Musings from a dreamer, who fell in love with the Pacific Northwest 18 years ago and in 2011 made it her home. I'm raising a Pinkalicious 7-year-old and a 11-year-old with a big heart - and epilepsy. Ditching perfection, celebrating life, finding joy in the journey and reminding myself daily to Let.It.Be.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Summer 2013

Summer means fresh fruit and veggies, endless sunshine, road trips -- and visits from parents. The kids were super excited! Here's a few memories from the trip from Gram and PaPa.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Good grief

Too many websites, blogs and social media accounts to keep up with. I either need to keep this up or let it die!

For now, I'm choosing to let it live with the best of intentions of keeping it up to date!

Now ... for those of you who know me, you know I have a special place in my heart for Carson Mayse, his brother and his awesome mom, Amy. They came to visit us this week, and I've created a blog detailing their trip.

Check out and learn more about Carson and the Make a Wish Foundation, which made his dream possible.

Goodbye, summer. Hello, school!

Our LAST weekend of Summer 2011 ...

We celebrated our new beginning by visiting the northern coast -- Haystack Rock/Cannon Beach/Ecola State Park (where I first saw the Pacific), Seaside and Astoria, which is celebrating its 200th birthday this year. We're celebrating 16 years from having first arrived in the Beaver State -- in Astoria to be exact. We visited the house we lived in and where David proposed (and I obviously said yes). We also got to FINALLY see the column in all its painted glory -- it was being renovated the summer we lived there, so although we made numerous trips up the hill where it sits and offers a fabulous view of the Columbia, we never REALLY got to see it. Til now. And it was worth the wait.

Stayed in a hotel on the waterfront, where we had a great view of the river and the kids got to play in a swimming pool. Highlight of their trip, I'm sure.

Cannon Beach/Ecola State Park/Haystack Rock is just gorgeous. Best place in Oregon next to Crater Lake. Multnomah Falls comes in a beautiful third!

In regular-life, routine news, Aidan starts school Sept. 7 as a Hoover Huskie. No more black and orange - but we get plenty of that with OSU! He is OUT of school eight full days through the end of the year and numerous half days. Just as bad as Macon. David and I are thinking "kids these days" sure have it easy. On the full days he's out, he'll got to KidSpirit and ride to work with Mom. The kids play just a few buildings away from me, as well as on the quad. The program is through my college, which is also kind of nice. Gives me a firsthand experience of what we do! Really hoping Aidan loves it. I see kids in the program every day at work, and they love to chant and play loud and seem to have a ball. And the staff (mostly volunteer college students) are great.

Still loving my job. Moving to a new office soon. An executive suite next to the dean no less! I honestly am happy right where I'm at, but what the boss wants the boss gets. Better to understand that right from the start. You can see why she and I get along!

Meeting new people at work, too, and hopefully making new friends. Lots of new female communicators new to OSU and also Corvallis, and we're talking about getting together for wine and "therapy" soon. Love that I don't dread going to work and that I don't obsess about it when I'm not there. I may be crazy busy from 8-5, but I'm really quite happy, crazy as that may seem!

Davis is also getting used to a new job of course, and I'm sure he'll be running the whole show in a few years. He should, anyway.

We're SO looking forward to moving into our new house on Elmwood, on Witham Hill. The neighborhood is in a Douglas Fir forest, so there's lots of deer in addition to trees. LOVE it. Across the street is a nice park and walking/bike path, which I'm sure we'll use since we don't have much of a back yard to speak of. At least not yet. Next spring, we'll be busy!! Love the deck, the large windows in the living room that face the trees and most importantly just having our own space again.

Life is so close to perfect. If our family and friends were here, then it would just be heaven! Hope to see everyone soon (I know, not soon enough). Love and miss you all ...

