Spring has come!

*yawn, sigh* Long time, no post! It seems that winter/spring up here makes some people hibernate. Or perhaps it’s just us. I don’t feel adequately waterproof yet so venturing out in the drizzle wasn’t the funnest thing to do over the last few months (I still have no poncho and misplace my umbrella on a weekly basis). There was a lot of sleeping, a lot of movies, and a lot of searching the web for over-exposed, sunshine soaked pictures of the desert from which I tried to absorb Vitamin D through. It didn’t work. But a girl can dream of blinding, dusty, Midland summers can’t she?

But, let’s be honest for a second. Before we moved, I had numerous people go on about how much it rains up here and how horrible/you’ll hate it/depressing (enter your choice of negative emotion here) it was going to be. I too know that it rains a lot in Seattle, we all do. But we weren’t going to live in Seattle! And I was indignant. I love cold weather! I like having a real winter and I think that winter should be cloudy and dreary. After all, I lived in Tulsa for five years and we had loads of snow, frigid weather and ill-timed power outages due to the ridiculous ice storms that came every year. I still loved it!

But those folks weren’t entirely wrong (you guys weren’t entirely right either 😉 ). And after 7 inches of rain in March I was feeling the blues. We had five days with no rain, and they were glorious! But still, it was an unusually wet month (they normally get half that amount of rain). Now this wouldn’t have been so bad if we hadn’t already had 7 inches in January. And while February wasn’t as wet, the sun still didn’t shine very often. So…yeah. The rainy season sucks. It lasts about one month too long BUT here’s what you get because of all that rain.

It doesn’t even look real. It’s ridiculous. And kind of worth it. The Japanese gardens were in full bloom by the beginning of April and every single weekend last month was full of sunshine and heat. It was over 80 degrees at one point (that’s 20 degrees above average). It was awesome. I got sunburned.

So, I’m going a little out of order in our trips over the last six weeks (we started our “travels” at the beach and I’ll post pictures later) but since I kinda vented to my sisters and mom about how horrible the winter was, I figured I needed to refresh my own memory and share some of the beauty that results in that dreary weather. I have been very impatiently waiting for the day the Japanese gardens would be in bloom. We have now seen it every season in Portland and as it changes drastically every few months, you never get tired of it. It’s a good little workout too, so win-win.

 

The flowers were gorgeous, as you can see, and some were vines, some were trees, some were bushes. We could not have picked a better time to go and I think if we had waited one more weekend we would have missed some of these blooms.

It’s more vibrant than technicolor!

Man, Japanese Maples are some of the coolest trees ever. Their branches are so unique and twisted that even when they don’t have leaves, they are interesting to look at. Love it!

So I could go on and on with pics from the garden but I’m nearly three months behind in my postings. I figure I should show you something that I haven’t already posted in another season (so pretty though, right?).

Enjoy this little bit of springtime cheer from the Pacific Northwest and I’ll bring you a little bit of the beach next time 🙂

 

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Happy New Year!!

Oh man. It’s been a crazy year! Lots of changes for us but that’s a good thing 🙂 I don’t necessarily see change as a bad thing… It’s not something I’ve ever really been afraid of. It’s something that can bring great anxiety or uncertainty, but those things, when you stop to think about them, aren’t, in themselves, bad things to come across. For those who haven’t kept up with my daily life, I had always planned to live abroad. My great dream was to be an opera singer. I wanted to live in Italy and be immersed in the language. I wanted to have the freedom to travel to France and Germany to expand on my few lessons in those languages. My dream was to be a world traveler, an exceptional attribution to my craft, and to be fluent in apparently 4 languages. At least!

But plans change. Life happens! And “life” tends to hit you with experiences that you never prepared yourself for. Such as falling in love. And marrying that man who was meant to be your soulmate (even if his life plan was to take you to Washington instead of Florence). But who’s to say that you weren’t meant for Vancouver? And who’s to say that your soulmate won’t take you to Florence anyway? I was lucky enough to marry someone who wants to travel as much as I do! Our main destinations may be different but we both still want to travel. And while I may feel the need to start a family soon, I don’t see that as stopping our 17 hour flights. Who knows? Maybe we will be blessed with calm children who don’t fuss half of the day! Maybe we will be those folks who can take their children abroad and continue exploring despite the extra baggage. Or maybe we’ll be the folks who take the plunge, drop everything in the states, and move to Europe anyway. Because we want to. Because we want to experience different cultures and raise our children to be bilingual (not solely due to our proximity to Mexico). Who knows? All I know is that I’m pretty content where I am. Yes, I miss Texas. But I don’t miss Texas for Texas. I miss it for the people that it holds. The friends and family that I left behind. And looking at Midlands weather, I apparently miss it for the snow!

