Tag Archives: journal

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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Come At Me, 2015!!

Happy New Year! How is it 2015 already? Where did my 2014 go?

This holiday season was an absolute blur. Getting used to my new job and new commute, balancing Christmas with my parents and hubby’s parents, my birthday, back to work, parties and treats and presents and family fun! It leaves a girl exhausted (probably why I’ve been sleeping in every weekend). But I’m ready to take this new year by the horns!

For starters, we’ve managed to keep our first floor clean since Christmas, which is a feat for us. We came up with a cooking and cleaning schedule that seems to be working, rotating meals and chores and throwing in a weekly date night.

I also have an Erin Condren life planner headed my way, which, based on everything I’ve read, will just rock my world. I fully anticipate this thing to just completely change my life.

After, sadly, failing the second part of the CMA exam, I ordered updated study materials (because obviously right after I fail the test they completely change it up and my $900 study system becomes instantly moot) and intend to pass at the end of May, with flying colors this time. Everything else is finished for my requirements, this is the last thing holding me back from those three oh so professional letters being added to my business cards.

I’m also going to ease myself back into a running routine. My normal schedule has come back to me and sometimes I get home before it gets dark! (Changing jobs makes me feel like I’ve regained my sanity.) So yesterday we took the dog out for a short lap around the neighborhood and it felt good! I’m eyeing more races this year, and really have my heart set on Portland’s Rock & Roll half in May.

I also have ambitious blog goals, but I’ve said that before. Crossing my fingers that I can develop some discipline this year and crank out some content that’s been percolating in my brains!

I’m ready for you, 2015!

What are your goals for the year?

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Thankful Thursday – Fattening Friday

I think I’ve come to understand Thanksgiving more as I’ve grown. I’ve always loved Thanksgiving for the food (since my two main food groups are bread and potatoes), but the last few years especially, I love thinking about all I have in my life to give thanks for. This year, I feel like my list is especially long. First of all, I’m thankful for the new job I’m about to start (more on that later) but I’m also thankful for my little family and funyons, my health, my happiness, and everything about living in the northwest! Also for stuffing leftovers.

Stay tuned over the next few days for updates of all my latest life happenings, as well as a few tasty recipes (I was in charge of dessert this year).

I’m thankful for YOU, for reading this blog!

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On Life, Loss, and a Place Called Home


I’ve heard the same sentiment from many friends and acquaintances this week: you never think “it could happen here.” Until it does. And even then you can’t believe it.

On Thursday, a gunman opened fire in a building on the campus of my alma mater, Seattle Pacific University, killing one student and injuring a handful more. Thankfully, the heroic actions of one student stopped the gunman before the situation escalated further. It could have been much, MUCH worse, had Jon Meis not stepped up and done what we all hope we would do in a similar situation, and taken an opportunity to disarm and restrain the shooter until police could arrive.

This was shocking. This was senseless. This has shaken the community that I know and love. I usually refrain from discussing politics and/or religion, saving it instead for the privacy of my personal journal, but this hit too close to home. Part of me thinks “oh, I’ve been graduated since 2010, I should’t feel this shaken,” but this was my home for four years. This was where I learned to be independent. This is where I came into my own. This is where I learned the skills of my profession. This is where I got to experience my last few years of young invincibility, where nothing could go wrong. Where I lived within shouting distance of all my friends, and we stayed up late because we could (and because there was a marathon of Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders Tryouts on TV).

This small, Christian community always felt insulated to me, like any problem could be fixed here. I learned about my own faith here, and learned how to question. I learned how to think. I learned how to be a responsible human being. Anyone who knows this small school knows that once you go there, you are part of a family. You recognize names and faces of everyone in your class. You have an instant bond with other former students. It feels like my community has been violated, violated by this one person who woke up and decided he wanted to shoot up a school. I have many friends who still live or work on campus, friends that had to shelter in place and wonder what was happening on Thursday afternoon. I think about the seniors whose last week of college has now been tainted with this horrible act. The incoming freshman whose families are now worrying whether or not they will be safe.

I feel for the family of Paul Lee, who did not survive Thursday. I feel for the students who now have to process the senseless loss of a classmate. I feel for everyone whose courage and faith has been tested this week. But it has been an honor and privilege to see my university rise up in the face of adversity and speak words of forgiveness, of grace, and of healing. My peers have focused not on the horrific actions of the man who shall remain nameless, less he starts to feel some of the infamy he so craved, but on the heroic actions of a few students who said “not one more.” I am in awe of the fact that Jon Meis has not only had his entire wedding registry bought by complete strangers, but now has upwards of $30,000 in a crowd-funded account, just from people who wanted to recognize a selfless act. Whether he ends up accepting it or not, it is well-deserved. Had he not stood up, the death toll would likely not have stopped at one.

