Spring in Portland, OR.

ft. our neighborhood

Spring in Portland, OR is seriously one of our favorite things about living here.

The colors of all the flowers are incredible and the weather is sooo amazing. We take neighborhood walks almost every day and I finally remembered to bring our camera to capture some of it! Also, there are these super cute ‘mini libraries’ where you can borrow a book or drop one off along your walk. 😍

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We have a massive bush of hydrangeas on the side of our house with a bench in front of it and it’s always so nice to sit out there! The blues are something else. 💙

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We just cut this little one to put in a small vase for our kitchen. 😊

Processed with VSCO with hb2 presetProcessed with VSCO with hb2 presetHow adorable is this!? 💕

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Spring: a lovely reminder of how beautiful change can truly be.
Unknown

Love at Crater Lake, OR.

Crater Lake is known for its blues… but when you’re there at sunrise or sunset, the colors you get to see are so unbelievably magical.

We had already planned to wake up early, but did not expect to witness the most magnificent sunrise. We felt like we had the whole place to ourselves because no one was around us. This place is also very special to us because it was the last road trip we were able to take Layla on before she passed away.

Experiences like this always remind us to appreciate and love the little things in life. ❤️

Look at those colors!! 😍


Our little family at sunset.


This viewpoint was perfect. It felt like the lake wrapped all around you.


Sometimes you gotta hide behind a bush to get those ~*angles*~ of Wizard Island. Photography can be a pretty funny hobby.


The girls and the moon.


Mount Thielsen in all of its glory in the early morning.


Sunsets here are pretty darn great, too.

This grand show is eternal. It is always sunrise somewhere; the dew is never all dried at once; a shower is forever falling; vapor is ever rising. Eternal sunrise, eternal sunset, eternal dawn and gloaming, on sea and continents and islands, each in its turn, as the round earth rolls.
John Muir

If Crater Lake isn’t on your bucket list yet, it should be!

 

The Bitzers

An Unexpected Adventure.

This weekend we were planning to backpack up to a fire lookout in Mount Hood, Oregon. On the way there, we started noticing snow along the forest roads. I always get a little suspicious with road conditions once snow starts to appear, but Michael gets… a little ‘confident’ in his FJ when if comes to a lot road-wise. 😜

When we got to huge snow covering on the road, he pressed the gas and we plowed right through only to get us stuck in about 2-3 feet of snow. It took us an hour and a half to get out because all we had to use was a poop shovel, a skillet, and two hiking poles to plow all of the snow away from his truck. It was exhausting, but so hilarious after it was all done.

 

We obviously had to change our plans last minute, so we looked on google maps and found Timothy Lake was pretty close. There were also campsites you could backpack in!

It. Was. Beautiful.

We had absolutely no service with no one around us. After a stressful week of work and school, it was exactly what we needed to unwind. 20190511_143800

Once we set up everything, we hiked about five-six miles around the lake. We got back to camp right in time to set up the hammock and catch the sunset. 🧡41C51B51-3562-416A-8B8A-7505E545E9A1

We got to fall asleep with the tent rain-fly off all night because the weather was so beautiful (it was definitely chilly though and the allergies were kickin’ when we woke up).

You could see the stars through the pine trees that surrounded us. You could hear the soft waves from the lake. And you could hear the leaves rustling in the wind as it blew. It was so relaxing and we couldn’t have had a better weekend, despite the unexpected changes.Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

We spent the next day at the lake and soaking up the sun as much as possible. Spring in Oregon is one of the best times, especially after a gloomy winter. 🌞Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

Processed with VSCO with a6 presetWe got into the lake, but the water was so freakin’ cold! We didn’t stay in too long. That is something we miss: warm waters to swim in. Oregon is definitely missing that.

Now that winter is over, we are planning a lot more adventures and we can’t wait! Hope everyone else had an amazing weekend as well. 😊

Community.

We reached out to a private online community asking for advice regarding our harassment situation from Kimi, Michael’s ex-girlfriend. What we did not expect was the level of response we received. We got over two hundred messages about other people’s experiences dealing with either a sociopath, a narcissist, a psychopath, a pathological liar, and/or someone with borderline personality disorder. The common trend was that the person they were dealing with or dealt with was usually always an ex-significant other. Between the personal stories to the professional advice from strangers we received, it was all very eye-opening.

What I’ve taken away from this is:

Michael’s ex will never, ever take responsibility for her actions. She will always blame others for her downfalls and her mistakes. If she’s not blaming someone, then she’s creating lies in order deflect the situation while victimizing herself. At this point, there is no capacity within her for us to logically reason with.

The realization of the type of person we are dealing with is a sobering one. Despite this, her issues have no bearing on the life I’ve built no matter how hard she tries to tear mine down.

Jeanie

Our harasser.

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Since April 2017.
Michael’s ex-girlfriend from 2013-2014.


Below you can find some of the things she has said to illustrate her behavior.

“Chinks, go back to where you came from.”

“Stupid Asian cunt.”

“You should die.”

“You’re a drug dealer that cheats on your federal drug tests.”

“He deserves a shit piece of meat, which you are.”

