Saturday, May 12, 2012

Gran's in the House!

We had a wonderful visit with my mom at the end of April into early May.  Together we shared milestones (Isaac's birthday celebration and our moving decision) as well as everyday life.  Gran did a super job assimilating into life with an almost one-year old.  Here are some highlights from our time together:

Happy Birthday, Isaac! (what a goofy-looking family!)
birthday present

Don't be fooled--he's not really close to walking.  I still have the bet in the bag!

Story time                                                 Music class

at the park

Thanks for a wonderful visit.  We love you!!

More photos from Gran's visit:

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Isaac's First Cake!

We officially celebrated Isaac's 1st birthday a little early during Gran's recent visit. Before the birthday event, there had been much discussion about whether we would give Isaac a standard birthday cake chock-full of sugar or go with a more nutritious (or at least less sugary) alternative.  Honestly, I was rooting for the full-blown cake while Dad was pulling for a bran muffin option.  Guess who won? I was the one doing the baking after all (with assistance from Gran).  Chocolate on chocolate it was, and it was YUMMY!  At least the adults thought so.  Isaac was more into you will see...

Eating the cake was a multi-stage process. 
 Stage 1:  Tentatively taste the foreign food.

Okay, it's not so bad.  Try a little more.

Stage 2:  This stuff is sticky and gooey.  Might be more fun to play with it.

Oh yeah, the chair needs a little decor.

Stage 3:  Isaac realizes he has a large audience with all eyes on him, and the show begins.

Completely hamming it up for his guests.

Showing off for his adoring fans was definitely Isaac's favorite part of cake-eating.

The birthday baby crew: Isaac (11.5 months), Everette (6.5 months), Maggie (6.5 months), Bella (10.5 months)

Thank you so much to our dear friends and family who helped us celebrate our sweet little one.  I am so sad I will not be here to watch the other sweet babies indulge on their birthdays.  Mamas, you will have to share lots of pics!

Monday, May 07, 2012

Big News

Our current To Do list
Our world got turned upside down last week when Matt got a call from the Forest Service offering him a permanent position in Pinedale, Wyoming.  He had interviewed for the job about a month before, but we had totally written it off, thinking he had not gotten it.  Thus, the call came as a total shock and seemingly out of the blue.  We were sitting at our kitchen table having lunch with Gran who was visiting for the week.  Matt had taken the day off work to spend more time with her.  He was actually a little short with the human resources woman on the phone at first.  He thought she was calling about a different matter he's been dealing with.  When she asked, "Do you have a minute?", he replied, "I'm in the middle of lunch."  Then she uttered, "Well, I was calling to offer you a job."  That changed Matt's attitude pretty quickly! 

That one phone call sent us into a tail spin as we tried to wrap our minds around the reality of what had been offered and whether or not we wanted to take it.    Matthew's current job is a term position with limited duration.  Having only one year left in the term, he had already started looking for another job.  We thought the search would take quite a while and didn't want to end up at the end of that year without employment. Matt had been applying mostly to Forest Service jobs with the goal of getting a permanent position.  We thought that would mean having to move to a remote, undesirable location for a few years to secure permanent status.  We never imagined the location would be somewhere as amazing as where we are going!  

So, the decision to take the Wyoming job seems easy, right?  Wrong.  We have been in Hood River for 3 years and really feel at home here now.  We love living here.  We had been starting to think we just might stay.  Matt had been talking to a company here in town about possible employment, and it was looking promising.  I had started imagining our long term future here.  I was excited thinking about nurturing the new and old friendships and connections we've made here.  I was excited to finally call Hood River home without the caveat that we would only be here for a few years.  I was ready to put down roots!  

So when the Wyoming call came, I was actually a little perturbed--the audacity of the universe (or the Forest Service, or whoever!) to throw this at us now, just when we were starting to feel settled!  Of course, that was only temporary.  Over the next two days, Matt and I considered all the pros and cons of the two options--go to Wyoming, an unknown, or stay put with a new job.  In the end, we decided that the Forest Service position is a really good opportunity that we do not want to pass up.  It provides long term security for our family and a lifestyle we desire.  It also opens up the whole country to us after a few years since Matt would be able to transfer within the federal system if he so desires. 

There it is in a nutshell. We're off on a grand adventure to Wyoming where Matt will be working as a fish biologist for the Bridger-Teton National Forest. It's an incredibly beautiful place.  Come visit!

(I want to send a special thanks to my mom (a.k.a. Gran) who was with us when our world became a whirlwind.  She patiently supported us as we processed all that we had to think about in those two short days.  It was really cool to share that with her since we usually don't get to experience day-to-day life together.  It was wonderful to have the calm comfort of my mom's presence during a time that otherwise felt completely chaotic.  Thanks for encouraging us, Mother!  I love you and miss you.)