#famousAmoshikes a 2017 update

I'm pretty sure I've already been on more hikes with Amos this year than I did in the entirety of last year #shameshame. 
1. Little Devil's Tower: probably wouldn't have done this one solo because of all of the climbing up and down rocks. Thankfully I had a team of very helpful friends. Also, true to form, the BH gave us rain and sleet/hail for the last bit of our hike. Amos was over it.

2. Off-roading in Wind Cave NPS: it was earth day and we wanted to check out the sunset, so we did a quick solo hike around the Beaver Creak Bridge area. P.S. Amos' face when he got handed a pine cone for the first time -ded.

3. Sunday Gulch Trail: also probably wouldn't have done this one solo for the first half because of all of the boulders/stairs in the water. That's why I bring my husband along ;)  

4. Devil's Bathtub in Spearfish Canyon: I got plenty wet. Amos stayed dry. Win.

5. Cold Brook Canyon trail in Wind Cave NPS: we avoided the ticks and saw no bison. Also, Amo…

Hello (a long, rambling introduction).

If you have been reading this blog for longer than two seconds, you most likely have been with me for some pretty painful blogging years (let's be real: they probably aren't over). Those early days -yikes. I have long held to the personal principal that I started this blog for fun, and that's how I want to keep it -however weird it may get at times. I don't want to feel like I have to produce content to keep up the page views or to sell a product or to get some Pinterest pins. 

I think (ok KNOW) part of that is due to pride. In other words, if I am not feeling like I have anything to publish here that will be The Best, and get a lot of shares or comments or ... whatever... then I don't want to do it. A lot of what Amelia wrote recently resonated with me in that regard. I read a lot of blogs. I have a lot of friends and acquaintances who blog. I am guilty of condescendingly rolling my internal eye-balls at people I feel like are just blogging to get the page clicks/v…

Travel Log: Yosemite Valley

This year, our visit to California included a trip to the mountains instead of a trip to the ocean. I had never paid much attention to how close my in-laws lived to Yosemite, so my one request this year was that we take a day trip up there. Thanks for obliging, fam. :) 
Most of the roads (and a lot of the trails) were still closed because of snow. We didn't have a lot of time, so we ended up just wandering around The Valley. Side note: seeing the staff lodging locations made me really wish that Matt was working as a NPS LEO, still. Maybe someday when we are old and gray.

It's Tuesday! (Let's be thankful)

Today I am thankful for the friendships that my local church has provided. 
These three ladies have offered me lots of convicting, sharpening, and laughing times. I have been really encouraged by their blogs lately... and I hope you are, too!  

Angie - writing at In the Meantime. (We can agree to disagree on the whole finding out the baby's gender thing ;) ) 

Helena -writing at Alter and A Tent (Thanks for laughing at me with me!)

Steffie -writing at Adventures with a Higher Purpose. (Even if she is a Nebraska-hating, Wyoming-loving human) 

*disclaimer: neither of those last two pictures are specifically of the people I am talking about.. it's like an I-Spy game. Can you find the Helena or the Steffie in these pictures? APPARENTLY I need to take more pictures of you people!

Music Monday: Seth Avett

"It took a while to find ya, and life ain't movin' slow, but now we have each other, and it's time to build a home. We'll be the same man and wife,  who live a big and blessed life, who take the hard way to learn all we know, who love in full wherever we go. Could we grow good tomatoes and a family anywhere?"

Saturday Things

I'm currently ignoring the stack of dishes in the kitchen because, well, I hate doing dishes.  But I also wanted to share some things that I have been loving lately, or maybe just made me stop and think.
I love the imagery of this song: What Love, My God.  Also, Easter is SO SOON! Time is flying, people.  (This entire playlist by City Alight has been on repeat in my house for most of this month. Check it out!) 

Also, a couple of belated podcasts listens.  First, this interview with the She Reads Truth ladies on Lent. And second, this conversation about small talk by the Way Fam. I am a self-proclaimed extroverted introvert, and if it is up to me to start a conversation with a complete stranger 99.9% of the time it ain't gonna happen. However, I get frustrated with silly "how are you" conversations and struggle big time with making conversations more meaningful -both with strangers and with friends. This podcast had some good thoughts on the subject.

This photograph from the …

Simply Tuesday/Grati Tuesday/ Thankful Tuesday

...whatever you want to call it, I am home and I am thankful...

...for voluntary garden growth,
For a working washer and dryer,
For fresh memories of vacation,
For nice people who return lost wallets,
For nap time and podcasts,
For new beginnings. 

Music Monday: Nathan and Eva

These guys are fun. Still.  I love that they are brother and sister (incase I never mentioned that before)!
Happy Monday, y'all.

Valentimes: a belated post.

“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.”― C.S. LewisThe Four Loves

It seems like there's nobody with passive feelings about Valentine's Day. You either love it or you hate it. I love it. I'm all in. And I have been for all of my born days (ok, MOST of my born days). It has baffled me for a long time why (mostly single) people have such strong negative feelings against it, and it wasn't until I was having a conversation with one of my friends about it on Valentine's Day that I had a bit of an "a…

30 before 30

It's coming, you guys. That big 30. Another decade alive.  
Before I get all introspective, I'm just going to put this quote out there to remind myself (maybe you need the reminder, too).

Instead of having the mentality of "some day" and living in the hypothetical future, I constantly am having to remind myself to live in today (while, yes, preparing for the future). 
In order to give myself goals to help keep the every day on track and purposeful, I decided to make a 30 before 30 list alongside my yearly goals. I love reading other people's lists, and I was particularly inspired by this post. 
Here's an incomplete start to my 30 before 30 in no particular order. Stay tuned. ;)
1. Go to Hippy Hole in the Black Hills (How have I never gone?) 2. Take Matt to the Devil's Bathtubs in the Black Hills. 3. International Travel at least once before Amos needs a ticket ;)  4. Move to a bigger house (rent? buy?) 5. Camp in the Badlands (again, how have I never?) 6. Complete …

Dear Amy Schumer

(an open letter, or, Why I Am Not Broken Hearted to have a New Baby in This Crazy, Messed-Up World.)

I saw you this election year. You were on fire. You were using your time in the public spotlight to stand for and promote what you so strongly believe in. You stood alongside your choice for the presidential race, and you campaigned right through voting day. 

I'm with you (kinda). I think that women are strong, capable, powerful, and wise world-shakers. It's astounding to think that just a "few" years ago, women were not even allowed to vote in this country, yet here we are and women are holding political offices and running for president.

Then, like you, I watched in disbelief as Donald Trump was elected president of the United States. 

However, unlike you, I wasn't devastated. I was not hopeless. I did not spend that night or the next few days in mourning. 

And I most certainly am not broken hearted to have given birth to my son the same year that President Trump was…

Merry, merry, merry

It's the most wonderful time of the year!
Here's the albums that I have been listening to on repeat this year.
First off, this golden album from Sufjan Stevens. Forty two songs. You won't be sorry. (P.S. Anybody know how to pronounce that first name?)

This next album is technically for kids, but it's fantastic listening for advent!

And my new all-time favorite Christmas album: The Light Came Down. SO. GOOD. I mean, Josh outdid himself. I am crying giant tears of sorrow because I can't be at one of his Christmas concerts.

What are you listening to this year (Or every year)?