Thursday, September 21, 2017

Introducing Davey Dodge

David Walter Dodge
born February 20th, 2017 at 1:36 pm
he weighed 6 lbs 8 oz in the first picture
he weighs a lot more in that second one

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

6. She Hikes

Hiking is a physical activity that is enjoyed by most proper mountain women, it is also symbolic for one of the most important things a proper mountain woman does in her life, she progresses. Progression is moving forward and upward, and that moving forward and upward in life (and up a mountain) takes work. And work is a very beautiful thing to a proper mountain woman... it is what our blessings, benefits, and happiness are fueled by.

I recall big hikes I went on years and years ago, when I was 12 to 16 years old, and can still vividly and easily remember how difficult they were for me... I remember the struggle to breath, the frequent stops to rest my legs, the hot sun making me sweat, my backpack chaffing my underarms, the other girls passing me and leaving me in the dust, and the trail going on and on, forever and ever! It was brutal. So brutal. Nothing else in my blessed and sheltered youth comes close to the torture, pain, and fatigue I experienced on my annual hike each summer during girls camp.

Now, as a grown woman, making adult decisions and mistakes, un-shielded to life's realities and pain... when I struggle with new goals or progression, it makes sense for my brain to remember back to that raw pain I experienced while hiking in my youth, and see the parallels. To me it is a beautiful analogy.

Even though hiking was brutal as a kid, I did feel an immense amount of joy when I reached the end of the hike. The mountain views at the end of a hike are worth every step (most of the time), and the satisfaction of pushing your body and mind to the end makes you feel so proud and happy with yourself, it is one of the best feelings in the entire world.

I believe everything good in life comes from this forward and upward movement. We need work, goal setting, and progression. We need it! If a proper mountain woman's body, mind, and soul isn't "hiking" and in forward momentum she becomes unhappy, insecure, and boring.

Hiking in life means moving, exploring, progressing, serving, creating, making, and doing.

Sometimes we have a clear goal we want to accomplish and we work to summit that specific peak. Some hikes are rough and steep, some are friendly and enjoyable. Sometimes you see a friend reach the top of the same peak you are on without much of a struggle, while you must sweat, work, and take the long way.

Sometimes we don't know what peak to summit next, so we search for inspiration as we walk slowly and rejoice in the beauties that surround us.

Sometimes we have to take a detour in our life and work to get back to the trail we would rather be on. It's okay to be on that detour, that is what makes life so interesting. A proper mountain woman is an interesting person, and you don't become that way by taking the easy way or always knowing what you are going to do in life. So take comfort in the knowledge that experiences, whether they be good, bad, or frustrating make you a better person. You hike through them, and move on.

Can you imagine if your life went as perfectly as you imagined when you were younger? You would never become dynamic, interesting, and strong. Be grateful for all the different hiking trails you come across. Move constantly forward and work. When you find yourself in a trench and have lost the trail you were on, look around, maybe you can see the peak you were trying to reach from a different point of view. Maybe a trail you never realized existed leads you out... and it's more gorgeous than any other trail you could imagine on your own!

I become passionate about this subject when someone is unhappy with their life and waiting for something or someone to happen to them. That is not forward motion, and it makes the and person depressed, insecure, and boring to talk to. If something in life isn't going the way you envisioned... pick something, anything, even though it doesn't seem perfect at first and do it. The forward momentum, this little hike you go on will inspire you!

+ + + + + + + + + +

And to end this post, here are some of my favorite quotes about actual hiking and spending time in the mountains, enjoy!

"Great things are done when men and mountains meet; This is not done by jostling in the street." - William Blake

"Nature is not a place to visit. It is home." - Gary Snyder

“Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity” - John Muir

“Feeling LOW?
Go on mountains.” - Prajakta Mhadnak

“On a hike, you're less a job title and more a human being....A periodic hike not only stretches the limbs but also reminds us: Wow, there's a big old world out there.” - Ken Ilgunas

“Nature is one of the most underutilized treasures in life. It has the power to unburden hearts and reconnect to that inner place of peace.” - Janice Anderson

