Friday, October 15, 2010

Portland, Oregon: Part 1

Jude and I traveled for 11 hours (3 airplanes) on September 16th, from Burlington, VT to Portland, OR, our new town. It was a weird feeling to be flying into Portland, firmly believing this is my final destination. It is likely that this is where I'll buy my first house, establish a midwifery practice, and raise my little Jude. These are all very adult activities which I have never done before, and they will all be done in a place I have never lived before. It's really pretty exciting, and I am very fond of adventure. . . but also just weird. . . that I'm here by myself, without a husband. I'm living with my way-too-generous cousin Robin, and also mooching off my big brother David and his wife Jo. When we arrived after that hellacious day of airports, we were picked up and hugged by my brother Dave, driven to Robin's house, and then we walked into this room, which Robin calls "the sanctuary". Robin put this room together for me, and it is incredibly inviting!

The basket on the middle shelf was full of little decadent treats, lotion, bath salts, and the like, as well as information about local attractions (and, in true Robin style, a library card application).
There is now a crib where that Pack N' Play was. Robin called me while I was still in TN and asked me what my favorite color was. I told her kelly green. Now I know why she was asking. Ha! I LOVE waking up to this wall every morning! This color represents life and new growth and the peace found in nature to me. Some people think it's too bold. I can't get enough of it.

This was, by far, my favorite part of walking into my room that night. I worked as an instructor for a wilderness therapy program for troubled teens called Anasazi. It was a magical, life-changing part of my life. Robin also was a trailwalker, and she pulled this "song" (the Anasazi word for it) out of the book we used on the trail. It still sits up there, as a daily reminder that I am making a forward walking now, and there is joy and peace to be found.

Okay, next. . .

A couple times a week, all the kids end up in the bathtub together. This is Talmage, Jude, and Sydney. Jude seems to be having a great time spending his days with his second cousins. He also spends a lot of time with his cousins (David's kids) Joseph and Isaac, and has also taken a few baths with them. Hey, whatever it takes to get him in the bathtub! His language has DRAMATICALLY developed! He is saying some full sentences now, and uses his words to tell other kids what he does and doesn't like!
I think every parent understands the state of this room.
The pink and purple Big Wheel at Robin's is the perfect height for Jude's legs right now. He LOVES this Big Wheel, and he has ridden it for at least a mile while I walked beside him! Jude and his wheeled objects!
Robin and Briton's oven broke, in every sense of the word. So, they got a new one, and this is the box it came in. This is Isaac, Joseph, and Talmage, bulldozing along in their new "clubhouse". They quickly learned how to push it along like hamsters on a wheel.
Then Jude tried to join in the "fun", and it threw off the mojo.
With my new library card, I can check out passes to different attractions in the city. Jude and I checked out the Chinese Gardens last week, and I was blown away! I felt exactly like I was in Hong Kong again! This was the most authentic Chinese garden I can imagine. It flowed well, had all the hole-y rocks and lotus water lilies, and koi fish. It was amazing! It all fits within one city block, but I thought it felt much bigger than that.
This is the face Jude gives me when he figures out I have the camera, something he covets
Thanks for reading!


  1. this is super tender. can't wait to join in soon! (OMG, big green screen opportunities with that wall...we've gotta shoot some footage...)

  2. Love the pictures! Jude is getting so big!

  3. Your cousin is so thoughtful. I am so glad you are in a place surrounded by loving family. I've been to that Chinese garden and I LOVED it. It's beautiful and so serene. A great place to relish in peace and beauty.
    Jude looks pretty happy with all the cousin love as well.

  4. It seems like you are having a great time in your new home. I love the green wall. It is all Hilary! For sure! We think of you often and miss you much.



  5. So cool that Jude is speaking full sentences. Asher still just says ball. haha.

  6. Considering his parentage including grandpa F., Jude will have remarkable language skills!It will be fun to observe through the years!In many ways life is wonderful!

  7. Hilary, this post made me cry. I told you once that the more I got to know you the more I like you and now I think the more I get to know you the more I love you. You are an amazing optimistic woman who deserves the best in life. You will an AWESOME midwife. If I ever live in Portland I would be sooo happy to have you take care of me. How blessed Jude is to have your incredible spirit to lead him. Don't give up that hope that you exude. You will see the fruits of that hope sooner then you think. I spent yesterday with Laura and Carroll. I must tell you that they truly sincerely love you and are rooting for you. We all are.