Wednesday, February 1, 2012


I absolutely love my new Juicer!
I was using it everyday & I fell off the wagon last week.  My February commitment is to juice at least once a day (if not more).  It feels so good!  
Love you my little Breville, love me.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Happy Holidays from the McGarrys!

We just wanted to write a little something to you: our friends, family & loved ones both to let you know what we have been up to this past year & also just to express our great appreciation for knowing you & for having the privilege of sharing our lives with you.

We’ve had a pretty jam-packed year.  With both Topher & I working full time, in addition to running our rentals & adding a rental unit, attempting to play music once in a while & everything else that makes the day go by in the blink of an eye, it’s been a whirlwind!  When I look back over all the photos & videos I took this year, I am completely astonished at the range of experiences we have had as a family.  Stella continues to be our major focus & joy.  She is a fireball, a little lover & a sweetie.  She definitely keeps us in shape & on our toes!!!  Other than the fact that we are both suffering from severe sleep deprivation at this point, she is definitely the best thing that we have ever done with our time on this earth.

There are far too many milestones & memories this year to share in this little holiday letter, so we’re just going to touch on a few of our favorites….

Eating solid food was a major accomplishment for Stella, back around the first of the year.  She took to it like a duck to water, like everything else, she just does it like she’s been here before, many times.  She loves everything from avocados & bananas to calamari & olives & broccoli & salami.  She is a great eater & definitely has a refined palate.  We can’t wait until she figures out how to get more of it in her mouth & less of it on us.

In March we had the pleasure of playing with MarchFourth for the 7th Anniversary at the Crystal Ballroom. Stella was in attendance as well, albeit sleeping soundly in NanaLinda's arms.  It was super fun to rock out with the band again after having been on maternity leave for so long.  I surely do miss playing with the band all the time, seriously.  I think it has been the hardest adjustment I had to make this year as a new mother: coming to terms with the fact that there is just not the time in my day anymore to work two jobs, be a land lady, a mother & a rock star.  I love playing the in town gigs when there are some, but touring is just not in the cards for us a family, both financially & logistically.  Heartbreaking, but true.  I look forward to playing some in town shows in 2011 & am also ecstatic that the band has had so much success touring the world over since we've been away.  I'm super proud of the 7 years I was full time in the project & am content with my contribution.  We had a TON of fun.  More than most people probably have in their entire lives & if my involvement can only be here & there from here on out, then that's what it shall be.  It still stings a little, but those are the sacrifices of parenthood.

We travelled to Knoxville, Tennessee for my sister Holly’s wedding May 1.  It was Stella’s 2nd cross country flight so she did it in style.  It was super fun to travel with the whole family & a lot easier with more hands on deck to help lug all our stuff.  Pictured below, my brother Davey & his harem: Xtina, me, Stella & Erene.  All my other pics of the event are corrupted for some reason or other so Holly (the bride), Alex (the groom), Mom & Topher aren’t pictured….but it was a lot of fun & truly was a Big Fat Greek Wedding, so let your imagination run wild….ok stop, not that wild.

May 20, we celebrated Stella’s first birthday with a big party.  It was more of a celebration of us actually making it as parents!  It was quite a party & that Stella is one lucky girl to have so many loving aunts & uncles!!!! We grilled out, had potluck & even had the bonfire going into the night.  Stella’s birthday definitely rings in the changing of the seasons & the Portland summer fun. It was also my birthday celebration & i was blessed by my friend Jason Wells & a whole pot of crawfish!  MY FAVE!!!

In August we celebrated Topher's birthday & the return of our friends Devin, Sarah & Nevi.  We also put the finishing touches on the "sugar shack", our labor of love for over a year & a half.  What a relief to have it finished.  

Summer in Portland this year was kind of the Un-Summer, for me anyways.  Usually we have amazingly clear & brilliant summers, but we just did not get it this year.  On top of that, work really picked up for me with Interest rates at 40 year lows.  Suddenly I found myself with 60 hour work weeks on my hands & 25 hours of childcare.  I had to do some time-travelling, but I figured it out.  Check out the April issue of Portland Monthly magazine, I won an award for Best in Mortgage Brokers.  All the hard work paid off!  Heather’s chocolate business was also booming,  Topher was flying as much as he could at the glider port & finishing the Sugar Shack in the back yard (PHEW~ a simply huge accomplishment!) & Stella was starting to walk & talk. We soaked up some sun at the pool in Peninsula Park (across the street from our house....convenient), but for the most part it was work, sleep, work, sleep, do it again.  The routine definitely began to grate.  As a family, we have always loved to travel & we just had not been getting enough of that in our lives, so we decided to book a vacation to Florida & Puerto Rico to visit Topher’s family for Thanksgiving.  When we booked it, we did not realize what a life saver that trip would be.  Right in the middle of all the madness, we just flew away, unplugged & settled into some serious relaxation.  We are very thankful & appreciative that we are able to do that as a family & cannot wait for our next visit & for the adventures that await us in 2011! 

