Wednesday, December 19, 2012

We've almost got the spirit...

It's been a little rough around here lately.  Lots of transition and unknown, more on that later, which are not encouraging the Christmas Spirit.  But finally today, Gage and I decorated the tree, I wrapped the gifts and it's finally looking a bit like Christmas at the Mongoose Manor.

We also got a dusting of snow, which helped move us along...

Now, just two more days of work then we are off to spend the holiday with Nena and Pa.
Happy Holidays everyone!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Hello 37.

37 arrived yesterday out of no where.
I rolled over, snuggled deep beneath my covers, 
and there it was, staring me right in the eyes.  
I haven't decided if we are going to be friends, yet.
It came on a little strong from the get go, 
leaving dripping roofs and mud puddles.
It left me lonely, as one by one my loves left the house.
Today, we have eased into a mutual understanding, 
that with the rain, there too, needs to be some sun.  
37 arrived yesterday, and I am not sure yet how I feel. 

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Blissful Bites #10

This week was about self-care.  I am the first to tell you that self-care is oh so important to being able to be the best person you want to be.  Yet sometimes, I am the last person to take that good advice.  So here are some moments of simple self-care that helped this week.

1) Time off!  I took off three days and only checked my work email twice.  I am getting better at being away.  I have sometimes found it hard to be away since entering community mental health.  I find myself worrying about clients who may currently be more vulnerable.  I will continue to work at finding balance in my life and not let work override my personal life.

2) Camping with the Fam!  We spent four days and three nights on the Umpqua River.  It was lovely weather that ran the gamut of  gorgeous, sunny and warm to muggy, expansive thunderstorms, to cool foggy mornings.  It was perfect.

3) Loving on my sweet sweet nephews!  My parents had three of my four nephews with them this weekend, so I got to spend hours lovin' on them.  We played in the park, swung on the swings, played an amazing game of red light green light where I learned that purple light was a dance party, which by the way was tooooo cute for words!

4) Quality time with my parents!  I do love spending time with them.  I am very blessed to count them as my dearest friends.

It was a great weekend and I can't wait to see the pictures everyone posts up to Facebook as the week unfolds.  I also cannot wait to sleep in my own bed tonight!  That's real self-care!!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Blissful Bites #9

Following the lead of the lovely "other Liv" I experienced a handful of wonderful suprises this week.

1) My mom called me from the road and asked to pull in for the night, with my pa and three little nephews in tow! They were traveling back from Idaho and thought it would be fun to camp out at our house for the night. It was a lovely summer evening that had four little boys running through the sprinkler, eating ice cream cones, gathering around a campfire and then drifting off to sleep in a giant pile of sleeping bags.

2) We got our final bid from Community Energy Works of Oregon and have applied for our loan!  In just a few short days we should know if we will get new insulation and water heater.  This is so exciting for us.  Without this program, I am not sure we'd be able to get this work done any time soon. 

3) The Hubs and I spent one evening cleaning up the remnants of the shed remodel.  This is the shed that we got free on Craigslist and with the assistance of our dear friend, were able to put it together for under $200.  We still have to shingle the roof, but it's already pretty amazing.

4) Last night we headed out to watch our friends play kickball and had a joyful evening.  I got to spend time with my bestie, the hubs got some sporty action on the field and we got to enjoy the evening outside with people we had not seen in over a year.  

I am looking forward to celebrating my bestie's birthday tonight dancing the night away at the Holocene, sleeping in this weekend, brunch with another one of my favorite girls and then round out the weekend with Chunky Dunk  on Sunday evening...

It's shaping up to be a truly blissful weekend. How about yours?

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Blissful Bites #8

I haven’t been checked in for a while. I find that after long days at work, it’s challenging to come home and get online. I have lots of stuff I often want to share, and no energy to do so. I am working on that.

This week’s blissful bites includes a week of the hubs getting off work early and having dinner ready when I got home from work! You see, I cook in our house. Pretty much every day, I am responsible for dinner. I get home usually about 30 minutes to an hour before him, so it makes sense. But this week has been lovely! We (or maybe just me?!) are dreaming of the time that his schedule will permanently change and the cooking responsibilities will be shared more often.

Sun breaks! I was born and raised in Oregon. The rain does not faze me. To be honest, I get more annoyed with all the complaining about the rain, than the rain itself. This week has been particularly rainy, and I have completely enjoyed the sun breaks we have had. I try to find a sunny spot and soak it in.

