My Good List

I have this friend here (okay, maybe she’s my boss, too) who has a daily practice of posting “My Good List”. I often read her Good Lists and am happy thereafter. These lists are a recap of ‘things’ for which she finds herself thankful that day. I say ‘things’ because there is really no criteria for what’s included in My Good List, which is awesome and how it should be. Examples of some Good List items are: love and blessings, compliments on my hair, being in the here and now, the bald eagle and two deer I saw this weekend, the dinner my daughter made, my daughter’s enthusiasm about [fill in the blank], my co-workers, Natural Medicine, sunshine, chatting with [insert person’s name], hot tea at night, cozy PJ’s, my warm home, a TED talk by [someone] etc., etc., etc. Hopefully you get the idea.

Where am I going with this? Well, to be honest, this quarter is proving to be rough. I try to keep that to myself as much as possible, and I won’t bore you with scholastic details, but know that it is tiring. Emotionally, physically, and mentally exhausting. For the record, I know that my stresses are menial in the grand scheme of things and also that I put myself here. I promise I’m not complaining, and where I’m going with all this is…

Every single day I find myself thinking of and about things that–in the midst of this personally taxing time–make me happy and grateful and, honestly, which make my life easier. So, in the spirit of being hyperconscious of counting my blessings recently, here is a brief version of My Good List, as applies to the here and now.

  • Finding the Bothell Way Garage. Those guys are Heaven sent.
  • My co-workers at the clinic. I enjoy going to work.
  • Professors who are visibly passionate and truly care about their students.
  • Being able to call the most amazing support system a person could EVER ask for my own. Even if it’s 2,000 miles away.
  • My classmates…who are the best form of empathy and stress relief and encouragement.
  • Andrea and Lisa and being able to hang out in their dining room and enjoy wine/cider/beer/Lisa’s food and the best conversations. And the occasional cookie-making failure with Andrea.
  • Rachel Held Evans and her “A Year of Biblical Womanhood”. THIS BOOK IS FOR EVERYONE. I promise. Read it!!!!!!! It has to speak for itself, but you won’t regret it. I.PROMISE. (It says a lot for me to consistently read a book for fun while in school).
  • The random guy at a stoplight who somehow got my attention to tell me that my tire was almost flat.
  • Bastyr friends from the Midwest.  : )
  • Feeling like I live in a safe place/having attentive landlords.
  • THIS.
  • Balance Yoga Studio.
  • New experiences.
  • Hearing from Missouri friends.
  • Blue skies.

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  • and pretty flowers!

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And on and on and on and on and on…!

Full disclosure: The Good List normally starts with, “Thank you Spirit for… .” I’d prefer to start it with, “Thank you, God, for… .” Because I am absolutely thankful to God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit style) for each of these blessings–in addition to the grace and peace and love I feel on a daily basis.

Here’s to counting blessings, today and everyday. 🙂

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Green Eggs and Lamb

No, you did not misread that. Yes, I do mean lamb and not ham!
IMG_1806I never ate Green Eggs and Ham on Dr. Seuss day when I was a kid, but I think I made up for it last weekend by enjoying myself some Green Eggs and Lamb. Isn’t that a pretty plate?!

My friend, Meagan (a first year Naturopathic Medicine student! who has a GREAT gluten/grain-free/paleo/primal/Weston A. Price friendly food BLOG), and I ran into each other at school during the second week of Winter quarter at a time when I was basically running to my next class, and due to our exchange being so brief she suggested breakfast at Portage Bay Cafe that weekend. Um, yes. Absolutely yes. Breakfast may be my most favorite thing in the world.

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It was actually kind of unbelievable that I’d never been to Portage before. It was on my Seattle to-do list, but I hadn’t yet made it. The place is local, organic, sustainable, and encourages everyone to “Eat Like You Give a Damn.” I love it. There are several locations, and we went to the Roosevelt one.

