wildflowers

best of may – mojo, bachelorette mischief, morels & resiliency

May was one of those months where I think I lost my mojo. Jupiter was in retrograde for most of the month but I think it was more than that. All in all it was a fantastic month but nothing quite went as planned…

In the process of tracking down a missing Lululemon Gift Card (for which I probably would have gone to the end of the Earth to find), I managed to lock myself out of my apartment in Seattle wearing nothing but sweat pants and a white tank top and simultaneously kill the battery in my car by leaving a light on (not to be discovered until days later). Thankfully a pizza guy came to my rescue 30 minutes into sitting by the door nipping out with no bra on. And that was just one night.

P.S. You can learn how to jump a car on Google. #modernwoman

Then American Airlines changed my flight suddenly at 11:00 pm the night before I was supposed to fly out and also managed to lose my bag between Seattle and Phoenix. I was on my way to the most fantastic Bachelorette weekend celebrating my favorite dino friend. My bag ended up going all the way to Hawaii without me (seriously sad) leaving me to clothe myself in all of the offered belongings from my very nice friends. And again, naturally I wore yoga pants and a sports bra on the plane so I was pretty defenseless when it came to extra undergarments.

Please learn from my mistakes and make sure when you leave your home to always, always bring keys and wear underwear and a bra and even pack an extra or two in your carry on so you don’t have to nip out to a pizza guy, go commando for several days or borrow what turned out to be a very nice pair of underwear. Also you never give back borrowed underwear. Rule #1 of life.

But enough about my May craziness that seemed to always come back to undergarments and on to the good stuff! Here is what I loved!

1. #dinotribe. Despite not having any luggage for most of the trip and having to deal with American Airlines for too many hours (they were absolute miserable and not at all helpful), the highlight of May was my trip to Phoenix to celebrate one of my greatest friend’s bachelorette party. I also cannot wait to be with her on her wedding day! She was that friend in college who suddenly just appeared like a bright, loving, generous, compassionate, brilliant light and never left (in a good way). She is also my favorite person to snuggle and make pug and dinosaur noises. She is that type of friend.

We spent the weekend enjoying the scorching hot weather, drinking too much alcohol and laughing literally the entire time. Highlights included a run that turned into a two hour adventure lost in the desert, posing with cacti, blowing up giant pool floaties by mouth, strapping down that one friend who had too much to drink on a pool floatie in the middle of the living room to sleep next to a bowl, late night talks, the absurd pictures that were captured and 5 am walks in the sunrise. It was truly one of the greatest weekends where we all fell back into those insanely comfortable relationships we had in college and made some new incredible friends. Love you all!

just the beginning...

just the beginning…

the most beautiful bride to be (& her dino!)

the most beautiful bride to be (& her dino!)

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running with bae

running with bae

we may have been lost but that didn't stop us from impersonating cacti

we may have been lost but that didn’t stop us from impersonating cacti

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my happy place

my happy place

before one of the most fun nights that i have ever had

before the insanity

selfies

selfies

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❤ my bri bird

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bethhhhhhh

5 am sunrise walks

5 am sunrise walks

2. reading on the bus. I’m not certain how it took me so long to figure this one out. I rode the bus everyday to and from school. I spent anywhere between 20-3o minutes on the bus but never felt like it was enough time one be that one person to dig through their bag and pull out a book and spill the bag’s contents everywhere. But when modern technology meets having a gigantic iPhone 6+ it turns out you can read quite comfortably on your phone!

I ended up reading nine books in May. Yes, nine! One of which was Grey (aka 50 Shades of Grey told by the male character). I figured since I went to Grad School and learned useful and smart things everyday that I could read trashy novels on the bus. And yes, it was fantastic just like the first novels and pretty much word for word the first book. Definitely a great summer read!

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3. home for a break. I started the month off with a fantastic trip home. To maintain my sanity in Seattle I tried to go home at least once a quarter to cram in as many Idaho activities and love as possible. This break topped the charts with lots of friend-time, dog hikes, days of morel mushroom hunting and time spent with the boy and my Maude Pod. It literally couldn’t have been more perfect.

birthday love!

birthday love!

my favorite hiking buddies <3

my favorite hiking buddies ❤

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sunrise hikes

sunrise hikes with my brass blossom boyfriend

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a trip home wouldn't be complete without some goat love!

a trip home wouldn’t be complete without some goat love!

4. may morels. During my visit back to Idaho in May, the boy and I spent the majority of two days hunting for morel mushrooms. Other than finding a lone morel hiking last summer I had never gotten into the hunt. But let me tell you, it is one of the most addicting activities that I have ever participated in. The boy and I went with some friends and simply wandered in circles around in the woods for hours and hours with the pups. I now understand the Gold Rush.

The only thing that stopped us both days was when the girls got hangry. Lesson learned boys: always bring snacks for your girlfriends when morel hunting. Wine and cheese would be a great start.

look at this things!

look at this things!

morels!

morels!

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my love bugs + morels = perfect day

my love bugs + morels = the perfect day

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i promise she loves us

i promise she loves us

post-adventures schooners

post-adventures schooners

lovers <3

lovers ❤

5. sheryl sandberg does it again. I was recently asked who I want to be when I grow up? Apparently I’m not grown up but not the point. My first thought was Sheryl Sandberg. Not only because she is a badass COO but also because she seems to just get it. Her recent “getting it” was a Graduation speech she gave to Berkeley. She touched on many things but what got to me most was her note about resiliency:

“And when the challenges come, I hope you remember that anchored deep within you is the ability to learn and grow. You are not born with a fixed amount of resilience. Like a muscle, you can build it up, draw on it when you need it. In that process you will figure out who you really are — and you just might become the very best version of yourself.”

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6. honey. My one major complaint about Grad School is the fact that it has really cut down on my online shopping. While this is sad and all I think that I will survive, especially after coming across this life changing online shopping app, called Honey. I’ve probably spent a good amount of my precious life searching for promo codes to get discounts or free shipping while online shopping. But when you download Honey it does it all for you! Simply install it to Google Chrome and a little icon will appear when you go to check out! I literally saved 60% off the other day when I ordered some paper invites.