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Finding our way

So, the last two weeks have been spent learning new jobs and looking for a house. Last weekend, we saw 10 houses in three hours. The kids were amazingly good. We also went to the beach and Yaquina Head lighthouse (they weren't impressed). Gorgeous, perfect day on the coast. The kids love chasing the surf, then letting it chase them.

And the coast there is phenomenal - as you can see in the pic at right! We also fit in outlet shopping at Lincoln City. All in all a perfect day.
This weekend, we again spent Saturday looking at houses, but only four this time. And Sunday we went back to the coast to explore the Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport (and more outlet shopping - David's idea, I swear!). Friday night, we all tried something new and got a babysitter (my student worker Taylor) and went to dinner to celebrate David's birthday. We tried new craft beers and enjoyed being out by ourselves for the first time since we moved. Taylor said the kids were great - no drama!
Houses are incredibly expensive here thanks to all the California immigrants who think it's incredibly cheap to live here. Wow. Remind me never to move to California. In any case, we saw one yesterday we saw last weekend and are thinking it might be the one. Very nice touches inside, if not a little small. At least compared to what we've become used to. The yard is also small, but full of very nice, very tall trees, which you can see quite nicely from the living room and deck. Not a lot of room for the kids to run, but a woodsy area for them to explore. And we're thinking we can probably get a trampoline back there next summer. Thankfully there are tons of nice parks and fountains and bouncy houses and water parks and other things for them to do when it's nice outside. Good for me and David, too.

The other nice thing about this house is that it won't completely break the bank. We'd like a little cash left over each month for traveling back to Missouri and around Oregon, as well as for buying toys such as kayaks and bikes

The summer couldn't be more beautiful here. When everyone comes to visit, I highly recommend the summer!

Miss everyone and hope to see you soon!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

A week of firsts

The big news this week was that it was Kat's first week at Oregon State U. Already, the house if full of orange and black clothes, pom poms, bags, pens, etc. Thanks to my predecessor, Pat, who has spoiled us all this week with OSU goodies, chocolate cake for the kids and chocolate for mom, I feel like I'll be standing on my own two feet next week when she's gone. Not only did she pour out nearly everything the job entails and introduce me to everyone as someone who will be awesome, she also took me to the Grocery Outlet, where I bought I ton of discounted wine. Eight bottles I think. At the rate we've been going, that ought to last the next month. A truly great find. So, other than that, I'm getting brand new office furniture (My office is behind the two arched photos closest to the wall in the pic below; the top pic is the lobby of my building.) and am looking forward to a college retreat next week at the Oregon Gardens, north of Corvallis.

David continues his bewilderment at how his agency runs - or not - and has grand plans of how to make it better. At least his portion of it. He'll be great. The kids, too, have been well-behaved and happy in Oregon (The pic at right is them wearing their Little Beavers' preschool shirts. They came home wearing them, looking way too cute.) They're still loving the apartment, although I think it's starting to get on our nerves just a bit. Calling the Realtor tomorrow, in fact. We don't need a lot of space, but this is kind of ridiculous. Also this week, David will be calling the school system to discuss Aidan and where he'll be when school starts. We need to figure out that, as well as after-school care.

Saturday was a girls' day out after hitting the farmers' markets, where Kat shopped and the kids played in the fountain. Afterward, Ava and mom shopped downtown at some of the great shops there - a second-hand store, Many Hands Trading, and Zooey's, which is run by one of "my" alums at the college. My first alumni contact in my first week. Not bad. We also went to a kids' store and just enjoyed walking around outdoors, with Ava waving her pink magic wand. We then drove past David's work to the lavender fields, which weren't so lavender because it's harvest time. But we drank lavender lemonade, which made the trip worthwhile. The landscape on the trip was also gorgeous, not that Ava enjoyed it because she was konked out in her seat.

After the girls had our fun, we picked up Aidan and David and headed to Avery Park, not far from wehre we live. On the way, we noticed Aidan finally lost his other front tooth, which we found back at home after him telling us he threw it out the window. The kids had fun climbing on an old locomotive, and we just enjoyed the enormous trees, green grass, sunshine and cool breeze.

