2016 Proposal

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10 years, 4 months..so many days but who was counting? 😉 All I can say was the proposal, day and following days spreading the news was perfect! All the love and support we received brought my thoughts back to how it all started.

I was born in Baltimore, Maryland, he was born in Cheltenham, England. At the age of 3, we met in Relay, Maryland. At the age of 3, I met my soon to be husband. We started carpooling in 6th grade promising to share secrets on the car ride home. Every day we would fight over who would sit in the front seat.

At the age of 13, we stopped fighting over the front seat and began dating. We were truly best friends who shared everything with each other. We went on to graduate 8th grade, high school, college and Masters by each other’s side. Our love has already navigated several of life’s challenges.

Our greatest memories and times of growth in our relationship are during our travels. We’ve sat in a car for 9 hours only to step out and want to spend more time together. We’ve relaxed on beaches far away, climbed mountains that touched the sky and navigated cities like natives.

We trust each other fully and effortlessly. He’s quite literally my other half. No matter where we are all I really need is him by my side. In October we will be husband and wife.QZVG9243

June 12, 2016

 

Back at it, Hello 2017!

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What do you do when you stumble upon your very own blog? You begin a new post after a 3-year hiatus. My original post explained it very well why I began this blog and why I think I’ve stumbled back to continue it.

There’s no hiding it, I’m obsessed with social media. To be honest with anyone reading this (and myself) it’s partly for sharing out my life experiences (lots of show-and-tell regret going on here) and a greater part for capturing those golden moments in life that I never want to forget. Before bed I find myself scrolling through my OWN feed, reliving every moment. A new obsession of mine is capturing life through video. DOUBLE reliving points right there and a bit less staged.

I can’t tell you where this blog will end up on my to-do list but I’m hoping it stays. If nothing else it will be a capsule of my life every three or so years.

The Bucket List

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Everyone thinks about it. Most people start a list. Some people actually attempt items on the list.

What’s the purpose?

For me, it’s to live every moment to the fullest. I’m a planner through and through so if anything on my list is going to get done, I’m going to need a place to plan (however, a trip on the whim is definitely going to be on my list).

THE LIST

1. Fall in love with the perfect guy for me. Marry him.

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2. Become a teacher

3. Become a mother

4. Take a picture every day for a year.

  • Picture(s) coming soon

5. Make 1000 entries in a gratitude journal.

6. Hot air balloon ride

7. Explore a National Park – Yellowstone 

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8. Write Yourself a Letter and Read it in 10 Years

9. Learn to snowboard

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10. Whitewater rafting 

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11. Learn to surf

12. Watch 30 documentaries

13. Hot Yoga

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14. Eat chocolate covered bacon

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Provided by my lovely boyfriend, he doesn’t

deprive me of the good stuff from the Dutch

Farmer’s Market in Annapolis!

15. Color Run Race

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16. ROC Race

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17. Take 10 polaroid pictures

18. Hike up 14, 000 feet

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19. Go on a cruise

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20. Play Rugby

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21. Be in a flashmob

22. Ride an elephant

23. Go Whale Watching – scheduled for January 2015

24. Go skydiving

25. Ride a segway

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26. Sunrise on the beach

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27. Drive-in Movie

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28. Visit Niagara Falls

29. Go Paragliding

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30. Hold a baby turtle

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31. Swim with dolphins

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32. Watch the Ball drop in Times Square

33.Take pictures in a photobooth

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34. Release a paper lantern

35. Give a shelter pet a home

36. Celebrate my 50th Anniversary

37. Attend a masquerade

38. Ride a gondola

39. Put a lock on love bridge

40. Ride the London eye

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41. Visit the hollywood walk of fame

42. Visit 25 of the states

  • Arizona
  • California

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  • Maryland
  • Pennsylvania
  • Texas

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  • Vermont

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  • West Virginia
  • Wyoming
  • New York

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  • 43. Paint fight

    44. Camping trip with friends

    • Picture Coming Soon

    45. Cuddle with a lion cub

    46. Throw a dog a birthday party

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    47. Paint cornhole boards 

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    48. Graduate from University of Maryland, Baltimore County

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    49. Go for a bike ride every day for a month

    50. Electric run 

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    51. Take a photo in the same spot, every month, for a year.

    52. Start a dog photography business

    53. SUP

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    54. Visit a field of Sunflowers

    One word: breathtaking

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    55. Donate blood

    While I may have almost fainted, I certainly felt like I made a difference.

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    56. Ben and Jerry’s Factory

    Such a cool factory tour in the lovely state of Vermont. I love me some Ben and Jerry’s!

