Thursday, March 14, 2013

Willamette Valley Wine Tasting

This past weekend, a few of us girls planned a spontaneous wine tasting day.  Ok, yes it was actually planned, but the fact that we all just happened to sit next to each other at a luncheon on Thursday, mentioned that we should hang out soon, possibly go wine tasting, pulled out our calendars and decided on Saturday and then actually followed through made it quite spontaneous to us!
Saturday turned out to be the perfect sunny spring day here in the Northwest.  The only thing to make it even better was to head out to McMinnville, just an hour away and in the heart of the Willamette Valley, to visit some beautiful vineyards.  Our first stop was Lange Winery where Valerie, Jamie and I sat outside in the sun and tasted Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs while enjoying the crystal clear view of Mount Hood.
We stopped into Briar Rose Creamery to taste some deliciously fresh goat cheese.  Seriously, this creamery is at a farm in the valley where goats are roaming around the fields helping make the best garlic and herb goat cheese ever.  It doesn't get fresher than that!
We had a 12:30 appointment at Soter Vineyards (don't judge our early wine tasting times - that's how it works out here in the Willamette Valley!).  If you look at the pictures on their website, you'll probably think, "The website is just trying to make this place look pristine.  There's no way that's real."  The pictures are speaking truth, people.  This place was outstanding.  We pulled up, got out of our car, and before we even reached the sidewalk we were greeted with a glass of rose wine (a blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir).  As if that hadn't already sold us, there was a cozy fireplace inside that we sat by for a bit before we headed outside and sat on the back patio taking in the warm sun and incredible vineyard view.
Two thoughts dominated my mind on Saturday: 1) I can't believe I actually live here and get to do this pretty much any time, 2) this is the life!
Jamie, Mary and Valerie enjoying the sun and the wine
Briar Rose Creamery tasting
Soter party table... next dinner party venue?!
Jamie sipping a $125 wine... her "happy place"
It seriously doesn't get any better than this
"Wine is sunlight, held together by water."
- Galileo Galilei

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Fake It Til You Make It

Do you ever feel a bit underqualified for what you’re doing? Like you’re in over your head? Maybe bitten off more than you can chew? But you don’t want to give yourself away… so you fake it til you make it.
At some point, you’ve convinced someone that you are capable of taking on X task: be it a job, a volunteer position, a big responsibility, some kind of important commitment. You smile and accept the task and a few moments later you realize what you’ve just gotten yourself into and the panic sets in. But you keep a big nervous smile on your face.
I’ve felt this way a lot lately. I like a good challenge and sometimes my pride gets the best of me. If you dare me to do something, I’ll probably do it. If it’s humanly possible, I’m probably going to give it a try. Give me an inch, I’ll take it a mile. Or maybe 26. It’s all summed up in one of my philosophies in life: “Why not?”
Work: What? You want me to lead a $1.5 million fundraiser? Bring it on. You want me to organize and lead a meeting with a bunch of CEOs? I’d love to exchange business cards with them. You want me to put together contracts using terms such as “indemnification”, “trade secret” and “the wherefore clause”? I can whip that up.
My secret: slyly ask questions and wear a nice power suit
Church Nursery: Yeah, we’re about at capacity but you want to drop off your hyperactive 2-year-old twins? Sure, we can always handle a couple more. Oh, your child isn’t quite old enough but you’re ready for him to be in the toddler class? Of course I’d love for him to cling to me while he cries bloody murder for an hour. Your child isn’t potty trained but you put her in big-girl-underwear anyway? I’d be honored to potty train her for you.
My secret: lots of coffee and Sunday afternoon massages
Personal Training: Would I rather use the 10 or 15 lb dumbbells? What do I look: a string bean? I’ll take the 15ers and pay for it tomorrow when I can’t lift my sore arms. You think we should taper the reps so I don’t overexert myself? I don’t think that’s necessary, and if it looks like I’m crying tears of pain it’s probably just a little sweat.
My secret: lots of foam rolling
Hood to Coast: What leg would I like to sign up for this year? I’ll take Leg 9, that awful one with the 7 mile uphill climb in the gravel. It doesn’t sound so bad 6 month out. Oh, that leg is usually run in the middle of the night? It’s cool, I often go for light jogs at 2:00am.
My secret: bribing myself with a burger and beer after we cross the finish line
Sometimes it’s tempting to take the easy way out, but what’s the fun in that? You may have to fake it for a while, but you’ll learn along the way and if you keep going you’re sure to make it!
Learning to Say NO
Let me add a little balance to this post so that no one goes and does something crazy just because that one girl said “Why not?” While I’m usually up for a good challenge, I’m also learning that sometimes you just have to say “No.” Otherwise, you’re likely to take on too much and get burned out. I was explaining to a friend a while back that life was so busy and a bit overwhelming. She gave me great advice that I think about all the time: “Think about the things in your life that are life-giving and do those things.” Don’t take on something if it’s only going to have a negative impact on you. Life is too short to fill it with mundane tasks. Do something worth your time and effort and that makes you come alive!