Thursday, August 23, 2012

Brain Dump: 8/23

We've returned from Portland and it was a 'whirlwind of wonderful'.

We spent lots all our time with family and a lot transpired.  There was a ton laughing, some crying (me), 'oohs' and 'ahs' over beautiful wedding moments, moments of quiet whilst taking in family stories, and those moments where it became all to apparent how fleeting time truly is - it was all wonderful.

As an introvert, I reached my saturation point toward the end and as a result became a bit home sick (!), but all in all I felt like I got to know Matt's family on much deeper level and felt he and I walked away with a stronger bond.


Oh, and for those of you (like me) who are wondering - Portland is not all emo/hipster/dirty hippie kids.  It's a lot like San Francisco, except cleaner, less pretentious and infused with some incredible landscape.  As a plus the people are friendly, look you in the eye, and put community as a priority.  Not too shabby Portland - you certainly made me eat my words. ;)

We're back into the swing of things here at home,

with some new things but most things staying the same.  We've started eating according the the Whole30 plan and both Matt and I (though only two days in) are really taking to it with very little resistance.  We aren't following the plan as gospel, but the meal guides and shopping list heavily inform what and how we eat and it's always fun, to try to get creative within set boundaries.  Talk to me in a week though, I mightn't be so optimistic

This morning as I was walking to work (not even two minutes into my walk), I walked past a trio of guys and let me just tell you, what transpired was the highlight of my morning:

"Damn girl, you're a tall drink of water!  Oh SNAP!....You smell good too!"

Admittedly, I couldn't help but laugh because, honestly, when was the last time you heard someone exclaim 'SNAP' and seriously mean it?  Awesome.  And because I have this phobia about smelling bad in any way, I did appreciate the smell comment, despite what a weird addition that was.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Brain Dump: 8/13

The term brain dump is a disgusting one, but for lack of a better or more creative term, it's what it will have to be called.

  • Life has become a series of opportunities for boundary setting - more so now, than ever before it seems.  Perhaps this is because in the past I've been every the people pleaser and tried very hard to accommodate at the expense of my own sanity  - and lately, since asserting my boundaries, I've become more aware of times and area in my life where boundaries should and can be established.  I am by no means an expert at doing this, and admittedly it makes me nervous, but as I creep closer to (who am I kidding, I'm rapidly approaching) thirty, I've found that perhaps my 'knowledge of self' empowers me more to make those distinctions with more confidence. 
  • I've always heard that a woman is in her prime at thirty.  I'm hoping that this is the case.  Part of me thinks it's a confluence of finally not caring so much about people's opinions over your own, understanding how quickly time moves and how it should not be wasted on worrying about trivial things and being far enough down the road of life to have the perfect blend of time/money/physical ability to take on adventure. 
  • I've started to sweat more readily as of late and I don't care for it one bit.  I was never one to sweat, even in sweltering heat, which may or may not prove candidacy for me moving up the Darwin ladder of survival, however, lately, it's like I'm making up for a lifetime of being fresh as a daisy for sweating like a pig.  So unfortunate.
  • I'm prematurely labeling next year as the "Year of Many Weddings".  An unfortunately generic title, however it speaks directly to the fact that a lot of people I know are getting engaged of late and it's going to be a year of celebrating.  Honestly, it should probably hold a post-script as well - something to the tune of "and babies" as really it's the overlapping of the two - the last batch of weddings overlapping with what looks to be the first boom of babies.  I should probably start putting money away in a 'gift fund' as I anticipate 2013 to be a year of copious gift giving. 
  • I've already started Christmas shopping!  I know that some would say (my husband included) that's it too early, however I think if you see the perfect gift, getting it right away is the best option.  I always love to take my time finding the PERFECT gift for people and in the past, starting to shop in late fall made me feel like I was trying to make something work, rather than taking the time to find the perfect gift. 
  • As a result I've become obsessed with ebay.  I can see it developing into one heck of a problem.  And why is it that all the items I want are in Australia or the UK?  Shipping often costs more than the item itself.  Haha.
  • I'm currently reading a book about the influenza epidemic of 1918.  It's fascinating and gruesome at the same time.  I love reading about how the medical community was in a sprint to keep up with/ get ahead of the influenza and how it shaped the fledgling state of health care in the United States at the time.  I have had a couple nightmares about the symptoms of the 1918 influenza recurring in present day but it's not been enough to stop reading.  :)
  • I've been watching the Gilmore Girls, and it's hard for me not to feel like Lorelai Gilmore (the elder) is not the most immature woman EVER.  I've made it to Season Three of Gilmore Girls, but I'm thinking it's not long before I call it quits on the Ladies Gilmore. 
  • We leave for Portland on Wednesday!  Hazzah for vacation!  :)

Friday, July 22, 2011

Hit or Miss

Yep, that's me.  
And that face pretty much encapsulates my exact feelings about this week.  
And no, I wasn't drunk.  And yes, I have mastered the 'ugly face'.  You know, just one of my many talents.

