Another Oregon Top 10 (ish)

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(I realize that it’s super lame to post pictures from a vacation you took almost six months ago, but I’ve been super lame before and here I am being super lame again.)

Having said that, in case you missed my last post, we spent some time in Oregon this past summer. Today’s pictures are from our drive from Portland to Bend, which is a high desert area, and then from Bend out to the coast. Not pictured: visits with cousins (Hi Scott and Anita!), staying with my Uncle Dan and Aunt Nancy in Bend, some of the most beautiful country-side we’ve seen, Josh’s dad’s backpack that ended up in our car instead of his (and was then photographed by us around the rest of Oregon), and a seafood shack on the beach (Rockaway Beach) that served up some seriously good food.

On the drive from Portland to Bend, out the car window

Driving through Oregon

When you stop on the trail and ask a group of high school kids to take your picture…

Smith Rock State Park

Smith Rock State Park, where we hiked with U. Dan & A. Nancy – gorgeous! And hot! This family of river otters followed us down that river on the left for most of our walk back. Made our day. Nope, made our trip. They were so fun to watch. And so huge! There is nothing like catching wildlife in its element.

Smith Rock State Park

Driving through the Cascades on the way to the coast, & we just happened upon the most “Oregon” little scene anyone could ever happen upon. I mean.

Cascadia

Seal Rock – our first tide pool sighting

Seal Rock

Lots cooler on the coast. Our thoughts were full of the tide and our Airbnb and finding seals and what types of cheese were available at the local grocer.

Seal Rock

Not sure why I was *so* surprised to find seals on a rock at Seal Rock, but boy was I ever. Check out the guy on the left giving us the “seriously, with the camera?” look.

Seal Rock Seals

Seal Rock again, and a very very cold Josh

Seal Rock

World’s best Airbnb, hands down. Can we please go back, like, tomorrow? (in Waldport, btw)

Airbnb Waldport Oregon

Driving up the coast, this is Newport, and that mural is pretty, and there were lots of people there, and it’s very touristy, and for all of those reasons I’d like to go back.

Newport, Oregon

The biggest question about Newport is this: who barks louder and sounds more obnoxious – the sea lions? Or the crowd of spectators? Jury’s out.

Sea Lions at Newport Oregon

Before we drove north up the coast from Waldport, we took a quick 15 minute drive south to Yachats…

Yachats Oregon

The real reason we did this, and at 7 a.m. on vacation, is to get to Cape Perpetua (famous tide pools, still gagging from extreme love for them) at sunrise. Best. Decision. Ever.

Okay. Just one more 6-month-too-late vacation post because of the tide pools, and then we can move on to real life again. Thanks for hanging in there folks! I mean, you know, if you’re still there.

Oregon Top 10 (ish)

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This past summer Josh and I (and Josh’s parents, for part of it!) took a trip out to Oregon. Since there aren’t any pictures from the trip here yet I thought it would be fun to do a quick Top 10 post. Just 10 little snapshots of our time in OR…

I didn’t even come close. Somewhere around 40, I realized there will need to be a few “quick little posts” to do this job. So today, here are some moments from the first part of the trip. It included us, Josh’s parents, Hood River, Portland, the MLS All-Star Game, and Mt. Hood.

The view from hiking on Mt Hood

Mt Hood Orgeon

Hiking in Eagle Creek (near Portland) (is this place even real?!)

Hiking Eagle Creek

More Eagle Creek (highly recommended!)

Hiking Eagle Creek_1014

Josh & I with Mt. Hood creepin’ in the background

Hood River

We stayed on an organic farm in Hood River (we loved Hood River), courtesy of Airbnb. It was a little more rustic than we had anticipated but the scenery was great!

Wine Tasting

We got to forage for our own meals

Hood River Farm

Josh’s parents’ cabin. They would probably say it looked cuter than it actually was. But. It definitely looked cute!

Hood River Airbnb

Lots of lavender in these parts. We also visited a lavender farm while in Hood River and I felt like I bought the place clean. Now I wish I would’ve bought more!

Hood River Lavender

Sunrise on the farm

Hood River Pear Farm

Josh and his mom getting ready to hunt down some pears for breakfast

Hood River Pear Farm

Dad & Mom B. I love this picture!

Wine Tasting

Portland food carts are every bit as good as people claim! Our hotel there was just one block from this particular cart which made us the opposite of sad, several times.

Portland Food Carts

Getting ready for the MLS game. This was the crowd when the other team arrived. European soccer players are a big deal! Bayern Munich came and played the MLS team for this year’s game, and it was the best game we’ve been to. So grateful for the chance to see it!