Feel free to use my code to join because it also gives you points to redeem when you share with friends!

Code to Join: joinhoney.com/ref/vloyjc

taylor brass

brass blossom

weekend love it – so many adventures full of love

The past two weeks and weekends have literally been absolutely amazing. They were chuck full of “little things” that make me completely and utterly grateful. It has definitely been a year of highs and lows and right now I am riding a wave of high that I am just hoping continues on for infinity.

Not only were they long weekends and short work weeks, but they were full of so many adventures, celebrations and love. I have been having some pretty serious withdrawals this week but I am looking forward to another weekend full of love!

Here is a look!

1. hiking for life. I spent almost the entirety of the Fourth of July weekend hiking and it just truly amazing. Plus I got new hiking shoes (INOV8, which fit my baby feet so nicely) so that made it even more amazing. Every day I literally (and physically) felt on top of the world from the hiking, views, slightly sore feet, best company around and post-hike snacks and drinks. I am seriously considering a job change to “professional hiker” so if anyone out there has any connections, please throw them my way.

I tipped off the weekend with an amazing Idaho Adventure to what is literally one of Ketchum’s best kept secret hikes with a few amazing lady friends and then followed it up with a hike to Titus Lake with the boy and one of our favorite couples. Lastly, Krista and I did a short hike to detox on Sunday and it was just what I needed to wrap up the amazingly active weekend.

awesome new hiking shoes (i got them from the clymb for a great price)

awesome new hiking shoes (i got them from the clymb for a great price)

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silver lake

idaho friends in idaho places

idaho friends in idaho places

wildflowers for days

wildflowers for days

evenings on silver creek

evenings on silver creek

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fourth of july watermelon, blueberry & feta salad

fourth of july watermelon, blueberry & feta salad

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titus lake

titus lake

love these two!

love these two!

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2. washington love. Ermygawd. Literally the best weekend of my ENTIRE life just happened. I wasn’t sure anything could top my Fourth of July weekend full of Idaho, so much food and amazing company but this last weekend just did. The boy and I were invited to what will likely be the most amazing wedding we will ever go to for two of our dear friends from college. We also did a bit of exploring and I even managed to make it to an early morning Crossfit session for the bride. It was a giant smorgasbord of all of my favorite people and favorite activities all wrapped up into one.

wedding wod

wedding wod

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handstands for love!

handstands for love!

just some crazy chihuly glass

just some crazy chihuly glass

glass bridge

glass bridge

i stole some chalk from some kiddies and got creative

i stole some chalk from some kiddies and got creative

my favorite people!

my favorite people!

the cutest (and best) cookie i think i have ever eaten at 10:00 am on a sunday...

the cutest (and best) cookie i think i have ever eaten at 10:00 am on a sunday…

3. wedding love. Since this last weekend was literally so amazing, it deserves two spots in my Love It. The wedding was truly spectacular. Not that anyone expected anything less as the bride, Gina Paulson (eeekk!), is quite possibly the cutest, most creative and Crossfit, coffee and cat loving person ever. She happens to be the creative genius, manager, owner and soul proprietor (probably?) of Eleven and West. You must check it/her/the website out now.

Since that evening I have been continually flipping back through the photos on my phone in an attempt to relive all the fun, smiles, love, food and hugs. Literally the best night of my life and I didn’t even get married…ahhemm.

gift bags (i know, how cute!!)

gift bags (i might save this paper bag forever…)

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i just cant even…

fairy lights, white chairs and pretty love notes in gina's perfect calligraphy

fairy lights, white chairs and pretty love notes in gina’s perfect calligraphy

so much love for this guy (looking so fresh!)

so much love for this guy (looking so fresh!)

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you cant sit with us...

you cant sit with us…

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so true

so true

is it free advertising if you work for them? coozie and all...

is it free advertising if you work for them? coozie and all…

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i had seconds and then a truck rolled up with these buggers and literally made my life

i had seconds and then a truck rolled up with these buggers and literally made my life

new friend?!

new friend?!

photo booth fun

there is nothing better than a photo booth & sequins

the most amazing couple! so happy for them!

the most amazing couple! so happy for them!

4. national kissing day. National Kissing Day went down on July 6th and there were so many kisses at our house. Goat kisses that is. I captured the boy being loved on / mauled by the goats and thought it was so appropriate as it happened to be National Kissing Day! Too cute not to share!

goat kisses! (please note bernard taking a little tumble in the background)

goat kisses! (please note bernard taking a little tumble in the background)

goat loves <3

goat loves ❤

5. thug kitchen. My aunt originally shared Thug Kitchen  with me and I have been laughing ever sense. I love good clean food and Thug Kitchen is just that mixed with like seventy swearwords and funnies for each recipe. A must read, follow and even cook from for nommy eats and silly times.

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6. pretty presents. By far one of my favorite parts of the holiday season is wrapping presents. I just love creating something just as beautiful as the gift. There have been several recent birthday celebrations in our lives and I am still just loving this recent wrap job topped with a fresh flower.

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7. j.crew jumpsuits. If I was to ever categorize my favorite things in life, J.Crew and jumpsuits would be right up there with coffee, 30 minutes of dead silence in the morning, sunshine, beans, Crossfit, Uggs, Lululemon, wearing leggings every day, pugs and green tea. So the other day when J.Crew was having 50% off their sale items, I literally almost cried of happiness that a J.Crew jumpsuit that I had been eyeing for months was only $40.00. I obviously bought it immediately. It was fate. I absolutely adore the fun colors and slightly too big fit (leaves extra room for summer celebrations…).