It's been one of those know what I'm talking about right?  Where the only thing that's consistent is that the week has been TOTALLY inconsistent?  
I realize how insane this saying is - hit or miss.  It's quite a polarizing, black and white way of looking at things.  But isn't that sometimes, how life feels?  Like you've either got it or you don't?  Isn't that the constant struggle of most women, and men for that matter...finding balance in their lives...finding the happy medium that exists somewhere between hit and miss?  I'm starting to wonder if that place ACTUALLY exists.  Perhaps it's like Neverland, and it exists only in that space between sleep and awake.  
It's gotten mighty tiring living at these two extremes this week; and I'm glad I've somehow made it to Friday.  I can see you Saturday...and you've never looked better.  
And at the risk of sounding ridiculous the only that is going through my head right now is Anne's cheerful voice, "Isn't it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?"  Why yes, yes it is.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Walk About

It's not a particularly grey day fact it's quite beautiful outside.  However, I woke up rather wistful this morning, and have decided I am in the right mood for a walk through the park.  You know, one of those walks where the only soundtrack is the sound of your feet on the path and thoughts in your head?

Thanks for joining me.

Monday, July 18, 2011


In February we traveled across the pond to "jolly ol' London" to attend the Percy Grainger Festival.  Arguably my husband's favorite composer, we couldn't miss the opportunity to attend.  One of the days, Matt attended a day of lectures while I opted out in order to get to know London a bit better (in other words, I went walking for hours). This was my third time in London, and I'd always considered the city more like a 'friend of a friend' having experienced with die-hard anglophiles.  So, I was really excited to explore London and perhaps develop my own unique relationship with London. :)

(As a side note, we had no idea that it was London fashion week, and somehow I ended up behind security lines at the Top Shop fashion show (outside the building).  I only realized I had made a wrong turn when I was faced with a bevy of paparazzi, who were VERY disappointed when I turned the corner. Oh well.)

I snapped some pictures on my walk, of things I took a fancy to and having been playing around with them in Picnick.

I have so many more pictures, but I think I'll just leave it at that. :)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Brain (and photo) dump

It's been a really long time since I've written a blog post.  I need to get the mojo flowing so, expect some posts of utter randomness from me, just dumping thoughts and some favorite pictures from the summer in hopes that inspiration for some semblance of a coherent post will come.

This is the husband and me (whilst a pickle ball tournament went on in the background) during our recent visit to Kansas for the Fourth of July to see some of my family.  His smile makes me melt.  (And yes, those are faux designer sunglasses. I'm not label obsessed I'm just cheap - turns out faux designer glasses are cheaper than Target brand - they were only ten bucks at a kiosk in the mall, who knew?)

I started editing messing around with some of our wedding pictures (we got married in October, 2009) but I got overwhelmed by the fact that there are 2400 of them to go through.  Still, it's so much fun to go back through the photos and relive the day.  I remember feeling such overwhelming joy and peace the day of the our wedding.  Yes, there were harried moments, and some frantic last minute scrambling, but more than anything I just remember being so filled with joy.

Speaking of joy...this face brings me endless amounts:
This is our cat, Thomas.  Matt's trying to teach him how to walk on a leash/harness.  He has a lot of theories about how to achieve this goal, unfortunately Thomas seems to feel that playing possum is the answer to all of them. 

These are my sisters.  They are gorgeous...and smart, funny, talented...the list goes on and on.  

These photos were taken on Easter Sunday (my favorite religious holiday of the year!).  Growing up our mom made our Easter dresses every year, and it was always something each one of us looked forward to.  The tradition still continues (in a way) in that each year we all look forward to finding that new Easter dress.  There's always something wonderful about buying a new dress, wouldn't you agree?

Matt and I share the same computer and one day he made this collage and put it as our desktop wallpaper.  It was such a wonderful surprise.  We look so much younger here, I think.  This was three or so years ago at a friends wedding.  We were waiting to be called into dinner and we started an impromptu photo shoot.  The photos are taken by a wonderful friend of our who has recently started up her own photography business.  

Last but not least, I thought I'd share this little chestnut.  

I was going through some pictures when we had visited the San Diego Zoo, and realized the pose of the meerkat struck me as familiar in a way.  When I realized why, I couldn't help but share. :)

Monday, January 10, 2011

Joie de Vivre…

Like many, 2011 was ushered in with resolutions – but in many ways, I knew the start to this New Year would be different.

