How To Be Happy: Lessons From My Son

His little face is still all chapped from his cold, but I lovelovelove these photos of my sweet, blue-eyed boy. James is such a joy - always smiling his big, bright-eyed, tooth-y (he has FIVE teeth now!) grin that lights up the room, as well as the hearts of everyone who sees him. He is a happy baby...people tell us that everywhere we go. He loves life and loves people and just always has so much fun, no matter what we are doing.

It's contagious!

Watching my happy, cheerful, bright baby boy, I can't help but admire his optimism and joy. I want to capture some of it and infuse it into my own life.

Everything is new and interesting and exciting and wondrous to baby James. As we grow and have more and more experiences, some of that newness and wonder unavoidably and inevitably fades away. We discover that, along with the amazing and fun and beautiful, life also holds many unpleasant things. We learn what it means to feel pain, betrayal, disappointment, and fear. We become disillusioned, losing that innocence, blind trust, and curiosity.

But watching James, I see that he is the perfect example of how to be happy. Here are some things that I've learned from my son:

  • Try new things, new foods, new places, new activities. Step outside of your comfort zone - new things challenge us, thrill us, scare us, and teach us. We grow mentally and physically by doing new things. The mundane can be depressing, discouraging, boring...no growth takes place there.
    But to try something new...that is what puts the excitement in life. That is the adventure of it.

  • Trust. Dare to trust. Dare to give people the benefit of the doubt. With age comes wisdom and intuition and good judgement. Use those. But also, try to let your guard down and trust. Take a leap of faith.
    Time can harden our hearts...try to let yours soften and see what happens.

  • Ask for help. When James wants a toy that he can not reach on his own, or when he wants to go somewhere that he can't get to, he turns to me and makes it clear that he would like help. He has no pride that gets in the way of receiving help when he needs it. Our pride often stands between us and our goals, and at times, even our needs. We become so intent on independence and self-sufficiency, which are important things, without a doubt. But it is also important to recognize the times when we would be better off and more successful by asking for help. There is no shame in acknowledging that we can not or should not do something on our own.

  • Appreciate the little things. My son takes such pleasure from the very littlest of things. Tickles on his tummy, a funny sounding voice, a silly word, birds chirping, a squirrel standing on a path, splashing water, a spoon banging a pot, his dog licking his face... watching him giggle and experience SO MUCH GENUINE JOY from the simplest of things makes my heart swell and yearn to be so easily HAPPY. We should remember that happiness, joy, and grace can be found in the little things...the things and events and items and experiences that maybe we have come to take for granted.
    Try to be consciously and intentionally grateful for the little things.

  • Show more affection. Cuddles, slobbery, open-mouthed kisses, gentle caresses of the face and arms and chest, a warm bright smile, holding hands...these signs of affection are second-nature to James. He shows his love so openly and so honestly. That kind of love is so rare. Life lends itself to heart-ache and each of us has - or will probably - experience betrayal, hurt-feelings, or heartbreak at some point. Experiences train us to be guarded with our emotions and with our feelings. We hold back, even at times when maybe what we should really do is rush into someone's arms and give them a big smile and kiss. Sometimes it is right to be unashamedly in love, enamored, and infatuated. Sometimes we need to cuddle, to touch, and to openly, genuinely adore...in all of the vulnerability that that entails.

My son is honest, kind, grateful, curious, loving, vulnerable, trusting, and brave. He has so much joy and happiness in his heart, and he has already, in his short little 8 months of life, been the greatest teacher I have ever known.

Precious Moments

Watch: Lord Timepieces (Use code 'ANNA' for 10% off!)// Sweater: Nordstrom (Similar here [on sale!] and here)// Leggings: Alo Yoga

James' Onesie: MilkBarn

Oh, this sweet little boy of mine. He brings SO much joy to my life...motherhood is indescribable and the love I feel for my sweet baby is more than anything I ever thought possible.

James is growing up SO FAST and lately I've been really focusing on trying to savor each and every little precious moment. In six and a half months, he has already grown so much - he is becoming incredibly independent and his personality is coming through more and more. He's the smiley-est, sweetest, gentlest, smartest, funniest person! He has two teeth now, can sit up on his own, can stand on his own holding onto something (without me holding him), can wave, says "mama" and "dada", and is so close to crawling. I desperately want time to slow down...it's going too quickly!!

