An Ode to Portland

 This week is the anniversary of finding out I got into grad school. This time, almost exactly a year ago, everything began to fall into place. All the hard work, the tears, the anxiety and the unknowns all came together to create the most perfect plan. And it wasn't how I would have had it go down at all, but God felt differently. 

And I wouldn't take a second back.


On Sunday I was driving back from church, listening to some music play softly in the background, the windows rolled down, as the trees swayed in the wind and thousands of leaves and flowers fell to the ground. It was like a scene out of a movie. A beautiful tree-lined street, the protagonist in her car thinking about other things when she all of a sudden notices how much beauty surrounds her and it stops her in her tracks. 

I always wanted to step into one of those movies and live in one of the tree-lined neighborhoods like in Father of the Bride with a big white house and black shutters. On Sunday it felt like I had finally found myself in one of those scenes and it made me take a minute to be thankful for this place that I'm in. 

And life isn't all perfect. I don't want anyone to think that I'm walking on rainbows day in and day out without any trials (currently my face is breaking out like I'm 13, so there's that), but it becomes really difficult to complain when Portland gives you a sunny day and there's a general buzz in the air. I'm living according to God's plan for me and while each day has its unknowns, I know the general trajectory of my life is set according to the path He's placed before me. 

Portland has been the ultimate gift for the girl who, a year ago, doubted everything and didn't know left from right. April 23nd, 2015 was the day everything turned around and it's a day I'll continue to celebrate year after year. 

We all have those moments in our lives where there is a key change. The build up is often complex and frustrating, filled with potholes and triumphs, but it makes the reward that much sweeter. It's the moment you get the job, you realize you had feelings for that person all along, you decide you have to move if you're ever going to grow, you leave the job for the one you are made for, or you climb the mountain you thought was impossible to climb. 

Portland/grad school was and is all of that to me.


ps. if you want some goosebumps, read THIS post from April 15th, 2015. spooky. this is why i blog.

pss. and for fun, HERE'S the post when i announced i got into grad school :)

psss. tired of me yet? just have a great Portland story from yesterday. we were on Division (always a kind of crowded 2 lane street) and trying to fit two large pieces of furniture into my friends car and secretly hoping some strong man would come help us because #weak when 1 man completely pulled to the side of the road-illegally-to help us out, then 2 more guys come over and basically take over the whole process. 3 strangers totally helped us out!! How amazing is that in such a busy, individualistic society that we live in that 3 guys of all different ages would help some sisters out. it made me grateful to live in this sweet community once again. 

It's a Personality Thing

Recently, I've become really fascinated by personalities. You know, the Meyers-Briggs set of personalities. I recently stumbled across an article that perfectly described me to a tee and it stopped me in my tracks. I sent it to my mom, read it to all my best friends and we all agreed it. was. spooky. So we then proceeded to read each others personality profiles and all found the same thing: it was comforting to be understood and realize that some of our crazy, wasn't so crazy after all. :) A few of us are keeping a list of each others personality types just to have on hand!

I am an INFJ. Apparently we are pretty rare and are considered "extroverted introverts." A-men. We can't make up our mind about whether or not social situations give us energy or drain us and honestly, it just depends on the day. We are resilient but also sensitive. Changing the direction of our thoughts to focus on something else is frustrating and challenging because we are usually overthinking something. ;) 
 We connect with others really easily but creating long-lasting relationships is what we crave and where we put our energy. We can often feel let down a lot by our relationships because of the effort and love that we try to put into each one and find it's not always reciprocated. #sensitive Also, wanting to relax and recharge our batteries seems like a genius idea until about an hour in and we are antsy and bored. Must. Always. Be. Working. Towards. Something. Dating is frustrating because we are the least "casual" people ever and look for depth and meaning in every relationship. 

