Year Trip – 25 Days To Go

gorgeWe are getting ready for our year trip and for this trip my husband and I decided to use a new blogging site, which might help get more traffic and exposure. I am still learning how to use it but for now you can check out the new site here:

This is the site we will chronicle all of our adventures, mishaps and tips that we feel important to share. Enjoy!

Thanks for reading!

Until next time,


Clearing the Clutter: Part 1

We’re getting ready for this trip and it’s not exactly easy. I have consider myself pretty good at getting rid of things. I try and take a load of items to Goodwill once a week or so and I have a bin that I consistently add items to, but I just recently finished the book “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up” which helped me get motivated to do some big purging and clearing this week. There are a lot of concepts in the book that make perfect sense and really helpful, but there are also a few ideas I probably will never get on board with. I agree that when we start clearing out the things in our house we need to really look at what we need and want and start there. Instead of just getting rid of random things, it helps to stop and think what do I really truly need, then, everything else is just extra. The other concept that I agree with strongly is, get rid of anything that does not bring you joy. This is something that has helped make the process a lot easier. If I look at an item and have no idea where it came from or the purpose of it, it is really not bringing me any joy. And off it goes. Another concept that I found very helpful is organizing everything in the house by category.  In my bedroom, this is extremely useful when pairing down clothes. Another idea for clearing is to make sure you take every item out of the closet or cabinet that you are clearing. This way you have a blank slate to start with and you really see how much you actually have when it is all lying on the floor in front of you. Some of the concepts I don’t think I will follow are the ideas of thanking all of your items as you put them away each day. I agree we need to put the items away, in the same spot each time. Everything needs a home. But actually talking to them and thanking my shoes and my watch for its service. It seems a little strange. Greeting the house when you walk in, also a little creepy, but I guess if you do it in your head, it might work. For now I am just sticking with clearing out the items I don’t need.

This week I worked on my kitchen cabinets and my bedroom closet. Little by little we’re getting it done. In the kitchen it was amazing how much expired food and spices I had, that made it super easy to toss. It is also nice to be able to see all the items in the cabinets now. We have tall narrow cabinets that hold most of our food, so getting rid of the things we don’t need and showcasing the food we do eat is what I focused on.

Collage_kitchen before


I sure hope you can tell the difference! I know I can. We still have a lot of stuff, but at least we can get to it a little easier now.

One of the big challenges for getting ready for this trip is figuring out what I need to bring to wear. We are going to be on the road for 9 months. We will be in cold climates, warm climates, celebrating holidays with family, going on a cruise, exploring Disneyworld, visiting the ranch, skiing, surfing and so much more. With all these activities, how do you find a small wardrobe that will keep me covered (no pun intended) for the whole time? In my opinion, I think I have a pretty small wardrobe to start with, I work from home and rarely get dressed up, so the extent of my clothes are jeans, tops, skirts and a few dresses. It shouldn’t be that hard. This week I cleared out my closet and started thinking about what I will be taking. Once I have that all figured out I will report back. But for now, this is the transition I made in the closet.


The 50 lb trunk full of photos is under the hats, sweaters and basket of hats & scarves (left photo). You can’t even see it – not a good use of space!


Can you see the difference on this one?? Lots more space & I can get to my shoes now! My daughter said I have a walk in closet now, cause you can actually walk in! Another KonMari tip – don’t buy new organizers to organize your stuff, use what you have. I actually got rid of one of the “organizers” in my closet that was just holding a bunch of crap!

The hardest part of clearing the closet was moving the 50 pound trunk filled with old photos and journals, it was not that tough actually moving it, the tough part was not spending my whole afternoon reading my old journals and looking at all the photos. That will have to be a whole day project on its own. The KonMari Method recommends saving photos and mementos for last. With that in mind, I moved the trunk out of the closet and will dedicate another day to just the photos.

Thanks for reading and peeking into my closets and cabinets. It’s go time! More to come later!

Until next time, — kg

Finding Meaningful Time – Cannon Beach Yoga Festival 2015

IMG_7679I have been fortunate enough to attend the Cannon Beach Yoga Festival for the last two years. This was my take away from last year and while it is short and sweet, it is still very important and spot on. Our breath is the most important tool that we have and it is what keeps us grounded and keeps us alive. This is something that I continue to try and remember on a daily basis, even though our breath is always with us it is sometimes difficult to use it as a tool and actually stop and take a breath before acting. But when we do, we can be even more present and mindful in whatever it is we are doing. What  I learned this year and what I will continue to explore when I am back in the “real world” is what to do and how to act – after taking that clarifying breath. What is it that lights me up? What is it that I am most passionate about? I have touched on this before and I am still working towards my goals, but what about in my day-to-day life? What about those short moments of time, how do I fill that space meaningfully?  This is the burning question. I am like a lot of other moms (and dads) that spend my day taking care of the others in my life. Which is something I love. I love my family and I love taking care of them, but there is a lot of extra time that they do not need caring for, but sometimes that time is choppy and disconnected, so how do I fill my time? I am sure you can guess: Facebook, organizing and replying to emails, surfing the internet, checking out Pinterest, picking up the house and so on and so forth. Not really meaningful time. Just time being used up. The goal now is to use this extra time that I have in a meaningful way. Yes, there will still be work to get done and emails to respond to, but if I don’t over think it I can usually get that work done pretty quickly and then I can make time for meaningful activities like: Writing (hey here I am – pat on the back!), reading, painting, meditating, calling a friend or relative that needs support or compassion, taking a walk, being in nature, cooking an amazing meal (if your kitchen is available to do that) and the list can go on and on, if I take the time to think about what makes me happy and lights me up, not just falling into my usual habits of looking at a screen.

