Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Portland: An Inciting Incident

We just returned from a 5-day trip to Portland, Oregon which is currently weighing heavy on our hearts. I feel like Tom Cruise in Jerry Maguire listening to Free Fallin' after having just been fired from his job, pondering the all important question we all ask ourselves at different intervals in our lives, "What now?"

Just as Tom Cruise created an Inciting Incident for himself, our trip to Portland was definitely an inciting incident that we will look back on as the launching point for some big life decisions.
Unfortunately, conflict tends to piggyback change and is ultimately how we grow. It seems much easier to just call it a day, not make any changes and watch more TV. Oh the comfortable lives we live, they are both a blessing and a curse!

I asked Ben today if he thinks he will have to tell our kids someday how their mom is crazy, to which he responded, "You really think I'll have to tell them?" I am usually the one who comes up with the crazy ideas and Ben is the realist who brings me back down to earth. Our goal now is to find a happy medium that we both want and can commit to.
Here's what all we squeezed into our trip in less than 100 words: Mark Spencer Hotel, Little Big Burger, Powell's Books, Kenny and Zuke's, Voodoo Doughnut, Saturday Market, Stumptown Coffee, Nike World Headquarters, Seaside Beach, Cannon Beach, Jake's Famous Crawfish, Eagle Creek Trail, Multnomah Falls, The Storyline Seminar held at the Gerding Theater at the Armory, Henry's Tavern, test screening of independent film Sironia at Living Room Theaters, Clyde Common, city view at Portland City Grill, Columbia Employee Outlet Store... WHEW!
We also met a wonderful couple named Matt and Laura Corbin who were nice enough to take us hiking, show us around Portland and have us over for an amazing dinner in their home.

One of my best friends from college and her husband (Christel and Sam) who live in Houston also joined us on the trip. It's probably a rare thing that you have the opportunity to share a hotel room and put your make-up on with your college roommate several years down the road and we loved sharing this experience with them!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Great Northwest Awaits

We're headed up to Portland tomorrow for a little vacation in conjunction with Donald Miller's Living a Better Story Seminar.  His book A Million Miles in a Thousand Years was/is a life-changer for us.  We decided part of our story would include this trip to Portland as an investment in our lives.  Plus, it's Portland, hello!

I was joking with Monica the other day because after being inspired by Don's book, we had some real excitement about a new story; however, as the inspiration dwindled and time moved on, we started a new story called "How to Try Without Really Succeeding."  It's like we have these ideas and want to live better stories, but our efforts just lead to more of the same.  And yet, sometimes the conflict to overcome in a story is self-sabotage...

In fact, as the saying should go, the more things stay the same, the more they change [in order to stay the same]. 

Friday, September 10, 2010

It's amazing what we will do to survive, yet what we are willing to endure not to suceed.

Fallin' for Fall
Last weekend when I got my last pedicure of the season with my sis-in-law, I realized how excited I am about fall! This summer during the weeks of 100+ degree weather, I daydreamed about wearing cute scarves, brisk cool mornings and taking walks with Ben and Cali without almost passing out. Ben is excited about making crock pot stew and chili. Is there anywhere in the world that has fall-like weather year round? If so, sign me up!
Is Entrepreneurship a Trend?
I've noticed in a lot of movies lately the lead actor/actress owns their own business. In Love Happens, Burke is a motivational speaker and Eloise owns a flower shop. In The Back-up Plan, Stan takes over his parent's goat farm/cheese manufacturing company and Zoe owns a pet shop. The list goes on and on and in every case it seems simple enough to be a successful small business owner.

Hollywood has fooled us once again my friends because I am here to tell you that it is not so simple! There are days that I wonder if anyone in this world will ever actually pay me to do what I want to do. Yesterday was one of those days and Ben promptly took me to Memphis Pizza Cafe (while scoring some major husband points!). I know, I know, it's the journey not the destination blah, blah, blah. I'm just having a tough time seeing the big picture where all of this is going to work out and I can be a happy, carefree business owner like Eloise or Zoe.

What Inspires You?
Another way to phrase this is "What gives you energy?" For me personally, it can be as simple as doing a mini room makeover or adding a few splashes of fall decorations to our home. I love buying fresh flowers and planning our weekly menu around fresh veggies we pick up at the Farmer's Market.

I like to entertain and to set our table with fun centerpieces and napkins. Organization is my middle name and I can't be much happier after tackling a disorganized drawer or closet. Traveling, ahhh traveling - experiencing new things, smells, cultures. Sleeping in, cuddling with Ben while watching a movie, listening to the rain...

What are your favorite things about fall? Is being a small business owner only for fictional Hollywood characters? What everyday things give you inspiration?