Peace in his presence

Riley ran back to the car for some equipment and I realized I was alone. 

I haven't been alone in the woods since living back home in Michigan. These woods dwarfed those ones though. Thousands of years of growth. Trees that were so tall and wide they seemed more like skyscrapers. I looked up, unable to see the tops of the redwoods I was standing under. The nearby river was a soothing sound. The moss and ferns blanketed the forest in a giant quilt, made up of every shade of green. The fog silently moved through, covering and exposing new scenes constantly. I realized that there is no anxiety here, only peace. When I quiet my surroundings, I realize what is truly on my mind. Him

I can not feel this peace or see this beauty without thoughts of the creator. I unconsciously whisper "thank you" when I am in the woods, no matter what state I am in. This is where I feel his presence, even more than in church, prayer, or meditation. 

The work, the traffic, the tv shows, the smart phones..they all cause small amounts of anxiety for me. Nothing that I actually notice, until I take it all away. Those things are distractions from what is important. There is nothing for me to do but appreciate, and feel grateful when I am in nature. The woods are my xanax, my peace, my place. The deep breaths taken in that space filled me with life. I instantly knew the reason that I am here, my purpose, and I thanked my creator. Even though I am not thinking of him always, he is always thinking of me.

I just needed that reminder, that peaceful moment in the woods. 

IMG_9713.jpg
IMG_9787.jpg
IMG_9876.jpg
IMG_9851.jpg
IMG_9808.jpg
IMG_9702.jpg
IMG_9699.jpg
IMG_9669.jpg
IMG_9706.jpg
IMG_9551.jpg
IMG_9590.jpg
IMG_9758.jpg
IMG_9679.jpg
IMG_9522.jpg
IMG_9502.jpg
IMG_9583-3.jpg
IMG_9804.jpg

All photos taken in Redwood National Park.

Big Sur

Riley and I knew we wanted to spend some time in nature for our first anniversary, and the road to Big Sur opened up just in time for our night off together. We packed up the jeep and hit the road. After a bit of traffic all of the city noise left us in what seemed like one big exhale. Freedom. Ocean views. No work. Unplugged. Is there anything better? 

We camped at a place called Ventana but I have to admit, it was more like glamping with the amenities. Our site was so peaceful, the tent sat between two redwoods, just a short distance away from the crackling fire. The weather was perfect, so comfortable for sleeping outside. We enjoyed our quality time, talked about the highs and lows of the past year, and looked up through the trees at the gorgeous starry night. I am so grateful for this life we have together. What will it be like in the years to come? What highs and lows will we talk about on our second anniversary? I guess if we knew, life wouldn't be as exciting, it wouldn't seem like an adventure. 

In the morning we found a restaurant and had breakfast outside. We were surrounded by plants, flowers, and the sweet scents of a garden. A leaf fell from a tree, twirling in the breeze until it landed on my coffee cup, a subtle reminder that seasons are changing. Sometimes it is hard to tell in this California weather. 

We stopped at many places we had been to before, about two and a half years ago. Back when I was a travel RN at Stanford children's and I referred to Riley as my boyfriend. At Pfeiffer beach we looked up at the rock structure that we had captured with our cameras years ago. He said, " it's weird. I never knew if I would see this beach again. You never really know if you are going to see some places again or if that's it." I have that same feeling whenever I am somewhere special and far from home.  What if my travels never take me to that corner of the world ever again? But when they do, all of the memories come flooding back. Dating long distance, knowing I had to leave California to be with him, the excitement of our short trips visiting each other and packing sight seeing into them (as much as was humanly possible). Marriage has allowed us to slow down in a sense, and learn about each other in the simplest of ways. No more trying to pack it all in, and what a relief that has been. I think I'll always prefer this simplicity, this slower pace. 

Looking forward to our next trip down highway 1, I'll just call it memory lane, along the "best coast."

xoxo

I wish you wellness 

20161014-IMG_7127.jpg
20161015-IMG_7242.jpg
20161015-IMG_7206.jpg
20161014-IMG_7193.jpg
20161014-IMG_7155.jpg
20161015-IMG_7269.jpg
20161015-IMG_7251.jpg
20161015-IMG_7439.jpg
20161015-IMG_7430.jpg
20161015-IMG_7338.jpg
20161014-IMG_7130.jpg
20161015-IMG_7473.jpg
20161015-IMG_7529.jpg
20161014-IMG_7082.jpg
20161015-IMG_7533.jpg

 

 

 

Spring Break

This past week has been full of love, laughter, and sweet memories. I owe this to my youngest sister (Mary), spending her Spring break from college here in California. She came at a time when my husband was away for work so I didn't have to be alone. We love simply being together. We talked so much about wellness.. how travel, food and exercise play into this lifestyle. Family members always seem to ground me and this time with Mary brought out some pretty special memories. What would I do without siblings?? 

