What Is Happening to Me?

I did it. I went hiking. And liked it. It was just like a walk. Only up a hill. And then back down. Hahaha. I did, however, draw the line once the trail stopped having a rail / fence on the mountain side. I know, with 99% certainty, that had I gone past that point, I would have tripped and spilled down the side of the mountain on the way back down to the bottom. And this is real life – no safety nets! This disappointed Gavin and Kenny, but I have to be honest with myself here – nothing good would have come from me going up the path. You had to step the side to let people pass because the pathway was so thin. Yea, no.

But I made it. And it was fun. A lot of it probably had to do with the fact that Gavin was delighted the entire time. He had a blast. Checking out everything. Climbing rocks in a “cave.” Walking across a log over a creek with Kenny. Collecting leaves and rocks. Petting moss. All the things boys like to do.

Grace…not so much. She liked running around. But she is definitely a girl for modern amenities. “Too cold.” “Too tired.” “Carry me.” “Did we bring the coach?” “I’m getting wet.” “Is it snack time?” And, of course she had to go to the bathroom when there were none around. This was about 15 minutes past when we were at an actual bathroom – which she used! – and drove to another part of the park to check out other things. And, yes, I let her pee behind a tree. It took her 20 minutes because she was scared. This was AFTER 10 minutes of whining “Moooooom. I really ‘tant’ hold it in.” coupled with a little wiggly dance.

I’m not going to lie. As I sat on the log with Grace in my lap and watched Kenny and Gavin carefully navigating to the other side of the river, I thought “I think I could do camping.” Hahaha. It was so peaceful. Silent other than the creek bubbling by and my family’s giggling. Seriously though, I am not really sure I could go camping – but I am *pretty* sure I could hang in the forest or a park all day with my family and like it. A lot. You know, pack a lunch and plan to stay awhile… That might be a better first step. Hahaha. Maybe the better way to sum up how I felt is that I understand *why* people like to go camping. Sitting in a forest with no one else around other than the people you went with is really relaxing and you feel very free. It’s kinda nice to feel disconnected from the world.

I talked to one of my brothers the day after I went hiking. After his laughter died down when I shared what I did the day prior – he said, “The real question is how you felt this morning when you woke up.” And hilariously – I actually felt BETTER waking up that day than I do on most normal days where I sit on my rear and type all day the day prior (i.e. work). Interesting, right?

We saw about 1% of what the area has to offer – so we’ll definitely go back!

Pictures to follow!

Halloween is a *tad* bit different in Portland…so far

We took the kids to the Oregon Zoo today for Howloween – and faced some fierce fog on the drive over.


It was so much fun. It is a gorgeous zoo – and has hiking trails built right in. Sure, they are manufactured hiking trails, but they count as brief bouts of hiking. (Look at me, ma! Hiking after only five days!)

The kids participated in a scavenger hunt to collect stamps from stations around the zoo. When their forms were filled in, they turned them in on the way out for a bag of “treats”. Portland-style treats. All-natural bites of deliciousness that included:

So far, I’ve been passed a Cherry Pie and Chocolate Chip Brownie Lärabar. At least they tried it. I found them both delicious. I would totally buy them.

It’s definitely hilarious though. A wild (Groan. I know. Pun. I can’t resist sometimes!) departure from the Reese’s cups and Snickers I am sure they were expecting. They are totally looking forward to Monday. I am, too. But mostly to see if anyone gives out real, bad-for-you-and-potentially-the-environment-too chocolate and candy treats.

First impressions of temporary housing

Our digs are pretty nice – it’s clean and bright and fit all of us comfortably. Don’t get me wrong – we will absolutely get cabin fever if we have to spend rainy weekend days cooped up in this space, but it’s definitely workable.

It’s really close to work for Kenny and school for the kids.

There’s a Starbucks and Walgreens right across the street.

It has a little deck, and a garage.

Gavin’s first reaction: “Whoa! Check out these palace tables! Do you like these palace tables, dad?” There are round, glass top tables. He apparently finds them *quite* fancy. Grace was just excited to have a room AND a big girl bed.

The kind folks at SuiteAmerica had a few welcome gifts for the kids – that was such a nice touch.

But my very favorite part is that Gavin gets lost. Everytime he goes to his room. Still. We’re two days in.

Monday, we were asking him to put things in his room and he’d literally open every single door. (And, since this is a one-floor condo, there are quite a lot. Eight, to be exact.) Yesterday I told him to go to his room for a rest. I was cleaning up in the kitchen. When I went to tuck him in, I couldn’t find him. He was in our walk-in closet, sitting on the floor. He wasn’t really fazed by the fact that that was not his room. He was resting. Tonight, I asked him to take his sneakers to his room. He stood at the split at the end of the hallway – clearly pondering what way to go. He went left. Wrong! His room is on the right. It’s so funny. This is not a guy for change!