Thursday, May 27, 2010

500 down, 500 to go...

Today I finished the last of my 500 hours of internship for first year. We have to complete 1000 hours over the course of the two year program. It feels good to be done with the first half. I had a great year. I got to work in two very interesting programs and learn a host of new information and skills.

I have to say that I am really looking forward to next year. I am excited to be interning at Sexual Assault Resource Center (SARC). I have a list of reading for August and September, once I finish up summer term. I get to attend training in October too. I am so excited to do this work.

YAY Me!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Wow, that was great!



It was so much fun to get out of town this weekend! It was like we were newlyweds again. When we pulled out of Portland it was pouring and gray. As we rolled into Lincoln City it was sunny with fluffy little white clouds rolling by. We headed immediately to the beach to enjoy the big glowing orb in the sky. After a walk down the beach we headed to Chinook Winds Casino to check in. We got a great room with an awesome view of the beach. Alan opened the windows and we didn't close them until we left this morning. It was so lovely to listen to the crashing waves as I fell asleep last night. I slept like a baby. We had fun playing slots, poker and blackjack. No big wins, but definitely had a good time. This morning we enjoyed the new Pig N'Pancake in Lincoln City before heading back home. We decided to stop off and Spirit Mountain Casino and see what it was like. We played a few hands, but decided that it was just too smokey for us. We jumped back on the road and headed to the Woodburn Outlets. I wanted to see what deals I could find on some new summer clothes for the kiddo, work pants for the hubs and I am still in search for the perfect summer skirts. I did alright. At least the boys are good to go.

It was a wonderful whirl wind of a weekend. We need more of them. We are already planning the next one! Here are a few shots from our adventure...




Saturday, May 22, 2010

woohooo!

Alan and I are finally getting away for a night to the beach! We are so excited. We get to pretend we are newly weds again. I'll post pictures upon our return.

Friday, May 14, 2010

A weekend off

This weekend we are heading over the mountain to see Grams. With the parenting time schedule that we have, we are only able to go away one weekend a month. This month we chose to visit my paternal Grandmother in Redmond. It's supposed to be a lovely weekend in the high desert. We will all have a great time. The boys love the neighborhood as there is great biking and parks. Grams loves having her family around her. So it works out to be a win win situation.

Tonight we are packing a picnic dinner to take with us and will hopefully find a nice spot to pull over and eat at. Tomorrow, depending on what Grams needs done, we are talking about hiking up Pilot Butte and the boys want to check out the skate park. We are planning on meeting up with Aunt Jill and Uncle John, some of the cousins and their kiddos. It's going to be a fun family weekend!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Gratitude.

How did I learn how to be grateful? Until recently, it was a rare day that I would celebrate the absolutely mundane gifts I received on a daily basis. I did not even view them as gifts. I expected them - a roof over my head, food in my belly, transportation, clothing, the love of my family and friends. I rarely ever stopped to think about what gifts each of those are.

I know I am lucky. Where as life has not always been easy breezy, it sure has afforded me some rich wonderful experiences. I have two amazing parents who have spent their lives doing the very best that they could to make mine and my brother's lives happy and healthy. This doesn't mean they were perfect. This doesn't mean there weren't times when our life as a family didn't feel desperate or painful. It means that life was complicated and my parents did their best.

One of the amazing gifts they gave me was the gift of gratitude. My parents struggled through out my childhood financially. They came from very different backgrounds and life experiences which gave them differing ways of looking at and managing resources. I remember their struggles and how each thought they were doing what was best. As someone who now shares financial responsibilities for a family with my parter, I have great admiration for what my parents were able to do for us and each other. Never during their struggles did I get the message that we didn't have enough.

No matter how financially burdened they may have been, my parents created an amazing life for us. They got us involved in our community. They challenged us to take our education seriously. There was never any question that if we wanted to achieve something, that we could. They taught me to be creative and think outside the box. They encouraged me to dream big, work hard and to never give up. Never give up on my family or my friends. Most importantly they modeled gratitude.

Daily we witnessed how truly grateful they are for each other and the life they have created together. They show us continually how grateful they are to have us as children, and now our partners and children as an extension of the family they created. I am truly grateful to have had such great examples of how to live in the world and am now trying to pass these examples on to my step-son.

I have kept a gratitude journal off and on for many years. Recently, I had started writing in it again. I was feeling burned out and stuck, so to help me reset my thinking I dug out my journal. It was so great to go back and look at some of the amazing events, emotions, thoughts and even recipes that I had been grateful for over the years. It felt kind of silly to be inspired by my own self, but I was.

As a family, Alan, Gage, and I have been trying to look at amazing gifts we are to each other, what we have to offer and what we have been given. I think sometimes in the rush of the day to day we lose site of those gifts. We began last week by purchasing Gage and Alan their own journals to start writing in. Then we spent some time together before Gage went to bed writing down - and in Gage's he also drew some pictures - what we were grateful for that day. It could be anything, the dinner I ate, the shower with lots of hot water, the fact that I got to cuddle with both my boys while watching a movie together. Then we shared one of our thoughts with each other.

I am so glad that we started this as a family. It has been such a great gift to sit with our little family and really concentrate on what we are thankful for. I know it helps me. I go to bed thinking about the good things going on in my life. I feel like Gage is trying really hard to figure out what gratitude means for him and it's fun to get to be apart of that. I also think Alan is enjoying the process as well. I am grateful for this.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Gage's new room!

Last weekend we all decided that Gage's room needed a little revamping. Gage was tired of his loft bed. We spent some time online looking for beds. He found one at IKEA that he liked, so after a quick trip to pick it up we put his new room together.

The before picture...


Cleaning stuff out...


Dad puts the bed together...IKEA is never easy!


The cool new space!

Baby McClelland arrives!



Nephew number four arrived this morning at 6:35a. He is 9lbs 3oz and 19 inches. He was waiting for Nena to get there. She arrived on the plane at midnight and Whit went into labor shortly there after. His parents are still "discussing" what his name will be. ;)