Fall Has Arrived in Portland

Good morning, lovely friends and family!  I’m currently sitting at the computer at The Source climbing center, bringing you another update from the Dunbar Marshall household. 

Why am I sitting at The Source climbing center?  Because it is rather complicated to find time to blog these days!  We spend a lot of time here actually– it’s a little bit like our home away from home.  It’s as if all of our best friends are always at The Source.  So we are, too. 

Yes, I’m still climbing.  8 1/2 months pregnant.  I wouldn’t say it’s easy– strangely, it feels like it gets harder every time we go.  It’s almost like I’m just gaining weight or something!  🙂  But yeah.  It still feels great– and I got a new harness, which makes everything way better.  The harness is the only one made for pregnant women– check it out here:  http://www.mountain-mama.com/collections/climbing-kids/products/the-mountain-mama-by-mad-rock#.UlIeqhjn-M8

Yup, it’s pretty sweet.  It doesn’t put any pressure on the growing belly, and feels way better to move in than the regular harness I was using before.

This was at about 7 1/2 months.
Oh yeah.  Toproping.

Check out that sweet Mountain Mama orange shirt I’m wearing!

 And actually, some awesome news– I’m the newest Brand Ambassador for the Mountain Mama clothing line!  Exciting, huh?  It’s especially amazing because all of their clothes are FANTASTIC, and I’m basically living in them these days.  I imagine that they will be great for afterwards too, when I’m breastfeeding, and then when I just want to wear comfortable, awesome clothes.  So, you should check them out, regardless of whether or not you’re pregnant. 

I keep thinking that soon things will start to wind down around these parts, and less will be happening, and it just seems I’m totally wrong.  September was just as busy as August, and I’m not really expecting October to be any more relaxed.  Woe is me, right?  🙂  There are just too many awesome things to do out here, and too many awesome people to do them with. 

Steve & Ariel came in to town for Karen’s wedding in August, and stayed for about a week afterwards.  It was amazing having them around– I just love those two.  They are always down for an adventure, and yet at the same time, they love to sit around and play Catan, just like some other people I know.  It was great to have them.  We got to explore around Hood River after Karen’s wedding– we drove around for what felt like hours on a super hot Sunday trying to find this lake, to no avail.  After we finally gave up, we stumbled upon this ridiculously cool little swimming hole area on a river.  We didn’t have bathing suits or anything, and decided to jump in anyway.  It was awesome– the water was frigid, which felt like the most amazing thing in the dry, dusty heat.  Those guys are pretty great. 

I don’t have a photo of them from their trip, because for once I was lax and didn’t actually break out my camera, but here is a photo of our freezing dunk from Ariel.  And a photo of Steve and Ariel, totally unrelated to this trip.  Just so you can see who I’m talking about, so that if you run in to them in Kansas or Missouri (they live in St. Joesph), you’ll know that these guys are pure gold.

Post freezing dunk, which was amazing.

See?  I just love these two.

Speaking of pure gold, Dusty Hoesly came into town for another of his brief but excellent visits.  I just love this D. Hoesly.  Move back to Portland already!  We miss you!

Trivia night at Zach’s Shack with Dusty.

What else is new?  The baby is growing, practically as we speak.  We have about 6 1/2 weeks left until my due date, which is insane.  It’s like I’m getting so used to having a belly and gaining weight that I occasionally even forget I’m pregnant.  And then LTB kicks me, and reminds me that I’m not just waddling because I love ice cream.  Which I do, but that’s not the point.

Jason’s latest hilarious activity is standing behind me, grabbing my belly with both hands, and then shaking vigorously, all while declaring, “EARTHQUAKE!”  And then he’ll turn to whoever his audience is and announce, “She loves that.”  ‘She’ being LTB, of course. 

We’ve got another nickname for the small child– we’ve been referencing her as the Loch Ness Monster lately, because she still has enough room in my belly to push out certain body parts so that we can see and feel them, and then she’ll submerge again, like she was never there.  She’s elusive. She also gets the hiccups all the time, which is such an odd feeling to have– it’s like a muscle twitch, only different.

