Chad, Jessica, Jet and Aijiahlyn

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Biking Ridgeline

I finally, FINALLY mountain biked Ridgeline Trail.  I have wanted to since high school.  It got put on the back burner, and I never planned it, and I was super silly for not pursuing something that was totally doable.  Ol' well, better late than never.   I have been interested in mountain biking since middle school.  I would ride my garage-saled bike from the 60s through the orchard and river paths behind my house.  I thought it was so thrilling, and I felt so cool doing it, metal clinking and all.  lol.  In high school, I got a local bike map, and learned the only official mountain biking trail in Eugene was on the back side of Spencer's Butte.  I was so excited to go someday.  Long story short, this was my first time at the end of September.     
The map said the trail was easy.  Chad mocked me when I put on my helmet, as if I were the dorkiest wannabe ever.  "Whatever!"  I said. "I have 2 babies to live for, darnit!  I don't know about this trail.  I don't really know what I'm doing!"  Well, thank goodness I wore that helmet, because, that trail was not easy, not to me.  It was 2-3 feet wide, with big drop-offs on the side, some crazy switchbacks, and plenty of hills.  Easy?  Huh?  At least, intermediate, c'mon.

So basically, I was in this totally freaked-out state of mind for the first half.  I was basically just trying not to fall.  It reminded me of my first time skiing, and I went down a trail way too difficult for me.  I had just enough control, screaming (literally, and speed-wise) down the hill, to not injure myself, right on the borderline of disaster.  Except the difference was that, if I fell, I would get REALLY hurt instead of just landing in snow.  Big whoop if you fall in snow!  Tumbling down a rocky, forested hill?  No thanks!

After halfway, hills got to be more fun, and less freaky.  My eyes actually wouldn't bug out before I saw them coming.  The scenery was beautiful.  When I was done, I was really proud of myself.  It was fun, and now I know what to expect.  But, more mountain biking with have to wait until better weather, and apparently I need to practice on some baby trails.             

Thursday, December 13, 2012


Miss Aijahlyn is our little sweetheart and snugglebug.  She loves to face out, so I don't see her face as much as I  She can stay in her chair for LONG periods of time, making it very convenient to get things done, but then ofcourse I feel guilty for leaving her "alone" so long.  But, alas, the house doesn't clean itself, nor the clothes, nor the dishes, and ya know.  Her hair has always reminded me of baby bird feathers, it's so soft, and every day I rub my cheek against it.  Hmmmm.  And like all babies, her cheeks are ridiculously perfect for kissing  : )  She can be quite the conversationalist with a wide range of coos, or she's completely silent.  On or off.  She always smiles back at you, as long as she's not tired.  I'm always wondering what her personality is going to be like....and so far, she seems just as happy and mellow as Jet, with a touch of feist.  Lucky us.  We love you Aijah.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Autumn update

 Sheesh, fall holidays speed by, I tell ya!  Now that I've finally put all my old photos onto an external hard drive, I can upload new ones.  Yay.  It was really easy.  I can't believe I procrastinated so long. 
 Deterings with the family.  We went with my parents and Nicole.  Always so fun!

 We got a bunch of butternut squash and some caramel corn that we hoovered on the way home.
 We took a Portland trip to go to this authentic Argentine food cart.  Chad was finally able to have Argentine food for the first time in ages!  He confirmed it legit.  Yep, delish.  Now I don't have to hear explanations of what a lomito is, or an alfajore, I KNOW what they are.  Maybe it's a good thing it's in Portland because we would eat there too much.  We also went to IKEA.  I got cute stuff for the kids' rooms.  Happy 

 Jet was a viking for Halloween.  It was Chad's idea.  We got the hat at the Scandi Fest this year.  So, we built the costume around that.  I didn't want to take the time to make a costume, but Chad made me.  It worked out really well.  I found a few old coats, belts and scarves at St. Vinnies, and put them together.  I did it all during 1 naptime.  I can handle that.  His boots rocked.  He had an axe too.  We went trick or treating with David, Lindsay, Hailey and the boys.  They were being really quiet at the doors, so David said they needed to be loud.  Ever since that comment Jet would yell, THANK YOU! and TRICK OR TREAT! after he got candy.  Luckily, the yelling went well with his costume.  Aijahlyn stayed with Grandma and Grandpa Durfee.  She was a bumblebee.  Pics of her are a-comin'.

