Wednesday, March 18, 2015

hiking rattlesnake ridge

You guys, the Pacific Northwest is truly beautiful. I don't typically think too much of it, living in the Seattle suburbs, with the occassional view of the glory that is Mount Rainier, but driving out towards the mountains on a sunny day, or even a foggy one, where you can only just glimpse the tips of the mountains that are otherwise shrouded in mist, I start to realize just how breathtaking it really is. Once you get past a certain point on the freeway, the entire drive is gorgeous. The mountains, snowcapped or not, towering over the road, or far off in the distance, never fail to capture my attention and imagination. It's views like these that make Josh and me say, "I could never live anywhere else." 

On Valentine's Day, Josh and I decided to drive out and hike up to Rattlesnake Ridge. I had been wanting to hike it ever since my friend posted pictures of the amazing view on Facebook, and since we didn't feel like doing any of the stereotypical Valentine's Day activities (fun as they may be), I figured a hike would be a good way to spend the day. I thought it was a pretty novel idea: "Who would want to hike on Valentine's Day?" Well, apparently everyone and his dog. It was a very crowded trail and, thanks to the rain, nice and muddy as well. But the high traffic made it much easier for me to hide just how out of shape I really am...I stopped often to "let those people pass." Josh knew the real reason, but he was nice. And he carried my floral backpack without complaint. It really wasn't that bad, it was just two miles of UP (yay, switchbacks!). The whole hike was pretty, though, and once we finally made it to the top, it was so worth it. The ridge itself was a bit frightening, because it made me realize just how high up we were, and how disastrous tripping over a loose rock or dog leash could be...I don't like heights much. But the view completely compensated for it. Everything below looked so lush and green and the sky had cleared to a nice blue. (I realized I haven't posted a picture of myself in glasses for a long time! And my hair is back, too. I promise that girl is me! And there's Josh, making his first ever appearance on the's only taken me a year to finally share a picture of us on here.)

The hike down was easy-peasy. I got my second wind after resting at the ridge, and we made it back down at a good speed. We even made friends with a labrador who followed us all the way down the mountain. It was a pretty great way for Josh and me to spend our second Valentine's Day together (really, how has it already been over a year? It's crazy how time flies.)...we followed up with binge-watching "The Last Room," which is a pretty fantastic SyFy mini-series, and junk food. :)

I'd love to do this hike again, though I would probably never go back on a weekend, to avoid the crowds. Still...I'll say it again, the view makes everything worth it. 

I'll talk to ya'll soon.

Friday, March 13, 2015

hooray for spring break

//dress, cardigan, booties, necklace: forever21 / tights: jcp / purse: thrifted / rings: forever21, Poulsbo shop//

Well, hello! I feel like I haven't blogged in ages (and I also feel like I open every other post with this same phrase...if it's true, I apologize). Let's see...really, not much has happened since my last post. I was busy (busy, busy) with school, mostly with essay-writing--let's be honest, 40+ pages within two weeks is a huge stress picnic. This pair of classes has been one of the more stressful, just because of the sheer amount of writing involved over the past eight weeks. I started to feel overwhelmed as I hit finals week; just after turning in two research papers, I plunged straight into a pair of take-home essay finals. My pastor told me a story once about a boy who was told to cut down a field full of trees in two days. If he had gotten right to work, he would have been able to finish his work before the deadline, but all the boy could do was stare at all the trees he had to cut down. He quickly grew overwhelmed with the amount of work he had to do, and so he didn't get the work done and failed to meet his deadline. That last week of school, I felt like that boy. I started doing that thing I do when I'm stressed where I clench my teeth, and don't notice till my jaw starts to hurt. If I'd gotten straight to work, I still would've managed to have free time, but I would start to think about all the work I had to get done by Sunday, and I'd feel the panic start to rise...and I wouldn't get much of anything done. It really helped, later on, breaking the assignments up into bite-sized chunks and limiting my focus to those. And of course, there was a lot of prayer going on. That probably helped the most. :) Right now, I'm just positively thrilled to be done with school and looking forward to my Friday hike with Josh. AND, only three more classes, and I'll graduate. How am I almost done already?

Anyway! This is one of my favorite outfits recently. It's based around two impulse buys--that glorious sweater, and the leather skater dress--that I picked up on sale at Forever21. I have been looking for a pleather skater dress for over a year now, and when I found this one on sale for only $13, I snapped it up (I believe they still have it on sale on their website). The material is thin and feels almost flimsy, but I've worn it so many times since I bought it in December, and I've not been gentle on it by any means, but it's held up amazingly well. Then the cardigan...I wasn't sure how much wear I would get out of it, but it's also proved to be quite versatile, and it's so nice for throwing on over dresses or t-shirts to add an extra layer of cozy. 

I hope you are all doing well, and I'll talk to you soon!