Having really good girlfriends has been a struggle for me my whole adult life. In elementary school and middle school I had a good group of friends, in high school depending on what sport I was in I'd have differing groups of good girl friends. But in college it was harder. I get along really easily with guys, I play sports, like nail guns and wore sweatpants almost every day freshman year.

But then it started to wear on me. I wanted some women in my life that actually were interested in the deeper parts of me. I wanted someone that wanted to invest in me. It was hard though, I'm a big sister and in a lot of friendships I felt like the big sister. I loved the girls in my life but I felt like I was giving a lot but not finding rejuvinaion or strength from the friendships. When I finally noticed it I just started praying, Joshua pushed me to work thorugh what was weighing on me and helped me think through it and remain concious of it in my life.

Finally I started to see God giving me these friendships and girls to meet with and talk about life with. I reached out to a woman who used to lead my youthgroup and she met with me and encouraged me. I began to feel more confident and started actually having fun hanging out with girls, where before I just felt selfconcious.

Moving out to Seattle I was afraid to lose what I had finally found. Most of my adult life I'd been yearning for what I was about to leave. The first few months in Seattle I just expected some girls to find me, befriend me, some girls from work to ask me to lunch. It didn't happen.

Joshua was making tons of guy friends at work but I really wanted girlfriends. To grab coffee with, work out with, talk about life with. Then after prayers, tears, and being really scared God gave me some women. Women that asked about my week, asked about my family, asked about my marriage and worries, asked what they could pray for me for.

As Joshua and I have been thinking a lot about friendship this year I am constantly reminded of the amazing women I've been blessed with in my life. Though the struggles I had in college and in moving to Seattle I feel like only lately am I in a place where I could be a really good girlfriend back. I didn't understand how to be that back to anyone so I couldn't accept it from anyone. Being the big sister was what I knew how to do and I knew I could help people or fix things. At this point in my life though I'm so so happy that I have women that don't need my help they'd rather have my company and conversation or eat cupcakes with me.

Whenever they say 1 more drink, or let's schedule next time, or I missed this I know God put these women in my life. Because I'm still not perfect at this girlfriend thing but I know He's trusting me to keep trying and these women are loving me through it.


To Canada : Squamish

For my birthday we headed to Squamish to go hiking and camping. We hiked to Shannon Falls and then up the Chief Trail. O the Chief Trail. It started out fine, pretty waterfall, sunshine, a few rocky paths. Then, Then it started going straight up hill with stones kind of acting as steps that were a 2 feet step up at times, weird meandering rocks that were somehow the path, metal ladders to climb, chains to help you get up inclines and a giant GIANT rock face to climb up to the top.

It was hard, a very hard hike, I teased that it wasn't very nice for him to make me do this much work on my birthday, he said he was just trying to make me feel young. BUT at the top it was stunning! The clouds were rolling across the sky and the mountains faded in and out of view while the sunshine filtered down to the water creating fun shapes.

We actually almost felt on top of the world on that giant rock.
When people were climbing down they disappeared as if they'd walked off the earth.
 It was hard, exhausting but so worth it, and it was still a lot of fun.

This is what we climbed to the top of :

Then hubs took me to a birthday dinner at Howe's Brewery. I brought 1 present with me to open on my birthday and part of it was this sweater and necklace my sister got me,so of course I had to wear my new clothes out that night. I was totally overdressed but, meh, I was happy.

 Then we headed to our campsite that was along the water and watched the sun setting while building a fire.It was a really neat camping spot. The tide had come in while we were gone and the water was right up to the edge of us.

Then hubs made me a birthday s'more and sang to me :) It was one of my favorite s'mores ever.

We got rained on that night and packed up a very wet tent, headed home and watched movies on the couch the next day with milkshakes. It was a great whirlwind of a weekend and I'm so glad we can now say we made it to Canada!

Canada : Vancouver


To Canada : Vancouver

For our 3-day weekend we wanted to finally make it to Canada. We 
live so close to Vancouver and have been itching to get out there.

We had a great sunny weekend so we walked across the bridge to get a good view of the city and walked to Granville Island which has a fun market with lots of tasty foods and handmade goods.
We hung out along the water and took an aqua bus back over instead of walking across the bridge again. Ha they were cute and tiny.

Then we lounged around the other side of the water and sat in the sand.
I'm loving that the sand is starting to get warm finally.

Then of course we had poutine! It's fries with gravy and cheese curds- it also tastes like happiness!

We stayed in a hostel which had a fun bar beneath it so we hung out down there that night and then the next morning (my birthday) we walked around Stanley Park which is huge and so pretty. Finally we headed across the bridge to our next part of the weekend.

