Monthly Archives: December 2012

#WEverb12: HOPE

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17. thank [HOPE]: Write that thank you note that you’ve been meaning to send this year… or would like to send next year…

Dear Latin America,

Thank you for the adventures.  Thank you for the epic hikes.  Thank you for the waves.  Thank you for the cheap beers.  Thank you for the surprises.  Thank you for the llapingachos, pupusas, and tacos.  Thank you for all the colors.  Thank you for the smiles.  Thank you for the souvenirs.  Thank you for the mystery.  Thank you for welcoming us with open arms.  Thank you for showing us another way.  Thank you for the sunsets.

Love,

Carrie

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Taganga, Colombia

 

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#WEverb12: CREATE

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22: recharge [CREATE] What did you do to recharge your batteries in 2012?

As I’ve gotten older (argh….) I’ve gotten more and more dependent on two vital recharging mechanisms: exercise and sleep.

Running recharges me mentally those endorphins feel great!

Sleep…well, I am a sucker for a full 8 hours of sleep.  I miss the days of college when I could get only five hours a night for a week and feel fine.  Nowadays if I get less than six in one night I feel lethargic all day.  So, call me a grandma, but I love my sleep.

#WEverb12: LIVE

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21: read [LIVE]
Did you read a book this year that left you craving more when it was over?

Man, this #WEverb stuff asks a lot about books!  Good thing I did read a lot this year.

One of the best books I read was Tom Wolfe’s The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test.  That was such an enthralling read!  I’ve always been fascinated by hippie culture and Ken Kesey is one of my favorite writers so reading in so much detail about his life and the Merry Pranksters’ “experiments” was just awesome.  The book is so well-written it almost makes you feel like YOU’RE on drugs, I imagine.  Such a crazy group of people doing things on a whole other level.  It’s both inspiring and shocking, some of the stories.

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“You’re either on the bus or off the bus!”

#WEverb12: Catching up again!

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18. soak [LISTEN]: What have you soaked in this year? (Baths, sun, ideas?) How did it affect your mentality?

This year I soaked in uncertainty.  Traveling, living in Ohio for a few months, and then moving out here.  It was constant motion, lots of changes of plans, and not knowing what to expect.  It was hard for me, as I’m very type-A.  But it was good for me.  Uncertainty and second-guessing and plans changing are all part of life.  You could also call it FREEDOM!

19. exercise [LIVE]: How did you live actively in 2012? What will you change in 2013?

While we were backpacking, I didn’t make any effort to work out or anything.  But most of our days involved lots and lots of walking, sometimes with all of our crap loading us down.  We also went on a lot of epic hikes, went surfing, swimming and ziplining!  Travel is the best because exercise feels like an adventure!

Since getting back, I’ve done something I never, ever expected I would do.  I started running.  Not just lame-o occasional 30 minute jogs either.  Over the summer, I actually followed Hal Higdon’s Half Marathon Training Plan all the way through, although I never did run a half marathon.  Working my way up to running 10 miles without any breaks and without dying made me really proud.  It was weird how easy it was, too.  Unfortunately towards the end I got a weird muscle strain in my thigh and when we moved I had to stop running for awhile.  As soon as my leg healed, I started the plan all over again, making sure I really stretch and cross train a lot to try to avoid injury.  So far so good!  I’ve gotten faster (which means a 9:35 mile, still really slow!) than I was in Ohio and I love running along the Sunset Cliffs!  I’m about halfway through the plan this time and I’m hoping to run my first half marathon in January!

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The view helps me run fast!

20: reminisce [GROW] What distant memory/time did you find yourself longing for in 2012?

I’ve found myself reminiscing about college a lot this year.  It’s hard to believe that I’ve already been OUT of college for longer than I was IN it.  I graduated almost exactly four years ago.  College was just so much fun and so easy compared to real life.  It’s funny because when you’re in it you think life is so hard!  It’s pretty awesome that you get to live with your friends, learn about things that interest you, do whatever crazy clubs and activities you want, and you somehow still have enough energy to party it up!  More than anything, I miss my old roomie Erica.  She truly “gets me” and is one of the best friends I will ever have!  It sucks because we’re on opposite coasts and rarely get to see each other, but sometimes we’ll still text each other random, “Remember when…” texts.

Roomies for life!

Roomies for life!

(Hey Erica, remember when we met Mr. Belding?)

Gotta Have Some Pretty Pictures!

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At first we weren’t going to have a photographer.  We were convinced we couldn’t afford one and didn’t need one.  Some of our friends have dSLRs and we were hoping they would help us out.  DIY photography all the way!

But then I got sucked into the world of wedding blogs and Pinterest.  I started feeling jealous of these couples I didn’t even know for their gorgeous photos!  My BFF strongly advised me that I would definitely regret not having a photographer.  I started feeling bad about the idea of asking our friends to don cameras on our big day.  Thus I secretly started looking around the web, “just to see what’s out there.”  “You don’t need a photographer!” the logical, thrifty side of my brain told me.  “But maybe, just maybe, if you could find one that’s not too expensive…” the other side whispered.

And that’s when I stumbled upon Bright Fizz Photo, based in Phoenix, Arizona.  “Wow,” I thought, as I perused the website, “These photos are so fun and quirky!”

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Although I am normally annoyed when websites start blasting music at me, I actually really liked the songs playing in the background on Bright Fizz’s site.  More points for good taste in music!

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Plus, Zach and I totally agree with their philosophy!  “Our style of photography is not traditional. We like the candid, silly moments that every couple has to offer. We do not like the standard poses with two people smiling at the camera. We create images that really show the style and connection of two people in love. Our style is happy with a little bit of funk.”