Yosemite was our first stop, we hiked to the top of Yosemite Falls, the tallest in North America! The higher we got the more snow there was. It was slushy and melting so we fell.. a lot. I have blisters from that day that are finally healing, and I have some pretty funny memories of Mary actually sliding down the trail.

Yosemite was our first stop, we hiked to the top of Yosemite Falls, the tallest in North America! The higher we got the more snow there was. It was slushy and melting so we fell.. a lot. I have blisters from that day that are finally healing, and I have some pretty funny memories of Mary actually sliding down the trail.

20160326-IMG_3027.jpg

On the way home we had to pull over to admire these beauties, I have way too many pictures but can you blame me? I have always loved saying "beauty is so simple." This is a perfect example. 

A day at the beach. We packed a picnic, found a secluded area, and listened to the waves. There were moments of silence, when my only option is to clear my mind and feel completely grateful. Is there anything more calming than the white noise of waves?

A day at the beach. We packed a picnic, found a secluded area, and listened to the waves. There were moments of silence, when my only option is to clear my mind and feel completely grateful. Is there anything more calming than the white noise of waves?

Pure Bliss, or as Mary would say, "blissed out."

Pure Bliss, or as Mary would say, "blissed out."

Mary is a foodie, always has been. I remember when we were younger she would make me something and then just sit and watch me eat it, waiting for my critique. Her joy comes from serving others food. Yes I know, I'm lucky. This was definitely a splurge meal, since this picture was taken I have cut out dairy and processed sugar from my diet. Like I said in my "about me," I want you on this journey with me. This is for all of the people who say "I want to be healthier" but haven't known where to begin. Begin with me :)

Mary is a foodie, always has been. I remember when we were younger she would make me something and then just sit and watch me eat it, waiting for my critique. Her joy comes from serving others food. Yes I know, I'm lucky. This was definitely a splurge meal, since this picture was taken I have cut out dairy and processed sugar from my diet. Like I said in my "about me," I want you on this journey with me. This is for all of the people who say "I want to be healthier" but haven't known where to begin. Begin with me :)

We spent a day riding a cable car in San Francisco, eating clam chowder, walking around Fisherman's wharf, the makings of a good travel experience. I love having this city so close to bring my visitors up for the day, we used the train to get to and from SF and accidentally came home during rush hour. We were packed and standing with so many people and poor Mary was crushed up against someone's grocery bag that had a whole, unwrapped fish in it. Oops..

We spent a day riding a cable car in San Francisco, eating clam chowder, walking around Fisherman's wharf, the makings of a good travel experience. I love having this city so close to bring my visitors up for the day, we used the train to get to and from SF and accidentally came home during rush hour. We were packed and standing with so many people and poor Mary was crushed up against someone's grocery bag that had a whole, unwrapped fish in it. Oops..

I made this fruit platter for Mary on her last day, and we ate it so fast out in the hot sun, it was delicious! I am a sucker for anything pretty so I spend time on arranging and plating food. This was how I decided I actually liked cooking, when I started putting effort into the appearance of the meal. Before figuring that out I thought of cooking as a chore, and I hated it. Now it is a beautiful challenge to find new recipes, pack the meals with nutrients, and make it look beyond appetizing. I love it! There is so much more that I didn't capture from the past week, because as much as I love photos, I also see the value in living in the moment. Being together with Mary was like being home, coffee time in the mornings is my favorite time with my sisters. We sit, and sip, and talk about all of our ideas, loves, and goals. There is nothing better than quality time together! I'll just wrap it up with a couple more pictures from our last day together, this pool day party for two.

I made this fruit platter for Mary on her last day, and we ate it so fast out in the hot sun, it was delicious! I am a sucker for anything pretty so I spend time on arranging and plating food. This was how I decided I actually liked cooking, when I started putting effort into the appearance of the meal. Before figuring that out I thought of cooking as a chore, and I hated it. Now it is a beautiful challenge to find new recipes, pack the meals with nutrients, and make it look beyond appetizing. I love it! There is so much more that I didn't capture from the past week, because as much as I love photos, I also see the value in living in the moment. Being together with Mary was like being home, coffee time in the mornings is my favorite time with my sisters. We sit, and sip, and talk about all of our ideas, loves, and goals. There is nothing better than quality time together! I'll just wrap it up with a couple more pictures from our last day together, this pool day party for two.

P.S. I am so proud, this was my first attempt at cracking open a coconut and I was able to drain all of the water out first to save for later...success. After a week of good food, beautiful company, and so much to be grateful for, my heart is full. I wish you wellness.    P.S.S. here is a link to a short video that I made from the trip. It was so fun making this and I hope my video skills improve with time. I actually enjoy taking video more than pictures, and I just discovered that!

P.S. I am so proud, this was my first attempt at cracking open a coconut and I was able to drain all of the water out first to save for later...success. After a week of good food, beautiful company, and so much to be grateful for, my heart is full. I wish you wellness.

P.S.S. here is a link to a short video that I made from the trip. It was so fun making this and I hope my video skills improve with time. I actually enjoy taking video more than pictures, and I just discovered that!