oil/ EO: A naturally occurring aromatic compound found in the seeds, bark, stems, roots, flowers and other parts of plants.
Carrier Oil: Carrier oil, also known as base oil or vegetable oil, is used to dilute essential oils and absolutes before they are applied to the skin in massage and aromatherapy. They are so named because they carry the essential oil onto the skin. We use Fractionated Coconut Oil (FCO) as our preferred carrier oil!
CPTG: Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade means that the brand of oils I trust, (doTERRA) uses oils that are sourced from a global network of growers to ensure the most pure and powerful essential oils. They are rigorously tested for standards of purity and potency, free from fillers or artificial contaminants and free of harmful contaminants.
Diffuser: An ultrasonic machine used to disperse the oils into the air in a room. Here's a great one from Amazon.
Roller Ball: A glass bottle with a roller applicator that allows for quick and easy application on kids! ( I literally hold mine out as my boys run by and hope to get it on them!)
Aromatic: Aromatic use is the easiest way to use EO’s! An ultrasonic diffuser will help disperse the oils into a room to help cleanse the air or create a calming or uplifting atmosphere.
Topical: Topical use is as simple as applying where it hurts! Have a bump or a bruise? Apply lavender to the area! Head tension? Rub some peppermint into your temples! We always suggest diluting EO’s with a carrier oil for young and mature skin to avoid sensitivities. See “Carrier Oil” at the beginning of this post. Find more carrier oils here.
Internal: Internal use is a personal choice and can be chosen when wanting to support internal systems of the body. We love using oils internally in a capsule to support digestive function or to boost immunity! You can add EO’s to a veggie capsule, or take them in a shot glass with water.
doTerra is the brand I trust. After researching I found them to have the best quality and safest oils for my family. There are other companies that do oils well, too. A little research will help you find the brand that is right for you! If you would like to set up a time to talk and ask more questions, we can totally do that! Click here to make an appointment!
I’m super excited to share ideas and tips with you in the coming months. So, do your research, grab your favorite oils & we’ll meet back here in a couple of weeks!
Amy Van Dyke has been sparkling since 1978. A transplanted California girl living in the Northwest, she loves all things crunchy, her husband and her two wild boys. She is happily addicted to coffee, podcasts and essential oils. Affirmations are Amy's love language and she is a 9 on the Enneagram! Learn more about Amy here.
So fun, right? Amy is amazing & full of knowledge about Essential Oils. If you’re interested in finding out more about doTerra, you can contact Amy here.
Today we’re excited to introduce you to one of our faves, Amy Van Dyke! Though, it’s possible that you need no introduction because she knows approximately everyone. Amy is a co-host of the GoMomGo Podcast and she teaches natural solutions for health all over Lane County. Amy will be writing our new Healthy Kids, Happy Homes series. Hooray!
I have a story like so many other moms in Eugene....you could probably even tell it yourself...it was the moment I got totally “crunchy.”
You’ve been there...up in the middle of the night...a cranky, stuffy, baby who won’t sleep, with parents taking turns in a steamy bathroom, desperate for relief and a moments rest. Trying everything, following every direction the pediatrician had recommended, yet nothing was working.
That was me, with my 2 year old son, who over the course of the year had battled respiratory discomfort and countless ear aches almost continuously. We were desperate for a solution. And fast.
I hadn’t yet begun to research natural solutions, and from what I knew, all essential oils meant is that it smelled like patchouli and the Saturday Market. (No shade- I’m a huge patchouli fan now!)
A friend introduced me to a blend of essential oils for respiratory support. I took some home, rubbed a drop or two on my sons feet, and it was the first night in months that he rested comfortably through the night. I was in shock- surely it couldn’t be that easy! So I tried it the next night...same results. I tried it during the day, and instead of coughing and oozing snot all afternoon, he was breathing clearly and easily and chasing our dog, Rocco, around the living room!
To say I jumped in with both feet would be an understatement! I was amazed that one drop of oil could do so many things! When I realized that my family was healthier, and recovering more quickly when we did experience illness, I knew I had to help others moms. I spent the next two years teaching weekly classes about creating a happier, healthier home using natural solutions.
I’ve been given the opportunity to share here, too! So be on the look-out for great healthy home tips, fun crafts, bonding with your kids, and even some self-care time for you!
Amy will be sharing her tips, tricks & super knowledge every other Thursday here on the blog.
Thanks, Amy, we're ready to learn!
Today we get to meet Brian Aljian, who owns Bricks & Minifigs. Super exctied for you to hear about his three R’s & how he knew just what Lane County needed.
My business is…
your one-stop aftermarket Lego shop! Bricks & Minifigs is the largest toy store of our kind, specializing in only new and used Lego sets, minifigures, and bricks. We also have themed birthday parties for the Lego-lover in your life!
I got the idea to start my business…
when we visited a Bricks & Minifigs store in the Portland area with our kids. Our youngest son went straight to work on his own creation at the table filed with Lego bricks and we could not pry him away! We also saw that they did parties, and we felt that Eugene needed another kid-friendly party venue.
