Friday, February 25, 2011

brooklyn bedroom v1

image found on apartmenttherapy.com


yep, i am ready to move. instead of counting sheep, i  play a "sweet dreams" game of imagining what my place will look like in chicago. everything from opening the door, to where i will place my wine glasses, and hang my license plates. of course, what kind of sweet dream would it be without a bed to rest my head. 


funniest part about my dreams is that while they are set in chicago, they actually look like brooklyn.


my friend has a gorgeous loft there. exposed beams and giant windows. it is an old factory building that has been converted into separate semi-modern living spaces that each contain little reminders of what once was. i loved it. french doors separated the bedroom from the main room. in my vision, i open similar doors to a bedroom like this. 


i found it when i was "apartment" browsing the other day; my first reaction was YES! i would change the green bed skirt and head board to be shades of turquoise and if i could afford an architect or contractor, i would request that the windows be bigger with more personality. but check out the ceiling! how awesome is that? 
it would be nice if the room were just a little bigger, but figure i use my bedroom to sleep. it's a sanctuary...small might be better. just an fyi:the coat laying on the bed is not in my dreams. 


i have named this my brooklyn bedroom v1 


it will be fun to lay under my covers and watch the wave of night ripple across the city. not to mention how cool it will be to see the sun rise multiple times as it peeks out from behind each skyscraper. ah, i am excited. 

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

h. jackson brown jr. is very wise



Never let 
the odds
keep you from 
doing what you
know IN YOUR
 HEART
you were 
meant to do.

(h. jackson brown jr.)



i have this quote right by my desk so i can look at it OFTEN. i am ready to move to chicago for a bit...and start doing what i truly feel i am meant to do...at least at this point in my life

Monday, February 21, 2011

anyone have a shovel? time to dig out my soul

image found on web


i ran a half marathon on 2/20, my first one of 2011. i know, i know. i had intentions of running 13.1 on a treadmill and i may still have to since my goal is to do at least 12 this year. sorta wondering why i didn't aim for 11, since it's 2011. maybe because that sounds all cute and matchy and that is not how i have felt recently. i do believe in mental illness and have suffered from ongoing bouts of depression. sometimes people are shocked to hear this since i often have a ton of energy...but you've seen robin williams. he is funny (sometimes) and super hyper but it didn't shock me to hear that he suffered from manic depression. i don't like to label myself as this or that. i just know that this is an area i have struggled with and while i don't want to sound like a pessimist, i realize it may be a life long battle.


