February 24th

Sunday, February 24th, 2019

I forgot to mention in previous posts that one of the first things I said after walking outside at the airport was “it smells alive here!”

Theresa may have thought I was a tad crazy, but I could smell the greenery. The air held moisture, so it smelled like things growing.

That became the running joke of the weekend, so to further my excitement about things being alive, Emily suggested that we go walk the arboretum.

Not only were things alive and growing, but trees and flowers were BLOOMING! Skies were blue, birds were singing, bees buzzing, turtles swimming.

It was simply wonderful.

As if things couldn’t get any better, Kya and I were able to sit by the pool this afternoon after our arboretum visit as Emily and Theresa got some of their own things done.

So so wonderful.

January 5th

Saturday, January 5th, 2019

Good morning from the North Shore!

Emma had a free day today, so we decided to rent a car for the day so we could drive a loop around the rest of the island with her. However, we splurged a little and did something different than the last time we were here – we rented a convertible! No, not a mustang, a mid-size Mini Cooper, but it was marvelous.


We stopped and had breakfast at a local diner and then made our way up to our favorite beach (pictured). While it was a tad cooler there than other beaches in the area, it is also very very quiet. We made up half of the people on the beach this morning.  It felt nice to be in a quiet area after being down on Waikiki on a Friday night.

The rest of the day we hopped from beach to beach; there was a surfing competition going on at some other great beaches, so traffic was crazy and parking was a bit impossible which was a bummer, but we still enjoyed the drive.

It feels good to be back!


November 2nd

Friday, November 2nd, 2018

It was a gorgeous fall day for a walk through Crow Hassan with a good friend.

I’m not sure if this is a real phenomenon on not, but I swear bodies of water become darker and bolder colored in the fall. Paul and I call it “fall water.”

Today there was little wind, so protected pools like this one looked like glass, but even on windy days in the fall water seems to hold deeper color.


September 19th

Wednesday, September 19th, 2018

Up and at ‘em again early this morning (5am van ET, meaning 4am CT). 

Tampa to Raleigh, Raleigh to Boston. 

And heeey-o east coast!! I had seen the Atlantic Ocean while studying abroad in Scotland, actually lived on an island in the ocean for a couple of weeks, but I’d never seen it stateside. 

I don’t know what it is about water and sand, but it captivates me. The sounds, birds, textures in the sand. And it was beautifully overcast, and was exactly what I imagined the northeast to be. 

Revere Beach was where we had walked to from our hotel, and it was the first public beach in America. No joke, it seemed like there was history everywhere. 

Paul and I walked through the sand, and I giggled the entire time. I think he got a little tired of me saying “WOW look at that!!” after about the sixth time I said it. But he kept smiling and nodding – thanks babe 🙂

I was captivated. 

Paul finally pulled me away, and got busy crossing another first for me of my list – we rode the subway downtown! 

There’s a self guided tour, called Freedom Trail, that you can follow downtown that goes by some major historical sites in Boston. It was pretty neat! 

A 300 year old building (that now houses a Chipotle!), the site of the Boston Massacre, Paul Revere’s grave, Benjamin Franklin’s parents’ grave, churches, government buildings, it was really fun and informational. There were also many people dressed up as colonial people along the path (some were famous people like Ben Franklin), so that was a fun additional to help create a picture of the city a couple hundred years ago. 

We ate at a Wharff-side restaurant famous for their New England Clam Chowder soup, and it really was delicious. Paul and I both order a cup of it, and it came in an actual coffee mug. It made me wonder how big the bowl of soup was, ha!

Tomorrow I head straight back to Minne, and Paul finishes up a leg to Norfolk and then back home. I rarely go with Paul to work, mainly because he usually flies a lot and has short overnights, but this trip was perfectly structured and so fun. On top of that, every flight I flew this week was wide open; I never worried about making a flight, which took the stress and uncertainty right out of it. 

Paul and I have a map at home that he puts silver pins in to places he’s flown to, and we have black pins we put in for places we’ve flown to together. We have three new pins to place when we get home!

I’ve felt so thankful for this week! What a treat to be able to go to a couple new cities stress-free and explore. Memories that we’ll both treasure, that’s for sure. 

September 18th

Tuesday, September 18th, 2018

Our flight to Raleigh this morning was a gorgeous one. So many distinct layers of clouds, pretty ground fog, and flying into the sunrise. 

