Friday, December 6, 2013

First Oregon snow

So.....I'll be a better blogger in the New Year, or after someone buys my camera so I can upgrade.

But, in any case, today marks the first snow since we've been in Corvallis. There are several inches on the ground, and it's still coming down. I enjoy weather events when I can stay home, but there's stuff to do today: a hair appointment, a holiday party. And besides, I'm completely OUT OF BOOKS! Tragedy. It will all get done, and THEN I'll sit on my couch by the fire.

UPDATE: In the middle of writing this entry, I decided to reschedule my hair appointment. Everyone gets to see my roots for two more weeks, but I'll look fresh & cute for our trip home!

Anyway: The snow. It was our new pup Charlie's first snow. He was timid at first ...for a couple of seconds before he started BOUNDING through the yard. It's funny to see the lab in him come out that way. And, as always, Boone hates it. He did his business as quickly as possible so he could rush back in and curl up into a ball on the couch.

UPDATE: The library just decided to close at 1 p.m. So no books either. I might have to download a Kindle book to make it through the storm....

Or I'll just watch my dogs play. They are pretty entertaining....

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween!

Today, I'm dressed like this:

I was pretty much always a witch for Halloween growing up. If I wasn't a witch, I would be a bunny or a dog or something cute. Never something super girly. Witches really embody Halloween for me.

I'm not sure when Halloween became one of my favorite holidays, and I don't go ALL out getting dressed up or going out to parties, but there's just something about it that I love. I love decorating my house with witches and ghosts and creepy things. I love watching "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!" I love going to the pumpkin patch, through corn mazes and haunted houses and to harvest festivals. I love PUMPKINS. Eating them and carving them.

My office had a pumpkin carving competition. I was bummed that not too many people participated, but that did allow Mr. Snailey here to clench the top spot in the "best decorated" category.

We made him last night! I took care of the butternut squash part, while Aaron actually carved the pumpkin. Tonight I'm planning on getting home early to wait for any trick-or-treaters we might have. This is our first year in a real house with a front door and everything, so I hope we get at least a couple kids coming by! I think we'll also roast our pumpkin seeds and bake some muffins.

The muffins aren't very Halloween-y, but Aaron has a potluck tomorrow at work, so ya know.

How are you celebrating?!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

October at Smith

We were lucky to spend two weekends at Smith Rock State Park this month! I hadn't been out there in months and months before that, which I think turned out to be a good thing. Smith Rock does strange things to my mental game in terms of climbing.

I let the crowds bother me. And the heat (even in the crispness of the central Oregon fall, the sun on those rocks is sweltering, still). But the past two trips have been really great, and I've made progress (and yes, sends)!

And I've been such a terrible blogger, I haven't even written about the new addition to our family that came in September: Charlie!!!

Charlie is a seven-month-old pitbull/lab mix. Here he is with Boone, cuddled up in the shade:

I almost can't handle how adorable they are. Charlie has a very sweet, calm disposition. He's sort of slow and lumbering. Much more thoughtful and accepting than Boone. They balance each other out well. They're both learning things form each other, and I love watching them interact.

We're hanging out at the Morning Glory wall and the Dihedrals mostly. Aaron's working a 12b called Latest Rage! Here's me this past weekend, after my send of Nine Gallon Buckets and before working my project, Cool Ranch Flavor. I was on Cool Ranch when we started feeling a few raindrops, which turned into a bit of a downpour and mass evacuation from the park. Eek!

I'll leave you with Ryan Palo, a guy who can climb much, much harder than me. Here he is aiding his way up Scar Face to set up a giant top rope SWING at the top. You stand, tied in, on top of a nearby boulder and let your belayer pull you off so you can swing back and forth a few times. It looks like a blast!

Smith Rock IS a beautiful place. I'm too hard on it sometimes.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Fito, I quit you!

I have a confession to make. For the past.... year? (I don't even know how long), I've been an obsessed "Fitocrat". For those that don't know, I'm talking about the social networking/fitness tracking site, Fitocracy.

And after this weekend, I quit. Why this weekend? Well, because I'm SO close to leveling up, and if my projections are correct, it will happen sometime Friday or Saturday and.... look! I already sound like a crazy person.

Here's my profile page for the site:

Below this, my daily workouts are tracked and displayed for all to see. But not just my workouts. I've gotten to the point where I track every time I walk up stairs. Every walk I take to a different part of campus during work. Every bike commute (a little more legit, but whatever).

