Thursday, December 2, 2010

Mostly Moved In

Once again it's been quite a while since I have updated the blog. I'd say in the last 6 weeks or so, I've been just a bit busy. :) Within 2 weeks we packed up our life in Southern California, said good-bye, and moved back up to Oregon. We lived in the hotel for a week and thankfully found a place just in time for the moving company to arrive with all our stuff. We spent the whole month of November trying to get unpacked, painted, and decorated. And finally we are feeling like this place is home. And we love it!! Below are a few pictures of our new place and of my belly. Belly pic is at my parent's house on Thanksgiving...34 weeks at that time, by now though I'm 35. :)

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Moving Back Home

First off, I've been a HORRIBLE blogger and I know it. We went on an amazing trip to New York City and Boston in the middle of September. We had such a blast!! When we got back it was too overwhelming to think about blogging about it though so I kind of gave up on blogging. :) But now we are moving and I'm SO excited to share this story with everyone. God has really blessed us and done great things.

For the last year and a half or so, we have really wanted to move. Especially the last year. Fall of 2009 we decided we needed to have Raleigh start looking for jobs in the Northwest again. We hoped to move in January 2010. But that didn't happen. He applied for a few things, only one of which was anywhere in the Northwest, and it was in the Seattle area. Then we decided it'd be best for him to take this supervisor job that he has right now at the Marriott here. He took that job in March and they asked for a 6-month commitment...which takes us to September.

At this point, we feel the best thing to do with Raleigh's career is to have him continue at Marriott. Transferring is very easy to do and is encouraged in the company so all we needed to do was have him transfer to Portland! Sounds easy enough, right?! Nope, not at all. First of all, there are only 2 Marriott-owned properties in all of Oregon. There are lots of other Marriotts but they are franchised so he couldn't transfer into them. One of the two that are owned by Marriott is really small, which left really only 1 great option: the downtown waterfront property. During these last 6 months Rals has been keeping his eye on that property for openings (not that he could have even applied). NOTHING has come up at all that he could have applied for. So when September rolled around, we were just hoping he could at least get something in the Seattle area so we could come back to the Northwest.

We decided that since we were pretty limited with Oregon/Washington properties we had better come up with an alternative. At this point we really, REALLY want to leave the desert and start new again somewhere else. So we decided that Denver would be a good idea to look at. We've heard great things about it, they have lots of good career opportunities for Rals, and I could have seasons and colder weather again! :) First week of September comes and Raleigh had a good conversation with his boss about our plans. While we were in New York, a Denver job opened up and Raleigh applied. The next day (while still on vacation) he got a call for an interview for the next Monday. He interviewed for that and actually another one or two jobs in Denver...but nothing really happened with them for a week or two. Last week of September rolls around and I'm starting to get a little nervous about this so I just began to pray and specifically ask God to open something for him in Portland or Seattle. Also keep in mind we are in a pretty strict time table here. The baby is due Jan. 6 so anything too far into November and we really shouldn't move. So we don't have a lot of time.

The last day of September, Rals came home and said that another job had opened up, but that this one was actually at the downtown waterfront property in Portland!!!! And, it was a supervisor of the front office job which would fit him much better than some of the ones in Denver. I was really excited but not very optimistic. Lots of properties will post jobs but already have in mind who they are going to hire (if it's an internal thing). So part of me figured that would be the case. But the next day, he got a call from them and they were really excited to talk with him and set up an interview for that Monday! This was a REALLY good sign and I immediately had peace about the whole thing and really felt like God was going to do this for us.

STILL though, waiting was so hard!!! At the end of the interview Monday they said they wanted to do a 2nd interview and that they'd call the next day to set that up. They didn't call until Thursday and that really made me nervous! But he had an interview the next day, Friday, and Raleigh told me it went REALLY well. I was so excited. They also told him that they guaranteed we would hear back from them on Monday!! So we waited patiently yet with much anticipation this whole last weekend.

Monday comes around and no call. Tuesday came and went, no call. I was trying to not have emotion! It was so tough! Those two days were great opportunities for me to just rely on the Lord and put it all back in His hands over and over again. Wednesday comes and Raleigh told me that if he hasn't heard from them by lunchtime, he was going to call them. Finally, around lunch, I got a call from him and he said he had been offered the job!!! We were ecstatic and I cried. :) Not only did he get the job, but they said they liked him so much and wanted to be sure he would take the job that they were going to start him off at a higher pay than they usually start people off at! This was ALSO a huge answer to prayer because the pay was a big unknown. I couldn't imagine them offering him the job and then having to turn it down because of pay!

So everything ended up working out absolutely perfectly. I mean really--if you had asked me to give you the ideal situation for us, this would have been it (maybe without those extra two days of waiting though...haha). It couldn't get too much more ideal. I'm still amazed, absolutely amazed, at how God orchestrated all of this for us. These last 3 years down here have been extremely stretching and we have learned so much, grown a ton, and now to have Him bless us in this way, it's so wonderful. Don't get me wrong though...there are people here that we will really, really miss. I don't feel like we have made TONS of friends, but the friends we have made are close and have made our time here good. I could say a lot more but I think you get the picture. :) God has always taken care of us. Even when bad things have happened or when he has said "wait", "wait", and then again, "wait"...He's still always taken care of us. And now He has chosen to take care of us with a huge blessing. :)

Here is a verse that I decided to claim through this whole thing and I will leave you with this:

Lamentations 3: 25-26 "The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord."