Friday, November 16, 2012

One Spoiled Girl

My birthday rocked this year.  Yep....I basically celebrated my birthday for four days instead of one, and I did everything I wanted, and got everything I wanted, and felt wonderful.  SPOILED!  The perfect mishmash of birthdayness was bestowed upon me.   I'm not trying to make anyone jealous.  I think everyone should be this spoiled on their birthday.  (It's long-winded, but ya blog is my journal and blah blah blah) 

My official birthday was November 6th, but it started November 4th, when we had a girls' movie night at the Durfees.  Chad encouraged me to do this, so I was a bit suspicious.  But, when I got there everything was normal, so I assumed my suspicions were wrong.  We watched "Girl In Progress," which I loved, very fun, and definitely meant for girls only.  When I got home, Chad and his dad had completed two mondo projects that I had been nagging Chad about forevas.  They finished our corrugated metal wall (pics to come) that had been 1/2 done for months.  And, they fixed the living room curtain rod.  It had been drooping ridiculously for a month, which is really annoying when you need as much privacy as possible because you're nursing and don't want neighbies to catch a show.  Wee!  So....I was overjoyed.  When I got there, I could tell both projects were total pains in the tush because it took them 4 hours, and they were pooped.  THANKS GUYS!!!!!

November 5th was Chad's day off so we celebrated my birthday that day.  This year, I really took things into my hands, and planned the perfect day.  I got up at 6:00, and ran on the gorgeous Ridgeline Trail, and saw the sunrise.  It felt great.  Then I drove to Voodoo donuts and got a Mango Tango (Tang dusted, mango filled, w/vanilla topping) and a pumpkin buttermilk donut.  I nibbled on them throughout the whole day.  Om nom nom!  When I got home, we all got ready to go to a restaurant I had been dying to try, "Off the Waffle."  They make authentic liege waffles, with amazing topping combinations.  We got 3 different fave was surprisingly a savory one; waffle, a thick spread of chevre, (sheep's milk cheese?) 2 sunny-side-up eggs, avocado, basil, smoked paprika, and a drizzle of EVOO.  Wow!  Can I go back now?

I got a GPS running watch.  I'm addicted to it already.  While you're running, it tells your distance, pace, time, and (supposedly) calories burned.  The pace part is my fave because it really helps me push myself.  And, the distance part is awesome, because lots of trails I run don't have markers, or I'm doing weird loops with the dogs, and I have only a rough idea of distance.

Chad had to go to a meeting, so I took the dogs out with Aijah in the bjorn, to Harvest Landing.  It was magical....not even exaggerating.  The leaves were constantly falling like confetti.  It felt like a fairytale wedding.  About a 1/2 mile in, there is this clearing, and I just stood in the middle of it and had the leaves fall all around us.  I caught some, and one landed on Aijah's head.  Some would twirl down, some would drift like snowflakes, and a few would dive-bomb.  It was a golden autumn show, and it was breathtaking.  Aijah always falls asleep in the bjorn, but she watched the leaves the whole time.       

We ended up getting free tickets to the Ducks b-ball game that night.  My mum and sis watched Aijah, and we took Jet.  It was fun being in the arena, and Jet loved the duck.  Afterwards, we decided to drive around and pick a restaurant at random, that we had never tried.  This always seems like a fun idea, but we always have a hard time, and either go to a place we have already been, or don't like the place.  Well....we found Laughing Planet, and I was SO excited to try it.  LAME!!!  Okay, I like healthy food, but this stuff was like bad homemade food that was overpriced.  We spent way too much money, and ended up going to Market of Choice next door and getting Apple Cider Mousse, and sitting by the fire.  Much better.

On my REAL birthday, I took it easy.  All my siblings called.  My sister Nicole and I hung out at 5th St. Public Market.  Ofcourse, we talked to "Tracy" (imaginary phonebooth friend) in the London telephone booth there.  The rule is, if you pass by a phone booth, you gotta get on the phone and pretend to talk to Tracy in a really annoying voice about all the latest gossip.  She's gabtastic.  'Twas lovely.  chad hates this.  lol!!!!