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I’m sure those of you who know me well are rolling your eyes currently…because, of course I love this place. 😉

So, I had Green Eggs and Ham, and Meagan had a Goat Cheese Omelet. The green part of mine was an arugula pesto, and it was dee-lish. I don’t think I’d ever had lamb before, but it was really good. Salty, but good. Meagan’s omelet had spinach, crimini mushrooms, green onions, goat cheese and dry-cured olives, and it was also delish. We kind of shared, so I know this from personal experience.

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Yes, I know I look like I just woke up. It was an 8:30 am breakfast!

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And yes, Meagan was aware of being pink stripe-tastic. 😉

Portage Bay also has a “toppings bar”, for which they are famous, I guess. Meagan and I shared a trip to the toppings bar…despite having anything to really “top.” So basically we each had a small plate of extra goodies: berries, whipped cream, honey butter, pecans. Yum.

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Meagan’s plate o’ toppings.

I’m aware that these fruits aren’t currently in season… Not sure how that works. I’m sure locally and organically and sustainably, though. Maybe they freeze them. Or can them. Next time I’ll ask.

Anyway, after brekkie we took a little stroll to the U[niversity] District farmers market. It was a really chilly and gray morning, but it was nice to be out.

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The U District market is one of the few that is open year-round, so that is neat. Also Rockridge Orchards (from Enumclaw, WA!) is a vendor there, and that is extra neat because they have cider. Extra.hot.cider.

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And free refills, which seriously made the farmers market meandering a pleasant one.

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Quality Saturday morning for sure. Come visit me and I will take you to Portage Bay where you can “Eat Like You Give a Damn” and maybe have some Green Eggs and Lamb! Yeah!

One more food photo for good measure:

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Pretty plate!

Cheers, my dears!

{All food photo credit goes to Meagan!}

Back At It

I said at least a million 12 prayers that it would be sunny in Seattle upon my return.

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And sunny, it was! Thankfully.

This made my transition back a little more pleasant…for, like, a day. Maybe even only a few hours, if we’re being honest. Because honestly, IT IS SO DARK HERE. And my reaction to the darkness was so dramatic that I checked and compared the sunrise and sunset times of Springfield, MO, and Seattle, WA, to find that on the day I arrived back in Seattle there was a full hour and a half less daylight than there was in Springtown. Boooo. I can look back on this with humor now (I act like this all occurred more than two weeks ago), but, truth be told- I pouted for a solid few five days as it rained and was dark and I dreaded the start of a new scholarly quarter.

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First day of school pic. Gross.

This was all despite my best efforts to be cheery, too. My friend, Chloe, having just returned from a month home in Wisconsin, was in the same state of despair as was I, and we arranged to hang out together so as to not sit at home and do nothing. So, Chloe and my roommate, Amy, and I drank wine and watched Hope Springs.

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This wine is great. It’s called Organic Agriculturist, and it’s organic and sulfite-free. From the label:

What is the culture of organic? riding on tractors, getting grubby, watching the moon rise, Solstice bonfires, barefoot cousins, three-legged dogs, quoting Sir Henry Neville, picking grapes and picking guitar, cold beer, ripe peaches, growing wheat between our rows of grapevines, Beba’s chocolate chip cookies, acorn woodpeckers, making wine without sulfites or preservatives, leaving the earth a better place for our grandchildren to inherit from our children.

Love it.

We also had a little craft day. Which involved more wine.

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Sunday afternoon crafts/red wine from a goblet, anyone? Photo cred: Chloe.

Chloe did some scrapbooking (of her first year in Seattle)…

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…and I did a little mod-podging.

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Not dry yet. {SUPER CUTE WHEN DRY!}.

So, needless to say- we survived. And I think we’re both in better spirits now. Thankful for that.

It’s been sunny (and also foggy) for over a week now, so there has been some legitimate scenery, which is particularly nice during the morning rush hour that I brave every Wednesday and Friday.

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{Don’t worry, those photos were taken in standstill traffic. I PROMISE.}

And this was taken last weekend from my kitchen window. So pretty!

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I guess it snowed a little, too. Forgot about that.

