Wednesday, January 6, 2016

A Portland Christmas

^Family dog (Maddie), Chandler & Me in Portland on Christmas Eve

They say you can't go home again and I definitely felt that this time around during our Christmas visit to Portland. Jay and I moved to San Francisco about 4.5 months ago which isn't that long. However, so much had already changed amongst our loved ones. My little nephew was a whole new, interactive person, two of our friends had babies (one of which occurred while we were in town), we saw the new homes of two of our other friends, new puppies, new cars, new cats, new jobs! It was a brand new world. A brighter world (of course) with all of these happy life events but still made us scratch our heads and wonder "how the **** long have we actually been gone? ".

But I might be jumping the gun with beginning this post with Portland. Because of course before we got there, we had to have a couple mini-dates in SF proper and say bye before heading north in our sleigh.
^Cheeseballs at Union Square Tree on the Wednesday prior to leaving
^After work drinks at Credo on Thursday, December 17th.

And goodbye to Archer, our SF tree in our makeshift city-kinda Christmas decor:
^Our little city set-up
^My 2015 ornament from my Mom :)
^I need to print some pictures clearly. 

And then at 8:30 PM sharp on Friday, December 18th, we pulled out of our apartment complex to make the drive to Portland. It’s 9 hours and you may be wondering why we left at night for such h*ll. Well, I can happily tell you that we did it all for a boy (swoon): A little, itty-bitty, smiley boy who happens to be my (our) nephew.  Due to his British patriotism on his dad’s side, their family was flying to London the next afternoon to spend Christmas with my BIL’s side of the family. I had one shot to see him after working a full day on Friday and it was by making like Celine Dion and DRIVING ALLLL NIGHTTTTT TO GET TO YOU.
^Reading my nephew the book I got him in France.

Putting my night owl skills to use (FINALLY!!!), I took the first leg of the 9-10 hour trek and intended to pass the baton to Jay at about 3 AM giving that early bird time to sleep before asked to drive. However, I managed to make it til 5:30 AM. At that point, we were only about 1.5 hours from Portland but I couldn't in good conscience continue driving. So we slept for about an hour at a rest stop before Jay took the reins and drove us the rest of the way in, putting us in Portland at 7:43 AM on the nose.
^My sister's house is insaneo cute.

We raced over to my sister's house and spent the entire day there with her and her husband and baby. I soaked up his newborn smell, changed every diaper I could, snuggled into his smiles and overall, had a fabulous time. 

^Best time ever with my cutie nephew!* 

*Sidenote: I have blocked all the faces of the babies in this post just because I'm not sure if the parents want them on a blog. They are all so, so adorable and I wish I could show them off but that's just not my place to put them online :)

I may look like an idiot but I’m actually incredibly good when it comes to babies and kids. I babysat my entire life and worked for years in a toddler/infant daycare room so I’m no stranger to their needs, challenges and joy. Though snuggling one I’m related to is pretty next level. And I did that as much as I could before it was time to say goodbye to them. Short but incredibly sweet.
^Saying bye to him as he leaves for the airport. Love that nephew/Uncle size difference!

So that was the “wordier” part of our trip back home. I could go on and on about how we spent workdays fireside in our pajamas at my parents’ house with the blustery NW weather outside and how it was sheer bliss. Or how we got to see and squeeze in time with so many beloved friends whose face, humor and hugs we have missed beyond measure. Or how we got to have a relaxing week with my family. Or how we could shop without sales tax again (yahoo!). But I think I’d end up typing for awhile … so let’s just explain the rest with AMPLE effing pictures and captions. Like really, a ton:

First we were out and about in our old downtown neighborhood:
^Drinks with our buddy, Brian at 10 Barrel Brewery in Portland. I wrote about that brewery HERE.
^Walks and drinks on festive NW 23rd.

And then it was time to meet the babies ... 
^Seeing new baby #1 (and puppy Bowser) over a lovely in-home brunch: Sweet, sweet baby girl of Jordan and Linds.

^Anddddd meeting new baby #2 who belongs to my dear friend Megan. He was days old when I met him. What a treasure to be in town when it happened and have the chance to kiss his little face and drop goodies off to her at the hospital.

And then it was time to meet the new pup in town...
^Here's Zoey, Corgi extraordinaire with the sharpest teeth ever.
^Is this real life?? That face!
^Zoey belongs to our friends Lauren & Jeff.

And finally, it was time for a Christmas at home:
^Christmas eve at my Dad's included eating traditional Irish pasties, using old lacrosses sticks to play CAH (worked like a charm!), drinking manhattans and opening gifts.

^Christmas day
^Chandler clearly hated this photoshoot. 
And before we knew it, it was time to head back to my other home in San Francisco. And you know what? It felt right. I felt ready to get back to it. And that in itself, was a really nice present that I wasn’t expecting. And as we pulled back into the bay area and took-in its incredible panoramic views while still full of love and laughter from our two weeks in Portland, I felt like I was living the absolute best of both worlds.

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SMD @ lifeaccordingtosteph said...

What a lovely time home seeing so many faces and meeting so many faces too!

I love the pic of your boys looking out the window and the tree to the side, and of course you three in front of the tree.

BLovedBoston said...

All your pictures are so fun and vibrant - looks like you had such a great time and I love the little dates you had in SF before your x-mas break! xo, Biana -BlovedBoston

Ashley Lillis said...

I seriously love all of your pictures all of them time! That was so special that y'all got to meet all of the new babies and puppies and spend some time with your precious nephew! They seriously grow up way too quick, so treasure your time now! We're planning a trip to Portland this year, so I definitely need to pick your brain about what we need to do when we're there! That's so great that even though you had a great time in Portland, you still loved coming back home to San Fran! I hope that getting back to work this week hasn't been too terrible after all of the wonderful time off!

Pat Hatt said...

Sure looks like a grand time was had indeed. No wonder the pup was tuckered out when you got home haha a lot can sure change in 4 months, sometimes we don't know how much until we see it all.

Kate at Green Fashionista said...

So many babies (and puppers) to love on, so glad you made it in time to see your nephew. And look at you rockstar driving most of the way through the night *cheers* to that <3

Green Fashionista

The Siberian American said...

So sweet you got to meet new babies (and an adorable pup!) Love that y'all drove all night so you could see your nephew! :)

Unknown said...

So many babies and so many puppies, you are killing me with the cuteness!! :)

Amanda - Voyage of the MeeMee said...

Celine Dion references and puppies... so much to love! lololol

Elle Sees said...

such a great, wonderful christmas! lots of amazing memories too, for y'all. does portland still feel like home to you? glad it was a safe trip!

Kristen @ See You In A Porridge said...

hahaha to the celine dion reference. you're fabulous! that red dress is also fabulous. i'm glad you got to see your nephew, i can tell all the babies in this post are super adorable even without seeing their faces (which i totally agree about covering up when it's not your choice to make). also, i think you look super awesome and comfortable with the babies, not an idiot at all. i'm super awkward when it comes to babies, even though i love them. i'm scared of breaking them! so much cuteness in this post - Zoey is adorable. I want a corgi!

Jax said...

Too cute how you hearted out the baby girl. I love that! Don't you hate how things change so fast? It probably goes even faster when you're away, but away sounds like it's just what you're little family wanted. Merry belated xmas and new year. Xo!