Sunday, May 27, 2012

Adventures in Portland, Oregon

The Columbia River Gorge - On the Way to Portland

Mercy Corp - Downtown Portland

Sky - On the Drive Home - getting close to Pendleton

Sky Drive - On the Way to Pendleton

Aloft Hotel - Photo from their FB site (cool moon, eh?)

So.. this week was an adventure. On Wednesday I got to attend a GREAT workshop in downtown Portland (Advanced Grant Writing Strategies, hosted by the Oregon Nonprofit Association).   And, along the drive, on Tuesday, I attended another grant writing opportunity in Pendleton hosted by the Oregon Community Foundation.  Love those back to back events! 

It was a lot of driving (4 hours just to get to the perimeter of Portland).  And by the time I got back to the office on Thursday, I was exhausted.  Most likely from my travel anxiety and the mishaps along the way.

The adventures had to do with going solo and navigating the MAX transit from the hotel area to downtown and back again (got on the wrong train).  And driving to the airport.  These things might seem trivial to you seasoned city folks, but not to a girl whose town has less than 300 people. I need my 'landmarks'. And, I get lost every single time I attempt to drive to Portland.  This time, a coworker let me borrow his Garmin.  I still messed up, but the Garmin helped me get back on track.  I need one of those things.  Or an IPhone. 

 I got to meet my favorite Uncle at the hotel Tuesday night and shoot some pool.  There was no way I was going to leave the hotel when I arrived (that driving thing).  Thank goodness he is such a good sport! The hotel is a hip and happen' place - Aloft.  Super cute, great service, and they are totally into the Portlandia vibe.  Oh.  And there was a party that we got to crash.  A beer company was launching a new beer (I won't name them), and the hotel had live music, raffles, etc.  I tried the beer. It tasted like cough syrup.  Some fruity thing.  Fruity beer?  Not good.

After the class on Wednesday, I jumped on the right train, and got back safe and sound.  Walked to the hotel, jumped in the car, and decided to give IKEA a tour.  Ha Ha.  That place is  a MAZE.  NO windows. No 'going back' - just follow arrows through all these room displays.  I get claustrophobic.  I had to get out and it took forever.   Finally got out, got to the car, got settled in, and drove to Pendleton, and catching the great thunderstorm skies. 

Oh.  When I got in the car after IKEA? I saw that I still had my nametag on from the workshop.   Which means, I wore in on the MAX train, and through IKEA.  


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Praying and Fasting for Lindsay

Sunday night I got a call from one of the ladies that is a member of the same church that Jake and I attend.
I ignored it.  I was in bed.  I recognized the voice, and knew Tuesday night some moms and girls were going to be working on sewing projects.  I'll be 300 miles away at that time for a work related meeting.  Surely, they don't expect me to sew???

But, something just did not feel right. So, feeling guilty, (that little voice), I returned her call at 6:00 am yesterday morning. And apologized for the time.  She was fine.  She rises at 5:00 am, like me.

"Andi, can you pray and fast for Lindsay B.?  She was taken to the hospital today (Sunday), and she is showing the same signs that Sierra had.  We are asking people to fast and pray for 24 hours, from noon, Monday, until noon, Tuesday.  They are leaving for Boise tomorrow".

"Yes, of course", I answered.  Choking up...

I know this family. I just saw them earlier in the day at church.  All of them.

I know her older sister Sierra.  About 5 years ago Sierra got real sick.  It took days to find out what was wrong.

They found out her heart was too large, and her body was starting to reject it.

For months she was in and out of hospitals, on a waiting list for a heart transplant.  She even had a 'fake' one before they could find a real one. She spent time here, in Oregon, and down in Palo Alto, California.   And, she got a new heart.  And has daily injections to keep her body from rejecting it.

Sierra is doing great.

Lindsay, too, it has been discovered, has a large heart.

Pray.. my friends... for this little girl.  Lindsay.

In his name.

Peace be to God...

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Exploring in the Yard - Signs of Spring

Busted!  The neighborhood squirrel tries to steal bird seed

The New Boy in Town - Mr. Deere2.  (Borrowed from my landlord). Don't you think he's hot?

Spring Flowers - but do you see what I see?

A resident!  Itty bitty frog

Discovery of the week: out the front gate - a few hidden gems that escaped my landlord's over zealous sprayer

See?  Little lovely pansies. 

I've been nursing them with water since I discovered them

Flowering willow trees.  Every time the wind comes through, the yard is littered with broken branches

My resident snake (spotted twice) has shed some skin

The lilacs are starting to bloom! 

