Tuesday, December 9, 2008

GSC Girls

Yesterday I went out with my sisters for a girls date. It was really great to hang out together because its often so busy at the events that we see each other at that we don't get to talk much with each other.
First we went to Sabaro, a great sushi place in Sellwood.

It was really fun and the sushi was SO good! Tuna, crab, shrimp, halibut and more! Oooh, I could barely contain myself.

Then we were off to buy each other Christmas gifts because we decided we didn't have enough time to wander the mall aimlessly ending up with a mediocre present. We chatted a lot and several store employees just thought we were so funny. We were fairly successful and I think I thoroughly wore out my two big sisters. I'm excited because we're going to make it a monthly get together. I love my sisters.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Christmas, exercise and people

We got a Christmas tree! It's beautiful. We drove way out to the middle of no where and got a Noble Fir. We even got to saw it down ourselves, bind it, and toss it on top of the Tercel. We were rewarded with a nice cup of cocoa and cookies from the lady of the farm and she even took our picture, so nice! They are friends of Kari's from her church. It is our first Christmas in Oregon as a married couple and our first time buying a tree together. We realized that we don't have many ornaments, but that's ok. Maybe we'll get some on sale after Christmas this year. My mom gave me some ornaments and they're all the old ones with funny pictures of me as a kid or ones that I created in elementary school classes. It was so fun because we turned on the Christmas music and had all of our family over on Sunday to enjoy coffee and look at the tree in our new apartment.
In other news, I'm back on track with a serious workout regimine. I think I might beat the statistic of gaining weight at the holidays and do the opposite instead. I've been going every weekday at 10am and doing 30 minutes of the bike or elyptical and then lifting for another 30 before stretching and cooling down. Working out definately makes me feel like seizing the day much more than non-workout days!
As far as work goes, I have another client coming in this week. Plus I got a call from a local megachurch that is going to keep me on their referral list and might hire me on to do some hours for them at the church eventually. Donovan says if I don't get things rolling that I'm going to have to find a part time job, even if it's unrelated to my field. I hope things don't come to that. Right now I'm really excited about learning about each client and rereading some old grad school texts. I heard from some people in my offices that it can take up to a year to be doing "full time" work as a therapist, just because it takes so long to get connected in a community and be seeing enough clients to make it a full time thing. I never realized that there would be this wonderful adventure and risk in opening a private practice, and at times it can stress me out, but for now I am taking things day by day and really enjoying the adventure.

Monday, November 24, 2008

private practice

Private practice can be a challenge. I'm learning how to market myself. I've never been great at telling other people what I'm awesome at, and I'm especially not great at it when it comes to telling them that they should give me some money. It helps that I really do believe in the work that I do. I've really been seeking God about this. A few mornings ago I was really worried because my paid office hours were going to kick in Nov 24 (today!) and no one had called yet. Later that morning I got a call and set up an appointment with my first client! So I saw my first client and it was very rewarding and I'm so grateful to God for making this work. I have so much hope that this will work. Now... to only fill the other 9 hours of paid office time.

Friday, November 7, 2008

reverse culture shock

When I went to Uganda for a semester it was the reverse culture shock, not the initial culture shock that surprised me the most. I wouldn't say that is true for my Portland/LA experience, but I do have some thoughts to share regarding some things that surprised me when moving back to Portland. I won't include moments from visits in the last year, although there were some really weird things that happened then! The accordion playing unicylist on the street was the strangest.

