3 years

3 years

I have always written about things that move me. Things that I’m passionate about. Things that have affected me deeply. It’s why I write about travel, about books, about my family, about fitness, and most of all, it’s why I write about love. I love writing about love.

Nothing has brought me more joy and emotion that loving someone and being loved.

Today I get to officially celebrate 3 years of pure joy and raw, emotional love.

I won’t offer advice or insight today. Our story is our own. From the smiles to the tears, to the nights spent cuddled next to each other and those spent thousands of miles apart. For over six years we’ve been figuring it all out together and for three years today, we’ve been figuring it out as a married couple.

I am insanely proud of our marriage. We were kids when we were dating, kids when we got married, and according to both sets of our parents, we’re still kids now (Disclaimer: we’re both the babies of the family so we’ll be affectionately referred to as the kids until the end of time). For being “children” though, we sure do a hell of a good job at being husband and wife. We love deeply, communicate well, respect always, plan wisely, spend within our means, and grow closer through each trial.

My favorite part of all? We always say yes. To adventure, to new opportunities, to each other, to growth, and to love.

nowm-15-2.jpg

Loving this man has been the biggest, most empowering, fulfilling thing I have ever done.

I am a better person (and a better feminist) for understanding the sacrifice and selflessness of unconditionally loving another.

Cheers to three amazing years. There is no one on earth I’d rather adventure with than you, my love.

nowm-29.jpg

“I knew I did from that first moment we met. It was… Not love at first sight exactly, but – familiarity. Like: oh, hello, it’s you. It’s going to be you.”
– Mhairi McFarlane

 

 

Pura Vida – Costa Rica Pt. 3

Pura Vida – Costa Rica Pt. 3

I read the travel writing compilation of Don George before I left on this trip. His book, “The Way of Wanderlust” struck a yearning in my heart for places I’d never considered visiting until he wrote about them. From hiking Kilimanjaro to relaxing in the Cook Islands to exploring hidden temples in Cambodia. George’s words have a way of making one feel as if you’re right there with him, and upon snapping out of the trance, an intense urge to buy a plane ticket immediately.

Reflecting on Costa Rica, I wish I could describe this country as perfectly and poetically through the written word. Unfortunately I feel my favorite memory from the trip has to be accompanied by pictures to tell the story accurately. Maybe one day I’ll be a great travel writer, or maybe I’ll always need the pictures…


 

It was hot. Nine in the morning and the sun was already beating down with such ferocity I knew my cheap straw sunhat and sunscreen applied over an hour ago were doing little to protect my skin. We had also been trudging along the beach for the past fifteen minutes, so sweat had began to form at every crease of my body. I glanced up to Michael, about 10 feet in front of me, diligently marching towards our final destination, surfboard in tow. He’d insisted on grabbing it before we entered the park, so I had little sympathy for his struggle as he shifted it between arms every couple of minutes.

Looking past him, I could see the end our of trek. The Whale’s Tail in Parque Nacional Marino Bellana. At low tide Playa Hermosa and Playa Uvita, two beaches along Costa Rica’s southwestern coast, joined to form the infamous Whale’s Tail. From the moment I saw the aerial view on one of the many travel blogs I poured over prior to our trip, I knew I had to see it for myself.

I wiped my forehead and adjusted the backpack on my shoulders. Many around us were making the same trek to the end of the Whale’s Tail, but some had plopped down right on the narrow stretch of beach for a break. I envied them. They didn’t have a husband on a mission. I picked up my pace and briefly wondered how many Pina Coladas I was walking off.

After five or so minutes, the soft, wet sand began to be sprinkled with rocks and I looked up from watching my feet to see we’d reached the end. The rocky, tide-pool filled end of the whale’s tail. Michael had come to a stop and as I tried to maneuver around rocks to reach him I understood why. Our flip flops were no match for the jagged, soaked terrain. We’d planned to walk to the very end so he could surf and I could sun bathe, but there was at least 500 ft to go and no chance we’d make it unscathed.

