Taking the Scenic Route

Picnic White Sands National Monument


Over the past few years as I’ve been getting to know my husband I’ve learned a lot. I’ve learned about myself and how I want to be. I was thinking about all of the things he’s taught me while we headed out and about the other evening.

You see, I am a control freak who loves to pack as much into one trip as humanly possible. I am the person you’ll find with arms full of crap hauling more than I should to make less trips. I love to find the most efficient way of doing things and in the quickest amount of time. Some call it a sickness, I call it a gift.

This particular evening his idea was to sweeten our time together with a trip to our amazing local ice cream shop. True to form, I threw in an added step of taking our dogs to the newly opened dog park. As he often does with my scheming, he agreed with effortless calm. And, off we went.

While we were driving away from the ice cream shop (he had an Oreo or cookie dough shake – I can’t remember which and I had huckleberry ice cream) I started wondering, as I often do, why he wasn’t taking the most direct and quickest route to the new dog park. It wasn’t just indirect; we were headed in the complete opposite direction of where we needed to go.

He must be developing a spidey sense of what I’m thinking because he’s getting better and better at anticipating my comments, questions or remarks. Within an instant of me swallowing my bite of ice cream in preparation to ask “Where are we going?” he turned to me and said “I’m taking the scenic route.” It impressed me that he headed me off on the topic at my thought process and knew exactly what I wanted to hear. I mean, who does that?

I spent the next several minutes becoming annoyed with the inefficiency of our route and the amount of time we would waste taking it. Then, it hit me. Who freaking cares? Why was I in such a hurry to spend quality time with my family in a different way than I had previously planned in my head? Did it matter that we spent more time together in the car taking a scenic drive? Does it matter where and how you get your quality time in? The answer, in case you haven’t figured it out yet is: No. It does not.

I shamed myself a bit over my initial reaction. I have always reacted this way when someone isn’t doing exactly what I thought the “best” way. It’s stupid and selfish, I know. Then I decided that there’s a reason why we surround ourselves with others. It isn’t to have people that think and act exactly as we do, it’s to have influences to help us continue growing and learning. Enter my husband stage right.

He teaches me patience, calmness, forgiveness, kindness and most importantly on this night, he taught me to enjoy the scenic route. After I accepted his proposal to wander off my almighty course I relaxed and settled in. As he drove, I watched the sun kiss and hug its way through the buildings and the trees. I watched the people we passed. I noticed the homes we drove by and beheld their exterior design. I enjoyed my aimless meandering in my own mind. In the end, I enjoyed every single second of my renewed perspective on our current path.

I’ve thought about that night for several days now. It makes me wonder what other paths I put myself on that should have been scenic routes instead. It’s something I will try to keep in mind as I move forward with all decisions in life. Since it is against my nature I know I will struggle. Luckily, I have a wonderful partner who compliments my personality with his. Lead on my handsome wanderer…lead on.



  • I had THE best southwest chicken salad for lunch. Yum!
  • I’m throwing a friend an 80’s bachelorette party on Saturday. I’m dreaming of all the makeup looks I can put together. 🙂
  • For Labor Day we’re going out to the lake with my mom’s side of the family. I’m so excited to spend the day with them. I’m very ready for a long weekend!
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Voices of Faith Devotional Bible



Today’s post comes right from my hotel room in Sin City.  As ironic as it is, I’m going to tell you today about the devotional bible I’ve been using since the beginning of the year.




I’ve never been consistent with any daily devotions but I have always believed in the power of a spiritual balance to each day.  So, for the first time ever I am trying to have almost daily devotions for my faith.



I purchased this Voices of Faith Devotional Bible from my local Hastings at the beginning of the year with Christmas money I received.  I picked it out of all the others because it adds commentary from historical figures as well as current figures in Christianity.  It also guides you through a section of scripture which happily starts with Genesis Chapter 1 and moves you through the entire bible in a year.  I was very excited to find this would take me from beginning to end of the bible throughout the course of my study.  Also, this was a weekday daily devotional with a weekend devotion.  Although I don’t think it’s a bad thing to devote time every single day it is nice to be able to take a break on one day during the weekend.  I usually end up doing my weekend devotional on Saturday since I get spiritual enrichment on Sunday too.