Here are some of my recent culture shock moments for me since I've been in Portland:

1. buying wild salmon at Trader Joe’s for $6.50 for two fillets... I cried right there in the aisle
2. my jeans are always wet from the rain
3. people let you cut into their lane during heavy traffic just with a simple notice of your blinker. nice!
4. I can fill up a pitcher of tap water and it tastes just like filtered water. yum!
5. my face is like a giant chapped lip. I’m not sure why
6. sideways rain always surprises me
7. waking up to cold mornings and needing a cup of something warm is something new
8. people are so nice! the people at the grocery store always want to have long conversations.
9. men have really long hair. just something that I’ve noticed. maybe it’s to protect them from the sideways rain
10. the leaves are falling off the trees and one morning I woke up to find my car looking like an elementary art project... it was neatly covered from front to back in tiny leaves held on by the rain water. it made me laugh!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

weekend fun: pumpkin patches and surprises

This weekend we have been having lots of fun. We surprised Donovan and had a 25th birthday party for him yesterday. We barbecued and had nice pies. Happy early birthday, love! I'm so glad you were born!

We also went to a nice pumpkin patch that is owned by a family in West Linn. It was a small little property and they said all the proceeds go to their children's college education fund.

The three Scotts at Donovan's birthday party

Melissa and Scott posing with the pumpkins

Hershey dressed up as a spider for Halloween


I walked to raise awareness about what is happening in Northern Uganda with others this weekend in Portland. It was a tiny gathering, but it was still really fun to do something to remember Ugandans.
While I was walking I got a nice reminder of some special places in downtown Portland, and even saw a historic home from the late 1800s being moved across downtown.

slow motion

Hee Jung came to visit. She was on her way to Korea for a month. We went to Buffalo Exchange and Starbucks. I also got to show her downtown and the Hawthorne area, which she really liked. Just before she left we took a stroll in Laurelhurst Park and she really loved it, she said it reminded her of Central Park. Well, I've never been to Central Park before but if it is like a big Laurelhurst Park I think I would like it.

I can't tell you how wonderful it was to have a dear friend in town. It seemed like life was happening in slow motion.

apartment shopping

The first two days we were in town we did some serious apartment shopping. We spent about 9 hours both days, I was so tired! We looked near Powelhurst, Mt. Scott, Clinton, Hawthorne, Laurelhurst, Lake Oswego, and the Pearl District, all favorite areas of ours. We finally committed to a place in Lake Oswego. We will sign the final papers for it Monday.
Here are some pictures I took after a day of apartment shopping. I went on a stroll in Laurelhurst Park, one of my favorite places in Portland, while Donovan was asleep in the car having a narco-nap.

Hahaha, I had to take a picture!

The church we got married at. So pretty in October!

The weather has been AMAZING here lately. Today the high was 68 and it hasn't rained once since we've been here. I love it!

the road from Pasadena to Portland

Moving is tough! Thankfully we had a lot of help from friends and family in both Pasadena and Portland. We had some GREAT coffees right before we left made by Jamie. Thanks Jamie! They were so good.

Kyle and Kelly let us stay at their house and it was so fun. We learned a lot about life in Davis, CA and shared stories and good food together. After many many miles we started to see some beautiful trees. We forgot what fall looks like!...

Ashland was my favorite. I want to go back there and spend some time there next fall. It's really beautiful. Our homecoming was really fun too because Hershey greeted us with licks and jumps for joy even though it was really late. I think he knew something was about to happen but when we showed up in our huge truck and hopped out he was really surprised. For the last week I have been spoiling him like a good auntie :)

Saturday, October 25, 2008

going away party

Ruby and Lewis were really nice and had a big party for Donovan and I before we left Pasadena. There were friends from my MFT program, Beth Re'im and Fuller. It was so fun. We had fresh baked cookies and snacks and really great bratwurst. Thanks Kikers! And thanks to everyone who was able to be there. It was a really amazing evening spending with all of our good friends. We will miss you!

Friday, October 17, 2008


What is everyone voting on Prop 8? I'm really torn about the issue of gay marriages/gay marriage bans. I realize that all need to be treated equally, yet I realize there is a sanctity that comes with the term marriage according to our faith history. This is the one issue that really baffles me when I try to think about what Jesus would do in my current context. A part of me feels like marriage is just a word and the church should work to distinguish themselves through their marital relationships as Christ like and loving (not only because they're heterosexual but because they are loving, sacrificial, giving, loyal, etc), yet another part of me feels like maybe calling homosexual committed relationships "marriage" is sinful too. Oh, dear. I want to be compassionate AND faithful. Can anyone give me some insight into what they are voting and why?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

foriegn countries + dancing + garlic = Emily!

