Take a break from life

“Take a break from life”: these are words of wisdom that I seldom use. I’m sure many of you get caught up in the hustle and stresses of everyday life. We can start to feel guilty about even taking a vacation. But once you pull yourself away from the stress and the “obligations”, a vacation, even a small one, can have a great renewing effect. I’d posted earlier about our road trip to Minnesota and the cabin we stayed at. I was able to find (finally) my camera cables so I could upload some photos onto my computer. Looking back at these photos, even though they were taken just a week and a half ago, de-stresses me and puts me back in a state of relaxation. A lot has been going on here in Austin and my stress levels have been slowly rising ever since I came back. Most of what I am stressing about will go away with time, so for now I’m using my memories as a way to stay calm and refreshed.

Take the time to make memories and de-stress, so that when you can’t get away from it all, you’ll have something to go back to in your mind that gives you the peace you may need.

DSC_0045
DSC_0039 DSC_0072 DSC_0075 DSC_0078 DSC_0081 DSC04281 DSC04294 DSC04303 DSC04305 DSC04317 DSC04331 DSC04409 DSC04418 DSC04447 DSC04458There are so many people we saw that we hadn’t seen in years at the wedding. It’s always bittersweet. We reminisce over wine about the days of high school and college, of the times we did that, or said this, and now look at us. We’ve all gone in so many directions. Some of us live in different states, and some just live in different towns, but some are all over the world. Gatherings like this bring us back, and keep us rooted to our friends, the ones who truly care about us. But like I said, it’s always bittersweet because as we reminisce, we have to remember that things will never be the same as they were. We can only be happy we have these memories, and hope to create more in the future.

Vacation, friends, family, weddings, and exhaustion

**Note: I’ve been delaying writing this but I think I’m just going to have to push forward as I haven’t written anything yet this month. I planned on writing this and adding some great pictures I took over the week but I can’t seem to find any of my cables for either camera. I did find a couple on my phone so until I find those dang cables….

We made it back in one piece from our whirlwind “vacation”. It was definitely a vacation in the sense that I used my vacation time to go up to MN to visit friends and family, but it didn’t quite feel like vacation. I didn’t get that relaxed, vacation feel. Don’t get me wrong, though. I enjoyed visiting with people and seeing Minnesota in the peak of summer, but we were so busy that it never really got too relaxing.

We got in to town Saturday mid-morning. We visited with the in-laws for a couple of hours before the hubs had to take off with friends for the Bachelor party, so off he went into the woods to go camping after driving for 20 hours. I went over to my mom’s house and hung out there the rest of the eve.

The next day, Sunday, the hubs came back and we went down to the Twin Cities to have lunch with his brother. We were there for most of the afternoon. He and his new wife and just bought a little house, so we got to tour it and chat with them about upgrades they wanted to make. It was great seeing him and his wife, and the life they are just starting to create together.

The next day, Monday, was our only day really of just doing something “recreational” or vacation-y. We went back down to the Twin Cities and went rock climbing at an indoor center called Vertical Endeavors. I hadn’t done any climbing for almost a year so my arms quickly fatigued but it was a lot of fun. We grabbed some lunch at Pizza Ranch, a delicious pizza buffet chain we do not have down here in TX sadly enough. Then we went back up to shower, change, grab some Texas beers and head back down to the cities to see an old friend we hadn’t seen for years. It had been years since the last time I’d seen her and since then, she’d divorced, remarried and had a little girl. Time is crazy that way. You don’t see someone for a long time, so you have no reference when you finally do get to see them again. Things are never the same. We had a good time catching up and getting to know her new husband and baby, then left late in the night. We got back close to midnight and crashed.

The next day, we headed back down to visit the hubs old work buddy. We had lunch at an old diner called Cecil’s. They made great sandwiches. It was one of those old-time diners that never changes, which brings in all the old-timey people who’ve been going there for forty years. It was great. There wasn’t a hipster to be found, probably because they didn’t use any organic materials and the chickens didn’t get to run around and lay their eggs wherever they wanted to. After lunch we met up with an old college friend who had recently moved to the cities with his brother. He’s now lumber-jacking for an energy company and seems to really enjoy it. I bet no one, including himself, ever saw that happening, but that’s the great thing about life. We can’t predict it, but if you keep yourself available to anything, life will open itself to all kinds of possibilities. We had some great local beers at the Yardhouse, a restaurant with more than 130 beers on tap. We sat outside under a covered patio for a couple hours, reminiscing about college and life. After filling up on food, then a couple of beers, and sun, we were headed back to the house to work off our food coma.

Wednesday was dedicated to spending with my mother-in-law and Thursday was the day for my mom. We wanted to make sure to get a day in with both moms while we were up. Spending actual time with your parents is so important, especially when we all start getting older and older and time seems to keep moving faster and faster.

