Thursday, February 05, 2015

Catching Up: Autumn 2014 (Colorado)

I wrote this blog post once already but my blogger app on my iPad didn't save it! This is why I've been so bad about posting! I waste more or my time than I use productively on this stupid app. 


Autumn of last year did not consist of very much besides work (Dugan at homedepot and me at The Cheesecake Factory) and as much family&friends time as we can squeeze into all the blank spaces. 

First things first, I traded in my metal mouth for some pearly whites. THAT was a good day. 
My teeth looked fake. It was nuts. I was definitely happy to be rid of my brace face for good!

The days in Phoenix were still deadly hot so every chance we got, which was about once every other week or so, we ran away to flagstaff or payson for a long hike in the woods or a camping trip or both.

And all the days http at we couldn't run away, we spend hours and hours at the dog part, which is conveniently located about a quarter mile behind our house so it's just a quick 10 minute walk there and back. 

Then, in October, we went to Colorado for a vacation. 

I knew to expect the mountainous scenery and he peace and quiet. I knew to expect cool nights and warm sunny days. I knew to expect cowboy coffee, campfire meals, and long walks. 

I didn't expect the jaw dropping site of the sun rising behind the winding mountains and making the aspens glow as we descended from Telluride into Ridgeway.
I did not expect the gut wrenching ache I got as we drove through lizard head pass and Rico and Delores because those small towns, those gorgeous painted mountains were calling my name. 
I did not expect the good nights' sleep I got on the floor of our tent, hearing nothing but the rustling wind and the pitter-patter of puppy paws as Odin and Dusty kept watch around the camp.
I did NOT expect Odin to jump out of the jeep the moment we pulled up to Fruitland Mesa, make himself right at home, and show me that he belonged there and that he was home. (Sidenote: I have NEVER seen my dog behave as well as he did on this vacation) 

Long story short, I fell in love with that state. Every bit of it. I fell in love with the site of my husband on his father's property. I fell in love with the views of the sun setting on the mountains that Fruitland Mesa overlooks.

All along, the dream has been of Oregon. But, honestly, that was a place and a dream that we knew nothing about. Like Neverland. As I lay in my tent the second to last night before leaving, I thought hard about life and thinking about living in Colorado with my husband just felt right. 
It meant being only a drive away from our home of Arizona- our friends and family- our roots. It meant snow in the winter for Dugan and sunshine in the summer for me. It meant a wildly vast opportunity for Dugan educationally with all the agriculture programs available to us. 

Going to Colorado means wide open spaces for my dog to roam and for us to roam with him. It means  biking trails and hunting seasons. It means Dugan fulfilling his calling as Craig's only son and will be there to help Craig, when the time comes, to build his house. This thought alone brings so much glee to both of those men, I can't even begin to put it into words right here and now.

We plan to be I'm Colorado no later than July of this year (2015) . We are so eager to start this new journey in our life. 

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Catching Up: Moving and Summer 2014

Moving to phoenix from flagstaff for the year came on as a bit of a joke. I had just flown home from Virginia and Dugan and I were driving home from the airport and he told me our remaining roommate was planning on moving in with other friends in their apartment. Feeling defeated and at a loss of what to do- seeing as flagstaff was too expensive to live without any roommates and we were limited on people willing to live with our dog, I joked that we might as well live in phoenix for the last year we were in Arizona because at least we would be making more money. 

So of course the idea snowballed into house hunting and job hunting and school research yada yada. 

I found an apartment suitable for our budget and within good range if dugans school/work. 
But at the last minute, we changed our mind and found a cute little townhome with a yard for our dog and even closer to dugans work: across the street in fact! 

In June, I cancelled my vacation it New York to see Elyse (a trip I planned for alomst 6 months earlier) and I focused on packing my house, working 40 hrs a week at Late For The Train and my mother in laws wedding in Mesa. 

So in late June we took what felt like 5 dozen truck loads of stuff from our beautiful house in flagstaff to our quaint house In our new place in an overpopulated neighborhood in phoenix. The move was excruciating physically because moving is HARD and emotionally because we were leaving our mountains and forest and clean air to come live in 120 degrees of polluted and congested desert. 

All for the cause right? All for the cause of saving every penny this year to move away. All for the cause of cheap rent and better pay. All for the cause of being closer to family and friends for one last year before our big leap away from it all. 

We've been down here for about 6 and a half months. It's been exactly what I expected it to be. Hot, loud, polluted with people and smog, crowded, jammed with traffic etc. 

