Discovering Our New City

Living in a new community has been fun, challenging, and I’m *just* starting to feel like I might know my way around and things are starting to feel familiar and routine. I just realized I don’t have to think so hard all the time about navigating from place to place.

I’ve discovered a few new favorite places in Portland and the surrounding areas.

For food my favorites are, Bamboo Sushi, Bete-Lukas, Jacqueline, Toro Bravo and Rosa Rosa. (There are many more – but for the sake of brevity – I’ll leave it here.)

fufpceprseti80nk4wsvg.jpgFor seasonal activities with kiddos – we have been loving the amount of berries, and other fruits that can be picked. We have been to Morning Shade farm for berries, Echo Valley Natives for native plants for our garden, including some native fruiting bushes. We plan to head to Sauvie Island this fall for our pumpkins and of course we really enjoyed the great corn maze at Bella’s Organic Farm.

The Hoyt Arboretum is lovely, free, and close to the Oregon Zoo and International Rose test garden. For those extra rainy days, we love OMSI,  PowellsOregon Historical Society and Portland Art Museum.

I’m looking forward to finding more to add to the list. I expect this will be one of many posts as I keep discovering fun new things in my newly adopted city.

-CM

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Back to School

pDsbDsWYTuuhCt9oup8cOQHere we are, on day three – 4th and 10th grade. I’m simultaneously relieved to have more routine and structure to my days, (and hopefully and uptick in my productivity and running my business.) and sad that summer and our family times together are less now that we all are occupied during the day.

I’m trying to reinvent my business, I’ve launched in 2011, and it’s been a great and I’ve experienced organic growth, and until recently I had a steady consistent client base. Given that I moved the business across the country and am now serving a different area, the unique challenges of this space have needs have necessitated a reboot.

Both kiddos are looking forward to the routine, but are each working through different challenges and expectations of the year. I vividly remember my high school experiences, remember the social pressures and challenges and the exhaustion of stretching my brain to its limits. 10th grade has a very robust, rigorous curriculum, and already after the first day significant homework was assigned, including reading, interpreting and presenting on the U.S. Constitution. Wow.

4th grade the big news so far relates more to new playground boundaries, cross stitch learning, and continued work on reading – especially as a dyslexic child.

How did you first week go?

-CM

More on Change

I realized after publishing the last post, I realized I have more to say about change. Many folks I have spoken to talk about the phases of a relocation – or phases of change. As with any period of transition, there are great moments, and moments of, “oh crap, why did we do this again?” and I had a really hard day earlier this month when I felt completely overwhelmed and started to really doubt that I had made the right choice for our family by moving so far.  It has prompted me to really consider what “home” means. Continue reading

Changes

I realize as it has been a while since I have been updating on a very regular basis here, and that many things have changed from the previous posts. For one, we no longer live in Minnesota. That was a hard decision in many ways, and then finally, very simple. It took the better part of two years for us to actually accomplish it, with hours and days and months of planning. As I mentioned in the previous post, while there were many factors in the decision to move, the focal one for me was schooling. This is likely what’s also bringing me back to this blog. Continue reading

The D Word

The smallest one in our home, aka Little, has been on a reading journey. Big began reading around age four. I’m not totally sure when exactly happened, as it seemed to burst forth from nowhere, one day she could read. Boom.

Six years later we are starting the journey again. Except the younger child seems to have no really interest in reading. Sure, no problem. Four is young to start, no worries. We get through kindergarten, nope. 1st grade, nope – which to be fair, is super normal in Waldorf Schools. Her teachers were fairly casual, but would mention it at conferences or check ins. We did some work in “extra lesson” (more about that later). We began to hear things like she favors one side of her paper, she’s not remembering words we practice at school. She writes her d’s and b’s and 2’s and 5’s backwards. On and on. Continue reading

Creative Endeavors

fullsizeoutput_5516.jpegOne of the best things that came out of our move was my eldest daughter began a business. She’s been hand lettering cards and posters for awhile, but last August she decided to make things in a more formal way. She has been selling in a few boutiques locally where we live, and will be participating in some of the local Farmers Markets through this summer.

My younger child has really taken to crocheting and knitting and has been making things for us, hats, flute cases, a backpack! It’s been really incredible to see her work. My brain needs a pattern and for someone to show me how it’s done. She can just invent shapes and make them fly off her needles.

I’m hoping to begin painting again this summer. When I tell myself I have more time. What is your favorite creative outlet?

-CM

A New Hope – and Reality

We moved to the pacific northwest almost 11 months ago. Many things drove the move, but the single largest factor was my children. My eldest was graduating 8thgrade at a school that only went to 8thgrade. She and our family had really struggled to find an education system that felt safe, academically challenging, arts focused and seemed to really understand where my child was developmentally. My younger was struggling a bit at school, we are still getting our arms around her specific learning needs.  We looked at a few options nationally and decided on a school in the Northwest. My husband loves being close to mountains, I like being driving distance to an ocean, even one that is not friendly. Continue reading