My 25 Day Blogging Hiatus
25. Whirlwind trip to Oregon
In case you didn’t know or I didn’t mention it, I was able to come to Oregon for in an insanely quick trip. I left DC at 5:00PM Thursday evening and flew back from PDX at 1AM Tuesday morning. I was “privileged” to sit next two children on both legs to Oregon. I do love children, but not these ones. I could not have been happier (and grumpier) to see my parents after getting off the planes! We spent Friday in Lake Oswego at my Aunt and Uncle’s house. Went into Salem to the La Perla to have dinner with just a few of my incredible friends. It meant so, so much to me to be able to have the time together even if it was so short! I had the best transportation anyone could ever ask for my Dad at the wheel, my mom in shot gun in our Subaru. And I drove for the first time in 6 weeks. I don’t really miss it, I’m not one who is incredibly fond of driving. I really could care less. We spent Friday night in Lake Oswego, then Lindsey and David Baumer drove me to Eugene Saturday AM, was picked up by my parents Sunday afternoon and headed to Redmond for a night and came back to Lake Oswego for an evening and PDX that night to DC Tuesday and straight to work. Whew! It flew. But so glad to be graced by blue skies, the Cascades Mountains, cooler temperatures, and yes, even Juniper trees.
24. Ford Scholar Conference
The whole purpose of me coming to Oregon was to go to my last Ford Scholar Summer Conference. The scholarship that has been monumental in shaping where I am today. If it had not been for this scholarship I never would have been able to go to Corban University and get my degree, meet some of my dearest friends, or have landed the job I have with Mobilize.org. If you ever want to hear a lloonnnggg “ironic” story just ask me about the Ford Scholarship. I would not be the same person had I not received this scholarship. That said, I was able to spend two days with incredible students, speakers, and members of the Foundation. We ate great food and I got to spend time with one of my dearest friends, Eli. Oh! And I can’t forget, we got pretty “awesome” Ford Scholar Rings. Check ’em out:
23 Hanging with Family
In the midst of the whirlwind I did get to spend a little time with my favorite people doing my favorite things. I was able to spend a great chunk of time with parents (although in the car, I crashed (as in slept) every time, but they were patient with me). I was able to shop with my cousin Laura, I wish she was doing her residency in DC :( My Uncle Kevin made me coffee each morning. Baked cookies with Aunt Gail.
Had dinner with my sister, bro-in-law, Grandma, Grandpa and brother.
And of course was able to see one of my second moms, Donna, at one of my favorite restaurants CrossCreek Deli. And yes, as some of you may note each of my favorite things did have something to do with food! My second favorite thing would’ve been to hike but there was just no time… As I type this I am shocked that it was only two (now 3…wait…4) weeks ago. It feels like months. Yet at the same time I’ve been in DC for over two months now and it feels like i just got here yesterday. If my concept of time can be compared to my hand eye coordination…well, I think you are catching my drift (even if I can’t catch anything). It was lovely to see family and today I miss them more than ever.
22 Church Community Group
I think I’ve mentioned that the church I’m going to has Community Groups that are kind of like Bible Studies. I’ve been going to one that is about a 15 minute walk from my the place I was living on Capitol Hill. We meet every Tuesday night and I’m realizing (especially today) what a blessing it is to be a part of a community of believers. I arrived in DC at about 11AM on Tuesday form OR, went straight to work, after work dropped my things off at my house, and headed straight to community group with a storm brewing overhead. I was definitely riding on the adrenaline of being awake for 24+ hours. I am so glad I chose to go though. I knew I needed to be with people that night. We studied the Scripture, pondered Grace, prayed for one another and experienced intense thunder, lightning, and a torrential downpour. It was AWESOME!
21. Red Eye Hangover
If you’ve had one, there’s no need for explanation. I was not able to embrace my true exhaustion from the first Red Eye with the obnoxious children because I was too busy with places to go in Oregon. But after the second Red Eye, I had no option. It embraced me. I was tired…and even slightly delirious. Hence, no blogging was accomplished. I had to pour every drop of sanity I had into work and preparing for Maya’s travel schedules which when compared to my busy-ness makes me feel like a complete and total wimp. I don’t think I’m made for that pace of life. Had I never been forced to learn to rest and embrace silence, I think I would love the fast-paced, busy, scheduled life. Now I find myself resisting and seeking balance within the two. Have not begun to master it (clearly!)
Yep. When you’re folding laundry you just can’t type. Lame, very practical excuse. I mean…I have to have clean clothes. I wish I didn’t…but….I do. Its like showering, I feel like it is a waste of time, but I have to do it. The end.
