Visiting Seattle

June 16th, 2016 2 Comments

A couple weeks ago we decided that the three of us needed a little break from life. So we escaped to Seattle for the weekend.

Only a four hour drive from our house… we loaded up the trailer on Thursday afternoon and hit the road.

It was exactly what we needed.

We went up the Space Needle.

Space Needle

We spent some time at the Seattle Aquarium.

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We rode the Giant Wheel.

The Big Wheel

We walked through Pike Place Market where of course we stopped to see the fish throwers.

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We even let Zoie put her mark on the Famous Seattle Gum Wall.

Gum Wall

All in all we had a wonderful time together. It was exactly what we needed to unwind from the crazy and sad that we were feeling the previous week.
We had a great time showing Zoie all the fun things there are to see in our great state of Washington.

Can’t wait for our next adventure!

Dropping off Our Navy Girl

May 20th, 2016 5 Comments

Now that we’ve survived the last several days after dropping her off… even though there were a few times there when we thought we wouldn’t… I am ready to share everything about Ari’s drop off for boot camp.

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We are beyond proud of our oldest daughter, Ariana, and her choice to join the United States Navy. Though it is something we’ve been speaking to her about for several years, we had thought the possibility was no longer an option for her. Then one day back in December, we got the call. For her, the time was right. She no longer wanted to see herself stuck in a place where she was given very few options to better her future.

She wanted a better life and she took the first steps to doing so. All on her own. The decision was hers and she made it without any persuasion. Within the next week she was all signed up, tested in, and had made her choice of future profession as a future Air Crewman with the United States Navy. A very ambitious choice, but I know this girl, and she is capable of anything.

The last five months have flown by, and last Sunday the time finally came for us to hit the road, head to meet her recruiter, and drop her off at MEPS. Thats the Military Entrance Processing Station. Who knew there was such a place? Not me. We’re learning so much!

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After spending Monday saying her goodbyes and spending her last hours with family, Tuesday morning had finally arrived. Our last day (insert about to cry face here). We met Ariana at the MEPS office to watch her final swearing in. It was a bittersweet event. Very short and to the point. Seriously though… we couldn’t be any more proud!

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Later that morning, we met Ari at the airport. For our final goodbye.

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This has been really hard on our family. I never thought I would feel so… sad… I really miss her. It’s strange not having her around the house. The basement has been really quiet, Zoie asks for her all day long, and at least once an hour we ask each other, “What do you think Ari’s doing right now?”

Like right now… What do you think Ari’s doing right now? As you read this? Our usual guesses are sleeping, eating, or getting yelled at. lol

That drop off was one of the hardest things we’ve ever done. Zach and I have been through a lot in the last thirteen years. We’ve certainly had our ups and downs as no ones life is perfect. But there is only one other time in all those years that I have seen my husband cry, and that was the day that his dad passed away. To see him cry after dropping off his baby girl at the airport was… unexplainable.

The love he has for his kids is an amazing thing, to let one of them fly from the nest, to let her go and do something so big and selfless was not something he could have prepared himself for.

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I think the hardest part of letting her go is the lack of communication. We’ve gone from seeing her every day and speaking to her all day long, to nothing. Just nothing. I am constantly wondering what she is doing. How she is doing. How she is feeling. I know she can do this. I know she is more than capable. She can do anything she sets her mind to. She is so strong! She is beyond brave! It’s the not knowing exactly where she is and what she is doing that is so hard. All day long I want to send her encouragement, but we can’t. So we send all of our positive vibes her way. I sure hope she can feel them.

Then we count down the days til graduation…

Do me a favor? Send some positive vibes and encouragement to her for me?

A Message to the Selfish

May 19th, 2016 4 Comments

I want to tell you a few things about me. I tend to have strong morals and opinions on certain things that affect me, my family, and those that I love. I have a big heart and there is room for a lot of love in it. I no longer have room in my heart or my life for haters, narcissists, and selfish bitches.

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I more often than not get myself into trouble and alienate people for speaking my mind or my opinions. The selfish and the narcissists tend to not like the opinions of others. They don’t like that which they cannot control.  In my short time in this life, I’ve found that there are a lot of people don’t like when others think differently than they do. Does that mean that I shouldn’t be allowed to share my thoughts? Hell no! I am who I am and they are my thoughts and feelings. If you don’t share them I am not going to berate you for it… so why do so many feel it is ok to do that to me?

Why should I have to swallow my hurt feelings for the fear that if by telling someone they will ‘unfriend’ me if they don’t agree? I don’t think I should. If wouldn’t expect differently from anyone else. If I hurt someone’s feelings, I would like to know about it. If we have a differing opinion, lets agree to disagree and move on to another subject. I’m not going to be treated badly for not believing the same or for not having the exact thoughts as others.

