Wednesday, September 10, 2008

My Belbert

So almost a month ago, this post is extremely delayed - I know, my friend Lauren surprised me with a visit to Portland!

It all started when Darrell called me at work to tell me not to plan anything August 15-17th. I was, of course, convinced he was planning something for my birthday (8/28) and our anniversary (9/2). The Thursday before Lauren's arrival Darrell said we needed to clean the house. I thought, oh great - he's throwing a party, just what the pregnant lady wants to do have a bunch of people over to drink alcohol when she can't and then having to clean up after them. Friday after work we headed to Ikea, while I thought everyone was gathering at the house for the "party". When Ikea was closing down, I thought ok I guess the party is tomorrow? We left with a few goodies and then Darrell missed the entrance to the freeway which lead us into the airport. He then said he had to pick up a package, when Molly flew in from California we picked her up from cargo in the same area, and so I exclaimed, "Are we getting another dog!" It wasn't until we circled arrivals the second time that I got suspicious. My first guess was that Lauren and Evan were coming in and Darrell said, no Evan is in Tri-cities. On the fourth loop we found Lauren. I was so thrilled and shocked to actually see her.

We had the best time playing in Portland. It was a treat to have a reason to go downtown. Friday night before heading to the house we stopped by Henry's for drinks and Gorgonzola fries! On Saturday Darrell left for class and Lauren and I rode the max in later to meet up with him and peruse the Saturday Market. We had lunch at Rock Bottom Brewery and then walked over to Powell's Books.
Ready for coffee we trucked it over to Bikini Coffee company, the latest craze in P-town, because the baristas serve you in Bikinis?!? Darrell was excited; I think Starbucks stock may take a dip. But when we got there it was closed! To console ourselves we walked over to NW 23rd Ave for some boutique window shopping, pedicures and gelato! Afterwards we headed home to catch the Olympics and got Moe's for dinner. Moe's was "our place" when Lauren I lived together in Dallas but closed almost a year before I moved so she had been Moe-less for a while. It was delicious - I must say.

Lauren had to leave Sunday afternoon so we had a lazy Sunday morning around the house and then introduced Lauren to Daphne's Greek Cafe before she left.

It was an awesome surprise, to have one of your best friends visit you for the first time in your new home. Lauren can make anything fun and I felt so lucky to get to spend a weekend with her.

Did I entice you to come and visit us in Portland with my mini-visitor's guide? If one things for sure, you will not go hungry, especially with the pregnant girl in tow!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

One year ago

Exactly one year ago, today, Darrell and I got married in San Clemente, CA. Since then a lot has happened to say the least, I got a new job, we moved into a new home, and decided to start a family.

The wedding was unbelievably magical. We were extremely blessed to be surrounded by so many of our family and friends. We committed to spending the rest of our lives together and then celebrated the night away. The next morning we ran the Disneyland Half Marathon; by the grace of God, adrenaline, and because Darrell stuck by my side I was able to finish. This was only a preview of the things to come, that we would be able to accomplish, by standing beside one another.

Two days later we returned to Portland, OR as husband and wife. I began my job search and two weeks later we left for our Honeymoon in Tahiti. When we returned football season was in full swing and we started a tradition of watching the games with the Oregon A&M club. I took a part time job with Williams Sonoma to keep me from going crazy and to maximize our wedding gift cards with my employee discount. I finally started my job with the WCVA on November 6th.
We headed back to Texas for Thanksgiving and watched the Aggies beat the hell outta t.u. WHOOP. We celebrated our marriage at the Swinin' Door with friends and family who were unable to attend the wedding in California.

We spent Christmas with the Prochaska's in Boise, ID and New Year's Eve in Portland on a "BarFly" bus with our friends Morgan and Matt.

In January I tried snowshoeing for the first time with Oregon Active where Darrell and I both had a blast. Later that month I traveled to Calgary and Colorado Springs for tradeshows. Calgary was the absolute coldest place I have ever been. Darrell met me in Colorado for a mini-vacation; of course we visited Mile High Stadium where I believe Darrell caught a brief glimpse of Heaven. Thank goodness we were already married or Darrell might have insisted that stadium have been the venue!

