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Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Special Moments


I dug out my fancy camera and have been reacquainting myself with it for the past week, capturing sweet images of Charlie in the living room.




Those eyelashes. Oh my.





It's the beginning of a long holiday weekend and we'll be spending it relaxing, hiking, hanging out with family & friends and being present in all these activities to absorb the special-ness of each moment.

This will be a slow and deliberate weekend to focus on meaning and to be at peace.
There will be no more rushing, no more guilt and no more expectations.
This weekend is for us.


Monday, December 18, 2017

Any Given Sunday


While most people were out Christmas shopping or watching football, Charlie and I enjoyed blissfully quiet trails all to ourselves on Sunday.

There were ice-fishermen on the barely-thick-enough ice already, which always surprises me. Their voices and noises of their drilling equipment carried across the lake and into the woods, which had Charlie curious and on alert.

And at one point on the trail, we glimpsed a large pileated woodpecker soaring through the woods above us.

Charlie, of course, proved that the best sticks are found in the woods.

VIDEO:

Saturday, November 25, 2017

#OptOutside, 2017 version


This is our 3rd year of opting outside for Black Friday. And boy, was it a beautiful day to be outside! Filtered sun shone through interesting layers of clouds and a gentle breeze carrying 55 degree temps swirled around us.

Frozen waves washed ashore.

We ended up hiking our "go-to" park at Big Eau Pleine just because there is no hunting allowed at this park, which helps with Charlie's noise reactivity issues and gives us a sense of safety.

Fat tire bike tracks lined the shore.

The water level of the reservoir was low enough to do some beach-combing, much like last year, and we were even able to find a few treasures along the shore.



Once we completed the loop around my favorite peninsula, we headed inland to hit the trails through the woods. Some recent logging activity has changed the view somewhat, but there were interesting stumps and logs to explore.

Heart.

Broken heart.


Upon returning home, I spent a leisurely afternoon sitting outside wrapped in a thick wool sweater listening to the wind whisper through pine trees and breathing in fresh air. It was a beautiful and perfect day.

I'm really glad that we've had a bunch of mild days to prolong the autumn season before true winter hits. I have a feeling it's going to be a cold & snowy winter so I want to enjoy as much of this season as possible. Tomorrow we'll be heading to another one of our #OptOutside places from the past and enjoy the trail before it's snow-covered.


Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Charlie's Daddy


I'm going to get a little more personal than usual and share one of the private parts of my life with you tonight. I try to keep this blog focused on our outdoor adventures, but sometimes it's nice to share the other fun stuff that goes on when we're home, just living our normal life.

If you've been reading along the past few months, you know I met a great guy this summer and he's become a big part of our lives. Charlie adores him and he feels the same about her. He calls us "his girls" and understands that we're a "package deal." Which is just fine with him... actually better than fine.

He's so happy to have found a girl who likes to do all the fun outdoor stuff that he does... hiking, kayaking, fishing and exploring. He loves it that I collect animal skulls that I find in the woods and that my bookshelves are lined with pieces of driftwood and cool rocks that I've found. It's a little spooky how similarly our homes are decorated with the pieces of nature that we surround ourselves with.

And he especially likes that I have a dog.

And so our little duo has turned into a family of three so naturally and comfortably that I hardly even noticed. Life has taken on a new rhythm of happiness.


A couple of weeks ago I was telling Alan that I was worried about leaving Charlie home alone too long while I went to an out-of-town concert. He said, "Why don't you drop her off at my house for the night?" I joked and said that it would be sweet of him to babysit Charlie and he replied, "It's not technically babysitting when it's your own kid."

I totally melted.

So Charlie spent the evening with Alan and his friends at their weekly poker night while I went out of town without having to worry about her. That same week, I bought Charlie a new tag for her collar that has both of our phone numbers and I also added Alan's information to Charlie's microchip registration.

It's official... Charlie has a daddy. And at this time of year when everyone is reflecting on what they are most grateful for, I'm grateful that I found someone who loves me as much as I love him. We're a family and we have lots of time for fun new adventures together. It's gonna be good. :)