Annual Trip To The UP…AND WE SAW TWO BEARS!

Yup you read that right, TWO BEARS! Don’t worry, both were within reasonable distance away…but still pretty cool! Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is pretty chuck full of wildlife and it’s especially noticeable this time of year. With animals coming out of hibernation, and the lack of leaves on trees to hide things in the woods; You’re chances of seeing something on a hike are very high!

We weren’t uncertain to whether or not we would even be able to make this annual trip of ours to the cabin (due to COVID and the stay-at-home order here in Michigan.) However, when Governor Whitmer loosed the restrictions allowing people to go to their second residences, we ran for it! Obviously following all necessary precautions- wearing masks at gas stations, bringing in all our own food from a grocery store around home, and only going to the cabin!

The trip was nothing short of amazing, per usual! In fact, because Kwin doesn’t have to be at work currently we were able to stay longer than ever… 6 days! Whew, that’s a long time staying at a primitive cabin with no running water, electricity, or cell phone service. But man, it was much needed during this time of craziness!

We spent lots of time hiking (averaging 8-10miles per day,) reading, doing chores around the cabin, fishing, searching for the biggest White Pines we could find (we found one with 14ft circumference) and spending quality time with each other!
Would you believe me if I told you there were still HUGE snowbanks? Welp, there was! The currently melting snow resulted in REALLY high water levels in the rivers and HUGE waterfalls, I had never seen them pumping so much!

Kwin and I enjoy and look forward to this trip so much!
With the sprouting tree buds, the chirping birds, muddy terrain, and sunny days…It’s a true sign that we’ve made it through another Michigan winter!
I hope you enjoy the blog and are getting outside during this beautiful spring weather yourself!

PS. For anyone who cares, baby girl did great with all the hiking and activity this past week! I cannot wait to bring her up to the cabin with us and make a whole bunch of new memories with her(:

2018, A Years Reflection

A year of grieving, struggles, and hardships.

A year of growing mentally and physically EVERYDAY.

A year of rekindling relations with family and friends.

A year of traveling to new and old places.

A year of creating new traditions and and living life to the fullest!

Reflecting back, 2018 has taught me so many useful lessons that I’ll be able to use the rest of my life. I’ve learned how to handle tragedy, and stressors that are out of my control. I’ve learned that some of the best moments are those in the most unexpected times. And lastly, I’ve learned to just be present and that everything happens for a reason.

Grieving

 Grieving is a beautiful process. Losing family members sucks. I won’t lie, it was horrible and almost broke some of my family members. But it also brought us closer together. We supported each other, and tried to make light of the difficult situation. We shared all the good stories of those lost. And most importantly, accepted each others ways of grieving and helped each other through them. I love my family, and cannot imagine going through life without them.

I wanted to thank my family for being such rocks during this stressful time. I love you all so much, and always remember that Uncle Kevin and Uncle Nathan are watching over us everyday!

 

We also recently had to put down or beloved Dawson Marie. She was not just a dog, she was our little girl. Kwin has owned Dawson for 15 years now….YES he was only a Junior in High School! She went through so many major life events with him, and 5 years ago I was able to join the family too! Dawson was a sassy, determined, and stubborn girl…unlike any dog I’ve ever met! I’m going to miss her constant panting, which she did to make sure everyone knew she was in the room. I’m going to miss her smile, and those big brown eyes of hers. I’m going to miss my hiking buddy, because when I joined the family us two stuck together. And lastly, I’m going to miss just seeing her around the house everyday. A piece of my heart is gone now, but I’m so thankful for all the memories that we’ve got with her to always look back on. Dawson, you’ll NEVER be forgotten<3

48363308_10106893518785012_8371593753344868352_n48329424_10216227315063301_2352042396163768320_nIMG_0403IMG_3479IMG_0395

Mental Growth 

I’ve had some struggles with my health in the past. Honestly, it is quite embarrassing looking back at it now, but being upset does more harm than good.I’ve began looking at every situation I’m given in life and truly analyzing them to find the silver lining. This years health debacle, has taught me to CHILL OUT! It’s okay to not always be ‘GO, GO GO.’ It’s okay to have good and bad days- the bad ones really make you appreciate the good ones! And it’s okay to NOT be perfect. By having the mindset I use to have my stress levels were through the roof and effecting other parts of my health. As I sit here today, I can honestly say that my mental health has grown leaps and bounds from a year ago!

Traveling 

What year in review would this be without the awesome adventures that Kwin and I have had this year?!

  • We’ve made countless trips to the Upper Peninsula- Skiing in Marquette, spring trip to the cabin, camping in the summer, and annual fall color trip! That place sure is magical.

