ALOHA (almost!)

Brand new camera is charged (thanks grandparents!); iPad is loaded with books, music, and crosswords galore; bathing suits are packed; and we are only one sleep away from take off. John got home from his last day of rotation and we popped a bottle of champagne to start the vacation off right. We are off to grab burgers for dinner and calling it an early night. Leaving the house at 4am.

I hope all of you have a great week. I promise to do lots of photo documenting and will return with a fun report. And with a tan.

Goodbye, Portland. ALOHA, HAWAII!!!



My foot hurts. There, I said it.

About two weeks ago I started getting a little pain on the top of my left foot while out on a trail run. I rarely get injured so I tossed the discomfort to the back of my mind and pressed on.  I tried again a few days later and it was still lingering. What the heck? I haven’t done anything longer than a 16 miler since my marathon. I haven’t put too many miles on my shoes. I have done everything right. Foot pain in the equation just doesn’t make sense.

Full of stubbornness last night, I met the Hulu Lulu run group after work for a few easy miles. We meet every Tuesday night (pouring down rain or shine) for 6 miles then go to Rouge in Hawaiian shirts for beer (if you wear a Hawaiian shirt then you get your first beer for free, otherwise, this would not be a voluntary feat). I lasted 20 minutes on the run and had to bail; the pain was throbbing up to my head. I ran back to my car angry, frustrated, and very sad.

I am a ball of energy. If I can’t get my legs moving I get impatient and grumpy and can’t seem to focus quite as well. Needing to think and sweat, I decided to try and spin this morning. It is doable as long as I don’t get out of the saddle and bear weight on my foot. Still not the same.

I have come to terms with the fact that I will not be running the 50K trail run this weekend. Actually, I haven’t. I keep thinking I am going to wake up in the morning and feel no pain at all. I’m going to stay off of it for now and if it doesn’t feel better when we get back from our trip then I will go see a pediatrist.

The reality is that sometimes you just have to let things run their course. I have been fortunate to have had very few injuries along the road. This situation though is teaching me to appreciate every mile, good or bad.

Good luck to my crew running Wildwood this weekend, I’ll be at the omelet station if you need me!

portland is weird

This weekend went by in a whirlwind. John’s friend from med school, Nick, has been doing research in San Diego this year and decided to fly to Portland for the weekend before moving back to Birmingham.

Friday night I picked up Nick from the airport. John grilled steaks and I made a blackberry sauce (recipe from 100 Perfect Pairings) and roasted rosemary potatoes. Late night at Bar Mingo and M Bar.

Saturday morning we had brunch at Interurban. Hiked in the Gorge to Eagle Creek & Loowit Falls. Lunch in Hood River at Double Mountain.

Saturday night: Party of 7 at Paley’s Place for Portland Dining Month with my running friends. Ran into the Naked Bike Ride – not kidding, I’ll let you google that one for yourself. Thousands of people. Riding their bikes. Totally Naked. It was the craziest thing I have ever seen. Portland is so weird. Goodfoot Lounge for Russell Batiste, Walter Wolfman Washington. We closed the place down.

Sunday morning I conned Nick into running trails with me. Foot pain has increased. Hoping it is nothing. Hillsdale Farmer’s Market, airport trip and a nice long nap.

Around 5:30 I was sitting on the porch reading when John walked outside to join me. He said he got me an early birthday present and pulled out two 5th row tickets to the Tedeschi Trucks Concert that night! He purchased them months ago and has kept quiet this whole time. So sneaky. And thoughtful. And FUN.

Smiling from ear to ear, I tossed my books the side, sprinted upstairs to get ready, and we headed downtown to the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall. That band is housing more talent than you can imagine. 3 backup singers, 3 horns, 2 drummers, the Oteil and his brother, Susan’s voice, Derek’s incredible guitar skills and a partridge in a pear tree. By the last song everyone was on his or her feet.

It has been a while since I have been to a show like that. A cozy seat up close. No one spilling beer on me while they attempt to dance. The air was cool and calming, the acoustics were perfect, and the mood was just right. One of my favorites, “Bound for Glory,” went on for 9 minutes.

What a perfect surprise and ending to a great weekend. I was one happy lady.

On a side note, my foot is not in good shape. The pain is tough in the mornings. Planning on staying off of it most of this week before the big run. Stay tuned for updates.


Mid-week motivation

I don’t know about you but I typically need a good mid-week push to get me to Friday. Ever read a good quote and want to remember it? You jot it down on a sticky pad, type it in your phone notes, write it in a notebook or on the closest piece of paper you can find. You highlight it, star it, dog-ear the page, promising yourself you will certainly remember that one. I do it almost every day.

I absolutely love when someone has the ability to write something meaningful or motivational in a very simple, yet powerful, way. A talent I do not possess.

Here are a few short motivational quotes as we peak the middle of the week:

Never stop learning.

Give more. Expect Less.

That it will never come again is what makes life so sweet. –Emily Dickinson

Simplify. Simplify. Simplify.

I hope all of you are enjoying your week! Exhausted and sweaty after a run, I went to an awesome show at the Mission Theater last night to hear Patrick Watson. Check out his band. Very entertaining group.

I have been hitting the trails and logging my miles. Only 10 days until the 50K trail run. Just call me Nervous Nellie. How in the world am I supposed to keep moving after 26.2? I ran with the run organizer last night and he promised me an omelet station around mile 20. Sold! Will run for food, go figure.

