Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Speak to My Soul

This might be the toughest of Jenni's challenge prompts yet.
At least for me it's tough, because I love music. All of it.

It's so hard choosing 5 songs that speak to me or
bring back memories, because so many songs do that.

"Look After You"
by The Fray

Look After You by The Fray on Grooveshark

My husband and I danced to this song at our wedding. We both absolutely love The Fray. They are incredible musicians! My husband told me he loved me for the first time on an evening after seeing The Fray for the first time together. We've seen three of their concerts together. Once in Florida, once in Vail, and another time at Red Rocks.

I'm only sharing one song today, but maybe someday soon I'll share more!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Travel: America, I Love You

It's no secret that I absolutely love to travel and see the world. I've seen various countries, but I'm still fascinated by the diverse landscape and culture of my very own country. America! This country really is such a beautiful and amazing place. I love that you can find such a variety of different foods, lifestyles, traditions, and places to explore. All of this exists without even leaving the country. Amazing!

{ not only do I just love to travel, but I love spending time in airports almost as much }

It's without being said that many of my favorite blog posts involve our travels.
Here are a few of my favorite posts. I dug these up from the archives just for you!

{ just click on the links to read the entire post }

Soul Stirring Utah : If I've ever felt moved by the land, it was during our drive across the state of Utah. Just about every square inch of Utah is photograph worthy. It was breathtaking, and maybe someday we'll even get to ski/snowboard it. That would make my year.

Oh Dam It: Hoover Dam Tour : I never thought I'd be so interested in learning about electricity and so many million cubic yards of concrete. It blows me away to think this masterpiece of engineering was built without the modern technologies we use today for construction. Plus it's funny to tell people you drove across that dam road.

The Stanley Hotel | Haunted Travels : I absolutely hate scary movies, but boy do I love a good ghost story. You'll hear plenty of ghost stories if you take the ghost tour at the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado. We thoroughly enjoyed walking the halls of the hotel that inspired Stephen King to write The Shining. It was so creepy and fun!

These are some of my favorite posts!
I hope you enjoy them too.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Making Friends Is Hard

All my life I've found it tough to make friends. I still have quite a few friends I made as a child growing up in a small town. Those friends are amazing, because they've stuck around this long. I thank them for that. Making friends as an adult is the hardest though.

Making friends is hard enough, but making them as an adult is even harder. I'm often shy when meeting new people, but once I get to know you I come out of my shell. Being in a crowd of people intimidates me too. I'm much more relaxed around a smaller group of friends. Circumstances don't always allow for comfort though. I suppose I probably have to bust out of my comfort zone if I ever want to make new friends!

My husband and I left Colorado almost two years ago, and we just moved to a new city in Florida this past January. That doesn't make it easier to have friends. Sometimes it feels like we're in that awkward in-between phase of married life where we aren't quite newlyweds anymore but have no children either. It's almost like we aren't sure where we fit at the moment. We aren't sure we want to make a life in Florida either. Awkward. Kind of like middle school all over again.

For anyone out there who moves a lot...
where do you meet new friends?

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Five Favorite Bloggers!

This whole Blog Every Day in May thing is hard!

Not only do I have to write something for every day
of the month, but now I have to choose 5 favorite blogs.

How can I choose just 5 when I love so many?!

I read so many great blogs, but these are the ones
that I've been reading for years and still read to this day.

My 5 Favorite Blogs

You may have already read my raves about Alisha, but if you haven't then swing on over to her blog now. This gal is super sweet, friendly, and nothing but down to earth. Did I mention she takes beautiful photos too? Oh... and she lives in one of my favorite states, Texas! Go on and visit Alisha now.

Another favorite blogger is Stephanie of Big Mario Life. She loves Harry Potter, doesn't mind embarrassing herself on her blog either, and she's following her dreams of owning her own photography business. What's not to love?! Go visit Stephanie! You'll love her too.

From Here to Eternity

I've been following Courtney's blog for years too! She is one of the kindest bloggers, has the sweetest heart, a loving husband, and now an adorable baby girl. You will always find honesty, truth, and love on her blog. Plus, she lives in beautiful Utah! I just love that place, and I'm sure we'd be real life friends if I lived in Utah. Go be friends with Courtney too!

