… shaking it off… and heading out in search of balance…

Archive for the ‘family’ Category

bowling for sight…

well, one of my goals for 2011 was to revive my blog… how am i doing so far??? FAIL

i actually do have a pretty good excuse though…

a couple weeks ago i woke up feeling like someone was sitting on my chest. of course i immediately concluded i was dying of heart failure… the doctor said it was “just a virus” and sent me packin with no drugs, just an “it should get better on its own”… WELL 5 days, a trip to urgent care, and a chest xray later, i had pneumonia!

needless to say i not only haven’t felt like computing, i haven’t taken any pictures, done much of anything productive, or even made it through a whole day of work in two weeks!

so what could i possibly be here to ramble on and on about??? well, BOWLING FOR SIGHT of course!

many months ago, anne and i made the trek to idaho to participate in a bowling fundraiser for my local Lions Club

(a mullet is preferred but not required for membership)

the Lions Club mission is: “To empower volunteers to serve their communities, meet humanitarian needs, encourage peace and promote international understanding through Lions clubs.” i am proud to say members of my family have been involved with Lions Club for many years, and i was excited to get to go home and participate in the bowling fundraiser with my family’s team!

i never blogged about the big day, and have regretted it. so when i read GDW‘s do gooder post… it reminded me of our bowling extravaganza, and i feel i should give it its proper moment in the spotlight!


we invaded the local bowling alley, “Freedom Lanes” – yes, you read that right!

we had official pins (WARNING: blinking pins may cause seizures)… and we went all out and got a team sponsor, “umpire camps”

the locals came out for the big fundraiser!

we had good luck charms

rented shoes

high class catering

enthusiastic fans!

ball selection and warmups…

i won an incredible door prize!!!

as the competition heated up, so did mary!

security was on hand in case anything got out of hand…

team spirit was everywhere!

there was an auction to raise the big bucks, with some seriously killer prizes!!

while we were there to help raise money, and spend time together…

when the ginormous trophy was revealed… the competition reached a new level!

some pulled out their super serious bowling form…

there was hope…


and by god there was triumph!!

now that’s what i call a fundraiser!


let’s hear it for the girls

last night we had a little oscar “party” (interpretation: anne has the flu so nikki braved the sick house to watch the oscars with us)… i whipped up a few bites of food (Disclaimer: i used the flash, i know i know, unacceptable… but the lighting was bad)

of course we started with mocktails…

then food…

flat out/turkey/avocado/homemade sundried tomato spread/spinach… rollll ups

nikki’s flatbread

veggies, chipotle hummus, tj’s whole grain pita chips

everything was pretty yum-o and kept us busy sipping and nibbling throughout the festivities

SO… how did everyone feel about the oscar results?? i was torn… i’m just gonna say it, i don’t think “the hurt locker” was the best picture. i didn’t think it was a bad film, but best picture??? nah…

HOWEVER, what i did love about the oscars last night was that it was definitely a night for the ladies!

and appropriately so, given that March is Women’s History Month and today is INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton posted a brief but great statement on the importance of “investing in the potential of the world’s women and girls…”

i loved seeing so many strong, classy, intelligent, beautiful women at the oscars last night…

gabourey sidibe is so sweet and full of life… i bet she would be a hilarious friend!

mo nique showed us that we can’t let people who doubt us or tell us we “can’t” run our lives

meryl streep is so classy and fun… i actually love that she’s uncomfortable on the red carpet

kathryn bigelow… first female to win best director is fantastic!

but i know i’m not alone in saying, for me, the night belonged to sandra bullock!

she was so beautiful last night, but it wasn’t even her “look” that i think was so beautiful. her acceptance speech was one of my favorites ever, and i was so touched by her words, in particular where she kind of dedicated it to “the moms that take care of the babies and the children no matter where they came from

she said those mothers and parents don’t get the credit they should, and i couldn’t agree with her more. i come from a family close to adoption, and as is the case with many subjects, the media only reports the negative side. and that’s so sad b/c there are so many tremendous adoption stories of lives saved, families made whole, love, and happiness…

our family would not be complete without it…

brothers wouldn’t have each other…

important moments would be missed…

the world’s problems may not be solved…

who would cousins be proud of?

shenanigans would be lacking…

we would all be missing out on one of the best senses of humor…

i love you chrissy… i couldn’t imagine my life without you!

back to liiiife, back to reality

anyone remember that song!??!

we all survived the drama of the past couple weeks, and are getting back into the swing of things at home.

