Wordless Thailand

31 Thu, 2011 § 2 Comments

Vodpod videos no longer available.

I will share more soon…with words. 😉

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What is your most memorable trip?

First Year

28 Mon, 2011 § 6 Comments

[photo by David Finch]

Yesterday was our first year wedding anniversary. 🙂

It has been a year filled with significant events & changes; it is difficult to tack down one thing that stands out.

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We brought home our baby.

Our family life has strengthened.

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We traveled across the globe & still felt at home.

[photo by David Finch]

[Technically Thailand & Eisley happened just over a year ago but still feel like yesterday.]

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We exchanged vows beneath the sandstone cliffs.

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We left behind what was familiar & safe…

[photo by David Finch]

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& replanted ourselves in rocky landscape [literally, & some days, figuratively].

[photo by David Finch]

We realized life is now & worth living — now — so we are “going our own way”.

~

I suppose what stands out about our first year as husband & wife is the constant change, sense of adventure & growth as individuals as well as a couple we have experienced.  As I reflect over the past year, I am reminded why it is worth taking the road less traveled, why we are together, why we make sense, & why we will always be happy with each other.

Here is to my partner in life.  Every day I know how lucky & blessed I am to be with a man who has the courage to live, who refuses to play it safe & who goes for what will make us happy.

We will never know unless we go for it.

I am happy & feel secure embracing change & pursing a life less ordinary hand-in-hand with Dave.  We know it will all work out, even if we end up on the streets, 😉 because we will always keep happiness close & fill our lives with love & adventure.

I love you, Dave.

Forever

~your Allie-bug

Spring Dreaming

18 Fri, 2011 § 4 Comments

Can you be homesick for a place that felt like home for only a brief time?

Yes.

Can you miss people you only knew for three weeks & could hardly communicate with?

Yes.

Can we go back right now?

…[sigh]

Yesterday was a bit grey & overcast; it got me thinking about where we were a year ago.

It sure doesn’t feel like Thailand was twelve months ago!

With our anniversary approaching, I thought maybe I could share some highlights from our trip…next week.

I also want to share an amazing workout move Dave created…so watch for it…tomorrow [or later tonight actually].

I know I am lame to post “going tos”, but while everyone else was out for St. Patty’s Day, Dave & I were climbing our little hearts out at the gym last night…& I was  too exhausted & in too much pain to type, & it was too dark to take photos of his move.  I hope it gives you a couple things to look forward to though! 🙂

Bouldering felt amazing — other than the MASSIVE flapper I got!  This is always tricky business: should I just cut the skin off & move on or try to nurse it back to reattaching?  It’s a thick enough piece, it might just do it…if I have the patience to nurse it…& if it starts to heal before tomorrow’s climbing trip.  Hmm, I probably should have just cut.

Hope you had a fun [pain-free] night.

HAPPY FRIDAY!

~

Does the back & forth Spring weather have you daydreaming of past or future vacations?

Tonsai Sneak Peek

5 Wed, 2011 § 3 Comments

I have mentioned our three weeks in Thailand a couple times but insist on waiting until our Thai-iversary to really share it.

However…one of my favorite bloggers, Nienke, is currently vaca-ing, & Thailand is one of their main stops!  In all the excitement I could not help but gush about our adventure & offer any advice that came to mind.  I was thrilled when she asked me to share some of my favorite photos from the trip as a guest on Revelblog today.

Here you only get a glimpse of the Bangkok Airport, but if you are interested in seeing a little more of our adventure, click on the photo & take a gander at my post  — then stay around awhile & browse because Nienke has beautiful posts & photos.  This girl is talented, gorgeous & knows how to live & appreciate life.  I also adore how she refers to her home as her “nest”.

Aw, every so often I get “homesick” for Thailand…this is one of those moments.

I hope you enjoy it!

[& I hope you are having a wonderful time Nienka!]

Slow Down

27 Mon, 2010 § 4 Comments

How was your holiday?!  Full of laughter & love?

I sure hope so.