 i don't like the highs and lows and when i get sick, all things become magnified. one minute life is ok, the next not so much. after the half marathon i ran on 2/20 (will write a review later) i had the "normal" bout of post race uneasy stomach. but this time was different. the cramping didn't stop. i drank some muscle milk because i couldn't find any chocolate milk and remembered why i don't drink that crap. gross. anyway, i was supposed to meet up with my friend for breakfast i figured it would be ok and that eating food would be a good idea. our wait was over an hour long and in that time i managed to take AT LEAST 10-15 trips to the bathroom. i  again thought it would pass. we were finally seated and i managed to order and then removed myself from the table. at one point our food came, but i didn't know because i was stranded in the bathroom. when i got to the table my friend had already eaten most of his meal. i took 2 micro bites and just said...i can't do this as if i was breaking up with breakfast. my mimosa stared at me--alarmed. what the heck emilee, it said; you always drink a mimosa after a race. i just looked back and said, "it's not you, really...it's me"
by the time we left my friend appeared a little worried and perhaps embarrassed to be seen with me. i looked and felt awful. 
if there had been a hotel across from the restaurant you had better believe i would have been checking myself in. 
when i got home i really didn't know what to do. this was all foreign territory for me. the day before my stomach had been a little jitterish but i chalked it up to nerves. i was not prepared going into this run AT ALL. my body had been sick two weeks prior but i figured since i had given it a week off, i would be ok. 
i wanted to drill holes in my stomach. ask strangers to punch me--hard! at one point i was in so much pain it manifested into vomiting. this is when i became a little worried. it was now 2 pm. i had been able to get down some water, the muscle milk (gross) and that was about it. i had 2 bites of breakfast after running a half. i realize a half is not as impressive as a full, but i knew i needed some recovery nutrition because nothing was staying in. 
i drew a warm bath and soaked in the fetal position. this was one of those moments where i felt so vulnerable i swore i remembered my mom changing my diapers. 
i almost dozed off...but then the flood of discomfort came rushing in and i was re-introduced to reality...
after the bath and shower i felt desperate. it was decided that my stomach was already messed up, i may as well try something else...so i reached for some nyquil pm. that stuff knocks me out. sadly, it only worked for 30-40 minutes but it was 30-40 minutes of peace. when i woke up i was soo hungry! hungry like a tiger! but i had no strength and felt soo dehydrated. at 6 pm i made an executive decision and decided i wouldn't be making it back to eugene that night...i mustered up enough energy to drive to the store to buy some gluten. while i realize i could have aimed for something a little less minute rice-ish and saltine dream-ish...it's what i know...it's a pattern i've had since childhood. i also picked up some gatorade and started drinking a little at a time. i felt awful. i ate and curled up. took a bite and tried to close my eyes. at one point i sent a text to my boss asking her if i could work a half day. she was sorta receptive but i thought....honestly, i wouldn't even be at my desk if i came in. literally. so...i laid down at 7:30 and tried to sleep. i was up 3 times every hour. at about 11pm i started bawling. i had cried a bit throughout the day but this was an absolute break down. i don't have a lot of friends in portland and didn't know who to call, so i just cried and hoped it would alleviate some discomfort. 
i woke up around 7am and started to pack up to try and make it into work by noon. i felt awful...and exhausted and every bit of buried.  i have to admit, there are times when i believe our  bodies and heart and mind hold secret board meetings without us knowing...during these meetings they come up with a plan that reunites us with reality. the reality that requires us to take an inventory of our well being. 
recently, i have been really stressed and feeling like a failure...don't worry though that's not ALL i think...i also think i kick ass. but i haven't kicked as much ass as i am capable of...so it's time to start digging...out my soul. 

Saturday, February 19, 2011

the faces you'll go





anyone who knows me well knows i struggle immensely with pictures of myself. not sure when it started but it has not stopped. often it is the whole picture that is a problem but more than anything it's my face. i truly can't explain the discomfort i experience when i see what I thought had looked like a pretty face staring back at me in a mirror-- only to be trapped in a picture looking every bit of wrong . my first reaction is usually a giant knot in my stomach, next is my hand reaching for the delete button or crumpling the stiff glossy paper into a giant photo ball.
a few years ago it occurred to me that someday i might get married...maybe. and i realized it would be sad to hate the photos. so i decided to start a project i have coined photo therapy...
i figured if I took enough pictures maybe i would like one...boy oh boy was the first session hard. i managed to get a few that were tolerable.
i found it to be easier when I felt lean and fit...and winter is always harder since i am more pale. the pictures i have included are all pictures i really want to like but just can't seem to. i tried to be nice to myself but it was not working so...i said just post them for all 3 people who read your blog to see. put them out there so they don't have power over you.
not sure if this is another layer of the therapy but i think it's important to be  open to trying new things.


what triggered this post is that the other night my friend at the gym who regularly gives me crap made a ' joke' that involved calling my face...nasty.
i remember staring at him...in total shock...part of me was puzzled as to why he said that statement...it felt soooo specific....
and then i wondered if he was psychic...and could read my mind and what i so often feel. 

