Sunday, July 20, 2014

What's left of this one: my thirty before thirty.

The big 3-0. Dirty thirty. Twenty nine again. 

October 4th. It's coming, whether I like it or not {For the record, I like it}, and with a thirtieth birthday, comes a blog about said thirtieth birthday. And with that blog comes the cliche, must-have list of things I want to accomplish before the big day. 

I was doing some "research" online, and reading the blogs and lists of other brave thirty-somethings that have gone before me, I noticed that their lists were all very similar. They almost seemed panicked. 29 years, and a lot of chances that hadn't been taken. Opportunities missed. So much to do and see and experience before thirty. So much to check off of a list. And truthfully, I don't feel that. I guess I never realized how much life I have packed into the last decade, until I read about all the things that others hadn't.

I have moved to cities where nobody knew my name. I have partied in Vegas. 
I have been terrified and taken the chance anyway. I have grown my own garden, gotten tattoos, lived alone, kissed a stranger, climbed a mountain, and chased my dream. 
And then I chased a different dream. 
I've lived on another continent, gotten in mud fights and I've opened my heart. I've been hurt when expectations and reality go their separate ways. I've confronted my doubts, and been surprised by hope. I've been content and restless {sometimes at the same time} 
and I have been brave

My twenties have been confusing, chaotic, and chock full of semi-questionable decisions, they have also been free, and wonderful, and littered with decisions that have led me to right here and now, and that's pretty cool.

But as amazingtown as my twenties have been, there are a few things I wanna do before I blow out those thirty candles... 

And here they are:

1. Learn how to cook the perfect over easy egg.  
Why do they intimidate me so much? And why are they soo greasy? /// Update: Nailed it. Oil and flip free. I just did what this lady said, and they were perf!

2. Get rid of #alltheclothes!! 
I'll be doing a modified version of project 333, and I'll make sure to blog about's going to get real. 

3. Go wine tasting.
I know, right?! How have I never done this? I shall pound the classiest way possible, of course. 

4. Take my body back.
I have been using life and grad school as an excuse to be lazy and stagnant, and I don't like how I feel. No more. Less Doritos, more broccoli. Less beer, more water. 

5. Re-do my bedroom.
It's bad, you guys. It's cluttered, the walls are blank, and my mattress is on the floor, like some kind of 19 year old frat boy. Get it together, Medina!

6. Spend an entire week without social media.
I've gotten pretty bad. I know I will thank myself for this one...and you probably will too! ;) 

7. Run a 5k.
And by "run a 5k," I mean, without wanting to die. This pairs with number four. I will get my booty up and moving again! 

8. Write {at least} ten nice notes, and send them to random addresses/leave on random windshields.
Because I just think about how I would feel if I got one! So fun. 

9. Make a time capsule to open on my fortieth birthday.
I can only imagine what would have been in a time capsule I made when I was twenty! Yikes, lol 

10. Go skydiving. 
This one seems like a given. Again, how has this never happened? 

11. Go to a nude beach...and join in.
Because, they're doing life right. 

12. Figure out what the heck I’m going to do for my 30th birthday.
Vegas, Disneyland, a night out on the town, all of the above?! Who's with me?

13. Make it a habit again to floss…every day.
I am the worst!

14. Give blood.
I've usually been inked too recently to give, but right now would be a perfect time to save some lives. 

15. Get my dream job!
I added this one, because I thought it would be fun to cross off. OMG, you guys...I'm a real life teacher!!!

16. Have a classic Disney movie all-nighter. 
Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Lion King, Little Mermaid…the works. And booze, duh.

17. See the Avett brothers preform live.
I have tickets!!! I'm freaking out!!! If they play The Ballad of Love and Hate, I can die happy.

