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New Year, Birthdays and Resolutions

Ok, I’m joining the ranks of fellow bloggers who are writing New Years posts.  I’ll even include some resolutions – although I wrote my 28 resolutions/goals before I turn 29 just a few days ago.

Let me just begin to say, that although my birthdays have been fun since I was born, today… well yesterday (they all seem to blur) took the cake for sure! Seriously, my birthday has to be one of the most fun birthdays in the world.  Its a holiday, but its a choice holiday.  What I mean by that is you get to choose who you spend it with.  Its not an obligatory “must be spent with family” like Christmas or Thanksgiving, nor is like Valentines where you need a sweetie, nor is it like Halloween where you have to dress up.  Yet it can be all of those things if you want. The only real requirement is that you stay up way past your bed time (which is cool at any age) and there are lovely beverages abounding if you’re old enough and into that.  My parents were so awesome this Christmas (when are they not) and said that instead of a physical gift they wanted to get Randy and I a memory.  So we threw out some ideas of what would be fun and wound up on a night at McMenamins Edgefield for NYE.

Shortly after a hot buttered rum, we learned about these new passports that the McMenamins are doing.  (if you’re not from around Oregon/Washington, McMenamins are a local company of restaurants, pubs, breweries, wineries, distilleries, hotels, spas, theaters, awesomeness).  So these passports prompt you to tour around the Edgefield facility (because its so big @ 70+ acres) to see the different bars and amenities to collect stamps. Then outside of edgefield you tour all the other McMenamins and search for photo clues, and other such things in a giant adult scavenger hunt.   Its such a grand idea not only for their business, but there is so much to see at these places, and I probably would have never taken as much time as I did to really absorb it all in.

So here is the cool part.  Once you collect stamps in a particular area you get a prize.  Then they have these things called “experiences.” They can be something like playing pool, doing a beer flight, or wine flight, or staying the night at one of the hotels or soaking in the soaking pool.  Once you collect four of those experience stamps, you get a twenty dollar gift card.  And you can collect up to 16 experiences!!!  $80 !!  Then once you’ve filled your passport, you get 3 nights at one of their hotels, happy hour prices for a year, and 2 concert tickets! Serious! No joke! I’m pumped.

photo 1-22

This was our room. They have unique murals, writings and hand painted boarders in all the bed rooms, bathrooms and hallways.

photo 2-21

This used to be an elderly home, then a poor farm and now its a hotel.  Many of the murals depict what Edgefield used to be.

photo 3-17

On of our clues on our passport scavenger hunt.

photo 2-22

Soaking pool

photo 4-13

Boiler room @KennedySchool McMenamins.  Once we left Edgefield, we totteled all over town collecting stamps and experiences.  Tasted whiskey, brandy, beer, and wound up at Kennedy School – an old elementary school in NE Portland.  This boiler room bar is amazing to look at! Pipes, furnaces and fixtures galore.

photo 1-23

This is my new favorite wine! Spicy, black pepper taste.
photo 3-18Whiskey tasting.

Ok so that was a lot of pictures.  As you can probably tell, it was an amazing two days filled with amazing memories, great food, and great drink.

Now lets get down to business – ok, I’ll keep it short and sweet.  This last year, I had really made an effort into exploring whole-eatting, clean eating, paleo eating.  I love it. It is for me.  I’ve made the life style change… kind of.  I keep getting pulled back toward things that aren’t necessarily bad in the short term, but they don’t help me get to where I want to be.

I’ve been toying with the idea of doing a whole 30 challenge for a long time now and just never got around to it.  But I’d like to start.  Read more about here.

 I feel really really cliche wanting to do this at the start of the new year, but really there is no better time than the present, and everyone else is doing it, so hopefully there will be less pressure to not do it, and … big one… the holidays are over!

So my plan is, for January, I will be eating whole foods.  Real foods.  Lots of vegetables, good meats, healthy fats, nuts and loads of water.   Like I said, I eat like this 80% of the time.  But I have some goals I’d like to accomplish – more on that later, and it is that 20% that is keeping me back.  So for January, I plan to do this.  And in turn, you get to read all about it on my blog.  I want to post about my journey on this self-involved “challenge” on my blog so that people can read about it – be inspired. So that I have a reason to blog. And to hold myself accountable.  Join me if you want – read along with me – encourage me – tell me what you’ve done right/wrong if you’ve done whole 30 before – ect.

After two days like today, its going to be a bit rough go for the next few days.  At least I know what I’m doing… having done this for a while now – I’m just upping the aunty.

Sorry that wasn’t so short and sweet.  Thanks for sticking with it.



About Katie Matheny

I am a teacher by day, and a wanna-be chef by night. I teach art and Spanish at a small school in Salem, Oregon to a fantastic group of soon-to-be world changers. I've loved cooking since I was a kid, and day dreamed while reading Betty Crocker's giant cookbooks. They were my picture books! I also work with a local non-profit that is doing some amazing things in Haiti. I have an amazing husband who I love to pieces. I love and serve Jesus, my King, and am striving to be a better example of who He is in myself. This is my life, in a few short words every-so-often. I hope you enjoy.

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