Today in iPhonography 6/30

Laundry while watching Dawson's Creek on Netflix
Scrubbing of toilets and bathrooms in general...

Thank goodness for coffee!!


On My Mind

I don't dance nearly enough.  I'm currently fixing this by dancing first thing every morning.
Usually in my bathroom while singing into a hairbrush.  It's all kinds of awesome.

Currently the other moments of my day are spent obsessing over:

This milk steamer - which I will be purchasing someday

This poster - which I will be putting in my kitchen

This dresser - which is the color I will be painting my current one

This clock, picture frame, dry erase board and duvet cover all from IKEA

I'm getting pretty jazzed about my new apartment and can't wait to get it all set up and show you pictures!!


Keep Calm and Stay Weird

Inspired by the Keep Calm poster craze, I designed one for my new home... Portland, Oregon.

Love it?  You can buy it! 

Purchase it for yourself or as a gift on Etsy here.

Curious as to where this poster's craze was started?  See the story below.  So cool!


"Awake My Soul" | Mumford and Sons

While sitting in Starbucks last week, enjoying a tall Americano (black, with just one pump of caramel syrup... perfection) my ears perked up when I heard an interesting folksy <-- what, it's a word, song playing over the sound system.  I couldn't quite make out the song, but distinctly heard a banjo and accordion and I had to know what song it was!  I quickly grabbed my iPhone and opened the Shazam app to find out who was playing this magnificent tune. 

*side note, if you don't have this app, drop everything you are doing and go download it, right this second.  you will not be sorry.

It was a song by a group named Mumford and Sons, and the song was titled "Awake My Soul."  After playing it on repeat a few, one hundred, a thousand times, I finally purchased the album through iTunes and have been listening to it nonstop since. 

It. Is. SO GOOD!

Here's a recording of the guys singing "Awake My Soul" in someone's living room before one of their shows.  Watch it. Love it. Share it.

I love these lyrics!  My favorite lines are:

Lend me your hand and we'll conquer them all
But lend me your heart and I'll just let you fall
Lend me your eyes I can change what you see
But your soul you must keep, totally free

In these bodies we will live, in these bodies we will die
Where you invest your love, you invest your life

Bad. Ass.

What songs have you been listening to on repeat these days?  I'd love to hear some suggestions!


Things I'm Afraid to Tell You

There's been a movement around the blogosphere recently, starting here, where bloggers are standing up (virtually) and admitting that not everything is great, fine and dandy.  I'm the first to admit that I don't sit down to my blog on a regular basis and write the good, the bad and the ugly.  I tend to stick to just the "good."  I want my blog to be a remembrance of the positive and fun things I've enjoyed in life.  Sure, I have a bad day or moment here and there, but why would I blog about that and choose to remember it for eternity?  I'd rather forget it and move on, thank you very much. 

However, I'm intrigued by the idea of listing the traits that I'm not particulary proud of, in an effort to embrace them and remember that no one is perfect.  It is often our "faults" that people will find most endearing... or at least, that's what I choose to believe.  Haha!

So here, world (or at least my few readers) are the Things That I'm Afraid to Tell You:

I am a Free Spirit.
I think for myself, march to the beat of my own drum and take each day as it comes.  When I was a kid and people (especially my family) would refer to me as "free spirit" I thought it was a bad thing, but recently I've chosen to embrace it.  Waking up each morning without a plan for the day and living each moment to the fullest makes me happy, so why fight it?  I'm respectful of others' beliefs and thoughts and can mesh into just about any conversation while staying true to myself. 

I Avoid Confrontation.
I just plain don't like it.  It makes me uncomfortable, and I don't like to be uncomfortable.  I enjoy a good spirited and passionate conversation, but will not argue with you.  I may think differently, but am able to see your side and find some truth it in it for myself.  That being said, I do not tolerate mean spirited or bullying behavior.  I may become angry if you are putting down someone else who doesn't have the ability to stand up for themselves, or even if they do, I just don't tolerate it.  I will still love you and be your friend, but I will ask that you stop and treat others with love.

I am a Chameleon.
A good friend once described me as a butterfly, flitting around picking up pieces from everywhere I land to add to my colorful array of self.  I took this as a complement, but sometimes it's difficult to not know who my true self is.  I know what I think and believe (for the most part, because life has a way of teaching me knew things to think and believe each day) but am most comfortable meshing in with my surroundings. 

