51 Things: Travel

In one of my early onsets into the social networking world {i.e. either Friendster, MySpace, or Multiply}, I attempted to list 100 Things to do Before I Die
First lesson: There are over 100 things I want to do and "2184379 Things To Do Before I Die" just didn't have the same catchy title... 


Hence the birth of my 51 Things series -- a different topic each post, items listed in no particular order, and 51 because 100 is just too damn long and like the contestants on The Price is Right, I want to be that jerk who says $251 after the guy before me says $250. One more is just that much better.


And obvies, as I accomplish items on my list, I will go back to the blog post and cross it out. 


So the first of my loves in life: Travel




1. Hear Holy Mass at the Vatican
2. Be in awe of the paintings at the Sistine Chapel
3. Kiss at the top of the Eiffel Tower... or in front of it.


4. Sneak a picture of the Mona Lisa. WITH FLASH.
5. Smell the lavender in the fields of Provence
6. Pose inappropriately in front of the sculpture of David
7. Stay for a week in one of those over the water huts in Bora Bora, get out of bed every morning, and jump into the ocean.
8. Ride a gondola through the canals of Venice
9. Visit the Heidelberg printing machine factory in Germany, in honor of my grandfather, a printer.
10. Speed through the Autobahn
11. Snowboard on the real Matterhorn
12. Pretend to be Rapunzel and be in the middle of the the Yi Peng Lantern Festival in Thailand
{source: Yang Tee Mon on Flickr}
13. Walk on the Great Wall
14. Kiss the Blarney Stone {Although I hardly think I need any more gift of gab...}
15. Get lost in Cinque Terre, Italy
16. Rent a water hut in the Six Senses resort in the Maldives {I know, same idea as the Bora Bora listing, but this is my dream, so why not?!?!}
{source: Kind Design}
17. Swim with the dolphins in Maui
18. Eat like Anthony Bourdain in Sardinia
{source: Travel Channel}
19. Take a swim in Milos, Greece
20. Experience Christmas in Amsterdam
21. Marvel at the incredibly clean streets of Switzerland
23. Eat real sushi in Tokyo
24. Run through the gigantous ice sculptures in Hokkaido, Japan
25. Get an authentic Balinese massage
26. Follow the teachings of a real yogi in India
27. Find the closest thing that I could to a real version of Platform 9 3/4 in Kings Cross Station
28. See the real cherry blossoms in Japan
29. Walk across the Bridge of Immortals in China
30. Light candles for Aubrey & Finley at the Notre Dame
31. Take a hike up to Mont St. Michel
32. Get blessings and wisdom from the Buddhist monks of Nepal
33. Have a real Guinness in Dublin
34. Spend a few days learning about cheese making at Cowgirl Creamery in Point Reyes
35. Squint at the blinding neon lights of Seoul
36. Sit at a cafe, read a book, and hear jazz music in the background in New Orleans
37. Go fly fishing in Montana
38. Camp in the middle of the California Redwoods
{source: US Girl Online}
39. Catch a fish at Pike's Market
40. Take a lazy ride through the river in San Antonio
41. Visit all the missions of California in one road trip.
42. Walk up the steps at the Butchart Gardens in Vancouver Island
43. See the Northern Lights in Alaska
44. Find my OHM in the island temple in Bali
{source: Yahoo Travel}
45. Uncover the mysteries of Easter Island
46. Be the first to start a new year on Christmas Island
47. Buy authentic Chilean wool in Chiloe
48. Go on a camel ride in the Sahara
49. INTENTIONALLY LEFT BLANK. TO BE FILLED IN AS THE YEARS GO BY.
50. INTENTIONALLY LEFT BLANK. TO BE FILLED IN AS THE YEARS GO BY.
51. INTENTIONALLY LEFT BLANK. TO BE FILLED IN AS THE YEARS GO BY.

What's on your travel list?

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my week in quotes

{ source: j jump jennifer on pinterest }

{ source: j jump jennifer on pinterest }

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it hasn't been so fun this week.

J has noted that every few months, I get into this rut.
And it seems that this particular week is my rut week.
I'm exhausted and restless and getting signs of a bad ear infection.


To make matters worse, I received news that the dreaded M wants to come and visit the office to show off her baby.
My reaction: WHY????
Honestly, NO ONE in our office likes her all that much.
In our private conversations, those in the office who had known her have implicitly expressed to me that they have NO interest in seeing her. They minced no words in saying that they don't even care for her.
But she is coming.
And I know I paint myself a total BITCH for getting hurt and angry and feeling betrayed.
WHY is she coming??
I was told early that she was coming as a "consideration", as a "courtesy".


Even our bosses have told me that especially since we are such a small office, we are like a family.
And in so many ways, we truly are.
But in this situation, I don't feel like that at all.
In fact, I feel like the red-headed stepchild.
I keep trying to convince myself that I'm being ridiculous, that I can just brush this whole thing off, but here's the big news: THIS IS REAL LIFE. This isn't a joke or a menial thing. My reality is that I wake up 
every.
single.
day.
not having the baby girls we have dreamt about in our arms.