For starters, I had given thought to what I was resolving to do. This time around, it would not be resolutions to lose weight or to maintain an ideal I felt I was somehow failing to live up to in my day to day life. I've tried all that before, with limited to no success and I was tired of tarnishing a bright and shiny new year with the thought that its success hinged on my ability to be thinner or in having more people believe I somehow "have it all together." This is not to say that these goals were necessarily off base – it's just I realized that they required a shift in perspective.

What I finally saw was that the intent and thus the phrasing of these resolutions was all wrong (at least for me). The problem was the fact that the resolutions were born out of negative thoughts – out of incredible dissatisfaction, and if I'm being honest, incredible insecurity. No wonder I wasn't achieving my goals! My goals, instead of lifting me up and moving me forward, seemed to reinforce the terrible self image that I was trying to shed, leaving me in this stagnant quagmire of insecurity! With that understanding, I realized that I needed to really evaluate why I was making these goals – what was I hoping to achieve? It seems that for resolutions to be successful they need to come from a place of positive origination.
ie. Last year I resolved that "I needed to lose weight and be thinner" which is a resolution that has both:

  •  no tangible attainment, as thinner is objective and let's be honest, is a slippery slope when you start comparing and
  • originates from a place of personal insecurity and the lie that I continue to tell myself, that "if I could just lose the weight I would feel better both about myself and my life." 
In contrast, this year I have resolved to "Run a 5k" which:
  • is a clearly defined goal with a tangible and objective measure of success and,
  • will, as a side benefit, require me to incorporate a healthy amount of exercise into my daily life (BONUS!)
    C.S. Lewis once wrote: "[I]f you have taken a wrong turning, then to go forward does not get you any nearer. If you are on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; and in that case the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive man." (Mere Christianity) In reading this passage, it became incredibly clear to me what I believe I had been guilty of in my own life; of continuing on, hoping that things would get better instead of stopping and re-evaluating my course to make sure it was still the course I wanted to pursue.
    I won't go into specifics, but 2010 was a really hard, emotional and spiritual year for me. Being married is amazing, please don't misunderstand, but for me it's also brought along a lot of challenges related to personal identity, personal power and self worth. That being said, I looked back on 2010 and saw that the year had progressed much like a snowball – a million small decisions and commitments that amounted to me finding myself in December, miserable and incredibly burned out. I love my life, but I found the problem was that I wasn't savoring my life. There was no self regulation, no moderation – it was all 'go Go GO!' I finally realized that all those involvements and commitments, though each inherently good, in their sheer volume seemed to become distractions from really pursuing those things that fed me personally, and left absolutely no time for personal reflection. And let's be honest. I am not the victim here. I did it to myself and quite frankly I think the reason I did it was because keeping busy, for me, was better than the alternative – challenging myself personally – confronting my fear of the blank page, and asking myself what it is that I truly want and need. 
    So, armed with that knowledge, and fully acknowledging my propensity for busying myself with menial tasks I decided to make a resolution to enjoy (savor) my life. I know this sounds simultaneously saccharine and cliché but for me it came as a revelation; a new litmus test against which I could measure those decisions and commitments that would begin to come my way at the start of the New Year. I felt that this was the best way in which I could reclaim those things that made me 'me' that I had let fall by the wayside in my mad dash to be the most over-committed person in history. And I was very particular about the wording as I found that enjoyment, though it does mean 'to find or experience pleasure' also includes references to satisfaction and 'to undergo an improvement', which I feel acknowledges that those things we work for and work through can also be of great enjoyment. The first thing I did with this new resolution was to wipe my slate clean. I really looked at those things I had committed to weekly and realized there were only a few I desired to keep. I've begun to feel liberated by my free time which is great and finally I have found relaxation on the weekends. And I know that I've made a good decision because last night I had this amazing dream: I was having dinner with an old volleyball friend and her new husband (whom I've never actually met) and she suggested that we go for a walk after dinner. As we went walking though a forested area, she asked me if I had played volleyball recently and I said that I hadn't, and she turned around to look at me and said "That's understandable. With everything you went through I don't blame you for not playing anymore." And then she and I continued on our walk. Even now, recounting this dream, I can't help but well up with tears of joy. Most dreams I have prey on my insecurities and fears and I wake up traumatized or feeling isolated. I've had so many dreams where I'm back playing volleyball and one of my various coaches is pushing me on the court, while I, knowingly ill-equipped, don't put up a fight, but give in to their seemingly irrational requests. But in this dream, my friend (who I'm guessing is a manifestation of myself) finally acknowledged the hardship I'd been through and gave me grace in this area of my life. There was no pushing, there was no insistence. We weren't on court with the pressure on, we were in nature, and we talked face to face. And once we were resolved in our conversation, we moved forward. For the first time, in as long as I can remember, I felt at peace waking up from a dream.