Sunday, November 28, 2010

loving what is...

project me involves reading more books. it seemed easier to start with a few that were referred to me. 
there will be future posts regarding the first read...wow--- is about all i can say right now. very good.

i'm just cracking open the 2nd book. very exciting!!! here is one of the first quotes:


"the more clearly you understand yourself and your emotions, the more you become a lover of what is."

-baruch spinoza

Saturday, November 27, 2010

visualpause.com



hard to believe i have not posted about this awesome website since i visit it almost daily. the talented photographer is someone i know personally. he is my brother's sister-in-law's husband...aka my almost brother-in-law. he captures moments in time that are both man and mother nature made. one of the things i like most is that his work is so diverse and the slice of time he manages to frame assures you he was present...not just physically but emotionally and mentally as well. that says a lot. for me anyway. and if it doesn't make sense, let me say it this way...some shots make you feel like you were there, even when you know for certain you were not. like the difference of seeing a film that feels benign. you leave the theater and think...hmmm, that was blah versus the times you leave with tears running down your face and feel alive or moved to make a difference. yes, i may sound like a cheeseball but i feel blessed to have two pieces of his. nothing like decorating with unique art. if anyone is like me, it's really hard to go to "popular store x" and buy a print that feels so impersonal. while it can look cool, there is something lost in translation.
soo many people are starting to understand the importance of buying locally. this is one of those instances where it's not just a good thing for the community as a whole but on an individual level as well. just as i think fresh flowers and plants throughout the house can be like medicine to the soul, a piece of art from a local artist can really make you feel special. and trust me---you deserve to feel special--because YOU ARE. and those you love deserve to feel special too (they are too). so check out the site; there is something for everyone. this holiday season my goal is to keep it simple and sentimental. not only will my eyes thank me, but everyone else will too!!

Friday, November 26, 2010

i like living

"I like living. I have sometimes been wildly, despairingly, acutely miserable, racked with sorrow, but through it all I still know quite certainly that just to be alive is a grand thing." Agatha Christie

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

a sign that life should go on...

as i mentioned, november 17th is no longer the same...i lost a friend that day, 13 years ago. 


and i also had a friend deliver a beautiful baby girl on that day 2 years ago. arcadia hadley rose...

getting the message saying she had made her debut was such a surreal feeling. 

for 11 years this day had been a day of loss. and here i was getting news that a fresh life had entered the world... on this day. it was bitter sweet...but sweeter by far. i was reminded of a quote i love: "A baby is God's opinion that life should go on" Carl Sandburg

with death there is life and vice versa. we all grow up understanding this on a literal level, but the complexities that emotions add seem to make it far easier to accept life over death.

the thing about babies: they usually have ETA's but from what i've experienced (via friends and family) is that they usually arrive when they want to. 

i'm glad arcadia chose her day...it's almost like she knew i needed a hug and one adorable reason to realize, yet again, what a miracle life really is. 

remembering a friend

during my senior year of high school, a friend took his own life. we went to school together for years but i had just started to get to know him in greater detail since my knee surgery had prevented me from participating in marching band. this left me with an extra open. he had the same one. so we would chat about anything and everything...well, looking back, apparently not everything. he never told me of his struggles with depression. he instead would talk about basketball. it was his first love. he ran cross country in the off season. he was goofy and quiet but an authentic soul.
our last conversation took place on november 17th and this day has never fully been the same.
i took a class in college called "death as a part of living" one of our field trips was to a  funeral home. the funeral director gave us a tour and as we walked by french doors that were closed, he made a comment that i will never forget. he said "those situations are the hardest" and pointed at the door. a fellow classmate asked what he was referring to. "suicide" he said. "the families are always left with soo many questions and guilt, you can never make sense of it"

and it hit me like a ton of bricks. i was reminded of nick.

