Wednesday, April 9, 2014

:: It's not You, It's Me ::

Aidan asked us at dinner if we like having kids or are they too tiring (such a sweet soul).


But... we explained that wouldn't have it any other way.  Yes, my kids can be tiring.  Exhausting.  And I'm afraid it shows sometimes.  But these guys...when it gets down to it...are so pleasing and wonderful.  I've been a bit snappy as of late and am really asking God to help my perspective, my mood and my patience.  All of the changes have worn me a bit thin.

But I love being a mom.

I am making a point - starting tomorrow, to slow down, take some time, find the things (and there are many) that I enjoy about each one of my children and about being a mama.  Focusing on the good and not the hard.  Put my phone down.  Look in their eyes when they speak to me and when I answer back.  Make more points to touch them when they're near me.  Give more treats just because - no because they earned it.  Reward more.  Punish less.  Talk and explain more...less quick and easy answers.

But, when it gets too much.  Find my quiet place.  Recharge.  Breathe.  Walk.  Sip tea.  Read.

More Enjoying, Less Complaining.

Oh how I love my babies.  Someday, they'll be gone from my everyday life.  I need this time to be close, as do they.

I needed to remember this today.  Thank God for my little sweet Aidan-boy.

(all photos taken 4.6.14 at the Waterfront Park, Portland)

Friday, April 4, 2014

: New Digs ::

So.  Here we are, over a week living in our new home and we LOVE it.  It's got a cool style, lots of room and many big beautiful windows letting in the sunshine this morning.

I'm beginning to have a bit of an identity crisis.  Moving has made me into a sappy sap.  There are moments where I have sudden thoughts of going home.  It's usually when I'm driving or cleaning or some other task.  I'll have an idea and think, "Oh, when we go AM home."  It's beginning to sink in that this...this IS home.  It feels like home in my heart, but my head is still in Lynnwood every once in awhile.  I miss my friends.  I laid in bed last night and just grieved not being able to see my friends and close family each week.  It sunk in like a huge heavy blanket laid over the top of me.  Grief.  A mourning of sorts.  If anyone knows me, they'd know that my friendships are important to me.  It's always been easy for me to make friends and relatively easy to maintain friendships.  I feel challenged now to find creative ways to stay connected to my dear friends (thank God for FaceTime and Facebook!!).  We can't wait to get settled into a church home so we can form new friendships and relationships...we know...this takes time...

In the beginning of this process, I was hoping "being the one who left" would have its perks.  I mean, everything is exciting and new.  There are a lot of distractions.  I've come to realize that the grieving feels just as bad, if not maybe a little worse.  It's just all delayed.  After the newness settles, the sads creep in.  I don't need to justify things by saying I love it here - because I do, but man...I'm in a weird place.  I'm sad.  I'm a bit lonely.  Maybe even feeling a bit lost.  I have a shorter fuse than normal.  

I had a friend (thank you, Kirsten!!!) come over with her two precious kiddos yesterday for lunch and I can't even tell you how much that made Delia, Liam and I sooooooo happy.  

So, as I settle into the weirdness, maybe wallow a little bit, I have but one thing to say.

I want my friends to know that we haven't abandoned them.  Please know these are my issues that I am projecting onto them...because that's how I would maybe feel a little bit at first.  We didn't run down here to find a new life and ditch the old one.  I struggle with the idea of them thinking we've forgotten about them or aim to "replace" them.  They are definitely irreplaceable.  And we miss them and talk about them every single dang day.  Oh, dear friends...the Barrans love you with a fierce, unshakable love that time and distance cannot alter. 

Delia and her new bestie Kailin.  We thank Jesus for the Quatelas daily.  Amen.

They're our "forever" friends.

I have but one request.  Can y'all come down still for football Sundays in the fall?  I may die if I have a huge pot of soup with no mouths to eat it.

**This is a selfish post.  All about mostly me.  The kids are doing really really well, but they miss their friends too.  My next post will be happier...I promise.  I'm feeling a bit down and sorry for myself.  On the bright side: I GET TO SEE SOME OF MY PEOPLE TODAY!!!  Whooo!!!!!  I get choked up just thinking about it.  I'm going to cry all weekend.  Sigh.

Taken November 2013.  Fort Flagler.

I'm crying again...I miss this girl!

