Cycling in the City

I’ve been debating when would be a good age to teach Jayden to ride a bike. I wouldn’t be teaching him as I never learned myself. Apparently my parents’ first attempt with my brother was so disastrous, they didn’t even bother trying with me.  Still, it’s for sure something I feel like I missed out on so I’m hoping Daniel will take in the reins with Jayden and teach him at some point.

Anyway, coincidentally, just as I was thinking about this, I read about cycling in Portland and what a good city it is for it. It was reported to be “one of the most cycle friendly places in the United States.”  That made me even more enthusiastic about getting Jayden on wheels. But then the story went on to warn all those enthusiastic Portland-cyclers that because of this fact, it could ultimately be more dangerous for them since the friendliness of the roads makes them less focused on being careful.

Still, Portland is such a stunning city and the weather is often so perfect for cycling (in the right clothing of course since it can get pretty cold).  I have therefore come to the decision that Jayden should start learning right away and initially he’ll just ride a bike in our yard.  But ultimately he should be able to enjoy cycling in places like the Cycle Path and really get a feel for the beauty of our city.  Still, I’ll wait a few years for that.  I want to keep him as close to home as possible for as long as I can.

Window Shopping in Portland

It really does get to the point where it’s been too much food, TV, wine and just vegging around. I didn’t even want to shop (which Daniel says is a first for me) so I decided to take a hike with Ethan and go window shopping (I can always enjoy some browsing without buying).

It was so lovely to get out in the fresh air and the weather was just perfect – cold, brisk, but great for a workout-walk.  Ethan loved being out too; Jayden was building something with his Lego at home with his dad but I think they were going to venture out for a bit later on in the day too.

So we walked all the way to the Lloyd Center.  I saw some cute stuff in Nordstrom and they were having a really good sale on menswear but I avoided temptation and didn’t get anything.  Besides, Daniel hates when I get him clothes. I did get a Jumba Juice for me and Ethan to share – he loves banana and date – and we sat down for a bit and drank it.

Well, I’m glad we got out for a bit.  It was good to exercise my legs and take Ethan out into the fresh air after all this eating and drinking.

Christmas is Happening!


Portland is such a great place to be over the holiday season.  I mean, it’s always a fabulous town, but I particularly love it over Christmas.  As well, he lights seem even brighter this year.  Indeed, I read somewhere that there were around 500,000 lights outside the Grotto’s chapel, adorned with a whole slew of Christmas trees and bushes.

I’m not such a religious person, but I do feel Christmas should be a little bit about Christ, and, given that the chapel looked so inviting from the outside (and I do want my kids to have a little infusion of Christianity), we all ventured inside.

I was happy I did.  “Whoa,” announced Jayden in shock and delight as I saw a smile spread across his cute face.  It was the sound.  A bunch of people were signing beautiful Christmas songs and it was a true joy for us all; very tranquil too.

I knew that the Grotto was a great place to go.  My neighbor told me she’d been there last week for some of the local school Christmas concerts there.  It’s large too – around 600 seats – and she said there wasn’t an empty seat to be found.

Visiting the chapel always makes me think that I really should come on a more regular basis and bring the kids like every couple of Sundays for prayers.  Maybe that will just have to be one of my many New Year’s resolutions.  We’ll see.  For now, I just want to enjoy it and enjoy the kids’ reactions to it.

Sweet Sounds of the Purring Prada


Wow, did we have a good Christmas!  The kids are having a blast still with their new toys, giving Daniel and I some nice relaxing time.  My parents have been here too which has been such a treat.  My mom right now is cleaning up the kitchen; she’s so good.

Daniel loved his new iPhone SoL Hybrid Power Pack Solar Charging Case which I wasn’t surprised by. But then I felt a little guilty as the gift he got me (form Marios’s) surely was way more expensive.  He knows I’ve been eyeing the Prada shopping tote for ages, but I seriously never expected it would arrive as a Christmas gift from him.  Maybe a birthday gift – my birthday is in a couple of weeks, but not for Christmas.    I literally was speechless.  But he knew I was delighted; he was grinning from ear to ear.

We never know what to get my parents – truthfully they have everything.  So Daniel made a really cute video of the kids saying “Merry Christmas Grandma and Papa, we love you,” as well as a four-slot-picture-frame for them filled with their gorgeous grandkids.  It brought a tear to my mom’s eye.  So I knew she loved that.

And, amazingly so, it is now the day after Christmas; my parents are still here, the kids are off from pre-school, Daniel  is nursing a slight hangover and no-one has even come close to a fight.  That to me is truly the miracle of Christmas 2011 in the Goldsmith family home, Portland, Oregon.

Good to be Home


It’s great to be home. We got back late last night.  The kids had fallen asleep in the car and thankfully, it was easy to move them straight into their beds without them waking up.  I’d really missed Daniel so even though I was pooped myself, I crawled into bed, cuddling him.  I also wanted to find out what he’d been up to since we’d been out of town. 

So it turned out that not only had he made his deadline, he’d also completed another project, thus giving him some free time to chill while I was away with the boys.  I asked him if he’d done anything special or fun and he told me about his day at Mario’s.  Not only had he bought me something very special from there (in my mind, everything they sell at Mario’s is special), but he’d also had a good time himself.

Well, this kind of surprised me, truth be told. You have to understand something about Daniel (I guess this is true of pretty much all men though).  Daniel HATES to shop.  And he especially despises going into any designer store.  So that made me curious as to why he had actually enjoyed it.  He then revealed all.  Apparently last Thursday Mario’s was having a little celebration of its own; throughout the day the store was serving complimentary holiday refreshments.  All of a sudden I understood why he shopped pretty much ‘til he dropped!  I knew there must have been an ulterior motive and there was. 

Still, it looks like I’ll be coming out of this pretty well so I have no complaints!  I’ll update you tomorrow with what I receive; it’s still pretty early in the morning here and since both kids are still sound asleep we’re not going to take advantage of the quiet time. 

Merry Christmas one and all!