the boys basketball season was to begin. their first practice being that night. the girls had already started. i couldn't play of course given my knee but i would still attend practice...to keep me motivated to do rehabilitation. i saw him that morning. he was wearing a new shirt and seemed upbeat. he kept talking about practice that night. his mom had purchased new socks for him.
i didn't hug him when we parted ways. no ounce of my being thought that would be the last time i saw him alive. i mean...we never know, right. things happen. but this was something he chose. so sometimes i feel a little angry that he didn't think to give me a hug...maybe that seems selfish, to wish he had thought of me or others before leaving us...who knows. it's all part of the healing process i've been told.

as we were wrapping up practice, i saw the men's head basketball coach enter the gymnasium and pull our coach aside. something was up. suddenly  practice ended. coach asked the senior players to go to the locker room immediately. my heart was pounding. he came in and couldn't look up. it was clear he was emotional. choking back his own tears, he managed to inform us that one of our classmates had taken his own life earlier that afternoon.
when he said nick's name, my heart broke into pieces. as i mentioned, we had just talked about how excited he was for the season opener. what changed? what happened? i will never know.
while we weren't best friends, you don't have to be to feel the loss. it was a fairly small class, small town. a bunch of us got together that night and managed to get one word out along with tears that filled buckets. the word was "why"
there was eventually a wake and that is probably the time i think about most. mainly because his mom was in such visible shock. for a multitude of reasons, most of which i can't even begin to comprehend. she found her own son, lifeless. as my friends and i walked through the line i hugged his older sister and extended my deepest sympathies. she hugged back and said "thank you"  -pause- "thank you for making my brother laugh-he always would talk about how funny and cool he thought you were"  it hurt soo bad to hear that even though it was positive. i never knew he felt that way. why didn't he tell me? his mom was at the end of the line and as i approached her, you could see the pain and devastation she felt being emitted from her aura. she was talking to the mom of another student, telling her that no one (doctors) would help her help him. (i learned later that they knew he was very sick and it runs in their family;  they had tried all they could to get him help)
i could feel my emotions building up. of course i wanted to be strong for her. for his entire family...but we were all soo confused in our own bodies. it was like we wanted to provide answers just as much as a solution that would be too late. i went to give her a hug and couldn't muster up more than "i am sooo very sorry" when she pulls back and begins to exclaim" emilee, my son doesn't deserve to be up there" (pointing to where the casket was) i nodded my head in agreement. it felt like the majority of the room was watching. while i know she was not truly directing it at me, the pain in her eyes and desperation in her voice as been seared in my memory. that sense of helplessness will not be forgotten.
many people had mixed feelings about it. we had classmates who did not come to the service because they felt it was selfish of him. others sat there blaming themselves. namely his closest guy friends. they didn't know he was that ill.  the mask can be soo deceiving. some battles we are able to face alone with success. and some battles, i do, deep down believe, are beyond anything we can imagine..a force so strong. dna and genetics have their own versions of 'natural disasters' an imbalance that even modern medicine cannot correct.
(mental illness/depression is something i have been affected by and feel strongly about)

it was a very cold day when we released balloons by his grave site. i have not been back to visit since. but over the course of the last 13 years, i have never forgotten nick. and part of me feels like this is my way of fending off the helpless feeling. just like i did with the 5k; i learned that  many people don't want to talk about some of the tragic things that happen in life. but that doesn't seem fair. to the lives that have been lost...no matter the reason. we should be able to talk about them; honor the time they were here. so while nick's death  still causes mixed emotions, he was my friend. it feels better sit here and cry, be frustrated or write a post about him, even though he is gone, than to pretend he was never here just because it might hurt. because sorting through it all brings to light some memories that actually make me smile. and in those moments, it feels like seeing the first sign of the sun (hope) on a very cold, dark day.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

cold vs allergies

well, well, well...if this isn't how life works...the infamous first annual wafflepalooza is this weekend, so i don't have a lot of time to deal with a tickle in my throat which started on monday...and then my eyes began itching... but i felt pretty good otherwise. now it's a little more stuffy up north and the rest of my body is a smidge achey too...granted, i have worked out the last few days...so how do i know if it's allergies:
excuse the swear word, but it's how i feel (image found on web)

image found on web
or a common cold???