I discovered Tina's blog, Like Ordinary Life, in the last year or so. I instantly fell for her thought provoking and descriptive writing, and it didn't hurt that she's just about as in love with Michigan as I am. Instant friends! She has a beautiful way with words, and I love how she always seems to write what's on my mind. I think she also had me at wanderlust. Get to know Tina too!

Young House Love

I've been a bit obsessed with this blog for quite some time. Unless you live under a rock, you've probably heard of Young House Love. They have a million great DIY projects, and I guess I can't stop dreaming of buying a fixer-upper some day and making it beautiful too.

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Those are my 5 favorite blogs.

Do you like some of the same ones?

Saturday, May 18, 2013

That Magical Twinkle

My husband and I visited CityWalk at Universal just a couple weeks ago.
I took this picture from our evening.

Seeing all those twinkling white lights took me back. Those lights and the evening breeze reminded me of a simpler time growing up on a lake as a kid in small-town northern Michigan. I remembered that fleeting time each summer when the fireflies lit up the roadside each night. They created a twinkling path of dancing white lights alongside the road that led us home during dark summer nights. Those weeks made it a magical time to be a kid in northern Michigan.

I always knew summer would end when those beautiful glowing lights went away each year. However, that didn't keep us kids from enjoying them to the fullest. One year my dad made an inviting home for the fireflies. While mowing the lawn, he cut out a circular path from the tall grass and weeds. Us kids would run out onto that path with our little nets in hand. Attempting to capture those twinkling lights was never easy. Those fireflies danced and wound their way through the cattails and tall grass like ballerinas on a stage. Right before you could scoop one up, they always turned out their light. The moment they sensed that danger was gone, the magical twinkling light would shine again. Lighting up the night like a dancing strand of lights. Each firefly floating up and down, twinkling its way through the dark summer night.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Bicycle Rides Are Fun!

This picture was taken during my husband's first visit to Mackinac Island.

Obviously, northern Michigan is still very dear to my heart since I did grow up there. I absolutely love showing my husband around my home state. During one trip we took a ferry to Mackinac Island for the day and rented bicycles. You can't drive cars on the island, so the preferred method of transportation is a bicycle. We had a blast pedaling our way around the island while enjoying the weather and sights! I especially love this photo of me with my feet off of the bike pedals, because it still makes me laugh when I see it. It reminds me of how much fun we had that day.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Pilot Wife Rant Here

Sometimes it's not easy having so many parts of your life, literally, up in the air. As you may have noticed, the name of my blog is Piloting Life. My husband is a pilot, and I started this blog years ago after stumbling upon some entertaining pilot wife blogs. They made me realize I wasn't the only one who was being left alone on and off for days at a time. Reading those blogs encouraged me to start my own blog, and today it's not simply about my husband's flying career. This blog is about our life.

Due to my husband's career choice, we live a slightly different life than most of our friends and family. Many of my friends still live in the small town where I grew up, and sometimes I envy them. My husband and I have had to learn flexibility when it comes to our living arrangements, because, for the most part, his job dictates our location. We could technically live anywhere we wanted, but that would mean long commutes for my husband... and more alone time for me. That wasn't an appealing option for us, hence why we live in Florida when we'd rather live closer to Denver and the west coast. Sometimes living far from friends and family is hard!

My husband currently has one of those really, super rare pilot jobs where he's home every night. Let me tell you, it's sort of like finding the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. Sometimes I worry what life will be like again if/when he goes back to a job with overnights. I'm terrified of getting too used to him being home every night. I can't help but worry about whether or not he'll be around when we have children, and how will I protect our home if he's gone for a few nights at a time. In the rare instance of my husband being gone for a night, I currently keep my pepper spray on my nightstand. You can never be too careful. Maybe I'll learn to shoot a real gun some day. The things you do for peace of mind.

While we're incredibly thankful for my husband's job, it often throws a monkey wrench into our plans. We are slowly painfully learning that life usually throws better things your way when you learn to be patient and let go. Life doesn't always go your way, but you can learn to embrace life's ups, downs, turbulent moments, and smooth landings. All I know is I'm just trying to enjoy the view!

Any other fellow pilot wives, military wives,
or wives with traveling husbands out there?