Peonies.. Heads are out... It's a slow process here in Eastern Oregon

 I love finding little signs of Spring!  Our winters are very long.  Very.very.very long, and we are now entering the best time of the year to live where we do. 

I have lived in my new house for about 7 months.  I feel you have to give a new home a year, to really get to know it's pros and cons.  Like, how much it costs to heat it, or how well it cools on hot days, and which windows are the best to position your bed under so you can enjoy the sunrise, or a cool breeze. 

The beauty of a new yard is finding hidden treasures as the seasons change.  Each week is a new surprise.  Our May weather is typically unpredictable.  80 degrees for two days, then we plummet down into the low 30's, and rise to mid 50, and go back to 80 again a few days later. 

So, when out and about, and I find little treasures like the ones above, I have my own little happy clap of excitement, and a cozy feeling about this little home.

Happy Sunday, everyone! 
I am  going to head out for a morning walk, and discover the neighborhood.  Another one of my favorite things to do!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Another Teen has landed... Jake

This little boy is no longer a little boy (fat lip from trampoline accident)

He recovers from accidents, picks himself up, says 'I'm OK' (after tiring of me running to him) and goes forward (accident was the night prior, blood, cut lips, tooth is now gray)

He can multitask - he thinks

He's a good teammate

He has a quiet, thinking type of soul

He is still my little guy - who is surrounded by bull-headed women

And the world is his

My little guy (baby guy - when he was a baby) is now 13. 
Mo Mo
Those are my nicknames for him. 
And he answers to all of them.
My pet names.

I can't believe his is now 13. 

He is the guy who spends time in his head.  He figures things out.  He is a solitary man.  He thinks.  He is destined for greatness - I can feel it.  He is the smallest guy in his class, and most likely the one below him as well.  He takes it.  Blows it off.  And is in advanced math, and an engineering class.  At 13.

He doesn't like school.  He is a boyscout.  He loves to read.  He devours books. 

And this boy/man moves wheellines.  Drives a 4wheeler. Takes care of chickens. Has a heart.  Hates it when things die. 

 He is a man of God.  He is amazing to listen to when we are in a church class.  He stumps people with his mind.  He is amazing.  He is gracious.  He is reverent.  I am moved when I see him serving. He takes his Sunday calling seriously.  I am so thankful that he has chosen God.

And, he is still a boy.  He crawls into his Ipod and tunes the world out.  He plays silly games and builds things in computer programs.  He annoys his sister.  He loves sugar.  He has to be told to take a shower, brush his teeth and do something with his hair.  It is hard to get him motivated to be active, and engaged in the world around him.   

 And.. he still calls me Mama, and texts me that he loves me very very very much (usually on Sunday nights).

And I love him.  Dearly.

Happy birthday, little man.

Your mama


Saturday, May 12, 2012

Sliding into Fifty.... 50!!!! Yes.. 50!

This is how I feel.  And one of my favorite art pieces

This is my future.  In the hands of a generation with a vision (Sami's)

These are some of the people who have been in my life (off and on) for 35 plus years.  That's me.. waving.

This. Is my soul.

These are one of three bouquets that have arrived.  These are from a friend I have not seen in 11 years.

This is three generations of Walsh Girls.  Sami, Me (50!), and my Mom Pat, on our Girls Night last night!
And, this is my sweet boyscout son, who has a cold, and stayed home last night while the girls partied!

Today I am 50.

This is a big day.

In my mind, this day marks a new era.  A second life is beginning for me.   And for some damn reason, I get to 'enjoy' internal physical changes as well.  I am  'going through the change', textbook 50 year old changes.  Sorry male readers, but this mama has had night sweats, hot flashes, moments of pure anxiety, and moments of hard core 'give me some' Cougaresque cravings.  (yep)

(Age 49?  Testosterone was ruling my planet.)

So, this morning, as my 14 year old gorgeous daughter is sleeping blissfully, and my soon to be 13-year-old brain-child son is miserable in bed with a cold and blowing his nose, and my  77 year old favorite Mom is cozy in my 'damn this is a high bed' (ever see your 77 year old mom try to 'jump and roll' onto a bed? Priceless), I am waxing philosophical.

All the years of experimenting with new things, finding out what I like and don't like, finding myself (over and over again), seeing how far I will go for the sake of keeping the peace - and then stopping the madness... those days are over. And, to be honest, I wouldn't trade my 'past history' for any do-overs.  The lessons learned and the trials, the tears, the gifts, the joy, the people, have all molded me for what lays ahead. 