That night, we went to the Durfees to watch the election.  I left early to shop at Target.  My love for Target is kinda intense.  Aw man, I was in heaven.  Sometimes you go, and things are okay, but sometimes you go, and everything is exactly what you want.  I got the BEST stuff.  An awesome coat, that I can't believe I lived without before, a cute mint-colored shirt, a furry hat thing, a copper watch, tangerine jeans, emerald (looking) earrings and shaun white gum.  Spoiled.  I told you.  Shopping spree full of glee. 

This last Sunday, I had dinner and pumpkin pie with my family.  I actually blew out candles.  I hadn't done it for a few years.  Yeah, I forgot how fun it was.  Definitely not foregoing that on my b-day ever again.  Don't ask me why it was so exhilarating, and we'll pretend I blew out all of them (even though I was laughing too much, and missed 4!).

Such great memories.

By the way, I am completely in love with my daughter, but nobody would ever know it, because I haven't blogged about her.  It's coming.  Promise.


Thursday, November 1, 2012

"Growing a Foodie"

A few weeks ago, I read an article in Parenting magazine titled, " Growing a Foodie."  First off, I love food.  I love good food.  Natural, real food.  Awwww.  I just finished eating some whole wheat spaghetti with herbed (fresh garlic, onion and thyme (from the garden)) sauteed zucchini ribbons, sprinkled with parm and drizzled with olive oil.  YuM!  Every morning I eat fresh oatmeal with ground flaxseed, freshly grated ginger and nutmeg, cinnamon, finely diced fruit of choice, with a drizzle of honey and splash of cream atop.  Good morning to me!  YUM! again!

Well, Jet, eats pretty bad.  His main diet has been yoplait light yogurt (BAD, artificial sweeteners), apples, and chicken or sandwich meat.  I would do PBJ on whole wheat bread (sometimes Dave's bread (the best)) and then some other fairly kid friendly stuff, like tortilla and cheese with grapes.  Sometimes real oatmeal.  Rarely a vegetable.  YIKES.  So, this article really hit home.  I'm a foodie....why can't my son be too?!  The main quote that struck me was, "Picky eaters aren't born, they are made."  If we keep giving them the same food, how will they know any different?   If we keep giving in, what should we expect?!  Then they elaborated on different ideas about how to get your child to eat more healthy foods etc, and how we should get them eating adult food.  I think most kids' menus are SO UNHEALTHY and processed.  Bleck.

Just the idea alone has changed our lives.  It has been so much fun.  I incorporate him into my cooking.  I try to get him involved as much as I can.  We love smelling spices and trying new flavors together.  Let's see....he loves smoked salmon (who wouldn't?!) on a whole wheat bagel and light cream cheese (I didn't try smoked salmon until I was 23).  He's been eating plenty of steamed carrots.  He loved the pasta I mentioned earlier.  He likes crab meat.  He loves nonfat plain greek yogurt with frozen grapes.  It's more yoplait light.  He loved my oatmeal this morning.  He has tried so many things.  He even tried making his own concoction of thin apple slice, and carrot.  He has been REQUESTING healthy lettuce!  Well, he'll still request chocolate milk, and candy.  But, hey, progress. 

My favorite memory about this whole foodie thing thus far, was the vinegar tasting we had about 2 hours ago.  Jet and I sampled vinegars....plain.  Together.  He wasn't scared to try any of them.  We tried, balsamic, red wine, rice, cider, and white balsamic vinegar, and we both whole-heartily agreed that white balsamic was the best.  Delish!  Thank you Kara for telling me about it!  Okay, it felt like we were taking shots or  Every time we would try about a 1/4 tsp, we'd kick it back, and wait for our taste buds to react, and say,"woooo, that's strong.  Woooo, tangy!"  And then we'd start giggling.  lol.  Good times. 

So much fun ahead.

Oh yeah, got him to try buffalo wing sauce yesterday, even though he knew it was spicy.  No big deal...just a swig of milk after, and he was good.  Brave kid.  He's still really sensitive to spice, but we'll kick that out soon enough.  I'm not cooking non-spicy food for the next 15 years.  I love jalapenos too much.

