Posts tagged ‘love’

November 29, 2011

What I Love… A compilation of things from Oahu to Portland to Salt Lake City

It’s been busy couple of months and I have not had time to sit down and write about the things I love, but here are a few that will guarantee a smile and even a laugh – in random order:

1. Go to a warehouse filled with trampolines and jump your little heart out. I not only worked on my front flip into a giant pile of soft blocks, but I managed to dance to Santagold while jumping in the air. This is very challenging but very rewarding. Dodgeball on trampolines is fun and I couldn’t stop laughing when I fell. Racing on trampolines can be fun too; just as my friend fell, I looked back to see what was happening and then I fell. We’re special and I couldn’t stop laughing. Thanks B for taking us, it was a blast.

2. Go to Hawaii. I feel like I should write an entire blog about this one, but I will save that for later.

3. Surf. It’s fun and I stood up on my first day. My instructor was adorable and we had a lot of fun. My arms were exhausted afterwards. It was fun to be out there in the waves with all the other surfers. They all knew each other and loved the sport. All the different instructors were giving their students and other students tips. They were all just having fun. Even a surfing legend, Buttons, gave me pointers.

4. Sea kayak on a windy day. I went with a guide though and was glad that I did because the waves were 3 to 4 feet at times. Afterwards, it felt like I ran a marathon and I was pretty proud of myself.

5. Go on a trip with your mom alone. As much as I wished that my sisters could have come with my mom and me on our trip to Hawaii, I was glad that I got to go on a trip alone with her. We had a blast and I feel that I got to know things about her that I never knew before.

6. Salsa dance.

7. Brunch at Equinox . This is a cute little restaurant near Mississippi St. in Portland. The food was amazing and the company was even better.

8. Go to a dueling piano bar. I have always wanted to go and my friends indulged me this past Saturday and we went to Keys on Main in Salt Lake City, UT. It was silly, but fun.

9. Go to Blue Plate Diner in SLC. It reminded me of one of my favorite brunch spots in Portland, Stepping Stone, and made me a little homesick.

10. Stop by Epic brewery in SLC. They won’t let you taste the beer there, state regulation forbids it (oh Utah!), but you don’t need to. I have yet to try one that I didn’t like.

11. Go to High West Distillery in Park City, UT. It’s the only Whiskey distillery in Utah. The food was great and the whiskey even better. It has a country, barn atmosphere and I fell in love with their frosted, blue glass water bottles that I just had to buy. Their gift store made a killing off of us. I still want to go back for one of their vintage, metal signs.

12. Find a thinking spot and go and plot and plan your life. I mentioned mine earlier, but every time I go, I love it even more. I feel like I don’t have to worry about anything except just being there and breathing. I’ve come up with some brilliant schemes including going back to school and more creative ideas for my writing and my jewelry.

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November 3, 2011

What I Love… Handwritten Letters

I always have loved getting cards and letters in the mail. It’s nostalgic and one of my favorite things. It shows that someone took the time to write out their thoughts, put the card/letter in an envelope, put a stamp on it, and remembered to drop it in the mail. The effort is much more than a text, an email, a Facebook message and it holds more meaning. Our handwriting shows a side of us that not many people get to see, especially in this day in age where we have become so digital.

Yesterday, I was thinking about how much I wanted to get a card or a letter in the mail, besides the typical magazine, junk mail or credit card application and as I picked up the mail, I saw it. A card written by two of my friends that I adore. It made my day. I don’t think I’m the only one that loves getting a card or letter in the mail. I sometimes think it’s sad that we don’t get more! And why don’t more people send postcards? We always get to be so busy when we’re traveling and it seems to be forgotten, but it doesn’t need to be.

I have recently been thinking about how I would love to write more letters and send them to my friends and family. Even a couple days ago, I went to a stationary store in search of  single sheets of paper stationary. I was shocked when all I could find were cards and no sheets. Don’t get my wrong, I love cards and could probably spend hours, if not days in Paper Source and Presents of Minds looking at their cards, but I was on the search for paper where I can write more than just one page worth of words and thoughts.

I love writing, I love crafting my thoughts together in sentences. I love editing and I love handwriting – although, I do not love my handwriting, I still love the act of doing it. I love handwriting birthday and holiday cards to family because I feel that I can be more open and honest, more eloquent about my true feelings. I even love the act of tearing up a piece of paper or crumpling when it wasn’t exactly the way I wanted it to be. It take much more effort to re-write an entire letter after a mistake or when we say something we don’t want to.

A handwritten letter or card is sincere, thoughtful. I love the holidays because it’s always a certainty that we will get at least one card and if you don’t get any, send me a message and I’ll send you one!

