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Teepee Camping in Idaho

It’s been a wonderfully busy, full speed ahead first few months in our new state. We bought our first home, for starters. We are slowly working to make it our own through several home improvement projects. It’s a work in progress and we’ve pushed some projects back onto the back burner so that we could play and explore our new PNW home during these last few weeks of summer. I’m hoping to post a house tour to the blog soon once it’s a little more orderly ; )

This past week we drove up to Lake Pend Oreille in Idaho to go on a rad little camping adventure (edit: glamping, more like). We stayed on a private lakeside camp site complete with teepee, mini fridge, private dock, hot outdoor shower, privacy fence (perfect so Buster wouldn’t get out) and covered picnic table. It was pure bliss. A little slice of heaven that filled my soul to the brim : )

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Even with the smoke and haze from the Washington wildfires, Lake Pend Oreille still maintained its magical beauty.

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Everything about the camp site was a dream. And the owners, Billie and Mike were so sweet! They even brought us a couple of beers from their local brewery. We got talking and found out that Mike was a private pilot. It was fun talking about planes with them and a fun coincidence that Joe and Mike had piloting in common : )

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We were able to score a canoe on Craigslist for $150 a few weeks before this trip. We definitely lucked out!

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Even Buster started to like the canoe and took a few cat naps on it : )

Swimming and being in the water, on the other hand, not so much…

These next two photos pretty much sum up Buster’s feelings about swimming. He loves that ball too!

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“I need it. Too far. Nope. Never mind. It’s gone : ( ”

Oh Buster. He needs a swimming doggy to teach him to swim lol.

Morning coffee while watching the sunrises come up over the mountains was one of our favorite rituals of this trip.

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We grilled, took in the gorgeous views, went into town for some huckleberry ice cream, paddled, napped, relaxed on the dock, jumped off the dock, and slept under the stars in an amazing teepee on the water. This place was such a gem it was hard to leave.

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Overall, an epic first camping trip in my book! We cannot wait for our next camping adventure : )

New Year’s Resolution (in a nutshell) – My One Word for 2015

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I’m the kind of person that makes countless little lists of all the small and big things I want to accomplish over the year, week, or day. The majority of the not so pressing bullet points fade into a distant afterthought as time progresses and the craziness of life takes hold.

This year I wanted to try something new. Inspired by some of my favorite bloggers, I’ve decided to give #onelittleword a whirl. In 2015, my heart is set on balance. Creating a balanced & intentional focus on life in the new year.

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Until a short time ago, balance seemed a fickle enough concept to easily dismiss. With all my brain space being occupied by my to-do list & other seemingly pressing responsibilities. There was no time for reflection. But lately, I finally realized I’ve been neglecting what I crave most: creating a balanced, intentional & healthy lifestyle.

A few facets I hope to cultivate balance in, in 2015 –
In work and family life;
In physical & emotional well being;
In simplifying the clutter & practicing frugality, in order to lead a more intentional & meaningful life;
In practicing self love over self deprecation;
In stepping outside of that warm & toasty comfort zone;
In not sweating the small stuff;
In gratitude & contemplation;
In saying no sometimes, in order to say yes to what matters.

Through all of life’s little storms and through smooth sailing, I hope to pursue balance this year and make those small, but meaningful everydays count.

Happy 2015, friends!

“Happiness is not a matter of intensity, but of balance and order and rhythm and harmony.”

– Thomas Merton

Our next adventure

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Tomorrow is a big day for us. We finally find out which plane Joe will fly and where we will be stationed next! I can hardly believe it! Joe has worked so diligently to complete pilot training, and while these two years in Oklahoma haven’t been the easiest, I feel immensely blessed to be here with him and am so proud of how much he’s accomplished. Now, onward to our next adventure with a hearty yes!

What a busy season it’s been!

Now that the holiday season is winding down a bit, I hope I am not so horrible at keeping up this blog in the coming year! Here are some highlights of what we’ve been up to these last few months.

The end of October greeted us with news of Joe’s track select – he tracked T1s and will be flying heavies in the near future.

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However, a broken foot soon after track select pushed him back two classes. The up-side: a month’s vacation.

I got accepted to my first-ever craft show, Indie Emporium in Tulsa.

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Joe worked his butt off helping me with preparations for it.

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We went back to New Hampshire for Thanksgiving. A wonderful few days with family and friends.

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Got our first decent-sized Christmas tree.

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Buster likes to give it the occasional kiss.