On another note, the boy thinks this jumpsuit is pretty radical as well. He advised me at 5 am when we were leaving for Seattle, “wooo that is quite a jumpsuit! It looks like it belongs in the 70’s with cocaine!” Why thank you Mr Boy, I really appreciate your compliment? Whatever. I wore the jumpsuit last weekend and just loved ever minute of it but figured since there weren’t any pictures of me in it on the internet that it’s totally good to go for another weekend! Love when that happens! #internetettiquette

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8. pugs – peanutbutter & instagram. My pug love is never ending so I figured why not keep sharing my recent pugger life highlights…my little pugger Lizzie loves just about anything and everything to do with food. So more often than not when I finish a jar of peanut-butter I pass it off to her. Because when you’re a 13-year-old pug there is no good reason not to lick a jar clean, or as clean as you can when your nose is flat and your tongue is a bit short.

loving on some peanutbutter

loving on some peanutbutter

And speaking of internet etiquette, here is Doug the Pug to teach us 9 things you shouldn’t do on Instagram (unless you’re a pug of course)…take notes!

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taylor brass

brass blossom

idaho adventures – silver lake (idaho’s best kept secret)

This past fourth of July weekend, I literally had just the best weekend. It was all about celebrating the Fourth with hiking followed by copious amounts of food. Some amazing (and originally local, Idaho raised! minus Lizzie who was just an added bonus!) friends were in town from San Francisco so we set out on an Idaho Adventure to Silver Lake. Silver Lake is truly Idaho’s best kept secret. I couldn’t find the directions in my hiking book and it is relatively obscure on the internet, which generally means it is pretty uncharted territory. And there is good reason for that.

The “trailhead,” which doesn’t really exist, starts out at about 8,000 feet after a somewhat treacherous and long drive straight up into the Sawtooth Mountains. We had no directions and thought we were lost several times so the drive took quite a while. But after holding my phone out the window (to find some service), on top of a mountain to call my mom’s friend who had just hiked there (thank you again, Roni!), we were able to find the start of the trail. My friends, if you plan to go to Silver Lake use four wheel drive and make sure you have a friend who is used to driving up the side of mountains with no fear (thanks to a few high school canyon parties).

Between the drive and the trail that literally just runs into a rock face, Silver Lake is a tricky little lake to find. But it is worth it. Luckily, as with most mountain lakes, the lake is in a large basin so after we forged our own trail traversing around the basin we found Silver Lake located snuggly at the base of the basin.

And while the obscurity of this hike helps to keep it as one of Idaho’s best kept secret, I just had to share this hike because of how breathtakingly beautiful it is. There is literally a mountain side full of fresh blooming lupine (think wildflower heaven x Sound of Music x 1000 in amazingness factor), rock slides and scree to scurry, a few rock faces to scramble and crystal clear Silver Lake to swim in that is located at 9,700 feet just about at tree line. The hike is remote (all while being so close) and is one of those hikes that reminds you how vast and magnificent nature really can be. Plus with some fabulous and adventerous company there is oodles of fun, handstands and donkey kicks to be had!

Here is a look! We had some pre and post-hike goat snuggles of course…

goats & girls

goats & girls

jessie & her bff, bernard

jessie & her bff, bernard

the drive up

the drive up

the "woman cruiser" - set your parking brakes people!

the “woman cruiser” – set your parking brakes people!

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wildflower heaven

wildflower heaven

the smells were truly intoxicating

the smells were truly intoxicating

thanks random couple for the picture!

thanks random couple for the picture!

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just a little lost…

a pretty little lake we found (aka not silver lake)

a pretty little lake we found (aka not silver lake)

we found it!

we found it!

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attempt at a timer photo

attempt at a timer photo

cover photo for their new band staring idaho girls + lizzie

cover photo for their new band staring idaho twins + lizzie

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love these two!

love these two!

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new hiking shoes

picnic lunch - brie always wins

picnic lunch of apple & brie – brie always wins

taking the plunge!

taking the plunge!

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cody and her gopro captured me at a slightly more graceful angle

cody and her gopro captured me at the coolest angle

lake handstands

lake handstands

cody too!

cody too!

lizzie felt left out so she showed us her perfected donkey kick

lizzie felt left out so she showed us her perfected donkey kick

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no caption needed

no caption needed

heading home...

heading home…

the craziest plant i have ever seen

the craziest plant i have ever seen

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heading home...

jess pondering life

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wildflower handstands by cody

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idaho friends

idaho friends

present!

present!

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until next time silver lake!

until next time silver lake!

Perhaps the unknown and wandering upped how amazing this hike actually was. But if you are actually itching to go to Silver Lake here are a few quick directions that would have been quite helpful: at the north end of the Baker Creek parking lot cross the bridge and follow the road for several miles. Keep right every time the road forks. You will literally drive straight up mountains. Just keep going. It will likely be okay. Finally the road will run into a grove of Aspen trees and there appears to be somewhat of a parking spot. Make sure to set your parking brake so you will have a ride home. Cross through the trees to find the trail that leads into wildflower heaven and continue on the trail. When the trail ends into a rock face, look to your left and there will be a fragment of a trail that crosses the second waterfall you will see. Scurry across the rocks, stream, boulders and up the rocks that will lead you directly to the base of the lake. If that sounds too intense, do what we did and scurry up the rock wall, then randomly wander in the basin until you find the lake. Good luck!

taylor brass

brass blossom

idaho adventures – pioneer cabin from johnstone creek

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Quite possible one of the more epic local “Idaho Adventures” is hiking to Pioneer Cabin. Krista and I have hiked the daunting 2,500 feet the last three summers and the hike (and subsequent sore feet, legs and pride), the flowers, the Pioneers and the view never disappoints.

This year, I convinced Krista we should tackle Pioneer Cabin from “Johnston Creek.” I had heard it was an incredible hike and the hiking book I have from 1994 made it seem pretty legit.

Now the hike was incredible and so much more scenic than the traditional route. We dragged our bodies straight up the dirt trail through loads of wildflowers (the lupine were breathtaking), saw a waterfall, enjoyed spectacular views of the Pioneer Mountain Range from a different view and got a bit of sunshine. But the hiking book led us seriously astray. There is a pretty good reason very FEW people hike to Pioneer Cabin from Johnstone Creek. It is ridiculously hard, long and fairly shadeless.

