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Family

Whidbey Island

February 4, 2018

Aaron is turning 33 on Tuesday! I love these months while we are the same age. πŸ™‚ I’m a tiny bit older than he.

We took a fun surprise trip to Whidbey Island this weekend. I didn’t tell Aaron where we were going – I just told him to pack for two days on Friday and we were gettin’ out of dodge! It was a beautiful drive up – we took the ferry and had hot chocolate and saw seals in the water next to the ferry.

Some of our favorite things about the trip:

  • We had dinner (twice!) at a little place called “Christopher’s” that was so good! Really amazing, local, fresh food.
  • We went to a drive-in movie theater and watched “Ferdinand” and “Jumanji.” It was so fun to relax in the car with the seat heaters on and listen to the movie through the radio!
  • Cinnamon rolls and coffee at “Knead and Feed” in Coupeville.
  • Greenbank Farm – they have a bunch of little art galleries, gardens, etc. and an on-site cafe with tasty soups and sandwiches.
  • Deception Pass – we drive home by going north instead of south across the ferry. It was grey and cloudy so I didn’t get a good picture, but it was such a pretty drive. We want to go back in summer when we can see more of the sights across the pass.
  • We stopped by a new Restoration Hardware Outlet on the way home – Aaron likes shopping as much as my dad does (he would rather sit in the car than shop), so I always appreciate it when he takes these little detours with me! πŸ™‚
Family

Highlander

February 4, 2018

After wrecking the Avalon on I-84 during Christmas, we’ve been on the lookout for a new car. We wanted something used with low mileage that would have a little more trunk space and AWD for being out at the farm. We found this 2006 Toyota Highlander with a clean title and only 16,000 miles on it for sale on Craigslist and drove up and bought it! We love it and can’t wait to get some good use out of it.

Family

Fen in Reedsport

February 4, 2018

We continue to be super appreciative of my parents for watching Fen for us while we get our life together! πŸ™‚ She has so much fun with Sadie. I snapped this picture of the two of them last time we were in the car together.

My dad has both of them down in Reedsport right now. He sends us funny videos of them together. The last one that made me laugh was of Fen chuffing at a new calendar my dad put up that had a dog on it. She’s weirdly perceptive about things that are “out of place.” She will bark and bark at a stray plastic bag in the middle of the street on our evening walk – she knows our route, and if something isn’t where it’s supposed to be, her hackles go up and she gets ferocious! πŸ™‚

On another note, my mom met me in Portland to swap some things a few weeks ago and brought us a bunch of food – some homemade soup, potato salad, and a casserole. I never realized how helpful something like that could be when you are in the middle of a move and/or don’t have much space! With each meal, we’ve appreciated her thoughtfulness. I will remember that for my friends who are in the middle of moving/grieving/birthing/etc.!

Family

Antique Shopping

December 31, 2017

We’ve had a great few days in Reedsport visiting my parents. My dad has been working here for the last month or so, and my mom and I have had fun driving over to Coos Bay and Florence to go antique shopping while he’s busy.

I found this twin-sized blue and white antique quilt at a little shop in Coos Bay for $45 a few days ago. It’s in great condition, and I love the colors and pattern. Perfect for cozying up under while watching “The Crown” with my mom. We are almost through with Season 1 and hoping to get to Season 2 today.

Happy New Year’s Eve!

Family

So Long, Avalon

December 29, 2017

On the way through the Gorge on I-84, I hit a patch of ice and spun out, hitting both the front and back of the car on the guard rail and wrecking the Avalon. Aaron was in the truck a few miles behind me, and was able to come help, so that was good. I have a bruise on my knee, but that’s it! The airbags didn’t deploy, and no one was behind me – I was afraid that as I was spinning, someone behind me would hit me. The car was drivable to get down to my parent’s house, but we are now in the market for a new car!

This is the second accident I’ve been in in six months (my mom and I were rear ended in Yachats a few months ago). I sometimes tease Aaron about how cautious of a driver he is – he often rolls along I-5 behind semi trucks at 55 MPH. πŸ™‚ Now he says I have no leg to stand on. I reminded him that I hadn’t ever been in an accident before he came along, and he said it’s like The Force from Star Wars – I’m balancing out his cautiousness. πŸ™‚

Family

Merry Christmas!