Yikes, it feels like this happened a decade ago. But oh-my-goodness, it was an incredible weekend! I went up to NYC after work on a Friday night. Its about a 4 hours bus ride (mine, of course, took 5–thank you Friday night traffic). I met up with Rachel, who I had lived with from Aug-Dec ’09 in Salem. We hadn’t seen each other or even really talked since January. I do love the way that people are able to bond (or re-bond…ok, maybe reconnect is the better word, or an actual word at best) when they are thousands of miles from home. There’s just something so good about seeing a familiar face in an unfamiliar world. We went back to Rachel’s place in Brooklyn (she has the cutest apartment and the sweetest roommates). I wanted to just move right in, but I don’t think I’m quite the New York type and the commute would be quite the stretch. Friday night we went to this “members only” club…bar…I’m really not sure what to call it. All I really know is that it was in an incredible building and that Rachel’s friend from Bible Study is friends with the DJ who put our name on a list (ha, that sounds movie-like). It was quite an authentic NYC experience and probably nothing like what you are thinking, and I am lacking descriptive words right now (5:57AM).
We got home at like 3AM and slept in late. It was the closest I’ve had to a vacation since Christmas break and even then I was still in bed early and up early. We then went to the Metropolitan Art Museum, checked out Picasso for awhile (sigh…). Headed to Central Park to hang out with some more of Rachel’s friends. Had great conversation, enjoyed the beautiful park + city.
We then headed to…wait…for….it…Serendipity! Ok, I love that super cheesy John Cusak film (it is an “I’m sick in bed and want a cute movie” movie.) I never realized that it is a REAL place (pardon my ignorance). You have to have a reservation or there’s like a 2 hour wait in order to have one of their famous frozen hot chocolates. Next time, Ms. Rachel Brown. We are doing it!
[P.S. just found out this morning that DC is getting one!! So excited, its nerdy!]
We then went to a house warming party for one of her friends. This was an authentic NY experience for me anyway. We sat out on a terrace near Central Park, under the stars (they’ll never compare to Central Oregon, though), surrounded by city, eating good food. Loved it.
Sunday morning we met a friend in Brooklyn for brunch at Egg. I love that there is a restaurant just called Egg. Maybe I want one called Apple. I’m not sure that it would necessarily be the best name for a bakery, but I just love the class and simplicity of those one words. And I love apples… Oh! I know, I’ll call it “Flour.” (Keep reading, you’ll understand)
We then walked around and saw some of Brooklyn and just took it easy.
While all the things we did in NY were so great and relaxing, it was definitely the people that made the trip wonderful. It was so good to be Rachel, who has shared some pretty significant life experiences with me. It was refreshing to be around other believers as well. Rachel is definitely surrounded by some pretty incredible people (I am not discrediting the great people placed around me, promise). It was a joy to spend some time with Rachel and her friends.
I’m sure I’ve mentioned this in my blog and if not I’m sure you’ve seen each of these individuals referenced on my Facebook or Twitter (oh, yes, I am quite social media savvy thanks to M.org). We have the most incredible summer associates. Unfortunately, two left last Friday and the next three are leaving the 13th. They started at M.org just a week after I started. I think the newness of our positions definitely bonded us, plus they are incredible workers and incredible people. That said, I’ve been spending time soaking in those last moments with each of them. P.S. Why did we never take a picture of all of us? What were we thinking?!
Yep, I spend one evening baking Kelsey Shield’s delicious brownies. After work I went to three different grocery stores with Nick and Kendal (summer associates) in order to bake for the fundraiser happening the next night. I made brownies and Nick made the spinach artichoke dip, which I apparently have the recipe memorized now. Makes me feel like a real cook. We scrounged for dishes in their temporary apartments. It worked out (surprisingly). But I am so excited to get my kitchen things on Friday because this whole baking without measuring cups or proper utensils is a pain.
Excuse number 16…working… it does keep me from writing, so I think I’ll pull it out as an excuse. Even if it is a lame excuse. Update though: I really love my job. I had my first ever job review yesterday, but strategically planned to take over Tuesday Treats and feed her cobbler pre-review. I wish I could say that I had actually thought of that strategy…but I totally didn’t…
Since I filled up every evening since my trip to Oregon, I crashed. Its that typical “go-go-go-crash” pattern. I think I spent the last four years trying break that pattern. I feel like I’m surrounded by people where that is the norm “go until burnout.” But they are so much faster and better at it than me. As much as I like those extremes, I don’t want to. I want to be ok with saying “no” (which I do, quite often). I want to value time spent and experiences had. Which I really think I am doing. That said, I spent an evening catching up on sleep.