i dumped over 200 photos off the camera (don’t worry i’m not in turn dumping ALL of them on you)… so i figured a post of updates at random is in order:

RANDOM outdoor fun in cle elum, washington

grandpa denny’s pups

ray (known as “all the way ray” given that he’s rockin 3 legs)


and belle, she was grandpa denny’s favorite pup… she went everywhere with him…

she’s SO cute… i wanted to bring her home with us so bad…


anne’s hilarious/adorable nephew david requested a photo shoot

a kiwi’s first trip to the states… first pup snuggle, first snowmobile, first snow, first family memorial

(above is proof that no matter what country you’re from… the women will bitch at you if you mess up their photo)

our cute doggies

and… shout outs for denny

the day denny passed away, anne and i enjoyed a tanqueray and tonic in his honor…

his memorial was in cle elum, washington… a place quite different from portland… many a 3/4 ton pickup truck etc.

(i learned that the huge stump at the entrance of denny’s property was actually on his old piece of land… he thought it was so neat that he had his guys haul it over when he bought this new property)

it’s been a crazy couple weeks, and while it felt odd to not be posting anything on a regular basis, i felt like i needed to devote time and energy elsewhere for a while.

but now we’re all getting back to reality, and i’m looking forward to getting back into a normal routine… which included getting back to the gym this morning!

and on that note, i must get to sleep so i can get my morning sweat on again tomorrow.

i leave you with this lil gem….

there are popular bumper stickers here that say…


i’m not sure if it’s good or bad, but i’ve never had to stop and think about what that bumper sticker means…

see you tomorrow!!

dear 2010…

dear 2010… SUCK IT!

obviously i’ve been MIA for the last few days. so far, 2010 has been lame and i feel mentally exhausted all the time.

as if doxie back surgery wasn’t enough, anne’s dad passed away at about 2 a.m. tuesday morning. he was diagnosed with cancer in the middle of december. it was a short, but rough battle, and while it was expected, and is better now that he isn’t suffering, it has taken the wind out of our sails…

i got on the computer to scan some photos for the slideshow we’re putting together for his memorial, so i thought i’d post a few here, as a little tribute…

rest in peace denny…

head of the class!

we just got home from puppy class!!!

but first, a few other items of business!

a) i was away for the weekend, and b/c the reason for a trip to seattle was a sick family member, i really didn’t take many pictures, and we didn’t get much of a chance to enjoy the city =(

i did manage to capture a couple highlights though…

i snagged this snack when we stopped for gas, and paired it with a delicious bottle of water… i hadn’t seen this variety of chex mix before, and when the options were basically this, or…

i easily made the decision to love my arteries!

it was good… spiiiiicy!

2) then one evening we were finishing up dinner at chef liao in seattle (where i had buddhist tofu), when, as i moved toward the door to leave, i nearly scoffed at the bowl of mints sitting there, until… OH MY HECK… could it be!?!?!?

IT IS!!!!!!!!!!!

the chinese good luck candies!!!!

you do not even understand the meaning of these candies!!! i have loved them since i was a wee one… my sister and i used to fight over them when they were included with our fortune cookies at my family’s favorite restaurant growing up!

i actually squealed when i saw them sitting in the bowl, and yes, i took every last one, and do NOT feel bad about it!

then i took the photo and sent it to my sister. her response via text message:

“ARE YOU KIDDING ME? helen never has those anymore”

hahahahhahahahaha i knew she would be jealous!!

CLEARLY the highlight of the trip!!

sooooo coming down off the chinese good luck candies high

d) I’M EXHAUSTED!! the weekend was draining, and all i wanted to do when i got home tonight was hit the couch… BUT instead i put my brain to work and figured out something quick to make for dinner before we had to head to class.

and i have to say… i am pretty impressed with what i was able to whip up in about 20 minutes!

very basic but delish salad…

i jazzed up some romaine, spinach, and cucumber with a few sundried tomatoes

and some new balsamic i snagged at TJ’s…

i apologize that my pacific northwest pale skin is so bright it detracts from the rest of this photo!

then i busted out one of my favorite christmas gifts again, and went to work on some zucchini…

and remembered i hadn’t yet tried to the new sauce i’d bought at costco…

(yes, i had to pull it back out of the recycling to snap the photo… i told you… I’M TIRED)

check out the whole basil leaves and garlic hunks in this sauce!! MOM knows what’s up!!!

i tossed some TJ’s meatless meatballs in the sauce for the teen’s benefit

and poured it over the spiralized zucchini…

and shoved some pre-cubed butternut squash into the oven for a few with just some salt n pepa
(i know it’s probably more expensive, but the pre-cubed butternut squash from costco is SO nice to have around… hey, i’m just sayin!!)

all together now…

quick and delish!!!

then it was off to class… we’ve been a little nervous for class b/c three of porter’s siblings are in his class! you know, don’t want to disappoint the family!

there was play time (shocker the newfs are surrounding the water dish)



and THEN… porter’s moment to shine was upon us!

so besides the 4 newfies in the class, we also have…


and stewart!!

so b/c porter lives with two small dogs… he got picked to be the first big dog to mingle with the little guys… WE WERE SO PROUD!!