That doesn’t even include the nasty people that are in your life solely for the benefit of themselves. I don’t need people in my life that are here only to obtain something from me, whether that be things done for them or even things purchased for them. I have a giving heart and am more than happy to do things for people that appreciate it. True friends aren’t here for things, they are here for love and friendship and I welcome you with open arms.

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So this is to all the haters out there. The ones that think it’s okay to make people feel bad for thinking differently than you. F-You!
I am in control of my life, my feelings, and my heart. You want in that, then don’t be an ass hole. I will no longer allow you to dictate my feelings. I will no longer allow you to come into my life and my heart only because it benefits you in some way. I don’t need that kind of drama in my life. If you are here only because you want something from me and plan to cut and run as soon as you get what you need? Stay away, you are not welcome.

It is up to me to decide whether or not to allow people into my life and my heart, and the toxic haters are no longer welcome. I am living my life for me, for my happiness. If it is true friendship or love that you want, please come on over. If you have an agenda, then stay the F away. I don’t need you. You can keep your fake smiles and false promises and stick them where the sun doesn’t shine.

I am done being controlled by the selfish wants and needs of others.

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I am ready to be me and not be ashamed of it. I am ready to keep my heart whole. I am ready to only let in the good. The rest is no longer welcome.

Take Me Hiking ~ Dishman Hills Natural Area

April 27th, 2016 0 Comments

We have had some incredibly warm weather here the last couple weeks.
Like, record breaking warm. It’s insane! And we la-la-LOVE it!

We have been enjoying every ounce of the unusual sunshine and spending as much time as we can in the great outdoors. Normally this takes us to our front yard to play soccer or baseball with Zoie in the evenings, but the other day, we found some time… during the day (which never happens)… to sneak out to the valley and find a place to hike.

There aren’t a lot of days that give us a few free hours before 5pm, let alone more than one of us, and at the same time… So we took advantage like nobody’s business, made the quick drive out to the valley and we were at the Dishman Hills Natural Area around lunch time.

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Bonus? Parking is FREE!! Can’t beat a free outing with your family and getting in a little exercise to boot. So, with our trusty pack to hold our water and sandwiches, we hit the trail.

It was beautiful! Amazing scenery in every direction, rocky hills to navigate, small lakes and streams, and a stunning number of wild flowers to enjoy.

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In total, we hiked about 3 miles, and Zoie did an amazing job, hiking at least 2 of the miles all by herself. Not to shabby for her little legs.

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We hope to get back out there in a week or so to hike the entire route.
Hopefully this weather holds out a bit longer.

Target Practice

April 1st, 2016 1 Comment

“Kids who are taught about guns, don’t feel the need to sneak around and play with them.”

I believe this is absolutely, one hundred percent true!

My dad taught me gun safety when I was very young.
This is also true for my husband with his father.
Guns are not a part of our every day life, but we do have them in our house.

Zach and I both believe that kids cannot be sheltered from guns, whether you agree or not, they are a part of our culture and society. Both good and bad. Why let your kids learn about something so critical from television shows and video games? I feel it is important to teach your kids about gun safety so they are not curious and decide to figure things out on their own. That is where accidents happen.

The other day we got the BB Gun out to go over a few basics with Zoie.
Once we covered (in detail) the safety of carrying and holding a gun, target practice began.

Zoie and Mama

There is nothing better or more fun to shoot at than a can.
But since we just took the recycling in, all I had was a Finding Dory cereal box from Costco. Sorry Dory.

Dory Target

Zoie had a great time trying to line up her sights.
Her aim isn’t too bad either, that dead center shot at Dory was hers.

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Next time we’ll head to the woods and learn to shoot a 22. She’ll love that!

Mama Zoie

 

Travel Tuesday ~ Bend, Oregon

March 15th, 2016 10 Comments

The sun has been shining for a couple weeks here now… off and on anyway… and for us, that means it’s time to get the trailer out and start this years’ new adventures.

We recently made our first voyage out of town and drove the fifth wheel about seven hours from home, down to the middle of Oregon.

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Where we Stayed:

We chose a fantastic little RV Resort on the south side of Bend, called Crown Ville RV Resort. The next time you are in or around Bend and need a place to park for the night, this place was perfect. Easy to get in and out of, lots of space to park and the best part? They had a fenced, off-leash dog area, which was perfect since we were traveling with Ziva this time. I loved it’s beautiful park-like setting in the trees, but it was still close to town.

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The entire weekend was spent just hanging out as a family. Something we’ve been needing. We enjoyed hiking, long walks around the park by the river, and meeting new friends at the dog park.

