Thursday, October 13, 2011


October 13, 2011

One year. Our first year in a new place, Jacob's third year of life, mine and Fraser's 4th year of marriage. In and out of the days and hours, the months and seasons, we have made it through. A bit stronger in some areas, a bit more unsure in others. What an experience.

Looking back at my first entries in this blog makes me realize how far we've come, as I knew this record would. Jacob looks so much younger then, our house barren and disheveled at first, and Shilo is in the pictures too. We felt so new and sad and alone in those first few days and weeks. 

There have been many challenges: weather, work, making friends, parenting. There have been many joys too: this beautiful area, the friends we have made, the ways we are learning to support each other on this journey. 

I am so thankful to all of you who have read this blog at any point during the year. I'm thankful to all of your comments. Knowing someone is out there is very motivating for writer's block and stopping to write on those busier days. Knowing that there are so many people out there who care about us and want us to be happy gives me such an uplifting feeling. 

I am also so very thankful for all our new friends. My neighours and the moms from my moms' group have been absolute lifesavers. This transition has been much improved by those relationships. Even though I still feel new, I no longer feel like a stranger. And I don't feel alone. I have a network of wonderful people to help me on those tougher days. I need to remember that more often. 

And so the journey continues.... We are here still for the foreseeable future. We do miss Boulder but it is not our time to return now. I have enjoyed keeping a record of our days and activities, as much for my own sake as for others. I also like using this to keep a whole lot of people informed in this one area. As much as I love all my friends individually and there is nothing like a call to catch up, this is so much more practical than making 15 phone calls a day. 

I am going to keep writing but hope to shift my focus a bit. I don't know that it will always be daily. I don't know what all it will include. I want to write about finding my path, finding our path in this constantly changing game of life. Getting to the heart of what matters to me and to my family - that is what I hope to find. So please, keep reading. Keep leaving your comments. They really do mean a lot to me and inspire me to keep writing. My next blog is entitled Closer to Core. Join me there. This part of the journey has come to a close, but it's really only the very beginning.

Day 365: One Year

September 26, 2011

Well, the 365th blog post. Amazing. I made it.  More on that in a moment...

Last day in CA before heading back up, we had a tasty breakfast from a shop down the way. 

 On the road again after a few more goodbyes. Jacob was in a much better space this time around: looking out the window, listening to his favourite kid music, looking at some books, just hanging out. A pretty drive too, nice weather and scenery, including the lovely Mt. Shasta.

 Back on up to Portland. Easy drive. A little more tired this time around but good overall. Last year at this time we were also on the road and having a much different experience. But that, my friends, is for the next entry.

Day 364

September 25, 2011

We headed down to Berkeley this morning after our goodbyes to the wedding folk. Some friends of ours who used to live in Boulder, Jake and Annie, live there with their son, Leif. It was great fun to see them again! We ate some delicious food at a place called Tacubaya. Very yummy Mexican. 

We also took a little steam train ride through some beautiful redwood forest. It smelled so wonderful with the moisture and the cedary smell of redwoods. Lovely. Our hair was all a-frizz but that was even ok. 

I'm sure they're already talking physics.
We had an amazing dinner from Burma Superstar. Incredibly delicious. It was incredible to me the diversity of restaurants in this whole area. Granted, it's a diverse population. But anything, you name it, you could find it. And good food, too. I'm coming from Portland, which also has amazing restaurants, and still saying this. I think Jacob's favourite dish tonight was the pea shoots (I made an omelet for breakfast this morning - and yes, it is actually October 13th when I'm writing this entry - and there was spinach in it. He told me that it was pea shoots.). 

The trip wouldn't have been complete without a joint bath session. None of the pictures are blog appropriate, though. 

Good to see old friends. Good to hang out.


Day 363

September 24, 2011

Alright, if anyone is still reading this blog she knows that I am way behind. I've procrastinating on finishing this. Not sure why entirely. But, I am going to finish it now. 