Friday, March 14, 2014

:: All The Birds Sing A Song ::

I'm sitting here in this apartment reflecting on how I got here.  This move happened so quickly, that I feel like I really haven't had time to fully process it all. 

If I'm not busy, the loneliness starts to creep in.  I miss my friends.  I felt sad yesterday that I had no one to call to watch the kiddos so Ryan and I could go shopping to buy a washer and dryer.  Date nights, girls nights are all halted for now. know what??  I'm fine with that!  I'm actually okay.  We are spending more time as a family, which has been so very precious and needed.  I feel lucky that this transition has gone so well for the kids and I feel that part of that is because of how much time we spend as a family now.  Walks, trips to the city and fun restaurants to try have all been so much fun.  Sure, we'll get to the point where we need that date night, but for now...we put the kids to bed and spend the evening together watching House of Cards in our jammies.  For's good.  A time of slowing down, reconnection and rest never hurt anyone.

A few people have asked me how this all came about and what the heck we're doing down here.  I thought I would share a little bit of how we ended up down in Portland.

First of all, we always have loved Portland.  We visit here a few times a year and have loved the city, people and the "vibe" of Portland (for lack of a better term).  We've always said we'd never move anywhere except Portland (and Hawaii ...that's a given).  

Back in November, Ryan got an email from a recruiter about a job at Nike.  He offhandedly mentioned it to me and I don't know what came over me, but I said, "You should go for it."  So he did.  And here we are.  :)  He began the process of interviewing, which included a trip down to Portland for one of the final interviews (he had a couple more after that).  He came home happy and encouraged, which was a good sign.  Honestly, we were open to anything at that point.  Our prayer during the process was that God would shut - no, slam any door we weren't supposed to walk through.  But we had incredible feelings of peace that we were walking in the right direction.  We agreed that we would take it as far as we could and if there was an offer, we'd see what it was and decide from there.  Meanwhile, we'd keep walking through any open doors.  Ryan moved along through the interviewing process and, obviously, ended up with an incredible offer that we just couldn't ignore.  It was a great move for him and his career, as well as a challenge for him, which was good.  His commute had taken a turn for the worse in Seattle - with most days well over an hour each way.  It was just not sustainable in the long term.  I know, there are jobs in Seattle too...we considered that.  But have just really felt led this way.  I can't explain it.  Anyway, after some contract negotiation, we put our house on the market and left for the weekend to go to Portland on an previously scheduled weekend away with our friends.  That was a Friday.  We got a call Monday that our house had an offer for over the asking price.  We decided to show the house the rest of the weekend in case any more offers were made.  Our friends left that Sunday to go home while Ryan and I stayed a few extra days to look at some houses.  The first couple of days were really hard and a bit discouraging.  The market here is really hot and any houses in our price range were gone really quick.  Except for one house.  We looked at a house and loved it, wondering why it had been on the market so long (still no explanation).  It was priced right for the area, but was a bit out of our budget, much to our dismay.  So we left and looked at a few more.  We decided to look at a house by the same builder, but it hadn't been finished out yet.  Our realtor found out that the house next door to the one we loved, but was too high, was finished out in the same style of the unfinished one (you following?), so the next day we went back and looked at that one.  It had been sold already, but the builder let us in to take a look at it.  We liked how it was finished out and were considering the unfinished house, but decided to look next door again to torture ourselves.  As we were walking up to the (beautiful) porch, our realtor said, "Hey, I got a phone call this morning that they lowered the price!"  We took it as a sign and put an offer in that day.  We accepted a counter offer, and here we are!  We're looking to close a week from today - possibly sooner, which would be awesome.

We've been staying in some temporary free housing from Nike - a three bedroom apartment in Beaverton.  While we're grateful for this beautiful apartment, we cannot wait to be back in a house. We're anxious to settle into our "new normal" and begin our lives here in Portland.  We can't wait to find a church, make new friends and, well, live here.  We're so amazingly blessed and grateful.  God not only didn't close any doors, he led us through each one so perfectly.  We're incredibly at peace and confident that this is where we're supposed to be.  We miss our friends and family dearly.  That is true. And that is the hardest part.  But three hours is nothing.  (Do you hear me, all of you?!?!  NOTHING.) We can't wait to host our friends and show them our new surroundings.  

This was a huge decision for us - not one we took lightly.  But there has never been (yet, anyway), a second of doubt.  

So, that's it.  We love it here.