So now I am back in full school mode. This quarter my classes are: Advanced Nutrition: Micronutrients, Nutritional Counseling, Nutrition Assessment and Therapy, Disease Processes 2, and Chef’s Pantry. On Tuesdays I have every one of these classes. That means I’m in class from 8am ’til 7pm, with a lunch break that attempts to maintain my sanity. From now until March 19, Tuesdays have been renamed: Coffee and Stretchy Pants Day.

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Back to Seattle = back to Seattle coffee/espresso. Coffee snob in the making.

In other fun news, I cut my bangs (again) promptly upon my return. My brother told me I look like a boy, and another individual who shall remain nameless asked if I could “get those under control”.

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You can all thank my friend, Paula, for the tweet exchange that inspired this photo…otherwise you’d just never know what I look like right here and now. 🙂

Hope you’re all enjoying your here and now! XO.

Final Rewind {Merry New Year}

Okay, so I pseudo-lied in the last post– it’s not quite Christmas yet. Getting closer, though.

Before Christmas, there was an Apocalypse Party. You know, because the world was to end. World ending = party. Obviously.

I wore purple pants:

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Erin wore appropriate tights and an “artifact” necklace (hilarious):

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And there was conveniently a Mayan backdrop for a photo shoot.

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I think Joe is modeling professionally now, if anyone is interested in contacting him. It should also be noted that Abbey provided the very photo-shoot-appropriate Mayan Aztec jacket (and all of these photos- thanks, Abb).

Yeah, so, that happened. The Apocalypse was nonexistent, though, which meant…Christmas. I promised you it was coming! First up, extended family Christmas at the parentals’.

My cousin, Maddie, is the prettiest girl I know! And my brother loves wearing overalls.

My cousin Maddie is the prettiest girl I know!

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Just couldn't put the ham down for a photo.

Just couldn’t put the ham down for a photo.

The next morning I attended a lovely little Birthday Brunch for my friend, Katie. I didn’t take any photos, but Katie posted a recap on her blog, and you should absolutely check it out. I’m serious. CLICK HERE NOW and look at all the pretty pictures. We had fun. There were personalized coasters, there was champagne, there was Tomato Basil Bread Pudding, and there were HEAVENLY scones. And I do mean heavenly. Brunch was lovely, because Katie is lovely. You should read this post by her while you’re at it. (FYI, Katie and I were sort of high school rivals but didn’t specifically know it, then we went to Jewell together and bonded. She also stayed with me for a hot second in Washington this summer).

Moving on! That same night I had another little reunion to attend. IMG_1580

I really have no idea why there was Lysol and/or a broom involved, but it was obviously fun. There was also an in-town bonfire.

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This particular reunion has become tradition and features friends I definitely only see once per year (i.e. Maggie lives in New York..), so it is always a reeeeeal good time. This one was especially spectacular.

Again, this post is getting out of control. The following is a photo-heavy abbreviation of Christmas through the New Year.

Christmas night living room:

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Present opening:

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Bacon calendar = no-brainer gift.

It fiiiinally snowed before I left:

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New Year’s Eve at Table Rock:

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The gentleman…if that’s what they can be called:

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And the ladies (much better looking than the men):

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Party pic that I find hilarious:

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And post-midnight lake plunge:

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Nothing says Happy New Year like a dip in the lake.

I left the homeland a couple days later, but before doing so I bought this shirt (for myself, of course):

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Love!

Five Pound Apparel in downtown Spring-town has a whole slew of Missouri is Awesome tees, by the way. You know you want one, too.

And then I made a dinner of meatloaf, fingerling potatoes, and green beans for the fam and enjoyed it, them, and one a few of these:

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After that, I suppose I was ready to go back to Seattle and back to school. … Let’s be real, that’s definitely a lie. I’m never ready. There’s just no place like home (I know I say that all the time)!