December 29, 2017

I hope everyone is having a wonderful Christmas season! We spent a week with Aaron’s family at the B&B in White Salmon. It was so fun that it started to snow on Christmas Eve and turned everything into a winter wonderland by morning. Some of the highlights of that week included:

  • We carried on a special tradition with our nephews and niece that my Auntie Joanne began with Casey and me when we were born. Each year, she gives us an ornament: a rocking horse for “precious Lindsey,” and a lion for “courageous Casey.” We now have Christmas trees full of rocking horse and lion ornaments! We thought about what we wanted Little Aaron, Maz, and Ava, and picked the Wise Owl (Little Aaron), the Tenderhearted Turtle (Maz), and the Mischievous Mouse (Ava). It was so fun to tell them the story of how that tradition began, and to give them their first ornaments.
  • Aaron spent weeks making beautiful cutting boards for Christmas presents. He thought carefully about what he wanted to include for each person. For my parents, he used purple heart (my mom’s favorite color) and myrtlewood, which only grows on the PNW coast. He made a “wave” pattern for the ocean through middle! For Casey and Jenn, he made a more modern looking board with walnut and maple, and for mine he used a dark African wood called “wenge” and maple and purple heart. I don’t have a picture yet of mine (I was busy unwrapping it!) but am including photos of the other two.
  • Reading with Ava – she loves story time by the fire!
  • Aaron’s Christmas tradition breakfast of coffee cake and strawberries.
  • Connie and Oma completed several puzzles together.
  • Connie and Aaron made a yule cake and hope to keep that tradition going each year.

Other not-so-fun updates:

  • Papa (Aaron’s grandpa) went to the hospital as he was short of breath and sick with bronchitis.
  • Aaron passed his cold on to me! So I was sick for most of Christmas.

Last but not least – a family member told us they’d tried to contact us using the “contact me” button at the top of the blog. We realized that that’s not working correctly! Sorry, Janine! πŸ™‚ We will try to get that fixed. Until then, feel free to email us at:

workhardandbenice@protonmail.com

Are you setting any resolutions for 2018? My resolution is to continue to be more kind to people. It’s so easy to be short when I’m feeling stressed – I’m working on trying to be more patient and thoughtful about how I respond.Β Wishing everyone a Happy New Year!

Family

Things Aaron Said

December 11, 2017

I dragged my introverted husband to a bunch of socializing events this weekend – PLU’s graduation, the Washington Association of Family Therapy’s holiday party, and a Christmas concert. He’s the best! It’s really hard to go to events like that as a single person – at least it was for me. It seems like everything is geared towards couples/families – it shouldn’t be that way. Aaron and I both say we have Single Survival Syndrome… I feel guilty sometimes for being happy that it’s easier to go to events now. I guess it should just make me continue to love, appreciate, and include all of the wonderful single people blessing my life.

I’m going to start a recurring post on the things Aaron says that make me smile – I want to keep a record of them so that I don’t forget. The other day we were flopping down to take a nap, and before drifting off, he said “How am I doing meeting your emotional needs today?” How did I get this man?!

Family, Farm

Lady, Gardener, and Tweet Tweet

November 27, 2017

We adopted three chickens from the B&B – Lady, Gardener, and Tweet Tweet – names courtesy of our nephew Little Aaron. They are very sweet! Aaron and I have a history with one of them – about a year ago, a possum broke into their pen in the middle of the night at the B&B and was munching on the tail of Lady! She was in shock – it was the strangest sight, seeing her (by flashlight) standing in total stillness while this possum, face covered in blood, was attacking her! While Aaron ran to get a shovel, the possum jetted off. Lady recovered, and she’s now happily living her best life at the farm, shortened tail and all!

Aaron’s going to do a blog post at some point about this (he’s working so hard right now – got up at 3:30 this morning to do Cyber Monday sales for The Fruit Company) but I wanted to post a few pictures of his handiwork. He constructed an amazing feed and watering system for the chickens. For the water, they peck in the little orange bowls, and water comes out. He rigged it up with a weight that comes through the mesh windows of their coop and goes up/down based on how much water is in the PVC pipes, so we can see how empty or full it is without going in, unscrewing the cap, etc. Handy!

Family

Wedding Photos

September 2, 2017

It was so fun to get our wedding photos back yesterday – we sat on the couch together and got teary thinking about what a special day that was. Thank you to Megan Holloway who took such beautiful, light-filled pictures for us!

