Posts Tagged ‘with the phone’

  • November 7, 2013

    portland, i love you {part 2}


    number seven on the list and maybe my most favorite day in portland.


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    first was a long lunch with a pretty neat lady I’ve always admired and loved for her honest, authentic, uber-creative blogging habits. we’ve not spent much time together, but she has been one of my most favorite people to keep up with over the years. we ate at the grilled cheese grill. nashville may have one of it’s own, but this was the first food truck to feature grilled cheese…and it’s on a double-decker bus, no less! and here’s the best part – your order is placed not under your own namesake, but under the name of the famous people you may wish you could be. for example, I have always dreamed about what it would be like to be a notorious rapper with a cool name about spying on puppies. and you know what? I sure did feel “snoopadelic” when they called out “snoop doggy dog” and I skipped on up there to get my sandwich. although, I think they may have gotten my name wrong again. but I digress. the grilled cheese grill. check it out. after lunch, we wandered over to a shop belonging to one of andrea’s friends. wanderlust is full of all of the things I love and if I could have packed an entire extra suitcase with colorful, beautiful, vintage treasures from this store, I would have been a happier, if not slightly less financially-stable girl.


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    next, we decided to surprise ava and make a donut fun-run to my (old) neighborhood donut store. I’m telling you, annie’s donut shop CANNOT be beat. it may not be as famous as a few others, but annie’s is consistently the most delicious (and cheap!) donut store in portland. plus, it doesn’t brag about how awesome it is, which makes me love it all the more (I’m looking at you, voodoo). oh man, it was so good to see ava. she is, by far, one of the coolest people I know. has been since those early days when I was her sunday school teacher and she would calmly draw me pictures of her favorite hello kitty friends while the other munchkins ran around creating chaos. (I totally still have them.) it’s odd to know someone as a 7-year-old and then watch them grow up from afar, via blog photos. but in so many ways, she is exactly the girl I thought she would become – quiet and thoughtful, full of a centered and confident sense of who she is (can my 26-year-old self get some of that?), and such a wise and humble head on her shoulders. and did I mention? she’s got creativity coming out of her ears, just like her mama. those two are just so. much. good. I wish they would move back to the south already.


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    and finally. the one constant. powell’s is a must when it comes to portland visits. every. single. time. in between every trip, I actually keep a running list on my phone of random books that I cannot find anywhere, but just know will be at powell’s. and they are always there. just waiting for me to find them and stuff them into my suitcase and love them forever and ever, amen. you better believe that I always come to portland with extra space in my luggage for all that goodness. this time around, I kept the book-count to 11. which is much less than my last trip two years ago, which included three books of poetry by czeslaw milosz and a kombucha starter kit. if heaven is a place on earth, I am 99% convinced that it is powell’s.



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  • October 29, 2013

    portland, i love you {part 1}


    for the first time since I left, I returned to portland without expectation or agenda. in the past, I’ve gone back with a comprehensive list of who to see and what to visit and have plotted out my few short days accordingly. I was so worried about visiting everything and seeing everyone that I loved, thinking that this one trip would somehow get me through the other 360 days of the year. but this time was different.

    for one thing, since moving to nashville, I’ve finally found a place that feels almost as much like home as portland. I’ve not longed for the day that I would get to move back for good in the same way that I did when I lived in DC. for a girl who never even considered life outside the pacific northwest, let alone way down here below the mason dixon line, becoming a nashvillian has sort of snuck up on me. I’ve found myself loving life here in subtle and ordinary ways – enjoying the ebb and flow of seasons and the slower pace of conversation and the abundance of southern accents.


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    {did you know that there is a double decker bus parked on williams ave full of vintage treasures? it’s true!}

    for another, I returned knowing that life four years out of college is as different for my best friends as it is for me. life four years out of college has morphed us into new people. we still love one another with a fierceness that can only be created in that unique period of life that we all shared – mostly in that lovely little beech house. and when I am with them, I still think that I am the closest to myself that I will ever be. but the reality is that we have now lived apart as long as we lived together. we have been pulled to opposite coasts and careers and lives. and I knew that if I returned expecting things to be the same as they were in college – or even the same as they were the last time I visited – I would be disappointed. and so I went to see who I saw and rejoice in moments that came instead of moments that I tried to plan. I wanted to enjoy the company of those I love without expectation.


