Wednesday, March 05, 2014

My Blog Has Moved

I decided to move my blog from Blogger to Wordpress, so its address has changed.

You can see my new blog at

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Our Newest Addition

She’s a beaut, huh? This is her good (aka less rusted) side. 

A few months ago we purchased this beauty, a 1982 VW Vanagon Westfalia. I knew it was meant to be when I discovered that the van and I share a birth year, although this means we've had to make a few upgrades (31-year-old crusty curtains can be pretty gross). She’s fully equipped with two beds, a sink, a two-burner stove, a fridge, and limitless possibilities. Although she smokes like a beast in the cold weather, she's basically invisible to speed traps. 

Max approves, as long as the beast is not turned on. 

We're currently working on fixing her up and getting her ready for her maiden voyage; we will be traveling along the Oregon coast for four weeks in March and April. We're excited to camp out in the van, view the beautiful scenery, and hopefully keep our roadside assistance calls to a minimum. 

Who knows. Maybe we'll love it so much that we'll end up living in a van, down by the river of course.

Thursday, January 02, 2014


When I turned 30, I sort of had a hard time with it. I’ve never struggled with age before, but for some reason, climbing into a new decade just felt so strange. Maybe it’s because my 20s were so jam packed with life events: college, first jobs, moving to Denver, travel, and graduate school. The 20s are full of exciting milestones in life. Typically, the 30s are filled with other types of milestones such as buying a house and having kids. Nic and I aren’t really on the track for either of those, so the 30s just seemed so directionless. 

To be honest, year 30 lived up to my expectations, and it wasn't all that great (other than getting married, of course :)). Luckily, nothing catastrophic happened, but it was a really difficult year. There were a lot of little things that just weren’t in my favor, and it’s been tough.

A few weeks ago I turned the big 3-1, and I have to admit that I felt a lot of relief that day. 30 may have been a challenging year, but that doesn’t mean 31 has to be the same. 

This new year is going to bring a lot of changes and unpredictability, which can be scary, but instead of feeling frightened, I find myself extremely excited. I don’t know exactly where 31 or 2014 will take me, but I’m ready for the challenge and hopeful about what may come.

I have a feeling it’s going to be a good one.

Monday, April 29, 2013

First Hike of the Season

As part of our 2013 Challenge, we decided to drop Max off to play at Petsmart and head up to Rocky Mountain National Park (no dogs allowed). We decided to hike up Deer Mountain, which is three miles each way and around 1,000 foot elevation gain. We'd hiked it once before a few years ago and remembered enjoying the view from the top.

Once we drove into Estes Park, we realized there was more snow than we'd anticipated. But, we had just driven over two hours, so we decided to go ahead with our plans. We had snow shoes in the car, but decided not to mess with them. As we began hiking, the trail was snowy,  but it wasn't too bad. However, after a mile or so, the trail looked like this:

There was no dirt in sight, just endless snow. This made hiking increasingly difficult, and if we stepped off the trail just a little bit, our legs would sink up to mid-calf. However, we'd gone so far that we didn't want to turn back, so we kept going. Eventually, the trail took us in a different direction than we remembered to get to Deer Mountain. We didn't want to leave the trail, though, because we weren't sure where to go, and we didn't want to walk in deep snow to get there. Eventually the trail took us to the top of a mountain west of Deer Mountain. The hike ended up being a little over two miles instead of three, but the view was amazing:

We ate a delicious snack of bananas, apples, and peanut butter then headed down the mountain. Although going down was much faster than hiking up, it was also very slippery and precarious. We were sliding all over the place, trying to keep our balance. 

By the time we made it to the bottom, we were both tired from the unintentional agility training, but we were happy to have completed our first hike of the season. Since we've had blizzards every week in April, we'll probably wait a few weeks before heading that far into the mountains again and stick to trails closer to the city.

Here's hoping this is just the first of many great hikes this year!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Denver, Where’s the Love?

Colorado isn't all bad

It’s hard to believe that as of next month, I will have lived in Denver for three years. To be completely honest, I haven’t loved living here. This is mostly my fault because I didn’t really get involved in a lot of activities or see a lot of the state because I figured that once I finished graduate school, we’d move away.

It’s now been a year since I finished school, and it looks like we’ll be staying for the next few years, so this year, I decided to challenge myself to learn to love Denver and Colorado. Nic has decided to participate in this challenge even though he already has a lot more love for Colorado than I do. :)

As part of this challenge, we are going to try to explore more of Colorado. This will include weekend trips to different parts of the state as well as more hiking and camping. We even decided to replace our annual international trip with a trip to Mesa Verde. We are also going to try to get more involved through volunteer work and other activities and events.

I’m not convinced that this challenge will make me want to stay in Colorado forever, but I am hoping to discover all it has to offer and fully enjoy our time here. 

Monday, February 18, 2013

Apocalypse Wedding

When Nic and I first got engaged in Peru in the summer of 2011, our first thought was to get married in Mexico on 12/21/2012. Nic had read a book full of essays about the supposed “apocalypse” date and discovered that rather than an end of the world, it’s likely that the Mayans viewed this date as a beginning of a new phase of life. We really appreciated this view of a new beginning and thought it would be great to coincide with our new beginning as a married couple.

Engaged in Peru in 2011

At first, our wedding plans included flying people down to Mexico with us and having a small ceremony. We quickly realized that keeping it small would be next to impossible and discovered that it would be really expensive for not only us, but also our guests. As we spent countless hours trying to think of various ideas for a wedding that either of us didn’t hate, we realized that neither of us really wanted a wedding at all.

Our wedding rings

Then I discovered that Colorado offers self-solemnization. This means that a wedding officiate isn’t necessary; rather, the bride and groom can sign where a clergy or judicial officer would typically sign and marry themselves. We loved the idea of marrying ourselves and not needing a random stranger to make our marriage official. With that, we decided to sign the papers to self-solemnize our marriage in Denver and have our own “wedding” in Mexico. We decided to go to the Riviera Maya since that’s where we took our first international trip together in 2008.

Picking up our marriage license from the courthouse

On the morning of December 21, 2012, the winter solstice, the rising sun aligned with the black hole in the center of the Milky Way galaxy. This “galactic alignment” is something that only happens every 26,000 years (this astronomical event is part of why the Mayans thought so highly of this date). So, on the morning of the 21st, we woke up at 3:00 am and made our way onto the beach. It ended up being pretty cloudy, which meant we couldn’t see the Milky Way, but it also meant the sunrise was absolutely gorgeous. We spent hours on the beach talking about the good times we’ve already had in the seven years we’ve been together as well as our hopes and dreams for the future.

Married  :)

Our “wedding” may have been really unconventional and didn't have much in common with a traditional wedding, but for us it was perfect, and we wouldn’t have had it any other way.

(Find out more about self-solemnization in Colorado)

Monday, January 07, 2013

Wait, I Have a Blog?

Wow. I can't believe it's been four months since I last blogged. Those months were really busy and included multiple colds, an ear infection, a ruptured eardrum, a trip to St. George, a trip to Idaho for Thanksgiving, and a trip to Mexico for our wedding. Since we got back, I've been battling yet another cold, and Max had to have his dewclaw surgically removed, so 2013 has started with a lot of cold medicine and many trips to the veterinarian. Here's hoping the rest of 2013 will be much more healthful. :)

One of my goals for 2013 is to write more, including on the blog, so hopefully you'll hear more from me in the upcoming weeks.