Ruby tagged me a long time ago and now I'm finally getting to posting about myself.

A few facts about me:

1. I was the token youngest child, always performing dances for my parents, often ones I had made up myself and very frequently to a nice early nineties hit. Sometimes the performances included singing or dressing up, but always included dancing. I performed dance with studios and competitively starting at 3 and until I was 21.

2. I've done homestays in Germany, the Netherlands, Mexico, and Uganda. I refer to my homestay parents in Africa as mom and dad. I love them.

3. I recently discovered garlic and now I eat it upon every chance that I get. It's kind of gross, because it really makes your breath stink, but I'm pretty sure it's worth it.

4. As I child I may have had some learning problem that went undiagnosed, or just some serious attention problems, but my siblings often told me I was the worst listener ever. It's kind of funny to think about now because now I'm in a totally listening-focused profession.

5. I memorize music almost instantly. This little trick of mine makes Donovan crazy!

6. I never really grew up knowing my grandparents. Three of my grandparents died within a year of each other, all between my 1st and 2nd grade year, and I was never close to my only living grandparent after that time. So it was a really fun experience getting married and inheriting 5 really amazing grandparents.

7. I love being in nature and hearing nothing at all except the birds and the air and the crunch of my feet on the ground. It is the most serene and beautiful thing I can think of.

Now I have to tag 7 other friends. Okay... Janelle, Nate, Kendra, Linda Beth, Michelle, Janneke and Mav, you're it!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


Donovan is finally done with his 2.5 weeks served on the jury! Yea!

Public service is hard work. Way to go, honey!

goodtimes last weekend, part 2

Experimenting up until the bitter end...
Donovan and I tried a new coffee shop: The Coffee Tree on Colorado east of El Molino
Atmosphere: 5/5
Coffee: 3/5

Nice photography, honey! I'm kinda proud of our camera on our phone.

My (not so) new haircut, so those of you in Oregon aren't shocked when you see how much shorter it is than a month ago.

more coffee shop pictures on our "date". We had a picnic in our yard this weekend too. We're just really romantic like that.

Baby Zeke! I will miss you!! I'm sure you're going to grow up to be real nice, just like your mom and dad.

it's official

My degree posted. I've really achieved my Master's degree. Really!

Here is a picture of my good friend Hee Jung as we celebrated our graduation. I felt like such a proud mom taking this picture and making her pose for me. I love looking at this picture, she looks so happy. It was a long road together, but we finally made it! Congrats!!

Monday, October 13, 2008


Pasadena has been having some weird weather lately. All weekend it was chilly and breezy, a real change from the heat and sun. It crated a rare atmosphere where we just wanted to be cuddled up with a good movie and a cup of tea all weekend. Of course, there were long bouts of apartment searching and moving planning, but all in all we needed some down time together. Over the next month we will be in a rush of transition including packing, cleaning, goodbyes, hellos, apartment searching, storing, unstoring, removing, settling, and being separate for three weeks while Donovan finishes work in Pasadena. I like to think of Alina's term "stolen time" when I think about this weekend... time unforeseen to sit and be together, time to do nothing although the world around us is moving so fast just like the whipping wind. Cold air here creates a bit of excitement, there were more people wondering the streets of Colorado and many happy women with scarves that have been long tucked away in their closets now adorning their necks. It always makes me smile to see someone wearing a tee shirt, a skirt, and a scarf in California. I will never get used to that.
As for now, the weather has warmed back up a bit and we even have our first serious fire of the fall. It's funny how before I used to be so worried about air quality and traffic and the long list of problems that occur when almost 10 million people live in a small area. But now I feel indifferent, unattached, estranged... Yet when it comes to the parts of Pasadena that I love, I feel sad to leave them. I think my mind is playing games on me, because if I were to live here longer I'm sure I would say to myself over and over how strange it is to be in a land different from Portland and be constantly comparing it to my home city, criticizing it in the ways in which it doesn't live up.
For now I will embrace today: a clear, bright, fairly warm day with friends and food and some daily monotony as well as choas. And take one day at a time.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

holy moly!