Canada : Squamish


25th Birthday Party

On Friday night the hubs threw me a 25th birthday party. My birthday is always over Memorial Day weekend and people can never come celebrate because it's a 3 day weekend, so I felt very blessed that so many people showed up to help celebrate me getting a little older.

We made Rhubarb Sangria which was very tasty. Recipe at the end of this post.
And of course I love stripey straws, they make me feel fancy.
Hubs made me a lavendar cake with honey frosting and it was devine. He did an amazing job, he baked and made the icing while I got to ice it. Because let's be honest it's more of a treat for me to get to ice it than to watch him.

We grilled out sausages and veggie skeweres and had my favorite mac & cheese recipe along with a ton of fruit with some greek yogurt dip.

I had a really great time and it was so fun to celebrate something that I've been nervous about surrounded by such great inspiring friends. It was also fun to wake up the next morning to confetti all over the floor and remember one of our friends shot the confetti gun all over the place. Yes!

Rhubarb Syrup:

1 cup sugar
1 cup water
2 cups rhubarb; sliced
1 tsp vanilla

1   bring mixture to a boil and then simmer for 10-15 mintues
2   strain out rhubarb and squish any extra juice out of it
3   now you can use it all in the sangria, keep it chilled for up to two weeks and add to juice,
    sparkling water, champagne, or some gin

Rhubarb Sangria:

1 cup red wine
1 bottle dry white wine
all of the rhubarb syrup
juice of 2 limes
2 stalks of rhubarb; sliced
strawberries; sliced

1   mix all ingredients together and let sit in a jug overnight
2   serve with lime wedges and stripey straws


On turning 25

I turn 25 this Sunday!!!

I'm not sure why but for years 25 has scared me.
I think Joshua thought I was always kidding, I'm not.
It actually makes me feel a little anxious thinking about it.

Most of my friends are 25 or older, my husband is 25 and I'm fine with that
But me, 25, It feels old.
It feels like I should already be in a job I love
Should I own a house yet, should I be better at keeping a weekly schedule by now
Should I stop staying up until 2am on work nights

I really don't want to be old
But looking at my friends and at my parents I don't think they seem old
I know it's all in my head and that my birthday will probably come and
go and I won't feel a bit different and probably not actually even feel older,
but still my heart beats a little faster when I think about it

My fear is forcing me to figure out why I'm feeling like this
and what I'm taking for granted and maybe looking past
when it's all actually in front of me

also making me think more about what I want to do with my life
I had a conversation recently with my mom about this
and it was a good heartfelt conversation that has been sticking with me
making me remember what we want to do/become out here
and what I'm doing to work towards it

I'm actually hoping I'll have some epiphany before the 26th about it
but until then I'm allowing my thoughts to flow freely on it
and then hopefully I'll wrangle them together after I've given myself time to marinate in them


Sunday Biking

On Sunday we took our bikes out for a day to ourselves because I've been in Portland this week doing some work for our other office. We biked to church, headed to brunch, walked the Ballard farmer's market, biked to Golden Gardens and dug our toes in the sand and played with rocks, had drinks at an outdoor bar deck, and grabbed a slice of pizza before biking home. I love days like these, where they feel long and easy and we accidentally realize it's getting pretty late but we're not done talking.

We finished it off with a quick stop at one of our favorite little spots. Now I'm ready to go home back to my hubs and celebrate my birthday this weekend- I think. I'm extremely terrified of turning 25!


Vegetarian Pho

O pho, we love pho. Traditional pho is a lot more complicated and time intesive
 than this so it's a pho-inspired one I made. Yet I love that I could have it ready
 in about 2 hours instead of a whole day and it turned out lovely.

Vegetarian Pho:
inspired from this recipe
serves 2
2 lbs onions (all colors
1 1/2 oz fresh ginger
1 tbs fennel seeds
3 cardamon pods
3 star anise
5 whole cloves
1/2 tsp black peppercorns
1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp. coriander seeds
1/2 tbs sea salt
6 cups water
1   roughly chop the onion, slice the ginger (leaving skin on)
2   put water, onion, ginger and spices in a large pot
3   bring to a boil and simmer for 1-2 hours
4   strain the broth and discard all of the solids
I used rice noodles for inside the bowls
& for toppings:
fresh mint leaves
fresh cilantro
jalapeno slices
green onions
and of course sriracha sauce is a must!
5   put a helping of noodles in the broth
6   heap in as many toppings as you want
7   best to eat with chopsticks and a laddle (I got ours at the Japapese dollar store Daiso)