Once again, I am suuuper late in posting my monthly review. I hate to make excuses, but… I have been horrible at uploading pictures. I have problems getting my phone and computer to sync. Each time it seems to take longer and longer. So I start dreading the process… Writing? No. Photos? Yes. Ironic since I love taking them. I honestly don’t take as many because of the upload process. I do use iCloud, but still haven’t “mastered” it – something isn’t working. Anyways, enough whining… Here was my July aka my birthday month:
Independence Day – slept in, pool with friends, burger, walk around the lake
Last marriage preparation class with the church – 7 months to my wedding!
My fiance, Jose, and I have been wanting to go to Portland forever! We figured it would be a good birthday trip for me, but we already had plans on my birthday weekend. One of his former colleague, Katie, was born and raised in Portland and gave us a lot of great suggestions for our trip!
Thursday: We had a late flight out of DFW to PDX. I wasn’t looking forward to getting in after midnight, but I liked the idea of not having to take an early flight and jump straight into exploring. Well, summer storms in Dallas delayed our flight to even later than it initially was, getting us to the hotel (which was only about 10 minutes from the airport) around 3:30 am (PT). Yikes!
Friday: We took our time getting up, but did set alarms so we could make it to the hotel’s breakfast. Since the rental car company was closed by the time our flight landed we took the hotel’s shuttle back to the airport (praise Jesus for 24 hour shuttles!) to pick up our car.
I didn’t have a huge to-do list for Portland since we didn’t have a ton of time. I’m learning from previous trips not to plan too much because I’ll come home exhausted, which kinda defeats the purpose of a vacation… Katie had set up a few things for us to do together and emailed us a few suggestions. What I mainly wanted to do/see was downtown so that’s where we headed. First stop was Powell’s Books which came highly recommended. I am used to Half Price Book’s flagship store in Dallas, but was still impressed by Powell’s. I totally could have spent more time browsing, but I didn’t want to buy something that I could find back home. Jose did buy a comic book that he had been looking for!
We were getting hungry, but I hadn’t looked up many food places which is odd for me. We walked by the food trucks and wandered around town consulting Yelp. We ended up grabbing lunch at a Freshii, which isn’t anything unique, but it hit the spot. Next we strolled down the waterfront. I enjoyed the breeze and checking out all of the cool bridges and signs.
Jose suggested going to the Chinese Gardens which were in walking distance. The gardens were lovely and were a nice change of scenery. It was so odd being surrounded by Chinese architecture, then looking up and seeing a traditional brick building.
Our last stop before dinner was Stumptom Coffee. I hadn’t had coffee all day because I wanted to have real Portland coffee. By the afternoon I was a little cranky so I chose a cold brew to cool off. Jose was probably the only person that day who ordered a hot chocolate. I’m more of a hot coffee person, but really couldn’t imagine drinking a hot beverage after walking around in the heat.
We went back to the hotel to rest a little bit before going out to dinner with Jose’s former colleague and her husband. They even had our names printed on the menu – how cute is that?! Jake’s is a Portland tradition and tasty option for tourists and locals. When travelling, I like to get something that I normally don’t get to have at home and ordered the X which was really fresh and something different. We walked to a restaurant a few blocks away to share dessert. We went to bed reasonably early since we had an early morning, full day of sight-seeing, and had a morning of hiking ahead of us!
We started the day fairly early for being on vacation. Then again, most of our vacations tend to be busy with doing things (even Hawaii – oops)! We met our friends from dinner the night before and headed to Multnomah Falls for a little hike and take in the lovely Columbia River Gorge.
It was a little busy by the time we got to the falls (10 am-ish). unfortunately, the trail to the very top was closed and we were only able to go up to the bridge. We still got some great pictures and I love waterfalls so it was worth the 30-30 minute drive! We still wanted to go on a hike so we consulted someone at the information desk as to what hikes were open. We decided on the Beacon Rock hike, which was only about X minutes away. We got to drive over the “Bridge of the Gods” and into Washington State to get there. The hike was much higher and longer than I thought it would be. AMAZING views, but I’ll admit that I got a bit of vertigo on the way up. After taking in breathtaking views of Washington and Oregon we headed back down the trail- it was a much easier trip!
We were all STARVING and ate lunch at a local restaurant chain that our friend and her kiddos liked. I couldn’t have eaten anything at that point, but I felt a little more like a local since we were with locals.