Other unpictured but noteworthy things I did while home included: attending a GHS basketball game; having breakfast at the Brew Co. (you should do that, and soon); getting my Sumits Hot Yoga fix; changing my red wine preference from cabernet sauvignon to pinot noir; being treated to a manicure, a pedicure, and a massage; sitting in a duck blind (okay, it was in a living room, but still); going to Mama Jean’s…like, five times; eating Andy’s; glittering up some champagne glasses with my GF; meeting a pup named Freese; hanging out with the cutest 2-year-old on the planet (again); hanging out with my childhood besties/other family (though as a result of sad circumstance, it made my heart happy); reading The Shack, finishing The Omnivore’s Dilemma (you don’t wanna know how long I’d been reading that); annnndd many other things, I’m sure.

If you’re still with me, you deserve a cookie. 🙂 I’m back in Seattle and back to school, and I really, really have intentions of returning this little space back to a blog…as opposed to keeping up with the novel of a Facebook photo album type thing I’ve got going on now. We’ll see what happens. Stay tuned.

Rewind, Part 2 {Home for the Holidays}

If you missed the first rewind and are interested in a food photo overload, you can click here for more fun (or just scroll down).

As you can imagine, December through the New Year holiday was lovely…because I spent it at home among loved ones! I will warn you, this post is lennnnggthy and photo-heavy. Continue at your own discretion.

I flew into Kansas City, where my college lover picked me up.

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We hadn’t seen each other in a year, so we obviously had a significant amount of catching up to do, which is exactly what we did for several hours (over several drinks) upon my arrival. We also visited with her sister (a former roommate of mine), her nieces, and her mom the next day. And it was SO good to see all of them. And thennnn, things got even more exciting! More people I love showed up!

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Sorry, can’t help myself with the photos! Long story short- I had a great weekend in KC and wish I could’ve stayed longer and seen more people. Other (unpictured) KC things that occurred include: visiting the Plaza (to see the lights, duh), spending the night with a couple pretty cool people and the most adorable 2-year-old on the planet, hanging out in Liberty and giving the boyfriend a solid WJC tour, and seeing my high school BFF whom I hadn’t seen since her wedding 13 months prior. 😦  I was SO happy to see her even if it was for a brief hour on the way out of town.

Then, after a day in Waynesville (boyfriend town), I really went home. To Springtown and to my parents’ house, where I was greeted by this:

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Haha. Love it. And of course I loved on the pups while I was home.

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The big to-do during my first week at home was actually a really big deal…

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Post-last-college-class bubbly

My brother graduated from Missouri State! Yaaaayyy, brother!!!

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Typical

Typical

Also, my brother’s girlfriend/my dear friend, Jessica, graduated.

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So there was a much-deserved little party, and I think everyone had a good time.

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Congrats, again, to the graduates!

With graduation in the bag, we were able to move on to Christmas festivities.

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Yaaayyy, cookies! This post is actually more out of control than I anticipated, so it is To Be Continued…

Stay tuned for Christmas and New Year’s recaps. I know you’re on the edge of your seat- my apologies.

Rewind

Soooo I have some catching up to do. Who wants to know what I did for Thanksgiving?!

I thought about foregoing the whole catch-up sesh and skipping to the here-and-now…but then I realized that the point of this whole blog deal is to document my Washington life. So, back we go to November ’12…

IMG_1363Yes, that was what it looked like a week or so before Thanksgiving. So green! Don’t be confused, though- that brightness was rare.

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before or not, but my school has the best cafeteria (Click here to read about it!). So, Thanksgiving at school was delightful.

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That is cashew gravy, and it is amazing. So amazing that I almost made some for my own Thanksgiving. Speaking of my own Thanksgiving(!), my roommate and I hosted it at our house…for ourselves and my friend Ingrid. We had quite the spread for three people.

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I was in charge of the turkey and gravy (for the first time in my life, might I add), and it turned out pretty well, if I do say so myself. I think I made my mom proud, anyway. My bigger foodie project though was a salted caramel pecan pie.

Homemade crust!

Homemade crust!

Hot Cakes salted caramel, of course.

Hot Cakes salted caramel, of course.

The finished product! Obviously a million hours later. And obviously beer was in order.

Obviously finished a million hours later. And obviously beer was necessary.

