July’s Eight Great Goals

It’s finally summer in Portland! Wahooo!

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As I mentioned in June there was a lot that I didn’t get to last month and that includes being the worst at keeping up with other blogs. Every Saturday morning I wake up to the last week’s 200 blogs I didn’t get around to reading and felt like a jerk commenting back 5 days later. Apologies, ladies – I’m still reading!

What’s July got in store?

How about beautiful weather, grill magic, work travel, kitten playtime, 100 more running miles, sangria, instagram video and hopefully some getaway time at the coast!

What else will I be doing? Take a look!

1. Take a Hike.

There’s plenty of amazing locations in the Northwest to take a hike and we don’t even have to go that far. Portland Area hikes are an escape from the city for an afternoon and a great way to get out of the house in the summer.

2. Hit a golf ball 100 yards in the air

My Daniel is amazing. A week ago I came home to pristine set of brand new golf clubs and golf shoes in my favorite color. And they match(!!!) This past weekend I went through putting, chipping, hitting and driving school and my best shot was just past the 75 yard marker. I have a long way to go until I can actually play on the course but I’m looking forward to learning more about the game my guy loves.

3. Visit the Portland Zoo!

Dan hasn’t been to the Portland Zoo yet, even though we drive past it twice a day and would love to see all the big kitties!

4. No Ice Cream for the next 31 days!

I already know that this will be torture! Ice cream is a staple in our home and with temperatures in the high 80′s I’ll have to resort to frozen berries and lemonade to get that warm weather fix.

5. Not be this guy.

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June work surprises brought a lot of this personality out of me. Rather than showing my emotions on my face and in my eyes I should get up, take a walk, fill my water bottle and return with a smile and willingness to help out.

6. Write 3 posts for the following week on the weekend.

This goal is measurable, this goal is possible and this goal will be a game-changer for me and my home life on weeknights. There’s plenty I can do ahead of time (even down to coming up with headers and importing images) that will cut down on the strict deadlines I set for myself.

7. Rock my Work Travel.

I have the privilege of travelling internationally in a few short weeks and my goal is to train my co-workers on everything they need to know while I’m gone and then go and really make an impact with our friends to the North. When I took this job the opportunity for travel was 0%  so I feel flattered and I feel a responsibility to make the time worth it.

8Schedule Time Off From Work.

I didn’t follow through with this one last month so I think that after my travel I’ll be set up to take a day… or two, or three?

Wish me all the luck in the world with my short and crazy week at work.

heart JE

June Summary

Buh-bye June!

When it began, June had promise of easy work days and relaxation at home. Just a few days in, this month turned gloomy and has proved to be one of the most consistently stressful months at work I’ve been a part of.

New responsibility, more work with less resources and shorter deadlines don’t get me down though, these factors force me to work smarter, involve my teammates and get plenty of support from the people around me. This includes family and friends.

Here they are, the Top 5 Moments from the month!

1. I’m still very proud to be a second-time Tough Mudder and I owe you the official Oregon 2013 video so you can get a taste for how hilly the course was!

2. Dan and I love our little Holly girl and we’ve been so impressed with her personality. She’s had no accidents, she’s adventurous, she sleeps all the way through the night, she likes both her wet and dry food, and she hasn’t taken a swipe at our Betta fish (yet).

I only wish she’d hold still for iPhone photos like this more often, but we’re working on that!

3. This TED Talk about Power Posing has really changed my outlook on the way I carry myself at work and how I’ve managed to boost my confidence in difficult situations. I feel it paying off and can see how it can help anyone out there.

4. I still have 21 miles to run to complete this month, which is only 7 per day and an easy goal to hit in comparison to many end of the month gaps to close I’ve had in the last 3 and a half years of running 100 miles a month. It’s been a miracle so far to get 79 and I contribute my success to my Morning Routine.

5. I can’t write this post without remembering that it was just this month that I met Dan’s parents for the first time. It doesn’t seem possible that it was within the past 30 days, but time flies!

Thanks for sticking around this month, I’m thinking July will be just as crazy with work travel (!!!) and watching Holly get older.

I’m looking forward to it!

Throwback Thursday: Blog Birthday

Hello and happy Thursday!

One day closer to the weekend and it’s supposed to start heating up and feeling like summer in Portland.

I want to use today to congratulate myself and my blog for consistently posting now for an entire year! The very first published post was last April, but the last week in June is when Babbling Brookelyn and I decided to stop stalking blogs and start contributing. Okay, so maybe we still stalk – she’s better at stalking than I am.

My blogging has taken a turn for the better since I got a DSLR camera and started commenting on other blogs, but I really feel like what’s kept me here is the support I have from my readers. Those who I know in real life are amazing for support they provide while those who only know me by the words that I type fascinate me for sticking around and making me feel like I have something worth sharing.

I think it’s only right that today’s Throwback Thursday highlights some of my very first posts in June of 2012 where we can all suffer through my iPhone photos.

A time before I had a cute blog template, before I used instagram, before I knew about cute photo apps with text and collages.

Most importantly, a time before I really knew what my blogging ‘voice’ was.

Enjoy!

Strawberries at Sauvie’s

NE Alberta Last Thursday

So What, I’m a Runner

{No Photo, what an amateur!}

She Sells Seashells

Here’s to yet another year!

heart JE

Welcome Home, Holly Kitty!

