Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Counting down

Jason has 32 class days left of school -- woo-hoo!
The paper chain to help us countdown is officially UP!

Although we're feeling pretty ready for this season to be over, we continue to try to focus on the many blessings that have been given and just how fortunate we are ... especially with our health, our sweet Moscow community and our cozy home.

And Mabel's latest ... trying to stand on her head :)

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Mabel @ 18 months & our first backyard blooms

About 10 days ago, Mabel passed her 18 month mark. I would imagine posts like these would normally include how much a child is growing & doing, etc. Not our Mabel. She is TINY and although developing at what's considered a normal pace, she is so far behind where Luke was at this age, she still feels very much like a "baby" to us. We don't mind. She continues to charm us.

To celebrate turning 18 months, she walked all the way to Main Street from our house (over a half mile!!) :)

And! The snow has melted once again (hopefully for good this time) to reveal our first flowers of the season -- hurrah! I'd never seen these sweet little flowers until last year when the popped up, carpeting the back corner of our yard in white and purple. After a little researching, we found out they are called Anemones. So thankful for their cheery blooms!

Friday, March 10, 2017

Spring - on hold :(

A couple weeks ago we had a warming up into the 40's and lots of rainy days which essentially melted all but the biggest piles of snow around town and left our nearby mountains looking like this.

We started looking for bulbs pushing up in the brown mud that now constitutes our yard and felt certain Spring was on it's way. Then, this happened ... several times in a row.

Grrr. Of course, I know it's not time yet here for Spring, but I SO SO want it to be!!

At least the snow brightens everything up and covers up the dreary, brown mud; and, when the sun shines ... ah, it is so lovely.

Clearly it was too cold for me to go OUT and take this photo -- do you like the reflection of our living room light on the glass?

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Becoming {more} American

When we lived in Shanghai, we regularly had brunch at Element Fresh, a restaurant with lovely ex-pat friendly food. We always had a chuckle at the name of one of the breakfasts on their menu called "The Big American." It was essentially two full meals on one enormous plate. A small, yet accurate picture of how we are perceived by other cultures.

This winter we were blessed to be given a second car. It is in truly fantastic shape (and has all-wheel drive!) but due to age and miles wasn't going to be worth too much re-sale. How splendid - as it's worth a lot to us! Our Jeep has over 220,000 miles on it and is running well, but we always wonder how much longer it will do so.

Ironically, we really struggled with whether or not to accept this incredible gift. First, because we don't really need it at the moment since Jason walks or rides his bike to school/work and Moscow is a very walkable city for me when the weather isn't awful. Second, even with a gift like this there are always expenses and we really aren't in a situation to be adding to our expenses. Lastly, we realized we rather liked the struggle of having to figure life out with only one car. We felt a bit counter-cultural and we liked having the reminder that in so many places of the world people don't even have one car.

In the end, we knew we would be foolish to pass up such a generous gift and we accepted with hearts full of gratitude. We are now the "Big Americans" with TWO cars to our name. It still seems a bit funny to have cars that combined could seat 10 people when there are only 4 of us.

Two weeks ago I got my lesson ... while Jason was away in Oregon for several days at a conference, the Jeep was very sluggish in starting ... I felt so blessed to just be able to transfer kids & car seats to our second vehicle and drive away without having to cancel my appointment and/or be obsessed with wondering if the Jeep would start when our appointment was over.

Feeling SUPER thankful for this little vehicle (that looks very at-home in the new snow we got last night!) --