I feel obsessed. In a bad way.

I started "working out" when we moved to Alabama in November, 2012. There wasn't much to do there. We didn't know many people, and my job offered a discounted YMCA membership. I went to the gym a couple times a week and started running. I quickly got up to half marathon distances. We also ventured to the Birmingham bouldering gym on Thursday evenings and tried to climb outside as often as we could. And I felt AMAZING, and I wanted to keep going!

To ensure I got my daily workout in, I used a calendar and wrote a G, Y, R or C near the date to designate a day I'd gone to the gym, yoga studio, for a run or climbing. And then I discovered Fitocracy.

I love the internet. And my new love for fitness fit in perfectly with Fitocracy's goal, so I started tracking. On Fitocracy, you're awarded "points" for your workout.

For example, A recent, slow 8-mile run on light hills was worth 1028 points. That's a lot.

Two hours of climbing inside is always worth 777 points.

An hour of yoga? 234 points.

The more I used the site and the more I leveled up, the more I became more obsessed with logging points. I set a personal goal to get to 1000 points every day, which lead to the aforementioned logging of stair-walking. I worked out (with a rest day or two thrown in every week). But, on days where I went to a one-hour hot yoga class, I only earned 200-something points? And that didn't seem fair!

The points awarded for yoga is a highly disputed subject by my fellow yogis on the site. The Fitocracy Gods have decided that yoga is not as strenuous as lifting (which is the preferred Fitocracy workout ...Do you even lift, Bro?!).

The point is that it's all so arbitrary. I have been in yoga classes that probably burned thousands of calories, and I have been the typical "girl on the elliptical" burning maybe a couple hundred calories in half an hour ....but I still got the points!

The other thing about the site is that the longer you use it, the longer it takes you to "level up" because there are more points between each level. I'm finishing up 60,000 points to get to level 38 at the moment. Ugh.

Then there are the groups. Oh, the groups. In the climbing community, there is something we call "spray" ...which many Fitocracy climbers seem to have no concept of. It's bad form to talk about what grades you're climbing, but this is common place in the Fitocracy forums.

It's also common to post yourself in crazy Yoga poses. Bragging! I can't take the bragging! Yoga, especially is NOT about ego.

Everything on Fitocracy seems to be about ego. And points. And I'm just....tired of it.

I'm tired of doing those few extra pushups or situps just for the points. Not that they weren't good for me, but.... It's just been too often that I've done an extra set that I didn't really need to do!

I'd love to find a free tool (besides myfitnesspal, which I'm not a fan of), that more accurately tracks health and fitness levels. But I'm done with Fitocracy. After I level up. *cries*

Monday, September 30, 2013

100 books so far

Remember when I read 100 books last year? Remember how crazy I thought that was, and decided not to shoot for a crazy reading goal this year, but to read more poetry?

I've read some poetry, yes. Go me.

But I've also read 100 books. As of last night when I finished The Aftermath by Rhidian Brook, which was pretty damn good to be honest.

I don't know how this happened. Except for a lot of time spent in the car this year (2 cross-country trips & a lot of weekenders), bus commuting for five months and my shiny new library card to a library that actually stocks books I read (Looking (displeased) at you, Central Arkansas Library System).

I've upped my Goodreads reading goal a few times this year when I got ridiculously ahead of whichever goal I had. With 100 books, I'm currently 11 books (9 percent) ahead of my current goal of 120. I'm projecting I'll end up reading 130 books this year?


I just love reading, guys. It's something I get lost in. And since I'm currently unable to travel too far from home, it's something I do to get away.

Here are some favorites of the year so far in no particular order. I'll write an official top 10 list in December, which is coming up so, so quickly! These are YA, adult fiction, nonfiction, short stories…all over the board:

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Five Star Billionaire by Tash Aw
Battleborn by Claire Vaye Watkins
Neither Here nor There by Bill Bryson
Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
The Cuckoo's Calling by J.K. Rowling as Robert Galbraith
The Across the Universe series by Beth Revis
The Whispering Muse by Sjon
A spot of Bother by Mark Haddon
Between Two Worlds by Roxana Saberi
The Flouder by Gunter Grass (liked it more than the Tin Drum!)
….and everything I read by Alice Munro

Tuesday, September 24, 2013


"Fire operates at a number of different scales. The smallest is that of a campfire, where you're just mixing fuel and oxygen and a heat source and theoretically, it perpetuates itself in time." --- Dr. John Bailey, Oregon State University

I've been working on a story about fire and fire science for work. Thus, thinking a lot about it, and about all the wonderful campfires Aaron has built for us. :)

Anyway... I've also just been plugging along. Working. Cleaning. Last weekend was nice if not a little rainy. We spent Sunday in Portland enjoying IKEA, Foster burger, shopping in the Pearl and seeing Dr. Dog play with The Lumineers.