How do you deal with life's uncertainties?

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

A Day in the Life...

Hi. Hello there. This is my life lately. Today is all about living a day in the life... of me. It's not really super exciting or filled with world travels, but there are some interesting moments here and there.

There have been moments filled with coffee and blogs, of course! I'm trying to keep up with Jenni's #BlogEveryDayinMay challenge. This stuff is tough, but I love sitting at the computer desk while the soft morning light floats through the window next to me. Vitamin D is good for your soul, right?

Speaking of things that are good for your soul. That list should also include creating artwork and shopping for handmade soap at the farmer's market. Both things make life a little more pretty. Who doesn't love a colorful watercolor painting and clean smelling hands? I've been enjoying both.

We've even managed to squeeze in a little beach time recently too. Oh, and you guys... I saw a whale breach off the east coast of Florida! It was awesome. I always thought I'd have to visit Alaska or Hawaii to see a whale breach, so now I can die happy. It's the little things.

We also enjoyed an evening sitting by the pool. The temperature was agreeable, the place was quiet, and we almost had the pool area to ourselves had the love bugs not been out in full force. Bug swatting aside, I still had some time to mess with my slow shutter app.

What are your days like lately?

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

What Makes Me Happiest

Plenty of things make me happy, but today I'm sharing just 10 of the things that make me really happy. That's like picking 10 favorite items from your entire closet. I have some obvious favorites, but it's really hard limiting yourself to so few things.

Without further ado, the 10 things that make me really happy:

Family and Friends

My husband recently surprised me with a trip to Michigan for my 30th birthday. I had a wonderful surprise party that included my parents and some of my closest friends. Way.To.My.Heart. I was so excited and energized by spending some time back home with people I love!

family and friends

Golden Retrievers

I seriously cannot help myself whenever I see someone walking a golden, and I always stop what I'm doing to admire it. This is particularly dangerous for me whenever I see a golden retriever while driving. They are the best dogs in the whole wide world. My dog growing up was a golden, and I think I need another one soon. Hint, hint husband!

Every time I travel, it's like a fun little adventure. Who doesn't love a good adventure? It's like taking part in your very own movie. I suppose that should be what life is anyways, but traveling makes life feel like even more of an exciting story to me. Let's explore something new! I want to see it all. Travel just makes me giddy like a 5 year old in a candy store. Just ask my husband. I'm not much of a morning person, but I will wake up at 3am with a smile on my face just to catch a flight!

me and my golden . : : . snapshot of a castle in Bellinzona, Switzerland
flying over Lake Mead on our way to Las Vegas . : : . me, my grandparents, and my pup


So what if I may be the only 30 year old birdwatcher in Florida. It's the coolest new hobby around, haven't you heard? I absolutely love watching the birds, and I don't just mean watching the local birds eat from a backyard feeder. (Although that's perfectly acceptable too.) I love going out into the woods with my binoculars and searching for new birds to add to my life list. Birdwatching is such a peaceful hobby, and I think it's fun learning about bird behaviors. I'm pretty happy with a pair of binoculars and some birds calling in the distance.

The Lake

When I say the lake makes me happy, I'm mostly talking about the one where I grew up in Michigan. There is just nothing like listening to the peaceful lapping of waves at the shoreline while you walk through fresh dew in the yard. The ocean is great, but it doesn't do the same thing for me as the lakes in northern Michigan. Alligators infest the lakes in Florida, but the lakes in Michigan are pure and clean. That lake is where I've done some of my best thinking. There's just nothing that compares!

female cardinal . . : : . . the lake where I grew up in Michigan
sculpture outside of the Sheraton in Denver . . : : . . the Rocky Mountains

Denver, Colorado

I spent five years of my life living in Colorado, and I even met my husband there. Denver was where I had my first "big kid" job. It's where I wandered museums, enjoyed the shining sun, had engagement pictures taken, listened to music from street performers, and countless other great and inspiring things. That place is alive with culture, art, and energy. I just love it!

The Mountains
It wouldn't be fair to not include the mountains in the list of things that make me happy. I did live with both lakes and mountains in my life for years. That might be why I loved Switzerland so much. It really had the best of both those worlds, the mountains and the lakes. Not only are the mountains great for snowboarding, they are absolutely beautiful during the summertime too. Dominating but beautiful, full of fresh air and life.

