We've lived in Oregon now for almost 4 months and as crazy as this sounds, I still can't believe I'm lucky enough to live here. I want to pinch myself each day to make sure it's really true.
Yesterday, I spent the entire day with my mom, who is recovering from major surgery. I brought over all my scrapbooking supplies, a blank scrapbook, and a bazillion wedding stickers I had picked out and we started her wedding album. She has never shown interest in scrapbooking before, but once I showed her how to get organized, sort and crop her pictures and then start laying out pages, I saw the glint in her eye and I think I MAY have hooked her.
Today, we worshiped God in our new church home with friends who have already blurred the line from friend to family. After the service, we collected our 8 kids, gathered in a big cirlce in the lobby, and chowed down donuts, hot chocolate and coffee.
I got two weeks worth of grocery shopping done in 2 hours because Curt took the kids home and I shopped by myself, blissfully ignoring all the whining kids in carts with frustrated parents and soaked in the sacredness of shopping for things on my list without stopping to reprimand behavior, take trips to the potty, and combat requests for cookies, candy and miscellaneous other items that we didn't need.
As I was driving home, the sun appeared through the fog. The clouds dissipated and the mountains, dotted with vineyards and trees in full fall color, emerged. Around every curve was another breath-taking view of vineyards, farms, horses prancing in the cool air, the river curving lazily along its banks.
While I was unpacking groceries, the door bell rang and SURPRISE! My Dad and Marcy stopped in on their way home from a weekend getaway at the coast. We giggled at how fun it was that they could actually "drop in" and we spent an hour catching up, snacking and playing, before they headed out for their remaining 3 hour drive home.
We laid the kids down for nap and quiet time, and I decided to go for a run. I'm thinking about running a 1/2 marathon in a few weeks and thought today would be a good chance to run 7 or 8 miles to see how my knees hold up. I started off, heading up Chehalem Drive, staring in awe at the sun-lit mountains and the multiple shades of reds, oranges, yellows and greens. I turned down North Valley Road and ran for 5 miles at the base of Chehalem Mountain, past multiple vineyards, hazelnut farms, tasting rooms, and horse ranches nestled into the hill. I ran over bridges with brooks bubbling past beneath them, past little country churches, and by at least 10 noxious road-kill skunks. The crisp October air kept my body at the perfect temperature and time flew by, even though I under-calculated my distance and accidentally ran 10 miles instead of 7. As my feet pounded the pavement, and occassionally crunched a dead leaf, my heart welled up with songs of praise to God, the amazing Creator, and I was filled with pure bliss.