Goodbye, 2018.

If I said 2018 wasn’t one of the strangest years of my life, I would be lying. I’m not really sure how to even put this year into words. There have been some absolutely incredible moments this year, and, there have also been some absolutely horrible moments as well this year. If I were to put every day of this year into one giant group, it would be so very easy to zoom in and pick out the worst of the worst. Or even just the not so great days. Because there have been many of those days this year. I can get so caught up in focusing in on the bad, that it makes it almost impossible to see the good sometimes. But if I start to zoom out, and start refocusing on this year as a whole, I can see that for all the bad days there have been amazing days as well.

This year has been full of self reflection, learning, and trying to grow. I’ve learned that as much as I try to control my situations and surroundings I’m in, I can only ever truly control the way I react to them. We have absolutely no way to control the obstacles that this life continually throws at us, but we can control how and when we respond to them. I’ve let go of relationships that no longer serve me, as well as cultivated and worked on relationships that bring my life happiness. I’ve watched as people I cared about navigated their way through some of the darkest times of their lives, as well as celebrated people that I love making their biggest hopes and dreams a reality. I’ve set intentions, lost sight of them and had to start over. I’ve set goals, followed through, and accomplished them. I’ve been at the top of the mountain, and at the bottom of everything.

As I’m sitting here on the cold hard wood floor in my favorite spot in my house, I can truly say how thankful I am for every single thing that has happened this year. The good and the bad. The gut wrenching and the heart warming. I hope that this coming year brings a new set of intentions that keep me going down the path that I want to be on. I hope relationships, both new and old, continue to strengthen and grow. I am excited to leave my 20’s behind (as fun as they were) and start the adventure of being 30. I hope that anyone that may be reading this that may have had a bad year knows they don’t have to have a bad life, and that you can change the direction of your path any time you come across an obstacle in your way. Find what brings you joy and satisfaction, and continue to grow.

Cheers to an (almost) new year!



Heavy Boots.

This is going to be a different post. I wrote this a while ago when I was having a rough time and it’s been sitting in my Drafts collecting dust, never really thinking it would make it out of that folder since it didn’t really fit with the rest of this blog. But the last few weeks I’ve talked to so many different people; friends, coworkers, clients, that are going through or helping someone go through some heavy and difficult stuff. I figured it would be an okay time to revisit this post and put it out into the world.

It’s okay to feel sad. Or empty. Or so lonely in a room full of people that you feel like you could scream and no one would even look your way. That kind of sadness is suffocating. I feel and have felt that kind of sadness off and on for a large majority of my life. It’s like I feel everything too much. It’s exhausting and anxiety filled and it sucks really bad. But it’s not all the time. It rarely ever lingers more than a few days, sometimes weeks at the most. And I can honestly say the older I’ve gotten the better I am at keeping those feelings at bay.

I had my first complete breakdown when I was 24. It was a Saturday night in October. You can call it a nervous breakdown, a mental breakdown, whatever it was, it happened. And it was scary. For Matt, my parents, I’m assuming probably for my animals sitting in the room at the time. But something happened that October that set into motion a way of thinking and dealing with my heavy boots.

*Side note: “heavy boots” is from my all time favorite book “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” The main character, Oskar, calls his sadness he gets his heavy boots and since reading that back in 2010 I’ve referred to mine as the same.

You see, before that night in October I never talked about these feelings with people. I didn’t want to be a burden on anyone. So I just let it build up and up and like a pressure cooker with a blocked valve, I exploded all over our family room. We have this weird thing in our culture where girls are always seen as too sensitive. And boys don’t cry. Well, at least they aren’t supposed to, right? And both of those things are so skewed and twisted. It makes it hard to talk about your feelings without people already passing judgment before hearing you out. But after that night I started talking. Now I tell Matt when I have heavy boots, or when I start feeling even the slightest way that I did leading up to that night in October. And 99.9% of the time that helps me. And it is so damn important to find something that helps you. Because you are not alone. Ever. Let someone help you pick up your feet when your boots are too heavy for you to move on your own.

Whatever you’re going through, just know it will get better. Close your eyes. Breathe. Cry.  Call a friend. See a doctor. Do whatever you need to do.

Find something or someone to help you lighten your heavy boots.

Right now I can close my eyes and hear birds chirping and feel the warm sun on my face.

I can put my hand on my chest and feel my lungs fill up with oxygen and my heart pumping blood all the way from my temples to my toes.


