Here We Go! 2021 Intentions

2020 was a year of inner growth, mental strengthening and finding the silver linings.
It was a chaotic year in so many ways, and also a year full of grounding experiences.
To be honest, it was one of the most wonderful years of my life. I know that I might get a lot of controversial comments with saying that...Buuuut after sitting back and truly evaluating everything, it’s the honest conclusion that I’ve come to.

  • I got to spend so much quality time with Kwin, and it strengthened our relationship with one another.
  • We were able to accomplish so many chores at home that have been building up over the years.
  • We spent so much time outside, adventuring new and old things!
  • We were blessed with the greatest blessing we could have ever asked for: Fitz Annmarie Morris

Going into 2020 I didn’t know what to expect, and I definitely didn’t expect a freaken pandemic!
I, like many, had so many goals to achieve and had such high expectations of what pregnancy would look like: all of my family&friends going through it with me, having a fun baby shower, the family walking into the hospital room once Fitz was born…NOPE! But I’m not here to dwell on the past. Like I said earlier, I’ve found the silver linings in all that was thrown at us last year and going to put all the negativity in the past!

You never know what life is going to throw at you, which is why I’m going to be setting ‘Intentions’ this year and every month setting smaller goals to achieve. I like the idea of both Macro and Micro achievements, and this is a good way to do it!
So here is to 2021!

Intentions for 2021

  1. Journaling– I want to get better at journaling everyday. Whether it be what I’m grateful for, what I’m happy or sad about, something funny that Fitz did, or just a little vent session. I find so much joy in writing and getting what’s on my mind out! I have an app on my phone that I’ve been using the past couple months (Morning!) and I really like it; But want to transition to a more permanent style by using a spiral bound notebook.
  2. Drinking more Water– Something that I think everyone can work on! It’s so easy to forget to drink…which isn’t good! 98% of the human body is water. I’ve got a 40oz Hydro Flask and plan to make sure that it’s accessible and filled up at all times.
  3. Work on my own confidence level– This is something I’ve struggled with almost all my life. It’s easy to hide…and at times really gets to me mentally! So how exactly do I plan to do this?
    – By getting out of my comfort zone and reaching out to friends to do things
    – Not worrying about what other people will think of me/something I do, and just DO IT
    – If something is bothering me, confront it.
  4. Being more aware of what I consume on social media– It’s easy to get caught in up the unrealistic reality that can be portrayed on social media. I want to make sure that what I’m consuming is beneficial for me mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
  5. Spend more time outside doing active activities– I know it may seem like Kwin and I are outside ALL the time, but to be honest, since having a baby it’s been easy to sit inside all day and not getting any fresh air! Being outside is so good for ones’ mental health, and I hope that by making an effort to be outside at least once a day, that Fitz will pick up on this habit too and love it!
  6. Grow my blogging platform– I love writing! Gosh darn-it, I’ve said this for literally the past 4 years since creating my blog. But what happens is I get in my own head and think “Megan, nobody cares or even reads the blogs..so don’t waste your time.” And well, maybe it’s true..but maybe it’s NOT! So I’m gonna give this intention another try and just write away!

Thanks for reading everyone, and I hope that you all have found peace with whatever happened in 2020 and are ready for a fresh start this year! Here is to 2021 being a year of positivity, hope and new beginnings!

Fall Favorites!

For those of you who don’t know me…FALL IS MY FAVORITE TIME OF YEAR! Like if fall could be 9 months out of the year (with summer being the other 3 obviously,) I think I would be the happiest girl in the world!

I’m not sure I can chose my favorite thing about it: the cool temperatures (hello jeans+sweatshirts,) the beautiful colors of the leaves, football games, outdoor activities or pumpkin spice lattes. Either way, the vibes of Fall are just something I look forward to all year long.

This year was especially fun and special; being that it’s Fitz’s first Fall experience! Does anyone else feel like Northern Michigan really lucked out this year with some warm, sunny and colorful days! Kwin and I definitely took advantage of this with lots of hiking, biking and “fall-ish” activities. Let me know if you enjoyed any of these too; or if we need try some new things next year!