The long drive was worth spending a 4-day weekend with my family.  Eis, normally a basket case in the car, wriggled her way under the passenger seat & stayed there calm & seemingly happy in her little “den” for the 7-hour drive. 😀

Between Daq [the niece] blaming Dave [the husband] for drawing all over Darryus’ [the nephew] legs

to sunny hikes with my dad & brother [was it really December in EC?]

to happy baby news from my other brother & SIL,

we got a big dose of fun & love over Christmas.

Can you believe I missed saying goodbye to my dad though?!  I was walking Eisley Sunday morning & decided to stop at my grandparents’ to say goodbye & didn’t realize he had to leave for an early meeting.  He looked for me but thought I was on a run.  😦  I was crushed.  Good thing Dave has learned to endure my tears.

Many people might be mourning Christmas’ past.  I am actually relieved to be able to focus & put energy toward other aspects of my life.  I enjoyed the holiday immensely & would lengthen the time spent with my family if I could, but with the recent move & job hunt, the stress of holiday prep was more than I could bare some days.  Again, good thing Dave has learned to endure…

I was so worried about letting everyone down, I didn’t slow down to really savor & embrace what I love most about this time — which is slowing down, embracing contemplative moments & sharing time with those I love.

We did enjoy our night hike…finally painted our shoes

…Daiqri & I created art…my sister shared ideas & inspired future food photography…& some of us even hiked a bit…but part of me feels like those moments were rushed & squeezed in…

Maybe I didn’t really miss anything.  Maybe it just took spending time with my family to make me stop & enjoy the moment…if only we could have had more than those 4 days.  I guess I am mourning, but it is my family I am already nostalgic for, not Christmas.

~

How was your holiday spent?  Lots of festivity amidst a bit of chaos?  Were you able to slow down & enjoy the moment?

Stroll Through the Music

14 Tue, 2010 § 5 Comments

Culture drew us here; so it was fitting our last night in Prescott was Acker Night, filled with the musical culture of the community.

The locals call it Acker Walk.

I referred to it as the music stroll, because it reminded me of an [art]gallery stroll in a way.

Each shop [over 100 local businesses!] showcased a different artist or band.  100% of tips went toward raising funds for local youth performing arts programs.

It was a perfect excuse to get out, attempt to socialize, window shop, enjoy music & hot drinks & connect with the community — oh, & take the cameras for a spin & fiddle with night shots.  [That’s my excuse for the “lower quality” photos by the way.]

Each shop window had something different to say;

I’ll let you decide what that is.

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People were strolling.

Children were even roasting marshmallows near the sidewalk!

Photographers were prowling.

The tone of the evening ranged from window-watching classical

[I love violins.]

to rock-n-roll jam-outs to festive, street tap dancing.

You could chill to jazz or sway to folk.

Apparently there were even belly dancers & opera singers!  Alas, we didn’t make it to all of them.

One of our favorite performers of the evening,

The Denise Allen Band, wooed coffee drinkers with their blues & rock vibe.

Her voice was  s e n s a t i o n a l.

Another lovely lady behind glass I couldn’t tear myself away from…

I Am Tamela.

Wow.

I loved her stage presence.  I loved her sound.

I don’t even know how to describe it; all I could say was “I want to be her friend”, which Christine got quite the kick out of.

The restaurant was even smart kind enough to put a speaker system outside so you could hear her from the sidewalk if you weren’t fortunate enough to be inside.

I’m glad they did.

~

Any fun traditions in your town that highlight community culture?!

Into the Void

11 Sat, 2010 § 4 Comments

These last couple months have felt like a hiatus.  We couldn’t shake the feeling we were just on a long vacation & not actually moving to AZ.

Today, the hiatus is evaporating as we move into our own place.

~

Dave is still in the early stages of his new job.

I’m hoping to find work as a PT Tech.

We don’t really know what life in Flagstaff holds for us…

but we’re excited to find out.

~

Thanks for sharing this journey with us.

Thanks Christine for being so generous & letting us crash with you & upset your life these past weeks.

Thanks to our parents & the rest of our family & friends for supporting our decision.