And I know everything is and will be okay.



Long time no… post? I had so many plans to update this thing on a regular basis, but life happens. Instead I have half filled journals, notebooks, and scrap pieces of paper scattered throughout my house and salon whenever I feel like I need to get my thoughts out. Why do I find it so hard to log on and post on here? I think some of it has to do with what this blog started out as and where I am in my life at this current moment. I started a blog to initially talk about our van. Then we sold our van. Then I wrote about trips and traveling. Until I realized we tend to travel to the same places/do the same types of things on our travels so it makes coming up with new content seem very forced. And that’s just no fun. So here I am now. Just a girl with a Word Press domain wondering where to take this thing.

One thing I’ve been pondering quite a bit lately (especially since we just got back from warm and sunny California) is where I want to be. Matt and I talk so much about moving to the west coast. I’m talking discuss into the ground, beating a dead horse kind of talks. But in all honesty, I strangely love living in Ohio. I love seasons. I love that my family is here. Mostly I love that we can live so cheaply in our little brick ranch that we can afford to travel as much as we want pretty frequently. But then I think about Colorado. Or California. Or Utah. And how it physically hurts my soul every time we sit down in our seats on a Southwest flight and start flying back east. Back home.

But what is home? Is it a physical structure? Your safe place? Somewhere that you know you can always go when the going gets tough? If taking off on a runway in Denver or driving away from a random little town in the middle of nowhere Utah can make me feel so sad, maybe that’s because I feel like I’m home. Maybe home isn’t an exact place. Maybe it’s just an overwhelming feeling of knowing where you are in the moment is exactly where you’re supposed to be with the person or people you’re with. Maybe home really is where you make it.

To any of my family and friends or more realistically the many clients of mine that have threatened me to never move away (you know who you are) I don’t think our home will change anytime soon. But one day, I think the call of the mountains and deserts and alpine lakes and giant sequoias will take over and our home may be a little farther west.

Goodbye, Echo.

Exactly one year ago today, we drove Echo down I-70 and crossed into Colorado on her maiden voyage. I can remember the second her tires rolled over the state line, Matt and I high-fiving each other and breathing a sigh of relief. We had spent the last 7 months building, tweaking, belly aching, and making Echo what she was so that we could take her across the country.

A lot has changed since this day last year. There has been career moves, trips, lifestyle changes, lots of joy and some heart ache too. And as of last Thursday at 7 pm, Echo found her new home. It was an incredibly bittersweet thing. Driving away from Wright Patt Credit Union and leaving her in the parking lot to roam the open roads with someone new. Matt and I put so much into that van, and now she’s gone. We both knew that it was best to pass her along to someone else, so that we could then start the whole process over. I don’t know which is more enjoyable to us. The hunt for the perfect van and all the building and planning that goes into an adventure van, or the outcome of all our hard work and being able to have a mobile home away from home. One thing is for sure. Echo isn’t our last van.




Life Is Strange.

There is something so inviting and familiar about a warm day in the middle of winter. Those days that get up into the 60’s and allow you to open the windows in your house and feel the cool breeze sweep from room to room. Those days are my favorite days of the year. I can close my eyes and put myself in every house or apartment I’ve ever lived in and know exactly what smells and sounds are accompanied with that house on days like yesterday. The sounds of blinds gently moving and hitting the windowpane, the smell of laundry and lavender vanilla candles and a faint sound of baseball coming through a radio. Yesterday I sat in my favorite room in our home and let that breeze sweep over me. I reflected a lot about these last few months and dreamed about these next few months. I think yesterday’s weather was something that my soul so desperatly needed.

It’s been a while since I last posted on here. I wish I could say I’ve been too busy climbing mountains or vanning it across the country to sit down and write. In reality I’ve just been stuck in a strange place. Not a bad place, just… strange. I guess I had forgotten just how easy it is for me to become emotionless until recently. I’m not sure if that is normal for everyone or if that’s just a thing I can fade in and out of from time to time, like a bad magic trick. “And for my next trick I will feel absolutely nothing for the next 87 days!” I guess everyone has their own ways of describing it. Winter time blues, seasonal depression, or just general discontent with this time of year. Oddly enough this winter hasn’t even been the worst for me, yet I’m still left feeling strange. But yesterday.. Yesterday was different. Yesterday I stood barefoot in the grass and let the sun warm my skin and everything was different. It’s like the magician said the magic words and I was back.

