#jp2travelsSW2014

Otherwise known as #jp2drinksbeer2014

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3,000 + miles travels, 5 national parks and 5 breweries visited/tried, 40+ miles hiked.  It was 2+ weeks that we will always remember and I can’t wait to share it with you!  Today, I am simply going to share a snap shot of pictures from our adventures.  I plan to break up our trip into 4 blog posts – 1) Bryce + Grand Canyon , 2) Grand Canyon – Part II, 3) Death Valley + Yosemite, 4) Arcata + Redwoods.  These posts will likely come over several weeks (the semester is winding down which means I am BUSY!) but if you subscribe to the blog you can be sure you won’t miss one!

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Bryce National Park

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Grand Canyon North Rim

Hiking through the canyon

Hiking through the canyon

Hiking through the Canyon

Hiking through the Canyon

Hiking through the Canyon

Hiking through the Canyon

South Rim

South Rim

Viva Las Vegas

Viva Las Vegas

Death Valley

Death Valley

Death Valley

Death Valley

Yosemite

Yosemite

Redwoods

Redwoods

Redwoods

Redwoods

Northern California Coast

Northern California Coast

Why I Quit Facebook

A few months ago, I decided to disconnect from Facebook.  And this disconnect from Facebook was a decision that was actually in the making for many months and I finally had had enough!

One of the first things that got me thinking about “giving it up” was the fact that I was spending so.much.time on Facebook.  I would check it several times per day on my App at work and once I got home I could easily spend 45 minutes looking at things.  I would complain because I didn’t have time to do XXX and quickly realized that the time I was spending on Facebook was inhibiting me from doing other things I enjoy.  It some ways, I felt addicted and I didn’t like.

The biggest decision maker was that Facebook was messing with my mental health.  It sounds weird but it is so true.  And there are actually articles that have been published related to this!  I started to feel like I wasn’t good enough – I wasn’t far enough in my career, my house wasn’t nice enough, I wasn’t going on any cool trips, I should be having kids, and why can’t we do all these trips like other people do?  I started feeling like my life was inadequate when we all know that is soooooo far from the truth!

I also started to feel JEALOUS.  And I couldn’t stand this.  Someone would post something about a career advancement, new home, engagement, pregnancy and I would get jealous.  Jealous.  I felt so awful because I wanted to be happy but I was angry.  Why are these things happening to these people and not me?  I had NEVER felt this way in my whole life and it felt so icky!

Lastly, I had 400 500 maybe 600 friends and the majority of those people I didn’t really know or care about, yet I was caring.  There were people that I was connected with that I would prefer not to be.  Just seeing a post would cause old, unpleasant memories to creep back into my mind.  I would spend all this time on Facebook, only to leave it feeling angry, frustrated, and worthless.

And then I would find myself back on the App first thing in the morning.  It was a vicious cycle.

And how have things been since I left?  So much better!  I am still working hard to consciously disconnect from instagram, pinterest, and the blogs I follow to find more productive time but the jealous and feelings of inadequacy are completely gone.  I miss seeing pictures and getting updates from my family (so send some my way!! :)) but I know if there is anything super interesting Jake will let me know.

What We Have Been Up To:

  • We finished up projects in anticipation of winter
    • Canning!
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    • Putting plastic in the crawl space
    • Finished putting up gutter guards
    • rain x’d our windshields
    • cleaned!!  A while ago I had asked how people keep up with cleaning and have fun.  My solution: have fun and don’t clean.  Everything in our house was pretty yucky so I really got down to business this weekend!
    • Enjoyed college football with these snacks: buffalo “chicken” wings, chicken nuggets, and a black bean dip.
    • Spent our last time by the pool at our gym.  We will miss the sunshine but are ready for fall!

Hope you all had a great weekend!

On Being a Homeowner

Good Morning!

Welcome to the start of a new week.  In the last month 9 months Jake and I have been busy with house projects and I feel like our home is finally coming together.  I thought it would be fun to share a few of the things we have done since moving in.

Cleaning out the gardens.

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When we moved in the garden was totally overgrown and full of grass.  We dug everything out, including most of the dirt and planted our own garden.  Our garden went crazy and, as you know from previous posts, we have been doing what we can to preserve much of what we grew for winter.  The plants and the woodpile you see along the side of the house have all been removed.  Side note: I wish our grass still looked that green!

Building  Fence

I know I mentioned this previously but it was a huge project.  And look how nice it looks compared to the chainlink fence!

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Cleaning up the back patio and gardens.

One of my favorite spots in the house.  The gardens are now overgrown again… next weekends project?

IMG_0797Decorating.

This is my favorite!  Most recently we got furniture for our fire place and added a buffet table (is that what those are called?), which was Jake’s grandmothers, to the dining room.  Both of these updates really brought the house together.

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4 tap kegerator.

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Enough said.

Gas fire place insert.

When we moved in the fire place was wood burning.  We tried it out a couple of times over the winter and it wasn’t the greatest.  It didn’t warm the house and it made everything smell like smoke.  In August, we put in gas and it is amazing!  I can’t wait for winter to come, just so I can sit in front of it for hours!

