Monday, September 10, 2018

What I Did This Summer

Hello friends!  I am so sorry to have not written for so long, but the truth is, the summer simply got away from me.  Thankfully much of it was in a positive way, we've just been very busy and on the move for most of the summer!  Overall, life is going really well, and this summer compared to last is definitely easier.  May through July especially were really wonderful months filled with a lot of joy, but August (as always) has been a bit stressful and not my favorite.  I will say that although that stress is there, that therapy has made my reactions/coping methods towards it so very different!  Therapy as well as meditation and breathing work really have been a life saver on many levels.

I thought about going back and doing a post to recap each month because there has been some great stuff going on and I hate to not talk about it, but it just honestly would be too much.  May and July especially were busy, and it just simply would take too much time to sit and recap it all.  I've truthfully been inching away from digital life ever so slowly, so I'd be lying if I said I had the desire to sit in front of the computer and do long blog recaps anyway.  I'm just going to do some bullet points and photos month by month of some highlights of the fun stuff.


May


Eric and I celebrated our 11th anniversary!


Time flies man...I can't believe that Eric and I have been married for 11 years.  In some ways it feels like just yesterday that we just started talking and being work friends.  I know saying that I married my best friend is so cliche, but there's literally no other way to describe Eric.  No one on the planet makes me laugh harder than he does, no one is a bigger cheerleader of my passions/dreams and no one has supported me as much as he's supported me.  I couldn't have gotten through the last year especially without his kindness and patience.  We had a really fantastic anniversary week!  The week before he surprised me with tickets to the Phantom of the Opera sequel, Love Never Dies.  Pretty appropriate given the anniversary vibes right?  I wasn't expecting it to be as amazing as Phantom (my favorite musical), nothing ever could be, but it was honestly pretty damn great. On our actual anniversary the following Saturday we went and had dinner at this French place called Bistro Agnes, which was really incredible, then went and listened to live music.  The next day we saw David Byrne from Talking Heads, which was honestly one of the top 10 concerts we've ever seen, and that's saying something.  He was absolutely incredible!

We got our passports!

So funny/mildly embarrassing thing about me...I've never owned a passport and have ergo never been out of the country.  It's something that has bothered me for awhile, but also one of those "I'll eventually do that" laziness types of things.  But I made it a goal this year to get my passport and get out of the country before I'm freaking 40 (next year y'all!!).  Eric had his passport but it expired, so he had to go through the whole process again.  Long story short, we did it, and have our passports in hand!  I'm also excited to tell you that I was able to take my passport on a maiden voyage during our Detroit trip on Labor Day weekend (which deserves and will get its own post).  But we had the time and opportunity to take a quick hop into Windsor, Canada for a few hours, so we did.  So much fun!  We're also planning something for my birthday next year.  I keep changing my mind on what I want to do, but at the moment I'm thinking about doing the European Christmas markets!


June


A classic movie followed by a weird one...

I had to look at my planner to see what we did in June honestly, and realized I had almost forgotten about us going to see a 70 mm showing of '2001:  A Space Odyssey'!  This wonderful art house theater in Portland did a bunch of showings in honor of the 50th anniversary, so we managed to snag tickets (they kept having to add showings because it kept selling out!).  I'd been meaning to see it for a long time given that it is such a classic and such an important movie in film history, but I'm so glad I not only waited to see it on the big screen, but to see it in 70 mm as was intended.  I really enjoyed it!

This shouldn't be notable on any level, but it was on my planner, so I will just mention it.  Two days after we saw '2001' we saw the finale movie of 'Best F(r)iends'.  What is that you ask?  Well if you are a fan of or at least know 'The Room', the iconic so-bad-it's-good film by Tommy Wiseau, basically it's his next attempt at acting.  I know I'm really selling this to you guys, but it's honestly hard to explain if you don't know the people involved with 'The Room'.  Long story short this film was split into two movies, which was utterly unnecessary on every level, but we rolled with it anyway.  To be honest, the first part was actually really interesting and I enjoyed it, but the second part kind of literally lost the plot.

A very rainy Barenaked Ladies and Better than Ezra concert


This is definitely notable since I can't recall Oregon getting significant rain in June for a really, really long time.  We had this show on the books for awhile, and to be honest, most of the draw for us was the band Better Than Ezra.  They are a Louisiana band who was super popular when I was in my late teens and twenties, back when dinosaurs roamed the Earth.  They've continued to quietly put out albums, and I've continued to quietly be a fan and along the way gotten Eric into them too.  They NEVER come out this way, so we definitely jumped at the chance to see them.  The concert was outdoors, and we thought nothing of it since June historically is dry, bordering on first soul sucking heatwave of the summer.  Except when the day of the show came...it rained.