Time is slipping by, and I want to make sure that I am living in each moment and really experiencing every single minute with baby James. I don't ever want to forget these times.

I've been a lot more mindful of time-management techniques for this very purpose. I work from home, and it can be so easy to get caught up in work. I like to set limits for myself for how long I am on the computer or phone at a time. I've found that the BEST tool for this is just a good, classic watch. I love this one from Lord Timepieces - they have such a beautiful selection of women's watches and you can get 10% off your purchase with the code 'ANNA'. A good watch allows me to put my phone away and not rely on it for keeping track of the time, so that I can submerse myself in the sweet little moments with James and in the present.

As with each of James' first holidays, I am SO excited to celebrate Valentine's Day with him!! I have two Valentines now - Ben AND James! :) I feel like the luckiest girl in the world and my heart is so full of love it could burst!

So, who is celebrating Valentine's Day over the weekend?? The fact that V-Day is on a Tuesday night makes it a bit tricky to celebrate the day of...plus restaurants are always so busy on the actual holiday!! I'm AAALLL about celebrating the weekend before. Ben and I actually went out on a Valentine's Day date yesterday! More about that soon! :) <3 Have a happy weekend, friends!

*Thank you to Lord Timepieces for sponsoring this post.

Snapchat Q&A

A couple of days ago, I told you all to snap me any and all questions you may have for me. While I didn't get around to answering them live on Snapchat, as promised, here are my answers to ALL your questions! (I consolidated similar questions so that I only have to answer them once. ;))

Let's dive in, shall we?

Q: How do I get started as a blogger?

Commit. Find a platform that is easy for you to use and commit to posting frequently - at least a couple of times a week. Try to have a niche, rather than trying to appeal to everyone, focus on appealing to a targeted and specific audience. And invest in a good camera!

Q: Do you plan on having more babies?

Yes! :)

Q: How often do you get your hair done and what do you get done to it?

I get my hair done every 6 months or so. I usually get a trim and some long layers and then a full foil.

Q: How do you grow your hair so long??

I don't use a hairdryer and rarely curl my hair, so I don't use heat on it very often at all. I use a deep conditioning treatment every couple of weeks.

Q: What kind of bronzer do you recommend?

I don't use bronzer, but I've heard good things about this one and this one.

Q: What places MUST I visit while in Paris?

The catacombs, the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, Notre Dame...the usual things. BUT I would honestly just recommend that you walk EVERYWHERE - don't take a taxi. Just walk and see the city by foot. You'll find so many hidden gems. It's magical!

Q: What does Ben do for work?

He is an Area Manager at Amazon.

Q: What is the hardest and best thing about being a mom?

The hardest thing is just adjusting to not having as much free time, and the best thing is watching my little one grow and learn new things!! Being a mom is the BEST thing in the entire world!!

Q: What are your tips for eating healthy while being busy all day with a baby?

Meal prep! Make big portions of healthy meals and save the leftovers to eat throughout the week.

Q: Do you have a sunless tanner that you use/recommend?

I use this one. It's the best!

Q: What exactly do you do for work?

I am a social media consultant, a blogger, and a writer. But honestly, none of these things feel like work because I LOVE what I do so much!!

Q: Do you still write outdoor articles for magazines?

I do! Since being put on bedrest and then giving birth and then now it being winter and all...I haven't done much outdoor adventuring lately. But come Summer, I'm heading to the mountains, so you can expect a lot more outdoor content and a lot more articles from me!

Q: Tips for not going crazy on bedrest?

Pray, meditate, read, color, write. :)

Q: Do you have any tips on how to be more confident?

Take some time to really get to know yourself - what you love, what you dislike, what you believe in, what you enjoy, what makes you happy, what makes you angry, what makes you sad, what makes you fired up...and then OWN that and manifest that knowledge in your daily life. Be true to yourself.

Q: What kind of music do you listen to?

I listen to all different kinds of music. Blue grass is probably my favorite, but there is hardly any kind of music that I don't enjoy to some extent.

Q: How long have you been married?

Ben and I will have been married for nine years this July, and together for ten!

Q: How did you know that your husband was "the one"?

I just knew. He made me feel safe and loved and whole and precious and understood ... and he still does. <3

It was so fun hearing your questions! Feel free to leave any additional questions that you have for me in the comments below! I do want to do a live Snapchat Q&A sometime soon, so any questions that you guys send my way in the next few weeks, I'll try to answer on Snap. :) Have a great week!