I am so grateful to have had this weekend away to really help me on my path to find my IMG_7650passion. I learned so many great techniques from my Twists and Hips workshops with Brad Waites and I am looking forward to diving deeper into Sarahjoy Marsh’s new book that I bought over the weekend, Hope, Hunger & Healing. I am always so enlightened after attending a yoga retreat or festival and the real work that my good friend Jen and I always discuss on the last day of these types of events is “How do we keep this energy and spark going at home?” – and as I mention above, my goal is to stop and take a deep breath and really think about what is meaningful and what will bring me joy in the moment. Now, don’t get me wrong, I will still find time to browse Facebook & Pinterest, but my hope is that I can make more time for the more fulfilling activities as well.

Thanks for reading, until next time!


Big Hugs for Valentine’s Day & You too!

love selfValentine’s Day gets a bad rap a lot of the times. I get it – why do we need a day to remind the people we love that we love them? Shouldn’t we be doing that every day? Yes, we should and we don’t need to spend money on stupid cards, flowers or crappy candy (good chocolate is the exception) to show our love and gratitude for the people we love in our lives.

On this Valentine’s Day I think the focus should be on Celebrating Love. Celebrate love by showing your love for everything. Not just the people in your life but the wonderful life you have. Celebrate this amazing world around you and all the blessings that are in your life. You do not need to do this with gifts, instead do it with actions, get out in nature and do something you love with your loved ones, explore and discover new things. If you want to give gifts, make something special, bake a cake, create art together and share it. But make sure it comes from the heart, not just something you have to do because it’s the day we’re suppose to do it.

I also think this is a great time to show love for yourself. Whether or not you have a significant other to celebrate with or a family to share your love with, this Valentine’s Day, I think everyone should take a few minutes (or longer) to give yourself the love you deserve. Don’t wait for someone else to buy you a massage, get one for yourself. If you want some decadent chocolate – go get it. If you need a nap, a moment of silence or time to yourself in a nice hot bath – take that time without guilt (easier said than done, I know). I have talked about this in the past about how challenging it is for so many to have loving compassion for our selves. We spend so much time caring for others, working hard for others and trying to improve ourselves so we can fit in to the stereotypical norms of society we lose track of who we are and what we REALLY need to be fulfilled. For a lot of people, being with friends and family is what fulfills them, but what happens when the security of others is not around? Are you able to sit and be okay alone? This should be the goal for Valentine’s Day – before you shower your loved ones with gifts and love – remember to give yourself a little love and compassion first. This gift will be even more meaningful to your loved ones, because once you can truly love yourself and be happy with what you have, then you can share that love with others around you.

This is something I am personally working on and I have a consistent mantra that I try to remember on a daily basis. The word is Maitri (or metta) and it is a Sanskrit word for Loving Compassion. This is a meditation that is helpful to practice when trying to cultivate more love for yourself (and others), I practiced something similar to this in a yoga class this week, which I felt was very fitting for Valentine’s week. The goal now is to try and keep it going after the hearts and flowers have moved on!

Happy New Year – A few days later

Highlight of 2014 was our hot air balloon ride in New Mexico

One of the highlights of 2014 was our hot air balloon ride in New Mexico

Happy New Year! I know this post is a little delayed, but the sentiment is still true. I am so happy to be starting a new year. 2014 was not the best year for our family, between cancer news, car accidents, impromptu kitchen repairs and a number of other bumps in the road, I am happy to say goodbye to 2014 and ask the powers greater than me that 2015 bring us more blessings, health and happiness. I know that life will always bring struggles and challenges, and how you deal with those issues is what makes you stronger and more resilient. I also know that we are still very fortunate for all that we have and things could always be a lot worse. But when you have stress – no matter what it is, that stress is equal to any other stress and needs to be managed in a healthy way.

My hope is that 2015 is a year of healing, planning, purging and getting ready for our next adventure. In my last post I said I would report weekly about how the planning for the trip was going – that was a lofty goal, considering that we had a lot going on over the last few months and although we are constantly planning and thinking about the trip, the main steps we are taking to get ready are mainly purging our house of things we no longer need and getting the camper ready for the trip ahead.  The next few months will be really about getting our house ready for renters. The first step is replacing the floor that was removed for water damage throughout the kitchen. Removing everything from the kitchen definitely brings an element of chaos to the house, but it is also a great opportunity to get rid of the stuff we don’t use and practice eating and making dinners in the camper.  Life is not always easy, and I know there will plenty more challenges along the way, but the way we handle them is what will keep your sanity.

