y e l l o w s p r i n g s

Spring is F I N A L L Y in the air! I think it was the nicest weather we’ve had of any weekend this year! So, we took major advantage of it and went to a new (to us) hiking spot. I was recommended Yellow Springs by a few people. I didn’t realize there were a few parks over in that area, but I narrowed it down finally to Glen Helen Nature Preserve since that’s where the actual the Yellow Spring is. Josh and I were both awake around 5 am. For no reason. Because of this, though, we did some laundry, roasted our veggies for the week, and made eggs Benedict for breakfast all before 8! Which meant plenty of time for hiking around the nature preserve. It was about an hour drive, so we ended up getting there around 9:30. We started off by the Trailside Museum and took a loop around. The whole reason we went was to see the Yellow Spring. We never found it! Honestly, the trails were not marked at all and they kept breaking off in separate directions and we had no idea where we were from looking at the map posted up by the museum. We probably should have prepared better. On our loop around, we saw some pretty little falls, lots of green shoots starting to grow, and lots of pretty little purple flowers blooming on the trailside.

IMG_0609IMG_0616IMG_0606IMG_0603IMG_0604IMG_0596

We tried taking another lap around to find the Yellow Spring, but we ended up going way more south down the Upper Birch Trail (I just looked it up online to know what trail we took) and coming back up the Talius Trail. I loved hiking along Yellow Springs Creek. It was so relaxing hearing the bubbling and gurgling of the water over rocks mixed with the chirps of the birds in the trees.

IMG_0619IMG_0617IMG_0611IMG_0610IMG_0612IMG_0597IMG_0608IMG_0607

When we reached the end of the Upper Birch Trail, we literally had to climb over the railings of the bridge, walk across the road, climb back over the railings, and continue on the Talius Trail. This trail was definitely less maintained and traveled. There were lots of deer tracks (sadly no deer) and brush growing up on the trail. It wasn’t a bad hike, but I was feeling pretty over the whole thing by this point. I’m not sure I want to go hiking there again. There are definitely plenty of other options in Yellow Springs that I want to check out next time though.  

Thankfully, we found our starting point shortly after I was feeling grumpy and made our way up to Yellow Springs Brewery. I really enjoyed this cute little microbrewery located right off the Little Miami Scenic Trail. They have a huge patio full of seating – open to adults, kids, and pups too! Inside, there is plenty of seating at tables or the bar, they have local art showcased on the walls, as well as lots of their merchandise. Josh tried the Boat Show IPA. He really liked the light, citrusy taste especially after hiking for hours. We shared a yummy cheese plate (a “lunchable” style package of cheddar, cajun cheese curds, and colby with crackers) from Youngs. After the Boat Show, Josh ventured on to the Captain Stardust saison which he also enjoyed.

Since we had only had cheese (and beer for Josh) for lunch, we thought it might be a good idea to stop at Young’s Jersey Dairy on our way home. Of course, we only got ice cream! What could be a better lunch than cheese and ice cream?? We split a double buckeye sundae- a scoop of chocolate peanut butter, a scoop of peanut butter cup, whipped cream, fudge sauce, peanut butter sauce, Reese pieces, and a homemade buckeye. You can never go wrong with any combination of chocolate and peanut butter. Delish!

IMG_0622.jpg         

We will definitely be heading back to visit Yellow Springs and Young’s to check out all the fun activities they have available!

