Wednesday, February 27, 2008

My New Friend

I just had to share a picture of my new friend the IRobot. Rita and Steve got this for me for my birthday and it has already changed my life tremendously. Instead of spending some of my morning sweeping and vacuuming, Meadow and I watched this lovely machine vacuum our whole house, while we ate breakfast. It was very entertaining. It is somewhat scizaphrenic in nature because it kind of zooms all over the place, but it really gets the job done. I will probably use it mainly when Meadow is in bed or when I can confine her to one area. She was really wanting to play with it, and it did not want to be distracted from its job. It also doesn't sense small children and could proceed to run her over. You can check this cool product out at

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Meadow Update

Meadow has been doing great and keeping us on our toes. She has now become a speed crawler and has been training for hours every day. She is also standing using any object available. She likes to say "dada." Still working on mama. She has also been working on cleaning out the kitchen drawers. She doesn't feel accomplished, until every piece of kitchenware is out of the drawer. Hope you enjoy these photos.

Meadow enjoys eating her shoes. yum yum. She is wearing her new bumgenius diapers. These diapers really are genius. They also help her bum have a soft cushion for when she falls. She hasn't quite learned how to sit down gracefully from standing.

Future gymnast possibly??
Look at this cute baby rump
She has the "I am so cute" look on her face
We had a hat dress up day. This one is from her friends from Minnesota (Jerri and Mark)

Meadow and Conga are close pals.

I caught Meadow taking a snooze sitting up

Meadow had a fun evening with her friend Maddie a couple of weeks ago. I also had a great time visiting with Maddie's mom Jen. Maddie is a month younger than Meadow, but quite a bit bigger. At one point, Meadow was hugging Maddie. It was so precious. They also enjoyed taking each other's toys that they were playing with. Luckily, there were no fights. They can be quickly distracted with other cool toys. Maddie is a very good roller. She just rolls to whatever toy she wants to play with. It is very cute. Meadow likes to crawl all over her.

30th Birthday Extravaganza

I had an awesome 30th birthday weekend. I really lived it up and actually felt more like I was in my early 20's than turning 30. Although, by the end of the weekend I was feeling more like my actual 30 years. On Thursday I stayed up at Timberline with Todd and had an amazing evening with a yummy cocktail, a scrumptious dinner, and a nice slumber in a beautiful lodge. Friday was a fun day of snowboarding and we enjoyed the new Jeff Flood express lift. It definitely added a lot of fun terrain.

On Friday we joined back up with Meadow and Todd's parents. Meadow had a really fun time with her grandparents. Rita and Steve took us out to another lovely birthday dinner. On Saturday night I went out to dinner with eight girlfriends. It was so great to have a girls night out. I wish I had brought the camera. I know I was acting a little silly. Some of us were reminiscing about my bachelorette party. Fun times. It felt great to be out till 1am. What a rebel. The birthday weekend culminated with snowboarding with Sara and Randy at Meadows. There wasn't any fresh powder for my birthday, but it was a great day and Sara and Randy showed Todd and I "the private reserve." Now, it is not so private anymore. It is always fun spending time on the mountain with good friends. I think I did a pretty good job of celebrating. Hope you enjoy a few pics from the weekend.

Todd and I had a wonderful time staying at Timberline for my 30th. This was our first night without Meadow. We missed her, but it was very nice to just relax and enjoy my first martini in 18 months. It was sooooooo good. Timberline has created so many special memories for us. How can you beat the view. The sunny picture of the mountain was our view in the morning from our room. The clouds came in later in the day, but it was still a beautiful day. Did you notice Todd's hair??? Yup, it is all gone. I think it looks awesome.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

30th Birthday Reflection

So, I can't believe that I am actually 30. I have to say it feels really great. I have been reminiscing over the past few days and feel so blessed with all of the experiences I have had and all the things I have accomplished in my 30 years of life. In my early 20's I was hoping that by the time I was 3o I would have finished my schooling, gotten into my career, be happily married, have had a baby, and have a nice stable place to call home. I really can't complain because all of these visions came true for me. There are always things that I wish I could have done, but I guess that is what my 30's are for. I am really looking forward to watching Meadow grow up and hopefully bringing another little one into the world to join her. (Just to note, I am definitely not pregnant again yet). I also am hoping to explore more of what my Social Work career may have in store for me. I am kind of missing the field, but also feel so blessed to be able to stay home with Meadow. We will see where life takes me. I also just want to thank everyone who is reading this for being a part of my life and being a friend. Even if I am not as close to some of you in distance or even if our relationship is not as close as it was, I still feel connected to all of you and grateful for the memories I have had with each and every one of you. Had to add the cheese factor.. Hey, I am turning 30. So, I thought I would add a top ten list of things I have done in my life just for fun.

1) Getting married to Todd at Timberline Lodge.
2) Giving birth to Meadow Riley. What an accomplishment!!!!!
3) Trip rafting down the Grand Canyon with Todd and friends. Life Changing!!
4) Cross Country trips with friends Lesley and Jerri
5) Trip to Europe with the JELT crew
6) My Americorps experience: I almost think this was more influential than my getting my master's degree. I learned a lot about the wide range of human experience and enjoyed being able to make a difference on so many levels.
7) Playing field hockey: The national games in college were highlights, but even just playing on my club team here in Portland is so much fun.
8) So, this seems kind of odd to write, but I think breaking up with my high school boyfriend Andy was so huge and confidence building for me. I needed to break away from someone who was controlling, confining, and not allowing me to grow into who I am as a person. Kind of crazy that this is on my top ten, but it really was life changing for me to finally get some balls and take charge of my life. I was definitely starting to take charge before this event, but the spring of my junior year in college was a defining moment for me. Thanks Cortland girls for supporting me through the ups and downs of the Andy years and then joining me in the fun of our wild senior year.
9) I am putting this all in one because they are all things I enjoy doing whenever I can and provide me with such a fun quality of life here in Oregon. (snowboarding, hiking, mt. biking, snowshoeing, yoga, and golfing)...
10) I think also making my move to Chicago and Portland. I took a leap of faith in both endeavors and they both really have turned into great choices. I enjoyed building closer relationships with my roommates in Chicago and supporting each other in finding out where we wanted our lives to go in our early 20's. Then working through the hard year of long distance with Todd and making the choice to move to Oregon to see where our relationship would evolve. Both moves were really influential in who I am today. I am so glad I hung in there with Todd not knowing where our relationship would take us after he moved back to Oregon from Chicago.

I feel like I am just writing a book here, but I guess it just makes you think about your experiences and what you have gone through. I know that there are so many experiences before my 20's that set the stage for this life. So, I don't want to disregard the love of my parents, the early supports I received, and experiences I had as a child. I guess it is just that in my 20's where I had the option to pursue and seek out my destiny on my own terms which makes these events so monumental. well, blahblahblah.. I guess we didn't call this blog river ramblings for nothing. Will be posting some pictures soon from the 30th birthday weekend.