We’ve Moved! :: Subscribe to Our New Blog

Hi friends … We’re noticing a lot of traffic over at this blog, and not at the new one. We’re so happy you’re still visiting this version of our blog, but all of our past content plus everything new is RIGHT OVER HERE.

Also, many of you see these posts because you’re subscribed to this feed. Since we switched to a new feed, you’ll need to subscribe to the new one. To ensure you’re getting updates, head over to the new blog, and enter your email address in the ‘Subscribe’ box on the right side … You’ll get an email to confirm your subscription, and you’ll be all set!

See you over at the new Oregon Tale blog!!


Jim & Ravyn



We’ve Moved!!

Hi friends!!

We are so excited to announce that our little blog has moved.  We’ve loved blogging right here, but it was time for a facelift. We’re self hosting now, so while the address is still the same, our feed url has changed.

Be sure to visit the new blog & update your reader settings!

Thank you so much for keeping up with our adventures!


Jim & Ravyn

Why It Sucks to Rent in Portland

We just found out we didn’t get the house we were in love with … the rental market in Portland sucks. Well, the market is actually really strong, which means it sucks for us.

Here’s how it went:

Jimmy found the house on Craigslist last Friday. It was a little duplex (which meant, no more apartment building) in a really fun area of town. It was on the other side of the river in SE Portland, but the same distance from downtown as our current place. It was a two bedroom, one bathroom home … and it had a lovely sunroom that led to a fully fenced backyard (perfect for the pups). There was even a garage for storage & a little shop for Jimmy.

We immediately emailed/called/stalked the management company, got a copy of the application emailed to us (early), and filled it all out for our appointment the next morning.

We were told we could meet the property manager at 11:30 (earlier than anyone else), and even received an email to go ahead and come about 15 minutes early, just in case.

We showed up at 11:05 (25 minutes early), and the house was crawling with potential renters. WTF!?! Well, our application was filled out, and after taking a quick tour to ensure the house was how they described it, we met the landlord, and turned in our application … FIRST!

All that was left was filling out the check for the application fee … I reached into my purse for my checkbook and a pen. WHERE WAS MY PEN?!! Nowhere to be found. I asked the kind girl next to me if I could borrow the pen she was holding in her hand, and she gave me a blank stare and said no. She then put the pen in her purse and turned her back. BITCH! So, I had to sit and wait as others were finishing their applications … finally, someone let us borrow their pen, but it was too late.

So, after being diligent and thinking we’d be a little ahead of the game, we were left in the dust. After waiting almost a week (fingers crossed that they would take pity on our situation), we got the email with the bad news.

It’s really heartbreaking, but it’s something we’ll just have to use as a learning experience … Our current place is really beautiful, and it’s well taken care of. There’s no reason we NEED to move, we really just wanted more space to spread out (600 sqft is a little on the small side), and the thought of starting our family seems easier with a bigger place.

So tonight, I assure you I’ll be making a strong drink & finding a million excuses why that house would have sucked anyway.

Also, we just took a huge break from this blog … we felt guilty about it, so we thought this post would be appropriate (to make you feel sorry for us), ha. This weekend, we head to the coast, and I am sure we’ll have some lovely things to share when we return.

5 Years Ago …

5 years ago, today, Jimmy & I were out exploring the streets of Chicago … I had no idea that he’d be proposing to me later that night.

As we approach our 7 year anniversary (of dating) and our 4th wedding anniversary, I love keeping these other dates in mind (our first date, the day he proposed, etc.) …

So happy I said yes … Though, he did propose at the top of a ferris wheel, so it’s not like I really had a choice, ha. Seriously though, in 5 years, so much has changed, but at the same time, my favorite parts of our relationship are just the same.  Loving my hubby a little bit more today.