Friday, August 27, 2010

Trip # 3&4 of the Summer

This summer has been so busy for us! After our trip to Texas, we got to go to San Diego because my family was vacationing there! It was a lot of fun. The day before we went, Raleigh officiated a wedding!! He did such a great job. There's a picture of him at the very bottom of this post. I was so proud of him. :-) San Diego was so much fun, and it was great for us to get out of our bad weather, into the perfect weather over there.

Then, Raleigh's parents came to visit! Since it's summer here and it was Raleigh's birthday, we decided to get out of town with them as well! We went to Newport Beach, one of our favorite places to hang out. Enjoy the pics. :) And our last trip of the summer is coming up in 2 weeks....we're going to NEW YORK!!! I'm so excited!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Trip #2 of the summer: Texas

So our second trip for the summer was to Austin, TX (and Waco, TX as well). Raleigh was a groomsmen in one of his friend's weddings so we needed to make the trip. And, Adam and Laura (my brother-in-law and sister-in-law) just moved to Austin about 2 months ago, so we were able to visit them, too! It was a lot of fun. I had never been to Texas before but had always wanted to visit, just to see what it's like. We had a great time! Enjoy the pics:

Our Rental Car! haha
We went to the town (and actually all the way up to their gate) where George W. Bush and Laura Bush are from.
And we went to the Dr. Pepper Museum :)

Here we are at the wedding :)
Visiting the University of Texas, where Adam is now working.
And of course, we had to get in some real, authentic BBQ! It was really, really good, and not at all like what I've had before! This was inside the place we went.
Rals and Adam

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Our Baby

This last week I had a normal appointment. They had told us ahead of time that I would have a physical (oh joy) and that we would be able to hear the baby's heartbeat, but wouldn't have an ultrasound. No problem, I thought, as I at least want to hear the heartbeat and make sure it's still OK. :) Well our very kind doctor said she really wanted to give us a quick peak, because from 9weeks to 14weeks, the development is huge. So we got to see the baby!! It was so adorable! It actually looked like a baby this time. Amazing! It wouldn't move very much for us but we could tell it was trying to suck it's thumb. At the very end, it turned its back to us! haha. Very cute. I think it didn't want to be disturbed. The pictures are below, and a shot of me yesterday, 15weeks. The bump is coming in pretty slowly...but it's coming. :)

Monday, July 12, 2010

Trip #1 of the summer

We have such a busy summer planned...which I'm really glad about! It will get us through it quickly which is what I need (because of the heat). Our first trip was just this last week and we got to go HOME to visit family! It was so nice to be back in Oregon and to see everyone. Much needed. Here are some fun pics from our time. :)
Picking raspberries!

Above: making raspberry jelly
My annual motorcycle ride with my father-in-law.
Picnic :)

Here I am...showing just a little bit. 14 weeks pregnant :)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

New Chapter in Life

Well it's been a LONG time since I've blogged!! But I think I have a good excuse....on Mother's Day I found out that I'm going to be a mother! That's right...I'm currently 12 weeks pregnant!!! So for the last month or so I've been feeling pretty crummy and thus, not feeling like doing anything extra like blogging. Not to mention that there was really nothing else in life to blog about except this!

Raleigh and I are so excited about having a baby! I'm due on January 6th, 2011. I was actually pregnant during our half marathon but didn't know it! So weird! So far the 2 ultra sounds we've had have gone well. The baby is in there and the heartbeat is strong, they said. I was really nauseous the first 4 weeks or so. It was really hard to get rid of the nausea. But around 9.5 or 10 weeks, I started feeling better! I'm getting closer and closer to feeling more like normal which is a great feeling. :)

In the picture above: Don't worry, I'm not even pretending to have a belly here. But Laura (my sister-in-law) was visiting, and she was about 22 weeks at that time, I was about 7. :) We just had to capture the moment! The picture below...I don't remember what week that was, like 9 or 10. The first I really felt like I had a bit of a new pooch, even though you can't really tell in this picture. I'll maybe post one again soon of me now, which isn't big, but still.

Sunday, May 2, 2010


203 miles of training
12 weeks of hard work
13,000 runners
13.1 miles, 2hrs. 25mins.


