Actively Enduring



I’ve been unsettled the last few months.  I’ve started a new job, moved into a new house, got married and had a few other major challenges.  None of those are bad; they just have me feeling quite out of a routine lately.  Do you ever have that?

I can’t seem to get a new rhythm into my life.  I keep trying to make sure I get all of my tasks or to-dos done each week but I seem to still remain unbalanced.

A new job is always an adjustment but especially in a new industry.  I have switched from healthcare technology to energy and although the work and tasks are largely the same I am learning new terminology, new methods and techniques as well as new people.  Add that to the fact that I’m back in an office environment after having worked at home for the last 7 years and its easy to see why the transition has left me in a fog.

Denali (our boy dog) had TPLO surgery on his rear left knee to correct a torn ACL.  This has been a challenge of it’s own.  He has had several complications and only recently did we learn that it’s all stemming from a staph. infection that has carried over from his surgery.

Married life to the man of my dreams and my absolute best friend is more amazing that I could have ever dreamed.  With any new phase to a relationship there are changes and discussions to help us get on the same page.  In addition to the relationship growing pains there are also adjustments at home.  Chris moved in very shortly before we were married to help with Denali’s surgery recovery.  I don’t care if it’s the best person in the entire world, a friend or a random roommate…learning someone else’s living style and meshing yours with theirs always takes some work and time.

I’ve been wondering why I haven’t blogged or put up a YouTube video in a while.  A lot of it has to do with the demands on my time but it also has to do with not feeling completely settled with all of my new recent changes.  Although most of them are so spectacularly wonderful, I am still foggy.  As I slowly get into my new routine I am excited to navigate through all the nuances in my days.

My pastor said a few weeks ago that “Perseverance is not passive waiting but an active endurance.”  I took that very much to heart.  Things take time.  There is constant growth.  There is always something to learn.  And with that I will continue to navigate the place I have in all of the new magical and wonderful chaos.



  • Our town has a wonderful music festival every summer.  I was out there most of the day yesterday enjoying friends, family, sun and music .
  • I’m addicted to “London Fog” tea lattes.  If you like chai tea you should check them out.
  • I’m on a fashion and lifestyle refresh cycle.  I’m looking at clothes, make-up and home decor in a more refined way.  Maybe there will be some of that coming soon to the blog and to Youtube.  😉
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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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Walk the Line


Walking is such a great low-impact way to get some exercise, movement and de-stressing into your life.  Although I love to run I haven’t been able to in several years because I can never seem to heal from one jog to another. If you check out RA Warrior’s recent blog post on a shirt she spotted at a sporting good’s store you’ll know that we’re not alone.

It may not be RA or any kind of chronic illness that is preventing you from putting rubber to the road.  One of my best girlfriends recently powered through her emotions of being sidelined from running with a hip injury.  Knowing her and how important her running is to her and also knowing what it’s like to have that taken away from you I was so empathetic to the change this recent injury presented to her life.  She knew, however that she had to let it heal or she wouldn’t be able to return to the road.  So, she waited…and waited…and finally she was able to run again.

Some of us will never run again but that doesn’t mean that we can’t find a new way to be active.  Whatever has put you on the bench and kept you from your favorite game has to be given the respect it needs so you don’t damage yourself further.

For me, one of the things I have replaced with running is walking my dogs.  I love spending time with them anyway and I love to be outside.  And although it’s not as fast paced as running I still get MY time and the chance to decompress my mind.  I walk with earphones in listening to music that fits my current mood.  If I’m sad I work through a sad playlist.  If I’m upset about something the music is a bit heavier.  😉

The point is to find something that keeps you moving and active because RA or not..activity is good for your body, mind and soul.  Water sports, walking, biking, hiking…any activity you can do with little to no pain is the key.  Take care of yourself.  Yesterday’s body will not be here tomorrow.



  • I am making some chili tonight for dinner.  I also made a batch of Famous Dave muffins to go with.  I love those things!!
  • I just posted my video on how to make an inexpensive flower arrangement.  Check it out on my videos page.
  • The puppies are super sleepy after our walk.  Since they are so big it doesn’t take much to tucker them out.
  • I get to have lunch with my stepmom today!  What a treat.  We never get to go to lunch together!  I’m excited.  🙂
  • This has been the most beautiful fall I remember in Wyoming.  We usually go from HOT summer to FROZEN.  Hahaha.  This year we actually have a long fall and I’m soaking it up all I can.
  • Later taters!
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Music is to the Soul as Food is to the Body

Music has always been a feature in my life since I was a little kid.  My dad loves music and I truly believe it speaks directly to his soul when he finds the right song at the right moment.  I was in band, choir and was fortunate enough to have piano lessons as a kid.  Even today  I find myself searching for the music on my radio, iPhone or record player that suits my current mood.

Isn’t it funny how music can so accurately reflect our current feelings?  To that end I enjoy music as a source of therapy and cherish the connection it gives me to myself and how I’m truly feeling.  It is so important to allow yourself to feel what you’re feeling and not try to squash it down or ignore it.  Therapeutically speaking music helps me work through my emotions.  If I don’t deal with them now they will surely present themselves at the worst possible time.

For my July birthday my boyfriend gave me a Crosley record player that I had eyed on a trip through Minnesota.  We stopped at the Mall of America and as I entered the Urban Outfitters (UO) store my eyes quickly found these darling record players.  They are built like little suitcases with a latch front and removable top.  The handle is functional but to avoid shifting the balance of the table inside I admire it solely as a decorative feature.


Urban Outfitters Crosley Record Player











Months prior to that my boyfriend inherited a vinyl record player piece of furniture from his parents.  We started shopping for records and we both fell in love with the music format and sound.

Here is the link for the UO online store that shows all of the various styles they have:






The case is so simple in design but really packs a punch for sound quality.  The speakers are on both sides of the bottom part of the box.  I can turn it up almost to full volume and hear music throughout my entire house.  This makes it extremely convenient for helping me clean the house.

I’m still building my record collection.  My boyfriend and I have made a point to search record stores when we go on trips to bring something fun back as a souvenir.  Since I don’t have many records yet I opted to create my own little record storage crate.  I purchased a crate from Joann’s Fabric Store for around $14 and a very tiny can of wood stain for around $5.  I chose a dark stain for the crate because, well…that’s what I like.  I think it came out very cute and it looks great with my record player on display.

Urban Outfitters Crosley Record Player

Record Crate

Some might say records are a pain to listen to because you have to get up and switch them to the other side after just a few songs.  I appreciate the chance to move and change the record to the other side or another album frequently.  I work from home and in the past I have found myself sitting and working until I’m dancing in my chair.  I’m not dancing because I feel like it, but rather because I didn’t even realize I needed to use the restroom.  Listening to the record player reminds me to get up from my desk, stretch and move around.  What might be annoying for some is a relief to my body that is in need of frequent movement and stretching.

What’s missing from your life as a reminder to slow down and give your body, mind and soul what it needs?  I’m so thankful for this little machine because it’s brought so many reminders for me to take the time I need and to slow down and enjoy what is truly great about this life.



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