I've also been drinking more tea and wearing more boots and scarves. More of that to come, I'm sure.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Rogue Farms

We spent the day at the Rogue Farms Hopyard in Independence! Aaron had to take one photo for work, and since we were up there, we decided to make a day of it and show ourselves around!

Most of our Rogue experiences has been at their headquarters in Newport, which is just an hour away from us! The Hopyard is closer, and it so much fun! They were hosting a harvest festival today. They have a lot of events! I would love to go back up for a cider-making workshop or pumpkin festival!

This swing was the scene of the crime for the photo. The actual subjects were not upside down, but I always think I make a great stand-in!

The two pigs were my favorite. The brother-sister pair are named Voo and Doo, and they're old and arthritic and adorable. I'm glad they've had such a happy life on the farm!

I had the new barley wine. You should probably get some!

Bonus photo. I just liked how this one turned out! All of these photos were taken by my talented husband, of course. Mine can be found on Instagram. =P

Saturday, September 7, 2013

"The Three Sisters"

I am having a very nice Saturday morning. I baked carrot-apple-zucchini muffins (with cinnamon & orange zest - I highly recommend baking anything with this combination when it starts to feel like fall wherever you are) for us, and I have the first of two loaves of zucchini bread in the oven for our coworkers next week.

I have tea. I have candles burning. I really have no desire to leave my freshly-cleaned house, but I will in just a bit for a little run before I continue on with the rest of the day: shopping for bike fenders and attending our first OSU football game tonight!

As good as this morning is, though, I'm not sure it tops one a few months back when we stopped in Eugene on the way to go climbing and had brunch at Morning Glory Cafe downtown.

I had something they call The Three Sisters. The menu says: A mountain of herbed glory potatoes, broccoli, mushrooms, zucchini, tomatoes and onions. Topped with your choice of mozzarella cheese, nutritional yeast sauce, herbed tofu sour cream, or tantric mushroom gravy. Served with your choice of homemade bread. Half portion: $6.75 Add organic baked tofu, organic grilled tempeh slices, or soysage patties: $2.75

I've been dreaming about this and craving it ever since, so, since I had the list of ingredients in front of me, I decided to attempt it.

I know it doesn't look pretty, but I thought it turned out pretty well! Here's what I used:

a good amount of yukon gold potatoes
1 head of broccoli
1 cup of mushrooms
2 cups of zucchini (because we have a lot of zucchini still)
3 small/medium tomatoes
1 small yellow onion
1 batch vegan mushroom gravy

I covered my yukon golds and broccoli with oil, salt and pepper and roasted them at 425 while I started on my mushroom gravy (I used this Whole Foods recipe, which did the job!). Once my gravy was nice and thick, I kept it warm on low while I caramalized my onions in butter and then threw in my zucchini, mushrooms and tomatoes in that order. When everything was done, I decided to just combine it in the big bowl you see in the photo. We still have a ton left, and it's kept nicely in the fridge. Craving satisfied.

By the way. This meal was completely vegan at Morning Glory, but since I'm not a vegan, I happily used some butter for frying purposes. :)

Friday, September 6, 2013

Friday Five

1. Being away from my desk

...I feel a bit drained because of it, but during monotonous weeks, I wish for ones like this. Monday was a holiday, Tuesday I was in the field, Wednesday I had meetings, Thursday we had a department picnic and today I'm going to Portland to help pick up furniture for our new office. Phew.

2. Dr. Dog

...And other music. Specifically Dr. Dog because he's playing with the Lumineers in Portland later this month, and Aaron got us tickets! So excited.

3. Tumblr

I finally added cute layouts to both of my tumblr blogs and updated the one I use for my original content

4. Rest

I haven't worked out much due to all the other business. We finally went to the climbing gym last night, and I really hit it hard, and I'm looking forward to a long run this weekend as well as an outdoor bouldering sesh if the weather holds up.

