Birthday Blessings

Today I turned 25. A quarter of a century old. I would have most likely had a panic attack about this a few months ago. When everything was crumbling around me. When all those plans I had laid out in front of me fell apart.

A few months ago the thought of truly being an adult would have scared the shit right out of me.

Today I turned 25 and it was perfect. I nearly broke into tears on a few separate occasions when I looked around  and saw how blessed I really am. I took a walk in the sunshine with my hound dog. My best friend and his son came over for breakfast. We ate waffles and laughed about 3.5 year old things. A few more of my favorite people came over and kept me company while we chatted over coffee.

One of my heterosexual life partners gave me one of the sweetest gifts I have ever gotten. It was a bundle of love notes—handwritten. Affirmation that I have such an abundance of love in my life. Encouragement that I am a pretty decent person, and that the people I adore like to hang out with me. They are note cards that I will stick in my purse as a reminder that this life of mine is so god damn beautiful.

And then to top it all off I went to lunch with all of my ladies. Eleven ladies gossiping around a crowded table, eating delicious food and sharing in each others company. There were a few moments where I looked around and thought, GOD DAMN… I am lucky. All of these ladies are my close and special friends. All of these ladies have been there for me for so long. I can’t believe much they keep me grounded. How much they keep me believing that humans are a pretty okay species after all.

Yes, I had to come to work—but I got here to a myriad of happy birthdays, a free coffee from my favorite barista and a box of Mighty-O donuts.. say WHAT? My co-workers rock. They presented me with a card filled with well wishes. Overwhelmed once again.

I checked my phone to see a couple messages from my family. Each and every member called me and proceeded  to sing Happy Birthday, in its entirety. This year, my brother channeled Marilyn Monroe—which he did wonderfully.

See? I’m tearing up just now as I write about today.

Thank you world, for giving me such an amazing life.

My message to all of you—nothing else matters but who you surround yourself with. Your existence, your happiness and the core of who you are is made up of the people that are around you. Don’t settle for loneliness.

I start my 25th year on this earth brimming with hope—I owe that to my people.

25… you are starting off with a BANG.

Advertisements

Divas Never Doubt

Sometimes you stay out too late. Sometimes you drink too much. Sometimes these things can lead you to questionable decisions. The type of decisions that are at the front of your brain and the tip of your tongue for the rest of the day/week/month/eternity… hmmmm. Solution for said decisions?

Running.

There really is something to be said for using running as therapy. It is a time where you are alone with your thoughts. Or in my case, alone with my thoughts and a crazy ass dog that tries to trip me every five minutes… keeps me on my toes.

I set out this morning with the intention of using my morning run as therapy. Running and breathing and thinking= therapy.

It worked! I got home feeling different—a sense of acknowledgement and acceptance of my aforementioned decision washed over me. I feel like I MAY be able to conquer the world.

I followed my run with a insanely hard  yoga class that left my arms trembling. However, my favorite teacher of all time told me that I had a beautiful practice, which further inflated my head and yes, I am sure that I can– and will–conquer all.

I’m not really this terrifying or egocentric, I promise.

However, I can’t imagine that I would be in this mental head space or find this clarity if I didn’t move my body. Exercising has become a crucial part of my routine. Recently, when I was sick, I wasn’t able to exercise. I went fucking stir crazy. I literally felt like a blob. I was moody, I was short-tempered. I was lethargic. I was a hot mess.

And look at this turn around! Now that I’m back in my routine, I feel like my inner diva is coming out. And I mean diva in a good way. I mean diva like Beyoncé (who is by far, the greatest person in the world—I can’t wait to see how her kid turns out. HOT DAMN.) It is amazing what confidence and movement will do to ones outlook on self-worth and life choices.

Yes, I did drink a few too many on Sunday. Yes, I did wake up the next morning and say to myself, “holy shit…” BUT, it happened. And who knows where this decision will lead me.

All I know is, DIVAS NEVER DOUBT.

Damn you Facebook Timeline

I literally have nothing interesting to write about. I can’t even think up a theme. Today is another rain cloud day. This rain cloud might have a stern face on. Not a sad face—it is the holiday season after all. Just a contemplative/pensive look. I think sitting alone sometimes can make you feel beyond nostalgic.

That and Facebook timeline. Or the idea that I can live old loves again and again through messages, pictures and wall posts. Facebook, what have you done to nostalgia and lost love?

So here is a little note for each of the loves. The ones that stuck with me.