My friends and I have been shaken this last week, but it has also caused us to reflect on the time we spent at SPU. It was truly a blessing, and impacted my life in such a positive way. It helped me to solidify a quiet spirituality and relationship with God, one that does not need to be publicized or boasted, but one that helps to quiet and calm my hectic mind and keeps me focused on what’s important to me. I met some of my best friends at SPU, I was an RA for a floor of amazing girls, and I had fun. I was carefree (as long as it wasn’t finals week). This place has been so many things to so many people, and it is a place that I hold near and dear to my heart. It is my fervent hope and prayer that all of the current students and staff can heal from this, and also recognize the small moments of comfort and beauty in the brokenness. The students comforting one another. Everyone coming together to celebrate a life cut too short, and a young man that showed extraordinary courage in the face of danger and evil. This truly is a special place, and, even though SPU is hurting right now, God is at work there. Good is at work there. This doesn’t need to be about gun control, or about religion, or about mental illness, though all three issues are clearly present. This is about people supporting other people. This is about embracing the family we chose as students of Seattle Pacific University, and about the life we want to live as followers of Christ. This is about proclaiming love and forgiveness. We don’t need to pretend to understand why it happened, but we need allow ourselves to grieve what has been lost and become strong together in our brokenness.

I leave you with two photos. First, a picture of three best friends in their first days at college, with their futures ahead of them, and not a care in the world (except maybe a touch of homesickness). We came to this place together, ready to conquer the world of adulthood. To us, SPU was a place of endless possibility. Second, a picture of the same three best friends, plus the fourth who should have been in the first picture (but was probably behind the camera, from what I remember), five years later, five years wiser, better people for having attended Seattle Pacific University.

ashton kids



Please consider donating to the fund started to pay for Paul Lee’s funeral, as well as the medical bills of the other students injured: https://www.giveforward.com/fundraiser/prt4/spu-student-funeral

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Around Here – Spring Edition







Around here:
-we’ve been going to farmer’s market, every week, for strawberries and organic veggie starts for the garden (and I got the market basket of my dreams) and fresh made Popsicles and to stare at peonies
-I spent almost a week working from home with the pets while recovering from a cold that made me sound like I smoked a pack a day
-Ramsay has been ordered to lose six pounds, so we’ve been going on lengthy (aka three miles…he has short legs) walks on sunny evenings and discovering new paths and delightful neighborhoods
-we’ve been gardening up a storm (pics to come). My husband has a lovely farmer’s ran happening and my shoulders are already freckled. We’ve got lots in the works for backyard projects
-the Rose Festival Medallion Hunt was brought back this year, so we’ve taken up family treasure hunting in the last week. No success yet but I’ve found lots of parks in Portland that I want to explore

Spring makes me (and most other native Oregonians) feel alive in a way that doesn’t even seem possible in the winter. I love the sun. I love cotton jersey dresses from the clearance racks at Target and Old Navy. I love sandals. I love the smell of Home Depot, where we go weekly (seriously, if they could bottle it, I would either huff it or wear it as perfume). I love the petunia planter I put together for the front yard in an old fireplace ash bucket. I love the dog’s happy face after a long walk.

I am happy and I am healthy and there’s so much summer ahead!

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Why I Want to Blog

Lately I’ve been thinking about why I want to blog, as I’ve been talking more about this site with my friends and family. My jokey answer is that I want to be rich and famous and fabulous and get paid to write witty things about my life on the internet full time. But I tried to reflect on what I actually want out of this experience.

Mind dumping – I am constantly full of ideas and words that want to be said, but I don’t always let them out, I don’t always have the opportunity. There are home and cooking projects that I want to explore, experiences that I want to capture and reflect on. I need a place to pour out these reflections and keep them in one place, a place I can review and look back on.

Community – I love the feeling of community. I love good discussion. I dream of being part of a community of bloggers that support and encourage one another. I’m inspired by what I’ve seen so far in other blog communities. Also, I have friends and family near and far, and I love to share with them what’s going on in my life when we are so far apart. Two cheers for staying connected!

Productivity – Honestly, I need something that holds me accountable to do something besides stare at the TV. I think this sort of forum can provide me with that.

Sharing – I’ve always been more comfortable sharing ideas in writing, rather than verbal communication. I hate recognizing myself as part of that growing group of people that can’t have face-to-face conversation, but I’m just more comfortable in an environment where I can really consider and edit my words before posting them. I can still talk to people, don’t get me wrong, but I want to start sharing more of my life, and I like the blogging medium.

Learning to love writing again – It used to be one of my favorite activities. I miss it. I want to get it back in my life.

This is where I’m coming from, folks. Why do you blog? How do you decide what to write about?

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