Friday was the day of the rehearsal. We drove out to WI, and got our first intro to the wedding venue. It was beautiful (again, wishing I could find those dang cables and attach some pictures – I found a few on my phone at least). The wedding was outside, and the dinner was to take place in a beautiful rustic barn. Lights were strung in various places for the evening light, hay bales littered the area for seating. The place we stayed at overnight was a lake cabin that is rented out during the summer. It’s a beautiful lodge overlooking a lake, with a hammock and canoe ready for use. Two of our friends plus myself rode the canoe out to the middle of the lake and shot off TX fireworks. It was great to let loose and have some good old immature fun.IMG_5009

IMG_5014

IMG_5015

On Saturday, the wedding went off without a hitch (from what I could tell). The weather was perfect, the vows were said, tears were shed, and celebrations began. Toasts were made inside the beautiful (albeit hot and stuffy) barn, but we were not in there long. Soon after the dinner, we all went outside for cupcakes, dancing and feeding goats.

IMG_5028 IMG_5027IMG_5032

We got back into town around midnight, slept til around 6am and heading toward TX at 7:30. The trip was long but we got back into Austin around 2am Monday morning, slept for another six hours, then went to work. It’s been crazy and non-stop, but memories were made and I wouldn’t trade them for anything.

Road trip chaos

Featured image

We’re taking a road trip next week to visit friends and family up in Minnesota for a wedding. I’m excited to see friends and family again, and to see Minnesota, but to be completely honest, I’m not too excited about everything leading up to, and including the 20+ hour car ride.

Sometimes the prep involved in a road trip needs it’s own vacation. I have at least three stores to hit up, plus the library (don’t want those late fees!) just today. Hopefully this will knock out most of the errand running for the week. The rest will be trial runs of packing to see what we can fit where. Besides wedding gear and Minnesota clothing, which, due to the weather up there, will include everything from shorts to sweaters, plus, try not to forget, climbing gear. We plan on meeting with a friend to go indoor rock climbing in the cities when we’re down there. I really hope we’re able to go rock climbing. Usually when we visit, we drive up, try to meet with every person we can in a whirlwind of roads and faces, but stopping to enjoy some climbing while catching up would be amazing and refreshing. The hubs and I have also shared a google calendar (Thank You Google), to schedule the week while we’re up there. Since the hubs is in the wedding, he has a couple more responsibilities so we have to make sure he meets those, while meeting with everyone who wants to see us and who we want to see, plus of course, the parents. Luckily our parents live in the same small town, so driving back and forth to see them won’t be too bad. Did I mention the wedding is actually in Wisconsin? Yeah, so we’ll be crossing even more state lines, even while we’re vacationing.

And I haven’t even talked about the kids (i.e dogs). We’ll have to pack bowls for food and water, and coordinate with the parents to watch them while we’re at the wedding.

Uffda! (Haven’t lost my MN expressions yet).

This is just scratching the surface of work to do this week (not to mention I have a full time job), and I’m sure, for all you road trippers, you’re nodding your head at this, thinking, mmmhmmm…. yep..oh yeah.

I’m a list maker, and trips drive me crazy because my brain goes into list-making overdrive. I have a bullet journal, with a list in it, plus a big 4×6 sticky note on top with a list, and in my book I’m trying to finish (so I can return it to the library today), it has two sticky notes with lists on it. I have lists of stores I need to visit, things I need to do, things I need to pack, and things I need to remind the hubs to do.

Uffda again.

*breathing slowly*

I’m going to consolidate lists (I recommend this to anyone) and make it into a timeline so it doesn’t feel so overwhelming. The more I can knock out today, the less I have to worry about as the week goes on.

If you have any road trip advice, I’d love to hear it. This is definitely not our first rodeo up to MN from TX, but I’d love to hear any advice you have.

Needless to say, I’ll try to be on to post when I can, but I’m guessing it’ll be a couple of weeks before we’re back and making more progress on the house.

Happy blogging all!

road trip

Vacation = stress + recharge

There’s always a certain amount of stress that goes along with a vacation. Especially one that involves 21 hours of driving and a wedding reception.
We are headed up to my brother-in-law’s wedding reception in Minnesota next week (wait…what?!). It came upon us so quickly. It was one of those things that we had planned a few months out but life got a little crazy along the way(both cars broke down within a month, bought a new one and got rid of the other, almost lost my job but it came back), that time swirled and dipped and pulled the rug from under us so that we are just a day and a week out from our drive.
I know that there will be some stressors along the way, like what to pack, what to bring for the dogs, how in the world are we going to pack the crate…I’m excited for the trip. Dylan and I have both been back home since we moved away a couple of years ago, but we’ve always been back separately. It just never works that we can both come back at the same time, so this will be the first time coming back together. And for a good cause. I’m excited for a vacation of any sort. We need a recharge. A way to get away from everything we have going on. We’ve only had weekends off, and even those don’t count because Dylan usually works on weekends. We haven’t had any more than a couple days to hang out for more than…oh I don’t even know…a couple of years? At least? I’ve lost track.
And even though this trip will be short, I’m still so excited. I’m excited to road trip, excited to be in the car with Dylan, listening to music, getting philosophical with the dogs, seeing friends and family, exploring our old college town, or heading to a park for some climbing. Whatever the adventures turn out to be, I’m welcoming them with open arms.