 

  • We traveled to North Carolina, Tennessee and Washington DC to visit Kwin’s sister

 

  • Explored new territory in Canada, just before Kwin and the other paddlers of Stand Up For Great Lakes crossed Lake Superior!

 

  • A new puppy joined our family, Miss Kopper! She was born on Kwin and I’s 1 year anniversary…HOW COOL(:

 

  • Hiked the North Country trail, where we did some backcountry camping cliffside!

 

Reflecting on my 2018 Goals!

  1. Be More Eco Friendly– I THINK THIS WAS A HUGE SUCCESS! Kwin and I really made a conscious effort to make this one happen.
    • We installed solar panels on our house, which has made a HUGE decrease in our carbon thumbprint! SHOUTOUT TO Solectriq for installing this for us!
    • We also have picked up our recycling game by having an in house recycle bin
    • Decreased our food waste by composting!
    • Traded out all our Tupperware containers for glass ones!
    • Reusable produce bags for grocery shopping. I got THESE from amazon
    • Reusable sandwich lunch bags. I got THESE form amazon also!
  2. Read More– I’m happy to report that this was a success as well! I finished 13 books this year, which surpassed my goal of 12! Reading is a great way to de-stress, end the night and continue to learn cool things.
  3. Yoga– This was hit or miss…I would go in phases of doing yoga everyday and then not. I love doing it, and feel so much better when I do! I can feel my stress levels going down, and my body is less “tight.” I definitely plan on continuing to work on this in the upcoming year.
  4. Building my Blog Platform– Well, I can’t do it all! This one defiantly was put on the back burning the second half of the year. In fact, the second part of the year I tried to decrease my use of ALL social media. I felt like it was adding to my stress levels, and wanted to put my health first. I also was un-encouraged and felt like my material was the same EVERY TIME. I’m hoping that this year I can get back into being more consistent and think of more content to blog about.
  5. Increase my cooking creativity and eat more wholesome foods– I would like to say this was a success (and I hope that Kwin would agree too!) Diet has a HUGE role in your overall health, and given that I was really working on healing myself this year, I took my cooking and food intake seriously! I love cooking and defiantly will continue this into the new year.
  6. Increase my knowledge of Holistic Health– Learning is one of my favorite things…yes, nerd alert! I would say that probably half of the books I read this year we’re all related to holistic health of some sort. I’ve also started seeing a Naturopathic Dr. (Thank you Dr. Abbey) to heal myself, and she is so great! Always educating me and willing to answer my millions of question. I truly feel that our healthcare will make the change to more of a preventative form of medicine through Holistic Medicine!

2018, you were challenging…but probably one of the biggest years of growth! I’m thankful for everything that happened this year and challenged me to be a better person!

I also wanted to thank my amazing husband, Kwin, for his constant support and love. Without him, all the challenges and frustrations that I’ve faced would have been 1000x harder!

Thank you for reading! I hope you all enjoy the remainder of the 2018 year  with a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Spring Tradition Upper Peninsula Trip!

 

IT IS FINALLY STARTING TO FEEL LIKE SPRING!

And what better way to celebrate than with a weekend adventure to the Upper Peninsula.

As most of you all know, Kwin and I absolutely LOVE the Upper Peninsula; and pretty much look for any excuse we can to escape up there. We’ve made it a tradition that on the first weekend of May we head to the cabin for a relaxing, adventurous and rejuvinating weekend away.

Going into this trip we were expecting snow, ice covered lakes and cooler temps… thanks to the big snowstorm we had a couple weeks ago and what the weather reports were calling for. WE WERE SHOCKED, and in a good way! Yes, some of the lakes were still iced over..but pretty much all the snow was gone and it was 70 degrees all weekend! BIG SIGH OF RELIEF.

Here are some pictures from our most recent adventure, I hope you enjoy!

Lake Superior spring time dip! Felt so incredibly amazing (Believe it or not I jumped in too!) The ice baths all winter long definitely made this a little bit easier. For those who don’t know, cold exposure is so great for you: Helps to decrease inflammation, increase circulation, increase your immunity and so much more.

This picture on the left is Kwin looking at a Big Black Bear! YES…you heard me right… A BLACK BEAR!

Just the beginning of all our awesome spring and summer adventures! I hope you all enjoyed(:

“If we were meant to stay in one place we’d have roots instead of feet, he said.” -Rachel Wolchin

Places we visited: 

Porcupine Mountains: Lake of the Clouds 

Lake Superior Shoreline 

Marquette Waterfalls 

Bluffs at the Cabin