Bocce in my front yard. The hubs is a huge bocce fan. When we moved to this house we both were excited about the yard. Wednesday, after the kiddo went to bed, the hubs and I played a few rounds of bocce together in our beautiful yard. It was a lovely spring evening and the impromptu date was wonderful!

This week has been all about Game of Thrones. We ordered HBO so that we could watch season 5 of True Blood (starts Sunday. Yipee!). I accidentally ordered it a week early, so we have been watching all the on demand shows that we’ve heard about, but have never seen (Game of Thrones, Girls, Treme). We blew through the first season of GOT and are now two episodes in to season two. I am a little bit lost, and totally diggin it.

Now I am looking forward to weekend! The hubs if fixing up our bikes and we hope to check out the local trail. Hope you have all been able to find a little bit of bliss in your week…

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Good Morning, rest of my life...

This morning I made my first student loan payment in a very long time.  I had been paying back after my first masters, and then I went back for a second so the payment went away for a while.  So here we are again, and honestly, it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.  I know that I am lucky to have had the opportunity to access funds to get to go to school.  I would also appreciate at the opportunity to have my loans reduced based on the work that I do.

For someone with my level of education and work experience I feel comfortable saying I am under-compensated.  This is not simply the organization I work for, it's the industry standard.  Unfortunately social services and the non-profit sector have bought into the idea that we should be so lucky to do this work and do it for less than say, hospitals or the government.  In doing so, we have created an environment that is often rife with burnout, frustration and struggling to survive workers.  The same workers that are charged with the helping the clients to seek their own empowerment and change in their lives.  I have been saying for years, we need to overhaul the thinking of the non-profit sector and educate the community so that these incredibly important services, provided by incredibly talented individuals can continue and not just burn out....

Anyway, yay for having a job that I actually enjoy the work I get to do.  Yay for having the financial resources to pay towards my educational loans.  And yay for trying to explore the how we can gain access to education and pay for it in a way that does not leave those dedicated to services, needing services themselves.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Oooh dang!

I can't believe it's been over a month since I posted up in here. I have been trying to find a way to balance my desire to write with my lack of desire to sit in front of a computer once I get home from work. Challenging... 

Anyway, I am going to try to get back on the blogging train. At the very least, back to the self care that is Blissful Bites. I believe it is very helpful to me to spend time focusing on the positives in my life and to walk to the talk of self-care.

 Lastly, I am throwing it out to the universe - I need a king sized bed. It's a long story, that I will share another day, and know this - a king size bed would change my life for the better. Hope any and all of you that check-up on this little blog are doing well and I promise to get back at it!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Blissful Bites #7

I must admit that this week, finding my moments of bliss have been hard. I have had to pay attention more, as to not miss them. Sometimes, weeks are just like that.

1) I have a great friend, that I am also fortunate enough to work with. Every morning we check in with each other for the first 10 minutes we are there. I have to say it's wonderfully blissful! It's 10 minutes of self-care every morning before we get too far into our day.

2) Kombucha. I forgot how much I loved it, until it was on sale this week and I bought a bottle for every day. So delicious and refreshing. Now I need to take a class to learn and make my own!

3) A new fridge. A friend is making changes in her life and liquidating her business, and we lucked out by getting a fridge for a great price!

What were your moments of bliss this week?

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

It's been quiet around here...

There's been lots going on around the Mongoose Manor, I just haven't had the time to sit down and write it out. I am working on it! I will get my bliss list up this week, for sure. I have lots of stuff rollin around in my head, but need to figure out a way to get it down. Hope you are all well!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Blissful Bites #6

I started writing this post for last week’s bit o’bites, and then the plague set in. I was out sick on Monday and have been limping through the last week. This list will be a combo of the two, both of which were filled with unexpected blissful bites!

An unexpected visit from one of my besties , at work a week ago Thursday. I was sitting in a LONG afternoon meeting when I got a text message she was in the lobby. It was a gorgeous afternoon and we sat in the parking lot, enjoying the sun and grabbing a few minutes of each other’s time. It was very revitalizing.

I got some new ink work done by the every fabulous Roll Hardy and will get more done this upcoming week!

Last Saturday we hosted another “crockpot, cheap wine and game night,” with so many wonderful friends who were in attendance! This house is a dream!! We had enough room for our dining table to be spread out long, surrounded by 10 plus beautiful souls, cheap wine, delicious food and more laughs than could be counted. We are certainly filling our home with positive energy and memories!

The hubs and I rearranged our livingroom and it’s great! He mounted our tv on the wall and we moved the furniture around and it completely opened up the place. There are a few kinks to work out and we still need to figure out some color for our walls, but all it all it’s lovely!

