Green Bluff 2014

Green Bluff 2014 | The Urban Pig

I cannot begin to explain how excited I am to have my hometown traditions back, including one of my all-time favorites for Autumn…Green Bluff farms! Maybe you remember last year’s search for a pumpkin patch while living in Denver. It didn’t go so well, and I was left without a pumpkin or caramel apple and really without any kind of experience at all. Since moving back, I have been looking forward to this day to revisit my favorite farms on the bluff, Siemer’s and Harvest House. How I missed the expansive rolling hills that look out to the mountains and over the valleys, the live music and people-watching, the sweet smells of warm pumpkin donuts and caramel apples. Autumn never feels complete without a trip to Green Bluff with out family. In fact, I feel like our family photos taken there each year show our growth the best from little kids to adults.

Green Bluff 2014 | The Urban Pig

Soon we will be carving our pumpkins and this year we will be trying to use the pumpkin seeds to bake and eat as a snack! It seems crazy that we have never tried that, but it will be a new and fun experience to actually use all of those pumpkin guts. :)

Green Bluff 2014 | The Urban Pig

Green Bluff 2014 | The Urban Pig

 

Pipe Dreams

Pipe Dreams | The Urban Pig

Pipe Dreams | The Urban Pig

Since moving back to Spokane from Denver, I have really only had one thing planned — spend time with family. I definitely missed them while we were away, and summer was the perfect time for Connor and I to return (most everyone was on vacation from school and work). Unfortunately, summer is coming to an end. Everyone is preparing to get back to the daily grind, and even Connor started working again. All of a sudden, I found myself sitting at home by myself, left trying to figure out what’s next for me.

All of this was already in motion when I got an email from Kabbage* asking me to take part in their campaign. Kabbage* is a provider of small business loans, and their campaign is all about sharing dreams. They asked me — “what are your goals for the future?” and “how do you plan to fulfill them?” Well, I’d like to think that everything in life happens for a reason and after a fairly disappointing letdown while job-searching, I was left pondering what I planned to do to move forward. A lot of ideas had been bounced around, but I feel like there is nothing better than an essay or blog post to really think deeper and make those thoughts and ideas become a reality. So for that, I would like to thank Kabbage* for reaching out to me because their timing couldn’t have been any better in giving me the push I needed to re-evaluate my dreams.

Pipe Dreams | The Urban Pig

Pipe Dreams | The Urban Pig

“You’re an artist, man. Your job is to break through barriers. Not accept blame and bow and say thank you, I’m a loser, I’ll go away now… You want to be really great? Then have the courage to fail big and stick around. Make ’em wonder why you’re still smiling. That’s true greatness to me.”
-Claire from the movie Elizabethtown

So, I didn’t get the job, but was that meant to be? I have always wanted to have my own business. Maybe this situation is a blessing in disguise, telling me to get started now, rather than the alternative: it never happening. After much thought, I realized starting my own interior design business could potentially solve all of the dilemmas I have recently been facing. I have been so sucked in to what is normal to society (i.e. the 40 hour work week) and I have become less and less happy with such little time I am able to spend with my husband and family. My dream business allows me to break free of society’s “norm” regarding hours spent at work (working from home to be around my family), having flexibility when business is done (scheduled around family time and vacations), and having passion for each of my hand-picked design projects. I want to be the one determining how my life is spent. I don’t need much, but my hope is to grow my business just enough for me to provide my family a home, enriching adventures, and a life full of life!

Pipe Dreams | The Urban Pig

Pipe Dreams | The Urban Pig

Steps to Reach My Dreams:

  1. Build a Brand & Business Model
  2. Invest in Myself: Purchase software, supplies, and equipment <—Kabbage* can help with their business loans!
  3. Network: Get my name out there, build a client base.
  4. Nail It: Put my heart into every project I have the opportunity to work on.
  5. Market It: Use projects to advertise and gain interest from potential clients.
  6. Grow It: Continue to build and define my brand, invest in what I need, network, nail it, and market it!

