To the BCE

Class of 2017 & 2018

On Friday I am driving home and celebrating my last semester of classes EVER. That is both surreal and incredibly exciting. I will miss Berglund Hall and the many, many hours I've spent going from room 145 to 147 or vice versa. But mostly I will miss seeing our professors and all of the amazing people in my cohort every couple of days. Next semester my cohort heads off to our externships as we prepare for comprehensive exams and graduation. This means some of us are leaving the state and will not be seen nearly enough. 

These people have been the most amazing support system a girl could ask for. I am so freakin' grateful for every single one of them. My grad school experience would not have been the same or nearly as fun with any other mix of humans. 

This fall has been one of the best. Usually fall is the hardest season for me filled with transitions, hard classes, unruly weather and uncertainty, but not this fall. This fall was filled with the best clinical placement I could have asked for, the perfect mix of weather, interesting classes, spontaneous trips, new commitments and really investing in my community. 

Spring will be challenging but the graduation at the end will make it all worth it. I can't wait to see all of my cohort in one place again and hug them for an uncomfortably long time. :) 

Thanks BCE!! 
You guys all have my heart.

Dear You

Elizabeth Mayville Art Print #etsy:

Dear you,

I hope you often feel that jumbled sense of excitement and nerves when something exciting happens
I hope you often stop to admire a baby's innocent little laugh full of uninhibited joy
I hope you take the time to smile at the cashier and earnestly wish them a nice day
I hope you live in a too cold apartment someday and you must surround yourself in fuzzy blankets
I hope you sing loudly in the car, at concerts, in church
I hope you allow yourself some true blue community
I hope you invest in yourself
I hope you invest in others
I hope you get to hold the hand of someone you love
I hope you forgo makeup some days and notice how young and free it makes you feel
I hope you dress for yourself (so wear the 1920's cloche hat)
I hope you refuse to cover your mouth when you laugh
I hope you allow yourself to cry
I hope you allow others to cry
I hope you find what you're passionate about
I hope you don't worry or change it if it is not what culture is passionate about
I hope you listen to people's stories instead of the media's versions of stories
I hope you find someone or something to cuddle with
I hope you listen to God
I hope you act on what He says
I hope you stop listening to what others think
I hope you know you are, so loved
I hope you stop to admire sunsets/rain falling/snow falling/sunlight beaming across a field
I hope you have someone you can talk to who will just listen
I hope you take the time to listen
I hope you don't mind how loud silence can be
I hope you let your mind be still
I hope you take care of your body
I hope you love your body
I hope you love who you are when you are alone
I hope you don't have to wear masks
I hope you let your freak flag fly
I hope you are always striving
I hope you are filled
I hope you love the person you are becoming
I hope you love the person you were
I hope you explore
I hope you go toe-to-toe with your fears
I hope you win

Love, me

Why Knot {Explore}:: Philadelphia, PA

Holy smokes. It's been a while! Or at least sporadic. I'm in my last semester of classes for grad school so time is limited and blogging has not been receiving the kind of time it demands unfortunately. 

Last week I went to Philadelphia for the American Speech-Language & Hearing Association conference AND it was my very first time in the city/state! What a diverse city filled to the brim with history! So unique!! Now add 15,000 SLP's to the mix and you've got yourself a party ;)

This was my friends and I's first ASHA conference and the only way to describe it, would be- intense. I learned SO much and loved all the sessions I chose. I'm realizing my interests lie in traumatic brain injury and working with adolescents! Some of that probably has to do with the population i am currently serving (I'm at a children's hospital) but it's been fun to discover what really gets me excited. 

We wanted to make sure we took some time out of the busy conference schedule to actually see the city so we carved out some time on Thursday. We walked to Old City for coffee at Menagerie Coffee (delicious!!), Elfreth's Alley (stole my heart), Rittenhouse Square (pictured above), the Rocky steps (classic), and Boathouse Row. Oh! And we also strolled around where the liberty bell is, Benjamin Franklin's grave, Betsy Ross' house, Constitution center, and all the other amazing historic buildings. 

