Let’s catch up

HO-LEE COW.  It’s been nearly 3 months since I last wrote.  Too long, I tell you.  Too long.  And since then a lot has happened.  Let’s do a quick round-up of some things, shall we?

I turned 30.  My birthday was wonderful and so far being 30 isn’t filled with dread or regret like I was feeling before.  It’s been really great and I’ve been happier than I have been in a long time. Weeeeeeee!DecemberChristmas was perfect.  New Year’s Eve was fun.  My brother turned 23 which is absolutely bonkers.  We went to a few Trailblazers games (We’re doing great this season!).  I painted the hallway and am finally hanging photos on the walls.  Can you believe we’ve lived here two years and I haven’t hung anything until now?  Yeesh.MaxBikeMax is growing like a weed both in height and milestones.  I’ve got so much to say about him that I’m just going to do a whole post.  Let’s just say he’s very much becoming his own person and the toddler vs. parent power struggle is sometimes more than I bargained for.

I had a scary experience with getting my allergy shots.  I’ve been getting them for a year and a half now and I’ve never had a problem.  Turns out that if forget to refresh your supply of daily antihistamines and start a new bottle of your allergy cocktail, you’re in for a surprise!  The surprise of going into anaphylactic shock!  At first it felt like I was getting a cold.  Scratchy throat, super runny nose, sneezing, coughing.  Then I realized this was all coming on way too quickly and I went back to the hospital.  By the time I got back there I could feel my throat closing up. I received two shots of epinephrine, a truly horrible feeling, and a heavy dose of benadryl.  I was fine, relatively speaking, after that.  I felt like I had been run over by a car.  The next day I was back to normal.  Thankfully.Snow_01Snow_02That next day it started snowing.  And it snowed for three days.  The first two days it was super exciting and really fun to see Max react to it.  Then the cabin fever set in.  I hate feeling trapped and since few people in this city know how to drive in the snow, myself included, everyone stays home.  I did manage to cook a lot of delicious comfort food and wear comfy clothes that I would never wear in public.  Max got sick the second or third day in and was a snotty coughing mess.  Portland weather, let’s keep this snowstorm stuff to minimum, okey dokey?FebruaryNow we’re getting ready to celebrate Max’s 3rd birthday, in Robot style.  His choice.

January marked the five year anniversary of this blog.  Five years!

Aaaaaaand that should catch us up.  I’ll be back soon!

On Accepting Myself and Turning Thirty

Tomorrow I will be thirty years old.

THIRTY.  30.  Three-zero.

Is turning thirty hard for everyone?  Just me?  OK.

It’s all in my head.

I don’t want to grow up and I don’t want to be responsible and I don’t want to worry about money.

I’ve learned that I’m a control freak.  Which might explain where all of this anxiety comes from.

Recently I realized that I’m old.  I know I’m not old, but just let me explain.  I work a very part time job where there are a lot of college kids in their early twenties.  I’ve become work buddies with some of them (one of which shares my birthday, and I’ve never met anyone who shares my birthday! But god knows I know at least 12 other people with a birthday the first week of December as well.).  A few days ago at work I was talking with a few of them and one of them mentioned a show they were going to to see, a band I’ve never heard of.  And the others chimed in and they made plans.  And just like that I felt old.  I had never heard of whatever band they were talking about, I don’t go to shows anymore, and I can’t make plans like that on a whim.  And I don’t get asked to.  And it’s not like I actually want to hang out with these kids outside of work, but I just realized that that part of my life is over.  Forever.  And realistically that part of my life was over when I found out I was pregnant but for some reason I’ve held on to the hope of still being able to be a reckless twenty-something.

Now I’ll be a responsible thirty-something.  I remember my mom watching that show, Thirty-Something, and she had a t-shirt that said thirty-something on it and it was teal with pink cuffed sleeves.

I know what I have now is so much better, it really, truly is.  But I really miss the days of hauling my camera around and sneaking it in to shows and staying out all night with my friends and not having to worry about what time my son will wake me up in the morning.

I’m just having a small moment of crisis.  Actually it’s not small because it’s been going on this entire year.  I have spent this entire year feeling like this and beating myself up and feeling like garbage.  I want to be done with it.  But I know these things are easier said than done.  No amount of therapy or drugs can make this feeling go away instantly.  Believe me, I know.

I’m going to do my best to welcome this new year, new decade of my life and myself with open arms, and to kick 29 and 2013 in the ass on their way out.

Onward and upward!

***We had our first real family photos taken a couple of weeks ago by my very talented friend Lacey.  Check out her work at laceymonroephotography.com***
Max&Erin_LaceyMonroePhotography

Pumpkin Hunting

The weekend before our trip we went to the Pumpkin Patch on Sauvie Island.  The same pumpkin patch we go to every year.  The weather was incredible, and even a little warm.  And the beauty of going early in the season is that it wasn’t that busy.PumpkinPatch_01

PumpkinPatch_03These two have the sweetest relationship.  I’m really glad Katrina’s living in Portland again (and with us!).  Together they found the perfect little pumpkin.  We opted for small ones so we didn’t have to carry huge ones back.PumpkinPatch_04

PumpkinPatch_02

PumpkinPatch_05We have yet to do any carving or painting with them.  Maybe we’ll get around to it before Halloween.  Probably not.

