Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thanksgiving has come and gone and we missed you all! We hate we couldn't be in North Carolina to celebrate and stuff our faces with you, but Christmas is quickly approaching and we will have lots of time together!

Fall in Portland is very hit or miss with the weather. It is much cooler here than I expected, but we are obviously used to that from living in Boone for five years. We saw our first little spot of snow about a week ago (only 1/2 an inch) but it was exciting to see none the less. Despite the fact that the majority of the trees out here are evergreens, we are seeing a good bit of color change and Eisley loves the leaves as usual!

We are coping with the rain pretty well- Ross still gets out and peddles through the mud, and I stay inside and cook yummy soups. If you have any vegetarian recipes that I need to try, send them my way! You will be super impressed with Ross and my baking... he has perfected the art of homemade biscuits (my Grandma J would be impressed) and I have worked out an AMAZING apple pie recipe (that's right... from scratch! Crust and all!). I think the "person" taking the rain the hardest is Eisley. She doesn't get to go to the dog park or play in the big field as much any more, because now they are covered in giant puddles and mud. We do manage to get out at least once a week (see below picture of soaked pup).

This is a picture of us in Hood River, a super cute little town on the Columbia River about an hour east of us. The area is famous for its outdoor sports, quaint small town feel, and famous brewery (Full Sail). The town reminded us of a really outdoorsy Blowing Rock.

Henry has continued to grow... and eat. He is a really funny little critter... in one picture he can look like a normal 6 month old kitten, but in the next he looks like a giant MAN CAT! Someone told him that ancient royalty used to regard obesity as a sign of wealth and power and he took it to heart. All hail King Henry Gaylord!

As most of you know, the second Thanksgiving is over, it is officially Christmas for me! We have been decorating for a couple of days now and are hoping to finish up the tree tonight (because obviously you have to decorate at night when you can turn the lights on!). Thanks to Nana and Papa I had a good head start on my decorations, as they sent us two big boxes of decorations a couple of weeks ago. We have garland, a wreath, and ornaments galore! The only things we are lacking now are stocking for the four of us and more presents under the tree!

Eisley and Henry are loving the decorations and are using them as an excuse to terrorize the house. Henry loves lights....

and garland....

and of course the wreath!

We are considering moving the tree into a place where he can't get to it but I doubt that will actually help.

So now the countdown begins.... 21 days until I will be in North Carolina. Get excited!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Old stuff, new stuff, and a superstitious pup

I am going to try my best to get back to updating more frequently. In the beginning I was updating several times a week and now you all are lucky if I get in a couple of posts a month! I am not sure if my life got less interesting, if I have a lot less free time on my hands with Ross and I both working, or if I have become a lazy blogger... whatever the reason, I am going to work really hard to give you exciting new updates weekly (if not more!)

First of all, meet Jackson and Amelia. You all have probably heard me mention them in a previous post, but they are fellow North Carolinians who transplanted to Portland. We met them randomly, they live two miles from us, and we are all pretty much regulars at the local yogurt shop that is half way between our two apartments. It is awesome- come to Portland, and I will take you there!

I felt like you should meet them should they come up in later conversation. Anyway...

Henry has gotten SO HUGE! In less than two months he has more than doubled his weight and gained a little man tummy. He is more mischievous than ever (see the previous post on his kitchen counter jumping behavior) but also just as cuddly. We were a little concerned that as he grew up he would lose the desire to be "our little man." Well we are happy to report that he still loves lap naps, being held like a baby, and lots of attention from his Mommy and Daddy.