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    57. Learn to throw pottery

    Challenging to say the least. It was very relaxing once I got the hang of it and very rewarding when our pieces were complete!

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    58. Do a pub crawl

    Lots of fun at the Irish Pub Crawl in Federal

    Hill with an absolutely gorgeous day. Day

    drinking is the way to go sometimes, in

    bed by 8pm and waking up fresh as a daisy.

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    59. Cook through an entire cookbook

    60. Travel out of the country with friends

    A great experience to have with a good group

    of friends in the lovely Mexico! My favorite part

    was snorkeling with the fishy and dancing on stage

    at a dance club!

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    61. Roadtrip with friends

    62. Go snowmobiling

    Thrilling experience. If I lived in a snowy place

    all year round this would be my first purchase

    to get me to and from work like our tour guide!

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    63. Visit Yuengling Brewery

    Great, free tour in Pottsville, PA. This was

    for Ian’s 22nd birthday which I tried keeping

    a surprise. Not sure how long he knew but he

    led me to believe it was still a surprise.

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    64. Ride on a motorcycle

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    65. Go river tubing

    Best graduation party idea EVER! This was

    our first party we planned and organized in

    a different location then just the house.

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    66. Go to Italy

    67. Hold a Panda Bear

    68. Golden Retriever Festival in Scotland – occurs in July

    69. See Penguins

    70. See the Puffins in Maine

    71. Visit the Wild Horses on Chincoteague or Assateague Island

    72. Grand Canyon

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    73. Fly First Class

    74. Disney World

    • Picture coming soon

    75. Universal Studios 

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    76. Harry Potter World

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    77. Go to the Airport and choose a random place to travel to

    78. Ride a camel

    79. Visit Stonehenge 

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    80. Visit Eiffel Tower 

    • Picture Coming Soon

    81. Shoot a gun

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    82. Camp Counselor 

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    83. Dance on stage

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    21st Birthday Dueling Piano stage at Howl at the Moon- definitely I night worth remembering – at least part of it anyways

    84. Ravens Game

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    Nothing beats free tickets. 22 years old and

    this is my first game. Such a difference

    watching the game in the stadium instead

    of on TV.

    85. Picture with Boh

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    Opportunity struck during the

    Federal Hill Pub Crawl. I love this

    guy!

    86. Orioles Game

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    Been to several games at this point. Favorite seats are shown above. Our other favorite seats is in the All You Can Eat Section.

    87. Deep Creek

    88. Horseback riding

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    Location: Colorado Trails. Nothing like horseback riding on sketchy trails.

    89. Give a heartfelt surprise to someone

    90. Be apart of a TV show audience

    91. Finish an entire coloring book

    92. Finish an entire wordsearch book

    93. Jump in a pool fully clothed

    94. Tour a vineyard

    95. Be in two places at once

    96. Dog sledding in the summer – in the winter

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    In the summer the pups do a lot of training and the place has tours to keep up funds. So much fun visiting all the huskies and playing with the puppies!

    97. Visit the Chichen Itza

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    Location: Riviera Maya, Mexico – Mayan Ruins were pretty spectacular. I even saw the ballcourt which the movie El Dorado portrays.

    98. Horse Drawn Carriage

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    Old Montreal, Canada

    99. See the Herndon Monument Climb

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    Absolutely a riveting experience.

    100. Go to Hell, Grand Cayman 

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    Grand Cayman Islands did not disappoint with this stop!

    Pretty erie place.

    101. Visit DC

    Pictures coming soon!

    102. Eat a snow cone with marshmallow

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    103. Paint Nite

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    104. Ghost Tour

    105. See Glassblowing 

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    106. Pick Peaches

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    107. Visit Canada

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    Picture taken in Montreal Biodome – spectacular place. My father and I are sitting in a penguin egg!

    108. Attend a Naval Academy Commencement 

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    109. Earn my Masters degree

    110. Basic self-defense class

    111. Volunteer at the SPCA

    112. Dance lessons (before my wedding)

    113. Cooking class

    114. Ride a jet ski

    • Need a picture, oh well guess I’ll have to do it again 🙂

    115. Rock Climbing Indoor – Outdoor

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    116. Go Mountain Biking – (again)

    117. Enter an Eating Contest

    118. Go Zip-lining 

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    (note: not me, my friend Amanda but, I went down right after her!)

