February 23rd

Saturday, February 23rd, 2019

Our day started out with a delicious breakfast of French toast, homemade whipped cream, and berries…

and ended with burgers made with all locally sourced ingredients. (And clever signage!)

So good, so good, so good.

Even with the amazing food, the company is even better. I’m always amazed at who God places in my life at what time. I didn’t walk into Kya’s wedding thinking I’d leave with such a deep connection with new people. Lifelong friends.

But I did.

So much laughing, so much vulnerability, transparency, and great discussions. Feeling so built up, so connected.

So amazing!


February 22nd

Friday, February 22nd, 2019

Kya and I were up at the wee hours of the morning today, and left for a warmer climate…

Houston, Texas for Girls Weekend 2019!

If you follow my blog, you’ve “met” Kya, and know that we’ve been best friends since we were eight and we were each other’s Maid of Honor.

Well last summer as I was planning Kya’s bachelorette party, I was introduced (via email as they lived in Houston) to Theresa and Emily, the other two ladies in Kya’s bridal party. We officially met face to face in July, come Kya’s actual bachelorette party.

We all hit it off, and by the end of bachelorette party weekend I found myself even more excited for the wedding knowing we’d all be spending time together again.

So sure enough, come wedding weekend (late September) we all had a complete blast, and we vowed we’d try to all get together again soon.

Late December Kya texted asking about a girls trip to Houston, and the planning began!

We laid pretty low today, but that won’t last long. Sounds like Theresa has a lot planned for us this weekend!

Picture of the hallway leading to Jonathon and Theresa’s study because their house has pretty light.

February 15th

Friday, February 15th, 2019

If you clicked into this post instead of just viewing the image from my main page, you’re in for a treat.

I saved some of my best images for those who fully committed to this post 😉

When Paul’s February schedule came out, we were first disappointed when we saw that Paul worked Valentine’s Day. That feeling quickly changed to excitement when we realized that although Paul was working, he would fly into Helena, Montana that night and not fly back out until Saturday – a thirty hour layover!

Loads were perfect, so I joined him on his flight here last night, where we picked up our rental truck and went to the hotel for the night.

We got up early this morning ready for our mini road trip! It was snowing, and in Montana it’s common for roads to stay snow packed all winter, so we threw the truck into four high and hit the road.

We had picked up a Montana road map last night, so looked it over and picked a direction that would bring us to a ghost town and started there.

Inches of snow still covered the mountain roads, and admittedly I was slightly terrified, but it was breathtaking.


We finally made it to Marysville, and pulled onto “Main Street” – which was covered in at least a foot of snow. In the picture of Paul above, he’s standing in out truck’s track.

Although very snowy, it was beautiful! It provided a lot of perspective on how tough those who originally lived here were.


After that little adventure, we came back down off the mountain and kept moving toward the town of Lincoln.

It was still snowing, and visibility wasn’t great, but when we saw large, dark shapes on the road ahead I was PUMPED.


As we approached, half the herd hustled across the road (and jumped over fences effortlessly!), while the other half moved back to the originating side of the road.


It was probably the highlight of the day for me. I had seen elk in Yellowstone when we went for our Honeymoon, but this herd wasn’t habituated to people. Truly amazing.

We pushed on and eventually stopped snowing. After passing through Lincoln, we found other friends along the way.


There was wildlife everywhere – I was in heaven! Many of them weren’t close enough to photograph, but there was so much life everywhere!

After moving out of mountain country, we found ourselves in ranchign country and while very different, it was just as beautiful.

This area was called Avon Valley, and they’re known for being “old school” out there. It proved to be true when driving around we say hay stacks.

Not stacks of hay bales – legit piles of loose hay. Hay stacks.

Traditonal and admirable.


January 10th

Thursday, January 10th, 2019

Have you ever had to sleep on a plane overnight? As in that’s the only sleep you get to function through the entire next day?

If you have, you hear me when I say that I am exhausted. It was the fastest 9 hours in a plane I think I’ve ever spent because I was asleep, but it wasn’t quality sleep by any means. (Yay for waking up every twenty minutes to your head nodding and your chin hitting your chest ha!)

So, I don’t have much to say today except that we made it home! And the landscape couldn’t look more different than where we were 12 hours ago.

Even with the cooler temps and snow, we are so glad to be home!

January 9th

Wednesday, January 9th, 2019

It took us forever to decide what to do today.

Mostly because we didn’t have to be to the airport until 8pm but Emma had to check out of the hotel this morning, so out last access to a shower was 10am. Which maybe doesn’t seem like a big deal until you think about the fact that anywhere you go and anything you do in Hawaii requires sunscreen unless you want to bake. Which also means you sweat a lot.

In an effort to be kind to our fellow passengers for tonight’s flight we were trying to brainstorm things we could do inside – which seemed like a total crime when you’re in a place as beautiful as Hawaii.

So in the end we said screw it, and we went to the beach. And boy, are we sure glad we did!

One of our favorite restaurants on the beach is Duke’s. We ended up going there for dinner on Sunday night and turns out they do a big party on Sundays. Have you ever heard the song “Duke’s on Sunday” by Jimmy Buffet? We hadn’t until Sunday when we walked up and there was a massive amount of people waiting for a table. Someone said something about how busy it was to the hostess and she smiled, shrugged, and said “Well, that’s Duke’s on Sunday.”

