Highlights of 2015


Have you ever gotten tired or bored of a hobby that you once loved?  For example, I used to LOVE yoga, and I regularly practiced it too.  Eventually, though, I became tired of it.  I probably tried to force myself to do yoga for a while though because, let’s face it, who doesn’t want to do yoga.

It just sounds so hip, healthy and flexible!  And it gives you an excuse to wear stretchy pants everywhere which is a very good thing.

Alas, you can only force yourself to do yoga for so long if you are not really feeling it.  I eventually stopped doing yoga, and I had not done it for six months or so.  Which is totally fine!  There are other fun ways to be active…dancing, running, walking, unwrapping chocolate bars to eat.

But today, I surprised myself.  I woke up and rolled out the yoga mat for a little twisty sweaty pretzel time.  Why?  Because I wanted to.  It felt right and natural again.

Isn’t it cool how some hobbies (and some people too) always find a way back into your heart in an easy, organic way?

I spose you could say blogging has found me again too because here I am!  And I am excited to share with you some highlights of 2015.

The biggest highlight of 2015 thus far has been my two-week trip to North Dakota and Minnesota to visit my boyfriend, Mark.  As promised to my family, here is a recap of some favorite memories from my adventures in this flat winter wonderland.

Our trip started off with something really fun…A WEDDING! One of Mark’s best friends from college was getting married, and Mark was an usher in the wedding.  The night I arrived in North Dakota, Mark and I met a bunch of his best college friends (most of whom were also in the wedding!) downtown for some pre-wedding fun.


This is one of my favorite memories from the trip because I finally met some of Mark’s best friends.  Long distance relationships are interesting because I hear so much about people and places without ever seeing or meeting them.  I am very happy to finally know the men that Mark speaks so fondly of.  I would be totally lying if I didn’t admit that I was pretty nervous to meet them all at first.  I am not a huge fan of being the center of attention, but it was hard to feel shy when these people were so kind, warm and hilarious.  P. S. Thank you Cory for teaching us all the “stanky leg” dance. 🙂

Another great memory was a sushi lunch date with Mark’s twin sister Brooke.  Sushi.  Wine.  Good company.  Not much more needs to be said to explain why this was a great time, eh?  We ate at a little place in Fargo, ND called Wasabi, and we all loved it.  After eating the perfect amount of miso soup, sushi and wine, we walked around downtown Fargo.  One of my favorite things to do when traveling is to explore local shops downtown so I was happy happy.


White wine for Brooke.  Pink wine for me.  And red for Marky.


We each chose a roll to order, and this portion ended up being the perfect amount for three hungry people!  We ordered a caterpillar roll, spicy tuna roll and, Mark’s favorite, the broken heart roll.  The broken heart roll is very yummy…how could it not be since it is fried and covered in spicy mayo?  Hehe.


In general, just spending time with Mark’s sister Brooke was a huge treat for me.  When we were all in high school in Montana, I got to see Brooke all the time!  Since we have gotten older and gone to college in different places, though, it has been a rare occassion when Mark, Brooke and I are in the same place at once.  I am so thankful for some quality time with this sweet girl!  We did manage to make it outside for a run one day; to my surprise, I didn’t spend every second of this freezing cold jog cursing my choice to leave the warm, comfy couch.  Apparently, when you wear four shirts and a monky hat, anything is possible.


Let’s not forget about the abundance of road trips during this trip, too!  Mark, Brooke and I drove back and forth from Grand Forks, ND, Fargo, ND and the twin cities in MN in order to spend time with all the family and friends we wanted to see.  We spent a lot of time in the car but we made the most of it by listenting to the new Taylor Swift CD and lots of OULA music.  I have always enjoyed riding in a car, looking out the window and listenting to music so I couldn’t complain 🙂


Our time in the cities was where some of my favorite memories were made.  It was so nice to spend quality time with Mark’s mom since I have not gotten to know her very well up until now.  We had many delicious meals, good conversations and we even went to the Mall of America.  Pictured below is the giant theme park located in the middle of the mall.  We thought about buying tickets for the roller coaster, but never actually did it…maybe next time!


Oh!  And I finally got to go to a Trader Joe’s store.  My intense and dorky love for all things having to do with food make grocery shopping a very intriguing and excitiing activity.  I could spend forever just looking around at the different types of food.  Reading the nutrition facts on products I haven’t seen before.  Lord help me.


Speaking of food, Brooke and I enjoyed making Oreo truffles with Mark’s mom.  They were so easy and yummy!  All you have to do is finely crush a package of Oreos (we used a mini food processor).  Then you mix the Oreo dust with one 6 oz package of cream cheese.  When the Oreo dough is rolled into small balls you dip them in chocolate and, if you’re feeling feisty, you sprinkle them with crushed peppermint before popping them in the fridge to firm up.  The easiest truffle ever!

No one panic.  It’s safe to say I got my fair share of chocolate during these two weeks 🙂


After spending some time in the cities, Mark and I made our way back to Grand Forks where he lives and goes to school.  Since Mark has no family in Grand Forks, it was just the two of us and we really enjoyed having a few quiet, low-key days in the midst of all the family time.  One of my favorite things we did in Grand Forks was our coffee and checkers date.  There is a super cute and cozy coffee shop called Urban Stampede in Grand Forks where we could get yummy drinks, stay warm, look at local art work, and I could beat Mark at checkers until the cows came home.  Board games at coffee shop dates are such a fun, inexpensive time that we always look forward to 🙂


There is lots more I could write about.  But, to be honest, my brain is tired of writing and my fingers are tired of typing.  And you are probably ready to stop reading about my obsession with food and Mark’s poor checker skills.  I understand.  image

To wrap up this post, I want to end with a new favorite quote.  I came across this quote while reading a book titled Hold Me Tight at a Barnes and Noble in Fargo.

“Love is everything it’s cracked up to be.  It really is worth fighting for, being brave for, risking everything for.  And the trouble is, if you don’t risk anything, your risk is even greater.”

This quote is powerful because it points out that loving deeply often requires courage. And risk taking too.

It is also encouraging because it advocates that taking the risk to be honest and open in your relationships is a worthwhile choice.

That’s the essence of why this trip has been a highlight for me.  I was blessed with many opportunities to be brave by opening my heart and sharing my honest thoughts.  And brave love is a recipe for beautiful connection with each other.

Plus I got to eat a lot of good food 🙂

What are the highlights of 2015 for you so far??




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