Hiking and Biking

  • Vasa Single Track– HIGHLY recommend going here for an epic bike during the fall! NMMBA has done an awesome job recently of creating more trails for you to explore all over the state land in Williamsburg, MI. You can also hike or RZR on designated trails.
  • Electric Bikes on the backroads– We invested in some Electric bikes a couple years ago, specifically for bike rides like these! We are able to cover so much ground, and still enjoy the ride. Plus adventuring on back dirt roads is always so much fun with Kwin. Shoutout to Oma Jo for hanging out with Fitz so we could have a little day date!
  • Home Sweet Home– We’ve spent so much time over the past five years working on trails around our property. I’m not lying when I say they are my favorite trails to hike! The dogs can be off leash, so many different trails to choose from, and the beauty of the landscape makes it great too!
  • Mt. Holiday– A local favorite for skiing in the Traverse City area is also a favorite for hiking year round! Climbing to the top of the main ski hill really gives you an epic view of both East and West Grand Traverse Bay!
  • Marquette Trip– Our annual UP fall trip took place in Marquette this year. It was a beautiful and sunny weekend; filled with lots of hiking! Some of our favorites are Hogsback, Sugarloaf, Deadriver Falls and catching sunrise on Lake Superior. Fun fact… FOUR years ago Kwin and I got engaged on top of Hogsback Mountain; and look at us now with our beautiful baby girl in the same spot! This hike will always have so much special meaning to me.

Fall Treats

  • Pumpkin Spice Lattes– I’m usually not for frilly drinks, I’m pretty lame and just prefer a good black coffee. BUT this time of year calls for all the frilly pumpkin drinks I can get my hands on. If you’re in the Traverse City area…. go to Espresso Bay and get their pumpkin spice latte (it’s made with REAL pumpkin, no fake sugary syrups) YOU WONT REGRET IT.
  • Third Coast Bakery– Donuts aren’t really my jam, and I usually only have one pumpkin donut a year. However, after trying one of there HIGHLY RECOMMENDED GF donuts… I was converted to a donut person. Lets just say we made it a Sunday tradition to get a few of these bad boys! If you’re in the Traverse City area and looking for a bakery that is Gluten Free and very allergen friendly (soy, dairy and some items even egg free) give this place a try! I haven’t had a bad bakery item yet!
  • Pumpkin Patch– Is it really fall if you don’t go to a pumpkin patch? Unfortunately with COVID, this wasn’t the “usual” pumpkin patch experience…but we still made the best of it!

Sports

  • Lions Games– Even though the lions let us down 75% of the time, we still spend our Sundays cheering them on!
  • Elk Rapids Sporting Events– I love fall because of all the sports! And with Kwin taking a break from coaching this year, we had more time to go support the other teams; like football, soccer and volleyball! Fitz is enjoying going to all these games too. I’ve got a feeling she’s going to be a little sports star!

Family Fun

  • Sauna Season – I missed out on sauna season last year, due to being pregnant. But let me tell ya, I’m so excited the weather is cooling off and the sauna is being lit again!
  • Hot Tubs– Kwin and Fitz have some fun bonding time in the hot tub before “tubby time” almost daily! My heart melts watching her splashing around in there and interacting with daddy. She really is a water lover already.
  • HalloweenEEEEKKK, I was looking forward to Halloween so much! In fact, Fitz rocked three outfits and looked absolutely adorable in all of them. Dottie from a ‘League Of Their Own,’ A Polar Bear, and a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle!

Writing this on our first wintery day -hello white stuff&40mph winds– and getting a little sad that fall has come to an end. We are lucky in Michigan to experience all four seasons, as it really makes you appreciate whatever season you are currently in.
So I’ll sign off hear and say: Until next year Fall!

January Thaw, NOW BRING ON THE SNOW STORMS!

Well, January in Michigan was NOTHING like a Michigan January should be. I think at least half of the month was 30+ degrees! SO NOT NORMAL. A little thaw was nice, but bring on the snowstorms!

While in New Zealand Kwin and I were so excited to getting home (to the 2 1/2 feet of snow) so we could do all the winter activities! That first week of being home we managed to Fat Bike at the Single Track VASA trail almost everyday! We were kicking ass with our 1 mile a day biking! 

