Friday, March 30, 2012

Public Announcement

We are moving back to NORTH CAROLINA!!!!!!!!!

Ross recently accepted a position at Performance Bicycle, Inc at their headquarters in Chapel Hill. Pretty exciting stuff, huh? And me… well I don’t have a job lined up yet. But I will!

As rain-drenched Portlanders for the past 2 years, we are excited for the sunshine that the upcoming spring in North Carolina will bring. I see myself spending a lot of time in my hammock that will hopefully have a permanent set-up in our potential new back yard. I am looking forward to finding a little coffee shop with a tree-shaded patio and of course a yoga studio where I can practice my bending and stretching and clearing my mind of stressful thoughts. And Ross is super excited about riding bikes. Lots and lots of riding bikes.

If you live in the Raleigh/Chapel Hill area, you can help me find a job or help us find somewhere to live! And definitely send suggestions of your favorite hang outs: bars, restaurants, coffee shops, parks, etc. We are focusing our searching in the Chapel Hill/Carrboro area, as that is where Ross’ new company is located, but hey, we LOVE Raleigh too!

What do you call someone who lives in the triangle area? A Raleigh-ite? A Chapel Hill-igan? A Durham-Dweller? Whatever you want to call them, the Bowdens are excited to become one!

Monday, March 26, 2012


For the past few days we played host/hostess to my Dad and Grandmother. It was great having visitors from the East Coast and getting to share Oregon with them.

We traveled to the beach, ate at great restaurants, and enjoyed beautiful weather. Here are some images from the weekend.

Starting the day off right with my favorite Portland coffee:

Doughnuts at the infamous Voo Doo Doughnuts:

Carousel of doughnuts:

My vegan Voo Doo Doll doughnut:

The view from Pittock Mansion overlooking downtown:

Swan Island (the industrial district) with Mount Hood in the background.

After all the excitement, Henry was exhausted Sunday evening.

And Eisley... well she is never tired. Here she is trying to destroy a plastic St. Patrick's Day hat. Notice Henry's reaction to her insanity.

Thanks for coming Dad and Grandma J!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Finished project

I finally finished my desk!

Once I spent hours sanding the layers of disgusting white (probably lead-filled) pant off of the desk, I unearthed a beautiful tiger-striped grain. I couldn’t cover it!



So, I roughed up the look of the desk by leaving a bit of the green and white paint flecked in the grain- I think it gives the desk a “I have lived in the back of an old barn for the past 70 years” look.

What do you think?

Monday, March 19, 2012

Weekend Wrap Up

This weekend was the Shamrock Run in downtown Portland. 32,500 people showed up to race in either the 15k, 8k, or 5k. Ross and I signed up for the 8k (4.97 miles).

Ross wore all lime green to celebrate St. Patrick's Day.

I wore all black to be a running ninja.

We took the bus down to Water Front Park where the race began. Here is Ross waiting at the bus stop at 7am Sunday morning. Excited, huh?

Here is a bit of background info. Ross is a kick-butt cyclist. He is fast and has endurance like a crazy person. But, he doesn't run a lot. You may remember he participated in Hood to Coast last August (the relay race from Mt. Hood to the Oregon coast). He participated in that race with very little training and still did phenomenal. He has ran one time since that race.

So then there is me. I run 3-4 days a week, as I am gradually training for my second half marathon. I don't love running, but I love the way I feel after, so I push through it.

So the buzzer goes off at 8:30am Sunday morning and thousands of people start running. Ross tells me good luck, and takes off. Despite having no running training, he is SO much faster than me. He gets lost in the sea of people running in green and I push in, ready for the 5 mile run ahead of me.

Around the 1 mile mark I start to regret the intense core workout I had done the day before. That wasn't my best decision. But then I look up, and there is my sweet Ross, waiting for me beside the road. He jumps in with the pack, and shrugs. "It is more fun running with you." He could have finished the race so much faster, but chose to run with me instead. Isn't he the sweetest?!?!

So we trudged through and I recorded my personal best time for a running race- mostly because I had my own personal cheerleader running beside me!

So to celebrate, I made a chocolate cake. From scratch!

And guess what?! We have visitors this week! Dad and Grandma Lillian will be here Wednesday through Sunday. Fun times ahead!

And here is a picture of Henry to end today's post.


Thursday, March 15, 2012

Spring has Sprung

Everyone knows the saying "April showers bring May flowers," but in Portland it goes more along the lines of "Rain October through June make LOTS of things grow." While the rain is very annoying and depressing at times, it provides a great environment for beautiful things to grow. In our yard, we have two scraggly little trees (scraggly because of the type, not because of lack of love), roses, tulips, day-lilies, irises, and of course, green, green, grass that grows all around, all around (just like the poem!).

Although we saw flurries at our house this week, and the neighborhoods on the hills got several inches of snow, spring has sprung and the flowers are blooming. Unfortunately, between the beating of the pouring rain and Eisley's careless footing, our flowers tend to have a short life span once they have bloomed. So this year, I have decided that as soon as they fall over (from rain and top-heavy weight) I will run out and clip them before Eisley can stomp on them. Which means I get to enjoy them outside AND inside!