I made a goal to raise $250 for the Acholi children in northern Uganda and in one day met that goal! Thanks to all of my supporters!!!

Of course, if more people want to join in on the fun, they are welcome to. But for now I am so excited and so proud. So much can happen in such a small time!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

I woke up and God surprised me

I met a really nice African woman on campus today and helped show her to the right building for her meeting. It reminded me of all of the people who helped me when I was a foreigner in an unknown land and how grateful I was to them. She had the cutest little son and they had been walking around for almost an hour getting bad directions from a handful of people. When we finally made it to the correct room one of the two women shook my hand and grabbed her arm with her other hand (to show great thanks or respect) and it made me tear up. That one act transformed my day and reminded me of how grateful I am for God's love and how rarely I remember his graciousness to me at the beginning of each day.
It inspired me to do something about what is happening in Uganda right now. So I signed up for GuluWalk. You can read more about it at my personal page
I also contacted some old friends I met in Uganda whom I hope to stay in dialogue with about how we can be faithful to God regarding what is going on right now with our fellow brothers and sisters in Uganda. What a surprise this was for my day! I thought I was just heading to the gym!

Friday, October 3, 2008

selling stuff

This week I have been selling our furniture on Craigslist. I feel bad for Donovan because every day he comes home and there is one less thing in our living room. It's looking awfully bare these days. It is nice though to have a physical reminder that life is winding down here. I think this helps make it real.

So far we have sold our coffee table, rug, one chair, and one lamp. I have met some REALLY interesting people. I think that's the most unexpected and unique part about selling things on Craigslist. My least favorite part is when people don't show up.

We still have a bench, kitchen utility table, black futon, lamp, and white stool. Let me know if you're interested in any of them.

We're moving in 16 days!

Thursday, October 2, 2008


American military deaths since the beginning of the war: 4,176
American military deaths since "Mission Accomplished": 4,037

Documented Iraq civilians deaths from violence since 2003: 87,995 - 96,0008
latest incident, yesterday, 7 killed

It's hard to quantify human life.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

the match made in heaven

So we walked to Heavenlies tonight, but it was closed! Gasp! We were 5 minutes late. So we walked from there to Pinkberry, and figured, if you walk 3 miles for your dinner, you deserve to eat a big bowl of ice cream for dinner. So I did. And although we didn't eat at Heavenlies, I found a match made in Heaven. Next time you're at Pinkberry you should try it.

coconut, yogurt chips, raspberries, and granola on top of original flavor. YUM. all the perfect ingredients and tastes and textures you could imagine in one cup.

and now we say goodby to one more thing in Pasadena: Pinkberry.


Monday, September 29, 2008

our new stranger friends

Donovan and I did something crazy! We met strangers. And we talked to them. And we had dinner with them. And we liked them.

Last month I read about a couple on World Vision's site that was interested in Uganda and went to Fuller. So I Facebooked them, they emailed back, and we met for dinner. We talked all about Uganda, being a therapist, our Fuller experience, agencies in Uganda, our hopes, and our prayers.

It was so encouraging to me at this point in my career and my life. It really gave me some direction and helped me focus on how I can prepare myself over the next year or two to be a better therapist and gain skills to hopefully use overseas.

Our new stranger-friends have friends in Portland and might come visit us when we move up this winter. It's fun meeting new people! I was surprised how easy it was to talk to them and how much we were on the same page. They too have been unfairly given highly priced parking tickets in Pasadena, know what it's like to ride a bike in heels to work, and have had interesting experiences in practicum at Fuller. I had such a fun night!