My first time as co-host of a Thanksgiving was a success, I’d say. Amy (my roommate) and I were in the kitchen pretty much all day (Macy’s parade on TV in the living room in the morning though, obvi), and she made us kale chips and crepes to snack on. We had a good time. The evening continued with additional friends, champagne, wine, pie, ice cream, and conversation. And then I think I ate pie for breakfast for a week.

The next day I helped prepare a meal for Teen Feed, which feeds homeless youth of Seattle.

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My friend/classmate, Rebecca, and I are co-leads of a Meal Team that plans for, shops for, and prepares a meal for this non-profit bi-monthly. It really is a good time (and a good thing), and someday I will blog about it exclusively. Really, I will.

They needed pecan pie, too!

They needed pecan pie, too!

I think that night I also attended a live music show at a really interesting place with my friend Andrea. I should’ve taken photos of that. ‘Twas beyond interesting for various reasons. Anyway.

The next night (it’s the Saturday after T-giving now, folks) was spent at this gorgeous house on Mercer Island that my friend Jena (from school) house-sits. It was dark when we got there, so photos were kind of difficult, but Jena, my roommate, and I enjoyed Thai food, wine, and good conversation for many hours.

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Good, good times with good peoples. 🙂

(I’m aware that this post is becoming an out of control play-by-play and food photo overloaded. Bear with me!)

It is also worth mentioning that post-Thanksgiving I made a turkey stock, which turned out great and which I was a little proud of.

Yummas!

Okay, Thanksgiving is over. I promise.

After that, it was a sprint to the end of finals/going home.

I decorated my house for Christmas (even though no one would really be there to enjoy for long). Thanks, Mom, for the old Marshall fam decorations.

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I visited my beloved Hot Cakes for some holiday cheer and to buy an outrageous amount of gifts to take home.

Still the cutest place on the planet, FYI.

Still the cutest place on the planet, FYI

And then! And then! FINALS WERE FINALLY OVER. This means that my first quarter of actual graduate school (last year was science prerequisites) was done with. Big deal, y’all.

Cheers, INDEED.

Cheers, INDEED.

This was also in order.

OMG. So good.

I don’t remember what this was called (Ingrid, help me?!), but it involved Red Velvet, cream, and candied pecans. Yummas!

So, there is the playback of November-December 5, 2012. On December 6, I flew home and enjoyed a glorious few weeks there for the holiday. That playback will hopefully be comin’ at ya sooner than later. 🙂

Pumpkin Party!

On Friday night, my roommates and I hosted a Pumpkin Party at our house.

The hosts: Desiree, myself, Amy.

The idea was for everyone to bring a pumpkin-themed food item to share and to enjoy good food and company. Let’s be real- it’s October, who doesn’t love pumpkin right now?

The party was a HUGE hit! I am so happy we decided to do it. We are all in the middle of midterms, and I think everyone needed a little outside-of-school activity. I have learned over the last year that maintaining balance is one of the absolute most important things that crazy intense Bastyr students can do for themselves. Pumpkin Party = great balance maintenance.

This is merely a FRACTION of the goodies:

There was SO much great stuff. In addition to what’s pictured above, there was Pumpkin Chili, Pumpkin Soup, Pumpkin & Butternut Squash Risotto, Cheesy Pumpkin Pasta, and more. Oh, and more cider, more beer, and more wine.

Amy and I did a rough estimate of the total attendance and it was near 30. Pretty impressive for a last minute/first attempt at hosting a social gathering. May have to start hosting more frequently… Not to be overly-ambitious, or anything.

With bluegrass on in the background (duh) and pumpkin candles burning on every table, the evening was spent standing around, sitting around, chatting, meeting new people, sipping, and tasting. And if I learned one thing about hosting, it was that I MUST START TAKING MORE/BETTER PHOTOS. I think I got over the take-one-million-photos-per-night phase and moved straight to the oops-I-forgot-to-take-pictures phase. So, thank you to Desiree and Jena for sharing these photos.

Ingrid, Rebecca, me, Shauna

Note on the above photo:

Ingrid is a new friend in my program at school. She is from Chicago and just moved here. I decided I wanted to be friends with her during the first week of school (and declared this to Rebecca). She lives not close to me and doesn’t have a vehicle and dealt with all sorts of public transportation issues to get to the Pumpkin Party. I think that means we’re friends.