I definitely realize it will be a lot of work at first. But I hope to hit the ground running and have it a bit more refined in a few years. I think the initial sacrifice will prove to be more than worth it in the end. It’s about realizing a necessary part of life (work) doesn’t have to take over our lives. In fact, I hope for it to be a pathway to more simple living. More family living. More life at home living.

*Non-affiliate link. Thoughts and opinions shared are ALWAYS 100% my own.

4th of July Lake Days

Priest Lake | The Urban Pig

The 4th of July weekend was the first time I got to go to our family’s lake place in Priest Lake not only since we have been back in town, but probably for 1-1/2 years. I was soo needing some lake time, some nature time. Connor was really happy to be at the lake to swim, too, but the water was freezing, so there wasn’t too much swimming happening. We spent our time on top of the water, in the boat or kayaks, or next to the water, lounging on the dock and hiking. After arriving, the smells were the first things I recognized and they immediately brought back memories, especially those of my childhood there.

The smell of warm leather seats of the boat, the smell of worn canvas of the inner-tubes, the smell of dusty life jackets that haven’t been worn in years, the smell of sunblock, and the smell of rubber booeys that have been baking in the sun.

The smell of dewey grasses, leaves, and branches in the morning, the musty dirt, and all of those fresh-yet-old smells of the forest.

It’s so curious how smells can take us back in time so quickly. I react most to smells, but also sounds. The sounds at the lake are numerous: the rushing water through the dam, the chirping birds, the muffled laughter of neighboring children, and the gurgling motors of the boats passing by. So many sounds, yet still the lake is peaceful and quiet.

Priest Lake | The Urban Pig

Priest Lake | The Urban Pig

Priest Lake | The Urban Pig

Priest Lake | The Urban Pig

Priest Lake | The Urban Pig

Priest Lake | The Urban Pig

Priest Lake | The Urban Pig

Priest Lake | The Urban Pig

Priest Lake | The Urban Pig

Priest Lake | The Urban Pig

I hope you all had a safe, happy, and patriotic 4th of July!

The Road Home

The Road Home | The Urban Pig

While I love the idea of settling down, there is always something exhilarating about a change of place. Connor and I made the decision to move to Colorado in a matter of days. We were flying by the seat of our pants and it worked out well. We were incredibly blessed to have the support that we did, but people did think we were crazy when we told them the story of our courageous trip here with just one suitcase and a toolbox. I loved that adventure of the unknown, despite that I am usually a person who likes to feel in control of life. But, after four years of being disciplined in school, I guess it was only right for me to need such a drastic change of pace.

The story of us choosing to leave Colorado to move back to our hometown happened as quickly as it did when we chose to move here in the first place. I guess it was one of those things that you get a seed planted in your head and all of a sudden it is blooming. I wonder if maybe subconsciously I was thinking of another adventure the whole time. Or maybe, as much as I wanted to settle down in Colorado, I never felt like there was such a thing as settling down without being near family. It had been a hard realization to come to, but it made me that much more excited to be on my way to see them.

The Road Home | The Urban Pig

The Road Home | The Urban Pig

The Road Home | The Urban Pig

Last Thursday, we signed the closing papers to sell our house, packed the moving truck, and began the long drive back to Washington. We never stopped driving except to fill up the gas tank, buy snacks, and use the restroom. In a regular car, the drive is about 18 hours, but with the moving truck and our car in tow, it took about 21 hours. We drove the whole time, no stopping at hotels. We were hoping to stop in the northern part of Wyoming around midnight, but all of the hotels were booked (this happened when Connor and I came to Colorado!). We had no choice but to keep driving. I am so thankful Connor’s step dad came with us; him and Connor were able to switch off driving and taking broken, crappy-car-ride naps. Still, I was so nervous to keep driving, as we saw about 6 dead deer on the road, and I counted at least another 4 running near the road. In fact, we ran over one that was already dead, and it tore off the back bumper of my car.

