Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Xmas!

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good year! We celebrated Christmas eve over at my brothers house, but started the day off by buying some chains so we could actually get around in this mess and then we went to visit and have lunch with Xavier (our nephew on Ben's side), then we went to pick up my very good friend Tev from the train station. We adopted her for Christmas this year! On to more celebrations today but so far it has been a very fun Christmas with all the fam and some friends!

Ben snuggling by the fire, or aka the yule log channel!

Ginger the jester and Bob the reindeer

The cutest couple at the party!

Delayed B-day...

Happy Birthday Babe! A few pics from a delayed birthday party on Sunday. Delayed from the relentless weather that will not go away. Ben got some great gifts and the coolest tupperware for lunch time at school with a special slot for a sandwich. Ah the simple life.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Arctic Blast 2008...

Saturday 9am

Saturday 2pm

Sunday 10am

By the time this is over it will probably be 2009! This weather is crazy, I feel like I live in Tahoe or should at least be on vacation there. But then I am stuck home all the time so the reality is that I am not on vacation and I live in Portland and there has in fact been snow falling for the past week. Yesterday was by far the worst I have seen, I think maybe worse than the Issaquah snow I have dealt for the past three years. I guess it followed me to Portland which is supposed to have milder weather than Seattle. Ben calls it "The Storm that Happens Once Every 20 Years", the media, "Arctic Blast 2008", the people that are from back east call it "Spring" and are laughing at us. Who knew we would see these conditions here.... and no I don't really want a white Christmas, I hope it will melt by then. I prefer sunny Christmas's, and who can blame me, I am from California :)

For the luv of pugs...

For those of you who really know know that I am a pug lover. I just can't help loving those cute black smooshed up faces and big eyes. One of the directors at my work went to Denmark and Italy to see their families for Christmas. She has a pug named Bob which I volunteered to dog sit for the next two weeks. And really the $200 she is paying us is the 2nd best part. Bob is the 1st best part...adorable, half pekinese and half pug. Ben loves teasing him with the toys we just had to buy for him. Here are some pics with King Bob...

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Thanksgiving in Arizona and Christmas in Portland...

So, once again I am behind because of my travels and wanted to share a little about what the Blake's are up to. A few weeks ago we had the opportunity to go to Arizona and be with Ben's family for Thanksgiving. It was so great seeing everyone and getting to visit more. And thank you to Rachel and Trent for letting us stay with you and pretty much holding new baby Brooke the whole time! We also had the opportunity to drive to Safford so that Ben could show me where he was raised and visit with the family there. It was truly the highlight of the trip! All the Blakes might know that I am kidding here...

Here are some pics of Ben and the town...

Then we came back from Arizona...a day later I was off to Long Beach for an event. When I returned Ben and I got to decorate for our first Christmas together (well married at least). We just got a little tree this year for our little apartment. Then we packed up and went to Seattle to get the rest of our things from the condo and to celebrate Ben's birthday! We had a little surprise named snow that we have been trying to outrun. We left Seattle just in the nick of time, but it finally caught up with us in Portland. And it seems to not be leaving...

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Beatiful Places I get to go :)

I promised myself before I got on another plane (tomorrow Ben & I are going to AZ), that I would share with the world some pictures from some of the beautiful places I have been to over the summer. As you know I have the opportunity to travel quite a bit being a meeting planner. Sometimes this is fun, like when you get to go to Savannah, Chicago, DC, Charlotte, Nashville and so on. Sometimes, I know it may be hard to believe, but it's not so fun in places like Little Rock, Cincinnati, Las Vegas, Dallas, etc. I don't know, sometimes I am just content staying right here in little old Portland where sometimes the beauty takes your breath away.

Savannah, GA

View from my hotel room.

Do you see Forest Gump? Well, there is the bench.

...and then there is Chicago :)

Hey T! Most fun when you can visit friends.

Chicago is a very cool city!

And back to Portland...Ahhh....

Tagged...Thanks Jen

I've Been Tagged!

Rules:Post rules on your blog. Answer the six "8" items. Let each person know they have been tagged by leaving them a comment.

8 Things I Did Yesterday:
Shopped for Xmas presents
Bought some art
Went to the dentist to get fillings and then leaving because my dentist mis-diagnosed me
Packed for AZ
Did Laundry
Made apple butter...again
Went to bed at midnight...way too late

8 Things I Look Forward to:
My cruise with Tev in January
Christmas with all the Corley's
Thanksgiving in Arizona
For our house to be finished
Being a mom
Ben graduating
Ben getting a grown up job

8 Restaurants I Like:
Papa Hayden's
That little mexican place on 23rd street
IHOP (I just love their sweedish pancakes)
Hot Lips Pizza
Aqua Riva

8 Things On My Wish List:
Have a family
Be debt free
To serve a mission later on with Ben
Lose weight (never ending wish)
To stay in love my whole life
For my friends and family to be happy
To successfully own my own business & work from home
Continue to go on at least one vacation a year

8 Favorite TV Shows:
Amazing Race
The Bachelor
America's Next Top Model
Dancing with the Stars
Girls next door (hate to admit it)
Grey's Anatomy
90210 (sometimes)

8 People I Tag: (You're It!)
(I don't know that many people that blog?)

Monday, November 24, 2008

Your running the wrong way....