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Indie Emporium was a success for a first-time craft show! Loved meeting new people and getting to see so many talented, local vendors.

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Spotted one of my Instagram photos in the Indie Emporium gallery!

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Huge thanks to my hubby and partner in crime for all his help! Could not have done it without you!

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I can now check off “participate in a craft show” off my bucket list! A great way to end the year!

New Hampshire Getaway

Fall is finally here! Which means crisp air, turning leaves and pumpkin spice lattes! October also means we’ve been in Oklahoma for a year now. Can’t believe how quickly time has flown! Joe completed T6s almost two weeks ago now and we set off for a much needed New Hampshire getaway last Friday.

We’re so glad we got to get back for a little bit to spend time with family and enjoy the peak of the Fall season. It’s hard to believe how much we took for granted while we lived there. Living in Oklahoma has given us a newfound appreciation of New England, its beauty and convenient proximity to everything you could want from a place. Beaches, mountains, lakes, and major cities; all within an hours drive away. Ah New England, you really can’t get more awesome.

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Because our time there was short, the plan was to get some New England activities into our schedule. We started off our first full day with a trip to UNH for our hangover ritual JB from Franz’s. One of the best parts of college without a doubt. Reluctant Sunday morning wake-ups after a weekend of drinking was only made possible by the glowing promise of a delicious JB breakfast burrito – an orgasmic combination of eggs, hash browns, bacon and ketchup wrapped in a flour tortilla. YUM.

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Apple picking at Applecrest Farms was another must. We lucked out and picked a beautiful day for it. Started off our morning right with some cider donuts and apple cider. Mm mm. I’ve never been much of a donut fan, but LOVED their famous cider donuts. Their slight crunch and subtle sweetness of cider made them oh so delicious. A perfect quick snack before heading off to the orchards for some apple picking.

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After we filled our bag with all the varieties of apples, we grabbed a quick lunch – hamburgers and calm chowder – and made our way to the coast. Being land-locked in Oklahoma sure does make you miss the ocean. And fresh seafood.

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Next stop: Portsmouth. I love how unique Portsmouth is. There’s really nothing quite like it anywhere. Brick buildings, the salty harbor breeze, all the awesome little shops and great dining. It’s the quintessential New England town and I miss it so when in Oklahoma.

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We made sure to eat at our two favorite restaurants in Portsmouth: Flatbread’s and The Friendly Toast. Hands down best pizza and best breakfast places. I love that Flatbread uses organic, locally sourced ingredients and cooks their pizza in a brick oven. It’s a bit pricey, but the care they put into getting such awesome ingredients makes for the tastiest pizza I’ve ever eaten.

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The Friendly Toast, on the other hand, is a quirky, little breakfast joint that has the best and biggest toast (the Jalapeño-Chedder toast is highly recommended!) and amazing omelets. They are the only place I know of that adds cashews, pecans and other nuts to their omelets (one word: amazing). Their portions are pretty huge so Joe and I would usually share if we weren’t feeling like a big breakfast.

Hiking was another activity high on the list. Joe and I love to hike and since there are hardly any mountains in Oklahoma, the absence of weekend hikes has left a small hole in our hearts. We set aside a morning/early afternoon for a quick hike in the lakes region. It was a beautiful Fall day. There’s nothing quite like being surrounded by a forest of deep oranges, reds and yellows, leaves littering the ground. The slightest rustle of wind would come through the trees and fallen leaves would dance their way to the ground. Fall hikes are the best hikes. We even encountered a cute little snake friend!

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A few other highlights from our stay:

Lobster rolls from The Tuckaway Tavern

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Catching up with friends ❤

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Walking around the beautiful UNH campus

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Quick stop by the Lamprey River to admire the foliage

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And last but not least, the adorably feisty Milo

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It was a successful and relaxing trip to say the least! Already missing it like crazy!

September Updates and Internet Favorites

As September rapidly winds down to a close, I realize that we’ve been in Oklahoma for almost a year! That went by fast. While it hasn’t been the most eventful month, September has flown by just as quickly as this year has. The first weekend of September, Buster and I kept each other company while Joe set off to do his cross country. He left Friday afternoon for San Antonio, TX. They were initially planning on going to Houston the next night, but due to weather they flew up to Dallas and back again to San Antonio before coming home Sunday evening.

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Parked T6s in Dallas

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In flight

The most exciting part of Joe being done with his cross country is that he is so close to being finished with T6s! He passed his instruments check ride about a week ago and has his formation check ride and two low level flights before he is completely finished. The next big event is track select on October 21st!