    119. Catch fireflies in a jar

    120. Brazilian Wax

    121. Experience Spain

    122. Empire State Building

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    123. D.C Cherry Blossoms (end of March beginning of April)

    124. Visit the Four Corners (Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Colorado)

    125. Buy a house

    126. Read the Bible cover to cover

    127. Unplug for a week

    128. Have a huge water balloon fight

    129. Create Family Tree

    130. Learn to do basic sewing

    131. Milk a Cow

    132. Deep Sea Fishing 

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    133. See mythbusters live

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    134. Catch snowflakes with my tongue

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    135. Alaskan Cruise

    136. Explore Castle Ruins

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    137. Attend Freefest

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    Despite the pouring down rain and being

    questioned if I was 21 several times,

    I HAD A BLAST!

    138. Celebrate New Years in London

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    Doesn’t get much better than a James Bond Party.

    139. Fireworks on the Beach

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    Bethany Beach, Delaware

    140. Throw a dinner party for my family.

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    Life is Good, When You’re Full

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    Want to know my number one concern every day? It’s food.

    Until Soylent is the norm and easily available, every day I worry about food. Why? Because I love food and well…I need it to survive, I think? The road to adulthood has been long (about 22 years now) and ever since I have been 9 I’ve wanted my independence. I’ll get there soon enough Mom and Dad.  Anyways a great deal of one’s life (or maybe just mine and Ian’s) is spent preparing meals. Every late afternoon Ian and I converse about what we should do for dinner. By 5:30pm we still don’t have a clue or if we do the ingredients were not on hand. Let me tell you how we have solved that problem and how I’m amazed we ever ate in the past.

    Step 1. Read this blog post. Grocery Shopping Once A Month

    I like grocery shopping but not so much that I want to run out and grab a few items for every meal. This article explains how to cut down on these trips to the grocery store.

    Step 2. Plan Plan Plan Plan Plan

    The blog touches on planning and it is vital to the operation. Once you are well fed (super important detail), sit down and discuss with whoever you may be feeding what you would like to have for the week/month, however long you can plan ahead. Choosing meals and recipes is the fun part and it will force you to branch out and make new things. I love that after work I don’t need to grind Ian about what he wants, it’s already on the menu board.

    Here is the first place we plan and organize our meals. Really simple DIY Menu Board  if you are not interested in making your own here’s one listed on Etsy (of course) – Menu Board. I could not find my original pin for my board but what I love about this design is on the back you can write the ingredients. This will save time in the next step. (sorry for the terrible quality, below will have what meals are listed)

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    Step 3. Write your grocery list.

    In this step I had two lists – one for Costco and one for the grocery store. Ian and I went shopping first at Costco and then at the grocery store. I’d say in total it took about 3 hours. To save time I will be writing down the grocery in groups of where they are located in the store. Hopefully that will help. We started small and planned for two weeks out.

    All meals are hyperlinked to the recipe.

    Monday Chicken Pesto Skillet Pizza

    Who doesn’t love a good skillet pizza? This pizza was delicious and the taste of homemade pizza makes me less interested in pizza from a restaurant.

    We had an extra pizza dough ball so we did not make the dough this time. We also baked the pizza at 500 degrees for about 15 minutes. I thought the crust was on point this time but Ian is still searching for the perfect temp/time.

    I also added about 2 tablespoons of pesto to my mushrooms, chicken, onions and peppers mixture.

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    Ian – the cheese sprinkler

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    Tuesday – Creamy Onion, Mushroom, Bacon Risotto

    Anything with bacon and we are in! We followed the recipe steps for the Risotto provided in the book that came with the Risotto Plus by Breville. If you love Risotto or make a lot of rice…you should get this. If you have ever made Risotto you know that it takes a while and you must constantly stir to get the right texture. Not with the Breville! You pop everything in there after sautéing the onions and mushrooms and 30 minutes later the Breville switches to warm and its ready to stir and serve! I don’t know how food photographers make it look pretty so, sorry!

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    Wednesday – Yuengling Beef Stew

    What’s not to love when your favorite beer is involved? Ian was super excited about this meal because Yuengling made it on the grocery list! This recipe makes a HUGE amount. We ate beef stew for days. No exaggeration but glad it turned out amazing.

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    Thursday – Potstickers (really actually wontons)

    Who likes easy, freezer meals? We do! We picked up a new bag of wontons from Costco to try with some sticky rice and stir fry. Nothing too special here, sorry no photos.

    Friday – Spicy Parmesan Shrimp Skillet

    Shrimp was a great choice for this dish especially since it was on hand. If it’s not beef or chicken we usually are not cooking it but, I’m trying to change that!

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    For dessert we had Blueberry Lemon Scones!

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    Saturday – Eat Out

    If we ever eat out now and days, it’s because we have a gift card. The “eat out” card was placed on Saturday because we had a graduation party to attend then I had the Baltimore Electric Run.