I Doubt Myself. A Lot.
I'm constantly having to throw out big goals (marathon, century bike ride, move to Portland, etc) and work to achieve them just to prove to myself that I can do it.

I Don't Believe I Deserve Good Things and Am Genuinely Shocked When I Get Them.
I'm working on this one.  The other day I was at the playground with the boy I nanny and saw a little girl about 10 years old.  She reminded me of myself so drastically that I was uncomfortable for a moment.  She was bigger, but very happy and playing with friends.  She was an obvious leader among her group and had an amazingly, beautiful spirit.  As she walked away from the group when it was time to head home, I noticed some of her spunk leave in the absence of her peers.  Her self doubt and vulnerability were extremely apparent.  I wanted to run to her, give her a hug and tell her, "You are beautiful, please don't ever doubt that. You are perfect and whole and lovely just the way you are.  Walk with your head held high, and the confidence that you can do anything you set your mind to, because you can."
Then I started to cry because I realized I was talking to myself and didn't believe it.
Again, I am working on this.

I Hate Being Single, but am Uncomfortable Dating.
I don't know who I am, so answering incessant questions about myself makes me feel like a poser.  I am social and love to meet new people, but feel drained after. 

Ugh.  Ok, that's enough for now.

I'm going to steal a paragraph from my friend Erin's blog and add the footnote that, "All of these things are more pronounced when I have gotten out of my healthy routines and lost my center. When I keep to a regular schedule of sleep, morning walks, exercise, healthy eating and meditation, along with at least one evening a week to myself, these big raging neuroses become colorful little quirks."


There's a Birthday to Celebrate!!

Happy Birthday to the best sister-cousin ever!!!
Love you so much Jill!

Here's to you today, and many more Happy Birthdays to come!


Today in iPhonography 6/14

you know your job rocks when you get to wear t's and spandex every day | last day before summer
reading in the sun, on repeat | 2 mile trail run - glorious

Elementary Daze

While picking up The Kid from school today (his second to last day, woot!) I was struck by the thought of how fleeting childhood is.  I know, deep, right?  But seriously, it is.  Watching him get so excited about another school year ending made me think back to my own elementary school days and how impactful they were on my life.  So I decided to write a blog post about them (naturally) and list out what I can remember as the highlights from each year.

Here goes:


School | Yacolt
Teacher | Miss Heart (if I remember correctly she was married the summer after I had her, but I have no idea what her married name would have been.)
Best Friends | Goodness, I wish I could remember!  I remember Quinton (see hilarious note below) but no one else.
Funny Memories | I remember being proposed to.  That's right, I was engaged in kindergarten.  That's how I roll.  One day during quiet time Quinton sat next to me and asked me if I would marry him.  I distinctly remember the stipulation being if he's not still living with his parents at age 30.  You still out there Quinton?  Living with mom and dad?  If not, hit me up!
I also remember spending a day at Miss Heart's farm for pioneer week.  We played in a barn and watched eggs in an incubator.  Having grown up on a chicken farm, I remember thinking it was boring but quaint.

First Grade

School | Maple Grove
Teacher | I can't remember!
Best Friends | I remember a girl named Tiffany
Funny Memories | Strangely this year is a blur, but I do remember it being the year of making plans with my girl friends of what to wear the next day to school so we were "cool" and matched.  I also remember my mom not letting me wear the chosen outfits a few times and feeling SO uncool.

Second Grade

School | Meadow Glade
Teacher | Mrs. Charbenou
Best Friends | Heather, Shinae, Tyler and Jayme
Funny Memories | I remember being yelled at by my teacher because I had interrupted her conversation with another teacher at recess.  Once she realized I had interrupted because a kid had fallen off the jungle gym and broken his arm she took off running, and never apologized.  I learned at an early age that adults are exempt from manners.

Third Grade

School | Meadow Glade
Teacher | Mr. Smith
Best Friends | Heather, Shinae, Tyler and Jayme
Funny Memories |  Ahh third grade, the year of learning cursive and my first male teacher.  I remember thinking he was soooo cool, and he was.  He read the Boxcar Children to us everyday.