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There was lots of eating at local pubs, and tasting the local beers. Did you know there are more than 30 breweries in the Bend area? I didn’t. But I know now… so much great beer and food to try.
We love trying all things local when we travel.

Where we Ate:

The Deschutes Brewery. The first brewery in Bend, that started in 1988.  They don’t just have beer, they also make root beer for kids. As a mom it makes me incredibly happy when a business shows you that your kids are welcome by offering something special just for them. I love that!
Our favorite beers were The Pinedrops IPA, The Inversion IPA, and the Smoked Gose Sour. If you haven’t tried a sour beer it is a real treat. Unlike anything I’ve ever had before. Some of these are available in stores so check out your local grocer.

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10 Barrel Brewing Co. This little spot on the west end of town had a delicious pizza menu. Great beers at great prices. Well worth the last minute stop we made.

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Bend Mountain Coffee.  Here  we tried some delicious coffee and local treats. I like a good Macchiato and these guys know how to make a great shot of espresso.

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The rest of our weekend was spent doing a whole lot of nothing.
We need weekends like that once in a while!
It feels so good to get away from work and the hustle and bustle of home and just unplug for a few days.

Can’t wait til our next visit to beautiful Bend, Oregon.
There is so much exploring we could have done had the weather been better. I know we could spend weeks here but we only had a few days this time around.

Now that Spring is finally giving us a little warmer weather, we a have a lot more traveling and adventures to enjoy and share! What are some of your travel plans for this spring?

Three Things Thursday ~ Current Feelings about my Blog ~

March 10th, 2016 2 Comments

It’s Thrusday, and that means it’s time to share three things. Three things that have been weighing heavily on my heart the last few weeks and getting back to my roots.

  1. I started this blog to share my life. To share the life and adventures of my family. Somehow it’s turned into a place that I feel intimidated and scared. What do I write about? What can I share? What should I share? What if someone doesn’t like what I have to say? What if no one reads it? What if say the wrong thing? Should I be doing it like everyone else? What if I do the wrong thing?
    I’ve gotten stuck in a writing rut…
    Why? Because I am not a writer, I’m a sharer!
    Yesterday I got so caught up with keeping up with the “Blogging-Joneses” that I hurt the feelings of a dear friend. Not out of carelessness, but because I got so caught up in doing things that aren’t me, that I stopped thinking about what really matters… and for that I am beyond sorry.
    I need to get out of my head and back into my heart and share what I love! I need to share what makes me happy and what I would want to read about. I need to get back to my roots. I need to remember that this is about me and my journey, and not about what others want from me, or what I think others feel I should be doing.
    If no one reads it? Who cares! I’m not here to sell anything or to sell myself, I’m here to share. So that’s what I’m going to do, share what I love!Mar 10-3
  2. I often over think my topics to share. I don’t want to come across as bragging when things go well, I don’t want to come across as negative when things go wrong… I just want to share.
    I’ve been so afraid the last year or so to share what’s going on in my life for fear of what others might think. From this point on, I’m done with that. If someone doesn’t like what I’m sharing, that’s their problem, not mine. There are a few people in my life that tend to use anything good in my life against me and my family and I’m done with it! If those people have issues with the good in my life, that isn’t my problem. That is their problem, and I’m not going to dwell on it or let it stop me any more!IMG_6497
  3. I know this post comes across as kinda negative and maybe even kind of sad… and that’s not my intention. I’ve been in a writing and emotional rut for far too long!
    Here’s to getting my happy back! Both in my life and on my blog.
    I am going to get back to me and what makes me happy.
    No longer will I care about what others think. This is my life and I am going to live and write about it my way!Mar 10-1

Hope everyone has a happy Thursday! Now go link up with my girls and get your share on!

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Three Things Thursday ~ 3 of my Favorite Places to Visit (So Far)

February 25th, 2016 0 Comments

This week I am so excited to be Co-Hosting Three Things Thursday!!

New year. New me. New you. New goals. One major goal this year is to engage this wonderful blogging community better. What better way than to begin a new link up with some blog friends! Together, the three of us came up with Three Things Thursday.

Just three things to talk or write about. Five seemed like too many and “one thing” was like we weren’t even trying! So any three things that are on your mind. Any three pictures from Instagram. Three complaints about your day/week. Three of your favorite treats. Seriously. Any three things! So write it. Publish it. Yell it from the mountain tops! Just be sure you come back and link it up here!

~ The Foley Fam ~ Coffee-n-Ink ~ AbsoluteMommy ~

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For some extra fun follow us on Instagram for more three things posts! 

Use the #threethingsthursday hashtag and let’s start talking!

