Oh, hello again. You decided to come back for more. I’m glad you did. This month is a challenging one for me. It marks nine years since I lost my mom.
Her birthday is at the end of the month.
Since moving closer to my family, I have heard tales from her younger years which has been nice. They told me how my parents first met and filled me in on the details of when and why my mom relocated to the United States with two of my aunts. They also shared a hilarious story that we won't go into here. 😂
My mother was a strong-willed woman who grounded us for disrespecting her house. She’d yell at us if we didn't clean the way she liked.
Despite her stubbornness, she was an amazing woman who cared not only for her children but also for her siblings, their children, and family friends.
She was selfless and stopped going to school at an early age to help support her siblings. That’s how she was for the rest of her life.
I always imagined her helping me raise my kids. Even though she’s not physically here, I know she’s still helping me watch over my son.
It’s months like this that I am grateful we were able to move close to family.
It’s hard not having her with us, but the recollections we share of her are what keep her memory alive. 💗
☂️ Umbrella refusal
I grew up in Los Angeles and moved to Las Vegas when I was 17. I had only ever known hot weather.
I visited both Seattle and Portland a few years before I moved there and fell in love right away. It was gloomy, cloudy, and raining—perfect for me.
Let’s clear something up first. There’s this notion that it rains all the time up there. That’s not entirely true. It rains during the winter which is when I went to visit. It’s also not pouring, but more of a sprinkling than anything. All you need is a light jacket. If you’ve visited or lived there you know the saying - “real Oregonians don’t use an umbrella”. I do recommend having one though because it does pour occasionally.
I did go once during the fall which was beautiful to see. The trees had just started to turn those lovely shades of yellow, red, and orange. 🍁 There were piles of leaves on the ground. All I wanted to do was pick some up and toss them above my head like in the movies.
I quickly learned that this doesn't quite work when it has just been raining. As it turns out, there could be mud hiding underneath those leaves.
🌲 Into the wilderness
After finishing school, I wanted to experience something new. It had been two years since my father passed away, so I also wanted to get away.
I am really glad we did. Being surrounded by nature was the best move we could have made. It helped both me and my husband get back to a good mental state.
Shortly after moving, we got rid of our car. It turned out to be a great choice, as it encouraged us to walk more, which I absolutely love. Luckily, we were within walking distance of a lot of nice areas, including a park. In Portland, most parks feel like forests, and the one we frequented was no different. It happened to be called Forest Park. We went there often during the non-rainy months.
It helped to be around different outdoor areas during the pandemic. We were outside even more during that time. We were so glad we had moved and explored the area before COVID hit. We were able to appreciate it more.
🚗 Baby on board
Once I found out I was pregnant we decided to get a car again. We stumbled upon a book called “50 Hikes with Kids: Oregon and Washington” by Wendy Gorton in a local store and were pumped to have found it. We started exploring the outer areas of the city and even ventured outside of Portland more often. Although we wished we had a car the whole time, we were happy to have saved money by not having one.
While I miss the Pacific Northwest, our new chapter began when our son was born. Now that we are in California, he is surrounded by family and is thoroughly spoiled.
🧽 Wax on wax off
I go to the gym every now and then. When I go, I wipe what I am using before and after.
I wipe it before because I don’t know if it was wiped by the previous user. I wipe after to be respectful to whoever is going to use it next.
I’ve noticed that only 1 out of 5 people bother to wipe down equipment after use. I think it’s quite rude when people don’t clean up after themselves. 😒
Am I the only one who thinks it's disrespectful or am I crazy?
🏜️ Outdoors Edition
- Bungee jumping or sky diving? My husband wants me to pick skydiving but I would go bungee jumping. The thought of skydiving terrifies me because I have a fear that I won't be able to breathe while falling. Maybe one day I’ll get over it.
- Would you rather go biking in Amsterdam, kayaking in Vancouver, or hiking in Peru? I would go hiking in Peru. Unfortunately, since I don't know how to swim, I would feel uncomfortable kayaking even with a life vest.
- What National Park on the west coast are you most excited to go to? We’re trying to decide between Crater Lake and Sequoia National Park. Originally, we had planned a trip to go see Crater Lake, but that changed when we found our house. I recently discovered that Sequoia National Park is quite close to us, and I was amazed by the stunning photos I saw of the park. We’ve decided to try and make a trip to Sequoia this year, so that should be fun.