Stretch and grow!

My Cheerleader

Am I really ready for this.....NO :)

Well I have my number...hear I go!

Sooooo after I ran Hood-to-Coast I was so impressed with myself that I decided to sign up for a half marathon with my friend Karie Cason (Dain's wife). Little did I know that after I ran HTC I would have no desire to keep training. So when the week before the half marathon rolled around and I had not been training I simply called Karie to say "no go" on the half, that I could maybe run a 10K. I experienced a little dissappointment there and so I decided to keep to my earlier and crazy committment to run. Saturday bright and early we drove down to Eugene and started to run. After about 2 miles, I forced Karie to run ahead feeling the pain of not training already and I was quite a bit slower than her. About three miles into it...ahhh a water station...distracted and happy to get my thirst quenched I threw my cup in the trash and kept running. Continued to run and run and run...I started to wonder where the mile markers were, knowing that I had to have at least run another mile if not two??? The trail ahead came to a dead end and went on to a street in a residential area. Hmmmm, I wondered to myself where is everyone I did not think I was the last one in the race??? I swear there were people behind me before.... before when, before the water station. Hmmm, I asked a lady on a bike coming ahead, have you seen any runners up there. Nope she responded....strange I thought. I must have missed a turn off somewhere? I started to run back, the lady on the bike came back to me and said she ran into an official up ahead and said what I had thought... I missed the turn. Dumb leaves on the ground, dumb people at the water station, why didn't they come after me? I had now ran at least two miles in the wrong direction and was for sure the last of the runners. As I came back to the missed turn, I yelled at the water station people and then kept running ahead. The trail markers were gone, I was tired, I could not muster the enthusiasim to keep going, so I returned to the start. I ran 8 miles that day, ended up very sore and learned some very valuable lessons....

Lesson #2 Don't run with your music to loud so you can hear the dumb water station people yelling at you telling you that you are running the wrong way.

Lesson #1 Never attempt to run a half marathon without training for it.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

What is up with the Blake's????

So I went out of town last week for an event and lost touch with the outside world (meaning you). Rest assured that the Blake's are doing well, very well, despite these tough times! We must be on the right side of something or someone :)

A couple of updates for our fans:
  • We closed on the house!!!! Best news of the year...well, besides our marriage.
  • Therefore, we got to remove the contingency on our new house. They can start building now!
  • I went to Savannah and came back...The SACUBO Fall Workshop was a success! For those of you that don't know, my old company MRA, contracted me through my new company Henry V, to manage the SACUBO (Southern Association of College and University Business Officers) events two times a year. Eventually I plan on being an independent contractor, this would be my biggest client. Things are lining up well!
  • I became an LLC! Recently I found a business partner named Amanda (long story how I found her). She is great, has a passion for events and weddings and has a sweet accounting background, which I needed desperatly. We launched together Northwest Green Event Management doing business as Northwest GEM. Everything is still a work in progress but you can check out our website
  • Winter came to Portland :(
  • My brother David turned 50! Actually he is leaving for Thailand tomorrow and will be celebrating in style.
  • My mom adopted a pug (more details later)
  • Ben got a job! It is only part-time but it gives us a little xtra Christmas or house money.

I hope all is well out there, from reading your blogs...sounds like it is!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Corley-Blake-Larson get together!

Hey good lookin', we need to find you a woman!

Crazy Steve

Little Zach, looking scary, good work assisting in building the haunted house along with Elizabeth and Riley.

All the Corley kids....but where is Micheal, ooops we ditched him and ALL moved to Oregon.

Time flies...

My darling husband has been busy at school and we are already in the middle of the quarter here at Portland State. Here he is hard at work...studying...wait...let me look closer, nope I was wrong. He is reeeeaaallllly hard at work watching TV and reading the newspaper. Well at least he is building his multi-tasking skills. Go Ben!

Friday, October 17, 2008

All systems a go...for now!

I know all of you have been waiting on pins and needles like I have about the house. And I happily inform you that for now we have an addendum being sent to us as I write, for a $12,000 lower sales price and still the nasty 4% in closing costs going to the buyer. The new little home buyer of my condo just could not quite have the heart nor the money to give us a break. Only the brain to tell us that they will still take the deeply discounted deal and move forward with buying the house. Oh, only if we sold when I moved to Portland, but no we were greedy and wanted to wait it out for the price to increase. Oh the lessons learned. As Ben has learned now from his trusty rich dad poor dad books, "Attempt to be fearful when others are greedy and to be greedy only when others are fearful". And so the Blake adventures continue in hopes that all systems STAY a go and that we do recieve a large check (but not as large as hoped) in two weeks.