“So much for that,” he said begrudgingly and I sighed in agreement. “Well, I saw some bigger waves back where we entered in the park. Let’s just go back there. Closer to food and drinks. Maybe you can find some shade.” I grimaced thinking of the walk back, but knew my face was already beat red. Without another word he turned around and walked away. A bubble of anger rose up in my throat. I was disappointed enough by our anti-climatic whale’s tale adventure, but his disinterest in anything but surfing was beginning to piss me off. I stubbornly contemplated sitting down right there among the tide pools to take in the turquoise ocean crashing into the black rocks of the tail’s end all by myself. I glanced back to see how far he’d made it and instead, I saw the view.

IMG_6570

FullSizeRender (23)

The stretch of beach that led us out to the tail had already begun to disappear back to the ocean. But each time the waves retreated, the jungle, mountains, and marshmallow clouds before me reflected in the wet sand. To describe it as simply “stunning” would be a travesty. Frozen in place and humbled by the earth, it hit me.

FullSizeRender (24).jpg

Walking out on the Whale’s Tail to stare at the ocean wasn’t the point. One could stare at the ocean from any position on shore. Travelers walked out on the Whale’s Tail to look back. They walk out into the ocean to see the land from a different perspective.

I stood for a few moments longer before Michael called to me. He pointed up at the mountains with a delighted expression. I smiled in spite of my annoyance just moments before. Sharing this with him, with the person I love more than any other, was so much more important than being bitter he rather surf than meditate. I jogged to catch up with him – a feat considering the sun only blazed more fiercely as we approached mid-day.

We walked in sync back to the main beach together, silently sharing our awe of this place we had the privilege of visiting. Just before we veered right to settle into our palm tree hangout, I saw it. The very point where the beaches met. The very tree from which the whale tail grew each morning and disappeared each afternoon at high tide. My head must have been down on the walk out to have missed it, so focused on the destination I’d forgotten to enjoy the journey. Or, I had simply needed a new perspective.

I snapped the picture. Michael yelled back to say he could see the perfect spot up ahead. I turned away from the edge of the world and find that weeks later, it is forever seared in my memory.

IMG_6539.JPG


 

Thank you for the memories, Uvita. Pura Vida.

“Now more than ever do I realize that I will never be content with a sedentary life, that I will always be haunted by thoughts of a sun-drenched elsewhere.”

Isabelle Eberhardt, The Nomad: The Diaries of Isabelle Eberhardt

Camille Mae (2)

 

 

Pura Vida – Costa Rica Pt. 2

Pura Vida – Costa Rica Pt. 2

I am probably in the minority when I say I did not visit a foreign country until I was 23 years old, and my first was Canada. A lovely, diverse country I’m sure but fairly anti-climatic when in search of experiencing a new culture. I grew up in Minnesota after all. We both hold our vowels equally long and wear parkas 9 months of the year.

Costa Rica was my first true foreign experience.

 

– Hardly anyone spoke English. M thankfully speaks Spanish pretty well and was able to act as a translator for us, but I wish I’d brushed up a bit as I was hopeless.

– Driving was unlike anything I’d ever seen, with cars and motorcycles weaving in and out of traffic with little regard for the bicyclists and walkers on the sides. Speed limit signs seemed to be a suggestion and it appeared to be a game of how close you could get to the on coming traffic when trying to pass. I was more scared while riding in our shuttle from Uvita to San Jose than I was at any other point in the trip (even when walking through an area notorious for poisonous snakes).

– They don’t automatically serve water with your meals and nearly every server acted confused when we asked for “agua” with our alcoholic beverages.

– Despite Costa Rica being the third world* we saw just as much wealth and “middle class” homes as we did shanty tin roof set ups. I admit we only saw the Puntarenas, San Jose, and Arenal areas but there was less poverty that I’d imagined.

– Tipping isn’t the norm, so the few people we chose to tip practically hugged us with gratitude.

– “Browsing” a store does not happen in Costa Rica. Every store we visited had personal shoppers that asked you what you needed and sought to help you find it quickly. If we would politely decline their help, the person would proceed to follow us around the store and if we quietly spoke to each other about something like a hat – our friend would pipe it in with the price or that they had it in another color. I had a feeling this has more to do with theft then anything…

– Everyone seemed #BLESSED to live there. We didn’t run into one cranky Costa Rican. The guides, drivers, and hosts we asked about living there spoke of Costa Rica as if it was the best place in the world. They had no intention of leaving and seemed humbled to call it home. The beauty of the country and the positivity of its citizens makes it easy to see why Costa Rica is the happiest country in the world.