It's all for the cause. We have less than 6 months left and I fear that these last 6 will go even slower than the first 6. But we are keeping busy busy with work and long walks with our dog and visiting friends and family every chance we get. When we feel overwhelmed with the things we hate about phoenix, we run up to flagstaff or phoenix for the day. 

It's all for the cause, right? 

In a quick change of subject, I have to mention the birth of my sweet nephew benson just a few short weeks after my arrival in phoenix. He was a great "housewarming gift". I know there was once a time when he wasn't around, but now it's hard to imagine life without him. I'm so happy to embrace each new niece and nephew that comes into my life- I just want to be the best aunt I can be to them 

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Catching up: Spring 2014

You don't realize how far behind on blogging you really are until you look through all your lots from the year and you want to talk about all of them! All your trips, all your experiences, all your celebrations and birthdays and holidays.

However, there is not enough time in my day to go back and talk about all of it through the year so this chunk of time is going to just be called "Spring" because that's what time of the year this was in.

Spring of 2015 was... Fast. I began my research into moving to phoenix from flagstaff (more thoughts on that later), I visited the Greenstreets in March, and Dugan and I celebrated our 3-yr anniversary. 

So: Virginia. 
I'll let the photos speak for themselves but as a premise: these kids, these beaches, my sister, this family has a special place in my heart. I know I can always run away to their house when I need time away from my own life at home. My visits are always pleasantly filled with runs on virginia roads, hugs and kisses from some seriously sweet kids, and board games ;) always a good time for me! 

Always a great time with these people!!!

In this post, I'll also touch likely on my anniversary from last year. Dugan and I both ended up working because Home Depot denied his time off request so I picked up a shift too then came home and made us dinner and chocolate covered strawberries. We didn't have the money for a trip or doe dinner last year so we just kept it simple indoors. 


And just for fun I'll throw in a few extra photos taken in the spring just so I don't forget about them:)

Amanthas birthday! I came down for the day and We got facials and some lunch. So fun!

Hangin' out around the house;)

Getting to see our friends when they came for a visit. 

The rest of spring Was just full of work and weightlifting at the gym. But I'll spare you the pics of that stuff because.... Booorrrriiiinnnggg! 

Look everyone! I finished another post! That's 3 for this month! Huzzah! 


Monday, January 05, 2015

Catching up: February 2014 Running and Aging

I am still in awe at my accomplishment of running 13.1 miles during the IMS marathon last February. I trained everyday for 8 straight weeks before the race. I can still remember the anxiety pulsing through me as I warmed up at the starting line, as I said goodbye to Dugan who would meet me at the finish line. I had my doubts. I had my fears. I was so nervous but o excited to feel what finishing something so small would feel like in the broad spectrum of things. 
At the starting line:

During the race: a little more than half way there at mile 7:

And after it was all over:


I just couldn't believe I'd done it. It's such a small feat for many but for me it was Everest. I am not someone who does things like this... Or at least I idnt used to be. I used to be lazy and unmotivated and unwilling to push my limits. There was a moment during my race right before the 11th mile when I felt like I was going to collapse and give up. I turned the corner and I could see the stadium where the finish line was... Right there in my sight, a simple 2 miles away. I felt my heart pound and my legs begin yo move faster. I found myself telling others of move faster, to not give up, to keep going. I became someone I knew I wanted to be. 

Keep going hayley. It's right there. 
You've done it. 
The hard part is over.

As I reared the final corner, my heart leaped. I felt tears rise to my eyes and I couldn't hold them back. 
I am etertanny grateful for this accomplishment of mine. It meant so much more to me than running 13.1 miles. It meant hitting a milestone in my life. It meant seeing a mountain in front of me and climbing it. It meant wanting something and actually getting it. It was the ultimate test for me in my new healthy way of living. It was me showing the whole world I was serious about what I wanted to accomplish and DOING IT. 
Completing it felt magical. As that day finished, I felt as though I didn't ever need to do another one of these half marathons. But now, almost a year later, I've been itching to do another one. We'll see if I'm presented a great opportunity like that again soon :) 

Subject switch!
In February last year Seth and I turned 22. We were born 2/2/92 and this was one and a lifetime birthday for us. It was a simple birthday. We went out for breakfast, wandered bookmans for books, then walked around downtown and ended our day with these 
It says twin in each other's handwriting. Simple, personal, and for no other reason other than it is special to me and Seth is close to my heart. Mines right by my heart and Seth's is where his pulse is. 

***sidenote*** I domt recommend getting a tattoo to anyone. Holy painful. Not fun. There are other ways to honer each other and I know that now. 