It was quite an adventure to say the least. Hiking to Pioneer Cabin is slightly daunting from Corral Creek. However, hiking to Pioneer Cabin from Johnston Creek straight up for 6.5 miles in 80+ degree muggy weather with no cloud cover is recipe for so much boob sweat (yes, that really happens), a fairly gross stinging nettle outbreak, ridiculously sore and shaky legs, hot spots on your feet, a Maude Pod that debatably had a slight anxiety/heat attack about 5 miles in, showing off our pure athleticism in jumping photos and that feeling you get when you could eat an elephant. We also ate our pride and called my mom (huge thank you!) from the top, since one perk of being at 9,000 feet is you have cell service, to come and pick us up from Corral Creek. Only hiking 3.5 miles (and 2,500 feet) down versus 6.5 miles (and 2,800 feet) down was worth being bailed out and the hour shuttle ride. No shame. But it was all still worth it. While we might not be ready to do it again tomorrow, on the right day, and even on the wrong day, it is a very worthy Idaho hike and of course, a must do!

Here is a look (please excuse it if we look like the hot messes that we felt like)…

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before we went straight up a peak

before we went straight up a peak

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posing in the flowers

posing in the lupine

waterfalls are pretty rare in idaho

waterfalls are pretty rare in idaho so we were pretty stoked on this one

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lupine meadows

lupine meadows

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first view of the pioneers

first spectacular view of the pioneers

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where things started to get pretty sketchy...

where things started to get pretty sketchy…

we made it!

we made it!

much needed picnic - nothing tastes better than half a wheel of brie at 9000 feet

much needed picnic – nothing tastes better than half a wheel of brie at 9000 feet

picnic view

picnic view

just a bit of stinging nettle...

just a bit of stinging nettle…so attractive

so hot, so tired - i felt like a horrible mom

so hot, so tired – i felt like a horrible mom

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“the higher you get, the higher you get”

jumping photo? fail (too good not to share)

jumping photo? fail (too good or bad depending on how you look at it not to share)

fail #2

fail #2

fail #3

fail #3

fail #4

fail #4 = go home

ready to hustle down!

ready to hustle down!

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the shuttle back out east fork - beautiful cloudy view of hindman peak

the shuttle back out east fork – beautiful cloudy view of the pioneers

krista and taylor

brass blossom

weekend love it – west coast, best coast, option B & love birds

Summer is officially full force in Idaho. Like most Summers this Summer is off to a busy start with many more plans in the works. I am loving every minute of the sunniness, hotness and busyness and having been in three states in the last couple of weeks, I cant wait to add a few more travels on in upcoming weeks!

Here is what I have been loving all over the west!

1. summer vacation. I spent this past week on a family vacation. It was a wonderful week full of love, sun and a bit (aka a lot) of yard work. My cousin, who was in Wyoming from the very far away state of New York, and I had some wonderful bonding time raking, sunning, handstanding and trying to get in a daily workout. But in true vacation form, we balanced all that work with enough frozen yogurt (some Chocolate, Brownie Ball concoction) for an army. It was a perfectly relaxing week and much needed visit!

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summer running

summer running

standard champion pose

standard champion pose

heaven

heaven

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2. amazing friends & love. Since I was only a hot minute (slash 3.5 hours) away from Boulder, Colorado I was lucky enough to overlap my vacation with one of my dear friend’s engagement parties. This lady is one of the most beautiful people that I know, both inside and out. She has the most wonderful smile that her soul literally shines through. Her man friend isn’t half bad either and they have been sporting their love since Middle School. That’s true love right there people. Congrats Bri and Luke!

And to match such a beautiful couple, the engagement party was spectacular. The décor, the drinks, the food, the fairy lights and the company was amazing. An encompassing look below since I couldn’t only take a few pictures. I topped off my evening with a short night in Boulder with my hilarious and always loving cousin. We had margs at the rio and breakfast at the buff. Literally, all my favorite people, places and food/drinks in less than 24 hours. I think Boulder is the city my soul just may belong in…

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cutest little owl wine stopper for an owl loving girl

cutest little owl wine stopper for an owl loving girl

love these two!

love these two!

love birds <3

love birds ❤

this table was seriously just the cutest

this table was seriously just the cutest

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i ate this handful x a billion

i ate this handful x a billion

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bubbles, sunsets and pretty friends

bubbles, sunsets and pretty friends

best breakfast ever

best breakfast ever

much needed next morning chai

much needed next morning chai

nom nom nom

nom nom nom

some needed greens for the drive home

some needed greens for the drive home

3. kick the shit out of option B. I became a Sheryl Sandberg devotee, admirer and slight stalking after reading “Lean In”. I highly recommend this book (regardless of your gender) as I think that everyone could learn from Sandberg’s wisdom and life, business, sitting at the table advice. I felt that I resonated with most everything in her book and had a bit of an epiphany about being called “bossy” my entire life…

Sandberg’s husband recently passed away suddenly and after a 30 days mourning period of Sheloshim, she shared quite possible the most heartfelt and beautiful reflection to the world on Facebook. And once again, Sandberg’s words deeply resonated with me. Her grit, openness and ability to feel and express her feelings is beautiful. Her letter is a must read for a bit of a reminder of all that life can be (you should likely grab a tissue or two).

Here are my top three take-aways from Sandberg’s letter:

a. “I have learned that I never really knew what to say to others in need. I think I got this all wrong before; I tried to assure people that it would be okay, thinking that hope was the most comforting thing I could offer.”

b. “I have learned that resilience can be learned…Personalization—realizing it is not my fault. He told me to ban the word “sorry.” To tell myself over and over, This is not my fault. Permanence—remembering that I won’t feel like this forever. This will get better. Pervasiveness—this does not have to affect every area of my life; the ability to compartmentalize is healthy.”

c. “Option A is not available. So let’s just kick the shit out of option B.”

4. pretty cards. Since I have recently had quite a bit to celebrate (and more to come!), I have needed several cards, whether they are for thank yous, congratulations or just sending a bit of love. Willow Papery has some of the prettiest cards and I have just been loving sending a bit of snail mail.

how adorable is the antler card?!

how adorable is the antler card?!

