Hello Portland

Hello Newman.

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Well hi and a ho there!

I am officially blogging at ya live from Portland, Oregon. How mighty good it feels to be done with moving. All the annoying cardboard boxes are broken down and awaiting a she-she recycling bin here in what seems to be the “green” mecca. Summer clothes are hanging in the closets awaiting weekend trips to Canon Beach and of course, local pizza has been ordered. Are we Portlandians or what?

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The new place!

It all started last Saturday, when two movers showed up at our house and managed to fit all our worldly possessions into one moving truck. I drove the Jeep down early with the important, ULTRA fragile stuff (read: my makeup, perfumes and the 2 crystal wine glasses we own). I arrived to gray skies and a townhouse that had not been cleaned. SONOFA.

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Whatevs. We shoved the 5 boxes or so on top of the rubble (and I do mean rubble, the place was recently renovated) and headed out for much-needed drinks and food. Substantially woozy an well-fed, we blew up the air mattress we brought along for the evening. Our movers weren’t coming until the morning so we had to “rough it” the first night. And rough it, we did.

We went for a little walk around our surroundings and I looked like a regular doofus in m’white tenni-runners. The idiot that is me forgot to pack an extra pair of normal shoes in my overnight bag. Such a tourist.

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That night, I woke up no less than 38 times, as did Bryan. Our air mattress, while somewhat comfy, is definitely NOT the king bed we are used to. The next day when the movers arrived to unload the truck – my crazy mind decided it was the perfect time for a mild panic attack. So I peaced and left the boys doing what they do best.

After my walk and brush with hurricane Farrah (my panic attacks warrant the names of catastrophic weather patterns) I was back and BETTAH THAN EVA. Bryan and I spent the day leisurely  unpacking, having newspaper fights and stopping for beers on our front stoop petting our neighbors dogs.

I’M KIDDING.

Really, we were hot, smelly and already mad we moved here. I tuckered myself out after our lunch of Jimmy John’s and promptly PTI’FO.

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 That night, per tradish we ordered pizza for dinner and selected a place called Hot Lips Pizza. Later, it was decided that we liked it. Win! We ate delicious chocolate cookies that my boss sent me off with and went to bed with happy tum-tums.

Monday morning Bry had to go to work, which meant housewife Natalie got to show her true colors. And per Bryan, “she worked it”. I spent the day and I do mean THE DAY getting the place organized. We’re talkin 7:30-5 here folks. Of SOLID work.

Since our new place isn’t as, *ahem* spacious as our 2,600 square-foot house we moved from (imagine), I had to economize a bit. Which means that things like winter clothes, that fancy stock pot, or my 10,000 cookbooks are and will remain in a box. There simply isn’t the closet space for all of our clothes, winter coats, ski pants and all my tap shoes (kidding).Luckily, we have a spare office space off the garage we can use to store any extraneous items.

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What else did I do, you ask?

  • Re-folded and categorized each piece of clothing into neat and tidy piles, put away
  • Moved furniture up and down the stairs by MYSELF
  • Arranged the guest room (it is to die)
  • Completed 4 hip thrusts
  • Organized all beauty products according to function
  • Organized all makeup into my vanity
  • Arranged candle collection in drawers
  • Sang Baby Beluga by Raffi X 8

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By the time Bry got home from work that night, I was FINISHED. And he was astounded. I really wowed him, esp with the guest bedroom. I wish I had taken before and afters. It’s like HGTV quality. The second bedroom  might just be the crown jewel of our new digs, probably because I hung up all my girly stuff Bryan hates! tee hee

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And because Bry got a fancy new phone and I was feeling all proud of my work, I did a little room tour! (apologies that the camera is the wrong direction, I’m still a novice).

 

So here we are. Living in a brand new city. Getting lost all time and using our phones to navigate us two blocks to the Nordstrom. Realizing we live in a really cool area by the river where everyone has cute dogs and nice legs. Where we are surrounded by bars, restaurants and plenty of weird Portland-folk who have proven to be the BEST people-watching of probably my entire life.

What’s next? It’s anyone’s guess!

Til next time.

 

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Moving: A How To

hahahaaaaaahahah just kidding! I don’t know how to do this.

Let’s get one thing straight here – selling our house and moving to a brand new city is NO BUENO. There are so many moving parts. Endless “what ifs”. And certainly large amounts of blind faith.

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This is my blind faith face.

Allow me to first address the fun that is living in a house which you are trying to sell. Or should I say museum? How many times, I have stuffed my pj’s, laptop charger and box of Wheat Thins into a random bathroom drawer before dashing to my car for work, I don’t know. See below for our home  museum pics (courtesy of our amazing Realtors):

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My life is stuffed in those drawers

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If you have ever sold a home, you know the routine.