house hunters cont…

It has been a crazy whirlwind these past few weeks with house hunting. The week we put an offer on the original house we found, I tagged along for the home inspection. And it was a disaster. I have no idea how, but there were several big issues that came up- issues that we definitely should have seen when we first looked at the house. The detached garage had a huge shift in the foundation and the back corner blocks had separated from each other so bad that it would likely need torn down and rebuilt, the chimney was crumbling and needed completely rebuilt, the shingles on the whole back side of the roof were awful and needed replaced, and the yard needed regraded so that water wasn’t pouring towards the house when it rained. After not much discussion, we decided that the house just wasn’t worth paying market price for and then having to put tens of thousands of dollars into it just to make it livable. It was a major lesson to learn. I’m thankful we found out about all the issues before we owned the house, but it kind of sucked to be back at square one in finding a house. That Friday, our realtor let us know there was a house in a nice area that was a steal of a price that we should definitely check out. It was such a hot property, we actually put in an offer on the house before even seeing it. We knew that it was a long shot for us to actually have it accepted, but we thought it was worth trying anyways. When we got to the house, there were already 3 other sets of people in the house looking at it! We liked the house, especially the huge yard and the 2 car garage. We didn’t get our hopes up though because there were already 5 offers on the house Friday night with 12 more showings scheduled for Saturday. Since we knew it was such a long shot with that house, we decided to go look at another house on Saturday. The pictures online had made the house seem just ok (you know you can never trust those, you have to see the house in person), but once we got inside, we actually really loved it. The house was built in the early 2000s, so there were already less concerns about certain issues than the houses we looked at previously that had been built in the 1970s. It was by no means a perfect house, but with a few updates and decorating, we could definitely turn it into our home. So, we were crazy and put an offer on that house too. Two offers on two houses in two days…I mean, why not?! Offers were open on the “Friday” house until Saturday evening and for the “Saturday” house until Sunday evening, so then we just had to wait. I hate the waiting game. It’s the worst. We found out our offer was not accepted on the house from Friday, but Josh and I were both ok with that. But, I honestly worked myself sick with worrying so much about getting the house we saw Saturday. I just wanted it so badly and I knew it wasn’t for certain we would get it because there were 4 other offers on the table. We had hoped to hear back Sunday night, but the weather was really bad and the realtor and seller weren’t able to meet up. I didn’t sleep a wink. I was such a mess at work on Monday, I could barely concentrate. I finally had to just sit down, say a little prayer, and know that God had a plan for us and everything would work out how it was supposed to. And about an hour later, I got a text from our realtor that our offer had been accepted on the house we wanted! There had already been an inspection done from a previous offer that fell through, so we didn’t have to worry about that. I ran around like crazy the next few days (it seemed like it lol even though I was really just looking stuff up online) getting information for the bank together- confirmation of earnest money being received, work history, bank statements, proof of home insurance, etc. Everything seems to be in order now and we’re in another waiting game until our closing in April. We can’t wait to be out of this apartment and into an actual house that we can make our own!

house hunters

I don’t know about you all, but I totally forgot how stressful the house hunting process can be. Josh and I contacted a realtor around the start of January. The lease on our apartment doesn’t end until June (in case you didn’t know, it’s basically impossible to get out of a lease unless you join the armed forces or die), but we just wanted to get ahead of the curve. We knew it was too early to put an offer on a house if we found one we liked, but at least we would be able to look at what kind of styles of houses were available and get a feel for the neighborhoods around us. We saw probably 8-10 houses over a couple of weeks- some we really liked and some not so much. And I started panicking. Because there were only a couple houses a week popping up on the market in our price range and in areas we felt comfortable living. And every house we liked had an offer on it within a day or two. There was no way a decent house was magically going to sit on the market until March-ish when it would be ok for us to put an offer out. What if there weren’t any houses coming on the market in March? What if we had to settle for a not-so-great neighborhood or house? Tons of scary thoughts went flying through my mind. In reality, I know I was worrying over nothing. We could reasonably keep looking into April and still close in enough time to not renew our lease. And if we still couldn’t find anything, worse case scenario would be renewing our apartment lease month by month. It definitely wouldn’t be ideal, but we wouldn’t be homeless.

Fast forward to the middle of February. We ask our realtor to go look at a house over the weekend and we end up really liking it. After talking with our realtor (who is really so helpful and knowledgeable), he assured us he could get us to close on the house and get possession in April, but not have to make our first mortgage payment until June when our lease is up. An answer to our prayers (and all my unnecessary worrying lol). We put in an offer and after a couple days of negotiating back and forth, our offer was accepted! We’re currently waiting on our inspection to occur and our loan paperwork to go through. There are still a lot of things that need to happen in the coming weeks before closing, but we’re staying positive everything goes through and getting so excited at the idea of having our own little home to fix up and make ours! 

1724350C-5ED0-48CB-B89A-5E317858F34F.jpeg

you won’t always be motivated

Happy Wednesday! I’m going to be honest, it wasn’t a great night for me last night…I was abruptly woken up in the middle of the night to Rocko heaving loudly and throwing up all over our bedroom carpet. Not once, but twice. A few hours apart. Hearing that heaving noise will wake you up real quick! Needless to say, I didn’t get a very restful night’s sleep. I’m feeling tired, grumpy, and my neck and head are arthritis achy from non-stop rain the past 2 days. I don’t have much motivation today to get moving or go to the gym. Thankfully, Wednesday’s are usually rest days from the gym for me. But, it got me thinking, what if it wasn’t a rest day? I’ve noticed more recently, I’ve not had much motivation to work out at my gym. Part of it is the weather has been very cold, very windy, snowy, and dreary. I think it’s hard for anyone to want to be out and about in weather like that. I think another part about not being motivated is the people at the gym are really nice, but they’re not my gym family from home. And I understand they never will be. But, it’s been hard for me not to compare everything back to my home gym because that’s what I’ve known for the past 4 years. I struggle to want to go to my new gym because I don’t quite feel like I belong or like it’s my home. Another part of not feeling motivated is that I commute a little over two hours total back and forth to work. Before, I had about a 7 minute drive to work and a 20 minute drive to the gym and spent 2-3 hours almost 5-6 days a week doing accessory work and participating in the class workout. Now, I have just enough time to make it to the class workout maybe 4-5 times a week. How my time is spent is different and will continue to be different because I’ll always have a longer commute to work. I won’t be able to spend any extra time at the gym because I won’t be able to free up the time I have commuting to and from work. And really, after already spending about 10 hours away from home every day for work, I don’t want to be at the gym a lot of extra time. I want to be home spending time with Josh and Rocko. A few times the past couple of weeks, I did something I’ve never done before. I drove right past the gym because I just didn’t feel like going. I wanted to be active, but I didn’t want to be gone from home another 2 hours. Instead, I went home, did a quick 15-20 minute workout, showered, and had the rest of the evening free to spend with Josh when he got home from class. A year ago, the thought of skipping CF class would have driven me insane. The thought probably wouldn’t have even crossed my mind. Now, the idea of getting a good workout in anywhere, especially at home, is super appealing to me. We’ve started looking for a house which has made me become so excited at the idea of having a home gym again, a place where I can come straight home after a long day of work, get a good (quick and free!) workout in, and be done for the day. I’m trying to take it one day at a time and figure out what this new stage of life is for me. I know I won’t always be motivated and that’s ok. I don’t have to be. I’m just trying to love and accept who I am each and every day.

