Oregon Trip Part One: Smith Rock and Painted Hills

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Earlier this year I got the most exciting WhatsApp message from my friend Anna Sophie! For those of you who have read my study abroad adventures you would recognize Anna Sophie from London.We met during our study abroad semester at Regent’s University. Anna Sophie is from Germany while I am from Michigan so we haven’t seen each other since 2015.

Anna Sophie’s message said that her and her boyfriend, Jona, were going to be spending three weeks in the USA roadtripping! Brett and I have flight benefits so right away I messaged back saying that we would love to meet them somewhere. We settled on meeting them in Bend, Oregon and then traveling with them to Portland, Oregon in June!

The months flew by and when June rolled around I couldn’t believe that I was finally going to be reunited with my best friend! Brett and I flew into Bend on Sunday afternoon and expected to meet Anna Sophie and Jona on Monday morning. She called me while Brett and I were at Target to say that they decided to come to Bend that night instead! We were reunited at our Airbnb and started our wonderful new journey together.

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Brett went to Bend last year for a guy’s trip so I kind of knew what to expect. On Monday morning we headed to Smith Rock for a day hike. It was HOT and I was unprepared for just how hard the hike would be. I didn’t expect to be climbing straight up a giant rock when I’m as out of shape as I am. However, we still had a great time together and it was absolutely beautiful!

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I did not make it all the way up Smith Rock that day. In fact, I slipped and fell near the top and ended up scrapping my leg up pretty badly. It’s 2 months later now and my leg still looks pretty gross. Brett and I decided to wait for Anna Sophie and Jona and they made their way up to the top. I was disappointed in myself but sometimes I have to cut myself a little slack. I’m always happy to get out and do things instead of living in fear of another migraine attack.

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After our trek, we headed to Coldstone for some ice cream! Ice cream is my love language. After Coldstone we headed back to the Airbnb and got ready for dinner. Brett and I decided that it would be fun to introduce our German friends to hibachi. We went to a hibachi restaurant in Bend and they ended up loving it! After dinner we went back to the Airbnb, cuddled with our host’s dogs (including a super cute dachshund named Ruby), and played games. One of my favorite memories of Anna Sophie and our trip to visit her family in Germany was playing games together.

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The next day we headed out to the Painted Hills. Brett drove and I navigated but when we got out towards the Painted Hills we lost service. We may have gotten a little lost while we were driving but that was part of the adventure!

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The Painted Hills are amazing! I didn’t really know what to expect other than the google images that I looked up before going. We did a few of the hikes which were nowhere near as exhausting as Smith Rock from the day before.

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After our hike, we headed back into Bend for dinner. We stopped at this place called On Tap that has a outdoor bar and food trucks. We all got food from different trucks and ate by the bar. The food was great and the atmosphere was even better! We tried to teach Anna Sophie cornhole after dinner per Michigan tradition.

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Of course, our night was not complete without ice cream! We went to Bonta Gelato for some delicious dessert! You know a place is good when there’s a line out the door and Bonta did not disappoint.

Brett went to see his friend who lives in Bend after dropping us off at the Airbnb. Anna Sophie and I sat and chatted for the next couple of hours just getting caught up on life. We also had to pack to head to Portland the next morning.

I really enjoyed our time in Bend even though it was super short! We loved our Airbnb, the great food, and just spending quality time with friends who we don’t get to see often enough.

Study abroad was one of the best adventures of my life and I was so sad when it was over. I didn’t know if I’d ever see my friends again and I that was devastating. We’ve all kept in touch over the years but that’s not the same as seeing each other in person. Seeing Anna Sophie again was like being reunited with a piece of my heart. She understands me in a way that a lot of my other friends don’t. Even though we are from different countries and were raised differently she still feels like the friend I’ve always needed and wanted.

Part two of our trip will be posted soon!

Have you ever been to Bend? Do you enjoy hiking?

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Our Wedding Day: The Details

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In honor of our two year wedding anniversary on August 19th I thought I would share a few posts about our wedding day! First up are all of the little details that made our wedding special.

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I spent two years planning our wedding and I love how everything turned out! I had time to consider every detail and put thought and energy into each and every aspect. Things did not turn out exactly the way I planned them but that’s alright! I’m so happy with the end result!

