Tuesday, May 22, 2012

oregon life

Its been a while. Too long in fact. The time of "transitioning" is mostly gone (I think) and I think Oregon has begun to feel like home to me. Not "home, home" like the place I grew up, but the new home for our little family. The reason I feel this is because I finally feel homesick. I missed my mother this past week and when a new dear friend hugged me I imagined it was my mother embracing me and for now that hug will do. I am so glad that we moved away on our own. It isn't always easy but so far both Ryan and I have really seen the Lord's hand in our lives and we have grown tremendously! We are developing a really genuine and loving family of friends here. We feel richly blessed. Plus I absolutely know I'd have regretted not taking the chance and I'd always wonder what it'd be like to be on our own. I do miss my family dearly and I am ready for another trip home, but its only been just over a month. It feels like an eternity.

As for the rest of life here's what has been happening:

- G gave up naps, although I believe right at this moment he is crashed out on his bed, no pants and I just heard him cry out in his sleep "take off diaper". The no naps has been really rough. I'm adjusting and we have to get out of the house for a part of the day to survive. there has been sunny weather for a good part of May so that has helped! The clouds and rain returned this week though and its funny how quickly you can forget the sun exists and then when its sunny, how the doom and gloom exists.

- R is working hard! Like 10 hour days at work and then an hour or so of paperwork at home. He is determined and I'm trying to support him. I do get lonely, but I hope to adjust more. The greatest thing is his confidence and happiness levels at work. Yes, he still has patients that stump him, but he needs that to keep growing and keep humble. His greatest growth and opportunities from this job have come in spiritual ways. I can't explain how awesome it is to see him grow and how much I love hearing of his faith building experiences at work as he seeks the Lord's guidance with each and every patient. Its remarkable how the Lord really does hear and answer prayer.

- G and I are part of a Toddler + program in Eugene that is modeled after a special education preschool. It is preparing him for preschool in the fall without me. He continues to make progress and has had another of those overnight leaps in abilities. When those have occurred it is a clear indication to me of the Lord's love for him and his answers to prayer and hard work. They are true miracles!! With the refusal of naps, G started becoming more independent. He comes out of his room on his own which he WOULD NOT do and he is climbing all over furniture and jumping off all sorts of things and now will take on playgrounds and slides even though he still has some trepidation. He was a new kid overnight. I seriously asked, "Where did Gavin go?". You can imagine these advances brought good and bad. All of this and no naps was a whirlwind for me but I am ever so thankful that his brain continues to develop and connections are being made. The research says that Early Intervention works and that its key during these early years 0-3 while the brain is still developing and BOY HOWDY are they right!!

- The duplex is in a constant state of change, no surprise there! I'm on area rug #3 for the living room and I know R is more than ready to be done with that. As far as options that never even made it to our house we're on #?, I lost count. I'd finally order one to then have it not be in stock or then on backorder for months. It got frustrating. Then when some finally made it here the colors were not going to work or one had been laundered (wool) and the dyes were transferring to our clothes and skin. Not good, especially when the rug is over carpet.

- In the mormon church we are asked to serve in different areas of the church without pay. I was recently asked to be an advisor and teacher for the laurel class which is the 16-18 year old girls. That was only a month or so ago and then this past Sunday I became the 1st Counselor in the Young Women Presidency. I will still teach some, but more of my duties will be to specifically look after each individual girl in our church who is 14-15 years old. I was studying the responsibilities last night and making a list. I am excited to get to know these ladies and I hope I can be a positive example for them. I am very lacking in many qualities that would be good for this position, but I am hopeful that the Lord will teach me and help me to develop my abilities where I am weak. R has been very supportive of the time this is taking and the chance to get out and serve and be with these girls has already been a huge blessing to my life!

- We've already been to the beach a couple of times in Florence and Newport and it is absolutely beautiful and there are some great beaches! We are excited for a fun summer and fall! We hiked Spencer's Butte a couple weekends ago and that was really fun too! Beautiful, beautiful views to be had. G and I take lots of trips to the parks here and one of the most fun for us is actually Alton Baker Park. It is right along the Willamette River and is just gorgeous. No playgrounds, we just explore nature and spend lots of time watching the "waterfall" and throwing rocks (or toy tractors) in the "big river".

Throwing rocks at the "BIG RIVER". He's got quite the arm! Definitely a lefty too!

