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 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.