I think our favorite smell is olive oil.

And, I think I'm going to get some mulling spices to simmer on the stove.  I've never done it before.  Fresh cloves, cardamom, allspice.....what a heavenly home.      

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Morning Run

Just finished a morning run, and I'm feeling good.

I caught the sunrise, right over the river.  I don't know if I'll catch it after daylight savings, we'll see.  It was gorgeous.  All the colors reflected off the water.  Then I ran by the hospital, and noticed someone's lights were on (where the nurses park) so i ran into the hospital to let them know.  DOn't know if it helped, but at least I did a good deed.  Yay.  On the way home, facing west, there was a pink tinted rainbow.  So many beautiful sights this morning.  I'm so grateful for a healthy body.  I know it's such a blessing.

During the run, I had a thought about handcuffing Chad's wrist to mine during the Turkey Stuffer, so he can't pass me.  But later I thought, what if he's the slow one, and ruins my time?  LOL!

Last Saturday I ran with the dogs. I haven't done that in a long time.  So fun. Trigger never gets tired, but Dakota started getting smart, and noticed I would run out one way, and come back the same way, so she would just start to wait for me to come back every time, AND THEN run a loop with me on a different part.  I really pushed her.  I ever thought, wow, if I did this more often, she could finally lose weight....but then she snuck Chad's breakfast off the table that morning, and then stole Jet's apple from my nightstand....and she got into a bag of something or other.  You can't leave food out for a second around here.  If Jet ever leaves his food cuz he has to pee he tells me, "Keep it safe, so Dakota doesn't get it."  Then he'll come back and say, "Did you keep it safe?"

Saturday, I had the best runner's high ever.  It lasted over an hour after my run.  I was ridiculously giddy.  Chad can attest.  : )  I just love running in the morning.  And Chad isn't even awake yet! 

Monday, October 29, 2012

Life is Good

Okay, you know those bumper stickers that say, " Life is Good"?  I used to love them 7 years ago.  But then life got hard, and then harder, and harder, and I started not liking those stickers so much.  I thought, "Yeah, yeah, life is good, but gosh, life really sucks too."  I was getting cynical.  Well, life can really suck, but I gotta say, my life feels pretty darn great right now, and those sucky times make me really appreciate it, and make it so much sweeter.  Not that my life life has EVER been that sucky, at all, but right now, things are awesome.  AWESOME. I wake up every day feeling so good and happy.  I have lots of energy and motivation to get things done. I'm efficient, I'm studly (in my head), I'm a go-getter.  Chad has a great job that he likes and excels at, we have enough time to be together, and even both work-out every day.  We love Jet and Aijahlyn so much, and they bring us so much joy.  We have a warm, comfortable home.  We live in the perfect spot for going out for a run, and feeling safe, yet alone amid beautiful scenery.  There are so many things at this point in our lives, that are just wonderful, and make me believe in that dumb "Life is Good," sticker.  I"m not trying to flaunt or be obnoxious, and frankly I know something terrible must be coming around the pike, but for now, I'm just gonna relish life's loveliness.

I love being home.  2 years ago, I wrote a post about how I was a bit torn about staying at home.  But now, I LOVE IT!  I love my "job."  There isn't a better job.  I love being at home with my two adorable kids.  I love that I have time to cook and try new recipes, and enjoy being in the kitchen.  I love that we can go exploring every day, whenever we want.   I don't have to wait for a lunchbreak or a weekend.  I love that I can stay in my sweats on days where I just want to get the house in order.  I love that different days I can focus on different projects or ideas.  Friday, I just wanted to spend quality time with Jet, so I did.  We put up this really UGLY poster (that he loves) in his room, and drew pictures from it, and put curtains around his bed to make it a fort, and made butternut squash soup together.  The day before, I fixed up Aijah's room with chinese lanterns.  Both Jet and Aijah were in her crib, almost cheek to cheek, staring up at the lanterns.  So cute!  I love being a home-maker.  I like (Chad, please don't use this against me) cleaning the house.  LOL!  It sounds so dumb, but I do.  I love going as fast I can and dashing from room to room, and putting the dirty clothes in the right bins, and cleaning off the bathroom counter in seconds!  Ha!  But, then it takes WAY longer because you get interrupted a bazillion times.  I love folding the laundry while watching a dvr-ed Dr. OZ!  LOL!  I"m laughing at myself.  I love putting my sweatshirt on in the morning and drinking tea while catching up on blogs.  There are so many wonderful decaf teas out there now....vanilla chai, vanilla comoro, pumpkin spice, thai chai, cinnamon vanilla, ah man, add some sweetness and a little cream, and I'm blissful.  At night, I love making homemade popcorn and experimenting with flavors (pumpkin pie spice, lemon-thyme, smoked paprika, rosemary-parmesan) and then plopping down on the couch with my family, with our feet on pillows, sharing a blanket with Jet, holding Aijah, and laughing our heads off at "Practical Jokers."  Every day I get to do things that make me so happy, and I get to decide what to do.  Ofcourse, there are crazy days, where you're the clean-up patrol: spills, spills, spills, or messy dogs paws, or gluing broken piggy banks back together piece by piece, or baby blow-outs requiring a hose-down....but really, no biggie.

