Tag Archives: camping


29 Jan




22 Jan


(photo by Chris Owens)

“All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.” 

Martin Buber


30 Nov


For those of you who recently joined the 365 til 30 party, camping was the very first goal I crossed off the list. Simply put, it was the easiest to tackle…sleeping in the dirt is surprisingly easy to manifest. To recap…camping and I had a love/hate relationship…there was no middle ground for us. I was either singing its praises or cursing it all. I was like a crazy person. The highlights included “The Tent”“The Chicken” and “The Hike”.

When I got home from camping, I thought to myself – “Well, there is something I will never do again”. Sure it had it’s fun moments (s’mores) but overall I thought it was pretty exhausting.  Here I am though, 4 months later, and surprisingly I am going camping again. In DECEMBER no less and the kicker is…it was my friend Rachel‘s and my idea. When my mother heard the plan she told me she can only assume Rachel and I had been drinking when we came up with the brilliant idea. We weren’t. The story goes like this- we thought it would be fun to go camping together considering that Rachel and her boyfriend PJ love to camp and they have some truly great camping supplies (camping stove, air mattress, camelback campfire dual skewer and a pancake maker), so we looked at our calendars and checked with our guys (and also invited another adventurous couple) and December 16th was the only date that worked for everyone for the next few months.

So, as ridiculous as this may sound…I am going camping in December and I hate the cold. I’m actually under 3 blankets as I write this.

But this time the adventure will include 3 couples, one small chihuahua named Nala and the beach.


28 Nov

The other night I was up from 3 to 6 am (glorious hours to be up by yourself) thinking about 365 til 30 and my 10 goals. I cannot believe it’s been almost 5 months since it all began. I am truly blown away by how much has happened in the last 5 months- I moved in with Brian, camped, tango’d, cooked, baked, attempted French, written more insane emails than I care to admit, laughed, cried, danced, jumped with joy, had my goals actualize, had meetings that rocked my world, had goals temporarily derailed but still made a point to find the humor in it all.

Getting out of my comfort zone has forced me to see myself differently and laugh more than I thought possible. I also learned that I am much more resilient than I originally gave myself credit for. Not to mention I found the strength to get over my chicken phobia.

But the most amazing part has been how much I was able to manifest by setting a clear intention. I have always had a very clear image of what I wanted my life to look like and it’s coming into focus.

But, you know what kept me awake most during those  glorious hours? Thinking about what still lies ahead. What big surprises are around the corner. What goals I needed to re-strategize to attain and what goals I need to breathe new life into. Because, as much as this blog is about finding the joy in each day it’s also about actualizing these 10 goal and I want them all to happen as much as I did five months ago.

 I have decided that I need to start January off with a clear focus and to do so I need to re-cap, re-stratagize and fall in love with them all again.

So all through December I will be recapping and brainstorming the 10 goals!

For the readers who recently joined the 365 til 30 party this may also help you catch up! I do realize that some of you may think my “Frank” photos means Frank is real. This is not a crazy assumption. Sadly, he’s not. Not yet at least.


11 Nov


239! I cannot believe it has already been a little over 4 months since starting 365 til 30. I actually got a little sad when I wrote 239…I don’t want this year to end!

Brian and I are taking a road-trip this weekend, up to San Luis Obispo for a mini reuinon with his closest friends from college. Considering I’ve met them all before (and actually really like them) I am excited about this getaway. What should be interesting, though, is the fact that two of the three other couples just had babies. Meaning, we are headed into Baby Central. Why should this be interesting? Well, because I wouldn’t say Brian is a huge baby person. It’s not like he is mean to babies or anything. He just doesn’t get why people think babies are so cool. I guess most men don’t unless the baby is theirs. When I “ooooh” and “aaaaah” at cute babies on the street he looks at me as if he’s thinking…are we looking at the same thing?

So for personal enjoyment I have three goals this weekend.

1. Get Brian to hold a baby

2. Take a picture of him holding a baby.

3. Post awkward baby holding pictures on blog for everyone to enjoy

 -What Inspired me this week?-

Brian’s photography!  Not only is Brian a brilliant Urban Designer but he also happens to be a brilliant photographer and his new site went live today! (Can you tell I am a fan?) Click HERE to see it!

My new book “Mennonite In A Little Black Dress”. It’s totally cracking me up! I can’t remember the last time I laughed out loud while reading.

Planning our next camping trip…in December. HA

-What am I grateful for this week?-

Being asked to do a guest post for Jennifer who happens to be one of my favorite bloggers. Click HERE to view my post!