This Guy …

This guy …

  • is my favorite person in the whole world.
  • never puts his clothes in the hamper … instead, he drapes things over chairs, the bed, the dresser, the dog crate, etc.
  • can make me laugh in about 2 seconds (or less).
  • is creative.
  • is a dreamer … which is a blessing and a curse.
  • can whip up a meal from random items in the kitchen … and it’s amazing every time.
  • encourages me to be brave, and makes fun of me until I give in.
  • is terrible with directions.
  • is planning a surprise birthday weekend for me … not giving me a single clue … nothing.
  • is my favorite, because of things like what he’s doing for me this weekend …
  • is the greatest gift in the whole world.

As of 5:00 tonight, my birthday weekend begins (according to Jimmy) … No idea what he has planned, but boy, he’s challenging my control issues. When someone says, “Relax, I’ll take care of it!” … I pretty much do the opposite. Using this as a lesson … I’m going to enjoy the next few days before I turn TWENTY SEVEN!!

Thank you, Jimmy, for making me life more fun.

Manzanita :: At Night

A few weeks ago, we spent some time in Manzanita … We pulled our car right along the edge of the beach, set up the tripod, and shot into the sky. Seeing that many stars at once was pretty magical.

Vegetarian vs. Vegan … The Struggle

I’ve really been struggling lately with that area between vegetarianism & veganism … While I’d love to say it’s a gray area that’s hard to navigate, it just isn’t. It’s very black and white. I’m either using/consuming animal products, or I’m not.

While I find eating meat (or killing any animal as food) pretty repulsive, I don’t have the same feelings about animal products (like eggs, and cheese) … I love cheese. It’s amazing … but that’s just it. Cheese, for me, is a craving.

I’ve looked at my diet/food options as a spectrum. I life anywhere between vegetarian & vegan, always trying to stay closer to the top.

I find myself making excuses more than anything else about why I am so attached to dairy … Here are the biggest:

A partner with a different diet: Since day 1, Jimmy has said I’m welcome to be a vegetarian, but he will never be. So, while he does support me, and my own choice in not eating meat, it’s been a constant topic of conversation/contention. He’s also mentioned that there’s no way he could be married to a vegan. I cook most of the meals at home, and we do eat vegan often, but he doesn’t like the idea of the house being all vegan, all the time. This is probably the hardest part …

Raising veggie children: Yes, we are going to raise our children vegetarian. I am super passionate about the topic, and after seeing several friends/family who have done the same, I know it’s more than possible. My fear with converting to being a vegan is that I’m not sure I want to raise a vegan baby … I mean, I would love it, I just wonder if it’s fair (and my inner hippie wants to say that it’s totally fair … as a vegan child learns about respect for food/animals from the beginning).

It’s hard: Even though it is very black & white, being a vegan limits your food options while traveling or eating outside of the home. But, maybe that’s the best part … you’re forced to eat at home more often, which I love to do. There are things like honey, for instance, that don’t immediately alarm the vegan bell for me. I am sure it’s just a learning process, and there would be mistakes along the way … it’s the thought that counts, right?

So, with those excuses, there are many more reasons why I’d consider converting to a vegan diet!!

I know it’s possible: Some of our best friends are vegan. We’ve shared many meals with them that were filling, delicious, tasty, etc., and I never missed the dairy/eggs … not even a little.

It’s healthier: Save all of the, “but you need protein” … I am assuring you, unless you have a medical condition, you can (and do) get enough protein/iron/other vitamins & minerals from a plant based diet. I’ve been struggling with my weight for some time (I’ve gained weight since I quit eating meat), and I think it’s because I eat to satisfy cravings versus hunger. A friend once said, “You’re hungry? If you’re not willing to eat a vegetable or fruit, you’re not hungry, you’re craving!” – So true! I’ve been trying to grab a handful of vegan friendly foods when I’m feeling hungry during the day.

It’s nice: I love animals … I really, really hate the idea that eating cheese is probably the result of a baby cow who was taken from it’s mother so she could be pumped full of hormones to create an abundance of milk. So sad. Don’t even get my started on the state of the egg industry. It’s disgusting. The biggest pull towards veganism for me is the ethical part … I don’t believe another being should suffer just so I can enjoy a cheese pizza. It’s just not right. Being a vegan would settle that inner-conflict I often have.