I haven’t missed a day until this last week when I was battling influenza.  It’s been a long time since I’ve been that sick and it took me the entire week to recover.  I decided to table the entire week of devotion after losing the first three days.  I am thirsty to pick it back up tomorrow and get back into my study.

Have a great week!



  • I am in Vegas for work this week.  I’m enjoying the very nice client and the warm weather but missing my sweetheart and puppies more than I can express.
  • I am in constant awe of the fountains at the Belagio hotel here.
  • Less than 2 months until I get married to the best man I’ve ever known!!!
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Planning Ahead



Each New Year brings about new resolutions.  The desire to plan more effectively or gain control over one’s life via more organization seems to be among the top resolutions that are made.

I did not make a resolution to get my life more organized.  I did, however, decide that part of my general uneasiness over the last few weeks is largely due to the fact that I’m not back to work full-time yet and have no real point or schedule to each day.  I decided to take matters into my own hands and generate a new scheduling mechanism.

For years I have been a wide supporter of electronic calendars and storage of information.  After taking some time off from work these last few months I am enjoying my distance from electronic devices.  Seeing that all of my personal matters are rather difficult to store in my phone, I decided to combine my 5 email calendars and photos of my fiancé and family’s schedules.

I opted to buy an old school planner and try to use it for a few months and see how I like this method of scheduling and managing myself outside of work.   I found this discounted class planner at Kmart.  It is one of the planners that goes from August-July instead of all calendar year.  If I like this method in a few months I’ll search for a planner that is for the calendar year 2015.


I love the owl on the rear cover. IMG_1113


I’m using a fun patterned binder clip to clip the months August 2014-December 2014 together since I don’t have any plans to plan for the past.  😉  Congratulations if you followed that silly humor.  I then use a small paper clip to flip quickly from the monthly calendar to the weekly one.


I also color coded many of the activities I want to track.  This will help me quickly look at the schedule to see when Chris is working, when I want to blog or film for YouTube or to see when other personal items come due.


I’m only on day 2 but I’m loving a return of scheduling and structure to my day.  I’ll likely work on a follow-up post on how this is working out.  Have a great week!



  • Is anyone else planning/organizational obsessed?  I feel like I’m spinning out of control without an agenda or task list.
  • I made fondue for Chris last night.  It was his first time having fondue.  I think he liked it.  🙂
  • I’m seriously considering joining a Zonta e-Club.  I’m so excited to get back into Zonta.  Its worth checking out what Zonta does at www.zonta.org.
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Deer Me




On Saturday while chatting with my mom around the table we noticed a small pack of deer crossing the creek behind the house.  I ran into my office and grabbed the camera.  They were so beautiful against the frosty backdrop and so elegant while walking and crossing the ice.

We had a fantastic Christmas with tons of love, laughs and good times.  I am taking some time today to recuperate, however.  Even the best Christmases can be exhausting!  I hope these images help you unwind a bit in your mind too.














  • I’m not sure that yoga class has ever felt as good as the one I took this morning!  I must have needed it!
  • I was worried that my gym membership ran out at the end of December.  I found out this morning that it ends at the end of January!  Wahoo!  I love my routine these days.
  • Let me know your favorite Christmas memory.
  • We’re in another cold snap today.  With windchill it currently feels like -20 degrees.  Its only going to get colder.  Brrr.  Time to make some soup!


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Walking in a Winter Wonderland


I took the dogs for a walk the other day at a local park.  It had been foggy the night before so the overnight freezing temperatures coated everything in a beautiful frost.  I couldn’t resist snapping a few pictures.






While we walked I saw Violet itching to break out into a full sprint and play until she dropped.  She’s always been the more active pup of the two.  This year, however its been a bit different.  Denali has a confirmed tear in his ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) in his back left knee.  He’s been hobbling around for a while but the vet confirmed the tear last week.  He will need surgery and 12 weeks of recovery to get back to a working knee.

As we walked at the park that day I saw him happy but working hard for each stride and step.  I could see Violet’s excitement to play with her brother and run and eat snow…but Denali couldn’t keep up.  He knew he was limited and needed to take it easy.