Please enjoy your weekend — enjoy every day!

a.Sliver

26 Tue, 2010 § 9 Comments

Quaint boutiques & shops; cozy, local cafes & restaurants; & trendy outdoor gear stops inhabit the narrow streets of downtown Flagstaff.

Our first impression:

Local.Homey.Eclectic

It feels like a “young” town

with spirit.

Granted we only experienced a slice of this city & there is still much more to see, but we like it.  The sparse traffic & obvious bike lanes make for a friendlier pedal commute & everyone seems to love dogs [it could just be Eisley — she’s pretty lovable — I think I will make a lot of friends with her help ;)].

No city is perfect, but it is nice to see a community that is leaning toward eco-friendly practices rather than moving away from it…

& musicians whose songs warm the chilly October air — I love this.

I am definitely not above stalking out the lovely violinist serenading one of the corners of San Fransisco Street. 😉

The only time during the day we sort of raised our eyebrows & 😦 :

The indoor climbing gym, which looks just ok [the bouldering section is small], is $$$.  Day pass = $16 & it will cost Dave & I $200 just to get a membership — that does not include the membership fee each month!

Good thing the outdoor bouldering ROCKS.  We only touched the boulders in one area on Saturday at Priest Draw, & even though my tummy & core did not feel that great, I connected with the style.  We played on a beautiful, horizontal roof, & I am anxious to go back.  I was more concerned with having spotters than photographers, but I cannot wait to show you bouldering photos — soon!

So why did we leave our jobs in Utah & move to Arizona?    What made us leap without much of a safety net?

We wanted a fresh start in a new area where we could embrace our passions.  We are not interested in “waiting” to live, working 20+ years, banking on retirement to finally have “the time” & a chance to live like we have always envisioned.  One of those visions is traveling & experiencing new places, even if it means living simply.

Simple & happy — that is our intention.  We are figuring out the basic needs & luxuries we cannot live without & those we can.  We are embracing life & the aspects that truly enhance the experience rather than distract from it.

How often do you find yourself looking forward to the weekend?  Tired of yearning for the weekend to come & watching the weeks fly by [is it October already?], we changed our perspective & actions to look forward to each day.

Life is Now.

~

Have you ever made a drastic life change you knew would bring you happiness even if it seemed “risky” in the conventional sense?

Salt Lake

15 Fri, 2010 § 5 Comments

As a child I played in the gaps between buildings…fallow land, abandoned lots, open fields, muddy bogs…& untouched sand mines.  Formed through misplanning, they were our empire, the empire of children.

Ours was a dirty, unused place with snakes, lizards, frogs, insects of every category & wild vegetation.

Children instinctively understand the language of nature.  They can read it, if only they’re allowed to climb the fence & play undisturbed.

But the city gardeners arrive — the eliminators of mystery, the killers of empty spaces.  They move, pave & plant in zones where children & teenagers once played.

They pave the paths people may walk upon & frame the off-limit grass with perfectly composed borders.  The flowers live in identical pots of cement.

Naturalness is understood as the annihilation of spontaneity through perfect gardening.

-adapted from Design Anarchy

 

Salt Lake City is beautiful in many ways & special to me.  Coming from a small town, its vast population introduced me to diversity & taught me there exists infinite ways of thinking.  I learned tolerance & began to appreciate individual uniqueness that lends to the world’s beauty.  I took my first steps here on the road to truly finding myself — rather than selecting from a pre-designed list — & embraced inner searching.

It is here that I met Dave, finally embraced loved activities & discovered many new passions like rock climbing, biking, food, kayaking, knitting & photography.  SLC shook me out of my rut & helped me to openly love life & myself.

Now, sometimes it is difficult to still see all the reasons I loved SLC…as it moves farther from nature & a sense of community.

Anymore, even during these beautiful, intimate glimpses nature permits us, there is still the nagging voice of “civilization” [often hummed in form of marketing] lingering in the background or muffling the open spaces that people once strolled…together.

Yes, we do still find some escape & cherish its beauty,

yet even here, we are still smothered by the exhaust-filled canyons.