To you:

It was the kind of love that stained my tongue summer berry red. It was mosquito bites and bare feet. It was big leaps of faith. Living together, loving together, and raising a dog together. It was the one perfect summer, and three years of sharing a bed. It was comfortable and like taking a deep breath of air. You are the kind of person that makes people want to be better. You taught me how to love another person with every particle, every fiber, ever part of my being.

To you:

Forever and always you will be a prince. Always keeping me guessing, always leaving surprises. You are the abrupt end of a song that you don’t see coming. There wasn’t any part of me that was ready for any part of you. You found me when I was a shell of a person, when I was an incomplete puzzle with a few too many pieces missing. Your words spilled out of you—jumbled, messy, romantic. The things you embody entrance me. You are the ellipsis in my life.

To you:

Absolutely and truly a best friend. For a decade. Through so many trials. A unique attraction. A definite connection. A darling part of you that melts my heart. I will never cross that line—no matter how tempting that may be. There is something so much bigger, so much more important than all of that.

To you:

I don’t know you yet. Or maybe I do, but I don’t know that we will become what we will become. I am so excited to hold hands with you. I am even more excited to make wherever we are a  home. You have made this love thing far too easy. I can’t wait to wear wool socks and scoot over hardwood floors to lay one on you when you least expect it. There will be many camping trips to go on, many puppies to raise and many a cold beer to share in our future. I promise to never forget that feeling we felt right at the beginning. I am excited to meet you—whoever you may be.

CHRISTMAS! BOYS! PRESENTS!

Wait what? I got over excited about all of these things. I also found a wonderful post on Hello Giggles– if you don’t know what I am talking about, let me explain.

Hello Giggles is a site that shows you all that you need to see/read/know about the internet. I am a sucker for things that are cute and ridiculous. Hello Giggles, you are my soul mate.

I found this adorable post about what kind of boys this girl would like to find under her tree come Christmas morning. I loved it. So much in fact, that I decided to write my very own. Who knows, I’m single, feeling feisty and confident. I am unstoppable.

Does this have anything to do with running, yoga or vegan food? Not really. But perhaps I will land said hot celeb via my knowledge on a diet free of animal products or how I can finally do side crow no problem.

MERRY CHRISTMAS BOYS! WELCOME TO MY TREE… awkward.

Pinned Image

1. Ryan Gosling. I know, I know. How cliché am I? There are already one billion blogs dedicated to him and how hot he is. I should just try to be more obscure. Shut up. I love this man. I have loved him longer then the craze, and will love him forever. As I just read over that I became disgusted with myself. No, I don’t really love him. I just admire him from afar. Like a creeper. But that face! And his ability to act! And he can sing! AND THAT FACE.

2. Alan Rickman. Yes, it would be somewhat creepy to wake up with Severus Snape under my tree. Here is my reason for adding Alan Rickman to the list. One, the man can act. No denying that. Two, him and Emma Thompson are besties. I want to be BFF’s with Emma Thompson. Third, Sense and Sensibility. Done. OH YEAH, most importantly, I want him to read to me. All. The. Time.

3. Colin Firth- I might as well get all my british actors out of the way from the get go. I adore this man. I love him in Pride and Prejudice. I love him in Bridget Jones’ Diary. I love that he will do horribly cheesy chick flicks. And I love the greying of his hair. What can I say, I am attracted to older, british men… who knew?

Pinned Image

4. Joseph Gordon Levitt- Yet another trendy crush to add to the list. But come on. Third Rock from the Sun? 10 Things I Hate about You? 50/50? Need I say more? Oh yeah, he has a bitchin’ voice too. Well done.

5. Zach Galifianakis. Throwing a curve ball at ya. Everything about this man intrigues me. I think he is most likely absolutely crazy, but I dig that. I also would nestle into that beard like WHOA. Yeah, that’s right.

6. Jason Bateman-another kind of random one. But he is a good-looking older man. I feel like he would drink tea with me. I also feel like he is probably really down to earth and would read bedtime stories to children at a hospital. Where I get this opinion of him? Not sure, but I bet he is a really good dude.

7. Ira Glass- speaking of voices. Jesus christ. This guy literally rocks my world whenever I listen to his radio show. I also love his glasses. But more than anything, I would just want to sit and watch the brains that go behind This American Life. Yeah, I may use him to get connected to NPR. Whatevs.

Pinned Image

8. Matthew Gray Gubler- Now, I’m not even sure who this dude really is. I think he is an actor turned model? Or something? But the reason I put him on this list is because of this. Yes, I am a sucker for a man who writes poems like that about his perfect woman. And yes, I will be that woman for you– you adorable man.

