thank you

best of march – winter wonderland adventures, dirt therapy, goat escapades & thank yous

March was one of those months when everything just seemed to align flawlessly. I finished my second quarter of Grad School and returned home for most of the month to live the life of funemployment.

Funemployment in Sun Valley takes funemployment to an entirerly new dimension. There are just so many activities, incredible people and goats, hills to be climbed, sun to be enjoyed and dogs to be walked that the time just flies by. During my time at home it hit me after a dinner conversation with our friends, how wholesome Idaho life can be. It is simple in the most perfect way with a deep connection to not only the most amazing people with the kindest hearts you will ever meet but also it encompasses a deep connection to literally everything that surrounds you. I fell into a slower pace of life that ironically went by so much faster.

Needless to say being at home for most of March filled my soul with goodness and a new sense of I can take the rest of Grad School by storm, or at least one more quarter for the first year. So here is what I thoroughly enjoyed in the month of March!

1. snapshots from home. So much goodness all the time!

love this place!

love this place!

so much snow, so much fun

so much snow, so much fun

black dogs for days

black dogs for days

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so many dog hikes

so many dog hikes

when your goats live in a winter wonderland

when your goats live in a winter wonderland

goat walks

goat walks

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the perfect spring skiing day

the perfect spring skiing day

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no complaints! favorite ladies and favorite place!

no complaints! favorite ladies and favorite place!

2. winter wonderland adventures. I convinced/dragged/demanded that the boy hike into Redfish Lake with me and the Smash Sisters one lovely weekend afternoon. The boy wasn’t too thrilled with the idea but appeased me. So we set off for Redfish Lake and it literally couldn’t have been more lovely.

I absolutely love Redfish in the summer but our friend Abbey has told us about how different yet serene it is to hike into the lake in the Winter. Since she is one of those people I always just believe/trust with my life I figured it was worth a few mile hike in. I white lied to the boy about how far we would actually be walking and we set out from the highway into the lake. It was a perfectly easy walk in hiking shoes on the packed down trail from snowmobiles and we arrived at the lake in no time after “sooooo many miles.”

The lake was pretty much deserted and we took a little cat nap in the sun on the porch of the lodge. Between the sun beating down, the pups running around like wild smash sisters and resting my head on the boy’s legs it was the perfect afternoon cat nap. One of those afternoons when you wish you could press pause. We headed out after a bit and I even got a bit of sun in my tank top. Most definitely an afternoon that cannot be beaten. Moral of the story: hike into Redfish Lake in the Winter even though it is “sooooo many miles.”

ready to roll!

ready to roll!

par pars got to ride up front for a bit

par pars got to ride up front for a bit

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perfection

perfection

the smash sisters weren't as into the cat nap as we were

the smash sisters weren’t as into the cat nap as we were

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post-hike sunburn selfies...

post-hike sunburn selfies…still laughing!

3. playing in dirt. The boy and I have several house plants that I am baffled have made it thus far. We love keeping them alive because they just offer the perfect amount of green and freshness to fill our apartment. By far our favorite is Stanley. Stanley is a lucky bamboo that the boy got for my for Valentine’s Day back in 2010. That’s right 2010. How he is still alive is a mystery to us all. It has been a labor of love.

Stanley is now over three feet tall and a growing machine. He has survived various trips back and forth between Eugene and Idaho as well as various houses in Idaho and various transplants. However, Stanley once again outgrew his home and desperately needed a transplant.

So over my break, I decided that all our houseplants were in need of a transplant along with Stanley. We also received quite a few plants after the boys accident and I have this crazy idea that they have juju and we must keep them alive and prosperous. So naturally on the one day it decided to dump snow and was 30 degrees I set out on my mission. This resulted in the kitchen and me being covered in dirt and rocks but it was well worth the 4 hours of playing in the dirt. It was oddly therapeutic and satisfying at the end when I looked at all of our plant babies in their new homes. Plus I bought a gold leafed pot for our new succulent friends which is just too cute not to share!

stanley goes for a ride to pick a new pot!

stanley goes for a ride to pick a new pot!

stanley's crazy roots

stanley’s crazy roots

new succulent friends

new succulent friends

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just a bit of a mess....

just a bit of a mess….