I want my customers to know…
that Bricks & Minifigs is built on the principle of the 3 R’s: REBUILD, REUSE, REIMAGINE.
REBUILD with thousands of pieces to choose from ensuring you'll have those childhood sets rebuilt in no time.
REUSE is our way or saying that we buy, sell and trade anything Lego brand and pay top dollar for it.
REIMAGINE those sets you get from us by creating your own masterpiece straight from your imagination.
I love having my business in Lane County because…
we needed a place for Lego lovers to come together and find everything they need for their creations. Plus a safe place to sell your old Legos for cash (or store credit). And another fun party venue where all you have to do is bring kids and cake… we take care of the rest!
You should come to my business because…
it’s fun, colorful, and there’s always something new to see and explore!
We have to say that another thing we love about Bricks & Minifigs is it’s proximity to Sweet Life. Lego treats for the kids, yummy treats for the adults!
Have you been to Bricks & Minifigs?
Tell us what you think!
Bricks & Minifigs Eugene
780 Blair Boulevard, Eugene,
Hi Mamas – I hope you are enjoying 2018 thus far and are looking for a good, fun way to meet those New Years’ Resolutions. Haven’t come up with any? Try hiking … or getting outside more … or at least reading about others hiking. We all have to start somewhere, right?
We started this little corner of the GoMomGo universe three years ago so this may be familiar to some of you long-timers. Because it HAS been awhile and some of you may not know me, I’m Jenna to some and Jenn to others and will respond to either. I’m the mom to two kids ages 10 and 6. I love going on adventures together and listening to them as we see and experience new things and new places.
So why a hiking section on this website? Because guidebooks weren’t written by moms and no matter how “kid-friendly” the author tells me the hike is or could be, it is not the same as when I ask other Mamas what it was like. So with that, I hope to share with you all the hikes I take my kids on and how I would rate them from a Mom’s point of view.
We’ll talk safety, cell service, bathrooms, terrain, and whether you’ll need a full backpack or just your favorite kid-carrier. We’ll cover mileage, fitness levels, and age limits. Each hike will be done with my kids and will give their opinion as well. I will start with those in and around town and as we get closer to summer, we will venture a bit further out. Let me know if there’s any trails you’ve been dying to try and I will do my best to get on those!
“Did you know that every kid who shows up gets to be in the show?” The gentleman walking out beside us asked.
“The best thing about Upstart Crow shows is that EVERY kid is included!” Shared the woman sitting next to us.
This is the first Upstart Crow show I’ve seen, and my 8 year old and I didn’t know what to expect when we arrived at the Hult Center. We were delighted with the whole experience.
Little mermaid Jr. includes a great mix of new songs and some of the recognizable classics from the Disney movie. We had a great time figuring out which sea creatures were represented by the creative costumes, and dreaming of making our own jellyfish umbrellas. An audience participation portion did not disappoint and included waving light up wands as the cast walking through the audience. (Light up wands are available to purchase before the show and during intermission & are totally worth it)
My daughter was engaged from beginning to end, and her attention is not easily won.
Before we go on, I need to confess that I have an aversion to small children singing. Playing Wee-sing CDs in the car make me want to drive off the road. I don’t know what my deal is, and I know it’s just a matter of time before one of my kids takes up some sort of performance art and I have to do massive exposure therapy to get over myself. That said, I had NO IDEA what I was sitting down to watch at the Hult tonight until a group of kids walked out and started singing. I was skeptical to say the least.
Here’s the thing though. There is this vibe with the Upstart Crow crowd. That thing that I kept hearing about? That they include EVERY KID. Every. Single. One. Everyone I talked to tonight gushed about how cool that is. How can you throw shade at that? YOU CAN’T. You just can’t. It is amazing.
I found myself smiling as a bigger mermaid comforted an upset little mermaid. What? Kids are singing am I’m smiling? Who am I?!?! Turns out that my love of compassion and inclusion are WAY bigger than my phobia of tiny kid voices.
Bonus: The theater was full of families, and I never felt like I needed to hush mine as she asked questions and marveled about the show out loud.
So, even if you typically get your fill of kid performances just by dragging yourself into the next room to watch yours do a puppet show, I highly recommend taking your family to an Upstart Crow show. Who knows, maybe your kid will love it so much they want to join! (& take it from me, you will love it!)
Little Mermaid Jr
Hult Center for the Performing Arts this Weekend!
Saturday, March 10, 2pm and 7 pm
Sunday, March 11 2pm
Click here for tickets
Kate Becker is a straight up super hero who saves GoMomGo every day. She & her awesome family love to find and photobomb every single free family event around town. Her 3 kids collect cats, okay fine, Kate collects cats, and the kids collect giant gross motor aparati and coerce the cats to try them. Trampoline cats anyone?? =)
Movies developed from books have a special pressure on them. It isn’t that they need to be as good as the book, but it seems like we want them to inspire the same feelings that we felt when we read it for the first time. Or that’s how we feel when we hear a book is being made into a movie. So much more for a movie made from a book we read as a child.
