Thursday, September 3, 2009

Ocean Shores

Jonathan and I had a really good time in Ocean Shores with my parents. We went for a long boat ride on the canal, walked on the beach, went bowling and ate at an Irish restaurant. When we went for our walk on the beach the dog and I climbed the rocks. When we were coming down she started going really fast and I had to let go of her so I wouldn't fall. Instead of helping me catch her Jonathan took pictures of me and laughed.




Monday, August 17, 2009

Home

Tomorrow I head back to work after taking a week off. It was wonderful spending a week away from work and it makes me feel refreshed and ready to jump into 4th quarter and the holiday season. I can't believe I am thinking about the holidays already, but that is the retail world for you.

Jonathan and I spent a few days camping, then we had a party and then we recovered from the party. We snagged an amazing campsite on the lower McKenzie river. All of the rangers who stopped by said "Oooh, you got campsite #6. That's the best one, we always try to get it when we camp."

The campsite was huge and secluded so we were able to let Isabel run wild. We were right next to the river and there was a downed tree that made a bridge to an island in the middle of the river. Isabel spent a lot of time on that log, running across, playing, running to the campsite, playing and on and on. She thought living in the wild for a few days was a great idea. Last time we went camping she spent most of her time wanting to go home. This summer was a vast improvement. If you ever head out to the McKenzie and want a great place to camp the site where we stayed is Frissell Crossing. It's way up near Cougar Reservoir, but it is well worth the drive. And during the week there's usually only one or two other groups up there. For most of our first day we were all alone at the campground.

One other item of note from our camping time: I ate 6 smores and set a Rodman family record. Jonathan can only eat two before getting sick. I felt very triumphant, and surprisingly not sick, that evening.

We cleared out on Wednesday night when it started to rain. Got home around 11 and woke up early the next day to start working on the party. Next time I have a party I am not doing it in August. People are way, way too busy during the summer and it's insane trying to figure out numbers and food.

The party went well, better than I expected, and no one seemed to mind that we were having a housewarming nearly a year after we moved into the place. We only had room in the budget to buy one or two things a month so if people had come over directly after we bought the house we would've been sitting on the floor and eating out of our hands. Okay, we did have some furniture when we moved in, but nothing on the walls or personal details.

When the party got down to 10 people on we crammed into the living room (it was freezing outside!) and played games for a while. I love how cozy the house seems at moments like that. And I'm glad to have a house. We are lucky in that we both work and can afford to have a mortgage in our 20s.

Today I was sitting in the backyard, which Jonathan fully seeded so we have a bigger area of grass, and thinking about how much I love my house. I have had quite a few moments where I have felt less than spectacular because our house is not as nice and new as a lot of people's we know.

I've been feeling really discontented about a lot of things lately. Have I mentioned that I really, really want to have kids? And of course, it's not happening as fast as I would like it to. One of my faults is my tendency to subscribe to that American attitude of wanting what I want NOW. I've really been trying to work on that and after this time off I feel like I've made some progress.

Lately I've been trying to focus on the positive (which is really, really hard for me) and just be. I love my house, I love my husband, I love my dog, I love my family, I love my work and I think that is more than enough to keep me content. The rest will come, when it is meant to come. Now I just have to repeat that 100 times a day and I should be set.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Lost

I have spent the past few days looking for important things I have somehow lost. I spent hours, HOURS, looking for my marriage certificate, or proof of marriage, because I had to renew my license. I ended up having to go to the clerk in McMinnville and get a new copy because I couldn't find the stupid piece of paper. Then I ended up not needing it. Of course.

While looking for the marriage certificate I discovered the bag of picture hooks. I was super excited to stumble across those because I have six pictures framed and ready to hang but I couldn't find the stupid hooks. I knew I would have to order more picture hooks because I only had a few, but I had no idea where those few had gone to. Imagine my surprise this afternoon when I pulled the picture hook bag out of its storage spot only to discover it was empty. Why in the world did I take the hooks out? After 45 minutes of looking I cannot find the picture hooks. So I'm going to order a large quantity tonight and when they arrive via UPS in a few days, I am sure I will find the missing ones.