When I sat down at my computer I wasn’t even sure what or why I was writing. I know this isn’t the usual outdoorsy type post, but I suppose it was just something that needed to come out. I guess if you’re still reading this and find yourself feeling strange or stuck, look for those little moments that bring you warmth not only on the surface, but deep down in your soul. Close your eyes and put yourself in that old house that smelled of clean cotton and scented candles. Dig deep inside and find what brings you hope and joy. Know that the strangeness that you feel can and will disappear just as quickly as it came on.



On To The Next Adventure…

Matt and I were standing in the middle of a hotel parking lot in what seemed to be a semi-sketchy part of San Jose. We had just come out of the Sierras the night before and stopped there to sleep in a real bed and use indoor plumbing. We were tired, mostly broke and had no real plans in front of us other than the plane we were catching out of San Francisco a few days later. We left that parking lot and headed north up the California coast with the few dollars we had left as I triumphantly declared we were on to the next adventure (even though we had no idea what that adventure was) and it just sort of became our mantra.

Yesterday Matt left his job of 5 years to take a job that is going to help feed hungry people in the Dayton area. He took a job that required a pretty hefty pay cut. He took a job with very little vacation time. But he took a job that will make him feel like he’s helping people in need. He took a job that will make him feel good at the end of every day. And while I could sit and freak out about money or the changes that I’m sure will come over the following weeks, I keep repeating “on to the next adventure” over and over in my head. It was my mantra 4 years ago and it’s my mantra right now.

I think it’s so easy to get wrapped up in social norms and what people think the next step in life should be. Get a good job. Buy a house. Climb the corporate ladder until you’re old. Buy bigger and better things that you don’t have time to enjoy. Retire. But sometimes you have to take a step backwards in order to move forward in life. You have to shed some layers in order to grow new ones. I truly think this is the best thing that has happened to us in a long time. We are able to re-prioritize the things we feel are important and the things we feel we “have” to have. We can live a little more simply and feel a little more free. We can lessen our load and travel a little lighter. I don’t know if this path will be a short jaunt or a long journey, but I’m looking forward to our future and the adventure that awaits.

Be a kid.

I recently had a client say something to me that I keep dwelling on, so much in fact that I decided to write about it. They said “once you and your husband are done acting like kids maybe you’ll settle down and have some of you own.” I don’t think they meant it in a negative way, but it irked me. It made me go through the catalog of thoughts I keep boxed up in my brain of all the things Matt and I do in our lives. Are we really just two almost 30 year olds acting like children? And if so, is that really the worst thing someone could say about us?

I’m sure this client has seen a video or two I’ve posted of Matt riding a way too tiny mini bike on one wheel through our neighborhood. Or a video of him falling off his skateboard. Or a picture of me building a small ramp in the backyard to ride my dirt bike off of. Or us building out the inside of a van in the way that some kids may build a tree house or fort to “live in.” (However I don’t know a single child that could dump that much money into a fort/tree house without their parents getting a little suspicious of the random Home Depot charges on their credit card.)

Either way it got under my skin. But the more that I think about it, the more I’m realizing we actually do act like two kids on summer break the majority of the time. And so often the things that we do, we do with child like wonder.  We walk up to a rock face and instead of just seeing a blank rock we think of the best way to get to the top of it. We stare up at a 14,000 ft. mountain peak and envision us standing on top in all our glory and then bust our butts to do so. We gaze across meadows and stare in amazement at the family of elk eating foliage like we’ve never seen anything cooler in our lives even if we’ve passed 100 elk that day in the car. We ride our bicycles to our friends house instead of driving our car. We try not to sweat the small stuff. We suck the marrow out of life Every. Single. Day.

Maybe acting like a kid isn’t such a bad thing. Maybe more people should remember what it’s like to be that always exploring kid looking for the next adventure to take on without any hesitation. Maybe we should all go out this weekend and look at the world through childlike eyes and see what kind of awesome adventures there are just waiting outside your front door. You might be surprised at how much fun you can have without even trying.

3,930 miles later…

I just finished eating Chinese food on my couch while watching climbing documentaries on Netflix trying to process the last week and a half. There are a few things I know to be true right now.

  1. I feel very strange not being inside of Echo right now.
  2. Being a good 1,000+ miles away from The Rockies has me feeling sad in a way that I’ve never felt before.
  3. I’m so happy to be home with my animals.
  4. Chicago Diner has the most delicious vegan food I’ve ever had. Period.

