Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014: From J-D

Not gonna lie, this was one of the better years of my life. I believe I will look back on it fondly for all my days.

January 2014
January: Got outdoors as much as I could (#JanuaryDetox) be it to the coast (top right, bottom left), Central Oregon (middle left) or skiing on Mt. Hood. I also celebrated a fave's birthday in January (top middle, bottom right) and watched the Broncos totally, embarrassingly blow it in the Superbowl/every Portlander pretend they're a diehard Seahawks fan much to my dismay. Additionally, I had a brunch to ask my bridesmaids to be in my wedding (center picture) and I started a new job which I won't discuss but has been nothing but a positive change.

February 2014
February: Jay and I headed down to Ashland (his hometown, all pictures taken there) to plan the wedding. We not only divided and conquered but I realized as much as I was excited about planning, I didn't have the organizational bride gene most of you have. However, after my hair trial (shown) & looking over the 'venue' (my MIL's house) with the wedding planner, I felt relieved and excited.

March 2014
March: One of the best months in my whole life because we met that cute shelter puppy there on the left. Once we met him, we readied ourselves to get him in a few weeks by moving and in doing so, gave up a view we cherished in our first shared home (top right) for smaller digs in a pet-friendly building (bottom right). We picked him up the very day we moved in at the end of March. And life has been so much more fun since that day. We also continued on the wedding get in shape train (top middle).

April 2014
 April: It was hard to pry me away from Chandler this month but I did have some prior engagements I had to attend. Such as my first 10K race ever (bottom left), charity dinner with family (bottom middle) & wine night with my girls (top middle). Other than that, it was a constant three-way of Jay/Me, Chandler & my upgraded DSLR.

May 2014
May: Lots more happened in May than my shower. However, it was special enough to represent the whole month. I loved it. I can't even begin to say how appreciated (and awkward) I felt for my Bridesmaids putting all that effort into me as well as all the beautiful faces that showed up (plenty more on that later).

June 2014
June: I watched my brother walk at his college commencement (Go Ducks!), Jay & I enjoyed the World Cup with friends. I especially loved pretending like I cared about soccer so I could have a fun day. Chandler hit the beach for the first time (upper right) & I attended a baby shower & bridal shower for two awesome people I love. I also ran the Rugged Maniac with my friends which I forgot to include a picture of ('OH THE HORROR' is tempered when I remember that no one cares).

July 2014
July: The fun month. Weddings, showers, birthdays galore! We also had engagement photos taken while down in Ashland celebrating a wonderful 4th of July weekend. Basically, I spent this month laughing and trying not to drown in my sweat at lots of fun events.

August 2014
August: I turned 30 this year (middle photo was my celebration of that) which was oddly calming to me though it still trips me up when I realize I'm no longer in my twenties. August also gave me joy watching a beloved friend of mine get engaged and be unable to stop smiling (bottom right), I got to be involved in an even happier best friend's wedding (bottom left) and a Vegas Bachelorette party for me. One of the sweetest most overdone most amazing cliches I've ever experienced. Oh, I also found out my Sister was FINALLY pregs (upper left lady). Best, best, best!

September 2014
 September: So many pictures, so many stories, so much family, so much friends, so much care. I obviously have many posts coming about this experience and too many pics for a monthly summary collage (including a honeymoon in Belize). But yes, it was a very, very special time for me this year. I also determined this month that those who started the exit of corsets are probably some of the dumbest people I'd ever hope to meet. You lose 20 lbs in 3 seconds!

October 2014
 October: More gorgeous weddings of friends (bottom right, upper right), more goofy time with pals without the stress of wedding stuff overhanging me & a very special Halloween costume: Khaleesi & Khal Drogo. And of course: Happy Birthday, Dad!

November 2014
November: I got outside this month (top row), spent my first Thanksgiving with Jay in Portland (bottom left), had Super NES tournaments at my house (2nd from left), ran my first Turkey Trot Thanksgiving morning with Jay & his Bro (second from bottom right) and hugged my loved ones in Holiday jubilation.