Rebecca and I are literally always together at school. We were friends last year during our Post-Bacc studies, so it was only natural that we hang out with one another when we started our actual program with brand new people. I think our classmates think we are one person, which is maybe not a good thing, but we have lots of new friends, too- don’t worry. Rebecca almost didn’t make the party due to work, but obviously she could not stay away.

And you may remember Shauna from my bluegrass adventures last Spring. She is not currently taking classes, so I never see her and was happy that she made it! She also lives not close and is vehicle-less and so dealt with transportation issues getting to the party.

Thank you, friends, for coming!!!! And thank you, roommates, for co-hosting! And thanks to every person who made it. A lot of people met a lot of new people, and I think a great time was had by all.

Oh, and thank you, dearest mother of mine, for sending me pumpkin potpourri (for like, the 4th year in a row) from the Fair Grove Heritage Reunion/Craft Festival. ‘Twas perfect.

Annnnnddd, in case you missed it- one of the greatest things about the Pumpkin Party was that it gave me an excuse to wear my favorite orange and black striped tights…for the third year in a row.

Ingrid, Rebecca, me.

Yay, Pumpkin Party!

Happy Halloween to you all!

Back to School.

Welp, September came and went, and I am back to Washington and back to school. Before it passed, though, September was glorious. As soon as I was finished with summer school, I hopped on a plane headed for Missouri.

Aerial view of Mt. Rainier, Mt. St. Helens, and Mt. Hood.

I got there just in time for Labor Day festivities and was able to make it to the lake (with some great people, of course) to say bye-bye to my summer that had seemingly just started.

A Table Rock sunset.

My time in the Ozarks was heavenly. I had a jaw-dropping (literally) experience when I walked into a local grocery store and saw this:

Yay, Springfield!

I spent a long weekend in Arkansas and decided if I ever go off the grid, that’s where I’ll reside. The Buffalo River and the Ozark Hills Mountains are God’s gift to United States geography, I think.

Heavenly wrap-around porch.

Elk!

I walked/ran my favorite part of  the Galloway Creek Greenway. And stopped on a bench for an ab workout in the sun.

I hung out with this adorableness:

Yogini in the making.

I caught up with dear friends.

I took several evening walks with my mom, which allowed for some gorgeous sunset (complete with cattle) viewing.

Annnddd, I enjoyed the presence of this guy a little bit.

For real, you guys, there’s no place like home!

I also partook in various activities, such as: going out in public in my high school clothes and without make-up or a hairdo due to lost luggage, attending yoga as much as possible at my favorite Sumits Yoga – Springfield,  sipping coffee while watching the Today Show, leisurely reading from the grounding space of my parents’ back porch, watching my dear friend and former teammate coach softball at our high school alma mater, baking cookies, baking a really yummy and expensive lemon pistachio cake, hanging out by myself in Waynesville, attending a high school football game, assembling wedding programs, accompanying my mom to a quilt show, and attending the most perfect riverside wedding and barn/bonfire reception imaginable.

I had a real good time. And came back for school (only 12 hours before my first class!) feeling rested and healthy and sort of ready to go. Here’s to hoping the next 10 weeks fly by!

2012-2013 Opening Convocation with Rebecca.

Back to school and back to Lake Washington!

Summer in Washington {photo recap}: Part II

If you missed the first part of my summer summary (aka: the live music ramblings), click here to catch up.

In between all the live music events there were other notable happenings. My favorites among them were my summer classes–Therapeutic Cooking I (Maintaining Health & Wellness) and Therapeutic Cooking II (Disease Specific). Each class was a half day long and included both a lecture and a lab, which included preparing/cooking the meal of the week. So every Thursday I was in lecture for about three hours and in my school’s super awesome kitchen for five+ hours. These classes were electives, but they were hands down my most favorite thus far. They were also the most helpful, informative, and mind-blowing. Really glad I took them. Sadly, I do not have any kitchen photos to show for them. I did receive a kombucha start from one of the classes, though.