Fourth Grade

School | Meadow Glade
Teacher | Mrs. Duncan
Best Friends | Heather, Shinae, Tyler and Jayme
Funny Memories |  I remember being in trouble constantly for talking (which wasn't necessarily new) and Mrs. Duncan got fed up one day and put my desk in a corner so I had no neighbors to talk to.  She was frustrated when she realized I'd still talk, just to myself, and put me back with the rest of the class the following day.

Fifth Grade

School | Meadow Glade / Immanuel Lutheran (we moved halfway through the year to Idaho)
Teacher | Mrs. Knight / Mr. Barenclau
Best Friends | Heather, Shinae, Tyler and Jayme / Jill
Funny Memories |  This was a TOUGH year for me.  My family moved to Idaho halfway through the year and I was just 11.  I thought my entire world had ended.  Jill (my cousin) moved with us a few months later and that made it better, but it was still tough.
Once in Idaho, I met my first full-fledged crush, my hot new teacher, James Barenclau.  (And by crush, I mean I was IN LOVE with the man.)  He read books to us, and my favorite was "There's a Boy in Girls Bathroom" by Louis Sachar.  There's a part where the boy in the book has a crush and is told the way to start a conversation with her is to talk about the weather.  The next morning he holds the door for her and asks, "Lovely weather we're having isn't it?"  and she responds, "yes, quite."
So the next morning as I enter the classroom, low-and-behold, James holds the door for me and says, "Lovely weather we're having isn't it?"  and I responded, "Yes quite."  This went on, every morning for the rest of the school year.
I was so in love.

Sixth Grade

School | Clover
Teacher | Mrs. Pearson
Best Friends | Darrelyn and Janelle
Funny Memories |  This school was TINY and I had only 6 kids in my class.  I remember loving Mrs. Pearson and feeling like I was going to fly away when on the swings.  (random!)

Seventh Grade

School | Castleford / Clover
Teacher | Various (at Castleford) / Mr. Boetcher
Best Friends | Darrelyn, Janelle, Amy and Eric
Funny Memories |  I started out at Castleford (a public school) and about half way through the year my grades began slipping and my parents decided to put me back in Clover.  I had been exposed to lockers, homeroom, football players, my first boyfriend and freedom... of course my grades were slipping!

Eighth  Grade

School | Clover
Teacher | Mr. Boetcher
Best Friends | Darrelyn and Janelle
Funny Memories | I remember yawning in the middle of math class one day (it was a LOUD, drawn out yawn) and I was sent to the principal's office for the rest of the afternoon.  8 years in school and I almost made it without any black marks.

So there you have it, my elementary days.  I'm impressed with my memory of most grades, but frustrated that I can't remember my first grade teacher's name!  What do you remember about your grade school days?


Today in iPhonography 6/13

a rare and special treat | best text ever
grocery shopping for taco night | sweet new kicks, perfect for summer


Today in iPhonography 6/11

run in the green | reading while the kid plays
more after school football (i'm going to miss this during summer) | starbucks break

Scene From the First Official Marathon (#2) Training Run

Since moving to Portland a little over a month ago, there hasn't been much running going on.  In fact, other than the occasional swim and bike ride, there really hasn't been much movement at all.  But all that is about to change!  On Friday last week I officially signed up for my second marathon with TEAM! 

I'll be running the Nike Women's Marathon in San Fransisco this October for the second time!!

I'm so excited!  Jayme, Danielle and Jessica are all doing the marathon as well, so it will be a fun little reunion.

This morning I got up and strapped on the ol' Vibrams for a lovely trail run/walk.  I only put in a mile or so, but it's a start and better than nothing!

Here's the view on my run...

Not too shabby huh?  Have I mentioned that I love the green here?!


Visiting Old Stomping Grounds

The other night I looked up one of my old elementary schools, Meadow Glade, and found out it's only 6 miles from where I'm currently staying!  I drove out there and walked around the playground, snapping a few pictures. 

I can't believe how many memories came flooding back as soon as I walked onto the campus.  My years spent here include some of my fondest memories.  I'm tempted to look up a few of my other schools (I attended 7 total) and walk around there too.

5 Best Decisions I've Made in My Adult Life

Inspired by this post by Holly, and this one by Chookooloonks, I decided to write about the 5 best decisions I've made since graduating highschool.

Depending on the day/week/month/hormone in which I write this post, these 5 things may vary, but I think overall this post is pretty universally true for me.

