Sunday, June 14, 2015

Cannon Beach

This weekend we went to the beach! Now normally when I think beach, I think sunbathing, swimming, hot sand and tan lines (for people besides me, obviously). This was my first encounter with a beach in the great north west where few to none of those things occur. But I quickly learned that different doesn't mean bad! Apparently the thing to do on the beach when it's too cold to swim is fly a kite. I have never had much success flying kites before but Matt's mom got us a kite so of course we had to try it. Turns out, when the wind is relentless that flying a kite is easy peasy.

We tried to see how hight we could fly it (top left: kite, bottom right: me) 

And then how low. Around here you can basically fly a kite at any altitude, as long as your string can reach it.

I love how sparkly sand is. Too bad it's hard to capture in pictures. 

This is Haystack Rock. It's the famous landmark around these parts. It was huge, and supposedly has puffins on it, though I didn't get close enough to see any. The smaller rocks to the left are called the needles. 

Around our hotel, the Inn at Cannon Beach, wild bunnies roam freely. We love them. The hotel itself was great too. They had lawn chairs for their guests to take to the beach which was very convenient as we had not thought about seating.

Whenever we needed a meal. We would wonder into town. The first place we ate was a rather old-looking place with an eclectic, cabin(and Christmas?)-inspired, assortment of decorations. They also had the daily specials and desserts printed on regular printer paper and taped on everything. Weird. Just my kinda place. As it turns out, they make the best clam chowder I have ever had in my life. Win. It was called Morris' Fireside Restaurant. I didn't take any pictures but here is one from the internet:
This was the view from our table

Close to sunset we ventured back to the beach for some hot cocoa and a fire.

Which, incidentally, is the other thing people frequently do on this beach. From where we were sitting, we could see at least 30 other bonfires.  

All in all, it was a fabulous trip. Despite the cold weather I still managed to get a sunburn (don't tell mom). I guess some things never change.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Crafty Cards

What is cuter than a handmade card? I'll tell you. Nothing. Except babies. And puppies... Anyway the point is handcrafted cards are just cute! Matt's mom is a card-making enthusiasts and has all the awesome supplies every amateur card-maker dreams of. We visited Seattle this weekend and she was kind enough to take me to a card-making class with her. It was awesome. And overwhelming. There wasn't nearly enough time to finish them all before the class ended so I finished them at my in-laws' house. 
We got to use die-cuts, sequins, glitter brushes, markers, colored pencils, cling stamps (that you can mix and match!), and more!

The whole gang from today's class. Notice the cutie reading in the background.
This is the first one I made. It was a little bland but it gets better.

Ooooh glitter! 

I love making the cards 'pop'! 3D cards are the coolest.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Welcome to Precoa

This summer Matt and I have the wonderful opportunity of working at the same Company. It is called Precoa. They are in the business of selling pre-need funeral packages. I know, it sounds weird. Who wants to think about their funeral, let alone, plan it? But their goal is pretty much to remove maximum stress and responsibility for the families left behind. And if you pay for your whole funeral today, you get exactly what you paid for, no matter how much prices increase! If you're curious, or you want to pre-plan your funeral, here are their websites:

Anyways... the best part about this job is that we also get to experience a new part of the country. Precoa is in Portland! And Portland is wonderful! We have yet to experience any super weird stereotypical Portland people or stuff, but the naked bike race hasn't happened yet so we're not totally in the clear.

That map marker is on a cute town called Tualatin. That's where Matt and I live. The office we work at is right next to the city of Tigard, so our commute is about 10 minutes (as long as there's no traffic).

We live in this little studio apartment which interestingly has the most counter space we've ever had.
Here's Matt juicing some fruits and veggies. You can't see it, but our fridge is a mini one. Living the life.

I bet you're just dying to know what it is we actually do! We are working in the IT department as developers. So far we have been working on a test project that is helping us learn the languages, frameworks, and tools that the programmers at Precoa use. You may be wondering why a pre-need funeral planning company would need programmers, and that is an excellent question. Precoa develops all of their own tools for training their employees, marketing analysis, customer websites, and probably a bunch of other things I don't even know about. So there's plenty of work to be done. We have been working for a week already and are looking forward to all the fun programming we get to do!

We haven't seen a ton of Portland yet but we have visited a few iconic locations.
On Memorial day we went to Powell's City of Books which is a whole block taken up by one bookstore. It's huge, and it's awesome.

We also went to this fun ice cream shop called "Salt & Straw" with a bunch of unique flavors of ice cream. Their dandelion and spring flower flavor had real flowers in it! We ended up getting salted caramel and it was delicious.

We also visited the International Rose Test Garden. These just have rows and rows of all different types of roses. My favorite were the mini ones!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

5 Things to do When You are Locked out of the House

We have the lovely convenience of living right next to Macey's grocery store. When I need something, I can just walk right over there and be home in less than 15 minutes. The only problem is that often times I am quite forgetful. I even have my sweet husband pack my backpack in the morning because otherwise I know I'll leave something behind. Such was the case yesterday afternoon, and I ended up locking myself out of the house, with a bag of raw meat that I just purchased. Luckily, my mom is our landlord so I could call her to let me in. No answer. Last semester I learned how to pick locks, so I pulled a pin off my bag and tried that. The darn thing was just too weak and kept bending in the lock.
After trying the door knob about 40 times just to be sure, I pulled out my phone to call my husband. The car was at home with me so he had to leave his work early and walk home to let me in. Obviously I didn't want to just sit around and wait so I found some ways to stay entertained.
My phone is NOT a smart phone, so I had no games or internet access. This is what I did instead.

No, not drugs. I actually started pulling weeds. In my leather, Nordstrom boots and flowy blouse, I bent over and started ripping them nasties from the ground. It had been raining a bit all day and the ground was wet and soft. Pulling weeds from soft dirt is actually extremely satisfying. I wanted to get down on my hands and knees and just go at it, but I didn't want to dirty my school clothes.
So, I moved on to the next activity.

Chase Neighborhood Cats
This one can be tricky for a couple reasons. For one, there are not always cats roaming around and for another, those little guys are literally impossible to catch unless you corner them. But, if you have a community with some outdoor cats and lots of corners, this can be a fun way to pass the time. I will warn you, however, that the cats that live outdoors are usually not the friendly, cuddly kind. More like the hissing, scratching, biting kind.   

We all know that we need food, but what about food for thought? Usually there so many things to do and electronics in front of our face, that we don't let our brains dwell just on what's inside it. I am no less guilty of using my computer just about every hour of the day, but I was nevertheless grateful to be left only with my own thoughts. It's nice to take time to self reflect, to think about life, family, God, trials, forgiveness, your best friend who's having a baby today, your weekly schedule, or that pesky cat taunting you as is strolls along the other side of the street.

Visit Someone
Feeling neighborly? Live near a widow? Know a stay at home parent who gets little social interaction? Have a visiting teachee? Well go say hi! Everybody loves friends, especially if you stop in and offer to hold their crying baby, or help them make dinner, or even just show genuine interest in how they are doing. Service makes people happy, and it makes you feel good.

People Watch
When you are sitting in your cozy home, you have no idea how consistently people are coming and going. People walking dogs, kids on their razor scooters, and local celebrities (Jeremy from Studio C lives on our street) are all just doing their thing. People watching is fun, but people narrating is even more fun. Pretending that kid on the scooter is on a secret mission and his scooter is actually tricked out for warp speed and equipped with weapons brings the entertainment to a whole new level. Just have fun with it.

This is what my sweet husband came home to. Check out those weeds I dominated!