Tuesday, July 24, 2012

July Texas Weekend

This past weekend I was in Texas for a long weekend… just in time for the heat wave. Yep, it just happened to be the hottest days they’ve seen this summer. And I got to experience it. I prepared myself for the worst: walking outside, immediately getting lightheaded, fainting onto the hot concrete and waking up and hour later in a puddle of sweat and with a lobster sunburn. Thankfully, it wasn’t that bad. I was able to breath, walk and function each day almost like normal!

I didn’t choose this weekend in hopes that the weather in Texas would be comparable to the heavenly 74-degree Portland summertime. I went down for my cousin Megan’s wedding. I already love weddings to begin with, but when you live far away getting to go home for weddings are extra-awesome because you get to see lots of friends and family all in one place. It’s the jackpot of staying connected with people you love. Megan’s wedding on Saturday night was super fun. All of the Carters were together have a good ol’ time (including some pretty crazy moves on the dance floor)!

Since I was in Dallas for four days, I also got to spend lots of quality time with family including brunch with the Colemans, lunch with the Mark girls and sweet Baby Lottie, a golf cart ride around the Belf’s new neighborhood, visiting the Dallas farmer’s market, and getting woken up at 6:30 each morning by some way too energetic kids (who doesn’t love that?!).

Thanks for great talks and a fun weekend, fam!

playing with little Henry before heading to the rehearsal dinner

Jammy with the beautiful flower girls and handsome ring bearer

sisters at the wedding

cousins table at the reception

getting down on the dance floor with Alice Anne

Monday, July 16, 2012

When It's Sunny in Portland

In Portland, summer starts the day after the 4th of July. Until then weather is pretty unpredictable, but starting July 5th you can pretty much count on perfect weather through September.  So what do Portlanders do when the rain finally goes away and the sun comes out to play?? We dust off our sunglasses, store away our black and grey hoodies, expose our pale skin by wearing uncommonly colorful tank tops, and completely lose track of time because it stays light until about 9:30pm.
I personally have a hard time being on my computer during my precious sunny nights and weekends, so I fall behind on my blogging. But I'm sitting on my wonderful back patio on this glorious 74 degree evening and thought I would fill you in on the beginning of another perfect summer here in Portland.
When it's sunny in Portland, we:
 spontaneously bike around the neighborhood, inviting other bikers to join our ride (destination: nowhere) then climb on top of an abandoned elementary school to watch the sun set
join the rest of the city in watching fireworks explode over the Willamette River downtown

forget about our cars and bike everywhere possible
go for long runs in Forest Park where we can see the effects of the rainy season

buy fresh produce at the local farmers markets

pick fresh raspberries and marionberries for dessert

and even experience a little Christmas in July while eating frozen yogurt on Hawthorne

Christmas in July
Speaking of the Christmas spirit, my home community group had a "Christmas in July" camping trip this past weekend.  Niguel's mom lives out towards the coast in Willamina.  We've heard stories about her love/obsession with Christmas, so we decided we would make a trip to see what it was all about.  Just as Niguel said, there were snow globes scattered aroud the house, snowmen figurines above the kitchen cabinets, snowflake blankets on the couches and even a little Christmas tree in the front enterance.  We sang our favorite Christmas carols around the campfire, had a white elephant gift exchange and drank our coffee out of Christmas mugs.  It was a very merry camping trip to say the least!

gift exchange around the campfire

Sunday, July 1, 2012

New House

This post is way overdue as it has been exactly a month since I moved to a new house in Portland.  I am now living in the hip Sunnyside neighborhood off of SE Belmont Street.  I decided to move into this new place with some pretty rad girls who I've become good friends with this past year.  Laura is a family friend who moved to Portland from Virginia and works at Sseko Designs.  Mollie also moved from Virginia and is a med student at the National College of Natural Medicine.  Natalie is from Portland and just recently settled back in town after touring around the country for her amazing music.  Holly is living with us for the summer while she interns at Sseko and then starts the Oregon Fellows Program in September.  They are all awesome.

I feel like I'm just now getting settled in now that I'm back from Guatemala and I've loved living here so far.  We've already started checking out the nearby spots in order to become legit "locals".

Laura on our amazing back patio, our favorite part of the house

Belmont Market - where we buy ginger ale and gum

at Hobnob - this will be our official "local spot"

just hanging out at Aalto Lounge

The SE Portland Way
I just discovered this great resource last week: the SE Portland Tool Library.  Located in St Mark's Lutheran Church, any SE resident can go here to check out a wide variety of tools for free! How awesome is that?! I needed an electric sander to fix up a new dresser and was able to check one out here.  Sharing the resources we having and helping each other out... what a great idea.