    Sunday – Leftovers

    Since we made so many good meals throughout the week the refrigerator was full and leftovers needed to be eaten!

    I’ve been delaying this post to add more meals that we have cooked throughout the week but, have not managed to do so. More meals and recipes to come. The 2 week out planning is going wonderful and soon we might be able to plan for a whole month!

    Eat Happy, Stay Happy!

    Stand Up Paddleboarding

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    In an effort to make my 20s count I made a summer 2014 list a few blog posts back. Over the 4th of July weekend Ian and I completed the item stand up paddleboarding (SUP). For those who don’t know, Ian and I have been dating for 8 years now, that’s a lot of dates. Although we are a very active couple who do lots of different things, SUP is the only activity that Ian and I have experienced for the very first time together. Finally, something that we both started together where neither one of us had the upper hand.

    Ian successfully stood up on the board first and I shortly followed. At first we felt a bit unsteady but as our muscles relaxed we were paddling without too much thought. We had a great time paddling around at sunset and it was so very calming even though we were getting a great workout.

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    A Life, Not a Living

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    “Focus on making a LIFE, rather than making a living.” Instead of worrying about work or rushing to an event, let’s enjoy life. I know taking tons of pictures while out with friends is frowned upon but, I simply won’t stop. If and when my memory fails these photos are a visual reminder that will connect me to places, people and events. I’ll cherish them now, in the moment, as well as 80 years from now.

    Here’s my top 5 life experiences so far, in no particular order.

    1. Golden Trails with Daisy Pearl.

    I’m so proud of this picture and for my camera doing all the work in this instant. With photography it is all about timing and it was all perfect in this shot. The Patapsco Park is our favorite place to be and I know how happy Daisy is when we go running. Find your happy place and make time to visit it.

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    2. Graduation 

    Graduating with the man of my dreams. We’ve been through a lot and college was no easy chapter. I’m glad it is over and sad that we only took one class together, soccer. Even with switching majors and me transferring we graduated on time and together.

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    3. Spring Break Trip to Vermont

    Snowboarding in Killington, Vermont was beyond amazing. By far the greatest early graduation present ever! (Thanks mom and dad) Spending time up in the mountains without a care in the world made it one of my favorite moments.

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    3. Vacation in England

    This three week vacation made me wish I traveled for a living. I do love to travel and I think it keeps the spark of life in me. There’s always something new to explore when you travel and new photos to take. Visiting London again with Ian and attending a James Bond New Years Eve party was indescribable. Every hike was breathtaking and every historical setting was beyond imaginable. Ian’s parents were amazing tour guides and we were so lucky to have spent three weeks there.

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    4. Work experience in Colorado

    My second major time away from home (the first being summer camp, that will be it’s own blog post one day). I learned so much this summer and ultimately it was the first time living alone. Receiving that first pay check and not wanting to spend it on anything ended after about a week. Here are some shots from various activities that summer.

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    Paragliding off a cliff.

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    Capturing this shot of lightening…

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    Taking down barbwire was by far the worst job considering I stabbed myself multiple times on accident. Shoveling snow on a mountain trail wasn’t so bad though 🙂 Trail work certainly showed me what I’m made of, what I can handle, and what I can’t. I can’t handle bunk mates who snore and I can endure a very sore body and going to the bathroom in the woods.

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    Visiting a husky training ground during the summer where the pups pull a golf cart!

    Now…

    Go explore. Live life. And…be happy!

     

    Maryland Cornhole and River Tubing Adventure!

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    Ian and I decided to throw a unique graduation party that included river tubing. After the tubing adventure we planned a cookout and what better party game is there than cornhole?

    We decided to buy the boards (I know lame) due to our short time frame to complete them (4 days).

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    The finished product!

    (picture taken during golden hour)     IMG_1063IMG_1064Step 1: spray paint primer.

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    Step 2: PAINT, PAINT, PAINT!

    We did two coats of acrylic paint for most and three coats for the yellow.

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    Step 3: find unique ways to pain in difficult spots.

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    Step 4: take picture of board before semigloss.

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    Step 5: take picture of boards outside with semigloss.

    Now onto our tubing adventure at the Patapsco State Park!

    Step 1: Blow up 16 tubes in various ways. (not shown)  IMG_1147IMG_1194

    Step 2: Take pictures with river tubes.

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    Step 3: load up the 75 inch swan and all tubes in the CRV.

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    The famous ducky and seahorse.

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    Step 4: have a blast and take pictures on the water!

    At the conclusion of our party we were pretty proud of our cornholes and the success of river tubing (with the exception of some cuts and bruises).

    Thanks to everyone who came out and made it special, we love you all!