Starting New

I am in what feels like a different life- drifting in and out of my days. I've been absent from my blog for almost an entire year and for that I am deeply apologetic to my readers. For what it is worth, I am still alive, still happily married and still getting through each day as they come. As a tribute for the last year, I'll need to post more than just a recap of the year so I will be posting a series of posts so that I can give these last 12 months the credit it deserves. 

Allow me to use this post as a declaration for the year 2015 and what I want to accomplish in the upcoming months of my life. I am happy to announce that this year is the year we will be moving out of the state to our neighboring state of Colorado. Dugan and I have been and continue to pinch all of our pennies in order to save the money for the "great move". We know it's our time. We need to settle into somewhere that feels like home and to us, that place is among the mountains in Colorado. More details on that in a later post. 

I have had a few conversations with Dugan about life in the last few weeks and I've contemplated the reasons as to what makes us happy in life. I know the cliche of "happiness being up to us" and "life is what you make it". While that's absolutely right, I know that none of that means anything if you ignore all the bad things in life too. The truth is, bad things happen to bad people and good people alike. I know that I am not someone who can just ignore all the crap and turn the other way. But very recently I've began to understand that I can feel all the bad things, and I can let myself feel them and be ok with it, but I should not allow myself to complain about them because all complaining does is make people not want to listen to you anymore. All complaining and moaning will do will make all your loved ones run away and run fast. 
So in 2015 and hopefully every year after that, I am changing myself to quit complaining. I can vent, I can stand up for myself, but complaining does me no good. 

Good vibrations will come from me from now on, friends. I will do my damnedest.
 I will have my blog more up to date soon. I will be posting a few more in the next few days so, check back in soon.

Much love to you all.
I hope your holidays have been warm and filled with all good things. 

Monday, April 28, 2014

January sunshine: Geoff and Elyse came to visit!

I was so worried that the weather this year for the visit of my dear friends Geoff and Elyse was going to be crappy and cold ahain like it was last time elyse came to visit.

Their plane got delayed like 3 days from the crazy blizzards that were ripping through the north east, but we tacked on a few extra days pmto hither visit so that was extra nice. Here are a few things we did:

We went hiking I'm Sedona and down Tonto Natural bridge. It is my obligation as an Arizona resident to show all my nonresident visitors the beauty if this state.

We went out to the Lumberyard downtown. After 10pm, they have country music and the restaurant opens up as a dance floor. We all danced and had a great time being together.

We went to payson a couple times to go hiking and to hand out with the Nielsons a bit since they were leaving in 3 weeks time. Gotta squeeze all the best friend time I could get! 

I'm not in this photo because I took it. 

We did a lot of sitting around and watching movies, we took Geoff and Elyse to go get the tattoos they wanted, and we played some just cance on the wii. Was the trip super activity packed? No. But everything we did we did with purpose and with so much love among each other. Can't wait to have the two of them back for another visit. 
Heres some more ransoms to wrap it up.

Come back soon, guys. Miss you all the time!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Let Us Resume- 2013 recap

Don't judge me. When my computer broke, all I've had to work with is my iPad and I hate HATE typing on touchscreen. Everyone who knows me knows that I am even too chicken with touch screens to go to a smart phone. Hate em! Anyway it's caused a bit of a roadblock in my blogging in the last 6 months or so. Sorry. But I'm here to correct that and if there are any typos along the way, blame it on the flawed system of touch screens and not my lack of intelligence. Please and thank you. 

 So much has happened so let me start by saying, I am not going to talk about absolutely everything that has happend in the last year but I will do my best at touching on the important stuff to me. 

I need to do my "summary of the year" for 2013 so badly before I forget about what happened. Let's start with that and I'll add on posts as we go on. Forward March!

Remember this little guy? This was in January where he was just the sweetest little ball of fur you've ever seen. You couldn't take him anywhere without being stopped. 
In January I stopped wotrking at harkins (thank freakin goodness) and went back to babysitting for awhile. I needed work but harkins was horrible. The weather outside was always awful and cold. Odin and I went on lots of walks and runs to keep our blood moving and there was never a night where the fire wasn't going. 

In February, the weather was still pretty bitter cold but we survived. I attended a baby shower for my friend Jessica who I have known for at least 8 years. All my friends decided to have babies in late 2012/ early 2013 apparently because there were over 10 babies born in that time. All to friends of mine about the same age as me. Crazy! Baby fever didn't get me though:) In the picture above, Geneva and I were in the process of helping my father in law, Craig, move his things from his house to his patents house next door. The property was selling and he needed help moving. Seems like this was just yesterday! 

