Tuesday, September 20, 2016

September "Currently"

Haven't done one of these since June, and I'm really trying to get better about writing/blogging! Here are my September's "currently's". I cannot believe the month is almost through!

Reading: 2 books. "City of Thieves" and "Saving Abby" I have hard enough time finishing 1 book, so doing 2 at the same time is not smart. But I was feeling an "easy" read last weekend while we were camping!

Thinking: About how to decorate our house. We have now been in it almost 3 months, and the walls remain very bare. I just want it perfect - and my style. And our new house is very unique. It is a mixture of Southwest Rustic and Modern. The kitchen is all stainless steel and white cabinets - raised ceilings. But there are rooms with adobe brick walls concrete flooring. I just have to keep looking and pinteresting until I find the right pieces!

I wish I was more creative....

Frustrated: With the pool company that started their job on the day we closed....and they still haven't finished it. Our pool works great- but the spa doesn't. And Ryan has asked them to come back 6 (seriously) different times.

Now they are resorting to not answering phones or returning our calls. I get extra pissed off, because my Dad ran a company and he never left his customers dissatisfied or unanswered like this! He cared about his customers and put them 1st! Why is it so hard to find good, honest, hard working people these days?! Rant complete.

Feeling: Content to have some monotony for a while. Sometimes "monotony" is a good thing. I feel like our life has been such a whirlwind this year I don't even know when or where I got on the roller coaster.

We both made career changes, we were going to move to the Midwest, we changed our minds, we sold our house, we relocated the dog, we decided to stay in Tucson, we bought a house, visited family 1 week later, worked on settling in, took a trip to Barbados, had Ryan's mom out for a week.

All these obviously super exciting wonderful things! But I'm kind of ready for some "routine". At least for a few weeks ;)


Anticipating: Getting our baby back. Our baby is the 2 year old Golden Retriever, Miles. We both miss him so much - my heart kind of aches for his loyalty, for our long walks, and for his every day enthusiasm to see me! He flies from MSP to PHX October 15! Wish him luck! ;) (haha!)

Sad:  Every time I turn on the tv. I'm not going to get political here. I just get sad with all the scary tough things going on. Our upcoming election. And the amount of hatred and ugly that seems to exist more and more these days....

Working: On a drainage project in our backyard. It is so much labor - and doesn't really deliver the aesthetics one would hope! But it's necessary. We live in rough desert - and every time it rains, our yard floods. So we have been hauling rocks (8 TONS, in fact), shoveling dirt, and making our yard drain properly so we can eventually look at p8tting in fruit trees and a garden!

It's a marathon...not a sprint ;)

Grateful: For running. I work from home at a computer all day. And that can be rather isolating. I am so grateful for my 5 am running girlfriends, to set my day right! For the past 5 weeks, I've been helping coach Junior high cross country with one of my running friends who is a teacher/head coach at a local school. Running with these kids, coaching them, teaching them the passion of running is such a good "release" after a day of sitting at a desk! I never ever saw myself in this environment - but I have to say I love it!Such a fun age group to work with!

Listening: To Amazon Music these days. They have a great music app that is all playlists, and lets you create playlists too! Everything Amazon impresses me!!

Wishing: The rains would come in like they are supposed to this week, and cool the air off! I am tired of 100 degree days or 80 degree evenings, and ready for some fall weather! :) 

Monday, September 19, 2016

White Mountains Camping

So Thursday night Ryan and I were out hanging metal fencing to snake-proof our yard, and I said, "What should we do this weekend besides our 50 mile bike ride Saturday morning?"

And he said, "Do we have to bike?"

I said, "What else do you have going on?"

Ryan responded "Camping"

And within 2 hours we were rummaging through our camping gear and off to the grocery store to plan a spur-of-the-moment trip to the White Mountains!

White Mountains are about 4 hours NE of Tucson -- and it is my favorite place in the state! It is all pines and about 30 degrees cooler. In the winter time they get snow and all the hiking trails turn into cross country trails. The scenery is absolutely breath-taking and there is so much wild life!!

Our favorite camping destination in this area is Big Lake - and we always stay at Rainbow Campground, which is across the road from the lake.

I've gotten so used to reallllllly "roughing it" with backpacking -- that I felt like were staying at a 5-star resort. I started freaking out when I realized the bathrooms had flush toilets and a sink! (anyone who heard me must have thought I'm from the "back woods" lol)

Friday was a long day. I woke up at 4:10am, got a 5 mile run in, started work at 5:15 am, worked until 12:30 (which was almost a full 8 hr day!!), and then we drove 4.5 hours to the campground!

We got there just in time to set up camp, and watch the sunset just 1/4 mile from our tent! Breathtaking....


I LOVE the big pine trees! Look how big that thing is compare to our tent!


Saturday morning we had an early start. It was about 35 degrees, so it was a mad rush to get a fire started and breakfast cooking. We made breakfast burritos on our camp stove and coffee with pumpkin creamer. Warmed my soul! 

After breakfast, we headed down to the lake for some fishing. The view of the lake was breath-taking. We had the lake to ourselves for the 1st hour!

We rented a boat -and this time we got a motor boat. 5 years ago, we tried the row boat. And let's just say, that didn't work out so hot ;) -- it makes for a funny story in the long run!

I thought Ryan looked like "Grumpier Old Men" with his fishing hat and flannel!


I'm not much for fishing. I enjoy sitting in the boat with my Kindle and enjoying the lake.And perhaps a beverage.

 I was reading "City of Thieves" -but took a break for something different and picked up a book called "Saving Abby". It's a book about a couple who have been married 7 years, that cannot conceive, and they travel the world writing children's books to try to distract their pain.


After fishing we headed back to camp, I used our left-over fajita meat from Friday night to make campfire nachos, and then we headed out for a hike!

This was one of the best hikes I've ever done! We saw elk, a family of 5 deer, a fox, found (and devoured) wild raspberries, and got an amazing look-out! 


This was a map of the trail we did. We just did 5 miles of it up to Big Lake Lookout - which used to be a wildfire look-out station. When we were here 5 years ago, we got climb up in the tower, but that has since burned down :'(

Devastating burned trees. But eventually...new life will come.

This picture doesn't even come close to doing justice of how vast the view is. But if you can see the miles and miles and miles of "sticks" that were once lush pines. Very sad.




My attempt at a panoramic shot of the views from the top!




On the way down, we went off trail and were hunting for deer bones to bring home from Miles ( we get him back in less than 1 month, and he LOVES chewing on bones). All I could find were a few vertebrae bones though. 

However, what I did find was wild raspberries and poison oak! These raspberries were so sweet and delicious!! I didn't realize I was standing in a field of poison oak until after I ate the raspberries. I paid for it at 3am. ;)



Here is a picture of the trail. This was just such a neat and beautiful trail!! I could have stayed out there for hours.





Because we had a lot on our "to do list" at home, we decided to pack up early Sunday morning. Instead of cooking breakfast in the 35 degree temps, we decided to find a good breakfast shop on the way home.

We stopped in Pinetop, AZ -- which is an adorable little touristy mountain down. We had breakfast at a place called "Darbie's Cafe" and it was - a-mazing!! I had the Asparagus Crepes -- which were crepes stuffed with asparagus, onion, avocado, and tomato -- and had hollandaise on top.

These trips are always so restorative and good for us! It's going to be a crazy couple of months or so ahead of us -- so I am so happy we squeezed in a camping trip when we could!!