Friday, April 24, 2015

Early Pearls of TX living

The Texas winter and spring was a much needed break from the summer oven heat. We made many home improvements, spent evenings on the back porch playing with Cal, BBQing, and enjoyed the mosquito free evenings. Unfortunately we did many of those things too late and summer is fast approaching, but we'll be better prepared for next year.

I've been thinking a lot about my attitude toward San Antonio and Texas in general. Lauren and I come from spoiled geographical backgrounds. Both growing up in Southern Oregon, which is an outdoor wonderland, and then moving to Utah which is as good or better than Oregon in regard to the outdoors rooted in us an unrealistic expectation of our outdoor surroundings. Moving to San Antonio, which is flatter, warmer, muggier, and more populated was a shock. And at first, Lauren and I's attitude about the whole thing was as bland as we experienced Texas to be.

After living here for almost a year, we're coming around and learning to appreciate the beauty of our new home. I ran a half marathon two weeks ago around Luckenbach Texas which curved through some of the most beautiful farm country I've seen. As we drove home the conclusion I drew was that we need to work a little harder to appreciate the beauty of this state. I also felt this the other night as I was visiting with my Grandma. I mentioned to her how much Lauren and I came to love and appreciate Utah and she encouraged me to look for and appreciate the beauty of wherever we live. We'll do a better job this summer and document some of our most beautiful findings for you to see.

While it's on my mind, there are many factors that make our living experience enjoyable. Sometimes it's the beauty of our surroundings that we fall in love with and cherish. Sometimes it's the people you grow close to and gain as friends. Our experience in Texas favors the latter. We've made great friends and been surrounded by supportive, kind, and loving family along our journey toward achieving a career, but in early chapters of this new volume of our life we've made outstanding friends. Almost everywhere we've lived our friends had family nearby, and so did we, so for any big event everyone disappeared to spend time with family. That was great, and we loved it, but it limits how close you can get with your friends. Here, going home to family for every big event/holiday isn't an option so for big events you get together with friends. Forming/maintaining these relationships is one of the greatest pearls we've learned.

So....we're happy to be here, anxious to grow to love Texas, and bracing ourselves for the coming months to be spent in the pool and surrounded by family/friends!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Our Adventures

Flying with a one year old is no small feat.

The night before the flight, my mom (who was flying to Medford while I flew to Eugene) and I scoured all across Target's dollar section, the cheap toy bin, and hit up the snack aisle.  To ease my anxiety, I had to feel like I was 110% prepared to take my little busy boy (understatement) on the plane.  

Boy did the preparation pay off!  He used every. single. toy.  Not for long, but long enough to pass a couple minutes.  My mom let me borrow her iPad, which also saved the day.  Kudos to moms who flew/fly without technology.

Cal and I had planned to be in Eugene for a week long, to visit my sister Alison and to hopefully get our little business up and running.  But, Ryan had a final the week I got back, and encouraged me to stick around in Oregon for another week while he prepared for the exam.  So, after our week in Eugene, we packed up and hit the road for Medford!


Alison lives in a beautiful area, just outside Coburg.  I never thought of Eugene as a scenic city, but it is absolutely breathtaking.  She showed me some of her favorite hiking trails (we hiked "ridgeline") and biked along the Willamette River.  It was bright green, there were open fields as far as the eye could see, and the air just felt crisp and clear.

It was so fun to be around her three little ones - Andrew, Millie and Jane.  Cal was mesmerized by them, but I do have to say that their puppy Gus won his heart.  It makes me excited for when we have multiple kids, because I think they will have a lot of fun together, and keep each other company.  And Alison fills her kids' day with such fun activities - playing outside, seeing the ducks, going for walks...I hope I can be as active and fun!

Alison and I worked hard and partied hard. We agreed on a company name, purchased the website, completed the video footage, took pictures of the both of us and the product, met with our consultant (a good friend of Alison's) and organized a lot of the details.  But, we also hot tubbed, went for a tandem bike ride, went out to eat, shopped, and watched some tv and ate treats at night.  That John is a keeper - who volunteers to watch 4 kids at once?! Under the age of 2&1/2?  Also, those two are excellent hosts, and it was a wonderful time.


My week in Medford was perfection.  Besides the fact that Cal was sick the entire time with Croup...he was able to sleep through the night after he got a steroid to help with the inflammation.

Every other day my dad and I worked out together then went out to lunch.  One of the nights we went to Aubrey's 6th grade "Night of the Notables" (which was the cutest thing ever, she was Joan of Arc!) then went and checked out the old chevy truck my dad and Eric are restoring.  Another day my mom and I took a couple of my favorite ladies out to lunch then the two of us stayed up that night watching dancing with the stars.  We also had many good laughs at Cal's interesting use of one of the toy cars, as he held it in the air in front of him with both hands, while walking, as if it was some kind of make believe stroller.  

One day I got to spend the afternoon baby free and hang out with the Millar kids, which was so fun for me to see their incredible imaginations as they played and played and played in their ideal childhood backyard.  One night I got to spend with the Folsoms, and we caught up and laughed at Cal and Caroline "play" together, while eating delicious food and soaking in the time.  Another morning we followed their little baby ducks around and searched for new eggs in the chicken coup, being totally entertained by Mack, Caroline, and Cal.

I had meaningful talks with my mom, and was able to share things on my mind.  I spent an evening with the Pal before he left for North Carolina, and we ate breakfast for dinner and laughed through one of his favorite movies.  I went on a walk with the Millar kids all around the neighborhood, and was blown away by how old they are getting.

Really, why I feel like this week was perfect was because every minute of the week was spent with family, and I felt calm and relaxed, and supported and loved.  I left Medford feeling so blessed to have such incredible family support on both sides, and am grateful that Cal is so lucky to be a member of both the Thompson and Folsom families.