5. goats on a tramp. If this doesn’t make you smile, nothing will. After watching this video I have concluded we need a trampoline for our goats and “sproinging” might be my favorite new word ever…

6. pioneer cabin. I convinced Krista that we should summit to Pioneer Cabin from Johnstone Creek this weekend. We have made it an annual hike the past three years so in an effort to switch things up we took another route. And while the Johnstone Creek access to Pioneer Cabin is spectacularly scenic with abundant wildflowers, a waterfall and spectacular views of the Pioneer Mountains, it is steep, long and hotter than Hades in 80+ degrees. Thank god there is an incredible view at the top and we brought a picnic (which consisted mostly of Brie) or we likely would not have made it. It was definitely an adventure (post to come)!

"the higher you get, the higher you get"

“the higher you get, the higher you get”

me & my main squeeze

me & my main squeeze

first view of the pioneers

7. wildflowers & flower crowns. We have written about it several times but the wildflowers in Idaho are just so spectacular. Literally everything is in full bloom (including my allergies) right now. This includes my favorite wildflower, the sego lily (which just so happens to be the state flower of Utah if you were wondering). We have gone on several scampers behind our house to get the dogs a bit of exercise and enjoy the spectacular flowers.

Miss Maude Pod and I also cheered on the boy last week while he was dominating in softball. I literally know negative rules about softball and likely have even less hand-eye-coordination so in my opinion pretty much everyone dominates at the sport…on a side note: it’s really nice to see all the couples that get to play softball together – I’m still waiting on my invite. So while the boy played, Miss Maude Pod and I sat in the grass, made flower crowns and ate a picnic dinner all while sorta watching the game. Romantic date for two. Check.

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crazy lady

crazy lady

pretty sego lilies

pretty sego lilies

softball picnic

softball picnic

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flower crown love

flower crown love

all star

all star

Cheers to wonderful and warm week celebrating America! Be safe!

taylor brass

brass blossom

weekend love it – eight years, lots of love, summer adventures & kisses

It is officially Summer and I am absolutely loving it. I love the sun, the warmth, the pool days, the tan and the light. To make it even better, the boy and I celebrated a recent big milestone with a fantastic day full of fun Idaho activities and I am lucky enough to be on vacation this week with some fabulous family. So cheers to many more weeks of enjoying the summer sunshine!

1. 8 years. This past weekend the boy and I celebrated eight years of dating. While it has definitely been one of the more testing years of our lives, it has been a year that continually brings us all back to the fact that love (in any and every form), above all else, is what matters. It seems that as life just keeps getting faster and faster and more technologically obsessed, that basic human connection is what actually keeps us alive. So to celebrate, the boy, Miss Maude Pod and I went on an Idaho adventure.

We went on a meandering 11-mile hike to Hell Roaring Lake and enjoyed a picnic, some pictures and a Maude Pod swim or two. We then enjoyed a beer or two at Bridge Street Grill followed by a fantastic evening on Redfish Lake with some incredible friends. Since we played a bit longer than we expected, we ended up eating a bag of Pirate Booty while cooking Annie’s Mac & Cheese for dinner at 10:00 that evening. We were sun burned, bug bitten and starving but it was well worth every second. Nothing says a fantastic and equally romantic day than a box of mac & cheese for a late night dinner. While we were meandering through the woods that day with Maude Pod, the boy told me that he couldn’t think of a more perfect way to spend the day. And I couldn’t have agreed more. It was just us and a sunny day with endless possibilities ahead. It was definitely one of those days when I relished in sweating the small things.

love bugs <3

love bugs ❤ (we happened to find a brilliant photographer along the trail, thank you!)

miss maude pod being such a champion

miss maude pod being a champion

his & hers (aka the boy carried everything...)

his & hers (aka the boy carried everything…)

2. just breathe. Earlier this year a very wise woman, friend and confidant told me that “your feelings are real because you are feeling them.” While this might just seem trivial and basic, her wisdom just hit me profoundly. Needless to say I have had a lot of feelings this year. And at times I thought I was quite possibly crazy for some of my feelings that I was feeling. But this friend helped me in my “grieving” process quite possible more than anything else did with her saying. Because it just means that it’s okay. It’s okay to have feelings and it’s okay whatever they are. Because the fact that they are yours means they are real.

I think that girls quite often get stereotyped for being sensitive or having too many feelings, both of which have negative connotations. When Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls shared this video it reminded me of the fact that “your feelings are real because you are feeling them.” I know that I would (and maybe most everyone would, female or not) do better to just feel my feelings, regardless of what they are and just breathe. And like I was, don’t be ashamed or feel like you are crazy for them, because they are real and they are yours and they deserve to be felt.

3. zinc. Last week Krista and I had a very spontaneous girls night with our friend Rachel. It already seems like the Summer season is in full force with everyone having so many plans so we just made a last minute dinner happen. We went to Zinc, since Rachel and I had never been, and it was fantastic. Everything seemed garden fresh all while being comforting at the same time. And if dinner and the company wasn’t fantastic enough, we discovered the most EPIC camper trailer outside after dinner that we obviously had to take a picture with. I truly admire the individual who totes it along for adventures.

zinc menu - you can't go wrong

zinc menu – you can’t go wrong

salads to share

salads to share

the most incredible flatbread - avocado, cheese & radish

the most incredible flatbread – avocado, cheese & radish

fried chicken - comfort at it's finest

fried chicken – comfort at it’s finest

my favorite lady friends

my favorite lady friends

cutest little notebook i received from rachel

the cutest little notebook i received from rachel – so happy it has my initials as someone already tried to “borrow” it

4. cake. The other weekend I set out to make a raspberry-rhubarb “right-side-up” cake. Essentially I had big ideas of a beautiful layer of cake with a layer of fruit compote on the bottom. Turns out my cake had bigger plans for me and turned itself into an “upside-down” cake while it baked. Regardless of what side up it was, it turned out beautifully and true to rhubarb form, was delicious! Pseudo-recipe coming soon.