*I feel it’s important to comment on referring to Costa Rica as the third world. I was aware before I went that it was a less developed country, but I actually didn’t do significant research on how developed it was or wasn’t until after I returned. Costa Rica has a growing economy, a great healthcare system, clean water, the lowest homicide rate of any other Latin American country, and a successful democratic republic government. But, it also has one of the highest poverty levels in the world and has a lot of work to do with infrastructure. Calling it the “third world” still seems outdated and inaccurate. It’s a less developed country, but its economy is growing and tourism helps.

It was difficult driving by tin roof establishments that span a city block to arrive at our luxurious hotel situated on a cliff side overlooking the ocean. But that hotel employed ALL native Costa Ricans from the hosts, servers, cooks, masseuses, maids, grounds keepers, etc. Just as we try to buy and eat local in the United States, we did the same while in Uvita. Everything I read online predicted the country thriving in years to come.

Overall, for my first taste of culture shock I am humbled and thankful I got to experience it in this beautiful, joyous country. Below you’ll find a few moments I captured on camera when I realized I wasn’t in Kansas anymore…

IMG_6515IMG_6937IMG_6864262319101316

Costa Rica Pt. 3 will be all the pretty views. I promise.

“Wherever you go becomes a part of you somehow.”
Anita Desai

Til next time,

Camille Mae (2)

Pura Vida – Costa Rica Pt. 1

Pura Vida – Costa Rica Pt. 1

12973556_10156864420495037_3707791847943258852_o

Paradise is a place on earth. I found it here.

Uvita, Puntarenas, Costa Rica.

We had talked and talked about taking our honeymoon for years. Before we were even married, I fantasized about the dreamy, tropical vacation I wanted to take with the mister. Unfortunately finances and the reality of starting a life together set in after we said “I do”. Living in Alaska, establishing my career, and making sure we had enough plates to eat off of trumped a plane ticket to the Carribean. Making our honeymoon a reality was put on pause.

After the first year, we thought maybe we could squeeze it in. I had earned vacation time. We had all necessary furniture. We’d even saved a bit of money. But plane tickets from Alaska were a nightmare and the impending move we’d have to make within the following year kept creeping up on us as we put it off. Once we knew we had a giant move to Washington to save for and the potential unemployment I’d be facing, it was put on hold our second year of marriage as well.

Then we moved. I found a job within 6 weeks. We made overdue trips to see respective families. We saved a bit more. We looked up destinations with the airline we could get the best discount with (Alaska Airlines is everything and I will rave about them until the end of time), and we found Costa Rica.

A Central American country tucked farther south than the Carribean with limitless adventure. The Mr. isn’t a fan of lying on a beach and tanning for a week straight. He likes to do things. And frankly, I do now too. We did research. I mapped it out and planned our time and activities. We booked the tickets. We booked the hotels. We made it happen.

It seems silly, right? Everyone takes a honeymoon. But we were kids when we got married. 21 and 20 years old. People our age who get married drive 2 hours to cabin in the woods for a weekend, but we knew we wanted to do this right. We worked our asses off to save for this trip. We saved so much that we have leftovers for our next adventure.

Travel is pointless to some people. It’s trivial to others who do it often. But travel is everything to me. It invigorates me. It brings me joy beyond measure. We made this happen. We took our “belated honeymoon”. A 3 year anniversary gift. A tropical vacation. Whatever you want to call it.

My favorite moment was the first morning we arrived. Drinking Costa Rican coffee on the deck of our villa overlooking the jungle and ocean. It was barely 7 am. The sound of waves crashing against the beach was audible from where we sat and the sound of jungle around us was alive and brimming with birds and animals alike. In my fraying college t-shirt and shorts, sunscreen already freshly applied I turned to Michael and said, “We’re here. We made this happen.”

