Wednesday, November 25, 2015

We Made It

4 days of travel.  4 time zones.  8 states.  Countless bathroom breaks, granola bars and movies but we made it.

A work relocation brought this Iowa family to Oregon and we are settling into life on the West Coast.

It's not even been a week, but a few early observations about our new home:

-People are super friendly.  Most clerks will chat you up as they check you out.

-People are also weather wimps.  The last few days it's been "freezing, bitterly cold"... yeah, the highs have been in the 40s.  Midwesterns don't use the term "bitter" until it's at least 20 below zero.

-Getting gas sucks.  You'd think having someone else fill your tank while you sit idle in the car sounds great but in reality, it is the longest, most aggravating excursion possible.

-It is insanely beautiful here.  Getting groceries, oh, there's Mt. Hood.  Playing at the park, oh, Mt. St. Helens over there.  Majestic is the only word I can think of and pictures don't nearly do it justice.
View from Mt. Tabor Park
-Coffee, coffee coffee.  It's everywhere and delicious.  Still trying to find my new "Java Johns"- with no success... they just don't make Marys around here but I found a fantastic drive-thru called "Dutch Bros".  The coffee is good and well priced and the employees are all super friendly and efficient.  If there is a line, one employee will be outside taking pre-orders so your drink is ready when you get to the front.

Complete with inspirational sayings
-Grocery pricing is really different than the midwest.  You can get a gallon of milk here for under $2.50 but the cheapest pack of bacon is $6!

We are renting a home here south of the city in wine country.  It's been about 10 years since we have rented so it's a little different for us but we are excited to have more freedom (aka time) to get out and explore the area instead of working on house projects all the time.  Completely unintentionally, we stumbled on a converted barn house.  It's been a dream of ours to convert a barn and we didn't have time in Decorah so it's really fun getting to live in one now.

Stars lead to driveway and garage door
The barn is at the top of a mountain- about 1000 feet above the town below.  Roads to the top are narrow and curvy- something that my straight, flat Iowa/Illinois driving is getting used to.  It also gets really foggy up here.

 Like no joke, can only see a few feet in front of the car, lose the road foggy.  But man, on a clear day it is beautiful. We can see Mt. Hood from our deck looking past the neighbor's house and get a straight view from the end of the driveway.
From the deck

From the road

Our rental has all the living space on the 2nd floor- below is garage space.  Single level living with three kids is awesome.  The house has a HUGE deck overlooking the valley.

The house even has wind and solar power!

From the deck, the door opens to an open concept living, dining and kitchen.  It is so bright and airy with a loft ceiling and huge windows.  From there, a long hallway leads to three bedrooms, two bathrooms and a million closets- there is seriously a crazy amount of storage here.

We are pretty much unpacked at this point and will share pictures as we can.  Today, I have the two finished kid's rooms.  E was sharing a room with F in Decorah but asked for her own room.  With the big move, we decided to grant her wish so she has her own room now.

Double closet which we used for toys
I bought 2 prints at the Decorah High School Winter Craft show and hung them here.  A great reminder of Decorah.

F and L now share a room which backs up to the living room.  This room doesn't have a window to the outside but gets light through a window into the living room.

I took pages from a "Where's Waldo" book and framed them

They got the dresser/bookcase combo I renovated last year as well as a lot of toy storage.

More to come soon!


  1. so happy/excited/proud of you! I can't wait to be there in May!

  2. You are amazing! So envious of your rental barn and all of your fun adventures! Keep us posted on all things Peterson! (And your address for Christmas cards!)

    1. Thanks! We are pretty excited about it :)