Friday, October 31, 2014

Kauai-Part I


If you ever have a chance to go to Kauai, I would definitely recommend it. We had the vacation of our dreams in Kauai and I already can't wait to plan another trip there in the future. Kauai has the perfect mix of relaxing beaches to soak up the sun and read a good book with the fun, adventurous activities. I think aside from the island being absolutely beautiful one of the best things about the island is how many free and fun activities there are to do! We didn't have to spend a ton of money on excursions because with a guide book and a rental car, we found our own adventure and enjoyed every minute of it.

We had a really long day of travel on our way to the island and came within of two minutes of missing our flight. Luckily we made it just in time but by the time we got to Hawaii we were EXHAUSTED and ready to sleep for days. Surprisingly though we were up by 5:30 AM the next morning because of the time change and after enjoying the gorgeous sunset from our room we went exploring and found a local coffee stand with incredible coffee and then found somewhere to eat breakfast near the ocean.




On our first day, we explored some of the local beaches including Shipwreck Beach which has some really cool cliffs that are easy to hike to the top of. There is even one point where there were people jumping off the cliff into the ocean. I am too much of a chicken to even consider that, but it was fun to watch the brave souls jumping from that high up. We relaxed, went to the grocery store, and ate at an amazing little hole in the wall place called Da Crack with incredibly huge burritos. 




The scenery driving around the island is just gorgeous. Kauai is called the Garden Island and it is stunning. You are surrounded by lush green plants, flowers, palm trees and gorgeous mountains everywhere. I just stared in amazement sometimes because of how beautiful it was. 

On our second day in Hawaii we decided to be adventurous and hike the first two miles of the Napali Coast. The trail is actually eleven miles each way, so a twenty-two mile round trip hike but we decided four was plenty for our first go. The hike was really intense, it was either steep uphill or steep downhill, and it was all very natural meaning there were rocks to climb, tree branches to hop over, streams to cross, etc. It was quite the workout but so worth it because the views were STUNNING.



The hike led to a secluded beach, and the surf was so high this day that the waves were crazy high. We thought about continuing another two miles to the waterfall, but we didn't pack a lunch so we decided we better turn back. The entire trip took us about three hours to hike to the beach and back and it is something that I definitely want to do again if we go back.


After our hike we discovered a local bakery that made amazing pizza, sandwiches and INCREDIBLE pastries. We had lunch and a delicious coconut cookie bar creation that I still think about fondly to this day. We visited the Kileau Light House and then headed back to the South Shore of the island where our hotel was.

I am breaking up the Hawaii recap and pictures into a few posts because A. recapping vacations is a lot of work and B. I don't want to overload you with a million pictures at once. Check back next week to see Part II of Hawaii pictures!

PS: Happy Halloween!!! Make sure to check in on Instagram later today to see my TWO costumes-my work costume and my party costume. My friends Karissa and Stacey (and our hubbies) are throwing a costume party tonight and it should be a blast!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Community Brew | Letting Go



The world has always been a pretty scary place for me. I can hardly stand to watch the news because I am always confronted with sad and tragic news. Everywhere we turn whether the news, social media, or overheard in the morning office there are car accidents and random acts of violence, there are mothers miscarrying the babies they prayed for and there are children kidnapped and things like Ebola and ISIS, there are lay off's and foreclosures and I could go on and on but I won't because I am not trying to depress anyone this early.

Maybe you're like me, and these type of stories and reports are not only scary to you, but they can send you into a tailspin of "What if that happens to me? What if MY husband gets in a car accident on the way home? What if I lost my job" For many years I have walked around with a heavy blanket of anxiety, worrying about the what ifs and the could happens. It is an unhealthy way to live, but I felt like that was just how my mind worked, and I couldn't rewire my brain.

I started my new job on Monday, but before I accepted the offer, I was terrified of the change. I was terrified of having to start all over, to go on a probationary period again, terrified of having a new boss and new coworkers and doubted my ability to learn and excel at something new. Through some great counsel from my husband, mom and girlfriend, I didn't let that fear hold me back, and now just three days into the new job, I am glad I let go of that anxiety and made the leap anyway.

The past few weeks, I have felt a greater sense of peace than I have felt for as long as I can remember. I've let go of the things I can't control, I've given myself permission to enjoy each moment instead of fearing what is coming next. I've practiced thanking God for the little blessings in each day, and praying for His will to be done when I feel anxious or afraid. It helps me tremendously to go back through old prayer journals and look at all the ways God has answered my prayers and provided for our family. I rest easier knowing that although there are still countless things that could go wrong in my life, my family's life, this country and world, I know that God is still good. He is still God and he takes care of His children.

Worrying about them, stressing, keeping ourselves up at night over the what ifs is really saying to God that we don't trust Him to take care of us. And lately, when I have moments of fear or anxiety, I whisper to God "I trust you." Tragedy and sadness are everywhere in this broken world, but I know that God can redeem any situation, any heartbreak, any tragedy for His glory. That is worth trusting in to me.

Linking up with Rachel and Maddison for Community Brew one of my most favorite monthly linkups. 

Monday, October 27, 2014

1st Anniversary



A little late is better than never, right? Ronnie and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary on Sunday, October 5th and it was such a fun, relaxing day with my hubby. We didn't do anything extravagant or exchange gifts because we had our big Hawaii trip coming up just three days later, but we did enjoy our day together and reflect on how fast the year went, but how much we had experienced together in just one year! 

I woke up to a beautiful bouquet of flowers and a Starbucks delivery in bed Sunday morning. I didn't take a picture of my gorgeous flowers but they sat on my vanity and were enjoyed until we left for Hawaii. We went to our favorite breakfast place, Big City Coffee and even met a lovely older couple who took our picture and asked if it was our dating anniversary. Bless them. 