So if you know me well, all of that is pretty fricken accurate but there was something else that I've been thinking about a lot. In all of the articles I read it said, "You hate small talk" and while, sure, it's not my favorite thing, hate seemed like too strong a word. Then, the other day, I had a breakthrough. I realized that the reason I think I'm good at small talk and do pretty well in new environments or bigger social gatherings, is because I deflect REALLY well. I just recently caught myself doing this and kind of laughed to myself. 

When I'm doing what I consider "small talk" I'm actually just trying to figure out everything I can about that person and completely ignoring all mentions of my life. If someone asks me a question I will quickly answer and then ask you, like, 12 more questions. INFJ's love getting to know people and finding connections but we also don't love giving up information about ourselves until we know we can trust you. Then, once we trust you, get ready to hear everything haha. No holding back. 

So now that I've bared my soul to you and you know everything about me ;) why don't you mention what personality type YOU are!! Here's the website!




Why Knot:: Hike {Elowah and Upper McCord Falls}


One of my favorite parts of living in Portland is how close I am to otherworldly nature. This hike took us just under 40 minutes to drive to and was breathtaking! All of a sudden you are in the canyon looking up at this giant waterfall and feeling the wind and mist hitting your face. There are large rock walls to each side and I've never felt tinier in my life. These falls are Elowah Falls and are very easy to hike to! Start at the John B. Yeon Trailhead and you'll reach the falls in no time!

 Once you're done admiring the beautiful falls, I recommend turning around and heading towards Upper McCord Falls. When you first start the hike at the trailhead, you run across a dead end and you have to go left for Elowah or right for Upper McCord. At this point go right and you will definitely not regret it. The views from the top of this hike are UNREAL. We seriously stopped and admired our surroundings so many times.

 Also, everything was SO green and mossy! All of the trees looked like Dr. Seuss trees and I felt like I was in a magical fairyland. :)

This was the view on the way to Upper McCord Falls. UN-REAL amiright?? How you doin' Columbia? Oh, and hey Washington! (Washington is just on the other side of the river)

I definitely recommend these hikes if you are looking for something quick and beautiful. Also, you are pretty close to Bridge of the Gods as well so you might as well drive 10 more minutes and take a look at that beauty of a bridge. :) 

Happy hiking!

If you're gonna run...


 You better find a gosh darn beautiful place to run. In my case, that was the tulip fields at the Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm. :)


 On Valentine Day weekend I made a list of all the things I want to accomplish during this season of singleness and one of them was to get fit and active through running. ;) I knew I needed some motivation so I immediately signed up for a race and figured a 10K was a good place to start. My friend, Ashley, ran it with me and it was hard to hate on the running when we were surrounded by such beauty! We even ran through an orchard at one point! 



I think it's important to do little things that are selfish every once in a while. This whole experience pushed me and forced me to be proactive in ways I've never been before. It was challenging but oh, so worth it. 

Moments like these remind me why springtime is my favorite. There is joy in the air and everyone seems just a little bit happier. :) 
Happy Monday!!

Back in the Ol' Pueblo


For my spring break I jetted off to Tucson, Arizona (where I lived during my undergrad) to see friends and journey back to the place where I spent three and a half years living. It was an absolute blast. I love that I can go a year without seeing some of my friends and we can all pick right back up from where we left off. This time away was very much needed and gave me the extra push to finish off this first year of grad school. (THAT'S INSANE!)





Now about this dress. I recently decided that just being in grad school, having a social life and being involved in my church wasn't enough so I took on a part time job at Anthropologie. I blame my sister. She convinced me to take it. ;) I probably would have laughed in her face when she offered up the suggestion but Anthro just opened up their largest store EVER in Portland and I knew I needed to be a part of it. It's been a definite whirlwind and I barely have a minute to breathe, which is why Tucson was so great. 

I saw this dress hanging in our dress shop at the store and knew I needed it. I've been really good about what I spend as far as clothing and nick-nacks but I knew I wouldn't regret this dress and necklace. I love that I can get multiple uses out of it and dress it up or down. Also, I'm convinced this color looks good on anyone. 

Tucson will always have a piece of my heart.

