Check-In: Week 2

Welp, here we go! Another week in the books. As predicted, my loss this week wasn’t nearly as big as last week. At first I was bummed about it but then I realized 1. I didn’t watch my caloric intake all weekend (starting on Friday) and was also not nearly as active as I would have liked (being in the car for 7+ hours a day will do that to you), but 2. I said it last week: my body is balancing things out. So I decided a loss is a loss and I’ll be excited about it no matter what!

While I could write on and on about this weekend, I won’t. I’ll just say I spent a fantastic long weekend with the man I love exploring the Redwood National Park for our 4 year anniversary. We took, like, 4,000 pictures of trees and were a part of one of the most amazing places on this planet for a brief moment in time. Really, that’s enough! 🙂

While I won’t go into every detail, I will talk about what I ate, because that’s what this blog is here for! I started off really good on Friday and had very healthy snacks in the car. By the time dinner rolled around, were both hungry and he was craving pizza, so we stopped at this amazing little local place in Brookings, Oregon and it was worth every bite. Breakfasts were hard as I didn’t really plan ahead as I should have so one morning it was a McDonalds Egg White Delight and the other was a Starbucks Spinach, Feta & Egg White Wrap. I made the best choices I could but hey, I was on vacation! Then for dinner on Saturday we celebrated our anniversary at a nice restaurant in Eureka, California so I didn’t really watch what I ate at all. Over the weekend I had beer, wine, crackers, In-N-Out… but all in moderation (except for the In-N-Out. I ate the crap out of that).

Anyway, I’m totally fine with the way this weekend went. I enjoyed myself, did the best I could, and am back at it again today in full force!

I’ll leave you here with this progress photo. Check back tomorrow for my daily check-ins and all that good stuff.


Oh Canada

Ok, I don’t know what is wrong with me! I literally have two–count them, two!–draft posts sitting in my dashboard and I can’t seem to find the inspiration to publish them. They just don’t excite me, ya know? And I mean, there’s nothing worse than posting something that doesn’t positively inspire you, at least at that very moment!

So, I’ve decided to post about my trip to Canada this summer! Every time I think about my time spent up in Malibu, I’m reinvigorated. Not only was the setting probably one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been, but going up there to serve as a high school leader was amazing–challenging, hard, stretching, & uncomfortable–but amazing none the less.

If you’re not familiar with Malibu (and I’d be surprised if you were), it is a Young Life camp most of the year. However, for two weeks a summer, the camp transforms into a family camp for active service military and their families. All of the campers are based out of Ft. Lewis just outside of Seattle. They have to apply to come to camp, and for the few lucky families who are chosen, they get an all expenses paid trip up to the Canadian wilderness to hang out with their family, uninterrupted, for an entire week.

It is an incredible thing to watch the transformation that happens in these families in such a short time. When they first get to Malibu landing, they’ve been on a bus for 12 hours driving straight through the night. All of us volunteers do what they call a Tunnel of Love–which is basically lining up and waving spirit fingers in their faces and cheering at the top of our lungs as they exit the bus–you know.. being all around obnoxious. I’ll admit, If I’d been packed on a bus for the entire night with screaming children and hardly any sleep, I probably wouldn’t be thrilled to be welcomed by the Tunnel of Love either. BUT you could just see a hardness in some of their faces that was a little unexpected. I mean, these men and women have all been deployed at least one time, many of them several times. That takes its toll on a person. Also the dynamic of a family that goes through something like that isn’t like most traditional families (if there is such a thing anymore). One of the girls in my small group said that her dad had been deployed 9 out of the 17 years she’d been alive. That’s so hard to relate to as someone who’s dad was home for dinner every single night of the week!

Like I was saying though, these families were transformed almost immediately. By the second day, these tough, military dads were dancing like fools with their children and not even worried that everyone at camp was watching them. There were mothers who, on the first day were verbally berating their children in front of everyone, became nurturing and encouraging right before my eyes. There were couples on the verge of divorce, who over the course of the week reconnected and decided to renew their vows in front of all their new-found friends. Seriously, guys.. when I was talking about writing an inspiring post, I guess this is the one I had been waiting for!

I could literally write pages and pages about my experience, but I don’t think it would do the whole thing justice. If you ever have the opportunity to go somewhere and serve like this, I encourage you to do it. It was such a growing experience for me in a thousand different ways, but I will never forget my week up North nor will I forget the great friends I made or the families who have forever touched my heart.

Maybe I’ll do a follow up post on Malibu later and get a little more into depth about what went on during the week, but I think for now, just reliving it even just a little bit has made me a pretty happy girl.

And now, for some pretty pictures!

The pool. No big deal.

I got to work on this dock for the entire week. Rough life.

Summertime Walks

Just some random photos from my lunchtime walk yesterday. I really love Portland in the summer! I aslo really love the picture below for some reason.. however, I almost got taken out by a bicycle to capture it, so maybe that’s why I love it so much! I had to fight for that one!

And, not to save the best for last or anything, but this guy was using a water hover craft up and down the Willamette.. I kid you not. The proof is in the pictures!!

Also, I wish when you zoomed in to crop a pic in Instagram that it didn’t make it so much smaller! I understand the reasoning, but speaking as a perfectionist, I really hate that they’re not all the same size. Oh well.. nothing to do unless you all have some tricks to share. I guess I could take them into Photoshop to re-size them, but that just seems like so.much.effort.