He grabbed my hand, gave it squeeze, and smiled. “We did.”

image2

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.”
Augustine of Hippo

Camille Mae (2)

 

 

Politics & Pancakes

Politics & Pancakes

 

I was raised on pancakes and politics.

Weekend mornings were for a fat stack of buttermilk pancakes covered in peanut butter and dripping with organic maple syrup, followed by (or even during) a lively discussion about government officials and political beliefs.

You probably think I’m kidding?

In the third grade (2000) at 9 years old, I saw Al Gore and George Bush battling it out on the television while my teacher was simultaneously teaching us about presidents in class. I asked my parents who they were rooting for. They sat me down and explained why they supported Al Gore and that voting for president was a personal decision everyone makes on their own. Our class held a mock election and I voted for Al Gore. He won in our classroom and lost in real life, and from that point my interest in politics blossomed.

Under 18, politics fascinated me. Taking a stance and researching why I believed what I believed was a passionate hobby of mine. I got into heated debates on more than one occasion in social studies and health class. Just ask some of my former classmates.

Over 18, politics fueled me. In college I joined advocacy groups, interned at the state Capitol, and shouted my beliefs from the roof top.

As a 24 year old, the fear of a bad president or congress motivates me to act now more than ever. The reality of what could happen if the wrong person takes office encourages me to speak up; to say something to anyone who might be toeing the line between candidates.

My right and every woman’s right in this country to choose medical procedures we deem necessary, to receive equal pay, or to have a baby and be paid for the time we take all rests in the next president holding office for 4 to 8 years. My husband and all our soldiers being thrown into unnecessary wars by a reactive, instead of thoughtful decision maker all rests in our next president. As a middle class citizen who takes public transportation, relies on Tricare for my medical benefits, and believes the right thing to do is help the poor – I care deeply about who takes office and upholds these things. 

Donald Trump and Ted Cruz are the scariest candidates for president I’ve seen in all the years I’ve followed presidential races. Their extreme beliefs and outright hatred for certain groups of people is appalling. What appalls me even more is the amount of people rallying behind them, so focused on their selves and their own beliefs and financial situations – they can’t even emphasize with people who believe anything different or would suffer from these candidate’s extreme tax codes.

I could rant for days when it comes to these two candidates, but I’ll leave you with one last thought instead. When I vote, I do think about myself and my family first. But I also think about our nation as a whole. I think about whether this candidate’s beliefs will help or hurt our nation’s children, our soldiers, our minorities, our women, our poverty stricken citizens, and ALL of our families.

I won’t tell you who to vote for. I still believe with every ounce of my being that it’s a personal choice. But do your research. I mean really, really do your research. Maybe over pancakes on a Sunday morning.

Politics are stressing me out lately, so I think I’ll focus on pancakes for the rest of the morning. Here’s a nice photo of pancakes I scarfed down in between writing this post in case they’re stressing you out too.

You can find the scrumptious recipe here.

((These aren’t buttermilk because my metabolism has slowed since childhood, but pancakes with gooey peanut butter and sticky, sweet syrup all the same))

IMG_5572.JPG

“If by a “Liberal” they mean someone who looks ahead and not behind, someone who welcomes new ideas without rigid reactions, someone who cares about the welfare of the people-their health, their housing, their schools, their jobs, their civil rights and their civil liberties-someone who believes we can break through the stalemate and suspicions that grip us in our policies abroad, if that is what they mean by a “Liberal”, then I’m proud to say I’m a “Liberal.”

– John F. Kennedy

Camille Mae (2)

 

Travel Tuesday: NOLA & Mobile, AL

Travel Tuesday: NOLA & Mobile, AL

I’m a bit behind with travel posts (and every other type of post) but in an effort to catch up I’m sharing our trip to New Orleans and Mobile, Alabama today. In case you’re interested in where else I went in 2015, feel free to check out this slightly incomplete list:

My husband’s family is from Mobile, Alabama. It had been about two years since we ventured down to the deep south and we figured Christmas was as perfect a time as any since both of us were holding steady jobs and flights were quite reasonable from Washington. PLUS after an incredibly rainy start to the Washington winter, we were stoked for warm weather and sunshine.

Naturally it rained the entire week.

But on the plus side, it was in the 70’s most of the time!