Kanyon also got some new glasses to protect her eyes during our activities! 

We were also able to cross country ski a ton; It’s my favorite when there is a lot of snow on the ground! Trails are a little slower…which is definitely my preference 🙂

Would you just look at how beautiful these sunsets are! We were defiantly spoiled these past couple weeks! Sunset paddle boarding and hiking, a must do on nights like these.

img_3580

img_3576

It just doesn’t feel like winter without snow…but one good thing that came out of the most recent warm episode was POND SKATING!

The combination of:

Rain+Wind+Below Freezing Temperatures at night= Perfectly Smooth Ponds!

Something exciting that happened this January:

Stand Up For Great Lakes ‘Crossing Lake Huron’ documentary (by Corey Adkins) was the feature film in the Thunder Bay International Film Festival! It was so awesome watching the documentary and getting all the emotional feelings from the crossing again! Not only that…but seeing Kwin, and all the other team members get a standing ovation for their tremendous efforts brought a couple tears to the eyes again.

If you’ve never been to the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary museum in Alpena,MI it’s definitely somewhere to check out! Learning about the history of “Shipwreck Ally” in Lake Huron is awesome!

January- Goals Check In

Kwin and I love being active and preach living a happy and healthy life! This includes setting goals and challenging yourself  to be a better person everyday!

This month, my challenge was:

  • NO MEAT: To some people this would be extremely challenging, and to others it would be extremely easy! Growing up I ate meat at almost every meal, but after much research I’ve slowly started to cut back. I don’t think I will ever completely get rid of meat (because I believe everything in moderation)…but I wanted to see how I could do. Honestly, it was easy and I really enjoyed it! It challenged me to get creative with other foods: Tempeh, Lentils, Quiona, etc.

Goals for the 2018 year:

  • Reading everyday before bed: I did OKAY on this…definitely something I need to continue getting better at! I still tend to browse through my phone and social media a little too much. So February to be more successful at this I will plug my phone in somewhere else NOT NEXT TO MY BED!
  • Yoga 3x per week: Man, this was definitely a great goal to set! Yoga has helped me physically and mentally in SO MANY WAYS.
  • Being more Green: This is A LOT harder than expected! Especially being that it’s the middle of winter, and it gets dark so early (which means lights on in the house more.) I love my new reusable produce bags [I got theses] that I’ve been using at the grocery store, and switched over to reusable laundry lint balls too [Got mine form Woolzies]! Making small steps, but better than nothing. This month I want to get better at unplugging outlets that I am not using!
  • Blogging more: Still struggling with this one. I feel like what I want to blog about would not be very relevant to people…but I need to get past my fear and JUST DO IT!
  • Biking: Kwin and I have a goal of getting better at biking this year, so we have either been fat biking outside…or using the new Bike trainer in the basement. Getting 1 mile a day has been pretty easy (with a .5mile penalty for every day missed). I’m really hoping that all this biking helps (M22…inspiration point…you are my motivation!)

My monthly goal for February is to cook 1-2 NEW MEALS every week! I tend to get into a slump at times…especially with cooking! Thank goodness for Pinterest though, I’ve already got a lot of new recipes on the list! If any of you have must try recipes though I would love to hear them!

Puppy snuggles are the absolute best! Thankful that my mother-in-law (Chocklabs.com) breeds the cutest pups ever!

I hope that everyone’s 2018 started off great and January was a success! Now, lets make February a huge hit too!

New Zealand Honeymoon!

New Zealand, where do I even begin? It truly was the vacation of a lifetime! Kwin and I are so fortunate to have spent our honeymoon making such great memories. I’m sorry that this blog is kind of on the long side…but I could write forever about how amazing this country is. I hope you enjoy(:

img_3340

Christchurch

We arrived in New Zealand on Christmas day, ready to start our adventures! Little did we know that ALL of Christchurch was shut down for Christmas! It was a ghost town. We ended up renting some bikes (Next Bike) and headed to New Brighton Beach for the day. It was a nice ride (mostly because nobody was on the road). PS-For those who do not know the ozone layer in the Southern Hemisphere is thinner than the Northern Hemisphere so the sun is INTENSE! Unfortunately we both got pretty burned that day….