It came so naturally off her tongue that it seemed like a tagline or something. We didn’t think overly hard about it until another waiter came by and it said “Duke’s on Sunday” on his shirt. Then naturally we Googled it, and it’s a big thing evidently. It was really fun to be there and experience that. Live music, good food, and dance party on the beach.

Anyway, we really like eating there, so we thought we’d go for lunch one last time.

That end of the beach is a twenty minute walk from the resort, so we planned to go to that side and spend the entire afternoon there. When we made it over there, we remembered that a crew does Catamaran sails off the beach there, and we didn’t get to go last time.


We were able to hop on the early sail, and there was only 8 other people on the boat. Normally they can go out with 60 people! It was private and so wonderful – we were able to move around on the boat and we got to really chat with the couple of guys running the sails. I was almost dance-party worthy excited when they said that they saw dolphins all day yesterday, and that it was whale season. Especially when we weren’t ten minutes into our sail and we saw a sea turtle!


I was sitting there really booting myself in the behind for not having my camera, because DUH DOLPHINS AND WHALES – but in the end, we didn’t see any of either.

So I’m glad to report that I did indeed survive an entire vacation without my big camera. In fact, as I was sitting on the bus with Paul on our way to the airport I thought to myself that I was actually glad I didn’t bring it with – it was a treat to be unburdened by gear and be able to be truly present. I wasn’t able to provide quality pictures for you all and this blog, but I hope you’ll forgive me.

See you back in MN, friends!

January 8th

Tuesday, January 8th, 2019

The perk to travelling backward in time zones when on vacation is that you wake up early feeling like you’ve slept in.

Hawaii is four hours behind Central Time, so even when waking up at 6, you feel like you’ve slept in until ten. During the day, you also feel like it’s later than it is so it’s a great feeling when you get to say “it’s only ten o’clock! It feels like the middle of the afternoon – we still have the entire day ahead of us!”

That also means that you’re ready to go to bed at dinner time, but I’m also an early to bed kind of girl, so being asleep by 8 or 9 is ok with me.

Anyway, back to early rising. I love going out and walking around before the crowds are out. It’s peaceful, and I love feeling like I’ve gotten a head start on everyone else.

This morning on the way to breakfast we walked past the Ilikea Marina, and the stillness of the water and softness of the light felt magical.

January 7th

Monday, January 7th, 2019

Well, it’s Monday and we’re still here.

Looks like when we come to Hawaii we need to plan on buying tickets home in advance because this is all just ridiculous. Almost every flight we’ve looked at are oversold by at least five to ten seats with thirty people on the standby lists today through Thursday.

That’s a big ‘ol nope for us.

So we chose to buy tickets home so we’ll be here until Wednesday night. Emma’s also here through Wednesday, so luckily she’s willing to let us continue to stay with her.

So today we decided to get out of Waikiki and go hike. Paul and I tried to hike Diamond Head while we were here last time, but it was the parking lot and waiting lines were full so we decided to bail. The perk to that is that this time around we knew not to bother driving, so we opted to take the city bus.

Worked like a charm – we walked right on in past all of the cars without any waiting.

While normally I wouldn’t consider this a traditional hike as it’s very commercialized, it was definitely a lot of work. Lots and lots of stairs.

The views were pretty spectacular. This picture was taken about a third of the way coming back down; from the top of Diamond Head you overlooked Honolulu one direction and when you faced the other way you could see Maui in the distance!

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!


January 4th

Friday, January 4th, 2019

We haven’t told anyone our plans but – surprise! We’re back in Oahu!

This trip wasn’t planned, definitely spur of the moment, but we are happy happy happy to be here!

My sister, Emma, is a graduate student at NDSU pursuing a doctorate in psychology. As part of her research, she submits projects to conferences all over the world and presents at them. Last summer she attended a conference in  Bath, United Kingdom, and this weekend she’s presenting here in Honolulu.

Emma had made a comment about us coming with her a couple of weeks ago, and we initially laughed it off, but as the day got closer and loads looked good to go, we decided why the heck not.

So here we are, back again after only seven months. The weather is even better than the last time we came (80’s and sunshine all weekend long!), and since we’re staying at the Hilton Hawaiian Village right on the beach, our plan is to lie low and relax in the sunshine on said beach.

Not bad for an impromptu vacation!

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 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!

June 4th

Monday, June 4th, 2018

We made it home!

I’ve only had one hour of sleep in the last thirty hours, but we made it.

Paul and I did get in early to LAX (Thanks, Nick!), but we still had to run for our flight. And not just through one terminal, but out of one, across the parking ramp at LAX, into a different terminal, through security, and then to our gate.

All in fifteen minutes.

If you can believe it, WE ACTUALLY MADE IT.

It helped that it was midnight, so didn’t have to dodge many people, but it was still intense.

But once again, we made it home, so it was worth it.

Everything is so full and green here! All of my landscape plants are alive and blooming, and my garden is flourishing. (Including the weeds, but we won’t talk about that 😉 )

Hawaii was absolutely amazing (we almost didn’t come home), and I’m so glad we went. But at the end of vacation, you’re always ready to come home, snuggle with the fur babies, make some homemade food, and sleep in your own bed.

I cruised through and picked out my blog images, but now it’s time to really dig in and sort through everything I have and start posting some to social media – make sure to stay tuned for more!