Wednesday, July 29, 2015

whitewater rafting

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Awoke to a beautiful day.
Sunshine and warm weather makes me happy.
So do roses.
roses more roses
And mountains.
ground view of Mt. Hood
And adventures.
beginning the adventure Adventures such as whitewater rafting on the White Salmon River in Washington State.
awesomely fun times All Adventures Rafting was an awesome, talented crew, who made the day on the river exciting, memorable, and the best rafting experience I have ever experienced.
the best rapid of the day The great weather, gorgeous landscape, awesome rapids, being with the family, and everything else about the day was perfect.
Our rafting photos are courtesy of All Adventures Rafting.

riding the bull we survived

Oregon or bust!

May 27th, 2015

It is high time to finish posting about my birthday season...we took a vacation to finish out the month of May, so I did not blog any while away.  Couldn't have in some places even if I had wanted to.  A few places remain where a cell phone will not work and there is no wifi.  And, we survived.  Gasp!  
On the afternoon of Wednesday, May 27th, we flew from Atlanta to Portland.
The view of Mt. Hood was stunning from the airplane!a Shortly after arriving, we made our way via rental car to Multnomah Falls, located just outside of Portland.  Much to our surprise, the falls are just a short walk from the parking lot.  It was a beautiful evening to be outside and enjoying a waterfall.
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The drive to the falls and further on, then, to our B&B for the night, reminded us all of our drive from Anchorage to Denali National Park.

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We stopped to have a late dinner.  We noticed straight away that the small towns roll up their sidewalks around 8 pm. Took us a minute or two to locate an open establishment, but when we did, we were not disappointed.

252The Cascade Locks Ale House in Cascade Locks, OR, (of course) was open yet for another hour.  Asking about what they were known for, we found out that their pizza was the crowd pleaser.  We ordered a pepperoni and a Jamaican Bacon.  Oh. my. goodness.  The Jamaican Bacon pizza was amazing!!!  All of their pizzas had really cool names and most would be on a list to try if we had had more time.

We made our way on to Hood River where we were staying for the night at the Inn at the Gorge.  A quaint B&B, it was.  Wonderful place to relax on our first evening, rest from our time zone hopping journey to the West Coast, and enjoy a tasty breakfast with other guests the following morning.


Tuesday, May 26, 2015

life in the South

The South.

20150526_130204-1
20150526_125952-1 It is a world all its own.
The tea is crazy sweet, cows sell chicken, and "bless your heart" is not necessarily something you want said to you.
I, like many others, am a transplant to this world.  My dialect and word pool is a confused mix of Midwestern, Northern, and Southern.  I say one thing and instantly I get asked by those who don't know me, "So, where are you originally from?"  I still struggle to understand "Southernese".  I often am asking people to repeat themselves for one reason or another when they have a deep southern accent.
However, after 14 years, it's home.
I even have a T-shirt to prove it.
Toward the end of my birthday season, a gift from nature springs forth here in the South...the magnolia trees bloom.  Nothing says "Welcome to the South" quite like sturdy, yet beautiful magnolia trees full of blossoming flowers.  And this year, our magnolia did something wonderfully sweet...it bloomed a couple of flowers close enough to the ground that I could easily photograph them.
Another gift from today, was literally a gift.  Due to a conflict in scheduling, I won't be with my in-laws on my actual birthday, so we celebrated my birthday early.  A wonderful light jacket to keep me warm in the well air conditioned buildings, a book from a favorite author, happiness inducing/smile producing balloons, and lotion that smells like sugar cookies.  My mother-in-law nailed it!
20150526_210713 And, it rained today. Thunderstormed, actually.  Thankful not to be out in it, but thrilled to get to hear the raindrops hitting the rooftop in their melodious fashion, while thunder and lightning danced across the sky.
As the 26th day of my birthday season comes to a close, I can honestly say it was a good one.  
#blessedbeyondmeasure  

a day off

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We had a busy, but quiet, day at the house today.
Rare event when we are all at home all day together. A gift.
IMG_20150525_211241 In between projects and rain showers, there was plenty of time to fish, swim, and play Phase 10 together.
And, there's always time to smell the roses.

i miss you

Sunday, May 24th
There are those moments when something reminds you of someone and all you really want to do is be back with them again.
I had a few moments like this recently.
Okay, recently...meaning today.
IMG_20150524_082442 Take, for instance, this morning. I wanted to do something new for rest day, so I pulled up Beachbody on Demand.  As soon as I saw Shaun T's picture, I instantly thought of a friend of mine who is doing one of his programs, whom I haven't seen in what seems like ages, and immediately wished we could be in the same place for a few minutes again just to catch up.
I ended up choosing "Recovery" from Insanity for my workout.  If that is recovery...Insanity is an appropriate name for the program.  That was crazy.
Totally awesome, but absolutely crazy.
Funny thing, though...I'm finding myself slightly less intimidated by ST's workouts.
I have survived two individual workouts now...this is something, right?
Go ahead and laugh.  I am.
Trust me.  I have a healthy respect for the intensity that lies before me.  I have to since I am seriously thinking of taking on the challenge of completing one of his programs once my current round of P90X is finished.  I am counting on some major accountability to keep me going the entire time if I do accept the challenge.
IMG_20150524_230943Another moment that had me missing someone dear to my heart was when I was prepping some rhubarb for baking and freezing.  It made me miss Grandma Miller.  She grew rhubarb and made it into delectable delights.  She made the best rhubarb pie ever...but she made the best everything ever, rhubarb and otherwise. ♥  
Moments of remembering like that are wonderful and hard at the same time.
Today's gift is having amazing people in my life to miss.  These two brought to mind today and so many more.
You don't miss casual acquaintances.  You only miss those people with whom you have shared real life moments.  Family and friends whom make life so much better.  Because they are walking with you through it.  Because they make memorable moments with you that are worth reliving over and over again.  Because they leave you wanting to make more amazing memories together.
I am blessed beyond measure.

Monday, May 25, 2015

It's the little things...

Saturday, May 23rd
This birthday season just keeps becoming more and more my favorite!!!
Today's gifts include:
Relaxing by the pool in the warm sunshine...

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Enjoying some fishing with the family at the cabin...

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Eating a snack...
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Saturday, May 23, 2015

What's the best that can happen?

Friday, May 22rd
Today I am grateful for the choice I made to act last year. To try something unlike anything I had ever done before in my life was a major step in the right direction for a healthier, happier me.
1432351905862 That choice has led to many other choices as I learn more about this new lifestyle of nutrition and exercise.  Little things add up to make a big difference.
I know all the excuses.  I used them all for years.
It came down to the fact that I could stay the same or I could change.
Both are equally difficult.  Both require energy.  Both can be painful.
Only one shows strength.  Only one demonstrates courage.  Only one exhibits hope.
It's an individual choice to begin.  However, along the way, a support system begins to grow and one day you see that you are no longer doing this on your own.  The encouragement, the motivation you need shows up in many ways, from many sources that you never saw coming.  And, it's awesome.  Really, really awesome.
Go outside your comfort zone.
Be intentional.
Do something different.
When you do, you are going to see some of the best that can happen to your life.