I now have kombucha out the ears, and I even brought some home (along with a start!) to Missouri. I think my parents are thrilled.

Between my two Thursday classes, my friend Rebecca and I almost always opted to sit outside and chat about non-school things instead of facing the impending doom of what would be a pop quiz in the next class.

This is the proud organic garden of Bastyr, and we spent a lot of time staring at/walking through it.

Come on, you wouldn’t have wanted to study for a quiz either.

I said in the Part I post that this summer allowed me to settle into Seattle life a little more, but I should’ve said Washington in general instead of just Seattle. On one random Friday, a couple friends and I took a day trip to Bellingham, which is north of Seattle by a couple hours (really close to Canada) and on the water. We stopped along the way to pick berries at a U-Pick organic farm and then continued on to Bellingham via backroads and small towns. Below is the view from our roadside picnic lunch, just outside of Chuckanut, WA.

The San Juan Islands are in the distance. Not too shabby for a lunch view, despite the less than desirable mid-July weather.

Once in Bellingham, we walked along the water, visited some cute coffee shops and bookstores, met some friends of friends, and enjoyed a patio dinner. Bellingham is a really cute, small, college (Western Washington University), hippie town, and I was glad to experience a different part of Washington. More waterfront photos below.

Towards the end of my summer in Washington, I had a visitor from Missouri.

Hanging out at Lake Washington.

Yay! Erica and I met at Jewell, and she now lives in Springfield. She came for a long four day weekend, and I took off from work, so it was really nice to just relax and show her around. I won’t take you through the entirety of our adventures, but here is an abbreviated version:

We rode the Ducks. Seriously. Like the land/water Ride the Ducks in Branson that take you across Table Rock–except Seattle and across Lake Union. It actually was a good tour, and I learned a lot about Seattle. These photos are from The Duck.

The blue/grey floating house on the bottom left is the one from Sleepless in Seattle.

Post Duck, we ventured down to the Pike Place area to do some touristy things. Like, see the original Starbucks. Outside of which these guys were putting on a show.

Not a bad form of entertainment for the 437690234875609387 people waiting to catch a glimpse inside Starbucks.

Later in the day we rode the new-to-the-area ferris wheel on a pier that Erica knew more about than did I.

View of the Puget Sound and the pier from the ferris wheel.

And then we found ourselves venturing down Alaskan Way to Seattle’s big weekend event…

HEMP FEST.

Hemp Fest patrons. Great view. Less than great experience.

Seriously horrifying, for more than a couple reasons. And the grossest experience of my life. We were there for 20 minutes, which was 19.5 minutes too long. I will definitely never attend Hemp Fest in Seattle ever again. Ew.

Other than that, Erica and I mostly just traipsed around Seattle doing unexciting things. We visited Gas Works Park, walked in the woods and to the lake, and Erica took photos of me falling out of yoga poses. Thanks, Erica.

Falling out of a dancer pose somewhere near Gas Works Park.

Hanging out at Gas Works in our sweet outfits. They were sweet, trust me.

The result of an early morning hike to Lake Washington. I failed to reach the farthest rock.

Downward dog/standing splits/handstand prep/nothing pose, on the rocks.

And that was that.

That basically concludes my summer in Washington. I did celebrate a birthday during this time, and though I would have liked to be AT home to celebrate, I was at least able to celebrate with friends FROM home. My college friends Katie and John were in the middle of a Pac North roadtrip, so they came to hang out and stay with me for a couple days. We had a good time, but sadly Katie and I both failed to take any photos. Whoops. You can read about Katie’s adventures here.

I am currently in Missouri, for a short minute longer, and preparing to hit the ground running sprinting on Monday, when my 21-month journey to MSN graduation begins! Woooohoo. (Yes, I’m already counting down.)

I’ll try to be back with a summary of my recent Ozarkian adventures soon…ish. 🙂

The Birthday spread. Aww 🙂

Summer in Washington {photo recap}: Part I

Hello, my long lost reader friends! I am sorry for the hiatus. It lasted much longer than I intended. Somehow summer came and went and now we are days away from fall and less than 100 days away from Christmas (WHOA!). So, what better time to recap my summer than now?

