Road Trip Adventure Log: 4 New States in 4 Days

Well, it is official…. I only have EIGHT more states to go until the big goal of setting foot in all FIFTY STATES is complete!

My husband, Waring, was such a trooper on this trip. He knows I have been itching for adventure lately and dying to get some more states crossed off the list. Although driving to Oklahoma and back in a four day weekend was probably not his 1st choice for a fun-filled family vacation, he buckled in and took to the road just for me!

We set out after a small group bible study at our house on Thursday afternoon and drove to Atlanta for the night. We woke up before sunrise the next morning and headed to Memphis, TN. We stopped for famous Memphis dry rub BBQ for lunch and a quick art studio paint session for Addie before hopping in the car again bound for Bentonville, Arkansas. We swam in the hotel pool (Addie’s favorite) before crashing for the night. On Saturday we stopped at two donut joints before noon, cruised along historic Route 66 in Oklahoma, made it across the Kansas state line, and spend the afternoon in Branson, Missouri. The Ozark’s were beautiful to ride through and Branson did not disappoint with its kitsch. Addie (and Waring) wore themselves out at Fritz’s Adventure Park before making the drive back to Memphis, TN that night. Sunday we spent the day exploring Memphis sights and attractions before heading back to Atlanta, GA. Monday morning we headed to the Atlanta Children’s Museum for a little exploration before making it back home around 5pm that evening.

My goal this year was to knock out 2 new states. I really wasn’t sure if that was going to be possible at all, considering I am not allowed to travel after the end of April and soon after we will have a brand new baby to celebrate and party (stay up all night) with. I know it sounds like our trip was a whirlwind…and it was…but it was also a great deal of fun and adventure. I am so thankful for my husband, who puts up with and even encourages my hair-brained schemes.

PS: Addie is turning out to be a great little road trip warrior!




1st Bucket List Adventure of 2018: Float Therapy

  1. Try Float Therapy at Remedy Float in Savannah. This ancient technique has been around for a while, but it involves resting in a water chamber that is filled with one thousands pounds of salt so that it is IMPOSSIBLE to sink. You float in darkness and with complete sensory deprivation. It is supposed to be incredibly relaxing and safe for pregnant women!—-CHECK!!! This experience was AHHH-mazing! February 2018=Self-love in a (salty) tub!


Thanks, Jennifer for being crazy enough to try this out with me! Remedy Float is located downtown Savannah, nearby the Savannah Civic Center. They have a neat setup, that is complete with a green tea station, yoga room, and two float chambers. The concept is pretty straight forward. After a quick shower to rinse off any perfumes, soap, etc.. you take a 60 – 90 minute soak in a highly-concentrated salt bath chamber. Float therapy hinges on the concept of sensory deprivation, leading to an other-worldly sense of relaxation. The water in the float chamber is so highly concentrated with salt that you literally CANNOT sink. You will float in 95 degree water for your session in complete darkness and silence.

To be honest….the whole concept seems a bit scary, but it was not at all! I was so relaxed the receptionist had to bang on the float chamber in the room beside me to wake me up! Floating in nothingness made me so aware of Eleanor’s movements inside of my belly. I found that I could focus and was more aware of her when all of the outside chaos disappeared. I could also feel tension in my shoulders and neck that I wasn’t cognizant of prior to floating. In short, it was amazing. I will definitely be back!


Saturday Adventures in Jacksonville

I can’t believe that I have let a month go by this year without knocking out any bucket list items! I am all about starting the year off with a bang. The past five months of pregnancy have been full of highs and lows, but I am determined to use my time wisely and have some fun along the way. After a very busy week for of school work and late hours it was officially time for some fun. Waring had to go out of town, but Addie and I spent some time in Jacksonville with Mom, Dad, and AJ.

We perused the Jacksonville Riverside Arts Market. It was a little colder than I would have liked, but I picked up some locally-made homemade toiletry item and some herbal tea. Then, we walked around a very eclectic shopping area and ate lunch at Hopinger’s. We finished the fun-filled day with an all-natural lipstick and lip plumper class at The Studio at Florida’s School of Holistic Health. We learned all about creating a base for these all-natural products and how to color them so that we can make truly one of a kind shades that are all our own. AJ and I had so much fun that we bought the annual membership so that we could take a whole year’s worth of classes (think: herbalism, natural home, face, body products, kombucha, beer-making, cheese-making, and all other kinds of fun!).

I can’t wait to see what other kinds of Holistic Health fun that we are going to have this year! Here’s to the start of another awesome bucket list adventure!