And of course, Happy March Madness everyone! Let's go Heels! (Note my choice of sweater color for today)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


A few years ago I attended one of my mom's beginner yoga classes. She taught a basic positions class at the local Wellness Center, filled mostly with middle-aged soccer moms and gray-haired older ladies who were looking for a new way to occupy their time.

I struggled through the hour-long class, frustrated with the persistent coaching on my breathing. I tried to hold focus through mountain pose, warrior pose, and a dog that couldn't decide if it wanted to face upward or downward. My balance faltered as the hands slowly dragged around the face of the wall clock. I stared at the mirrored reflection of myself in the harsh light and wondered what in the heck I was doing there.

At one point my mom came up to me and whispered “you are the worst yogi I have ever seen.” She was half kidding, because that’s what we do, but there was a lot of truth there too. She commented that she could “see my mind racing” rather than staying focused on the art of relaxation. I spent the whole class trying to impress my mom on how flexible I could be (which is a cruel joke… because I am the least flexible person I know) and ended up making the entire hour miserable for myself. Yoga class number one. I failed- I just didn't get it.

Fast forward several years later: here I am in Portland, working in the restored, historical Pearl district, in an office in the Gadsby Building. One floor below me is a yoga studio named Yo Yo Yogi. Owned by a husband and wife duo, the yoga studio strives to be all-inclusive, welcoming all types of people at all levels of yoga practice. I have been wanting to get down and try a class, but always found an excuse not to. (For the most part, I stuck with the “I can’t touch my toes” excuse.)

Yesterday afternoon I mustered up the courage and tromped down the stairs to the studio. I informed the nice couple that I had been to yoga twice in my life, that I was completely lost in the art of posture, and would be attending a yoga class. They called me “sweetheart,” looked at me with a kindness and acceptance, and had me fill out a medical release form. You know, just in case.

Before I climbed in bed at 10:30pm last night I set my alarm for 5:15am. (Did I forget to mention that the yoga class was at 6:30 this morning?!). Throughout the night I woke up every. single. hour. I don’t know if it was anticipation, excitement, or fear that I would oversleep, but every time I woke up, I looked at the clock, counted the number of hours and minutes until I actually needed to get out of bed, then drifted back to sleep.

At 6:20 this morning I marched into the yoga studio, armed with my cheap, promotional product yoga mat. I spent the next hour bending and stretching, breathing and sighing, feeling the warmth of the candles burning on the built-in wall bookshelves and the heat radiating from inside me (yes, that is a nice way to say I was sweating). My teacher was gentle and inviting, encouraging the right amount of pressure and nurturing. She allowed me to open my mind, reach inside, and feel the Namaste. (Yes I just said that.)

As I transitioned throughout the class from high plank to low plank to downward facing dog, from boat pose to plow pose and back again, I quickly understood why people spend a pretty penny on yoga mats. I was slipping and sliding around my cheap yoga mat, hardly being able to keep my hands from slamming out from under me. (Now is where Ross will make a comment about my clammy hands and mom will talk about how I had chronic sweaty feet as a baby). But for some reason, I didn't care. I felt happy and content, and not bothered at all that the man across the room could do a standing heel stretch and I could barely balance on one leg. (Show off.)

As I quietly tip-toed out at the end of class (some people use the 15 minutes after class for a restorative power nap), I felt rejuvenated, alive, and hungry. In my free time today I did research on a refreshing, eco-friendly, “real” yoga mat. I picked out my color. And a matching towel. And I will start saving up my extra money to get it.

I think maybe yoga is for me after all.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Leap Day

All day yesterday I had reoccurring thoughts of “Hey, it’s Leap Day! Something MAGICAL should happen!” I am not sure why I decided that Leap Day was any more special than February 28th or March 1st in its magical powers, other than the fact that the day only comes around every 4 years or so, but maybe it was that I so desperately wanted something magical to happen that I willed the powers at be into making it happen on Wednesday February 29th. Well, I am sad to report that Februrary 29th came and went without a magical encounter.


Last night I had the best dream ever. I woke up smiling this morning. I am NOT a morning person. I am cranky, irritable, groggy, and downright unpleasant for the first 20 minutes I am up. But this morning, I woke up SMILING! All because of this little guy. Meet Gus.

In my dream last night, a rare species of animals (that looks a WHOLE LOT like a baby kangaroo), were being placed in captive care because it was discovered that they would flourish much better alongside human counterparts as opposed to on their own in the wild. They were being placed with very specific human families, and guess who got one?! This girl! (Pointing at myself)

(And yes, I did spend the past 30 minutes googling pictures of baby kangaroos to find the one that looked like my Gus.)

So in my dream I had this adorable fuzzed-headed, big footed, jumping, loving, adorable kangaroo-look alike baby who LOVED me and lived in my garage. I would say “hey GUUUUUUUUS!” and throw open my arms and he would take two little leaps right into my arms and snuggle into my chest with the most content look of love and genuine happiness. I would rub him down in super-hot baths (his favorite) and feed him crunchy carrot sticks. (Because of these two factors, Ross is convinced that Gus is really a subconscious-created hybrid between Eisley and me). Gus was the best pet ever.

And then I woke up.

And it had snowed while I was dreaming about my little Gus (it doesn’t snow in Portland).

So maybe March 1 is magical?