30 Before 30

Another on my list of 30 Before 30, a beach bonfire. Thanks to my Darlin’ for making this one happen for me on the last day of summer. As we sat together on our beach, the one that holds special memories for us, it was one of those moments to take a step back to look at my life. I feel really peaceful about where we are at, watching that fire together and in some weird sad way acknowledging all that we’ve been through for it. In life full of ups and downs, Summer 2013 was a really sweet one.

DSCF4572 DSCF4650 DSCF4593 DSCF4604 DSCF4597 DSCF4616-2 DSCF4635-2 DSCF4577 DSCF4637 DSCF4640-2 DSCF4646-2 DSCF4651 DSCF4662-2 DSCF4668 DSCF4678-2 DSCF4687 DSCF4697-2


I dare you to read this post by my friend Shelby and not get a bit choked up about what she had to say. As I look through these photos from our Road Trip around Oregon I can’t help but feel my heart burst with happiness. If I could have one wish for what I hope to contribute to Jonathan and Holly’s lives, it would be to create all the magic I possibly can for them to play in.

Our photos from the natural hot spring at Paulina Lake, Crater Lake National Park,  the Oregon Caves, Redwood Nation Park, Blacklock Point, the Oregon Dunes, Newport, and Lincoln City.

oregon_road_trip0001 oregon_road_trip0002 oregon_road_trip0003 oregon_road_trip0004 oregon_road_trip0005 oregon_road_trip0006 oregon_road_trip0007 oregon_road_trip0008 oregon_road_trip0009 oregon_road_trip0010 oregon_road_trip0011 oregon_road_trip0012 oregon_road_trip0013 oregon_road_trip0014 oregon_road_trip0015 oregon_road_trip0016 oregon_road_trip0017 oregon_road_trip0018 oregon_road_trip0019 oregon_road_trip0020 oregon_road_trip0021 oregon_road_trip0022 oregon_road_trip0023 oregon_road_trip0024 oregon_road_trip0025 oregon_road_trip0026 oregon_road_trip0028 oregon_road_trip0029 oregon_road_trip0030 oregon_road_trip0031 oregon_road_trip0032 oregon_road_trip0033 oregon_road_trip0034 oregon_road_trip0035 oregon_road_trip0036 oregon_road_trip0037 oregon_road_trip0038 oregon_road_trip0039 oregon_road_trip0040 oregon_road_trip0041 oregon_road_trip0042 oregon_road_trip0043 oregon_road_trip0044 oregon_road_trip0045 oregon_road_trip0046 oregon_road_trip0047 oregon_road_trip0048 oregon_road_trip0049 oregon_road_trip0050 oregon_road_trip0051 oregon_road_trip0052 oregon_road_trip0053 oregon_road_trip0054 oregon_road_trip0055 oregon_road_trip0056 oregon_road_trip0057 oregon_road_trip0058 oregon_road_trip0059 oregon_road_trip0060 oregon_road_trip0061 oregon_road_trip0062 oregon_road_trip0063 oregon_road_trip0064 oregon_road_trip0065 oregon_road_trip0066 oregon_road_trip0067 oregon_road_trip0068 oregon_road_trip0069 oregon_road_trip0070 oregon_road_trip0071 oregon_road_trip0072 oregon_road_trip0073 oregon_road_trip0074 oregon_road_trip0075 oregon_road_trip0076 oregon_road_trip0077 oregon_road_trip0078 oregon_road_trip0079 oregon_road_trip0080 oregon_road_trip0081 oregon_road_trip0082 oregon_road_trip0083 oregon_road_trip0084 oregon_road_trip0085 oregon_road_trip0086 oregon_road_trip0087 oregon_road_trip0088 oregon_road_trip0089 oregon_road_trip0090 oregon_road_trip0091 oregon_road_trip0092 oregon_road_trip0093 oregon_road_trip0094 oregon_road_trip0095 oregon_road_trip0096 oregon_road_trip0097 oregon_road_trip0098 oregon_road_trip0099 oregon_road_trip0100 oregon_road_trip0101

Another one checked off my 30 Before 30 list: I’m officially a half marathon finisher.

I’m not a runner. Or I wasn’t I should say, I don’t know… What I do know is that training for a race made me appreciate hitting the pavement a lot more and certainly found a new respect for what my body is capable of when I put my mind to it. I wanted to set a physical goal for myself that seemed somewhat impossible back in October without some serious dedication. And considering that 3 miles just about killed me, adding another 10 on seemed like a good idea.

While I’m not the fastest runner in the world, I did run the entire 13.1 miles, hills (dear lord, the hills!) and all, and I’m very proud of what I accomplished. I followed a pretty strict schedule to prepare my body, and I will tell you… The actual half marathon? Not that hard. Sure I was TIRED AS HELL when it was over, but the hard part? The really really exhausting, mentally challenging, horribly stupid hard part was the training and daily runs. The 6 miles on a Friday followed by the 10 miles on a Saturday, and starting it all over on a Monday. The hurt knee and the blisters. The putting on my running shoes and going out in the cold, in the rain, in the wind, or in the heat for 14 weeks leading up to the race. That was the challenge, and the part I am most proud of for sticking with it.

half marathon portland oregon, girl runner 2 3 4 5

Thank you to my friend Shannon who ran it with me, and to Aaron for encouraging me on the hard days and for being my biggest cheerleader the day of. Who cried while running at mile 9, 11, and 13 when she saw her boyfriend and his kids cheering her on? This girl!

I shared a little bit about making a list of 30 things I want to do before I turn 30 years old in a previous post, and I think I’m going to blog more about my 30/30 adventures.

Up next was to host a big dinner party for 12 of our friends. Of the party experiences I’ve been invited to in the past the most meaningful get-togethers are the ones that centered around food. The kind of food that you could just tell was made with an extreme amount of love… Maybe that is why Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. Planned out, prepared, and slaved over for hours. The kind of party where you feel special just to be there because of the kind of food you get to eat. Like you were invited to a secret club where you only eat the best food and talk over candle light and somehow everything looks prettier in that golden light and you leave feeling kind of a bit drunk on friendship or something cheesy like that… That is what I want to host. That is how I want, or want to attempt, to make people feel.

This was the first time a group of our friends from our past and present all got together at once. I was excited, a little anxious maybe, of course wanting everyone to have a good time. Once everyone arrived and conversation started flowing, and people started eating, and I started laughing…. damn you guys, that felt really really good. We are so lucky to be surrounded by so many loving people. I am so lucky.

Here is the menu:

Roasted Red Pepper and Butternut Squash Soup

Spinach Salad with Pears, Bacon, and Blue Cheese

My Grandma’s Garlic Bread

Green Beans

Best Mashed Potatoes

Peach-Whiskey Barbecue Chicken

Pennsylvania Dutch Apple Pie

Pumpkin Cheesecake

 At the end of the night we  all carved pumpkins. Can you guess which one is ours?

pumpkin carving contest