Friday, February 18, 2011

the foodee rocks

some have a hard time eating paleo and think it's weird, hard to do, or not tasty,  but check out this site (or look to the right of my blog)
a paleo friendly recipe is posted daily...and they look soo good! 
it's a really great idea and a wonderful resource for those who are needing some assistance or inspiration on how to make and eat delicious paleo based meals.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

black swan inspiration?




while i was laying in bed shivering and sweating i started thinking about a future wedding dress. most of those who know me know i used to think about stuff like that a lot...and i am realizing now more than ever, that it has only partially been due to the fact that it would be kind of cool to find my guy and get married some day. the larger part of why i think about stuff like this and the same reason i love cake design shows, is because i love the design element. i love imagining the fabrication of it all.
anyway, i saw black swan twice. i liked it. there are those who-after hearing this- will throw red paint on me like i'm some fur coat wearing fan of black swan...but i could really connect on some levels: about wanting to be better and better and being SUPER hard on myself when my greatest efforts still only manifest into mediocrity. this has always pissed me off. there will probably be a therapeutic post on that at some point but right now i just want to comment on the dress. not how skinny natalie portman is...that doesn't pertain to my vision.
i have had a few thoughts about where i would like to get married...most days it's in montana and i am wearing red cowboy boots...with longer hair that is naturally curly and i of course look smashing (ha ha) other days, especially days spent in cities, i think about art museums and cityscapes. all the lights and buildings. i want to have fun backgrounds for pictures...because even though i don't usually like pictures of myself, i am going to make damn sure there are a few awesome ones from that day.
so, when i see this dress i think of a city-ish wedding. i am not sure i would keep the criss crossing material in the back and while i semi-like that it is somewhat flowy, i would probably consider a different material... as i am no delicate butterfly or princess. i can't imagine wearing a tiara on my wedding day either. nothing against them...just not for me. 
maybe there is something about trying to dream of and envision pretty things while feeling miserable...reminds me that i very well may recover and when that day comes...i will rejoice and stop thinking about what my wedding dress might some day look like. ha ha!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

vanilla ice---bath

you can't see the ice cubes floating, but they were in there



i haven't been the best about running. i also haven't been the best at warding off colds and allergies. this is not like me. i'm usually pretty damn healthy. i realize i live in "allergy valley" but don't succumb to multiple colds in a season. i get a good hard and swift kick to my immune system and i'm back at it. prior to kick off on super bowl sunday i ran a 10k that i named the "pre game 10k" for some reason i like to name my runs. 


i managed to do one more workout during my birthday week but wasn't feeling very well. figured it was just a case of being busy and a few allergies. 
that next weekend (feb 11-13th) i decided spend time with my cat in portland-- relaxing. knowing that i had a half marathon to run the next weekend i was worried that i hadn't trained enough (b/c i never do) and  managed to convince myself it would be wise to do one more long run...i would then focus on crossfit workouts during the week.
so i set out for a 10 mile run having stretched before. i wore my reco fit calve compression socks as always.
immediately i felt stiff.of course i don't train loyally so i chalked it up to "what did you expect" i got about 5 miles in and felt like i might need to take a knife to my calves fearing they would explode otherwise. but i kept on going, getting more and more frustrated. the last half was hilly...and i kicked myself for not having planned the route better. 
towards the end of the run i had to be creative to get that last 3/4 of a mile in...and by creative i mean i did a 'loop'--- nothing fun or creative about that. the last .2 miles were so painful i was hoping a tri-met bus would bump me" hard enough to make the pain in my legs be an after thought. 
when i arrived home, i immediately began triage. boil water, get ice cubes, put on hooded sweatshirt, use the foam roller; i grabbed a bite of an apple and some deli chicken meat. once the water boiled, i made myself a nice cup of muscle recovery tea, by none other than Yogi tea...and headed to draw an ice bath. 
i usually turn the water to luke warm just so i can sit down without screaming. then, i put on my knit cap and tie up the hood of my sweatshirt to keep all the heat in. i also fill up a pitcher of very warm water. i will tell you why later. 
then, i turn the water to cold and on full speed. i sit in my swimsuit bottoms and sip on my tea. it doesn't feel intolerable until it hits my feet. that is where the warm water comes into play. i pour just a little bit on them and they are good for another minute or so. i wait for the water to rise to just over my hips and then i immediately turn it off. next, i pour in the ice cubes. what was hilarious is that i had done the polar plunge the weekend before but i was seriously struggling to stay immersed in the bath. i poured warm water, sipped on my tea, and shivered-violently. something felt off. i was SOOOO sore. 
i sit in the tub for about 25 minutes. then i attempt to stand up but can now hardly move. ughhh....