Lastly, everything is in bloom! I can’t wait for all the lovely flowers to pop open.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Today is about...

Holding Hope.

I love saying this. I love doing this. Every day I hold hope for those dear in my life and for those I will never know.

I envision my heart, with a little space at the bottom. It's a wide space, with slightly curved edges. It's smooth and warm. It's big enough for everyone and all are welcome.

If you don't have it in you today, please know that I am holding a space filled with hope, for you.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Blissful Bites #5

It’s been lots of busy and lots of bliss the last two weeks. I missed posting on the official Little Bliss List last week, and am getting it in under the wire this week!

1) Couples counseling! I love having time carved out specifically to actively work on making our marriage stronger.

2) I am really enjoying my team at work. They are smart, funny, compassionate people who work hard every day to bring quality mental health services to a very underserved community. How blessed am I?!

3) My parents came up this weekend to help out with some yard chores. Since buying our house in late summer, everything had already bloomed, blossomed and dried up. It’s nice having the help of seasoned home owners and gardeners to help us create a vision for our home.

4) All my bulbs are breaking ground! We planted a ton of tulips last fall and they started breaking ground this weekend. I am excited to see what our yard looks like in bloom.

5) Step-Mama’s lunch. I have been trying to actively create and join in community with other step-mamas. I went to a meet up a couple of weeks ago and hit it off with one mama in particular. Today we got together for lunch, and it was so affirming to share stories and get support. I am looking forward to developing this friendship more!

6) A hair cut! I got a new hair cut. I am diggin it, and I think I want to go a little shorter. It’s so nice having something quick and easy to just style and go!

What were your moments of bliss this week?

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Blissful Bites #4

This has been an interesting week for me. I feel quite refreshed even though nothing major changed in my schedule. It was a non-kiddo week, which honestly often means cramming in appointments, working later and engaging outside the home more. Yet this week seemed more refreshing.

1)My amazing hubs spent the week figuring and re-figuring our tax situation. You see, we learned that if we file jointly and collect all those lovely married folks tax credits, my student loan payment will be nearly as much as our mortgage. Buuuuut, if we file separately, we don't get to use any of our tax credits and have to pay a little out of pocket, but my loan payment will be very manageable. You might ask how this is a blissful moment, well, let me tell you how. My hubs has taken the lead on this daunting task, with out me asking, and is being super supportive about something that causes me great anxiety. He's balancing me out, and that is truly blissful!

2) I am getting close to being inspired! Well, let me rephrase that. I am totally inspired, just overwhelmed. I have enjoying many creative blogs lately and have felt inspired to make my own art, and I am totally freaked out by the process. I took my first step this week. Friday night the hubs and I checked out Craft Warehouse, where I loaded up on canvas, acrylics, paint brushes, paper, yarn and crochet hooks. Now I have them all laid out on my craft table and I just stare at them. I'm getting there. When the time is right, I'll create and in the mean time, it's totally blissful being surrounded by it all.

3)The hubs and I met with a new couples counselor and really liked him. He had useful parenting ideas and ways for us to support each other in the challenges of partnering for life. As a therapist, I think it's important to keep working at relationships and to try hard not to get complacent. We are two unique individuals who have decided to create a family together, this is not always an easy task. Support from someone outside of us, that can help bring perspective and support to our adventure, is incredibly blissful.

4) A day off! I spent Saturday in my jammies until 2p. I slept late, watched tv, drank coffee, ate when I felt like it, enjoyed the company of the hubs, was pleasantly surprised when he fixed my car for me, and spent the evening watching a good movie with friends. It was a lovely day, unlike any I have had of recent. I am blessed that my hubs created the space for this to happen. It was truly blissful!

How about you? Where did you experience bliss in your life this past week? Share it below!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Blissful Bites #3

It's that time of the week. Time to take stock of all the moments of bliss that occured throughout my week. I am again, down to the wire to link with the lovely Liv Lane's blissful blog post, and I think i'll make it this time!

1) I have to say, I find such joy in working with the clients that come to our clinic. For those of you out of the loop, I am a therapist for adults living with severe and persistent mental illness. I never dreamed I would so thoroughly enjoy partnering in health with this community. I had always thought I would be back in the DV/SA community as quickly as I could, but I really love the work I get to do with people.

2) Girls afternoon. I got to sip bubbly and make fun of Breaking Dawn part I with my lovely lady friends. It was delightful to catch up and plot for our next adventures together. I am so lucky to have such wonderful lady friends.