MLS All Star Game 2014

The four of us before the game started. Portland’s stadium is right in town, so lots of the crowd can actually walk (or ride bikes – Portland, duh!) to the game (us included).

MLS All Star Game 2014

Another Mt Hood shot, because us Michiganders just don’t drive to hit the slopes in cars like that. Made me smile! And yes, there were skiiers in August.

Mt Hood

Josh and I on a trail on Mt Hood

Mt Hood

WE DID IT! Top 10! ish!

Those days in Hood River/Portland with Josh’s parents were completely full of adventure and it was fun to do that together! From there, Josh and I went out for a few days in Bend and then a few more driving up the coast. More to come!

9 Years!

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TOSHIBA Exif JPEG

This week we celebrated our ninth wedding anniversary! Although it feels fast, it does seem like we’re just a couple of kids in this picture from our Honeymoon. We celebrated this year by booking a trip out West.. If we’ve learned anything in these past nine years, it’s to go West whenever possible. Right!?

Also, I’m done with IV’s, not feeling quite up to where I want to be, but my lungs definitely feel better. Can we please be done with antibiotics for a while?

One cute story for the road?

This morning Jane was here hanging out with me for a while. She was sitting at the table eating a clementine, and I was dancing (like a fool) (because she’s too young to really remember specifics, right?) to the music we were listening to.

Jane: Aunt Zanne, you’re funny. .. You’re REALLY funny. You’re ALWAYS funny.

Me: Wow. Thanks. Are you funny too?

Jane: I’m orange.

Merry Christmas Season!

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Christmas Mantle

…And, Happy New Year! Lots going on in our little part of the world this Christmas. Weddings (yup, two), baby showers, wedding showers, new niece (!!!), and all of the regular stuff the Christmas season brings. Oh, and did I mention IV’s?

So of course there is a lot to talk about, but I’m focusing right now on getting a grip on my health and celebrating the season with loved ones! I hope you have been able to do the same. Let’s talk again soon, shall we?

The Vintage Market

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The Vintage Market has come and gone. Care to step into our booth? I managed to grab a few shots while we were still setting up. Not quite the full effect, but I think you’ll get the drift.

Vintage Market_0832It was a great experience! Our first booth ever. And wooooo was it a lot of work. We had great help, which we’re really thankful for, but the fact remains: we actually brought too much stuff. Too much furniture, really. Talk about lesson learned! We filled up a trailer, a truck, AND our station wagon. Filled, like FILLED. And we only sold ONE piece of furniture. HA!

Vintage Market_0833Even though we didn’t sell much of our big stuff, we did sell a lot of stuff. More than we were expecting, and definitely enough to make the event worthwhile. Yay! And, a few of the things we sold were things we really didn’t want to have to ship – like a framed piece of original art (Gwen Frostic, anyone?) with cracked glass, and a hanging light fixture with a giant glass globe.

We were able to borrow a pavilion, which was awesome for shade and for hanging macrame planters, dream catchers, etc. Win win! My parents brought a case of vintage jewelry from the shop (jewelry shop, stick with me here) and some loose gemstones to sell, but I was most excited when the macrame pieces sold. I mean, did you see that hanging table in the first photo??

Vintage Market_0835Overall it was a good experience. We sold some stuff, learned some lessons, made some money, and met some other sellers. Hopefully next time is even better! We’ll be back in September.

Vintage Market_0831These last couple of weeks haven’t been all about the Market for us, though. The day after, Grandpa Brandsen passed away (which we knew could happen anytime, but was still a surprise, know how that goes?) and his memorial service was last week. Josh was away for work some of last week, and it’s just been a lot, at times. We are so thankful to know that even though we’ll miss him, Grandpa is in Heaven where he has wanted to be for so long!

Also, my brother Mark is still on IV’s, and still sick. So. Prayers are definitely appreciated for both the Pattens and Brandsens!

P.S. One happy note: this morning in the pool I did a little test to sort-of gauge my lung health, and I passed it! I haven’t even dared to try it since around my birthday in November, and there’s no way I could have done it before these past few weeks. This spring I was pretty sure I’d never be able to “pass” it again. So thankful for this! Thank you, guys, for praying for me and my family. ♥

 

 

 

 

Instagram & Etsy. That Should Do It.

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Here it is July already, and truth is my camera has been experiencing some pretty severe loneliness so far this summer. My phone camera, however, has not. So I guess this post is dedicated to those of you who haven’t already seen these posts on Instagram. <— (check it out if you’d like to see captions for these shots!)

