Christmas is two days away. It's in the 30s outside, and has been for weeks. I'm plotting my resolutions for 2018. But for just a hot second, I'm going to take a step back and remember Fall 2017. Because while I'm okay (sometimes) at documenting summer, I'm especially bad at documenting everything that happens in my life during the school year.
And while this school year has been pretty epic so far, regular life has been, too. And even though our political world is a fiery hellscape, it's okay to still enjoy the moments of your life that are good. And there was a lot of good in my world this year. Here are the top moments of the last few months, that I couldn't narrow down to just five.
7. Camping Trip at the Coast
While this summer was excellent, one of the things we felt it lacked was adequate trips to the coast. So we took a trip in September, for a night of camping at Cape Lookout. This weekend was particularly memorable because it was the first time Kathy and I felt brave enough to let Fury off leash at the beach. She was a notorious escape artist in our early days of owning her, and she is a fast little bugger, three legs and all. Plus, in the past we've never had dogs friendly enough to be let off leash, so the concept is new to us. Also, we are generally rule abiding, nervous people. But especially with her best friend Tegan at her side, she was perfect. We sat on the beach long enough to watch the sun set and these two had the time of their lives.
It was also the first time we had gone tent camping with the dogs, and the first time I attempted to do some fancier camp cooking than hot dogs and s'mores. The dogs did great, my camp cooking skills, not so much. But it's fine, because hot dogs and s'mores are awesome and will continue to be so on all future camping trips!
The second day of this trip was marred a bit by Tegan rolling herself in a decaying seal carcass on the beach in the morning, making everything that she touched, like us and our belongings and the car, smell like decaying seal carcass for the rest of the day. It wasn't great. But that first day on the beach was!
If you had told me twenty years ago that I'd still be seeing Hanson in concert today and still having a blast at said concerts....yeah, I probably would have believed you.
In addition to this concert, Hanson came out with a new Christmas album this year. What a world!
5. Fun Home
Manda scored us tickets this fall to Fun Home at the Armory. The Armory is one of my favorite places in Portland. Just being there makes me feel so fancy and cultured. We had all already spent hours of our lives listening to "Ring of Keys" and crying in our cars, but we had never seen the production in person. I was blown away by all the actors, but especially the kids, one of whom we saw getting dropped off by his mom on the sidewalk outside the theater before the show. Like he was just getting dropped off for a friend's sleepover. Totally normal kid thing to do.
We are so lucky to have Alison Bechdel, and I am so lucky to have seen this.
4. YQY Tour
We saw Phoebe Robinson & Ilana Glazer at Revolution Hall, one of the hippest places I have ever been, on a Friday night. While I love my job, like most people at their jobs, I have to be a somewhat restrained version of myself there. Sitting high up in the balcony of Revolution Hall with a drink in my hand, laughing my ass off to these two badass feminist babes, was one of the most freeing Friday nights I've ever had. I felt happy, blissfully in the moment, and just truly myself. It is so comforting to be surrounded by a crowd of people who share the same vision of the world as you do.
I didn't get any good shots of the show, but I did take the above photo in the bathroom afterwards, which is just as good.
3. Vancouver Trip
I am always up for a trip to Vancouver, a city that actually feels diverse and cosmopolitan in comparison to its two biggest American neighbor cities to the south (that's us, Portland and Seattle). I am also always up for a trip to Canada in general, where things are in meters and liters and there's a lot of French and you can get British candy bars in the grocery stores, and you can comfort yourself knowing you're in the land of Trudeau! Listen, progressive Canadians, I know you have some problems with Trudeau, but as a citizen currently being led by that other guy I refuse to name on here who is leading the entire world toward its downfall, I legit do not care.
Anyway, this trip was especially fun because we were going to see an international lady soccer game for the first time ever! A friendly between USA and Canada at BC Place. Of course, we almost didn't get there because I didn't realize my passport was expired until the morning we were leaving. Whoooops! But luckily, the people who work at the Seattle Passport Agency are in fact SAINTS. Even the security guards were nice. Not everything in the USA is awful!
My verdict about the game was that Thorns games are way more fun. #ClubOverCountry, but, would do again. We also got to walk over a new (to us) suspension bridge, visit a sweet 1970s style conservatory, go to a fancy hibachi restaurant for the first time, drink the worst iced tea of my life at the weirdest Dutch restaurant, and play board games with Ash and Ilea at our odd yet enjoyable Airbnb. All in all, not a shabby way to spend a weekend.
2. Ash & Kelly Gettin' Hitched
I have never been to a wedding where the toasts went on SO LONG. I have also never been to a wedding where I loved EVERY SINGLE SECOND OF THEM more. The outpouring of love for these two broads was just so palpable and 100% relate-able. I felt honored to be a part of this goddamn beautiful wedding. And getting to see friends like Meredith and Zoe whom we hadn't seen in too long was so fantastic and just necessary.
I had never hung out much in the Georgetown area of Seattle where the wedding was held, and I loved it. I loved our hotel and laughing way too hard with the entire Moran family the night before. The whole wedding felt close to the epic-ness of my own family weddings. Because these people are family. Also, HAM SALAD.
I don't know if you know, but the Portland Thorns won the NWSL Championship this year. Hahaha, it's funny because anyone who knows me at all would know this because I COULDN'T SHUT UP ABOUT IT. The Thorns were so much of my 2017. They deserve their own blog entry, an entry I've been writing in my head for a few years now, but to accurately capture what they mean to me feels daunting at this point.
We watched the championship game at the official viewing party at Punch Bowl Social, and it was a mess because they were so unprepared for how many people showed up. When will people stop underestimating women's soccer? But by the end of the game I didn't care. I was so full of happiness I could burst. We welcomed the team at the airport the next day. We went to the official celebration at Providence Park the next night, even if it was appropriated by Timbers fans. But the best moment was the moment when they won, when everyone in the bar screamed, and little boys and old ladies alike all danced and high fived.
This year was special, and it's heartbreaking knowing it was the last with Nadim and Henry, and that it was the season we said goodbye to Shim. Hopefully, as next season gets closer, we won't lose anyone else. But the future players who are inspired by this team, and the future of a league that's inspired by our attendance numbers and loyalty, that's only going to get better and better. I can't wait for it. PTFC, BAON, RCTID.