So last you heard from me, I was embracing my new city by getting into as much car trouble as I could find, and it’s been a while so I figured I should try to get back into the swing of things here with some updates: This month my car was stolen.
I’m happy to report that I’ve had no further car troubles, and I plan to keep it that way for as long as I can. July was a whirlwind. I’ll include some of the highlights here and by the time I’m finished you’ll be able to see why I haven’t gotten around to writing for a while.
God Bless America… and Blackberry Tarts
To begin, I was lucky enough to get a long weekend off around the fourth of July, and with the family planning on heading up to our cabin for a good chunk of that time, there was no way I was missing out. I got to spend 5 entire days on Hood Canal, and as I’ve gotten older I’ve come to fully understand just how rare having more than a day or so has come to be. Five entire days of relaxing in the sun, hiking, playing cards, reading, crabbing, skiing, and enjoying the company of my favorite people in the entire world. We ate well, we laughed, and we loved. I’m incredibly thankful to have moved someplace where I can sneak back to enjoy moments like these without too much trouble, and am grateful to work for an organization that understands the value in these experiences and not only allows me to take them when I can, but encourages it.
New Job, Who Dis?
I began working at Stash shortly after I got back after the holiday, and after a month in, I’m loving it! As my job with the Timbers is just part time, I needed to find something to compliment that to keep me busy, and well, pay the rent. There has been so much to learn, but since it’s something that I enjoy, it’s been incredibly interesting and fun to learn. Tea has a very rich history and there are so many different strains and traditions revolving around each type, that I definitely haven’t been bored! Despite all there is to learn, I jumped in without feeling nervous or getting flustered, and whether that confidence came from my experience at Mora or having been busy leading up to my start date and not really having the time to entertain my nerves, it’s felt like a good place to be so far. My coworkers are wonderfully quirky and relatable people, the company itself does a lot for the community, and I’ve gotten to expand my palate for tea, which has been a lot of fun in itself.
Working It (Out)
I knew I wanted to look into going to a gym or doing something else to supplement running because I’m not very good at keeping up with strength training unless someone else is making me do it. Seriously, I can run 8 miles comfortably, but don’t ask me to do a pushup. So I’ve signed up for Orange Theory Fitness and while I’ve only gotten a few workouts in, I feel like I could easily become hooked. Every time I come out, I’m dripping with sweat and exhausted, but feel a great sense of accomplishment. Recently, I’ve learned something strange about myself: Under most circumstances, I could care less about numbers, but when it comes to fitness the numbers intrigue me. I like seeing the efforts I’ve put into something represented numerically, whether that’s in miles run, or calories burned. The cool thing about Orange theory is you’re wearing a heart rate monitor and your numbers are posted on boards around the class, with the goal to push yourself into specific zones throughout the class. There’s no cheating yourself, and as that person who tried way too hard in middle school gym, I love seeing how hard I push myself translated to numbers and colors flashed up on a board. Alternating between rowing, treadmill, and weight-room, no two days are the same, and while it’s a group fitness program, the coaches are great about encouraging individuals and helping to correct form when necessary. So next time you see me, expect me to have a six-pack. …That was a joke. Please don’t expect that.
Madi came to visit around mid month and we were able to cram quite a lot into her quick weekend trip, despite the fact she was in town for less than 48 hours. After some unlucky bus delays she arrived later Saturday night than originally planned. That didn’t deter us from waking up early to go for a run along the river, ending with breakfast at the riverfront café. Catching up over french toast and green eggs and yam (guess who got which haha) on a sunny morning on the river was the perfect start to the day. I was able to get tickets to the Thorns game that day, which turned out to be a great game! We had third row seats, the Thorns pulled out a win, and it was sunny but not sweltering. After, we walked down to the Pearl District, because I figured Madi could appreciate the blocks filled with LuluLemon, Free People, Anthropologie, Lucy, and North Face. She did. We ate a late lunch at Garden Bar, which, from the second week I lived here I knew I needed to take her to, and the look on her face when we walked in the door alone was worth it. A salad lover’s dream come true. After that we walked around downtown and shopped, embracing the lack of sales tax, planning to walk up to 23rd Ave for dinner. We walked the street and probably checked out the menus at every restaurant on the block before arriving at Papa Hayden. It was so good, we forgot to leave room for Salt and Straw afterwards. After a long day filled with walking we stopped by red box and had a relaxing evening, planning on waking up early to get brunch and explore a bit more before she had to catch her bus and I had to get to work. It was a practically perfect day and a half and I’m already getting antsy for her to come visit again.
Another perk about living reasonably close to home: You can sneak back to Mount Walker for an old coworkers wedding and make it back to Portland the next day for your afternoon shift. You’ll be exhausted and debate pulling over to nap at a rest stop, but it’s doable. Being able to celebrate the love between Lauren and Doug and catch up with some of my former coworkers was worth every minute of the drive. The ceremony was beautiful and the relaxed and fun feel to the entire day was so incredibly Doug and Lauren, I can’t think of how it could have been any better.
Books, Barbecue, and Birthdays
On the very same day I got back from the wedding, my aunt Liz and uncle Marc came into town on their way back to South Dakota after visiting the family up in Washington. I am so incredibly grateful that they stretched their already long drive a little longer to stop by. We were able to enjoy each others company over a delicious dinner, then after I got off work the next day, wandered around IKEA. They happened to be celebrating IKEA’s birthday so there was free cake- talk about taking one of the greatest places on earth and making it even better. Before our dinner reservations, we explored Powell’s, where I once again proved I have no will power when it comes to books. While I’m bummed I missed out on all the activities that took place with the family at home the week before, it was great to be able to have some of our own catch up time.
But wait, there’s more. The last weekend of the month, I was headed BACK home to make good on my birthday gift from Madi. Ed Sheeran tickets. I cried. I drove back home on Friday afternoon (shout out to Ana for getting me through the traffic filled drive by talking to me on the phone for literally 3 hours) to takeout from my favorite Thai place in Poulsbo and a delightful evening catching up with my mom and watching episode after episode of carpool karaoke. Perfect night. We woke up the next day to have lunch with my grandparents at the cabin, which was an absolute delight, as always. Then on to Tacoma for dinner with my aunt, and to pick up Madi as she had been at leadership camp all week. I did her makeup in the car in between bites of sandwich and chugs of water and we were dropped off in perfect time to get our shirts and find our seats just as James Blunt was opening. Madi hooked us up. Our seats were incredible, and I left feeling as if it didn’t really matter what happened to me beyond that point; my life was complete. We sang, we laughed, we danced, we cried. Ed was amazing and every song played was an absolute treat. While my favorite song from the new album is “Castle On The Hill” I think my favorite song of the night was “Photograph”- so well done. “Galloway Girl” had the best energy, and “Bloodstream” had the coolest graphics along with it. Did I mention he game out for the encore in a 12th man jersey? Okay, Ed, I see you. So thank you Madi, because that was the most perfect birthday gift I could have hoped for.
So there’s the super condensed highlight reel from July. I could have definitely written an entire post for each of these events, but as the time has past this is all I’ve got. Until then, I’ll just keep wondering where summer went, and embrace the last month while I can!