“Mountains should be climbed with as little effort as possible and without desire. The reality of your own nature should determine the speed. If you become restless, speed up. If you become winded, slow down. You climb the mountain in an equilibrium between restlessness and exhaustion. Then, when you’re no longer thinking ahead, each footstep isn’t just a means to an end but a unique event in itself. This leaf has jagged edges. This rock looks loose. From this place the snow is less visible, even though closer. These are things you should notice anyway. To live only for some future goal is shallow. It’s the sides of the mountain which sustain life, not the top. Here’s where things grow.
But of course, without the top you can’t have any sides. It’s the top that defines the sides. So on we go—we have a long way—no hurry—just one step after the next—with a little Chautauqua for entertainment -- .Mental reflection is so much more interesting than TV it’s a shame more people don’t switch over to it. They probably think what they hear is unimportant but it never is.” - Robert M. Pirsig

“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. … There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature — the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.” - Rachel Carson

"Adopt the pace of Nature. Her secret is patience." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

“But especially he loved to run in the dim twilight of the summer midnights, listening to the subdued and sleepy murmurs of the forest, reading signs and sounds as a man may read a book, and seeking for the mysterious something that called—called, waking or sleeping, at all times, for him to come.” - Jack London

“Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.” - John Muir

SHE HIKES is a follow up post to She Loves the Mountains, and part of an ongoing series of defining a proper mountain woman.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Proper Pins

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10 / 11 / 12 / 13 / 14 / 15 / 16

Looking for some new flare? I love the enamel pin trend these days... and since blazers, layered button downs with sweaters, and saddle bags are still in this season, adding a pin is the perfect pop of personality.
Here are some proper pin finds from Etsy to brighten your day... enjoy!

Friday, October 28, 2016

Goodbye October!

This weekend I'll be pulling up all my tomato plants and raking up leaves, I think we are also going to try and watch Texas Chainsaw Massacre and the original Halloween (my husband can't handle that I have never seen them). And I have plans to make a big pot of my family's favorite chili for a work chili cook-off on Monday, the trophies look amazing and I want to win! What are your weekend plans for the last of October?

Here's a list of some favorite things I've come across around the internet...

1. Wanting a good place to hang this in our kitchen.

 2. Day-dreaming of trip to Joshua Tree and a stay at this airbnb. (that tub!!!)

 3. Really enjoyed this podcast episode about Smitten Kitchen.

 4. Speaking of Smitten Kitchen, planning to make these soon!

 5. Women who wear suits.

 6. My new favorite instagram account.

 7. Proper mountain women would decorate with tree branches.

 8. Pumpkin facial DIY!

 9. I pinned this tablecloth to make next Halloween. (I love it)

10. Becoming a better morning person.

11. A Fall 2016 reading list. (haven't read a single one of those books!)

12. Thinking about trying my hand at this.

13. Crushing on the color of this bedroom.

14. Pinon pine pitch... who knew?

15. What's your favorite magazine these days?

16. Curious about the app mentioned in this post, gonna have to try it out.

17. This house!

18. Coveting these pretty quilts.

19. My husband's new website!

20. Thanksgiving table plans inspired by this image.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

A Proper Mountain Woman: Riana Coombs

Better Know a Proper Mountain Woman: Riana Coombs
I'm excited for a new installment in our on-going series, better know a proper mountain woman, and I'm even more excited to be featuring this amazing woman. Riana is someone I have been wanting to interview for this series for a long time because she is an all-around inspiration and the perfect example of a proper mountain woman. I admire so many things about her... her work ethic, her eclectic hobbies, and her love for doing things. She's the kind of person, for example, who can beautifully do your lashes one day, then shoot the most gorgeous bridals for your upcoming wedding the next. She's an amazing cook/baker, foodie, world traveler, maker/creator, hair dresser, nurse, accordain player, snowboard/wakeboarder, and more! At one point we were in a book club, food  club, and movie club together - that's when I really got to know her and I fell in love with how easy-going and down to Earth she is.
She and her husband currently reside in NYC with their dog and new baby boy (Rocco), hope you enjoy her answers!