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    {there are few people I love more on this great earth than these people.}

    but most of all, I went to portland without a plan because I needed to not have a plan. I needed a break from scheduled commitments and always rushing rushing rushing from one thing to another. because I was just kind of exhausted. because being an adult is just kind of exhausting. in high school and college, I relished the moments of structure and planning that I thought made me more adult-like. I sought responsibility and activities through which I could somehow prove (to who? I wonder now…) that I was a “grown-up.” but as I have continued to move into actual adulthood, I’ve found myself pushing back against all of the things I thought would define me in that world. I’ve found myself increasingly in search of experiences without purpose (but no less purposeful). I’ve longed for days without schedule, but full of quiet meaning and solitude. I’ve spent most of my life being busy, but now I just want things to be a little more simple. and so I went to portland to rest. to find bits and pieces of quiet and stillness in my most favorite city. to slide into myself and walk around in my own skin apart from all the doing that defines my everyday life. to see what life could be if I did not plan it. and funnily enough – life did not disappoint.


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    {these are just a few smatterings of photos. but so many things were crossed off the list. and I think those deserve a post of their own. so stay tuned friends. stay tuned.}



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  • October 6, 2013

    a few from the weekend


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    when you start and end your saturday with delicious food, it really can’t be bad. but when its brunch at marché and homemade pizza with cherry tomatoes and basil fresh from the garden, it just doesn’t get much better. and when all that good bookends house-cleaning dance parties and picking pumpkins with the most fun of roommates and the most cute of emelines – well that – that’s just the best.

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  • September 16, 2013

    number nine

    number nine on the list and I am officially in love with chattanooga. things started off a bit rocky and pretty much everything we planned didn’t happen, but in the end we were okay with it. because being spontaneous every once in a while is good for girls who always like to have a plan. and because it just gives us another reason to return for the things we missed.

    here’s a few things we didn’t miss…

    walks up and down the pedestrian bridge across the great tennessee.

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    fancy birthday dinners at the most fun of farm-to-tables. wild mushroom risotto and fresh garlic flatbread and the biggest roasted brussels sprouts you ever did see. and did I mention…covered in balsamic bacon marmalade? let that sink in a minute. even my little vegetarian self had to get a bite (or seven) of that action. and in the end there was even a happy birthday balloon blown up with dry ice. I don’t know how it happened, but it was pretty epic.



    brunch at whole foods, which was not our first choice (or our second), but turned out for the best. because where else would we have been able to practice our paula abdul workout moves?



    knitting mill antiques. with its impeccably organized booths. and the glassware that I forgot from my childhood. and maybe the best vintage children’s book collection I’ve seen yet. be still my heart.


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    the hike that was supposed to be first thing on saturday finally happened last on sunday. lookout mountain and views of valleys and rolling hills and a sky dark like a black and blue bruise. and again with the random thunderstorms that had us racing to the top and barely pausing to take a look around before heading back down again. my paranoid, worst-case self was about 87% sure that we were going to get stranded in the crevice of a mountain or get blown off the side of a cliff. but my melodramatic mind made it back down to the bottom with adrenaline coursing through my veins and not too wet from the rain.

    and that car ride home. blasting the worst top 40 (I’m talking about you, one direction). and justin timberlake. always justin timberlake. and realizing that as much as I loved chattanooga, what I really loved was the people I went with. how we talked of hard things and silly things and danced in the middle of whole foods. and I realized how thankful I am. again. that’s what I always come back to these days. thankfulness and gratitude that seep into the days that are dark like a black and blue bruise. and remind me that there is so much light if only you look around into the faces you share life with.

