Wednesday, June 20, 2012


Noella has been working on her emotions.

And by that, I sort of mean that Dad is out of town and both of us are exercising each emotion to the extreme in the past 24 hours. We both cried this morning. What is wrong with me? I'm the adult, yet sometimes it can be absolutely maddening to reason and deal with a 2.49 year old.

But what I really mean, is we like to have fun practicing "faces". See video below.

Yes, that's a pool behind her! Yes, its HOT! It's finally summer here - hooray!

I think she is the spitting image of my childhood pictures here. Mom, can you attest to that? Maybe its just the suit, floaties and pool....

I forgive her for everything we were arguing about earlier. 

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Day to Day

The Columbia River Gorge is such a fabulous place to raise a child. Noella is going to look back one day and (hopefully) realize how lucky she was to have started her life in this place. Here a few somewhat recent photos to capture our "day-to-day" lives.

The rain. You grow up in Oregon, you learn to deal with it. 

Because sooner or later, the sun does come out! And the parks are really super fun!

Some of Noella's park buddies

A morning walk on the Old State HWY (1 mile from our house). I'm not sure why I don't have more pictures of these two. Little Lou is our neighbor friend who we will miss so much (along with his mom and dad)!

A different day on the Old State HWY. Girls Day out! (Ryan, Rosie, and Noella)

I feel the need to document more of our daily life here in Hood River, as we are moving in just over one month! I'm starting to feel a little sad to leave these friends. Luckily, the trip is not too far!

Adam, Dad, Dada, Daddy, Father.......

Adam and I both like to hog holidays. We can't just have Christmas or Father's Day or a wedding anniversary..... we have to have multiple celebrations within a few days/weeks of each other. Noella is the same way.

While I like to hog Christmas, and Noella likes to hog New Years, Adam likes to hog Father's Day (fitting and convenient, I suppose), but also our wedding anniversary, which is just on the other side of Father's Day.

We celebrated his big 33rd in culinary style: an Italian themed dinner of sorts. Because we are so Italian (not) and lasagna is the best thing to eat during the summer (not really). But, because Adam is not fussy (and not the best at making decisions), Noella decided that he wanted "gurzanya" for dinner with "chocolate cake with pink icing". Bingo. So we celebrated heartily with some good friends.

Father's Day was very casual, to slowly enjoy every last minute of daddy before he had to leave for the week. We all made pizza together tonight, since we skipped Friday night pizza earlier in the weekend.

Here is Noella in pizza chef training:

Because I know it would embarrass him beyond belief, I won't list all the things that I (we) love about him. Truly, there isn't the time nor space to do that. Instead, I will just say that he deserves the best. We can only hope to give him all we have every day. We love you!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

House Update In Pictures

Entryway and master bedroom. Pre face plant.

Kitchen with countertops and backsplash.

Our nice big kitchen sink!

Living area.

Noella's "purple" room. This was the closest we could get and still match her bedding. 

Second bedroom.

Kid bathroom.

East facing window in the living area. Great views!

Fridge space.

Master bedroom.

From the master closet looking into shower.

Entryway/hallway to kitchen from master bedroom.

Another angle. Viewing hall from entry to kitchen, kitchen, then hallway to kid bedrooms.

Courtyard (garage on left, house on right).

You Can't Always Get What You Want

Well, we had high hopes for this weekend. Family fun, a plethora of outdoor activities, fun with friends, happy children, smiling, laughing..... you know all that stuff.

I should not lead you think that we didn't have any of those things. No, we had most of them. But we also had a huge dose of blood, tears, owies, panic attacks, sleepless nights.... the combination of those things can sometimes lead to crabby children..... We got up early, left Hood River with fresh coffee and the anticipation of a long, fun weekend. Once in Bend, we stopped by the house, took a few pictures and SPLAT! Noella face plants onto the freshly laid slate tile in the entry way.

She was running towards me asking me to take her coat off, while trying to get her arms out of her sleeves. Blood and screaming everywhere. I am not good at dealing with lots of blood, especially if it is coming out of my own child. Bloody lip, bloody teeth..... My first panic was that she was losing her front two teeth. That's something I'm really good at - panicking . Then, within minutes, her lips are the size of Joan Rivers'. Thank God for Adam - the calm in the eye of the storm (Noella and I). We finally get her calmed down with a loaner Groovy Girl doll from our builder's daughter and the promise of ice cream.

Please excuse the dried blueberry sorbet all around her mouth, as well as the dried boogers up her nose. I had to promise her the candy of her choice from the store to let me look in her mouth like this. Do you think she was going to let me clean her mouth and nose too? I'd have to start throwing in pink and purple cupcakes or something. 

The rest of the evening, she seemed fine. Adam and I were exhausted from the stress of the all the events, but she was excited to be in a hotel to swim and watch "football" (football. for real. and unfortunately it is not football season and baseball and soccer will not do for her). We loaded her up with some meds to help her endure the coming nightfall. The rest of that night is a huge blur of her waking up at 2 in the morning to "watch something", trying to crawl across the nightstand into our bed, kicking and prodding me endlessly after I moved to her bed.

Bleary-eyed and dazed, we headed to meet our friends from Bend for coffee and pastries. The rest of the day turned out great and Noella finally got to play with "Roof" (Ruth). The girls got to ride their bikes together on the trails, everyone got a much needed nap and we even managed a delightful dinner out. Adam didn't get to ride, but I think he enjoys watching and helping Noella learn almost as much :) Here are some action shots of the buddies acting silly in the yard.

As for my race, well "you can't always get what you want". I came in two seconds slower than my first year! Dirty Half 2012 - 1:54:54. I must be plateaued there until I can find the time to put in the many many miles I need to truly change my pace. That's what I'm telling myself :) But hey, I beat my time from last year by 4 minutes. That's something.

So, if this post has any message whatsoever, I think that it's you can't always get what you want, "but if you try sometimes.... you get what you need".  Aw, yeah.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Three Halfs..... (Three Halves? One and a Half?)

This weekend will mark the third year in a row my family has trucked down to Bend so I can run the Dirty Half Trail Marathon. Thank you, honey, for not only letting me take on this commitment, but giving me support and cheers all the way through. I feel very fortunate to have a husband who doesn't even bat an eye when I ask to do stuff like this. This race is always around his birthday every year!

So, three is usually my lucky number. I've trained harder this year and feel excited and ready. All I'm hoping to do is beat my previous times.

The first year: Noella was almost 6 months old. Traveling with an infant was still a novelty, and so that added a bit of complexity. However, it felt so freeing to do this after being attached (literally and figuratively) for so long.

The second year: The Bleckmans (Matt, Maggie and Lucy) join us for a weekend in Bend prior to the race. Good times were had by all (kids and grown ups)!

Third time's a charm! 

We will also be checking in on the house --- there should be some fun new photos to show some more details next week! Adam will be exploring the trails on his mountain bike (as will Noella and I, but in a different capacity). We may even see a few friends while we're there. Hooray for mini impromptu vacation! 

2010 - Race time: 1:54:52
2011 - Race time: 1:58:30. [Surprisingly, this race went much slower for me. I had a 5K (22:23) and a   10K (48:32) personal record prior to this race and was feeling faster. Some unwanted distractions (not the Bleckmans :) may have something to do with that, but c'est la vie (such is life).] Like I said earlier, third time's a charm!