Monday, January 27, 2014

I walked into Fred Meyer on a foggy Saturday morning at the same time as an older gentleman. As we passed through the door, he said, "well, another day in paradise, right?" I awkwardly mumbled something like, "yeah", because I was confused. I think he was being sarcastic, but why? We do live in paradise!! 

Moving up to Oregon was such a good decision. We are now pretty settled in here, and are loving it more every day. We bought a house in Lake Oswego (the house with the big back yard!), and we are loving this town.

Before we found our little house, Lake Oswego wasn't on our list of possible places to live for a few reasons;
1) we never thought we could afford it
2) we had heard rumors of it being full of snobby, pretentious people because of the aforementioned affordability issue

Well, guess what? Our neighborhood is actually affordable, and every single person I have met in this town has been friendly, welcoming, and generally awesome. And oh my goodness, is it beautiful! There is a small historic downtown area, a lake surrounded by big-ole houses, more trees than people (seems like it anyway), the LDS Temple is here in town, 10 minute drive to DOWNTOWN Portland, 20 minutes to my parents' house, 25 minutes to Aaron's school, and I could go on. Really.

Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday I drive through town past these amazing lake inlets-

To take Ari to his fantastic preschool in this adorable building-

Then on the way home I take a different road so I can pass this beautiful farm (which is also a city park).

Oh, and Aaron just found this little riverfront gem below the park right by Ari's school.

Anyone wanna come visit?  Just beware, you may not want to leave.

Ok, maybe next time I will tell you all the things I miss about the Bay Area, just for some balance.

Friday, September 20, 2013


After our whirlwind move (which is not nearly as fun as a whirlwind romance, FYI) it was time to sell our house.  Aaron drove up to Portland with us, then back to California two days later to finish up a bunch of work on our condo.  He spent about 5 days there and then had to drive back up just in time to start his new job.  He is a superstar.

Then came the awesome part.  Thanks to our very resourceful realtor, we sold our condo the day before it was officially on the market to a cash buyer.  CAN I GET A WHAT WHAT?  It was a huge relief, to say the least, to have that part of this whole craziness taken care of.

The even awesomerest part came next, but first I have to make sure you all know how big of a deal it is.  We have been living for the last 3.5 years in a 2 bedroom (900sf) condo that we bought pretty much at the bottom of the market.  No yard.  No garage.  No air conditioning.  Coin-op laundry.  All in what I like to call a "working class" neighborhood in East San Jose.  AND, we've been constantly stretched thin affording it.

Well, all of this has now paid off.  Thanks to the housing market and thanks to the work we put into the place, we were able to make a little bit of money.  Take that up to Portland and it's like we have won the lottery!  It's crazy.  We bought a real house!  We close on October 4th.  Wanna see a picture of my new back yard?  You know you do!

For some perspective, see that tiny blue ball?
It's one of those basketball sized bouncy ball they always have at target.

Your probably thinking, "Wait, Nina, that's a national park, not a backyard!"   But no, folks, that's my backyard.  Now your probably thinking, "well, then, you must not have much of a front yard."

But, oh yeah I do!!  Over 1/4 acre lot, baby!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013


It's official- the last Bay Area Kerns are now the Oregon Kerns.

For years Aaron and I have known that we would leave California.  It was mostly simple math.

stay-at-home mom + teacher + Bay Area cost of living = broke as a joke


stay-at-home mom + teacher + lower cost of living = not quite so broke

Simple, right?  So, for years we looked into different parts of the country trying to find the perfect place for us.  We have been talking, thinking, researching, dreaming, preparing, etc. for years.  In 2007 (pre-kids) we went on a week long trip to Portland to check it out, and we LOVED it.  Unfortunately, the timing wasn't right.

Fast forward a few years, we have two kids, one income, and a tiny condo in East San Jose. My parents and brother have since moved to Portland (coincidentally) and we loved it more and more with each visit.  We were ready to get the heck out of the Bay Area.

This year, at the end of a summer full of job applications (and after being told by multiple people that no one would hire someone coming from California), Aaron got a job teaching 30 miles south of Portland.


In barely over a week we packed, sold, or tossed everything and headed up north.

(we decided to bring these guys, too)

So much has happened in the weeks since, but that will have to be another post!