Although our heads are still in the clouds, we’ve established some roots in Bend, OR. After my gracious mother welcomed us in for a couple weeks after our arrival back stateside, we landed an apartment and made our way to beautiful central Oregon. Bend is a town of about 80,000 people and an Olive Garden. Mostly I care about the Olive Garden. (Although, I hear Bozeman just got one! As soon as I left, naturally.) Unlike Bozeman where everything was either on 19th or 7th, I actually have to mapquest my errands to make sure I’m not bouncing back and forth across town, but I do love the options.
The surroundings also help alleviate the impact of a population this size. It honestly feels like we are camping. There are SO MANY trees!! Big, tall, mature trees. After being in lush NZ for so long, I am surprised that I adore the high desert shrubbery as much as I do. I have also never lived in such a volcanic area either, which makes for neat geological observations. For instance, the mountains are weird. It is hardly a range, so much as random snowy cones jutting out from the horizon. They look silly, but (for all you Colorado folks) they are in the west so directions finally make sense again!
Our New Apartment
We’ve moved the few boxes of our stuff into a two-bedroom apartment on the west side of town. We’ve fallen in love with the hardwood floors and granite countertops. Almost too spacious for our lack of possessions, it is just the right size for us. Don’t get me wrong, although it’s wonderful, we still have to shove the fridge door shut and finagle the occasional derailed closet door. But for us right now, it’s perfect.
|Boxes of new furniture!|
|Chris' creative space|
|My creative space|
|Our new bed! With the guest tree from the wedding.|
|A little slice of NZ|
|View from the kitchen- those are cutting boards on the wall.|
|Our couch really isn't THAT tiny!|
|Some space to work out|
Our New Jobs
Yay! We’re employed! Obviously, this was one of our main concerns after both being unemployed for seven months. I landed a job at a preschool in a town just south of Bend. I will be a main teacher and work part time. It seems like a wonderful, fun environment and I cannot wait to become a part of it! Unfortunately, we have to wait until the state goes through all my paperwork before I can technically start. Within the next week or two I should be good to go!
Chris has gotten a job at Seventh Mountain Resort as a banquet server with the possibility of moving up to supervisor in the near future. Again with the paperwork, as soon as all his files go through, he will start subbing in Bend. Time not at work he spends focusing on developing his comics. He has a real knack for humor and drawing, so he’s decided to take cartooning seriously and see where it goes. I truly enjoy Ripe In Parody and I am proud to be a part of his creative endeavor.
I decided to be productive and make a craft every day until I start my job. Some are more elaborate than others.
Day 1- Question Notebook- when I have a question, I write it down in here. When I have a spare moment, I research the question and write down the answer.
Day 2: Love Notes- I made cute backgrounds and put them into frames. Chris and I write each other notes about specific things we love about each other. Sappy, I know. And yes, that’s my blood smeared across that one. I didn’t know that I cut myself on the glass and smeared my wounded finger across the paper as I glued it down. I decided I’d come too far to go back and it would serve as a sign of how much effort I put into it.
Day 3/4:Idea Boxes- I turned some silly circular boxes from goodwill into fun boxes for date and dinner ideas. We’ll pick one every month and make it a point to do those things as a date. For April, we’re going on a specific walk and then to the Deschutes Brewery! (it must have sensed that we haven’t gotten paychecks yet)
Day 5: Shadow Box- Basically I put my wedding dress in a shadowbox and made it look pretty.
|Sanding the sharp edges|
Day 7: I created a photo album of New Zealand on Snapfish because they gave me a coupon. I also made crepes. J
In the next few days I plan to make a meal plan board, mozzarella, another piece of art, a temporary headboard and other things that strike my fancy.
What the Future Holds
As far as what will happen next, I’m not really sure. As of now, I will still try to get a job in the public school system for the coming school year.
We really want a dog (our apartment now doesn’t allow them though).
We’ll buy another car soon because both of our jobs are out of town in opposite directions. We’ve got our eye on a specific Prius, but who knows!
As long as it doesn’t conflict with work, we’ll be in MT for a wedding in mid May. I’m not sure when we’ll make it to CO, but I’m still hoping for this summer sometime!
We will miss everyone on Easter!
Sending our love from this side of the world (unless you are our NZ fans ;))