Tag Archives: family

Hot Mess o’Life

I got my Erin Condren life planner and wrote out a whole two week editorial calendar and had all manner of high hopes and aspirations for these last few weeks. And then work got busy and our house got messy and our cat got sick and we had to put her to sleep and I became an emotional hot mess. So, in a nutshell:

I love my Erin Condren planner, though I’m still working on using it to its full potential. I managed to jam it into my purse so I pull it out whenever I have a moment to organize my life through the day.

I joining the Runner Chick training group based out of my local Roadrunner Sports store (with friends, obviously, because I am codependent when it comes to exercise). It’s been fun to get with a big group of people and run on Saturday mornings and I’m looking forward to continuing with the half-marathon group and HOPEFULLY register for the local Rock & Roll, because the medals are legit and pay tribute to the famed Portland Airport carpet (RIP #pdxcarpet). Plus running with pacers and trying to keep up with friends is very helpful for my split times. Stay tuned for more…I have to pay money for this group to ensure I stay dedicated.

Work has been crazy busy (end of our fiscal year, what what to my fellow accounting types!) but we make time weekly to order crazy noodles from the Vietnamese place down the street and my tummy loves it. Picture pad thai without the fish sauce plus the bok choy and some bigger noodles stir fried to ultimate deliciousness. Seriously I think I’ve had these once a week since I started my new job. Worth the splurge. Plus the bok choy makes it feel slightly healthier than it is.

Our baby girl, who’s been with my husband for something like 13-14 years, recently was diagnosed with Feline Cushing’s Disease (on top of diabetes, arthritis, and a benign tumor in one eye) and we made the excruciating decision that it was time to put her down last week. She wasn’t getting better with her medication, and her quality of life had decreased, but it was definitely the most difficult decision we’ve had to make as a family. I was in tears at my desk all day Friday, especially when I got this text message:

All the tears in the world every time I look at this.

Now we are loving on our furry baby boy who clearly misses his sissy and keeps running to her room looking for her. Time heals all wounds but this one is deep for us. We definitely lost a member of our family and it was a tough weekend for us. Aka I skipped my run (which, in hindsight, was a terrible decision) and we drank beer and ordered Chinese food and barely left our house.

These looks.

Now, it’s a fresh week, we have a clean house, and we are well rested after being forced to sleep on our couch for a week while we painted our bedroom. Clawing my way back onto track for 2015…still feeling the promise and still happy with all we’ve accomplished so far!

Now, your turn:
-How do you cope with the loss of a pet? How do you help your pets cope with the loss of a pet sibling?
-Are you in a running group?
-What do you think about the #pdxcarpet hysteria? (See examples here: http://pdxcarpet.com) As a lifelong Oregonian, this carpet has always signified coming home, and I have ALWAYS loved it, but I think the new pattern pays tribute in a fresh way that is not infested with 30 years of bacteria.

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You SNEAKY Christmas!

Why is it that these last few years, Christmas completely sneaks up on me? I feel like the Christmas season lasted so long when I was little, and now it feels rushed, between shopping and work and decorating and trying to crank out some cookies. Womp womp.

I tried to convince my hubby that we needed a tree RIGHT after Thanksgiving this year, to no avail, so we went to get one this last weekend. This is the main event that gets me in the holiday spirit. We have vowed to always cut our own tree for as long as we are physically capable of doing so.

So we dressed in our Carhartts and boots, hoisted Ramsay into the truck, and drove to our favorite little tree farm, where we spend an hour selecting the best Grand Fir of the bunch. Which is, without fail, probably too large for our house. Every year we say we’ll go smaller, but we just get so excited.

We literally had to snip off the top IN our living room to make it fit. But it was totally worth it.

I’m slowly reclaiming my life from 12 hour workdays (I start my new job on Monday) and am trying to get into a regular, healthy routine again. It’s hard to get back on the wagon. I’ve been making sure I get some good protein for breakfast, and today, I got lucky and came home before it was dark, so I took the dog on a longer than normal walk, because we both needed the exercise.

I have lots of post ideas percolating in my brain, so I’m hoping to sneak them into my schedule as I get the chance in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!

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PDX Snowpocalypse 2014

This time last weekend, we were legitimately snowed into our home. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the metropolitan areas in the Pacific Northwest, this is a rare RARE occurrence. Every time we even get a dusting of snow, all of a sudden it’s 24 hour news coverage and cars sliding all over the road. It started snowing on Thursday morning, and quickly escalated to blizzard like conditions. So I packed up my work and hightailed it home knowing that if I waited much longer I would be caught up in a traffic jam of nervous Oregonians trying to navigate chain-less and snow tire-less cars down the roads. Even though I left early, my commute time was tripled. By the time hubby was able to leave work, he was looking at three hours to get home, usually a simple 15-20 minute drive. I waited to crack open the wine until he got home, just in case I had to bundle up and go pull him out of a snowbank somewhere.

