November 2010

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Goodbye Grandma June

Many have heard the sad news that my Grandma June passed away last week.  I was happy to be there with her for her final days and so very glad that she is at peace and with all of our loved ones who have already passed away.

I grew up with my Grandma June in Corvallis.   She was there for every Thanksgiving, Christmas, performance, and graduation.  She loved her Elvis, her boys, and her family. She was always supportive and  never missed a chance to comment on her affinity for my dark hair and light eyes.

From a young age my mom and I would load up our lawn mower every weekend, drive across town, and I’d mow my grandma’s lawn.  As I got older I’d eventually begin to drive myself, but every weekend I made it over there to mow her lawn.  Afterwards she always had a small bag of lays potato chips, a soda, and some Werther’s candy.  I used to think I was doing her a favor driving across town and battling the garden snakes, but as I got older and looked back I realized that those moments were priceless and I got so much more than just chips and candy.  From her advice to always pay off my credit cards to her talks about moderation and being a good boy, I learned so much from my grandma.

One of the things I am most happy about is the fact my Grandma June was able to meet and play with Luca several times since we moved back to Oregon.  Most recently she was so excited to hear Luca was in town she jumped up, left her dinner, and rushed over to my mom’s house.  She was always so happy to hear about what Luca was doing and  loved squeezing his little fat toes.  Luca loved his great grandma as well, always putting on a show when she was around.  We will miss you Grandma June.  Love you.  Rest in Peace.

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Luca and I have been making every effort to take advantage of the crisp, refreshing fall air by taking walks through our neighborhood whenever the weather permits. This is not always easy to do, as the rain is becoming more frequent and a break in the clouds doesn’t always coincide with my days off or non-nap times. The leaves have turned and their colors are so stunningly beautiful now – I try to appreciate this fact as much as I can while my sunshine reserves, which had grown to be quite bountiful from the Hawaiian and Southern Californian sun, become increasingly depleted. Having been raised in the Pacific Northwest, we know as well as anyone what to expect from the gray days ahead. But that doesn’t mean this first winter back won’t be a tough one for us. I do, however, have confidence that we’ll survive.  After getting ready for a walk the other day Luca and I opened the door to some light rainfall. Rather than be discouraged, we decided to go for it, and ended up having a lovely time.

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My little brother Travis (who is not so little anymore) will be leaving this week to spend several months in Thailand. We are so excited for him, but also sad that we won’t be seeing him for quite some time. After visiting our sister Kimmy in Seattle last weekend, Travis stopped by for a few days in Portland to spend time with us. He gave Luca his first skateboard lesson.

When the weekend arrived, we all piled into the car and headed back down to Corvallis to meet up with more family members. We enjoyed one last barbecue of the season and said our goodbyes to Travis. We’ll miss you!!

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Over Halloween weekend we visited the pumpkin patch on Sauvie Island. It was cold and muddy, and we were all coming down with a cold, but we still managed to have fun bouncing in our seats on a bumpy hayride and picking out the perfect pumpkin.

Resting up in the car before arriving at the pumpkin patch

Monkey family

Monkey inspects the hay

Checking out his surroundings

What's going on over there?

Monkey and Daddy head out to find the perfect pumpkin

Could this be the one?

Telling Auntie Libby all about it

Making a face for Mommy

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