Monday, November 26, 2012

the holidays, portland edition.

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas! 

I went to the tree lighting downtown this weekend. It was rainy, my socks were wet and I was freezing but it was so worth it. Even though it was only the day after Thanksgiving, it felt like the appropriate kick off to the Christmas season. When you live in Florida most of your life, I think it can be hard to get into the holiday spirit because it doesn't necessarily feel like Christmas. You can dream of a white Christmas all you want but the reality is you will probably still wear shorts on the twenty fifth day of December. These are just the facts.

Even though it is still November, the holidays seem to be in full swing around these parts. We sang some Christmas songs in church yesterday and last night I saw a tree strapped to the top of a car that I can only assume was taken home and decorated beautifully. The holiday season is really good at giving me a perpetual warm little feeling in my heart and I welcome it. 

Fondly from Portland, 

Saturday, November 24, 2012

rivalry weekend.

It's game day y'all!

The Thanksgiving fun continues today with lots of college football. My Alma Mater, the Florida State Seminoles will face off against the Florida Gators this afternoon for what is sure to be a good game. I took that picture two years ago when we played the Gators and won for the first time in six years. It was my senior year and it rocked. Hopefully this year will be a repeat! 

Come on, sing along

You got to fight, fight, fight for FSU! 

You got to scalp 'em Seminoles! 
You got to win, win, win, win this game and 
Roll on down to make those goals! 
For FSU is on the warpath now, 
and at the battle's end she's great. 
So fight, fight, fight for victory, 
the Seminoles of Florida State! 

Fondly from Portland, 

Thursday, November 22, 2012

heart of gratitude.

Happy Thanksgiving friends, 

As the years go by and I get older, it becomes more and more clear to me how truly thankful I am to have so much. I think that at the core of who we are, the thing that we crave the most is to be loved. (Hang with me, this won't be super emotional...promise.) Truly, the feeling of being loved is unlike any other. It has the power to heal, to conquer and to encourage. It allows you to rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who are mourning. It allows us to step outside of ourselves and carry the heart of someone else. 

Being 3,000 miles from home on a holiday that is so focused on family is incredibly hard. (I dropped a friend off at the airport this morning and may have teared up just a little.) So today, I am thankful that love is not limited or measured by space or geographical location. I am thankful that loving and being loved transcends physical distance. 

Today, I will be having Thanksgiving dinner with a family that is not my own, a family that just a few short months ago, I didn't even know. That's how good the love of God is! The way he continues to care for his children fills my heart with so much joy. Ultimately, today, I am most thankful for that unconditional love. It makes all the other love in my life possible and gives me so, so much to be thankful for. 

So friends, I hope that you enjoy this thanksgiving with people that you care about and people that care about you. Remember that love is not limited and looks really different for everybody. Sadly, there are some people in the world today who don't feel loved by anyone so if you have a little extra to give, go find someone who needs it. I bet we won't have to look to far. 

With a full heart from Portland, 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

it is well.

Hey friends! 

Don't you just love pretty letters and fonts? I would say I have a passion for doodling. In fact, I can remember being in middle school and my brothers finding pieces of scratch paper that I had been writing my name in different fonts on. They would tease my by saying "Emily, gosh, you must really be in love your name!" It wasn't that I particularly loved my name (it's a great name though, mom, thank you) but it is simply the word I was most familiar writing. So naturally all the fonts that I was trying to come up with looked best in my name. Makes sense, right?

...Or maybe I am partial, who knows. I do know that doodling is fun and sometimes it turns out pretty. 

I made this little doodle and put it on a picture that I took in the Columbia River Gorge. I love hymns and 'It Is Well with My Soul' has always been on of my favorites. Knowing the story behind the the hymn is so powerful and makes it hard not to sing every line with a heart that is exploding with gratitude. 

Have an excellent Wednesday my friends! (It's almost Thanksgiving!!) 

Fondly from Portland, 

Saturday, November 17, 2012

weekends are the best.

