November Summary

Sad to say it but my birthday month is over. I’ve had so many great memories from this month that it will be difficult to re-capture all of them into today’s “Happy Friday” post.

Yes, Happy Friday!! Let the holiday cheer begin!

The true highlight of my month was that my brother came home for two weeks from his European home and spent much more time with us than we could have ever hoped for. He did his best to disconnect from work – at least visibly – and we were able to have true quality time together. Unfortunately we never got around to playing pool – mainly because I think he wanted to make sure that I couldn’t admit to beating him 3 times out of 100 as shared in my goals for November.

Accomplishments:

  • Sweat almost everyday in efforts to Go Go GOvember! Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4.
  • Encouraged Dan to get back into running and he’s taken me for a few rewarding 5-7 mile runs.
  • Made it through the midnight Halo 4 launch with Dan.
  • Made a difference in a family’s life for Thanksgiving.

Projects:

  • Painted a masterpiece copycat at Vine Gogh with mom, cousin and aunt!
  • Starting to brainstorm Christmas card ideas… more to come.
  • Chalkboard spray paint DIYs – not pictured.

Great Memories:

December could be a dark and story month for me but I am going to face it with a grin on my face and nothing but optimism in my heart. Get busy living.

❤ JE 

#GOvember Week 4

Okay, so I have to admit to you, my readers, that I failed my goal of sweating each and every day in November.

Now before you’re too harsh on me, you have to understand that I had my reasons the first and second times. You also have to sympathize with me that several times this month I did daily doubles with a run in the afternoon and Nike Training Club in the evening. If that’s not winning I don’t know what is! 

The first day I broke GOvember’s goal was during the great beach house power outage. It not only kept me from blogging about my Birthday, but it also prevented me from wanting to get my sweat on for the fear of not having hot water when it was time to bathe and not being able to use modern technology (the hair dryer) to tame my wild mane. Especially at the coast!

The second and last, I swear day I broke GOvember was the day after Thanksgiving when my day had two objectives: Sleep in and Enjoy the last day with my brother in Portland. I took the easy road and enjoyed spending time with my family through Wii Rockband, Turkey Day leftovers and pure relaxation. I don’t regret it for a minute!

Running Progress: 92.5 Miles down – Planning to complete the last 7.5 this afternoon and tomorrow with Dan after work.

Nike Training Club Sessions: 6 as of last night – it could have been 7 but I convinced Dan to skip with me this past Monday 🙂

Nike+ FuelBand Stats: 

Instagram Feed:

^ Desperate times call for desperate measures ^

^ The mountain’s gate near the end of my 7.3 mile Happy Valley run ^

^ Mr. Dan joined me Turkey Day morning!! I think he’s as excited as I am ^

^ Check out the outfit hookup ^

I hope you’ve enjoyed following along with me this month as I made a great attempt at sweating everyday. Even though I missed 2 days, I’ve sweat more than 30 times and that can be chalked up as a win in my book!

❤ JE

Livestrong Day

Today is 4 years since someone very special to me was diagnosed with cancer. It happened soon after he moved across the country and was an expensive flight away from his family. He had just made new friends in a new city and the news of his illness was very difficult to cope with. It was not debilitating though, so he opted to aggressively treat his Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma.

It was a scary and dark time for him, but he was resilient and endured the round of Chemo sessions over the course of 3 months, then later the 15 radiation sessions over the course of three weeks. I didn’t know him at the time of his diagnosis nor during his treatment, but I wish I could have been there to support him through such a difficult time in his life.

Since learning this about him and understanding what type of person can stand tall and stare down the face of cancer, I realize that he has the strength to get through anything that life throws his way. No stranger to adversity, he takes life one day at a time and loves passionately as he understands how precious this life we have really is.

His outlook on life is inspiring. I recently asked him if cancer has changed his outlook on life, and rather than answering the question he replied with “my outlook on life changed when I met you, Jessi“. *aww, heart melts*

I am beyond lucky that he conquered his illness so that I was able to meet him, fall in love with him and spend my time with this wonderful human being.

Holiday Weekend

While many regard Thanksgiving weekend as a time to indulge, shop, rest from work and indulge some more – this weekend was all about family, love and much needed relaxation.

Aside from the big meals and leftovers, we had a fun time going out to see a movie, playing Rockband in the comfort of the basement kind of karaoke for mom and a send-off for Matt as he made the journey back to Luxembourg. As always, it was difficult to see Matt leave Portland, but we are excited for him with his career and wouldn’t ever want to keep him from it.