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First up is my dress which I bought at a cute shop called The White Dress in Brighton, MI. It’s a Stella York dress with amazing lace detail on the shoulder straps and back. We added the sparkly belt to add a bit of bling. I loved my dress!

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My ceremony shoes were from Nordstrom but I can’t find them online anymore. I wore Toms for the reception which was smart because my feet hurt so bad from standing in heels for hours. My cross necklace was a gift from my Grandparents for my confirmation in 2007. I always knew that I wanted to wear it for my wedding! My earrings were a last minute purchase from TJ Maxx.

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Our wedding theme was English Garden because we got engaged in London. We spent our two year engagement going to flea markets, antique shops, and estate sales looking for antique tea cups to use for our centerpieces. The lanterns were from IKEA and my dad made the wood slices and table numbers.

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We had our guests sign a photo mat and had it framed to hang in our house. I love walking past it and reading everyone’s notes. The Bailey sign was made by a family friend for my Bridal shower. Another friend made us the shadow box. My dad wood burned the B and H logs.

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Our head table consisted of fairy lights and our bouquets from the ceremony. My favorite part were these two vintage Bailey’s teacups. My mom found the female cup at an antique store and bought it for me as a gift because Brett’s last name is Bailey. We ended up finding the male cup and completing the set before the wedding! We also have the cream and sugar to go with them.

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Our ceremony and reception were at the same venue. However, there was a short walk from the reception hall to the outdoor chapel where the ceremony was. My dad built this sign for us and my sister painted the letters.

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I wanted a welcome sign for when guests first arrived. I bought the chalkboard at IKEA and had my family friend write the words for us. We still have the chalkboard in our house and it’s really cute!

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My Grandpa has a tradition where he makes the card box for each of his grandchildren’s wedding days. Mine was special because he was the landscape artist who designed our wedding venue so he knew exactly what flowers would match. This is one of my favorite pieces from our wedding day and it sits on our dresser in our bedroom so I can look at it everyday.

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Our flowers were one of my favorite parts of the wedding decor. We got married under Wisteria near a field of wildflowers. I wanted our flowers to look very whimsical and wild. My sister’s bouquet is pictured on the left. I asked that our florist put a sunflower in her bouquet because those are her favorite flower.

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Our cake was made by a local bakery and each layer was a different flavor. I wanted our cake to look simple and then have our florist add the finishing touches. I loved how it turned out and it was delicious! Of course, when it came time to cut the cake I made sure to smash it in Brett’s face. He returned the favor and I laughed so hard my eyes were watering!

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Our wedding venue was beautiful! We got married under an arch of wisteria in the middle of the woods. The venue itself is a summer camp that I attended every summer for over 10 years with my sister and cousin. It’s one of my favorite places in the world and so special to our family!

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Our bridesmaid dresses were from David’s Bridal in the color Wisteria. I don’t believe that this current dress is still available. I liked using David’s Bridal because not all of my bridesmaids lived in our area so they could go to their own local store to buy the dress. It was super convenient!

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This picture of the groomsmen plus Brett is one of my all time favorite wedding photos! They are all so stinking handsome! The tuxedos were from Men’s Warehouse and were easy to order and pickup.

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Our wedding day was just so us. It was simple, colorful, and elegant. We were in one of my favorite places, surrounded by people that we love. I loved all of the little details and cherish the time I put into planning everything.

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I hope this brings you some inspiration if you are planning your own wedding! If you are, remember that your wedding day is only one day of your life while your marriage is everyday for the rest of your life. Your wedding day does not have to be perfect in order for your marriage to be perfect. Don’t stress about the little things and try to enjoy your day!

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Five on Friday #12

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Where has the time gone?! I can’t believe it’s already August! I’ve had a crazy couple of weeks and I’m ready for some R&R. Hopefully this weekend will provide lots of time to relax and unwind.