BUT I spent 5 good winter years in Tulsa, Oklahoma. And those winters were harsh! Beautiful, yes, but ice doesn’t make for a friendly car companion. There were many days when I couldn’t leave my home. Including when the electricity went out during finals and I couldn’t drive to campus or heat my house. I’ve never wanted my cats to cuddle with me more. It was freezing! Whose thermometer says 45? Really! And I had no fireplace… Anyway! Weather all the way up in Washington has been much less brutal.

So, happy new year! Enjoy what you have because someone else has it worse off. And if you have snow, be happy you have heat 🙂

Holy crap, it’s fall!!

And I’m listening to Christmas music.

Well, I have a remix of “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” (which is probably the only Christmas song that I hate…)  and the Miss America theme song going through my head…but that’s not really normal, right? I mean, I know (as does my mother and Sara) that my Christmas music starts pretty early but I think even they would agree that THAT’S a little weird. Anyway, it’s fall! And I should cool it on the Christmas tunes.

Our very, very, leafy yard. Now this picture was actually taken at the beginning of October. We no longer have ANY leaves on those trees. And I raked. One time. So we still have leaves in our yard. But now it’s not as bad as it was! Only dead… and colorless. OK!

This is the view from across the street. We have these 2 gorgeous trees in the front yard that, when we looked at the house in May, were covered in bright pink blooms! Can’t wait till Spring! Well, I can actually. I don’t want to miss Christmas…

So, all of this leaf changing happened while we were in Austin over the first weekend of October. We got home and the thermostat was pretty much stuck on 65 for a good two weeks. It’s currently 62 and the temps are steadily falling! The high on Monday is 55! It’s cool though (literally…) it’s been gorgeous and since we have no A/C I’m very grateful for the cooler weather. And our heating system is awesome! We had to get a carbon monoxide detector because after we bought the house we discovered there was a hole in our chimney and the pipe from the furnace had melted… yeah. It’s amazing that the previous owner didn’t die. Anyhoo, fixing our chimney was the first thing we did to the house. They closed up the hole and while they were on the roof the rest of that melted pipe just came off. Like, they pulled it out of the chimney. At that point we didn’t even know that it was a problem! So, long story ever so slightly shorter, with our the chimney hole patched up all the fumes from the furnace still go up and outside instead of in our house. Killing us while we sleep. It’s a good thing. Oh! Yes! Our heater? Awesome! So, with this house being over 70 years old, we have wooden vents on our floor and these cool metal vents that put out so much heat that you only have to turn the heater once in the morning to take off the chill and then, if you feel like it, once at night so you can get all cozy under the covers. It’s so nice! I don’t know why all heating systems aren’t along the floor… man. That was pretty boring, huh? Ah, heaters and chimneys! My life is ever so fascinating. Moving on!

I got crafty for a whole day. I was inspired by all the bright colors and I took a really awful picture of my “art”. These flowers took forever to assemble… never again. Or, not until after Thanksgiving at least.

Ah, fall!

October has been so wonderful! We have been home for 2 whole weekends now and we’re going on three :). Tomorrow I’m going to scout out some antique and furniture stores to get a better idea of what’s available for the studio since we will be moving in very soon. Camas, which is about 14 miles east of us, has the most amazing shop. It’s gorgeous! The displays they have scream shabby chic… it’s ridiculous! They have the cutest storage piece that I’m hoping will still be there by the 1st… I can’t wait to get the studio ready so you can all see it! It’s going to be wonderful. But, in the meantime, I’ll show you some of the pictures of our trip to Bellingham. We were there shooting a wedding and this is where Patrick fell in love with the Pacific Northwest. I can totally see why he wanted to come back. Enjoy!