4. goat escapades. Oh my the goats. Nothing bad can ever be said about the goats but they were quite naughty during March. Goats are fairly smart creatures who have a reputation for liking to escape. We never really saw that side of our goats until they figured out they could walk on top of the snow crust and essentially take flying leaps out of the corral.

From there they decided the next obviously place to go after escaping was climb up the snowbanks onto the garage roof. They would frolic and play and act like watch goats, which are worth less if you were wondering. There were many a days I would go to check up on the goats and find one, two, three or four on the roof. Too cute and actually ridiculous not the share!

Also clearly our goats aren’t the only escapees around! Millie recently took a stroll to Starbucks…

bad goats!

bad goats!

just goating around

just goating around

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wrong way z-baby

wrong way z-baby

what happens when you constantly make jail breaks

what happens when you constantly make jail breaks

5. new obsessions – cauliflower rice + homeland. These two are entirely unrelated other than the fact that I have been binging on both. Trader Joe’s Organic Riced Cauliflower is essentially the greatest thing to hit stores since sliced bread. It has become a staple in my diet and is so, so, so simple to prepare and takes on the texture of grain in any recipe. If you have a craving you are more than welcome to come over and nom on the several bags I have stock piled.

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Cauliflower rice and Homeland will probably be forever engrained in my mind as one because I generally enjoy them together. If you need a show to binge watch you cannot go wrong with Homeland. I was pretty obsessed there for a couple of weeks and have decided that I need to take a break for air, like fresh air. It’s that good and I can safely say all those Grad School tuition dollars are going to good use.

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6. thank you’s. In the Year of Yes, Shondra Rhimes introduces the baffling yet very simple concept of simply saying “thank you” when given a compliment. When I first read about her describing how she never used to take a compliment and always deflected it a “but…” or something along those lines I didn’t quite get it. It wasn’t until I started noticing the way I receive compliments that it hit me hard. Most always when I receive a compliment I am hardwired to not just say “thank you” but rather I deflect it with something I did wrong or could or done better or some other insanity.

So thanks to Shondra Rhimes I have been trying to be more mindful of simply saying “thank you” when I receive a compliment. No matter how big or how small a “thank you” is always appropriate. I have found this challenged to be far greater than I ever expected and something that I think deserves pointing out. I am a complete perfectionist so to me there is always a bigger or better. But more often than not the job well done that someone else went out of their way to recognize deserves the thank you and period. Nothing less and nothing more, except probably a smile.

taylor brass

brass blossom

weekend love it – inspiring words, ladies & mountain tops

One of the things I love most about blogging (other than randomly sporting the saying “hashtag brass blossom”) is it is an outlet. A creative outlet, an emotional outlet, an “I don’t feel like I’m going anywhere in the world” outlet. It’s no coincidence “The Brass Blossom” started in the month of February in Idaho when it’s cold, the winter is really starting to get to you and according to my Sirius radio it’s the least happy month…

And even though it’s an outlet for both Krista and me, it’s obviously a very public outlet since if you didn’t notice it’s on the Internet and we share it with no shame. But the point being, that even though this blog started as a place to keep us sane and our outlet, I wanted to thank you all for your continued support of our venture. Our last post on Grief and Support blossomed (see what I did there) as an idea from Krista and grew from there. The words, support and love we received were truly beautiful and I wanted to thank you all for that, from the bottom of the #brassblossom heart.

And that support couldn’t have come at a better time, as the last week wasn’t the greatest week, true to the ebb and flow of life.  So when I needed a bit of life inspiration last week I found it (like quite often in recent months) from Cheryl Strayed and thought it was too good not to share:

“You have to pay your own electric bill. You have to be kind. You have to give it all you got. You have to find people who love you truly and love them back with the same truth. But that’s all.”

So with that mushy, gushyness said, here is what I have been loving in recent weeks.

1. torch. I originally had planned to start this book last week on a road trip to Salt Lake City but like always I failed to remember how I literally pass out anytime I am the passenger in the car…so I just started this book at the pool this weekend, and I am hooked. This book is raw and speaks to grief on so many levels. And while I have devoured all of Strayed’s non-fiction works that I have picked up, she proves her writing, her voice and her wisdom has no boundaries. A great read thus far.

