Friday, August 31, 2012

Weekend Plans

Labor Day weekend is here, friends!

The days are already starting to get shorter and the temperature for my morning runs has forced me to dig into my winter workout drawer and made me think strongly about getting some additional high-visibility wear. I proudly prefer the crisp air to the hot summer sun. In fact I am ecstatic over the first rain of the fall - I feel like a kid jumping through the puddles in the park.

Saturday after a long overdue hair appointment, a pedicure and the best massage in Portland (Not spoiled. Worthy.) the boyfriend and I are headed down to Lincoln City to spend the weekend with my parents and Bailey! I haven't been to Lincoln City since before I had my new camera and can't wait to capture some of the moments we will share. Mom and Dad (with Bailey helping) have completed some serious home improvements in the past two months since I last visited. It will be great to see their progress!

In anticipation of the weekend I played a bit with my newest accessory, a 50mm 1.8 aperture lens that I ordered after my return from Europe. As a fixed lens, I have to move myself closer and further from my subject. No zoom like my other lenses! This forces me to get perspective from a few angles to get the proper framing. I hope I have it down by next weekend for Tanna's Baby Shower! :)

Souvenir from Alex and Alicia's Wedding

Front Yard Hydrangea - Fading from Blue to lavender

Front Yard Blooms

Necessary - Did You Notice it's FroYo?

Did you know that Ben & Jerry's made a FroYo Pint? Available at your local Safeway!

Enjoy the weekend and be safe!

<3 JE

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Wednesday Walkabout

Wednesday evening was the perfect opportunity to take a 2 mile walk through the Reed College Campus and past the Eastmoreland Golf Course to Sellwood's weekly Farmer's Market. I made it home after a quick stop at my local Trader Joe's and decided that I should get out and enjoy the last of their "summer hours" before labor day weekend. After this, the market will close down at 7pm and soon that will mean sunset as well.

It took more will power than I'd care to admit to walk past Nectar Frozen Yogurt Lounge, but I will let you in on the little secret that I still stopped by to sample. "Excuse me ma'am, please limit yourself to only two sample cups per visit".. oops. They didn't actually say that.

The walk isn't too far but shouldn't be attempted in the wrong pair of shoes. Plenty of hills both ways make this a better run or drive than walk - especially when I'm lugging around my camera, three lenses and a 32 oz water bottle.

The prizes at the end and the adorably expensive neighborhood that I walk through make it all worth it.

Someday, maybe?

Farmer Offering


Sweet Crêpes (Nutella!!)

For Matt: Best Mexican Food in SE (Does the Cha-Cha-Cha dance)

Sellwood is a buzzing neighborhood that is just far enough away from my house to feel like an adventure without much effort. Well, except for the 4 Mile round trip walk!

<3 JE

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

August 29th

I can't believe how quickly the time has flown.

One year ago I lost my sister Brandy Even in a tragic campground accident. Brandy became part of our family in December of 2007 and filled our lives with joy for nearly four years.

My parents had just arrived to a campsite in Eastern Oregon when they set up their camp equipment and my mom and Brandy set out for a walk. No more than 5 minutes into their walk, three off-leash dogs from another campsite rushed over to inspect our beautiful blonde. Within moments they went into "pack mode" and circled, yipped, jumped over and frightened Brandy so badly that we suspect she had a heart attack as she became unresponsive immediately. I can't imagine the sight and still feel deeply sorry for my mother who had to witness the event.

Although they had just arrived, my parents drove the five hours back to Portland so that I could say goodbye to my sister and so that they didn't have to stay at the campsite a moment longer. It was an incredibly emotional night for all of us, including my brother who we called during his Tuesday morning in Luxembourg.

I'm angry at the owner who left her three dogs off-leash and was heartless when she'd seen the result of her careless actions.

I'm sad that we lost such a beautiful girl who meant the world to our family.

I'm thankful that she had a wonderful life and there were no regrets about the time that we spent with her.

I'm blessed that the loss of her led us to finding our newest family member, Bailey Even.

Brandy loved to stay the night with me when I would visit my parents, she adored and loved her stuffed animals, she lit up with excitement when she'd see us and she only became more adventurous with age. I had the opportunity to watch her often while my parents whisked away on vacation and I envisioned her carrying the rings to the altar in my someday wedding. She meant so much to me and my family.

