Thursday, June 28, 2012

Good-bye Oregon

I'm back in Ventura! These pictures are the last few days of my trip according to my iPhone! I happened to be home during my dear friend Rose's first baby shower (which I crashed...). Rose & her husband Jake are two of my favorite people so it was quite easy to celebrate the idea of them being parents. I got to see lots of other wonderful friends that day too, including my friend Steph and her sweet baby Ezra! She let me snuggle him all morning. To cope with the symptoms of Baby Fever after that, I put in lots of time snuggling the kitten at Chelsea's house! I'm sure she will be posting lots of better-quality pictures on her blog. I had a fantastic end to my trip at the Bonham's, enjoying fresh, strawberry rhubarb crisp over good conversation. Feasting on warm, fruit-filled desserts is a favorite past time of ours, so that night felt like the good ol' days with Kat when we lived within a tank of gas. Have I mentioned I have wonderful friends?

I am so thankful that my generous parents allowed me to borrow their car to zip around Oregon the past two weeks. I am beyond blessed to have so many wonderful, life-giving friendships in so many cities of my home state! (Either that or I have a frustrating tendency to make friends in inconvenient places...) These pictures are a mere glimpse at my time at home and hardly even captures all the quality time I had with quality people.

The only thing missing was my beloved. And the sunshine.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

My favorite place

After I said good bye to my sister on Wednesday, I promptly drove down to Eugene, into Brittney's arms who was awaiting my arrival with wine & Girl Scout cookies in hand. That girl hooks it up. To keep myself busy while she was at work, I drove up to one of my favorite spots on earth, Camp Tadmor. I have spent almost every summer of my life in those woods (one way or another) and a trip to Oregon wouldn't be complete without a quick walk around the lake and a stolen Otter Pop from the staff freezer. The twenty minute drive from civilization up to camp is peppered with beautiful farms, rivers and fields. I kept finding myself slowing down to absorb each scene and leave my windows down to let the country air roll in (except when I drove past the infamous chicken farm). I pulled over to snap a few pictures to take home with me, including Bates Bridge which all my friends use to jump off of on the weekends. Don't worry, Dad, I was the one standing off to the side holding their towels and shaking my head. Nostalgia took it's toll on me that day. I miss those woods, those roads.

On my way back to Portland I got to stop into Salem and say hi to a few sweet friends, including the always-lovely Molly. We had lunch at Wild Pear and spent a little time downtown (and she was quite tolerant of my sleep deprivation from such a busy few days). Love you Molls!

Only a few more days in the beautiful Northwest to go! (I rewrote that sentence and took out the word "left" so it didn't rhyme. You're welcome.)

Monday, June 18, 2012


Part of the reason I headed back home for a couple weeks is because my dad's family planned a reunion for this weekend. I was about six the last time we were all gathered together, so I made it a priority to be there. It was really unfortunate that I wasn't able to show Matt off all weekend, but it gave me a reasonable excuse to talk about him to everyone instead. 

Ashby and I loaded up the car (road trip snacks included, obviously) and twisted our way through the Gorge, along beautiful rivers and past breath taking mountains into the wilderness of Eastern Washington. We made time to stop at Mulnomah Falls and I was reunited with the beauty that Oregon holds. I got to spend the two hour drive staring at gorgeous Mt. Adams! 

My dad's hospitable cousin and her husband opened up their beautiful home to host the reunion. They built and designed their house tucked away in the woods, strategically designing their huge living room windows to face the mountain. Their home was warm, inviting and filled with personal touches that point towards their incredible taste and style.

We got to mingle around their house for all the festivities and then tromp back through the woods to the cabins we were staying in for the night. As much as I have loved trading in my mountain view for an ocean view in California, it fed my soul to wander through the trees, breathe fresh, clean air and hear the rustle of woodland creatures. 