(yes, they’re all the same age)… porter was very good with the smaller pups, and further impressed the professor with his on leash skills!

clearly porter’s at the head of his class!!

oh good grief i’ve got to get to bed… but ONE more item of business…

my go to senorita for all things chocolate has posted a bomb ass giveaway!!!

do you have any idea how bad i want a vita-mix!??!?!

REAL REAL BAD!!!!!!!!!!!

you can win too… by going HERE and showing katie some love…

NYE… weekend??


did most people celebrate NYE for several days?? well, you should have!!

due to unforeseen events i will get to in a bit… i feel like i’m kind of just now getting back up to speed… so while it’s a few days late, here’s my NYE recap!!

anne and i got invited to spend NYE at the coast with our friends Bob and Cheng, and seeing as they are two of the funniest guys around, we quickly accepted!!

their friends own this little “inn” in Lincoln City, and they had said it was “quaint” and “not fancy” so we weren’t quite sure what we were in for.

the drive was foggy, but beautiful…

i love the drive from portland to the coast because you drive through this most of the way…

until you just suddenly come up over a hill and drop down onto the coast…

so we rolled up to The Historic Anchor Inn… and oh my gosh, it’s hard to even describe this place, so i’ll just say it’s cute, eccentric, funky, fun, uber friendly, and is my new favorite place on the coast!

the rooms are like little cabins and in each cabin as well as throughout the main hotel, lobby, living room, hallways, bar etc… there is funky decor and old photos and lamps etc.. EVERYWHERE!
but it works. it doesn’t feel tacky… it’s just fun!

here’s the lobby… i just LOVE all the old photos (many of them signed)… bob told us the owner loves to buy whole estates then keep what he wants and sell the rest, so most of the old signed photos have probably been acquired that way…

there was a “31” tournament at the inn, so we kicked the night off right

(shot of jager in a lord of the rings glass)

then went on a quick outing with bob and cheng…

then headed back to the inn for the 31 tourney… clearly it was to be serious, check out the high end trophies!

we played cards for quite a while, and rang in the new year, but when it was clear the tourney was going to go well into the next morning, we explored the inn a little more, then hit the sack.

the next morning we joined up with bob and cheng again to head to my favorite section of the coast, “depot bay”

it was really windy and stormy…

once we got to depot bay we wandered around some little shops and i was excited to hit my favorite saltwater taffy store from when i was a kid!

there’s a popular spot along the highway in depot bay where the waves crash right up against the sidewalk, and on this particular day, because of the storm, the waves were insane… soaking people standing along the sidewalk and crashing clear over onto the highway!!

the rest of the day consisted of being disappointed in the oregon ducks’ rose bowl showing, enjoying some blue moon, and later, another trip to the casino.

we headed back to portland the next morning, but not before stopping for one last soaking up of the coast air and views…

we made a quick detour on the way home to see three of my favorite girls!!! Mama Pea offered to send us home with some of her vegan german chocolate cupcakes, and after seeing how much the lil peas loved them…

anything that’s good enough for gigi to eat off the floor, is sure to be YUMMY!!

after leaving the girls we were looking forward to just getting home, unpacking, and relaxing… ohhhhh nooooo… apparently the teens had other plans for us!

we arrived home to find the aftermath of an unauthorized new year’s eve party…

a broken toilet paper holder

a mound of unidentified bedding

a broken and then put back together ping pong table… (see the extra set of holes??)

and a case of pabst!?!?

i’m sure you can guess how the rest of the evening went… ughhhhhhh

so with the exception of a few issues upon our return home… our little NYE trip was a blast!!

happy new year to everyone!!
i’ll leave you with a super cute photo of… porter’s first encounter with.. SNOW!!!

OH WAIT… one more thing!!

one of my most favoritest bloggers is having a giveaway and you should like totally check it out… she’s featuring some products that i’m just dying to try!!