Friday’s Five Favorite Things

These are five things I’m loving this week…

1. Sevenly is an organization that raises money and awareness for people all over the world. Each week they highlight a different need/non-profit and gives $7 to the charity from each item bought in their store. This week they are partnering with Action Against Hunger to feed starving children in the Congo (a place that is dear to my heart). Every $7 will provide 21 meals for a child in Congo.  Check out the video, let it break your heart, and then go buy a shirt…at least that’s what I did

the shirt that I bought

the shirt that I bought

2. I may have a slight addiction to Candy Crush. I found myself playing this game every time I had some down time. I don’t know what it is about those games, but they suck me in! Not sure if this is a favorite thing this week, but it sure was some thing I did! 🙂

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3. A favorite friend of mine moved away this week. It was so sad to say good-bye, but I was glad that we were able to share a few more minutes together on Sunday. I’m going to miss my coffee outings with Ashley. My prayer for her is that she finds another friend to take her out for coffee in Charleston very soon!

sarah & ashley goodbyepic

4. The sunsets & sunrises in Tucson during the monsoon season are absolutely stunning. Even though it’s still very hot during the day, the evenings are a little cooler. Last night we were even able to sit out on our friends back patio for dinner so we could watch the sunset.

katie's sunrise

Sunrise is Tucson by Katie Reich

Sunset in Tucson

Sunset in Tucson

5. My dogs are hilarious and crazy! They will always make the favorite list because of how much they make me laugh, even when they are naughty!

The cat on the wall tormented the dogs for a good 15 minutes!

The cat on the wall tormented the dogs for a good 15 minutes!

Asha tried to get that cat too!

Asha tried to get that cat too!

Asha is very good at listening to the command "stay", even when there's a toy over her face!

Asha is very good at listening to the command “stay”, even when there’s a toy over her face!

What were some of your favorite things this week? Have a great weekend!

 

 

 

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California Vacation

Our 2200 mile road trip through Northern California will definitely go down as one of our favorite vacations! We were able to do all of our favorite things…read, sleep, rest, talk, drink lots of coffee and wine, eat very good food, explore a new city, hike, sit by the ocean, and take a few crazy adventures.

Here are some pictures to document our trip:

We spent a night in Palm Springs and have found it to be a new, fun weekend trip!

We spent a night in Palm Springs and have found it to be a new, fun weekend trip!

Palm Springs is about a 5.5 hour drive from Tucson and we (Jason) thought it would be a good place to stop before we landed in Monterey. We were right on with that decision. We stayed in a small inn called the Movie Colony Hotel. The community aspect of this hotel was unlike any other place I’d been before. We’d love to go back!

We started the long drive to Monterey the next morning. It was one of the prettiest drives that we’ve taken. Pacific Coast Highway is a beautiful route to take, but don’t take it if you want to get somewhere fast! Thankfully, we wanted to take our time. We stopped at Paso Robles on the way for a wine tasting and we were served by a fellow Green Bay Packer fan! We enjoyed Niner Winery for a wine tasting and lunch.

Niner Winery's outdoor seating

Niner Winery’s outdoor seating

Once we arrived in Monterey, we were a little disappointed with our Inn’s accommodations, but the location was phenomenal. We actually stayed in Pacific Grove, which is a small community next to Monterey that is very quaint. The ocean was a 7 minute walk from our door, so every morning we took a walk by the ocean and watched the waves crash against the rocky beach.

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While in Monterey we went to the aquarium. If you ever get a chance to go to Monterey, the aquarium is a MUST GO. We were able to see sharks, deep-sea fish, all kinds of jellyfish, seahorses, etc. The facilities were beautiful. It’s a perfect spot for families as it had many “kids corners”.

so many exquisite jellyfish

so many exquisite jellyfish

everybody loves penguins!

everybody loves penguins!

so many diverse fish in this huge tank

so many diverse fish in this huge tank

After our trip to the aquarium, we walked around the cannery district and then had a small dinner at a restaurant by the bay.

we were able to do some reading at the beach

we were able to do some reading at the beach

love this

love this

a beautiful view of the sunset on the bay

a beautiful view of the sunset on the bay…and some yummy wine

After our two days in Monterey, we started the trek up the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) again to Sonoma County. We stayed at Sea Ranch Lodge in Sea Ranch, which is a small vacation village. This was my favorite leg of the trip. Our room was right on the ocean. The lodge was so quiet and calm that I felt like we were there for a week, not just three nights. It was there that my spirit finally started to feel at rest.