5. Fruit

It's a good feeling when you get to go to the grocery store again, after a week or so, and you have all kinds of fresh food again. Ah.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

The Woods

I spent my Tuesday out in the woods with these fools:

I really enjoy my coworkers. They are all super talented, passionate people.

Also, look at that fisheye action on the trees! I loved playing with our 8mm lense. We were following around a group of fire science researchers studying an area of the Lower Umpqua Forest (I think) that burned in 2009.

It was really beautiful. A perfect day to go for a walk in the woods.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Labor Day Weekend in Leavenworth

me on chunky, v3

Aaron on, The Hueco Route, the most fun v1 ever

And this is Gold Bar, where we did not climb. Because of access issues we didn't know about or didn't think to find out about. It was so beautiful, though....


We didn't leave Corvallis until about 6 p.m., so we ended up sleeing in the truck, in a Safeway parking lot.


We made it to Leavenworth by about 8 and had coffee at the most adorable little Starbucks ever before we went out to Icicle Canyon, which is one of the main bouldering areas. We climbed until 12:30, when we went into town to watch some football and eat lunch. I had a grilled cheese and onion rings. Aaron had fish & chips, and we got to see our Hogs on ESPN U for just a little while. Then, we headed back to the boulders. We camped that night somewhere deep in the canyon. It was beautiful, but a little chilly and apparently a tiny bit rainy.


We started out early and spent the whole day in the Mad Meadows area. No big sends due to the sharpness of the granite, and unfamiliarity with the rock and the area. We wanted to climb in Gold Bar on Monday, so we decided to drive and camp there that night. When we got there, we found the road to the boulders closed. And after a little research discovered that the land is owned by a timber company, and while the road is closed to vehicles, it's open to hikers....


What we didn't realize is how long the hike was. Aaron thought there was a shortcut, but after about a mile of hiking, we discovered there wasn't, and that it would take at least another hour - maybe two - to get to the boulders. We gave up and came home early. I don't feel too sad about it. It was our fault for lack of planning. I'd like to go try again sometime soon. Gold Bar is closer to us than Leavenworth, so it might be possible before it gets too cold and wet.

As if this wasn't enough, I had another adventure on Tuesday. I'm SO tired today, but I'll write more about that later. :)

Thursday, August 29, 2013

zucchini zucchini zucchini

I've been a bad blogger... But the truth is, not too much has been going on. I've been working, reading, exercising and mostly just keeping my head down, I suppose. We're planning a labor day trip to Washington for some bouldering (and eating out... maybe some hiking. MAYBE some Sound of Music watching ...if I'm lucky) -- we're leaving TOMORROW!

One interesting thing that has been going on is, well, zucchini. Our awesome next door neighbor was in Canada for awhile and told us to raid his garden while he was gone. We did, and this was our haul:

The eggplant was used up pretty quickly on some delicious pizza last week, leaving me with three GIANT zucchini. The largest one weighs 8.5 pounds and still hasn't been touched. The smallest one is gone, and we're well on our way to finishing up the second smaller one.

Everyone told me that when zucchini gets so big, it gets tough, but I haven't found that to be true of these guys. They're still pretty delicious. Here's what I've made so far.

•zucchini bread
My first time! I'm unimaginative with my quickbreads, and all I usually make is banana bread.

•zucchini pizzas
AKA: roasted zucchini topped with tomato sauce, cheese, Italian cheese blend and fresh tomatoes & basil from our garden

•zucchini potato soup
yup... Pretty self-explanatory

•zucchini & other veggie pasta
Probably my favorite thing with the zucchini so far. Was originally gonna be zucchini-mushroom with an alfredo-y sauce, but I just kept throwing veggies in: red pepper, tomato, onion ...and it turned out awesome topped with some goat cheese!

•roasted zucchini
A nice side dish for all of your fixins.

I imagine I'll make at least another loaf or two of zucchini bread ... zucchini fries ... planning some zucchini tostadas for when we're camping, but I'm running out of ideas! I'm also getting tired of zucchini in general, but it is perfectly good, delicious zucchini, so it seems like a shame not to use it up. I'm determined! One thing I'm considering is trying to recreate the most amazing vegan breakfast I had in Eugene awhile back...We'll see. Let me know if you have ideas. I'll see you next week. Hopefully with a lot of awesome photos!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

New homemades

nutella cheesecake minus the chopped hazelnuts because I'm apparently insane (according to everyone else), and don't like nuts in my chocolate.

