My Story

I wanted to share a little more about what makes up the girl behind my posts. Between this page, ‘About Me,’and ‘My Family’ I hope to give my readers a feel for my home, my family, for who I am, and what I do. For all the things that have created me.

I am an eternal beach child. Born and now indefinitely residing in Seaside, Oregon. I am made up of my sand, the treasures this place gifts me with each new tide; the shells and sea glass rubbed smooth by the rocks that line my cove. I am the music of my rain, the way the mountain breaks off so abruptly at the coast line, in some spots as if the edge just couldn’t resist the beauty of the sea any longer and chopped itself from the rest of the world. Yes, my now happily anchored gypsy soul is made of early morning sunrises from the east and burning tangerine sunsets over the wests’ waters, of sleepy monk coffee, of my stories, of my blessed, blessed start in this place. I am the parallels I observe and record in my writing, the things that move me, that tug on my heart and never truly release it. I am the others who have crossed my path, sharing the tales of their own. I am the paths of my little brother and sister. Her fire and his confidence fill me. All of these beautiful pieces make up the mosaic that is my heart.

My eyes are some times the deep green of the mighty spruce trees that guard my coast and other times the bright yellow of  the sun as she wakes us up. The sand mirrors its’ soft tan and honey shades in my blonde hair. I truly feel that every part of who I am is a manifestation of this soul-shakingly beautiful place I came from. I have a craving and deep love for the simple, the rain, blank paper and pencils that are my own, weathered by my stories. For old books, clever words, and beautiful things. And probably more than anything I have a love for the power of story. I collect books and pass along the ones that really touch me by leaving them some where that they will find the next person they are supposed to touch. The margins filled with breaths of me written in by my soft pencil. My family is my rock. We are knotted tightly together because of hard days attempting to pull us apart as well as happy ones where we tied ourselves together in joy. As souls in this world our biggest deeds and accomplishments sit in the hearts of those we love, and to live for that is the greatest honor under heaven. I live for my ocean and for being one with this place. Whether walking the edge of the water on my eternal treasure hunt, skimboarding over the shimmering white water, or wandering in the woods; I am constantly full of wonder.

Seaside is a precious little beach town that sits on the northern most coastal corner of Oregon. A town of about 6,500 people, a population that grows significantly during the summer months. It is a charming little  tourist town, but more importantly it is a one of a kind haven for those who belong to it full time. It rains nine months out of the year some years more some less. To some of you that may sound dreadful, but we love it here in this salty shower. It is an indescribable love. I have lived all over and always found my way back home. I always knew I would be a lifer, I just didn’t know when that status would become fully permanent. I graduated from high school in 2008. Since then I have lived in other parts of Oregon, Arizona, and even California. I have also explored and visited other countless places. I found myself in a cycle of living in a new place each year and returning home during the summer to work and save money to fund my next adventure. Having traveled and lived all over I can honestly say there is no place like my home. It is a little untouched slice of heaven sitting between a forest of Sitka spruce trees to the East and a vast stretch of salty seas to the West. It is the charm and soul of this place which I tend to pour in to all of my creation and writing that I named this blog for.

Here in Oregon we truly have the best of everything. In a couple of hours in any direction you can be at the edge of the world at the beach, in the busy city, at the snow-covered mountain, or in the damp mighty forest. Sitting on the coastline and separated from the nearest big city of Portland, Seaside represents a very small part that is left of our world that remains somewhat untouched and still guarded from the plastic strip mall mess that has become our world. It is green and salty and humble and I could never truly belong anywhere but here. This alone, it’s preserved charm and loveliness is why I think I have never been able to stick anywhere else for long. My ocean, the smoothed pebble streets, and moss-covered everything always sing me home. I can go somewhere for a while, sure. I can dance in it’s newness, unearth it’s secrets and stories for a bit but my beach always calls. A whisper at first, but that cry always grows until I can’t ignore it any longer. I am so blessed that I come from such a beautiful, untainted little stretch of earth. I have met people in many of my travels who just have to know where I am from and when the words ‘Oregon’ and ‘coast’ leave my lips their eyes smile knowingly and they remark on my ease of being. That is probably one of the absolute biggest things that brought me home indefinitely, the people here. Oregonians, especially the coasties have a humbleness to them that is unparalleled anywhere I have been. We smile and greet each other when we pass, (crazy I know) we help each other, we love; our land, our rain, our coffee, oh that is just it, we love. Too big and too pure to ever truly explain in true intimacy to someone who grew elsewhere.

