A Book Review


Sometimes you stumble upon a book that grabs your attention right away and you feel the need to highlight ever single sentence. They're hard to come by but once they do, I find them irresistible. As many of you know, I'm studying to become a Speech-Language Pathologist and would love to work in acute care in a hospital at some point in my career. Well if you are at all interested in doing some kind of medical work or you already do some kind of medical work, READ THIS BOOK. I mean, I think everyone can find something special from this book but what really spoke to me was how Dr. Kalanithi spoke about mortality and being faced with others mortality every day as a health care worker, or in his case, a neurosurgeon. 

But Dr. Kalanithi was not only a neurosurgeon. He was a complete renaissance man and his writing is poetic and beautiful. He talks about going from doctor to patient when diagnosed with terminal lung cancer at the age of 36 and how so much of what he preached day in and day out was now being preached back to him. 

If you follow the popular lifestyle blog, Cup of Jo, you know that Dr. Kalanithi is her brother-in-law. It broke my heart when we heard of his diagnosis and how her sister and her husband were coping and then when he passed away. I'm glad he decided to write about his experience as a doctor especially after being faced with such a devastating prognosis. 

Here is one of my favorite quotes:

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Before operating on a patient’s brain, I realized, I must first understand his mind: his identity, his values, what makes his life worth living, and what devastation makes it reasonable to let that life end. The cost of my dedication to succeed was high, and the ineluctable failures brought me nearly unbearable guilt. Those burdens are what make medicine holy and wholly impossible: in taking up another’s cross, one must sometimes get crushed by the weight.


And then there are a few quotes that perfectly sum up how I want to be as a clinician. 

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I had met her in a place where she was a person and not a problem to be solved.

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Here we are together, and here we are through-I promise to guide you, as best as I can to the other side.


So? Did I convince you?

Why Knot: Explore Bend


Over the long MLK weekend a couple friends and I decided to head to Bend to continue my birthday celebrations and explore Bend in the winter time. One of my friends grew up in the town and knew all the best places to go. We mostly drank enough beer to sink a ship (Bend has a crazy amount of breweries) but we also walked all around downtown and got to see a free concert on Friday night! I equate Bend to a Mary Kate and Ashley movie (the one where they go to the ski resort town) because everyone was decked out in ski gear, fresh off the mountain and ready to party. It was everything you could hope for in a smaller mountain town. 

Here's how the weekend went down:
 We started the drive by going through Mount Hood, which is always a little sketchy due to ice, but beautiful nonetheless. It was a straight up wintery wonderland out there! 

Then things got even more sketchy when we had 0 visibility on the other side of the mountain. We were all cheering that we had made it down the mountain safely when up ahead we saw this thick blanket of fog awaiting us. My friend drove like a pro and we made it through but it was definitely hairy there for a minute (or 20). 

 Once we had made it safely to my friend's moms house, we dropped our things and headed into downtown. I proceeded to make a fool of myself and take photos like this. After quite a few hours of driving, I was excited to be stretching my legs. We went to 10 Barrel Brewing and Bend Brewing Company (SUCH good nachos!!) that night and finished the night at a bar where all the locals go. 

The next day we rolled out of bed and headed to Smith Rock State Park. If you haven't been, drop what you're doing and make some plans now! This place was beautiful and I can't wait to go back once the weather gets nicer and actually hike it. The sun peeked out for a minute while we were there and I was very grateful. 

We ended the day by walking along the Deschutes river in the old mill district and it turned into a beautiful but chilly day. We stopped at Cascade Lake Brewing to watch the first NFL playoff game and then went to a sports bar to watch the second game. Honestly this day contained all of my favorite qualities to a day: friends, football, hiking, exploring a beautiful town, a little shopping, some coffee and beer and a cloudy blue sky. :)

On my list for next time is to ski Mount Bachelor at some point and in the summer, I want to tube down the Deschutes and hike Smith Rock. 
What are your favorite things to do in Bend, OR?