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Word For 2018: Steadfast

As we look out at the year before us, no one is quite prepared for the future that the next twelve months will unfold. There will be challenges, conflicts, victories, heartaches, adventures, boredom, and a myriad of emotions along the way. Currently, at five months pregnant there is certainly a great deal of “unknown” ahead of our little family as well.

While I don’t know what the future holds in store for us, I have to remind myself daily that I do know WHO holds it. For this reason I am making STEADFAST my word. I am claiming it and writing it on my heart (any anywhere else that I can until it sticks). I have a head knowledge, but I also need to remind my heart this year that God is and always will be in control on my life, my future, my world.

My word this year will remind me to be steadfast in love for others, faith in Christ Jesus,  disciplined, and driven by kindness and mercy. I will make mistakes daily, but He will give me strength.

1 Corinthians 16:13 Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong.

Isaiah 26:3-4 You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. Trust in the Lord forever for the LORD, the LORD himself, is the Rock eternal.

Psalm 112:6-7 Surely the righteous will never be shaken; they will be remembered forever. They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the LORD.


2017 Word of The Year: EMBRACE


Last year I chose a word to be the semantic focal point of my year. I tossed around several ideas in my head, such as strive and intentional but they all seemed a bit too me, if that makes sense. You see, those words already play into my list-making, type-A, high-strung, restless, obsessive, over-achieving nature. I needed a word that would remind me to slow down, enjoy the mundane, and find joy in the everyday that is life between bucket list tasks and adventures. For me, packing as much as humanly possible into a long weekend or crossing off to-do list tasks comes naturally, but being empathetic, and remembering to slow down is all but foreign to me.

With the word EMBRACE I had a constant reminder about the commitment that I wanted to make in choosing to enjoy each moment for the gift that it was, whether that may be blessing my home and family through spring cleaning, or having a lazy weekend with Addie and Waring on the couch. I wanted to embrace life in all of its various forms and remember to slow down just a little bit. There will always be another list to make and items to cross off, by these moments with my family are fleeting.

The word EMBRACE was a wonderful gift. I will carry it around with me always. It may seem silly to some, but whenever I hear this word it feels personal to me…like a secret gift given to me by God…or an inside secret that only we know about. I love this idea of a word of the year. I think it will be a new tradition….oh and I do love traditions!

PS: Thanks for Christine for the wonderful word art!

Bucket List: 2018 Edition

More than any other action item on the bucket list this year I am praying that God’s provision and guidance lead our family this year. I am praying for wisdom and increased faithfulness on my part so that I (and our family) may abide and in His plan and not our (my) own. This year I am seeking to be more intentional with my prayer life. Let me know how I can earnestly pray for you this year.

Here’s The List:

  1. Try Float Therapy at Remedy Float in Savannah. This ancient technique has been around for a while, but it involves resting in a water chamber that is filled with one thousands pounds of salt so that it is IMPOSSIBLE to sink. You float in darkness and with complete sensory deprivation. It is supposed to be incredibly relaxing and safe for pregnant women!
  2. Learn about and try soaping. I have always been interesting in making my own soap and bath products. This year I am going to take a class in Jacksonville from the Studios at Florida School of Holistic Health. 
  3. Light a Sky Lantern. I have these….but have never lit them!
  4. Visit 2 New States. I visit Michigan and Colorado last year….so onward to state 39 and 40 this year at least!
  5. Create a back porch haven. We recently had a concrete slab poured for our back patio. I can’t wait until the covering is built over the next few weeks and we get to start creating a backyard sanctuary complete with our new grill that Waring’s parent’s bought us for Christmas!
  6. Have a healthy labor and baby. Our last labor experience was a bit of a surprise followed by the scariest days of my and Waring’s lives. We are praying for a bit smoother delivery and a healthy baby and mama!
  7. Go to Harry Potter World. This has been on the list for a while….at some point it may happen. 
  8. Prepare the house and the nursery for Baby Harvey #2. The future nursery of Harvey Baby #2 is currently our Christmas gift wrapping center/guest room. Now I just need to find out the gender, clean out the room, and search Pinterest for hours. 
  9. Spring clean before baby. Christmas break normally starts part 1 of my two part spring cleaning, but it has only been completed half-heartedly this year in light of all the busyness we have had. We have on more snow day today, so I am going to try to knock out a little bit more. 
  10. Start (and keep) Journaling during Quiet Time. I am notoriously inconsistent with journaling of any kind…but I do find it beneficial. 
  11. Take a Blue Ridge escape. Pick a weekend and go!
  12. Buy a fancy purse. I have been eyeing several lately but I just can’t pull the trigger…..
  13. Find and STICK to a skin care routine. I started researching this last year, but fell a bit short in the execution. 
  14. Use Fly-Lady Routines and complete a 30 day Declutter Challenge. I have done each of these before, however I am in desperate need of a review. 
  15. Start an herb garden. Don’t hate me…but I am not a huge fan of basil. I am kind of obsessed with cilantro, tarragon, and dill though. I love the idea of growing herbs because they don’t take up much space. 
  16. Cook at least one new recipe each month and post pictures of the progress. I don’t know about you, but it seems like we cook the same meals over and over for dinner and it just gets BORING! This year we have deer meat, tons of locally caught shrimp, and frozen fresh picked tomatoes to experiment with for dinner!

