Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Down Time... Finally!

I wouldn't say we have been spending our days eating Bon Bons and watching daytime TV, but we finally got some time to relax!

For me, trips to Iowa are always relaxing. Visiting your in-laws is a great time when there are no expectations of you. No one really cares about seeing me here. Tom, on the other hand, has lots of loved ones to see and favorite haunts to revisit. I'm just along for the ride. It's great!!

Judy had an open house on Saturday. I have no idea how many people came to their house, but it was FULL for nearly 6 hours! It was lovely to chat and catch-up with everyone, but I failed to take many pictures.

I only half-heartedly apologize. This is my down time, remember!

I did get a shot of Eleanor Mahaney and Eleanor Beacom. The elder Eleanor was so fun to visit with and she even brought the kids gifts and some delicious cookies for all of us. She is 96. What an amazing woman!!

Yesterday morning Tom channeled his PacNW roots and got his lumberjack on in his folks backyard. Happily we did NOT visit the St. Luke's ER afterward!

Tom's brother Doug has two kids with birthdays in June, so we celebrated Colton (18) and Lindsay (16) last night.

After the party we went to watch Grace Mahaney and the Saders win a makeup softball game. Lilly LOVED acting like a big girl in the pre-game warm-ups... I definitely had a few flashes of our future!! 

Ms. Nora has taken a likely to her Grandpa Tom. She is pretty sweet when she cuddles in!

You may be wondering where Garrett is... he and his cousins have been running hard around town. I'm sure some long hours have been logged on the X-Box at his Aunt Jenny's house too. We figure it is good for him to get some space from us. The adventure starts again tomorrow morning and he'll have all the family time he will desire! :)

Friday, June 20, 2014

Fuel Crisis 2014

We made it out of town and we made it to Coeur d'Alene! We had a wonderful evening on the Weeda Farm including firearms, chickens, lots of dogs, and rosters!! The kids had a ball!

Least you think we've figured out the driving cross country thing, I'd like to tell you a little story about what happened after we said our goodbyes to Brad, Char, & Maizie...

About 20 miles east of Missoula, Montana in an absolutely stunning part of the country which also happens to be completely devoid of filling stations, Lilly announces she needs a pit stop. Being road-hardy people, I turn on my blinker and begin to merge over to allow her to make a minor addition to the local watershed. When I glance down, I realize the fuel light is on...

HOW COULD THIS BE?!?! We just filled up in Coeur d'Alene! We're only 200 miles down the road.

I hadn't even looked, because we'd estimated much higher fuel consumption. I mean the trailer is larger and my Mario Andretti impression that morning probably hadn't helped, but 10 miles per gallon!?!?! I was ticked. How could this be?

And then my heart stood still. How would we get gas? We're 20 miles from any fuel pump and a turn around. CRAP!

We let Lilly out and formulated a plan. Tom would go ahead and find a station, then call me (at least we had cell service). If I ran out, he'd be that much closer to getting back to us.

We got back in the car and white knuckled our way down the highway. I may or may not have actually breathed...

13 miles down the road the lovely village of Drummond, Montana came into view AND they had a fabulously open gas station!! YEAH!!! We made it! Here's the picture to prove it.

And here is how much gas we took... That's right folks - 0.3 gallons remaining.

I stared at the gauge all day. As we'd feared the gas mileage with the new trailer and a full car is terrible. At some points I'm sure I could actually see the gauge falling toward the "E."

In the end we made it to Sioux City safe and sound although we hit a very bright colored bird that is still wedged in the radiator... it made it to Sioux City too, but not so much on the safe or sound.

It has rained A LOT in the 4 hours we've been here, but we didn't encounter any road closures coming into town. Garrett is already out running around town with cousins and Lilly is watching Frozen (again) with others!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The Great Adventure Starts... NOW?!?

This year's trip (aka move to Louisiana) has been optimistically dubbed "The Great Adventure."

I like the name, but I also think this life is one, big adventure. The Portland chapter of the Mahaney Family Adventure has been particularly beautiful.

We moved here with a 9 year old and a 1 year old. So, notably, we had another child here. We are both within spitting distance of new degrees thanks to study while we were here. We, well mostly Tom, ran - A LOT - while we were here including a marathon. We made life-long friendships that will continue to support and encourage us far beyond here. We watched our older children grow and explore the world in a place that is pretty darn cool. Perhaps more than anything... we drove to Seattle! Which was awesome. Well, the drive isn't that awesome, but being this close to Garrett has been a privilege that we will miss intensely.

All in all this was a great stop.

Tonight we are in a hotel. We had dinner (and swimming) with Josh, Lael, Heidi, and Julia one last time. Most of our stuff is on its way to our new home. It is strange, for sure. It definitely feels less like the end of something sweet and more like the start of something new...

So, the Great Adventure Starts NOW! Now for some moving pics...

Couch time among the boxes...
Did I actually get a picture of all three looking at me?
Relaxing with pizza and her Bro Bro
The girls... (two smiling out of three ain't bad!)
Such a great friend... 

Tomorrow Tom will finish up at work and we will have one last visit with some other friends before we visit the new owners at their new house for a few minutes and then head to Louisiana... via Coeur d'Alene, Idaho.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

The Theoretical Calm Before the Storm...

I'm not really sure we're experiencing calm. The pace is, well, intense. We had a successful sleepover with Heidi & Julia which included pizza, watching Frozen, sleeping in the living room, and morning donuts! A good time was had by all. Although, I probably won't volunteer for couch duty next sleepover...
Garrett finished 7th grade on Friday and Tom picked him up for the summer on Saturday morning. We had a bbq in the backyard on Saturday afternoon with some friends and neighbors. It was really nice to take a moment and talk with everyone.
Today we celebrated Father's Day! We kicked the celebration off with some packing!! Just what Tom had hoped for this year!! Then we took pitty on him and showered him with some fancy new duds for living where it's hot and sunny. We finished up the evening with the Bennetts. They graciously invited us over for a home cooked meal and some intense play time! We also took a lovely stroll through Columbia Park which is only about a block from their house.
Lauren made some amazing dirt cup desserts! The kids couldn't get enough of them. Nora even said "Mmm Mmmm Mmmmmmm!" It was really cute!
Well, the "calm" ends tomorrow... the movers arrive first thing! Here we go!!

Thursday, June 12, 2014


Our week isn't over just yet, but we have already crammed a lot in. So I thought I'd take a few moments to post some pictures! Monday night I celebrated friendships, new and old, that I will have to learn to maintain from a far. These ladies (and a few others) are an amazing, hilarious, brilliant lot. We ate some delicious food, told some funny stories and really had a nice time. I am so thankful to have crossed paths with each of them AND I can only hope I have the pleasure again in the future!
In between last doctor's appointments and my finishing up my article, we managed a trip to one of our favorite parks in town with Owen, Anna, and Lauren. After playing in the sun and water, we hit up Lilly's favorite restaurant (a burrito joint) for lunch. It was a great morning in the sun and yet another reminder of the things we love about Portland's summer!
Today was a big deal... Tom received an Achievement Medal today for all his hard work over the last four years. This has been a challenging assignment for him, for a number of reasons, and seeing him get a little recognition was nice. He really did accomplish a lot and managed to enjoy some lemonade along the way (in case you're wondering about tonight's title)! Way to go Tommer!!
As I am writing we have Lilly's good buddies, Heidi and Julia, over for a sleep over. I'm sure there will be pictures (and reenactments of their favorite movie Frozen) tomorrow!