Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Waiting, and Waiting, and Waiting: Enjoy the Journey!

TIME: I don't even know what it is anymore. It's gone by fast when I think of the fact that 2015 is gone and we are halfway through the first month of 2016. Yet I feel like it could still possibly be 2014 (partly kidding). Infrequently does it seem that it's also crept by like a slug or a turtle or whatever could possibly be slower. I can't even believe the words "two years" when it comes out of my mouth and I think of the first adoption application we sent in. Nonetheless, there's been a lot of waiting, a lot of praying, and A LOT of living.

That's one thing I've never read in books. What in the world do you do in the meantime? My simple response: keep on living. Because there will be times you may find yourself sitting and waiting. You will sit and wait and do nothing but that. It's easy to get caught up in it. Your mind will play games with you and more than once or seven times..."maybe this is a sign, maybe this will be the week, maybe after I do this or that they will call us for a referral of our child." And then it doesn't happen.
Trust me, just when you think you've waiting long enough and you tell yourself you are the most patience human being on this planet, you will all of a sudden feel like you're unlearning how to wait and unlearning how to be patient. Then you seem like you've become the most impatient human being and have no ability to wait for anything. I only partly joke.

Let me tell you, there will be times that seem even harder. Your heart will seem as though it's seriously aching. It will ache for your desire of this child. It will ache for the grief the child will experience when you take them from what they only knew. And at some point, your heart will ache for his/her biological mother and the loss, the grief, and the situation she may have been in. I'm no expert on adoption, but I like to think this is a normal feeling. And with anything in life, it will all be ok.

For me, the holidays this year were a bit of a struggle. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the time with family and friends. BUT, selfishly I wanted it to be the time of our call. I wanted to have whoever this child may be in our home. I wanted he or she to experience their first Christmas with us. That timing, for whatever reason, was not meant to be. And all of that, it's ok. My faith has grown so strong that what I know is that the time of the call will be the best time. Whenever that best time is, we can't wait to see how it unfolds itself. That that will be his/her story, that will be our journey to our child, and that will be the time we become a family. 

So, enjoy the journey. Travel, have weekly dinners with family and friends, take on new experiences, read more books, learn a new trick, love your spouse every day, and never give up faith. Whatever you do, don't let the waiting eat you up. There's more to life then sitting around waiting until the next journey in your life happens! 

To all you adoptive Mamas and Dads, if you have suggestions for all those waiting for that call, fun experiences you had during your waiting journey, books you read, or any such ideas please share your wealth of knowledge!


Friday, September 18, 2015

2 Months Later + A Tool & Wood Shed Update

I haven't posted a blog in two whole months. Pretty much exactly to the date. I've decided I may have to become a seasonal blogger. While I'm hibernating (and not quite as busy), I will blog. And when the weather turns, I will disappear from the blogging world. It's happened twice now, but the previous time we were in SE Asia. So that time doesn't count because we rarely found ourself with Wifi, right? But this time, I may be posting but who in the hell knows when I'll do it again. Life becomes pretty simple outside of training, not blogging, and really having no idea what that next goal to achieve is. We'll see how long that lasts for me though because we all know I've got to be doing something.

But...the tool & wood shed I've posted about several times. Well it's been done for nearly two months, but I left it hanging until now. I told myself to blog about it back then, but you can see what happened to that. As far as explaining a DIY project like I usually do, I won't be this time. Weird, right? In fact, I have no idea how to make this thing. I just decorated the outside and organized the inside. My husband designed and put this beast together with the leftover hot tub cover/gazebo that was left here when we moved in last year. No better way to repurpose that thing, right? I think he purposely waited to do it while I was a work to surprise me every time I came home with a new project that was started/completed. I thought it was awesome because it was fun to come home to see what else was done around here. I'm all about fast can I get things done or making it a goal to have a certain amount of things completed before Ty gets home from work. Stupid, but also sooo rewarding to my tiny, goal-oriented, competitive brain.

Anyway, you all may have wanted the design, the instructions, the typical DIY post. This time it won't be happening and I apologize for that. If Ty blogged ever, we could force it out of him. Since he doesn't, you just get some photos below. Enjoy those because that's all you get.

Previously...when the fence had not been washed and stained, when we had green grass,
and when the hot tub cover was once that and nicely made at that.

The lattice opened up if you wanted to party, I'm assuming. You now, like open it up, put your food and drink on the bar, hang out.

We decided we would not be getting a hot tub, so my brother and cousin got the job
of tearing it down (thanks guys!). We sold the lattice with the old 8 foot sections of fence this last summer and used that money on, of course, projects. Duh.

Here comes the repurposing...that old bar from the hot tub a bench on the deck.

And the beginnings to the DIY shed...