18. Restart my succulent garden 
After I let my last beautiful collection perish in the great Portland Snowmageddon of 2014. RIP *pours one out with kombucha*

19. Change my own oil.
I'll just YouTube it. 

20. Get my fortune read
(Just for lolz.)

21. Learn to drive stick shift
Because you never know, and I feel like it's one of those things you should just know.

22. Learn to love myself more deeply.
This is so huge. It's something that I have been learning as a twenty-something, and something I will keep learning. How to be gentle to myself. How to say no. How to say yes. How to be okay with me. All of me. I already, at thirty, feel so much more in tune with myself, my strength and my womanhood. Here's to a decade of deeper self love. <3

23. Go salsa dancing.
Portland has to have some sweaty, underground salsa club that is just waiting for this girl!

24. Start saving money.
And while I'm at it, make a budget. And stick to it. Ugh, boring. 

25. Re-watch Lost.
4-8-15-16-23-42. That show changed my life! And because, Sawyer. 

26. Start blogging at least twice a month.
Even if no one ever reads it, I love how good it feels to just say it

27. Make my own pickles!
I like pickles. 

28. Make a five-year dream board.
Because It's cheesy, and I'm cheesy. And also because while it's not great to obsess about the unknown future, hot husbands, cute babies, and redecorating houses, and while I'm not in any kind of race to get there...those things are desires of my heart, and it's fun to think about sometimes.

29. The Giants win the NL west and make the Postseason.
This one is slightly out of my hands, but seeing as the postseason starts the week of my birthday, it only makes sense. #BEATLA {And then they'll win the World Series in a sweep!}

30. Not give a shit about turning thirty.
I stole this one! Thirty is a big one. There's a reason we write blogs about it, and go skydiving because of it, but it's nothing to be scared of. I'm not behind or ahead. I just am. Right here is perfect. Happy birthday to me!

So there you have it. My thirty before thirty. 
If you're still reading, I love you, and you should join me!!

I'm so ready to pop champagne and step into a decade of new possibility, but until then, I'm going to celebrate what's left of this one. 


Saturday, January 18, 2014

Great Expectations

You know the saying…”If you don’t expect anything, you won’t be disappointed.”

I get it. I’ve been there.

You work hard, but the promotion goes to someone else. You pour yourself into a relationship, but you’re treated like crap. 
((Insert personal disappointments here)) 
You post all the inspirational quotes, you anticipate good things, and instead are left with disappointment, a heart that’s a little bit harder, and skin that’s a little bit thicker. And then you do it again. And you’re tired of trying. 
Disappointment is draining. It hurts. 

So, you start to expect less out of life, and you get it.

But what if instead, you dusted yourself off {again}, and not only kept going, but kept expecting that good things were on their way--just around the corner even? What if you believed that those things you dream were still possible, that there existed a person who would make you feel loved and valued like you never had before, that life had joy to offer in the midst of all the pain and chaos, and that there were still things worth waiting for?
Think about that.

Iv'e spent a lot of my adult life -all eleven years of it- being cynical and negative (it's not pretty folks). When I let that girl go, everything changed. Now, instead of being broken and discouraged by the inevitable disappointments life will bring, I learn who I am in the middle of it. Dare I say, because of it. 

The bad stuff makes the good taste even better. 
The hard stuff makes you brave.

We might be disappointed {again}, we might get hurt {again}, we might have to start over {again}…or we might not. 
What a scary, exciting, unpredictable, wonderful adventure this is! Let’s guard our hearts and our minds, yes, but let’s never stop taking risks, or stop believing for the best. 

Let’s expect great things, and I think we just might find them!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

I wrote her a letter instead:

She’s the best of the best. The cream of the crop. She’s the one I always call first. 
She’s my best friend. 

When you live 800 miles away from your best, it’s always dumb--there’s just no ifs, and, or buts about that. But once in a while there are days {like today} when you would give just about anything to be able to bike to her house and spend the day with her. It’s not a particularly special day, but it is one that I’d love to spend drinking iced tea on her couch and catching up on the last 7 hours of life {that’s a long time in best friend land}. I’d love to lie on the floor and read books with her beautiful babies, craft the day away while we watch old Project Runway episodes, and laugh till we cry, because life is hilarious. 
But, I can't. 
So I wrote her a letter instead:

Dear Candace,

It’s hard to believe that I moved away over a year and ½ ago. So much has happened! So much is different, but so much is the same. When I moved, my stomach ached nervously for our friendship. My past is speckled with best friends. Really amazing people who absolutely were my very favorites, who knew all my best and worst, who I laughed with, cried with, stayed up all night scaring people in the dorm bathrooms with, drove 5 hours in the wrong direction with, and then some. I will always treasure those loves. But when life said, “it’s time to go,” those friendships would become faded versions of themselves. 
They would never be the same.