As I've been searching my house I have discovered a bit about myself. My main discovery: I like chocolate. A lot. I found bits of chocolate hidden in three different places! I ate every single bite, even though most of it was old and not so tasty.

We are getting ready to go camping soon and I'm paranoid I will lose something important before we go. We've been planning this trip for months, we both love getting outside and away from modern amenities for days at a time. What if I misplace the tent? I love being outside, but I don't like sleeping outside with bugs and animals.

I'm going to search the house for the picture hooks one last time before I make an order. Due to my frantic marriage certificate search the entire contents of my attic are spread across the floor upstairs while the contents of my downstairs cupboards are spread around the living room. Since nothing is in its proper place I should be able to find the hooks - right?

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Hot!

Oh my stars. I do not do well when it gets this warm outside. I'm grumpy, irritated and for the first time in my life I wish we had central air. We have an air conditioner in the bedroom, a window unit, but it only cools that room down. It's 90 degrees outside and it's 9:30. That's just wrong. We've been spending all of our time in the bedroom. The lower part of the house is 85 degrees and it's so hot upstairs I may suffocate soon.

I can't believe it's almost time to get ready for August. I turn 26 in a week, (!) we're helping my parents move into their fabulous new house, we're going camping and hopefully having a party on the 15th. We invited lots of people to the party, but haven't received any RSVPs. Maybe people don't RSVP anymore?? I invited a few people from out of town so I understand why they can't come, but I wish some more local friends would be able to make it. I'm paranoid I will be expecting six people, because that's how many have RSVP'd, but 30 will show.

Maybe I shouldn't have come up with this whole idea. Planning things always ends up stressing me out. Add this blasted heat and I'm a basket case.

On the bright side I got to see my nephew on Monday. He just got back from Yellowstone so he had lots to tell me about waterfalls and geysers. He still calls me Nana Annie which I LOVE. I got lots of hugs and kisses which will hopefully sustain me until I get to see him next month. I can't believe he will be 3 in September! I'm going to have to stop calling him Baby Ryan soon.

I have to head back downstairs before I melt. I picked up three new YA advances at work today. I read one when I got home and I'm ready to go on the next one. Haven't been sleeping much, but I am getting lots of reading done!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Tour #3

A few days ago I saw my brother for the last time before he deploys to Iraq. Again. This will be his third tour in six years, but he will be a medic so he should be a bit safer. He said they don't know where they will be exactly, but it will be close to the Iranian border. I can't believe he's been in the Army six years. He joined up right out of high school and his initial goal was two years. Now he's talking about going career, but what he wants to do for a living changes constantly so I'm hoping he won't choose it as a career. I am very proud of him, but I cannot fathom what he has been through.

His perspective on the war is fascinating. He talks about how they were trained to enter enemy territory on foot, but in Iraq they were given Humvees. He said it was strange, and impossible, to stealthily enter a compound or village when they were rolling down the road in big, rumbling Army vehicles. He said as a medic they will mostly be treating Iraqi citizens who don't have access to a doctor or can't get to the hospital. He is trained in trauma, but most of the time he will be doing basic where does it hurt, how do you feel? care. The injured soliders they do see get enough care to get to Germany. He said they fly people out so quickly they have to work fast to stabilize them and ensure they can handle the duration of the flight. He also explained they have almost all of the usual medical supplies a hospital would, as long as they can get them. It's just amazing to me. They basically have a hospital in the middle of the desert. Granted, it's in tent-like structures, but it's still pretty impressive.

