Mawwiage….

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I’ve heard it time and time again. The 4 year itch, the 5 year itch, and the seven year itch. It is defined as “a point that a lot of couples go through, the point at which you have been together so long that you are tired of bored with your relationship.” Another phrase I have heard often describes being married as hard work, or “the hardest thing they’ve ever done.”

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I can very honestly say that after 7 years, I don’t get either of those statements. I’ve heard them so often that I’m starting to think Matt and I are doing something wrong. Totally kidding! I think we are just lucky.

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The thing is though, being with Matt has never, ever been hard work. We have had our share of disagreements like any other two cohabiting humans. Aspects of both of our lives has been difficult to deal with at some point, but it has never directly affected the way Matt and I feel about each other. Things haven’t always turned out the way we planned for them to happen, but we also know that God has a plan for our life, and things happen on his timeline, not ours. We are each others calm center, for lack of a better word. We may have drama surrounding our lives but never within the life we share.

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Simply stated, Matt is my very best friend. There is no one in the world I would rather be with, any time, anywhere. And there is no one that knows me and accepts me 100% (weirdness and all) the way he does. I am willing to face anything as long as he is by my side. Here’s to many, many years of the easiest, and the best thing I’ve ever done

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Random Instagram Photo Dump

It’s been a crazy month, and the light at the end of the tunnel won’t be anywhere near us until sometime in May. It’s good to be busy, a blessing really, but it wears on you after a while. Matt and I are in the midst of a 18 hour day right now, so I figured now was as good a time as any to dump some Instagram photos from the last couple months. Without further ado….

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Our tomatoes and peppers we planted a few weeks ago are doing awesome despite the fact that I accidentally sprayed them with a vinegar water solution a few days ago. Don’t leave two very similar spray bottles next to each other while you’re talking on the phone. Or more importantly, pay attention.

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I made some really good lemon cheesecake ice cream for Easter at grandmas this year. We all were stared at quite uncomfortably while we ate by Kimo and Molly.

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This accurately describes how both Matt and I feel most days.

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My dogs have been missing us a lot lately. We had a few hours off the other night so we drove to the grocery store with the them in tow. Their first outing, other than walks. If Ella could sit on my lap while I’m driving, she would. She is also extremely protective of me. While Matt was in the store, anytime another person or dog walked by she was intent on putting herself between me and that person or dog. She is quite silly that way. When we got home they both proceeded to lay all over Matt. It was pretty stinkin cute if I do say so myself.

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We recently finished doing Swan Lake with Ballet Idaho. During each show we ran one dry ice fogger three times on each side of stage. That is a lot of dry ice, and a lot of fog. It was a nice change of pace though since as an electrician onstage we usually don’t do more that change gel or refocus lights during intermission. We always had excess dry ice left over that would have to be burned off at the end of each show. The little kid in everyone always comes out and wants to play with all of that fog. Lets just say a lot of silly pictures were taken :0)

And finally, a photo from the show we had last night. Don Williams is an oldie but a goodie!

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Anniversary part 3

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Last anniversary trip post. I promise. Our third full day we decided to hike into Pettit Lake. Oh man you guys, it was awesome. It is about 2 miles in, and we made it about halfway before the the snow, heated by the sun, was just too soft to walk on and we trudged through on snow shoes.

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It was beyond gorgeous. We took a ridiculous amount of pictures, but I will spare you most of them. Once again it was about 60-65 degrees, so we were in t shirts. Probably could have easily hiked in shorts. It's is interesting how one does not notice the terrain of a road when you drive it, because I don't remember that much uphill. We made it safely too the lake with relatively few sink to your knees steps in the snow.

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The beach was gorgeous and the sand was warm. Very spring like as long as you ignored the fact that the lake was completely frozen over and the ice was thick. First thing Matt and Ella do? Walk out on the ice. Seriously, they’re crazy. The only stayed out long enough to take a picture though. We stripped off wet shoes and jeans, or I did anyway, and hung out in our shorts and bare feet taking in the absolute beauty of this place. Knowing we were also probably the only people within at least a 2-3 mile radius was pretty cool as well.

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We also attempted to take a family picture using the timer on our camera. I didn’t see the results until we got back to the hotel, so this first picture totally cracked me up, followed by the one that was the best.

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The return trip was less painful physically, but it broke my heart to leave. I could have stayed there ALL day. We took plenty of pictures, and Piper ended up hitching a ride from Matt in the backpack. She is quite the little drama queen. Good thing she’s cute!

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Anniversary pt. 2

Fishing is very serious business in our world. For real you guys :0) We spent day 2 of our little vacation fishing up and down the Salmon River. We started north of lower Stanley on a section of the river we weren’t very familiar with, but it doesn’t particularly matter. As long as I can cast a line out relatively easily, I’m happy girl.