I’m still feeling pretty good– it’s definitely getting more uncomfortable as the weeks go along, though.  Sleep is getting harder– I totally told myself I wouldn’t be the sort of person who built pillow forts while pregnant in order to get some sleep, and I was totally wrong.  All that crap they say about pregnancy– it’s all true.  All of it.  It’s pretty ridiculous.  It’s getting difficult to tie my own shoes; I have to pee basically every half an hour (and yet I’m thirsty constantly); I’m starting to waddle instead of walk; my lower back is sore; bending down to pick things up off the ground is really rather entertaining (it’s like nature’s way of making you practice squatting, for actually pushing this thing out).  Yup, all true.

Are we ready?  Nope.  Not at all.  But then again, in some ways, we’re totally ready.  I’m really excited to meet this little thing, to see what she looks like, to get to actually play with her!  It will be really cool to have a tiny child at Christmas.  And since my family isn’t excited at all… wait… just kidding.  I almost wonder if they are more excited than Jason and I are.  Yeah, it’ll be pretty cool.

Other recent happenings– two good friends of ours moved away from Portland, which was really sad.  Stephen and Mackenzie left at the beginning of September, for more easterly destinations, and more rock climbing.  We miss them already!

Fall has officially arrived in Portland.  It was crazy, one week we had 80-90 degree weather, sunny and gorgeous, and the next, the rains rolled in and it was 60 degrees.  We’ve still had some sunny days– today was 80 and sunny, it was fantastic– but it is definitely fall sun.  There is a bit of crisp in the air, and you can tell the holidays are just around the corner.  The days are beginning with misty, damp, foggy coolness, which I really love.  I love waking up on the weekends to weather like this, encouraging you to throw on a sweater, pour a warm beverage, and just relax. 

Weather like this is perfect for outdoor action, so we’ve been trying to get out a bit, but more often than not, not succeeding.  We did get in a really cool short hike/backpacking test trip with Michael and Crystal Lary not too long ago.  Mike was planning a big backpacking trip with his cousin on another weekend, and wanted to test out his new equipment.  We headed out into the Gorge, and the hike we found (though not the one we originally intended to do) turned out to be awesome!  It was up to a place called Gillette Lake, a little bit over 2 1/2 miles one way.  The weather was gorgeous, and when we got there, the lake was deserted.  We got to camp lakeside, and it was fantastic.  The hiking felt great– granted, I only had a small pack, but it was still fabulous.  Check out these awesome photos, mostly from photographer Crystal Humble-Lary:

A lovely pause for Mike & Jason

Perfect Pacific NW weather

Seriously.  Look at that belly.

Chillin’– in a Mountain Mama shirt, obviously.

The Team and Gillette Lake!

Woah.  Really preggers in this photo.

Mountain Mama capris photo shoot.

This is me in the morning.

Can you see our tents down there on the right?  And the campfire smoke?

We’ve been keeping busy despite the lack of adventurous woodsy-ness, though.  Karen Darr had so many cool people at her wedding that we wanted to see more of, that we made a pact to start hanging out with them.  So we’ve been slowly visiting these awesome friends of ours– we’ve had dinner with Zach and Julia, Michael and Crystal, Jeremy and Kristy, Shane and Julia, Nicky, Brad & Kaitlin… it amazes me because Portland has such a confluence of amazing folks.  I feel really lucky– to have so many great people to choose between on any given day that I can’t choose at all.  This place is rich in awesomeness.

Jason’s new job is going well– he is really enjoying spending less time behind a desk, and more time out and about meeting with people and being social.  He had Crystal Humble-Lary take some glamor shots for his business cards, would you like to see a few choice examples?  They’re pretty good. 

Right?  I have one handsome husband.

So, if you know anyone who wants to refinance or buy a house in Oregon or Washington, send them our way!

We’ve been taking classes at OHSU, where I’ll (hopefully) be giving birth, on labor/delivery and baby care/breastfeeding.  It’s been really interesting and informative.  As you can imagine, all of our classmates find Jason very entertaining.  I watched an actual birth for the very first time– that was a little INTENSE.  I think it was a good thing to watch, but WOAH.  It definitely made me think– ‘I have to DO THAT?!?’  Yeah.  Seriously.  But I think I’ve got this– now the most intimidating part isn’t the actual birth, it’s what we’ll do with the small child once she’s out in the world! 

Whew.  This blog is getting long.  So, I’ll leave off there, but I’ve got a ton more pictures to post (of TWO baby showers– I guess people like us and want to buy us stuff), so hopefully it won’t be another month before I get them put up here! 

Until next time, friends and familia!

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