i have taken meds for both and i am still at square one...

i heart jimmy johns

ramen noodles get a lot of press regarding being a dietary 'staple' for college kids across the country. but not this press release. i have posted before about my love for popcorn. but i have not yet posted about my love for jimmy johns. oh how i heart thee...
i'm fairly certain i was their #1 customer from 1999-2003. no joke. my favorite was the veggie, add extra cheese, onion, mustard, sprouts, and no mayo (what was i thinking??? they use the real stuff that is super delicious) maybe it's that my taste buds have finally matured given that i'm 30 and all.

anyway, i became a customer because i knew a guy who worked there. he would hook us up after a night out at the watering hole. but even after he was no longer employed there, i still managed to act as though he was.
i went there...A LOT.
given that i worked really close to the joint, it was easy to get to. plus they DELIVER. anyone who has lived in iowa for a winter knows...this is a service that surpasses any competition. subway eat your heart out!
so...i would call and request that my sandwich be delivered--even though it was less than 10 blocks away. i'm telling you...the winters are brutal!!! not sure what my excuses were during the summer, fall, or spring. what's most hilarious is that they quickly knew me by name and posted a note on the wall with emilee's own special order. this is customer service at it's best.

so i moved away...and no longer had access to JJ's. everytime i came back i would kindly demand (ha ha) that we eat there. even if no one else wanted to...i ate solo.
eventually i started to wonder why they didn't have one out here. i mean, if pocatello, idaho can have one...we surely should be able to. this is a college town for goodness sake. so i would email jimmy's and say, please come out there. one girl named amy, i believe, emailed me back and said that my email had made her laugh...and that they would make note of my request. she also mentioned that i could franchise one if interested. i said sure, if JJ"s would like to finance it. ha ha!
so i recently went to seattle and had the opportunity to go to a JJ's....and it sent me spinning...what? why don't we have one.
yes, a total temper tantrum. i blame the gluten, but who knows ;)
so i again email jimmy's; only this time the person who responds informs me that there are 3 JJ"s in the greater portland area. WHAT? i had NO clue!
score....

and then, as if the gods finally stopped thinking i was crazy...i left my gym and headed to the starbucks near my office...
out of the corner of my eye i saw a sign. it was red and black and..."i just knew
my neck turned just in time to confirm that it was in fact a sign that said:

JIMMY JOHN'S coming soon!

OMG (as all the cool kids say these days)

i am now stalking them every morning when i get my coffee to see what their definition of "soon" is...because i'm telling you...it's just not soon enough!

**photos to follow  :)

{arcade fire} {portland oregon} {9.30.10}

ROCOCO

arcade "fire"

keep the car running

one of the best shows i have gone to this year!!!
their style is unique! did not expect all the energy they brought to the stage. it seems silly now, looking back, that i worried about whether or not i could dance to the music...i danced all night!

Friday, November 12, 2010

the color purple

I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don't notice it.... People think pleasing God is all God care about.  But any fool living in the world can see it always trying to please us back. 
 ~Alice Walker, The Color Purple, 1982



i am not sure that it pisses God off, but i do believe that we often pass by the most simple things and take it for granted.
my sister in law, my niece, and myself were all at target recently and as we were leaving passed by an abandoned cart. my sister in law noticed that there was a little bird sitting inside... and instead of passing right by--in the common state of hurry our society seems to be in...she stopped and showed her daughter. we all just stood there and stared...and verbena was able to take it in.
i was reminded what a simple pleasure it is to relax and chill out--stop and "smell the roses" or watch the leaves as they parachute from the branches and dance through the air before landing on the ground.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

random: mountain goat run



just saw this cute little mountain goat again...i saved the image when i was researching sites for the 5k.  this run takes place every year in NY and i want to run it...not sure why--it's only 10 miles-- but it seesm really random which is pretty much my middle name

plus, i want a shirt with a cute little mountain goat on it! 