You can read more about our adventures, as always here and see more photos at 

 We wish much love, luck & light to you & yours this holiday season & hope to create more memories with you in 2011!  LOVE< the McGarrys

Thursday, December 2, 2010

If you love it, you must leave it

Everybody (Cathy, Tinker, Allison & Craig) on Sunday morning around 1:30 am.  Stella woke up in bed just shy of their wake up call & said, "Bye Bye".  Then she wanted to get up & go see "auntie".  Kinda creepy to tell you the truth.  I think the kid is slightly clairvoyant.  But it was sweet because we got to say good bye to everyone as they drove away for their mid night flight.  We were sad to see everyone go & it was really quiet around the place without them.    Most of the next day Stella was pretty cranky.  I think she missed everyone.  

But, it was nice to have the place to ourselves & enjoy the delicious relaxation it has to offer.  Also, we didn't have to share the Rum anymore.... 


Stella copped a ride with "Pintos R Us" as they passed by the Calypso at Maria's Beach.  Next time I think she'll have her own horse!

She also cut up the dance floor & got everyone dancing (even though the guy singing wasn't very good.)

We went on a family day trip to a waterfall Craig recommended up near San Sebastian:  "La Catarata".  We only had to ask 3 different people where it was.  One of the locals said that was pretty good.  He had to ask 2 different people to find it.  As soon as i find a USB cable for my other camera, I'll upload the shots of the waterfall.  It was really beautiful.  For now you'll just have to enjoy what is on my phone....

View from the road on the way from San Sebastian to Mayaguez.  We drove through some insane mountain country with really crazy roads.  Topher loves that.  I do too.  Gets my navigating juices going again.  We make a good team that way.  I love the challenge of being in unknown turf & getting lost & finding my way back & Topher, well, Topher just loves to drive in dangerous situations.  Perfect.

Relaxing on the porch at sunset.

The next day it was all Beach All DAY!!!!!

Just Beautiful.

Our Dream house?  Tres Palmas....

Sandy Baby Booty!!! The cutest.

More to come!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Vaccaciones en Puerto Rico ~ Partido numero DOS

I think island life is getting to me.

I sure don't feel like writing about anything....

I let the pictures do the explaining.

Pura vida, no time but the present.....

Sunday, November 28, 2010

partido numero uno ~ vaccaciones de puerto rico y florida

I guess I'd better write something.....

I've been on vacation for almost 9 days now & not an iota has been penned.  Oh well, guess I've been too busy livin' it to re-live it.  Things were pretty crazy there for a bit:  visiting family in Floriday, marathon races, visiting Topher's old high school friends, traveling to Puerto Rico, acclimatizing to the snails pace of life here, meeting new friends, staying up too late laughing, staying out too long in the sun on the beach, going for long horseback rides on the beach, eating too many tostones & pastries from Puntas Bakery & partying with Topher's family & our adopted Uncle Dave by the pool @ Allison & Craig's condo until the weeeee hours of the night.  Alas, all have left the building, as they say, except for the three of us & Jimmy....& the Coqui's.  So its pretty quiet around here.  Its also only 5:52PM in Portland (its 9:52 here) so I feel like I can spare some time for once & put some things down in the old book for posterity's sake.

I don't want to overwhelm, so I'll just circumnavigate the highlights.

We arrived in Tampa with only minor traveling turbulence & Stella was as good as one could be at eighteen months of life in a small seat for 8+ hours.  She rocks.

Only 1 snotty flight attendant who wanted my to cover up while breastfeeding on the plane & one nasty overworked lady at PDX.  Other than that, piece of CAKE>

Next morning bright & early we met Topher's mom Cathy at the finishline of her first half marathon.  Congrats Cathy!!! We're so proud of you!  She looked like she could just turn around & do it again at the finishline.  An amazing accomplishment.  Beforehand, we ate breakfast on the go with Ben, our nephew before he headed out to North Carolina for TDAY.....

