Success!

I did it. I followed my heart all day. That’s really what this is about, I realized. It’s not so much about what I’m doing, but the spirit in which I’m doing it.

The day started off like this:

Tea & a book

I spent an hour reading and sipping my tea in my pajamas. Heaven! I will be doing this more often. The morning felt so leisurely and expansive without the distractions of my to-do list, email, and Facebook.

Pear Havarti Pie at Helser's on Alberta

Then I had the most delicious brunch and wonderful conversation with my dear cousin. Pear & Havarti Pie at Helser’s is my new obsession and I love how familiar old relationships continue to grow and deepen.

Instead of rushing onto my next task, I sat down after breakfast, put in a sweet Beatles musical that was recommended by my lovah, and folded some clothes. Hanging out on the couch in broad daylight for the second time in one day still felt very odd and luxurious, but I was starting to get used to it.

Sleepy Hank

When Bekah got home we snuggled on the couch and watched Hank falling asleep sitting up in his chair–highly entertaining.

Bre & Bekah hand-holding

My kids are going out of town with Rich for Thanksgiving, and so we planned a special family dinner for the evening. When I picked them up, all three decided Chuck E. Cheese’s was the very best choice–and because my kids so rarely agree on anything all at the same time I didn’t argue. Bekah was feeling adventurous and jumped on. So we all 5 drove to SE Portland, dancing and singing to the van party songs Bekah was playing for us, and had a seriously fun evening together. My favorite moment was when we were all lined up elbow-to-elbow playing skeeball together. Priceless.

Family skeeball at chuck e cheese

When we got home, all hopped up on soda & fun, Bekah and I snuggled up on the couch once more while the kids took turns performing for us. It was the best ending to the most fun & relaxing day I’ve had in a long time.

I think I could get used to this “doing nothing” stuff…

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Cheap Date

Bekah and Breana 2011 MRS

2011

When Bekah & I started dating 2 years ago, things in our lives were different. ‘How different could they be,’ you think? Let me enumerate the ways:

  1. I worked 20 hours a week at one job and worked out like a fiend.
  2. Bekah served breakfast at a hip Portland comfort food establishment & took one class a term at PCC.
  3. My weekly recycling bins housed an assortment of drained booze, beer & wine bottles.
  4. Bekah was a musician.
  5. We lived in postage-stamp sized places and rented rooms.
  6. 3 kids!

Breana & Bekah at Bullwinkle's Batting Cages

So, when we started dating, we had what seemed like endless amounts of time to enjoy all that the city’s nightlife has to offer.

  1. Queer dance parties with loud music & sweaty hot bods piled into photobooth shots.
  2. All the great music Mississippi Studios could book.
  3. Sexy classes at sexy stores.
  4. Soaking and saunaing with all the ladies.
  5. Brunches in the morning and bars at night.

We pretty much did all of the things and had all of the fun.

Hank the puppy

Then Bekah decided to become a chiropractor. We moved in together. We got a puppy. We bought more camping equipment and matching outdoor-wear. Fast-forward 365 days x 2 and now our life looks like this:

  1. 60 hours of school per week for Dr. Cohen (maybe a slight exaggeration).
  2. 2 new businesses for me and more interpreting to fund it all.
  3. A teenage-dog
  4. Yardwork/crockpot/garden/laundry
  5. 3 kids!

3 Kids

We still like each other a lot, and yet we find ourselves in a rut, often wearing soft clothes and eating tiny sundaes in front of our favorite tv shows. Something must change. And so, I am going to take the advice of my best friend:

Date the person you love. 

I’m going to start dating again. But instead of trolling okcupid and heading out to bars, I’m going to start at home. I’m going to regain an interest in what’s happening in the city that might be fun, might inspire meaningful conversation, might put that twinkle into our eyes. I’m going to get dressed up instead of snuggling into my pj’s, I’m going to be ready on time for our evening plans. I’m going to savor brushing our teeth next to each other in the bathroom mirror, and get excited to hold her hand as we head out the door.

And so I ask for your help, dear reader:

What are your favorite fun, meaningful Portland dates that are rich in experience & memories, not necessarily in admission?

My future date & I thank you.

Bekah & carrot

My Best Year Yet

Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” ~Mary Oliver

fall leaves road

Every fall I spend a night or two away, alone, gathering the highlights and disappointments from my previous year, extrapolating lessons learned, re-committing to my values and the roles I play in my life, and setting goals for the year ahead. This process is outlined in Jinny Ditzler’s book Your Best Year Yet, which is a contender on my shelf of Top 10.

…Read the rest of this post here