Fam Christmas

So in the last post you saw a picture out my front door. That's nothing compared to what we came home to last night after Christmas with my family. Snow was piled up to the front door, heaped against the side of my car, and fairly level to the curb from where it landed on the street. We were carving a new path into the neighborhood when we got home last night.

We met my family at Mom and Dad's for breakfast yesterday morning and then spent the day over there. Nate and I finally left around 6pm, maybe 7pm. It was an all-day affair! We had fun just hanging out, snug and warm, watching the wind whip snow around the house.

Rae Ann made this "Hazel charm" for me for Christmas. Such a great, creative gift! I'm so excited to begin really wearing it - once it's totally dry. My poor little Nathaniel charm you see next to it got stuck on the Hazel's face for a few minutes yesterday...She's okay, though, so don't worry!


Who's 4 weeks old?

Hazel is...and here's her little "I'm 4 weeks!" picture.

She's in her favorite pose - sleeping.

And here's what waited out my front door just after I took this picture of Hazel: SNOW!


*dum dum duuuummmmmm*


That's what I am.

It's a little jarring, but I think I'll be okay.

I had a good birthday, though, so that helps in times of trial.

I spent a chunk of the day with Mom, Rae Ann, and the girlies working on Christmas cookies. Rae Ann brought her sling so we could practice using it with Hazel - she needs to learn to get used to it. (Don't worry, she screamed solidly when I put her in one awhile ago, but once Rae Ann popped her in the sling yesterday, Hazel was peachy. Cool.)

The snow kept me from venturing out for Nate's stocking stuffers on my own, so I made some stops with Dad (who spent my "birthday moment" with me) in the afternoon (in his 4-wheel drive truck) and left Hazel with Mom and Rae Ann for a few hours.

She did great! When Dad and I got home, Hazel was out like a lump on a log, and she showed very little interest in waking up. I packed her up and we rushed home, though - Nate had called and wanted me to get home and get ready for us to go out for my birthday.

We dropped Hazel off with Nate's mom and then jetted to dinner. I took this birthday self-portrait in Rick and Karen's driveway. Okay, I'll be honest. I was a little excited to get out and go to dinner and a movie. And to be alone with Nate.

Nate took me to Portifino's in Sellwood for dinner. It had been about five and a half years since we had eaten there last, so I was very excited to give it a try again! The food was fantastic, but this was the second time when Nate has practically broken a tooth on something in his food during one of my birthday dinners.

The first time it happened was in Red Robin - Nate was drinking his water when suddenly he sputtered and spit out a bunch of glass. They handed him an accident report form and bid us adieu. I'm pretty sure that Portifino's thought we were trying to pull something over on them last night when Nate handed them a spoon with a bit of bone or shell in it that he spit out after taking a bite of his vegetarian meal. The guy said (in essence), "Well, don't know where that came from...That's too bad. Oh well."

We enjoyed our dinner immensely, but I think we can wait another 5+ years before going back.

After dinner in Sellwood, we drove out to Gresham for a double feature at Mt. Hood Theater - we saw "Eagle Eye" and "Lakeview Terrace," both intense movies. "Lakeview Terrace" left us feeling on edge, though, which I think directly contributed to the fact that these bed-by-8pm people made it home by 1am still awake and with it.

I should mention, though, that we made it all the way from Gresham to the bottom of Nate's parents' hill before having to put chains on Nate's truck. The forecast had freaked us out and made us think that we'd have to put chains on before going to the movie, but the drive back to Clackamas was still clear at midnight. Oh, for those of you from the area, we drove from the theater all the way up Powell to 92nd and then over to Sunnyside. No back roads for us. So the drive took twice as long as usual.

Here's Nate putting on the chains, and here's my opinion of an icy hill at 12:15am.

Ah, good times! Memories to hold me over until I'm another year older!


Hazel's first snow.

So, no way am I taking my little one out into the snow to just hang out, but I snapped some pictures from our living room!

It's been quite white here for the last few days. It was lovely on day one, but now it's a little obnoxious. Life gets moved all around depending on the weather. Will it ice, will it not? If we leave the house, will we be able to get home again? So fun! I'm not sure when it's supposed to end - by Christmas, I think.

But even though the snow can be seriously annoying (and I sound super pessimistic about it), it's still beautiful!



We're so excited! We've known for several months that we would be needing to move, but with bed rest and Hazel finally making her appearance, we put searching for a place on the back burner. But a house fell into our lap like a week and a half ago...

Yes, that's a funny story. Mom was running down 172nd (I call her crazy for this) and decided to stop in at this little blue house which had been vacant for several months, but only IF A CAR WAS IN THE DRIVEWAY. Well, there was a car in the driveway! Leave it to my mom to be gutsy enough to walk up to a stranger's house and let herself in without knowing the situation.

But she was safe - the guy who owns the house was there with another man who works for him. Mom got some details on the house, like the all important fact that it was for rent. She ran the rest of the way home with the owner's name and number and called me as soon as she could. Nate and I jumped on it - I called the guy and we drove over and met with him about 30 minutes after talking to him on the phone.

[My kitchen, which I'm actually excited about! It'll look so beautiful when it's been painted...]

The owner's name stuck in my head as one that I recognized, but I thought that maybe that was just because it was an alliteration like both Mom and Dad's names are. When we got out of the truck at the house, though, I recognized the guy, but once more I didn't think too hard about it.

