What’s Next?

I’m at this point in life where I often feel that I don’t know what to do next. My job is ok for now, but It was never supposed to be long term, it was supposed to be an in between thing. And now I’m quickly  approaching two years there. I don’t want to do it for two more. I’m frustrated with a feeling of getting stalled. I see Ace making progress with his dream while I feel like I’m floundering.

I realized that I need take these frustrations and focus them on achieving what I’ve always wanted to, starting a skatepark. When I sit and think on my options in life that is the only one that sounds totally appealing. I think about in-home daycares, and urban farms, and homesteads and they all have some appeal. But I think about a fantastic, clean, modern skatepark, with a youth center, and classes, and camps, and healthy food and I can’t stop the joy and the dreaming. It takes all my passions and funnels them into one amazing thing. Its just a really really hard thing to make real and it’s overwhelming thinking about what it will take to make it happen Then I think about the people in my life and the things I’ve been a part of and I know its possible.
I’ve always worked for small businesses or jobs where I was basically in charge of myself; dog sitting, the local skatepark, my family’s pizza restaurant, doggy daycare, nannying. Heck, I already helped start a business when we started Light House Church. I was a key member of the launch team and designed every single program for the kids from the ground up. I didn’t use any curriculum the way it came. I dissected them and rebuilt them into what I wanted. Typically it was something far less structured and allowed for actual discussion, not just parroted answers. I learned a lot about how to start a not-for-profit in a different state. Now I need to figure out how to start a for profit business in Oregon. It seems so overwhelming, but yet totally possible at the same time. Maybe that’s why it’s a great idea.

I left Light House to start another church community from the ground up. That wasn’t terribly complicated to be honest. It mostly took a big heart and lots of time, but it is another thing that has helped shape me into who I am. Its another experience in managing a small group of people.

When we came to Oregon we came hoping to start a small business. It was the plan. Then the plan got sidetracked, partly because our down payment on our house used most of our money, and partly because Ace was inspired by the thriving Portland music scene to give his music a legitimate chance in a new place. After some floundering of his own and trying lots of venues and genres for his music he discovered YouTube. Through YouTube he’s found the widest audience for his music yet, as well as a growing community of creators for which he can do custom projects.

I came here hoping to be a stay at home mom. It was soon apparent that we weren’t going to be able to afford that unless Ace got a 9-5 job. I don’t wish that torture on him, so we both got part-time jobs while he pursued his music. He was basically forced to quit his job at the beginning of the year and since has been pursuing music full time. We’ve cut down our bills enough to be able to afford this for now, as long as I’m working about 30hours a week. Now I’m really ready to find something new. I’ve been itching to move on for about 6 months now. I know what I’m going to do. I just need to figure out how to do it.

Skating in the Wheels of Fortune contest in Seattle.

Skating in the Wheels of Fortune contest in Seattle.

“The LEGO Movie” Mini Review

Just got back from “The LEGO Movie” and I was pleasantly surprised at the great plot, and at the beautiful theater we saw it in. 

I’m used to living in suburbia. I grew up in the sprawling “suburbs” (how can you call something 50miles away a suburb!?) of Chicago. I watch the farms turn into best buys, and condos, and libraries. Everything there was MEH it was all OKAY. Nothing was really nice or really bad. 

Here in the city, in Portland, there are lots of really scary crappy places, but even more beautiful places. Places I only used to see when I would visit “The City” (Chicago). Here I drive 10 minutes to Hawthorn Boulevard to check out the “Bagdad” theater. I tried to do this theater justice thought my typed language, but I can’t so I’ll quote the website to help you get an idea of its magnificence. 

“This marvelous relic of Hollywood’s Golden Age is a movie palace full of wonder and surprises. For nearly four generations now, the Bagdad’s Mediterranean/neon persona and daily films have made it an icon of Portland’s vibrant Hawthorne District. The interior is an attraction in and of itself, with barreled arches, ornate wrought-iron fixtures, brilliant mosaics and painted Mediterranean designs and characters.”

Before the movie even started I was happy just to be in this beautiful building from another time. I’m so glad McMenamin’s does what they do in preserving these fantastic historical buildings. The Bagdad is also a “Brew and View” meaning you can purchase a lot more than your standard concessions. It was too early (for me) for alcohol so I got a burger. It was delivered right to my seat! There also wasn’t a bunch of fluff before the movie like at the other chain theaters. There was one preview, and it was for the next family movie coming to the theater. Awesome! 

The movie itself started strangely as you just jumped right in to the action. I was unsure if the movie had even started! Being right in the action was pretty much the rest of the movie. t was very fast paced and action packed, I’m sure Mark only picked up the very very bare bones of the plot. At some points the non-stop action was hard even for me to follow. 

The plot was fantastic and, without any real spoilers, I can say that it was a very unschooling friendly movie. The LEGO Movie pits conformity and creativity against each other and of course creativity is what becomes the most valued by the end. The cast is incredible with many of my favorites including Liam Neeson, Chris Pratt, and Will Arnett (I vote he plays every batman ever from now on). It also included some appearances by some much love cult-icons (I won’t spoil it). 

I do have one other criticism besides the non-stop, overwhelming to small children action. That is the lack of female characters. There are three, in the whole movie, and more men that you can count. One of the females is a kitty-unicorn-thing with obvious anger issues and another is wonder women who gets all of 3 lines. Why can’t movies have, oh lets say, approximately HALF female charters, you know, like life? I would really like it if they just took some of the exact characters they already had and just made them female, change the look just a smidge and change the name. Thats it. Ok my little “almost feminist” rant is over.