Mom turns 70...

My mom turned 70 on the 15th...the same day that Andrea's daughter Elva (Ilva?) had to go to the hospital to get her sist drained, the same day that my sister got her license taken away from her via her doctor that she told she was unsure about her medication and driving, and the same day that we recieved the news about being 12K poorer than we thought we would be..and unsure that the house deal would even go through at all. I guess I spoke to soon about accepting the offer because the day after we accepted (and good thing it is all contingent on our condo selling), we recieved a call from our realator up in Seattle. He informed us that because of radically dropping prices in Issaquah our appraisal came in 12K less than we sold it for. This is great news for the buyers, bad news for the Blakes. After I shed a few tears, I finally realize that we are so blessed to even be able to sell at all in this market. And so as we are still waiting to hear if they want to move forward at all or renegotiate the price, we just pray that they still want our lovely little condo and that we are still closing in two weeks. It has been two days and my wonderful husband keeps saying "don't worry honey it is going to be fine, they won't back out because they want the plasma tv." Men and toys, let's hope that he is right!
Regardless, I am sure glad that we are celebrating mom's birthday all week long, because it was not the best day.

Monday, October 13, 2008

We have accepted...

So, after countless counter offers on both ends, we have finally accepted the offer on "the" house. It takes about 90 days to build, but we have until March 25th to close. Right in time for Mr. Blake to get a job. He technically graduates in June, but his last 6 unit sr. capstone class allows him enough time to start working almost full time. Those summer classes really paid off! We kind of think we are a little bit crazy to be buying a house in this market, but the risk just might be worth it. Can't wait to have you visit.
Trees make us happy here in Oregon :)

Saturday, October 4, 2008


Okay, so I don't really get it or maybe I have just been in denial that I feel old and can't even try to pretend like I know what is going on out there in the Internet world. I think that it is absolutely crazy that you can actually put in someones name and then at the click of a button get reacquainted with an old friend, read all about their lives, see pictures of their familes and correspond quite easily. Anyways in efforts to keep up with the times and from some urging of my best friend Jen, I joined facebook. This seems like a lot of work... blogging and facebook...what have I gotten into. We will see how it goes in a year or so when I actually have other responsibilities, like a kid :) Cheers to the Internet!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

My Personal Mosaic...

I saw this fun idea on Torey's Blog and had a blast. Try it yourself and see what you come up with:

How to:
a. Type your answer to each of the questions below into Flickr Search.
b. Using only the first page, pick an imagen that suits you.
c. Copy and paste each of the URLs (right click on properties) for the images into fd’s mosaic maker. Layout should be 4x4 with large center.
d. Copy the mosaic image (right click, save image as -- or just drag image to desktop) to your computer.
e. Upload image to blog and voila!

Here are the questions:
1. What is your first name?
2. What is your favorite food?
3. What high school did you go to?
4. What is your favorite color?
5. What is your current job/career?
6. Favorite drink?
7. Dream vacation?
8. Favorite dessert?
9. What you want to be when you grow up?
10. What do you love most in life?
11. One word to describe you?
12. Where do you live?
13. A location you like to visit.

Here it is:

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Found house...will wait...

So Ben and I found the house of our dreams (well at least my dreams and maybe just my current dreams, not the dreams of the house we may want in 20 years). But it is gorgous! We have been browsing for quite a few months. And this is the best house that we have found yet. Ben and I put in a contingent offer on our condo closing in Seattle, but they rejected it. Turns out they have to sell and close all of the houses on one side of the street first (a total of 4 houses... 1 is complete, 3 more to go). Because we want lot 5 and it happens to be on the other side of street we have to wait. But it is worth it!
Here are the trees our house will be next to.
The kitchen..with granite...yeah!

Now don't get too attached, because you never know what will happen in this market. I am trying not to be, but the fact is...I am blogging it, never a good sign.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Mutual Agreement in effect!

So I just can't say we sold it yet, because you never know in this market. But we do have a mutual agreement with the buyer for the sale of our condo in Issaquah. Yeah!!!!!! We have been so patient and were expecting to wait at least three or so more months. It first went on the market in January at $20,000 higher than the current sales price...nothing. We took it off the market and got some renters in there for the summer. Then had lined up another renter for the fall. The switch over happened labor day weekend. The same weekend, Ben and I went up to Seattle and installed brand new carpet and crown molding. We also bought a flat screen plasma TV to incent possible buyers. Well it worked! We got a full price offer yesterday and we accepted last night! Ben is quite bummed that we cannot get the TV back, but maybe someday we can have our very own plasma TV. We are quite grateful that we can have this money at the beginning of our marriage so we can start fresh and buy a house of our own!