How to Be a Responsible Voter (From Donovan's Perspective)

A friend asked mine recently asked where I go to find good or objective news sources. Although I was excited to hear someone interested in discussing politics and exploring new points of view, my response wasn't as automatic as I had expected. What I've come to conclude is that my best estimation of "objective" most often simply aligns with my own beliefs. What I really do to keep myself in check is to listen to what both sides have to say for themselves and then dialogue with others whose opinions differ from my own. Reading books and second- or third-party sources rarely does as much to develop my beliefs as it does to reinforce them unless I'm actively engaging with actual people. It keeps conversations more honest because I'm not going to call someone an idiot to his or her face like I would say to an author or presenter. Political views are more rooted in our experiences and feelings anyway... so the personal touch helps us get more to the point.

My take is that if I can't look someone in the eye and appreciate him or her for their person, then there's no point in discussing serious issues with them. Likewise, if someone approaches me as an opponent more than as a person, I try to cut off serious conversations before they begin. Opinions and arguments are not about the ideas themselves; they are about the people involved. Like Buechner has said, "Theology is biographical." Same goes for politics. An interesting thing I learned from studying mediation is that volatile topics lose much of their explosiveness if you begin sharing personal stories before any mention of opinions. Those stories and emotions are the real context of our deeply held beliefs - not our take on logic or fact. (Check out the Public Conversations Project for some practical resources in this area.)

Of course, we need to be informed and critical of ideas. I can't possibly become informed on even local civil and political issues without finding audio and printed news sources. I prefer to read books that display some measure of discipline and fair-handedness. Most political media provides neither of these traits. The problem with political media (especially talk radio) is that it has no interest in truth; rather, its goal is often to 'rally up the troops' - people who are in agreement enough with the author to overlook the many factual and logical errors in the arguments. Some proponents may have good intentions, sure, but it's not difficult for any of us to drift to unreasonable extremes when emotion and bias are allowed to take the reins. Keeping company with those who reinforce one particular way of thinking and acting compounds this risk. Extreme views and actions can be seductive, but keeping yourself from getting immersed in those circles/programs helps to balance us out with other perspectives and hopefully to keep our identities grounded in something other than our political or ideological affiliation.

Each of us must be careful to take notice of some fallacies commonly used in persuasive media. The first is the use of categorical statements that generalize and mischaracterize other views. Be careful when someone claims to speak for others' opinions and intentions, or when one person or statement are taken to represent a whole. Such misleading statements are also often accompanied by nicknames and name-calling that further demeans and dehumanizes one's opponents. When someone has reached the point of personal attacks or bitter name-calling, he or she is either not interested in truth or is too worked up to tell the difference. Another thing to be careful of is the abuse of pathos (appeal to emotions) in arguments. Oftentimes this takes the form of playing to others' fears or to their anger (which is often based in fear).

Being informed about the issues themselves has helped me more than reading other peoples' opinions about leaders. I prefer to watch candidates' speeches and interviews and decide for myself based on my understanding of the issues. It might take more investment to do things this way, but there's really no alternative if I want to be informed. People commenting on the candidates themselves are often campaign spokespersons or someone with little expertise in the topic of discussion.

Some of the independent sources tend to be more vigilant and less subject to the corporate games than the main news sources. I'll watch Democracy Now! to see what some of the left-minded people are concerned about. They catch issues like the Jena Six, the expansion and U.S. deployment of Blackwater and the mishandling of crowd control in St. Paul way before it catches others' attention. On the right side, I'll go to something like Newsmax. My personal taste is for diverse and slightly left-leaning programming like NPR. Podcasts like To The Point and (to a lesser degree) Left, Right and Center are also helpful because they provide a venue for qualified and differing opinions to interact directly in a moderated discussion. It's nice to hear people talk about their opinions when they're addressing one particular issue with which they have sincere interest and experience. Most everyone else is just manipulating what little they've found to bolster their views regarding a specific candidate or concern.