On this day

I remember the temperature reaching the upper 80’s in the eight o’clock hour.  I remember not feeling as nervous as I thought I would.  I remember trying not to ugly cry as my brother walked me down the aisle in the hundred degree heat and how Rob managed to surprise me with singing his vows while our friends played recorders and his mom played her ukelele.

It was truly one of the best days of my life.  On this day four years ago we got married and had the greatest celebration with everyone we love.

In the last four years I’ve learned that what we have is pretty damn special and I can’t imagine living this life with anyone but Rob.  Even if it means finding stacks of comic books all over the house for the rest of my life.  Happy 4 years, Rob.Erin and Rob Wedding

Wedding Posts can be found herehere and here.

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While today is our anniversary it is also a day for honoring the memory of Grandma Betty.  Today is her memorial service.  We’ve said our goodbyes already so today we get to remember and honor her.

Today also marks the day that my best girl, Katrina, leaves Austin, Texas to move back to Portland.  All of us here have been waiting a long time for this.  It’s a difficult thing for her to do, leaving a huge part of her life behind, but we can’t wait to have her home.

Today is a day for love all around.  Hug your partner, hug your friends, hug all of your loved ones.  And love to you all from me ❤Erin and Rob Wedding

Backyard Overhaul

We’ve been busy.  Really busy tearing up our backyard and building new things.  It all started in late April, early May when we had a stretch of super great weather and we were spending all of our time outside.  Rob and I were tossing ideas back and forth and before we knew it there were garden beds being built and shrubs and trees being removed.  And of course the lawn was mowed.Backyard_03The first project that was done was the sandbox.  Rob went to the hardware store one morning and before he had to be at work that afternoon it was built and ready for use.  He used this plan that I found on Pinterest.  It’s perfect.SandboxWe wanted one with a top so it wouldn’t become a neighborhood litter box (there’s a cat that sleeps on our back porch on occasion) and we wanted to keep the sand as dry as possible through all the rain.  The same day Rob built the sandbox was also the same day Max got a water table.  So now the game is to transfer water to the sandbox and sand to the water table.  In the end everything’s a mess and Max is happy.

One of the things I’ve wanted to do since we moved in here was remove the shrubs surrounding the patio, closing it off.  So one Saturday, while Rob was working and Max was napping, my mom came over with her hedge clippers and we got down to business.  She and I cut them all down to the roots and Rob later dug them out.  What a difference!  So satisfying.Backyard_01

Another big removal project was the crabapple tree.  The fruit it produced was bitter and not edible and it was in a prime sun position where we wanted a garden bed.  So down it went.  Rob took down most of it then we had a friend come over with his truck and wench to yank the stump out.Backyard_02Then came the garden beds.  We have not one but TWO garden beds.  Now, this is a big deal because we’re not great at tending to gardens.  We’ve got a veggie garden with corn, bell peppers, chili peppers, lettuce (that’s terribly bitter) and spinach (that is also not that great), and strawberries.  We have been great at watering and sort of good at weeding it.  Even Max enjoys helping out.GardenThe other bed is a flower bed.  I wanted a flower bed with flowers that I can cut and that’s what I got.  We went to the plat store and got some great things to plant.  My mom and I hauled a truckload of dirt (Rob was at work) and got the plants in the ground.  I was so pleased.  My mom even brought me some of her peonies to plant.  They won’t bloom until next year, but I’m super excited to have them.  While at the plant store we also picked up a cherry tree that was planted in place of another tree we cut down.Backyard_05In the middle of the yard were these out of control butterfly bushes.  Bushes that had grown into giant groupings of small trees that weren’t blooming because they were partly dead.  They’re gone now.  In there place we put a cherry tree that is already a huge hit with Max who had eaten all the cherries.  Yes, we bought the tree the was already producing fruit.  And yes we have eaten all of them.

My mom surprised me with a bunch of outdoor lights which was super nice of her.  Now our back porch is nicely lit in the evening.
Backyard_04I’m realizing I’m sort of terrible at taking before photos.  I thought I took a before of these awful things a while ago, and maybe I did, but I can’t find it.  So you’ll just have to believe me when I say that the bushes here reached the roof and there was maybe 24 inches of space in between them to walk through.  I hated them so very much.  Rob and I shared the trimming responsibility (Did you know it’s kind of difficult to use a chainsaw?  Or maybe I’m just weak?  Probably the latter.).  We still need to get the stumps and roots out, and that’s going to take a lot of work.

So that’s that.  We have a lot of really fantastic ideas for our yard that will take lots of time and money, neither of which we have a whole lot of right now, but we are enjoying it greatly as it is, spending our afternoons back there with Max and the dogs running around while we fire up the grill and sip on beers.  Cheers to a lovely summer and a lovely backyard!