It's been four years since his last tour. I remember the panic every time the phone rang at an odd hour. I remember receiving the call he was injured, but they didn't yet know how bad it was. I can't believe he's going back. We just have to trust that the Lord will keep him safe and bring him back home.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Cooking

Well, it's 5:00 and I find myself at my usual evening crisis point: What the heck should I make for dinner? This thought is usually followed by: I wonder if I'm a bad cook. I wonder if I'm a boring cook. If I have children will they starve / stop growing / not get the proper nutrition because I don't know how to cook a lot of things?

Okay, so these thoughts don't go through my mind on a daily basis, but they are becoming more frequent. I don't like cooking, I know there's a lot of things I don't like because I have a limited range of what I like / can eat, but I do try. I feel like I know a lot of people who can whip up amazing, healthy meals in minutes while I'm still flipping through the recipe book trying to find something that will only take a few minutes to make.

Most of my immediate family members think I am an amazing cook. I may be the best on my side of the family, but that's not really something to be proud of. My husband's side of the family has no such illusions.

I can't stand touching raw meat, I wouldn't know what to do if you gave me a whole chicken, I've never made lamb, or turkey, or duck and the foods I like to eat are not very glamorous, at all. We eat a lot of pasta, chicken, rice and vegetables. I know there isn't anything wrong with what I make, but I can't help feeling like I could be doing better. Oh my, can you imagine me as a parent? I'm going to be a guilt-wracked, hand-wringing mess.

I may constantly worry about what's for dinner, I may wonder if my food is wonderful enough to be consumed by the average foodie (probably not, in all honesty), but I do have one source of pride and that bit of pride is what I am going to focus on this week. I never, ever prepare frozen food for us. I don't serve chicken nuggets, or burritos from the freezer section. If we want fries, pizza, stir-fry or lasagna at home we make it ourselves instead of getting it prepackaged from the store.

I know a lot of people rely on this section of the grocery store and there is nothing wrong with that. But I have to have a little bit of pride in this area and I am going to take it from the fact that I try my best to make sure we eat fresh, local food.

So I'm going to stop worrying (or at least try) about whether or not my dinner attempts are good enough and be grateful we have the ability to buy fresh, organic, locally produced food. I've only been at this cooking thing a few years. In 10 more years I may be handling raw meat like a pro and using vegetables I don't even know how to pronounce right now. At this moment I have to focus on what to make for dinner tonight. Wish me luck.

Friday, June 19, 2009

A short break

This past weekend Jonathan and I headed for the Cave Junction / Grants pass area to celebrate our 3 year anniversary. I've spent a lot of time over the past couple weeks reflecting on where we were a year ago and being very, very glad that 2008 is behind us. We had a great weekend away. We stayed up at the Chateau at the Oregon Caves which was serene and provided some much needed rest for both of us. We went on a couple hikes, toured the Oregon caves, toured a nearby tree house bed and breakfast (it was as weird as it sounds) and took a jet boat ride up the Rogue River.

The economy in Southern Oregon seems to be a lot worse than it is up here. We saw people walking, hitchhiking and sitting on the side of the road asking for money everywhere we went. I have to admit, Jonathan and I have not really been affected by the poor economy. We both have fairly stable jobs, we have a bit in savings, we've bought a house and a car recently and we are quite comfortable. It was a bit jarring to see so many people who were obviously destitute. On the other hand, it made me appreciate what we have all the more. Jonathan and I have been blessed many times over and it is all too easy to forget that.

As soon as we got back from our mini-vacation, it was like we had never been gone. Someone vandalized the stop sign at the end of our road while we were away, we had a fight the day we arrived home, and when we went to the store someone scraped up the new car and drove away without leaving a note. My work week has been insane, and Jonathan's hasn't been much calmer. We haven't even been back for a week and we're both running to and fro, busy, busy, busy with little time for each other.

This year I am determined to do less running and more sitting and talking. It was so strange to feel like we needed a weekend to catch up and see how the other person was doing. Life is busy, but it's also short and I'm going to try to relax a bit and be a better person (and wife) this year. We'll see how it goes ...

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