They Call The Thing Rodeo

It’s not too late to blog about something that happened almost a month ago, right? I mean,  I figure it’s much like thank you cards for a wedding–if you get them out within a year, you’re good to go! As a side note, I fully intend on exercising this right of tardy posts.. I’ve had one I’ve been meaning to put up since October but just can’t seem to get around to taking nice pictures yet! Hey, at least it’s something for you all to look forward to. As another side note, who decided that it’s ok to send a thank you card an entire year after a wedding!? And as a final side note (I promise), I really wish it was common practice to use the Interrobang. First off it’s just plain awesome to say, and second I think it creates a pretty terrific ligature, wouldn’t you agree?

Alright, now that I’ve officially gone off on multiple tangents, it’s time to reign it in–and let me tell you, the pun was most definitely intended!

A few weekends ago, I was invited by one of my favorite friends ever to go to the Sisters Rodeo in central Oregon (read about my previous Sisters adventures here). As I’m sure you all know by now, I have a serious crush on Sisters, but what you may not know about me yet is that my love for rodeos runs deep. As a matter of fact, one of my claims to fame is my appearance (I use that term loosely, you couldn’t actually see me at all) in a crowd scene in the movie 8 Seconds. Maybe it’s childhood nostalgia from growing up in Colorado where the cowboys are as rugged as the mountains. Or maybe it’s the fact that Garth Brooks will forever be one of my favorite country singers. Who knows. What I do know is, I love me some rodeos.

For me, the Sisters Rodeo is the start of summer. They call it “The Biggest Little Show In The World” which I think is quite adorable. It is relatively small, but most rodeos on the west coast are. I can’t really say for certain what it is that gives this particular rodeo it’s immense charm: maybe it’s the fact that it is nestled in a place where it’s literally city ordinance to have all the buildings look like old west saloons. Or maybe it’s because pretty much everyone in the city of Sisters comes out for the show. Whichever the case,  it’s wonderful.

The day started with the annual parade. This parade consists of mainly rodeo queens and old-time cars. Awesomeness for sure.

Then, after a quick lunch back at the house, we were rodeo bound.

I have to say my favorite part of this particular rodeo, though, was the after party. If you are over 21, it’s pretty much mandatory to go out after the evening show to one of Sisters’ two bars. Last year, we went to Bronco Billy’s but decided this year to try out the new Hardtails. Both places were similar in that they had an excellent live band, dance floor and relatively cheap drinks. Hardtails wins in the end with the mechanical bull. Also, the people watching this year was beyond compare.

We spotted many a character, some of whom we’ve lovingly dubbed Romo, Tape Measure Guy, and Old Make Out Couple. There were guys in bolo ties, girls in fringe galore, tight jeans, cowboy boots and more. My favorite guy of the night was sporting what I could only describe as a Pendleton jacket. I know we had a name for him too but I can’t remember what it was! Alfonso? I don’t know but it was something European sounding.

The best character of the night by far was Tanya Harding herself.. riding the mechanical bull. Yes, that really happened. Amy even got a video of it as proof.

All in all, it was another fantastic weekend.

And now, a little Garth Brooks to lead you out. You’re welcome. Shockingly, it’s surprisingly hard to find the original Garth Brooks Rodeo on the internet. But I’m gonna keep trying for you all because reading this post with that playing in the background is a thing to be experienced. Stay tuned!

Mother’s Day at Cannon Beach

I know you know I’m totally obsessed with Instagram, so this post of nothing but iPhone photos from our impromptu Mother’s Day beach trip should come as no surprise to you. Enjoy!

Lola and I love Cannon Beach! A lot!

Haystack Rock

Nana & Lo

These people were playing with their three tiny dogs in the ocean. So cute!

Smiling Finn ❤

Lots of people on the Oregon coast!

What a great weekend we had! Hope all of you had an equally fabulous time celebrating your Mom this weekend!

Land Ho!

Who you callin’ a ho? (Don’t tell me you didn’t see that one coming)

Last weekend I spent an amazing couple of days at the Oregon coast. It was my good friends 30th birthday and we celebrated by sleeping in, making pancakes, crabbing, drinking wine, and generally being merry. Here are a couple of my favorite pictures from the weekend.

The boys went fishing early Saturday morning. Look at his catch!

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Happy Easter!

Yesterday, aside from the usual church, lunch and general Easter merriment with friends and family, I may have discovered a new skill that could potentially make me terribly wealthy. This skill is what I like to call ‘Photographing Child Just As He Is About To Catch A Ball’. As my brother-in-law and nephew were playing catch yesterday, I noticed that Danny had a sheer look of terror on his face every time he was just about to catch the ball. I decided to be the good aunt that I am, and photograph it for all to see. I hope you enjoy!

Click through to see all the photos one by one.

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Instagram Madness!

I recently got a new iPhone. I have been waiting to get this phone for YEARS and during that time I had been taking mental notes about apps I simply could not live without. One on the very top of my list was Instagram.

I. am. obsessed.

After the jump, Check out a few of the pictures I’ve snapped in just two short weeks. Also, follow me if you’d like! (WARNING: one of my favorite subjects is my pup Lola, so please don’t judge me on the obscene amount of pet photos)

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The Ballerina Project

If I could be any type of dancer, I think I would be a ballerina. Not only does the name alone evoke images of poise and grace, but the fluid movements and beautiful costumes make being a ballerina any little (or big) girl’s dream. Alas, I have been cursed with flat feet and just the right mix of laziness and inflexibility making this wanna be ballerina sitting in the auditorium seats during the annual production of The Nutcracker.

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