Everything has to look pristine at a moments notice. Which in my case, means cooking, messy projects and even bathing have become scarce. I prefer to think of it as being “prepared”, rather than what it really is (laziness). So what, if I would rather forego a shower because I don’t want to have to lug out the 13 products I need from the back of the cupboard? As Britney reminds us, it’s my prerogative.

#2 would have to be the absolute pleasure we have of, yet again, packing up all our sh*t and shoving ourselves back into an apartment. Fiddle dee dee!

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Here’s us moving in a mere 6 months ago

It is not completely hopeless, thanks to Bryan’s job. We are able hire help for everything in terms of the move. At first I felt weird about letting a complete stranger from a moving company handle my unmentionables. But when I think of packing up my belongings for the seemingly thousandth time, having a potential weirdo touch my undies is really the least of my worries.

So Hans, go ahead and grab fistfuls of my knickers with your callused hands. All that matters is that I’m not doing it.

Procuring said apartment in a brand new-to-us city is also quite dandy. There’s the lack of knowledge about good neighborhoods, wondering if “charming and cozy” really translates to old and small and relying solely on the WWW for reviews. Like who knows if ads like this are just a bunch of malarkey?

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And on top of the selling of the home, the packing, the relocation – we also have great fun of locating a storage unit for my tap shoe collection (kidding), me finding employment and having nobody to call friends but each other…

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luckily we kinda like each other…

But you know the funny thing??

I’M SO EXCITED. 

(and I just can’t hide it)

 

A new routine, a new city, new people and no sales tax. New restaurants, bars and yes- FOOD TRUCKS! A change of pace, a shorter commute. Hopefully spending loads more time together.

These are all reasons why (despite my complaints) I am so very, very excited for this change.

So, bring it on Hans! Bring it on tired forearm muscles! Bring it on Portland.

 

Mini Portland Trip

That’s right!

Last weekend, we paid a little visit to the city we will soon call home.

And yeah, I WISH it was where Bry and I were going to retire, as the song on Portlandia playfully suggests. But no.

In fact, we ventured down to the state of Oregon last weekend so that Bryan and I could get a sneak peak of this brand new-to-us city and he could see his new digs at work.

We arrived in Portland around 8 am on Good Friday and quickly grabbed a coffee before Bryan had an 8:30 am meeting. Without even thinking about it, we sought out a Starbucks. SO funny you guys. I love me some local coffee shops but if you’re like us, Starbucks kinda feels like home. Anytime Bry and I are in a strange city, we always end up at Starbucks. To pee. To send a quick email. Maybe a chonga bagel, I don’t know.

After Bry gulped down a misto, he headed into the office while I (barely awake at this point) ho-hummed around the city, waiting for things to open. I stumbled upon an urban T.J Maxx and was elated when I discovered they were open at 8:30 in the mornin! The inside was pristine and all the staffers said hi to me. Like when do the people at T.J Maxx EVER say hi to you?

When I got back to the car, I realized we were totally out of gas so I pulled into a 76 and leaned over to the passenger seat to grab my credit card. When I turned back around there was a middle aged man standing right in front of my window.

OH YEAH. They pump your gas for you in Oregon. I rolled down my window and tried to share an “oops-Washingtonian over here” moment with the guy – but realized I wasn’t gettin’ an inch. So he and his deadpan proceeded to fill ‘er up without an iota of humor.

Well SAAAAHHH-RREY.

After that, I checked into our hotel and changed for a quick work out. Yes, I am working out regularly. These thighs aren’t going to gap themselves.

After working out and a quick shower, it was time for lunch with Bryan and his boss. We went to a really cool restaurant called Grüner where I acted like a regular asshat and spilled an entire glass of wine on my lap.

After lunch, I had 2 blissful hours of shopping sans Bryan. Surprisingly, I didn’t get anything exciting. I think it was the tax-free pressure (does this happen to anyone else?). After Bryan got off work, we walked over to the townhouse we are thinking of renting (pictured on the water, below):

The operative word here, is WALK. And oh, how excited we are!

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Here’s a shot of the area

Our current his and hers commutes, upwards of 40 minutes each way, are gettin’ darn annoying. We are relishing the fact that it looks like we will be renting this townhouse and it is WALKING DISTANCE to the city.

You heard me right. I will be walking distance to Nordstrom Rack and the cool, urban T.J Maxx. Heart palpitations FO’ REAL.

After we saw the townhouse, we unknowingly started our own little “pub crawl”. We kicked it off at our hotel, The Heathman, sharing a cheese plate, wine and a cocktail. We then headed to Red Star Tavern and had bacon-wrapped jalapeno poppers. I literally felt them jiggle down my gullet and rest softly on my thighs, they were that fattening.

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After that, we decided to check out this restaurant and rooftop bar we heard about called Departure. It was kickin and I felt like I was redeeming myself from lunch because clearly, this is where the cool kids were hanging out.

