Totally Not A Big Deal

Friends and family!  Man, I’m sorry, I’ve fallen off the blogging bandwagon here lately.  I promise there’s actually a good reason for it.  Things have been a bit busy over here in the Portland region, and by busy, I mean…

I’m pregnant!

Ha!  Were you expecting that?  Maybe a little.  Well, it’s true.  I will grow larger and larger in front of your very eyes, and then there will be a little mini-Dunbar-Marshall running around.  Well, drooling and crying at first.  But eventually running.

So yeah.  We’re pretty psyched.  As you can imagine, Jason is really psyched.  He’s already asked, multiple times, ‘WHEN is that baby popping out of there?!?!’  He’s already given the little thing several nicknames: Fut Babe (short for future baby), FB (even shorter), and Michael Larry Marshall, or MLM for short.  See, my dad’s name is Michael, and Jason’s dad’s name is Larry, and the person that introduced Jason and I is our good friend Michael Lary.  This is a genius name combination, don’t you think?  I think so.  I probably think it’s so amazing because I thought of it.

Anyway, so now every day after work Jason asks, ‘How’s MLM?’ or ‘How’s the baby?’  It’s pretty cute, actually.  The family over here in Portland is pretty excited, and I’m pretty sure Jason’s family is pretty excited too.  I’ve gotten a lot of early mother’s day wishes, and a lot more questions about this little embryo recently.  Like, do I consider this the baby’s first Easter?  And, seriously, when does it come out already???

November 21st is the magic due date, in case you were wondering.

Which is actually kind of special and a little bit emotional for me.  My little brother passed away on November 23rd, so that’s been a hard date for the last few years.  My whole family recognizes it in different ways, but we all get a little sad right around Thanksgiving.  If all goes well, I’ll be really excited to be adding a little bit of happy to a rather tough time of year for the fam.  It won’t take away missing my brother, but a new soul to celebrate right around that same time seems like a really amazing thing.  It’s like the universe is reminding me that even though tragedy isn’t something we can avoid, beautiful things can be made that much more beautiful because of it.  And really, I’d like to think that there will be a little bit of Mikey in this little one.

So yeah.  My dad has started calling Jason my baby-daddy, which is hilarious.  He mostly uses it to try to get me to do things he wants me to do– as in, ‘I’ll tell your baby-daddy!’  Ha.  Ridiculous.

So, it’s not really an excuse for not blogging, but at least it’s awesome.  Take that!

What else?  We’ve pretty much been doing the usual around here!  A few weekends ago we went to the Japanese Gardens here in Portland, which are gorgeous.  Here are a few photos to show you just how cool:

Amazing Japanese maple.
This is one of those views you think is fake until you’re actually there.
Turns out, Portland CAN look like this!
Starting to look like there might be a baby in there!  I don’t normally stand like this.  I just figured you needed an obligatory ‘I’m totally preggers’ photo.  So there.

And this past weekend we went hiking with Shane, Julia and their two kids, Eliza and Emory.  It was a gorgeous hike, and the kids are so cool– Eliza would probably just hike all day with us, if we let her.

Eliza, Julia, Shane and Emory
Eliza watching a slug
What a cute group we are!
Julia and I

I’m still biking to and from work, except now I’m headed to my new job!  Which is totally amazing.  I work for a place called United Fund Advisors.  They do financing for green energy, historic renovation, and building in low income communities.  The work is basic, but the office is great, and the people are really cool.  And the company is great– they’ve already taken the entire office fishing for a day, and out to a Timbers game.  They stock the kitchen full of snacks for all the staff every two weeks.  The office is certified LEED Gold, so we compost and recycle and have recycled rainwater to flush our toilets…so yeah.  I feel spoiled.

The weather has been getting better and better in Portland, teasing and taunting us at summer yet to come… I’m pretty sure that when the sun comes out, I get sun-induced amnesia.  I completely forget that the rest of the year is rainy and cold and gross, and all I can think about is how amazing this place is.  It’s how Portland puts a spell on you, I’m pretty sure.  The first strawberries have arrived at the farmer’s markets, the roses are blooming, and outdoor patios all across town are freakin’ packed.

My new bike ride is pretty sweet in this amazing-ness, though.  I’m on bike streets for about half of it, and the 2nd half is on the Hawthorne Bridge and through the Waterfront Park.  It’s gorgeous in the morning!  I’m sure it’s gorgeous in the afternoon, too, but it’s much harder to enjoy, as all this mild weather brings all the Portlanders out of the woodwork, and my commute home is mostly me trying not to run into people.

Seriously– it’s like people get on the waterfront and lose all reason.  I have to dodge groups of friends walking 6 abreast (I mean, make room people!); hippies with didgeridoos; skateboarders looking at friends going, ‘Watch this!’; punk kids smoking pot (they are all over waterfront); runners of all types; casual bikers who only come out when it’s sunny and bob and weave all over the damn place (these might be the worst.  I mean, just move to the side, and ride in a straight line!  How hard is that?).  The other day I had to dodge a girl dressed up like Snow White.  And I’m pretty sure there’s a unicyclist who either lives or works near me (or both), cause I see that guy all the time.  Unicycling looks like hard work.  And geese– there are geese everywhere.  They are not afraid at all.  Sometimes, I gotta slow down and hope they waddle faster.  Anyway, my commute home is basically a refrain of ‘Get out of my way- move people- watch out!’ until I cross the bridge.  And then it’s zen, once I get into the lovely rose gardens of Ladd’s Addition.

I just couldn’t put up another blog without a bike rant, now could I?  I’ve got to keep up appearances here, friends.  Here’s some poached waterfront photos:

It doesn’t always look like this, but sometimes.
That’s totally me.  Except not.
My bridge commute.
I eat lunch out here when it’s sunny.
Panoramic view of the Hawthorne bridge heading into downtown.
Waterfront Park.
I ride right along the river there!

So anyway.  Two excellent weekends coming up that I’ll post pictures of after the fact– Karen Darr’s bachelorette beach weekend, and then 5 days in Knoxville, TN!  Yessssssssssss.  I literally cannot wait for the smothering wet blanket heat of the south, because I get to see my friends!  It’s going to be awesome.

There you have it.  Until next time, amigos, and yes, I will totally post more pictures of a growing belly.  Jason and I can tell it’s bigger, but it really just doesn’t seem like it in photos yet.

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