1. Where is your favorite outdoor refuge where you live right now?
Long Island is my refuge! Ryan and I have been exploring Long Island for the past couple years and last summer we finally found our perfect spot in a town called Oyster Bay. We went sailing there this weekend and it was so beautiful. Long Island has beautiful beaches and forests and farms and vineyards - there really is a little bit of everything. The fall is magical out there, everyone drives out from the city to go pick pumpkins. We can leave Brooklyn and be at our favorite beach in 45 minutes. I never imagined that when I moved to the city.

2. What do you do to feel creative? What is your creative outlet?
I am a chronic hobbyist. Sometimes I wish that I would just stick to one thing and get really good at it but I always move on to something else after a while. I've taken a lot of different classes, from knitting to bellydancing to accordion lessons. Currently I have been trying to perfect my bread making. I have been following the Tartine method and I've made some really good bread - all sourdough with slow fermentation. From start to finish it takes around 36 hours to bake 2 loaves. It's intense - so intense that usually I just go to the bakery and buy a loaf. But when I do attempt it and it turns out perfect, it is one of the most rewarding things ever. And it tastes better than anything you can buy.

3. What is your favorite mountain?
My favorite mountain is Timpanogas. It's the most majestic mountain I have ever seen - especially the back side. I'm in love with Sundance. It's the one place I miss more than ever while living in New York.

4. What would you say is a mountain that you conquered in life?
Before having Rocco I would have said getting my RN was the biggest hurdle that I had conquered. Nursing school is rough! I had no idea how hard it would be. I was really so proud of myself for finishing and becoming licensed. But now after having a baby, I would definitely say that that has made me feel like such a strong human being. It makes me feel like I can do anything.

5. Is proper etiquette important to you?
I think every parent should take time to teach their kids etiquette. Because we are living in a city, I think it is even more important. We are around so many people every day. I'm so grateful that Rocco has my husband Ryan to learn from. Ryan is so chivalrous. He's the kind of guy who from the beginning, always called instead of texted. He jumps at every chance he can to carry anything for me and for anyone really. Etc. etc. Politeness is a dying virtue unfortunately but I think that parents can really change that if they spend the time teaching their kids those values. My parents were always really good at teaching us through their example. I specifically remember them emphasizing the importance of not interrupting people. I still think I do a pretty good job of that, although in New York you almost have to interrupt people to get a word in sometimes. People like to talk a lot, and mostly about themselves which I've realized is a major pet peeve of mine that I will definitely teach my kids to avoid. 

6. What do you do to feel motivated when you are feeling lazy, or you feel like you are in a rut?
First thing is to take a shower! That always helps. Living in Brooklyn has been really inspiring for me. So many things get their start here from fashion and trends to food and entertainment. I feel so lucky to be able to be inspired and rejuvenated just by walking down the streets. People are really fighting to live their dreams and I feed off of that. It's caused me to do a lot of soul searching to think about what I want to do now that I am a stay at home mom. I definitely think that being a mom is a full time job and I am content with that, but I think it's still important to contribute more of myself in some way. Michael Ian Black has a podcast called How To Be Amazing and I have become really inspired listening to some of his interviews. 

7. What daily routine do you have to help you feel more feminine or a proper lady?
I definitely feel the most confident and feminine when I am active and taking care of myself. Going to the gym every morning has really helped me feel more like a woman. It makes me feel so much stronger and more confident in myself. I also try to make cleaner meals and I feel infinitely better when I do. 

8. What is your favorite fingernail polish brand and color?
I love OPI and my favorite color right now would probably be To Be Continued... (yeah, that's the name). It's a pastel blue.

9. What is your favorite song that you've been listening to?
Go Flex by Post Malone. I don't listen to the radio so I don't know if it's overplayed and lame already but I can't enough of it. Rocco and I jam out to it at least twice a day.

10. What new hobbies or skills are you currently pursuing? Do you ever feel nervous about trying something new?
I just bought a domain and I want to start a website/blog. I don't know how much longer we will be living here and I want to document more of our life in New York. Starting a website seems easy and daunting all at the same time. I've been reading a lot of articles about it and am finally ready to start working on it. For some reason I feel nervous about it. I love trying new things but I am always nervous in the beginning. I think it's good for me.

+ + + + +

Oh Riana! I can't wait for this future blog of yours, I know we are all in for a treat!
And everyone else, thanks for reading!
+ + + + +

To read more interviews with proper mountain women... CLICK HERE.