Valentine's Day Outfit Guide

Top: Nordstrom (Not available online), but I also love this, this which is on SALE!!, and this // Watch: Lord Timepieces // Jeans: 7 For All Mankind // Shoes: Target - I got them last year, but these are similar!

It's almost here!! One of my FAVORITE days of the year...Valentine's Day!

I can't quite explain why I love this day SO much. Maybe it's all the frilly pink and red and lace, maybe it's the chocolate, the candles, and the romance, or maybe it's just the perfect excuse to celebrate the love you share with a special someone - whether that's a lover or a friend. I love love.

I'm not sure what Ben and I are going to be doing to celebrate Valentine's Day this year. More than likely we'll go out to dinner the weekend before Valentine's Day since the actual holiday is on a work day. We might go away somewhere (with James, of course!) for our Valentine's Day Weekend Getaway that we used to do and go hiking etc... We'll see! I'll keep you guys in the loop! ;)

I've put together some great outfit options for whatever your plans may be. Whether you're going out on a hot date, or staying cozy at home with the kids...I've got you covered!

Click each photo below for more information!

What are you planning to wear for Valentine's Day??

Our Love Story

Today marks eight incredible years of marriage to my handsome, kind, wonderful husband! If I'm being honest, it feels like longer than that...not in a bad way...in a good way. As in, I can't remember life without him in it.

Being married to him just feels like what life is and what life should be.

I thought today would be the perfect day to share a brief summary of our love story! I've had a few requests for this, so now seems like an appropriate time to get it written down. I think it's a pretty romantic, fairy-tale-like story, but then again, I may be biased. :)

Love At First Sight

Ben and I met on the 4th of July in 2007. We were both 18 years old and he was one of my best friend's older brother's best friends... did you follow that? Ok, good.

My parents live on a lake and have a boat, so I invited a few of my girlfriends over to celebrate the 4th and play in the water. My friend brought her older brother along and a few of his friends (one of them being Ben). Ben was in the Marine Corps based out of Camp Pendleton in California and was just up for a visit. Ben and I flirted and we all had a great time hanging out at the lake.

A few days later, I got a text message from a number I didn't recognize and it turned out to be Ben. He had gotten my number through his friend who got it through my friend. He was back in California at that point, so we began a relationship over the phone. We would talk for hours and hours every day, getting to know one another. He was set to deploy to Iraq in a few months. After a couple of weeks of chatting on the phone, Ben flew up to be with me for a weekend and we officially became boyfriend and girlfriend on July 26, 2007. We fell hard and fast.

After that it was a whirlwind. Ben came up most weekends to see me. I flew down to California for a visit too. I started at Seattle Pacific University at the end of September, right before Ben was set to deploy. It was an exciting, crazy time.

One night while Ben was up visiting, he asked me to marry him. We were both 19 at that point and had been dating for about two months. We were unofficially engaged when Ben headed off to Iraq.

The deployment was really really hard. Being a part from one another and not getting to talk very often was rough. Not to mention that I was worried sick about Ben the entire time, all while taking on my freshman year of university. It was a long, hard, emotional time. I wrote Ben a letter every single day that he was deployed, which is maybe a little crazy. But he saved every single letter. They are currently in a garbage bag in our garage. haha

When Ben got back from Iraq in May of 2008, I flew down to California and was waiting for him when he got off the bus. I was so nervous about how things would be, seeing as we had only been dating a couple of months before he left. But my nerves were put at ease instantly when he grabbed me in his arms and held me and asked me to marry him again. *swoon*

I had to go back up to Seattle to finish out the school year at SPU. Ben and I continued to talk for hours on the phone and he flew up to visit frequently. We hated not being able to be together all the time.

On the 4th of July, 2008, exactly one year after we met, Ben proposed again, this time with a ring. We had had enough. We knew that we didn't want to be a part any more. So we made the decision to have me move down to California.

Elopement

I packed my things and headed south. I think I shocked my family and friends when I did this. But me moving to be with Ben was nothing compared to the shock of what we did next. A few days after I arrived in California, Ben and I eloped. We drove to a courthouse in Santa Ana and said our vows and got married on July 17, 2008. We were both 19 years old.