June/July 2014 Instagrams

The good news: I’m off of all extra medication! I finished IV’s and orals, and have been feeling better than I did all spring (still room for improvement, as always!). To say I’m thankful for this doesn’t do it justice, but man. I. Am. Thankful. We’ve been catching up on all that stuff that didn’t get done this spring (btw, spreading fresh mulch in mid summer is almost laughably dumb) (but at least it’s done) and now Josh is working lots of extra hours during his student’s summer program. We’ve found a couple of days to sit pool side (I’m still electrically white/pale, and my 16-year-old self would be gagging with embarrassment) but *haven’t* made it out to the Big Lake yet. It’s on the short list.

The bad news: My brother Mark is now on IV’s, just started yesterday so could you pray for him? And by “him”, I really mean Mark, Jess, and the kids, because when he’s sick, it affects everyone. You know. Blugh.

June/July  2014 Instagrams

We’re making plans for travelling later this month, there’s a baby shower for Molly in the works, and this coming Sunday we’ve got our first ever booth at the Downtown Market‘s Vintage Market!

Etsy Instagrams Summer 2014

Our Etsy shop has sold 6 orders in the last 8 days, which is crazy since we haven’t listed anything new on it in months. Like, before I got sick. Yep. We’re literally gonna run out of stuff. And by that I mean we’re gonna run out of listed stuff, because whoo-ee do we ever have a lot of inventory. Who knows if the kind of stuff we sell is what people in GR will buy, but I guess there is only one way to find out! And if not, we’ll pop it up on Etsy like always.

Want to come check it out for yourself? Check here for info. Hope to see you there! I’ll be back soon with stories.

Hey There!

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IV'sI’ll tell you what, if you’re going to be sick, you should probably do it during peony season.

So I’m back on IV antibiotics. I’ve actually been on them for two weeks, and just haven’t pulled myself together enough to stop by and let you know. May passed in a “we all know what’s coming” kind of way, and by the time I started the IV’s I was glad to have them. I’m definitely making progress and feeling the help from the meds, and am very grateful for that! I still have some lingering issues but I mean, it could be allergies. Could be lots of things. At least I can breathe.

I’m hoping to be done on Friday. But I’d rather stay on longer and get the maximum benefit (if needed) than cut things short. So we’ll see!

Something that’s been coming up lately is how my body is running out of veins for picc lines (in my arm, like in the picture). Separately from CF, I have bad veins, and it’s turning into an issue. For that reason, I’ll need a port sometime soon-ish for IV access. Ports are relatively permanent, unlike a picc line, and it would stay in my chest. I’ve had this emotional hang-up about it for years, which always adds to the anxiety of getting a picc placed. I am always bracing for the day when they say a picc isn’t happening. So a few weeks before I started IV’s this time, I went through a funk and just grieved a little bit about this thing that’s going to happen. Although I know I’ll be glad to have it, I don’t want it. Know what I mean? Having a cancer scare really changed my opinion about the port (who cares!! I’m alive!!!) but I know that until I’ve got it, it’s lurking at me. And I don’t like lurkers.

All that to say, I have to tell you. God has lavishly, I mean LAV-ISH-LY dished out giant portions of peace, contentment, and general joy on me. The day I had my line placed, emotions weren’t even on the table. (It was important, since we had options to discuss with the doctors, and who wants to be the raving loon in the OR?) More than physical health, which is very important to me, I am desperate for mental health. Emotional health. A steady heart, a spirit of joy, an ability to just do what I have to do and live my life. In fact, if I cry, it’s because I am so grateful for this specific gift that He’s given me, time and again. I know that I can’t depend on my physical health, I get it. But I do need His help. Big time. You know how people love to say that God won’t give you anything more than you can handle? I don’t think that’s in the Bible.. I think that God sometimes allows things to happen in our lives, that we really can’t handle. And that’s when He does some of His best work.

So actually things have been pretty good around here despite the fact that I’m on IV’s. I’m optimistic that I can get back to a zone that I feel pretty healthy in, and am not surprised that I needed this round, since my last one in January got cut short. Also, I should probably write a whole post, or maybe just create a whole special blog about how much I love my husband. Another example of God just dumping out unfair amounts of goodness on me.

One more thing – Mark (my brother) is back on orals, and not feeling well. Please pray for healing! His little girl is turning TWO on Saturday – ohmygoshJane – and being sick is hard on families.

If you made it this far, congrats! Thanks for your love & support. I promise I’ll start answering emails sometime soon. Promise.