With you, it’s different. 
I don’t feel that you're any less my best friend today than I did when I tearfully hugged you goodbye on your porch on that day-that day that seems like so long ago now. I truly feel that for the rest of my life, when I’m talking about my best friend, I will be talking about you. We have fought to say that. We have worked hard at it. We have been painfully honest when we were hurt by one another. You have loved me on my most unlovable days. 
And now we're here, and it's better than ever! 

At the end of my first day teaching, it's you I'll call. When I'm wearing that pretty white dress, you'll be standing next to me. When my babies are only an hour old, they will know your face 
(Skype= other BFF). 
Oh darling friend, the best is yet to come!

We will both make other really good friends. That’s okay. Sometimes, we will go weeks without a phone date. That’s okay too. But sweep away the craziness of life {grad school, family, distance, careers}, and there will always be me and you, babe. 

Best friends. Forever.

I love you.

One of our favorite blog posts, if you want more squishy, best girlfriend, goodness: 

Monday, December 31, 2012

In a Nutshell:

**WARNING: this is a cliche new years post**

I hope your 2012 was wonderful. I really do. I'm sitting here on my couch, on New Years eve, reflecting on a year that changed my life in more ways than I probably know. My heart is content, and it's full of joy. 
I know that's not the case for many. I know. I know what it's like to be broken on December 31st. I know what it's like to be desperate for midnight to just come already. 
I hope that's not you. But if it is, I pray 2013 is your fresh start. 
I pray it's one that is full of surprises, second chances, of healing and of hope.

{A few things I learned, in no particular order}

1. Rain boots in Portland are a good idea.
2. I am more loved than I can ever try to understand.
3. Faith.
4. Every breath is a second chance.
5. Tomorrow sure isn't promised.
6. I don't have to be aggressive or mean to be strong.
7. Fifteen hour plane rides are much more bearable when seated next to a pretty boy. Just sayin.
8. Hope. 
9. There is ALWAYS hope.
10. Eating Thai food 3-4 times a week is perfectly acceptable.
11. Walking away doesn't always mean you lost.
12. Cougartown is hilarious. Like, my favorite. Who knew? 
13. If you don't quit, you win.
14. Jesus is faithful.
15. I need people. I can't do life alone.
16. I have people. I have really good people.
17. Grace. Beautiful grace.
18. Taking chances is worth it.
19. Sometimes I am so overwhelmed by all of this that I think I might literally explode.

So, see ya later 2012. Thanks for everything. And to quote my pastor and friend, "Our best days are ahead!" I believe it, and I can't wait. 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Lub- Dub, lub-dub, lub-dub...

Last time I blogged (like a billion years ago), I was smack dab in the middle of a juice fast. I'm proud to say I completed it, and it felt wonderful! Like most of the things I get excited about, I was pumped, jumped in with both feet, got bored and moved on. {Reason #347 I'm still not married} Who the H-E-double hockey sticks has time every morning to juice, anyways? I'm lucky if my shirt is right side out! 

Moving on...this blog isn't about juice.

 For obvious reasons, I, like all of you, have done some serious thinking in the last couple weeks. I have felt broken and helpless for the state of humanity, and I have felt hope, because well, I believe there's always hope. There is much that needs to be discussed and much that needs to be done. But that is for a different blog on a different night. Tonight is about a silly thought that crossed my simple mind. I've always placed myself in the "don't take a single breath for granted" category. I have traveled. I say I love you often. When life has given me opportunities, I have jumped at them. When something scares me, I usually do it anyway. Don't get me wrong, I've totally spent seven hours in my underwear, eating raw cookie dough, and watching 80s sitcoms on Netflix {hello, The Wonder Years and Cheers, am I right?!}, but overall, I feel like I've got a pretty good grasp on "life is short". So, I'm not sure if this is weirdly morbid or totally silly, or both {probably both}, but I find that when I post on Facebook, I always think about how it could very well be the last thing I ever post on the ol' book! I know, I'm ridiculous, but to me, this is a very scaled down version of "how do you want to be remembered?" I try not to post anything negative or boring, because if it IS my last post, I want the people that love me and miss me {this is all based on the assumption that at least a few of you would} to see that last post, and remember me as the girl who decorated way too early for Christmas, who took board games way too seriously, who liked eating soggy cereal, and who loved Jesus and the people around her, not as the girl who thinks the bank teller is an idiot, or complains about her job.