Pinned Image

9. J. Crew Models- any of them. dressed like they are in the catalog. Done and done. This is my vain/shallow side of things.. but really, can you blame a girl?

10. Bob Dylan/Jakob Dylan/someone in the Dylan family- They are poetic. They are beautiful. They are surrounded by intrigue. They encompass what I think freedom sounds like. Jakob has eyes that reads a soul like the back of a coffee can. MMMmmmm. Talent. It turns a girl on.

So there you have it. My somewhat random, somewhat telling, somewhat AWESOME list of who I would want under my tree. Truth be told, if any one of these men were actually found curled up sleeping under my tree– I would beat them with a fire poker.

Just because that shit is creepy.

For reals.

Seeking Clarity

Today I pretended to be a mom for 1.5 hours. It is exhausting. However, there is nothing more precious than receiving compliments from an adorable 3.5 year old. I traipsed around with this little boy whose energy astounds and delights me. It seems that I could care less about appearing like an ass in public, as I sneer, growl and run around like a fool. What can I say, this kid has my heart.

He also made me realize how I can’t see myself having kids for a REALLY long time…. if at all.

Gasp!

Not having kids? I know, I know. If my mom reads this, she will probably have a heart attack. I just don’t know if raising a child is in my future– and is that such a bad thing? I think there are enough children in the world, and perhaps my contribution to society is to NOT have a kid. I can be the fun aunt. Or whatever.

Mind you, I say this as a highly content 20 something single lady. Perhaps when I meet said lobster/dream man, the idea of babes will sprout up in my mind.

Speaking of minds, I had a beautiful practice today. I am still fighting this ridiculous head cold, so I contemplated not going to yoga. However, one of my absolute favorite instructors was leading, so I said eff you cold, I’m getting on that mat.

Thank goodness I did.

We spent a lot of time breathing. Which people don’t ever do. It blows my mind how you can feel the effects right away. While lying in shavasana, I tried to focus all my energy on quieting my mind (such an oxymoron, but that is a whole different discussion). To do this, I paid attention to my inhale and exhale. For me, I imagined my breath going into my brain, and where all the blood flows I imagined sprouting flowers, opening up passages, granting peace and new life.

It was the best shavasana I have had in a really long time.

I challenge you all to take 5 minutes to find a comfortable spot and practice breathing. I guarantee you will feel like a new person.

Make your weekend goal breathing… REALLY exciting, I know.

Yoga for Boys and Cookies… What?

First things first. Here is what I have discovered. There aren’t enough men that do yoga.

Perhaps it is the studio I practice at? Perhaps this is just a broad generalization that I am making? BUT, as far as I can tell, 85% of regular yogis are women.

Why is that?

There are a few dedicated men that I see in every class I take. Here is my second observation and broad generalization of the evening: they are all over 50. I marvel at their elegance and grace as they flip-up into head stand no big deal. These guys are the real deal. They practice regularly, and it shows. I look at them and am reminded why yoga is the best form of exercise.

But where are all the young men at? Now, I’m not looking to yoga as a way to meet my future lovah. If this happened, it would be pure magic I am sure. This man would most likely like Christmas and musicals, own a Newfoundland/Lab mix, know how to build a house, and be a farmer/rock climber/chef/pediatric surgeon.

A girl can dream.

Regardless, I want to see more young 20 somethings in yoga. Not just so the potential to meet my future lobster is there, but so the young men of the world can get limber. Boys of the world—get yourself to your nearest yoga studio and stretch yo’self. Yes, you will get a workout. Yes, you will be sore the next day. Yoga is hard. For all of those that doubt—go to a class.

Second observation/important detail of today. Christmas cookies.

Yes, I realize these two things have nothing in common, but these are the pressing matters in my life. What can I say, I am a bag of tricks.

So, this Christmas season is turning out to be the quintessential holiday season. Cutting down my tree—check. Hanging up my own Christmas lights—check. Having the most epic party ever—check. Buying soy nog, peppermint hot chocolate, candy-canes and Trader Joe’s peppermint joe joe’s—check. Sending out Christmas cards—check. SEATTLE MEN’S CHORUS—check. Date for the nutcracker and ice skating—check.

And most importantly, Christmas cookie baking date with my madre—CHECK.

However, unlike last year and every year for the past five years, I can’t make my go-to cookies. My triple ginger cookies and peppermint/gooey chocolate awesomeness? All full of nasty, mucus causing animal products.

Conundrum.