We also ate at some great restaurants! I had lunch two days in a row in Reading Terminal Market and while it was overly crowded and I was a bit overwhelmed, it was worth it for the delicious food. (I was told it is not usually as crowded as I experienced it. Us SLP's were taking over) For dinner we ate at Little Lion, Common Wealth, and we had Philly cheese steaks at Jim's Steaks. (Though we were told many times after the fact that we should have gone to Gino's!).  I highly recommend Little Lion for the atmosphere and the happy hour! 

I miss writing trip reviews and recaps! I wish I had more time in my schedule to escape more often. :) I have to say though, flying back into Portland make my heart flutter. I sure do love this little city. 

Happy Thanksgiving week! 

(I included links to all the restaurants and some of the attractions! Just hover over the words)

October in Review

 Now that it is November 10th, I thought a good October recap was a good idea. ;) 
October started off in the best way with a last minute trip to Las Vegas for my sister's 21st! We all got our hair done at Dry Bar, lounged by the pool, ate amazing food & had a blast. Can't wait to see her again so soon for Thanksgiving!

The following weekend I went on a retreat with my church to the coast! It was just what the doctor ordered and I had the best time. We trekked out to this lighthouse one of the days and it was absolutely beautiful. There was fog rolling in and out sometimes making the lighthouse disappear if you were standing back far enough. I love the rugged Oregon coast.

I also celebrated my friend's birthday! I love any excuse to have a bunch of us get together and eat out somewhere delicious!

Get ready for all the fall foliage!! 
This fall in the PNW has been un-real. Seriously. Even now I find myself in awe of the trees and all their beautiful colors. NW Portland has been showing off for a while now. One of my favorite spots in the city is at Barista coffee shop. You can sit facing out the window and people watch for hours. :)

 I took this one on the way to brunch with my cousin one morning. I drive down this street multiple times a week and on this particular day, it was really showing off.
 For Halloween weekend I decided to be THE most basic and go as Eleven from Stranger Things. Everything I'm wearing are things I already owned so it wasn't too hard to dress like a child from the 80's. I don't know what that says about me...

Then I celebrated actual Halloween at a memory care unit with some friends in my cohort. We had such a blast!! I wanted to be someone the residents would know so I dressed up as June Cleaver/a housewife. Again, I owned everything already so I'm not sure what that says about me either.

October was busy, fun, and went by so quickly!! November is already speeding by and soon it will be Christmas!! This fall has been going a little too quick for my taste. Next week I'm off to Philly for a conference and then it's home for Thanksgiving! 

Happy Thursday friends! 
Go out and hug someone today

Let's talk about gift giving!


globe, mat, dish towel, map

Have you guys heard of Uncommon Goods?? If not, your welcome for introducing you to your new favorite gift site!!

Uncommon Goods reached out to me to write a post about their different gift categories, and while I don't often do sponsored posts, I jumped at the chance for this one! After browsing their site, I knew this was a place my friends would want to know about.

I know it's only October, but Christmas is coming soon (!!!) and it's time to start thinking about what you're gonna get your loved ones. Or maybe you have a wedding you're about to go to, or you're celebrating an anniversary, maybe a birthday party? Or heck, maybe all the above! I highly recommend checking out Uncommon Goods website for a gift!

All the items above are things high up on my dream list. I especially want that cinema lightbox!!! I've been coveting something like that for a loooooooong time. Just think of all the catchy phrases I could display!

Also, don't mind me as I get all nostalgic looking at the cardboard deer head. In college, my roommate and I had one of those above our fireplace and it was one of my favorite decorations in our house. Sadly, the deer is hers but I'm thinking it is time for my own! Definitely works well while I'm living in Oregon!

Lastly, and something I think is important, the company is a B Corp., which means they make sure their employees take home a living wage, they lessen their impact on their environment by recycling and selling homemade, organic goods, and they give back to the community. Honestly, it makes me feel good to support companies that aim to give back in more than one area.

Soooo what do you think?? Go check out the website!!

Oh, and happy Monday! I don't know about you but it is raaaaaainy here! Stay dry out there!

(hover over the words for direct links!)

A Summer in Film

One more summer post and then I promise I'm done!