Hey there!

This weekend kicked off in downtown Portland to see the new 007 movie, Skyfall. Downtown is really pretty at night but as we walked through the city, my Florida blood was so thankful that it wasn't any colder. I've pretty much come to terms with wearing a heavy coat from this point forward. The rest of this weekend is going to be pretty awesome too. I am headed out to a DIY fair, a Pie Social and hopefully watching the Noles take down some turtles. It's going to be major.

 I hope your weekend is full of fun things and good friends. 

Also, you should come to Portland & eat some pie. Just do it.

Fondly from Portland,

Thursday, November 15, 2012

thankful thursday: cuppa joe.

It's thankful Thursday, y'all!

Raise your hand if you are thankful for you morning cup of coffee! Both of my hands were just up in the air and I only brought them down so I could continue typing. I know that coffee isn't necessarily the most awesome thing to put into your body everyday but we are just going to put that aside for a quick minute and think of how lovely it is. For me, it is more than just the coffee though; is is the moment in the morning when all is still and quiet, the moment where I get to think a few dreamy thoughts about life and say little prayers for the day ahead. It's a time that is cherished. 

There is much to be thankful for, my friends. I hope you find yourself quietly sipping away on a cup of joe (or tea, or water) with a full heart today. 

Fondly from Portland,

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

wonders of this world.

Hello dear friends, 

Many of you might remember that when I began to plan my temporary stay in Portland, it did not involve driving my little blue bug across the United States of America. Instead, I decided to dive in head first and really make this thing an adventure. It's also possible that I had two free flights from Southwest Airlines for opening up a credit card and figured this might be the optimal time to put them to use. But hey, adventure was still going to be a part of the equation, no matter what the motive was. 

It turns out that there are some pretty rad folks in Portland though. Four awesome people have let me borrow their cars while I have been here which has made my car-less adventure to the pacific northwest a little more convenient. It is actually one of the most humbling things I have experienced as well. Often times, I am quick to cling to my worldly possessions because I "value" them but I am continuing to learn that although they are worth something monetarily speaking, they are worth pennies in comparison to the joy that comes from being able to share them with others. 

Having a car for the past couple of weeks has been such a blessing and I really couldn't be more thankful. When I started to think about it though, I realized that walking places has been too. You see a lot more of the world when you're among it. Here are just a few things I've seen on my walking adventure that reminded me of all the beautiful things that surround us everyday.

Fondly from Portland, 

Saturday, November 10, 2012

the late little bagel.

Hey y'all! 

I wanted to share a funny story with you this afternoon. Well I shouldn't assume that you will think it is funny but here it goes: 

When I stepped foot in Orlando International airport to come out to Portland exactly two months ago, I was really excited, really nervous and really hungry. Of all three, hunger was definitely in the lead so I decided to get something to eat as soon as I got into the terminal. After I chose the only place that looked even somewhat appealing and trans fat free, I realized that everyone else had done the same thing and I was now standing in a very long line. After about ten minutes, I started to get a little worried that I had made a huge error in my assessment of the length of the line versus the amount of time I had to board my plane. As I (im)patiently waited in line, hunger and nervousness felt like they were doing the tango in my stomach. 

I finally ordered my food and made it over to stand with the group of people who were still waiting,  but this time with their receipts out for their order number to be called. It was like we were all about to win the lottery. It seemed like a hundred people had been called so I knew I had to be up soon and all of the sudden DING! DONG! DING! A peppy, louud voice comes on the intercom: "Emily Pullen! Where are you? We don't want you to miss your plane to Portland." 

OH NO. Nervousness had now manifested itself into sweating as I paced back and forth waiting for number 224 to be called. Finally! I grabbed the brown paper bag and frantically shoved the ridiculously overpriced bagel sandwich in my backpack without taking even ONE bite. Using my best mall power walking skills, I scurried to the Southwest check in desk. Completely out of breath from carrying two (arguably larger than allowed) carry on bags, I approached the desk, "I'm here. I'm Emily."