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  • August 13, 2013



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    26 was ushered in without much pomp and circumstance. in fact, I was traveling for work, so it was ushered in without any pomp and circumstance at all. don’t get me wrong – I was celebrated mightily on the days before 26 and the day of 26 found me overwhelmed by cards hidden in suitcases and so much technological love my phone almost died taking it all in. (including a photo montage of an almost 2-year-old signing me “happy birthday” which was, obviously, the best.) but that 31st day of july was spent on a lot of traveling and not a lot of talking to real, live human beings except to say things like, well, I suppose you may pat me down because the security screening thought my shirt buttons were a bomb. and the closest I came to actually being wished a happy birthday in person was when the man selling me wine had to look at my ID. he didn’t notice though…apparently, they don’t card too carefully out there in colorado. but to be honest, I was okay with that. for an introvert who misses clean mountain air like its my job, driving through the rockies with bon iver on the stereo was kind of a present in itself.

    what did happen on the days that 26 became a reality was this:

    1. plane rides with 6-year-old boys who started out as strangers but bonded over shared gummy bears and talk of favorite superheroes. my heart melted into a little puddle right there on my tray-table.

    2. almost car accidents with bear watchers. stopped in the middle of the road. on a blind curve. tahoe or estes park – tourists are always just the same.

    3. free bouquets of sunflowers from the sweet gentleman of a florist at safeway because he “needed the room.” if that’s not the best unintentional birthday present ever, I don’t know what is.

    4. eating dinner alone in a restaurant for the first time. a real restaurant. you know, the kind where you sit and order and try not to look too, “I will one day be an old maid with lots of cats” while sandwiched between couples reaching over candle light and families laughing boisterously. turns out, it’s not nearly as awkward as I thought. although don’t expect me to get into the habit of it anytime soon.

    5. a lovely little lake named lilly and the beetle bugs that are (nature at its worst!) eating all the trees around it.

    6. night that is NIGHT (no city lights to dim the darkness here, thank you very much). the milky way. shooting bits of fire a million miles away. stars for miles and miles. stars that remind me of abraham and promises and futures greater than the reality of life as we know it.

    7. stories of strength and dignity in africa that remind me why I’m here. the passion of others rubbing off on me. the honoring of those who have made the story so much of what it is. the reminder couldn’t have come at a better time. the reminder was needed more than ever.

    8. sunrise coffee and reading on the back deck to gain a little perspective before chaos ensues. the bit of calm before somehow always gets me through the storm.

    9. curvy, cliffy roads that feel more natural to me than highways and byways. when you learn how to drive in mountaintop blizzards, you feel a lot more confident on cliffs than you do in traffic.

    10. mountain wildflowers. for days and days and days.

    11. sunset from the highest road in north america. above the tree-line. inside the clouds. atop arctic tundra. amidst big-horned sheep and massive elk and even a porcupine to boot.

    12. a miniature donkey named stella.

    colorado I love you. mountains I love you. humidity back in nashville…well, you are just killing me.



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  • June 14, 2013

    a few from the weekend


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    it’s almost this weekend. but I’m still processing last weekend. so much good packed into a little bit of chaos:

    saturday morning brunch at cafe fundamental with lovely shanna (photo credit on that first one). quiche and coffee and a pear and almond pastry that is not to be messed with.

    bubbles blowing in the playhouse and berries picking in the yard. grow faster, little berries! you are delicious!

    quick runs to 8th avenue antiques and barista parlor and even a bit of reading thrown in.

    celebrating almost one year at blood:water mission (are you kidding me?!) with an arrested development-themed event. buster bluth is my favorite renaissance man. archeologistjuice lover. motherboy. sometimes coma patient. tony hale is even better. hilarious and kind. blood:water advocate. not at all given to crippling panic attacks. a genuinely wonderful and authentic human being.

    the young international kicking things off. wishing I could have heard more instead of making a quick change and running off to…

    wedding celebrating! my first nashville friend and the boy she used to come visit in dc. marveling at how life just comes together in such a perfect circle sometimes.

    brunch number 2 (this time at marché) because dear friends were in town and because I became a honest-to-goodness member of a church (for the first time since, well, ever). and also because you can never have brunch too many times.

    shovels and rope. at the ryman. after a wait that felt like forever, but was totally worth it. fun and wonderful and life giving. and this song. be still my heart.

    and a little band called dawes. I was a bit skeptical at first. but oh, what a talented bunch they are. from california, no less! lately, all I hear are songs about tennessee and mississippi the mason dixon line. but they sang about san francisco and the western skyline. and all that west coast pride came flooding back. along with the smallest measure of homesickness for mountains and evergreens and dry heat (god, this humidity might be the death of me). and it sure made me glad that in just a few weeks time that’s exactly where I’ll be.




