Sunday, February 21, 2010


Today makes three weeks in Oregon. I prayed and prayed that we'd stay healthy through the move, and we did (except for Lily's throw-up incidents on the plane).
But now we're all sick. Coughs, runny noses, achey bodies, fevers and little ones complaining of sore ears. It's okay. Illness is inevitable and I'm just so, so glad we avoided it during the weeks before and after the move.

There's definitely been an adjustment period - letting the reality of this change settle in. But I think I can speak for everyone in saying that we're happy here. This new life is feeling more and more normal all the time. We love our house. Work is going well for Nate (for those of you who are not aware, he is building a tax/financial planning clientele pretty much from the ground up). As you might imagine, there's a lot of uncertainty there, but it seems we have daily victories that encourage us to press forward, believing that this really is the right thing for our family. And daily frustrations, too. It's hard being the boss, the secretary, the IT guy, the marketing department...but Nate's dazzling us with his ability to work hard (and long) and multi-task. If you know of anyone who needs an honest tax accountant...

The best thing, by far, about being here is proximity to family. I still get aflutter when the doorbell rings and my mom, or one of my sisters, or my mother in law is standing on the porch. I'm still getting used to the fact that they get to be such regular features in our lives. A treat indeed. Yesterday Nana came over for lunch and then took the kids to the dollar store, it was so fun to visit with her while we chopped veggies and put sandwiches together.

Grandpa Dave stopped by to let the kids play with his new puppy (so fun and sooooo cute!). He stayed long enough for a sandwich, to completely make my kids' day (and to let the puppy poop in the back yard :) and then he was on his way. And last night we got to have a pot luck with the Beaton/Cropper bunch.

Last weekend we went up to my parents' house for a date night - the kids ate pizza inside while Nate and I headed out to the tennis court for a few games. We had so much fun. So much fun! I can't remember the last time I laughed so heartily. The highlight of it all was when my parents came out in their sweats and we all played doubles - such a hoot! Oh, we love them. I am just so thankful to everyone here who is willing to love us, serve us, help us, feed us, babysit for us.

And I feel especially glad when we get to help/serve them in return...
We got to make dinner for a very sick Nana and her crew earlier in the week and we had Grandpa Eldon over for dinner and Family Night on Monday.

I can already tell that I'm going to feel indebted a lot - especially to my mom. She is such a kind, helpful person. I really just can't say enough about how much I admire her, how wonderful I think she is, how completely I adore her. No amount of homemade bread or cookies or stand-in taxi-ing is going to be sufficient repayment for her kindnesses to me. It's quite a conundrum, really.

The other thing I totally love about being here is that I feel like this is a place where we can really give our children an organic childhood. And by organic, I mean full of dirt and frogs and fishing and animals and garden-grown food and those sorts of things. Henry reminds me almost daily that "March is when I get to go pick up the baby chicks with Grandpa." And that "Summer is when we're going to hike up a mountain with Kate & Hal."

Even the not-so-charming realities of rural life seem enchanting to those of us who so recently emerged from a never-ending labyrinth of toll roads, Super centers & Wal-Greens. Like the other day when a rogue bat flew into my parent's house and we went to all manner of shenanigans to capture it before bedtime.

There was a Husqvarna helmet involved (for protection -- did you see the Office episode where Meredith gets bitten by a bat and contracts rabies? Dangerous stuff, my friends!) And the tool whereby we finally apprehended that frenetic flyer? The pool skimmer net. Grandpa Dave dazzled us with his duck-n-weave and quick reflexes, catching the bat so nimbly as to subsequently let it fly away unharmed.

And we are always curious to see if the trap set on the hill will bring justice to the angry raccoon who committed hen-slaughter in the coop a few nights ago -- all the white feathers by the door of the coop were sure evidence of a kerfuffle. The flock is shrinking, one unfortunate fact of farm life at a time (freezing to death, encounters with predators) - thus the trip to Big R next month for chicks.

Anyway, we love it.
We're happy.

But we do miss our dear friends in Texas terribly. And the library. And Super Target.


  1. Forget Super Target--this post has convinced me that I want to be your new next-door neighbor. Really and truly. This is what I dream of. And to have your family so close? My heart leaps at the thought...I miss my mom and my sisters so, so, so much.

    Neil and I spent three hours tonight planning our vegetable garden for the summer, but the sad fact is that we're in our fenced yard, in the middle of our subdivision, planting on builder-scapled clay. Planning and dreaming and hoping for our "someday house" (post-graduation) where we will have little chicks and rabbits, an orchard full of fruit, and a garden the size of Montana.

    Or so I dream.

  2. I simply cannot stand it, how wonderfully happy I am for your family. That all sounds like a dream come true. and I love LOVE the fact that you guys went out on some limbs and are making your dreams your realities! Just Beautiful, it almost makes me emotional to envision your family living that life. I love it so much. and I love you!


  3. p.s.
    I'm kinda jealous :)
    that picture is beautful

  4. I'm totally jealous. Most especially of the fact that you are so close to your family. And that you are settling down in the place you are going to stay for a long time. I don't know if we will ever get to that point.

    love you!

  5. This post was hard for me to read; I so wish my kids and grandkids lived closer. Some day, Maybe, but for now I will have to make the ever too often trek to the great frozen tundra of the Rockie mountians.

    I'm so glad you get to live close to family, what a great blessing they will be in you and your families lives!

  6. I love your updates! If you don't mind, I may borrow the term "organic childhood". I strive for that for my own family, too, in a world so full of consumerism and stuff, I want to be sure I raise kids that not only notice the budding branches in spring, the beauty of the blackberry bushes bursting with fruit in summer, but also are quick to Praise God for all of it.

  7. These are the best days of your life my friend!! I love it!

  8. Em, I'm so glad to see all of you so happy (minus the illness - get well soon!). Love you, E

  9. I'm so happy for your happiness and that you are all getting adjusted to the new normal! I am happy too that you are so close to your family. Loved all these great photos, too!

  10. Good choices!! Good choices!! You get at least a dozen stickers for the CTR chart!

    We missed Henry on Sunday. I mean, REALLY missed him. The kids thought he had only come for a visit and didn't believe me when I said he was just sick.

    I'm so glad you're not here for a visit, but here to stay. Hope everything works out for Nate -- did you try the retirement homes?

  11. Holy cows -- my word verification was "myctr". What are the chances?!

  12. Wow, sounds so perfect. I wish I could live there. We're having a blizzard right now....

  13. So glad you're near family, Emily. That's always wonderful. And what a funny story about the bat! Oregon is such a beautiful place. Hope you guys feel better soon. I know you're greatly missed in the Plano 6th ward.

  14. I'm glad you're doing well. What a fun little and big family you have!

  15. Ok I finally tracked down your blog! :) I'm not a stalker I promise I just wanted to see how you guys were doing and it sounds like Oregon is going very well. We were so thankful that we got to know you for the short period that we did. You guys are an amazing family and there are so many people who miss you! Hope you get over the sickness! Miss you guys!