After breakfast and coffee, we did some shopping and came back home and cut into our cake. We opted out of the tradition of freezing the cake and instead we had a brand new cake from our bakery that replicated our top layer and enjoyed fresh cake. I wanted to drink wine from our toasting glasses from the wedding but of course, I dropped one and it shattered. I wasn't TOO attached to them but I was a little disappointed. It really was the perfect, relaxing day with my husband, and then just three days later we hopped on a plane and celebrated in Hawaii for a whole week!


I seriously could not have married someone more perfect for me. Ronnie is the calm to my anxious, the funny to my serious, the outgoing to my introverted nature, the spontaneous to my planning. He is selfless and giving to a fault, and is the most generous person I've ever met. He knows exactly what I need on hard days, whether that is a heated blanket and cup of tea when I get home from a fifteen hour day or a Netflix binge on Saturday mornings. I love him more than I did on the day I married him even though I was sure on that day I could never love him any more than I did without my heart bursting. 




Here's to many more years of love, happiness and memories! 



Monday, October 20, 2014

Real Life Is Hard

This is no longer my view when I wake up and that is devastating 

Monday mornings are always a little harder than other mornings, but lets be honest, this particular morning, I am really struggling. Its the first Monday we're back to work after a week and a half vacation in Hawaii and I probably am going to be crying about it for the next week or two. Not only is the time difference a total killer because our bodies believe its four hours earlier than it actually is in Idaho, but now we have actual responsibilities and alarm clocks and have to make our own food. Wah way wah.

As for our weekend, although it was nice to have a weekend before returning to work, we stayed REALLY busy. We took the red-eye flight home Thursday night and arrived in Boise around 9:30 on Friday morning and went almost immediately to our beds and slept for most of the day. We met up with our wedding photographer and her husband that evening for a fall anniversary photo session and then went out to dinner with them which was a total blast. We absolutely adore them and love when we get to spend time with them. Our lovely photographer posted a sneak peak at our pictures that we are already in LOVE with. Fall is seriously the BEST.




Saturday morning we slept in til almost ten which is unheard of for us, but the time change was just killing me! It just so happens that our family pictures were scheduled for Saturday afternoon, so after lounging around feeling bad for ourselves that we were preparing our own food and wearing sweaters instead of swimsuits, we met up with my mom's side of the family and had even more pictures taken.

As soon as those were over, I headed to my gorgeous friend Karissa's pageant. Her mom and I are kindred spirits and got to the event an hour and a half early so we could be first in line and were Mrs. Meridian Villages biggest fans. Karissa did AMAZING and placed in the Top 15 AND she won Mrs. Photogenic because, duh, have you seen her? To celebrate we indulged in pizza and wine at her parents house after and it was seriously SUCH a fun night. I am so proud of her and if you want more details you should keep your eye out for a blog post from here in the near future.


Sunday was hard because it was full of adult, real life responsibilities like grocery shopping, cleaning, and laundry. We have a busy week coming up, Ronnie is starting his second quarter of school, I am babysitting, and I am running the Arthritis Foundation Run on Saturday. Its my last week of work in my current office which is SO bittersweet but I am looking forward to this new challenge. Stay tuned for more Hawaii stories soon, friends. Its SO good to be back.


Friday, October 17, 2014

Silky, Soft, Shiny Hair by Dove




I just spent eight days at the beach and for the first time ever, loved my hair the whole time! I have long and thick hair that is prone to tangles and knots so I am very picky about the hair products I use. While we were in Hawaii, I packed my Dove Pure Care Dry Oil products knowing that my hair would need some extra love because I'd be spending my days in the sun, salt water and the chlorine filled pools.  




I wanted to be able to transition easily from beach hair to pretty and stylish date night hair, and I was pleasantly surprised to see how easily my hair styled after using the delicious smelling shampoo and conditioner. This stuff left my hair smelling like angel dust all day and feeling softer than ever. After just one wash my hair felt silkier and was tangle free. I can't wait to try out some of the fall hairstyles I keep seeing. Lately I've loved the gorgeous braids and the side ponytails I've been seeing on my Pinterest boards!

The dry oil features a blend of African Macadamia oil and Coconut oil and the combination of the two gives it an incredible smell. I loved how quickly it absorbed into my hair, leaving it shiny and smooth without looking greasy.




My biggest complaint with most shampoos and conditioners is that they leave my hair feeling weighted down with residue but the Dove Pure Care Dry Oil products left my hair silky and smooth without weighing it down.  This product line would be perfect for all hair types and I dare you to give it a try yourself and fall in love with the touch and feel of your hair or your money back!

Dove will refund your money if you're not completely satisfied.* I LOVE a company that stands behind their product. If you do give it a try, make sure to share your silky results at #silkyhairdare, and if you want a chance to win up to 20,000 in prizes** use the hashtag #silkyhairdaresweeps for a chance to win. Just visit Dove.com for more information.


*If you are not completely satisfied with the Dove Advanced Hair Series Pure Care Dry Oil system, Dove will refund your purchase (from 9/21 – 12/31). Visit hairmoneyback.com for details 

 **No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. The Dove Silky Hair Dare Sweepstakes is sponsored by Conopco, Inc., d/b/a Unilever. Open to legal residents of the 50 U.S. & D.C., 18 & older. Begins 12:00 p.m. ET on 9/25/14 and ends 12:00 p.m. ET on 11/20/14. For Official Rules, visit http://www.dove.us/Products/Hair/Advanced-Hair-Series/rules.aspx


I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.