This year I’m documenting what happens one little month at a time. It’s on my 101 list and it’s fun to keep track of what we’re doing. I’m sure that in years to come we’ll look back on the little details and be happy that we can remember them 🙂 Cheers to that.
Coffee Shops Visited: 8
Slow Hand Coffee
Case Study Coffee
Jim & Patty’s
1 – Went to Arnold’s, Crema and RCA Studio-B.
2 – Went to Peg Leg Porker, Slow Hand Coffee Roasters. Cinco with Ernie
3 – Bowling with the Halter’s
4 – Oscar’s Party at the Halter’s
5 – Surprised the twins at their school before flying home (and discovering our flight was cancelled!)
9 – I bought Bachelor Nation 😀
10 – Went to Case Study Coffee + a cute little bakery next to it. Attempted to make a paleo apple crisp and it was AWFUL. 11 – Went to the Portland Saturday Market & Stumptown Coffee
14 – Volunteered at The Salvation Army
16 – Went to Camp Kuratli to help judge the Bible Bowl Competition
17 – Bible Bowl competition. Went to Jim & Patty’s.
19 – Got coffee with my friend Brandi at Hidden River.
21 – Volunteered at The Salvation Army
23 – Walked around the mall with my friend Anna. Had Happy Hour at Feast316 and met up with some friends at the Portland Night Market
27 – Went to Saint Simon Coffee Roasters + walked to the grocery store to get dinner.
28 – Went on a hike around Lacamas Lake. Justen told me it was a walk but it was straight up a hike.
30 – Spent the day at camp with the Nottles.
31 – Went to Thatcher’s, spent the evening with Alan + Maria
A few weeks ago Ernie asked me if I’d want to drive to Florida with him. He had a gig and the 9 hour drive and quick turn around would be a lot to do on his own. It took me like half a nanosecond to say yes, so on Saturday we woke up literally before the butt crack of dawn and hit the road.
As we were driving, I commented on the sun rising and I suddenly realized that I would be seeing the sun rise and set on my first day, which was on my 101 in 1001! How. brilliant. I ended up crossing off quite a few things from my 101.. keep reading 🙂
We drove through Georgia, stopping to get some peach cobbler.
We listened, of course, to Bruno Mars most of the way. Naturally, right?! and then we finally hit Florida and made our way to The Club Continental, where Ernie’s gig was. It was so beautiful and despite the bugs and humidity, I probably could have spent a long time looking at how beautiful the place was. I walked around a little bit and took some pictures before getting tired of the bugs and the way the air fogged up my camera.
Ernie’s show was right on the water, and as I watched the sun set, I realized I’d driven all the way from Washington to Florida over the past 3 weeks. Literally sea to shining sea, just like America the Beautiful. I saw it all.
The evening was pretty fun except for that moment when Ernie started singing “Pony” and I straight up walked out, haha.
I did a little reading and retired to bed early because I’d been so. exhausted. This wasn’t the worst view to wake up to:
“Stand in the Atlantic Ocean” has been on my 101 in 1001 days lists since 2011. There’s no way I was going to be in Florida and not make a case for me standing in the ocean. We didn’t have much time, but I told Ernie that I literally just needed to stand in the Atlantic Ocean, snap a picture and then we could go. So he dropped me off, I walked across a beach like I’ve only seen in a movie (the whitest sand I’ve ever seen and colorful umbrellas and sea shells all over), took my sandals off, let the ocean wash over my feet, took some pictures as proof and ran back to the car.
On our way back we saw signs for the original Chick-fil-A which you know I was all over, and only like 30 seconds later did I have the sobering realization that it was a Sunday and therefore I would not be able to indulge in a chicken sandwich from the first ever Chick-fil-A. But you’d better know that didn’t stop me from still seeing it. What the heck, first Chipotle and now Chick-fil-A? ALL. THE. EYE. ROLL.