More company arrives Friday night for the weekend. Currently installing a revolving door to the new digs.

Bragging Rights

I have to take a moment to brag on John. Last weekend marked his first year of completed residency at OHSU. Rotating into a different service every month, very few days off,  14+ hour days and he has done it, almost entirely, without complaint. There’s no way I would have made it past the first week.

It was a big weekend as the Fellows and Chiefs gave their final presentations and said their goodbyes to mentors and colleagues.  The visiting keynote speaker for the weekend was *Dr. Limb, an Otologist from Johns Hopkins. He has a background in playing jazz sax and piano, ironically enough, a similar interest of John’s. Dr. Limb got word of his talents and asked John to play jazz guitar along side him Saturday night at the ENT dinner held at the Treasury Ballroom. It might as well have been Carnegie Hall to me.

I don’t think I could have been more proud. John is unbelievably talented. Not only does he excel in his career and hobbies but he does it with complete humility. You would never catch him bragging about his research, skills, or plethora of knowledge (unless we are playing Trivial Pursuit, then it’s a tad apparent). Next year is going to be a tough one but I know he will continue to impress me, even after a 30 hour shift.

I am SO PROUD OF HIM! Time is flying by. One year down. Four to go!

 Celebrating at Kask with Pricilla and Ritter

*If you have a minute, watch Dr. Limb’s presentation at TEDx MidAtlantic, where he showed the results of what he and his team uncovered when they put jazz musicians and rappers in an fMRI to find out how the brain works during musical improvisation. The research has deep implications for the understanding of creativity of all kinds.


Confession: I have senioritis. No, I’m not a graduating senior, but I work for school districts and it’s all the talk right now. Schools in the Pacific Northwest don’t begin until after Labor Day and finish mid-June. This weekend is graduation for them but I feel like I’m the one itching for summer. I hear it doesn’t arrive in Portland until July 1st, but in just two and a half weeks I will be going to summer instead of waiting on it to get to me. I will be making my first trip to the green Hawaiian island of Kauai. I hope you just turned green yourself.

This will be the first vacation I have taken in over a year. Last year I spent my vacation seeing every great thing between Alabama and Oregon. I saw purple mountains in Colorado, red rock in Utah, desert land in Nevada, the snowcaps and Redwoods of California and miles and miles of vineyards in Oregon.  This year is going to be slightly different than sleeping in a tent across the great western states. Although, now that I have done my research, camping across Kauai would be surprisingly ideal.

Colorado landscape

A few months ago I spent my tax return on a flight and booked myself (and seven residents) a 4-bedroom plantation home on the west side of Kauai, located across from the beach and donning a heated pool. I know, life is tough, right?

Davidson Point Beach House

I have spent months in anticipation for this trip and it is finally right around the corner. I have just about finalized all of my projects for my districts, turned in last year’s accomplishments, and set goals for next year. I can’t help but feel like it’s a countdown to the last day of school. That culminating moment when you realize all the hard work over the year has paid off and you are ready to embark on a well-deserved vacation.

Only two weekends stand between me hiking the Waimea Canyon, sea kayaking the Na Pali Coast, running along Kee Beach and wading in lagoons near Hanakapiai Falls.

It’s going to be a celebration of sorts. What an unbelievable year it has been. I am rather proud of the big decisions I have made, the risks I have taken and company I have surrounded myself with along the way.

Aloha, Hawaii! As soon as the bell rings I am heading your way.

Habit vs Intention

If you know me then you know I am a creature of habit. I like my Thursday schedule to always stay the same every Thursday. Same goes for all the other weekdays. I like to eat my oatmeal and peanut butter before I get to work. I like to go to the grocery store only once a week. I like to meet my run group on Tuesday nights. I am so habitual I even annoy myself. However, the past few weeks have been anything but.

Last weekend John and I moved into a 3-bedroom townhouse in Hillsdale, a little village just below the hospital, and only a mile or so from downtown Portland. I call it casa de perfeccionó. I feel like I have been living the college life for a decade and I am finally in a place a little more suited for my lifestyle. I have a study/workout room, a garage, a kitchen for entertaining, and a front porch. Who wants to come over first?

With company in town and a busy schedule, it has taken a while to get situated. Our living room is, how do you say, feng shui unfriendly? Our garage is housing far too much stuff — including a drum set (ahem, another post for another day), no artwork is hung, and there are no chairs to our dining room table, yet. We definitely have some settling in to do.

Anyways, I have been out of routine for over two weeks now. I tend to want to please people so much that I forget I need to escape and do things for me every once in a while.  I woke up this morning long overdue and on a mission. I needed to run.

It was lightly raining but I laced up and hit the pavement grinning with excitement. I ran up and over hills through my new neighborhood, out Terwilliger past the hospital and the VA. My legs were fresh and light, and my pace was quick. The rain picked up the further I traveled but I embraced it as a cleansing process of renewal. I came home exhausted and drenched but restored.

Things will settle down, I will still get in my miles before the 50K, and the house will be organized soon enough.

I guess I don’t always have to stick to my routine, although it is what I prefer.  Sometimes when we take a break or encounter a change to our everyday regimen it makes coming back to our [good] habits as refreshing as running in the rain.