Thursday, January 19, 2012

Sometimes You Need to Drop Everything and Play Zelda

When Josh and I were dating, we talked about a lot of important, life shaping things.  For instance, Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is the best video game ever made.  Early in our marriage, we pulled out the old N64 and went through the whole game again together.  It was vital to both of us that we could share in the joy of Link's many quests to save the princess.
Well, we're at it again.  We got the new Zelda game for Christmas; and though we haven't touched our Wii in maybe a year, we dusted the old thing off, bought the new controller we needed, and started adventuring.  Yes, we have some final arrangements to make for Costa Rica in a couple weeks.  Yes, I have a quilt top that I am very excited about, yet am ignoring.  But it's Zelda we're talking about here.  Everything else can wait.

I'm happy I married my perfect match.

On that note, we're also working on one of my previously mentioned goals for the new year: exploring Oregon to see where we want to settle after residency.  McMinnville had been pretty alluring for us, but after having spent the weekend investigating the area, I don't think it's as high on our list as others.  It was tons of fun to visit.  We stayed at the McMenamin's hotel and explored the main street (which is 1/3 tasting rooms and therefore awesome), but all in all, I might prefer the northern part of the valley.  Our next mission: Estacada.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

First Homemade Gift of the Year

Unique yarn from small shops has become my souvenir of choice.  I like it because then, when I make something out of it, the item has an interesting back story.  I can say, "I made this hat out of yarn I got in Italy," or "My mom picked up the yarn for these slippers in Norway," or "I got that purple yarn in Camden, ME."  The last of which is true about the yarn in this scarf I made for our friend Denise:

I snapped this photo before running to catch the bus to meet Josh and Denise to give her the present.  I generally stand against taking pictures of myself in the mirror, but I was alone and feel like I had no other choice.

I picked a blanket square pattern and instead of putting them together in a rectangle, I attached them all end to end.  The scarf really is mostly purple, but I added the yellow, orange, and maroon because 1) Denise likes them  2) I'm in a fall colors phase  and 3) I didn't have enough purple for a reasonably lengthed scarf, but had just enough of those other colors to make it work.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Welcome, 2012

It's strange to be almost 30 and to still have June feel more like the end of the year than January. Although life will probably change more for us on July 1 when residency year 2 becomes residency year 3, one of my goals is not to live in waiting anymore, so I'm putting up my thoughts about and hopes for 2012.
That starts with thinking about the last two years. About how 2010 was a year of adventure. We went through the residency interview process, match day, I quit my job so we could run off to Europe, we moved to Oregon (in a Jeep with no a/c. Through the desert. In the summer.), we started new jobs, we met and got to know lots of new people.
Life stopped feeling adventuresome pretty quickly, though. 2011 was a year of getting by. Don't misunderstand me, "getting by" was still pleasant most of the time. Josh and I are pretty good at enjoying the moments we have, but the big things started getting wearisome. Hour long commutes that eat into our precious time together, long days at work (mostly for him), even just not having a space of our own ate away at us from time to time. We often reminded ourselves of the big picture, the long term goals, and how the lifestyle we're sacrificing now will make them more accessible in the future. There were some fun things in 2011; but even though we had a few chances to climb mountains, go to the coast, and enjoy the quirks of this fair city, nothing really felt like ours last year. We feel like we could have done more.
Which brings us to today. I know every day is a good day for a new beginning and there's nothing really magical about the replacing of an old calendar, but why not use January 1, 2012 as a jumping off place? I guess my overall theme for the new year is proactivity.
So far, in 2012 I'm looking forward to:
*Going to Costa Rica in January
*David, Ruth, and the girls coming up in the summer
*Starting the last year of residency

In 2012 I want to (in no particular order):
*Check out potential places to live after residency. We're jumping right into this one - we already have reservations at McMenamin's Hotel Oregon in McMinnville next weekend so we can begin our investigation.
*Take a serger class.
*Take better care of my hair. Most of the time I simply rely on its ease of management which often ends up just looking unkempt. And big.
*Find a church home.
*Actually start exercising. I know this freakish metabolism with which I've been undeservedly blessed won't last forever. To be specific, I will try to do yoga twice a week and run once a week. Just that sounds like a lot to this sewing-chair-potato.
*Meet my fundraising goal for work.  I'm proud of my job.  This is important to me.
*Make more clothes. I got some Pendleton wool from my aunt that I hope to turn into awesome free shirts for Josh; and I have had some clothes to alter and fabric waiting to become a dress in my "not quilting projects" basket for too long.
*Send more fun packages to our nieces (we'll shoot for Valentine's Day, Easter, and Halloween).
I tried to be specific in what I want to accomplish this year.  I think this list will please the part of me that likes to check things off and provide enough lifestyle change to propel me forward.  I hope to add to it as schedules flesh out and some things move into the "completed" column.  I will, of course, also post about my various projects still.  In fact, I'm half way done with my first quilt top of 2012, and it's pretty darned adorable.