Anyway, I have been putting off blogging because we're having photo issues, but I don't want to put it off anymore.  There are too many things I want to remember, and cherish.  So, sorry, no pics.  But, who cares?  I'd rather have a post w/o pics, than no post.               

Sunday, September 30, 2012

I can ride a bike!

Last week, I sneaked out the house early (you have to be sneaky when you don't want the dogs to whine that you're not taking them) and went on my first bike ride since being pregnant.  Glorious!  It was beautiful and the air was crispy.  I went through whatever landscape or trail felt like it needed exploring: meadow, a business's path, and some rugged land labeled, "FOR SALE," and ofcourse the path behind the hospital.  It was a very free feeling, especially when I came across a rope swing and hopped on.  I swung and twirled.  I leaned back as far as I could, letting my hair hang, and watched the tree leaves spin above me.  It felt so good, I even dorky.  I can ride a bike!  I can swing on a rope!  It feels wonderful to have my baby out of me!  So much better than in!  I can snuggle her, and see her, and love her. 

When I got home, I noshed on the grapes in our backyard.  Yum!  I had this routine last October, that after every run, walk or bike around the neighborhood, Jet and I would come back and chow down on fresh grapes.  Once again, it felt so good.  Welcome Oregon in autumn!  You are my dream come true; crisp, dry and not too hot.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Coast Trips

At the end of August, we were able to fit in two coast trips.  For the first one, Jet and I went with my Mom-in-law, Hailey and Kacy.  Jet was acting cranky in the car, and we and HE didn't realize it until the last while, that he was car sick.  Once we got out of the car at Florence, he puked.  Poor kid.  He inherited my queasiness.  After a half hour, he was back to being Jet again.  Phew!  At the restaurant for lunch, we all dared each other to do something dorky.  Mom's fake coughing attack definitely got everyone's  Hailey had to pretend the waitress brought her the wrong food.  Kacy enthusiastically said, "Yummy in my tummy!" when her food came.  I was supposed to burp REALLY loud, but all my burps were pretty quiet. Lame-o...Sawry.  I tried!

At the coast, Jet went crazy.  He didn't stop running because he was so excited.  Wow!  It was so fun to be with him...well, it is most of the time, but at the coast, he was just joyful the WHOLE time.  We laughed when we put our feet in the water, we ran back and forth, flew a kite, buried our feet in the sand, and frolicked.

Chad had to work, and after I told him how much Jet loved it, we went on his next day off with the dogs.     
Dogs are REALLY funny at the coast.  Dogs always get excited to go out and play, but at the coast, they are so crazy thrilled, they grin from ear to ear the whole time, and are so energetic that they collapse for the rest of the day when you leave, because they were having so much fun, they couldn't even stop themselves.  Pretty much the same state Jet was in.  I love witnessing their glee.  Trigger chased birds for the whole 2 hours.

Playing dead.
Apparently Chad used to take loose railroad spikes from the RR behind his grandparents' backyard as a kid, and it was this fond memory.  So, he thought Jet would love the same experience.  LOL.  Um....okay.  Well, if Dad thinks it's cool, it's cool.  