Brandy, you're a fine girl!


Family Naps

Tiny Paws

$pendy Doo!

Smiling : )

Sister Snuggles

Dairy Queen in the Eye

Trillium Lake - Wow!

We miss you so very much, sister!

<3 JE

Atlas Genius

My friend Brooke from Babbling Brookelyn and I bond over Fro-Yo, Fitness, Fashion Blogs, Photography and Music - okay maybe more than that, but these seem to be our main topics of conversation and our activities when we see each other. I can always count on her to be my partner in crime and keep me up to date on what the cool kids are doing.

On Tuesday night Brooke, Brad and I stayed up WAY past our bedtimes (9pm start time) to enjoy the Atlas Genius concert at the Crystal Ballroom. We couldn't pass up a deal on these tickets at only 94 cents each as part of the 94.7 KNRK "I Saw Them When" concert series. I was a little bit nervous about being able to get out of bed this morning, but I stuck with my plan of only drinking water and going straight to bed.

I ran into Erin and Kyle from high school and was able to catch up with them before the show, and also saw one of my Hood to Coast teammates tell a guy to get lost after he was being a nuisance - no throwing elbows in a crowd, jerk!

As far as the music goes, this song is what you'd recognize them for - it's blasting all over 94.7 fm this summer:

Trojans: [soundcloud url="" iframe="true" /]

Next concert in the almighty planner is on Thursday, October 11th to see Macklemore & Ryan Lewis - they get me pumped with their song Can't Hold Us.

<3 JE

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Putt Practice

I mentioned in my Luxembourg recap that my brother Matt and I played Mini Golf in the Valley, but didn't properly relay how much fun I thought it was!

While I wasn't very good at it, I felt like the obstacles level the playing field so that golfers and non-golfers alike can be competitive!

Last week after Intramural Softball Dan and I made a visit to Sunset Golf Center in Beaverton. They have an 18 hole mini golf course that's open everyday until 10pm in the summer and prides themselves in regards to course maintenance and enjoyable obstacles. We were able to make it around the course twice before the sun went down and one of us was declared the winner! I won't disclose what each of us scored (mostly because I did better than he expected me to do) but we had a fun evening!

Dan was also patient with me when I was lining up to take photos of our outing - what a great boyfriend!

Serious Thoughts

Blue Bricks

Air Max Shoes & Elite Socks #swoosh

Maybe we will go again someday, but I really think he's psyched to teach me how to play actual golf. We'll see if I take to it!

<3 JE

Monday, August 27, 2012

I Survived

I did it, I survived my second year of running Hood to Coast!

This year I felt like I was a lot more prepared physically and mentally thanks to my Portland Marathon training and maybe some residual Tough Mudder energy. Also maybe due to the Olive Garden Endless Pasta Feed the night before some good nutrition!

Planning and coordinating for the team took a good amount of time and insight - but in the end everyone pitched in and our entire team was incredibly easy-going. We shared food, laughter and personal stories throughout the whole journey and made 31 Hours and 19 Minutes of race time enjoyable! 199 Miles turned into 200.5 Miles due to a Les Schwab going up in flames - putting the strain on one of the already longest runs and sending the runners into less than ideal residential neighborhoods and steep hill inclines.  From Hood to Coast, nothing broke our stride!

My share of the running amounted to 17.71 miles with a relative difficulty & distance rating of the 3rd most difficult set of runs on the course. Interestingly enough, the leg that was ranked "Medium" was actually the worst one for me due to headwinds, passing semi trucks and a glimpse of where miles 14-16.5 are of the Portland marathon coming up October 7th! The others which were ranked "Hard" were both incredibly scenic and enjoyable opportunities to chalk up morning mileage.

I only wish that the "Free Coffee" wasn't on the route that I was running... I still should have stopped :)

As you'll see I had a clipboard in my hands most of the time, so credit the photos to Michelle Connors, Amanda Huck, Dan Bova, Grant Larson, Chappy G - the best dad and kids a van mom could ask for!

Before We Started!

Ran into Michaele's Team!

Van Dad throwing Deuces

Traffic = Great Photo Opportunity

Volt Twins

Van 1 Family

Dan & I at the Finish

Who's in for next year?