  1. We have picture day at work next week and I am in desperate need of a new outfit. The problem with weight loss is that I have no idea what size I am now so I don’t feel comfortable ordering clothes online. Our mall is pretty much empty so I think I’ll need to drive to our closest outlet mall this weekend for a little retail therapy.
  2. Brett and I have had a crazy couple of weeks! We went down to Florida for a week for Brett’s grandpa’s funeral and then last week Brett’s aunt stayed with us which meant lots of entertaining and family dinners. I’m exhausted!
  3. When I was in 8th grade I wanted to be a film director. I begged my parent’s to buy me a video camera for my 14th birthday and they did! I spent most of 2007-2008 filming every holiday, sleepover, and family event. I recently found the video camera and started watching my old “vlogs”. They are so sweet and I’m glad that I have them! I’m no longer friends with the people but I still loved seeing our happy times together! I feel like I need to do something with all of these videos now though. Let me know if you have any ideas!
  4. 2 years ago I was preparing for my wedding day! It feels like just yesterday and I can’t believe that I’ve been with Brett for almost 8 years now! We are planning a day date for our anniversary (August 19th) and I can’t wait to spend some time together.
  5. I’ve been in a bit of a blogging slump lately and haven’t had the motivation to write anything. I go through these slumps every once in awhile but this one feels especially bad. I hope to be back with regularly scheduled content soon!

How was your week? Do you have any plans with weekend?

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Photo by meriç tuna on Unsplash

July According to my iPhone

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July was another crazy busy month! I’m trying to enjoy every minute of summer but it’s going by way too quick. In July I got to celebrate the birth of my twin nieces, lots of birthdays, family time, and unfortunately, the death of Brett’s grandpa.

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My husband, Brett, works for an airline but he also works as a Media Director for a local airshow and balloon festival. The airshow takes place the week of the fourth so leading up to that I got to watch all of his news interviews on TV. He does such a great job!

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I don’t really care for airplanes but I do love seeing the hot air balloons! This picture was taken at one of the night balloon illumes. I especially love the American flag balloon!

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Next we celebrated the birth of my sister in law’s twins! Her and her husband had been trying for kids for at least 5 years before these little miracles were born. Ava and Elizabeth were born July 12th at 35 weeks. Their mom had been hospitalized since 31 weeks. Mom and babies are doing great! The girls got released from the NICU a few days ago and are home with their parents.

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Oscar got to come to work with me for the afternoon! He loved meeting my co-workers, getting lots of cuddles, and sitting on my lap while I worked. He’s such a good boy!

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Brett’s grandpa passed away on July 15th at 97 years old. Grandpa Ed was in the Army Air Force in WWII. We went down to Florida last week for his service and to clean out the house. He was buried with full military honors. Grandma Emma who passed away in 2017 was buried alongside him.

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We also had to say goodbye to Emma and Ed’s house in Florida. We spent four days cleaning everything out, organizing, and dividing all the belongings. I had a hard time leaving because I have so many great memories from our many trips to visit.

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These two were my favorite! Just look how sweet they were! I have so much love for both Ed and Emma and know that they loved me just as much. One of my favorite things about this trip was looking through the millions of pictures they had collected. Ed scrapbooked before scapbooking was cool! His scrapbook from WWII was one of the coolest things I have ever seen.

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Brett’s Aunt from Tennessee is visiting this week. They had a family reunion on Sunday so she’s been staying at our house since. It’s kind of fun having our first real house guest!

July had many highs and lows. It was hard to lose Grandpa Ed but we gained two new lives at nearly the same time. We had prayed for Ava and Elizabeth for years and I can’t wait to pass on the stories of their amazing great-grandparents to them.

How was your July?

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Migraine Update: Elimination Diet & New Meds

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Everyday I’m worried about when I will have my next migraine. I always have pain medication on hand and an excuse at the tip of my tongue to leave early. I avoid making plans outside of work and family obligations because I never know how I will feel on that day. I’ve let my fear of pain control my life for years and the anxiety that comes along with this fear holds me back from doing what I love to do.

My migraines are genetic and I can go on and on about all of the reasons why I may never be completely pain free. My current neurologist is a headache specialist. He’s a great guy who wants to help me live my best life. But he doesn’t have all the answers. He’s willing to try new things in hopes of them working but a lot of it is up to me.

It was up to me to realize that I was taking too much ibuprofen. It was up to me to realize that I wasn’t fueling my body properly. It was up to me to realize that I was feeling sorry for myself and needed to change.

Last summer I read Grain Brain by David Perlmutter which was recommended to me by my physical therapist. I learned about gluten, carbs, and sugar and how they interact with our brains. I wanted to try an elimination diet but it seemed like too much work at the time.