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“So who is behind these awesome photos?” I wondered, “And how can we possibly afford them?”  So I sent an email to Rachel, the wonder-woman behind Bright Fizz.  It turns out that she and her husband Nick run the business and they both seem super awesome-sauce.  And, amazingly enough, they are AFFORDABLE!  (Basic wedding packages start at only $1500!)

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I pretty much knew I NEEDED Rachel to photograph our wedding as soon as we talked.  So I turned to my parents and asked them if they’d be willing to gift us our wedding photography and they said yes!  I guess it’s kind of breaking the rule of paying for everything ourselves, but since Zach’s parents are providing our venue, my parents also really wanted to contribute something tangible.  This will make everyone happy!

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We haven’t met Rachel in person yet, but we will definitely be doing that before the wedding.  For now though, her awesome photos and the personality that shines through her emails are enough to convince me she’s going to do a great job!  Wedding photo win!

Did anyone else decide they had to have a photographer after initially not wanting one?

#WEverb12: CREATE

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16. replicate [CREATE]: What were you inspired to create/make this year based on something else? (i.e. a pin from pinterest, recipe from a friend, etc.)

Well, I am a hardcore Pinterest ADDICT!  I try to actually make a lot of the things I pin.  The one craft idea I tried so far didn’t work out so well (a DIY cut-away workout shirt) but a lot of the recipes I’ve made have been great.  I made this whole board called “It’s Good!  Make it Again!” based on my Pinterest successes.

#WEverb12: GROW

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15. quote [GROW]: What inspirational quote would you associate with this past year for you?

I already quoted a few things from Zen and the Art of Motorcylce Maintenance a few entries back.  I wanted to find something different for this post, so I thought back to some other meaningful books I read this year.  One was Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller.  That book has a lot of wisdom but I couldn’t think of any specific quote, so I googled it.  I ended up finding this, which is actually from another book of his.  It resonates pretty well for my year.

“And so my prayer is that your story will have involved some leaving and some coming home, some summer and some winter, some roses blooming out like children in a play. My hope is your story will be about changing, about getting something beautiful born inside of you, about learning to love a woman or a man, about learning to love a child, about moving yourself around water, around mountains, around friends, about learning to love others more than we love ourselves, about learning oneness as a way of understanding God. We get one story, you and I, and one story alone. God has established the elements, the setting and the climax and the resolution. It would be a crime not to venture out, wouldn’t it?”

What does this quote inspire in you?

#WEverb12: LIVE

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14. walk [LIVE]: Describe the path to a favorite place of yours to walk in 2012. What’s meaningful about the place or the journey?

The Inca Trail was pretty epic!  You can read about it at La Aventura Project.  I think what made is so meaningful is the idea that we were walking in the footprints of history.  The Incas developed that path so many centuries ago and hid it so well that it took the Spanish soooo long to find it!  And getting to Machu Picchu at the end was pretty cool too.

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#WEverb12: GROW

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12. toss [GROW]: 2012 was the last time for ________________

I finally, finally, finally went through all the clothes still loitering in my old bedroom at the parents’ house this summer.  There was stuff in there from way back in high school.  Man, I used to shop a lot!  I remember when I worked at Chick-fil-a and I did actually spend most of my money on clothes from Forever 21 and Delias and all those silly mall stores.  It was funny to reminisce about that with Zach because he’s never seen that side of me.  I’ve been shopping at thrift stores and penny-pinching for travel or bigger things since we’ve been together.

I was definitely more fashionable back then, but the importance of if has faded to me, rightfully.  Nowadays I find thrifting more enjoyable anyway because I can find things no one else has!

Needless to say, Ohio Thrift got a huge donation of early-2000s-era fashion after I cleaned out the old closet!

#WEverb12 CATCHUP!

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I got really behind on this due to my business trip to Monterey and other life busy-ness.  I want to keep going so I’m going to catch up now!

7. enliven [GROW]:  Was there a book or article that inspired you to make a change in your life this year? What was the source and what did you change?

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Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig was the best and most challenging book I read this year.  It taught me a lot about philosophy but also went over my head a lot.  As I mentioned here, the book really helped me realize how TERRIBLE I am at staying in the moment.  I’m trying to get better at breathing in the present without fixating on the future, but it’s going to be a lifelong process.  Here are a couple quotes from the book:

“The place to improve the world is first in one’s own heart and head and hands, and then work outward from there.”

“The truth knocks on your door and you say, “Go away, I’m looking for the truth,” and so it goes away.”

“When you are no longer thinking ahead, each footstep isn’t just a means to an an end but a unique event in itself. This leaf has jagged edges. This rock looks loose. From this place the snow is less visible, even though closer. These are things you should notice anyway. To live only for some future goal is shallow. It’s the sides of the mountain that sustain life, not the top. Here’s where things grow.

8. respond [LISTEN]: Do you actively listen to your inner voice/conscience? Describe a time this year you heard and responded to it.

I certainly do try to.  Planning a laid back, nontraditional wedding is an example of this.

9. triumph [CREATE]: How were you challenged by a project or goal this year? What did you learn from it?

The editing of La Aventura Project into a documentary is an enormous undertaking.  I learned that maybe I shouldn’t promise to make a documentary and then end up with a million other things to do and no time to edit.

10. lose [HOPE]: Did you have to say goodbye to a person, or even a cherished object, this year? Take a moment to celebrate the memory

I didn’t say goodbye to anyone permanently (I hope!) but I did say goodbye to many people as we traveled, moved, hosted Couchsurfers, etc.  Saying goodbye to the nomadic lifestyle was hard!  It was an amazing year on the road all over America.  But we’ll travel again!

11. spend/save [LIVE]: Are you richer or poorer this year, compared to last year?

Poorer!  But all that money went towards great times and great memories!  I don’t regret it for a second.