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my favorite sitting bench…I think we’ll need to get us one of these…and maybe one of those views

taken on one of our hikes

taken on one of our hikes

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i love the power of the ocean

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i love this guy

we are ocean people

we are ocean people

Another favorite part of the trip was our wine tasting day. We drove the wind-y drive to Healdsburg and went to 6 wineries. It was such a fun experience to talk to all of the people and learn more about how wine is processed. We loved wine before, but this trip gave us a deeper appreciation for how it’s made and the people who put the effort into developing yummy Pinot Noir’s, Zinfandels, Cabs, etc.

a very fun day

a very fun day

After our quiet, restful few days in Sonoma County, we headed back south to San Francisco. A city booming with people and activity. We were able to do some fun touristy things and also connect with one of Jason’s long time friends and his wife.

can anyone guess where I am?? ("everywhere you look, everywhere you go, there's a heart, a hand to hold on to...")

can anyone guess where I am?? (“everywhere you look, everywhere you go, there’s a heart, a hand to hold on to…”)

Lombard Street...why would you build a street like this? (I know the actual reason, but come on...)

Lombard Street…why would you build a street like this? (I know the actual reason, but come on…)

our tour guides for the weekend...love you Dave & Jennie

our tour guides for the weekend…love you Dave & Jennie

took a cable car ride!

took a cable car ride!

and of course went to Ghirardelli Square

and of course went to Ghirardelli Square

took in the fireworks on the 4th of July at Fisherman's Wharf

took in the fireworks on the 4th of July at Fisherman’s Wharf

And that was a “brief” recap of our vacation! I hope that you enjoyed the picture tour! There were so many other pictures that we took, but Jason wants to be able to use them on his blog too, so I just used mine. Our vacation was very special to us as it will more than likely be our last as a family of two. We are excited to see what our vacations will look like as a family of four!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“So, there’s this guy…” Part Two

I don’t remember how many days had passed after that day at the store, but one sunny afternoon I was training on the Cedar River trails for my marathon. I had passed Scott, the running store-owner, on the trail and did the runner appropriate wave and continued as he moved on at his gazelle-like pace (professional runner). It was only minutes later that I hear what sounded like a heavy-footed sprinter fast approaching so I moved over and when I turned my head-it was Scott! He was running me down!

He had decided that this would be a proper time to ask me about my initial thoughts of “Woody” and if I’d consider going on a date with him. (On a side note-he thought he had slowed down enough to be running my pace, but after 1.5 miles of his “slow” pace, I about passed out!) I told him that I thought he seemed like a good guy, but I only had five minutes of conversation with him. I wanted to know from Scott what would make him dateable and not some creepy stalker. I trusted Scott’s opinion because I knew him to be a committed follower of Jesus and that he would have my best interest in mind.

Scott proceeded to run with me telling me all about Jason (I finally learned his real name). He shared with me about how Jason loved people, was computer smart, was “green”, was funny, etc. When Scott told me that Jason was the kind of guy you could share any of your problems with and know that he would pray for you and help you through them, I knew that I could go out on a date. So I told Scott that if Jason asked me on a date, I would say yes. But only for coffee…I didn’t have time to eat a full dinner on a blind date J.

Scott told me that he would encourage Jason to get in touch with me via Facebook, but it might be a little bit. Jason was in Madison taking classes on solar energy installation (because he’s green). I hesitated that our first connection would be on Facebook, but I didn’t fight it… (I should have)

About a two days had passed and Jason had “friended” me on the good ol’ Facebook.  And then it was nothing…for two whole weeks…

I had figured that he decided that he didn’t really want to take me out for coffee, so I didn’t worry about it too much. I was way too busy working, leading a Perspectives class, and raising my support so I could go on staff with The Navigators to add another stressor in my life!

After two weeks passed, I was training Ron on a Thursday afternoon (the husband of my 5 am client who first told me of Jason). I mentioned to Ron that I hadn’t heard from Jason at all and was curious as to why. Ron said that he would look into it.

On Monday, I was at the gym waiting for my next client, so of course I was on Facebook. It was then the little red dot appeared on my page, indicating that I had a new message. It was Jason asking if I’d like to go to coffee with him!  As any girl would do, I squealed and told the closest girl that I had just been asked out! After I calmed myself, I gave him a few days and times that worked that week. Within the hour, we had decided on coffee at Cup of Joe on Wednesday night at 7 pm.

I had two days until April 28th. I also had no idea how much my life would change after that date…

The spot of our first date!

The spot of our first date!

To be continued…