Christchurch also has a Botanical Garden and Historical Museum which we were able to walk around on our last day. Such a cool place!

img_3304

Lake Tekepo and Lake Pukaki

 December 26, we picked up our Mighty Camper van as early as we could, stocked up on groceries and then started on our adventures. Our first stop was Lake Tekepo, this was our first glimpse of the crystal clear, aqua blue water of New Zealand lakes. TRULY INCREDIBLE. After hiking around a little bit we finished our journey to Lake Pukaki and stayed at Glenntanner Holiday Park (Just outside of Aorki National Park-Mount Cook). Something pretty neat about the Holiday Parks in New Zealand was that they have community kitchens for everyone! It was such a cool atmosphere to be in: people from all over the world, cooking and eating dinner together! NOTE: We did not stay in holiday parks all the time, but in specific areas in New Zealand its illegal to Freedom Camp, so just know the laws wherever you are!

Mount Cook-Mueller Hut Hike

This was probably Kwin and I’s favorite hike of the whole trip! It was a 3-hour round trip hike. It was definitely a challenging hike: with steep incline and mostly stairs the whole way up. We stopped multiple times (both to catch our breath, and also take in the beautiful views.) Once at the top we had an amazing view of Mount Cook- The tallest Mountain in New Zealand- along with the surrounding glaciers and glacier lakes. Kwin got this crazy idea that we should hike back down, grab our Tahoe SUP  inflatable paddle boards, do a shorter (less vigorous hike) to the glacier lake and paddle it. Unfortunately, after carrying our boards almost 2 miles, we got to the lake and found a nice cliff, which meant NO ACCESS to the lake. Frustrating, I know…but hey, at least we got some beautiful pictures!

img_5066

img_3335

img_5078

img_3342

Queenstown

New Zealand is the adventure capital of the world…and well Queenstown is the adventure capital of New Zealand! It is perfectly located in the middle of the Southern Alps, and along Lake Wakatipu. A perfect set up for hiking, biking, paddle boarding, white water rafting, paragliding, etc. WE LOVED THIS CITY! It has so much to offer, we could have easily spent a week there! However, due to our limited time we only had 4 days, so we packed them full of fun!

Bungee Jumping: We went to the Nevis Canyon Bungee jump (part of the AJ Hackett company) and jumped off a 137m (440 feet) platform in the middle of a canyon! This was the scariest thing that I’ve ever done, but let me tell you it was amazing! Felt like I was flying!

White Water Rafting: We went down the Shotriver, which is full of grade 4 and 5 rapids. It was a fun and a beautiful ride! I would have to say that the scariest part was the bus ride out to the river! The roads in New Zealand are unbelievable… drivers have no fear and the roads are in some crazy areas! This road specifically was an old Gold Trigging road: dirt, pot holes, winding through the mountains, steep drop offs, spots of erosion- FREAKED ME OUT! (These roads are considered historical, so no repairs are allowed to be made.)

Hiking: We did the Queenstown Hill hike which was also pretty steep, but definitely do-able. It has beautiful views overlooking the entire city of Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu.

img_5209.jpg

img_3369

IMG_3443

Bike Wine Tour: Queenstown and all the surrounding towns have this awesome trail system (mostly mountain bike friendly) extending for miles! It’s hilly, winds through the mountains, and alongside vineyards and wineries.

img_3376

img_5236

img_3385

Paddle Boarding: Lake Wakatipu was is one of my favorite paddles EVER! Seriously, the scenery of the crystal blue water and mountains was just amazing. Also it was pretty easy to find secluded beaches to relax on. DISCLAIMER: It is illegal to paddle board in New Zealand (or any watersport) without Life Jackets! We did not know this at first! 

img_3367

img_5175

Milford Sound

We were advised to go to Milford Sound by everyone we talked too! While here we did some paddle boarding through the coves, but didn’t end up making it too far out due to the strong Sea Breeze that came in! It was a beautiful place, and the ride out there was beautiful too! I would definitely suggest getting out there and either doing the kayak tour (these are early in the day due to the sea breeze that always comes in) or the bout tour-if that’s your kind of thing!

