2017: Year of Gratitude

Thursday, January 19, 2017

I've never chosen a "word of the year" before, but I figured now was a good time to start. To anyone that knows me personally I think it was pretty apparent that 2016 was not my best year. To say I struggled after moving would be the biggest understatement ever. But when I thought about it at the end of the year...trying to come up with an update (which I never posted because it was SO DEPRESSING), I realized that things could have been much better if I would have been able to focus on the good. Appreciate. Be grateful.

*Photo from Pinterest, original source unknown
This year I'm determined to be more aware of how fortunate I am in life. Not getting woo-woo about it, like "I don't miss my friends anymore because I'm so thankful that I have them." Just choosing to focus on being lucky that it's so easy to keep in touch because of social media, or texting and that I'm able to visit often etc. Obviously that's just an example but you get the idea.

I'm really hopeful that trying to adapt a new attitude will improve multiple areas in my life so keep your fingers crossed for me! :) What about you? Do you make a resolution or adopt a word of the year? Maybe you just skip the whole New Year fanfare?! Leave a comment and let me know.

Love,
K

Roadtrip!

Monday, January 16, 2017

Oh man, for the past week I've been on a roadtrip from Everett, Washington to Long Beach, California. My sister and her boyfriend are moving to Long Beach for a bit so I rode down with her, and it was an adventure.


We started our journey on Monday, January 9. The trip was going fine until we got into the Oregon mountains. First it was just raining...and then it was snowing. Big fat snow globs. Still, things were going okay...until traffic came to a stop. And didn't move again for two and a half hours. We literally just sat there while it continued to snow, and the road was freezing over. It was so, so scary. It was now dark out and finally the police drove by on the opposite side of the road and hollered at people to get back in their cars (some of the more brave/dumb people were getting out and walking around) because traffic was moving. Laura had figured out that there was a motel at the next exit so after traffic started moving 5-10 mph we decided we'd rather get off and stop for the night. It was the probably the dirtiest motel I've ever been in, but it felt safer than continuing to drive.






Tuesday the plan was to get from Sunny Valley, OR to Napa, CA. We managed but the weather was less than ideal. It was mostly heavy rains, with a little snow thrown into the mix for fun sometimes. Once we got to Napa, we checked into our hotel, had a comfort meal dinner at Applebee's and watched movies. It was so nice to relax in a clean place! The simple pleasures in life! :) Napa got a huge rain storm Tuesday night...we could hear it pouring from our room and were so happy to not be stuck on the road somewhere.





Wednesday was a fun day in Napa Valley! Laura and I were so grateful to not be driving and it was almost sunny! We started our day in Downtown Napa; attempting to wine taste and visiting the Oxbow Market. Several of the tasting rooms were closed due to the storms and flooding and Oxbow Market turned out to be a lot smaller than anticipated. Our favorite booth was Napa Valley Distillery. The guys working there were super fun and friendly and helped with all our questions. I was able to pick up a nice souvenir for Loren. The only wine tasting we ended up doing in Downtown Napa was at the Vintner's Collective. The guy working there was friendly and had lived in Washington for 15 years so that was a nice thing to have in common. There was a pretentious wine-o there also tasting that made for good entertainment. :)







Since wine tasting had so far been a bust, we headed to Yountville. It only took a few minutes to get there and I'm so glad we went. We visited three tasting rooms there: Hope & Grace Winery, Hill Family Estate, and Cornerstone Cellars. Hill Family Estate was definitely my favorite. Jean was so helpful and friendly, and the wine was yummy. But honestly, all three places had fantastic staff that were easy to chat with during our tastings. Also, Yountville was really cute!







Thursday was our last driving day. We were determined to get to Long Beach and be done with the car and crappy weather. Of course, it rained most of the drive and then we ended up getting into the Los Angeles area right at rush hour...but we made it! There was so gorgeous scenery in between Napa and LA, and I wasn't really expecting that since we'd taken the less scenic route. Plus we saw the one and only rainbow on our whole trip!



Friday we took our time getting going for the day and then headed to Huntington Beach to grab lunch, browse some shops, and then wait for sunset. We ended up getting lunch at Fred's Mexican Cafe and it was DELICIOUS! Good salsa, good tacos, and super yummy margaritas! After lunch we walked to Pacific City and looked through the shops there. It was a cute place, the shops were the same as any other place (Urban Outfitters, Francesca's, etc) but we had fun. There are little tables and steps outside that are perfect to sit and watch the sunset. It's pretty entertaining to look around and see everyone trying to get the perfect photo!








And that's a wrap on the trip. It was a fun week that I'm happy to have been invited along (or did I invite myself? That's a bit cloudy). The weekend was spent snuggling up on Loren and Ruby. <3 around="" for="" friends="" happy="" marathon="" monday="" nbsp="" p="" post="" sticking="" thanks="" this="">
Love,
K

Holiday Wrap Up

Monday, January 9, 2017

Happy New Year! I hope you had a wonderful holiday week with family and friends with lots of yummy food and drinks. I've been still in holiday mode but I'm finally back to share a recap of our holidays.

As usual, we spent Christmas in Michigan. Loren and I actually were in town early enough that we were able to go to Christmas Eve service with my parents and sister and it was so nice. Their pastor is leaving (he also is the pastor that married us) so I'm glad we got to see him one last time in that capacity. After church we headed home to snuggle in and watch A Christmas Story. It's a tradition that I love, that movie always cracks me up.


Christmas day we went to my cousin's house for dinner and family time. They've been hosting us for years and it's always such a good time. I feel so fortunate to be able to spend a day laughing and being silly with people I love. It's nice to be able to cut loose a bit.


After spending the day there, we headed to Loren's parents to start our celebrations there. The next day we went for a drive through Crossroads Village to look at all the Christmas lights. On Monday evenings you can drive through the village so even Ruby got to go with us!



The rest of the week was just spent hanging out with family. Then we headed home for New years. My parents and sister came with us so we rang in 2017 together.





It was a nice holiday week and January is off to a busy start for both Loren and me. Hope your holidays were fun and that 2017 is off to a good start! 

Love,
K

Home for the Holidays

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Merry Christmas friends! I'm finally ready to share some pictures of our Christmas decor this year. I feel like I've been fussing with it for weeks now, moving things from one place to another, buying a little something for this corner, etc. But I'm done for now and plan to wait until next year for the rest of my ideas. For holiday decorations, I tend to keep things in the main living areas and don't do anything in the bedrooms. So c'mon in, have a look around.

The entryway got some simple updates for the holidays. Some pre-lit garland on the bottom of the table in front of a set of vintage Santa postcard that my mother-in-law gave me. On the table surface I added a snowman and a little sassy sign from HomeGoods. I had some extra vase filler that I added to the the hurricane.






The formal living room got a new artificial tree for the front window with a set a ornaments from Target. I put some spare ornaments in a bowl on the coffee table and then a little flower on the accent table.




The family room is my favorite area. Our tree with all the fun ornaments that we've collected or been given throughout our relationship. It's fun this year that we actually have wrapped gifts under our tree! To update our media center, I added a garland that I picked up from Target and added some faux wrapped gifts and extra ornaments. Garland and stockings added to the mantel and then some garland along the half wall dividing the kitchen. The best spot is to sit on the couch and look at both trees. :)





The dining room is the final stop on this little tour. I decorated our buffet (that's actually a revamped dresser) the same way I always do with a garland, and contained ornaments. The table got a small red runner, some festive vase filler added to the centerpiece, and some greenery added to the light fixture.




That wraps up our decor for the holidays! Hope you're enjoying the season (and lots of cookies)!

Love,
K
 
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