Any one who has ever had the pleasure of spending more than a few minutes with Eisley Boone knows that she is FULL of energy (and this too has NOT changed with age). We were a little disappointed when we first moved to Portland because although our new city is ranked the number one dog friendly city in America, because of its dog-welcoming parks, restaurants, etc., we were not able to enjoy it with Eisley because of her TERRIBLE leash behavior. No matter how many tricks we trained her, from catching a frisbee to playing dead, she could not figure out how to walk correctly on a leash. We watched countless episodes of dog training television shows, but nothing helped. Finally, we went to the pet store and got a new harness- the kind that a lot of Portlanders use. It is called a Gentle Walker, and if you ever own a pup that pulls hard on the leash, this is the thing to get! It goes around her chest and when she pulls forward, the harness restricts her leg movement and makes her body turn back towards us. It is pretty much AMAZING! She now walks very calmly next to us and she is a joy to take out running. She even got to go to the bike race this past Sunday! So with her new leash-loving skills, she gets to go on evening jogs with her Mama. While I love her company and the fact that she no longer draaaaaags me along the sidewalk, I have noticed a very unusual new behavior. Eisley is superstitious. Yes, you read correctly, our pup is superstitious. When jogging nicely down the sidewalk right at my heel, when she sees an upcoming drain or large break in the sidewalk, she panics and veers off into the grass or off the curb into on-coming traffic to avoid crossing it. It was funny the first few times it happened. Now it is obnoxious! Imagine running at a nice speed and have to swerve every time there is a drain or metal plate on the sidewalk (and there are A LOT in our neighborhood!).

As I mentioned in my most recent post, cyclocross season is going great for Ross, and we are enjoying all of the sights, sounds, and feelings of each individual race. This past weekend (on Halloween) every racer wore costumes. Unfortunately I didn't take the camera to this race (I didn't think I could juggle a pup and a camera), however Eisley was featured in her costume on a local cycling website. YAY Eisley is famous!

And speaking of famous.... Ross is a Portland star! During one of the most recent cyclocross races, filled with tremendous amounts of mud and goop, Ross' picture was snagged by a local photographer. It was such a good shot that it was made the home page of the Cyclocross Cross Crusade website! Check out the picture here....

Now THAT is some mud!

With the upcoming rainy season, I was a little worried I would be bored to pieces stuck inside all the time. So I started researching projects... now I am obsessed. Antique furniture and vintage fabrics are my new LOVE! I have decided that the vintage/shabby chic is totally my style (a little to Ross' dismay). My first project was a fall pumpkin made from a vintage pillow case. Ross continues to believe it is a pin cushion, but I don't think he understands the concept of "sit around decoration." Just wait until Christmas... he will see holiday decor in a whole new light! I get a lot of my inspiration for crafts and furniture (including this pumpkin craft) from a friend's blog. Bonnie is married to a good cycling buddy of Ross and her blog is a true work of art. She crafts and refurbishes like a pro... check her out at

As any good eco-responsible and budget-concious girl would do, I have been visiting the local thrift stores. Amelia and I were out bargain hunting one Saturday (I told you she would come up again!) and we fell in love with this beautiful antique dresser. The problem is we BOTH fell in love with it. So we did the mature thing... we had Jackson flip a coin. ha! As luck would have it, I won the toss. Sounds great huh? Except I felt guilty that she didn't win (although I would have been totally bummed if I hadn't won... double edged sword dilemma). So I have vowed to help her find an awesome piece of furniture and our hunt continues. Here is the before shot. I am going to take a while working on this redo, so the after may be a while (it is my Christmas present to myself... shhh don't tell!)

I love the little details like the claw feet, intricate flower designs, and worn-in look. Don't you!?

My next BIG project is going to be to make a handmade quilt. I started one a long time ago (it was a mini-disaster), so I am starting a new, hopefully with a little more experience and a more promising goal. I am hoping to get a sewing machine over the next couple of months so I can complete it like a pro! It will look wonderful in the little farm house we want to buy (one day... a long time in the future... somewhere on the eastern half of the country. Don't get too excited... we are talking LONG TERM!). Here are some fabrics I am collecting...

Don't you just love the country/vintage charm? It looks like the little country girl is still in me!

So that's what has been going on in our lives. I promise my future posts will be shorter (maybe) and more frequent (hopefully).

Happy Fall!