I had just been complaining about not seeing a movie in forever, and a friend from my Community Group posted a “I need to see a movie, who wants to go?” type update. I took him up on it. We went to see Inception. If you haven’t seen it, go! It was an incredible movie. We went to Arlington and enjoyed a beautiful evening. There was a full moon and you could even see some of the stars. Really nice evening. It had finally cooled down from the crazy 105 degree days we were having. (I believe that this July was the hottest one DC has ever had…did I ever mention that summer is my least favorite season? I’m ready for jeans and sweaters!!)
I then headed up to Baltimore to visit Leah Simmons, friend from high school, to celebrate her last weekend as a Bachelorette. She just got married on the 31st in Oregon. It is her mother-in-law who I had been renting from. With all those references made, we spent the day chatting and getting coffee and talking about life, marriage, and weddings (of course!). We then headed into Baltimore and met two of her good friends. We had amazing Italian food at Ciao Bella in Little Italy. This place is incredible. It is just like Italy, the whole time I was there I was just trying to figure out what I can cut out of my budget in order to save to get to Italy ASAP. I miss it…I’m ready to go back…tickets are only like $700 in November (seriously considering it…). We then walked around the harbor before going to the second restaurant: Valarios. And of course, amazing. Had a chocolate dessert that was absolutely to die for. More important than the food, we were able to celebrate Leah. I hope she felt loved, because she is. I’m ready to see those wedding pics (anytime…anytime…)
This is where my original list of excuses was coming to an end. While it is so lame, I have to put on. You just can’t blog while you iron. I never really did mind doing laundry or ironing before. I could put on a movie or just sit on the couch and fold shirts while chatting with my mom. But when I’m itching to blog and have to do laundry it is stripped of any intrinsic joy. Therefore ironing definitely makes this list. Err…thinking of it now just irks me.
This is a good excuse and won’t trade it. While I love to blog, I love my long conversations with mom. This time difference has really messed us up. While it is only 3 hours, we are morning yackers. But I can’t really call her in the AM, I don’t think she’d be quite up for chattiness at 3 or 4 AM. By the time she is up I’m already working. After work she is working and after she’s done working I’m grumpy. End of story. On the weekends, she wins over blog. Simple as that.
P.S. Mom, could you please hurry up and visit now? Thanks, Em.
Hi, my name is Emily, and I’m a Craig’s List Addict. Or I was. Searching for apartments in DC is not like searching for apartments in Salem. While you have to be quick, you can still call on apartments that were posted a few days, or even a few hours back and still have a legitimate chance. Not here. As soon as an ad is up, be ready to call. Then be ready to view the apt with an application and deposit in hand all within hours of each other. This is not conducive for this competitive personality. I just want to find the place, and although my criteria was very limited (inexpensive + safe) it was still a high standard. My “quick” checks on Craigslist were never quick enough.
I will say that my Craig’s List Addiction did pay off! I found my first ever studio last week! And it meets the above criteria and I LOVE it. I am about 20 minutes walk (or less) from everything: work, the Mall, groceries, church. I was the first to e-mail, first to call, first to view and first to get my application in. It definitely satisfied my competitive spirit for awhile. For someone who is naturally competitive, but is lacking any hand eye coordination, I’ve got to be more creative in what I compete for. Ya, I know, I sound ridiculous. I found the place on a Monday, got the call on Tuesday that it was mine, and started moving in on Saturday.
This is not a real excuse, but I just need to tell you about this place. I love frozen yogurt (or ice cream of any sort). If you remember, Costco frozen yogurt is on my list of things I love (I’m seriously a cheap date). This place you grab a cup, then there is this wall with like 15 different frozen yogurt flavors. You fill your bowl as much as you like with as many flavors as you like. There is then a counter with toppings (same process: you add). They then weigh your cup and that is what you pay for. It rocked my world. Seriously. Chocolate, banana, and birthday cake with hot fudge. Delish.
7. Screen on the Green
Mhmm…you guessed it. Old movie shown on the Mall, right in front of the Capitol Building. I went down a little bit early that day and just sat on a blanket, against a tree, with my journal and just wrote and people watched. It was perfection. Then I met up with a couple friends from church and a co-worker and enjoyed an absolutely spectacular night. We watched 12 Angry Men, the Capitol Buillding in the background, a full moon, and there was even a shooting star!
Behind us was an orange sunset and the Washington Monument. There were friends and families crowded on the grass on blankets with their own picnics. It was one of those times where it just seemed like it was the way things are supposed to be. People were enjoying the company of others all in one place. I was so content that evening. I look forward to having a family to share those moments with.
Each month the Mobilize.org staff does a different activity. This July, we went to a Nats game. My first baseball game that was not in Seattle. The Nats played the Braves and to be honest with you that’s about all I know from the game. I do remember the conversations had, too many french fries eaten, and laughing with Femi!