October 25, 2011

What I Love… St. Johns Bridge and Cathedral Park

I had been across the St. Johns Bridge several times and had already decided it is my favorite bridge in Portland. It does not surprise me that many of my friends that I have talked to about it recently have agreed that it is their favorite bridge too. After all, it is the most photographed bridge in Portland for a reason – it is stunning. Set against the hills of Forest Park and Cathedral Park, the tall suspensions make the bridge look graceful and even peaceful as it floats above the river. Even with the rush hour traffic crossing the bridge, the hustle and bustle of the day doesn’t seem to taint the serenity of the bridge. When the sun set over the bridge, it took my breath away. If you walk across the bridge you will see people walking, biking, or running across it, but you can also see those who stop to take the moment in and reflect there. It is an inspiring place to think.

My favorite part of walking across the bridge was looking down into the park below and watching friends, lovers, and people walk through it. I had never spent any time at Cathedral Park, which is just below the bridge and when I walked through it, I realized how beautiful it was. I plan to go back there sometime soon for another stroll. I could stop and take a breath while I was there and immediately feel relaxed. Walking down to the water was wonderful and not what I was expecting. I thought it was going to be industrial near the water, but  the park extends out to the boat dock. I even managed to make a friend while I was watching the sunset. He lived nearby and was sitting watching the sunset smoking his pipe, reflecting about his long distance girlfriend and how much he missed her. He talked about the Blues & Jazz festival they had at the park this past summer and how every Saturday he saw a wedding there. I decided that when I meet the right one to marry and have children with, that is where I want to get married.

Needless to say, I finally found my “mountain”. It’s not on the bridge, while beautiful to walk across and with an amazing view of the hills and even beyond, it’s not it. My mountain is somewhere in that park. I won’t say where it is, but I finally found my place to get inspired and to sit, think, reflect, plan, plot and scheme about my life.

October 17, 2011

What I Love…. The Smell of Fall

Today was a beautiful fall day. Somehow fall finally seemed to arrive over the weekend. The leaves, which have been hinting at changing colors the last couple weeks have finally started to change and even fall. I can hear the fallen leaves shuffle as people walk by my closed bedroom window. This morning was even brisk, I caught myself shivering in my car turning the heat up to high – something I haven’t really needed to do yet. My favorite part though was walking outside my office this morning to grab coffee from across the street and I could smell chai mixed with brisk, fresh autumn air. I loved it. While I had a wonderful summer, one of the best in Portland, I’m ready for the seasons to change and even rain.

I think every season has a distinct smell. My favorites being fall and late spring. The autumn smell brings back memories of Halloweens past, my favorite holiday. The smell of chili reminds me of the chili bread bowls my mom used to make growing up. The smell of pumpkin spice lattes remind me of Thanksgiving pumpkin pie and the amazing pumpkin bread that my mom makes. It was one of my favorite things to have pumpkin bread for breakfast before school. I suppose my favorite smells of the season are cinnamon, nutmeg, chai, and pumpkin. Even now I find myself wanting to add cinnamon to my coffee in the morning. Something I don’t typically do, but I love the taste in the fall.

I love fall. It’s strange to think about that now. I used to not love it because it meant the pending icy, cold weather was coming and I could no longer sit and bask in the sun, but now I get to drink my porters and my stouts, my hot chai tea, cuddle up with a book on the couch without feeling guilty, snuggle under my covers to keep warm, wear cute boots, hats and my favorite jackets. I have a feeling that fall is going to be as amazing as this past summer, but possibly even better.

September 10, 2011

What I Love.. Pike’s Place Market

I spent the last week in Seattle to celebrate my sister and brother-in-law welcoming a beautiful baby girl into the family and to celebrate another year of work with my co-workers. While there, I managed to make it to Pike’s Place Market, not once, but twice. The first time, I went with my mom and my nephew for fun and did the typical main market walk. The second excursion was with my co-workers through a Pike’s Place Market food tour. Not only did I get to sample amazing food, I learned that the market is much larger than I ever even anticipated. There were so many small nooks and cranny’s to explore and I hope to make it back there on my next visit to try out some of the finds that I discovered again or that were recommended. My favorite new find has to be The Crumpet Shop that serves tea and crumpets. I had never had a crumpet before, but found it quite delightful.

August 22, 2011

What I Love… Random Loves

It’s has been a random past couple of weeks and I have had many loves and no time to write about them, but here is a short synopsis of some of the things I have loved lately:

1. Listening to peoples’ conversations while out around town. The best line I heard was a domestic quarrel at the grocery store between two older gentlemen. I keep wondering if it was a father/son relationship, but will never know. The younger man asked about a bag of chips, “What kind do you like?” The older man’s response was, “Whatever kind you don’t like.” I couldn’t help but laugh a little and smile as I walked through the store.