But how do you give an adult the feeling of no responsibilities, lazy weeks, sitting in the crook of a tree, reading all day (I actually did do this several times growing up. I’m not sure if it was all that comfortable at the time but, gosh, it creates a pretty amazing picture now, doesn’t it?)? It turns out that the way you create that first-time-you-read-it feeling of freedom & creativity & joy is to tap into adult daydreams. & who inspires the most modern inspirational life in the 2010’s but Ms Oprah Winfrey herself? I honestly never would have predicted it but do you know what happens when you pair Oprah with Reese Witherspoon (our favorite mom friend) & Mindy Kaling (the friend you call when you did something really stupid & need someone who won’t make you feel bad about it)?
A Wrinkle in Time magic.
I know, I’m as surprised as you are.
But they totally do it.
This movie is all about magic & believing & the combo of these three, honestly believable ladies brings a sense of fantasy that is so comfortable. That sentence is a mess but stick with me. We know these women, they are not perfect. We’ve seen them struggle with their weight & dating & divorce & having babies & not having babies & running huge companies & getting arrested & being absolutely fabulous & being completely not fabulous at all. The thing they all have in common is that they have had their downs but they keep getting up. So that’s the believability. The fact that we know them means we trust them & so, yeah, I can go with it when Reese appears in my backyard, swaddled in a giant white satin sheet, asking me to come with her to help save the universe (or something?). I can be okay with Oprah being 50 feet tall, because I know her. I know that she’s not going to take me someplace completely horrible. & she doesn’t.
She takes us to a beautiful fantasy land that’s colorful & bright but there’s a problem & blah blah blah. It’s a kid’s movie & stuff happens. But the difference between other kid movies & this one is that you are so happy to follow your girls to see what’s going to happen next.
Mindy as Mrs. Who, only speaks in other people’s quotes. I loved this switch from her usual mile a minute talking. She plays calm surprisingly well.
I also adored that Reese’s Mrs. Whatsit did not particularly like the main character, Meg. I won’t spoil it because how it progresses is really cute but I very much appreciated that we didn’t have to pretend that every adult loves every child (can I get an amen?). It’s not terrible or uncomfortable, just off enough to be just right.
I read the book as a child & I wanted to read it before seeing the movie but now I’m honestly glad that I didn’t. I was happy to be swept away with the Mrs, as they are called, to go find Chris Pine (because who doesn’t want to head off on a flying leaf to rescue Captain Kirk?).
(Quick make-up & fashion break:
To say that the cosmetics & costuming in this film are incredible would be like saying that Mr. Rogers is just some friendly guy who lives down the street. The dresses will make you weep, the eye shadow art will change your life. If you aren’t staring at the lipstick for at least a minute thinking, “This is what my soul has been missing.’ I don’t know what to tell you. Go because it’s nice to take your kids to a movie, stay because Pretty. So much Pretty!)
Back to our story…
The the three kids in the lead roles are really great, not completely stereotypical, which I appreciate. Just cute enough to make you want to watch them, not so cute that you are just starring the whole time wondering if they were computer generated. They are also flawed & have a hard time, they have some challenging things, they aren’t dealing with them in a healthy way & it’s totally relatable. I feel like any kid would understand where they are coming from & also be inspired by what they do.
In one particular scene the main character, Meg, is trying to get calm so that they can go to the next step of finding her dad, & she just cannot do it. She’s overwhelmed & it’s scary & I completely understood where she was coming from. How nice it it to see a child in a movie just be honest & say, I can’t do it? I really want to, but I can’t. The adults gave her room & also were there to help her. It was just lovely.
This movie is just lovely.
For kids, for adults.
So, for everyone.
(There are a couple of mildly scary scenes. They aren’t too long but one has a child being pulled down a hallway & I could see that being a little too real for certain kids.)
Emily Gulka is the founder of GoMomGo but she is surrounded by people way more talented than she is who keep it running & looking so good. Emily loves movies, books & peppermint hot chocolate. Her family (a husband, tween, teen & grumpy 10 year old pug) is her favorite but she doesn't mind some time alone, too. Life's a balance, you know?
We are super happy to give away a $10 Fandango gift card for you to use to see A Wrinkle in Time.
Comment with your favorite movie that was made from a book.
We will draw a winner Saturday March 10 at 8pm.
All Advent Amy At Home Books Christmas Christy Downtown Emily Eugene Fall Picks Farms Gift Guide Giveaway Halloween Happy Adventuring Healthy Kids Happy Homes Hike Hike Mom Hike Holiday Holiday Picks Inside Play Jenna Junction City Lane County Library Martial Arts Megan Merry Reviews Museum Music Outside Parent Interviews Parks Portland Pumpkin Patch Recipes RiverPlay Road Trip Shopping Springfield The Very Best Thrifting Water Feature Yearly Event