Also, who knew that North Carolina had so many trees!? That sounds like a silly observation, but the trees went all the way up to any water I could see, you couldn’t see the actual roads but could see where they go because they had to cut down thick forests to make them. At one point, I don’t think I could see any open ground, just treetops, for miles. 

From Raleigh we flew to Tampa for the night. We got in at 11:30, which was nice because we had the entire afternoon to ourselves. You guys, I know Florida is hot, but it’s mid-September and the temperature was 95, felt like 106. Paul and I walked to a spot for lunch and we were both a sweaty mess when we got there. So after lunch we went straight back to the hotel and jumped in the pool. 

After a little swim, a very light overcast layer of clouds moved in (which made the heat so much more tolerable) so we both napped in some lounge chairs poolside, and it was so lovely. After that, I am now fully ready to transition into fall weather once we get home. 

September 17th

Monday, September 17th, 2018

Once I get through security, I really don’t mind being at the airport. 

Especially in Minne. There are lots of great restaurants and entertainment options, as well as lots of little nooks to settle down in to relax and people watch. Not to mention free WiFi! (Says the girl who doesn’t have any at home, haha!) Concourse A is one of my favorite places to be. Mostly because it’s quiet and not overly busy. 

Paul had an early show this morning, and had a few extra flights that I elected to not go on so I hung out at MSP for most of the morning and flew direct to Nashville and met him and the crew there. 

The hotel was downtown, so once we got settled in we were able to walk a couple blocks to where all of the honky tonks are. We visited Jason Aldean’s restaurant, Luke Bryan’s new bar, and ended up at our favorite go-to from our last trip here – Honky Tonk Central. 

So much great live music everywhere! It’s such a fun place to be!

Up early in the morning, and then we’ll be on our way to Raleigh and Tampa!

September 3rd

Monday, September 3rd, 2018

Happy Labor Day!

If you weren’t laboring on Labor Day (and I suppose even if you were), I hope you were able to enjoy your day!

The weather was marvelous this morning, so Paul and I packed up our bikes and drove over to Elm Creek Park for a ride. We decided to bike the Medicine Lake regional trail; we started at Elm Creek Park, went by the high school, past the hospital, and ended up paralleling I-94 by Weaver Lake Road.

When Paul and I lived in Grand Forks when we were first married, we biked everywhere, all the time, so we splurged and bought me a sweet cruiser (if I do say so myself!). I love my bike, but living where we do now, we don’t have immediate access to hop on and take off at our front door, so it felt good to get out and tootle around again.

It was a beautiful trial, really well maintained. Busy initially, which I wasn’t a fan of, but I think if we were to go back on a day that wasn’t a holiday, it would be a little more enjoyable in that respect.

This trail had many bridges, which I liked – it added to the scenic nature of where we were riding, and added some variety to a basic paved trail. This large pedestrian bridge got us over County Road 81, and on the way back, I had to stop and take some images. It’s not often you get a perspective like this one!

August 24th

Friday, August 24th, 2018

I’ve always loved textures.

Photography is such a great way to not only document moments, but is a also a great way to evoke the senses.

Food photography can evoke your sense of smell and make your stomach grumble in anticipation. For me, I see a shot of a horse exhaling in the wintertime, their breath lit up, ad I can hear them breathing. You see someone jumping into a lake on a hot day, and you feel their relief (or at least long for it).

Today, I saw this GORGEOUS sheep’s coat, and I was so drawn to it.

Talking about evoking your emotions, I’m hoping it makes you want to touch it. To reach out and grab one of those perfect curls, watch it unfurl, and see how long it really is. To feel how all of the curls tickle your palm as you run your hand over it.  To experience it’s softness.

When we left for the fair this morning, I had visions of big, broad views of all of the people, animals, rides, and foods. But I came home drawn to this single moment with this individual animal. God whispered in my ear to look closely, to savor.

It was wonderful.

And because it’s my blog, and I do what I want, here are a couple more of my favorites from the day 😉


If we’re all being honest, I only go to the fair for the animals. So if you’re looking for the ferris wheel, hoards of people, or food, you’ll have to look elsewhere (although every year I always think I’m going to be that person (as noted above) – we all know better ha!).

August 4th

Saturday, August 4th, 2018

Smalls towns can get a bad rap, but I love this one.

