Week 41 – Deanna’s 27

#283 Deanna’s 27

09 October 2016 // Eugene, Oregon

Happy, happy birthday to my sweet and beautiful Deanna! It’s been a good day of church, eating, friends, and hygge.

Life with you is so sweet, simple, fun, and I couldn’t be more thankful for it. I love getting to spend every day with you, taking Beignet out on little weekend adventures, watching our shows, trying to squeeze out every last minute of conversation before we go to sleep, cherishing the friendships we’ve managed to build around town, and dreaming of all kinds of things we hope to do together.

It’s a great life and I love that I get to share it with you.

#284 Current

10 October 2016 // Eugene, Oregon

Wind and rain have this river feeling pretty good about itself.

Here are a few things making me happy this week.

So first, there was the bit of good news we got last week that I mentioned in my last post.

I’m also really loving Johnnyswim’s Georgica Pond album. So much soul and so many songs off the new album sounded great live.

And before the show, I finally got to eat at Tasty and Sons, which was on my places to eat in Portland list for a good while. Get the Asian Bloody Mary.

#285 Lasagna

11 October 2016 // Eugene, Oregon

Lasagna is a birthday tradition in Deanna’s family, and that’s a tradition that I wouldn’t wanna mess with.

I didn’t get to make her some on her actual birthday but that’s cause we kept eating all day. So, Tuesday night, I got busy.

Lasagna is a tricky dish once you’ve been to Bologna. You realize how different the American interpretation of it is, but figuring out how they get their ragú that savory and creamy is a puzzle in and of itself.

My go to methods? A slow cooker. Add some milk. And white wine to break everything down. Sometimes a red wine gets too fruity. Toss in a bit of pancetta fat. And grate or process the veggies. That way you get a smoother filling.

Oh and homemade noodles. Those are a must.

#286 Grad School: Eight Weeks

12 October 2016 // Eugene, Oregon

Know what’s a really, really good feeling? It’s when you don’t know exactly why something happened or didn’t happen to you but still feel really, really at peace with it.

I got hit by that while driving through Texas Hill Country a week or so ago. Suddenly convinced that the end of this year would make for a very important time for me to be learning things.

Last summer, I came pretty close to getting a job that looked like such a right fit on paper. I would’ve loved the work I’d be doing. I would’ve accepted without hesitation.

I realize now that if I did that, there would be no way I’d be able to tie up all the loose ends of my Masters programs like I thought. There’s a bit too much left to do, and I would’ve likely had to pay to do that too if I wasn’t teaching at the same time. I also did some math and figured out the “just right” amount of income for Deanna and I. This would’ve been a bit too far below, and sometimes I tend to underrate income for more idealistic trade offs.

Some stretches of life can feel so slow, with a purpose that’s hazier than mid October mornings. Surrendering what you don’t have control over frees you to unleash your best stuff.

#287 UO East Campus

13 October 2016 // Eugene, Oregon

With the end of grad school approaching, I often think of all the reasons why I’m looking forward to being done- and there are plenty. Being more financially able to support a family is a big one. So is the urge to contribute towards helping other people.

For the sake of getting the most out of the remaining weeks, though, here are a few things I know I’ll miss once it’s all done.

I’ll miss having so much control over my schedule. If I need to run an errand in the middle of the day, or run home to take care of something, I can do that really easily. It’s rare to find a job with as many moveable parts as mine right now.

I’ll miss the way I’ve acquired a deep and unexpected knowledge on so many random things on the way to getting degrees. World Heritage Sites in Mali. The Public Budgeting process in Oregon versus California. Andrew Carnegie’s writings. One day, when I’m on Who Wants To Be a Millionaire, at least a couple of my life flashbacks will have to be to grad school.

I’ll miss the student ticket rates for Ducks games… granted the Ducks aren’t making me miss that so much right now, but one day I will.

#288 Family Selfy

14 October 2016 // Eugene, Oregon

Not gonna name any names, but one member of this family makes taking selfies a lot more difficult.

We’re thrilled, though!

Deanna went to see a doctor for a checkup. When she got really sick last February, her breathing scores dropped from a typical range in the mid-high 70s down to 22. We had a doctor tell us that a lot of people don’t get back to their old numbers after a drop that drastic.

Well since then, I knew she was doing better since we’ve visited lots of places, snorkeled in Hawaii, and ran a half marathon. But how much better?

When she went to get tested at her doctors, I walked Beignet around while praying for a good number. We got it… 80! This sort of comeback is really, really rare.

I’m a believer in never taking what you have for granted, in realizing there are things so much bigger than the usual things we freak out about on a daily basis, and in God working an old school miracle every now and again.

#289 Johnnyswim in PDX

15 October 2016 // Eugene, Oregon

Deanna and I absolutely love Johnnyswim. We got engaged to our friends playing a cover of Paris in June and left our wedding reception to the tune of Diamonds.

We were absolutely not going to miss our shot to see them play in Portland.

Man this was an amazing show. So much charisma and stage chemistry- I’m loving the sound of the new album already.