Some of my favorite things as I look back through them:

  • The wooden ring box Aaron made, with the inscription on the inside that matched what my great-grandpa wrote for my great-grandma when he gave her the same ring.
  • The bridesmaids dresses, flower girl dress, and ring bearer’s suit my mom made. I loved the colors so much!
  • The beautiful cake Aaron’s mom made. It was just what I envisioned.
  • The garter and little white Bible that my mom and grandma both wore/carried at their weddings.
  • The ladder from our farm that Bethany used to put such a beautiful backdrop for the ceremony site together.
  • Our fun getaway bus – Luna. We realized that the initials in the laurel of our programs spell out most of Luna’s name… so she was meant to be.
Family, Farm

Hygge

August 29, 2017

I can’t believe it’s almost September. It feels like summer flew by! I start another school year at PLU tomorrow, and can’t wait. We have a fun new cohort, and I get to teach them their first class – always a good time. If there’s anything I wish I’d known four years ago when I started here, it would be to trust that IT WILL GET EASIER. I thought I’d drown in my first year of teaching… I remember working 10-12 hour days every weekend trying to get my lesson plans ready. My goal was to stay two weeks ahead of the class! Now I’ve taught some classes 7 or 8 times, and others 4 times… it’s so much easier now that I’m tweaking the material I’ve already worked on for several years.

Aaron and I have been working hard on the RV over the last few weeks. We’ve been driving out to Buckley after work and putting in several hours before the sun goes down and we lose the light. We are only a few boards away from finishing the Pergo floors we put down after ripping out all the old carpet. It wasn’t until after we’d made quite a bit of headway that we realized the RV was constructed by nailing down all the fixtures on TOP of the carpet. So pulling it out with pliers, boxcutters, etc. was a task. We are thankful for my parents who came up and spent a long weekend helping us! We were also surprised at how long it’s taken us to put the flooring down… pretty much every board (with the exception of a select few down the center) has custom cuts. For reference, it’s taken us about 50-60 hours to do the flooring. But we’re seeing the light at the end of the tunnel now! The bathroom was also carpeted (ew!) and we’ll put down some white penny tile in there. Then I want to deep clean, maybe paint if we have any energy left, and then move in! I’m hoping we can do that and get the Tacoma house listed within a month. It will be so good to be out at the farm – I don’t think I’m going to mind being in the RV… I’m kind of looking forward to being a minimalist and having less to clean/maintain. Let’s see if I change my tune in 6 months. πŸ™‚

Other happenings over the summer:

  • My mom and I got rear-ended in a pretty bad car accident that totaled my mom’s SUV. We were waiting to turn left and the driver in the truck behind us was distracted – he rammed in to us without any breaks at about 45 MPH. Thankfully, no one was hurt, although it was pretty scary.
  • My mom got diagnosed with shingles the same day we were in the car accident. It’s been really painful for her – she has chronic pain from the car accident that crushed her foot about 8 or so years ago, and she doesn’t complain about that – so I know when she says she’s hurting, she’s really hurting. She’s on Neurontin now, and says that’s made a lot of difference. We are praying for a quick recovery.
  • Aaron and I watched the eclipse from the farm. We were in about the 98% zone, and it was so fun to see if get dark enough that the outside lights came on.
  • We found an amazing heritage blueberry bush on the farm that is still producing delicious little berries, even without any maintain for the last 10+ years!
  • Today we came back from a great long weekend in Sunriver with my parents, Casey and Jenn, and Jenn’s parents George and Becky. Casey and Jenn are thinking of moving to Bend area, and we had fun driving around and looking at property with them, visiting Sparks Lake, throwing the ball way out into the water for the pups (my parents brought Sadie too), having peaches and ice cream, and staying up late playing Balderdash.

I’m so excited for fall. The hot weather here has me down! PLU is very connected to it’s Scandinavian Lutheran heritage, and one of the things they celebrate is “hygge” – trounced “hoo-gah.” It’s a Danish word that means “cozy,” “connected,” “content,” etc. There are 10 principles to hygge:

  1. Atmosphere – turn down the lights, use candles and lamps, etc.
  2. Be here now – turn off your phone.
  3. Pleasure – bake cookies, have a piece of chocolate, etc.
  4. “We over me” – share the tasks and air time.
  5. Gratitude – take joy in daily life.
  6. Harmony – no need to brag, it’s not a competition.
  7. Comfort – put on sweatpants, curl up in a quilt.
  8. Truce – strive for peace and no drama.
  9. Togetherness – build close relationships and narratives. “Do you remember the time we…?”
  10. Shelter – this is your tribe and place of safety.

Isn’t that a good manifesto for the end of 2017?