Current Design Style

design

My entire design aesthetic entirely changed when I moved to Portland. I always thought my design style was girly or vintage inspired (Chateau as we like to call it at Anthropologie) but once I started picking out furniture for the apartment, that was the farthest thing from what I gravitated towards! All of a sudden I wanted everything to be clean, white but with pops of color, all of the exposed wood, plants galore etc. etc. I wanted it to represent a cabin in some ways. A place you could cozy up with a cup of tea and read a great book.

It's so interesting how our personal style and design style can be different. I feel like my design style in clothing form would be straight out of Madewell or the menswear trend. I want neutral, earth colors and I want as many pieces of wood as you can find me, pleaseandthankyou. In reality my clothing style is a lot more classic and feminine.

I am currently lusting over a big plant to put in the apartment but I know it can get pricey. Anyone have some recommendations on a place to get a good plant? #help ALSO, how amazing is that "WORK HARD AND BE NICE TO PEOPLE" print??? It's way too pricey for me right now but it's from this amazing store in town, Schoolhouse Electric. I want all of the things from there. I actually wouldn't mind if they just designed my apartment. :) The plant, National Park map and the print are all from there.

What's your design style?

I miss you Italy

 Lately I've been missing Italy something fierce. I think it may be because of how much Portland reminds me of my favorite little city. The weather, the delicious food everywhere, walking constantly, and the feeling of spring that occurs when you've experienced a winter. I remember the distinct feeling of that first spring day like it was yesterday. All of a sudden the trees were blooming, the hills were the greenest of greens and all the cold weather was 100% worth it. 
When I think about walking the tiny streets and stumbling over the cobblestones, I find myself breathing easier and a general calm washes over me. It's been three years now since I lived in that beautiful place and I miss it every day.

 It was the first time I traveled alone, booked trips without the help of parents, let loose more than I ever had, drank delicious wine, and fully allowed myself to create a home somewhere. I will always have a piece of my heart in Orvieto. I have a feeling that whenever I return, all the old feelings will flood back and it will feel like home again. I can't wait to bring someone with me and show them all my old haunts and hope that they can love it a little bit too. 

As much as I miss that little town on the hill, I know I'll return. :)

PDX Adventures: St. John's Bridge



 There are so many amazing things to do and see in Portland that I sometimes wonder if I'll ever see them all. Visiting the St. John's bridge and Cathedral Park has been on my list for a while and I'm so glad I got to stop by recently.





When it's sunny in Portland, there really is nothing better. Everyone is out and about, enjoying the sunshine and truly living our their day. The kids on the dock even had a little motor boat they were playing with! 

The St. Johns Bridge is the only suspension bridge in the Willamette Valley and the park below, Cathedral Park, has its name because of the beautiful archways holding up the bridge (shown above). The bridge was built during The Great Depression and actually helped provide jobs for many people in the area. 

So there's your history lesson for the day and if you're ever in Portland on a clear day, definitely stop by. :)

Weekend Adventure:: Mirror Lake



After a crazy week filled with stacks of school work/practicum/and regular work, I was ready for a fun adventure. Luckily a couple of my friends were ready for an adventure as well so off to Mount Hood we went! 
 I fed a bird off of my hand and it felt like a Disney movie. Such a cool experience!


It was wonderful to sit up there and reflect in front of my favorite mountain. I had never seen him that close before! It was also great to lie in the fresh snow and make snow angels. :) 

Mirror Lake is a great 4 mile (round trip) hike that is beautiful any time of year. It was definitely challenging hiking in the snow and most people wore snow shoes but we were feeling reckless. ;) I can't wait to go back in the Spring or Summer when the lake isn't frozen over and you can see a perfect reflection of the mountain! 

Just a heads up, for this time of year you have to park at Ski Bowl and walk about a mile to the trail head. Honestly, the mile walk in and out, to and from the trail head was the hardest and most tedious part because you're walking along the highway for a bit. But it's worth it! I promise! 

Did you go on any adventures this weekend?