Land of the LIVING: 2014 Year In Review

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Thanks for joining me for my year in review.  A lot has happened this year and I think it’s important to remember all of the good AND bad things from the past year and reflect on all of them.  

Challenges

  1. Losing loved family and friends. 
  2. Being laid off
  3. Losing health insurance (see #2)
  4. Denali’s torn ACL

Blessings

  1. Moved back to my hometown
  2. Being laid off
  3. Traveling to London, Ireland, Stonehendge, Alaska, Montana and Nashville
  4. Getting engaged <3
  5. Moving into the new house
  6. Holidays with my families
  7. New contract job opportunities
  8. Actively used my gym membership (and LOVED it!)
  9. Lived as fully as possible

The majority of my year can be summed up by referencing the movie, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.  The main character, Walter, redefines himself through a series of events.  In the end, being forced to examine himself and his life outside of what he’s known for 16 plus years was the best possible thing for Walter to finally start living the life he was destined for.  Part of me loves this movie for its amazing representation of true Wanderlust.  Most of me loves this movie for helping me make the choice to take a lay-off in the early summer and return my life, actions and decisions to not only myself, but my love, my family and my friends.  Its all too easy to get busy with life that we forget how to LIVE.  I am not perfect at it yet but I know I’ve never been happier (and more poor) than I am at the end of this year.

I had the chance to take stock of what truly matters to me in this life.  I had a glimpse that few get and an opportunity to make the changes I needed to save my life for LIVING.  My goal for 2015 is to continue to take a look at the most important parts of my life and spend my energy there.

A few years ago I finally realized and understood that not everyone is granted the same amount of time on this earth.  Far too many are taken away from us too young.  I vowed then and there to not speak in vain of any birthday, revolution or milestone that I may reach or surpass.  It’s an amazing thing to feel what these words mean:  Every day is a gift.  And it truly, truly is.

May you chose to LIVE in 2015.

xo,

Christi

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O Christmas Tree

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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!

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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.

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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.

 

 

 

 

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

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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.

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

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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.

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

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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.

xo,

Christi

  • 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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We’re Going to the Chapel…

Site of our proposal

Site of our proposal

On Saturday October 11th, 2014 the love of my life proposed to me in a remote location in the mountains west of Laramie, WY.

It was initially intended to be a birthday trip for him to see some friends he hand’t seen in quite a while and visit his college town.  It turned into a celebration for both of us and I couldn’t be happier.

We’ve shared the engagement story with our immediate family and very close friends.  He did such a great job surprising me and making sure that I had no intuition about the proposal whatsoever.

There are no concrete details yet with the exception of the fact that we are crazy in love and both feel incredibly lucky to have finally found someone who makes us the absolute best version of ourselves.

Thank you to all of our friends and family for all of the well wishes and congratulations.  We are truly blessed with love.

xoxo,

Christi

  • I thought I’d try a fun idea that I learned from Emilynoel83 on www.youtube.com and thru her blog at http://www.beautybroadcast.net and add little random snippets from my day at the end of my blog posts.
  • I’m still working my way through that amazing Hawaiian pineapple.  It is so tasty!
  • It is 2:48 am as I write this.  I am exhausted but sleep is avoiding me tonight.
  • I think my boy dog, Denali has sleep apnea.  Can dogs have that???
  • We asked the puppies if they wanted to be a family after Chris proposed.  They were beyond cute with their excited response.  Guess he passed the puppy test. 😉
  • I hope I’ve emptied my brain enough to sleep now.  G’night all.  🙂
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I can’t catch my breath

Outdoor Chapel, Bighorn Mountains, Wyoming

Outdoor Chapel, Bighorn Mountains, Wyoming

We went for a day adventure to the Bighorn Mountains close to home the other day.  Walking up the fire lookout was a brutal assault on my lungs.  Not only was the elevation a challenge but the crisp autumn air pierced my lungs as I climbed the short path.  I found myself unable to look up or around me and take the view without gasping for air.  I now wonder if the phrase or term “breathtaking” was invented for the moments that take our breath away or for the views that make us lose our breath to reach.

View from a fire outlook, Bighorn Mountains, Wyoming

View from a fire outlook, Bighorn Mountains, Wyoming

Whatever takes your breath away either literally or figuratively in life you must honor it.  Give yourself time to reach the top; the goal; the end.  If it is something worth sacrificing your breath for be sure to give it credence and continue to seek it.

TieHack Lake, Bighorn Mountains, Wyoming

TieHack Lake, Bighorn Mountains, Wyoming

I often feel this way about having babies of my own.  My  life circumstances to the date of this post haven’t allowed me to fulfill this lifelong dream, however.  I find myself daydreaming about ways I will announce to my family and friends that I am pregnant.  I picture a scene that literally takes my breath away while I stare down at this beautiful creature that is made out of love and the best of the two of us.  As I look down at that wonderful gift I will ask if they know everything I went through to have them in my life.

Whatever part of the journey you’re on to attempt to have a family of your own or coming to terms with your options you are not alone. There are so many of us in the same situation even if yours doesn’t immediately match mine.  I wait every 6 months to hear if my disease has progressed, if I need to switch to medications or if my options to have my own family biologically are exhausted.  I know all of my options at each stage and I’m comforted with knowing but it is important to never give up on the breathtaking moments that you dream of.

Christi, Chris, Denali & Violet, Bighorn Mountains, Wyoming

Christi, Chris, Denali & Violet, Bighorn Mountains, Wyoming

xoxo,

Christi

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