3) Dinner, just me and the hubs. It's a rare and lovely treat!

4) Salted Caramel lattes from Dutch Brothers Coffee.

How about you?

Monday, February 6, 2012

Blissful Bites #2

I was down for the count most of the weekend, so I missed my opportunity to link with the lovely Liv Lane's blissful blog post. I thought about posting last night, but I just didn't have it in me. I was savoring every bit of energy I could muster, which wasn't much. So, tonight I will post my moments of bliss from the last week.

1. I Love Lemon Tea saved my life the last few days. Piping hot with a dollop of local honey was stupendously soothing to my throbbing throat.

2. Quality time with my bestie Moop. We checked out the crafty deals at Michaels and I am pleased to say that I have a Valentine's Day gift in the works already.

3. I have this amazing piece of art hanging in my home. I found it three spring breaks ago in a little shop in Florence, OR. I fell in love with it and another just like it. I read it every morning as I am getting ready in the bathroom and it has provided me with much joy. Annnnnyway, through this practice of acknowledging bliss, I found out the the uber-talented artist, Kelly Rae Roberts, that created the picture lives here in good ol'Portland Oregon and creates TONS of amazing art. You can check her out here.

4. Yoga! My amazing hubs made sure that I was able to get to Yoga two times last week. It made me feel so good. I use to practice several times a week, but with grad school, starting a new job and moving across town, I had neglected to find a place to practice. It felt amazing to get back in there and move my body.

5. Hope arrived!

These were my moments of bliss last week. What were yours?

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

"...and what do you do as a social activist?"

I was asked the other day in the comment section of the blog, what I do as a social activist? I have to admit, I was a little intimidated by the question at first. My immediate thought was, "what if I don't answer it correctly?" Then, I gave myself a little nose-wrinkling and reminded myself that I get to tell my own story, speak my own truth and be comfortable in what I believe. That being said, this was my answer.

"I consider myself a social justice activist on many levels. Part of that is how I choose to practice in my professional life. I am a therapist and really try to operate from a place that there is not "one right way" to serve people. I try to continually look at/shake up systems that impact those I serve and the community I choose to live in. I strive to pay attention to where I have unearned power and privilege, and how I can try to share/give away that power to others. On a very personal level, as someone that often does not fit into societal standards, I try to live my life intentionally, taking up space and not ask for forgiveness for who I am. Short story long, that's how I feel I am a social justice activist in my life."

So, to all my social justice activists out there, what do you do as a social (justice) activist?

Monday, January 30, 2012

It's here!

Hope has arrived and is place around my neck!  It's even more beautiful in person.  I'll be rockin hope all the time, now.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Little Bliss List!

I believe I mentioned before falling in love with this website. I stumbled upon Liv (pronounced leeev, not like "Live Strong") when looking for ideas for Christmas. She creates some really positive and affirming art and has a store on Etsy. Anyway, on her blog, she has created a weekly post dedicated to recognizing the moments of bliss in her life. She invites others to post their own list and link with her. I wanted to do this last week, and didn't get it together in time. This week I figured what better way to wrap up my weekend than spend a few minutes recognizing my moments of bliss over the course of the last week. So here I go...

1) The smell of fresh brewed coffee on Monday morning and caramel mocchiato creamer.

2) Spending time with my bestie supporting each other through rough work stuff and celebrating the planning of her impending nuptials. I love that our relationship is deep, strong and marvelously complicated.

3) Weekly chats with my Grams. I am so very lucky to still have her in my life.

4) Sorting out my licensure supervision and finding someone I trust and respect to work with.

5) My wacky selection of Pandora Radio stations to fit every mood.

6) My first 10 minutes this morning enjoying the warm sun, double rainbow and feeding the wild bunnies that live in our neighborhood, before the rain returned.

7) Having this afternoon off to myself today!

What has your bliss been this week?

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Oh, and by the way...

There are some amazing gifts/ideas on right now for Valentines Day! If you haven't checked it out lately, please do!

Holding hope...soon enough!

I have been (not so) patiently waiting for this since before Christmas. This piece and a "Hope Lives Here" print from Liv Lane were tops on my list. When Santa didn't bring them, I headed back to Etsy to find it and buy it myself. Sadly, she was sold out. The artist let me know that she would have one in early February. Yesterday, I got an email from her letting me know she had it in the shop. Today, I am the proud owner!

I can't wait for it to get here. I love daily reminders of who I want to be and how I want to live in the world. Life can get overwhelming on occasion, and a small touchstone like this can be a good reminder.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!

Here's to another year of growing, living and loving together!