So, my friends... and family loves, and past loves, this day?  Shall be embraced... Shall be held tight... And memories shall be made.

I am alive.  Truly alive. And I am living.  Truly, living. In every moment.  Because they are all a gift.


And thank-you, for being here with me...

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Core'dinatons NSD Challenge - Small Blessings Layout

Small Blessings Layout - Core'dinatons Cardstock NSD Challenge (click on photo to see details!)

Hello everyone!

Here is another layout for a challenge over at Core-dinations - right HERE which ends tonight, at midnight!  I am so glad they kept the challenge open for a few extra days.  I work full-time and don't have much leisure time!

The Photo: Is of Sami, getting ready for our road-trip to Portland for Spring Break this past March.  She was all packed up and grabbed her cozy teddy bear to keep her company.  So adorable!

The Journaling: In white uniball pen reads 'Sami, I love that at 14 you still cuddle with your stuffed animals.  I'll take that as a small blessing'.

The Goods: Core'dinations Cosmo Cricket Neutrals Collection (light brown panel, dark grey mats,dark grey title, black butterflies), Core'dinations Jenni Bowlin Vintage Brights Collection (main layout cardstock piece with embossed butterflies);  Basic Grey Origins canvas tag and epoxy sticker; Tim Holtz Butterfly grunge board pieces; Kerri Bradford Small Blessings studio cut file.

Tools Used: Silhouette Cameo to cut out title, Martha Stewart Butterfly punch, EK Success border punch, Uniball white pen, SU distressing tools, SU sanding block.

Techniques:  I watched the Hard Core videos and loved the use of sanding over grungeboard shapes to create a watermark image; which is what I did with the two butterflies on the right panel, and I lifted the white journaling from one of the videos as well!  I sanded the embossed butterflies on the left side of the main layout.  I also outlined one of the watermark butterflies on the right panel to make it stand out better.  And, I distressed the larger panels, and tore the grey panel at the bottom.  The title is cut with the Cameo.

 Thoughts:  I love these colors together!  They make for a great 'natural' layout, which I am really loving right now.  I love 'touching' this layout!  The cardstock has so much texture... the weight feels like canvas and I really want to hang it on a wall!

Thanks for looking! 

Saturday, May 5, 2012

NSD 2012 - Basic Grey & Core-dinations and Kerri Bradford!

Here is my FIRST layout for the National Scrapbook Day festivities!

This is actually for a challenge over at the Basic Grey Blog HERE

I am so excited.... WHY?  Because this layout was a BLAST to create!!

Seriously - Featuring Basic Grey, Core-dinations and Kerri Bradford Designs!  (click on photo to see details)

The Photos:
The photos are of Lefty and me, taken by my adorable daughter, Sami, in the summer of 2011.  He was begging for some of my breakfast and giving his 'look how adorable I am' look!  Ha ha ha...  And that lower right corner photo?  Hilarious.  That is Rosie, in the window, no doubt saying to herself "What the..?  That Dog is toast. That should be MY breakfast!".  Ha!!!!!  Killing me, those two.

The Goods:
Basic Grey:  Three different collections:  Origins (epoxy stickers, journaling sets, canvas tags); Archaic (pp); and Sugared (pp).
Core-dinations:  Three Different collections: Cosmo Cricket Neutrals Collection (the punched black butterfly in the lower right); Jenni Bowlin Vintage Brights (the titles, cut with my silhouette Cameo and used a NSD freebee from Kerri Bradford!); Basic Grey Ornate Collection (background cs, middle panel cs, and the punched borders on the photo blocks).

Silhouette Cameo
Martha Stewart Butterfly Punch
EK Success Border Punch
Kari Bradford free NSD studio cut file 'Seriously'

Sanding Block 

OK!  That's a wrap!  Thank you for stopping and a BIG thank-you to Basic Grey, Core-dinations and Kerri Bradford for making today a BLAST! 

Happy National Scrapbook Day! 2012!

Hello friends and family!!

Today is National Scrapbook Day.
It's also Cinco de Mayo.
AND, it's the Haines Garage Sale Day.

Yes.. today is going to be action packed!  I am planning on participating in all three!

What I have not shared yet:
30 Scrapbook Pages completed at a Scrapbook Retreat
My Week in the Life Posts.

Hope to see you soon!