It’s my first post! And good timing with the new year! I didn’t have time to send a Christmas card this year, with our move to our new house, so I can do an annual letter of sorts right here.
Last year was full of huge transitions for us. At the beginning of the year we made a vision board with pictures and words to represent our goals and hopes. Halfway through the year, we weren’t making very good progress, and then all of a sudden it all came together almost faster than we could take it, and now I’m almost afraid to make a board for this year!
The first thing we made happen was a trip to visit my Grandma in Hawai’i, in February! It was her last year of spending the winter there, so I’m glad we were able to go. We spent time with her in Waikiki, drove to the North Shore, visited my aunt in Kailua, hiked Diamondhead, and snorkeled at the beautiful Hanauma Bay.
A. (who doesn’t want his name online) had been missing skiing for some time and had a lift pass for Crystal Mountain but I’m lame and didn’t want to go with him. Just as the season was ending, an attorney colleague invited him there and he had a great time.
A. also got to do some paragliding and some hydroponics vegetable gardening, and he made some trips to antique stores to expand his collection of old-fashioned razors.
We put the picture of glass jars on there because we wanted to switch from storing our food in disorganized plastic bags to having a system of pretty, healthier glass jars. Well, apparently the universe decided we weren’t moving fast enough because we got MICE! And that’s when the glass jars finally happened! Plus several deep kitchen cleaning episodes.
We knew we ultimately wanted to move from Washington to Portland, where we met in college, and A.’s first job opportunity didn’t work out but suddenly at the end of the summer he was hired at a patent brokerage company and he moved down to a temporary place at the beginning of September. He started biking to work at the same time, one of the advantages of living in close-in Southeast Portland.
I started looking for a nursing job, expecting it to take a long time, but within three weeks I was hired to a night shift oncology position at my top choice hospital! So I joined A. at the end of September. We put most of our stuff in storage and my parents kindly took care of our dog Caleb until we could get settled. In October we moved to our friends’ place to house-sit while they traveled. That month I turned 31, we found out I was pregnant, and we bought a house! More on the house and baby later. 🙂 But I will say that I had not expected those two items from our vision board to happen before the end of the year.
In November we moved to another temporary place while we waited for the house to close. This place was dog-friendly, so we finally got Caleb back! We set up a plastic tub as a step so he could get onto the bed with us, since that was pretty much the only place to sit in that studio. We also were able to walk from there to Tabor Mountain park and dog park, so we had some nice walks. Sadly, at the end of the month, we lost Caleb when he had a hemorrhaged disc in his spine. More on that later, too, but it happened the day we took possession of our house, so we had a very emotionally tumultuous weekend, half tragic and half exciting, with A.’s family here for a visit they had planned to help with the first of our house projects, and my parents making a last-minute trip to help us deal with the loss of Caleb.
With the house projects (floors and painting) going on, our move-in date kept getting moved, and we ended spending a couple of weeks at the Crowne Plaza – fortunately we got a great deal on Hotwire! A.’s mom spent a few weeks here to help with all the contractors, and I have no idea how we would have managed without her, with me working nights and sleeping during the days and not being allowed in the house/construction zone for too long due to the pregnancy. (Since we moved in, I’ve had some days of having to stay awake longer than normal when I’m in between night shifts because of people coming to do work, but fortunately once I’m able to lie down while they’re working I can sleep through all kinds of noise. The bad thing was being pregnant and not having a toilet while the bathroom floor was being installed!) We also spent a lot of time choosing paint colors, choosing light fixtures, choosing tile for the bathroom floor, thinking about door handles (still not done!), and buying a toilet and vanity and mirrored cabinet for the bathroom.
A few days before Christmas we finally moved in! It was wonderful to have our things back from storage, especially my sweaters since the weather had gotten cold, although I discovered that many of them don’t work with my maternity pants… A. and his parents did a lot of unpacking while I was working and sleeping. Then they went back to Reno and left us all alone in our new house!
For Christmas we ate dim sum with some friends and I worked that night. Shortly after Christmas we had our first guests in our guest room when our friends visited from San Diego. We also made arrangements to adopt a puppy! An older dog probably would have been the wiser choice with the baby coming too, but A. hadn’t been involved in raising Caleb as a puppy and I wanted him to have that experience (hehehe…) Andrew came from a Great Pyrenees rescue that brought him from a shelter in Texas. We met him when the doggie transport van arrived, then he spent a few days with a foster family while we got some safety things taken care of, like covering our outlets. A. went to pick him up from the foster on New Year’s Eve while I was at work, then I got off early so I came at 4am to a puppy (and his poop!) in a crate! And the fun began…but more on the puppy later, too.
A few things on our board did not happen – I didn’t get super fit, I didn’t start volunteering with Fences for Fido to build fences and unchain dogs (haven’t felt up to it with the pregnancy), I didn’t take any dance classes, and we didn’t take an Alaska ferry trip (it costs more than a cruise!).
Another trip this year was to Southern California to see my nieces and brother-in-law in the YMCA Circus in Redlands, with a quick visit with friends in San Diego.
We also celebrated our third (!) wedding anniversary, and for the third (!) year in a row I had to work. Next year I should be able to request that day off!
2013 will be another year of transitions with the baby coming in June! So far we’re also looking forward to A.’s brother’s wedding in B.C. right after the baby’s due date (eek! Canadian baby?), and an Oregon coast vacation with my family in July. I’ll have lots of help with the new baby! In the first part of the year we need to get all moved in and organized, and get the puppy housetrained and well-behaved, so we’re as ready as we can be for the changes ahead.
Stay tuned, and happy new year!