 

 

A Little Selected And Collected

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Vintage Leather Sofa

So I know things have been silent-er lately on the blog. Sometimes that happens when I’m not feeling well, sometimes it happens when we’re busy, and sometimes it happens when we just cannot keep up with our Etsy shop. Lately it’s been mostly the third option, with a bit of the others thrown in here and there for good measure.

The Etsy shop, I’ve learned, can and will take up all the time I can ever give it. That’s not a problem mostly, because I do have time to give. We’ve learned a few things since we’ve started, and the shop is more of a Thing now than it ever has been. So as long as we’re enjoying it (we are) and making cash (we are), we’re good.

We’ve changed our buying habits and are now only targeting things we can sell and profit at least $20. We started that last year actually but didn’t catch ourselves before we had shelves of smaller items. I’m slowly weaning them into the shop and off our shelves, but I’m glad we stopped that when we did. We’ve got bigger fish to fry!

We’ve transitioned into furniture and lighting, which can get CRAY because we lack good storage space. For example, that sofa above? In our living room. Sold. That doesn’t happen often, but it does happen. Right now I’m sitting on our back porch, and I’m looking at seven items that either are now or soon will be for sale. It’s our reality. One that I wouldn’t put up with if we weren’t enjoying it (overall) and earning an income from it.

A couple things that I love about having an Etsy shop (and selling elsewhere) is that it’s on our own time (we shop/process/list things when it works in our schedule) and that somehow we’ve stumbled into a vein that people CANNOT get enough of. It can be pretty bizarre, but that keeps it fun. We’re definitely the weirdos that you know, but hey. At least we’re not denying it anymore.

So if you’re ever wondering why the silence is echoing around on the blog, hop on over to our Etsy shop and do some shopping. I’m sure one of you out there will just go gonzo for this guy.

Great Strides 2014

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Team Steppin' Up 2013

The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Great Strides walk is upon us! It sneaks up on me every year. But every year Team Steppin’ Up shows up literally and figuratively, and I have you guys to thank for it! Last year we raised a whopping $2,744 – THANK YOU!

This year’s walk is on Saturday, May 17 at 10 a.m. (registration at 9) at the Calder Plaza in downtown GR. We are expecting a smaller group of walkers on our team this year, so it would be a GREAT year for you to come join us!

The research funding that this organization does really impacts my life, and (my brother) Mark’s. It’s not just “helpful”, it’s crucial. And we get more and more aware of how much we need this help every year.

We’d love to have you participate! If you’re interested, you can click here to either donate or join our walk team.

Thank you guys, for your love & support, always. I am so grateful.

Calder PlazaP.S. Let me know if you have any questions, or if you are confused with the CFF website. They’ve made changes with it during the last year, and if you’ve used it before it will probably look a little different. Sorry for any confusion!

 

Sunday Evening Hello!

Popping in with a few things tonight!

1. Happy Easter! We spent today celebrating at church and with our families. It feels good to be loved by them, but especially by Jesus. I love the meaning behind Easter even more than Christmas. Not that we need to be competing…

2. It looks like spring is finally arriving! I brought in a few tiny flowers from our yard yesterday. Way better than snow drifts. Obvs. Oh, and I’ve worn open-toed shoes at least twice now.

3. Grandpa Brandsen found himself in the hospital last week after hurting his back. He’s in a rehab facility now, but your prayers would definitely be appreciated! He sure would like to get back home soon.

4. I haven’t taken my camera out much lately, but here are a few shots from Mom’s birthday last month. She wanted a family picture, and we hadn’t all been together at the same time since Christmas, since someone was literally always sick. When any of us are sick we stay away from each other like opposite magnets. Was it our favorite winter? NO. Praying for a healthy spring and summer in these parts!

Also, Thomas loves Parrot with a deep, abiding love. And Jane loves Josh with a very similar love these days. It’s VERY cute.

Thomas, Parrot, & L:izardJane & GrandpaMark, Jess, Thomas, & JanePatten Family March 2014

Jane & Uncle JoshMom's Birthday Party

Mom's Birthday Party

You can’t tell in this last photo, but Thomas specifically requested “yavendar” frosting for Grandma’s cake. Jess somehow magically made it happen.

…And, did I tell you we painted our living room and dining room this past winter? You can see a little of it in the photos. We’re loving it.

5. Tomorrow morning I get to spend some time with April, my very travel-y friend. I love it when her travels bring her to MI and we can be together. It’s my fav.

6. Estate sale season has begun. Can’t wait to see what we can cram into the back of our station wagon this year!

What’s new with YOU lately?

P.S. I bought a plastic pink flamingo for the yard. My first outdoor lawn ornament. Very excited, very scared. You know.

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