*Ikea bar and hooks
*old planter bucket turned into storage bucket 

The shed...also good for storing our wood for summer bonfires and winter, keep me warm, fires.
Also good for organizing all my gardening of my favorite parts!

*Wire baskets can be found at Target in their storage/organization section

Repurposing that rain water...
*Clay pot on clearance at Home Depot in various colors
*Rain chain on Amazon

That's all...maybe if you're handy like my husband (and not oriented in projects like these), you can come up with one of your own. Have fun with it!

Happy Friday all!

PS-will someone do me a favor and bring back summer? I'm not quite ready for this fall business.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Your Guide To A Quick Crater Lake & Waterfall Adventure

We are known for quick trips. We like to run the trails, hang out at the view point, then run back. We pack quick, set up camp quick, and do it just the same when it's time to head home. I'm not sure if we do it because we can see more in a short time or if we like to be able to kick back and relax after it's all said and done. It's easy to do now since it's just the two of us. But what we think about often lately is what will it be like to travel with children...and we realize, definitely not like we do now. What we also think about is how we can't wait to show our children the world. Each one of our little adventures, we can't wait to show our little one the same. We want our children to explore, to seek these adventures, to see what the world has to offer, to meet individuals from all over as they travel, to experience life as much as they can. So why not pack them up and adventure with us when those days come? Let me tell you...we can't wait for that.

Until then, we will keep making several day trips into 24-36 hour trips and getting our exercise while we're exploring. Then maybe we'll blog about it so you can do the same. And if not that fast, do them in a few days and enjoy them! They are all simple and very short hikes that you, your kids, and your grandparents can all get out to see. If that's not enticing, I'm not sure what is. 

The Quickie
What it comes down to is this...take I-5 to Roseburg and get yourself on HWY 138. Most directions to get you to Crater Lake tend to use another highway (at least I think so). If you take a different highway, you won't find yourself hiking short trails to see this waterfalls and bummer for you. So be sure to head East from I-5 on 138 and you'll be guaranteed options and options of quick pit stops, quick hikes, and beautiful views (all stops are marked). We stopped at three or four places on the way to Crater Lake, but trust us, there are still many more stops you can make. So we will give you a few ideas of our top stops, but feel free to make as many stops as you wish if you have more time.

Stop One
Falls Creek Fall
1 mile

Stop Two
Toketee Falls (meaning "pretty")
Less than 1 mile
(going down to the falls is restricted except for the fact someone put a rope down the steep edge and some rock climbing area to aid those interested in getting down to the pool that the waterfall dumps into. It's a possibility you could get a little scrapped up, but worth the trek down there and back!)

Stop 3
Watson Falls
Largest plunge in Southern Oregon & third largest in Oregon


There are many more hikes as I said above. One that we missed that we'd highly suggest is Susan Creek Falls, which is also suppose to be another beauty of a waterfall. Although these were our picks on our way to biking the rim at Crater Lake, you can sure make your own trip out of it. And we would encourage you to do so!

Last Stop
Crater Lake!
33 mile rim + 3 miles of offshooting roads/dirt paths = 36.5 mile ride

Our attempts at selfies...I'll save you all the others, but we finally figured it out below!

What happens to your food when you reach this point.

This spot (Sun Notch/Phantom Ship Lookout) was in my top two favorite views around here!

While you're here...
1) check out the little or big trails
2) hike up to the fire lookout on the West Rim
3) hike down to the lake
4) jump in or don't (it's freezing)
5) enjoy a sunset

 The weather forecast stated complete clouds with high chances of rain and thunder showers. It rained on us at Watson Falls and we never saw a drop again. We felt extremely blessed with how this trip turned out as it would not have gone so smoothly if otherwise. In fact, it most likely wouldn't have been wise to attempt the ride in the rain and wind.

We highly suggest the Mazama campground site as it is about 6 miles to the East Rim or 7 miles to the West Rim. The campground sites are perfect and the bathrooms are well cared for. There's a store and a restaurant if you don't want to do the full-on camping. And who knows, maybe you'll end up making friends and hanging out over a fire with the people camping next door! Whatever you decide, we hope your quick trip down South is adventurous, a wonderful experience, and full of beauty. Whether it be rainy or sunny, this view will always be something profound. So soak it all up and be in awe while you're there!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Bison Burgs & A Blueberry Date Topper

You guys, these tan lines of mine are incredible. So incredible that the lifeguard at the pool the other day said something to me about them. I’m pretty sure his exact words were “those are some pretty impressive tan lines.” Thanks for pointing them out young man.  The combination looks something like this…

-sports bra tan line with high waisted bike shorts on the back
-white belly
-light tan lines from running in shorter shorts
-medium tan lines near my quad from the longer bike shorts
-it may or may not look like I still have socks on
-dark arms & chest…those are consistently in the sun so at least have that going for me if it’s really something to write home about.