In addition to this annual bucket list, I also like to compete a season bucket list full of fun traditional things that we like to do with each changing season. These lists generally revolve around the holidays celebrated during each season and are pretty similar from year to year. I love the idea of being intentional during each season and creating lasting traditions and memories with the family.

And…if I didn’t already have enough lists, I like to also create a monthly goal checklist that breaks down some of these larger bucket list goals into manageable bites throughout the year and focuses on growth in several areas of life (physically, spiritually, financially, relationally, etc…) to help me track my progress and growth each month.


What’s your plan for this year?


Bucket List Year-End Review

I still can’t believe that 2017 has already exited the scene to make way for 2018. This past year was full of the usual adventures and a few new ones too. We celebrated birthdays, enjoyed two full years of living in our new home, explored NYC with the girls,  took a family cruise to Mexico, enrolled Addie in Pre-K 3 and dance, visited Disney again, and again, and again, and took a weekend escape to check Niagara Falls and Cedar Point off of the bucket list. Oh yeah…and we decided to invite a new member into our family….Baby Harvey #2 is coming in June 2018.

Here is the progress made from this year: (not too shabby if I must say!)

  1. Write my own manifesto (from Gretchen Rubin’s Happiness Project)-CHECK! Maybe I will share this with you guys one day… I love Gretchen Rubin and recommend any of her books if you are looking to be more intentional in your life.
  2. Write a letter to my future self—-CHECK! April @ age 30.
  3. Celebrate my last day of my 20’s-CHECK!
  4. Plan (and have) a spa dayHubby helped with this task! The facial and massage from Milan Esthetics was wonderful!
  5. Do Adult Disney—CHECK! We got to see visit the Inaugural International Festival of the Arts at EPCOT!
  6. See the Rocky Mountains— CHECK! Rocky Mountain National Park was just as amazing as I thought it would be. Colorado is a MUST SEE state in my book!
  7. Fly fish— YES! We look lessons in Estes, Park Colorado. See photo evidence below!
  8. Sand surf–-YES! We made life-long memories here in Great Sand Dunes National Park, Colorado. BTW…the sand gets up to 150 degrees so make sure you wear SHOES!!! (Thanks for NOTHING Trip Advisor, hahah!).
  9. Stay in a Deluxe Disney Resort– NOPE I can’t part with the cash to pay for the price tag of this particular adventure.
  10. Hang Glide— NOT YET
  11. Sleep in a tree house—NOT YET
  12. Learn about floral arts— DOES PINTEREST COUNT?
  13. Take a cooking class-–YES, thanks Justin and Meredith!
  14. Master the art of the sugar cookie—-HM…maybe next year!
  15. Plant bougainvillea–-YES, thanks Hubby for the birthday gift. I hope the cold hasn’t killed them this week. 😦
  16. Reach goal weight (finally)—Well, I am currently expanding due to this new baby.
  17. Pay off student loans— YES! CHECK!
  18. Develop a “big girl” skin care routine—Well, sort-of…but I could use more work on this one so I am going to keep it for next year too.
  19. Visit a new state-— CHECK and CHECK!!! Michigan and Colorado. Currently on 38
  20. Visit a new country—Nope, although we did go back to Canada and Mexico this year.
  21. Explore Universal’s Harry Potter World—NOPE!
  22. Complete a Reading Challenge—-HAHAHAH. Do Addie’s  books count?
  23. Learn Spanish (again…)—-NOPE
  24. Prepare for an emergency (so we won’t get totally caught off guard by something like Hurricane Matthew again.)—-This is about half way complete, but we could still use some more work.
  25. Attend Dragon Con-–CHECK!!!
  26. Plan and implement seasonal bucket lists/monthly challenges-–CHECK! I got a little slack after morning sickness set in, but other than that we were pretty consistent.