Luckily, I have pinterest and my new obsession, tastespotting, which is like pinterest for FOOD. GAH! From these sites I have found what appear to be good stand ins. I hope that they don’t let me down. A vegan thanksgiving was such a hit, I might as well make vegan Christmas just as awesome sauce.

First off we will have vegan ginger cookies. If I didn’t have ginger cookies on christmas I might explode. It wouldn’t be pretty. Found this awesome recipe at Go Lightly Gourmet. Looks like a winner to me. I will report back on said cookie.

Secondly, we will be making twice-baked cantuccini heaven… um what? Yeah, it is from My New Roots—the best blog to happen to me in a LONG time… these basically are healthy biscotti with holiday thrown in. So, they are perfect.

Third I will attempt to make the Raw Chipotle Cacao Brownies.. WAIT WHAT? Found these gems off of tastespotting, and then found yet another blog to follow. Rawmazing? You had me at cacao. WHAT WILL BECOME OF ALL MY FREE TIME?!

Ambitious? But of course, it wouldn’t be a holiday baking session without all or us deciding to make three to four cookies and then thinking WTF… This shit is a lot of work!

Happy baking!

Nature.

Blurgh. I am sort of at a loss. I spent my morning at the aquarium, spending a majority of the time watching sea otters.

For those of you that don’t know, sea otters are my spirit animal. To me, this means that they are the animal I have the closest affinity to. No, you can’t just choose your favorite animal and call it your own. It kind of happens to you. Like a click in your head, and you say AH, so that is my kindered spirit.

You can make fun of me all you want, I know what my spirit animal is and you are just jealous.

However, watching them roll around and eat raw clams made something ache inside of me. As I pondered what this weird sense of remorse was, I realized it was my disconnect with nature that has happened gradually over the past year or so.

I find great pleasure in being outside. I love to hike. I love to snowshoe and snowboard. I love to spend my summer outside every waking moment. I have hopes to climb mountains.

When did I lose that and become this city girl? Granted, I love my life. I love living in Seattle. I love getting dressed up and going out on the town. But I am sad that I don’t take long hikes with my dog– where he can be off leash and dart after squirrels. Even my dog is becoming urban.

Ugh.

I need to find the perfect balance. I need to dedicate more of my weekend to outdoor escapes. I need to get out of the city as much as I can.

My co-worker sent me this poem. The earth is calling me back. I better listen.

The Moment

The moment when, after many years

of hard work and a long voyage

you stand in the centre of your room,

house, half-acre, square mile, island, country,

knowing at last how you got there,

and say, I own this,

 is the same moment when the trees unloose

their soft arms from around you,

the birds take back their language,

the cliffs fissure and collapse,

the air moves back from you like a wave

and you can’t breathe.

 No, they whisper. You own nothing.

You were a visitor, time after time

climbing the hill, planting the flag, proclaiming.

We never belonged to you.

You never found us.

It was always the other way round.

Margaret Atwood

How to Get Over a Cold

It finally got me. After boasting about my iron strong immune system, I finally got hit with a cold. I thought this would have come sooner, as I work in a hospital. With children. That cough and touch things. BUT, I have somehow avoided it. Until now.

Now I feel like my head is FULL of cotton, I have taken one too many dayquil, and when parents ask me questions it takes me approximately one full minute of awkward silences before answering them.

Have I mentioned how much I hate being sick? Not only does it make you feel like death, but you have to stop your regular schedule. Whereas I usually spend every waking minute being productive in one way or another, I spent all of today in bed. I slept about 14 hours. I still feel like crap. And I didn’t even get to walk today, which means I didn’t get any exercise, which makes my head and body sad.

I also had to come to work. The smart thing would have been to call in sick, but I am saving up my PTO so I can go to Hawaii in February.  GAH. Sometime being an adult makes you do stupid things. Like come to work when you shouldn’t so you can have adequate time accrual. HA. Didn’t think I would ever write out THAT sentence.

However, now that the cold is here I have to deal with it. So I will walk you through the almost fool-proof cold recovery system created by me. If I follow these steps carefully, I may get over my cold in a day or two. Miss a few steps, and I am screwed.

Step one: Stop moving. Don’t even think about drugging yourself up and making your scheduled plans. Cancel your plans. Stay in bed.

Step two: Sleep. As much as possible. When you don’t think you can sleep anymore, try. You will most likely be able to revert back to being an infant and sleep 20 hours out of the day.