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2. astronaut wives. The Astronaut Wives Club is hands down my new favorite show of pretty much all time. Every time the boy and I watch the show I verbalized how much I really love the show. I pretty much check OnDemand daily to see if it is available. The show features a truly challenging time in the world featuring (obv) astronauts and the space race but also the women behind the space race. You know what they say…behind every great man, there is a great woman. And for some reason, I have always felt a bit of a kindred spirit to a 50’s housewife. Maybe it’s the aprons? Maybe it’s the fact it was a huge time for women’s rights? Regardless, if you like me are not a wife, an astronaut or someone really interested in space at all, I still promise you this show will speak to you. Plus I have a huge girl crush on Odette Annable
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3. friends in high (model) places. I know a few pretty cool people who have all recently been blowing up magazine (and internet) spreads with their hot faces. And not only are their hot faces featured, but they are all featured doing something they are passionate about in the outdoors. They are all beautiful, adventurous, Idaho-loving models that I can’t help but share!
that one time the boy was a male model (for beretta)

that one time the boy was a male model (for beretta)

#studmuffin

#studmuffin

SVPN featuring three amazing, local fishing ladies on the latest in fishing fashion

SVPN featuring three amazing, local fishing ladies on the latest in fishing fashion

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love seeing this lady in print!

love seeing this lady in print!

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4. mount borah. #thebrassblossom and our lovely friend Tori almost summited Mount Borah last weekend. Yes Borah, the highest peak in Idaho. And while we didn’t quite make it, it was still an incredible, slightly sunburned and high on lack of oxygen time. Also don’t fret, an “Idaho Adventure” post will be coming soon as it was too incredible not to share (we just had to collect our wits and thoughts).
obvious market necessities for the borah climb

obvious market necessities for the borah climb

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popping a bottle to celebrate!

popping a bottle to celebrate!

5. power house and veggie love. The evening before hiking Mount Borah, I knew I needed to seriously carbo-load, so the boy and I headed to Hailey to the Power House. Two of our favorite people also joined us and we had an amazing time with some amazing beers and delicious food. For anyone that hasn’t been to their new location, it is just as good and I literally wish at least twice a week that this restaurant was in Ketchum. Also huge props to Power House for offering multiple vegetarian options, which just never happens in Idaho. I have been dreaming since of nomming again on those Oat Burger Tacos. Cheers!
a slightly intimidating door

a slightly intimidating door

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truffle fries - so delicious!

truffle fries – so delicious!

oat buger tacos! such a great concept!

oat buger tacos – such a great concept!

6. road trips & seeing eye dogs. I recently read a quote from Heidi Powell that was something along the lines of “it doesn’t need to be romantic to be romantic.” The boy took me to Salt Lake City for my annual eye appointment last week and while it was not in the slightest a typical romantic day (I think I channeled my inner pug with how large my pupils got), but it was still a “romantic” day. We got to spend 10 hours (more like 8 as I slept just a bit…) of uninterrupted car time together and just enjoy a day of him playing my seeing eye dog and chauffeur. It was totes fun had by all. And we even enjoyed pounds of mac-n-cheese for lunch at Whole Foods because there is nothing that their mac-n-cheese can’t make better. Nom nom. On another note, I sadly learned several years ago that careers in public service and even being as astronaut apparently have very strict eye tests to pass and are highly discriminatory against the legally blind, so sadly I will never be an astronaut, police officer, fire-fighter or anything cool like that. So for now, I will live my life vicariously through The Astronaut Wives Club. Also for anyone who feels their eyes need just a bit more attention, the Moran Eye Center is the place to go. I cannot say enough positive things about this institute.
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ermygawd

ermygawd

Hope you all have an amazing week full lots of love. ❤

taylor brass

brass blossom

a thousand thank yous

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A thousand thank yous. A million thank yous. A billion thank yous. A thank you from the bottom of my heart, my soul, my wishes and my dreams to each and every one of you for your thoughts, your prayers, your blessings, your support, your metaphysical and medical genius and your unwavering love. A thank you for everything.