new year

I’m sitting here sipping my Earl Grey tea, wondering how it’s already been over a week into the new year. 2019 is already going by so fast it seems!

For the past few years, I have been into making resolutions and setting goals. Usually it was something fitness related (get a bar muscle-up), but sometimes it was budget related (don’t eat out as much) or even “diet” related (drink more water). As 2019 was fast approaching, I started thinking about what resolutions or goals I could make for the year. The more I thought through things, the more I began to notice my heart just wasn’t in making any resolutions. There is absolutely nothing wrong with making resolutions. They can be super productive and encouraging and were just that for me for a long time. Recently though, it’s just seemed to become more restrictive (don’t do this, don’t do that) or discouraging for me (you’ve really let yourself down- you didn’t drink enough water today or get a muscle-up).

2018 was such a monumental change compared to my previous years. I started a new job- not just once, but twice. Josh and I moved to Ohio. We’ve grown closer together and learned how to rely on one another for help. I feel as if I’m in a completely different time of life, a different mindset than I’ve ever been in. After hearing the idea on a few podcasts I listen to, I really started to love the thought of picking a word for the year. A word to help set the tone for the year, a word to come back to whether I’m struggling or having a great day. After a few days, I finally settled on my word. I want 2019 to be the year of being present. I want to be present in the good, the bad, the sad, all the moments I possibly can be present in. I want to come home after a long day to have a nice dinner with Josh talking over our day, not engrossed in our phones or worried about the laundry list of chores to be done. If I get a flat tire, I want to be present in recognizing I’m in a sucky situation and that’s just how it goes sometimes. In the middle of a workout, I want to be present in my breathing, my form, how hard I’m pushing myself and that I can make it through. If I’m watching an episode of Kids Baking Championship, I want to be present in the fun and impressiveness of the young bakers instead of scrolling through Instagram or checking emails. I want to walk outside and take a deep breath of the cold, fresh air, to be present in knowing God put me on this beautiful earth to enjoy His creation. The little moments are what make our lives unique and interesting and ours. I don’t want to let them slip by because I was too distracted by unnecessary things. I hope to enjoy exactly where I’m at each and every day. So, here’s to a brand new year and a year of being present!

131F59BB-827B-463D-850B-D3B128C4BD01.jpeg

reflections

I feel like it was just yesterday that Josh and I were eating pizza and watching a movie on New Years Eve and then I blinked and bam! it’s the end of 2018! It really becomes more and more true every year- the older I get, the faster time seems to go by.

As the new year approaches, I feel compelled to just sit back and reflect on everything that has happened this past year. And let me tell you, it has been a doozy of a year! I have done and been a part of things I never even imagined. It’s been scary. It’s been exciting. It’s been stressful. It’s been fun. It’s been depressing. It’s been joyful.

So here goes some of the crazy, amazing highlights from this year:

I quit my job of 5 years in Seymour and started a new job in Louisville.

IMG_8235

We went to the Arnold Classic to watch some crazy strong people lift and cheer on our friend, Rusty, in his first Olympic Weightlifting meet.

IMG_8503

We had a super fun Easter with our family (especially the Easter egg hunt with our nephew, Hudson).

IMG_8663

We went to a live filming of an episode of Top Chef at Rupp Arena.

IMG_8944

Josh got accepted to the Masters program in Medical Dietetics at Ohio State University.

IMG_9206

We sold our house in about 4 hours without even officially putting it on the market and had to move in with my parents.

IMG_8997

Josh quit his job of 5 years and moved to our apartment in Ohio with Rocko (with lots of helps from our parents!). Saying goodbye was the hardest.

