This has been a wonderful week of organization and completing household chores that we’ve been meaning to get done since…basically since we’ve moved in. Our apartment hunt after initially moving to Portland was so frantic and desperate that we were looking to sign for almost anything as a short-term solution. Luckily, we initially like the place we ended up signing for and locked ourselves into a six-month lease that would have a rolling month-to-month lease afterward for as long as we want ( that actually seems to be quite the norm in Portland ). So we moved in, but have had it in the back of our minds that this could be a temporary situation. We’ve set up our furniture and unpacked boxes, but have refrained from putting anything up on the walls and have even been using an empty box as a table against a wall that would be perfect for a console table. For this reason, our home has felt incomplete. This weekend we sat down and decided that even though our apartment has its imperfections ( ahem, looking at you noisy neighbors and horrible oven ), it ultimately satisfies everything we need right now and we are not about to go through the hassle of moving anytime soon. So, we got some more holiday decorations, a table instead of a box, we’ve hung some stuff on the walls, and are making plans to paint some color into the place! And just with a few adjustment we’ve been holding out on, it suddenly feels more cozy and more like “home.” Maybe I’ll give a “tour” when it’s all completely set up in the New Year! Continue reading
This morning I woke up to the cheers and exclamations of my neighbor and her elementary school-aged son from our courtyard outside my bedroom window. I crawled out from under the warmth of the covers to peek out at what was happening between the early morning light-filled cracks of the window blinds. Outside was a snow-globe of flurries blowing in the wind and sticking to tree branches with the two figures of my neighbors laughing in absolute wonder as their boots made footprints on the sidewalk and the cold air pinched their cheeks rosy. It was no more than a moderate dusting by Midwest standards, but for Portland it was an unusual wintertime miracle. I smiled as I watched the boy run between snowflakes in complete bliss and awe. Judging by his exclamations, this was the first snowfall he had witnessed firsthand, and it was refreshing to see the pure excitement that comes so naturally to children. I need to start living my life that way again.
It doesn’t take long after Halloween ( sorry, I’m not about to wait until after Thanksgiving ) for me to start playing Christmas music…and listen to it almost exclusively. I’ve mentioned it before, but I love the Christmas season and totally buy in to all the special music, decorations, and once-a-year festivities. If I can only listen to music in a
one-month two-month window, I’m going to go big or go home. Continue reading
Whenever I come back to my childhood home, I love to fill a sliver of the quiet space with baking–specifically banana bread. I’m not sure what it is about making banana bread in my childhood home, but it’s one of the only places I crave the freshly baked smell and the subtle sweet taste to go along with coffee in the morning. Plus, my parents have recently re-done the entire kitchen and it is seriously gorgeous:
I’m getting quickly used to the disappointment of a too-small stove that doesn’t work, a refrigerator that takes a good slamming to close all the way, and cabinets that have been painted over with a bland white so many times that any amount of moisture in the air makes them stick ( I love it though because it’s mine ). So coming home to these gorgeous granite countertops, an oven that works like a dream, and a look that could fit in a magazine puts me in a baking frenzy. Plus, I don’t have to worry about eating the treats all my myself. Continue reading
The deeper I get into this wedding planning process, the more I realize how atypical of a bride I am. Yes, I had a wedding Pinterest board before I got engaged, and yes I loved noting the details in wedding decor I had seen from other people’s weddings that I liked and maybe buried deep in my mind to reference later, but the dress is always something that I carefully did not think about.
Just from watching shows like Say Yes to the Dress and from shopping for myself for dresses for other occasions, I new that going into the process with a pre-conceived idea always lead to disappointment either because your dream dress doesn’t actually flatter your figure or it doesn’t actually exist and the options that are close are always lacking something. For this reason, I tried going into the experience with an open mind, focusing on explaining my wedding setting and the types of things I knew I didn’t like ( while at the same time being open to the fact that I might actually like them once I wear them ).
I was going to have a few pre-scheduled posts + crank out a few more over Thanksgiving weekend, but instead I took a break from my usual Internet shenanigans and didn’t read blog posts, check Twitter, or obsess over my WordPress analytics for the entire long weekend. It was heavenly. Here’s what I did do:
Thursday morning bright and early, my lovely friend/bridesmaid, Priya, and I threw on our running gear and drove over to Lake Harriet for the double loop that would make up the Drumstick Dash 10K. It was a brutally cold morning ( maybe not for Midwestern standards, but Portland has already made me soft ) and as we waited for the race to start, we awkwardly jumped from foot to foot to stave off numbness while questioning why were awake so early in the cold ( ahh the traditions of Thanksgiving morning races ). As much as I like to complain up until the start, I never regret a Thanksgiving morning race ( granted I haven’t been running for that long ). I was excited to get a PR finish ( 54:11…a full 11 minutes faster than my horrible Drumstick Dash last year ) and after we loaded up on endorphins, we stopped at my beloved Caribou Coffee to finish off the morning. Continue reading
Okay, it’s officially Thanksgiving week! Who’s excited ( me! me! )?? As I said last week, I’ll be heading back to Minnesota ( tomorrow! ) for the holidays to spend some good ol’ time with the family over one of the most excellent times of year. As the only vegetarian in the family, the holidays are sometimes a bit of a struggle for me. I’ve been loving Nicole’s posts on how to stay healthy over the holidays ( read her three part survival guide here, here, and here ). She gives some excellent tips on how to enter the holidays with intention and what to incorporate into your routine so you don’t find yourself gorging on midnight pie. Things I do to stay healthy over the holidays:
- Sign up for a fun race. I’ve tried to keep the tradition alive of running a Thanksgiving race the morning of Thanksgiving. Last year I ran a Drumstick Dash 10K with my little brother and this year I’m running it with one of my best friends from high school/bridesmaid. It’s a fun bonding experience, plus it sets your day off right to combat those extra servings of mashed potatoes ( especially for those of us who are having two Thanksgiving meals this year: one with the future-in-laws and one with extended family ). Continue reading
As a runner, there are runs when you might be riding the struggle bus and then there are weeks when you’re riding the struggle bus. Distances that used to be no-brainers are suddenly inexplicably difficult to cover, and the frustration you feel after slogging through a crappy run or cutting one short because you can’t take it anymore can make it difficult to find the motivation to lace up your shoes the next day.
Not every run gets better than the last ( no matter how much you are getting stronger and building endurance ). The past couple weeks have been a struggle for me to the point where once I reached the one mile mark, I wondered if I was even going to make it to two ( my average distance is 4-5 mi if I don’t have a specific training run in mind ). The only thing that got me through is if a “pump-up” song came on my playlist that summoned all the cliche mantras of “Don’t give up!” “Keep going!” “You can do this!” in my head. Continue reading