And the biggest aggressor to that pain is invited openly to a place that I am at every day? How is this okay? I don't understand why we are allowing her back into our lives. Just to see a baby? There are a MILLION babies out there for us to see, let alone babies whose mothers we actually care to see as well. Why this one?
If we are a family, then the office is like our home. Why would you invite an adversary to your home? Or your child's bully? Or your obnoxious neighbor?
This girl had terrorized my life for three long years by her mere presence.
On top of that, all those weeks I spent listening to her shove in my face the fact that I wasn't pregnant when she got knocked up by her husband who could care less about her . . . and of course the weeks after we lost the girls, when M would parade herself and her pregnancy stories around me. 


No, no, it wasn't just because she was pregnant and walking in front of me. It was to the extent of leaving for the day, then walking back in with two very LARGE centerpieces from her baby shower just to show me.


Or opening our boss's baby shower present IN MY OFFICE {when our boss gave her the present at her own desk}... {"Oh I'm going to open it in Angie's office to show her!"}


Insensitive, tactless, zero social graces, or just downright stupid... I do not want to associate myself with any of those adjectives, let alone the person who carries them. Winners surround themselves with winners; losers surround themselves with losers. The same applies for those descriptions.


So I ask again, why is it ok for her to come and visit? This is just like telling me to leave my own home so that my husband's ex-wife can come over. How does this make sense?


I am angry, tired, and have a headache from all the tears I have shed from this.
J has told me that the only cure for this rut is sleep... and tomorrow, we start a new day.


Thank you, everyone, for keeping us in your prayers.

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mccall-ing all the family

{NOTE: This post was started while we were on vacation and was finished after we got back.}


You don't have to tell me -- I know.


These titles are going down the drain one at a time.


We are in McCall, Idaho.
And even if we are on vacation, I don't think the blog should be.


I've taken many trips in the past and the one thing I have learned for each one is this: you must document it all.
And this trip is no exception.


I have also been very lucky in my life to have gone on trips where I am absolutely overwhelmed with happiness.
It's a happiness that's almost mixed with skepticism and disbelief. I think to myself, "Wow, am I really here? And it's this wonderful?"


A few years ago, I took a trip to Cabo San Lucas with some friends when we rented this amazing house and I was so scared because I thought it was so amazingly unreal that someone would take it away from me.




Thus far, this trip has turned out to be no exception. 
We arrived in Boise on Thursday afternoon and spent that day with family and friends {just as planned}. 


{Side note: I am totally in love with Boise State University. What an amazing campus. Wish I could go back to college and just go there.}


Friday morning, we caravanned to McCall {about 2 1/2 hours away}. The drive was gorgeous. We drove next to the Payette River (?) and the Snake River in parts and saw the whitewater, kayakers, and even some eagles overhead.
{amazeballs, right?}

We arrived at our cabin and were so amazed by it. 
Not like it was crazy MTV Cribs style or anything like that, but it is beautiful no less. There is something about being this close to nature and breathing fresh air that we city folk can't get enough of.


The City of McCall is nothing short of gorgeous


But then again, maybe it's the warmth and family that make it that much more appealing to me. 
some of the fam at the McCall Brewery upon arrival into town and receiving our house keys from the rental place... {clockwise from top: Uncle Jerry, Aunt Karen, Aunt Lesa, Grandma Warren, Uncle Bryan}
Grandma Warren relaxing right when we arrived at the cabin.








The whole family spent most of our nights gathered around playing board games, talking, eating, and just spending quality time together.







 We even got to squeeze in some time for shopping and of course, one of my favorite activities ever: fishing!







Although only one fish was caught all day {evidently the water was too high and still too cold for the fish to bite}, we had such a great time doing so.

Another wonderful event during our trip was a great announcement from Andrew: He's getting married! He and {now} fiancee Kimber just got back from Jamaica where he proposed and she said yes! What a wonderful time to announce it to the family and have us all celebrate their engagement together!

Congratulations, Andrew & Kimber!

The funny thing is that this trip, in its early planning stages, began as only a couples trip that stemmed from our loss of the girls. J's aunt thought it would be a good idea for us to get away and invited us to Idaho to visit them. It evolved into a full blown family trip and J and I could not be more thankful that it did.


Now that we are back home, we are even more thankful for the magic of our long weekend away. Aside from actually being away, we were able to rekindle relationships that are, during the rest of the year, so far away in proximity. Trips like this serve as inspiration and motivation for us to nurture those relationships and be grateful that we have them. 


At the end of the day, no matter where life takes us, we always go back to one group: family. We are reminded that despite the many trials that life makes us go through, our families are enough reasons for us to continue to celebrate. 

Until next year's trip!
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