and so the story goes. i followed up with a warm bath and then a warm shower. when i got  through with all of that, i rolled out my calves and thighs again and tried to take a little nap. 
when i woke up, nothing seemed to have worked...i was as sore as ever. my body was telling me something that i was choosing to label "being out of shape" instead of realizing that i was in fact, getting sick. 

magnetic responsibilities

responsibility chart=not just for kids



i had a brilliant idea the other day while i roamed aimlessly in michaels wishing that it didn't smell like it was all fake...where the bricks are supposed to "look authentic" but are not. plain and simple. there are a lot of things i like about michaels. lots of scrapbooking stuff--which would be great if i scrapbooked. anyway, while there i saw this magnetic responsibility chart. at first it was the colorful array of check marks that caught my attention and i immediately understood why kids respond to it...and skittles.
but as i stared longer, i thought about how we want children to take ownership of their life and teach them the "fundamentals" like how to make their bed, brush their teeth, and wear matching socks (although matching socks are highly over rated)


i realized that there is a "fundamental" shift as we get older. suddenly life goes faster and we over commit and become so consumed that we neglect some of what i perceive to be our biggest responsibilities.  we can remember to brush our teeth, make the bed, comb our hair, although i will admit there are days when even this feels like too much...but do we stop to make time for ourselves? 
so, i thought about a magnetic responsibility chart for adults that included tasks like "me time" "go to bed even when there are dirty dishes in the sink" "say no to something today" "take a warm bubble bath" "say yes to the gym--or a brisk walk" say "i am beautiful-inside and out" to the reflection in the mirror


these are the things that fall to the wayside and it struck me in a very profound way that sometimes, being able to see a visual...and having something tell us "it's ok" makes it easier to do. we very seldom have people asking us to do the things we do. no one asked me to vacuum, but for some reason i sure felt like they did. something about their tone, right?
no one asked me to organize the company picnic, but somehow i found myself running to the store, stressing out about whether there will be enough gluten filled buns for all the hot dogs.


sometimes i feel like a lazy pile of excuses when i just lay in bed before my alarm goes off or on a saturday when i could be doing x,y,&z but instead choose to watch design shows and not shower until i absolutely have to...and i wonder... if doing such a thing was an "actual responsibility" would i enjoy putting a colored check mark next to my name, feeling more accomplished than defeated?

Saturday, February 12, 2011

3 2 7 ish

i cannot believe i have not posted about this yet....in november, one month ahead of schedule, i paid off my car! i have never owned a car outright and let me tell you, the process of becoming a car owner sorta felt like finishing the only marathon i have ever run. the struggle over the miles was sometimes painful but i saw a lot of neat things along the way.
in this case over the years and many miles driven. the first year was probably the most difficult. i didn't have a steady job so money was t.i.g.h.t...but i made every payment. on time every time.

the magical final payment was 327-ish. basically 326 and some odd change.  i had to send an actual check. and once it was processed, i attempted to log into the toyota online payment center i had gone to monthly for years....and i was DENIED. a simple message saying that this account was no longer valid appeared. i just stared.

wow! just like that the car was mine. and then the title came in the mail. it was official.

i couldn't have gotten the car without the help of a dear friend who was willing to co-sign for me, but i fully know that i would be able to get a car on my own now. the thing is... i could certainly trade in my car and upgrade, getting another loan and make payments for years to come...but would rather save up money until i can buy one straight up.

i think our society believes that payments are 'normal" but i'm trying to move away from that line of thinking...and instead think...if i had just made phantom payments into an account for a few years, i would have enough saved up to walk into a dealership and say, yes, i would like that one please-in white...oh and i will be paying with cash.

and that will feel really good. i have my eye on a car but haven't done much research as to whether it would be a logical choice or if i just love the way it looks...but i am not too concerned since a lot will change in the next few years...by the time i am ready to pay for it with cash...i will discover that it is actually a space ship and people live on the moon. but i will pay with cash nonetheless.