Friday morning, it was beautiful outside. We had probably 4 inches of snow at that point. I insisted that we walk to the store for a few essential edibles, because it was supposed to start snowing again. I say walk, because we had enough snow that no one in their right mind without 4-wheel drive was on the roads. We basically backpacked to get some frozen goods at Safeway.

Mountain Man

We literally filled a backpack with groceries. And we weren’t the only ones who felt the need to stock up. The store was PACKED with fellow backpackers and lucky saps who own SUVs. I wanted to scream by the time we fought our way through the aisles. So we stopped at our local divey watering hole for a few pints before we headed for home.

Snow Beer

This was a FANTASTIC choice on our part, because it made the walk home (half a mile up a considerable hill) much more pleasant. Plus this was our view:

Snowy Pond

The next day, we were FINALLY able to get Ramsay outside to explore the snow. We always lovingly refer to him as our California Boy, because the organization we adopted him from is a second-chance shelter that drives down to animal shelters in the LA area that have a high rate of euthanasia from overpopulation, and haul as many dogs as possible back up to Oregon for adoption. I HATE to think that my adorable quirky pup was on doggie death-row, but I digress. Ramsay is from Riverside, CA. And when we first got him, he refused to set foot outside in the rain. He HATED any sort of precipitation. When we got some flurries last year, and I tried to take him out for his morning walk, he gave me a look like “What, are you crazy?” and refused to move from the covered front porch. Needless to say, he didn’t take to Snowpocalpyse 2014 right away. But finally, he decided he NEEDED to play and sucked it up and started chasing snowballs. Then we took him to the school across from our house to play.

image (4)-001 Wild Explorer


Yes, I did make him wear his reflective jacket. Shut up, he loves it. It was so fun to go run around with him, and I’m pretty sure he had the time of his life jumping through snow that was probably 8-10″ deep at that point. Also he seemed to enjoy shoving his face in the snow, as evidenced from the photo above.

Though we were pretty cooped up for a few days, we had a great time having a family campout in the living room, watching the Olympics and sleeping in our sleeping bags. And eating like crap, mostly. For some reason, cabin fever leads to over-snacking. But I DID create a tasty fiesta shrimp bowl that I will blog this week. It came about when we started playing Chopped out of necessity with our freezer and cupboards.

There’s just something about a good snow. It was a great surprise long weekend!

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Montana Dreaming

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So Shayne and I just spent a wonderful week in Glacier National Park with my family (sidenote: I LOVE VACATION). We drove out on a Saturday, and came back the following Sunday. The days in between were jam-packed with hiking, soaking up the sun, thrifting, drinking, and laughter. The weather was incredible, and my cousins had really done their homework, so we went on some absolutely beautiful hikes. I 100% recommend that you visit Glacier sometime in the next 10 years before the glaciers disappear. And then I recommend that you hike the Highline Trail up to Granite Park Chalet, then down the Loop Trail (about 12 miles total). It was singlehandedly the most incredible hike I have ever done in my life.

You start out basically scaling a cliff (don’t worry, there’s a wire you can white-knuckle grip). You ford a bunch of cliffside waterfalls. You see marmots, everywhere, and beautiful wildflowers, and bighorn sheep. You have these amazing, amazing views the whole time, all  miles up to the historic chalet, which proved to be a beautiful spot to eat lunch. I have never seen such incredible views. Shayne and I did this with my two cousins, my dad, my uncle, and my outdoorsy aunt (the moms stayed home), and we all had a fantastic time, and were so proud of ourselves for finishing. The “kids” took the shuttle from the end of the trail down to the lake, bought a six-pack of Big Sky Summer Honey ale, and waded in glacial waters while waiting for our family to come pick us up. It was a fantastic day, and we all slept like babies afterwards.

This hike made me remember how much I love nature. I have a tendency to whine and complain when I start sweating (I know, I know, this makes me sound like a complete ass), but honestly, this trail was such a natural high that nothing could have gotten me down (though the second half of the hike was through a burned out forest and was a tad less picturesque).  The whole trip rekindled my love of the National Park system, places I’ve been visiting my entire life but probably started taking for granted in my cranky teenage years. I’ve vowed to get more hiking in locally while the weather remains decent, because there’s a bunch of hikes near the Portland metro area that I’ve been too lazy to get to. Plus it’s a damn good workout. My cousin was tracking our hikes with an iPhone app, and kept updating us with estimates of calorie burns. Shayne and I are both happy to be out in nature, so why haven’t we been doing it more often?

We spent the last night of our trip camping in the Apgar Campground near Lake McDonald, staring at the millions of stars through the roof of our tent. It wasn’t backcountry camping by any means, but it was amazing. I hope to do it again soon.