img_3362

img_5126

Roy’s Peak

We completed the Roy’s Peak hike which was LONG and tiring. It was all steep uphill hiking. (Talk about a calf and butt workout!) The hike took us about 4.5 hours to complete but is slotted to take about 5-6 hours. The views were incredible the entire hike up, overlooking Lake Wanaka and the surrounding Mt. Aspiring National Park mountain range. If you’re ever in the Wanaka area hit up the Burrito Food Truck! It was possibly the best burrito I’ve ever had in my life! 

img_5268

img_3401

Fox Glacier

A guided  Helicopter/Glacier Hike is pretty popular to do while in New Zealand, so we figured why not! There are a couple different glaciers to choose from, but we did Fox Glacier.  It was really cool to be able to walk around on-top of a glacier, while also learning the history them. This was also my first time ever in a helicopter!

img_3407

img_5290

img_3415

Arthurs Pass

First we did the most iconic hike in the Arthurs Pass National Park- Punchbowl Trail. A beginners hike, but has a really cool waterfall at the end of it! After, we hiked the Mt. Aoiki trail (stems off the Punchbowl Trail) which was intense! Very steep, mostly like rock climbing at times, but a super fun hike up. It had a beautiful view at the top of the whole Arthur’s Pass valley.

img_3422

img_5331

img_0033

Freedom Camping

 Before leaving for New Zealand, Kwin and I were extremely nervous about freedom camping and the laws/regulations on it. For anyone who is planning on traveling to New Zealand (the South Island) the best advise I can give to you about freedom camping is that IT IS ALMOST EVERYWHERE! Most of the cities/towns do not allow it when you are within city limits, but they have signs everywhere telling you where freedom camping is and is not allowed. Some of Kwin and I’s best camp sites were ones that we found freedom camping!

img_3325

img_0032

img_0028

img_3374

Our Itinerary 

Day 1: Christchurch- Bike to New Brighton Beach

Day 2: Glenntanner Holiday Park- Lake Tekepo and Lake Pukaki

Day 3: Queenstown Holiday Park- Mt.Cook and Walking around Queenstown

Day 4: Freedom Camping along Lake Te Anu: Milford Sound

Day 5: Queenstown Holiday Park- Nevis Bungee Jump, Paddle Lake Wakatipu

Day 6: Arrowtown Holiday Park-White Water Rafting, Queenstown Hill Hike

Day 7: Freedom Camping in Mountains- Bike Wine Tour (Arrowtown, Queenstown)

Day 8: Freedom Camping along Ocean-Roys Peak Hike, Swimming in Lake Wanaka

Day 9: Greymouth- Fox Glacier Helicopter Hike

Day 10: Freedom Camping, Craigburn Skiing Area-Arthurs Pass Hikes

Day 11:Christchurch-Botanical Gardens & Historical Museum

 

 

 

 

Did I mention I like Sunflowers?

Ahh, it’s that time of year again…SUNFLOWERS! Only one of the many beautiful things that Northern Michigan is known for in the summer.

FullSizeRender-3

The vast fields of bright yellow sunflowers cover the country roadside. Cars parked along the road shoulder to snap a picture with not just one, but millions of them!

FullSizeRender-2

Where Kwin and I live, we are lucky enough to be able to jump on our bikes and ride to a couple different fields in a matter of minutes. We take full advantage of this and catch sunset multiple times a week! Because let’s be honest, sunflower sunset pictures are THE BEST!

FullSizeRender

FullSizeRender-1

Kwin recently got a new toy called the One Wheel which is so much fun! Both of us are obsessed with it. You can ride on the road, trails, sand, and supposedly snow (haven’t tried yet..and really don’t want to anytime soon!)

We have had a lot of memories the past couple years at the sunflowers.

10585301_10202800766479996_795599110_o.jpg

 

 

First Summer together (2014), the night before I had to head back to school in Grand Rapids.