1. I just think baseball is kind of boring (sorry, Peter). I just do.
2. I get soo distracted at sporting events! There are the people sitting next to me to talk to, the people in front of me to look at, then the people walking by, the different things shown on the screen, and I swear the higher up you are (and we were definitely in the nosebleed section) the more things between me and the actual field. Its the ultimate distracting event! But I did learn about the distinctions between Major league baseball…but…I can’t really remember any except that the Nationals are in the National league :)
I spent all Friday evening and very little of Saturday morning packing up all my belongings to head to my first apartment! Packing to move across town is much better than packing to move across the country. This time I had no airport regulations. My bag could be as big or small as I wanted. While there are no dramatic stories to share about my packing experience, it is still an excuse as to why I was not blogging.
I still remember when Portland first announced getting an Ikea. I had no clue what it was, but I do remember being at my Grandparents house and the news going on and on about traffic being backed up near the airport for the first month of Ikea being opened. It seemed crazy. But then you go, and you get it. Ikea is AMAZING. I could spend an entire day there just looking–oh, wait, I have done that! It is the best place to dream…and dream…but this was the first time that I got to BUY! My apartment is a full blown Ikea studio. I went Saturday evening with the most detailed list of what things I needed and budgeted to a T. To be honest with you, I really don’t like being that organized. Its sickening. But I knew that in order to get what I really wanted I had to stay on budget. And after 3 hours, Swedish Meatballs, and incredible friends (Nick and Maya) we packed the ZipCar full of Ikea furniture. It was intense!
The most obvious consumer of my time is my new apartment! Have I mentioned I’m excited about it? And that I love it? And there’s absolutely no way I could have done it without the amazing people in my life? Seriously…Nick (one of our summer associates) not only drove the ZipCar, kept me sane at Ikea, he also put together all my furniture for me. Maya sold me her extra bed, drove us to Ikea, helped pick things out at Ikea, and coordinated a “Welcome to the Neighborhood” Brunch for me. So quick story, Maya and I now live two blocks away form each other. She was wanting to get rid of the bed in her spare room, which is the exact same bed that I was wanting form Ikea. After brunch on Sunday we decided to recruit the guys to move the bed from her apartment to mine. While Maya swears that they didn’t have to take it apart to move it into her place, they were unfortunately not so successful in moving it to mine. The guys worked incredibly hard trying to get it out and then walked all the pieces two blocks to my new place. Can’t thank them enough!! And two blocks is one of those things where it too close to actually drive something, but just far enough that you look ridiculous carrying a bed.
So I spent Saturday-Sunday moving. I will be getting my boxes full of kitchen things on Friday and I am so excited. There are three more pieces of furniture to be put together and decorating to be done (and potentially some painting w/ chalkboard paint!). All that said, I am soo excited! And even more excited to have some visitors: please hurry up!
The last night of Screen on the Green was on Monday. Not quite as beautiful of a night as the week prior. I was also suppeerrr tired after moving all weekend. But me plus coworkers and church friends were there. I watched only the first half of Bonnie and Clyde, before heading back to my place. I’ve never seen it before, but apparently it is a true story! And oh..my…it had to have been so sketch in 1967! I blushed, more than once.
While I really wanted to be at the last Screen on the Green of the summer, it wasn’t that difficult to leave because I was headed back to my apartment to bake for the first time! On my way home from work, I stopped by Whole Foods to pick up ingredients to make a berry cobbler. Again, my ambition was a bit larger than my resources. I lacked time, measuring cups, and a recipe. But I made a strawberry-blueberry cobbler with oatmeal topping at midnight on Monday for our weekly Tuesday Treats in the office. Worth it? Always! I love, love, love feeding people–especially baked goods! To be honest, not the best cobbler. My make-shift measuring cups were wine glasses. Yep, I’ve had water, coffee, yogurt, and granola in these glasses…but still no wine. Who does that? Really? I do. Therefore I think there was a tad too much sugar and flour. Kinda sweet, stiff Shari’s-like pie. Everyone seemed to really enjoy it though, which is what really matters. Or they were afraid to hurt my feelings, either way Friday I get all my kitchen stuff FedEx-ed to me! Excited? Oh ya! I’ve only mentioned it like 3 times already.
I was explaining to a few of my coworkers about the scene in Stranger than Fiction when Will Ferrell brings the girl he has fallen in love with a box of flours (yes, that’s right the baking ingredient, I didn’t spell flower wrong). I was expressing how I know that I will have found the one when he brings me a box of flours (yes, plural!). They looked at me so strangely, they didn’t know there were different types of flour. So I am determined to make them bread with bread flour and cake with cake flour!
I, of course, have a million more things to say about life, and love, and the Lord but I’m going to close this novel of 25 days. But I’m done making promises, because I hate breaking them. So I will blog, I will, I will, I will…