IMG_2073

IMG_2077

5. the best way to start a week. Krista told me last weekend that the lupine were blooming on Proctor. I literally had instant FOMO (I thank my sorority days for this (Urban Dictionary) vocabulary word). I am such a sucker for when the wildflowers bloom in Idaho. The colors, the smell (even though it leaves me with the runniest nose…so attractive) and the potential Instagram worthiness of the views is just spectacular. So in order to fit in a quick hike on Proctor before I left for the week, both Krista and Rachel joined me for an early, Monday morning hike. Talk about great friends and the perfect way to start a week. We are thinking that this might just become a much needed ritual…

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the biggest mushroom EVER (zoe for perspective)

the biggest mushroom EVER (zoe for perspective)

pretty, pretty lupine

pretty, pretty lupine

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a handstand & a view

a handstand & a view

IMG_2386

IMG_2388

6. coocoo for lulu. I recently received two adorable, lust-worthy Lululemon bras from the boy. While he had a bit of direction, he did a fantastic job (like always). While sports bras may not be the most attractive anniversary gift (if you know what I mean…), the boy truly knows the way to my heart. I love Lulu and pretty much think it’s appropriate for almost any and every occasion. Tip for all the man-boys out there, you can never go wrong with Lululemon. Here are the two bras that I will be sporting all summer long.

free to be *wild bra in jazzy white gator green/white/gator green

free to be *wild bra in jazzy white gator green/white/gator green

true self bra in grapefruit/peach fuzz

true self bra in grapefruit/peach fuzz

7. juice. Maybe it’s the summer heat (which I completely adore) or maybe it’s the death cold that I unsuccessfully battled off for weeks and is now full blown and making my whole face hurt but I have just been loving fresh pressed juice. While not the most budget friendly obsession, my body and my mind have definitely been loving the fix. When I am able to sneak away midday for a hot second, I have been getting a fresh pressed “green” juice from Nourish Me that absolutely kicks my fix.

That was until my mom and I stopped by my ever so generous and healthy aunt’s house on our way out of town and she gave us each a to-go juice. Now I wont give away her secret ingredients but it was honestly the best fresh pressed juice I have ever had and I have been craving it since. Getting a juicer, and saying goodbye to my beast of a “Magic Bullet,” is now definitely on my radar.

green juice

the most delicious concoction there ever was

the most delicious concoction there ever was

8. goat kisses. Goat kisses are just about as far up in my book as pugs are. They are fantastic, adorable, much needed and will fill your soul with love, laughter and just plain happiness. There is not much else you need in life.

kisses!

kisses!

Cheers to a sunny week!

taylor brass

brass blossom

weekend love it — morels, mccall, babes and a baby!

1. i left my heart in san francisco and a baby on the way: There are so many people that I love in San Francisco, and there’s about to be one more! I had such a great time visiting my cousin to celebrate her baby on the way, due at the end of June. She is one of the most beautiful people I know, inside and out, and I can’t wait to meet her daughter or son. We enjoyed lots of great food, and some solid entertainment, but my favorite part was helping her and her fiancee continue to set up their baby nursery. What a lucky kiddo! I truly love this city and was sure I’d live in the Bay Area again at some point in my life. Never say never, I guess!

the most adorable gray and white gender neutral baby nursery, complete with a goodnight moon PB Baby gift from my mom

the most adorable gray and white gender neutral baby nursery, complete with a goodnight moon PB Baby gift from my mom

some of my very favs

some of my very faves

scissors — the most logical tool to cut pizza at amazing restaurant A 16

scissors — the most logical tool to cut pizza at amazing restaurant A 16

I made everyone go on a walk by the water #idahoislandlocked

I made everyone go on a walk by the water #idahoislandlocked

incredible brunch cocktail

incredible brunch cocktail

non-alcoholic (thank goodness) shot of watermelon water to kick off the morning

non-alcoholic (thank goodness) shot of watermelon water to kick off the morning

super cool wall display at a la urbana brunch the following morning

super cool wall display at a la urbana brunch the following morning

dad-to-be carter amped on the baby gifts

dad-to-be carter amped on the baby gifts

beautifully wrapped presemt

beautifully wrapped presemt

j-mills

j-mills

cutest pregnant lady ever. I cannot wait for an occasion worthy of these balloons

cutest pregnant lady ever. I cannot wait for an occasion worthy of these balloons

BABY!

BABY!

always a sucker for a chalkboard sign

always a sucker for a chalkboard sign

incredible photo/balloon display that I need to replicate...and an incredible view

incredible photo/balloon display that I need to replicate…and an incredible view

cheers to baby wigell

cheers to baby wigell

impromptu early birthday breakfast for my dear cousin laura

impromptu early birthday breakfast for my dear cousin laura

adorable baby gifts from GAP

adorable baby gifts from GAP

erica asked me to be her bridesmaid, and I couldn't be more excited to stand by her side!

erica asked me to be her bridesmaid, and I couldn’t be more excited to stand by her side!

2. heather mcdonald: It’s a really good thing I don’t have a weak bladder, or I probably would have peed my pants a couple weekends ago. The boy’s amazing sister had the great idea to go see Heather McDonald at Cobb’s Comedy Club in San Francisco. You may recognize her from Chelsea Lately, one of my favorite shows from college. I had never seen a live comedy show, and I can’t wait to see another one after this great experience. Here’s a clip of her standup, which I found to be incredibly relatable and hysterical:

3. mccall is for (morel) lovers: Whether it’s steelhead, grouse, or mushrooms, the boy might have a slightly obsessive personality. At least it mostly applies to outdoor activities? We have been on the hunt for morel mushrooms — a.k.a. the only mushroom I enjoy eating — for two years now. The mythical morel was finally found in McCall, and with a strangely wet spring, they’re all over Sun Valley as well. More to come on this adventure (not for the faint of heart) in an upcoming “beginner’s guide to morel hunting” (although I still have no idea what the f I am doing). Otherwise, McCall was a great escape and excuse to visit with his parents, although neither was feeling well. McCall is further proof that Idaho is an incredibly beautiful state, and one I feel lucky to live in. Can’t wait to head back to McCall for a couple exciting weddings this summer!