Paul and I live in the very far corner of Rogers, the side that borders Corcoran and Hanover. When I tell people we live in Rogers, they automatically think the interstate side of town, so it never fails that I have to explain that we live in old Hassan Township, the “still rural” side of Rogers.

We live in an area that is serviced by a few school districts – Elk River (Rogers), STMA, and Buffalo. I completed kindergarten at Rogers Elementary, in the Elk River school system, but after that my parents open-enrolled my sisters and me in the Buffalo school district. The closest elementary school was Hanover, so that is where we went.

Although it is growing, Hanover is a small town of less than 1,500 people. No grocery store, no movie theater, no auto mechanics. Just a school, gas station, a couple restaurants, liquor store, some miscellaneous small businesses, post office, and 3+ churches.

So every summer, when they host the Hanover Harvest Festival (always the first Saturday in August), Paul and I always try to attend.

This year, our friends Tanner and Christine (by wifely default 😉 ), were a part of the lawn tractor pull event. I had never watched such an event, and was super intrigued, so we wouldn’t have missed it!

Tanner isn’t pictured here (I evidently was too busy cheering when Tanner would pull), but one contestant is hooking up, while another waits in line for their turn.

It was really fun to watch, and it added to the charm of the harvest fest for me. Small town, Minnesota, USA. Where the beer is sold out of the back of a Gator, the kids play on a pile of dirt (See the kid standing on top behind the crowd?), the local farming families wear matching shirts, and we soup up lawn tractors to pull a bob sled.

That makes some people roll their eyes I suppose, but I love it.

July 24th

Tuesday, July 24th, 2018

God is so good.

When life gets busy, it’s easy for me to forget that. I don’t know about you, but when life is good, it’s also easy for God to find a backseat.

I’ve found myself doing that lately. Going, going, going, and forgetting that I am most centered when I’m searching for God’s beauty and goodness daily. When I start to take life for granted I start to drift from God.

So this weekend when we were all walking in downtown Stillwater, we came across this sweet little local bookshop and stopped in. I found this treasure of a book called “The Tiny Book of Tiny Pleasures.” I started paging through it and fell in love; this book was made for me.

Some examples of the tiny pleasures captured within this book:
-Licking the mixing bowl clean
-A postcard that cheers you up, pinned above your desk
-Decorating a small corner of your life
-Breathing in nature
-Something that falls yet doesn’t break
-Pretty packaging
-Saying no for once (ha!)
-A beautifully laid table
-Bare branches etched in the moonlight
-Shelling your own peas
-Spotting a bird’s nest

There are four hundred pages in this book, and with each little phrase or item is a beautifully illustrated watercolor image that depicts each pleasure. It’s beautiful to page through, and may be my favorite book I’ve ever bought. So many small reminders of what pleasure is, and all of the places we can find it.

This morning was one that contained many small pleasures, all before 9 o-clock:
-A walk with a friend
-Morning light
-Two wild turkeys (with chicks!!) on our path
-Fresh summer air
-Greenery everywhere
-Bluebird skies

Then when I made it home, we had two other friends that joined us for breakfast:
-Doughnuts (because duh)
Good GREAT news
-Lots of laughter, smiling so much my cheeks hurt

Then off to lunch with more beautiful souls:
-Local eats
-Hugs with good friends
-Catching up on life
-God talk

Then back home again to appreciate the special man God made, who became my husband.

God is good, friends. God is good.

June 3rd

Sunday, June 3rd, 2018

We’re on our way home!

First to Kona (The Big Island), then to LAX.

I wanted to show a little comparison today of Oahu to the Big Island. Oahu is my main picture of the day today, and here is the Big Island as we came in.


Lots of green on Oahu, lots of brown lava rock on the Big Island. Although, I get it isn’t completely fair, as the ash in the air from the volcanic eruption makes it look even more barren there. But still, my point is made.

Speaking of the ash from the eruption, check out how hazy it was coming in:


You can see the coastline if you look reaaaaaally close.


Lots of crusty lava rock.

Anyway, from here we’ll go to LAX. Then hopefully we’ll make the red eye flight back to Minne. The first officer on our flight there is actually a friend of Paul’s, so we *may* have mentioned that it would be nice to get in a little early so we can make our flight, so we’ll see what happens. 😉