“Too bad you guys didn’t fall off the cliff.”

“Stupid chink.” 

“He keeps calling me. I’m trying to tell you he’s cheating on you!”

“He’s cheating on you.” 

“Watch me ruin his life.”

“I won’t stop till I’m satisfied.”

Kimi Bernhardt

 

Parts Unknown.

Jeanie here.

When I was in college, I was obsessed with the food industry. I was just beginning to fall in love with cooking. I found myself reading endlessly about different styles of cooking from different chefs. When I found out Anthony Bourdain and Eric Ripert were visiting a nearby university for a speech, I couldn’t pass it up. I was at the edge of my seat hearing about their culinary stories and their friendship. What stood out to me most was when he was asked where was his favorite country to visit he said, “Vietnam.” He kept talking about how much he fell in love with the food, the people, the country, and the culture when he visited there and it made me fall in love more with my family’s history.

His passing stunned the both of us, especially me.

I’m in disbelief that someone so loved, inspiring, and unique struggled with such dark demons that he couldn’t imagine his place in this world anymore. After writing about all of the hidden secrets of the culinary world, we are left wondering about the unknown parts of his mind. I just hope so deeply that he somehow found the peace he was looking for. Our thoughts are always with the loved ones that people leave behind.

Something About Us.

Hi you guys!
We are a little intimidated, but excited to start sharing more about our lives here.

We both have a mutual love for learning about photography and sharing our adventures via our Instagram, @thebitzers.

However, we want to share more about us. The outtakes. Our behind-the-scenes. Blogging is an entirely different animal, but we hope that some of our personal experiences can be relatable to someone out there.

To introduce ourselves, here are some things about us!

Jeanie here.

  • I love love love to cook. If there is anything I do to unwind, you can find me in the kitchen or the grocery store or even just thinking about food.
  • I currently work/study in the field of oncology. Cancer has had a pretty significant impact on my life, so I couldn’t imagine doing anything else career-wise.
  • My mom is hilariously over-superstitious about life. I am a little scared I may become like her, but maybe that’s not such a bad thing because she’s an incredible woman.
  • Guilty pleasure? Ice cream. Fries. Naps. Sometimes all at once, sometimes not.
  • I used to paint a lot, especially portraits of others. I was in several art shows up until college and it was one of my favorite times when I was younger. Taking photos and cooking has now become my creative outlets.
  • What I can’t stand? Being misunderstood.

Michael here.

  • I love working with my hands: building things, gardening, MacGyver-ing things, etc.
  • I work in public health working with infectious disease surveillance. AKA I work with microscopic things that can cause some serious illnesses and try to predict when those outbreaks can affect people.
  • I’m a constant daydreamer for new adventures. On my GoogleMaps, you’ll find a ton of saved pins relating to unique sites to explore, places to camp, favorites places I’ve been, and adventure suggestions from people I’ve met.
  • I enjoy my daily reads from Reddit, NPR, or The Oregonian. 
  • I grew up surfing and that is the one sport I wish I could do more often. Need to learn how to adjust to the cold waters of the west coast.
  • Guilty pleasure? Video games, particularly PUBG or Battlefield.

First Impressions.

Him: She looks so confused.
   moments later
Her: Why is he all of a sudden talking to me…

What can you say! He’s naturally observant, and I’m a complete skeptic. It’s not always love at first sight, that’s for sure. 🙂

Michael.
I just flew back into Austin from a long work trip and the first thing I wanted to do was grab breakfast with Layla at one of my favorite spots. I was already standing in line at this cafe when she walked in with her friend. She looked so confused. I figured she was because there was no hostess.

Jeanie.
I was visiting my best friend from Dallas and before I was gonna drive home, I wanted to check out this place for breakfast. I got in line and couldn’t figure out if I ordered or sat down first! He was standing in front of me when he got our attention to let us know the ins-and-outs of the place and also gave us some food recommendations.

I am naturally a stubborn skeptic, so I purposely didn’t take his recommendation and ordered something different haha.

He offered us a seat at his table with Layla because it was a packed restaurant with only one table left.
I politely declined.
My friend (who unknowingly became my wing-woman) said yes.

Sooo.. we sat with him.

When they say sometimes you have to go with the flow and be open minded to unexpected situations, it’s so so true. The conversation veered straight into science things, the outdoors, hiking, our dogs, traveling, etc.

Michael.
She was more shy than her friend, so I didn’t feel like I got to have a good conversation with her, but I knew she was leaving after this. I ended up asking if she had time before leaving to come with me and Layla to a dog park. She actually said yes.

At the park, there was something that clicked for me. Throughout our conversation, she was opening up more. I couldn’t help but feel completely captivated by her smile and her…energy? It’s hard to even explain. There was something about her that made me realize I wanted her in my life.
I ended up giving her my business card hoping she would message me.

Jeanie.
When I got home four hours later, I texted him. I even told my best friend I wasn’t going to, but I couldn’t help myself. I realllllyy wanted to talk to him again and I didn’t want this to be a missed opportunity.

And that’s how it all began! A chance encounter at a coffee shop with a stranger who became someone much more than that.

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