Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Granddaddy and Barbara in Portland

Last night, my granddad and Barbara were in Portland for a quick visit and took me out to dinner. They were on their way back to Texas from a week-long trip in Anchorage, Alaska to enjoy the festival leading up to the Iditarod (add that to my bucket list!). I'm so glad they were able to stop in on their trip back since I only get to see them a few times a year now.

We ate dinner at the Screen Door, one of my favorite spots and a place that is consistently voted one of the best restaurants in Portland. I don't know how, but you can go to any Portland restaurant, any night of any week, and it will always be packed. Portlanders love the local cuisine. Screen Door definitely gave Granddaddy and Barbara a good snapshot of Portland; delicious local organic food, the young city nightlife, waiters with full-sleeve tattoos, all set to the dark backdrop of dreary Portland rain.

Thanks so much for coming to visit, Granddaddy and Barbara! Come back for a longer stay in the summer when it's actually nice out.

this picture was taken after we devoured
the famously delicious fried chicken

Easy Sushi Fix
Speaking of delicious food... when I was shopping at Trader Joe's last week, I came across the best snack/meal idea.  TJs sells packs of Seaweed Snacks (seaweed paper cut unto bite-size squares) which I love even on their own. But at their food demonstration table, they had seaweed squares with a little brown rice wrapped up in them for a yummy little sushi roll.  Brilliant!  So I made these seaweed and brown rice rolls one night this week for dinner when I was having a sushi craving. Add a little avacado, dip in soy sauce, heat up some TJs edamame to go with it and you have an easy sushi-style meal. (I just love Trader Joe's... another great Portland food offering.)

maybe someday I'll be adventurous and even add fish

Monday, February 27, 2012

Pacific City PDW12

Last weekend, a few of us girls headed to Pacific City for the long President's Day Weekend.  We rented a cabin right on the beach in this little ocean town.  It was so nice to get out of the city for a couple of days and just relax. An added bonus was that our phones didn't really have service and we didn't have our computers or internet.  No connection to the outside world... so freeing!

So what did we do all weekend?? We just relaxed - read, napped, walked on the beach, cooked, didn't set alarms, talked, wandered around the camp grounds, and soaked in the hot tub.

the amazing Oregon coast

Kirsten contemplating the oceon

taking it all in after hiking up the sand dunes and rocks

sadly, we found a dead bird on the sand
(and I guess it became our mascot)

the hike from the beach back to our cabin

there's nothing better than sitting in the hot tube on a cold night

me, Erin, Kirsten, and Melissa in front of our cabin

The World As God's Creation
"We are living in a world that is absolutely transparent, and God is shining through it all the time... He is everywhere, He is in everything, and we cannot be without Him."
- Thomas Merton

"The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul."
- Psalm 23:1-3

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Mom in Portland

This is long overdue... but a month ago my mom came to visit me in Portland. My parents have both come up several times to visit, but this time my mom came all by herself. In fact, this was her first time to fly by herself and she impressively made it from the Waco airport to the Portland airport without losing her luggage or her mind. Way to go, Mom!

She mainly came to help out with all of my eye surgery appointments and recovery, but I made sure that we simply enjoyed the Portland scene as well. My mom is so laid back and easy going. I loved that she was able to experience my everyday Portland life: teaching the 2-yr-old Sunday school class, going for a walk with me and Amber, volunteering with Megan and I to serve breakfast at the Blanchet house, going to the library, riding bikes, cooking dinner and watching a movie, volunteering at my office, and just hanging out.

I'm so grateful that my mom was able to come stay with me for a whole week. Thanks Mom, especially for being my nurse and chauffeur after my surgery. I seriously don't know what I would have done without you. Come back anytime!

I put my mom on a bike in the rain and we biked downtown to the farmer's market.
This experience made her a legit Portlander. Way to go, Mom!

the Portland Winter Farmers Market on the Park Blocks
We had lunch with the Schoberts and Mom was able to meet Baby Trey

Chiqui invited us over for dinner at her house - she made a delicious Philipino dish,
followed by cakeball lessons with her girls

Mom helped build the pinata for my Portland party,
along with West, Jason and Drew

Friday, February 3, 2012

3 Yr Portland Anniversary

This past Wednesday, February 1st marked my 3 year anniversary of moving to Portland. In these past few years, I have soaked in everything Portland and surely by now I can consider myself a "Portlander". So I decided to throw a party to celebrate this wonderful, wacky, super weird city that my friends and I are so lucky to live in.

So Wednesday night, my house became the heart of Portlandia. People joined in the festivities by wearing their favorite hoodie and skinny jeans, plaid shirt, thick-rimmed glasses or biking attire. We listened to some Modest Mouse and Blind Pilot (both local bands), played lots of ping pong, ate gluten-free/vegetarian/vegan/organic snacks (well, actually we ate Velveeta queso and cakeballs), and everyone brought their favorite local beer to share. The party wouldn't be complete without a homemade pinata of Mount Hood - a project that I put way too much time and evergy into only to see come crashing down with a swing of a stick from Megan Steele.

The party was a blast (I've decided to host more random weeknight parties) and was a great reminder of what amazing friends I have here in this wonderful city. Here's to a great 4th year in Portland!

clearly marked food - in case of any food allergies

everyone made sure to get their daily dose of Vitamin D
in order to avoid Seasonal Affective Disorder

Megan and I with our awesome tats

you can never have too many tats!

Jamie - our personal tattoo artist

Happy Birthday to Drew!

anniversary cakeball

Scott and I dominating in doubles ping pong

Megan busting the Hood pinata

a porch full of bikes... soooo Portland