Morbid? Perhaps. But there's no guarantee that my heart will keep beating tonight. There's no promise that my lungs will keep filling with air. Who's to know if someone I encounter tomorrow might be hurting deeply, and in turn, decide to hurt me? I might live to be a hundred and nine and have 37 grandkids. I might be done here before having ever been in love. It's okay, either way.

So, that's just a silly thought I had about Facebook posts. I guess it kind of turned into something a little deeper.

Here's to living on purpose! If this becomes my last post, I hope it makes you smile, and I hope it inspires you to do one or all of these things: Go for it! Search out truth! Eat dessert first! Eat only dessert! Say what's on your heart! Ride scary rides! Other inspiring things! {If not, let's grab coffee and hug tomorrow!}

Oh yeah, James Dean. He is quoted as the one who spoke the famous "Dream as if you'll live forever, live as if you'll die today." I wonder if he did. What a yummy man.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Juice on!

As many of you know, I recently started a juice fast. Many of you have asked about it (how I'm doing, what's actually in each glass, etc). I thought I would spare the Facebook/Twitter world the details, and blog instead, for those who were really interested {two blogs in a week?! Be impressed}.

The deets: 10 days. Juice. Only juice. And water. No chewing. No coffee. NO COFFEE! Juice. A lot of juice. 

The benefits: In a nutshell, to consume an insane amount of plant based micro-nutrients (you would have to eat platters and platters of whole, un-juiced produce to get the same amount), and to give my hard working digestive system a rest from breaking down all the animal products and garbage I feed it regularly.

Pre-juice: Before Sunday (my start day), I would say I made pretty healthy choices. Health nut? Not even close. But I made a conscious effort to eat clean and organic, and worked out regularly (side note: I'm still a huge junk food junkie...don't be deceived, people). Whether or not that has affected/will affect my juice fast results, I'm not super sure, but it's something to consider.

Saturday night: I'm not gonna lie...I ate a giant plate of nachos. They were amazing. I don't regret it for a second. I was totally freaked out about what I was about to get myself into, and wondering if it was too late to back out. Luckily, I filled a cart full of colorful produce, and I was ready to go!

Day one: My alarm goes off an hour earlier than usual. Half asleep, I stare at it in confusion, change it to it's normal time, and drift back to sleep. Yep, already winning; totally how I wanted to start my juice fast. High five, Cyn.

After church, I head home to make my first glass. Kale, Spinach, cucumber, apple, and a lemon. I'm nervous. It's, REAL green. It smells like plants. But to my surprise, it tastes wonderful!! "I can do this," I thought. 

Dinner on day one rolls around. I can hear the beets calling me from the crisper. Carrots, celery, kale, spinach, apple, beets, and fresh ginger. Oh boy...

Actually, not bad. Not quite as easy to swallow as my green drink, but not horrible. Another win!

Day 2: I kept waiting to feel horrible. I had read countless blogs/websites/etc that stressed how awful the first few days would be. How intense my cravings for food would be. But honest to goodness, I felt amazing! I had a bit of a dull headache (which, considering I had just dropped caffeine cold turkey, I was more than okay with), but overall, felt great! Woo hoo!! Started feeling more comfortable with the juicer, and playing with juice mixtures/recipes. 

Day three: woke up feeling great! Added cantaloupe and strawberries today. Trying to maintain a 70/30-60/40 veggie to juice ratio, but wanted something sweet and easy to drink for brekkie. Another great day...even went for a run! Still a little headachy, but feeling energized and full (haven't been hungry once), and I haven't had any of the crazy bathroom issues I have read so much about (I'll just leave it at that).

How pretty is juicing?!

So "the worst" is over. I kind of don't believe it. I'm pretty sure I'll want pizza in a couple days, but I guess we'll see! If you have any questions, just ask! Juice on!!!