“We, the people recognize that we have responsibilities as well as rights; that our destinies are bound together; that a freedom which asks only, what’s in it for me, a freedom without a commitment to others, a freedom without love or charity or duty or patriotism, is unworthy of our founding ideals, and those who died in their defense.

As citizens, we understand that America is not about what can be done for us. It’s about what can be done by us, together — through the hard and frustrating but necessary work of self-government. That’s what we believe.

So you see, the election four years ago wasn’t about me. It was about you. My fellow citizens — you were the change.”

This is why I’m voting for Obama come November. Not because he’s not Romney (a reason I’ve heard a lot lately), but because of the President he is, the President I believe he will be, and the work that I’ve witnessed first hand over the past four years.

Without his new plan, I wouldn’t have had healthcare last year.

His vision is the country I believe in — the country I want to live in — a place of collaboration and understanding, not of fear and self-serving policy.

Oh, he’s certainly not perfect. I’m aware of the mistakes he’s made, and continues to make. But when it comes down to it, I’m proud to call this man my president.

Things just feel better when I’m in Portland.

A shot of the mirror in the Ace Hotel from one of our Portland trips last year.

Last weekend was very needed. Taking a break from work helped. So did spending lots of time with one of my very best friends.

But it’s more than that. Whenever I go back to Oregon in the summer, I feel like the pace of life is so much more manageable. I find myself deeply breathing in the fresh air, and taking the time to just sit and observe — and be quiet. Meals are longer (outside if possible) and traffic moves a little slower (not because of congestion). The biggest rush is to get outside when the sun is shining, and then the rest of the day is lazily spent by the river. 

Don’t get me wrong, I love San Francisco. Wherever I end up in life, the Bay Area will always be my home. My heart belongs here. 

But nothing beats those warm, Oregon summer nights.

We’ve camped at the same place every summer since I was a baby. I know those bike paths, trails and hidden creeks as well as I know the backyard I grew up in.

When we were little, we spent an entire week up at Sugar Pine Point. The 4 hour drive seemed interminable — we’d snack on crackers and Capri Suns, itching to get out of the car. Once we finally pulled up to the campsite, we’d burst out of the car and beg our dad to take our bikes down so we could whiz around, handlebar streamers flying.

Hot afternoons were inevitably spent at the beach or the pier. I had thicker skin when I was little — I’d jump into the water with no fear, and spend hours in the icy lake. After crawling out, shivering, my sister and I would tackle the largest sandcastle known to man.

Nowadays, I look forward to the trip just as much — but we can only get away for a weekend. The drive feels shorter, but is just as much of a pain. I have to borrow my stepmom’s bike, and my days at the beach are spent trying to get a tan.

In some ways, it’s better. We sip beers around the campfire instead of hot cocoa — but still roast marshmallows for s’mores, of course — laughing about how weird we were when we were little, and how we’re all still completely weird now.

I fully intend on bringing my kids here one day. 

PS: Just for kicks, I had to post this amazing photo of Seth from camping 5 or so years ago. He will kill me for this one day:

Camp hair! He was the cutest. 


“Because secrets do not increase in value if kept in a gore-ian lockbox, because one’s past is either made useful or else mutates and becomes cancerous. We share things for the obvious reasons: it makes us feel un-alone, it spreads the weight over a larger area, it holds the possibility of making our share lighter. And it can work either way — not simply as a pain-relief device, but, in the case of not bad news but good, as a share-the-happy-things-I’ve-seen/lessons-I’ve-learned vehicle. Or as a tool for simple connectivity for its own sake, a testing of waters, a stab at engagement with a mass of strangers.” 
― Dave Eggers, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius

Fourth of July 2012 meant:

1. Going on a sunny motorcycle ride to Baker Beach

2. Failing to find a BBQ at said beach, so heading home to cook up our meal:

Buying the herbed butter was an amazing accident.

Salmon burgers with garlic, cilantro, teriyaki sauce and avocado; corn with herb butter; roasted asparagus; homemade ice cream sandwiches for dessert

3. Getting ridiculously full and dragging a blanket out to a quiet corner of Fort Mason for a long nap.

Kelly fell asleep in about 30 seconds.

4. Walking up to the tippy top of Russian Hill where we got a clear (and uncrowded) view of the fireworks from the Alice Marble tennis courts. 

Chain-linked view of the North Beach fireworks show


Weird things I like to do:

1. Wear my bathrobe for as long as possible after getting out of the shower.

2. Be the first person in my building to empty the trash after the trash guys come.

3. Organize my refrigerator so it looks pretty and full (even when it isn’t).

4.  Get fashion advice from hip kids on mommy blogs (Um, have you ever seen the girls at My Cakies? SO CUTE)

5. Google image search “cutest puppy ever,” “cutest kitty ever,” and “cutest bunny ever” on a regular basis.

6. Obsess over crossing out my daily to do list in my planner.

7. Write grocery lists weeks before I need to go shopping.

8.  Hum and talk to myself. Constantly.

9. Sing in front of the mirror with a hairbrush when Kelly’s not home (I’ve been doing this since the 3rd grade, and I’ll probably do it until I’m 100).

10. Yelp and Google a restaurant to death before going. Oh, and deciding what I’m going to order embarrassingly far in advance.