Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Devil's in the Details

Well, it’s been an interesting few weeks.

My body has grown numb to administrative tasks. So I'm now taking a break to eat a few Fla-Vor-Ice before hitting up a run once it cools down to 80. It's a fact that Oregonians go into panic mode if the temps creep above 90, and I've become a softy just like the rest of them.

We’ve continued to move forward with the relocation process, even though we're still waiting on a formal offer and a work visa. We’re thisclose to the offer being finalized (hopefully by the end of this week…but that’s what we said last week?) The visa paperwork has been submitted, and will hopefully only take 20ish days. 

Ken’s start date is supposed to be Sept 20th, so here we go...

As a sacrifice for being the non-working (aka worthless) member of our household pretty soon, I volunteered to handle all the details of the actual move. It’s been quite the mind-boggling process over the past two weeks. Found one that fits our moving allowance, and just mailed off the deposit today. They sound like they know what they’re doing…so I hope they’re as legit as they seem. We always have insurance, right?

Our sweet little apt will be all packed up and moved out on Sept 14th. Best news ever: we don’t get to pack a single thing. Customs wants it packed by professionals. Umm…who am I to argue here? Every move I made in the past involved yours truly packing every single item and making 20 trips back and forth between apts in a small car. My last move actually consisted of me walking back and forth between my apt and Ken’s (across the street), carrying a few lamps, books, chairs, etc any time I came over to vist over the course of a couple of months, and suckering him into taking various items every time he left my apt. Let’s just say this move will be…heavenly.

In the meantime, we’re living it up in P-town. Had a lovely visit from Joan, complete with hiking Saddle Mountain in the fog (and missing out on any sort of view that makes the steep hike worth it…but still a good workout?), kayaking the Willamette, and feasting on the delish P-town cuisine. I'm so grateful Joan took the time to make a last minute visit from Boise. We haven't gotten to hang in the NW much with all the OK weddings going down over the past couple of years. It was so nice to see her here at home!

Andy also graced us with his presence this past weekend. Good times as well. Got in an 80 degree day at the coast (almost unheard of), hiked down to a hidden beach where I threw myself into the Oregon Pacific for the first time (fffrrrigid, but felt quite fabulous after a hot hike), went to a fun wedding, and made probably our last visit to Multnomah Falls for quite some time (mmm…we’ll miss you delicious soft-serve).

I’d post some pics, but have little to no patience for the upload slowness. Some day. Perhaps during my upcoming two years of funemployment...

Sunday, August 1, 2010


Just sitting here thinking, “How the heck am I probably moving to Oslo in six weeks?" So, I took a trip down memory lane...

It really all started five years ago.

Ken and I were dating while I lived in Tulsa for my first year of work after grad school. I was absolutely enamored with Portland after visiting up here as much as I could during grad school at the University of Oregon. I knew I had to live here. Let’s face it: I’m somewhat granola, and the Midwest (where I grew up) doesn’t really cater to that lifestyle. I needed to live amongst my people. So I transferred, and Ken said he would transfer a year later.

He told me that if he moved for me, I had to move somewhere cool for him some day. So of course I said I would, as long as there was an ocean nearby, forests, and walkability. I’m always up for an adventure (as long as it doesn’t include my body involuntarily flying at an uncontrollable speed…i.e. jumping out of an airplane or downhill skiing).

We moved to P-town, got married, and had tons of fun exploring this amazingly wonderful city and the rest of the beautiful Pacific NW. Living in the middle of a city with a forest within walking distance, the coast an hour and a half away, delicious restaurants and bars right down the sidewalk (oh how I love happy hour...), perfect summers, Aviation gin (it will change your life), anything made by Ken’s Artisan Bakery (ditto), fabulous Pinot at your fingertips, and a man playing the trumpet on the Hawthorne bridge in Mickey Mouse ears…well, it's heaven, really. I fell even more in love with this place, and it became my home. It’s hands-down my favorite city in the U.S.

Luckily Ken loves it too. There’s a lot of pressure in having someone move to a city and hoping they love it, but I guess I knew it was fabulous here so it wasn’t that stressful. There is indeed that whole "rain nine months of the year" thing though. Ah, well.

Anyway, in the midst of all this NW love, we decided that since we had pretty much found a place where we could live forever, we needed to mix in some adventure to keep life fresh. So we decided we wanted to move to Europe some day with Ken’s job if the opportunity ever presented itself. With that in mind, we rented a small apartment in a very cool neighborhood and kept our possessions to a minimum.
I kept telling Ken I only needed a two-week notice and I could have the apt packed up and be on a plane to Europe. He’s almost keeping me to this promise, but it’s more of an eight-week notice…

Enough of the big picture. Here’s how it happened, recently.

June 30th: I receive a frenzied phone call from Ken on my lunch break…

Ken: “So, would you move to Oslo? There’s an open space there.”
Me: “Umm, yes. Send in your resume. Go, go, go!”

We were on pins and needles the rest of the week. He had a phone interview with Oslo that Friday, then had a trip booked to visit the office by Monday. Less than a week, and the pieces had pretty much fallen into place. Craziness. Funny though, it all felt very natural and right. We both aren’t ones to waver on a decision. If it falls out of the sky and sounds good, you go for it. Then no regrets, right?
Even with the process feeling natural and right, I had a fluttery stomach for a few weeks. Which is perfectly okay in this situation. I used various tactics to combat it, including spending 45 minutes and $20 making color copies of various documents for our visas, spreadsheeting up one bad-a budget, tearing through prelim clearings of our apt and storage closet, making an ever-growing to-do list, and taking many, many walks and bike rides to soak up the perfect summer. Where I think about leaving this wonderful city. Which makes me very sad. But then I think about getting to explore and fall in love with Europe, and not working. Which makes me very happy.

Ken’s visit to Oslo last week went really well, and we are now just moving forward while waiting on some documents – an official offer and a work visa. These things apparently take awhile, and will come through eventually. We're just supposed to proceed and not stress about them happening. They really need him, and he really wants to go. So it’s just a matter of waiting it out now.

Let’s hope all goes well, or we will most likely enlist the help of copious amounts of cocktails to help us lament on a beach somewhere…