After a day of settling in, we all put on our cowboy hats and headed to the Glenwood Rodeo (and yes, I'm serious about the hats). Nothing says "Americana" quite like a rodeo in a small town. Since I can't really do it justice by explaining it, I will simply say that I have video of small children riding sheep in the "mutton busters" competition that I'm not sure if I should be handing over to the police or not. I felt like an anthropologist in a field study; wearing my husband's baggy plaid shirt and trying to hide the horror on my face during the calf herding. Clearly, I had to leave before the bull riding, but I heard that only one person was removed by ambulance this year.

We spent the rest of our weekend lounging around, sharing stories and kissing babies. I came down with a serious case of baby fever after holding sweet, baby Ben who is hardly 5 weeks old. That's what happens when you leave me unsupervised, Matt! 

I'm not sure how other people have reunions, but ours aren't complete without some matching t shirts. 
I love those crazy people and I'm so glad I got to be there! 

Friday, June 15, 2012

Alberta Street

Oregon summers are as alluring as they are persuasive. They are the answer to "why do people stay here?" The sun shines and stays out until 9 at night or later. The streets are comfortably full of people bopping along like there's a sound track in the background. Eating outside feels luxurious, wearing shorts is a privilege and everyone switches to drinking iced coffee for a couple months. 

I'm home for two weeks, without Matt. This morning, as I drove down Alberta street, parked in front of my favorite bakery to meet the ever-so darling Saki Jane for brunch, I realized I missed living here. I saw people walking their bikes slowly, soaking in the rays they've been waiting 9 months for. I miss the excitement of Oregon summers and the way it redeems the city. 

After we finished our delicious meals, Saki & I walked down to one of our favorite craft stores and milled about, verbally creating projects from section to section. I left with a small, paper bag filled with houndstooth washi tape Saki spoiled me with and a happy heart. I love Portland summers like I love long, leisurely breakfasts with old friends. 

Monday, June 11, 2012


I can't even begin to describe how loved and celebrated I felt on my birthday! My day was full of sweet, thoughtful gestures from my husband and an overload of blessings from my friends. I felt so known by everyone while opening their gifts; whether it was Aveda lipstick from Brittney who undoubtedly remembered me mentioning a desire for "more organic lipstick" or a vintage, oversized spoon thrifted by Kat & Luke after noticing we don't have an ice cream scoop! I felt very, very loved on Saturday and enjoyed every minute with Matt. He planned a sweet date for us in Santa Barbara and and made a gluten-free version of Grandma Mary's cake recipe for us to enjoy when we got home! He gifted me that darling necklace with an old typewriter key toward the end of the night and told me he's had it picked out since January (seriously? I'm mailing off late Christmas presents around then...).

 Now I'm glancing around at the displayed birthday cards from Matt's loving family, smelling the aroma of the candle Bean spoiled me with, munching on the cookies Chelsea slipped into my birthday package and feeling overwhelmed by the people that have been placed in my life.

Thank you everyone!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Last day.

Today was my last day with these little monkeys. It has been delightful watching these two grow and learn over the past year, but unfortunately it's time for preschool! As I snuggled them down for their nap before leaving today, I said good bye and thanked them for teaching me so much. They fell asleep to me sniffling and laughing at myself. I know I'll see their sweet faces sooner than I think, but I'll definitely miss the day to day adventure of being their nanny. 

Love you girls!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

When Venus passed over the sun, we were...

...laying on the beach peering through "solar safe screens" that my nerdy husband ordered for us. I wasn't as interested in it as Matt was (the man got off work early for this, people), but I did appreciate seeing it. You can't tell from the picture I included, but Venus looked like a tiny, poppyseed-sized dot on the sun. It made me feel very, very small. It was very sobering to be sitting on a blanket, munching chips, sipping Starbucks and watching a planet the size of ours drift over the sun like a dirt speck in a pool. 

After, we went to Red Robin for gluten-free burgers and milkshakes in honor of my dad's birthday! 

Happy birthday Dad! 

Speaking of June birthdays, I turn 24 on Saturday! I remember thinking I'd have multiple kids and wear strictly sweater sets and Gap jeans by now. Funny...