This was taken on the pier in Fairhaven, which used to be a separate city from Bellingham but is now just an adorable community on the south side. So, essentially, Bellingham has 2 historic downtowns and therefore twice the charm. It’s insane! And crazy beautiful. Just one more of the sunset…

I look at this and I feel like I’m back in Italy… it’s almost irresistible! Almost 😉
So, later in the weekend Patrick showed me his favorite part of the are and we drove along this winding, scenic road called Chuckanut Drive. With views of the bay with islands and mountains in the distance it was pretty breathtaking. There were some gorgeous homes over there! Some were closer to the water and the beach and others were up in the hills overlooking, well, everything! It was awesome. I went home with every free real estate magazine I could find.
This picture doesn’t quite capture the view but the clouds were crazy! And you can still see the trees tops so if you can imagine looking over that from your house 50 feet above…yeah. Pretty nice. I mean, if someone wanted to give me a house with a view like this AND easy access to the beach I wouldn’t turn them down. I would demand that they pack all my belongings for me but that’s it.
And this is just cool. So I’m sharing it with you. It was really big and the trees in these parts are enormous anyway, but this literally grew over a boulder. A BOULDER! What DOES that?!? It blows my mind too much. I need some clouds.
WHAAAAA! Patrick made a huge mistake giving me photoshop and telling me there was an HDR program with it…
Anyway, Chuckanut Drive kind of curves around the bay and when you get out of the narrow winding parts (cliff down on the left, cliff up on the right) you end up in farm land. The smell of manure was like a slap in the face! Granted, it reminded me of Texas and I totally loved it, but it caught me so off guard! Patrick may want to live up on that giant hilly mountain but I can see the water from the flatland and I’m thinking we may need a farmhouse.
I’m pretty sure I took this after we turned around and decided to go back to downtown so this view is on our right, and that view of the water from above? On our left. Yep! AND we could see the big ‘mountain’ that a lot of the houses were on. I’m thinking this farm is the way to go. Not a bad picture from a moving car is it? Cause the scenery is that awesome!
So that’s it guys. We actually haven’t done much since then (well, we’ve worked and been to Austin and stuff but when it comes to documentation this is the last exciting thing we’ve done…). Maybe I’ll take my camera with me tomorrow and give you guys a tour of downtown. If it’s not raining. Which, now that I think about it, I believe it’s in the forecast… ah fall!

New state, new adventures

A word to those who know me:

Yes, I am blogging. And no, I don’t think that I am so important that you will be anxiously anticipating every Times New Roman word that arrives on your softly glowing computer screen. BUT I figured for those who aren’t in daily contact with my mom, this may be something interesting to glance at every few months just to see what’s going on in our distant world.

I only ask one thing of you: don’t judge my poor grammar and excessive use of run-on sentences.

We did it! We made our move official over a month ago and the house still isn’t fully unpacked… it’s amazing how time consuming re-organization can be (or rather, organization in general). Our two bedroom house is getting there though. We have a basement full of boxes that can stay put while I sit on the floor of my little office and wonder “Where did all of this come from and where am I going to put it?” Ah, the joys of hoarding (on a very small scale, mind you). My husband told me I should take before and after pictures of that one room but to be honest, it’s a little embarrassing! I figure the before and after photos of our garden would be more interesting and less humiliating for me. We’ll see if that happens! I’ve been remiss on the ‘before’ photos and the ‘after’ photos don’t have the same impact if you haven’t seen what we had to work with… ‘sigh’. I’m sure there will be something disastrous to showcase at some point. Meanwhile, I have one photo of our house that my old computer deigned to upload (that’s a whole other story). Unfortunately, it only shows the chimney…

By this time next week (I’m crossing my fingers) I’ll be writing on a new computer, and with that working luxury will come a world of photos! Plus, more updates on the adventures we have already had (illustrated of course).

So I leave you with the joy of knowing that it is 76 degrees here, breezy, and sunny. But don’t be jealous my fellow Texans, I’m storing up the sunshine for the 6 months of damp darkness that will inevitably come. And then you can gloat that it’s 76 degrees and sunny where you are! Until next time, enjoy your weekend and that summer heat~

On a side note, I don’t plan on blogging on a daily basis. I’m thinking with my propensity for procrastination, once a week is a much more attainable goal. Plus, I don’t do many interesting things and I seriously doubt a recount of my two cats daily activities qualifies as ‘interesting’.