23 on my 23rd


23 on my 23rd
23 things I’ve learned:
1. When in doubt, watch a Parks & Rec episode.
2. Move to a place that always felt right and what do you know, it feels like home.
3. If you follow God’s plan everything works out perfectly.
4. True friendships make themselves known and stick around.
5. “Don’t be scared to walk alone. Don’t be scared to like it.” –John Mayer
6. Go listen to that band, eat at that restaurant or see that movie even if no one else wants to go with you. Don’t wait around.
7. EXPLORE.
8. Facetime is almost always better than texting.
9. Find a church and belong there.
10. Appreciate the belly laughs, tears and uncertainty and hold on.
11. Realize that this time in your life is FUN. Treat it as such.
12. Grad school is hard but worth it. You could meet the greatest people.
13. A long walk is incredibly therapeutic. So put on those headphones and sneakers and get walkin’.
14. Find a form of exercise that works for YOU and YOUR body.
15. Listen more in conversations. Silence isn’t a death sentence. It’s actually where all the good stuff happens.
16. Pray constantly. Pray as you walk down the street, before bed, in the car, always.
17. City living is a blast and every time you drive into Portland or walk around you’ll feel a sense of peace.
18. It’s ok to get giddy and maybe get TOO excited about something. You’re allowed to be happy.
19. You have the best support system.
20. This past year was hard but you would never take any of it back. Hard times make for stronger hearts.
21. Send the note, help people feel known and extend grace especially when it’s difficult.
22. My life has been one fairly consistent timeline and now’s the time to throw the plan out the window and wait for God to say what’s next.
23.Dance like Drake, sing like Adele and scream out the lyrics, tell the goofy story, read the fluff book, don’t let your heart grow hard from all the pain in the world, drink endless amounts of coffee and call your loved ones.

Here’s to 23 years!

looking back:: 22, 21, 20

What I'm Working on in 2016

Holy smokes that is weird to write. It's 2016! 
I love the idea of having a word to go back to and help guide me as I experience this new year. But because I couldn't choose just one (classic) I decided on two! 
Let's break 'em down!

Faith.
For 2016 I want to grow stronger in my faith and learn more about what I believe to be true. My church is doing a year of biblical literacy and I am joining them in reading the bible in a year. I want to journal more, spend more time in stillness with God, and ultimately be able to stand behind my faith more and more. I want to be able to lean on my faith when times become uncertain (which happens often) and I start to think more worldly. I'm excited to push myself and be more diligent in my faith life.

 
#truth. 
This is something I really struggle with and I always look towards the thing that I don't have instead of reflecting on all the things I am incredibly blessed with. I want to actively push myself to seek out contentment and enjoy this amazing life that I get to live and stop constantly searching for more. It's good to push ourselves but it's not good to look past all of the great things in our life and always check the other side of the fence to see what you could have. Because honestly, the people on the other side of the fence probably think they are lacking too, just in a different way. 



I want to keep going back to these words and at this time next year, be able to reflect on what an amazing year it was and how much I grew. And that's ultimately why I keep this blog! This little blog is my ultimate accountability partner and it sure does a good job at reminding me of my strengths and weaknesses. :)

I'm excited for this year! Are you?

Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes (Looking back on 2015)

January

 January was a rough month for me. There was a lot of transitions and uncertainty hitting me from every angle and I definitely wasn't prepared. I just re-read a letter I wrote to myself back in January to be read in December and whoa, was I unhappy. It was actually extremely depressing. But you'd never know it because #socialmedia. Needless to say, the year kept on moving and then it was February.


 february

 In February I got the call that a little school in Oregon called Pacific University wanted to interview me. I flew to Portland and rented a car on my own for the first time and had an absolute blast. I finally felt like my life was moving forward instead of staying stagnant.

 march
 In March I visited with my friend Ashley in the Bay area, received many declines from grad schools and tried to find contentment in staying in California. This was the month I tried to push myself to create a different kind of home in the place I had been calling home for quite some time.

 april
 Finally, in April, after many weeks of waiting, I got the call that I was accepted into Pacific University for grad school!! Not only did I get in somewhere but I got into a school that happens to be somewhere I always knew I would live. From there April was smooth sailing and I was able to enjoy finishing up the Chem and Bio class I was taking and continue working.

 may


 May was a really good month. My best friend Monica came to visit, my sister came home from studying abroad, my bio class ended, and all the puzzle pieces were coming together. I finally felt content in who I was and where I was headed.