This was the day of the wedding we went down to CA for. It also happened to be mine and Fraser's 4th anniversary. It was a nice way to spend it, together and hearing others make a lifelong commitment of love. Pretty cool. And the wedding itself was very nice, the party afterward fun. Jacob only had eyes for the wedding cake. As soon as that was cut and he had his piece, we had to leave. He was exhausted. So was I apparently; I fell asleep next to him in the bed. A first for me, amazingly!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Day 362

September 23, 2011

Beautiful morning. Blue skies. Jacob was curious about the old phone in the room. Fraser showed him how the dial tone worked. At one point he was picking it up and Fraser asked what he was doing. Jacob replies, "I'm just doing an experiment." Oh, he is our child, alright. 

Best town name today: Weed, CA. Haha....

This little popper toy which flips things out of it was the toy of the day today. We popped balls, plastic and paper, out of that thing so many times, all of which involved more turning and twisting than any yoga class I've been in. Songs that Tickle Your Funny Bone is still a hit too. He won't let us change it. Well, not without a lot of protesting (i.e. screaming). "No, kid music, kid music!!! The sneezing one!" Overall, though, he did much better in the car.

Fields and fields and fields of.... everything. I don't even know what all was there, but so much. Olives, almonds, avocados, more olives. Amazing. But when I stopped to think of all the grocery stores in the country and the ability we have to go to most of them and get whatever we want whenever we want it, the fields seemed reasonable, at least. Not very sustainable, I reckon. We have so much in this country and we take it for granted way too often.

Oh, traffic. Around about Sacramento it started getting pretty crazy. So many cars, so many freeways, so many cars. Did I mention that there were lots of cars. Crazy. I just don't think I could do that. People who commute crazy distances through that.... wow.

We got to Livermore this afternoon, though, and started seeing some old friends! More that Fraser knew but some I knew too. And meeting new people. No one else had their kid(s) with them, but we are the unfortunate ones that have no one close by to leave our kid with. Alas, Jacob did great. Really fun to hang out with folks, new and old.

Day 361: California Road Trip

September 22, 2011

We get on the road this morning, 9:30; within 15 minutes I'm thinking, "oh god, what are we doing?" Jacob wanted me to read books to him, pass him all sorts of toys, food, water, Mommy, I need this, I need that. Ahhh!

We stopped in Eugene for an oil change and some lunch. Found a little playground to give the boy some action time. That was good. Finally he managed to take a 45 minute nap. Not a car sleeper. Total saving grace - kids music. I don't care how much a person hates Raffi (which, actually, I like him), it's always better than listening to screaming. It pacifies like no other. Jacob's favourite - Songs That Tickle Your Funny Bone. 

Pretty drive, though. We just took I-5 so we were inland a bit. Lots of rolling hills, evergreens. Beautiful. Some funny named towns: Drain and Talent were my favourites.

Stopped in Yreka, CA (said "why-reekah, in case you were wondering, because we were) for the night. Jacob was very excited to be at the hotel. Fraser showed him all about jumping on the bed, I showed him about pillow fights. Good times. Bed time was really adorable. I read him his books, laid with him for a bit, then said I was going to go to my bed. He wanted me to read in bed just like he was. So, I sat in bed and read my book while he did the same. Adorable. Watching him out of the corner of my eye; his little body laying down, holding up his book, engrossed. After he was done, he put them down and rolled over to sleep. I ended up having to lay next to him for a few more minutes but really, not bad. One day down.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Day 360

September 21, 2011

It's amazing to think that a year ago we were making our way across the country, sad to be leaving our friends and beloved Boulder, wondering what was in store for us in Portland. It has been quite a journey, very hard at times and also a learning experience. I have made lots of new friends and friends for Jacob, which is so wonderful. Even though they are new relationships, I know I can call an assortment of people and get support when I need it. That group has really and truly been a lifesaver this year. We've seen many beautiful places, eaten some delicious fruits and been to the coast several times. We've also had our share of grey weather, parenting struggles (which would have occurred anyway) and adapting to a new area. Overall, I'd say I'm very proud of us. We're in a very different, and better, place than we were a year ago. I can't complain (too much :) ). 

We'll be on the road for the next few days so I might not get a chance to write. We'll be celebrating our 4th anniversary this Saturday, at someone else's wedding. Better than last year, though, when we were in Seattle watching The 6th Sense. Not an anniversary movie...