I finally fell asleep around 3 in the morning, for about an hour or two, and then woke up to the most beautiful sunrise. The sky and mountains and fields were blurred shapes of pastel colors. It was the most amazing, peaceful way to wake up, despite being cramped and sleep-deprived. I loved watching the landscape change, throughout the time we were driving from sunset to sunrise and through each state. We saw rolling fields of green, mountains, and then we knew we were getting close to home as we began to see pine trees so tall they seemed to touch the sky. It has been so long since we have seen those and smelled the scent of the forest. I remember laughing at my friend who moved to Colorado from Spokane, saying she missed the trees. I didn’t think that could be possible or that big of a deal. It is. I am a woman of the woods.

The Road Home | The Urban Pig

The Road Home | The Urban Pig

The Road Home | The Urban Pig

Pretty dramatic change of scenery, right? I kept thinking to myself, how could I have ever taken this beautiful land for granted? How did I ever get tired of seeing the forests and the mountains and the blue skies? The only way I can describe my experiences is just saying it feels like a time warp. It feels like spending a year in Colorado was a small blip, or hiccup in time. It feels like I was there, but it also feels like I wasn’t. It feels like I have been here in Washington all along, despite having some memory of what it was like in Colorado. It feels like I am home again, and although it has taken a couple of days to feel that, I can say that with confidence now. I am so happy to be breathing this air full of pine and dirt, hearing the birds outside my window, and having my family in my arms and giving my sweet little nephew a million kisses and hugs. Those simple little moments mean the world and I am so happy to have them back.

Heading Back to the PNW

Processed with Rookie

Well everyone, big news lately in our house. We are moving back to Washington. It’s been an easy decision, but at the same time, really tough. We are going back because we miss our family so so so much, but it is definitely hard for me to leave my amazing job that I love every day. It’s just one of those things though where once you come to the realization of something, it opens up the flood gates and you can’t get it out of your head. In fact, the feelings and thoughts come harder and stronger. That’s how it happened for Connor and I when we started talking about it. It turns out, we both had been thinking about moving back for a long time before we said anything to each other. When the discussion began, both of our minds were already made back and we realized it had to be done. Months and months ago, I wrote something about it. I was scared to even admit it to myself…

Processed with Rookie

Processed with Rookie

“It’s time to speak truth and to face my fears of saying it. I feel if I say it out loud it will become reality and truth. But how is it not, even if it is only in my head? The truth — homesickness and nostalgia. I miss the northwest. I miss my family. I miss the trees, the rivers, the lakes, the forests. I miss the escape I had from the city. I don’t wan’t to go back to that city, but I want to go back to the escape.

I miss the smell of the leaves and pine needles in the fall. It was a smell I had forgotten, until I recently ran across a bag of pine needles. It brought me back to that place. I miss the quiet of the forests. I feel so far away from that now. And I am.

I often dream of living in the forest or countryside someday. I don’t know if that exists here. I thought I was a city girl until I came to the city and had nowhere to run. There is no escape, no place of peace, at least not one I have found.

Am I happy here? I think so. I only feel nostalgia for something I once had. But it breaks my heart to think I may never have those things again. I am trying to find here in Colorado what I want back from there. There are so many things I love about this place, but the forests and water are something I never realized was such a big part of me. How did I not know that before?”

Processed with Rookie

Processed with Rookie

It is crazy what you take for granted sometimes. I am very happy to be going back to Washington, the place I once called home, and still feel in my heart that it is my home. I will definitely miss what I have grown to love here in Colorado, but after a lot of thinking, I know what I am doing is the right choice. I have been so blessed with the experiences and opportunities I have had during my time here. Connor and I bought our first house, we both had amazing jobs, I had a boss who truly took me under his wing and taught me so much, along with some awesome co-workers and neighbors who were great friends. We have been able to see and do so much, some of my favorites being Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs, Rock Park and the antique stores in Castle Rock, the Reservoir, and of course the amazing Park Meadows mall and IKEA.

I definitely look forward to spending time with our families, holidays, being at the lake, Greenbluff, and crinkle-cut fries with fry sauce (why does no one have that here!?). But until next week when we pack up the moving truck and head back to the Pacific northwest, I will be savoring the last of our time here in Colorado.

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