A few weeks ago I let y’all in on some details from my life: I’m spending the summer in Nashville with the Halters! and Emily and I have driven from Vancouver, Washington HALFWAY ACROSS THE COUNTRY! Y’all, it’s SO CRAZY that we’re 1700 miles away from my home because it really doesn’t feel like it!
On our way out of Portland, we stopped at Multnomah Falls which was a really fun start to our cross country road trip.
The drive through the Gorge was so beautiful, and there was the most peaceful little viewpoint right outside of Idaho.
We made our way into Boise for some Boise Fry Company. It was happy hour so we got two small bowls of purple fries (WHAT) for the cost of one. I tried a few of the sauces – fry sauce, BBQ and BLUEBERRY KETCHUP (WHAT!). I ended up just eating them plain because they were that good.
After that we grabbed coffee and headed to our friend Annie’s house in Emmett, where we stayed for the night. After dinner we went with Annie and her precious girls to a little drive in for ice cream. I had what was basically an M&M blizzard. MY JAM. So good. It was also really good to stay up late talking to Annie – it’s literally been years since we’ve been able to do that!
That night we decided the next day we’d just spend the whole next day on the road to Denver. We stopped by Dutch Bros and got the cutest little messages from the barista who we’d told about our trip.
We passed through so many states! From Idaho we dipped into Utah where we stopped for coffee at literally the RUDEST Starbucks ever. It was like they were inconvenienced by their customers and plus have you EVER known anyone named Stephanie who spells their name like this?!
Whatever though! We passed from Utah into Wyoming, which was the worst of all the states. Just sooooo much boring.
From Wyoming we crossed into Colorado, where the scenery was literally almost immediately different and more beautiful. Driving through Colorado was so amazing. Also the first 40 minutes of Colorado we were rocking 99.9 MPG so that was pretty awesome.
We had this thought…. Chipotle STARTED in Denver, so we should PROBABLY go to the 1st ever Chipotle! We spent all of Colorado thinking about how excited we were for first-ever-Chipotle. We finally pulled up and…
IT WAS CLOSED FOR REMODELING STARTING LAST WEEK OMG WHAT. So naturally by then we were on a Chipotle kick so we went to Chipotle for dinner before heading to our friend Cari’s house, where we were staying for that evening. We were so grateful to have a comfy bed and warm shower after such a long day in the car.
We realized that nobody had said nice things about driving through Kansas so we opted to instead drive through Nebraska which was surprisingly beautiful. We booked a hotel room, woke up and hit the road. My car key FOB ran out of battery which we fixed ourselves (little victories, okay?) and hit the road.
Nebraska was pretty and will forever go down in my memory as the place where I had Dunkin Donuts for the first time. Apparently that’s a big deal that I’ve never had DD but now I’m a real American I guess.
We made our way to Lincoln, Nebraska where we stayed for the night. After checking in to our hotel we went to Cracker Barrel where we literally ordered the front of the menu. Emily had the Chicken campfire meal, I had the beef, and we split the Smores dinner. It was so good and filling.
We got to the hotel, crawled into bed and watched trashy MTV shows until we went to sleep.
You know what’s crazy? It hasn’t really felt like we’re halfway across the country because each day we wake up, get in the same car that’s driven me around Washington, and then we drive. It makes the country seem so much smaller because suddenly it’s all so much more accessible.
My dad keeps saying this is such a special trip because we get to see so much of the country in a way you can only see by car. Ernie said he was excited because we got to see the whole purple mountains and amber waves stuff of the country, and it’s true! We saw the rockies and endless fields and skies that looked like they were straight from a Pixar film.
I never realized until this trip that I would love to see all of the cities in this whole country that I call home, and it’s amazing to me that I’ve lived so much of my life completely unaware of what was connected to me. I’m excited to make our way to Nashville, but I’m also really looking forward to being able to drive through America to get home, again. I might have to take a different route, though, so I can see all new things!
