The Fulfillment Series

The Fulfillment Series

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

The Great Move and A Simple Life

So, Deek and I are up to our elbows in boxes and cleaning supplies as we prepare to move across the country. It's been a little hectic, but we're working on it like a boss. I'm beyond grateful to have such an amazing, involved partner.

Since we've moved 3 times (this will be our 4th) in 2 years, we've learned two important things:

1) Purge. Get rid of the junk. Stuff is not important; it's just stuff. Pare down until you're at the necessities and give away the rest. You'll feel better for having done it, and your house will look better. Also, it's easier to clean without the clutter.

I'm in a bandana with paint-spattered pants and a beat-up shirt. It's technically my cleaning outfit, but I'm calling it a "Bohemian" look. ;) 

2) Prepare in advance. We've been in a 2am-still-throwing-mess-in-boxes situation, and we don't want that drama this time. So, we started prepping for this move about six months ago. And we started with pictures, of which we had boxes and boxes. We sorted them by year and person and scanned them all into the computer. Ah-mazing!

I recommend this little scanner; it's so easy to use.

And we totally recommend Google Photos. We tried to use Amazon Photos, but the organizing in that thing was a total nightmare (and it took forever to open when you tried to access the pics). Google Photos has it down. Everything is well organized and easy to find. Plus, you can make collages, animations, and movies right from the program. It's really genius. And you can share the folders out with other people. When we went to Mt. St. Helen's with Deek's parents, I uploaded all the pics to Google Photo (simple to do with an app--just open the app when you're on wifi, and Google Photos takes care of the rest), made a folder, and shared the photos with them. Easy peasy.

Mt. St. Helen's

Here's an example of the animations it does.

Now, instead of carrying boxes and boxes of photos with us, we have them all safely stored in the cloud. It eliminates my answer to the hypothetical: what would you grab if there were a fire (assuming all people and pets get out safely). I always said my photos, but now I don't have to! WOOT!

Blast from the past-- Little Erin

Graduate Jay back in the day 
(I'm a poet...)

I will miss the Pacific Northwest. It has a lot of things going for it: the beautiful scenery, interesting people, mild temperatures, and no biting snakes. But I won't miss the cold beaches (they're pretty to look at but not very functional to enjoy) or the crazy traffic. 

I'm really ready to see my family and friends. I haven't seen them in a year, and that's the longest I've ever gone without seeing them in my whole life. In fact, before I moved, I don't think I ever went a month without seeing them! But I will definitely miss the wonderful friends and family we have here. So, it's a bittersweet journey we're on. 

Me and my soul sista!

Can't wait to get back to these ladies and all my other friends!
You up for another movie night?? 

But we'll miss our friends here.

And this amazing city!

And all the weird contained within

Deek is leaving everything he's ever known and heading to a totally new place. Aside from some moving around when he was too little to remember, he's mostly lived in this same area of the Pacific Northwest. But he'll be coming down South to be enveloped by my big ole loving family and my slew of amazing friends. He's definitely sad to leave, but he's also excited to experience something new! 

Goodbye lush, green, beautiful PNW

Hello the hospitable, fun-loving, gorgeous South

In truth, I would follow Deek to the ends of the earth, through the Mists of Avalon. Wherever he is, that's my home. HE'S my home. I'm ready to start this new adventure with the love of my life. No matter what, it will be fun because I'm holding hands with my best friend for the journey!


Peace out, my friends! The next time you hear from me, I'll likely be blogging in another time zone, clear across the country. Until then, take care of yourselves and each other. Live out loud!

Monday, June 13, 2016

Adventuring With The Rhews Part 3

So, Deek and I are in the throes (this word makes me smile because it looks like thrones--as in Game of Thrones--but I digress) of getting ready for our move across the country. It's a complicated endeavor, supremely complicated. But, as we do all things, we're kicking bootae together, hand-in-hand. Some days, we're Daffy Duck basketcases, but we have each other to lean on. And that makes all the difference in the world. I love my man! <3

Deek and I made a "must see before we leave" list, and we've been to nearly all the place. But one kept lingering out there...Mount St. Helens. We wanted to go on a nice day, so we could clearly see the mountain in all its glory. And I kid you not, every single weekend we had rained. Until this past weekend. Hallelujah, thank goodness, bright sunshine. Oh, and 100 degrees!


Side note: Deek thinks it's completely hilarious that I'm a Southern girl who complains on really hot days. Well, I like being warm (I abhor being cold), but I don't like being hot and sweaty. As I explained to him, we Southerners go from our air-conditioned homes to our air-conditioned cars to our air-conditions stores and restaurants. We don't linger in the blazing heat if we can help it. 

Despite the 100 degree weather, we called up Deek's parents, who've also NEVER been to Mount St. Helens, and decided to do the trip! And I've got one word to describe it...WOW! Holy moly, folks, it's majestic and terrifying all at the same time. The power of nature commands respect, I'll tell you that for sure!

The mountain in the distance

There are multiple lookouts on the way up to St. Helens, and I recommend stopping at them all! This place was gorgeous on the inside and had a great view outside. We ate lunch while looking at the mountain.

We stopped at this learning center, which had lots of interesting information about the eruption and the replanting efforts post disaster.