I know the fact that Ben and I eloped was very hard on our families because they weren't there, and I regret how that must have made them feel. And I know everyone at the time thought we were crazy. But while I feel bad about not telling our families and about them being so caught off guard and worried, I honestly love the fact that we eloped. It was so special, having our wedding day be just me and Ben.

2009 Marine Corps Ball

Married Life

Married life was amazing right from the beginning. We had such an incredible community of friends from the Marine Corps. Ben and I went on adventures and got our puppy, Gunner, and enjoyed every minute we could together.

He deployed again in January of 2009. This time, he was on a MEU based out of Okinawa. We were able to talk a lot more than we were on his first deployment. Gunner and I moved home and lived with my parents while he was gone.

In December of that year, Ben's four years in the Marine Corps were up. We moved back to Washington, and began our life outside of the military. It was bittersweet and we missed our friends from the Marine Corps terribly...still do.

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Vow Renewal

In 2010, after two years of marriage, we had a vow renewal ceremony so that we could share our marriage and an actual wedding with our friends and family. It was so special to be able to do this! It was such a perfect, beautiful day. My dad got to walk me down the aisle, my grandpa performed the ceremony, and Ben and I got to get wedding pictures taken.

Happily Ever After

Life being married to Ben has been a dream come true. I know that sounds cheesy, but it really is the best way to describe it. I still get butterflies around him. He makes me feel like the most loved, precious, beautiful, cared for person. He teaches me something new every day and we go on the most amazing adventures together.

I know that no marriage is perfect, but honestly, to me ours is. I feel so blessed and thankful to have met my soul mate at such a young age and to have been able to grow and achieve amazing things together. I wouldn't change a thing, and I am so grateful for this adventure-filled life with my very best friend! 

Our Next Adventure

Our first baby is due in about a week, and we are so excited for this next big adventure together! I can't wait for our son to arrive and to see the little human that Ben and I created!

Our babymoon in Paris, January 2016

It is so wonderful knowing that whatever life has in store, I will have Ben by my side. I can't wait for the rest of our lives together and for the future. But I'm also just loving every minute of the present. Life with Ben just keeps getting better and better and I know how blessed I am and I thank God daily for this beautiful life with such an incredible man!

Thanks for reading and for letting me share a little brief bit of our love story! I'd love to hear yours - share in the comments below! I'm a sucker for romance. :)

xo, Anna

 

 

What To Wear For Valentine's Day

Valentine’s Day is one of my absolute FAVORITE days! I love all of the romance and cheesiness. I am EXACTLY the type of person that Hallmark is catering to. I dig it all: the lace, the flowers, the sparkles, the chocolates… Valentine’s Day is the best! Any opportunity to celebrate love, and I am IN.

This year, Ben and I are planning on cooking a candlelit dinner together at home. We just got back from a week in Paris, which was the most romantic, fun place to celebrate our love. So for Valentine’s Day, we are keeping it simple. We love cozy nights in! 

Whether you are going out with a love interest or just with your girlfriends, or if you are just planning on staying in like we are, here are a few of my favorite Valentine’s Day outfit ideas and accessories! Click on each picture for more info.!

I hope you all have a WONDERFUL Valentine's Day, and that you feel beautiful and loved, whatever your plans may be!

xo, Anna

Ways to Show Your Special Someone That You Love Them

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It's so important to let your significant other know how special they are to you. A romantic relationship is a precious thing, and love from another human being shouldn't be taken for granted. This July my husband and I will have been together for eight years, married for seven. While we don't necessarily have the experience of a couple who has been together for, say,  fifty years, I think we have this marriage thing down. And we excel at showing each other how much the other person is loved and appreciated. Sometimes, just letting your significant other know that they are on your mind can go a long long way. Here are a few ideas of ways to show your special someone that you love and appreciate them!

 