1 | Move to Boise

Boise is where I learned how independent I can be, how much I can rely upon my parents, and the value of true friendships.  Boise will always have a special place in my heart.

2 | Buying my Camera

I hemmed and hawed about spending the hundreds of dollars for my camera and lenses, and felt irresponsible by doing so, but oh how wrong I was.  Purchasing my camera was the best thing I could have done.  With it I have discovered so much, and without it, none of this would be possible.

Image by Joncee May

3 | Quit Full Time work and Finish my Degree

I often find myself joking about graduating with two BA degrees and not using either of them, but in reality, I use both everyday.  I learned a lot about myself and the world during my education, and I wouldn't give any of it back for the world.  (Although, I'll never feel good about the debt I have, that's just impossible)

4 | Sign up with TEAM

Self confidence, a renewed relationship with my brother and sister-in-law, best friends, a Tiffany's necklace.... just a few of the benefits from joining this incredible TEAM.

5 | Moved to Portland

I've only been here 5 weeks, and already the growth and self-realizations have been overwhelming.  I'm in love with this city, the people, the green and the opportunities.  Much more about this transformation and exploration to come - it is the name of this blog after all...

Your turn!  What are the 5 best decisions you've ever made?  Please leave a note in the comments, or a link to your own blog post about it!  I look forward to gushing over your accomplishments.

My Summer Bucket List

Inspired by Holly and Jessica, I decided to write myself a Summer Bucket List.

Travel + Social
  • Visit the Oregon Coast at least once each month
  • Visit Boise once in July and once in August (in the works)
  • Visit Saleen, Rhett and the girls in CA
  • Visit Seattle over the 4th of July (in the works)
  • Take the train to Vancouver, BC with Jacque and visit our friend Joe (in the works)
  • Join Meetup.com (done) and actually attend a few gatherings
  • Date more (by meeting guys at meetup.com's speed dating sessions)
  • Spend time using public transit and walking Portland in order to meet like-minded individuals 

Il Bel Far Niente - The Beauty of Doing Nothing
  • Take long walks (my goal is one each morning, we'll see how that works once my summer work schedule kicks in)
  • Read, read, read - make a list (future post!) of books and buzz through it
  • Value sleeping well with 7.5-8 hrs each night
  • Explore Portland with my camera in hand
  • Turn my phone off on the weekends
  • Decorate my new digs (hopefully apartment will be found soon) for a zen space where I can relax and recharge daily

  • Give Paleo a chance with a 30 day challenge
  • Purchase a George Foreman (I miss my old one!)
  • Resume daily green smoothies
  • Find one new recipe a week to try and blog about it
  • Make this iced coffee
  • Shop for produce at local farmer's market

Health + Fitness
  • Train with TEAM for second (!!!) marathon (in the works)
  • Explore Portland through this book with two walks per month (hoping to blow this one of the park... haha, no pun intended)
  • Yoga once per week
  • Lift weights twice per week with this book's guidelines
  • Ride my bike for transportation, and just for fun

Today in iPhonography 6/9

met up with Boise friend, Caleb, for a much-needed catch up | bought something pretty at TJ's
wii golf with the men | family time (Ian, Uncle Tobe, Aunt Diana and me)


Today in iPhonography 6/8

blessed by green everywhere | irony: me being paid to clean someone's house
my trusty sidekick, Bandit | perfect ending to the day

Today in iPhonography 6/7

a little bathroom love from my cousin found on the mirror this morning | newest read
new jeans... love | grocery shopping with K and we found the coolest cake


Today in iPhonography 6/5

as long as you don't smell it, this is awesome | kitteh wanting attention
best license plate ever | after school bball, a regular occurrence


Peter Pan Love

I've always loved Peter Pan.  The thought of never growing older.. or up.  The idea that you can fly away to a far off land full of adventure and pirates.  It all seems so magical. 

For some reason today Peter Pan is circling my mind, and I decided to post a few of my favorite quotes from JM Barrie's brilliant work:

“So come with me, where dreams are born, and time is never planned. Just think of happy things, and your heart will fly on wings, forever, in Never Never Land!”

“You know that place between sleep and awake, the place where you can still remember dreaming? That’s where I’ll always love you. That’s where I’ll be waiting.”

“One could mention many lovable traits in Smee. For instance, after killing, it was his spectacles he wiped instead of his weapon.”