The Winter is finally slowly slipping away and Spring has been peeking out and is giving us a little preview of what we can expect in the coming months. The little bits of sunshine here and there have been just enough to get us through the end of the cold months.

For me, once the sun starts shining, I can’t help but get excited to get out on the road and see more of our country. I really want to get out and start camping already this year.
In fact… I may have already made my first reservation. It’s only for 4 days, but it’s a start!

Here are three of my favorite places we’ve seen so far!

1. Snow Canyon State Park, Utah
Hiking through beautiful red rock mountains always gets an thumbs up in my opinion, but spending the morning hiking with my bestie… even better!

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2. The Grand Canyon, Arizona
I barely remember the trip I took to The Grand Canyon with my parents when I was a kid, but the trip I took there last year with my family was definitely on the top of my list. I can’t wait to go back when Zoie is a little bigger and explore even more.

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3. Old Faithful, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
We spent three days in the park last spring; right when it opened for the year so it was quiet, there weren’t a lot of tourists (read – no traffic), and we spent an hour just waiting for and watching Old Faithful. It was a beautiful afternoon and I one that I will remember forever. 

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Now that you know three of my favorite places I’ve seen in my travels so far, I’d love to know what your favorites are. I’m always looking for more great places to visit and explore.

What are your Three Things this Thursday?
What are you eating?
Where are you traveling to?
What’s on your mind?
Share away and be sure to link up below.
I can’t wait to read it!

Grab The Button! Then Go Link up Below!


Spicy Honey Vinaigrette

February 22nd, 2016 0 Comments

We have been eating a lot of salads in our house lately. While the fresh ingredients aren’t exactly the least expensive way to eat in the middle of winter, it is the healthiest for our family.

We’ve been working really hard at changing our eating habits and getting all the junk out of our house… now that doesn’t mean we don’t go out for pizza once in a while, or even indulge in a small giant bowl of ice cream every so often… we are just making better choices for us.

After posting a pic of one of my recent salads on my Instagram account the other day, I’ve gotten a lot of feedback about the salad dressing I made. It was delicious and simple…
and I’ve made it two more times since then.

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It was super simple too!

Spicy Honey Vinaigrette
(From Simply Sated)

1/3 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
1/3 Cup Agave Nectar (Can also use Honey)
2/3 Cup Olive Oil
1 Teaspoon Sriracha Sauce (Or more if you like it spicier or none if you don’t like spice.)
1 Tablespoon Soy Sauce
1 Tablespoon Grated Ginger
1 Clove Garlic
1 Teaspoon Salt

Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth.

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This dressing was a huge hit with my family.
Even Zoie liked it.
It only took a minute to throw together and it kept in the fridge until we finished it off for lunch the next day.

The chopped salad above was also super simple and super yummy.

We mixed up the following, but you can add or delete anything you see fit.
Chopped Romain Lettuce
Chopped Kale
Sliced Brussel Sprouts
Chopped Roasted/Unsalted Almonds
Sunflower Seeds (we used salted, but either would be good)
Dried Cranberries
Dried Blueberries
Sliced Fresh Strawberries
Feta Cheese

All of this was deliciously paired with some roasted salmon and pan seared asparagus.

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Enjoy!

Three Things Thursday ~ Cruising, Our Fit Journey, and Meal Planning

February 18th, 2016 6 Comments

We are back from our vacation and I am way passed ready to get my butt motivated and back in the gym. I have so much to share about our trip and so many great pictures that I am completely overwhelmed and don’t even know where to start. So… Here are three things on my mind today, besides the gazillion pics I need to edit:

  1. We got back from our cruise on Sunday and had the most amazing time while we were gone. We ate too much. We drank too much (some of us more than others). We sat around and relaxed too much. And I’m not ashamed of any of it! It was amazing! I want to back to where the sun is shining!IMG_7974
  2. I have my first meeting with my personal trainer this morning, and I’m terrified! Ari and I have been consistently working out at least 5 days a week for the last couple months, but having someone tell me what to do is a little intimidating.
    He’s ex military so it will be great for Ari, but… he’s ex military so he’s going to kill us! I’m sure of it!
  3. When it comes to getting healthier for my family, meal planning has always been the hardest part for me. I’ve read all the posts on Pinterest. I’ve planned and re-planned meals and food for our family. It all gets really overwhelming when things don’t go the way I plan.
    What I’ve learned in the last few months, is that it’s a lot easier if I just let myself have a little breathing room. I plan dinners for the week and try to shop only for those things that I need. If it doesn’t go as planned then so be it! If we follow my plan perfectly, awesome! If we end up at our favorite Thai Place? That’s ok too! It’s all about balance and letting go of control!
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What are your three things this week? Go link up with The Foley Fam so we can see!