 june
 June was a time of peace and relaxation as well as finishing up my chem class. We spent time on the lake, dropped my sister off in Yosemite and I genuinely began to appreciate this time at home.

 july
 July was excellent because we went to our friends house for the 4th and I got to drive up to Portland with my dad and sister to see my new apartment! Everything was coming together and I was able to enjoy summer.

 august
 August was a whole lot of HOLY S*** moments. (pardon my french). I saw Mumford & Sons in concert, I MOVED TO PORTLAND, I started grad school and I ultimately created a home for myself in a brand new city. And man, do I love that city.

 september
 September was filled with chaos, fun, excitement, new opportunities, new friends and a general amazement over all that Oregon has to offer.

october
 October was like a dream. I got to drive a tractor and visit the most picture perfect pumpkin patch, surprised my sister and see her in her last high school musical, went on an amazing church retreat, and the weather was unreal. Fall in the PNW guys!!!!

 november
 November was great as well. We went hiking through fairy tale lands, I went home for Thanksgiving, got more involved in my church and planned on finishing the semester strong!

 december
 This is my amazing cohort!! I can't mention December without mentioning all of the people who helped me along the way. This grad school thing would not be the same without this group of people. December was filled with holiday parties, spending a lot of time with family and trying my best to relax. It was glorious. ONE SEMESTER DONE!


 2015 played out like two complete novels. The first novel is all about a person completely unsure of herself and what she should do with her life and the second is about someone who is 100% confident she is on the right path. Reading the note I wrote to myself 12 months ago feels like a stranger wrote it to me. (and thank God for that!) She was sad, insecure, frustrated and alone. But even if there was an option to take that sorrow away from her, I wouldn't have done it. I learned more in the first 6 months of 2015 than I may have ever learned before.  

2016 won't be easy. I'm sure it will have its fair share of trials and triumphs and I look forward to each. And I also have the wisdom now of someone who has gone through a 2015 and come out on the other side. 

This space is sporadic and mostly a journal I keep for myself (albeit a very public one at that) but I love that I can read all about what I went through and see how far I've come. And thanks for letting me share it all with you! I don't even know who reads this besides my mom and Grammie (hi guys!) but even if I don't know you, thanks. 

So cheers to 2016!! (insert chilled glass of Chardonnay)

road trip podcasts


I'm taking a breather from studying for a minute to round-up some of the podcasts I am dying to listen to on my upcoming road trip. I always love hearing about podcasts people adore and I love passing along a good one as well. 

Most of these I haven't listen to yet but they all came highly regarded. If you haven't gotten on the podcast train yet, I propose you hop on and start with these!! 

1. Serial- the golden star of podcasts right now. I liked the first season (definitely got a little bored by episode 6 or so) but I can't wait for this second season!! First episode is out now on Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl! 

2. TED Radio Hour- Do you like TED talks? Are you human? jkjk But we all love TED talks and this podcast rounds up some fascinating discussions. Right now I have saved Headspace, Identities, Growing Up, Brand Over Brain, and Just a Little Nicer. (Obviously a big fan.) They keeps things interesting and unique throughout. 

3. This American Life- I haven't listened to too much from them but some I have saved include The Land of Make Believe and Magic Words. 

4. Relevant- This is a Christian magazine/online website but they interview some amazing people on all types of subjects! The one I have saved is on John Mark and Sarah McMillan Perform because I'm such a fan of his voice. 

5. Stuff You Should Know- They had some really interesting topics up and I chose the one called How Dementia Works. Won't be the lightest of topics but super relevant to my field of work.

6. The Tim Ferriss Show- This was recommended to me and seems to be pretty popular! I have an episode saved where he interviews Jamie Foxx. 

7. Bridgetown- This is my church's podcast page of our pastors sermons each week. Right now I have saved this amazing guest speaker that talked all about the current state of the world and how we cannot live in fear but instead approach our fears about what is happening from a different direction. It's called Identity and Vocation. SO GOOD. 

8. Oh Boy- This is ManRepeller's podcast and I've heard it's another goody! I chose the episodes with Mamie Gummer (Meryl Streep's daughter) and Emily Weiss (founder of Into the Gloss). 