 

 

 

11914875_10103314243960452_3010651729794056919_n

 

Summer 2015, when Kwin got home from Africa. Longest time apart we ever had, but we made the best of the summer nights when he got home!

 

 

 

 

13914154_10104093267920192_7517922532756111370_o

 

 

 

Summer 2016, first official summer living up north!  Only the one of many summer sunflower sunsets.

 

 

 

With our wedding being only 9 days away (holy cow!) can anyone guess what our main flower is?

I hope everyone is able to get out and enjoy these beautiful pieces of nature like we do! 

 

Did you say meet at the gym at 6am?!

In middle school you would have never caught me dead getting up and working out before school started at 6 AM. But for these seventh and eighth grade Cherryland Middle Schoolers the gym, at such early hours, is the place to be!

Starting back in October 2016 Kwin, my fiancé, began meeting with a few of his students every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 6 AM for some morning lifting. As the school year progressed more and more students became interested and started joining us. Now, as the morning lifting is coming to an end( for summer vacation) we are up to about 20 students!


The progress that these students have made is incredible. Most of them starting at bodyweight exercises have almost doubled or tripled their weights. They have learned  proper form when lifting, endurance vs. building/bulking workouts, and teamwork in the weight room.

Waking up early three times a week, and then going right to school after (of course showering in the locker rooms) is a big commitment. But to these athletes it’s worth it. All of these athletes play football, soccer, basketball, volleyball and track; and are all looking to enhance their skills and abilities in their sports. Weight lifting has been proven to help increase speed, agility and endurance; which makes it great for cross-training purposes.

Accompanying these students in the gym is there Science teacher, Mr.Morris; Cherryland Middle School Principle, Mr.Starr, Mr.Maculuso-History Teacher, Mr.Knight-Teacher at Lakeland Elementary School, Mr.LaFontaine-parent of one of the student athletes, and myself. We too have made the commitment to not only be there for the students, but to also enhance our physical well-being.

Morning lifting is more than just working out; We have become a tight-knit family. Everyone is constantly supporting and encouraging each other, and challenging one another to be the best they can be. I am so proud of these kids and all their handwork they have put in the past 9 months, and I cannot wait to see what the future holds!

To My Mom..

Dear Mom,

Where do I even begin…from the beginning you have always been there for me. You went  through hours of painful labor, had countless sleepless nights, and endured my famous childhood temper tantrums. We bickered a lot in the teenage years, and did not always see eye to eye.  Yet, you still seemed to love me endlessly. There was never a night that I went to bed without singing the bedtime song, never a day I went to school without a homemade lunch, and never a day I went without hearing the words “I love you to the moon and back.”

10363992_10202208951324987_6952988133210906765_n

Today is mothers day, and I am so lucky to call you not only my mom, but my best friend. Over the years we’ve definitely had some head-butting moments, but don’t all moms and daughters. I’m pretty sure most of them are because were both so stubborn and bull headed that we always want our way (yes, thanks for passing that trait on to me!)

Over the past 23-years you have taught me more than you will ever know. You have showed me what it is really like to love someone unconditionally, and to make a relationship work. You have showed me what handwork and compassion look like. How to always respect and care for others; And lastly, to always fight for what you want.

You made my childhood so incredibly amazing Mom, memories that I will cherish forever. I remember cooking with you in the kitchen, and learning how to clean the house properly. I remember jamming out to Backstreet boys in the car and dancing anytime we could. I remember reading bedtime stories and snuggling when I wasn’t feeling well. And most importantly, I will always remember to say I love you everyday.

Mom, you have always pushed me to follow my dreams, even if that meant moving  3 1/2 hours away from you. Yes the distance is not fun, but as they always say “Distance makes the heart grow fonder.”  I look forward to our six AM phone calls on the way to work, and then again on my way home. I look forward to the times I get to see you and the family. Plus it just gives you an excuse to come Up north more!

13615465_10153560256992273_3565855364537852353_n

Life has definitely been full of twists and turns, but thank you for always being there to point me in the right direction. Thank you for always being a listening ear. And most importantly, thank you for being YOU.

Mothers Day only comes once a year, but you deserve to know everyday how much I love you and how much you mean to me!