Crock pot chicken tikka masala with thighs and wings from our Afton Farms chicken. I'm kind of passed using a recipe for this now. Basically, I marinate the chicken in spices (garam masala, cayenne, etc) & yogurt overnight, & make a tomato-paste-based sauce with tons of spices (garam masala, turmeric, chili powder, etc.) and throw it all in the crock pot for 8 hours on low. Finish it off with some heavy cream, a couple of teaspoons of spices to freshen it up, cilantro & some rice! Bam. I make a ton. It keeps & reheats really well, for which I'm glad because I always want more than one serving of this!

Homemade salsa with tomatoes from our garden, 2 serrano peppers (roasted), 1 hot green chili (roasted), 1/4 of a jalapeno, seeded & chopped, 2 cloves of garlic, a hand full of red+yellow onion & cilantro. It's super spicy & super delicious! Our tomatoes are starting to go crazy. I'm excited to figure out what else to do with them - besides share them!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Friday Five

•Early bedtimes
•My running schedule
•Greek yogurt ...again.
•Charles Wright & Charles Simic ...the Charleses

Thursday, August 8, 2013

TBT: Mark Twain Hall

My college friends and I have been a buzz this week about the renovation of the dorm we all lived in.

I moved into Mark Twain Hall my second semester freshman year. I initially lived in a much "nicer" dorm on the other side of campus, but I found friends in Mark Twain, and I wanted to be closer to them. Closer to the journalism school. Closer to downtown. Closer to life.

Here's what my room looked like back then.

Nice. Bright. Happy. Plenty of stuffed animals. Plenty of posters.

I stayed for another year in another room with another friend next door to girls who became my best friends...

It makes me a little sad that it doesn't look like this anymore. That the bathrooms aren't as crappy and ridiculous. That the dining hall isn't small and humble: a well-kept secret, just for those of us that lived on that secluded side of campus.

Lots of collegey things happened to me in Mark Twain. I made friends, played silly games, wrote papers, ate tons of "pokey sticks", drank alcohol behind locked doors (because I'm such a rebel...). Actually, that's honestly probably the most rebellious thing I have ever done. I lead a pretty safe, rule-following life.

I worked at the front desk and had to run to throw up in the mail room during one ill-fated hungover morning. I don't drink like that anymore! I played Tetris and fell asleep on other peoples' beds watching movies. I got written up for being "too loud" during "quiet hours". That write-up was later expunged....

I hope that the changes they've made to the building really do help more Mizzou students to have similar awesome experiences.

In any case, they have the smoke stacks, which we always joked about, but which I'll always remember after waking up every day to the smoke and the fog outside my sixth and seventh-floor windows. They have also probably facilitated future cancer cases for all of us. I have a theory that we'll all get called up in 20 years for some kind of medical study on the affects of living that close to a power plant.

Eh. Worth it.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The Garden

It's a secret garden with secret boulders. And, for one day last weekend, a Callie, an Aaron and a Boston terrier.

A v5ish in what I'm calling "the front area". We don't know!

Boone looked on. (See all the ferns?!)

I worked it too!

And then we all got tired and went home. Which was not difficult, because this prime bouldering spot is only an hour from our front door. <3

Friday, August 2, 2013

Friday Five + banana bread

Last night was productive. I finally managed to use up the two cups of rice I cooked on Tuesday when our leftovers from last week finally ran out.

We've had Mujadra, Burrito bowls, and last night: pineapple fried rice. (the Forks over Knives recipe).

Before I started the fried rice I got some banana bread in the oven. It's been randomly cloudy and ...angry-looking outside for the last couple of days, and there's nothing more comforting. I use my momma's recipe.

• 3/4 cup butter or margarine – softened to room temperature
• 2 cups sugar
• 2 eggs
• 2 teaspoons vanilla
• 3 cups mashed very ripe bananas
• 3/4 cup milk
• 5 cups of flour
• 6 teaspoons baking powder
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 1/2 cup chopped pecan or walnuts – optional
• Pam

Spray loaf pans liberally with Pam.  Preheat oven to 350*.

Cream margarine and sugar together.  Add eggs and vanilla.  Mix well.  Stir in bananas and milk.

Mix dry ingredients together – and then stir into banana mixture.  Mix only until dry ingredients are mixed in.  Do not over mix or the banana bread will be “tough.”  Stir in nuts if desired.  Pour equal portions into pre-Pammed loaf pans.  Bake for about 1 hour at 350* until a toothpick stuck in the center comes out clean.