We got super lucky and was given another BEAUTIFUL day. Shorts and t shirt weather. We pulled into an empty campground and unloaded our poles, waders, gear and puppies.

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Ella and Piper were tied up in a way that they had lots of room to chase things, lay in the sun and play in the water while we fished. We didn’t catch much, just a few babies, but the important part was we were there doing something that we both love to do, together.

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Later that evening we checked out the nearest hot springs aptly named “the tub.” We had been there a year or so before during the summer, and it was as awesome as remembered. Ella and Piper didn’t care for being kenneled while we soaked, but they lived. I wish I had taken a better picture of the actual tub, but I didn’t. I guess I will just have to go again! It’s really a neat contraption though. A piece of mining equipment from the dredge near Yankee Fork, I believe, that is fed hot water directly from a spring via a pipe. The water inside the tub gets super hot so we ended up pulling the pipe and using a bucket to throw nice cold river water in to balance the temperature. The regular soakers take very good care of it. A new valve at the base of the tub has been installed so you can empty it easily, and they’ve reinforced the pipe that feeds it. All very much appreciated whomever you regulars may be! What I hate about these public hot springs are the people who come up and litter the area with beer cans and what not. We always do our best to leave the place nicer that it was when we got there.

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After our soak, we drove down the valley hitting up a few more fishing spots, and just taking in the beauty of the area we spend so much time in during the summer, covered in snow. Interesting tid bit of information… The amount of snow on the valley floor between Stanley and Galena Summit some 30-ish miles away, changes drastically. There is very little snow in about a 10 mile radius around Stanley. The closer you get to Galena summit, the more the snow is accumulated. By the time you get to Smiley Creek Lodge in Sawtooth City, I was seeing areas with easily 2-3 feet. My theory is that the lack of snow in the northern half of the valley is due to the geothermal activity in the area. But who knows… It was just something I hadn’t noticed the previous times we had come up during the winter.

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We made steaks, sweet potatoes and salads that night in our little kitchen. I really do recommend avoiding the Mountain Village lodge if you’re ever up there. It is a much larger motel, but Jerry’s Salmon River Cabins and Motel where we stayed was much cheaper, every room is not only larger but has a kitchenette, and every room has a spectacular view and river frontage. The only thing it doesn’t have is its own hot spring, which the hike to the one Mountain Village owns in the snow is not fun. The Tub is less than five miles up the road and just off the road. No hike after you are all relaxed! Yay! Here is another photo of the view from a different part of the day.

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7 Years of Marriage…

…And all I got was a trip to Stanley. Just kidding! If any of you know me, you know I wouldn’t have wanted anything else. It was awesome and exactly what we needed! We did actually do quite a bit, and took a lot of photos, so i will probably do a couple of posts to save both myself, and any readers from having to take in one giant post.

This was the first trip we have taken to Stanley in a while that was just the two of us. We took Ella and Piper, and were able to stay in a hotel room with a kitchenette which was perfect because this time of year there is only one restaurant open, and it isn’t so bueno. We drove up on a Sunday through Garden Valley. That was a pretty drive, with large herds of Elk hanging out in the valleys. Between Lowman and Stanley I think I counted evidence of at least 6 avalanches. It’s absolutely crazy how powerful falling snow can be. I’ve said it before, but Mother Nature is pretty cool.

The view from the deck of our cabin was incredible. I could have lived on that deck happily for the rest of my life.

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We went without much agenda, wanting it to be as relaxing an non stressful as possible. Predictably, fishing was the first thing we did. We took off towards the area we like to camp around decker flat road, parked on the side of the highway and walked the mile in to a bridge over the Salmon River. Fortunately for us, the snow was melting on top, but had a nice frozen base and we were able to walk across without the burden of snow shoes. Arriving at that spot, my spot, near that bridge was, and forever will be a special experience for me. So many amazing memories are connected to that fishing spot. I have spent literally hours barefoot standing in the river watching wildlife, seeing storms blow in and out of the valley or just enjoying the company of my friends and family as we (usually) catch fish after fish. I’ve helped several people catch their very first fish on that little stretch of river near that bridge.

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We didn’t have as much luck this time around, but it was just nice being there with Matt and the dogs. The weather was surprisingly very, very beautiful. It was probably 65 degrees, and we were comfortably fishing in our t shirts. Ella was seriously on cloud nine. So excited and happy to be somewhere she knows, and loves. Piper has fun even if she acts like she isn’t. If it is possible for a dog to be a drama queen, that would be my Princess Piper.