D is for elicious

Yummy in my Tummy

this was a wrap i made the other night. it was simply delicious. 
and pretty enough to take a picture of...

i think i am going to have to have a "repeat eat" night :)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

happy birthday @ the office



i do have a few really cool co-workers who have had the fortunate experience of working with me long enough to know i love my birthday. so...it was really neat to come to work on wednesday (even though i was concerned i might have pink eye-fortunately it is just allergies) to find that my cubicle had been turned into a birthday jungle. flowers, streamers, and sweet cards. must admit, i was shocked by all of it. probably because i expected none of it....

to everyone who sent birthday wishes...thank you soo much! my heart smiled all day and the sun even managed to make an appearance!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Rachel's Birthday Video




i'm not sure when rachel's birthday is...but since it's my birthday--i am in "birthday mode"
this video makes me smile and cry...it's my birthday and i'll cry if i want to...fortunately, it's a good cry. the kind of cry that makes me swell up with all that is positive. given that i am not yet in my forever relationship, i get excited knowing it's still out there. i have my dark days of despair when i lose sight of the gift of now...focusing on what i don't have instead of trusting...that it will happen when and if it should...
even if it never comes, i'm fairly certain people will keep making sweet videos and romantic movies for me to play on repeat. ha ha!

so...happy birthday rachel and happy birthday to me...

if you haven't watched this yet---what are you waiting for????

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

happy birthday eve

well, it's officially the day before my birthday. ever since i was a little kid i have loved my birthday. LOVED it...the kind of love that looks a lot like a teenage girl at a justin bieber concert; all giddy and ecstatic. what am i going to wear? like oh my gosh...maybe i should crimp my hair???


sometimes i feel against the grain regarding birthdays...as many people bemoan that it's just "another day" 
not me. perhaps it started when i was born a middle child...my birthday was the innocent bystander...the inanimate object to which i could place my strong desire to feel 'important'
in my head, it's always been a personal holiday. not because i take off work and actually go to a sunny beach sipping drinks that are shaded by umbrellas dancing amongst ice cubes. more so because it is a day where i get to think about how i was once a baby. pure and innocent. i  was supposed to be born in march, but i had other plans apparently. my mom likes to say that i had too much to say...couldn't wait another day. another shocker: she said i did cartwheels before i learned how to walk; shocking! ha ha.


as i get older, i appreciate the traditional aspect of birthdays even more. there is something soothing about the fact that if we are lucky enough, it will come every year. when i was younger i especially loved getting to choose our birthday dinner. lasagna for me; hands down...every time!




i would like to send a very special HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my dear friend julie...we've shared many birthdays together and i hope we will share many more  oodles of blessings to you! happy new year :)

brier fire

brier fire-sometimes he is crazy
but most of the time he is just super cute and cuddly


i miss brier (my cat). these pictures were from my last weekend trip to portland. he and i don't get to see each other very much these days... my roommate gives him a lot of snuggles but it's not the same. he seems super happy to have a house to roam in...but i wish i lived up there full time so i could start to let him go outside. he has a strong spirit and i feel bad keeping him in so much-- i wonder if it's what parents feel like when their child gets their drivers license? you can't prevent a child from growing up...just as you can't take wild out of an animal sometimes....
at any rate, i just found these pictures on my phone and it made me really miss him...and that big belly of his. i wonder if there is kitty crossfit? need to look into that one, right meow!  ha ha!