The week was filled with lots of family and food (& libations). My favorite combination. As much as I want to travel the world, I do adore family. My family. His family. It’s always fun to be with family [for a regulated amount of time].

We flew into NOLA and we were able to convince my in-laws to spend one night with us hitting up Bourbon Street. I loved it. The energy of the city on a random Saturday in December was unlike anything I’d ever seen. We had delicious Cajun food and fun drinks New Orleans is known for (Daiquiris for days!).  It was a bummer we didn’t have more time in this Southern city as I would have loved to experience more of the city’s history beyond the infamous French Quarter. Luckily, we’ll probably find ourselves in New Orleans again.

 

Probably my favorite photo/find of our night in New Orleans was this cheeky lady.

We gave her $6, just in case.

FullSizeRender (20)

 

Overall,  I had an incredible night. I don’t think anyone comes away from this city disappointed. New Orleans lives up to all the hype and more. The little gem of a photo below was snapped by my sister-in-law as we finished up bar hopping at our hotel’s bar.

Also, I highly recommend the The Saint Hotel if you’re staying in New Orleans. Feel free to check out my Trip Advisor review here.

Processed with VSCOcam with b1 preset

The sunglasses I was forced to wear like I was Cyclops along with my inability to eat basically anything the following day was 100% worth it. Stop shaking your head mom & dad. 

After about 20 hours in NOLA, we road tripped over to Mobile, Alabama. Cute nephews, warm weather, and Christmas celebrations took up the next few days!

And food. So. Much. Good. Food.

My husband’s dad and brother organized an AMAZING crawfish boil. Crab, shrimp, corn on the cob, potatoes, and crawdads! I literally didn’t eat one potato or corn cob because I wanted to make room for all the shellfish…

FullSizeRender (19)

Of course we also made a pit stop at Raising Cane’s for lunch one day because when in Rome the Gulf Coast.

IMG_4689

After 8 days, we were ready to get back to our chilly Washington and “us” time. That’s my favorite part about visiting family. No – not leaving. The feeling where you are content from your time spent together, and simultaneously ready to return to your own life.

Although I am still missing this view…

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

Thankful for a bonus family I enjoy and who allow us to have somewhere unique and warm to visit.

“Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family in another city.”
― George Burns

Have a happy Tuesday, friends!

xo,

Camille Mae (2)

6 months

6 months

A 3 day weekend not chalked full of plans was the perfect opportunity to take a critical look at my blog (once again). But before I even had a chance to decide what direction to take this baby of mine into 2016, I noticed the date.

January 17.

6 months, almost to the day, we moved to Washington and into our new home.

IMG_4322

Woah. That shakes me up quite a bit. I lived in Alaska for just over 2 years. I have already been in Washington 1/4 of the time I spent in Alaska. It does not feel like that in the least. I vividly remember the moment we crossed the border from Canada into Washington. We were shrieking and laughing with excitement driving through farm land because we’d picked a border crossing in Central Washington, miles from I-5. I was texting everyone we knew with, “HEY – we’re alive!”. I stared at the mountains to our left and the hilly farmland to my right with intrigue. What would our home look like?!

Then we hit interstate 5 at Bellingham. We were in stop and go traffic for about 2-3 hours. We were exhausted from driving for four days straight through Canada. We were flustered to have to deal with brake lights and rush hour. I stared at Seattle as we passed by in amazement, but we had a million things to figure out in the next week so I knew visiting the city was out of the question. We had not been prepared for the infinite amount of people.

Living in Washington has basically been like that for the past 6 months.

I lived in Minneapolis for college. I understand urban environments. I adored Minneapolis. Western Washington is like taking Minneapolis and pumping it full of crack and spreading everyone out over a big area  but the traffic doesn’t get better and the amount of people per square mile isn’t reduced.

Don’t get me wrong – I love Washington. I really do. I love the amount of things there are to do here. I love how picturesque and beautiful it is no matter what season; from the mountains to the ocean to the forests in between. I love the weather. I mean it’s currently mid-January and almost 50 degrees with a light drizzling rain?! I love our little town nestled away from the major cities but within a very short drive to all of them.