Perfect day, which we capped off with a trip to American Dream Pizza, where we sat on the roof downtown and listened to a man sing and play guitar. Ava smiled and flirted with him the entire time, and he even included us Missourians in one of his songs. To illustrate how we better enjoy this weather because basically winter sucks. Where doesn't it??! This perfect, perfect summer weather surely makes up for it. I can't imagine it could be better. I think it makes us all especially happy, which is why I'm hoping for a house before the rain kicks in. Then we can focus on that and less on being soggy!

Sunday, we went shopping in Albany, about 15 minutes away, hitting Target and signing up at Costco. Also had to clean what we can reach in the apartment and do laundry. Fun stuff no matter where you live. Capped off the weekend the way we always do - getting bags packed and lunches made for a new week.                                           
Country's longest continuous picnic table,
created from one tree.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Hello, Corvallis!

We're finally here! All four of us. One little happy family. After sifting through boxes and making our apartment functionable, the kids visited their new preschool while mom visited her new office.

Little Beavers preschool
Our 'partment
OSU made me feel incredibly welcome - I even got a sweet gift bag full of all kinds of orange and black goodies. The kids did well with school - no fussing when I left the first day. Hopefully that continues next week when I go back full time. Big adjustment for me, the whole 8-to-5 grind, but the job is going to be great, and I'm looking forward to being on the beautiful OSU campus every day. My office has two big arched windows I can open and breathe this awesome fresh air. There are even exercise classes held in the building I can take during lunch. So, no excuse not to be fit!

Women's Building, where I'll work

Today showed me there's no excuse not to eat healthy. We picked a ton of blueberries, which the kids enjoyed, and visited the farmers' market held every Sat and Wed. It was amazing, and I picked up organic lemonade, fresh honey, lettuce, cucumbers, strawberries, marionberries, green beans, garlic something-or-others the lady assured me were aweomse roasted with olive oil and basil, and purple kale, which Ava insisted on. I could TOTALLY be a vegeterian here. But I did notice fresh salmon, which we may have to pick up next time. I can't wait til I have a nice, unpacked kitchen where I can cook a bunch of NW veggies and salmon and serve Pinot Noir or Gris to my friends and family who visit. The strawberries I ate today were the best strawberries I've ever eaten - save those I ate 15 years ago when I first visited here. The marionberries and blueberries were equally delicious. Blueberries here are as big as your thumb.

Farmers' market, held Sats and Weds. AWESOME!

After lunch, we drove the hour to Newport where we dug in the sand and played in the surf. Next time, we'll bring a jacket as it was a good 10 degrees cooler there with a constant cool breeze. Heaven compared to what Missouri has had for the last month.

Ava and mommy eating blueberries

Next up was Trader Joe's because I wanted to see what the fuss is all about. Turns out, it's good fuss. Bought some curry chicken/basmati rice, cheap wine, quinoa and other good stuff. We then topped off our big day with Cold Stone Creamery ice cream. Aidan had blue cotton candy and Ava ate cake batter. Super yum. Also noticed a shoe store, Dress Barn and Michael's next door. Bed, Bath and Beyond is across the street. I think we've made it to every store in town this week. Still several downtown I've got my eye on ... And I'm itching to try the TWO Indian restaurants in town.

Next week, my predecessor at work is going to take half a day or so and give me the inside scoop on living in Corvallis - where to get my hair done, dentists/doctor, Realtors, where to shop, where to buy a house, etc.  And maybe I'll convince her to get some Indian food :-).

All in all, it's been a great first week. Everyone is happy, and that's the best anyone can hope for. I'm falling in love with Oregon all over again, and David is just smug happy because he knew it all along. The kids love the 'partment, while David and I are crusing neighborhoods looking for For Sale signs. All in good time ... More updates next week!

David, a.k.a. Mr. Zen