I'm so proud of us! And I kind of can't believe we did it!! Well, I can totally believe Raleigh did it..but it's amazing to think that I did it. I've never been a runner. This was one of those accomplishments I wanted to complete because I thought I'd never do something like this in my life. The race was AWESOME!!!!! It was so fun. Like I said above, there were 13,000 runners so it was absolutely crazy! From the time they blew the buzzer for the start, it was 11 minutes until we actually got to the start line! But oh my word, what ENERGY there was on this run! It was an experience unlike any other. And let me just say, it may sound stupid to say 13.1 but believe me, when I saw the 13 mile marker and realized I STILL HAD MORE TO GO....I was so ready to quit right there! So that last .1 really does matter. :)

I'll tell you a bit about the day, because it really was SO cool. We woke up at about 4:45 and Kristina picked us up to drop us off at the start. We got there and it was just people everywhere. The first 5 or 6 miles felt GREAT. I have never felt better running! We ran through some residential areas and there were people outside just sitting on their patios cheering us on. Way cool. We got to about mile 5 and it was on a bridge where we were running up one side and could see the people ahead of us on the other side. I wish I had my camera because it was amazing. Just a sea of people. Water stations were scattered throughout the run and the volunteers were so organized, encouraging, and efficient. Every port-a-potty station we passed had a line of probably 25-30 people. I felt bad for them 'cause that would take probably at least 10 minutes! We knew Kristina was going to be at mile 9.5 to cheer us on (it was a designated cheering spot) so we looked for her there. Unfortunately RIGHT before that spot was the steepest hill on the course, so I was getting so tired and we were actually walking up the hill. But still it was so good to see her and hear her cheering for us. She took our sweaters and gave us sunglasses.

The last 3 miles or so were the hardest. My body was in pain- ankles, toes, knees, hips, butt, etc. All in pain. I've never had pain in my knees before but by far, right now, that is still what's hurting the worst. I pushed through, and it really was so inspiring to be running WITH so many people and also it was good to be running in an unfamiliar place that I couldn't stop and say, 'we have too far to still go!'. :) 'cause I had no clue. haha. Anyway, to sum this up, the last mile was the worst yet the best. I know, weird. I was hurting so bad but had decided I would NOT stop to walk at this point no matter how hard it was. By this point we were in the fairgrounds area. So many people were cheering us on. It was an amazing feeling. Then we finally made it. :) I'll let the rest of the pictures tell the story!

We did it! I love you Raleigh- thank you for going slow for me. Thank you for encouraging me. I could have never done it without you.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Farmer's Market

Raleigh and I have been on a bit of a fresh, even organic, food kick lately. Maybe it's all the running because of our half-marathon or just a desire to be more and more healthy, but we've been trying to find more and more ways to eat fresh. There's a Farmer's Market that is on the street where I work. It's every Sunday morning and we do go there often but this week I decided to just get most all of the veggies I needed. It's so good and fresh and all locally grown (and free of pesticides, chemicals, etc). We even bought a basil plant (top left of the picture)!

Another thing that has inspired us to close the gap between where we buy our food and where it comes from is this very informative documentary on food. Click here if you haven't already seen it-- we would highly recommend it! Very interesting and informative. And enjoy a pic of the fresh veggies below. :)

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Raleigh's new toy

Well....we recently bought a new mode of transportation which is also Raleigh's new toy. :) It's a Yamaha Vino and is basically a glorified scooter or wanna-be motorcycle (this is my description- I'm sure Raleigh would choose to describe it otherwise). It's been pretty fun. It's just for Raleigh to get to work and back, which is round-trip about 6 miles so really not that far at all. It can only go 40MPH which down here is SLOW. The speed limits on most streets are around 50, 55, so he has to ride in the bike lane most of the time. The good news is that it gets 100 miles to the gallon!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Dinner Marathon

Raleigh and I had the most amazing experience this last week. The company I work for (Ministry Centered Technologies!) bid and bought a dinner for 10 from this Chef Auction we went to last November (it was a fundraiser for the Pendleton Foundation, who helps people with rare diseases who cannot afford the treatment they need to get well). So it was time to redeem it! The chef (Freddie) and his whole team of Chefs were the ones to serve us and we had the whole restaurant to ourselves. The food was incredible- it was a 5 course meal. I think the only course we didn't get a shot of (some/most of these pics are from Jeff) was the first one, mushroom tortollini in white truffle sauce (it was amazing). I'll let the pictures speak for themselves:
The picture above is our second course, the vegetable course, which was absolutely delicious. Mixed greens wrapped in cucumber, an assortment of veggies with goat cheese, then 4 different kinds of heirloom tomatoes cut up into quarters. Below is our group.
Below: 3rd course (pallet cleanser) long-stemmed strawberry dipped in 50-year-aged balsamic vinaigrette.
Below: part of the main course. Inside of these breaded "pears" was some kind of a mashed potato goodness. Basically they were potatoes and really good ones at that.
Below: the main course, which was a trio: Filet Mignon, seared sea bass (my favorite) and chicken marsala. Yes, this was 1 person's serving!!
And onto dessert....this is when all of the chefs (7 I think) brought out 1 dessert per person, plus 1 extra. So each person got their own completely different dessert. We ended up passing them around in a circle so that everyone could try them out. I'm not going to try to explain them :)

Our good friends, Jeff and Ashley, who got to come to the dinner with all of us.
Here's Jeff and Shannon (who sponsored the whole thing) with all the Chefs.
Stupid picture but oh well! This is our least those of us who work in the office. Jeff, Jeff, and me. :)