Aijah was born one week later.  I'm so glad we fit these trips in!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Good Morning

Good Morning.  I love mornings.  Before Aijah was born, I didn't have the gusto to get up early, but now, she wakes me up for long enough to get past the groggy stage.  When she's done eating, she goes back to sleep with every one else, and I have some morning goodness.  It's getting just chilly enough for some hot tea.  Heaven, I tell ya.  (Herbal, of course)

This girl is awesome.  We couldn't ask for a better baby, besides the fact that she grunts REALLY loud in her sleep, well, and when she's awake too.  We still don't understand why.  It just seems to be her noise of choice.  I'm getting used to taking 2 kids everywhere.  Luckily, she's been sleeping on most every trip, so it's been easy.  I've gone on a few adventures with both of them.  Jet goes in the stroller, and I carry her in the bjorn.  She loves it.  Yahoo.  Jet was a hit or miss with the bjorn; if I ever stopped walking, he would cry.  So far, the transition has been a bit too smooth, and her pediatrician said I was a freak for being so easy goin' after 2 weeks.  I just feel great.  I have enough of energy, I'm getting enough sleep, I feel like things are pretty under control.  We didn't even forget to put out the garbage this morning.  I think the garbage man is the guy who's seen me at my worst, most often.  I hear the truck across the street, it wakes me up, I scramble in my pj's, bedhead, and racoon-eyes to get the garbage to the curb.  I like to think it makes his morning more enjoyable.  lol.    

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

A little backtrack

I can't believe summer is over.  Ahhh!  Let's play catch-up.  First, the Springfield Cruz.  We had never been, and I thought at least Chad would like it since he's in the car industry.  We all loved it.  It was so fun to see all the decked-out cars of yesteryear parading their personality.  I have to admit, my favorite was a 60's woodie, reminds me of Santa Cruz.  Chad liked this crazy military Jeep, and ofcourse the Mustang fastback!  He calls that his mid-life crisis car...because he's planning on getting one by then.  : )   The Cruz will definitely be a new tradition.    
 Kara and the family got to come visit a few times.  Loved it!  Cousins are the best!  Jet is so lucky to have such great cousins.  We went to BRING recycling center.  Jared and Jet chased each other around most of the time.
 Here is me trying to document the pregnancy and not doing a very good job.  I was pregnant, and I'm SO GLAD it's over!  Hurrah!  So many people say the hard part really starts once they're born....but seriously, i hate being pregnant.  Give me a newborn over a big belly any day.  I am SO excited to start exercising!  Get me on some trails...I'm already planning a mountain biking trip.  FINALLY!!!! 
RAR!!!!!   We got to go to the Scandinavian Festival with Kacy and Hailey.  
He's really a sweetheart, just a bit fierce when he's in "fighting mode," trying to prove to everyone how strong and tough he is.  He also has "goofball mode" where he's totally loopy.  Love him to death! 
 Lucky boy, with wonderful aunts.  Thanks Kacy for holding Midas.  (Jet is obsessed with robots...the fighting kind.  Such a boy.)
This isn't Mr. Siegle.  Crazy, huh?  I didn't ask if they were related.  Loved the get-up!  Jet was scared.  LOL!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


                  Aijahlyn Marie Durfee
                                             Born August 26th, 2012    12:06 pm
                                                6 lbs. 15 oz.     20 in.

You're probably wondering how to pronounce her name.  It's easy.  Take the name Elijah.  Take off the get IJAH.  That's exactly how you say it, then add LYN.  IJAH-LYN.  We just added the A because we liked the look of it.  Chad learned the name on his mission to Argentina...where he met a 3-year-old named Aijiahlyn, and he's loved that little girl and the name ever since.  We looked for other names to be sure, but none of them felt right.

So, these photos aren't the greatest but they're better than nothing right now.  She's an absolute angel.  I admit, I was planning for a feisty one, but so far, she's an easy-goin' gal.  Hurrah!  Things are so much easier this time that I know what I'm  Chad got a week off work and it was heaven.  It has been such a wonderful time soaking in all her loveliness and staring at her half the day.  Jet is doing great and so are the doggies.  We feel so blessed.

She's already been on her first adventure, with many more to come.