  • Verbalize your appreciation. Sometimes life gets so busy and we get caught up in things, and we don't realize just how much our significant other does for us. Especially if you are married or live together, it can be easy to take the things that your love does each day for granted. Remember to look your loved one in the eyes and genuinely tell them how much you appreciate what he or she does for you, your home, your family. Be specific - mention a few things in particular that you love and appreciate about him or her.  Having someone appreciate you and the little things that you do is a great feeling.
  • Do something that he/she has wanted to do. If you're special someone has mentioned something that he or she wants to try, or an activity that he or she loves to do, plan a time to try it with them! Make a day or a weekend of it, and try that new thing that they've been wanting to try, or participate in that hobby that they are passionate about. Sharing the experience together will make for great memories, and trying something that means a lot to your love will mean so much to them.
  • Quality time. Make time for your significant other. Take time out from your busy life to spend talking with and listening to him or her. Set aside that book you're engulfed in, put down your phone or laptop, get up early to be together for a few minutes before work... take time to just be with your loved one and give him or her all of your attention.
  • Take his/her side. Have your significant other's back. Supporting your loved one's wishes and helping to back him or her up on an issue that is important to him/her will make your loved one feel respected. Knowing that you have his/her back will mean the world to your special someone and it will make them appreciate you. You and your significant other are a team, first and foremost. Always choose him/her and always have each other's backs. 

Backcountry Initiation

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301071_2158820181857_2917232_n My first taste of the backcountry involved a lot of sweat, a lot of apprehension, and a pack that weighed over a quarter of my body weight. I had done a bit of hiking, but nothing involving a backpack or more than a few miles, and certainly nothing that involved sleeping out in the middle of nowhere. My husband and I had researched a wilderness area called Horseshoe Basin. 12 miles round trip and promising excellent scenery, we figured this would be a great way to initiate me into the world of backpacking. We packed up only the necessities, working hard to eliminate excess weight. We analyzed maps and read up on forums and decided that limiting the amount of water we carried was the best way to cut weight. The area we were going to be hiking in had plenty of streams, and water sources would be abundant. After all was said and done, my pack weighed 30 lbs, and on my barely 100 lb, inexperienced frame, it felt at least five times heavier than it actually was.

My husband and I headed East of the Cascades to Okanogan County. The trail head was at the end of a very long, very windy, very unmaintained “road” near the top of a small mountain. We set out as the sun was just making it’s first appearance over the mountain tops. The air was still chilly and with our packs strapped on tight, we plunged into a thick forested area through which the path wound for what seemed like hours. It was about a mile in that the heat started to scorch us. The sun inched higher and higher into the clear blue sky above the tree tops. The trail broke out of the trees and opened up onto alpine meadows, blooming with colorful wild flowers and tall grasses. It was breathtaking. It was hot.

The straps of my pack began to feel like they were cutting into my shoulders and my hips. My husband plowed on ahead, his stride sure and strong. He didn’t seem to be suffering like I was, although this wasn’t his first rodeo. He was an avid outdoors-man and he was no stranger to the backcountry, or to hauling a heavy load on his back. I felt myself growing weaker by the moment. The alpine meadows gave way to a burned down forest. A wild fire had torn through the mountains not many months before and dead, blackened trees lay scattered for miles in every direction. At least in the alpine meadows I had had the beauty of the flowers and the sweeping view to motivate me. Now, in this barren graveyard of skeleton trees I felt defeated.

I threw down my pack and booked it to a large boulder just off the trail - the only thing remotely close to a shady place to rest. I crouched beside the boulder, rubbing my shoulders, panting, and on the verge of tears. I realized with sinking certainty, that I had been defeated. I did not have what it took to be an adventurer. I had daydreamed that I would embark on my first backcountry quest with undiscovered, unharnessed, unshakeable strength. Now, as I huddled pathetically by a large rock in the middle of an unbelievably hot, desolate wasteland, the acknowledgment of my inexperience and weakness was nausea inducing.

My husband, upon realizing that I was no longer behind him, circled back and found me in my sorry state. With a gentle smile, he asked what was wrong. I told him that I was not cut out for the wild. My pack was too heavy, it was too hot, and my legs felt like jello. I told him that I could not go on and that we should turn back. My husband would have none of it. He gave me the bottle of water that we brought with us, and I drank deeply, sucking down the warm liquid that offered little to no relief from my suffering. I handed the bottle back to him, wiping my mouth with the back of my sweaty hand. My husband stowed the bottle and held out his hand to me. “Let’s go,” he said, confidently. He hauled me to my feet and helped me ease back into the straps of my pack.

And we carried on. With every step, my body ached more, and the sun beat down harder. But then, gradually, something amazing happened. I realized that despite my discomfort, I was pushing on, keeping up with my husband, and feeling more and more capable by the minute. The landscape changed again and we began winding in between tall cliffs and more alpine meadows. Patches of snow appeared sporadically in the shadowy  places. The heat became more bearable and I didn’t mind the burning in my shoulders and hips so much. I realized that my body was very capable of doing this. I had only to push through my mental barriers to release the adventurer strength within me. I was backpacking! I breathed in the fresh, mountain air and looked around me as I walked, drinking in the beauty of the backcountry - so remote and so unlike any place I had ever been.