I spent HOURS making a post about what I was packing for Disneyland, and I’m sad that I got so busy I forgot to post it. I guess instead I’ll just share with you the one outfit I was really excited about, what I’d packed for March 16, 2017.
Disney hack: buy last year’s Disney Park merch on clearance at a Disney Store Outlet. I got those mouse ears for under $10 because they were 1/2 off park price and additional 25% off that. Praise hands emoji. The button is from Parkbound Buttons, the shirt is from onceuponamickeytee and the shorts were $5 at Goodwill. I’ve been in need of a new backpack so I caved and got this one which I LOOOVE.
I was so excited to wear this really accurate shirt, and I definitely got an extra shot of magic because…
Justen proposed to me at Disneyland! This is how it went down:
We had planned on getting a Photo Pass for the day so we could get a bunch of pictures taken all over. After one of the rides, Justen insisted we get our picture taken in front of the castle. I’d been trying to keep my expectations in check because I didn’t want to ruin a perfectly wonderful Disney trip by expecting Justen to propose, because if he didn’t then I’d feel disappointed and I never wanted that. We got a picture of Justen, my mom and myself:
Then Justen said he wanted a picture of just the two of us, and he went to pull something out of his backpack. I looked away because all of the alerts went off in my mind. I turned to look at Justen and…
Justen got the best ring ever. I didn’t even know how or when he did it, because we are always together. it was magic.
Excuse my nasty FitBit cover and my janky nails. I had asked Justen the night before if he thought my chipped manicure was noticeable and if I should re-paint my nails and he said no. EYE ROLL. 😀
The thing I love the most about the ring is that IT IS A CINDERELLA RING. SERIOUSLY. If you look at the ring from the side, there is a little gold carriage. I love that detail. It’s my favorite.
Actually that’s the second most thing I love about the ring. The first most thing I love is that Justen gave it to me because he wants to build a life with me.
THEN. Justen told me he had a surprise. We knew the Halters were going to be in town and we’d made dinner reservations with them, but he told me it wasn’t just the Halters. Rob and Stacy Birks, two people who have shown me what a healthy marriage is and have loved me and watched me grow and have welcomed me into their hearts, home and family, were coming too. and their daughter, one of my best friends, Lauren. and one of my other best friends, Taylor. and Justen’s uncle Brian.
But wait. There was more.
Justen’s work had purchased the photo pass for us. I cried even more then. I just lost it all.
I kept looking at the ring all day. I’d first seen it online and we finally found it in a store a few months ago. They’d asked me if I wanted to touch it and I had said nope and walked away. It was just so pretty. and now it was on my finger because Justen bought it for me to wear forever to remember that he is my family.
Dinner was great. Some of the most important people in my life who had never met each other were suddenly and magically sitting at a table together. It was overwhelming and felt like a dream.
At the end of the evening, after we said goodbye to everyone and they all left and Justen and I were walking around Disneyland, I told him that was the thing I was most excited about: that soon, after dinner’s are over and people have left, the days will end with me and Justen.
Best day at Disneyland ever. and I once saw Kylie Jenner at Disneyland, the same day Kanye West was at Disneyland… so the bar was set high 🙂
Real talk, and props if you can read through to the end of this:
Two years ago I went to Disneyland with a boy. He met the Halters and Taylor. and then he broke up with me when we got back. He made some stabs at the friendships he’d seen. and I suddenly felt silly for loving Disneyland, and I questioned my friendships. I felt like I might be broken beyond repair, like I would never know how to trust or open up. I wrote blog posts about it to help me heal, and I struggled a lot.
From the beginning of our relationship, Justen has allowed me to be myself. He has invested in my friendships, he has jumped on my silly love of Disneyland, and he has carefully handled all of the broken pieces of my life. I have never once felt the need to hide my feelings, put on an act, or keep tender things secret. He is the best person I have ever known and I am so excited for the future with him.