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  • May 27, 2013

    nashville necessities GIVEAWAY winner!

    friends! I am overwhelmed by the number of people that connected with me through this little corner last week! especially those of you who I’ve not talked with in a little while…it’s exactly what I hoped the blog would accomplish. you all are the absolute BEST.

    I counted up all the people who signed up to receive updates and who left comments on the GIVEAWAY post, and the winner is….JENA! yay for you, friend! I’ll email to get your (new!) address and send it along this week. I must say, this fits perfectly into my scheming to get all my portland peeps out here! I do wish I could send all of you a little something though. I suppose I’ll just have to do a few more GIVEAWAYS in the near future…

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    In other news, today I have the day off for memorial day. it feels a bit weird to not be celebrating and remembering the great people who have served our country with a visit to arlington national (my secret little tradition the past three years), but I am no less thankful for them. and I am also thankful for an extra day off. oh, how I am thankful for that.

    this weekend was full of all things quintessentially nashville. the undeniably talented (and fun!) daniel ellsworth and the great lakes at the high watt. mini-succulent potting party for a wonderful friend’s wedding next week. a long walk and much-needed time with my favorite twin.  a little hootenanny. lunch with amazing new friends and digging through the stacks at mckay’s (I can’t decide if I love that place…or if it just really makes me miss powell’s. a little bit of both, I suppose.) homemade pizza. and finally, a bottle of wine and gluten-free snacks snuck into a late showing of gatsby. in retrospect, I may have over-exerted myself in the social department just a bit, but what a wonderful, life-giving weekend it was.

    knowing that the weekend would be overwhelmingly full, I planned ahead and reserved today for a date with my introverted self. that’s right, I make plans to be introverted. I am nothing if not prepared. so after an amazing lunch at merchant’s with out-of-town friends, I said no to everything else I needed to say no to. the funny thing is, I am the sort of introvert who actually loves to be by myself in public. there’s just something about being able to sit quietly and watch life move around you in all it’s organized chaos. (plus, I know that if I were stay at home today I would just end up watching all 15 episodes of the new arrested development.)

    if there’s one thing I miss about dc, it’s the days that I took to the city on my own, walking through neighborhoods and museums and various groups of people participating in various acts of life. of course, nashville is quite different from dc, so I’m still learning to adapt. dc totally spoiled me with all it’s free art, so one of the first things I did when I got to nashville was to buy a membership and memorize the exhibition calendar at the frist center for the visual arts. I didn’t quite love the exhibit today (sorry, ancient art), so after a quick walk-through, I planted myself outside of the cafe where I’ve been for the last hour or so. today it’s sunny and warm. there’s a good chance I would be more comfortable inside with air conditioning, but I’m determined to stay outside as much as possible before the stifling summer humidity hits. plus, there’s a great breeze blowing, which makes the hairs on my arms stand up and rustles the trees in a pleasant, springy sort of way.

    have I mentioned that I am absolutely in love the frist? it’s a bit small, but the exhibits change often enough that if I come every couple of months, I’m always bound to see something new. more than that though, I just love the feel of it. the clean lines. the minimalistic black and white. the muted voices and quiet steps. space to think and look and be inspired. it sort of reminds me of that perfect guggenheim gallery in venice. and anything that reminds me of venice. well, I’m kind of in love with that.