And not even a little bit, it dumped pretty consistently the whole time.  But it's Oregon, so everyone rolled with it as you learn to do as an Oregonian when it rains like 7 months out of the year.  If we avoided doing things when it rains, we'd never do anything!  Both bands seemed gobsmacked and touched that there was still a pretty large crowd there, and that no one seemed to be deterred by the rain.  We were soaked by the end of the show, but it was fun as hell anyway!  We could have honestly listened to BTE perform for another hour, they were really on fire!  Barenaked Ladies were good, although it's really hard to get on board with a BNL with no Steven Page!

And I just realized that both selfies I've posted so far have been me triumphantly shoving my beer in your faces, lol.  Way to look classy Mary.


July


4th of July trip to Central Oregon

This is the second year we've done a "fireworks fugitives" trip to Central Oregon, which in the summer has this glorious burn ban and redneck morons don't blow off mortars for days on end.  We fell so in love with Central Oregon last year that we knew we were going to do the same week long trip again.

This trip was so needed and definitely will go down as one of the high points of 2018 for me.  The weather was absolutely perfect, with crisp high 40's in the mornings and just right 80's for the high.  Because the weather was so nice, we were able to bring Molly with us and get out and about more than we did last year, and we have some really wonderful memories of having her with us on a few adventures.  She even got to sit on a coffee shop patio with us, and didn't act an utter fool!  We just simply balanced a lot of relaxing and sitting on the deck outside with doing some fun jaunts out.  We went to Smith Rock, which if you guys ever happen to find yourselves in Oregon you 100% need to go, and we also hiked Steelhead Falls, which was so gorgeous.  It was just a very quiet and restful week, and being surrounded by natural beauty really did my soul good.

We did a big walk after breakast and dinner each day

Girls who run the world!

"I see bunnies!"

Smith Rock State Park

Smith Rock

Steelhead Falls



I did my Cape Horn Loop hike!

This is the one thing I feel bad about not doing a longer recap on, but I did my Gorge hike that I signed up for back in March!  This was another big highlight of 2018, and something I am very proud of.

This was a guided hike through Friends of the Columbia River Gorge, and I was equal parts excited and nervous for it.  It contained pretty much all of my anxiety triggers: having to drive through the city (to get to the carpool spot), spending the day with strangers, not having Eric with me in an unfamiliar situation, and going somewhere I hadn't been before.  I don't mean to sound snowflakey about it, I was just quite nervous going in and unsure of what to expect, but as usual once I got over it, I had the best time!  I can't say enough nice things about the hike and my experience with Friends of the Columbia River Gorge.  If you live in Oregon or plan to visit, and are a bit nervous to tackle a Gorge hike alone, I cannot recommend Friends enough!  Just as with the Latourelle hike we did, I felt safe and supported every step of the way.  I 100% would have freaked out had I tried to do this hike by myself, so I'm really thankful to have had the support of a group.





Finished!

I began transitioning to veganism

Oh yes, you read that correctly, I took a pretty big health step and am transitioning to being vegan.  This is another thing that warrants its own post (certainly not in a preachy way I promise) because there's a lot to detail.  Long story short, it started for ethical reasons but has had pretty major and positive health results that I'm excited to share with you!


August


Oh August, ha ha.  It's honestly my least favorite month of the year here because the weather is the absolute worst, the yellow jackets are at their worst (you seriously can't eat outside without them up in your business), and apparently we're going to have major wildfire events that lead to choking smoke every August.  We had 2 full weeks here where you couldn't be outside or have anything open due to fires in Canada and California making the air quality dangerous.  I ended up having a bad allergic reaction to the smoke complete with coughing/sneezing blood.  Doesn't this look like it was super fun to breathe?



But, even in August positive things can happen!  The biggest positive...

We got our floors redone!

You guys have no idea how life changing this was for us but we finally bit the bullet and replaced our skanky, cheap flooring downstairs with new laminate.  Seriously, our floors, specifically the carpet was such a mess.  It was the cheapest crap the builders could find, and after 10 years and 3 dogs, it was time.  And y'all, it has made such a difference obviously in appearance but in our well being too.  The downstairs is so clean and minimal now that it just feels easier to breathe somehow.

Before and After




Anyway guys, sorry to be out of the loop for so long.  I know maybe these things put together don't look like a ton, but there were tons of other things like work, vet appointments and doctor appointments there too kind of taking up space.  

Expect recaps of our Detroit trip and my vegan journey soon!


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