Monday, November 30, 2009

My Dream House

As Nick and I are not terribly fond of this apartment and would like to get out the nanosecond our Idaho house sells, I've been looking online for Salem-area housing. And I discovered this place, a mere few miles away in Silverton. It sits on 45 acres and boasts its own 1,400-sf guest house. See it in the above picture (that also coincidentally makes me sigh with longing)?
IS THIS NOT THE MOST AMAZING HOUSE YOU'VE EVER SEEN?!?! For a mere 2 and a half million buckaroos, this place of my dreams could be mine.

Anyone care to contribute?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

35 Years Together

Last Saturday night culminated in what had been over 4 months of planning for Jill and me. As you all know, Jill is a party-planning goddess, and so in July I approached her with the idea of throwing a surprise 35th anniversary party. I hadn't been in the state to throw them one on their 30th, and I was too young on their 25th, but this time I knew I wanted to do something really special for the 2 people who gave me a Leave-It-to-Beaver childhood.

Jill heartily agreed to my grand-but-somewhat-murky vision, and we got to work. And work.

What the work produced: one of the most memorable nights of my adulthood, and hopefully of my parents'.

The surprise party was held at Clear Lake, the scene of the majority of my happy moments from age 8 (approximately) to now. It is my personal heaven, and truly the only 2 things that could improve it are A) a hot tub and B) a baby grand piano.

Anyways, my dad only knew to make sure they showed up at Clear Lake on this Saturday night. What they didn't know was that most of their kids and 18 of their closest friends were there to greet them! Jill and I had been working since Friday night to create a tasty, elegant menu, a festive, autumnal atmosphere, and lovey-dovey music to enhance the mood. It was pretty much fantastically perfect, thank you very much.

With the assistance of my cousin Matt, I put together a slideshow set to music of my parent's life together. My dad, the sentimental one only when it comes to slideshows and old photos (and even then never when he's SUPPOSED to the Christmas before his daughter leaves for college!), watched it three times, I think.

As my parents danced together to Clint Black's "Something that We Do", I couldn't help but think of perfect the lyrics were (and don't think for a second that wasn't planned by yours truly for months ahead of time):

I remember well the day we wed
I can see that picture in my head
I still believe those words we said
Forever will ring true

They spun and twirled around the room, Elsa improvisationally smushed between them, and it was beautiful.

When I was young, I didn't even really know what divorce was. It was like a Hollywood thing; I vaguely knew it happened to other people out there, but not to my parents and not to their best friends. I think there was over 350 years of marriage at Clear Lake that night, and I know that's a testmanet to the kind of people my parents are and choose to be with. And I was so grateful.

Yes, the party exhausted me and was a ton of work. But it was the least I could do for parents who taught me that marriage is permanent.

Not only permanent, but a work of art. Happy anniversary to my fantastic parents, and thank you for passing the legacy of commitment on to so many people.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


There's really not a better place to take pictures than at Clear Lake. Any season will do.
Elsa is such a little mommy to Jack. He doesn't mind.

Every night as we pray with Jack, he says, "Jesus, Joshy, Elsa, Jill, Shane" about 4 times through. We're not sure why this is his toddler mantra, but he's quite fond of it. All I can deduce is that he's quite fond of his cousins and aunts and uncles! Hannah and Jonathan, Jack will like you just as much when you have your own kids (hint, hint).

I'm so grateful for all of Jack's cousins. He loves them all!

Monday, November 16, 2009

2 Years Changes So Much!

From this....
To this!

Happy 2nd Birthday to my life-changing son. I can't wait to see what you look like in 2 more years!