Monday, April 25, 2011


Life's been busy.  Good busy.  Like running in 72 directions and each way you turn there is something new that brings joy and excitement.  For me that means family, friends and challenges at new jobs.  (I am currently in Iowa.)  And sometimes it means losing myself into a good book, a delightfully entertaining Lifetime TV show or a warm cup of coffee in the middle of my parents' kitchen.

In between the joy and the excitement, I stop to check-in with my husband as he is half a country away and it's been 8 days since I've seen him. 

Then, the nightly news comes on.  I am in Waterloo and the 1-133 Infantry Battalion is based out of Waterloo.  This is Andy's old unit and they are currently in Afghanistan.  (And just to clarify, Andy is finished with his agreement with the Army and is in Portland!)

There are some things that can stop even this girl in her tracks.  Stop all her busy and leave her with a blank stare.

I started this blog to talk about our marriage, our travels, our everyday life and these moments are a distinct part of that life.  These very real and unsettling moments.

Another flag on a coffin.

Tears in my eyes.

Awkward silence on Skype between my safe, handsome and endearing husband.

The thought of, "I'm so glad he's not there," and the immediate stomach churning feeling of my obvious selfish nature.

Andy and I are blessed.  We are blessed with a good marriage, a circle of family, friends, friends that are family and some intermittent moments of clarity when our luck is realized.  These blessings bring with them the responsibility of welcoming those moments of clarity and absorbing our emotions in them.

And finally a quote because I have no photos to coincide with this entry and I'm still finding wisdom from Dr. Seuss:
"Think left and think right and think low and think high.  Oh, the things you can think up if only you try!"

Thursday, April 14, 2011


I know that someday we won't be able to wake up when we want to on the weekends - no alarm clock, nothing to do, just rise when our eyes open - and turn to each other to say "what should we do today?"  So, we savor these times and usually it sounds something like this:

"Let's get a cup of coffee somewhere new" or
"Let's find a winery to love" or
"Let's drive until we see something we've never seen before" or
"Let's find Ashley a new house!" or
"Let's curl up all day with books" or
"Let's find a house, a lot and a place for the Pentagon to retire!" or
"Let's go have a beer"

So, we pack up our "let's" and hit the road.  This past weekend it looked something like this:

New Views

Essential reading.
FINALLY!  A new house for Ashley!  Look at that beauty!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

New Starts.

We welcomed more visitors this weekend.  This time from Missouri.  My Grandma, Aunt Jo and Uncle Tim touched down in the rainy city on Thursday evening and we kicked the weekend off at Deschutes Brewery with a great meal and a toast to the weekend ahead.  Then, because the beer (and wine) was so good, we decided to toast a second time; to my new start.

I closed up one computer on Thursday afternoon and set-up a new one.  I neatly placed the computer in a drawer and thought about what a new start means and how many I've had throughout the past few months.  The thing about any new start is that with each one, you bring with it, the old.  The old lessons, the old emotions and all the old paths that have lead you to this new one. 

My paths have been full of an amazing support system that, like this tree, branches in every which way.  Without even just one of its branches, the tree would take on a new shape.  Three of my branches were with me this weekend and it was nice to spend time with these people who have shaped my life and helped both of us get to the point that we are today.

So, with family that we love even more than this new city we have discovered, we soaked up all that Portland has to offer.

"Soaking" in Multnomah Falls - literally - it was wet down there!
Soaking up the sites of a roadside market. 

Come to find out that market had pie.

Soaking up local cheese and wine!

Enjoying new found "adventure buddies."
Soaking in the coast, even if it was from a window so we wouldn't get literally soaked!
Here's to new starts and enjoying the people who help get us to them!

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