July 2014

July 2014 has been such a bittersweet month with the highest highs and the lowest lows.

Let’s start where everything should – at the beginning.

I last posted about Jesse’s birthday hike up Elk Mountain, which we did on June 29th. Three days later, on Wednesday, July 2nd, Jesse and I were newlyweds.

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We hiked a mile from Lower Macleay up to the Stone House in Forest Park and promised to love and take care of each other for the rest of forever. I borrowed a dress from a dear friend (but bought a pink ribbon to make it my own, from the Button and Ribbon Emporium, no less), I bought my flowers from the Wednesday Farmer’s Market, Jesse made our “wedding bands” that morning out of a guitar string, and 7 of our closest friends joined us as we said “I do”.

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My favorite Portland photographer, Katy Weaver, spectacularly captured the evening (the photos above are courtesies of her) and my close friend / mentor / office-wall-sharer was our minister. After our ceremony, we hiked back down and went to our favorite Portland restaurant to celebrate with everyone. It was absolutely perfect, just like my new husband!

(Please note this was our legal U.S. wedding. We are busy planning a second ceremony in France this September with our friends and families – the countdown is on!)

On Friday, July 4th, Jesse, Riley, and I journeyed to Idaho to spend Independence Day with my family. It was a classic Fourth of July, complete with boating, water skiing, air chairing, wake surfing, sun tanning, BBQing, and general family time.

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On Sunday, July 6th, Jesse, Riley, and I were venturing back to Portland when we received a phone call that broke our hearts in two. Jesse’s mother, my new mother-in-law, was in a fatal cycling accident in New Zealand.

We were 3 hours from my parent’s; 5 from home. The miles were agonizingly long. The minutes ticking by seemed like hours, the journey seemed to take days. The tears came to me in waves, the silent droplets racing down my cheek. I couldn’t be bothered wiping them away. Jesse was next to me, speechless for an infinite time. I drove while he made calls and sent emails. I remember 0.0 miles of that drive.

A few days later Jesse and I traveled to Canada to be with his family. Mourning the loss of his mother while simultaneously being congratulated on our marriage was an overwhelming juxtaposition but everything went as smoothly as it could have, given the circumstances. There’s a silver lining – I love his family endlessly and it was bittersweet to be back with them and to meet those I’d missed on our trip in late May.

I’ll be brief here because I’m not sure what’s appropriate, but want to say Jesse’s mom was one of the most vibrant and loving people I’ve ever had the privilege to know. Her smile was contagious; her energy and excitement unparalleled. Family was the most important thing to her and I’m very lucky to be part of those special bonds now as well.

With the "Golden Gromit" in Bristol, England. September 2013

With the “Golden Gromit” in Bristol, England. September 2013

While in Canada, Jesse and I had a nice visit to his family’s camp, though we were completely devoured by relentless mosquitoes and managed to only make exactly 2 s’mores.

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IMG_4371IMG_4368IMG_4373We also had a lovely trip out to Lake Superior with the entire family. It’s so beautiful out there – such a great spot to enjoy the water and just relax.

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Also, a few weeks ago my Facebook status update was “Nothing says summer like ripping out handfuls of grass and putting it on the person next to you”. I guess the same can be said for rocks on the beach!

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Suffice it to say, running in general, let alone any sort of proper training, has been the lowest priority. We ran at Hiawatha Highlands after a very special ice cream treat…

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…and I had two good runs this week back in Portland. One with Riley up to Kelly Butte Natural Area…

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…and one with a good friend (who, to top it all off, was at a wedding in South Africa earlier this month and was involved in a very major train crash). I am grateful that she is safe and I enjoyed catching up with her. Running is often the best way we do that.

Tomorrow morning I am running the Lacamas Lake Half. It’ll be my first ever road half and I’m doing it all by myself, as Jesse is still out of the country. Fingers crossed for me!

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Birthday Hiking

I agreed to hike Elk Mountain-King’s Mountain for Jesse’s birthday weekend; it wasn’t a huge mistake but it was definitely a challenge! We ended up only getting to the Elk Mountain summit; a 3 mile out and back, but gains over 2,000 feet. It’s the hands-on-quads kind of hike in Tillamook State Forest, with a rating of ‘very difficult’. This hike was no joke. (Though it’s nothing compared to the Red Bull 400 – the steepest race in Europe. Seriously, watch the video. It’s intense!)

We set out “early” on Sunday (*ahem* noon) and started our hike around 1:30 PM. With the hope of doing the entire 9-mile loop, we ran out time with our looming dinner reservations that evening. That was likely for the best, though, because my glutes were in agony the next day from only 3 miles!

It was a beautiful day for hiking; breezy and warm, but not hot. We encountered only one other hiker on our route..which is probably average for that hike. We also saw some of the world’s largest slugs (at least in my opinion). Those things were terrifying!

This picture doesn’t even come close to capturing the vivid greens in the forest!

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“Where’s the summit, Jesse!?”

“WAY UP THERE!!”

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While we were off galavanting in the woods, guess who got her first haircut!? Five inches shorter, but still “Elsa-esque”. That’s important.

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This 4th of July weekend we are headed to Idaho for some camping, boating, and family time. Looking forward to Palouse Falls!