Yep, still wearing a hat. Only one more week of hair healing before I can emerge like a butterfly! ;) 

Getting closer...another viewpoint.

Hubba hubba!

I love this man and our adventures!

Ready to learn! We watched an AMAZING video. I totally recommend that to everyone because there is an uber cool surprise at the end!

View from the main learning center and observatory. You can see right into the crater. Amazing!

Resting after a big climb in 100 degree weather. This Southern girl is glistening (since we Southern Belles don't sweat)! ;) 

It's been 36 years, but the landscape still bears the scars of the eruption.

I liked this perspective with the sundial thing.

These trees are twisted like Twizzlers!

This little guy was super friendly and adorable!

I love this shot. It shows all the trees that fell in the blast zone, the mountain, gorgeous flowers, and my little chipmunk buddy! :)

Since both bridges had wrecks, we were stuck. But we made the best of it by eating at The Rock. I love the movie The Rock, so I did a little squee to see a "Welcome To The Rock" sign in the restaurant.

Even amidst the craziness of preparing a cross-country move, Deek and I manage to find time to have fun and connect every day. I love those moments when we lie in our bed face-to-face--talking and laughing--while the world and all the busyness of it fades away. In good times and in bad, in stressful times and in calm ones, I'm beyond thankful to have my best friend, partner, and soulmate by my side. 

Up next...Crater Lake. Stay tuned! Until then, live life out loud, my friends! We only have one life, so live it Mach 5 with your hair on fire! ((HUGS)

Monday, June 6, 2016

Adventuring With The Rhews Part 2

So I ran out of room on my last post about the Redwoods (I am a chatty author, after all), so here's part two about our trip to Astoria!!

As I said in the last post, Deek and I have less than one month before the BIG move! We're rushing around like chickens with our heads cut off trying to get everything set up in the South and closed down here in the Pacific Northwest. AND we want to be sure we squeeze in some of our "must see" items. Hence, every weekend is now booked with friends, family, and adventure!!

Last weekend, we went to Astoria, Oregon with Deek's parents to see all things Goonies related!! PS. If you're wondering why I'm always wearing a hat lately, there's a reason. I went from purple back to blonde, and it's a hard process on the hair. It's in a "recovery" state for the next three weeks. I'm not allowed to flat iron or blow dry it during that time, and I'm supposed to wear a bun or hat to keep it most protected. ;) The things we do for beauty... LOL!

Anyway, on to Astoria...

The lovely city of Astoria from up high

The view above is from the top of this puppy--The Astoria Column. It's 164 very narrow steps round and round in an itty bitty circle to get to the top. What a good quad workout! ;) 

The landing on this thing is TEENY tiny! People are bumping and shoving to get around and see stuff, and you feel like you could be pitched over the side by other people or the wind. A little unnerving to say the least. But worth it for the views!

The house from the movie Short Circuit! Who knew so many films were made in this little town?

Deer, just frolicking in the grass outside the Short Circuit house.

The jailhouse from Goonies, which is now the Oregon Film Museum!

Goin' to jail...

Upon entrance to the film museum, you get to have a mug shot taken! We all agreed Deek's dad has THE BEST mugshot. ROFL!

When authors get booked

He's menacing in this one!!


Deek's mom and me--LOL!

And Deek's dad--BEST shot of the day!!

We made it to the Goondocks!!

Deek and I on the film set.

Deek's parents on the film set. They were laughing so hard they couldn't hardly talk. LOL!

Data's coat!!

Jailbirds (Deek's mom trips me out peeking in from the back!

This made me laugh out loud. LOVE IT!

Flavel house. WOW!

I went to find the bathrooms, found this heart stone, and texted it to my love, Deek! <3

Inside the Flavel house. Doesn't he look distinguished?

Astoria Trolley! I was so excited to ride this thing. It had THE coolest seats ever!

This sign trips me out!

Deek's parents on the trolley

The boardwalk where they filmed some scenes from Free Willy!

The Astoria bridge!

PS. If you're wondering why the posts are still in the water, here's the answer. Whoever had a claim on the docks that used to be there retains the right as long as the stumps are in the water. If they're pulled up, that section of water become property of the city. 

The Red Building. LOL! Clever naming... ;) 

The only bit of sandy beach in all of Astoria

We ate a restaurant that has a Plexiglass floor which allows you to see the sea lions hanging out on the docks below!

Amazing buildings!


So the owner of the Goonies' house no longer allows people on the property because of vandalism, theft, and voyeurism. What's wrong with people these days?

We respected the owner's wishes and viewed the house from afar.

The school from Kindergarten Cop

We decided to ride over the bridge into Washington

Ominous clouds

I love this pic

So, overall, I just thought we'd go to Astoria to see the Goonies memorabilia and leave. What I didn't expect...I really loved Astoria. In fact, I want to live there for a while when Deek and I do our vagabond life. Deek agreed, so it's officially on the "vagabond life list." And I know just the neighborhood I'd like to try to find a house in. Seriously, if you get a chance to go to Astoria, do. It's a beautiful, quaint, adorable town! 

Big thanks to Deek and his parents for the amazing weekend. We talked and laughed the whole day, and I loved every minute of it. Family...that's what it's all about, folks!