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

into the void-- of my soul

picasso/image found on web



There is a candle in your heart,



ready to be kindled.


There is a void in your soul,


ready to be filled.


You feel it, don't you?


Rumi


p.s. YES i do...i really really do!

Monday, November 8, 2010

vote for wafflepalooza

all you have to do is attend...your attendance is a vote for good food and great company...pretty easy ballot system too! it's basically a plate and a fork and a beverage of choice to wash all the yummy goodness down.
if only wafflepalooza was running for a more formal role, like mayor, senator, or heck, why not go the distance and head for the leggo my eggo-val office...my guess is it would be the biggest turnout in voter history!!!

in just 12 short days the first annual wafflepalooza will take place-where will you be when this historical event takes place?


Saturday, November 6, 2010

Recofit calf compression sleeves-review

ok, so i know there are many many compression sleeves out there right now but i only own one pair and love them.

i've always had issues with my calves when i run...which makes running not fun. and you can't have that when you like to run...so when i picked up my race packet at the running store in Bend this summer, i asked an employee who was CLEARLY a runner what he would recommend. he immediately directed me toward the recofit section. he then went on to explain how there are variations or gauges of compression. he of course runs professionally, i do not. our needs are different but still the same. it was a little intimidating but what he was saying seemed to make sense.it seemed more appropriate to go for the more spandex like material and keep the stiffer gauge for afterward (which i didn't do but would have benefited a lot from)

the price tag startled me but then again a lot of things in bend are expensive...ha ha....$45
given that i would be running 13.1 miles after being off for 3 months, it was important that this run be a 'good' experience. money seemed insignificant.

ok, so what happens if i don't like them? i ask him.
bring 'em back in he says.

even after my run?

yep! sweaty and all...

SOLD

the next morning, i sat on the edge of the bed to put on my new Reco's (what i call them)
each tells you what leg it should go on...SM Left Front...easy as can be. my ego did a double take when i looked in the mirror....a true dork was staring back at me....it didn't seem right. they sort of looked like the "skinny jean" version of leg warmers...
fortunately there were other runners with them on. it made me wonder if that's how harley riders feel when they greet another harley rider on the road...do they feel instantly connected?
after the gun went off, we started running and 3 miles in i wasn't even bothered by my calves. could these be miracle sleeves?
while they may not be miracles, they sure did help. my calves were the LEAST of my concerns that day.
so...what am i suggesting? if you have issues with your calves, invest in a pair...and even if you don't have issues, i would still recommend a stiffer gauge for after your run.

here is some info from the recofit website regarding the calf compression sleeves:

Proper fit is extremely important for effective compression so RecoFit offers a wide variety of sizes based on the calf’s circumference. If your measurement is on the cusp between sizes, choose the smaller size.




* RecoFit’s calf compression components superior design and materials include GreatFiT ™ -- Gradient Recovery Exercise & Activity Technology -- delivering gradient compression where it’s needed most to reduce negative exercise and travel effects and maximize recovery. Careful pattern-making and construction provide gradient compression from the ankle up towards the knee, helping to return the blood to the heart.


* Resistex Negative-ion circulation assistance through Resistex™ carbon yarns increases blood oxygenation and supports the immune system as well as offering ribbed massage, compression, moisture-management and breathability.


* Superior materials featuring the finest breathable and most comfortable Italian fabrics and flat-seam construction that do not bind or irritate. The contour and cross-grain-cut of the fabric provides maximum compression benefits.


* Versatility and performance: Recofit components are more versatile and specific than shorts, tights or socks.


* Left- and right-specific for optimum fit and performance, as well as a wide range of sizes to best suit individual needs.