This is something that's always made me happy. Listening to music reminds me of where I came from, because I have so many musical people in my family. I even played the saxophone in band at one point. My uncles and dad are all very musical, and my cousin currently plays the violin. She's spectacular at playing! Needless to say, I love music. We've been to various concerts, and I can't get enough of the sweet sound of music to my ears.

one of our engagement photos by Alison Rose Photography
outside of The Incredible Christmas Place . : : . music to my ears . : : . my love

Christmas Stores
These places make me happy, because they are filled to the brim with everything Christmas. The smell of pine trees, peppermint, and the holidays. Sounds of carols, train sets, and crackling fires fill the air. I have already mentioned Christmas stores on this blog, but I can't help it since they make me so darn happy. It's near impossible for me to pass by a Christmas store without going inside.

Lastly... love makes me happy. Sometimes I think that wedding photographers have the best job in the world, because they get the chance to document people's happiest days. I am happiest when surrounded by people who love and accept me. It's also a wonderful thing to love someone else. Love someone. It just might make you happy too!
What makes you happy?

Monday, May 13, 2013

I Apologize

Dear Ashley,

We've had some good times... and some bad times too.
Mainly I'm here today to apologize for a few things on your behalf. 

Your Life.

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Don't take my Coca Cola!

First of all... sorry you felt the need to throw that poor girl's Barbie into the woods behind your baby sitter's house. I know she wouldn't let you play with it, but that was a rather drastic measure.

Sorry that few people knew much about sun protection during your years growing up in the summer sun on the lake. I'm also sorry you used tanning beds far too much, but I'm thankful you wear sunscreen like it's your job now.

I'm sorry you weren't very prepared for college and that you didn't try harder to figure out what you enjoyed doing the most. I'm still thankful you graduated with a college degree though.

Sorry that you helped yourself to soft serve ice cream probably every night for dinner in the dorm cafeteria. As much as you wish it was, ice cream is not a food group.

Seriously though, I'm really sorry you take your student loan debt to be the worst thing in the world. I can think of worse things.... say for instance, being homeless with no family. Practice gratitude.

Sorry that you had such terrible taste in (almost all) guys during your college years, but I'm not sorry that every past mistake led to your current husband. He's the best!

Mostly I'm sorry you ever let any fears get in your way, and I hope that you forge ahead without letting silly things get in the way! Keep on keepin' on.

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Have something that you're sorry for?

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Missing Colorado

all this snow happened on May 11, 2011 at my family's house in Colorado.... wow.

reading still working on Bill Bryson's A Walk in the Woods. I really haven't been doing much reading lately. I have got to fix that.
writing lists and things... mainly I'm writing grocery lists. Nothing too exciting.
listening to insects buzzing outside the walls of our apartment.
thinking that I hate how much I miss Colorado. That stinking saying "you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone" has got to be one of the most true things ever. I miss plenty about Colorado. The culture, good restaurants, fresh mountain air, grocery stores, museums, etc... etc.
smelling coffee like usual. Gotta have that stuff!
wishing that contentment came more easily/naturally in life. Why are humans always looking for something better? (or is that just me and my husband?) We're so hard to please sometimes.
hoping to become more and more at peace with each year... and not the opposite.
wearing if I told you, then I'd have to kill you.... only kidding!
loving that we're planning to visit Michigan in August. Northern Michigan is the best place in the whole world during the summer months. Yeah. I said that.
wanting some new jeans. I'm running out of un-holey jeans. (not to be confused with unholy jeans... I don't even want to know what those are)
needing something to eat.
feeling excited to see some family and friends in the upcoming weeks and months.
clicking through some pretty shots on Instagram... do you have an IG account, and are you following me on there yet? I've been enjoying immensely ever since getting a smart phone!

click here to follow me on Instagram:


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* If you missed previous editions of The Sunday Currently, you can see them all here

Now link up your edition of The Sunday Currently with Lauren

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Roller-coaster Riding Birdwatching Geek Here

Describe yourself in 10 words or less. I'm not even sure that's possible, but Jenni and her challenge seem to think we can do it. That's approximately 3.3 words per decade of my life. Yikes! I'm aiming to describe myself using words that give you some clues about my quirks. (you can click each word to read more about that specific thing).

