Over the summer and early fall, I took on this wonderful mantra:
"We Live Here!"
It was a way to celebrate both the place we live - the mountains, lakes, beautiful weather, places to explore - and the community in this place - friends that get us, welcoming attitude, the love of outdoors, willingness to explore, access to nature, and all the events planned with families in mind.
Each Friday in September, as we gathered with friends to hike around one of our high dessert beauties, I would turn to Michelle and marvel, "We Live Here!" Watching our kids splash in Sparks Lake with the Three Sisters rising in the background... "We Live Here!" Sitting on the shore of Todd Lake while our kids hunt for frogs and tadpoles... "We Live Here!" Sitting outside Jackson's Corner with dear friends, pints of beer in hand, watching the boys play with their friends in their play area... "We Live Here!" Checking in at the public pool, the one with twisty slides, water play structures, and zero-entry wading pool, waving at the friends who were already gathered and layering on the sunscreen... "We Live Here!" Enjoying our end of summer party/graduation at the boys' school, with all the kids showing off the river they had built in the backyard, adults drinking home-brew beer, all eyes beaming at the two kids who have grown from toddlers to kindergarteners in this magical place..."We Live Here!"
Needless to say, we have come to LOVE Bend, Oregon.
We suddenly found ourselves in a very common position... and in a very uncommon position at the same time. You see, Scott's job is ending in Bend, but he's been offered a transfer into a fantastic position in the Portland office. My office is closing, but I was given the option of working from home, or transferring to one of our other offices... two of which are located in suburbs of Portland. So, after much gnashing of teeth, tears, and discernment (okay, how much discernment was really needed, given the situation??), we faced the music and are trying to get ourselves moved to Portland in January.
We are terribly sad to be leaving Bend. The place, the people, the community.
We know Portland is an amazing City, and we recognize the amazing luck to both have jobs in the same place; a place that is not Cincinnati or Fresno, or Nebraska; a place that we would have been #1 on our list of places to move if we found ourselves jobless and out of options in Bend; a place that fits our lifestyle and values; a place that puts us 3 hours closer to family in Seattle and only 3 hours away from spending weekends in Bend. Really, there are only two downsides to moving to Portland:
#1. We have to move
#2. Portland is not Bend.
This is the chaos that has been consuming our lives for the last 6 weeks. How to move our family, choose a neighborhood , figure out a place to live (infinitely harder than we anticipated), find a childcare that comes remotely close Bloom, rent our house here... all the while dealing with my standard end of the year crazy at work and Scott's temp schedule of being in Portland a few days/week. Oh, and it's the holiday season. Awesome. Stress Level = High. Faith Level = Tested. Hope Level = Wavering. Knowledge that everything will turn out for the best in the end = Solid. Best Quote I heard this month: "Everything will work out for good in the end. If it's not good, it's not the end."
We Live Here!... Until We Don't.