We had the afternoon to ourselves so we did a few more “touristy things:” rode the tram and had an awesome view, walked around Alberta’s Arts District. We were planning on eating dinner out, but since we had a late lunch so I wasn’t hungry enough to eat down there. We grabbed a drink and discussed plans for the rest of the evening. I knew if we went back to the hotel that I wouldn’t get back out again. Long story short, were pretty exhausted and ended up going back to the hotel around 5:30 pm. I could tell by looking in Jose’s eyes that he was “done.” We ordered pizza from a local place and ate in on the bed while watching TV and it was the BEST DECISION EVER!
We had to be up at 3:30 am to catch 5:30 am flight (But the other option would get us back at 7:00 pm, which was too late for prior commitments)… Bonus was we got to see a beautiful sunrise and still had enough the whole day in Dallas once we returned.
I truly loved Portland and all of its natural beauty and its unique vibe. It’s definitely a place I wouldn’t mind going back to and exploring futher!
June flew by. Every month I wonder, “how can it be (insert month here) already”?! Growing up, one of our family friends used to say how quickly summer went by after the Fourth of July. I am sure I’ll be writing how I can’t believe that school is “back to school season!” But until then… This summer has been pretty chill for me so far. Not chill as in temperature wise because I am MELTING in this Texas heat, but low-key for the most part. A big thing that has been going on is my fiance and I being preoccupied getting things organized for the new house…
Bridesmaids dress shopping
Dinner with friends from out of town
Moving! Me into J’s condo – him to our new house (insert chaos here)
Saw The Lion King Musical at Fair Park
Father’s Day lunch with dad at True Food Kitchen
Celebrated my 1 year work anniversary
Reconnecting with long-lost friends
Attended a conference for work and saw one of my favorite speakers
The Crown, Season 2
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Season 4
Meet the Parents
*Recently hooked on Say Yes to The Dress (New York)
Today marks the beginning of my “Thankful Thursdays” series. I (like many people) tend to focus on the negative – what’s going wrong in the world and beat myself up over mistakes. I start complaining and it’s harder to see all of the good around me. My intent with these posts is to share all of the little and big things than have brought me joy this week. By expressing gratitude, I am hoping that my attitude will also shift to become more positive.
Going to the walk vs. the gym
Having a good make-up day
Booked trip to Portland next month
The sound of tolling bells
Cooking dinner at home vs. going out to eat (again)
Whoa, May was jam packed with work activities, family event, and fun! June will be slowing down (thankfully) and I am looking forward to taking a little break. But as it is June as I am writing this, I don’t know how restful it will be!
A very busy week at work coordinating meetings and events
Donating bags of clothes that I’ve out grown, don’t look good on my, an/or make me feel like sh*t*
Started seeing a dietitian for guidance on how to navigate what I see/here about “diet-culture”
I’m so glad it’s June, actually I’m not. May just felt so long and short at the same time. June means it’s just going to get hotter and hotter (I see you, Texas). My workload changes in the summer. It’s slows down a bit and we go more into planning mode.
This shift can be a good and bad thing. I like to stay busy because it makes me feel productive. I associate productivity with being “good” and it keeps my mind focused/distracted on something besides food or my body.
During times of idleness, when I don’t have anything (task-wise) to-do, I become incredibly anxious. I start over-thinking EVERYTHING, feel like I should be doing something, start stressing, and often turn to food for comfort – the list goes on and on!
Being STILL is something that I am working on in therapy. Learning that there is sheer joy in doing nothing and how I technically am doing “something.” I am resting my body and mind so that it can restore itself, allowing me to make better decisions and feel refreshed. This is a big change from feeling like I’m always running on empty.
Aromatherapy – essential oils – have been helping me a lot. By diffusing, using rollers, or adding oils to a carrier oil (think coconut oil + PanAway for muscle aches), I have found something new to focus my attention on and get excited about and reduce toxins in my body at the same time.
I’ve been using Young Living’s Humility essential oil blend a LOT lately. Most people might be shocked that I am in need of humility because outside I’m quiet and pretty modest. However, on the inside my pride and ego take over… Again, with the desire to feel productive and good, but physically l need to rest and reconnect with myself.
Along with learning how to enjoy “being still” I am also working on becoming more emotionally balanced so that when I come into slower phases of my life I can enjoy them and live more in the moment.
Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience – Colossians 3:12