Garden progress

We've got radishes, folks.

Mona Mona

Last week Ty got a new sleeping bag, so we headed out to the Mona Reservoir Friday night to do some rope swinging, camp firing and sleeping-bag testing.

When we got to the rope swing, there were these friendly 12-year-old boys there who quickly oriented us with the rope swing, demonstrations included. They let me have a go at it after showing me the way, and I'm pretty sure I screamed every time I went off. Not Ty though. No. Ty, the man, does not scream like his sissy girlfriend. No. And he'd probably tell you it's not scary to free fall into water from 20 feet up, but I say that it is. Ok. I'm glad we have that settled.

Guitar playing was also had on the trip. As well as tin-foil dinner cooking and eating (NOTE: Our tinfoil dinners included broccoli from our very own garden! Delicious industriousness.), a fire-building and sustaining lesson from Ty, and a 6:00 wake-up call from a blazing sun beating down on my back. Awesome. I loved every part except for that last one, that one wasn't as fun. Hope you had a killer weekend as well!

Broccoli leaf

In case you don't know what a gigantic broccoli leaf looks like, this is it. Katy, Ty and I are part of a farm share, and this came as part of our weekly produce last week. Awesome.

It smells and tastes a lot like broccoli from what I hear. I believe Katy ate it after cutting it into squares and sautéing it. And, can I just say that I like how getting produce from a farm share forces you to be more open in your produce palette? I now make kale chips on the regular (does twice within a month and a half count as "on the regular" if I plan on continuing to make them?) and we have started throwing all sorts of vegetables into our smoothies. Fun with produce -- gotta love it. NOTE: it's not a vegetable, but one of my favorite smoothie additives is half a lemon, rind and all. No joke. You should try it; it makes the smoothie taste all light and refreshing and invigorating. Delish.

Welcome back summer

Oh hello summer up the canyon, I've missed you.

Kates and I ventured up rock canyon last week (two weeks ago?) to break in our outdoor climbing gear for the season and do some warm-summer-evening climbing. Thankfully we got up the canyon just in time to do one lead climb each before no headlamps and the setting sun told us it was time to exit the canyon for the evening. It was surely a short trip. Surely. But also surely a great start to a sure-to-be amazing summer.

As you will notice, there are no photos of Katy or I actually climbing. In lieu of our affinity for life and each other, we decided it best not to photograph people while we are belaying them on the front of a 90-foot rock face. Next time: must bring friends for numerous reasons, including to take proper climbing pictures.

Unexpected blessings

Sometimes, when things seem to not work out in my life as I expected or hoped, I feel like my life is a little shattered.

Like when I graduated college with a degree and skill set to match in Public Relations, only to be laid off from my first corporate job a little more than a year later. My department size went from 12 people to 5 people, and even though I knew it was a "job elimination" not a "nicki elmination" (big difference), I was still devastated. What was I supposed to do now? One job out of college with hardly a year of experience?! Come on! But, unexpectedly, it was that door closing that allowed the great door of a career in graphic design to open for me. In fact, if it hadn't been for that door swinging closed I probably still would be stuck in PRsville writing press releases and calling editors on the regular (poke my eyes out). Plus, the severance package that I received also paid for a trip I took to Europe, but that is a whole different story. Point being, I still count that layoff as one of the largest blessings I have ever received. Not to mention numerous relationships not going as planned, job applications not yielding results, failed attempts to do things I really love, and countless others.

I came across this quote today and subsequently designed up this little web poster because it reminded me that when I am doing my best to follow happiness, the world doesn't end when things don't go according to plan. That forced direction changes can take you to lovely places you didn't even know existed before. That loving the ebbs and flows of life rather than struggling against them is a much happier road than constantly feeling out of control. Life is good, and I am grateful for the seemingly depressing closed doors that have led me to everything beautiful and amazing that I have in my life now.


Longboard season has begun

Thank you for posting this on your blog, Angela Tam.

Fam time in Seattle + Christmas in June

This Seattle trip was great as always. My amazingly kind and dear friend, Miss Angela Tam, picked Ty and I up from the airport, then we met up with our friend Galen (pictured in plaid above) for some bánh mì in the park and a tour of Galen's apartment downtown before official family time in Seattle started. It felt so nice to catch up in person with Galen and know how it just fills your soul to hug good friends after far-too-long absences? too. It was so nice. Talk about a great start to a great trip.