This watercolor skied wonderland will always be where I continue to grow, and more importantly where my children will be planted and rise up. The gift that is my foundation in this safe haven is invaluable, like possessing a secret antidote. A cure for hustle and bustle, for the tense, the generic, for concrete mazes who suck your minutes away, again and again each day. A cure for silly society, and cities that box you in with their light and their advertisements and their empty gardens, pebble yards, and acre long shopping malls. If I can give my littles anything in this world that is it, the freedom from those things while they are little. And hey, if when they grow up the city is the most romantic thing they have ever felt, and they find their hearts beat for the firefly sparkle and bluster of it all. If their feet happen to like shoes and tiled floors and office buildings and the floods of new faces everyday, and walking along the barnacle covered rocks and beaches with a shell in hand and feet in the sand becomes only a childhood way, then I will applaud their fervor and be glad they found a love like I have for my home. But I do know that starting here, in this selfless, innocent, loving, insanely gorgeous place will make them better. It will make them kinder, more curious, happier, shining people. And I know somewhere in their commute or hustle or in a long line for some silly hipster city folk mess of a coffee, someone will just have to know. They will ask with sheer, burning curiousity where the kind soul next to them came from. And when my little answers they will be met with that same knowing gaze I encountered in my travels. And I know, I just know they will miss their home, if only for a second, and just as I was they will fill of gratitude, and be glad for their sandy start in this life.

 

g spruce fixed blue

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My Sandy Little Family

My house has a one to one people to dog ratio. When my boyfriend and I met he had two labs and shortly after we started dating I adopted a speckled little perfect mess of a mystery mutt. And then this last Christmas Eve we were blessed with our first little one, Brighty Jo. She is beautiful and perfect and smells like heaven and I never imagined a love like this. Not just the one I have desperately fallen in for my little girl but also a new love that was born for the man who gave her to me. I have always sort of gypsy’d around before settling down with Dylan. Before him I moved all over the country, working crazy jobs, living off of wild adventures and balanced chaos. Now here I am, all of that came to a grinding halt, the same stand still I have spent most of my time fearing; the monotony, the dull everydays, becoming stagnint, it is now my haven, my sanctuary. I remember wondering how people did it, the house, the marriage, the sameness, and now I find myself blissfully thriving in it. I feel a slight sting of embarrassment that I ever believed that this sort of life couldn’t be full; absolutely full, and bursting with love and truth and excitement. Dylan and I went to high school together, and in the sandy little beach town we grew up in that is saying something. Our school isn’t like the ones in the city with it’s masses of students, there are only about four hundred kids in the one high school in our town. He was a few years ahead of me, we had all of the same friends and somehow danced around each other for years. Like everyone who grew up in Seaside, we knew each other without really knowing each other; only because our lives had paralleled from elementary school on. When I graduated I found a cycle of living at home and moving away and coming home again. Only returning to work through the summers and save for my next adventure. After about five years of those same shenanigans I was in the midst of one of my living at home phases and in a pretty serious relationship. As was Dylan. Within the same six months we both had ended these live in relationships of the exact same length of each other and stumbled fatefully into each other. We met, really met and actually learned each other for the first time, baffled that we had shared the same bus route, places, and faces for literally YEARS and never discovered our surreal connection until then. We spent more and more time together and found a friendship and love that was unreal. It was wild that we had both been right there all along and complimented each other so well and yet never found each other sooner. It really reenforces the belief I have had for a long time that god gifts us the things we need but not until we are ready to appreciate, nurture, and protect those gifts. We have a shared love for so many things, biggest of all, this beautiful coastal town we call home, the sea, family, all of the simplest yet most thrilling parts of life. Our principles, faith, and beliefs matched beautifully. We were no doubt the rest of each other. Because we had both just ended serious relationships, that up until they fell apart we both thought would be indefinite, we decided the only wise thing to do was to take things slow. That went exactly as planned. Enter positive pregnancy test a month later. Surprise!

Woah.