This summer was my first in Washington, and it was largely different than any other. I waited and waited and waited for summer weather to hit, but it really never did. There were a lot of sunny sky-ed days, but there were only a handful of hot, shorts-weather days. Weather aside, though, it was a pretty solid summer. I kept myself overly busy (unintentionally) by taking two summer school classes and working two jobs. I did make time for fun, though, and found myself settling into Seattle life a little more, so that was good.

I apologize for this post being really photo-heavy, but I think photos will provide the best (read: quickest/least boring) summer summary, ha.

Here we go! In mostly chronological order…

I discovered Green Lake.

I mean, I knew it existed, and I even knew right where it was, but somehow I never made it there until the summer. It’s a nice little lake in Seattle, and it has a three-ish mile loop around it that is perfect for walking/running. The entire setting is just really enjoyable.

Moving on- this post could have very accurately been titled “Summer Concert Series”. I saw a lot of live music this summer. All with my friend, Andrea.

First up was Florence + The Machine.

I was super, super excited for this show, and to be honest, I was a little disappointed after it. Don’t get me wrong, Florence Welch can sing. She can also flail around on stage, which I found to be somewhat distracting. I guess it just wasn’t really my style. It was fun, though, and it was at an outdoor theatre on a gorgeous night so that was lovely. Would I pay another $75 to see this show again? Sadly, no.

A few days after the Flo show, Andrea and I saw Fiona Apple live at the Paramount downtown.

This place totally reminded me of the Gillioz in Springtown, which I loved, of course.

WOW. That is really all I have to say about that. Fiona Apple is straight CRAZY. Also crazy talented. If you’ve ever heard Fiona Apple’s recordings and wondered (as I have) how in the world those sounds come out of someone’s throat/mouth, you should definitely see her live. I still have no idea how she does what she does, but I can tell you she sounds EXACTLY the same live as she does on her albums. And seriously, she is crazy. It really is something you have to see live to understand. I was speechless.

Though seemingly less notable, no less entertaining were our adventures at the Kenmore summer concert series.


Each Thursday evening of July and August, the City of Kenmore (where I live and where my school is) hosted a free concert in St. Edward’s State Park, which is conveniently located two minutes from my house and zero minutes from my school. It worked out well that I got out of class on Thursdays at 5:30 and the concerts all started at 6. There were a variety of bands that played, but the nights I attended were country/americana/bluegrass. Each time we had a little picnic and just enjoyed the evening.

Good, summery times. And all were followed by hanging out at 192–a little taproom with a gigantic patio, located on the Burke-Gilman trail (conveniently five minutes from my house and two minutes from Andrea’s).

192 is brand new, and Andrea discovered it immediately following its opening. We spent a lot of time there over summer. It’s a little taproom that was opened by a guy who brews beer in his 192 square foot basement, hence the name. The space actually took over what was previously a gardening/landscaping business…and all of the landscaping paraphernalia is still there. So when I say gigantic patio, I actually mean landscaping jungle with tables, chairs, and fire pits.

Perfect setting for enjoying summer nights and good conversation.

Before I wrap up the Part I post, I need to make known my latest obsession, which was the final act of my headliner summer concert series…

JACK WHITE.

This show was unbelievably phenomenal. Jack White was penciled in on my imaginary concert bucket list and quickly became Sharpie-d in after I repeatedly heard rave reviews. I bought the tickets right when they went on sale, and then I was so stressed out when the week of the show rolled around that I was trying to sell/give away the tickets up until 3 pm on the day of the show. Andrea (along with a special someone in Missouri) convinced me that I should go, and I have been fantasizing ever since about the next time I will be able to see Jack White. The next day on the radio I heard someone say, “Jack White and his girl band shredded for two hours straight and at the end not a face left unmelted.” Well said. My face is still melted. And I will see Jack White and his girl band again.

So, there you have a partial recap of my summer in Washington. I’ll be back with more. And soon! (Hopefully.)