Dan made it East for Thanksgiving weekend Wednesday evening just after dark and stayed over with the family through Saturday morning. I’m happy to believe that he and my family get along well together, especially sister Bailey who flirts uncontrollably with him.

Since my sister Bailey is always camera ready, she steals the show and is especially photogenic when she has her kids hanging out with her for days. I promise this is my last post about the time off from work this past week!

Thanksgiving Feast

Thanksgiving day was beautiful as always with my mom thinking of every last detail to make the most delicious food and a relaxed yet classic environment. This year was Dan’s first Thanksgiving with us and he was quite impressed by how much good food was on the table and how easy my parents made all of the preparation seem.

I started Thursday morning off with Dan on a “fun” run, then we enjoyed latte’s spiked with Bailey’s, Kahlua and/or Rum while the turkey was finishing up in the oven and the first football game was wrapping up.

Grandma arrived around noon with a bag full of cookies for my brother since he misses the Christmas batch while he’s in Europe. She also made her famous pumpkin bread for the dinner table and it was tasty as always.

Conversation was kept light and mouths were kept full at the table, with occasional conversation about our jobs, where Dan grew up and how perfect the turkey was.

Our cousins Rachel and Bethany stopped in right as we had finished eating and we had fun chatting with them over drinks (and sparkling cider) before they were off to their Thanksgiving meal. It was a great day with the family and there wasn’t much of a dent made in the food even after Dan, Matt and my dad had seconds and thirds.

If you aren’t sick already from your own turkey day leftovers, here’s the photo roll of the food and the details. (homemade apple and pumpkin pies not included).

I have so much to be thankful for in my life!

❤ JE

Stormy Vacation

For weeks my family had planned a beach retreat while my brother is home and it just so happened to be during the biggest storm the Oregon coast has seen so far this year.

On Sunday after spending some quality time with friends over food and drinks at the annual Fakesgiving get-together, we headed south to our beach house in Lincoln City. We knew there was a storm brewing, but had never experienced 100 MPH gusts of wind first hand. When we arrived at the house, the trees were swaying and the rain was falling. As the night went on, we feared the stability of our backyard trees and the roof over our heads.

We made it through the howling winds of the first night to wake up the next morning to no power. My dad delivered latte’s to mom and I while we witnessed recycling bins scooting down the road, signs leaning closer toward the ground and maintenance trucks driving past surveying the damage.

We wanted a change of scenery so we hit the road and went to see where we could find the best views of the storm doing work. Bailey was intrigued and the rest of us had never seen waves like these. Instead of breaking like they normally would, the wind would take the surf and blend it into the rest of the ocean.

We still didn’t have any power when we returned back home from our adventure, so we devised a plan to eat save the ice cream, refrigerate perishables and heat the home with a crackling fire. After a few naps were taken, we played a few friendly rounds of power-outage jenga and decided to hit the town for dinner and some Monday night karaoke fun.

Our power came back late Monday night and was party-worthy. We all slept well Monday night knowing that the worst of the storm had passed and that we would be able to charge our gadgets overnight not worry about the trees in the backyard causing any damage.

Bailey is starting to feel better from her Saturday illness, but still prescribed for a special diet and the take-it-easy plan. She sure knows how to relax!

❤ JE

Weekend Update

We’ve had quite the eventful weekend around here!

My birthday on Friday was one of my best yet. It was so nice to have my brother home for the first time in 3 years and my family made it a very special day as always. I enjoyed a relaxing day off from work and received way too many gifts from my family. And a ridiculous amount of Facebook love. Thank you, everyone!

Dinner at Montage with the family and Dan was perfect and was full of strong drinks, great laughs and delicious food. It called for a ‘before’ and ‘during’ photo comparison.

^ They made me a crown ^

^ Dan ordered the girliest drink on the menu – which was really good ^

^ Ja ‘Civa’s Cake ^

Another member of our family did not have such a great night – Bailey was stung or bitten by something that made her face swell up, itch all over and develop a turkey neck from all of the fluids. At least she’s seasonally-minded. Gobble Gobble!

When I heard the news that she wasn’t feeling well, Dan and I cancelled our Saturday plans and headed straight to see her and spend some time with the sick girl.

^ Photo credit: Matt ^

^ Photo credit: Dan ^

Being home Saturday meant supervising two turkeys cook in the oven, witnessing Oregon’s unfortunate loss, eating wonderful meals, making a cheese ball for the 6th annual Fakesgiving Dinner, wrapping mom’s birthday presents and getting Dan set up with a few photos on instagram.

As you know from yesterday’s post, we headed to chase a beach storm. More on that fun tomorrow!

❤ JE