It made me think about how many times I’ve been with others who wanted to run ahead and put in a full force effort and I just wasn’t able to.  I flashed back to being with Chris in Alaska and trying to climb a trail and having a very hard time.  You know what though?  He waited.  Every.  Time.  He took care of me.  He asked if I needed breaks.  Although I encouraged him to go ahead without me he said no.  He told me he’d rather wait with me than be hiking up without me.

For some reason that day Violet seemed to finally understand that Denali couldn’t run and play with her.  So, she walked with him.  Sure she’d run ahead just a bit but she always came back to check on him.

In this season of holidays I find myself ever more thankful for all of those who stand by my side and support me when I can’t keep up or when I’m down on my luck.  Without them stopping to take breaks and take care of me I’d be a lot worse off.  I know I’m lucky and blessed.  I want you to know I’m also so incredibly thankful.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!



  • There’s a killer storm trying to roll in.  The wind is just blowing like crazy out there.
  • I’m preparing to host for Christmas.  My favorite part is preparing to host for my furry guests too.  🙂
  • I think it’s time for something warm to drink.  That wind is making me feel cold even though I’m inside!
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O Christmas Tree


Through the moves over the years, the apartment living and being single neither Chris or I had a very nice Christmas tree option.  Since we moved into the new house at the beginning of December we thought it would be nice to buy a new tree for the new house and start our own holiday traditions.  To that end, one cold dark Black Friday morning my sister and I headed to Home Depot to purchase new trees.  Our mom had seen the special on this Martha Stewart Living Tree and that it would be more than $100 off!  Since every little bit helps when you’re moving into a new home we agreed this would be the perfect tree for our new place.  My sister needed a new tree too and ended up getting the same one!  I love that.

There were several attractive features about the tree right away.  First, it comes in 3 sections.  No color-coded branches to align; no cords to plug in.  You literally stack the parts together in order, fluff the branches and plug it in.  Nice, right?!

The second cool and completely unnecessary feature was that the lights are remote controlled.  I have a few tree sensors that can time the lights to come on or help turn them on quickly but we get quite a kick out of having a remote controlled tree.

Thirdly, the lights are LED and come in white or multi-colored.  The tree itself has 3 settings:  alternating white & multicolored with flashing, all white or all multi-colored.  We have tried all three options.  I’m beginning to prefer the white lights during the day and the multicolored at night.  As you can see from the pictures the multicolored lights add so much saturated color to the room at night.  There’s even a Northern Lights affect on the ceiling!


I slowed my shutter speed on my camera, turned the tree on the white & multicolored flashing setting and captured what the tree would look like if you could turn both the white and multicolored on at the same time.



At the end of the day we are in love with the new tree.  We can’t wait to have our families over on Christmas to enjoy it with us.

I thought it would be fun to include a few of our favorite Christmas tree ornaments in this post as well.  We have more, of course, but these are just a few that we love.







We took a vacation to Maui in October 2013.  Last Christmas we bought this ornament to remember that trip.


Chris and I love going to concerts and were able to attend several in 2013.  He also plays the drums so we thought this would be fitting to remember both of those fun life events.


When Chris returned to our hometown his mom purchased this ornament for him and his little apartment tree.


When we first started dating he fell in love with my Keurig.  (You thought I was going to stay me, didn’t you?!?) 😉  One of our favorite things to do is have morning coffee and start the day together.  Since we were long distance I bought him a Keurig machine for his apartment and at the end of the year we both ended up buying this same ornament for each other.  Yes, we have two of them.  His and Hers Keurigs.   I think its adorable.


This is one of Chris’ favorite ornaments and reminds him of some times he’s spent in Vegas.


My wonderful friend Judy gave me this White House Historical Society ornament one year for Christmas.  It is such an intricate piece.  I love the history it represents.  I would like to start collecting these and have a tree full of them each year.  The create a new ornament every year and only so many are made.  Now that I think about it…maybe I shouldn’t advertise this and encourage other’s to buy a limited amount of what I want too!  Haha.



  • I can clearly see the Rocky Mountains from my office window today.  I LOVE THIS VIEW!
  • I am going shopping with my mom tonight for one last Christmas present and then I’ll be ready!  🙂
  • Christmas cards are starting to roll in. I love seeing friends and family’s special moments throughout the year!