As for me, it’s become very clear that I was not raised in the South. While I love living here with Joe and having our own place to call home, Enid, Oklahoma leaves a lot to be desired, especially for my career and future in the environmental field. I hope our next move brings us closer to a major city with more wealth of opportunities. However, in the meantime, I am grateful that I’ve found things to keep me busy. My Etsy shop has been more successful than I had ever imagined. I’m coming up on my 50th sale! I also applied to my first craft show in December! I hear back if I’m accepted on October 7th (fingers crossed!)

I’m looking forward to the weekend and hoping to go into the city tomorrow. We haven’t gotten out of Enid at all this month and we definitely need to! We’ll also be watching the final episode ever of Breaking Bad on Sunday! Can’t believe our favorite show is ending 😦

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Here are some of my favorite finds from around the web to close out the week:

Dying to try this Fall recipe with some antibiotic-free pork!

Amazing new Chipotle ad makes me love them even more ❤

This video makes me wish I could be a bird.

These candles smell amazing! Can’t wait to try the Fall seasonal!

This makes me want to jump in some leaves with Buster (hurry up and be Fall Oklahoma!)

Have a great weekend! Xo

Buster Turns 1!

September has gotten off to a busy start! Last Monday was Buster’s first birthday. We were lucky it fell on Labor Day, so we could be home to spend the day with him. There hasn’t been a dull moment in Buster’s first year of existence. He’s evolved from a tiny, shy and scared puppy to a 60 lb. rambunctious and lovable guard dog. He’s been a handful at times and his insatiable desire to eat everything including rocks, grass, dirt, chew toys and paper towels to name a few) has gotten him into trouble several times. We jokingly doubted he would make it to 1 with all his trouble-making tendencies, but we are happy he did! Our lives would be boring and incomplete if Buster wasn’t there to spice it up with his ridiculous personality. To celebrate his 1 year of life and our joy of being the owners of a truly unique dog, I made him a birthday cake and Joe prepared him a steak. He’s so spoiled, but we love him that much ❤

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A few oldies and newer photos in my attempt to capture his dazzling personality.

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Our Buster ❤

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A Day in Denver

It’s hard to believe that almost three weekends ago we were in Denver (I’ve been terrible about keeping up with this blog!) I guess spending 23 hours in a new place is not nearly enough, but it was a refreshing break from Enid and UPT and 100% worth it.

We decided to make the most of our day in Denver by driving an hour out of the city to Mount Evans, the tallest auto road in North America. Sitting at 14,260 ft, it’s the highest point we’ve ever set foot on and the furthest west I’ve ever been. Since we don’t see mountains very much anymore, living in Oklahoma and all, Mount Evans was a must.

We ascended the 14,000 ft giant, taking in the lush green scenery, glowing in the sunlight after a rain. Reminiscent of home in New England. The road was narrow with not a single guard rail. Brave bicyclists would intermittently pass by, on their way down the mountain. The views were incredible. Thick forests of fir and spruce trees to one side, and steep, barren slopes of rock to the other. We would pass occasional flat areas with stretches of alpine scrub and small lakes, the result of glacial melt. We made it to the top in under an hour. It was about 52 degrees F. We climbed the short path up to the summit where our eyes were greeted with 360 degree views of rolling mountain-scapes and puffy, freshly-formed clouds. Perfection.

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The way down was even more surreal. We watched as clouds formed and rose along the mountain side, high enough up to drive right through them. We looked down on lightning bolts that struck beneath us and watched as a rainbow was born and lazily arched its way across the mountain tops. So much wonder in a 2 hour drive up and down a mountain!

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Throughout the course of a few hours, we saw 4 rainbows – a treat in itself. It poured one minute and was bright and sunny the next. The weather reminded me of being in New Zealand. Never a dull moment when you’re so close to mountains.

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We made it back to the city just in time for the Dave concert. Snoop Dogg opened, which was interesting and unexpected, and DMB put on an amazing show as always. The set list was a bit lackluster at times. We were hoping for more of their classics rather than newer stuff, but it was great regardless. The encore and Two Step finale definitely made the show.

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The next morning we were on the plane back to OKC. Not before buying the best beef jerky ever – Climax Jerky. We got some when we arrived and had to buy some before we left, of course.

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Our short but sweet mini-getaway was just what we needed. We can’t wait for our next adventure!

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