I intermittently find time slowing and I relish in those moments, those moments where everything is relatively perfect. Those moments where I am flooded with gratitude, gratitude to be able to take a deep breathe that fills the depths of my lungs, my heart and my soul. To not feel that at any moment I’m on the verge of hyperventilating because it is all just too much.

Because now there are still things that seem like too much, but it is all relative. Life is relative. I hate when people say (usually to me when I’m spinning at 1,000 miles per hour about something incomprehensible to them) to “not sweat the small stuff.” But I encourage you—sweat the small stuff, but keep it relative. Sweat the A- grades, sweat the dirty floors, sweat the spilled milk. Because if you are sweating the small stuff, you are blessed at that moment, blessed that there is no accident, no coma, no pneumonia, no feeding tubes, no hell to sweat. Because the small stuff means you are alive and full of life and love and things are going pretty peachy. Sweat the small stuff and breathe deeply with gratitude and thanks for those little perfect (and sometimes imperfect) moments each day.

Those perfect moments. Those moments when I feel like I am spinning along with the axis of the world, along for the ride again. Those moments like when I am sitting at our dining room table eating a bowl of soup, while the boy is off partaking in outdoor activities and I receive a text from him letting me know he is on his way home and asking if I need anything. It’s perfect. It’s absolutely, scream to the hills, insert swear word for emphasis, perfect that I still receive those texts, those little check-ins, those times when you know there is someone out there thinking of your wants, your needs or the dwindling supply of goat milk.

Those moments like when the boy, our families or I again come across a little card, a sweet note or a message of “keep putting that one foot in front of the other” from the past several months. It is perfect. It is perfect knowing that even in the deepest, darkest of times we are cradled in a ginormous hammock of love from friendship, family and community near, far and long lost. A hammock whose strings stretched further than I ever thought possible and supported the weight of our world.

Those moments like when the boy is driving and Miss Maude Pod has her head resting on the center between the two front seats, music is blasting, the windows are down and we are driving back into the valley. It is perfect. The physical beauty captures us but also the beauty of a community engulfs us. It protects us. A community that never wavered, never faltered and helped put the light back in our eyes and made it all seem doable. Those moments when you know this is home. This is where you are meant to be at that very single moment.

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It was all of you. From the extraction team, to the Emergency Care team, to the life-flight, to the trauma doctors and medical team, to the ICU nurses (especially to that one night nurse), to the hospital employees that became our friends, to our families near and far that were always close to our hearts, to the friend who reached out from elementary school with a book recommendation, to the guy who gave me a box of tissues after passing me several times crying hysterically in the stairwell, to the transport team, to the people who got outdoors for the boy, to the friends that shoveled and made us food, to the Pulmonologist that always just stopped by to say hi and talk, to the best friends that were just there no matter what, to the long term physical therapy team, to the security guard, to the coworkers who are more than just coworkers, to the rehabilitation team (especially to that one therapist who wouldn’t let us rot indoors), to everyone that took care of Maude Pod, to the nurses that put up with the never ending jokes to the brilliant and most importantly caring doctors that aided in every step of the way, to each and every friend, family member, well-wisher and to the Wood River Valley Community, it was you. It was you that cradled us, pushed us and gave us endless love, support and shoulders to cry on and ears to listen to us, it was you that helped us back to a world that has light, that has meaning, that has hopes and wishes and dreams. And there will never be enough thank yous for that.

Now don’t get me wrong. The boy is pretty spectacular to say the least in my likely biased opinion. But in my eyes it wasn’t a miracle. Not one ounce of the strength that bubbles inside him and his indomitable will that was fortified by the overwhelming support he and all of #teamcasey received was sourced from a miracle. He did the work, but you all did the supporting. You supported in a way that I hope to one day spread further and further into the world. Because to me, to us, to #teamcasey that support makes everything okay and doable. And it was you, each and every one, that I thank for allowing me to have gratitude, thanks, laughter, tears, deep breathes, small stuff to sweat in those moments in life when everything slows and you know it, everything, life is relatively perfect.

A thousand thank yous. A million thank yous. A billion thank yous.

all my love

brass blossom