So Thankful

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This is my first holiday away from home. Just moving up here a few weeks ago, I couldn’t justify returning home already. I didn’t realize how much I would miss my family (mostly my Mom) and being home in Arizona until late Wednesday night. My Mom sent me snapchats of her, my baby nephew, and my siblings enjoying a show at the Gaslight Theatre, which has been a family tradition for nearly two decades.

I was slightly homesick… or momsick (if that’s a thing).

It’s times like this that I am thankful for Megan and the home she provides us. Without saying a word about it, I felt like she could sense my sentimental longing for home. She made Wednesday night, when we had the house to ourselves, into a little festivity of  movies, zucchini fries, and cider beers. That may not seem like much, but when you are homesick and a tad somber — damn it means a lot. I suppose I didn’t even think of these things being helpful in that way. I simply want Guy to feel comfortable in his new home as much as possible.

And that was only the beginning.

I have to remind myself that Oregon and its wonders have been home to me much longer than for Guy. This was exemplified on our long drive down south while Guy admired, mostly the tremendous amount of trees throughout the state, and said things like, “Can you imagine what this looked liked 100 years ago? This freeway damaged the ecosystem.” (He is becoming an Oregonian real quick!)

Megan took me down to Grants Pass for Thanksgiving to visit her cousins, Ari, Shannon, and their daughter Taylor. I don’t think nicer people exist. From the moment we arrived they were the consummate hosts, showing us to our rooms, feeding us cheese and snacks, and wine, of course. Not to mention they put up with our separation-anxiety-stricken dog who whined for us while downstairs a significant part of the visit.

Ari and Shannon made it feel like Thanksgiving.

Spending time with family and friends is really the point of the holiday season. The food is great, not working for 4 days is pretty awesome too, but the people and love is really what matters. Being over 1300 miles from home and entirely removed from all things familiar, I am thankful for Megan, for Ari and Shannon, and for my family, which seems to be growing… I’m also very grateful for that delectable turkey we ate, holy moly.

Happy Thanksgiving.

 

 

 

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Lemon Meringue, Please


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Let's recap(itulate) the weekend:

Megan got peed on. Haha! Yes, I did. I am so glad this is the first thing we are recapping on. We spent a few hours in a pet ER while I held her hand and pretended that she didn't reek of urine. Only an incredible boyfriend would do this. Lastly, we embraced the roles of concerned parents for a very sick and injured puppy, which included cleaning a poopy dog butt, carrying him up and downstairs to go potty, and not sleeping really at all. Oh, and not leaving the little apartment for nearly two full days. We truly got a taste of what life with a newborn would be like. Let's not forget the crying. We attempted to figure out what Klaus was trying to communicate through baby puppy cries all weekend. I learned that what I need to work on most as a future parent is my gag-reflex control around not-so-great scents. That was tough!

By Monday we needed to get out of the house and do something, anything. Cabin fever is definitely a real condition, and we were suffering. Luckily, little Klaus was doing well enough now that we could justify leaving him for a few hours. Double lucky, there is so much to do in PDX that we only had to walk a few steps out of the apartment to find something fun.

Right outside, in North Park Blocks, the Art in the Pearl festival had us planning our dream home together. There were so many talented artists showing their work that we felt inspired going from booth to booth. Ah! The work there was magnificent. I was feeling so inspired, all I could think was “I need to paint more often!” We also couldn't help but laugh because this is the same park that we were hauling our sick little dog back and forth at all hours of the night. Not going to lie, it was a lot more fun seeing it in this lens.

Slightly hungry (as always), we popped into the Palmetto Cafe with the stern conviction that we would only grab a "small snack" to tide us over until we met Megan's sister and niece in a bit for happy hour. That didn't quite work out so well, unless you consider a burrito bowl and a homemade marionberry poptart a small snack... and this was only the beginning of our food adventures over the next couple hours. We must learn how to make that burrito bowl. I have been craving it for days! It was perfectly fulfilling with egg, potato, sausage, and I think salsa. It was a little spicy - Guy laughed at me when I said that to him as I reached for my glass of water. I am a little bit more sensitive than he is when it comes to spice.


After a brief trip to Powell's to check out the Rare Books Room, we walked our way over to Bartini for some much needed drinks and snacks. The plan was to meet Megan's sister and niece at four o'clock. Fortunately, they were late. Bartini has a very strange policy of not allowing children to sit outside because it is "part of the bar." I know, this defies logic (and is sort of a bad business decision). So, the second our latecomers arrived we had to find somewhere else to dine. The look on my little niece’s face when we said we had to leave was more disappointing than actually having to leave. I’m still wrapping my head around that, as the sidewalk seems to be property of Portland, but I could be wrong. Maybe a sign would help?

Despite this annoyance, we were still a little grateful that they came late because Bartini's drinks and tomato soup really hit the spot. And considering our adorable company, it was probably best that we stopped at one drink each. Yes, that is definitely a good point. Bartini is one of my favorite places, now we know that it can’t be one of my niece’s favorite places, at least not yet!

Now where to go next?

Well, she wanted mac and cheese, Megan's niece that is. We didn't have to search long, although we never found that mac and cheese. Fun fact: four year olds will choose cake above all else. It only took those little, wide-set eyes one glance at the display of cakes at Papa Haydn for her to forget about any other food. Who could blame her? I mean, look down at those cakes! I tried to persuade her with the chocolate peanut butter one, but she insisted, “Lemon Meringue, please.” Her argument was persuasive and I couldn’t see it any other way. Clearly, Lemon Meringue was the only logical choice. After eating a variety of apps, I think Megan and I were glad that someone suggested cake for us... "Yes, of course, we will share a slice with you."

And that's how we ended our weekend. Whether it's Sunday or Monday, the last day of the weekend is meant for relaxing and spending time with family. Nothing about this LDW went according to plan, but I think it was perfect nonetheless. Through trauma, midnight emergency-dog-grooming, and rethinking happy hour plans due to silly restaurant rules, Megan and I laughed and enjoyed simply being together. Ending the weekend with family was just what we needed. It provided a feeling of home to the very long and more than somewhat stressful weekend.

That's all.

 

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