<3 JE

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Hood to Coast

Hood to Coast begins tomorrow!

The "Mother of All Relays" as they call it is a 200 mile 12-runner relay that takes place every last weekend of August.

Two vans hold 6 runners each taking us from Mt. Hood to Seaside, Oregon in a matter of 36 hours (or less if you're on a fast team!)

If you have a moment, this is how much fun it is to Run a Relay Race < no, really - we think it's fun!

This will be my fifth year participating in the event with my first year as a driver, 2nd & 3rd years walking Portland to Coast, and officially graduated to Runner status for the 2011 race.

Last year I was privileged enough to run the hardest leg on the course - Leg 20 - carrying my body up a total of 850 feet over 5.75 miles on gravel and dusty back roads. Talk about a confidence booster!

This is also a shot from last year, we made a spirit tunnel because that's what you do when you're tired and sweaty!

This year I was lucky enough to be in Van 1, allowing most of my mileage to be downhill and maybe a little more scenic too with my routes projected to be in the daylight. The other 5 members of Van 1 are good friends of mine and I can't begin to tell you how much "fun" this will be!

Line-up for this year:

Leg 2

Leg 14

Leg 26

We start tomorrow at 8:00am from just below Timberline Lodge - wish me luck!

Also wish my mother luck! She will be walking Portland to Coast this year and I'm very excited to see her at the beach and share our race stories! :)

<3 JE

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Luxembourg Visit

The final leg of my European vacation is a fairytale country where my brother has lived for the past two years and where my ancestors lived over a hundred years ago.

Luxembourg is a landlocked country between Germany, France and Belgium and is therefore a trilingual country with citizens and employees traveling across the border daily. Luxembourgish, French and German are the national languages of Luxembourg - making this piece of my trip the most difficult to navigate around shops, restaurants and public transit.

Luckily my brother has learned his way around and this was my 2nd visit over the past 12 months. I was easily able to skip past exploring and move straight onto knowing where I wanted to go and what I wanted to do. This included a 7 mile running route, key landmarks to photograph and the easiest tourist friendly places to go where they would happily speak English.

No shopping in Luxembourg as the cost of living is high and I only traveled with a backpack and a purse this two week trip!

Recreation in Luxembourg included ping pong, mini golf, running, imbibing, meeting Matt's gaggle of girlfriends and dining on fine Indian, Brazilian, Greek and Luxembourg cuisines. Kidding, Matt - but you do have a way with the ladies.

If you're ever in the area, take a day to see Luxembourg City and some of the sights I took in for four days.

And that's it - my 2012 European vacation! I had a blast and can't wait to see Matt again in November!

<3 JE

London Olympics 2012

The 2012 Summer Olympics may be over, but the memories of 14th row seats at Wembley Stadium and running wide-eyed with my brother around London will remain forever.

Leaving Barcelona I expected to be greeted with colder temperatures and crowds of confused and impatient Olypmic Tourists. To my surprise, the weather called for shorts and light tee's and the crowds were contained and in constant movement thanks to the hundreds of London Event Volunteers present on every street corner and transit line.

My first 8 hours in the city were brother-less, which allowed me the chance to navigate the city, take photos and embrace the touristy side of London in the form of parks, flowers and monuments. I knew that once we met up the scene would change to restaurants, bars and Olympics venue tours - which is just fine with me!

The reason for our visit was to attend the Gold Medal Football Match - Brazil vs Mexico on August 11th. I can't tell you the emotion that swept over me as we stepped into Wembley Stadium and navigated our way to our seats. Living in the European Union, my brother was able to get tickets over a year ago - 14th row from the pitch! Mexico came away with the 2-1 victory and we were happy to have picked them as our team to support, seeing that Mexico is a neighbouring country and we happen to like the food!

I'm not allowed to disclose where we had three meals on this leg of my trip as it comepletely goes against my clean eating plan. It made us happy and hopefully strays me from this un-named American restaurant for another 10 years.

Now the moment we've all been waiting for:

Change in the Park during Change of The Guard @ Buckingham Palace

Camera Play

Relaxing in the Park

The Mascot


Olympics Lane

Olympics Rings

The Fabled 14th Row


Sibling Shot

If you can't tell, we had a blast! London was good to us!

<3 JE