It was news neither of us well, obviously expected, but also something neither of us could find a reason to go against. We had been dancing in this beautiful little routine of our love and had truly found a confidence and need for each other neither of us had found with anyone, or anything before. The calm sensation that met our hearts after the initial shock wore off was undeniable. We were having a baby. That is obviously the only thing a couple needs when they have three dogs between them after all. Oui. So here we are, we have a sweet home barely a mile from our ocean, a soul shakingly beautiful little girl, a home that we are slowly making our own and, of course, the three dogs. Sitka, Corona, and Coho. A tree, a kind of beer, and a type of salmon. Naturally, as the oregon coast natives that we are. We love our local coffee, our beach, surfing and skim boarding, making things for our home, cooking, hiking, collecting treasures on our morning beach walks, and all adventures for that matter. We are beach bums through and through, our house is a sandy little haven of us. I am so excited to share it with you and hopefully inspire you whether you are coastal creatures like us or city folk looking to escape a little, I urge you to join us, it’s gunna be an epic ride!

– Magical Chocolate Peanut Butter ‘get you a husband’ Cookies –

These amazing cookies earned their big promise title because I am pretty sure they lead to a life altering course of marriage and baby bearing for me.  My now soon to be husband and ‘baby daddy’ share a  serious love for anything that combines peanut butter and chocolate. When we discovered this shared appreciation for chocolate peanut butter matrimony when our love was still new I hit pinterest hard, determined to find THE chocolate peanut butter cookie of his dreams, alright, alright, and mine!  I never imagined I would discover a chunk of heaven quite like the one I found!  I wish I could give credit where credit is due but the secret place in cyber space where I first found this magic has since vanished. Luckily I wrote down a brief guideline of the recipe and have managed to recreate and even perfect it with a few changes. There was sheer panic throughout our home a few months ago when the tattered and peanut butter crusted sticky note holding the holy grail of cookies went missing, it was a terrifying hour or so.  So I thought it time to get it down in detail, and also thought it my duty to share with you, they are just too good to hold secret, all though that has been temping. The smell of these perfect little pieces of sweetness always take me back to the beginning of my man and I’s  love story, also a perfect little piece of sweetness. Which then lead to, you guessed it, another little perfect piece of sweetness (very shortly there after I might add) our perfect little girl Brightly Jo; The baby girl who absolutely defines the line sugar, spice and everything nice! So it is with a heavy warning, even a suggestion of ‘protected’ use of this recipe I pass it on to you! I just know it will become a staple in your home!

– Ingredients –

 

-2 cups flour

-1/2 tsp. baking soda

-6 tbs. peanut butter

-1 stick of butter

-1 cup brown sugar

-1/2 cup white sugar

-2 tsp vanilla extract

-1 egg, 1 egg yolk

-3/4 cup chocolate chips

-3/4 cup peanut butter chips

-Note: if you want more of a chocolate punch you can use 1 1/2 cups of chocolate chips, that is what the original recipe called for, I just prefer half and half.

– Directions –

– Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

– Mix Flour and Baking Soda together in a medium glass bowl, set aside.

– In a large glass bowl measure out the butter and peanut butter and butter and melt in the microwave, usually about thirty seconds stopping in the middle to stir, heat and stir until all the chunks have melted.

– Slowly stir brown and white sugars into butter/peanut butter mixture while still warm.

– Add vanilla extract, full egg, and egg yolk.

– Slowly mix flour and baking soda mixture in to liquid mix until combined.

– Then throw in the chocolate and peanut butter chips. I usually just work these through with my hands. Your dough will be dry and pretty crumbly, even hard to stick together, thats normal.

– Make dough in to 1 or 1 1/2 inch balls depending how big you want your cookies. Put balls on cookie sheet and bake for about 8 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Note: These cookies will not fall at all so they can be close together.They usually turn out to be big half circle cookies like the ones shown in my picture, if you want a flatter cookie you can smash them down a little with the flat side of a fork.

I hope you and who ever you decide to share with enjoy these little pieces of heaven, oh and if your luck is anything like mine, your life together! 🙂

– (Pictures to come soon!) –

Disclaimer: Cookies contain too good to be true tastes and may cause consumer to fall madly in love with you. Prepare and share with caution. Use only with people you want to see again as they will return, sooner than expected in most cases. The blog ‘Sitka Trees and Salty Seas’ and it’s owner are not responsible for any unwanted attention, relationships, or addictive side effects that these cookies may cause. Thank you.