[Our bathroom.]

It was when the owner, Bruce, introduced us to his handyman that everything fell into place. Bruce indicated that his handyman works over at the golf course that the rental house backs up on - that fact was exciting to me because I worked at that golf course as a waitress in high school. The handyman pointed over at Bruce and said, "Well, he owns the golf course."

[Nate and Bruce in the garage - the breezeway is out the door behind Bruce, and then you can see the door into the house beyond that.]

Bruce and I looked at each other in a new light just then. I reminded him of my somewhat uncomfortable interview for the waitressing job, which he totally remembered - I had showed up at the golf course in my cheerleading warm-ups and with my hair stacked high in big curlers and covered by a bandana. He had thought that was hilarious at the time and got a big laugh out of it.

[This is the view from the bathroom. From left to right: A door out of view goes to our bedroom, a door slightly in view is the linen closet, the first open door looks into the dining room, the second open door looks into the kitchen, another door slightly in view leads upstairs to the finished attic/Nate's office, and the last door (out of view) is Hazel's room.]

What more could we ask for! Bruce remembered me and I remembered him and suddenly we were all at ease. That personal connection went a long way while we explored the house. I had told Bruce over the phone that we weren't out to be impressed - I understood he hadn't been in the house for the last 15 years, so it was dirty and cluttered with the previous renters' leftover junk.

[Nate's attic office.]

He showed us around, though, happily, and we fell just a little bit in love with the place! Yes, it's on 11 acres, with a creek. It has two bedrooms, a finished attic, and a huge basement with a bonus room. Nate worked out a deal with Bruce and we'll be moving in by the end of January latest (I think...) - Nate's doing the interior and exterior painting and cleaning the house and we get our asking price for our rent! This is a great answer to our prayers. God has really provided for us in a special way.

[Looking from the dining room through the little entryway and into the front living room. The sun room is through the glass-paned door around the corner to the left.]

[Looking from the far wall of the front living room back toward the kitchen, through the dining room.]

[The sun room, looking through one door into our bedroom and out the other into the hall and toward Hazel's room. Yes, it's one big circle.]

[Looking at the sun room from our bedroom.]

[My laundry space in the basement.]

[The basement bonus room.]

[Our basement storage - WAHOO!]

[The wood chute for our wood burning furnace; we're hoping to use the oil furnace as sparingly as possible...]
[The back of the house and garage.]

[Our back yard.]
As you can see from the pictures, the house still needs a lot of work, besides Nate's painting - it's getting new siding in spots, a new roof, a furnace check, and cleaned or replaced carpets. Wanna help us clean???


meeting uncle ricky

Ricky and Tiffany flew in from South Korea last Monday night, so we packed up Hazel to meet them at the airport. Here are some pictures from her first meeting with Uncle Ricky...


Noble Commander

One of our labor nurses, Emily, asked us about the name choices for our girl while she was with us during her shift at the hospital. I shared with her the name meanings without sharing the actual names: Heidi - "noble, kind"; Hazel - "commander." Emily began calling our girl Noble Commander, and I think the nickname suits Hazel. She's our little commander, but she's just so sweet and small! I have a suspicion that the commander element of her personality will carry on through her lifetime - that feeling is strong!


because i'm a new mom

You are about to be subjected to a long line of videos and pictures, all of which I find fantastic because I'm a new mom, and isn't it my job to inundate anyone willing to look and listen with pictures of my sleeping baby, my sleeping baby, and my sleeping baby?

We switched to a different pediatrician and met her this morning. The first ped came into our hospital room and met with us when Hazel was a day old. We had our first week appointment with him but decided to switch to a different office closer to our house. We love our new pediatrician! She's great!

And Hazel is doing fantastic - her stats...
* Date of birth (11-22): 7 lbs. 14 oz., 19 3/4 inches long, head 14 inches around
* Day we left the hospital (11-25): 7 lbs. 3 oz.
* First lactation appointment (11-26): 6 lbs. 14 oz.
* One week appointment (11-28): 7 lbs. 4 oz.
* Two week appointment (12-8): 8 lbs. 8 oz., 21 inches long, head 14 5/8 inches around

I am sooo proud of Hazel - she's growing so much and doing so well. She impressed the ped when she held her head up and looked around (both ways) during some tummy time in the office. Her eyes are doing great, her arms and legs move in sync as well as independent of each other...I could keep going, but I'll stop...We're just thrilled with her growth!

This picture is from last night after decorating the Christmas tree (which I'll post about soon, because this year's tree takes the cake...) - Hazel was a little pooped after a long day. We visited the Canby Tamale Festival yesterday afternoon and then stopped by Leslie and Adam's to visit and take a look at some houses in their neighborhood. And then last night Rick and Karen stopped by with food and time on their hands - we handed Hazel over and decorated the tree.

Okay, so Ricky and Tiffany fly in from South Korea today. And they're back for good! We can't wait to go see them. Actually, I need to wrap up Hazel so we can load up the car and go pick them up from the airport right now...I'm taking the camera, though, so I'll post about the "reunion" soon, too - this is the first time Ricky and Tiffany will meet Hazel, so we're all pretty excited! Okay, another video before I go, though. Enjoy, friends. Enjoy.