February brought around some changes. We celebrated our first Valentine's Day by enjoying a winemaker's dinner at Vista Ridge winery. The following day Darrell left for Israel and was gone for a total of three weeks. I occupied my time by hosting a girls wine night at our apartment, attending a KD happy hour and a Young Professional's of Portland happy hour, going to an Ed Viesturs (Darrell's hero) book signing, taking skiing lessons with my co-worker/friend, Julia, traveling to Eugene to advise the U of O Kappa Delta chapter, interviewing realtors, and helping my friend Morgan move.

The weekend before Darrell returned I attended a conference in Eugene and on Monday, March 10 he got back into Portland. I drove as fast as I could to get home and when I opened the door to our apartment all the candles were lit and my husband was waiting for me! We had missed celebrating our 1/2 year anniversary, March 2nd, so we celebrated that night (we're over the top I know, but when you're newlyweds you celebrate these kind of things right?). On March 16th we started our BCEP (Beginning Climbing Education Program) through the Mazama's with a hike up Dog Mountain. This class lasted for 6 weeks and was a tremendous experience!

In April we decided to start a family. Darrell had had a revelation while in Israel and realized that he was ready to be a father. Originally we were thinking of waiting a year but the more we thought about it the more we knew that we were ready. We knew that our lives will never be settled, calm, or routine so waiting 6 more months wasn't going to change anything. Darrell found out that he got into Portland State's Masters in International Management program on April 14th and we celebrated with friends on the 16th, the morning of the 17th I found out that I was pregnant. I woke Darrell up that morning waiving around the test and saying with a smile "It worked!" The following week I traveled to Omaha for a tradeshow and sacrificed drinking any alcohol for the, what I thought at the time was, one sweet baby.

The first weekend of May we climbed Mt. St. Helen's using all the skills we learned during our BCEP class. We camped overnight and made the 23 mile round trip hike in two days. It was incredibly rewarding and I'm looking forward to telling both boys that they were at the top of Mt. St. Helens when they were only embryos! We signed the paperwork for the house on the 8th and left for Boise to see the Prochaska's on the 9th. It was a quick trip but we were excited to tell them in person that they were going to be Grandparents, Uncles, and Cousins! We had an end of the class BCEP party the following Monday night and told all of them the good news. That following weekend I flew back to Dallas for Morgan and Natalie's weddings. I was fortunate to stay and Dallas for a week and catch up with everyone. On the 27th we had our first doctor's appointment and well, I guess God took us seriously about not wanting the settled, calm, or routine life because we found out that we were having twins!

In June I traveled to Las Vegas and Long Beach for work. Darrell and I were supposed to be traveling to Scotland when I returned to visit my parents for Darrell's 30th birthday but I had some pregnancy complications and had to be bed rested for a couple of days. I ended throwing Darrell a 30th birthday bash the Saturday after his birthday. Darrell's parents, brother, and nieces came to visit us at the end of June and got to stay in the new house.

My parents came to visit in mid-July and were a huge help. My mom cooked and froze food for us. Darrell and my dad got the baby cribs put together. They went to their first sonogram appointment and got to see the boys for the first time.

In August my mom and sister came to visit for almost a week. They painted the nursery and did other odds and ends to prepare for Devin and Dane's arrival. We celebrated my birthday with dinner at Portland City Grill and cupcakes from St. Cupcake, Yummm! Doesn't take much to please a pregnant lady. After they left Darrell's parents came in town to help us fix some things up around the house. Darrell's mom helped me have a garage sale and Darrell's dad is helping to build out our attic and extra guest bedroom.

And today, well today, marks one year of marriage for us. As you can see a lot has happened in one year and I'm pretty sure next year I'll have even a longer recap. Tonight we are celebrating not just getting married one year ago but we are celebrating the whole past year that we have spent creating this beautiful life together. We're not doing anything fancy just spending time together. We'll probably go out on the back deck, light the fire pit (Because in Oregon? Oh yes, it gets into the 40's at night in September!) and attempt to eat the top of our wedding cake.

And here's where I'm tempted to get mushy, I want to tell you how much I love Darrell, how much he has given to my life, how I cannot freakin' wait to see him holding our sons for the first time but words don't seem to do it justice. So, I'll save the details for his anniversary card and spare you the "cheese" :)