My friend Monica got me into disposable cameras back when we were in college and I loved how she would capture whole chunks of time on one camera. It was and is something so foreign to not immediately get to see what you took a photo of.  I knew I had some fun moments happening this summer so I picked one up at the beginning of July and had it last till Labor Day weekend. 

I picked the photos up yesterday and it immediately brought my back to just a little bit ago but it was something I really needed. If there's one thing I recommend, buy a disposable camera for at least one season of your life. :) You won't regret it.

Oh Lordy these make me so happy. 
If this doesn't convince you to go out and buy one of those cheap little cameras, I don't know what will. I'm so tempted to get one for this school year now. 

(also can we please acknowledge the woman in the third photo who is straight up GROWLING at the camera?? Best hilarious surprise of the pack!)

Happy Monday! 
Knock em dead this week people!

Wise Words

I stumbled upon Anne Lamott's wise words that she wrote for her birthday and I felt the need to share them, if only for myself on a later date. She speaks so much truth and in the most eloquent way! Here is the link for all the words of wisdom but here were a few I especially loved::

1. All truth is a paradox. Life is a precious unfathomably beautiful gift; and it is impossible here, on the incarnational side of things. It has been a very bad match for those of us who were born extremely sensitive. It is so hard and weird that we wonder if we are being punked. And it filled with heartbreaking sweetness and beauty, floods and babies and acne and Mozart, all swirled together.

2. Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.

3. Everyone is screwed up, broken, clingy, and scared, even the people who seem to have it more or less together. They are much more like you than you would believe. So try not to compare your insides to their outsides. Also, you can't save, fix or rescue any of them, or get any of them sober. But radical self-care is quantum, and radiates out into the atmosphere, like a little fresh air. It is a huge gift to the world. When people respond by saying, "Well, isn't she full of herself," smile obliquely, like Mona Lisa, and make both of you a nice cup of tea.

4. Grace: Spiritual WD-40. Water wings. The mystery of grace is that God loves Dick Cheney and me exactly as much as He or She loves your grandchild. Go figure. The movement of grace is what changes us, heals us and our world. To summon grace, say, "Help!" And then buckle up. Grace won't look like Casper the Friendly Ghost; but the phone will ring, or the mail will come, and then against all odds, you will get your sense of humor about yourself back. Laughter really is carbonated holiness, even if you are sick of me saying it.

5. Jesus; Jesus would have even loved horrible, mealy-mouth self-obsessed you, as if you were the only person on earth. But He would hope that you would perhaps pull yourself together just the tiniest, tiniest bit--maybe have a little something to eat, and a nap.

So good, right??

Why Knot {Explore}: Crater Lake National Park

Holy smokes you guys! Crater Lake!!!

This was my last planned trip for the summer (though, technically, I started school last week so I'm kind of counting this as a fall trip). A couple friends and I planned this trip kind of last minute but everything worked out perfectly. 

We left Portland early in the morning, stopped for some lunch items in Eugene, and got into the park by 3. (It should have been more towards 2 but there was a huge line into the park) We knew going to the park during Labor Day weekend was risky due to tourist overload but we felt it was still worth the trip. I'm so glad we made that decision because it was DEFINITELY worth it.

The lake was unreal! What is even crazier is how deep it is. Just imaging the depth of this giant volcanic spot took my breath away. I couldn't stop taking pictures of how blue the water was, the perfect clouds over the lake, the colors of the rocks and the general uniqueness to the whole lake. There's really nothing like it. 

We ended up camping at Diamond Lake right outside the park and I would definitely recommend it!! The lake was stunning, we got to camp right next to the water, the sites were well organized and clean and everything went smoothly from start to finish. I definitely didn't anticipate it getting down into the low 30's during the night though and woke up like a frozen Popsicle. But what are you gonna do but add on more layers? :) 

ALSO, this really cool company, Cotopaxi, contacted me to share some information about the National Parks and I jumped at the chance. Not only are these stats interesting, but it also gives me some ideas of where I want to go next! Pretty exciting that I crossed off Oregon's only national park this last weekend!

Cotopaxi is my kind of company and has a strong focus on their environmental impact and giving back. Check out their IMPACT page. It's seriously inspiring. 
They also carry some amazing backpacks for hiking, day use, or whatever you need it for! I have my eyes set on THIS one. :) They're the kind of backpacks that any fan of the outdoors would want. 