Anyway, here's some stuff I've been enjoying this week:

•English breakfast tea
•greek yogurt & berries
•meal planning, baking
•banana bread
•rewatching Laura Vitale videos...

There's a fat kid inside of me begging to get out...

Thursday, August 1, 2013

TBT: Londontown

If you ever wondered why or how Rebekah and I became the best of friends, it's because of this:

Yes...SIX summers ago now...we were crammed into this bedroom together. This is literally the whole room. The bathroom, which we shared with four other girls was almost half this size on Hogarth Street in Earl's Court.

I was thinking about old London yesterday because it was the birthday of the boy who lived.

I don't think I fully appreciated London while I was there. My focus was on my internship, which I worked 9-5, Monday-Friday in Islington just like a real person! And also on seeing as much of Europe as I could...

•I ate a lot of tortellini in my tiny kitchen (the pre-packaged Sainsbury's kind)
•I saw films in Covent Garden
•I spent Saturdays at Portobello Road and in Hyde Park
•I commuted from the Piccadilly Line and the District Line every day, changing trains at Kings Cross
•I spent my lunch hours in the basement of a Starbucks in Islington - before Starbucks had wifi - with pre-downloaded TV shows on my lap top & a tall hot chocolate.
•I was cold. Until the last week or two I was there, in August.

It's cold here today. But I'm feeling good. I've kept to my schedule all week. All that's really left (besides two work days) is a 10-mile run. I'm already sore from all my other workouts this week. We're climbing tonight in the gym after work and at "the garden" on Saturday. Home projects on Sunday! ...and lots of cooking ...and lots of BAKING! I'm excited about the baking. I wanted to make banana bread light, but I opted for an early bedtime instead. ;)

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Summer Reading Favorites

I feel more settled this week. I came up with a new self-schedule. I like routine during the week. What can I say? I'm getting up at 5 every morning, which means bed time is 9:30 at the latest. However, I haven't gotten to bed before 10 p.m. yet. That's OK. In the mornings, I'm running on MWF and writing on TuTh. Today was the first writing day. It was really nice to start the morning (after a hot bath and a kettle of tea) by sitting at my kitchen table watching the sun rise in my back yard and basking in the fresh unknown of a new writing project.

And despite all of the non-routine and craziness of packing and unpacking and running around, it has also been a good summer for reading. So far.

And it's strange to say "so far" because back home, summer is almost over. School starts the first or second week of August, while we have until late September.

That's fine with me, because I'll keep reading!

Right now I'm finishing up the last book in the Across the Universe series by Beth Revis. I'd heard a ton about the series on YouTube, but it didn't sound amazing to me. Too sci-fi for me, maybe. But it's not. The main character, Amy is so relatable. She basically reacts to everything like YOU would if you were frozen on a spaceship for hundreds of years and woken up to discover that things we're necessarily going as planned. It's AWESOME.

Another one of my favorite books so far this summer has been The Whispering Muse by Sjón, who I didn't know much about before I started reading. Turns out he writes songs for Björk. Figures. The short novel has great stories and beautiful writing. You want to read it. Promise.

Monday, July 29, 2013


A day in downtown Portland:

Sunday, July 28, 2013


I sighed when I got home from work this Friday. It was a strange feeling to know that a week ago I was gazing at this more empty space for the first time, excited about filling it with our things and making it our own. One week later, magically, it is that. And it is wonderful. We just completed our very first "home improvement" project: fixing the front gate so that Boone can stay out in the yard while we're inside the house. The house's owner, our landlord, lives in Australia, so we'll be in charge of these kinds of improvements, which feels nice. Anyway, here it is!

Fergie, my flamingo, lives outside now.

Front yard wilderness.

Living room typical.

Above our fire place!

Living room TV.

Dining room.


Big kitchen window.

Happy kitchen things!

Hallway. Big mirror.



Aaron's closet in our bedroom.

Living room. The fan was our first purchase. A must.

MY closet in MY room!

This is the converted garage, which has the washer/dryer, and a few things that will be moved out to the shed later.

Aaron's man room. I put my Dawson's Creek box set out to make fun of him. This room has our "adventure closet" with our outdoor gear.

Also Aaron's man room. We're lacking furniture for down there...

The back garden.

There are artichokes growing in one of our raised beds. Fate.

Backyard clothesline.

As you might be able to tell, there are some more upcoming projects. I'm excited to make the place even more ours. I love it!