I love you to the moon and back infinity times<3

xoxoxo, Moo Moo

Mackinaw Straights Paddle, Stand Up for Great Lakes

April 22, 2017.

A sunny, 40 degree day in Northern Michigan. The water of the Mackinaw Straights extremely calm, which as many of you may not know is VERY rare. Absolutely perfect conditions for a paddle board adventure.

Gordie Lafontaine and Kadin Patterson, two 8th graders at Cherry Land Middle School, have both grown up in the Northern Michigan area and share a love for the Great Lakes. So they asked Kwin Morris (my fiancé and their 8th grade science teacher) if they could join up with Stand Up for Great Lakes for their 8th grade community Project.

17990870_790256311134205_1939927858971338457_n

Stand Up For Great Lakes

For those of who don’t know, Stand Up for Great Lakes is a non-profit organization, started by my Fiancé, and four other native Northern Michigan friends, whose main goal is to raise awareness and protect the Great Lakes. Two years ago the five guys successfully Stand Up Paddle Boarded across Lake Michigan (starting in Algoma, WI and ending in Frankfort, MI). This was a 60 mile paddle that took them 24 hours to complete. Since then they have organized beach clean-ups, went to local elementary schools to teach water safety, and many other SUP demo days for the public.  Another goal of the organization is to reach out to the younger generation so they too can become more involved in preserving the Great Lakes.

17265244_763367727156397_1629098034140499983_n

Mackinaw Straights Paddle 

Gordie and Kadin have been working alongside their teacher planning something that they felt could really raise awareness to preserving the Great Lakes. They came up with the idea to paddle across the Mackinaw Straights. The two students decided this location because they wanted to educate and bring awareness to a huge Political/Public issue going on, Line 5. Gordie and Kadin went around to local town meetings, wrote to newspapers and did TV interviews educating the public. They trained throughout the winter paddle boarding to practice for the cold and windy conditions,  and have been lifting weights before school with Kwin every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

April 22, 2017..Earth Day, the day of the official paddle. They took off from St. Ignace and ended in Mackinaw City, MI.  For safety measures they had two safety boats, wore dry suites, had leashes connected to their boards and each wore PFD’s.  A five mile paddle may not seem long, but the conditions that the straights provides make for a very difficult journey: 30 degree waters, currents exceeding Niagara Falls, and choppy waters caused by the westerly winds passing though. With all the training and preparation the paddlers did the five mile journey only took them 1 1/2 hours.

18077177_10212489276330659_9176840243575291954_o

At the end of the day the Kadin and Gordie ended up raising over $4000 for the Stand Up for Great Lakes foundation. Not only this, but they  earned a lifetime of experience in public speaking and learning how to organize public events.

17966266_10212489297291183_1214027373367615873_o

18055700_10211365658844934_2172616209921060575_o

What’s Next? 

Stand Up for Great Lakes paddlers Kwin Morris, Jeff Guy, and Joe Lorenz next adventure is to paddle across Lake Huron. They are going to be starting at the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary, which is the only fresh water sanctuary in the world, and ending in Canada. This is going to be about a 90 mile feat! To follow along their journey and help protect the Great Lakes check out their website!

Stand Up For Great Lakes

18055634_10212489315091628_395670528124421512_o

Early Bird Gets The Best Sunrise!

Oh the notorious saying “Early Bird gets the worm,” something I was told quite frequently while growing up. I, like most young kids, would usually laugh and respond saying “I’d rather sleep.” It was not until college that I my mindset changed and I truly started appreciating early morning wake ups.

I find that mornings are the most tranquil part of the day and where I am most productive. Catching the sunrise peaking over the horizon is one of my favorite things; whether it be sitting on my paddle board in the middle of the lake, on-top of a mountain, or just sitting on my back deck it really sets the mood for the day.

Yesterday, as I was returning home after a kick ass workout, I took a slight detour. Northern Michigan is known for its picturesque sunrises and sunsets, but in the winter they are hard to come across. NOT THIS MORNING! The horizon was painted with pinks, blues and oranges. The water of the lake calm as can be with the thinnest ice covering overtop. And nothing but the sound of birds chirping filling the air.