December 2014
 December: Christmas festivities, eating what I want/easing up workouts & my first Christmas day away from home basically sum up this amazing month.

So there you have it- what a fabulous year- I moved, got a puppy, got a new job, had so many sweet events with friends and got married. I just have never felt so loved in all my life. I know not all years forward will be as blissful (for instance, 2012 was a really rough year for me) but the last 365 days were a huge deposit in my bank of memories. Looking forward to making euphoric withdrawals from the events of 2014 when I have harder ensuing years and trying times.

Have a safe, happy New Year's Eve! I'm off to the Oregon Coast for the night to toast 2015 against the crashing waves (after work that is).

Feel free to peruse the previous year's recaps here:

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

2013: From J-D

Yes, you read that year right. 2013 is what I meant. I have previously done these on NYE for prior years (2010, 2011, 2012) but I missed last year due to blogging lapse. So before I unleash the summary of 2014 tomorrow, I wanted to go back to the year prior to bridge the gap.

January 2013
January 2013: Began the year at Cannon Beach (top row), visited Seattle to celebrate one of my favorite people (bottom two left) and began my official weight loss journey with exercise and eating right (bottom two right)

February 2013
February 2013: Went super blonde and enjoyed my weekends (left), had a work trip to Napa (middle top), began to food prep regularly (bottom middle), visited Central Oregon with my Shanin & my Family (lower & middle right) & toasted Jay's promotion with our good friends (upper right)

March 2013
March 2013: Really didn't do much this month besides stroll around town, eat and hang out with Jay. Not that I'm complaining!
April 2013
April 2013: Spent time with the beloved family dog, Maddie at my Dad's cabin (upper left), pet sat another sweet puppy (lower left), attending a charity dinner (middle), cheered on my runner during his race (upper right) and snuck off to Seattle for girl time (lower right)
May 2013
May 2013: Just a pretty month! Spent time in Portland's Wine scene (left), saw my pretty friend with all the pretties at her shower (upper), loved these balloons trapped by my apartment (lower left image, story here) & exercised like a maniac be it neighborhood runs or hiking.
June 2013
June 2013: One of the best months of my life. Mexico for a wedding with my great group of friends and Italy with my Mom & Brother. So, so amazing (and more posts to come on these things).
July 2013
July 2013: Soaked up the local flavor this month. Blueberry picking, Brew festing, Oregon Coasting, Cabin with my girlfriends... it's all good.
August 2013

August 2013: Upped my food prep game (upper right), went rafting for the 2,000th time of my life (left side), visited Seattle to toast an engagement (lower middle) and cheered on Jay & his Bro at Hood to Coast relay run.
September 2013
September 2013: The month of birthdays! Toasted my Mom with the family (bottom left) and Jay's 30th came with a jam. So much love.
October 2013
October 2013: What else is there besides Halloween & Pumpkin Patches? Jay and Me were 'Calvin & Hobbes'.
November 2013
 November 2013: I got engaged in NYC. Story here.
December 2013
December 2013: Toasting the holiday season with black hair and black duds. Cheers!

2014 recap tomorrow. 

Have a good one!
Monday, December 29, 2014

Meal Prep: Juicin', Chicken Salad & Yogurt

So ... my skin is sallowing, my body is a dough ball & my caloric intake is that of an elephant. That can only mean one thing... it's the end of December! Yay! Honestly, the month is great but due to my annual decision to let myself eat what I want and workout less, the end of the month leaves me feeling like I enrolled in the Chris Farley workout program. So with Christmas behind us, it is time. Time to put down the carbs and put on the workout shoes (with the exception of NYE & my family xmas on Saturday, of course).