Last week, I took my FOURTH trip to Disneyland this year. FOUR TIMES, can you believe that?! Twice were really quick trips to surprise kids I love, and twice were with my mom & Justen. This time it was CHRISTMAS! and it was chilly. I say chilly but that's relative, because it was like 55 degrees there and we got home to a snow/ice storm. and I'm currently watching snow fall from the sky. Real snow, not magic Disney snow.
Our ride to the hotel was crazy. The shuttle driver was nice but kind of all over the place. It was like the first ride of the trip, AND we were crammed in the back. It was a little sketch.
We did a bunch of typical things: we dole whipped, space mountain-ed, big thunder mountain'ed and Starbucks'ed.
Y'all know I love Starbucks, but I ESPECIALLY love Starbucks at Disneyland. My go-to drink at the parks is a Caramel iced coffee with cream. It's like a poor man's iced caramel latte.
I LOOOOVED the Christmas decorations. I didn't snap tons of pictures of them, but the castle + main street at night were AMAZING. and the tree was HUGE!
We also tried some new things! I'd never been on the Peter Pan ride, which my friend Savannah thought was ridiculous. So we braved the long ride to go on it for the first time and it was totally worth it. Such a cool ride, and I cannot believe I've never been on it! Justen and I split a clam chowder bread bowl, which was so good. And since they're taking out Tower of Terror, I convinced Justen to go on it so he can say he's done it. We were seriously so nervous the whole time – we almost talked ourselves out of it, but I'm glad we didn't! We also convinced my mom to live on the edge a little bit and we rode Mickey's Fun Wheel – which was really cool!
AND – we spent almost a full day in California Adventure, which I have NEVER done…. like ever. I usually kind of aimlessly wander around that park wanting to go back to the other park, but this time we logged some hours and I have a new appreciation for DCA!
We went into the Ghiradelli store probably 5 times just for the free sample – but at the end, I bought a small bag of candy. Including a caramel pumpkin spice square, which a lady at Target had told me was terrible, but it was SO GOOD, y'all. I never realized they had boardwalk games, so one day Justen and I played each other – he won a little Mickey stuffed animal because he beat everyone me. Even though I convinced him to give me the Mickey, I was determined to beat him so we went back and right as we were about to start playing, like FOUR OTHER PEOPLE joined and I was so frustrated because I just wanted to beat Justen and win my own Mickey. Well guess what… I ACTUALLY BEAT EVERYONE, and instead of a little Mickey I got this medium sized Bullseye. Cheapest souvenier of all. A less cheap souvenier? This popcorn bucket. IDK you guys, sometimes I just really want something and I REALLY WANTED that popcorn bucket.
** shoes: TOMS via Goodwill Bins // Jeans: Forever 21 (similar) // White shirt: Forever 21 // Sunflower cardigan: Forever 21 (similar) via Goodwill Bins **
The best part of all of this? At one point we were walking and I told Justen I remember so many trips to Disneyland I imagined I'd be there with a boy someday. and he's the best one I could ever go to Disneyland with. AND. He got an annual pass. Can't wait for more Disney days with him in 2017 (and beyond) 🙂
Every August for the past few years, I’ll be at my friends’ house while they are packing for their family Labor Day weekend. and every August, little William has asked me if I was going to Lummi. This year I was finally able to go, and it was so much fun.
Lummi is a pretty small Salvation Army camp in northern Washington.. ON AN ISLAND! It’s SO CUTE.
One of the coolest parts is that the camp is located right on the beach, so we spent decent amounts of time there, treasure hunting when the tide was low.
I was so grateful for the beach, the puzzles, the drives to the Islander store, sleeping in a tent, and drinking coffee with people I love so very much. It was a quiet, relaxing weekend to buffer between Nashville and returning to work.
One evening I snuck away to the beach to spend some time with the Lord, and I shared with him how wonderful it is to be so loved and so welcomed into people’s lives. I got to spend a weekend with grandparents and uncles and aunts and nieces and nephews and great-grand children.. all people I already knew and loved prior to that weekend. Family is such a gift – to those born into it and to those welcomed in.