Sunday, October 28, 2007

life without mike

i know, it sounds totally awful, depressing, sad, terrible...there are a million words, but our life since september 24th has pretty much been without mike. that is what happens when someone enters grad school after taking an eight year hiatus from school, and when they are getting a masters in a different area than their undergrad degree. we have had visitors, been to various places in oregon & have been trying to enjoy life here...all without mike. i was thinking this as i was looking for a picture with him in it. hilary wanted one for brooke's room. here's the problem...we don't have any. i mean, yes, we have them, but not one since we've been in oregon (just in case you were wondering, we've been here six weeks). and i have a feeling our next family picture will probably be over thanksgiving...or maybe my birthday (it's a big one this year). anyway...enjoy the photos of the life of the johnson girls...that is our life these days...all the girls!

mindi and the girls (it was a windy day!)

the girls with mindi & carolyn...introducing them to wineries at a young age (don't worry, there were about 5 other kids there)

greta & jakob carlson

visitor 1- annalea (which, calla looks like annalea!)

someone found her toes

greta kills me in this picture...she could not look cuter!

the johnson girls (we're in hood river apple country...there were apples & pumpkins everywhere, but we picked a spot in front of the old tractor)

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


while people often don't ask us about calla's bump on her head, i'm realizing that people notice. when kids notice they are obvious. we were with friends in minnesota & their 2 year old started squeezing the bump. older kids ask, "what is that?" but when it comes to adults, especially other moms, they don't say anything...they just look (more like stare). sometimes i say something when the staring is especially obvious, but i honestly don't think about her bump so usually i don't say anything about it. but...if any of you have been wondering, her bump is a cluster of small blood blisters. if it burst it would be horribly bloody, look awful, and we would need to take her to the hospital, but it would not be dangerous. it will go away when she is older (probably 2 or 3) so we don't worry it. i took the pictures of it so we could remember it. when calla was in the ISCU we just wanted to be with her & didn't end up taking many i wish we'd taken more. so i want to document the things in life that i want our kids to know about, even if they will never remember...and even if they are not fun & pretty. we think calla is perfect & rarely notice her bump, but when she is older i will want to show her the little "imperfection."

Thursday, October 18, 2007

the first rainy morning

calla is now eating finger foods...she seems so old...where did the newborn baby go?

i think this is the best nap position i've captured yet!

the girls (greta had been eating blueberries, hence the blue mouth)

calla is so close to crawling!
greta put her lamp back all by herself!

i did this kind of first, when i meant to end with pictures. one of these days i'll really know how to work this thing. first & then you can read about the rainy days! :) just a few pics from the past few weeks.


although no one will believe me, this is the first morning we have been here that we woke up to rain. don't get me wrong, there have been several days where it's started raining during the day, but this is the first that it's raining when we woke up. now, let me explain oregon rain. you don't wake up to heavy rain and thunder, it's really a quiet mist that comes down. i didn't even realize it was raining until i looked closely outside. as mike likes to explain it, it's as if the sky is spitting on us. so today the skies are giving us spit. maybe i should start keeping track of how many days in a row it rains. that is a fun northwest hobby...counting the rainy days. i will say, so far i've also seen the sun every day so maybe it won't be too bad...but it's also only october. yesterday at work my coworkers were informing me that oregon has the highest rate of anti-depressants in the country. doesn't that make you want to move here tomorrow? yet everyone who lives here seems to LOVE it even though the weather is lousy, the town (and oregon) has a lot of cool things to offer.

last weekend we discovered the farmer's market, which was really fun. we went with friends and made a nice fresh salad for dinner. i also bought several sweet potatoes & butternut squash and have made vats of baby food. our fridge is being invaded. now i need to move onto to some greens and some fruits. i'm stuck in the smashing bananas habit. i need to get avocados out again too...greta started young & still loves them so i hope calla will do the same. the joys of baby food.

we also found the library this week. we walked about with the 10 book limit (that i instilled...greta would take the whole library given her choice) and a dvd. they have story time on tuesday mornings so we are going to try that soon too. this weekend is the 5th annual kids for consesrvation day so we are going to check that out. being in a small town makes it easy to not only find out what is taking place, but also go to everything. it's not like chicago where you are choosing from 10 different activities. there is usually one activity so you go. the great thing is that they seem really good so we're taking advantage of everything.

tomorrow annalea arrives & greta is especially excited because her (big) friend scarlet is spending the weekend here. we've been counting down the days! aunt kaitlin is coming saturday...and now we need to start counting down for next week...mindi comes a week from today!!! we can't wait!!!

Friday, October 12, 2007

life in corvallis = road rage

we have now been living in corvallis for two weeks. how do you get used to a small college town coming from chicago? some things are a welcome reprieve from city life (like no traffic). some things are harder to get used to (like no targets within 20 miles). i have found myself having road rage at times because people move so slowly. you can't swerve around cars, drive through yellow lights or use bumpers while parking. you have to drive with respect for other drivers & pedestrians...who would have thought that existed? this forces us to...slow down! it's been a long time since we've done that! there are so few people driving that we can get anywhere we need to be within 15 minutes. the slower pace is nice. the fresh air, natural's really nice to be in a different setting.

the hardest thing about life here is figuring out how life works. mike spends most of his time either in school or studying, and i am still trying to unpack boxes, get settled, and get used to working again. it's hard to figure out a new schedule, while trying to put two kids on a schedule at the same time. it feels like an uphill battle, but i know we'll get there...i remind's only been two weeks.

i accepted a part time job at OSU. i'm a part time office worker with full time benefits. because of this 20 hr/week job we get medical and dental benefits for our family, along with...wait for it...fully paid tuition for mike's school. this is a blessing beyond anything we could have ever imagined. even writing it i can't believe it's true. we are thankful.

we have met a few people here & really like them. we had a playdate with friends of friends & they were all nice, and all happen to attend the only covenant church in town! i think God wants us to go to this church! we are trying it out this week so we'll see how it goes...there are other churches in town, but a covenant church does just feel like home.

we have yet to take a picture since moving in so the next goal (after i finish unpacking) is to take some pictures. maybe i'll take some tomorrow when we try out the farmer's market & have our first dinner guests! and then next week the visitors begin...annalea, we are ready & waiting for you! :)

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

our trip- part 1 are pictures from our trip. we have over a hundred, so here is a glimpse of the things we did. i had some trouble uploading, so it's divided into part 1 & 2...enjoy looking. i'm sure we'll update about life in corvallis soon, but it was time for some pictures first.

leaving 5300 n spaulding

yes, our first stop was at a walmart, but we needed baby food & your options are limited when you're on the road!

our first tourist attraction...the Mitchell Corn Palace (can you see us down there?)

Here we the Corn Palace for the International Polka can tell they draw quite a crowd.

our trip-part 2

yes, their vests say, "Polk of A" to love the International Polka Festival at the Mitchell Corn Palace!y

our family in the's so cool!

Greta looking for groundhogs in the Badlands

the girls at Wall Drug...quite possibly our biggest waste of time, but at least we got a picture!

At Mt was cold!

Thank you Lisa for letting us use the was awesome!

The bison. As Greta says, "no bears, just bison." These were right next to our campsite.

Calla hanging out in our campsite...the "perfect" baby!

Everyone in the tent (until I bailed ship with Calla to sleep in the car).

At one of the waterfalls in Yellowstone

Old Faithful...look at the rainbow. It really is amazing.

Visiting Kaitlin in Boise at NNU.

i will post about life in corvallis sometime soon (we are all here now & moved into our house), but for now i thought the pictures would be enjoyable. i still haven't mastered blogging, but i haven't had time to master of these days, right?