Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Special Visits

The final week of school (for all intents and purposes) brought some SPECTACULAR weather and quite a bit of freedom for me as I didn't have Whitley with me.  So, when I got a text from Alysha inviting me to her studio review, I was happy to say "yes". 

Off to the campus of U of O.  If I haven't mentioned it before, I LOATHE the driving and parking scenario any where around the campus.  Pedestrians, bikers, other drivers - it seems like I'm always in a partial panic hoping I won't hit anyone when I'm driving, or get yelled at or receive a parking ticket for being in a place I shouldn't be.  So, on this occasion, I showed up with plenty of time to spare, and a willingness to do some walking - ensuring that I could park in a location that was easy to get to.   While I may not love driving to it, it sure is a glorious place to walk within - especially on a day like this.

With a nerdy map in hand, I found my way to the School of Architecture.

When I arrived, Alysha was in the midst of a review by one of her professors.  Nice timing, Steph.  So, I sat in a corner (after snapping some subtle pics), and played with my phone while I waited.

Finally, I got my turn to "review".  Oh the unbelievable talent of this girl.  (Isn't she the full package?  Talented, gorgeous, Godly.....I can't believe someone hasn't proposed to her yet!)  This particular project was two-part - one, a redesign of a local therapy pool building, and second, a proposal for a school for children with Autism.  It was a challenging project for her to complete - and this beautiful girl standing here was barely standing due to the THREE sleepless nights she'd had to get this done.  (A very common occurrence for architecture students at UO). 

In light of that sleep deprivation, I brought her this - I admitted the energy drink might be a little too late, but she confided that she still had a couple of hours left to endure and would probably need it.  The container is filled with Monster cookies.  I discovered this week that this recipe is indeed gluten-free as they don't have any flour (just loaded with peanut butter and oatmeal...which I think make them worthy of "nutritious"!)  They have been a favorite since childhood.  (Mom used to make them before camping trips so they resurrect very happy memories).   Alysha texted me later telling me that she loved them.  Yeah =)

The next special visit occurred Wednesday night.  We finally got the opportunity to take Leona out to dinner.  We picked McMenamins as it is a favorite of mine for outdoor dining, being right on the river path.  (On so many walks around the river with friends during other times of the year, I long for the opportunity to sit outside at this restaurant on evenings of sunshine and warmth).

Can you see the river flowing in the background....ahhhhhh!!!!  And, what a cute pic of John with his mom.  Just a little late for Mother's Day, but blessedly, we both have parents that know it's not about the day, but about the love we all share - and therefore are very okay with being flexible as to when we celebrate.  While the actual meal wasn't as fantastic as I'd remembered from the past - it was a very nice atmosphere, and we got to hear several stories from Leona about what it was like growing up in a home with so many siblings - and grandparents from both sides living with them too.

On Thursday night, Mikayla and I joined the bulk of our "Thursday Night Ladies" at the Oakway Courtyard (my other favorite outdoor dining locale).  The temperature on this beautiful evening was 85 degrees, just to give a frame of reference for the fortunate weather we were blessed with on early June last week of school.

If my hair looks lighter in this picture, that's because it is.  It was a very fun day for me on Thursday, as I got to spend three hours at Bello with Christi doing her magic to make my hair more blondish for the summer... (I love it!)

After dinner, we drove over to Lance and Suzie's home - that they just moved into.  It already looks fully decorated - straight out of a magazine.  Very cute.

Of course, for Heather and I, despite the great decor - this little beauty was what we admired most.  Kona is their very happy and animated husky.

She was so "all over the place" Mikayla had to entice her with a treat to get her to stay still enough for a picture.

This "visit" was obviously a little sadder than the others.  This picture was taken the following Monday (June 10th), as Mikayla said good-bye to her teacher, Lindsey Baechtel - as well as Gilham Elementary.  Mikayla was actually kind of a mess, so I'm glad I had chosen to walk down to the school with Whitley so she could serve as a sweet distraction to the both of them and the tears.

The next day, we had a special visit from Christi who brought over a blueberry plant for us - compliments of her father who helps to manage a very impressive and lucrative blueberry farm - with an abundance of variety.  This particular variety is called "Pink Lemonade" - I can't wait to try them in about a month!

Right before Christi arrived, Whitley was in a mood.  When she's "on the edge" with being tired, she's especially animated when she's being entertained.  In this pic (which I'm kind of in love with), Mikayla is creeping around the corner to get her attention.  She was also talking up a storm - using her new words of "bye-bye" and "uh oh".

Fortunately, Christi arrived in time to hear her say them too...and see Whitley in all of her enthusiastic glory.  Crazy to think that by Christmas, she'll have her own baby in her arms.  

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