- I'm obsessed with Five Guys. I think we eat there every week and Ryan is a sweetheart for putting up with it. I want to venture out to local places but with G and his limitations we usually have to limit "eating adventures". With the warm weather coming I hope to have more picnics and get take out. We did that a lot last summer and would grab the food and head to a nearby park.

- Our church/ward (EUGENE 5th WARD) is absolutely the most friendly and kind ward ever! We aren't the only ones who feel this way about it either. It is contagious. I really feel like because of the kindness we have a true desire to pass it on and so it just keeps growing. Our bishop is a tender hearted man I can tell and he wants so very much for every individual and family to feel welcome, loved, and he does whatever he can to make sure that happens. He has offered so many things to help accommodate G and his needs and to help ease burdens on our family. I have been given a wonderful and loving visiting teacher who will be a lifetime friend I have no doubt. I have always wanted to have a mature example when I don't have my mother nearby and that is what this sister does for me. Her steady example and consistent little expressions of love for me have meant all the world to me. She too has a son with Autism, he is older, and I am so thankful for her perspective and her experience that I have to glean from.

- We had our first party at the duplex for cinco de mayo. I figured it was the one time the exterior of this gem would possibly blend right in to the fiesta! It was all very last minute but it turned out to be a wonderful evening! I think if it weren't for the kiddos us adults would have spent a few more hours chatting away, maybe even a communal sleepover (we do live in Eugene)? Kidding! Everyone pitched in with the food and that made it way more awesome (and easy). We've got some great new friends!

"Bohemian Mexican Picnic"

I had this great idea for a "bohemian mexican picnic". We sold all of our outdoor furniture before moving from CA so I had the thought to go crazy with blankets (thus the bohemian picnic vibe). I spent a couple nights staying up into the wee hours of the morning fringing mass amounts of tissue paper (not the kind for your bum) and strung it on twine to make it more festive out there. I was told it "made" the party. I sure hope so because it was a labor of love (or self-indulgence). Personally, I think it was the company of some great friends. I really hope we are all a part of each others lives for a long time to come!

We can't forget the food! Thanks to Annie's suggestion and mad skills we had delicious fish tacos. My favorite! Imagine gorgeous fruit kebobs, cilantro rice and spicy black beans, delicious mixed greens salad, blackberry lemonade and cucumber lemon water, and of course its not a party without chips and salsa! I spent way too many hours deciding on dessert since its not really an area of cooking/baking I've explored. I tried some blackberry pie bars from pinterest because I've made similar raspberry bars with great success and they turned out amazing. Even better they were 10x more delicious the next day. Don't you just love that when that happens! BTW, R and I both agreed that the blackberry pie bar recipe was better than the much loved Raspberry bar recipe. It was more pie crusty which we both love! Plus the raspberry bar recipe uses jam and its almost too sweet. The blackberry pie recipe actually had some lemon zest which complimented the berries very nicely!

Speaking of pinterest, I'm still obsessed. As of today I also hit 100 followers. So glad I finally did because now I am sure to become famous in the blogsphere by age 352. I hope I can live until then :). Are you still into pinterest or is it a dying flame for you? Or are you one of those who have yet to bite the hook?

That's it for now. I'll be back soon! I've missed this. I hope you have too!


  1. It sounds like you are getting settled in so well! Your work and friends through your church will help immensely! I'm happy for you that you have that.

    I want to hear more about the tissue paper hangings! How did you do it? I'd love to string them across the ceiling in my girls' room!

    (I also want a hug from my mom.) Even though I feel that draw towards "home", I'm already immensely glad that we stepped out and moved away, for ourselves and for our family. We needed this change, very badly, and it's been nothing but good so far!

    (HUGS) on the dropping of the nap. I remember when my oldest quit napping and my youngest is just starting to try to give it up. It does change things!

    You're doing great! You sound like you are in a really healthy place in your life right now (I say that as though I know you, which I don't). :)

  2. THanks for the comment. I don't think I have close up photos of the tissue garland, but when I get them back from a friend I will take some more photos and work on a post! It was not an original idea (are there any of those anymore?) but at least I'm good at following instructions and replicating. I found the idea on pinterest and its from Martha Stewart. As for "a really healthy place in your life" I am sure trying but I don't know. What would you define as "healthy"? Maybe its time for a reality check post? Thank you though. I think I've been pretty hard on myself lately (shoot, all my life. aren't we all though?) considering the move and g's challenges and the ABSENCE OF NAPS!!!