I enjoyed the "Idaho Gold" at the Salmon River Brewery, which is delicious also gluten reduced!

I enjoyed the “Idaho Gold” at the Salmon River Brewery, which is delicious also gluten reduced!

the first morel discovery — thank god!

the first morel discovery — thank god!

look at this little guy! precious

look at this little guy! precious

double morel

double morel

pars ready for the hunt

pars ready for the hunt

cleaned up and out for a drink at the shore lodge

cleaned up and out for a drink at the shore lodge

the first day's loot

the first day’s loot

4. the start of wedding season: I will attend the first of six summer weddings on Saturday, and it’s certainly inspired my wedding pinterest board (which will remain private…). Here are a couple of my favorite finds of the week that make me swoon just a little bit, along with what I thought was a nice take on finding the right ring.

seen as stylemepretty.com

seen as stylemepretty.com

can't take credit for this find — taylor pinned this on our brass blossom pinterest. Check it out!

can’t take credit for this find — taylor pinned this on our brass blossom pinterest. Check it out!

seen as stylemepretty.com

seen as stylemepretty.com

love the texture of this bouquet, also from stylemepretty

love the texture of this bouquet, also from stylemepretty

5. good reads: Taylor and I have both mentioned this book, but seriously, read it. Pulitzer Prize winning All the Light We Cannot See is the best book I have read in years, and I love that author Anthony Doerr is from Boise, Idaho. Doerr will also speak at the Sun Valley Writer’s Conference  in July, which I will sadly miss.

all the light we cannot see

My new “rip-through” read is #1 New York Times bestseller The Girl on the Train. I cannot put it down. Pick it up if you haven’t already!

6. the marten stuffer: Welcome to “The Onion” of Sun Valley. The clever and anonymous writers of satirical site The Marten Stuffer are keeping me laughing. Some of my favorite articles include “First Lite Yoga Pants Feature New ‘Camel Toe Eraser’ Technology,” “Wood River Valley Mating Inequality Baffles Researchers,” and “Valley White Stress at All Time High,” just to name a few…They’re lol funny and incredible accurate in many ways.

7. the start of wildflowers: I went on a quick hike with my friend Rachel on Tuesday, and the wildflowers were incredible! Nothing’s better than wildflower season.

wildflowers

wildflowers

wildflowers

wildflowers

 

Have a great week!

cheers krista

 

brass blossom

weekend love it — spring fever

Looking back on my photos, I realized how great the last couple of weeks have been. They’ve been filled with some unique and first experiences, lots of sunshine and time outdoors. Here’s a look!

1. lobster feed: I had a bad experience with a crab when I was in preschool. That sounds incredibly wrong, but it’s true — we spent the day watching and studying a cuddly crab friend (or as cuddly as crabs can be) at my preschool in California. We oohed and ahhed at how it walked sideways, how it never got close enough to pinch our fingers and toes. My mom bought and brought the crab friend home, and as I was helping her in the kitchen, next thing I knew, little crab was dropped into a pot of boiling water, bobbed back up bright red, and I cried. I’ve been scarred ever since.

Based on this background, I’ve been hesitant around shellfish and also just maybe don’t like it. However, when we were recently invited to a lobster feed, I couldn’t turn it down. It was a pretty intense reintroduction to shellfish, but I had to get my hands dirty, and I found out that lobster is pretty tasty. Thanks to Maggie and Riley for being the lobster feed masters and for such a great (re)introduction! Can’t wait to do it again.

taylor getting a lobster surprise

taylor getting a lobster surprise

popsicles for dessert!

popsicles for dessert!

they clearly knew what they were doing...

they clearly knew what they were doing…maggie giving a tutorial

chef riley with a lot of lobster

chef riley with a lot of lobster

the boys

the boys

yikes

yikes

they're really strange, beautiful animals

they’re really strange, beautiful animals

2. birthday bbq: I’ve been so looking forward to utilizing our awesome backyard for occasions just like the birthday party we threw for our dear friends, and adorable couple, Tori and Cody. We played yard games (some more “heavily” than others), feasted on delicious bbq fare, and had an all-around great time. Happy birthday, Cody and Tori!

so excited to have mia back and in my backyard!

so excited to have mia back and in my backyard!

beautiful cupcakes by taylor

beautiful cupcakes by taylor

the birthday couple

the birthday couple

backyard bbq

summer decor

summer decor

3. mother’s day and morel hunt fail: I love living in the same town as my lovely mother. She’s a pretty incredible lady, and she has taught me many lessons, in sickness and in health. We had a great mother’s day eating at our favorite restaurant, Cristina’s, and visiting Taylor’s adorable little baby goats, Lemon, Farrah, and Zoro. Chase and I rounded out the day with a (failed) morel hunt. Despite the lack of gathering, it was a beautiful day for an adventure out a dirt road and some romping around the woods.

mom and chase

mom and chase

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a photo break

a photo break

bottle feeding lemon

bottle feeding lemon

mom loving it

mom loving it

zoro was such a little love

zoro is such a little love

mama tay

mama tay

goats!

goats!

exploring some recent "burn"

exploring some recent “burn”

a pretty bunch of flores from cha-se

a pretty bunch of flores that cha-se picked for me

zoe filthy and loving it

zoe

some unexpected wildflowers

some unexpected wildflowers

4. this article on “dadbod”: While I have to admit that I laugh hysterically every time I see Seth Rogen or Will Ferrell without a shirt on (“we’re going streaking!”), this article titled “‘Dad Bod is a Sexist Atrocity” by Bryan Moylan is a worthy read… A criticism to an article by Clemson University student Mackenzie Pearson, Moylan states, “There are people who enjoy the Dad Bod for its own aesthetic value, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Having a bit of cushion makes a guy look like he has better things to worry about than his appearance and isn’t so prissy that he only cares about the way his triceps look in a tank top. That just shows you what our society things about the intrinsic values of men versus women. If caring about one’s appearance is shallow, those are qualities that women should assume and men should assay.”