We then headed to my brother's house where we hung out in our pajamas while we took pictures/while my 4-year-old niece took pictures before Ty and I left for Alaska the next morning.

Now, fast forward a week...

We're back in Seattle after our cruise to the great north, and, this is where the exciting gift from my brother comes in...drumroll please...insert awesome bag pictured above! Yay! Here's the story...

I'm sure none of you remember this blog post about me desperately wanting duffel bags made out of sail fabric, and my shrewd negotiating with my brother to get me some. But, two years of begging and a lot of reminding my brother that he still owed me a Christmas gift from last year yielded a rad sail fabric duffel bag of my very own to take back with me from Seattle this trip! It's my favorite. And it perfectly fit all the extra stuff I had brought back from Alaska with me.

My brother sewed that bad boy up the evening before Ty and I flew back to Utah. The whole family hung out in the garage with him while we listened to music and joked, and he worked. He cut and stitched the fancy bag on his industrial sewing machine that he normally uses to make sails. AWESOME NOTE: Amidst the bag sewing, my brother demonstrated the power of his sewing machine by sewing through a 1/4-inch thick piece of wood like it was butter. Seriously. It was amazing. And Boom! At the end, I had the most amazing Christmas present in June imaginable. Thanks Bro. I love it. You do great work.


Stripes on a bag

For years I have wanted a bag for my makeup/toiletries (mainly toiletries seeing as my makeup regimen consists of eyeliner, mascara and chapstick), but I could never find one that would suit. However, a few weeks ago I happened across this little gem from Scout and Catalogue, and the search was over! Boom baby! It arrived in the mail for me this week, and I love it. I love it I love it I love it. I'm even tempted to plan another vacation just so I can use it sooner. Ridiculous? I think not. Note: this is not the present from my brother...that post is coming up next.


Cruising to Alaska

Last week, the Schmidt family+Ty loaded ourselves onto a cruise ship in the Seattle Harbor and headed up to Alaska for a week of card and dice playing, abundant eating, great sight seeing and some pretty killer land excursions. The itinerary featured stops in Juneau, Sitka, Ketchican and Victoria, B.C. And me and Ty's personal itinerary (as pictured above) included hiking in Juneau, biking in Sitka, kayaking in Ketchican (while wearing waterproof pants) and adoring Victoria.

In short, it was amazing. Along with learning that Alaska is ridiculous amounts of beautiful and fun, I also learned the following while on the trip:

1. Many of the waterfront cities in Alaska are only accessible by water -- not roads. Water planes and boats are in no shortage there.
2. The mountains, along with everything else in Alaska, are humungous. Ravens, dandelions, eagles, you name Alaska it's bigger (sorry Texas).
3. The mountains in Alaska are located approximately one-quarter of a mile from the ocean front. Ocean - nestled city - mountains. That's how it goes.
4. Juneau gets roughly 16 days of sun a year (it was totally sunny the day we were there -- hey yo!)
4. If you keep your eyes open on a bike ride in Sitka, you might just find yourself a sweet, free bandana.
5. Secondly, while Sitka may seem lame from all the sources you can find on the internet, it is actually the coolest town in Alaska and serves the most supreme clam chowder imaginable (insert Ludvig's Bistro here).
6. Overcast weather in Ketchican is actually preferred for kayaking because sunny weather brings wicked wind and unbearable kayaking conditions.
7. Sea cucumbers look entirely different in Alaska than they do in Southern California.
8. I still get wicked sea sick.
9. My dad wakes up at 5:00 every morning, but happily isn't quite the snorer he used to be.
10. Burger Queen in Ketchican sells $10 burgers and $5 shakes that are worth every stinking penny.
11. Victoria, B.C. is totally charming and I would be more than happy to live there one day.

Hope you all had a great week last week too! Soon to come are pictures from staying at my brother's house pre and post Alaska trip. As usual, much fun was had and documented. Not as usual, I got a surprise, long-awaited gift from my brother while we were there! Booyah! I'm excited to share. Pictures to follow.