What I ask isn't that everyone become an expert or news junky, just for each of us to put in the effort to be informed, think critically and engage opposing viewpoints. If you think that something is objective or fair-minded, the truth is most likely that it simply lines up with your current beliefs. Listen to the people and ideas that make you uncomfortable! You don't need to be an "expert" to investigate first-hand sources yourself or to criticize someone's work. Being "right" isn't going to make our democracy work; the driving force of a working democracy is an informed, critically thinking and active populace. This means refusing to settle for the consumption of ideas, products or roles... no matter what side they represent.

an extended summer

Life here since we've been back from Portland seems like an unexpected extension of beautiful weather, hanging out with friends, and summer life.

Last weekend I rode with Ruby on her scooter to the market and got fresh fruits and veggies, walked to and around the Rose Bowl with the Santa Ana winds blowing, went swimming in our pool, toured wineries in the Santa Barbara area with friends, and went on a bike ride with Donovan to a newly discovered park for a picnic. It has been SUCH a fun week, and I am reminding myself every day to hold on to these experiences as they come and be grateful for them.

I think the process of preparing my heart to move and beginning to transition has made life more beautiful. Every little thing is something I may see for the last time, every person a unique part of my life that can't be recreated elsewhere. Of course, sometimes this is confusing and I wonder if we should go beg Fuller to let us stay in Beth Re'im for another year so that we can continue to live here.

Ah, but life must move on...

Here are some pictures from the weekend of fun.

Monday, September 22, 2008

other fun happenings in portland, the land of trees

Here's my sis Steph. We were so glad we got to come up from Pasadena to see her get married! How special. This is us at Noah's Bagel getting ready for her big day and starting it off in proper fashion, by eating! We got our nails done at Dosha nearby the day before and then went to the rehersal. And the rehersal dinner was an amazing Japanese place, I loved it! Japanese + northwest seafood = a really happy Emily. The next day we got our hair done at Dosha before the wedding. The ladies at Dosha are real classy, I like!

This is of my new brother in law Scotty and Steph just before they cut the cake. My favorite new friend is Jordane, what a funny speech, what a good friend to Scotty, and what a strange and entertaining dancer! I told Jordane that he should be paid to be an entertainer at weddings. The wedding was on a farm on Sauvie's Island, which is sandwiched between two major bodies of land with Portland to its south. It was breathtaking. I cried when Scotty repeated the vows to Steph, it was so beautiful!
So, of course when I was in Portland for a short visit I happened to be at a local fire and was interviewed by the news station and featured responding to what I expereinced on site. Those newscasters are just as silly in person as they are on tv. I obviously said something dumb and they showed the tape of me being interviewed. Phissssh.
When Donovan and I were scouting out some possible future apartments we stumbled upon Marakesh and this spot, which is where we went right after we got engaged and star gazed for a while. We were so in awe of what had just happened and we chatted for a while here.
On our visit we saw the beginning of a complete transformation of the WPC campus. The new building is incredible, too much for words, you just have to see it. This is so special because it has been a long time dream of those involved with the campus and it is really coming to life. This is a picture of one of the new classrooms. The new building has new practice rooms, a coffee shop, bookstore, cafeteria, etc, etc. I'm a proud alumna.
Here is a picture of Donovan and I after viewing one of several living spaces in the area. Belmont is pretty darn cool. I think we both underestimated it. But this cafe in Belmont sucks. So never go there.
When in Rome, do as the Romans do.... well, I don't think you will EVER see me riding down the street on a unicycle playing the bagpipes, even though I do want to move to southeast. That is, unless I'm having problems with my lungs and need to get them back into shape real fast, because this guy was really breathing hard.
This is my dad's pumpkin in the front yard. I love it. Signs of fall are everywhere in Portland. It's still trying to decide if it's really done with summer, as some afternoons were still hot when we were there. The first few leaves are turning yellow right now on some of the green trees. We will likely miss the full burst of autumn over the next four weeks while we're in Pasadena. But that's okay, we have 80 degrees and sunshine :)
We visited two sites that WPC students were at for the Common Day of Service while we were in town. I was interviewed (again) by a WPC media guy regarding my involvement in the first annual CDS, which was fun. I'm really camera shy. Really. This whole interviewing thing is just strange that it happened twice (three times really, but I will not share that whole story) while I was in Portland.
Donovan fell in love with Jan's cat while we were in Seaside, and I fell in love with the cottage. We had a grand time talking with Jay, working on his computer, and eating some FABULOUS food. I think I'm glad that Jay can't cook, because we really liked the restaurant he took us to.