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So we bought a house…


This is what I’ve been doing for the past month. And finally, today…


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Sick Day Catch-Up

In my opinion, sometimes waking up feeling crappy is God’s way of saying “Hey, slow down and take a day to recoup.” Today is one of those days for me. I’ve been feeling the beginnings of sinus trouble for a few days (happens every year as the weather changes day after day), left work early yesterday with my face feeling swollen like a balloon, then woke up this morning with the worst pounding headache, like someone driving a screwdriver into my brain. So I called in and took a sick day, something I rarely do. I think I ended the year with at least five unused sick days in 2012. When I do take the day off, unless I’m dying, I try to be somewhat productive. Today I am looking forward to some blogging, some Pinterest time, some laundry and cleaning, and cooking dinner. And snuggling with the nice warm dog who is currently laying in bed with me.

It’s been far too long since I’ve written anything on here, per usual. Work has been busy. Personal life has been busy. The hubby and I have been exhausted in our limited downtime.

We’ve been getting our finances organized for a potential house purchase in the near future, and then trying to clean and organize our current living space to make moving out easier. Sidenote: if you live in the Portland-metro area and are considering purchasing a home for the first time, I highly recommend the Portland Housing Center (http://portlandhousingcenter.org/). PHC is a non-profit that specializes in helping first time home buyers by educating them on finances and the purchasing process, and partnering with trusted real estate agents and home inspectors to make the process go as smoothly as possible. We spent all day on Saturday at a Homebuying 101 class, learning all about how to prepare for the mortgage pre-approval process, searching for our dream home, and evaluating home inspections and needed repairs. It was super helpful in preparing us for this next step in our family journey.

In other news, I finally got my rear end to the gym yesterday. I’ve not yet gotten into a routine since having to quit CrossFit, despite talking about how much I need to get back in shape. Yesterday, my work besties and I had a lunchtime date with the treadmills at LA Fitness. We did 20-25 minutes of cardio, which involved me running for two five-minute stretches, more running than I’ve done in MONTHS. Then we did a little mini-WOD, 9-7-5 of deadlifts and some weighted straight-arm pulses. I could barely move today, it hurts so good. Tomorrow, I requested a good ab workout, because Lord knows, after the holidays I could use one.

Finally, here’s an adorable picture of my dog looking smart:


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Feeling Productive

This last week went by in an absolute blur. Lots of work projects going on which kept me up to my eyeballs in Excel spreadsheets at work. A restless dog who managed to tear up a 1099 we got in the mail, then spread it across the living room. He also ate a bandaid, AND attempted to eat a plastic spoon from Wendy’s.

This frantic week also meant cobbled together meals and a lack of trips to the gym. It meant chicken strips at the bar on trivia night (one habit I don’t think I can EVER break). We redeemed ourselves this weekend, at least from the food perspective. And we still are going strong on our month of sobriety…thankfully we only have to make it through one more weekend and I will be able to have beer during the Super Bowl.

I finally finally FINALLY got to the gym at lunch today for a little cardio sesh with my work BFF. It showed me how freakishly out of shape one can get in a few months. We wanted to ease back into things after dropping off the face of the crossfit planet a few months ago, so we did 25 minutes of intervals on the treadmill, which left us enough time to shower after, pick up lunch at the local organic grocery store, and get back to work and still have jobs.

I remembered that the treadmill is effing boring today. I would NEVER get bored during a 25 minute AMRAP but shoot, pounding the conveyer belt next to a bunch of other sweaty people was NOT fun. I’m going to force myself to learn to tolerate it. I decided I need to put together a good, efficient routine of machines/weights and treadmill, something I can tackle quickly, that will get me back into shape and rebuild some muscle. My goal is to get in there three times this week! 2013 Marge is going to kick some ass.

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(Almost) Halfway through Our Month of Sobriety

I confess, I told MAYBE one friend that I was working on a blog, until I posted my book list post to Facebook. I wanted to wait until I felt “established,” and had some positive feedback (in the form of comments, likes, and followers) before I risked throwing myself out there in front of people I actually know. So HI FRIENDS WHO DECIDED TO READ THIS!

Anyways, Shayne and I are almost halfway through our Sober January, and are definitely feeling a difference. I’ve noticed that I have a lot more energy, I’m happier, and have generally just felt better since I’ve been completely detoxed and given my liver a break. And it’s getting easier to be in the presence of alcohol without feeling tempted. Last week we were at a birthday party and I was practically salivating at the sight of pitchers and pints. This Wednesday, I went to trivia night with my friends and downed about eight glasses of water without batting an eye. As long as I really concentrate on my water, I’m fine. I even cooked with wine this week without taking some swigs at the same time. I’ve also felt MUCH more efficient at work, which is great, and makes the days go by a lot faster.