Finally, we wound down the side of a cliff, came around a corner, and there it was: our destination. A beautiful valley lay before us, and on the opposite side, a grassy mountainside rose up into a bright blue sky. My husband and I smiled at each other. We trekked across the valley and up the other mountainside, where we found a relatively flat bank with a killer view. We set up camp, built our own water filtration system out of t-shirts, gravel, grass, and some charcoal that my husband had grabbed from the burned out forest we passed through earlier. The water that we filtered was the cleanest tasting water I had ever had the pleasure of guzzling.

That night we sat on the mountainside and watched the sunset together. The last blazing light of the day lit the wildflowers around us on fire so that they glowed in a supernatural way. It was so quiet. So still. The air was so crisp. The sun finally slipped behind a distant peak. It was a brand new world that I was in. In that moment, the backcountry welcomed me with open arms as one of it’s own. I fell in love on that mountainside, both with my husband all over again for believing in the strength that I had inside of me, even when I didn’t, and with the backcountry and all it stood for and all it had to offer. The wild places wove their way into my soul and I’ve never looked back.

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Rocks, Ice, and Fog: First Hike of 2014

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photo 2 My husband, Ben, and I spent our New Year's Eve a little differently than most 25 year olds probably did. We had an early dinner at my parents' house and then headed back home where we proceeded to spend the evening packing feverishly for our first adventure photo 1of the new year. We meticulously laid out our gear, inspecting it with great care. Ben's new Kuiu [www.kuiu.com] pack was filled with water, Cliff bars, and extra layers for us to throw on if needed. Our hiking boots were set out side by side. We had the New York New Year's Eve coverage playing on my laptop in the background and at 12am Eastern time (9pm for us), we watched the ball drop, shared a New Year's kiss and then called it a night.

We awoke early before the sun. While other people were in bed, recovering from the night's festivities, we filled our thermoses with hot coffee, grabbed some protein bars, loaded up the truck and hit the road with our little dog, Gunner, heading East. There wasn't much snow on the pass as we made our way through the mountains. But towards the top we noticed a thin sheen of black ice shimmering ever so slightly in the emerging sunlight. A sneaky, deadly thing, black ice.

We pulled off at the top of the pass into a deserted parking lot. No black ice there - instead, it was covered in a thick, obvious layer of ice, coated in a fine blanket of frost. The truck skidded over it's surface as we came to a stop. We wanted to let Gunner out for a break from the car ride. Ben, Gunner, and I each took our turn wiping out on the ice as we tried to walk around a bit to stretch our legs. Laughing, we all piled back into the truck and proceeded on...

East for Adventure!

We stopped for a quick breakfast before heading into the Swakane valley near Chelan. Winding our way back into the valley, we passed through mountains that rose up majestically on either side of the windy dirt road. The tops of the mountains disappeared into the dense fog that blanketed the valley high over head, allowing only a pale, filtered light through from the sun.

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Finally, we saw a place on the south side of the valley where the mountain split and a type of ravine offered access deep into the mountains. We parked the truck, checked our gear, and let Gunner loose, letting him lead the way. The ravine was rocky, icy, and foggy. We picked our way carefully over the ground, climbing up higher and higher. Our hiking boots skidded on the loose rocks that would have been hazardous on their own, even had they not been covered in slick ice and snow.

There was no view from the top other than the sides of the mountains that rose up around us, but those were awe inspiring enough. As we paused for a breather somewhere near the top, surrounded by quiet and stillness and crisp air, we couldn't think of a better way to start a new year, together, just the two of us in this peaceful place. We breathed in the mountain air, took in the uninterrupted silence, and basked in the ice cold breeze. We watched Gunner sniffing around, exploring his surroundings, equally as entranced with the place as we were.

We made our way back down the ravine, through the frost coated grasses of the valley, and back to the truck. We drove back over the mountains in bliss, laughing and recounting the beautiful day that we had had and the amazing new adventure that had kicked off 2014. A successful exploration that set the tone for the rest of the year to come - one full of adventure, pushing our limits, and grabbing life by the horns; and most importantly we started the year off together, doing what we love with the one we love...and with our little dog too.

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