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We walked back to the truck and headed back to the hotel, made dinner with out microwave and hot plates then snuggled into bed while Matt watched some Netflix while I read, both of us taking a few moments every now and again to gaze out the window watching the sun slowly sink behind those majestic mountains. I don’t think there will ever be a time where looking at the Sawtooths doesn’t take my breath away, or leave me with a feeling of absolute awe. We are very,VERY blessed.

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Love Where You Live

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I’ve had pieces and parts of this post floating around my brain for a few weeks now, mentally adding and deleting paragraphs and ideas. I recently ran across some blogs written by some lovely ladies living in New York City. My favorite one is Nat the Fat Rat. She lives in an 800 sq. ft. apartment, which is an upgrade from the 300 sq. ft. they lived in prior to welcoming their son. Her and her husband lived in that 300 square feet with TWO dogs people!

I guess what my point is, it seems like part of the American dream is to always feel like we absolutely need bigger and better. Never really satisfied with what we have. I’ve heard over and over the statement “as soon as I have ___, I will be happy” and as soon as that goal is achieved, or that item bought, we move on to the next thing we absolutely must have to be happy. When is it enough? Is there a point at which you look around and just say “I am finally happy.” Do you eventually arrive at that point by surrounding yourself with space, material objects, food, or animals? I can honestly say the answer for me is a resounding “no.”

After reading Natalie’s blog about a month ago, I have decided I am happy with exactly where I am right now. In a world with so much poverty, how can I justify NOT feeling that way. I live in a beautiful city, in a nice neighborhood where we are able to walk our dogs peacefully. I am incredibly blessed with a home, albeit small by some standards. I have a husband I love that sleeps next to me in our small bedroom. I have 2 dogs sleeping on the floor at our feet that also have a yard to run and play in. We have bedrooms that serve no other purpose than to house things. It has hosted many Thanksgivings, Christmases and Easters filled to the brim with family and friends. Our small home is more than adequate for our needs, but more importantly, it is OURS. We are lucky that we have the ability to remodel and change it to fit our needs. When it starts to feel small, it is time to purge some of our “things” that serve no purpose but to take up space. They were probably things we really didn’t need in the first place, but for a very small amount of time, wanted. If you really think about it, families all over this beautiful world of ours live in homes, apartments, condos or flats half the size of mine with families three or four times the size of ours. Bedrooms aren’t for one child, they’re for three or four. Sleeping space is far less important than living space.

What really cemented the writing of this particular post was a comment C. Jane Kendrick made on her blog the other day saying “I don’t want big spaces to fill up with lots of stuff. I want a small space to fill up with my family.” Those words right there exactly sum up everything that has been dancing around my head for weeks. And it’s true. I don’t need more space to find my happy, I need less stuff, fewer things taking up the space that should be dedicated for our family and friends that fill my home regularly.

A very good friend of ours is embarking on an amazing journey. Jennifer recently retired, bought and RV and started traveling. She is emptying her apartment, taking what she needs that can fit in her new home on wheels, boxing up what she wants to keep into a storage unit, and donating or selling the rest. I’m not ashamed to admit that I am envious of her situation for two reasons. One, she is traveling this beautiful country the best way possible, experiencing places I have only dreamed about and she deserves every second of joy she gets out of this adventure. And two, she is getting the opportunity to reassess everything she owns and purge her life of unnecessary “things.” I bet it feels amazing!

I’m gonna do it, even if it as a slow pace. This will be a goal for myself. A (fashionably late) New Years resolution if you will. I’m learning to love where I live for so many more reasons than I did before. I really do urge everyone to take a look around themselves. Look at the things that surround you and really prioritize them. Whatever is on the bottom, get rid of. If you don’t like something CHANGE it. I can promise that as soon as decide to love where you live, life gets just a little bit happier, and it can only get better from there.

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Random Ramblings

Happy first week of spring! We started it off right with a good inch of snow fall. So pretty!

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The snow was melted in the valley by noon, but the storm blew on throughout the day. Rain, snow, sun, wind, thunder… We had it all. It was awesome! It kept snowing along the foothills and mountains all day. It was so pretty to watch. Mother Nature is amazing!

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The weather didn’t stop us from having a BBQ this weekend with a few good friends. It was so good! Made me antsy for warm weather BBQs outside in the sunshine!

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We’ve been re-watching The West Wing thanks to Netflix. We will usually watch an episode in bed before going to sleep, but this morning we watched one. The dogs crawled into the bed with us for some cuddles. Slow Sunday mornings are the best!

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And now, to end this completely random post, here is a photo of our favorite place in the world. This is what it looks like right now. Hopefully it stays beautifully snowy since we will be there in 7 days for some snow shoeing! Woot! So excited!!

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