2012 Year In Review
How we spent 2012.
FeedbackBy Preston Hunt, 31 December 2012

Holiday Picture

As longtime readers of our annual letter have undoubtedly noticed, we try to undertake one big trip each year. This year’s trip came late, just two weeks ago, when we spent eight days in Maui. It was our first real vacation since Dash was born. We all enjoyed the Aloha state, especially Dash who spent hours digging, naked, in the sand; playing in the hotel’s kid pool; and splashing in the ocean surf with Preston. Aimee’s parents accompanied us, allowing us to grab a bite to eat and go snorkeling, kid-free.

Our chief concern for our Hawaii trip was how our high-energy toddler would handle the six-hour plane ride to Hawaii. As it turned out, Dash was a little angel for most of the flight. The source of our trepidation was several mini trips we had made throughout the year, mostly to the coast (a 75-minute drive), Mt. Hood (80 minutes), or Sisters in central Oregon (3 hours). Dash enjoyed the family-friendly day hikes and other activities we did in all these places, but he didn’t care much for the drives, spending hours wailing inconsolably in the back seat of the car.

Dash turned one this year and we have been enjoying many “seconds” with him, including his second summer, his second Halloween (he was a cat), and his second Thanksgiving (he really dug the pie). It’s fun to reflect on how much he has changed in 2012. He went from what we affectionately describe as “our little potato” (rotund and unable to roll over or sit up) to a constantly on-the-go, walking, talking toddler. He can say about 40 words now and especially enjoys imitating any little sound we make. His favorite foods are asparagus, Kalamata olives, dried cranberries, dried figs, and chicken.

Since we didn’t do a lot of travel this year, we enjoyed the many pleasures of Portland, including Saturday mornings at the farmers market, weekend picnics in the park with other families, open house tours (more on that below), and lots of urban walks. Dash also started attending Child Roots day care, where we all enjoy the cloth diapers (which they provide and launder), 100% organic menu (including kale, spelt, quinoa, and French lentils), and “Portland-like” mindset (such as how children are taught to compost their food after meals).

Preston’s name came up on the waiting list this year for one of Intel’s 4’x20’ garden plots. He (with a little help from Aimee and Dash one weekend) planted a wide range of crops, including strawberries, snow peas, cayenne peppers, fennel (which, sadly, never fattened up), and six varieties of Heirloom tomatoes. As you can see on in one of our photos, the tomato plants were quite productive. At the peak, Preston was eating tomatoes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and Dash took after him, opening his mouth willingly whenever offered.

The search for a new place to live continues. It’s amazing how small our 1500-square-foot condo feels. But it is not easy finding the right house. The ones with garages never seem to have yards. The ones with yards are on sloped lots (feeding Aimee’s fear that the big earthquake will destroy it). We hope to move in 2013 and to stay in the same neighborhood and school district, both of which we really like.

The newspaper world is still tumultuous. There were no layoffs at The Oregonian this year. But one of The Oregonian’s sister papers, The New Orleans Times-Picayune, began printing only three times a week. It’s sad to think that Portland could become a city without a daily newspaper. In the meantime, Aimee is trying not to think too much about the state of the industry. Rather, she is focusing on doing what she loves. Writing about all the events at the courthouse continues to make for fascinating days!

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