If you have never spent time in western Wyoming, you are missing out. I honestly never gave the state much thought when planning trips other than going to Yellowstone. The people are great, the landscape is spectacular, and the wildlife is abundant. Seeing bison walking down the side of highways is something I don’t think I would ever get tired of seeing. Driving out of Dubois, Wyoming and seeing the Teton Mountain Range come into view is one of the most breathtaking views I’ve ever seen. While we had hoped to get permits to hike the Teton Crest Trail, the fires in and outside of the park put that to rest pretty quickly. Instead we spent our days hiking up to some spectacular vista points, sitting by the lake, and eating delicious food. As sad as it is to see wildfires completely wreck an area, there was something so surreal about sitting at our campsite having a campfire and watching wildfires come over a ridge and burn through an area right across the lake from our campsite.





Since our thru-hike was a no go, we headed into Yellowstone after the roads opened back up and spent a day sight seeing in our car. While I am glad to have crossed that park off the list, I would be fine making that a one and done park. There is definitely really cool things to see and do there, it just lacks the type of hiking and exploring we typically enjoy (as well as what seemed like 100,000 tourists everywhere you looked.) We left the park on the eastern side and headed down to Cody, Wyoming for a night before starting the trek back home. The further away we got from western Wyoming, the more I wished I didn’t have to go back to Ohio. Don’t get me wrong. I love Ohio. I love my family, my friends, my career. There is just something about waking up to the sun cresting the peak of a mountain, or taking in a deep breath or crisp mountain air that makes me feel whole.


I had worried that I would be sick of sitting inside of a van for days on end, and there were stretches of time that I wanted to be out of Echo, but overall it was amazing. The feeling of crossing state line after state line in a van that we spent the last few months building into our home on wheels is indescribable. There may come a time in the future that we make van living a permanent lifestyle. But first, we’d need a bigger van…

Now it’s time to start saving and planning for our next adventure. Who knows where we will end up!


Oh, the places you’ll go!

Before I sat down to start writing I had to check and see what day it actually was. To say the last week has been a blur is the understatement of the year. From working on Echo up until the day we left for Colorado, to moving and shaking since we pulled out of our driveway Wednesday night, we’ve done a lot of stuff in such a short amount of time. I’m currently sprawled out in my good friends guest bedroom in Colorado Springs recapping the last few days before we start making our way north to Wyoming.

I don’t think I relaxed once on the drive out to Colorado. Between not knowing if Echo actually had it in her to make it the 1,100 some miles trip, having a random man walk directly in front of us on I-70 (coming inches from hitting him) and the gnarly storms we continued to drive through it was hard to take a full breathe until her tires rolled over the Colorado state line. I do need to take a moment and say how absolutely amazing our friends Andrea and Geoff are for letting us crash in their beautiful home for the first night in town (and then again last night). It honestly made that 18 hour drive not seem so rough when you can look out of any window on the front side of their house and look at Pike’s Peak towering in the background.image

After a good nights rest Matt and I, along with our friend Eric headed down to Buena Vista to meet up with Eric’s sister and set up camp before our Saturday trek up to Mt. Harvard. When we had originally planned this trip, we were going to turn the hike into an overnight trip, knocking out Mt. Harvard and Mt. Columbia. However, mother nature isn’t always on your side and when we saw we only had about a 10 hour window from 4 am to 2 pm to get the hike done without any thunderstorms, we quickly changed our plans. We left camp at 4 am and started walking with our headlamps on towards the 14,421 ft. peak. I spent the first bit of the trail scanning the trail sides with my head lamp for bears and mountain lions since I was convinced one was going to pop up and eat me. However the only wildlife we saw were some deer and some incredibly humorous marmots we saw playing on the rock scramble at about 14,000 ft. To say that it was one of the most awe inspiring hikes I’ve ever done would be true. To say that the last 1,000 ft. of elevation was the hardest thing I’ve ever done would also be true.  We passed someone who told us there is no such thing as an easy 14’er and he was not lying. I am so happy that I was able to experience my first 14,000 ft. trek with some friends. It is definitely a memory I will hold forever.imageimageimageimageimageimageimage

I need to get up and get moving so we can start making our way towards Wyoming. We have a long drive ahead of us, but we have all the time in the world, so who knows where we will end up stopping?