9. Women Of the Hour- This is Lena Dunham's new podcast series and she interviews women on many different subjects. It's really fascinating and it's almost like you're sitting down with friends. 

10. Dear Sugar Radio- This is Cheryl Strayed's podcast all about life, love and relationships of all kinds. If you like her books, either Wild or Dear Sugar, then you will like this podcast. 

You can find all of these on iTunes. :) 

What podcasts am I missing??

Dropping In

link

Hey what's up hello

The semester is winding down, the days are shorter and the weather is frigid. I LOVE it. No really. For once in recent memory, it actually feels like December and I get to dress up in warm clothes! It's been raining pretty consistently and I'm realizing rain boots are about the least practical shoes ever, so I've been looking into some duck boots. Well wouldn't you know it, apparently everyone else in the country is also wanting some duck boots about now. I asked for some LLBean boots for my birthday/Christmas and I just found out there is a waitlist of, oh, about 100,000 people. Yaaaaaaay. So basically I could get my boots by March or April. Someone tell me it's worth it!!

In other news, Mount Hood is full of snow, I want to go skiing, and I really need to go grocery shopping. Aren't you riveted? This is life around here folks! I'm incredibly excited for the holidays and getting to spend time with family so for now I'm going to put my head down and hustle!
I almost have a semester of grad school under my belt! Yippee!

Hope your first weekend in December is grand. :)

Why Knot {explore}: Tillamook Forest


 One of the best parts about living in Oregon are the endless amounts of adventures that are SO close to you. Want some waterfalls? Drive 30 minutes east from Portland. Want a lush forest within the city? Walk or hop on public transit to Forest Park. Want a forest a bit more secluded? Drive 45 minutes to Tillamook forest. Want the coast? Drive an hour and a half west (from Downtown). And then there's places like Bend and Eugene or if you want a longer drive, Ashland, all at your fingertips. It's a little more manageable than California because it's a smaller state and it sure is beautiful!


 Before I moved here I started a list of fun places to eat/drink/hike/explore/etc. and I'm slowly making my way down the list and adding more every day. I've done a pretty nice job so far but I love that there are so many more places to explore. If you are thinking of heading up this way, let me know and I'll give you some of my recommendations!!


 My friends and I had the day off for Veterans day last week and we wanted to make the most of it. We realized none of us had explored Tillamook forest yet so we set out for a fun hike! We drove a little longer than we would have liked but the hike was gorgeous nonetheless. I can't wait to explore that forest a bit more in the coming months.


Also, I don't have any good hiking shoes and I didn't want to get my bright blue running shoes dirty so I hiked in my snow boots! I figured they must be waterproof and would prevent me from slipping (everything was wet from a recent rain) and I think they held up just fine! A little heavy to lug around at times but they got the job done! 

There's always something to do here and it makes exploring easy! I still have so many places on my list of things to do/places to eat! I crossed one off last night by going to Luc Lac! There's definitely no shortage of good food here in Portland. 

Where have you gone exploring lately?

These are my reflections

**shout out to Usher via Confessions for the title of this post**

22 feels a lot like this picture most of the time. There's a semi-clear cut path ahead of me yet no end in sight. It's beautiful but also a bit intimidating. There's a tendency to keep walking through to the end but forget to stop and admire the lush green landscape that lies to either side. And I do this a lot. I get caught up in the day-to-day hustle and the endless to do lists and forget to remember my age, the blessings in my life and admire the bright, puffy clouds above me. 
 
I've found I'm getting better at stopping and sending up little prayers throughout the day since I've moved to Oregon because it's fairly easy to do. Just yesterday I was driving to my school observation and the sun was rising above Mount Hood and the city in the most brilliant display of colors. It took my breath away and I sent up a prayer of gratitude. 

Wednesday night I lied in bed so perfectly content and thought to myself, "22 is a pretty fun time!" I have nothing tying me down and I live in an amazing city. Instead of dwelling on what I don't have and growing frustrated, I stood in the moment and thought about all that I DO have and thought about how I should allow myself to have more fun! I'll be 30 soon enough! 

So the path isn't clear but it sure is bursting with beautiful things to admire as I walk my way through.