2. Randomness. I had decided that I need more silly and random days in my life. Which has worked out in my favor. Lately, I have had to plan much of my life and weeks, because of all the traveling and family obligations in my life and I finally got a random weekend and it was everything that I had hoped for. I think changing our schedules and routines is healthy and eliminates monotony in our lives.

3. The sun. I just can’t get enough of it right now. I love summer and know I am pushing myself to my limits to enjoy it, but I also know that when it starts raining, I may not want to go outside nearly as much. Today, I managed to get to a park and lay in the sun for an hour. It was the best thing I did for myself all day.

4. Running. It has been great to get back and run after hurting my foot a few weeks ago. I realized today that I had missed being active when I went for a short run. It was fun to see all the neighbors out enjoying the weather.

5. Firemen. I really need to stop talking about how much I love them, but they are everywhere I go. I have even told my sister that when I go up to Seattle, I’m borrowing her 2 1/2 year old son to go do a firehouse tour. He is so stinking cute and personable, I know I will have a few opportunities to flirt with the firemen. I’ll just have to make sure they know he is my nephew.

6. Bubble tea. It is delicious and I can’t believe I have never tried it before.

7. Iced coffee. This is breaking my budget this summer! Thankfully my sister sent me a quick and easy way of making iced coffee in bulk, but I haven’t had time to actually make it. I should get on that.

8. Concerts at the Oregon Zoo. I had so much fun with my friends. I will be going back next year. Although, I will say I need to go back and see the animals, since I have not done that yet. Maybe in a few weeks when I finally have another day to myself.

9. Me time. I think we are all on the go and keep ourselves busy with friends and family, but it’s extremely important to take the time to take care of ourselves. Whether it’s taking an afternoon to do a spa day or read a good book, just remember to take care of yourself! You deserve it.

10. Beer Festivals in Portland. Enough said I think. Portland has a great variety.

11. Sitting on a patio with friends for happy hour after work.

12. Portland summers. While this has been a short one, it has been gorgeous and filled with great people.

13. Fedoras. Especially when it comes to hiding my big hair. I need a haircut.

14. BBQs

August 1, 2011

What I Love… Color

Last November my mom came to visit me in Portland. Of course, what always ends up happening whenever I see her is that we go shopping.  I  love shopping, this is not new, but something happened on this particular shopping trip that  has stuck with me. At one of the stores we were at, I ended up picking out all neutral colored clothing: a gray sweater, gray and white plaid pajama bottoms, and a gray under-tee. Everything was gray. There was a moment when I realized that everything I was purchasing was gray, but I just thought it was coincidence. As I was checking out, the store clerk asked, “Are you afraid of color?” I can’t remember what else he said, but I remember being angry. “No,” was my answer. A short, simple and irritated response.

At first I didn’t know why I was angry. Sometimes, I have trouble determining what exactly made me angry. In that moment I had directed that anger at the store clerk. “How dare he say that? He was being pompous,” I remember thinking. Really, that was the word that came to my mind when he had said it. I felt that he was talking down to me and being snide. He may or may not have been, that’s just the story I told myself. After the initial anger wore off, I had to ask myself, why was I angry? I know that when I react out of anger there is always deeper meaning behind it.  I believe anger is an effect of deeper emotions that we are repressing. If we get to the root of that anger, it dissipates. I tend to ignore the cause and just shrug it off, but this was the beginning of many important lessons for me – it set in motion a chain reaction of realizations that have taken months to understand and even learn. Instead of shrugging it off, I had to get to the root of why I was angry and it might not have been until the past few weeks that I actually understood why.

I love color, I always have. Growing up, purple was my favorite color, then blue, and it was always changing. At some point, I think I just stopped thinking about it though. Somewhere along my teens, I started wearing gray and black. In college, I branched out and wore a lot of pinks and reds, but I would come in and out of phases where all I purchased were neutral toned clothing. Neutral tones are easy, they go with a lot of things. Even my jewelry was simple, either silver or gold, mostly silver hoops, because they go with almost anything. I was a broke college student and needed to maximize what accessories I did buy, but why did I carry that feeling with me? I think it goes back to being able to blend in easily. I don’t like to be noticed and feel self conscious when I am, which is really a ridiculous feeling, because people on average just walking down the street may see me, register me, but will eventually forget. The human brain only has so much capacity to recognize and store transient data, but I carried that feeling of wanting to hide from my childhood. I’m starting not to care anymore, but it was one of those “ah-ha” moments for me, when I realized that I even do it with my emotions: I neutralize my emotions. How boring is that! Let me tell you, it’s incredibly boring! It’s not that I don’t feel my emotions, I just don’t let them out and over time, these emotions kept building up as a form of anxiety and I felt trapped sometimes, until now.