Step three: Drink fluids like you will never have access to water again. I like to do a combination of water, ginger tea, green tea, Kombucha, and when things get desperate, Theraflu (that shit is powerful stuff)

Step four: If life doesn’t allow you to stop everything (as in you have to go to work and function like a somewhat normal human being), then and only then, start taking the cold medicine. That stuff is NOT good for the liver, and it makes you feel high—and not in a pleasant-ethereal- way—in a why-am-I-here- and- how- did- this-happen way. However, sometimes it is necessary. Case in point, I am on Dayquil right now. Don’t feel too awesome, but I also can function on a somewhat normal level. And yes, when I get home I’m going to make myself a steaming hot mug of Theraflu and crawl into bed.

Step five: Eat copious amounts of Pho. First off, it is the best. Secondly, it is cheap. Third, it is the perfect food for when you have a cold. You snuggle up with that and a few reruns of Parks and Recreation? Forget about it, you are SET.

I hope to whatever god/goddess that exists in the world that I will feel better by the weekend. I have BIG plans—nothing and no one will stop me from seeing the Seattle Men’s Chorus sing Christmas Carols.

I will be there HELL OR HIGH WATER.

Dear Me:

I was reading a magazine today and there was an excerpt from this book called, Dear Me:  A Letter to my 16 Year Old Self. It is a bunch of celebrities writing letters to themselves about things they wish they would have known when they were 16. It reminded me of the AMAZING, WONDERFUL, INSPIRING, CRY ALL THE TIME It Gets Better Project, created by Seattle’s own Dan Savage.

Either way, it is a neat project. And although most of the celebrities writing letters were in their 40s, 50s and 60s, I felt inspired and decided to write a letter to my emo 16 year old self. Perhaps when I am 35 I will write a letter to by 25 year old self. All I know is that my 25 year old self is a lot more strong, confident and peaceful than my 16 year old self. So here it goes.

Dear Me:

Stop cutting your hair that way. You kind of look like a tool. I mean that in the nicest way. I guarantee that when you look back at pictures, you will wish you hadn’t done that with your hair.

Also, your body is perfect. No, you aren’t short like your best friends. No, you aren’t ever going to be petite. But god damn it you are strong. You are well proportioned. You have thick, wavy hair and a beautiful string of freckles across your nose.

Speaking of freckles… WEAR SUNSCREEN. You will have a few too many horrible burns in the future if you think you are going to tan like your best friends. They were graced with olive skin—you were not. Stop pretending.

Those boys? The ones you think are too cute for you? They aren’t. They will fall in love with you. Enjoy that. Have more confidence in the fact that you are attractive, and that your wit and sass will win them over every time.

Don’t be too concerned with if you are popular or not. In just a few years you will find that the ones you most enjoy are those that read and will play Apples to Apples with you. You won’t even know there are parties going on; you will be content hanging out with mormons and being innocent. Roll with it. You will get your party on in college—and for goodness sakes, stay away from Monarch alcohol, it will cause one too many terrible mornings.

Your first love is tumultuous and silly. You will always have a little corner in your heart for him. You will also move on to much bigger and much more real things. It is always hard. It is always painful. It is always beautiful.

And yes, you will turn into the athlete that you always wanted to be. It might take more years then you would like to imagine, but there will come a time when you will stand naked in front of the mirror and truly love every part of yourself.

With love,

Your future self.

It is the Freakin’ Weekend.

Now that I have a big girl job, I can be one of those adults that says, “Thank goodness it is Friday!” And I really am excited for my two days off. Like most everything else in my life, I like to plan out what I am going to get done. Lets break it down.

Saturday morning: run with my dog, followed by flirtations with my cute farmer, followed with coffee and vegan doughnuts whilst browsing the Seattle Urban Craft Uprising (thank goodness I got paid today– I’m a sucker for a good craft)

Saturday afternoon: Catching up with an old friend and his adorable son. Perhaps hanging christmas lights. Perhaps walking Zep. Perhaps doing whatever the adorable kid wants to do.

Saturday evening: Finally making some delicious vegan food. Most likely, the Thai Soba Noodle Bowl from the Sprouted Kitchen Blog (gah! her life is just the cutest). After stuffing my face, I will proceed to prefunk with my bestie over some soynog/rum concotions while we decorate our christmas tree.

And then a little girls night out on the town. Even got myself a brand new sweater. Going to do a faux hawk of sorts. Trying to be hip– may even put on some big girl make up… I know, getting wild.

Sunday: Seattle Aquarium. Staring at the sea otters. ALL. DAY. LONG. Enough said. I have more planned, but does anything else matter?

Moral of THIS story: stay busy, surround yourself with beautiful people, keep yourself entertained and always plan to let loose.

Until Monday! Have a great weekend my friends!