Friday, February 4, 2011

with my own two (torn up) hands

right hand
left hand
i've always loved ben harper's song called "my own two hands" where he sings about how he can change the world with his own two hands. i feel the same way only i don't have an insanely cool voice or a fraction of the musical talent he possesses. that said, i do, in fact, have two hands. they spend their time volunteering, organizing events, being creative, and sometimes these hands spend their time at the gym, working out...which in turn helps me to be more useful with said hands. more workouts = less depression.
on monday we did a workout called cindy. it's an AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) that is 20 minutes long. 5 pull ups, 10 push ups, 15 squats. my PR is 3 squats short of 20 rounds. it's been awhile since i've done this workout and i've lost a lot of strength since...which means that push ups kick my ass even more than normal. 
but i set forth. my goal was to do it as prescribed (which for me meant doing push ups not on my knees)
on my FIFTH round of pull ups, my right hand tore. it was a bummer. i looked at the clock, there were still a million minutes to go. so i told myself to man up and keep going. then, on the SEVENTH round...my left hand tore. that's when i got mad and thought...seriously? i didn't get as mad as when i broke my foot one week before sectionals...but still felt like screaming. there isn't much you can do besides keep going or stop once your hands tear. so i kept going and wincing-it really hurt. i finished at 13 rounds...this is substantially fewer rounds than before...which is disappointing...but i didn't stop. and neither have the workouts. needless to say...me and my own two hands have been approaching life a little differently. showers aren't as pleasant (hot water STINGS) and grabbing anything-especially a weighted bar at the gym is just not fun. heck, even writing and typing are less enjoyable. 


but alas, they too shall heal. in fact, they are starting to itch...although i truly can't say which is worse. ha ha!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

eugene polar plunge 2/5/11

i saw a brochure for the polar plunge at a starbucks in portland. said brochure managed to make its way into my purse which i found later. on a day when i was feeling really down. it is days like this when i often find myself saying yes to something as ridiculous as jumping in a river in february. it makes me feel tough, like nothing anyone says or does can hurt me. it makes me feel like i'm choosing to live out loud... so that my depression and all the fears that act as back up singers to the depression...can HEAR ME when i say, you will not stop me. not to mention helping others produces positive endorphins. 
in college i knew of a family that had a child who participated in the special olympics. this is a cause i strongly believe in! it all seemed to fit and come together. so i signed up.
but i didn't want to do it alone. i mean, i would have... but someone came to mind and she is a little crazy like me (in a good way)
i passed the idea by her.... and she was all for it. didn't hesitate for a second. 
each participant has to raise $50 in order to plunge...i donated $10 of my own just to let everyone know i was serious....but i'm putting it out there for any of you who might be interested in supporting my efforts but MORE importantly...no, MOST IMPORTANTLY, helping a wonderful cause continue for years and years to come. 

my donation website is here

click on sponsor a plunger
enter my name (emilee brent)
and it should give you a link for my donation page

there will most certainly be pictures. i am sure this will be an experience i NEVER forget.


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

central park snow angel

spread your wings and learn to fly

happy face!

one of the only items on my "must do" list while in NYC was to make a snow angel in central park. 
i'm not sure why i get an idea and become fixated on it---  but fixated i was. on my last day in NYC we strolled through central park...it was not only my last day,but the last few hours as well...
the skies were sun filled and beautiful!! a true gem. there weren't many areas that appeared 'untouched' but that was my goal--to find a nice pristine bit of snow to plop down on and fly away...
it didn't look promising but i didn't give up hope..and then...we found it; i immediately threw my purse down and said...here's my camera...shoot away. 
snow shots are hard, but it's kind of funny how fitting the extremely white background is. i am attempting to make an angel, right? totally divine. 
i love the look on my face. mainly because it went from "oh crap, i am going to have to get on a plane with wet pants" to "i think there is a TON of snow in my shoe" to "i am having an absolute blast" i was laughing so hard people who passed us started laughing too. life doesn't always have to be complex, dramatic, or justified. sometimes it can be hilarious, innocent, and silly. 
and i love those moments...i really really do!