   .          - -        nerdy

 { birdwatcher }         .

. .  .  artistic

coaster enthusiast          . .. .

                     . ..  - -    { adventurous }

.  foodie  . . .

Obviously these aren't the only words that describe me, but they're a good start. Clicking on each word will give you a little more information about each one. I always find it difficult describing myself in few words, but this was a fun exercise in remembering the things that make me tick.

Friday, May 10, 2013

How Embarrassing!

I've had my fair share of embarrassing moments, and you can tell I'm embarrassed when my entire face turns red all the way to my ears. There is no way for me to hide it. However, I'm not all that easily embarrassed. I'm a goofball as it is and tend to embarrass myself (and sometimes those around me), so I'll most likely beat you to the punch. You must have something really good on me if you make my ears turn red.

I must have selective memory when it comes to the most embarrassing moments in my life, because I can't seem to think of any really embarrassing moments from my life... so I'll just go ahead and show you some of the embarrassing things I've done. These pictures will have to do.

Oh, and my husband reminded me there was this one time I took my dad to a cool new restaurant/pub in Denver, the Tilted Kilt. It sounded like a fun new Irish pub, so I thought why not try that out with my dad while he's in town. Well, that place is basically an Irish inspired Hooter's restaurant. Complete with scantily clad girls in tiny kilts. Not the kind of place I want to visit with my dad. Oops.

running down the dunes w/ my arms flailing like a crazy person... I almost peed myself that day

... try on that dive suit? Don't mind if I do.

... pretending to be on safari or something...

Oh, and then there was the time I told my father-in-law and his wife that eating too much asparagus made my pee smell badly. Who says that?! Yeah. I do just fine embarrassing myself.

What's your most embarrassing moment?

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Paint Me Something Pretty

Creativity has been making a more regular appearance in my life lately, and it's a welcome change. I've been making everything from paintings to handmade bracelets. I feel the need to be productive, and sometimes the best way is for me to create something pretty.

I've always been a maker of things. Entire villages made of tiny lego pieces, sandcastles on the beach, jewelry, collages made from magazine cutouts, music, beautiful photos. I sometimes can't help myself.

painting the day away...

You may have already seen this picture of my paint palette on Instagram, but this snapshot is the perfect glimpse into my days lately. Colorful and creative. I just want to make things... pretty things.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Self Confidence Can Be Fragile

If only I was good at listening to my own advice. Like pretty much anyone else on earth, I want to be liked and appreciated. If nobody liked me, it would be a pretty lonely life. However, some people are worth your time and others are not. Either way, don't let someone's opinion affect your self confidence.

It's up to you to determine who you need to protect yourself from and who you should keep close. Even the people who love you the most will say things that hurt you. It's not because they mean to, but it's because nobody is perfect.

Growing up my mom used to voice her displeasure at some of the questionable items of clothing I liked. None of them were inappropriate, unless you deem ugly polyester shirts and flower patterned jeans to be out of line. I never let her opinion of my clothing choice bother me though. I used to laugh and tell her that she's lucky she didn't have to wear my clothes. I wore what I liked!

What's most important is how you feel about yourself. Let's be honest, confidence is sexy. It's hard feeling confident when you're worried about what everyone thinks of your skin, clothing, hair color, etc. No one will notice something's out of place if you exude confidence. Stop all that worrying and own it! 

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Are You Afraid of the Dark?

Oh crap. I'm afraid of quite a few things, but the dark is something that has always scared the heck out of me! Not to mention, things that are already scary in daylight are always magnified by the dark.

even cute things can be creepy in the dark...

- - hearing random noises inside your house.... scarier in the dark.

- - seeing someone moving in the parking lot outside your apartment.... scarier in the dark.

- - riding a roller-coaster, or any ride for that matter... way scarier in the dark!

- - chainsaw noises... obviously scarier in the dark, duh.

- - the woods across from the house where you grew up... the scariest in the dark!!

- - long, empty hallways... much more scary in the dark.

- - ocean waters infested with sharks... absolutely terrifying in the dark.

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Did you ever watch this show?!
It was so creepy buy boy did I love it.

So.... are you afraid of the dark?