Ahh! I’m so excited.

Sunday after Dan and I enjoyed pedicures in the neighborhood, we decided to walk into the same pet store where we got Tiger six months ago. We were just stopping in to see the two shop cats, Stella and Jackson, and also to see if the turtle, iguana and other friendly furries were in there and hoping for a visit.

We turned the corner from the fish room and saw none other than this cute little face staring us down.

Between constant eye contact with us, nuzzling up against her cage and the fact that everyone who saw her (inside and outside of the store) stopped by to “awwww” we were hooked. We didn’t walk into the store with the intention of adding a member to the family, but we took a day to discuss it and decided that we were ready for  a little kitty to love in our lives.

Monday night we picked up this little cutie, added a bag of dry food, a few cans of wet food, a litter box, some litter and a scoop! She’s officially part of the family!

I haven’t been around kittens much but Dan grew up with plenty of felines in his family.

I’m getting used to not being able to use verbal commands as you can with dogs, understanding that a wagging tail isn’t a good sign and that a little baby needs all kinds of love and attention. Attention that we are more than happy to give!

She’s a wild and rambunctious one – as I type this she’s ripping around the house, jumping over Dan, bravely climbing the legs of the table and pouncing on mice and feathers like it’s her day job.

When she’s ready to snuggle though, she snuggles hard.

Pretty soon she’ll need to get acquainted with the two golden sisters and hopefully it will go something like this!

I have a feeling this little girl will teach me a lot about myself and I’m looking forward to seeing Dan be a “Dad”.

Welcome home, Holly!

heart JE

TED Tuesday: Get More Sleep

Ladies, what do you think about joining me in my mission to sleep my way to the top?

And by sleeping I really do mean getting the best night’s rest possible, no strings attached.

I love this TED Talk because it glorifies one of the most wonderful things Dan and I cherish on weeknights and weekends -some quality Zz’s.

Through college, I lived off of short naps and craved those long weekends where I could shut down my brain and re-group on my sleep. I wasn’t losing sleep because I was out having a great time, I was losing sleep because my day was full of classes and practice and my part-time job.

At that point in my life I didn’t have any other time to cram in my homework other than in the ugly hours of the night. I’d force myself to stay awake by doing laundry at 1am, brewing coffee, setting an alarm for every 40 minutes, just in case I accidentally fell asleep while cramming for my next big exam. I’d hunt out the best late night coffee shops and would even become a regular at these places, occasionally scoring a cute guy’s phone number out of the deal who was the same kind of ‘crazy’ that I was.

Because I was still successful and “able to function” with this snooze schedule, I fooled myself into believing that little sleep made me highly productive. It was a poor illusion that I had where I truly believed that those who slept in on weekends, didn’t take 8am classes and didn’t have bags under their eyes were fools for all the hours they were missing out on.

No Sleep Til’ Brooklyn was my jam.

As I’ve grown older I understand and appreciate the beauty and benefit from a wonderful night’s rest. My skin looks better, my eyes are brighter, I’m enthusiastic, I’m driven and all the way around I’m an easier person to communicate with. As a Type A woman driven to make a difference in my world, sleep deprivation is my very worst enemy and Dan’s done a great job of getting me into that routine. We are in bed by 9pm most nights and still get 7-8 hours, depending on whether we decide to run or rest in the morning.

More sleep, less caffeine, better decisions and healthier outlook. It’s easy.

So thanks for the great reminder, Arianna. We could all use a better night’s rest and an opportunity to shut down our engines.

TED Talks: Ideas Worth Spreading

heart JE

Happy Birthday, Brother!

Matt, today is your 29th birthday and I suppose you need some attention, even though Luxembourg just had a national holiday to celebrate the occasion!

You’ve always been an influence in my life and I’ll never stop looking up to you.

You’ve done everything you can to work hard, make a great example of yourself, challenge the process, encourage others to be great and to make life easier for yourself and the family you’ll have someday.

I look up to you because you refuse to take ‘no’ for an answer. You have the courage to stand up for what you believe and you know that if you push hard enough you can produce results.

You understand that building strong relationships is one of the most important things you can do, and you’re really good at it. I think it’s because you’re a loyal, confident, funny and witty person. More importantly you know that a BBQ always takes good friends and makes them great friends.

You understand the importance of balance in your life and you make the effort to take vacations, spend money on experiences and spend time with those who you love. Your ability to dream like a child at the age of 29 impresses me, and inspires me to live a more carefree life.

Other than your accomplishments in your career, you’ve done some pretty amazing things. Like a double major on an academic scholarship, going to grad school while working full time. Like travelling solo to Europe, just to explore, and later moving your entire life there just because you craved the adventure. You made it to the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro, rocking a mohawk. What’s not amazing about that?

 I miss you every single day. I don’t play pool as often as I should, ride the bike you bought me like I promised that I would or even take vacations like you encourage me to, but I still know that you’re proud of me and that you’re always just a phone call away. 

You have a ‘special’ lady who thinks you’re pretty remarkable, so please take care of her and continue to show her the creative, intelligent, witty, carefree, spontaneous, games-and-prizes Matt you’ve always been and I know you always will be.

Happy Birthday, MattMan! I’m happy you turned out okay.

heart JE