With all of that said, I know I’ve mentioned several times that it’s super easy to be a vegetarian. BUT, I think sometimes I have to remind myself that I’ve worked really hard to eat a mostly plant based diet. It’s not always easy … it takes conscious thought before  consumption, and really, that’s all I ever hoped for. I care a lot more about where my food comes from, and it’s starting to be more about the process of cooking & enjoying time with people than it is about the actual food. Does that make sense?

For now, I just know that being a vegetarian has worked for me for 5 years, but now I’m itching to do more … and the debate starts all over!

I Did It!

Back in 2009, I took my last flight without Xanax. Since then, I’ve been popping those little magical pills on travel days. While the side-effects are really non-existent, I just didn’t love the idea of medicating myself. I’ve really struggled with anxiety while flying over the last 2 1/2 years, and last weekend, I felt like I made a huge leap! I flew without any meds!!! And guess what, it was totally fine. There was even some turbulence (very minimal), and my first thought wasn’t “OH MY GOSH, WE’RE GOING TO DIE” … It was more like, “I don’t LOVE that, but I’m sure it’ll be over soon” …

So, I am so proud of myself, and thankful to Jimmy for being really supportive of me … Here’s what made this trip memorable:

Morning cocktails … Thankful the Southwest crew wasn’t judging us for day drinking before 5:00!


This guy … Yeah, smelled of smoke & beer, kicked his bag down the jetway, then proceeded to snore (over the noise of the engines) for 3+ hours. At least he gave us a reason to laugh.


Before we even boarded, I knew it would be a good flight. So did Jimmy … here he is dancing down the jetway. Then later, looking mighty fine while reading.

There was the case of the sticky tray table … yuck.


Not only am I (typically) a wreck while flying, I also get extreme motion sickness while driving, boating, moving … I thought planes were the exception, but nope. Had to pop a few of these babies before getting all the way home.

Thankful we weren’t flying to Canada … this jet’s crew didn’t seem to notice the luggage they dropped off their cart. We spent our entire lunch watching different people drive right past it.


Then, as a reward (that’s why I’m telling myself) for a great day of flying, we got to see Mt. Hood in all of her beauty. We flew super close …


We’re both very happy to be back in Portland after a long weekend away. It was totally fun, but we do love our little bubble here. Excited for the next few weeks (my birthday is next Monday, then J’s mom will be visiting) … So much to do, but we’re having a great time!

Tomorrow …

Tomorrow morning, we’ll be hopping on a plane to Michigan.

While I’m not a huge fan of flying, I really do love traveling with Jimmy … He’s pretty much the only person I can imagine experiencing the world with.

I feel like life has been racing by lately … we’ve both had a ton on our plates, and it still looks full until the very end of this month. Looking forward to summer giving into the cool, Autumn air in just a few short weeks … Really looking forward to life slowing down a bit.

Until we’re back on the ground …


Our Manzanita Adventure

Last weekend, we drove to the coast to photograph the wedding of our dear friends. We decided to stay an extra day to give ourselves a mini vacation … In fact, it was our very first visit to the coast by ourselves!

Here’s Jimmy … welcoming you to Manzanita! :)


We thought it would be awesome to borrow some bikes from our hotel to take to breakfast, then to the beach. Besides the fact they were super rusty, and falling apart, it was awesome!


Say what you will … but these blue skies are the loveliest!


After our morning bike excursion, we hopped in the Jeep & headed out to Wheeler, OR for lunch. Our view wasn’t bad.


After lunch & some wine tasting, we headed back to Manzanita to shower & get ready for dinner. Before dinner, we went to the beach to watch the sunset … It was glorious!

ImageImageAfter  the sunset, we found out that the town shuts down at 8:00 … even on Saturdays. So, we ordered a pizza to-go, went back to our room & enjoyed a bottle of wine while watching CABLE!! Can you even imagine how excited we were about that one?? It was such a lovely weekend … so happy to share these moments!