IMG_0033Other less exciting projects.

  • Inserted a bathroom fan into the master bath
  • Put in a new drainage system on the side of the house (the other one wasn’t draining and water was going under the house. EEE!)
  • Placed a fan up in the attic that turns on automatically when it reaches 100 degrees
  • Started painting; still have lots more to do
  • Cleaned out the ponds in front and back and put in pumps for the fountains
  • All the outdoor lights were on sensors so we changed them so they only turn on on a switch
  • Cleaned out and re-caulked the gutters.  Currently in the process of putting on gutter shields (not sure that is the right name) to keep out the leaves in fall
  • Got a new dishwasher and gas stove (my love!!)
  • Gary put in sliders in our cupboards.  Life. Saver.

Other projects on our mind

  • Paint the bedrooms and bathrooms then move onto the main room
  • Update the bathroom (light fixtures, sinks, counter tops, cupboards)
  • Update kitchen cabinets and counter tops
  • Update house trim
  • Update wood doors to white doors (??)

Most of the above projects probably won’t happen for a while.  But a girl can dream.

Last week in the JP Household

We were home and it was amazing!  I co-hosted a baby shower this weekend which was loads of fun and Saturday night Jake and I had date night.  We went to coin jam (an arcade bar) and challenged each other in duck hunt, mario bros, pinball, and air hockey.  So many fun old school games! We then went to the movie “Chef”.  It was fun and light hearted but nothing to write home about.

Sunday was filled with prep for the week and Jake offered to make dinner.  Winning!  Last Sunday we actually had time to sit and play a game together.

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A-mazing!  And we enjoyed this awesome Roasted Tomato Sandwich.  It was so good we had it for dinner and breakfast.  If you make it I would suggested subbing the basil and mayo for a basil pesto aoili (mayo, basil, garlic).

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We are thoroughly enjoying having a several weekends at home and are looking forward to a few more before the fall chaos sets in.

xoxo

One Month Update

Wow!  Where did the summer run to?

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The last month has been absolutely insane, in the best way possible.  Here is what has been happening in the JP household, as of late.

We built a fence.

IMG_0883The fence on the front of our house was originally chain link.  Because the largest part of our yard is the side yard and we spend a lot of time there we wanted a little more privacy.  With the generous help of my father-in-law we dug up fence posts, dug new post holes, mixed cement, carted around gravel, and hauled wood.  This project took us TWO whole weekends (and of course it was 90 degrees outside!).  As we speak, Jake is painting the fence.  Bonus to building a fence:

IMG_0881Initials in the cement!

We wrapped up Zults Wars.

IMG_0029 IMG_0028We had so much fun doing this with our gym.  It was wonderful getting to know our teammates (and 5:15 a.m. exercise buddies) better and it opened our eyes to the significant number of extras we consume (We heart beer and I heart chocolate).  Although we weren’t shooting for any results Jake and I both gained a significant amount of muscle which was really fun to see.  Our favorite meals from the experience: fish packets (tilapia with vegetables combined in an aluminum foil packet and baked) served with brown rice and mango salsa and peanut butter oatmeal balls – O.M.G!

BiMart Willamette Country Music Festival.

IMG_0889Jake bought me tickets to the music festival for my birthday so I had been WAITING for this weekend for a long time!  And the wait was totally worth it.  We saw Gary Allen, Eric Church, Blake Shelton, Thompson Square, and Sarah Evans across the course of 3 evenings.  Jake liked Sarah Evans so much he fell asleep!

Hood to Coast.

IMG_0899Where do I even start!?  This was one of the most exhausting, thrilling, and fun events I have ever done.  Over the course of 32 hours our team of twelve ran 199 miles from Mt. Hood to the Coast.  Our team name was “I Mustache You a Question” (hence the ‘staches) and that provided lots of fun conversations with other participants. Over the course of 40 hours we slept 1.5 hours (from 7:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.), ran 37 miles between the two of us, and hardly ate a thing but once we arrived at the coast it was totally worth it!

IMG_0908IMG_0905 IMG_0904If you would like to see more pictures from the event you can search the hashtag #imustacheyouaquestionhtc14

Camping at Diamond Lake with Family.

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Diamond Lake is in Southern Oregon about 15 minutes from Crater Lake.  It was beautiful there (but cold!) and it was fun to camp with our niece and nephew. We also did some fishing but didn’t get lucky!

P1010866And Jake gets the award for coolest Uncle ever -

IMG_0915Yup, those are Jake’s bright pink nails.  He was kind enough to let our niece pretty him up :)

After all those amazing adventures we each started this week off fighting colds, tending to piles of laundry, trying to clean up the garden (it is crazy!!), and I am frantically trying to get accustomed to teaching at the University level and quickly learning there is a very steep learning curve!

Wow, now that I typed a novel…I better get to that laundry I was talking about and start gearing up for our next grand adventure – THE GRAND CANYON! 

Happy weekend!