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Home Sweet Home



Hello again!  My apologies for being gone for several weeks.  I am finally settled into our new home, decorated for Christmas and ready to get back to full-time work.  In the meantime I thought I’d share with you some quick snapshots of the house decor at this point.  I’ll get more posts up now through the end of the year and continue to show more and more of the house.

The picture above is of the decorations on my dinning room table.  For some reason every single berry ornament/decor I have for Christmas has been sheered off during their storage this past year.  I suspect its due to a severely disgusting infestation of mice at my last rental house.  All I’ll say is I’m so incredibly thankful I moved!

I like to recycle my 3-wick Bath & Body Works candle containers and use them for cactus or succulent planters.  It’s a quick and easy way to up-cycle while adding some greenery to your space.  This view is looking out onto the creek from our kitchen window.



This adorable tree is still holding its berries which provides a beautiful contrast during the snow.  This view is looking down on the tree from our upper balcony.


I love how this palm plant that we graciously accepted from Chris’ grandma’s funeral plays into the wood blinds and Christmas greenery that we used on top of the curtain rods.  We haven’t decided on decor for each room as of this post so we chose to not put up many curtains or wall decor until after the holidays.


My moment of panic during the unpacking process came when I could not find my beloved Crosley Record Player that Chris gave me for my birthday this year.  I finally remembered our decision I discussed above to not put up regular decor in the living room until after Christmas was taken down.  This gem was at the bottom of the living room decor box I stored away.  I was so incredibly relieved to find it and get it set up.  Having several Christmas albums has made this season even more special.  (Please excuse my Wii cords in the background.)



And finally for today I’ll share with you the first glance out my office/craft room window upstairs.  It snowed a little last night and re-froze the creek behind the house.  Our property looks over the creek and the empty un-developed land between our Recreation Center and the college in our town.  With the two complexes owning the land behind us the chance of anyone developing immediately behind our house is very remote.  For now we are enjoying the different view on town and watching the deer and antelope walk along the creekside.

Stay tuned for more posts coming soon.  Thank you for your patience during the move!



  • If you haven’t heard of it already be sure to check out Darling Magazine.  It is my new obsession and is completely ad-free.
  • My mom gave me the Starbucks advent calendar this year for our annual Thanksgiving/Trim The Tree present.  I love this magnetic set.  I can refill it each year!
  • The puppies are LOVING the new house.  They had the usual amount of anxiety about the move but they are enjoying the larger space and view from the back yard.
  • 9 more days until Christmas!  I love this season so much but I’m always sad to see the countdown get smaller.
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Vinyl Obsessed


My vinyl obsession continues.  Yes those are Christmas albums you see here.  What?!  I am preparing for the holidays.  🙂

Truly, though…my grandparents called me one summer evening this year and asked if I would like a box of older vinyl records from my great aunt’s house.  I immediately said yes without knowing what was included in the inventory.  My parents then brought them back  after a trip to see Grandma & Grandpa.  When I picked them up I was so excited to go through and see what treasures had just been gifted to me.  Among the many I found around 8-9 Christmas albums and a Soundtrack of Oklahoma!

So, you see, I’ve been waiting all summer and fall to play these Christmas records to see if they’re any good or if I need to get rid of them or turn them into crafts.  So far they have all been amazing!  It’s like listening to your favorite Christmas song on an old victrola.  Somehow I’m transported back to being 10 years old and listening to Christmas music in my pi’s and socks.

I had purchased a few inexpensive Christmas albums also from my local Hasting’s store.  They carry drawers and drawers of used vinyl records.  You have to spend some time but you’ll find some treasures buried among the crud.

I don’t yet know which one my favorite is but I’m hoping by the end of the Christmas season to know for certain.  I guess I’ll have to keep playing them until I have a definitive winner.

Here are a few of my favorite album covers:


I love this one that looks like a cross stitch piece.  How telling of the time to make it look like a popular crafting technique.



I also really like this one with the reindeer.  Anyone who knows me well might guess that I like it because of the stars that are incorporated into the design.  They may be right.  I think I also just like reindeer at Christmastime.

In addition to the holiday music I’ve been listening to I finally got a chance to listen to two very special records that I found a few months ago at an antique store close to my hometown.  My mom, sis and I went for the day to a neighboring town to visit a few of our favorite shops.  When I came across these fun albums my mind immediately entered a daydream of sitting in front of the record player with my future kids while they listened intently to the story being told.  (Have I mentioned I’m a bit of a daydreamer?)