So I kicked that off this Sunday with my food prep for office food for the short (yay!) week the next few days:
^Greek Yogurt topped with toasted almonds, fresh raspberries, organic/unsweetened shredded coconut flakes with cinnamon.
I was super-pumped to break out my juicer for the first time since we received it as a wedding present. I grabbed all of the above (apples, celery, ginger, spinach, lemons & cucumbers) and turned it into this beautiful drink:
Then I packed it up for to-go office drinks. Yum!
Toasted almonds, spinach, mesquite marinaded chicken & balsamic vinaigrette.

Feels good to be off on the right foot this Monday. 
Hope your day is great!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

A Southern Christmas

Christmas greetings from Ashland!

I'm in the Southernmost town in Oregon right now, situated a few minutes away from California. It's been a great and busy week so far since we got here on Sunday afternoon.

I'm still working, just remotely, so I've been pretty glued to my laptop with lots of emails and all that jazz. Jay is also working remotely so this week at his parents' house has looked like this:
(I brought that blanket, one of my favorite ugly ones for Chandler to lay on instead of their nice comforter. So ye shall not judge them for its hideousness.)

But it's been fun and festive at night, with dinner parties at a closed restaurant:
(I forgot my memory card in my nice camera that night, so I had to rely on my iPhone. Boo! It was great.)

Lots of cuddling by the fire:
(Thanks for ruining the picture of the fire. Well okay, you're pretty cute too...)

Walking around town:
^What a stupid picture to post but these were our lunch breaks.
Plenty of Christmas decorations:
^Outdoor Xmas tree at my Mother-In-Law's house. She is going to plant it on her property after. So sweet.
^My Uncle sends me a handmade wreath from Maine each year. Since I'm in Ashland this whole week, I brought it here to greet Jay's family. It looks great. (iPhone shot)
^Downtown Ashland cuteness.
Going out at night and letting people take blurry pictures of me & my hairy husband:

Seeing 'Wild' advertised here and knowing that part of it was filmed in this lil' town:
Admiring the night view from my Mother-In-Law's house (where we got married):
For my first Christmas away from home, it has been pretty great.

Merry Christmas Eve, everyone! Catch-up when we catch-up!

Be kind. Be kind. Be kind.
Friday, December 19, 2014

Make New Friends & Love the Old

Two weekends ago, I had an Xmas party with my girlfriends at my Dad's cabin. We annually get together to have an awesome time, drink awesome shooters, listen to awesome music and sit around and soak up each others' awesomeness.

A post to follow on that later but in the meantime... at one point during the night, we all went around and gave a toast to what we were thankful for together. Now, I don't remember what I exactly said but it was something like this:

"I'm so thankful for all of you ******* because it's important to know so many of you when you're young because as you get older, you make a lot of new friends. However, you can't ever fully be yourself around them like you can with the friend you've know your whole life."
^Me with two of my besties.
I gave a smile and looked around for accolade when I was, instead, met with this:

"hahah, like you have new friends! Yeah, right."

I went on to proclaim that I had been to happy hour the last month with 5 different new friends I knew from previous places of employment & volunteering and how much I liked them and how I hang out with them some weekends but they cared of none of it. They just laughed.

What *******. Gosh, I love them.
Only long-time friends could be so delightfully rude.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Yappiest Hour Indeed

The end of the week calls for a celebration of success. Working every day, hitting the gym, trying to get enough sleep while getting in all your vital shows: That all deserves a big pat on the back. Happy Hour? You got it.

Pump the brakes a bit. I have a puppy. And so I need to get home to him quickly so he too can celebrate a successful week of being home all day and not eliminating inside. Bravo to you, Chandler! I knew you could it.

And this is where the story unfolds. We actually have a place we can both go and release some stress.

It's pretty incredible. I get wine. Jay gets a beer. Chandler gets to socialize and sprint around to his heart's desire. And we get to watch and laugh
 Usually starts with a play bow...
 And that turns into all the lovable dog play antics:

^Humping, jumping, sprinting, mouthing, barking, etc.

And I get to enjoy this while I watch and crack up.

And glow with pride when I see my sweet boy earning his treats.
It truly is my favorite way to end my week.
Yappy Hour = the best thing in the world.