Thursday, January 30, 2014

A Season of Newness

In the past month life has flipped upside down. I am in a new place with new people doing new things. Where there is newness, there is also the constant presence of the unknown. I have been trying to loosen my grip, unclench my muscles, and lighten my body so it can be filled with whatever this season gives. I have been mirroring this newness in simple ways, by trying things that I have never done. These things vary from tiny things like the placement of a few bobby pins to big things like training for a half-marathon. This may seem silly to some people, but God is really showing me that the more my actions reflect this season the more He can help me be at peace with the present. (and we have to start somewhere right?)  Here is a great quote about change and newness from the book I am currently reading:

"I’ve learned that in many cases, change is not a function not life’s cruelty but instead a function of God’s graciousness. If you dig in and fight the changes, they will smash you to bits. They’ll hold you under, drag you across the rough sand, scare and confuse you. But if you can find it within yourself, in the wildest of seasons, just for a moment, to trust in the goodness of God, who made it all and holds it all together, you’ll find yourself drawn along to a whole new place, and there’s truly nothing sweeter. Unclench your fists, unlock your knees and also the door to your heart, take a deep breath, and let God do his work in you." -Shauna Niequist 
So here's to my season of wildness.
(Left) Rocking the floppy hat. Mike got me this hat for Christmas and I feel so confident and daring when I wear it.
(Right) Trying this new hair style. I saw this on Pinterest and realized that I have never worn my hair like this. It wasn't some daunting fish tail braid wrap, it was new yet subtle.
Exploring the City of Portland. This Portland City Guide has been helping me get a hold of my bearings. I know that it is going to take time to learn where the best slice of pie and friendliest coffee shops are; it is going to take time to learn Portland, and that is okay. In the mean time I will continue to keep trying, to keep walking into cafes that I think are coffee shops and be scorned by unfriendly baristas when I only order a drip coffee and ask if there is wi-fi.
(Right) I am determined to make homemade doughnuts. I love doughnuts, a lot. And I have been seeing some yummy recipes on Pinterest lately, this being one of them.
(Left) I baked these scones. But I added blueberries instead of cranberries. I brought them to a work potluck and people loved them. When in need of new friends, bake these scones.
Running, doing intervals, and trying new exercise classes. I have been trying weight lifting classes for the first time, running intervals on the treadmill, attempting to go to yoga once a week, and training for my half-marathon that I plan on doing in May.
Inspired by this outfit. So much so that I bought my very own black jumpsuit, which is a big fashion dare for me. But, this is my season of newness, and where there is newness there is a black jumpsuit waiting for me, with perhaps some red lipstick on the side.
(Left) Let's put an egg on my pizza. I have been seeing so many recipes like this one around Pinterest and I am making a mental note to give it a shot by the end of the week.
(Right) Trying Green Smoothies for the first time.   I never though I would like putting spinach in my smoothies, but to my surprise it was quite tasty (mostly because, as I discovered, you don't really taste the spinach). Yay for sneaking more veggies into my diet!

I hope this inspires you, wherever you are, to embrace change and try new things!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Portland Beginnings

 I packed up Miss Aspen and headed south
[Left] Made it through my first week of my internship, this is a picture from the coffee house in the same building as our office (which is in an old stone church, by the way, pretty amazing.) [Right] Our office partners with other creative arts therapies, such as horticultural therapy. We did an awesome demo and now this little cutie is hanging above my bed.
Found some beauty on the Columbia River Gorge
 And some more in Forest Park, the weather has been rain, fog, and the occasional, miraculous sun break
 I became name-badge official
This handsome man came to visit me. We are figuring out this whole 180 miles apart thing. It really isn't too far compared to most long distance relationships but I have only ever known him with about 10 miles of distance between us. 

 We explored old town and spotted some famous Portland landmarks, exploring new cities is kind of one of my favorite things.
 It rained for the entire weekend, so what else can you do but eat? We went to a delicious brunch at Mother's Bistro and I got Mike to try the ridiculously over-hyped VooDoo Doughnuts, as far as doughnuts go we are Seattle fans through and through, Top Pot for life. (We take doughnuts very seriously by the way...)
When the rain finally let up we took a muddy hike in Forest Park
It has been a blessed transition. I am keeping myself open and receptive during this season, in many shapes and forms. I want to stay focused on why I am here and why I have come this far. Human connection is a beautiful thing, pour in music and there is so much creativity to paint a landscape of hope with. Creativity, thats why I started this blog in the first place right? May He use me, a young women of many imperfections, to bring hope and healing into this world.