Wednesday, August 6, 2014

A Whole Bag of Random: Road Trip, #InBend, Hood to Coast, Gratitude

What a whirlwind!  Wow. The past few weeks have been NONSTOP.  Packing, loading, road trip across the country with three kids, a Uhaul and a minivan, and finally moving in our new house in Bend, Oregon.  Now it has just been a few days of unpacking, decorating, organizing, painting walls, meeting new neighbors, buying furniture, getting used to a much bigger house (what a sprawl of mess in this unpacking stage), and all that comes from starting an entirely new chapter in life.  All exciting stuff!  Just tiring!  It feels amazing to sit down and write for a few moments here.

Things I'm spilling with gratitude about right now:

  • Um, we live in Bend, Oregon.  I had no idea it was this amazing.  I knew it would be cool but not this cool.  I haven't even begun to discover it all.  I loved Asheville too and will forever hold the Blue Ridge mountains in my heart and so thankful I got to live there for a bit before returning to Oregon.  
  • The Deschutes River Trail that is practically in my backyard.  I'm .1 miles (note the decimal in front of the 1) from dirt trail along the river!  I can run on these trails for miles and miles and miles.  When I'm running out there I can't help but big stupid smile spread from ear to ear.  I almost pinch myself that I'm here. Kayakers, people floating and boarding down the river, swimmers, bikers, hikers, trail runners.  Is this for REAL?  It's almost like something from an advertisement.  And that's just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to trails around here.  I  hope to head out with some new runner friends soon to see their favorite mountain trails in the area.   I actually have a run date tomorrow with a friend Shelley!  This is where I run daily:
Essentially my backyard.  The Deschutes River Trail

Decisions, Decisions 

  • My girls have already made friends in the neighborhood.  In fact, they are currently eating dinner with two of the girls that live a few houses down the road.  This makes me so happy!  Kids running in and out all day, jumping on trampolines, riding their bikes, and making plans for new adventures.  My mama heart is bursting to see my kids so happy.  
  • There are a few choices for schools here.  I'm particularly impressed with one of them that is a magnet school.  I spoke with the principal for almost an hour this morning about their curriculum and philosophy and WOW!  Those of you that know me, know that I'm super passionate about education...particularly literacy instruction and a non-traditional approach to learning.  Everything this principal mentioned is what I believe in as an educator.  My shelves are lined with the books and curriculum she mentioned!  I'm hoping I can get my kids in this school.  It might be only one at first but in the long term, I can see all three of my kids thriving here.  Nice to have options.  
  • Our road trip home was actually really fun!  My husband drove the Uhaul with everything we own and I drove our van with at least two of our three children.  We drove from Asheville to Nashville (for a week for work), Memphis (to see my grandmother), Arkansas (where I got to visit with Tia from Arkansas Runner Mom), Kansas City, MO ( Love this city!  And got to see a very dear college friend.), two days in Denver to see my family and old friends (stayed in my high school coach's house), Telluride, CO for two nights (HOLY AMAZING BEAUTY!), a stop in Moab, UT, Idaho, and home to our new house in Bend!  We did so much in that road trip and it will forever be a part of our memories.  What a perfect way to wrap up this adventure we've been on this last year and a half.  
Road Trip Home:

I am so glad I got to stop in Arkansas to meet Tia, Arkansas Runner Mom.

Outside of Redstone, CO visiting friends on their ranch

Telluride, Colorado

Short run in Moab, UT. I mean really get the road kinks out shake out run.  

Very special part of the road trip.  I took my girls to Dillon, Colorado to see where my dad was buried (under the aspen tree on our old property) and where I lived as a little girl.  This was taken on the property.  A little background here:  The Deepest Part of My Running Heart:  Running for Him

It's that time again!  My husband thought it would be a good idea to sign us up for Hood to Coast (200 mile relay from Mt Hood to the Pacific coast. Most of you know what HTC is if you're a runner.) even though we were moving across the country.  Um, I'm not sure I think this was a good idea.  I mean, we are way out of racing shape, we just moved in our house, and HTC is in two weeks!  Seriously, 4 miles feels like 20 to me right now.  I know, I know, what a great experience!  And yes, we got on a great team again (people we've run with before).  Oh, and I get to be in a van with my husband and we are running together.  We have leg 5.  I think I've run this leg before a long long time ago but I can't remember.  I know nothing about leg 5 right now so I'm thinking I should look it up.  And start running longer distances!  I'm pretty sure I will be hurting by the end but I know I will be glad we did it too.  

A 5k right now?  I might just be crazy enough to jump in a 5k next Thursday.  And yes yes yes, it will HURT!  I'm so far from 5k shape right now.  I'm definitely out of 5k in altitude shape! But I just might do it anyway.  I know a lot of you from Oiselle will be here to run it too since there is a Oiselle #birdcamp this next week.  I hope I get to meet some of you!  I'll be the one in red Oiselle distance shorts and a Nuun visor gasping for air and possibly on the ground at the end.  But I'm excited to be running! 

Are you running Hood to Coast?  Do you know someone who is?  Have you ever?  

Happy to be writing again!  


  1. Love hearing how excited and happy you are Amanda! Glad it was a good road trip and you and your family are getting settled in!

  2. I love the name of your new town. I would definitely do a special run around the town and text everyone that you're 'going round the Bend'. And I'd stay there till the kids are learning to drive then you can honestly say that the kids are driving you round the Bend.

  3. Glad y'all had such a fun trip!!! You were really close to where I live when you went through Kansas City!!!

  4. Hey Amanda! Good to hear the move went smoothly and that you're enjoying your new home. That trail is such a resource right there - I would be lying if I didn't admit to a touch of jealousy. Have fun at the 5k and see how the altitude treats you!

  5. Wow- soooo much going on right now! I'm very glad you made the time to swing through Arkansas to see me. :-) It sounds like you are getting settled nicely and I love that the kids are making friends in your neighborhood. Also- a trail right next door?! Yes, please!!

  6. I ran leg 5 two years ago in HTC. It's the hardest ranked leg, but should be no problem for you! About 20 miles total with some serious hill work on your last leg (you get to crest the coast range...).
    I'm running leg 11 this year. Hopefully we'll see you guys out there on the course or on the beach! Have fun!

  7. Welcome to Bend and glad you are loving it!!! Kim told me about your Blog and that you had just moved to Bend. I am a native Bendite and feel so lucky to call this magical place home. If you ever need a running buddy, I live close to the river trail and the Old Mill and am always up for a run. :)

  8. Hi Amanda! It's Tanya from Sole Sisters Running. Nice to have you guys back in Oregon! That is so amazing that you get to spend some time in Bend. What a wonderful city. I hope to catch up with you at some local running events again. I am also going to be running the HTC, I'm leg 5 too! I am running with the team Robin From the Hood and the Costal Van of Misfits. We start at 7:45. When is your start time and team name? I'd love to try and see you up there on Mt Hood. Well, hope your getting all settled in your new place and enjoying getting your running legs back in gear! Take care and hope to see you Friday!