It is time to move on…maybe for a time…maybe forever…

~

I love Salt Lake, I do.  As we come to this crossroad, I say my goodbyes to a place that intimately shaped who I am now, taking with me what I have learned & love.  I am ready to create new experiences, continue to search & live.

~

Have you ever said goodbye?  Have you ever stayed in a place long enough to watch it move farther from what you loved?

 

SD, I Am Ready

25 Wed, 2010 § 3 Comments

We leave for San Diego tomorrow, & I could not be more excited!  I have been resisting the urge to pack for weeks!  FINALLY, this week has been all about preparing for our trip.

To keep fueled & feeling my best for SD, I have been pushing especially hard while working out & making meals that keep me feeling light  & energized.

I have been trying to stick to only fruit in the mornings for a couple weeks now.  Terry Walter’s Fruit Soup has been great for a nice pre-workout boost of energy.  Its combination of carrot juice, cantaloupe, mango & peaches is chock full of nutrients, & ground clove enhances the refreshing flavor.  I also had ginger added to the fresh carrot juice.  I am really enjoying this end-of-summer-bounty-in-a-bowl, garnished with champagne grapes; the hint of spices offers just a touch of warmth — perfect for these mornings that are becoming cooler.

I have also been devouring variations of fresh salads [piled high with sprouts Dave surprised me with] as well as Green Monsters.  I finally found a real juice bar in SLC!  The Blue Star.  Yesterday, as a post-climbing treat, I was delighted with a juice combination of romaine, bok choy, celery & watermelon.  Yum!

I will definitely make a Green Monster as pre flight fuel tomorrow & squeeze in interval training [our flight is not until 8:45am] before leaving.  Exercising makes travel much more comfortable; stimulating my muscles & blood flow should make the flight more tolerable.

Even though it is only a short flight, because I eat a small meal or snack every couple hours, packing a few goods for the plane is a must:  peaches, tea for an upset tummy & homemade Quinoa Granola will fill my carry-on [the only bag I am taking – yay].

My variation of Ashley’s original, amazingly creative, Granola.

  • Preheat oven to 375*F

~ Bring to boil & simmer about 15 minutes, until liquid is absorbed:

  • 1 C Quinoa, rinsed well [I used a combination of red & white]
  • 1 Can light Coconut Milk
  • 5 Cinnamon sticks [1 tsp]
  • 2 tsp Vanilla

~ While quinoa simmers, combine:

  • ½ C Almonds, chopped
  • ½ C Cashews, chopped
  • 2 T Chia Seeds
  • ¼ C ground Flaxseeds
  • 1 T Sesame Seeds
  • Sea Salt

~ In a mixing bowl, add nut/seed mixture to cooked Quinoa.

~ Stir together:

  • 2 T Brown Rice Syrup
  • 1 T Maple Syrup
  • 1 T Coconut Oil

~ Pour over Quinoa Mixture & mix well.

~ Spread onto a parchment-lined baking sheet.

~ Bake until golden brown & almost completely dried out, ~1 hour, stirring every 10 minutes or so.

~ About halfway through baking, I sprinkled & pressed 1/2 C dried Cherries into the granola.

~ I also reduced the temperature  to 325* because it was browning too quickly.

~ Allow the granola to cool completely, before storing in an airtight container, to prevent it from going mushy.

~ I dusted a substantial amount of cinnamon over the granola before storing [I keep it in the fridge but do not think this is necessary].

In an old Yoga Journal issue, I found an amazing post flight sequence to help “get us grounded & enjoy our destination”.  It will be perfect while waiting for Dave’s sister, Christine.  I am anxious to enhance my practice, exploring new yoga classes & instructors, while in SD.

Did I mention we are going to a Padres’ game?!  Baseball is my favorite sport to watch.  Really.

Also, we will be bouldering on the beach.  Aw.

We may never come back! 🙂

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Any tips or tricks for traveling & flying?

Dave & I will also be having a Friday date night, just the two of us, if anyone has suggestions.  [We have never been to SD.]

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