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We had an awesome dinner at Portland City Grill – appetizers, crab cakes, molten lava cake THE WORKS. We then shuffled back to the hotel in the brisk cold and fell asleep with our food babies.

The next morning we decided that we should probably go ahead and eat another large meal. So, we walked over to Mother’s Bistro (which is like, so adorbs) and had a belgian waffle and crunchy french toast <- brioche coated in batter and dipped in crushed corn flakes. It was stupid good and filling. We waddled (haha, waddled) back to the car and 3 hours later, were back home!

And if that wasn’t enough gluttony for one trip, we definitely made pizza that night for dinner.

So much for my thigh gap.

Time to Say Goodbye

It’s time.

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As I sit down in front of my tiny laptop to write this, my shoulders are extra hunched, my fingers are hovering rigidly above the keyboard. I am staring pointedly at the blinking cursor with a furrowed brow and pursed lips. How do I begin to explain in writing, a change that I can barely form words for?

We are moving to Portland.

Dun-Dun-DUUUUNNN. Yes. It’s true.

And it happened so. darn. fast.

In a nutshell, Bryan was offered a promotion (that we could not ignore) but the job was in Portland. Since we just bought a lovely new house, like yesterday, of course our first reactions were hesitant. How could we fathom moving out of a house we were just settling into? That we loved. That we still owed lots of money on.

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But really, the house was the only thing holding us back. Well, that, our awesome friends who we will miss, family and the SEAHAWKS. But anyway.

I won’t get into all the details of how leaving Seattle is alright with us. It’s an amazing place and one that we would love to return to, one day.  But other than the house, a structure in which we have resided in for the past five months, there is nothing tying us here.

So off we go into the great unknown! Residents of OREGON, we shall be. And I feel like I need to address the stereotypes elephants in the room straight away.

  • I will not be getting gauges in my ears.
  • Nor will I start to drink craft beer.
  • I promise to keep hangy beanies to a minimum.
  • We won’t start using organic deodorant and toothpaste.

Hahahaaaa. But seriously, while we are pumped for things like Voodoo Donuts, Co-op summer salads and all the other things that make Portland such an awesome, albeit weird place, we are wary of becoming obsessed with spelt flour, the Trailblazers and growing beards. You get it.

Any Portland peeps out there who share a love for makeup, little dogs and going on fabulous glamping trips?

If so, drop me a line.

Summer Lovin

Hey y’all!

As you may or may not know, Bryan and I leave for Seattle in less than two weeks! Subsequent questions:

Do you guys have jobs?

Not yet, but neither of us are worried about it.

Do you have an apartment/place to live?

We figure it might be best to be employed before getting into a lease. Call us crazy. In the meantime, Bryan’s parents live in Redmond and are graciously offering their home if need be.

What section of Seattle do you plan to live in?

Bryan and I are aiming to keep our commutes to work as small as possible. Therefore, we plan on looking close to our places of employment. However, Queen Anne and West Seattle both seem attractive at this point.

So there you have it! I am overjoyed to start this new chapter of life. I’ll be close to my family again, hopefully continuing a career that makes me happy and of course I’ll have m’shops. Although I will of course miss Jackson Hole, I am taking the best part about it with me – Bryan :).

Enough of this sappiness…onto some adventures in the mountains! Yeehaw!!

In early May, Bryan and I made a bucket list of things we had to do this summer before our big move. I’ve tried my best to capture some of these memories on my camera, but as usual I found myself getting too caught up in the moment to remember to take a picture #mybad.

Here are some summer mems.

Hike to Lake Solitude

Marmot!

We Made It!

Bryan has taken a few trips up the Grand this summer and most memorably, with his boss Joe, Jeremy and Jeremy’s cousin Sam.

Ascending the Grand

Bryan and Joe on the Summit of the Grand Teton – Elev. 13,770

Reminiscing at Dornans – Joe “Gah! Look at the Grand!”

Pizza at Leek’s in GTNP.

Buuuurs

Hike up Mt.Si in Seattle.

Vampir-ey.

Glowing Hard.

Such a Good Pic

Hike around String Lake.

Dinner at The Bird after floating with Jeremy and Lorie.

After work swim in Phelp’s Lake

Bryan is the Tiny Dot Standing on the Rock

It’s true, this summer has been totally fab. And although I am looking forward to Nordstrom, seeing my family and of course Red Robin – I will miss the simplicity of Jackson. I will miss the fact that how much you love to ski/hike/cycle etc. is valued over what you look like and the clothes you wear. That being genuine, friendly and caring is more impressive to people than owning an expensive car or having a high-power career. These are the virtues I will carry with me from Jackson Hole. I’m hopeful that no matter how much pressure I feel to look a certain way or earn a certain amount, I’ll have the virtues I’ve learned and can rise above it all.

Farewell, JH. I’ll miss ya.