Happening in my life right now:
1) My infant niece was born! My older brother and sister-in-law welcomed their second beautiful child into the world just over a week ago, and now my nephew has a little sister as his newest audience member. I just so happened to be visiting when SIL went into labor, so I have been staying with them since the 20th to help around the house and with Nephew so the new parents can get some rest. SIL has to get back to wrapping up her last few terms of nursing school next week, so I am going to go back to my mom's today and up to Bellingham to visit a dear friend on Thursday before I come back for another week of domestic life and hanging out with cute kids. My niece is crazy cute and is the most chill baby I have ever met. Niece is healthy and adorable, and her parents are doing well. Nephew has had his whiney, stubborn dial turned up a little, but is otherwise dealing with this change in his family dynamic like a helpful little champion. I love this family and it's quite cool to be able to be here to help.
2) The time has come to find a place to live that is not my mom's house. Mom and B have been welcoming and hospitable having me in their home for so long, but now I need to re-enter the outside world where I am a grown-up who can get herself to oncology appointments and the grocery store, pay her rent and bills, and live with people who are not family. It has been a while since I last felt independent, and I am nervous but ready to to be that person again. The one real barrier is the state of the rental market in Portland now, compared to the last time I was apartment hunting in 2010. Rent in Portland has jumped up substantially, and development has happened so rapidly in the city core that formerly affordable neighborhoods are overrun with units on the higher end of the price spectrum. Relying on disability until I am cleared to work full-time again (sometime in July, after my one-year assessment) is not helping my dismay when I look at my options. I am patient and not being forced out of my current place of residence, so I can be kind of picky… but being picky and low-income is not a great combination. Renting a room in a house or apartment with strangers is so far proving to be my best option. High-traffic, crowded houses are not an option, and I need to be somewhat close to the hospital where I have my oncology appointments (and by close, I mean I need to be within an hour's bus ride because they like to schedule me at 8am), so I see ads that fit my needs and personality about once or twice a week. Keep your fingers crossed for me.