The twist at the end movie ended up being better than I expected and even Mark was moved and had to hug me several times. It will hit all the families right in the feels and make all the unschoolers silently applaud their own awesomeness (don’t go thinking you’re above doing that). 

In short, go see it! If you have kids who are overly sensitive to high action films maybe wait for the blue-ray. I loved it and we are already talking about seeing it again when it hits the second run theaters around here. This is probably going to be one of the top family movies of the year, if you like movies, you’ll love The LEGO Movie!

Screen Free?

The last week or 2 or 3 or 4… not sure how long. I’ve been feeling pretty low. Not sure why, I look around and things are ok. But, I’m not motivated, I don’t feel well, I’m just… meh…. Its one of the reasons I haven’t been blogging, its just doesn’t seem to matter.

So next week I’m going to try to go screen free M-F (though I may need to post about how amazing Rush is, its pretty much all I’ve been looking forward to for over a month). I’ll take some pictures of our adventures, and get back to you next weekend. As of monday I will be shutting my laptop for a week. I’ll update the music on my phone before then, and I’ll check my e-mail from my phone. But my goal is to keep the TV off and the laptop closed as much as possible.

It Is a Windy Day, Fall is Here.

It is a windy day, fall is here. The leaves blow across our path and make a wonderful crunch under my feet and the wheels of the red wagon. We meander slowly through our neighborhood taking the time to look at everything we want to. Mark says “Hello” and “Bye-Bye” to every person, dog and motorcycle. Three little dogs chase us along the fence line and we laugh at them.

As we walk my short brown hair stick out from under my black cap and Mark’s wispy red hair blows in the wind. We take our time enjoying the warm sunshine and the cool breeze. We find an end of a 2×4 in the road and bring it home, who knows what it may someday become. Our path is unplanned and we find ourselves on a dirt road on a windy day. The dust blows around us, but doesn’t bother us too bad. We say hello to two more dogs and continue towards our house. This is just another day, but its special, it’s the first day it feels like fall. It is a windy day, fall is here. 

We have Arrived!

We arrived in our new house and are settling in. Sunday we got here around 6:45 Pacific time as we pulled in the driveway Mark yelled “NEW HOW (house)”! I was promptly interrogated by the neighbor but I brushed it off and we played in our back yard with our dogs. Soon the realtor arrived with the keys and we saw our house in person for the first time. We didn’t know the layout at all! It was really fun (and scary) exploring it. It was overwhelming. We only had a few things with us, and now we had this big empty house too. 

We both had some serous fears and doubts the first night, but soon enough we were passed out on the floor of our new house. 

The next morning we went to a great breakfast place (in that time we missed the appointment for the gas to be turned on) I ran some errands then picked up Mike and some lunch. We ended up going to a mall because it was so unnaturally hot we got some awesome, but WAY too expensive dinner before our ordeal of a night then involved losing my keys, forgetting things all over and eventually getting to take a shower….

Today was great because we got the truck unloaded and I got a nap! Seriously awesome. After I finally woke up we got lunch at a local food cart pod (more on these awesome places in a later post), then bought appliances! We won’t get our appliances till monday so I may need to go to the Laundromat soon. We managed to get our bedroom mostly set up and put away and we picked up a few groceries. 

Tomorrow we are probably going to IKEA to get a cheep couch and desk. 

On the Road

Here I am sitting in our kind of gross hotel in Draper, Utah. A suburb of Salt Lake City (I think…). All I know is that this almost tops the list of places I like the least of anywhere we visited (but beating LA is gonna be hard for any city). Its a weird climate that I don’t like much. I’m pretty sure this is still considered “Semi-arid” like most of the places we’ve been recently (Nebraska, Wyoming), but whatever it is I don’t like it. Its weird feeling, and too high up… and well just a strange place where every family is gigantic and has strange values. Where instead of having left turns they make you turn right, then have a U-turn lane. 0.o Its hot, and kind of dry, and kind of mountainy, but not that much. I’d take Vegas over this any day. Can’t wait to leave and head to Portland, but my planning wasn’t the greatest so tomorrow we have over 12 hours of drive time. We hope to leave by 7am Mountain time.

The trip is actually going EASIER than I expected. So easy I’ve driven the whole thing! The drive has been more scenic than I expected and the dogs have been very well behaved. They have been in the car over 8 hours a day for 3 days and in small hotel rooms at night (sometimes split up between two rooms). They are doing well with being walked and have gotten to run around off leash twice, once Toby ran off chasing a bird, but besides that they have been well behaved. Mark is handling the car well, so well we didn’t even use the DVD player at all the first day. The only downside is that the car puts him to sleep so he’s napping 2-3 times a day then staying up late when we all need to sleep.

I’ve learned a few things on this trip. Here are a few random ones: Don’t waste space in your suitcase for kids PJ’s because they won’t want to put them on anyway. Snacks, you can’t have too many snacks. Hotel ice buckets make good dog water bowls in a pinch! Cabalas is a great place to stop on the road, especially with dogs. They have outdoor dog kennels and water available. And they have walking paths and some even have enough outdoor area for a game of catch with your pup! We had all 5 running around at one! They also sell dogs supplies if you need any! 

One more day and we will be at our NEW HOUSE. 

Time to Go!!!!!

In about 9 hours we will be hitting the road to Portland! Most of our stuff is packed and lined up in what used to be the playroom, ready to go on the roof of our car in the morning. The dogs and Mark have no idea whats coming (though I have tried to explain it!), but I know they will do fine. Our dogs are crate trained and after 20minutes in the car they will calm down and sleep. Rest stops are going to be interesting and a pain in the butt…. but we will handle it!

Here is a picture of our new backyard waiting for us in Portland!

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One third of an acre fenced in!