A few weeks ago, I bought a gorgeous light green ring that I matched with my favorite dark plum finger nail polish and it was that moment how much I realized I do love color. I couldn’t stop staring at the combination and thinking about all the different ways I could replicate it. Then I bought this dress that is gorgeous, blue and orange. Two opposite colors, but when paired together, I love it. Is it just coincidence that I am now loving color and that I am now starting to own my emotions? Maybe, but I do think color can be a representation of emotion and I think it all has to do with this realization that I haven’t been myself for a long time. I have been lost for much longer than I had even wanted to admit and I was working incredibly hard to be someone I was not for years, seeking acceptance, love, and happiness from others. I had something really great recently and I lost it. I think that it was in losing it was the final push for me to address myself and get to know be better. I know it’s gone forever this thing that I lost, but I also know why it’s gone now – I can’t expect someone else to accept me, love me, and make me happy, when I wasn’t able to do that for myself. I believe what we create for ourselves expands to those around us and my hope is that these lessons I learn now will expand into my life and those around me. In losing myself, I have found pieces of me that I’d forgotten about.  I know that whatever happens along this journey is going to be great, because of this. Sometimes, we all need to get a little lost to find ourselves.

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July 13, 2011

What I Love… The Holstee Manifesto

I found this poster which is fitting for my life right now:

Not all of it pertains to me at the moment, but at one point or another it has. Lately, I had this realization that this is my life. I think for the first time in my life, I am living my life for me and no one else. I’m not waiting for anyone else to approve what I’m doing or what I want to do and I LOVE IT. No longer do I wait to see what a friend, family member, or boyfriend are doing before I decide what I want to do. I get to march to my own drum and the beat changes daily. It is the most amazing feeling I have ever had.

July 7, 2011

What I Love… Lilacs

Growing up, we always had a lilac bush in our backyard. Lilacs come and go quickly and their sweet smell doesn’t last that long. Once the blooms turn from purple to brown the bush is no longer beautiful, but I found myself waiting every season for the bush to bloom and to go pick the flowers to smell and put in my room.

I had forgotten how much I absolutely love lilacs until I looked out my window at work and saw a bush across the street fresh with blooms. With so much to do at work, I fought the urge to jump up and walk outside and grab a bloom. I saved that for my coffee break, which I stumbled across the street to look at them, sprained ankle and all. Talk about will and determination. I guess I really do love Lilacs. I used to think that lillies were my favorite flower, but they come in second. Even though they are fleeting flowers that come and go quickly, I love lilacs.

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June 19, 2011

What I Love… Russian Olives

It’s been three years since I was back home in Salt Lake City during June. Although, June happens to be my favorite month in Utah, it has been impossible to travel home this time of year as I usually end up home for holidays and family events that always manage to occur at different times throughout the year. This year, I purposely planned a trip to be home in order to smell the Russian Olives blooming in the early summer. Unfortunately, the smell was not as potent as it could be due to the atypical cold weather and bouts of pouring rain not common to the area. Regardless, I still got what I wanted, to smell the sweet aroma of the Russian Olive in the early evening the first few nights I was there. Sunday afternoon before heading back home to Portland, I was taken by surprise,  when I went outside onto the patio at my mother’s condo to watch the thunderstorm that was blowing through the valley. The sweet mix of rain and Russian Olives reminded me of why I love Salt Lake City.

Almost three years ago, I packed up my car and moved as far as possible from the state I grew up in with no desire to return, even for vacation. I fit the stereotype of a young  kid who hated their small hometown and always dreamed of moving far away and finally did after college. It was not even a year after I moved that I returned to help my mom who became ill the spring after I moved. Ever since then I find myself traveling back to Salt Lake City four or five times a year, mostly for family. At first I went reluctantly and now I go willingly, happy to see my friends and family.  Sometimes, I find it hard to leave, but the moment the plane starts to land in Portland, I realize how much Portland is now my home, even though I miss my family and friends back in Salt Lake.

Utah has a stigma and not a good stigma, from what I’ve learned when I tell people where I am from.  I usually get the same questions over and over again, the same questions that I was running away from. Yes, this used to irritate me, but now I just have to laugh. Without going into a rant and rave about where I grew up south of Salt Lake, I will say that I believe that stigma is earned.  However, I can’t say that Salt Lake is a horrible place. In fact, Salt Lake City is becoming a cool metropolitan area. Going back home over the last few years has shown me how much it has changed and how liberal, open, and tolerant Salt Lake City is becoming.

I am who I am today because of where I grew up and in spite of where I grew up. For that reason Utah will always hold a special place in my heart and the Russian Olives will forever be one of my favorite spring smells for all the happy memories it brings back.