This summer I’m willing to do anything it takes to live a pain-free life. I’ve changed my lifestyle to balance the amount of gluten, carbs, and sugars I am eating. I’ve made my health a priority.

It never feels like enough though. I’m on day 3 of a debilitating migraine right now. I’ve had to leave work early and sit in the dark with ice packs for hours at a time. I’ve had to miss meetings and time with my family. I’ve been angry at my messed up brain for constantly hurting. I’ve told myself that I’m a terrible employee and co-worker because I can’t stand being in the office when I feel like this.

I’m also having trouble sleeping again. I can stay up pretty much all night and have gotten used to functioning on very few hours of sleep. I feel like a zombie.My neurologist prescribed me a medication to help me sleep since I was going days without sleeping for more then a couple of hours. He also prescribed me a pain medication for when I have migraines.

I didn’t like the sleeping pills. I was dead asleep within an hour on the couch. Brett had to help me get to bed. I don’t like not knowing what’s going on and feeling helpless. The pain medication didn’t help and I don’t plan on taking it again. I ended up being sick to my stomach while on it.

I’ve felt pretty angry about my migraine situation lately but I’m trying to do my best to take care of myself. Whatever that means. I went 5 days without a migraine when I first started the elimination diet which is a long period of time for me.

Hopefully I will have a positive migraine update for you soon!

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Photo by Carolyn V on Unsplash

June According to my iPhone

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June was a good month! We slowed down a bit at work so I was able to enjoy my time more and get projects done. I enjoyed time with friends and family and finished a lot of projects around the house. We were also finally able to take a vacation! All in all, it was a really productive month!

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One of the first things Brett and I were able to get done in June was getting a couples massage! Brett got me a gift certificate for Valentine’s Day to a local castle bed and breakfast. We’ve been there a couple of times for dinner but this was our first massage there. It was a great way to start the month!

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Next up is this adorable picture of our cat, Lucy. She loves the bench in our sun-room and is so happy to sit out there whenever the sun is shining.

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We spent a lot of time at my grandparent’s house on the lake this month! On this particular trip, we took a 1.5 hour tour around the lake and stopped for ice cream. While Brett ran inside to get ice cream I snapped this picture of Oscar “driving” the boat. He loves being out on the water!

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Is there anything better than a lake sunset? This was the view when we got off the boat that night.

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My parents went to Hawaii to visit my sister so Brett and I watched their two dogs. They have a dachshund named Bruno and a puggle named Megan. The three dogs love eachother!

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I threw my sister in law’s baby shower on June 15th! It was supposed to rain all day so we moved the party inside. I was really busy setting up and playing hostess so I didn’t take any pictures but everything turned out super cute! We got these cupcakes at a local bakery and everyone loved them!

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Vacation time! Brett and I traveled to Oregon to meetup with my friend from Germany and her boyfriend. I hadn’t seen Anna Sophie in four years and it was SO nice to catch up with her! I’ll post more about our trip later.

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My sister in law ended up in the hospital on bed rest at 32 weeks pregnant with twin girls. I picked up all the baby laundry and washed, folded, and sorted it for her. Dreft smells so good!! Brett had to talk me down from my baby fever moment after the baby smells and cute little clothing!

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Speaking of my sister in law, we are also watching her dog, Carolina, while she’s in the hospital. Carolina is a 13+ lab mix who loves cuddles and sleeping. Oscar and Carolina love spending time together!

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Last but not least, our hydrangeas are starting to bloom and I love them! We have two big hydrangea bushes by our front door.

How was your June?

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Celebrating the Fourth of July!

Fourth of July 2019

Happy Fourth of July!

Today is a day to celebrate America and recognize all of the men and women who fought for our freedom and independence. It’s one of my favorite days of the year! Between barbecues, fireworks, and boat rides we should all take a moment to remember why we are celebrating today.

I will be celebrating at the lake with my family in the morning and early afternoon before heading out to the airshow to finish the day up with fireworks and airplanes. Brett is one of the most patriotic people that I have ever met so we will be celebrating America all week long.

I hope you have a happy and safe Fourth of July!

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Photo by Justin Casey on Unsplash