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Frost & Fog of January

Frost & Fog of January

Since the start of the new year, it seems winter has really started to settle in. Days and nights are growing much colder, frost lasts most of the day in some places, and that eerie cold fog is sometimes so thick you can’t see more than a couple dozen yards in front of you. The frost & fog together really brings the winter feel back, and just reminds us that it’s time to stay indoors around the fire drinking hot chocolate and cuddling up with our loved ones, human and furry alike. Even my cats seem to be more cuddly and cute.

The other day was one such foggy and frosty day, but it was also really sunny out. So we decided to take advantage of the sun and go for a nice walk. But boy was it cold! Even with multiple layers, gloves and scarves it was still quite chilly. Luckily there was no wind or else we would not have lasted as long as we did. There were few other people out in the cold, not that we could see very far with all the fog. It was quiet and calm all around. Peaceful. It had been a little while since we’d been able to really get out in the sun, and this little walk around the neighborhood was just what we needed. Some fresh air and sunshine does a body good, especially in the wintertime when there’s not much sun and many days are spent indoors.

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Once we got to the small lake not far from the apartment, we spent some time with the ducks who seemed to be skating across the frozen surface. I felt bad for them and their poor feet, but Thom told me a little fun fact that I wasn’t aware of: Duck’s feet don’t have any nerves or blood vessels, so they don’t feel the cold on them. I thought that was pretty interesting and made me feel better about them walking around on the ice. Their little webbed feet slipping and sliding around as they walked. They were surprisingly mean to each other, a few of them kept biting at some of the other’s tail feathers, making them slip as they tried to quickly get away. Poor ducks.

There were some kids and families all around the lake, skipping rocks along the frozen surface, making the ice ring with an eerie sound as the rocks bounced along. If you’ve never done it, you should try skipping rocks along a frozen lake if you get the chance this winter. It’s a very interesting sound, echoing and reverberating around. You can also get a similar result if you take a long, whip of a branch and whack it against the surface, as we noticed from another little kid across the lake doing just that.

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These images are interesting. I was taking one of the other fence photos above while Thom was messing with the ice on the fence. If you look straight on at the fence, you can’t see the design (except if you cross your eyes you can kinda see the image). But if you look at the section of fence at an angle, you can see the design he drew. I love my husband. 🙂

All in all, it was a really nice walk that we took. The fog and sun really set an enchanting atmosphere that we both really enjoyed, and it was nice to just get out of the house and enjoy a walk. There’s not a lot of times during the winter when that happens, weather that’s not too cold or wet to just have a simple walk. It was welcomed.


Goals for 2016

Goals for 2016

With 2015 behind us, we start to look towards the new year and what it’s going to have in store for us. Many people have started on their New Year’s Resolutions list. I personally am not a fan of the whole “new year, new me” thing. I prefer to think of it in terms of it’s a new year to start fresh on making myself a better person. Another year to try and make life better than the year before, and the year before that one. Rather than throw out the person I was last year in order to make room for a “newer model” me, I’d much rather remember the good things about myself and help nurture those things that make me, me.

So to start the year off on a positive foot, I put together a list of goals that I would like to accomplish by the end of the year that I think will not only nurture my life and help it to flourish in a positive way, but it will help enrich my life and make it feel worth living to the fullest. Not to mention, help me love myself more and more.

Take 10,000 photos ~ Photography is one thing that I’m growing more and more passionate about. The one thing my photography skills are still faltering in is actually using manual settings. I feel that I take really good photos on the many settings that my camera has available to me, but I’d really love to be able to naturally use the manual settings to get the perfect shots. This goal is more one of practice and not just taking as many pictures as possible. Achieving this goal means taking my camera out more and actually using it. And to make this goal a bit more challenging, I’ve added take at least 10 amazing photos a month to this goal. Those pictures with the amazing lighting or just the right composure that just makes a photo better than average. Hopefully by the end of the year, those photos will be a lot more common.

Build the blog more ~ Last year, I finally achieved my goal of moving to my own self-hosted blog. Something I’ve wanted for a couple of years. Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, it’s time to really make this blog everything I hoped it would be and more. This includes nailing down the design to exactly how I want it and becoming more consistent in putting up new posts. This year I hope to put up at least 120 new posts on the blog. That’s only 10 posts a month on average, but I know sometimes I fall behind. Hopefully with this goal pushing me to keep going, I won’t fall behind and I’ll get better at posting more often and consistently on the blog.