Thank you to my favorite news source, The Skimm, for this read!

5. sexy man split!: I was one of those people who headed into the theater with a girlfriend to see this movie with little to no expectations. We were literally cheering in our seats and ready to watch it all again by the end. I cannot contain my excitement for Pitch Perfect 2!!!

6. nice set of hooters you got there: Even the Community School campus has been feeling the Mother’s Day spirit this week. During spring break, a great horned owl mama built her nest in a pine tree right on campus. She had two hatchlings a few weeks ago, and these furry little friends are adorable and growing quickly. It’s so cool to walk by the nest tree to see them testing their limits on lower and higher branches. Pretty incredible animals! Gotta love Idaho for reasons like this.

adorable baby owls with mama

adorable baby owls with mama, photo taken by science teacher Bob Polk

baby owl getting bigger

baby owl getting bigger, photo taken by science teacher Bob Polk

my own subpar iPhone photo taken walking out of work

my own subpar iPhone photo taken walking out of work

7. new shoes: I fell for it. I finally suckered in to one of those Facebook ads that was “suggested for me.” Well, technically, I got an email from Hautelook, a Nordstrom company, and I certainly trust Nordstrom, so then I clicked on an ad. I ordered three pairs and kept two, both of which I absolutely love. The price point is great, the shoes are comfortable, and the materials are nice.

the natasha bootie in taupe. i am currently on the waitlist for the black ones

the natasha bootie in taupe. i am currently on the waitlist for the black ones

red shoes aren't exactly practical, but these are worth it.

red shoes aren’t exactly practical, but these are worth it.

8. true detective: As I type, we are watching True Detective. I am hooked. It’s spooky, smart, dark, and darkly funny. Check it out.

9. new jewels: A big thank you (although not from my bank account) to Laura for hosting a super fun stella and dot party. I purchased some great new pieces, and I’ve already worn all of them since I got them on Friday!

love both bracelets with my michael kors watch

love both bracelets with my michael kors watch

chevron cuff bracelet

chevron cuff bracelet

renegade cluster bracelet

renegade cluster bracelet

eva ear jacket

eva ear jacket

bonus necklace from my level of spending :) that I love!

bonus necklace from my level of spending 🙂 that I love!

Have a great week!

cheers krista

 

brass blossom

weekend love it — wildflowers, fútbol and memories

It was a bit of a strange week for me as I was down with a stomach bug for the majority of it. However, being sick always makes you appreciate the small things — like how comforting a bowl of chicken noodle soup is, or how amazing season four of Pretty Little Liars on Netflix is for helping you pass the feverish time…solo…wrapped in four blankets…with a space heater blasting at you.

Here are the things that I’ve loved this past week:

1. The World Cup

Besides Oregon athletics (Go Ducks!), I am far from enthusiastic about watching sports on television. The fact that playoffs often include series of seven games against the same freaking team is enough to make me clinical. I tolerate the games because it brings the boy so much joy, but frankly, watching sports stresses me out. Too much pressure. The stakes are too high. I’d rather check out with something totally mindless after nine hours of work.

The one exception to this feeling — The World Cup. Attending a World Cup is at the very top of my bucket list. Soccer has been my sport of choice since I was about seven years old, and I love watching the games in Brazil.

It kills me that I’ll be in a work conference during the USA’s opener vs. Ghana, but I really believe that anything can happen. It’s going to be a great month!

Check out this NY Times article titled “How We Play the Game.” Worth a read. And if you haven’t seen this Beats “The Game Before the Game” video without getting the chills — no matter if you understand what “offsides” is — there’s something wrong with you:

2. Wildflower Walks

One of the best parts about hiking during an Idaho June is the wildflowers. They come in all shapes, sizes and colors, and they make maintaining your heart rate really difficult…it’s so hard not to take a photo of every pretty blossom you happen upon! Here are a couple of shots from a recent hike up Proctor with Taylor. I’m sure there will be more to come!

flax

flax

my favorite color combo for lupine

my favorite color combo for lupine

lupine for days!

lupine for days!

overgrown and lovely

overgrown and lovely

pops of purple

pops of purple

what are these called again, Abbey? :)

balsamroot

tiny yellow blooms

tiny yellow blooms with a stowaway insect friend

blue blossoms so tiny, they were impossible to photograph

blue blossoms so tiny, they were impossible to photograph

fuzzy "caterpillars"

fuzzy “caterpillars”

beautiful bunch

beautiful bunch

3. Celebrating the men in my life

This week marked my four year anniversary with the boy, and it also brought Father’s Day. Father’s Day is always a bit melancholy for me as I lost my father to a sudden heart attack when I was twelve. I miss him every day — he was and is the best dad a girl could ask for. He is also literally and figuratively everywhere. I still meet strangers who knew him and have a hilarious story to share. He is in the rivers, the mountains, and in everything I do and everywhere I go. I carry him in my heart.

I particularly feel his presence — in a wonderful way — each time I hike Proctor. About a year after he passed, my mom and some friends created  a large cairn at the summit of the hike, which looks over the valley and offers a great view of Baldy. The cairn has grown and morphed over the years, and I like to think it brings solace to many for many different reasons. I always add a rock, flower, or bloom, and say a little hello. It also marks the place where my cousin said “yes” to her husband’s proposal.

It was sort of an accident that Taylor and I agreed to hike Proctor on Father’s Day, but I’m so glad we did.

I firmly believe that when a door closes, a window opens. I met my boyfriend just months after my dad passed away. Our parents were ski bums together in Sun Valley. He was wearing shorts in the middle of winter to prove he could, and we ate enchiladas and watched Shrek. Thirteen years later, after nine years of close friendship, we are celebrating four years together. He was my window, and I am so thankful to have him in my life…and that he has great taste in flowers. 🙂

flowers for our fourth

flowers for our fourth

four years ago in Florence

four years ago in Florence

dad

dad

happy family

happy family

incredible view

incredible view

my Father's Day addition to the cairn

my Father’s Day addition to the cairn

cheers krista

brass blossom