- We officially have tickets booked for Los Angeles so that I can meet with a neurotologist and neurosurgeon at UCLA who specialize in SCDS. We'll be meeting with them on January 15th, with some likely additional testing done on the 16th. That happens to be Martin Luther King holiday weekend, so we figured we'd probably stay an extra day or two and explore! If we're going all the way out there, we might as well enjoy ourselves for part of the time, right?! I haven't been to L.A. or souther California in over 10 years! We'll have about 2 days to do a little sight seeing and possibilities are overwhelming to me...stay somewhere on the beach in Santa Barbara? Go see a taping of The Price Is Right? Day trip to Channel Islands? Drive the Pacific Coast Hwy? Disneyland?!? Ha! If you have any "must see" recommendations, I'd love to hear them!
- My birthday was on Thanksgiving this year! We hosted at our house this year and had a big turnout of 11 people. That might sound small to some people, but it was huge for us! We had a great day of football, turkey and birthday cake. I got some pretty sweeeet gifts too. I got really spoiled this year. David got me an amazing Patagonia jacket that I've been drooling over. I got a pair of cute Sorel snow boots from my mom and a lot of cute clothes from my sister. And my in-laws generously got me a new tripod so that I can continue pursuing my attempts at landscape photography. What a lucky girl I am to have such generous gift givers in my life!
New leggings, J.Crew flannel and my new boots!
- This weekend, David and I went snowshoeing. This year, I've probably hiked 30 times for a total of at least 200 miles. Go figure, my last hike of 2014 turns out to be my worst hike! We opted for Flattop Mountain in RMNP, which is a hike I've never done before. It's 8.5 miles and about 3,000 feet of elevation gain, so not exactly an easy hike. Right off the bat, I pulled a hip flexor muscle. The pain just got worse and worse as we continued up the mountain. By mile 3 I was in tears and we decided to call it a day. I was really disheartened that we couldn't finish or break treeline. I was really disheartened that a year full of awesome hiking ended in tears (and falling on a patch of ice at the very end, just icing on the cake!). But we managed to enjoy what we could, which included beautiful views, peace and quiet, a yummy lunch, a few shots with my new tripod and watching the winter sun sink low in the western sky through the pine trees.
Check out that sweet new jacket. It kept me warm all day long!
- I'm in love with my new tripod! In my 8 years as a photographer, I have never owned a tripod. I guess I've just never had a need for one. At weddings I'm constantly running around, I don't have the time or need to utilize a tripod. But with landscape photos, the need arose. The more time I spend trying my hand and landscape photography, the more I realized a tripod needed to be a part of my equipment. Especially with night photography, it's virtually impossible to take a shot at night without the steadiness of a tripod. After lots of research and deliberation, I eventually settled on the MeFoto Roadtrip. I love it because it's light, sturdy, easy to set-up and it packs down to only 13 inches long, so I could practically carry it in my purse.
- My Saturday morning Bible study started a new study by Priscilla Shrirer called Breathe. I'm already in love with it. Saying no to unnecessary things in order to make more room for God and peace and stability in my life? Yes please! That's been the theme of my life this year, I'm so excited to dig more into this and incorporate some more Sabbath margin in my life.
- Can I share my newest favorite recipe with you? It's a crock-pot cream cheese chicken chili and it's to. die. for. Like so so so good. Too good to not share, so I'm sharing! Rather than type it out, I'll just share the link: http://completerecipes.com/Crock-pot-cream-cheese-chicken-chile.html We have had it over rice and had it in tortillas so far, pretty much any way you service it is going to be stellar!
- Just being real, I'm in a weird place. Wrestling with a lot of emotions and battles in my mind and with God lately. It's not serious, nothing to be worried about. But it's still significant. I find myself thinking a lot about things like healing, God's will, the long-term effects of infertility, what true joy looks like, theology of suffering, character change, the purpose of adversity and the relationship between faith and answered prayers. Heavy stuff. Maybe I'll write a longer post about that.
- David's work Christmas party was last night. Since he works for a government entity, they have to keep things classy and family friendly, unlike many Christmas parties you hear about haha! We had a great night! I got to meet some of his coworkers and the food was outstanding. They had a photobooth, bluegrass band, cookie buffet, s'mores bar, carriage rides and they even had reindeer. Yes! Reindeer! Comet and Cupid came for a visit. So cute! It made me exponentially more grateful for his new job. God is so good :)