About Dana

Profile picI live in the beautiful Pacific Northwest just outside of Portland. I don’t mind all the rain we get since it affords us the constant varying colors of green. Besides, most of the time it is a gentle rain which often leads to cozy indoor times – something I’m good with.

I am a thirty three year old mother of two. I have a super energetic, loving, funky, fun, eight year old girl and a thoughtful, hilarious, bright and creative twelve year old boy. It seems like forever ago but I also had the privilege of helping raise my brilliant and artistic twenty and twenty one year old step sons. I have been with Jason for about fourteen years, married thirteen. Our relationship is shifting but we are still in each other’s corner and he’s still the greatest guy I could have a family with.

I recently went back to school full time, last fall, to finish up my bachelor’s degree.   I am majoring in economics, minoring in political science. So basically my life now revolves around assignment deadlines and trying to get good grades. Before that though, I very much enjoyed volunteering in my kids’ school, usually helping in the classroom and staying absolutely too busy, as I like it, with all my hobbies.

I am a food enthusiast and value good wholesome, as close to natural as one can get in America, food.   I love to grow vegies and fruits and buy clean produce from local farmers to can and preserve. I really enjoy fermenting and still get a kick out of each batch of bubbly food and naturally brewed wine I make.

In my dreams I own a farm with a couple cows, pigs, chickens and rabbits for meat, maybe some sheep, too. I used to have chickens for eggs (I have had quite a few chickens over the years) but it turns out no one in my family should be eating them as we are all sensitive to them so I re-homed the chickens when I started back to school. I have raised and butchered my own meat birds. Right now the only pet we tend to is our Rhodesian Ridgeback/mix dog.

I like to build and remodel things, especially using old materials, and I have slowly enjoyed working on our outdated home – built-in shelves here, restructuring the too long stairs there to make room for a wood stove (one day), a new wall and closet door, a chandelier – those sorts of things. Fifty percent of the projects I have started are finished. To date I have built a hen house, a broiler house and a chicken coop with a two story fort on top for the kids. I still have some things I want to do to the fort to make it more awesome.

So basically, I will never, ever run out of things to do and I’m okay with that. I read in “Run Like a Mother” that I think it was Oprah who said you can only truly devote your efforts to three things at a time. I am unwilling to give up any of my interests so I accept that I must dabble in each.

Mostly I get a kick out of raising my kids, talking to them, philosophizing with them, watching them grow in their interests. They are involved in various extracurricular activities and like many parents out there, Jason and I are always looking for balance between what is useful and constructive for them and what is just overkill.

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Caitlin and Anthony

Surrogacy has been one of the most enriching experiences of my life. I expected it to be awesome but it has been greater than I could have imagined. I gave birth to a beautiful, precious little girl in May 2013 and am now pregnant with a second child for the same amazing family. It is a privilege to be so intimately involved in watching two guys who wanted to start a family, do just that. They are such amazing parents: attentive, loving, affectionate, setting boundaries, excited about every little milestone and beaming with pride always. They send me stats on Eileena’s well baby checks and I get to see pictures often! She is precious, Chris and Marce are delightful, and my family and I are privileged to be a part.

Here are some pics of my kids and me having some summer fun!

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Anthony at the lake! Making faces because that’s what he does to camera lenses. 🙂

 

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Caitlin at the river! Not pictured is her handful of snails.

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Anthony – In case you can’t tell, the look is, “This once I shall let you photograph my sexy (his favorite word for describing himself) face, only because I am surrounded by my cousins and don’t want to make a scene.”

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They are over “the fortress” which is now just one post from an old dock that can be seen deep under the water. When I was a kid you could see part of the platform, too.

Me with the crew at North Twin Lake!