Cousins!  CUTE!

There she is!  She did it!

Way to go Nana!


Wearing Nana's vest & hanging out in the condo.

We brushed up Stella's swimming chops in the pool on the roof of the condo & got re-acquainted with that odd bright shining globe of light in the sky.  I think its called the sun?  I couldn't remember at the time, but its all coming back to me now....

We met up with some Topher's old high school friends & talked way too long into the night....

We also met up with his beloved Uncle Mark & Aunt Norma Jean & his cousins & their granddaughter, Alyssa....the two of them got along famously & were making eyes at each other the whole time at lunch where I got to indulge in my favorite St Pete delight:  the fried grouper sandwich with cheese.  mmmmmm......

Then we packed it up & got on the WORST timed flight ever at 9pm from Tampa, layover in Ft Lauderdale & then land in Aguadilla, PR at 3:30 am.  

 Margaritas in the airport in Ft Lauderdale....if you can't beat em, join em.

 By the time you get your rental car & drive to Rincon, its 5 am, the roosters are crowing & that baby is gonna wake up like its a new day & you haven't slept since yesterday at 5am when she woke up....PHEW she slept until NOON so that was NICE>   We were pretty jet-lagged though to say the least....but you won't feel that badly for us for very long as soon as you see these:

 Our view when we wake up in the morning & what we do in the day.....not much.

The sweet digs at the Vista.

Stella rockin the jean shorts & LOVES the bananas....

A fun relaxing day @ Steps Beach.....
It surely does not suck here.

.......more to come when i have time.  The coqui's are really singing right now out in the jungle & i wouldn't want to miss it.  I also have a lot of sitting in the peace & quiet studying the stars to do, so I better get going on that as well.   :)

If you can't live your life when you are alive, when are you going to do it?????

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Piedmont Cottage Bungalow ~ at your service

Yay we finished it!  Our labor of love is complete. We had our first "real" guest last week & she LOVED it.  Thanks for staying with us Lyn!  It was a lot of fun.  
We will be renting out the cottage aka "sugar shack" for up to 1 month stays, a minumum of 2 nights, preferably.

Please message me at for all inquiries.

We look forward to all the new interesting people we will meet & to giving you a unique Portland experience for your stay in our fair city.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Still Creek Afternoon

We got away last weekend & spent Topher's birthday in the Mt Hood National Forest.  It was exactly what we needed in this madness of summer with all the hullaballoo & goings on....what a wonderful getaway!!!

I actually had a moment to write a poem....something I haven't done in quite some time.  I like it.

~Still Creek Afternoon~

~A butterfly sits silently by the softly shhshhing stream.  Its wings a subtle reminder of other voices, from far, faraway places & times, long gone.~

the cold-creek-water-washed breakfast pots & pans  - metal -  glistening in the last ray of sun as it sets behind the forested mountain.  it is hot on that side of the mountain.  you can tell because your skin has that warm, touched feeling from yesterdays foray to the lake.

but here, here, it is cool.  and quiet.  and still.  and the dog is sitting watching the stream & the occasional fly that he lazily snaps at when it crosses too closely to his snout.

over there across the mountain & the freeway & smaller outlying towns all the way to the city, it is HOT.  there are many, many people, many cars, many phones & many things you should be doing.  commitments you are missing and an old friends' party that you should be attending.  there is laundry like a rockslide & unfinished business.  paperwork, a bin full of unopened mail & a calendar overflowing of appointments like a too full shallow bowl of piping hot soup.  but here, there is NO SERVICE.

~That butterfly flew away.  I wonder where she went? ~

here the babe is sleeping soundly in the truckbed bivouac like a tiny dancer after wearing herself out at her first recital - her hands cupped & chubby.  papa's napping too in the hammock as it lazily buzzes over the creek between tall, mossy, wise trees.

and mama has put pen to paper after such a long time it has been - too long.  what happens to the days - the weeks - the seasons - and then

you get to come here.  You have the wisdom & intuition to come here to this place, on this day, and just breathe.  and just sit with it ALL:  humbled by the water, the fresh air, the blaze of stars in the night sky - so many you can't believe they are real - {when did you forget there were that many? it really has been too long since you have sat in awe of the milky way & its host of celestial wonder} - the calm branches & needles falling through sunlit firs

Everything is perfect.

~And that butterfly will return, one day, with new adventures on her wings.....~