Monday, March 26, 2012

Spring is in the Air

We drove like maniacs from Bristol, TN to California so we could get there a day early to enjoy some much needed time off. You would be surprised how much getting even one day off from the normal routine can rejuvenate your spirit. After we checked into our hotel we decided to take the hour drive up to gorgeous Big Bear Lake, to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. The drive up in itself was very scenic.

Just the week before, Big Bear had received the most snow it had gotten all season. A local man said just around 30"!! By the time we got there, a lot of it had melted away but there was just enough that the mountain and trees were snow capped. I have been to Big Bear City once before, just a few years ago when I was touring for Burton Snowboarding, but since we spent all of our time at the mountain resort demoing boards- I didn't get a chance to really check out the lake.

(Doing hoodrat thaangs with my hoodrat fraands on the Burton tour-first time at Big Bear)

So once we finally got there, we pulled off at a park that was right next to the lake. It had a small dock that you could walk out on, and that many people fished off of. The weather couldn't have been more perfect. It was 50 degrees out, and the sun was shining without a cloud in the sky. Not thinking, I wore an off the shoulder tee and sandals, and although I wasn't cold- I had to walk through snow and my toes were definitely numb by the end of the day! Brandon and I took the opportunity to take a TON, and by a TON, I mean over 100, pictures of the scenery, each other, and pictures together. Being the picture whore that I am, that did not phase me one bit but I could tell Brandon had had his fill.

(so studly)

Toes were FREEZING

We spent a good hour and a half there and by that time we were getting hungry and wanted to grab a bite to eat and get back down the mountain before it was dark. We stopped at a local restaurant called Captain's Anchorage where I tried my first buffalo burger! SOOO GOOD. With full bellies we decided to start heading down the mountain. Right when the sun started setting behind the mountains, Brandon pulled over and said we needed to take a few more pictures (and I thought he was sick of it by then). He has a pretty good eye for photography and he definitely picked the right time of evening with the perfect background to pull over! By that time of the day, we were kinda gross looking but we were having so much fun and didn't care how we looked!

having sooo much fun!

The day was full of quality time together, not having to rush to the next city or worry about work the next day. We definitely ceased the opportunity to take in the natural beauty that God has created in this world, and lets face it, it doesn't get much better than that! Spring is all about dormant things coming to life again, and this fun and gorgeous trip up to Big Bear is just what I needed to get out of the drab funk of winter, and to feel the optimism of what Spring has to offer this year!

Friday, March 16, 2012

A Truly Happy 26

Yesterday was my 26th birthday and going into the day I felt like it would be a day like all others. Last year, when I turned 25 I woke up with an overwhelming sense of adulthood and responsibility. Insurance rates were going to be lower, the fact that I was financially on my very own and quite stable, I had been a homeowner for a year by then, and the fact that I was officially in my mid-20s sunk in immediately. Although all of this was going through my head, I didn't feel like this milestone in my life was that special. It turned out being a day like all others. So this year when my birthday had finally rolled around again, I wasn't expecting any sort of an "ah-ha!! I am 26 this year" moment. But it happened.. It hit me like a ton of bricks. I woke up that morning to a Happy Birthday kiss from BDW and while I was in the shower he laid out a card from my mom he had been toting around since we left for tour in February! The card had a very special message that, of course, made me tear up. It's so wonderful to have such a great relationship with my mother and to know she is very proud of me and who I have become, and knowing how she see's that Brandon makes me so happy and that she loves him for it!

We left the hotel and went to our event in Bristol, TN. The weather was beautiful and our staff had brought me these delicious cupcakes in honor of my day!! Brandon was letting me just sit back and relax, so I wasn't doing much work- who can beat that?

It was then, when I was sitting there that it hit me like a ton of bricks! I was in the happiest place in my life I have ever been. I am finally with my true Mr. Right, we have a dream career where we get to travel the countryside and experience things together that most don't have the opportunity to do, my family is healthy and happy, my friends are all in good places in their lives, Brandon and I have a home to go back to when tour is over, and everything just seems to be on the right track to everything I've ever wanted.

So it wasn't a surprise birthday gift or a big birthday bash that made this birthday so special for me, it's the fact that I am truly happy at 26, something that isnt afforded by most at this age, and I feel like this will be a life changing year to remember!! fingers crossed anyway!! :)

After work, we went to a nice steak dinner at The Chop House, who's filet and ribeye were to die for! Brandon tried out a local beer while I sipped on some bubbly. We had great conversation, many laughs, and an all around wonderful evening!

Here's to a great year!!