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  • September 4, 2012

    doing things we never did

    driving around in circles. in an instant, we could tell you what metro stop you needed and how long it would take to walk from there. but when it comes to parking, we feel somewhat useless.

    walking with the seasoned speed the city has taught us, making a beeline for our destination. weaving through families from out of town and honeymooners stopping to peer indecisively at their maps. smiling as we brush past. apologizing. something we would never do during the morning commute.

    slow steps climbing white marble, we give a slight nod of hello to mr lincoln. heading for the quietest spot that will still ensure a view. dangling our feet off the edge. ignoring the excited chatter of a dozen different languages and becoming slightly indignant when children make a slide out of the smooth stone and squeal with delight in the presence of such a hallowed structure. spotlights beaming towards the sky, creating a halo of white light off white stone. this is what makes lincoln and his friends so loved after dark. talking of the purpose of memorials and monuments and remembering those who have come before.

    staying put until a particularly persistent and particularly enormous spider uproots us. settling into a busier spot on the steps next to field-tripping school children more concerned with their pre-teen angst. on the way, I pause to give a more formal hello to mr lincoln, returning to my favorite of his words: with malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in…to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.

    fitting my back in the crevice of one of the great white columns to find that rain has begun to fall. not a particularly harsh thunderstorm, but one that has us thankful to be under the protection of a forefather. the spotlights neglect their job of illumination long enough to crystallize the rain and we are able to follow the falling drops almost all the way to the ground.

    talking and talking. for over two hours until our butts are sore from hard stone seats. our eyes weary, our voices cracked. worrying over descending visitors unaware of how marble becomes slick under a thin covering of water. tourists creating dozens of poses while mr washington and his capitol stand perfectly still in the background – glowing and always camera-ready. a newlywed couple ascending the stairs – she, lifting her white gown to reveal red toms. he, gently grasping her elbow in case the rain thwarts their gingerly placed steps. later, they will ask us what time the metro stops running and we will answer instantly, with the proud knowledge of locals.

    finally descending with care, gripping the handrails, determining not to make the mistake of those who have come (and fallen) before. making a slow circle, nodding last regards to mr lincoln and returning to face washington. pausing at the reflecting pool and, as others lay flat on the concrete to get a good shot, teetering on the precipice of water, pretending to be olympic swimmers ready to dive into the fray. endeavoring to remember the words of the patriotic songs of our youth, we make it all the way through “my country tis of thee” and halfway through “yankee doodle dandy” before needing to google the rest.

    returning to the car, anxious to see if we have a parking ticket courtesy of confusing signage characteristic of the district, I wonder aloud how it happened that it took one of us moving 600 miles away to finally do something so quintessentially local.

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  • July 18, 2012

    currently :: 5

    so this little hiatus was unintended. but in the midst of derecho power-outages and moving away from sycamore street, I was without internet for quite a few weeks. and despite the crippling lack of the bachelorette in my life, I’ve been really very okay with it.

    if I’m being honest, this change has not been the easiest. this move has been harder than all the others. I’m confident in the direction I’m headed. and yet. doubt has come easy. anxiety has come easy. peace, not so much.

    but I don’t need to talk about that now. I don’t need to talk about the new job that brought me not one bit closer to home, but definitely closer to a southern drawl. I don’t need to talk about the new city that reminds me so much of portland, I feel homesick and at home all at once. I don’t need to talk about the apartment I now live in (by myself!) with a kitchen the size of a postage stamp. that is all for another day. for now, the best way to ease back into internet and blogging life is to make a list. of course.

    watching: the entirety of arrested development. (oh, and then meeting buster bluth (aka tony hale) on my first day of work. no big deal.)

    reading: the best space trilogy. confessions. great house. wendell berry on sabbaths.

    listening: a lot of worship. lcd soundsystem. here we go magic. beach house. and call me maybe. over and over again. (if you tell me you haven’t listened to that song more than once, I will most definitely call you a liar.)

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    Filed Under: CURRENTLY

  • July 5, 2012

    the one photo I took in 700 miles of driving. we found horton highway en route from dc to nashville. aside from dropping and shattering my phone, I would call this road trip a smashing success. (pun intended.)

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    Filed Under: UNCATEGORIZED