IMG_9216

I continued staying with my parents while job hunting (why is it nearly impossible to get hired anywhere?!).

IMG_9289

I spent an awesome weekend with some dear friends celebrating Joel’s wedding.

IMG_9235

I [finally] found a new job, said very sad goodbyes to friends and family, and moved to Ohio.

IMG_9403

My mom, sister, and I threw the cutest baby shower for my sister-in-law and nephew-to-be.

IMG_9428

We explored the gorgeous scenery around Hocking Hills.

IMG_9795IMG_9478

We found our most favorite movie theater complete with local pizza and a huge beer/cider selection.

IMG_9851

IMG_9850

We slowly settled in to our new routines and relying on each other completely. We cooked lots of yummy dinners together, shared lots of drinks, and played some Scrabble!

56359168707__D18C17D0-F590-4BC5-9E8A-82479A8A60E2IMG_0049IMG_0051

We celebrated lots of fun times with friends and family (the annual Hambling Halloween party and game night).

We welcomed our newest nephew, Reece, into the world.

IMG_9935

We spent lots of quality time (and stuffed our faces) with our families at Thanksgiving.

IMG_9966

We celebrated our nephew, Hudson’s, first birthday.

IMG_0158

We were blessed to spend time with our families over Christmas, to relish in the time we had together and all the joy the season brings.

IMG_0232IMG_0138IMG_0218

The Lord has blessed us so much. I am so grateful that we have been given these opportunities to learn and grow as individuals and as a couple. I have no idea what the next year will bring, but if we can handle all the changes 2018 brought, we can handle anything!

IMG_9862.JPG

holidaze

It’s just the first week of December and we’ve already experienced a massive ice storm (everything covered in inches of ice, branches everywhere, and even trees broken in half!), some snow, a sunny 60 degree day, and more snow! Seriously, we never know what Mother Nature is going to throw at us here in the Midwest.

IMG_9919.jpg

All the snow and chilly weather has me really in the mood to snuggle under a fluffy blanket, watch some Christmas movies, and drink a big mug of hot chocolate! Thank God for the weekend, right??

IMG_0085.jpg

The last few weeks, I’ve been trying to adjust to the idea that the holidays are going to be very different this year. Living out of state makes it quite difficult to plan around everyone’s schedules and nearly impossible to make it to every little holiday event like we did in previous years. Josh and I have been trying to figure out when to head home so that we have enough time with both of our families. I’m excited to see everyone, to eat lots of delicious fattening food, and spend time with our nephews. But I’ve got to be honest- it’s really hard being the “guests” in town. The few times we’ve gone home, we’ve stayed with my parents. Who are seriously the best. They always have food and drinks and fresh sheets on the guest bed and they don’t mind helping us with Rocko. But it’s just not our home. There’s a level of comfort that just isn’t there when it’s not your own home- we have to tiptoe down the hallway so as not to wake anyone up, we have to make sure Rocko doesn’t get on the couch in the living room, we have to pack multiple days worth of clothes and shoes and toiletries and live out of a suitcase for days. And if my siblings bring their dogs, say goodbye to any peace and quiet- it’s just hours of running and wrestling and barking between the dogs. I had really taken for granted how easy we had it when we lived in the same town as both of our parents and could just drive five minutes to get home!

Another thing that’s different this year is that living in an apartment, there isn’t enough room for a full size Christmas tree. Decorating our tree is my most favorite part of alllll of the Christmas holiday. Since we were babies, my parents have given me and my siblings a super fun, personalized ornament for the tree. And even though I’m 30 and married and “all grown up”, I look forward to this every year. I’ve even started buying Josh a fun ornament so he can be a part of my favorite Christmas tradition too. So, when I realized we wouldn’t be spending an afternoon assembling the tree and hanging each special ornament on it, I was really bummed out. I maybe even cried. Ok, I did cry. I felt silly because it’s just a tree but it holds so many memories for me. It’s not the same, but we did get a tiny tree (about a foot tall) to sit on the table next to the TV. We don’t have any miniature ornaments for it (yet), but we did buy some battery-operated Christmas lights for a little extra sparkle. It may not seem like much, but a little Christmas magic goes a long way. And even though I may not love our tiny apartment that doesn’t have room for a big tree, it’s our home and I’m so thankful to be living there with Josh instead of a state apart!

IMG_0012.jpg

It’s easy to get wrapped up in all the little things, to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the busy holiday season. I know it happens to me! I’m doing my best to remember the true reason for celebrating at Christmas has nothing to do with the comforts of my own place or a big decorated tree or getting awesome presents. Christmas is about spending time with your loved ones, being thankful and counting all your blessings, and celebrating the birth of our Savior and through this the gift of being saved from death! 

IMG_0086.jpg