We flew into LAX today and realized quickly that life is faster paced, the land is far less green, and there are LOTS of people. It's funny how quickly I acclimated to seeing a city almost in a forest, rather than a huge developed city with very few trees.

Oh, our time in Portland was very fun and busy. Now we are sleepy!

Monday, September 15, 2008

childhood memories and more

I've been taking pictures of things that I think are really special since I've been up to Portland. An old Halloween candy bucket from our childhood was one special find, hidden in my sister's closet with other decorations. Another was the old wheelbarrow that I used when I spent many autumns attempting to help my dad in the yard. I think one remembers to capture the little things in life more when they are on vacation.

There's nothing quite like home. Not too much has changed. I still like taking pictures of Dimen, and even though she's a year older and much calmer it is hard to capture her. If food is involved it makes it a bit easier. Another thing that hasn't changed is the wonderful fruits and veggies that show up at my parent's house from various neighbors and family member's gardens. Of course the best stuff is always from Molly and Al's yard.

One thing has changed though, dad's shed is finished and furnished! It even has working electricity and lights!

Right now Hershey is roaming around the house in the morning, huffing and talking with his eyes. He just "asked" to be let out. He is 8.5 years old now and is definately showing his age. He acts like an old man. I love him so much. Last night when he had his five minutes of cuddly time I hugged him and whispered to him like he likes. Oh, Hersh dog.

When we first arrived in Portland we went to the hospital to visit my dad. He had a surgery that went well but he had a morphine crash later that day and they sent him home, so he was in excruciating pain. It took hours to process him through the ER on a Friday night, but he eventually got back in. He looked good when we saw him and he was getting his pain regulated much better. This is a picture he took of us from his hospital bed. I really like it, good job dad!

We were instantly surprised at how beautiful it is in Portland. The trees are green with a tinge of yellow, a hint that the fall is just around the corner. The days are warm, in the 80s, but the mornings are incredibly cool. There is no sound of traffic, no smog, and very polite people. Parking is free, lots of dogs roam ahead of their owners off leash, there is much less worry about theft in general. The hospital is brand new too and the view is amazing. On one side we could see Mt. Hood and if it were clearer that morning Mt. St. Helens too. And it wasn't smog-unclear, it was fog-unclear! :) The other side hovers over a cute neighborhood and in the distance is the river and downtown. What a breath taking place!

Let me not forget, the whole purpose of this very exciting trip is... MY SIS IS GETTING MARRIED! Here is one small token of photographic documentation of her bachelorette party.
In our short time here we have also hit up our favorite area: Hawthorne. We went to Oasis and then to bubble tea. Here's a picture of Donovan at our fav bubble tea spot.

Yesterday we also had a sibling date and all got together for games and chatting. Here's a picture of Donovan winning the game. He's so good at Russian Rummy! Look at his face... pure joy!
We also played games and hung out in the afternoon with my in laws and enjoyed the warm weather from the Galloway's party patio... torches, games, and full on martha stewart looking patio furniture included. I was so glad they could come up from Salem to hang out!

Now we are off for the day to look at some possible future residences in the SE area and later tonight to my mom and dad's for some grub. I love family time!