But after 6 months, I can see its flaws too. My husband tried to explain this to me before we moved. I remember the conversations very clearly. “Everywhere on earth has positives and negatives. There is no perfect place.”

Damn. I think he was right this time.

Western Washington’s population does drive me a bit crazy. The roads are always busy. The grocery stores are always busy. The ski resorts are always busy. Even the hiking trails are busy. Everywhere is always busy.

People are also very West Coast. I was told by a coworker my second week of work that he could tell I was from the Midwest by how often I smiled at people. Yes, by how often I smiled. People aren’t outwardly rude, but they all seem very apathetic. Why smile at strangers? Why lend a hand to someone who just dropped a few things? etc.

All in all – 6 months in Western Washington has taught me A LOT. The good and some of the not so good. It’s taught me that I took for granted how peaceful Alaska was. It’s taught me that as I age, I enjoy my time away from people (Oh God – I’m my parents). But most importantly I’ve learned no matter where we go or choose to settle*, every place has its triumphs and its drawbacks. The key is not to dwell on the latter.

After I just spent a blog post dwelling. Do as I say, not as I do…

Well, I’m off to hit up the grocery store while the Seahawks game is still on! This is my new strategy to avoid people. I’ll report back and let you know how it goes.

“And it never failed that during the dry years the people forgot about the rich years, and during the wet years they lost all memory of the dry years. It was always that way.”
John Steinbeck

*Unless we move to Bora Bora or an island country outside the hurricane belt without snakes

Camille Mae (2)

 

 

Calling all my married, working girls

Calling all my married, working girls

Last night was the best.

My company had its annual holiday party. This year it was at the EMP Museum in Seattle. The cocktails and food were excellent. The exhibits were fun to explore – seeing Sirius’ cloak from the Harry Potter movies and playing around with this interactive camera that turned you into your own horror character were some of the coolest parts! It was great to see all my coworkers out of a professional setting, but best of all?

This guy.

DSCN1851

From the second I asked if he wanted to go – he was completely on board and excited to accompany me. We got him a brand new, tailored suit. He wore terribly uncomfortable shoes all night long. He schmoozed with absolutely everyone I needed and wanted him to. He supported me and my career, just like he has every single day since were just kids dating and talking about our dreams.

Attending a party for a company like this is something I’ve dreamed about since I was a kid. That sounds terribly vapid, I know. But growing up in a 100 person town – the thought of being a kick ass working gal and attending company events in a big city was something that enamored me.

And here we are.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

And when I say WE, I mean WE. I worked hard to get an awesome position at a great company in downtown Seattle all by myself, yes. But my husband has helped make it possible. I give credit where credit is due, and as someone who teeters on giving up when rejections pour in while job searching – he’s the one who has kept me grounded time and time again whispering in my ear, “Keep going.”

To anyone who follows me on social media – Oops. Last night was such a big deal for me. Not just because I got in a pretty dress and figured out how to curl my hair with a straightener (although that helped). We were there because I’ve been working my ASS off at this job since late August, continuing to build a career/life I’ve dreamed of. Having my husband by my side who was so damn proud of me was just the cherry on top.

Marry someone who pushes you and cheers for you, and knows when to do which.

IMG_4522

“You don’t need another human being to make your life complete, but let’s be honest. Having your wounds kissed by someone who doesn’t see them as disasters in your soul, but cracks to put their love into, is the most calming thing in this world.”

Emery Allen

Perspective

Perspective

My house is so messy right now. I am talking clothes strewn all over my kitchen, laundry up to my eyeballs, dishes in the sink, rugs that need vacuuming, counter and table tops in desperate need of organizing, and leftover glasses on the coffee table.

But my life is so full right now. Those clothes all over the foyer and kitchen are drying off next to the heater after the best day skiing in Washington’s Cascade mountain range. The laundry is from a wild week of work and working out and after work fun so I was changing at least twice a day. The rugs are trekked with mud from three people going outside in Washington’s cool, drizzly winter (instead of negative, bitter cold!!!). The table and counter tops are filled with mail and bills because we have somewhere to call home and electricity, heat, and water. And the leftover glasses are because we spend most of our evenings hanging together in the living room (me, husband, and our fabulous roomie) watching movies and socializing. The holidays are also out in full force here and among the mess we have colorful holiday lights, a glittering tree, rugs with snowmen, tins of Christmas cookies, and a hodge podge of various decorations.