Let’s just say it’s a good thing you all get to see me in regular clothes. They all hide fairly well. But if you catch me any other time don’t be shocked, don’t’ act surprised, don’t do a double take. 
Not worth your time.

For those of you who don’t care about any of that and just want to eat a blueberry date bison burger, here’s what you really came here for. I could eat these things for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It’s way too easy. So easy, I don’t even have measurements and so easy you won’t need them either.

Bison Burgs
2lbs ground bison
dash of salt
dash of pepper
dash of oregano

Mix all together in a medium bowl. Separate into sizes of burger preference (mini sliders vs. burger size). BBQ on your BBQ. Boom, done.

Blueberry Date Topper
2 handfuls of fresh, ripe blueberries
6-10 dates, pitted
dash of ground ginger
a squirt of water from the faucet

Place a small saucepan on medium heat. Toss all of the above into the pot, smash half of the blueberries, and let simmer. Stir occasionally until everything is soft and fairly mixed together. (it will not turn into a sauce, it should be thicker in texture). Serve atop your bison burgs!

Consider serving with some sautéed brussels or cauliflower rice. Simple. Now go squash it in minutes. Then eat it in seconds. Or savor over some period of time. We don’t care.

♥ C and my forever sidekick, T

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

The Ladies of The Backyard & Their Spot

You guys, I feel like I'm decorating the chicken coop as though I'm decorating a bedroom. If only I actually put the time and effort into decorating one of the rooms around here, something would actually look finished in the house. Instead, the chicken coop has been my deal. I love those little ladies back there...most of the time. The other times when they eat the strawberries and wreck the corn I planted is an entirely different story. Besides that, they are great. You all should have a pet chicken and maybe even a duck if you're husband will let you (Ty says no more birds, so I'm on to convincing him we should have a baby goat instead).

When I work on the computer on the table out back, the ladies like to join.
They obviously have some interest in blogging...

They also wanted me to share with you the happenings in their coop because they think you need to do the same for our chickens or at least take a few ideas and run with them. I humor myself when I think of it as a Ronald McDonald play place but for chickens...when really the only similarity is that they have food ready to them whenever they want in their little trough, we bring them snack packs of food similar to kid meals I guess, and they've got a few things to play with in their part of the yard (we recently decided to keep them in a certain area of the backyard to prevent so much poop everywhere when we have BBQs this summer because no guest wants to step in chicken poo).

Here ya have it...

*Less than a dollar Ikea pots...plant some nasturtium! 
If they don't eat the leaves, you will soon get some great foliage and pretty colored flowers that bloom. But most likely they will snack on them as they do with anything else. Good thing nasturtium is a natural wormer and antibiotic for the ladies! It becomes a treat for them and an added health bonus.

*Add a touch of lavender around the coop!
They love it. I love it. We all are happy. Plus it helps with insect repellent. Also a bonus!

*Plant pots specifically for the ladies in your garden.
All sorts of herbs, lettuce, fruits, veggies. You name it, they love to eat it. You can also add in some of the mint to their water or herb mixes to their lay boxes. They work as insecticides, have anti-bacterial properties, laying stimulants, and much more! Check here for more details. 

At the moment we have plenty of lettuce varieties, berries, chocolate and regular mint, parsley, cilantro, basil, rosemary, and sunflowers. Who knows what else will be added...I'm getting slightly addicted.

(pots from ikea, holes drilled into the bottom for drainage)

*Plant in the coop.
I can guarantee you that if you don't cover whatever it is you plant and allow them to grow, all the leaves and stems will be gone in minutes. Plant in the ground or plant in something like this...
We cut off the headboard from the spare bed frame we bought for the spare room, stained it, and then drilled soup and big coffee cans to the wood. Throw in some soil, plant whatever your heart desires, cover them with bird mesh, and let it all happen. Uncover the mesh when you're ready to let your ladies dig in!

*Snacks on snacks on snacks.
Our homegirls love watermelon and berries...placing leftover rinds in their coop to munch on keeps them busy.

(A little side note...the few things not to give them are avocado pits and peels, citrus fruits, 
& raw potato skins)

*Chicken tetherball.
String fruit and/or veggies on to something that will hold up with all the pecking that is attached to a wood stick of some sort. Our gals sure get into it!

*Chicken Pool
They don't really get in and swim, but they love their mini pool. They can drink from their trough, play in their pool. Perfect for all these hot days we've had!

Kathy didn't mind just hanging in the pool...

Cindy obviously wasn't about it...

And a few random chicken pictures because this is what life is like around here with chickens...

Sometimes just one will visit....
and sometimes they all think they've been invited in for coffee & snacks!

Double yoke eggs. Kinda like Christmas.

You plant for your ladies, your ladies will provide!

That's all we've got for now. Thanks for listening to the crazy chicken lady I've become!