happy memorial day

When we moved to Oregon in 2006 (yes, that means this November will be seven already…where does the time go?), we sorta, kinda started this tradition of heading to the coast for one of the days of Memorial Day weekend.

Of course there’s only one guarantee about our day at the beach at the end of May: it will be cold, windy and overcast – if we are lucky. It’s kind of a joke about the crummy Memorial Day weather in Oregon, except not really because it’s basically true that it’s NEVER nice. Case in point: This year we kicked off May with at least two weeks of lovely weather. I mean, we were getting sunburned at Ian’s Saturday baseball games. But the week of Memorial Day arrives and what do we get? Clouds, rain and downright chilly weather. Sadly, it’s been known to continue this way through June until July 4 hits, which all Portlanders know is the true start of summer. Until that date, all bets are off.

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spring breakers

Last week we joined the gazillions of families who use their little ones’ spring break as an opportunity for some family togetherness. We feel lucky that we don’t have to venture far for great vacation options. We passed up the ever-popular Sunriver for Brasada Ranch in the Powell Butte area outside of Bend. Despite some bumps during the booking process and pre-arrival, I can’t think of many bad things to say about it once we were on the property. It was great.

After five(ish) days of R&R, we returned to gorgeous weather in Portland over the weekend. Our second Easter in our home with the gift of sunshine and perfect temperatures. It was a lovely week, and very appreciated time as we return to our day jobs, volunteer work for two upcoming schools events, and the start of Little League and swimming again this week. I think it’s going to be a busy spring.

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happy birthday to you, happy anniversary to us

Ian's First Days - 15Ian turned 7-years-old yesterday. I’ve learned that I’ll probably say this every year that I get to celebrate his birthday, but it truly does seem like just the other day that I Jeff and I drove around the block (because I was too fat to walk) and I walked into Virginia Hospital Center to check in at reception for my scheduled c-section.

The nurse had barely gotten us into the room when I started bawling. Poor lady was trying to comfort me thinking something was actually wrong – but there I was just trying to explain to her – in-between deep breaths – that I was just a little (actually, A LOT) nervous because this was my first surgery and um, HELLO, I was coming out on the other end as a PARENT!! Like, if the rumors I heard were true, we would be taking home a real actual human being that Jeff and I would be responsible for not only keeping alive, but making sure that he/she actually made some sort of contribution to society. I still just wasn’t sure I was ready for all that. I mean, when was I going to fit the gym and shopping and drinks out with friends in with all that new responsibility??

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sunshine and rainbows

Elephant calfAccording to the clock in our room, it was about 5:25 am when my phone rang. This was it – the call that I felt like I’ve been waiting for since at least the beginning of November – and in meetings for long before. After a day or so – frankly, it’s kind of a blur now – in “early” labor, one of the zoo’s Asian elephants, Rose-Tu had moved to active labor around midnight and apparently not interested in prolonging the situation, had given birth a couple of hours later to a healthy female calf. Ten minutes later I was pulling out of the garage and on my way to work, feeling both excited and a bit sad that I wouldn’t be there when my own birthday girl woke up in the morning.

My colleague Krista and I arrived about the same time and were the well-rested ones in the zoo’s marketing department; some others had been there all night. Blurry eyes, however, had zero effect on the pure excitement that permeated the still mostly-dark halls of the office. I

quickly got to work in crafting communications for our donors whom we’d been providing with regular updates on Rose-Tu’s progress the past couple of days. My second role was to help the team with whatever news media needs presented themselves.

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scary stuff

Beware of the ZOMBIES

Wednesday marked our first Halloween in our “new” house. Wow, what a difference. We used to have plenty of leftovers but this year, nothing. In fact, I should probably be ashamed to admit that as soon as we recognized that the bottom of the bowl was in sight, we pulled out a few for ourselves. Er, uh, I mean, of course they were mainly for Jeff but I didn’t want him to feel bad so I just said that I’d probably eat one, too.

Ian decided to be a zombie, which he did quite well, I must say. Elena went as a more-cute-than-scary spider, which coincidentally, is exactly what Ian was when he was her age. Hmmm….

It was a fun evening circling around the new hood and saying hi to the neighbors. A couple of houses seriously go all out – so much so that Ian was scared to death to go to the front door. I got him to go up with me once, but the other one – no way – which is unfortunate because I heard a rumor that the prize was a full size candy bar. Maybe next year.

Scary house with big prize.