The most cheerful woman on the planet looked at me and said, "Oh good. I'm so glad that you're here. It's going to be a great day because Emily is here." I smiled back at her and tried to make it less obvious that I was out of breath, sweating and on the brink of tears. 

I had made it just in time to be the last person to board the plane which consequently meant sitting in the last row in a middle seat. Still out of breath, I wiggled my way between a very kind flight attendant named Charlotte and a man who was suffering from severe sleep apnea and was also taking up 1/4 of my already tiny seat. My leg became his armrest as he nodded on and off between sips of orange soda. I sat completely still for a few minutes when I realized that there was no way I was going to be able to reach my bagel sandwich let alone have enough room to eat it. My only hope was in a tiny bag of airplane peanuts and four ounces of tomato juice. The first leg of this trip ended two hours later and this hungry Florida girl finally enjoyed the almost-missed-my-plane bagel sandwich in the windy city of Chicago. 

A few morals to this little story: One, don't buy overpriced airport food, pack a snack. Two, always try and be early, there is a lot less sweating involved when you're early. And three, don't pack all of your heaviest items in your carry on bag, your shoulder will eventually feel like it is falling off. You should however make a semi-spontaneous decision to go on a trip because you will have great airport stories to tell at a later, less sensitive date. 

Have a great weekend friends!

Fondly from Portland, 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

light gives heat.

Hey you guys!

I have something cool to share with you guys today. Working at Sseko has opened me up to a whole new world of cause based brands and non-profits that are doing some really cool things around the world. With the holidays swiftly approaching, I thought it would be a neat to share some of them with you! You know, before you set out on a crazy mall shopping marathon looking for all the right gifts. There isn't a better gift I can think of than one that continues to give. It is the perfect way to spread Christmas cheer...all over the globe. 

Light gives Heat is a company that is committed to creating world changing opportunities in Africa and America. They partner with local artisans in Uganda to provide them with a consistent income. Through these partnerships, they are also able to provide consumers with beautiful handmade products. Light gives Heat features a wide variety of lovely things in their store. Check out their collection of jewelry, totes and home goods.  

My personal favorite is the Prisca Necklace and this is how I would style it: 

Light gives Heat also challenges consumers to look outside of themselves, to see beauty in the risk and to pursue big, beautiful, crazy dreams. And I think that pretty much rocks. 

If you want, you can read more about their story here!

Fondly from Portland, 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

g-sales & floating homes.

Hey friends and happy election day! 

On Saturday, we had high hopes of checking out Portland's largest indoor garage sale but our attempts were squashed when we found out they were charging $12.00 to get in. To get into a warehouse to buy junk you most likely didn't need in the first place. Admittedly, that is exactly the junk that I would have bought. So really, I should be thanking the expo center for charging movie theatre prices because they probably saved me much more that $12.00. 

Another great thing that came out of not going to the G-Sale was some spontaneous exploring on the river. These floating abodes were pretty awesome, and even though it was overcast, the backdrop of the changing leaves made for a lovely view. 

I hope you all had a great weekend and maybe found yourself discovering something pretty as well. 

Fondly from Portland, 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

thankful thursday.


Let's welcome November with open arms and full hearts. The truth is, there is so much in the world to be thankful for. All around us are opportunities to be grateful for the small things, the big things, the expected and the unexpected. So let's do just that. Every Thursday I will post a little something that is currently filling my heart with joy. 

Today, I am so thankful for the comforts of home in a new place. You've Got Mail is the only movie I brought with me to Portland and I'm so glad I did. There is something about hearing the opening song chime in that will always be familiar to me. "Dreams are nothing more than wishes, and a wish is just a dream.I am also incredibly grateful for the United States Postal Service and their ability to transport sweet little packages from my lovely friends and family over 3,000 miles.

Yes, you're right, these things are not big but they are worth celebrating. 
What are you thankful for this week? I would love to know. Enjoy this first day of November!

Fondly from Portland, 

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