Until next time, friends, thanks for reading!

What do I want to be when I grow up?

This is a question my daughters ask me from time to time, and my first answer is always – ALIVE! I am just happy to be here and every day is a blessing, but what am I passionate about and what do I want to do when I am here and alive on the planet, well that is a very good question!

Lunch at the edge of nowhere.

Lunch at the edge of nowhere.

What I really, truly want to do is explore and share my experiences with people. I want to write about travel. Technically that is what I am doing, but I don’t do it enough, and I don’t get paid for it – that would be a nice little perk. But I also want to spend time with my family and watch my girls grow and learn and explore as well and really enjoy life while we can. Not just go along with the rat race that ends up being our daily lives – day in and day out, doing the same thing over and over again.

And because of that, Andrew and I are working on our “Year on the Road” plan. Also known as: The Gap Year. The Sabbatical. The “I need to take this trip or I need to move out of the country” trip. (We are still working out names). I believe it is important for everyone to leave the city that they grew up in for a little while, see new things, find some adventures and take some risks. My big trip was traveling through Europe after college graduation (that was a long time ago), this was one of the best and most memorable trips of my entire life – maybe that is because I met my husband, my soul mate, my best friend, and the person I love more than anything, on that trip! And he also loves to travel and explore and can use a little break from reality for a bit.

That’s the selfish part, we have Wanderlust and we want to see the world – or our entire country to start. We have talked about taking big trips like this a few times in our lives, but one thing or another keeps getting in our way, so this time, we are going for it! We also want to connect with our kids and give them an experience of a lifetime, we are not getting any younger and this world is going crazy, everyone is on devices all the time, connected to a screen, we have ADD, we are always trying to multi-tasking – it is craziness! We need to slow down and stop to breathe. We want to see the trees, hear the birds, smell the flowers, get out and SEE OUR WORLD. I know this will be an amazing, educational experience for our kids, we will learn so much while we are out there – more than they learn in the classroom. We will be learning in all aspects of our life on the road. And this will be something that they will always remember – and possibly the theme of their college essays or conversations with their future therapists. Either way, it will be time together as a family.

We understand that this trip is entirely possible and at the same time understand that there will be some challenges. We know that a lot of people think we are crazy (which is part of the reason we want to do it). We know there will be bumps along the road, but this is our goal: Our family of four will take 9-12 months, starting the summer of 2015 (exact dates TBD), living out of our truck camper traveling around the US & Canada, we would love to travel and explore with family and friends all over the country.  We invite anyone to come and travel with us, maybe we will come and camp in your driveway – Danny, Debbie, Houser Cousins. We would love to travel with you on your breaks – Skiing over Spring Break anyone? Let’s plan it. We are going to start mapping out our plan and we would love for Family and Friends to be part of that plan!

This is our goal and we are working towards it. This is my way of becoming a travel journalist. Starting in my 40th year (or 41st – however you look at it) I am going to start writing about it.  Please follow my blog, and keep us accountable. I will do my best to post at least once a week about what type of progress we are making towards our goal of living on the road.

Thank You Friends! I have had a wonderful birthday weekend and I am looking forward to many more amazing days ahead!

Lots of love!

Until Next Time, kg


I’m a Little Bit Country

IMG_8878I never thought that I would say this, but I do think I am a little bit country. My family and I recently went to a Zac Brown Band concert at the Gorge Amphitheater. In my opinion, The Gorge is by far the best place to see a concert. We tried to see a concert there last year (on the exact same weekend) and it was cancelled due to weather. This year we got lucky. We saw The Zac Brown Band and they played a super fun and amazing show. I never really considered myself a country music fan until recently. Almost two years ago, we got a truck and a camper and have been spending a lot of time on the road. My husband introduced me to Zac Brown and with the amount of hours we have spent in the truck, you really get time to truly listen to the music and the words. The song Quiet Your Mind is one that really hits home for me. In this one song, it talks about everything I need to remember, every single day of my life. Here are the lyrics, take a look and you will understand what I am talking about. These are the lines that hit me:

IMG_8816At the end of the water
A red sun is risin’
And the stars are all goin’ away
And if you’re too busy talkin’
You’re not busy listenin’
To hear what the land has to say

Quiet your mind

I hear the waves
Sun beatin’ down on my shoulders
It’s a near-perfect day
Wishin’ I wouldn’t get any older
They say that it’s gone ‘fore you know it and
Soak it all in
It’s a game you can’t win
Enjoy the ride

The lyrics are simple, but they are right on – the idea that this is the only life we have and we need to enjoy every single day we have. We need to take care of ourselves so that we get more of these amazing days, but we also need to sit back and relax and enjoy the ride.

With that in mind, the other song I love by Zac Brown is this one, Free. It makes me think of my husband and I, and our dream of just living and traveling around the country with our family and enjoying every single second together and not worrying about anything else – because all we need is love. IMG_8844

Thanks for reading – Until next time!