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Entries in Portland (2)

Portland Or Bust!

Somehow the apartment is empty.

We’re here in Portland and we got the house. The last week in San Francisco was a special kind of hell, but we got through it and managed not to kill each other. There were more things to go on the moving truck than the estimate included and what was left over wasn’t going to fit in the Jeep. Every time I turned around it seemed there was something else we had forgotten to consider. I wouldn’t say I’m particularly attached to my things, but I really hate making quick decisions, especially about whether or not to give something up and there were a lot of those in the final few days.

The morning we were leaving we made a last minute call to accept an offer to use a friend’s garage space for anything that wouldn’t fit. Two trips with a Mini Cooper, some very creative stacking and knot tying and there was nothing left on the sidewalk or in the apartment. With a healthy dose of sedatives in the cat, we were ready to take off.

Thankfully the drive was uneventful, our cat even slept almost the whole way with only a little howling in the beginning and the end. We pulled into Portland around 10pm and headed straight to Dan’s mom’s house, our home base for the next week while we waited to get the keys.

On November 20th we were handed the keys. Walking around the empty house and knowing it was all ours, was pretty awesome. It felt bigger than we ever could have imagined, especially since our stuff wouldn’t be here for another week or so. We quickly bought a couch and a new bed, borrowed some folding chairs and tables, and ordered a cord of firewood. What else did we really need?

The house really didn’t need any work for us to move in, but the living room and my office space had both been painted a horrible mint green, so we got to work before the furniture arrived. The living room is now a sophisticated mid-tone neutral grey and my office space is salmon, a color I hope will offset the grey winter we’re about to endure.

And yes, I did mention office space. Our house has four bedrooms, it’s kind of crazy really.  We’re living in the downstairs one with the best light and the other one downstairs will be a guest room for now and hopefully the baby’s room in the next year or so. Upstairs there are two more bedrooms, so I get one and Dan gets one. I’m looking forward to setting up my own creative space.

In our excitement to be in the new house we invited both our families over for Thanksgiving only to find out later that there was no way our stuff would arrive before Thanksgiving. We went for it anyway with everything borrowed from friends and family and managed to pull off a great dinner for 12. It really felt like Thanksgiving is supposed to.

Now a few weeks later, everything here and we’re slowly unpacking and settling in. The job hunt has begun for both of us, but we know there won’t be much movement till January. So we’re enjoying the slow time, getting to know our new city and making all sorts of plans for the year ahead. Most of them in front of the fireplace to make the cold and grey seem a little more tolerable. 

Trusting My Gut and Waiting for Magic

The house we put an offer on

The last few months have been nothing short of a roller coaster ride. Big changes are a foot and they’re happening fast. This is what happens when you marry an impulsive man who is quick to make decisions. As a plotting, planning, gather all the details Virgo, I’m doing my best to trust my gut and go with it. I know it will all lead to good things even I haven’t the slightest idea what they are.

To fully tell this story I need to go back to early September. A week or so after our return from Burning Man I found out I was pregnant. The signs had been there, sore boobs, unrelenting need for sleep, and over powering smells, but I wasn’t convinced until I saw the little pink plus on the pee test. Dan and I had only just decided to start trying in August, Burning Man being my first ovulation since the decision. I guess I really do take after my mother.

We let the news sit for a few weeks feeling mostly stunned, but also excited. As expected we started to look a little closer at our lives and how a baby was going to fit in. It quickly became clear that our tiny attic apartment would be hard enough for a pregnant woman let alone a crawling baby, steep narrow stairs, no extra storage and no second bedroom. But moving in San Francisco is virtually impossible these days, so we made the momentous decision to relocate to Portland. Most of Dan’s family is there, we both have friends, and most of my family is only a little further north in the Seattle area.

The first week of October was a rough one. I ended up losing the baby at about 7 weeks. I want to write separate post entirely on the miscarriage. I feel it not only deserves it, but found with my experience that it’s just not talked about enough. So more on that later.

We decided that moving still made sense, we knew we wanted the baby even more now and San Francisco was becoming too pricey to maintain the lifestyle we wanted. So we headed to Portland in early October to scout neighborhoods and look at what our money would get us. Shortly after our return I got news that Zaarly was laying off about half their staff, me included. While stunned at first, I had seen it coming and it kicked us in high gear with the move. It’s certainly easier to hunt for a job in a new city when you’re there. Once I was officially done with Zaarly we made a second trip up that ended with us making an offer on a house. I told you things were moving fast.

So now it’s the beginning of November and we’re packing up our entire San Francisco life for Portland. Our offer on the house has been accepted, but every day seems to bring a new financial challenge in the process that we need to overcome. My not having a job being a huge one, we prequalified for the loan with both our incomes, but our mortgage broker hasn’t given up and sees a way to make this work. 

We’re leaving San Francisco on the 17th of November with the hopeful plan of staying at Dan’s mother’s for a week and then moving into “our house” just before Thanksgiving. However, that really is just a hope at the moment given the financial hurtles we’re encountering. I knew buying a house was an intensive undertaking, but neither Dan nor I had any idea it would be this hard. Worst case we can actually live with his mother for a while as we decide our next move.

To say I’m feeling a bit stressed is the understatement of the year. Don’t get me wrong, I’m excited about this adventure, it feels right. I just can’t shake the feeling that we’re moving too quickly and making it all much harder than it needs to be. And we probably are, but if I’ve learned anything in my time with Dan it’s that he has a way of making things work out, sometimes almost by magic.