Friday, January 22, 2010

My Heart Hurts for Haiti

I can't wrap my head or my heart around the tragedy in Haiti. The horror and devastation is just too much. The pictures on the paper, the web, the TV. I stare at them and cry.

I cry for those lost. I cry for those saved. I cry for the children who lost everything, and the ones who had nothing to begin with. I cry at the thought of the long road to recovery.

What can I do? I've donated money though my hospital who yearly sends a team to Haiti every February. They matched the donation 100%. And I pray.

I prayed for the safe return of the missionaries from my brother's church and the visas issued for the Pastor's adopted kids from Haiti. I pray for the people trying to rescue and provide aid. I pray for the surgeons attempting surgeries with crude conditions. I pray for all the people of Haiti, that they may stay strong in their faith, that they know that the world does care, that God is always with them.

I don't know if my prayers are enough, or even if I pray correctly, but I try. I just feel so helpless. I promise to keep on praying. I promise to keep on giving when I can.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Give Thanks

Thanksgiving is here again! Wow how time flies.

This year, I'm thankful for:


A GREAT new job that I think I'm going to love.

A roof over our head.

A great group of friends we've made here in Portland that have become my "family".

A wonderful loving Family twice over who though we don't see them often, are thought of constantly.

2 adorable nieces, Lily and Addison, that we love to pieces.

Our health.

That we live in a city that we have come to love as home.

What are you thankful for?

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Remembering Rita

Two years.

Time flies, yet sometimes goes so slow.

On August 17, 2007 my Aunt Rita lost her 12 1/2 month battle with Lung Cancer. She was 52.

I did my best not to fall apart when learning of my aunt's cancer. I remember where I was when I heard. I was on a pay phone, in Germany. THOUSANDS of miles away from family. I walked over to my friend and travel companion after hanging up the phone with my mom for a much needed hug. The health care professional in me KNEW the seriousness of this cancer, the statistics, the horror of it. But as it hit home, the dreamer in me hoped and prayed for a miracle.

And I believe I found it.

It was a MIRACLE that she lasted over 12 months with the seriousness of her diagnosis.

It was a MIRACLE watching my extended family come together to take care of her, whatever the cost, time or money. We learned how to love each other more as well.

It was a MIRACLE to see the amazing job Hospice did when the end was near. Rita was comfortable, they were compassionate.

It was a MIRACLE to witness the throngs of people that came to pay their respects, the LONG line of cars in the procession.

But above all, it is a MIRACLE, a GIFT, an HONOR to be a part of this family and to be permitted to share 28 LONG wonderful years loving on my aunt.

It may never seem like enough, but gosh, I was LUCKY.

Cancer may have ended her earthly life, but I know she won the battle.

I love you Aunt Rita. I miss you every day.

Monday, July 13, 2009

One year....

OK so it's a little late, but James and I spent our 1 year wedding anniversary in Glacier National Park in Montana. It was BEAUTIFUL. More on that to come....

It's just so hard to believe it's been a year already! You can read all about it here,
We've be thrown a few loops in the past year.

I hated my initial home health job I was working after the wedding. DESPISED IT. Unethical, questionable illegal practices, not good for my license.

We moved THREE TIMES within 3 months of being married.

James was laid off in January. AND THE SAME DAY, he was also called back up to active duty. Thank God we got out of that one. He's still looking for a job. Keep praying he'll find something soon.

James lost his grandfather rather suddenly to a fall where he bumped his head in April. Two days after falling, he lost consciousness and never regained it.

But through it all, we've remained the best of friends. Yes, we have our disagreements but I can't imagine sharing this adventure we call life with anyone else.

James, thank you for a wonderful first year of marriage.
Thank you for the anniversary trip to Glacier National Park (more to come on that.)
Thank you for loving me.

On our anniversary, I want you to hear the vows I said to you.

I love you more today than I did then.

James, today I join my life to yours.
Not merely as your wife,
But your fun in life,
Your comrade in adventure,
Your accomplice in trouble,
Your ally in conflict,
I will be your strength in need,
Your greatest fan and your sincerest critic.
I will be your lover and companion,
Your partner in parenthood,
But most of all, your friend.
From this day forward
You shall not walk alone
My heart will be your shelter
And my arms will be your home.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Portland Rocks

It just does.
I love it here.
You should come visit.

I've recently been following a blog called Travels With Two. Since I'm pretty much obsessed with traveling, I love it.
One of her popular posts is all about my new hometown.

Check it out here.

Pack your bags.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Strawberry Pickin'

It's the perfect time of year for picking strawberries. Oregon is stocked full of places to pick berries, and James and I headed out to Bushue's Family Farm to pick some delicious berries. We came home with NINE pounds of strawberries and $1/lb. Can't beat that! We of course have big plans for them much like our apple picking adventure in the fall.

The first thing we did was make homemade strawberry daiquiris to drink on this lazy sunday afternoon. Priorities people. Then we started on a strawberry rhubarb crisp that just finished baking in the oven for desert later. Lots more to come come as we still have LOTS of strawberries left over!!

Excuse the last picture that is sideways...blogger wouldn't let me turn it.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

The Great Urban Race

This past weekend James and I participated in the Great Urban Race in Portland. You can get more info at but it is basically a scavenger hunt around Portland. At 12 noon, we were handed an envelope containing our 12 clues for the day. Some of them were straight forward and others involved solving cryptograms, riddles, or trivia to find the correct location. At each location, a picture was taken to prove we had completed the task.

Some of the best clues involved solving a murder mystery logic puzzle, creating a ransom note style letter with cutout letters and words from newspapers or magazines, and asking 10 random strangers to pose with us at a fountain while we all flexed our muscles. It was so fun! We finished all 12 clues in about 2 hours 15 minutes. We had the option of skipping one clue if we wanted but we chose not to since we were having so much fun. Most of the teams that finished close to the top did in fact skip one of the clues so I'd be interested to see the times of the teams that actually did ALL the clues.

We can't wait to do the race again next year...perhaps with a more outrageous costume. I don't like to stand out, but there was no way we would stand out with the costumes some people had. There were 2 guys covered in blue paint like the guys in arrested development, 2 ladies dressed as minnie mouse, and 2 girls with tutus made of plastic shopping bags. It was fun to see everyone's costumes and I'm sure people were wondering what the hell was going on!

Some pics: