It was hard to say goodbye. Our year in Portland was...how would I describe it? Amazing. Wonderful. Nourishing. Healing. Beautiful. Mesmerizing. Leaving after only a year definitely felt like a harsh rip, like industrial grade velcro tearing itself as it gets pulled apart.
A friend made me a bouquet from her garden to help me remember Portland as the city of roses and it really stirred something in my heart. Portland, from June until now, is just filled with roses. Everywhere you go you run into roses bushes that can barely support the weight from all the flowers. It was sad to think of leaving that behind. When I last visited the Rose Garden, I could smell the blossoms as I stepped out of my car. It's incredible to me that when you are in the presence of so many roses, you can smell their different fragrances. Some smell more like honey, some like apples, some citrusy, others smell more musky. It was just so sad to realize that I was leaving those experiences behind. And of course, leaving behind all the people we've met or reconnected with. And all those fun family trips we had!
Thank you, my friend A, for those beautiful blooms. I get teared up remembering the gift.
Packing and the move itself went very well. My husband's family came out to help, bless their stalwart hearts, and their help made all the difference. Loading up all of our junk into a 26' uhaul several times has got to get old. Am I right or am I right here? Stress and craziness aside, the children managed to make a few sweet moments for me. Like when they found my newly cleaned recipe chalkboard before it got packed up. I left it so that I can find it again eventually.
And we made sure to have a fun swim party with their good friends for some memories.
Can I just stop for a second and elocute on just how proud I am of my husband and all of the hard work he has put into the past ten years? Just about ten years ago, we started our married life on a trek out to Cincinnati, Ohio so he could start medical school. Back then it felt like we would never get to this point. But here we are! Soft tummies and grey hairs galore! But we're still happy and our family has grown and I know juggling this with his career was never easy for a day. His career demanded that it be put first but he never made us feel like we were anything but first. And then I made the poor man remodel a home during his residency, heaven help him. But after all, it's the hard work that makes a thing worth having, isn't it? I am very proud of his tireless efforts and his determination to never waiver in his committment to family.
After some wonderful family time in Utah, we are now in our final destination. Hello, St. Louis, gateway to the west! What a fascinating and beautiful city! I love the old, French influence in the names and architecture. So far so good. The children are enjoying my parents' backyard. (We are being the reprobate moochers and living in their basement for the time being.)
They get to be around a crowd of second cousins and they are loving that too!
My mother already sewed my daughter a beautiful, pink frilly nightgown from the most exquisite Swedish flannel (that I have heard, on good authority, costs more than $30/yard). She will be selling them on her etsy shop (VintageBaby Clothier) so make sure to stop by if you think it's the most adorable thing you've ever seen.
Yes, they are jumping on my parents' bed. Sacrifices must be made for a good photo shoot, right? Hard sacrifices.
The good news for me is that the lighting here seems to be beautiful for photos and I'm looking forward to that change. Also, we get to start looking around a little for houses. We hope to not be moochers for forever!
And the good news for this blog is that I have some fun posts to catch up on: yogurt-making, some delicious recipes, and making soap too! I'm even going to start selling soaps on my etsy store so I'll keep you posted when I'm giving away free samples. Overall, I'm going to be giving the blog some tweaks and changes and hope to be putting more work into that now that summer has slowed us down. I've got a knitting project, a sewing project, and a children's gardening project in the works. Overall, I feel really excited for these changes in our life.
But before I leave, I just wanted to share one more thing about Portland. The unofficial motto is "Keep Portland Weird." I loved that. And Portland truly is a mecca for all that is weird and out-there. You could randomly run into a man in a monkey-mask driving a van decorated with monkey statues while buying doughnuts downtown who charges you a dollar to dance with him to his groovy tunes. Oh, Portland. Thanks for the good times.