Now I’m just hoping that I can slowly return to alcohol come February without going binge-crazy. Because if we keep up our trivia winning streak, we are going to have a lot of money at Coach’s to blow on beer and fried goods.

As for healthy eating, I’ve been doing so-so. I started the week off good, with a Whole Foods salad/soup lunch. But then I had chicken strips twice. A big ol’ dinner of delicious handmade stir-fry noodles last night. Lots of Starbucks stops to try and stave the migraine I’ve been fighting for three days. BUT, since Shayne was inspired by the results of his Dr. Oz 48-hr Weekend Detox (we now worship The Great and Powerful Oz in this house), we’ve been doing a lot of smoothies in the blender, and that’s been a delicious and filling snack. We’re trying to stay balanced. As I type this, I am ignoring my husband who is packing the remains of our Papa Murphey’s pizza dinner into the fridge…we were watching football, what can I say?

One last thing: GO SEAHAWKS

I’m brainstorming some more exciting things, things that involve pictures, I promise.

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New Year, New Me? (Cliche, right?)

Ahhhh, January. The month of resolutions, new beginnings, fresh perspectives, etc. etc. It almost feels cliche to simply write the words. After a November and December filled with stress, uncertainty, and illness (stomach flu followed by hypothyroidism diagnosis followed by bacterial infection followed by lingering cold), I had some much needed vacation time over the holidays to clear my head, relax with my hubby, and get things done around the house. We had a nice quiet Christmas, Shayne threw me a great birthday, and we had a nice, relaxed New Years with friends. We also had a lot of down time to reflect on the last year, and what we wanted to change in 2013. We do this every year, and usually when we review our goals the following year it’s a little depressing, but we are determined to break that pattern. Some of our highlights for 2013 include:

-Less alcohol. We both over-consumed on vacation, and it really opened our eyes to an unhealthy pattern we’ve developed. So we’ve gone stone-cold sober for the month of January. It’s been much more of a struggle for me than I anticipated, which is a little concerning to me, but I think I’m finally starting to feel better, clearer, and more focused.

-Less takeout/restaurant food/expensive indulgences. Not only do we waste a lot of money going out, money that we NEED for a down payment on a house soon, but when we go out, we eat like shit. Chicken strips and I have had a long, tumultuous relationship through the years, and we need to see less of each other. We are back to strict meal planning, lots of veggies, lots of fruits, and lots of water. Our kitchen is reasonably clean, and we’ve been cooking up a storm. Today, when I ate lunch at Whole Foods, I had a salad and soup, instead of the chicken strips and fries that are so delicious from the grill.

-We are vowing to LOVE LIFE this year. Struggling with depression and anxiety, especially during these last few stressful months, has really brought us down, and we are determined to turn it around. We are grabbing life by the horns in 2013! Balls to the wall! Go big or go home!

As for a more personal goal, I want to write more on this blog, in hopes of keeping myself accountable and also fostering my former love of writing. I hope to use this as an outlet, a mind map, an extension of my brain with a cooler layout.

Here’s to 2013, our Q4 audit that starts next week at work, and 24 more days of a completely alcohol-free me!

Happy New Year!

(this photo was from a more hard-partying NYE than this year, but I love it)


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Blue Christmas

I’ve dealt with anxiety for many, many years of my 23 year-old life, and depression for the last 4-5 years (it started up towards the end of college). I’ve done therapy with various counselors and methodologies, taken different medications, tried journaling, herbal supplements…you name it, I’ve tried it to break free of the funk. I’m still frustrated daily by these mental blocks.

Lately, these feelings have been bogging me down more and more. I haven’t been going to the gym, which kept them at bay for a long while, I haven’t seen a counselor since college (because my college counselor was awesome and no one can compare to him), and the weather has been dreary and depressing which doesn’t help.

I’m glad that the mental health stigma, at least for these two issues, seems to be waning. A ton of my friends are openly in therapy, and make a point of being self-aware in our conversations. I feel understood within my current social groups. My friends encourage, rather than ridicule.

Originally, this post had a direction I wanted it to go, but somewhere in writing, I lost that and it turned more into a rambling reflection. I think I’m more mindful of my feelings during the holidays because so much time is spent with family, and you’re supposed to be having a great happy time from mid-October through New Years. This year, I’m determined to not be down during the happiest time of the year. I used to love every part of Christmas, and it didn’t take effort, it just was. This year, I’m going to focus more on what really matters-my faith, my family, and the happiness of others. We picked kids off the giving tree at the mall today, and I look forward to buying gifts for the teenage girl I selected (and buying her a kickass journal, per her request). I’m excited to make cookies with my husband and Christmas crafts with my friends. I’m looking forward to having a quiet Christmas Day, just the two of us. I’m going to pull myself out of the dark for this beautiful season.

More (coherent) later, when I’m not on the verge of sleep. I’ll get this blog thing figured out yet.

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