Perspective.

Life is busy and messy, but I am grateful.

I’ve had people comment on my photos and on things I post on social media with sentiments like: “Wow, I’m so jealous of your adventures!” or “You really know how to live life!”.

Here’s the thing:

I am a pessimist at heart. My life is nowhere near as perfect as the filters I use on VSCOCam. I work long hours. I argue with my husband. I have a messy home. I don’t know how to decorate. Sometimes I eat ice cream and cookies for dinner. I can be the crankiest person in the world. I envy other people even when I shouldn’t. I am flawed.

But I am also determined to live the most full, fun life I can. I wake up early and workout and try to eat right so I feel good about myself when I lay back in bed at night. I plan trips and excursions by saving my money and [not so] patiently waiting for the event. I put effort into making holiday memories because I grew up fondly remembering the effort my mom made for holidays. I also take pictures of it all because as a pessimist and an observant, reflective soul, I need to remind myself constantly that LIFE IS GOOD.

I can look at my house in this moment and feel disheartened that I can’t keep it clean or perfect, grow frustrated with my husband, or spend my entire day ignoring everyone to clean it perfectly. OR I can recognize that good memories create a messy home. Effort creates a good life. Working towards being an optimist will one day make me one.

The sun is currently shining despite the fact that my weather app says rain all day (& for the next 10 days).

I think I’ll take that as a sign. I hope you do too.

“I’m a pessimist because of intelligence, but an optimist because of will.”
Antonio Gramsci, Gramsci’s Prison Letters

 

 

Travel Tuesday: Skykomish River Cabin

Washington’s weather has been a dream compared to everywhere else I’ve lived. No negative temperatures. No snow banks. No crazy thunderstorms. No air quality concerns. The list goes on. But I discovered after booking a river cabin on the Skykomish River northeast of Seattle that Washington is not always equipped for all of its rain. In fact, when the droplets are too big and too frequent – flooding ensues.

To say I was paranoid after we drove through standing water on a windy dirt road to this little ol’ cabin next to a flooding river in the middle of nowhere would be the understatement of the year.

Luckily, I like to take my husband along on adventures and he is the steadfast voice of reason in our relationship. After we were shown around our humble abode for the next twenty-four hours and told that the heat wasn’t working, the river is never usually this high, and the power had gone out on the previous tenant’s, my husband SOMEHOW convinced me to stay.

It also helped that the deposit was now nonrefundable at this point.

We drove back to the closest town and loaded up on rations in case we were stuck there for the weekend. My husband was actually HOPING this would happen. Opposites attract is no joke, folks.

We then got the fire roaring and settled in.

IMG_4051IMG_4050

DSCN1835DSCN1827

I will admit, as long as I didn’t stare too hard at the river continuing to rise and carrying down giant trees and branches…it was nice. They had cable in the middle of nowhere despite having no wifi or cell service so we watched cute late 90’s movies, made steak and salad for dinner, played scrabble, enjoyed drinks, and even braved the hot tub for a while. I felt pretty adventurous racing over to the hot tub in the pitch black with the roaring river and pouring rain around us.

It was especially nice to have a night away with my husband. Breaking away from the monotony of routine has always been so important for our relationship. Our “adventures” as we like to refer to them can be as simple as a long day hiking or a spontaneous beach trip or a night at a cabin on a flooding river. They always remind me how thankful I am to have him, and to reconnect like we’re high school kids falling in love all over again. Afterwards we always tend to hold hands a little more often, pick our battles a little more wisely, and be kinder to one another.

Overall, it turned out to be a really lovely evening.

We even discovered while driving back into the land of cell service the following day that there had been flooding all over the area and that had been the highest the Skykomish River had been in years. Over a foot above flash flood levels.

I’m glad we stayed, but I may try to plan our next adventure around the weather.

“Do one thing every day that scares you.”
Eleanor Roosevelt

Enter your email address to subscribe to Wanders & Words and receive notifications of new posts by email.