The Year In Review

I haven’t been posting much this year. This point was driven home when my Facebook year in review was mostly photos others had tagged me in. My year was a lot more beautiful than anyone would guess, especially considering undiagnosed knee bursitis left me hobbled for the better part of 7 months. A lot of time was spent with family and friend. We also traveled all over western Washington. Be prepared for some sunset photos.

2014 started with our 4th Anniversary trip to Mount St. Helens. We arrived late, woke up early and saw the most beautiful sunrise over the mountain.

This biggest news of my year was becoming an aunt. Emily & Pete had a baby! Being an aunt is so much fun. There were a ton of crafts before she was born, and I’m sure there will be even more as she grows. Em and I even did some long distance design consulting for the nursery. It is turning out super cute.

I was invited to an event at the Chihuly Boathouse. It was great to see someone else’s collection of creepy face objects.

E & I went on a camping trip on the Olympic Peninsula, stopping at the Olympic National Park, Neah Bay to visit a friend, and the Salt Creek Campground, where you sleep overlooking the tide pools.

We made a few trips down to Ocean Shores to spend time with my family. Rain, wind, or sun, these beaches are wonderful.

This fall we celebrated a few of our friends getting married. One of these weddings was just outside of Portland in Troutdale, Oregon. We had a great time driving the historic Columbia River Highway. There are cabbage farms, coating the ground in purple leaves, just a mile away from historic sites along the way to waterfalls.

We’re going back for this year’s anniversary. I cannot wait to start the year off at McMenamins Edgefield, getting to see the falls in daylight, and finally going inside the Vista House!

Currently Reading: The Happiness Project

The Happiness Project: Or Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More FunThe Happiness Project: Or Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun by Gretchen Rubin

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I finished this book and burst in to tears thinking about how much I love the life I have built. That’s weird considering I found Gretchen irritating. She is obviously a great researcher and writer, but her personal accounts are…not good. I can’t tell if she’s bad at reading a situation or if there is something else going on. That said, there is insightful stuff here. Ignore Gretchen’s personal life, read this book for yourself.

View all my reviews

Our Happy Home

A year after my original post, I’m fairly confident that we finally have a home to be proud of. It feels so good walking in the front door.

Morning light makes everything pretty.

That folding table should look familiar.

A box of movies and wine out from last night.

Told you the sideboard didn’t look too different.

Ah. And the best part is the room has stayed this level of clean for almost a week! UnfuckYourHabitat is really inspiring that way. All of the furniture from the previous posts is still here, being used in either of the two bedrooms. The wires are all hidden to the best of our renter abilities. The pull-out bed in the sofa now works without any fuss. It just works.

Stressors, Happiness, & What You Can Control

All too often the stories we tell are the negative ones from the day, the week, the vacation. The reason why I started posting here was to look for the positive things in the day to day. Having a space to share projects and thigns that I find beautiful has really helped me to focus on what in life is working for me.

From Lifehacker’s Stress Article

With that in mind, here is a list I found from TinyBuddah.com about the outward things you can do to affect your mindset. I was going to just post my personal highlights, but this list is so good that I’m leaving it intact.


  1. How many times you smile today.
    2. How much effort you exert at work.
    3. Your level of honesty.
    4. How well you prepare.
    5. How you act on your feelings.
    6. How often you say “thank you.”
    7. When you pull out your wallet for luxuries.
    8. Whether or not you give someone the benefit of the doubt.
    9. How you interpret situations.
    10. Whether or not you compete with people around you.
    11. How often you notice and appreciate small acts of kindness—they’re everywhere!
    12. Whether you listen or wait to talk.
    13. When you walk away from a conversation.
    14. How nice you are to yourself in your head.
    15. Whether you think positive or negative thoughts.
    16. Whether or not you form expectations of people
    17. The type of food you eat.
    18. When you answer someone’s question—or email or call.
    19. How much time you spend worrying.
    20. How many new things you try.
    21. How much exercise you get.
    22. How many times you swear in traffic.
    23. Whether or not you plan for the weather.
    24. How much time you spend trying to convince people you’re right.
    25. How often you think about your past.
    26. How many negative articles you read.
    27. The attention you give to your loved ones when you see them.
    28. How much you enjoy the things you have right now.
    29. Whether or not you communicate something that’s on your mind.
    30. How clean or uncluttered you keep your space.
    31. What books you read.
    32. How well you network at social events.
    33. How deeply you breathe when you experience stress.
    34. How many times you admit you don’t know something—and then learn something new.
    35. How often you use your influence to help people instead of focusing on building your influence.
    36. When you ask for help.
    37. Which commitments you keep and cancel.
    38. How many risks you take.
    39. How creative/innovative you are in your thinking.
    40. How clear you are when you explain your thoughts.
    41. Whether you formulate a new plan or act on your existing one.
    42. How much information you get before you make a decision.
    43. How much information you share with people.
    44. Whether you smoke or drink (unless you’re an alcoholic, in which case I am not qualified to offer you advice.)
    45. Whether or not you judge other people.
    46. Whether you smell good or bad (unless you have some strange resistance to soap and deodorant).
    47. How much of what other people say you believe.
    48. How quickly you try again after you fall.
    49. How many times you say “I love you.”
    50. How much rest you get at night.