What is the next National Park on your list? I think mine is Glacier.

Let's Go Back: Summer 2016

Last summer contained so many changes, exciting moments, big moves, & uncertainty. In comparison, this summer was all about being present, exploring, and not letting one minute go to waste. At this time in my life I never really know how long I'll be in one place, one state, etc. so I'm learning to embrace living in the moment and really seizing all that is near me. 

I'd say summer 2016 pulled that all together nicely. 

So I wanted to look back on the summer before I start school again and everything becomes crazy. This is more for me in the future than anything else, but I guess it could also serve as a Oregon summer guide. :) 

I surprised my mom in mid May by flying in for the family Yosemite trip. I originally didn't think I would be able to go so it was a huge surprise and one I'm glad I made a priority. That trip was just what I needed after an intense Spring. See post: HERE

Friends visited me at home and we spent the day in San Francisco. I documented my One Day in SF trip HERE

My youngest sister graduated high school and is now off to college!! Both my sisters are now in San Diego living the beach life. 

I got back from my quick trip home in the first days of June and had a little bit of time before summer classes began so my friend and I decided to take a beach day trip to Oswald West State Park and Cannon Beach. I love taking quick trips to the coast whenever I can.

The app, Square, put on a fun flower crowns, wine tasting, local Portland goods kind of showcase one weekend and we had fun checking out the pop up space. We also went to Pine Street Market for the first time and it's now one of my favorite places for lunch in the city. 

My mom came out to visit and we did a little trip out to McMinnville, OR to go wine tasting. It was such a relaxing trip and I just love spending time with my mom. She's the best. I definitely got my love of wine from her. See that post HERE.

For the fourth, my friends and I knew we wanted to take advantage of 2 days off of classes so we booked a day trip out to the Painted Hills. Absolutely worth it. One of the most awe-inspiring moments of my time in Oregon so far. Post: HERE

And a bunch of us had a lake day out at Hagg Lake near where we go to school because when it's the fourth of July weekend, you best believe I'll find a lake to go to. 

One of my oldest and dearest friends came out to visit me with her boyfriend in July and it was such a fun time. We went to Tunnel Falls (see the post HERE), Hood River, the Multnomah Whiskey Library and as many breweries as we could fit in to a quick day and a half trip. 

 I went back to Oregon wine country again with some friends because I just couldn't stay away. This time we went to Dundee and it was absolutely picturesque. I have a post about it that I forgot to actually publish but look for that soon. 

To celebrate the last week of summer classes and our summer internships, my friend and I went to Cape Kiwanda! (HERE'S the post) It was a perfect beach day and I knocked off an item from my Oregon bucket list. 

I went camping with my church and some of my small group that following weekend and the place we were at was insane. Lake Billy Chinook is stunning if you ever get a chance to go! It's in the high desert part of Oregon not far from Bend and worth it for the views. 

In the second week of August I went to visit my friend Steph's family just outside of Seattle and we had some serious fun exploring the city, her hometown and Lake Cushman! See first Seattle post HERE.

I think I went to Seattle more than I ever have before this month! Less than a week after returning from Seattle, I was back up there to pick up our friend Bridget from her home in Seattle so we could continue up the coast to Canada! It was fun to do some of the classic things mixed with new adventures. That post is HERE.

For four days on Vancouver Island, we all got to relax, disconnect from reality and forget about school. It. Was. Glorious. We ate amazing meals, kayaked, watched 4 Harry Potter movies, read our books and enjoyed coffee out on the patio every morning. 

ALSO! I recently gave myself a 3 month goal of being able to do a headstand and guess what?? I did one!! So what should my next goal be? Handstand? (#iwish)

Vancouver was beautiful and those mountains made me positively giddy every time I saw them huddled around the city. So glad I was able to cross this off my bucket list!

Finally (I know, you probably finished reading this post when I was still talking about July! If not, thanks for hanging in there) I ended the summer by helping my cousin move into her new college here in Portland and got to show off my city to my aunt and uncle. I finally hiked into the Oneonta Gorge and it was everything I thought it would be. Holy smokes. 

Perfect end to a great summer.

What did you do this summer??