Friday, November 5, 2010

say something....

my sister recently learned that the 15 year old son of her friend, died- suddenly. he had cleared his physical...and then a few days later, while in PE class, collapsed. it makes my heart ache...

how does one even begin to understand or conceive something so unexpected? even when we lose a loved one over time...as the disease invades their body, stealing them from us--slowly.
that too, is still hard.


i've known many who have miscarried and experienced the loss of a love they never met...but who already had a place in their heart...and now they must grieve the 'potential'...what would they have looked like, or grown up to be...those questions...with unknown answers.

for me, it is often paralyzing because suddenly i don't know what to say. what if it comes out wrong, what if they get upset, what if....but i stumbled across a blog that referenced a book titled Bittersweet, which has a chapter called "say something"

here is a part from the blog post:

That line, I heard what happened, and I don’t know what to say, was the last line of the chapter in Bittersweet called “Say Something.” It was an especially good chapter because it talked about how when bad, sad, or unfortunate things happen to people we know, even if we don’t know what to say, we have to say something. People who are going through a difficult season may be want to be left alone some of the time, but you can generally bank on the fact that they don’t want to be ignored as if nothing is even going on with them. That’s the point Shauna was trying to make, and she was so honest about the times she has failed to say something and so hopeful about the times in the future when she will say something, even if it’s simply I heard what happened, and I don’t know what to say.



Below is a section of the “Say Something” chapter:
"Say something, every time, and ask the simplest questions: How are you? What was it like? What can I do? In my experience, you can never go wrong with flowers and food, even when someone insists that there’s nothing at all you can do."
 
during this time when people's hearts and minds are so full and troubled...it can be a blessing i imagine, to hear someone ask "how are you" "can i do anything"
just as it is to receive a home cooked meal, flowers, or a random card in the mail....hey i'm thinking of you...  even if they can't reciprocate the sentiment at this time, it doesn't mean it's not appreciated.
these are the gestures that can solicit a response we can't predict...so maybe someone shouts at you when you ask how they are "i'm NOT ok" okay...at least they are talking
maybe someone responds with "well, unless you can bring (name) back, then NO there is nothing you can do"
they are hurting and these are responses that keep them communicating. it offers them a window---where they have been asked, therefore it is acceptable to respond. often times i wonder how trapped people in mourning feel...do they know that they can call me anytime, cry on my shoulder in the middle of a grocery store, or ring my doorbell during christmas dinner..
expression can be healing...and it takes the pressure off of having to  pretend that things are fine. saying something means they don't have to protect 'you' from feeling uncomfortable...
 
the simple message "say something" is also a great reminder to tell those that you love, I LOVE YOU...even when you are mad at them.
even when they left the toilet seat up...again! even when they forgot to pick you up at the airport or didn't tell you that you looked beautiful when you needed it.
you are allowed to be mad or frustrated....but it's important to not lose sight of the other side of how you feel...the loving side...

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

seattle bound...

verbena @ school wearing her new raincoat


i can just hear her...
"aunt emilee, did you hear i am moving to seattle? luckily my mommy found this awesome new raincoat for me. i just love it! so stylish and functional....now if you would please excuse me, i have to go run around and play with my toys :)"

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

piece of cake


the cake my friend Debbie made for her daughter's birthday-so pretty!

Let them eat cake.
Marie Antoinette

so, my posts lately have been more on the serious/self help side...which is great except that i am not always serious...in fact, i'm pretty darn silly and often shock people when i say i want to decorate cakes....
but emilee, you hardly eat cake (unless it's ice cream cake) TRUE....but it's not about 'eating' the cake...it's about the design aspect-getting to decorate it.
my friend and i were going to decorate her daughter's cake but the entire family became ill so my friend made one herself (what a trooper since she was not feeling well) and look how awesome it turned out!
i was bummed i didn't get to help but am super excited for the next birthday to come along...or WAIT....what if i make a Project Me cake??? oooooh, i like this idea a lot. what color frosting should i use???
happy tuesday. hope it's better than a piece of cake!