Drumroll please….I bought The Swiss Family Robinson and Peter Pan albums that day.  They both had the vinyl included.  Each of them have a story book within them, however both are missing pages.  I was hopeful the record would make up the deficit and I wasn’t disappointed!






By the time I finished listening to both of these records I was transported back to being a kid again.  It must be something about this time of year that does that to me.  🙂



  • Tonight my Dad is taking me to see the comedian Paula Poundstone.  I’m very excited!  I listen to her often on my favorite radio show, “Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me”.
  • I’m trying out a new purple lipstick.  I’m loving it worn a bit sheered out.  It is a Revlon Colorburst Matte Balm in Shameless.
  • It’s been in the negative temperatures here for many days in a row.  I finally broke the pups out of this house and let them run around at the park.  They loved it!
  • Our engagement picture session is tomorrow!!  I can’t wait to start this process with my main squeeze.  So in love…
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Veteran’s Day 2014



It’s very cold here.  1 degree Fahrenheit to be exact. My weather app tells me that with the windchill it feels like -16F outside.  The freezing temps, however didn’t matter to the brave souls who got up early on this Veteran’s honor day to place flags on the veteran crosses that are scattered around our local cemetery.  I drove around the cemetery to view the flags and honor these fallen heroes in bone-chilling windy silence for one reason:  they braved the worst of the worst for me.

I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve never been particularly committed to honoring our nation’s heroes in the past.  I didn’t pay attention to holidays like Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day.  To me at the time they were just days off or excuses for time-and-a-half at a job.  I was extremely uninformed.  I started paying more attention to what these days are intended to be once I started to know more and more veterans.  Still, I didn’t understand the importance of honoring them.  Worst yet, my dad and grandpa also served but for the longest time I just didn’t get it.  They never made a big deal out of these days and I never really gave it a second thought.  I don’t believe in regret but there are so many years that I was so foolish about not acknowledging these brave souls that I do feel shame in my ignorance now.

To that end I will only add, “Thank You.”   Happy Veteran’s Day to all of the honorable men and women who served our country.






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Autumn Turns Into Winter


This past weekend a long-time friend of mine laid her father to rest.  I use the term father in the meaning that he was her dad regardless of biology.  He was the one she looked to for strength and support growing up.  I am so deeply saddened by his loss for her.  It’s later in life when you truly start to dread the hurts of those you love and care about coming true for you as well.

I don’t consider myself a morbid person but I do think about losing my parents from time to time.  I have been blessed with 4 amazing parents who have been nothing but supportive and helpful in getting me this far in life.  I tear up thinking of the day when I have to say goodbye to any of them.

I was reminded of the transitions we go through in life today with the real first winter storm blowing through our community.  Yesterday was just another fall day but today is cold and snowy with dropping temperatures promised overnight.  There are so many times in our lives we go through changes and they’re not always for the better.  Sometimes things transition and our lives are forever changed; like the loss of our parents.

I have much to be thankful for as we move into this winter season but I did want to take a moment to think about those who have loved and lost and those who have given everything for us.  Veteran’s Day is tomorrow.  As a woman in love with a Veteran I am certain that no amount of thankful praise or love will ever explain to him how deep my gratitude goes for his sacrifice and service.  It’s a debt that can never be repaid and I will forever be thankful for him and all of the millions of others.

Allow yourself to experience the transitions in life.  They are here for all of us.  All of us have a season of love, grief, happiness and sorrow.  Allow it to develop and learn how to dress for the new season.  If you need a jacket of warm hugs make sure to surround yourself with those who can provide that comfort.  If you need rejoicing time please include people who will wholeheartedly rejoice right along side you.





  • I love the change of seasons.  I love the beauty of freshly fallen snow and the mashing of two seasons together.
  • I admit it…I have Christmas music playing right now.  🙂
  • I’m so in love with my fiancé I can hardly contain my excitement to have found the partner I’ve longed for.
  • We had a date night the other night with one set of parents.  Never underestimate the fun you can have double-dating with your parents.  Love them!
  • The puppies are happy to be sleeping the days away when it gets colder.  Can’t say I blame them.  😉
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