17358785_10209215183276407_1637999817145775473_o

I sat and watched the sunrise from atop a snow covered rock, just taking in the beautiful view. Moments like these are a constant reminder to appreciate life and everything that you have. This year has been full of so many changes, all of which I am so thankful for.

Everyday I am working towards being a better person than the day I was before. Changing one habit and practicing it everyday is all it takes.  If i had never changed my habit of sleeping in till late morning I would never be able to enjoy these beautiful moments.

“Your life doesn’t get better by chance, It gets better by change.” -Jim Rohn

New Year Resolutions…Nawh, how about Life Long Accomplishments

The start of every new year is always full of excitement and motivation to meet those new goals you’ve set for yourself. “It’s a new year, time for a new me.” I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard or seen someone post about that; whether it be this year or in previous years. I am not meaning to bash on those individuals, because sometimes the changes made do actually last and become a lifestyle, but lets be honest…how many people do you know that actually embrace their new years resolutions fully?

I am not perfect in anyway. The past couple years I found myself making the same resolutions over and over again: get fit, have a body like (insert name of sexy model), only eat healthy food-meaning you can’t go out and enjoy drinks with friends because that would be cheating. Phew, thats exhausting just reading those.  Yes, I workout almost every day and eat a  health/clean diet (I try to stick to 80/20); But I never felt like I was meeting the resolution that I set for myself. I always felt like in some way I was doing it wrong and would mentally punish myself for “not doing it right.” Whoever made the rules as to what was right vs. wrong? Shouldn’t New Years Resolutions be something to better yourself and improve on last years accomplishments?

While listening to a Tim Ferris podcast, I cannot remember the individual whom he was interviewing, they were talking about Resolutions and how ridiculous some people get about them. Tim, and said guest, agreed that resolutions are more meant to be lifestyle changes that you already have and want to continue doing, as well as things that you want to start incoporating in your everyday lives. This inspired  me to do some deep thinking about my “resolutions;”  I came to the conclusion that I don’t have anything in my life I want to change. If anything I have made tremendous changes this year that I want to continue doing, and even build on. 2016 was a year of growing up, becoming an adult, finding myself and happiness, gaining confidence, and physically/mentally and emotionally gaining freedom from a demon I had been fighting for quite some time. I feel like a new women! Don’t get me wrong, I fully understand that someone people are in big need of change, and look to the new year as the time to initiate them. But really, we should be making such changes all the time throughout the year; constantly challenging ourselves to be the best person that we can be.

I want to make 2017 a year of continued growth for me. I do have some goals that I did not have for last year, but if I don’t achieve them this year I have the rest of my life to do so. I want every “resolution” that I set for myself to be a lifestyle change, something that I can continue doing forever and not have to just complete it this year. I find that it is easier to be more accountable when you write out goals; not only for you to see but others too! So here is a list of accomplishments that I want to continue doing and want to start incorporating as well!

920628_10103594693272782_4789178700403098423_o

Megans Goals: 

  • Self love: Journaling and Self Affirmations every day.
  • Starting my new blog.
  • Becoming more fluent in Spanish again: practice every day, take a medical professions class at the local community college, speak with Kwin whenever possible and when watching movies have subtitles on.
  • Expand my horizons with cooking: trying to find a new recipe each week and if it’s not perfect the first time try again!
  • Get out of my comfort zone and make new friends. It’s super important now that I’ve officially moved up to Traverse City and have more times to do things
  • Read more books!
  • When I am becoming stressed don’t take out my energy on eating..process what is going on at the time and fully assess the situation.
  • Spend more time with family and friends and show that I truly love and appreciate them.
  • Be more affectionate with Kwin. You should never stop “dating” your significant other.
  • Get more into photography to document our adventures and amazing life! Photos you can cherish and look back on forever.
  • Be Happy, Healthy and Active every day because you’ve only got one life to live so make it the best yet!
  • Pay it forward!

Please leave a comment below about some of your Life long changes that you plan on continuing or starting this year! I cannot want to see what everyone says. Lets make 2017 the best year yet ❤