Lose 50 lbs. by October ~ This one has a little bit more of a time limit because October is when Thom and I have our spiritual wedding ceremony. If you remember, we got legally married in a court last November, but that was not by any means our actual wedding. With the visa being what it is, we didn’t want to plan the actual wedding until we were together and able to plan it right. Well, that’s happening in October of this year and I’ve got some weight to lose before that happens. Losing the weight is just going to be the result of many other goals I have, including eating more consciously, exercising more, and being “more natural”. I want to be more aware of the things I’m putting in my body and also cooking home cooked meals rather than processed, store bought foods. Exercising is a must, and this is one that Thom is more than willing to help me out with because he wants to exercise more as well. Yay workout buddies! And lastly, being “more natural” which is sort of like being all natural, but not quite there. Pintrest has instilled this one in me and it’s a good thing. I’d love to get farther and farther away from chemicals and processed everythings. This year I want to really make the move in the right direction to becoming all natural, but I do not expect myself to do it all in one year. So this year, I want to become “more natural” and maybe next year’s goal will be to finish it up and go completely all natural.

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Read at least 6 new books ~ I am a typical bookworm in the fact that I have a LOT of books, many of which I haven’t read yet. I’ll be reading one book when I go out and buy a couple more, and then a couple more after that. I used to read all the time, but this past year I’ve really fallen away from reading. So this year, I want to at least make a dent in all the unread books I have and start reading again. Most likely it’ll be nightly reading before bed, which is a great way to wind down from the day and avoid electronics before bed.

Take at least one awesome roadtrip ~ A road trip needs to happen. It just has to. Other than my trips to see Thom in Ireland, I haven’t done any big trips and I don’t even remember the last time I went camping, which NEEDS to change this year. I have a couple of trips in mind already, and since my new job has paid vacation, I’m sure traveling won’t be a problem this year. I’m very excited for this year and all the adventures that are sure to happen.

Explore 10 new places/hikes ~ Washington has some amazing hidden gems all over just waiting to be discovered. Last year I found places like the Nisqually Wildlife Refuge and the Sesqualitchew Creek Trail. This year I hope to travel around the state more and find plenty of new favorite places to share with everyone.

2016 is sure to be an amazing year. Looking back on last year and all that has been accomplished, I’m excited to look ahead at what may be coming our way and how life may shift and change through the year. These goals will be a steady reminder of personal things I want to accomplish and to make sure that I take time from my sometimes hectic life to focus on myself and the person I want to be.

What are some goals you have for the year ahead?


2015 ~ A Year in Review

2015 ~ A Year in Review

A lot has happened in 2015. So many big events, so many big changes. I could easily say that 2015 has been one of the most eventful years that I can remember having. That’s not to say there weren’t some low events throughout the year, and things I will miss that have moved on from my life. But there’s so much that has come from this year, and taking a moment to look back through it all and remember just how far I have come as a person, and how far this blog has come, is just astounding. Here’s a look at what’s happened.


I got engaged AND married in the same year!

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I found a new hobby that I love!

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I’ve started exploring the state I live in more, and found a new favorite place to hike and relax.

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Little Owyn made his debut on the blog!

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I left my old job of 3 years and am now working for Trupanion, which I really enjoy.

What. A. Year! And that’s not all!

☮ I’ve started playing Magic the Gathering again (thank gods!)
☮ St. Patrick’s day was actually spent in Ireland this year.
☮ This blog FINALLY became self hosted (which I’m still very much learning the ropes with).
☮ I’ve reconnected with old friends that I never thought I’d see again, as well as made new awesome friends.
☮ I’m baking, cooking, and creating more. Not to mention my photography has really improved.
☮ Thom is living with me. ACTUALLY living with me, not just visiting!

It still amazes me how much has happened and all the things that have changed and are still changing. It’s always good to take a moment to reflect and see where things have lead you. This year, I’m pretty happy with. Next year, I have high hopes for. Big goals and plans, big events expected to happen, and I’m sure big things that I’m not even aware of yet.

It’s gonna be a big, amazing year. I can feel it.

How was your 2015?


Owyn’s Adventures ~ Through the Woods

Owyn’s Adventures ~ Through the Woods

Nikon D5200 W/18-55mm kit lens
Nikon D5200 W/18-55mm kit lens

Owyn has always been an adventurous soul. From the moment we picked him up from that little shop in Dublin, he’s been going on adventures that his tiny little leliphant legs could never take him on before. I mean, how many elephants do you see riding commercial airplanes?

Along the trail to Lake 22 in Granite Falls, Wa, there’s a little place perfect for little Owyn and his tiny, adventurous self. Hidden among the day to day of normal hikers, this small alcove is a delightful gem for someone like Owyn. A place where he can feel big like the rest of his family, with tall trees and huge mushrooms.

His own little slice of Nirvana.