Sunday, January 18, 2009

New Year...New Post - Part 1

So it has been FOREVER since I have posted and figured that while I was laying in bed watching it snow I should update my blog a little.

So here goes it...

September/October - My life revolved around a public client with a filing deadline and I did little more than work/sleep. However, with this client I was able to travel to Tacoma for two weeks (it was supposed to be three but I won't get into that here). I was able to spend time in Portland on the weekends (three in total) and visit with the family. One of the weekends mom, Pete and I made the trek down to Corvallis to pre-game with the Cole's which was fun. Once kick-off rolled around, we rolled on out of town. Once the reports were issued on Day 60, a plane ticket was issued and I was back out west for the ASU/OSU football game (November 1). I was going to try to surprise mom, however, when she started making plans that did not involve the football game I had to tell her. Another fun tailgate with the Cole's. We had to sit through a few sprinkles during the game but nothing our handy ponchos couldn't handle. The Sun Devils lost but not after staging a serious come back in the last four we heard.

November - Work slowed a little. I was assigned to help out on an engagement but ended up doing a little more than helping (another thing I won't get into here). I was able to sneak away to Cincinnati for Thanksgiving and spent some quality time with Miss S. On her "first" Thanksgiving we all were thankful for the same thing...that she was FINALLY with our family. We went on walks, did some arts & crafts and checked out Zoo Lights...very fun weekend...can't wait to go back in the spring (pictures at the bottom of the post). On the morning I was to leave I saw my first snow flakes of the season, unfortunately it wasn't enough to cancel or delay my flight.

December - The countdown was on for the 19th to arrive and I could head west for two weeks. When the 14th rolled around and I got the call from mom that snow had arrived in Portland my thoughts quickly turned to "Dear Snow, Please be out of Portland on the 19th and not quite to Boston. XOXO EOB". Someone listened because my 6:30 am flight on Friday the 19th was able to take off close to on-time and I was able to land in Portland a mere 7 hours late. The day went like this:
4am - Alarm goes off (hit snooze a few times, obviously)
5:15 - Cab arrives
5:45 - Through security, breakfast, water & magazines in hand (reading - yea right, I need some sleep)
6:15 - On the plane and something is mentioned about Dallas...someone is clearly wrong because my layover is in Phoenix.
6:17 - The captain comes on that due to strong headwinds with the incoming storm we have to change our route and refuel in Dallas in order to avoid severe turbulence. I am so not making my connecting flight in Phoenix seeing that my layover was less than an hour and this is US Airways/America West (pick your poison).

Made our quick stop in Dallas for a little fuel and were back in the air. Luckily during our stop we were able to make calls and use the restroom. Called dad and told him our shopping date was on hold...see I hadn't done any shopping before I left so dad and I had these grand plans to go shopping after I landed around lunch time.

We landed in Phoenix, thank goodness I had upgraded to a "Choice Seat" and was in row 7, I was able to get off the plane and head right to customer service. The line was already pretty long (shocking, I know) and it would only get longer once the rest of the plane was emptied. After an hour I was rebooked on a flight to Las Vegas and then to Portland. BTW - The nice lady put me in first class for my flight to LV, all 45 minutes of it : )

As we landed in Las Vegas it was crazy to see the place with snow! I do remember seeing snow falling one December when I was driving to Scottsdale Fashion Square, that was as close to snow I got my eight years in the desert. Made it to my gate without incident and boarded for Portland. Landed in Portland to see snow falling and have my luggage waiting for was able to get on the non-stop flight from Phoenix to Portland. Called dad and he headed across the river to pick me up. We went to dinner and then to the mall, but I was in no mood to shop. 17 hours, 5 airports and 4 take-offs/landings later I was ready for bed.

Woke up on Saturday to snow. By now my mom was not happy with the snow. Yes, she had a three week Christmas vacation (so not fair, we never got these when I was in school) but she was also stuck in her place (private drive to home = no plowing/sanding by city). Dad was called and made the trek to pick up Pete, mom & me for a trip to the mall. Thank goodness for the 4 wheel drive & studded tires! Did a little shopping but there is only so much a girl can do when the three people she needs to buy gifts for are with I bought myself some boots. Uggs to be exact, even though I SWORE I would never own a pair of "Ugg-lys".

Sunday found mom and I staring at each other as the snow continued to fall. For real? This only happens where I reside. It was this day where I was truly thankful for my Boston home. Though I am not in Boston proper, I am within walking distance of a grocery store, gym, restaurants, and public transportation. Yes, I have to watch where I walk and walk a little slower but I can get places.

Monday rolled around and dad was called again to come and pick-up the family for another day out and about. This day was huge for me, I was getting my haircut. (Yes, I still make appointments to see my hairdresser from high school when I go to Oregon.) I hadn't been able to get an appointment the other times I was home in the fall so I was WAY OVERDUE for the mop to be chopped. With the snow still coming down there wasn't much time for anything else but a haircut and lunch. It was decided that if we were going to attempt to make it to North Bend for Christmas we needed to leave on Tuesday. So dad graciously offered to help us retrieve Grams from "The Home" and bring her back to moms so we could hit the road when Pete got done with work on Tuesday morning. I attempted to make dinner that night and the three of us enjoyed a few games of Five Crowns.

Tuesday I won the "Sister of the Year" award. I shoveled the 12 inches of stuff (8 inches of powder, 1 inch of ice, topped with another 2 inches of powder) from moms driveway so Pete could get his car into the garage. Did I mention all she had was a pointed shovel? Who has snow shovels when they live in the valley? Luckily my hard work paid off and we were on the road a little after 2pm. Our first stop was in Woodburn to take off the chains as the roads were clearing and we expected them to be clear after Salem. According to MapQuest, Woodburn is approximately 25 miles from mom's house and it SHOULD take approximately 30 minutes, we made it in 3 hours...HOURS. We made it to the Cole's house in 8 hours (1 hour for dinner at Elmer's in Eugene).

Wednesday was Christmas Eve...the Big Guy is coming tonight I sure hope I have been good enough this year to have a full stocking! W had to work, the boys did boy things, Mom and Grams did their thing at The Mill, and I baked cookies with the girls (Santa's gotta have something to eat when he arrives). After the cookies were done, the kitchen cleaned and us girls showered and dressed we headed to The Mill to pick-up Mom and Grams. The Mill has a new pool so I watched the girls splash and enjoyed the humidity from the deck. Miss M was so proud of her new skills she has learned since we went swimming back in July. We met up with the family for lunch and then W and I went on our Christmas Eve shopping spree, I still had NOTHING for Pete.

With the state of the economy there weren't as many presents under the tree as in the past but I think everyone did ok (insert sarcasm here). Santa found everyone - thank goodenss!

To be's time to go shovel!

Photos to accompany Part 1

Yes - In the 4th photo Miss S is wearing an Oregon Duck sweatshirt. That was partially remedied by the Cole's at Christmas and will be fully remedied by me at somepoint this year!