Okay, I'm not going to lie here: I have absolutely no recollection of what happened in March. I think there was a lot of time of mine house hunting and cleaning and going on runs with my puppy and praying that the sun would come out.

Now April was a different story. A ton happened in April. It was the start if spring and suddenly. The sun came out. I ramn my very first documented 5k race, The Color Run. Rd and Andy and Kelsey Jordan were nice enough to throw colored powder at my face and we all ran like champs. 

Also in April, dugan and I celebrated our 2nd year anniversary. It was amazing! We went to Sedona and took a beautiful hike with Odin and had a delicious dinner and got sublime mesages from a middle aged woman named Gigi who gave us wayyyyy too much hot tea. It was awesome. 
Also, this doesn't probably matter to anyone but me but in April I died my hair for the first time. It's not a big deal to anyone else but to me, it was a feat conquered. 

May was great! Insane, but great. Our friends James and Amanda Mocco came to Arizona for a visit and we had such a blast with them, we did all kinds of fun stuff! we went to the Grand Canyon where Dugan got to see that grat big hole in the earth for the first time. Odin was terrified of the edge, as usual, and the sun came out to play just as we had hoped.
In late May, I took a trip to New York to visit my dear friend Elyse and her family. I had the pleasure of watching her graduate and celebrating that with her. I had the opportunity to soak in sol the New York flowers, grass, rainy days, and great bug hugs from my best friend before returning to az.

When June came around my days were busy as busy can be. Dugan went to drill for two weeks at the most inconvenient possible time. We began our move from our 2bedroom apartment to our house while Dugan was gone. We finally got our keys the day we got back and went to work on the new home. The days were beautiful and I spent every morning on long runs with Odin. I have photos but I don't want to bore anyone with pictures of an empty house. 

July felt so great! It was the first time we got a bit of a break as a couple. Dugan and I went to phoenix with us to celebrate Independence Day and we stayed for about a week. We hung out at our families places! ate good food and had good times. We worked on our garden in the back yard and made our house feel like home. In July, I also had the pleasure of attending my long time friend Jessika kasl's wedding to her great husband, Troy. The wedding was small but so beautiful and I was so lucky to be a part of it!


In august, I began work at two different locations. The Crown Railroad Cafe (horrible) and I began work as a nanny for a wonderful little boy named Grayson. Dugan left Late For The Train and began work at The Home Depot. Days were warm and beautiful in the mornings and cool and rainy in the evenings. We spent as much time as we could doing fun activities like going shooting, going hiking, and spending time at the park.


Work, work work. Dugan went to school full time and went to work part time. I took on work full time at my two jobs. Life was chaotic and wonderful. Since the month was so busy, there is not a whole lot of photographic evidence. 


October looked a lot like September with a bit of a chill in the evenings. Dugan and I ran a glow in the dark 5k where everyone wore glow sticks and we ran a dirt trail in the dark. It was silly and I didn't love it. I like to run where I can see the trail. Oh, also, i tried participating in Halloween by waiting with a crap ton of candy for all the kids in my neighborhood to come ring my doorbell aaaand nothin. I hate Halloween. This year I'm going to bed early. 


Ugggggggh, November. November ALWAYS sucks. The month started out well with a fun trip to phoenix for Hillary's birthday and then about 4 days later, Dugan and Andy discovered bed bugs in the upstairs bedrooms. This was followed up with excruciatingly expensive treatments and washing every article of clothing and bedding and the like in the house. Word of advice; TRY ALL YOU CAN NOT TO GET BED BUGS! It was stressful and embarrassing and just awful. We all went about our daily lives working and going to school and trying not to think about all of our clothes sitting in trash bags in the garage waiting to get washed. Blegh. Good riddance. Hopefully this years November is a little better to us. Happily, the month ended with a wonderful experience at thanksgiving where my father in law came to our place in flagstaff and the roommates went to payson for the holiday. I cooked my very first thanksgiving meal all by myself and it was so gratifying to accomplish this. Thanksgiving was the best holiday I've had I a while. Thank goodness for that.


December was lovely. It snowed a few times, we celebrated dugans 24th birthday by going downtown with great friends, the semester came to an end and as did my nannying job for the semester. We sent out Christmas cards, and tried our hardest to stay home for Christmas. The national guard had different plans, however and had Dugan go to Florence for drill on Christmas Eve so we went to phoenix and stayed at Hillary's and Seth's. That ended up being great, too. The year wrapped up and, as usual, I felt odd saying goodbye at New Years. 

2013 was wonderful. I will begin to be better with my posts so we don't forget what happens in 2014.

Thanks for following along in my ramblings.

Stay tuned for more happenings of what's been happening since New Years til now.