Trusting my instincts

That I didn’t kill anybody with my roast chicken meal

-What surprised me this week?

For once nothing! Phew. Maybe the big guy in the sky knew I was a bit overwhelmed from all the surprises last week and gave me a break this week.

High five God!


This quote is hysterical-

“Never tell your problems to anyone…20% don’t care and the other 80% are glad you have them.

– Lou Holtz


10 Oct

Last night while organizing my workspace I found all the dvd’s from a show I hosted almost 7 years ago called “Night Guide” and I ended up watching a few episodes. It made me nostalgic and it put me in a crappy mood. I longed for the time in my life where I was totally and utterly carefree. I never worried about the future. I never worried about responsibilities. I never did anything but have fun. I remember thinking at the time that everything would always be easy. Money would always be coming and I would never have to worry about a thing. I was also a size 0 without any effort. I wouldn’t necessarily want to go back in time (it wasn’t always fun) but I still felt envy towards my 23 year old past self and it put me in a weird mood…i’m sure a mood Brian wished he wasn’t present for. It sent me on a bit of a pity party. I found myself complaining to Brian about everything that was wrong in my life. I think it ended with “I am going to be 30 in 9 months and I have a wrinkle on my forehead.” Sniffle…sniffle…sigh…poor me.

He looked at me and said…

Think babe when you do turn 30 we will be living in a new house, you will speak French fluently, have driven across the USA, be able to cook, gone camping half a dozen times (considering I have only camped once this gave me pause) and Frank will be by your side. This made me smile.

So take that 23 year old, totally carefree size 0 Kate…I’m going to speak French and have a French bulldog!



1 Aug



The Chicken consumed my thoughts prior to the trip. I simply did not trust Brian about the chicken situation. He attempted to assure me that it was ok to travel with raw chicken in an ice cooler and then eat it. Even more disturbing…the plan was to cook the chicken on night two. This seemed wrong to me. Terribly wrong. But, I didn’t want to hurt his feelings considering he had already done so much to make my first camping adventure perfect. So after a few conversations I acted like I let it go. Cut to our drive up the coast when I slipped and asked “Hey Brian, where is the raw chicken in relation to the apples in the cooler?” He looked at me like he was worried about my mental health.

Cut to-night two. The day I made it through an 8 mile hike, over-grown brush, thistle stuck on my ass, poison oak, a supposedly “cute” snake and a bobcat sighting on the trial where I happened to be wearing a backpack filled with cured meats. I was a survivor and I was so exhausted. I would have happily indulged in a hamburger and fries with no shame. But no, I knew what was coming. It was night two and that meant it was chicken night. I look back now and see there was a master plan at work.  He wore me down, to the point I couldn’t say no to eating that chicken. He won. In that moment I HATED camping.

Brian built a fire for our chicken to cook on while I sipped wine. Despite my preoccupation with the situation, I still noticed his incredible fire building skills. That boy could build a fire out of one little stick. Boy scout material for sure. He also takes great pride in the activity, even retrieving his “fire gloves” from the car to perfect the position of the wood. I didn’t show him how impressed I was in the moment though. Finally, after much anticipation it was time to eat. This is hard for me to admit but that was the best damn chicken I have ever eaten and I didn’t die!

After dinner Brian and I sat by the fire, laughing, cuddling, telling stories, making s’mores…just being…with no distractions. In that moment I LOVED camping.

Somewhere deep in my soul I think there may be a camper.

See ya next year tent.

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31 Jul



Day 2, Brian and I decided to do a 8 mile hike. Well, actually Brian decided that we were going to do an 8 mile hike and I mumbled “yes…sounds great”. When starting 365 til 30, I made a promise to myself that I would simply say “yes” to things even if they didn’t fit into my idea of pleasurable. Reason being, I usually end up enjoying the things I think I won’t. So I happily agreed to an 8 mile hike AND to carrying a backpack full of cured meats for our lunch. Both of these were very hard for me to say “yes” to with a smile.

Once we started the hike I was in heaven. The fresh smell in the air was invigorating and the scenery was breathtaking. We also happened to be the only people on the trail and I loved the quiet. Simply laughing and enjoying the beauty of the day with Bri. I was happy in this moment. Truly happy. Truly thankful. In this moment I LOVED camping.

After an hour we found ourselves in a dense Redwood forest. It was magical. I was so inspired by it I even started singing a tune while walking through it. Things changed quickly when I had the bright idea to sit on the ground to get a better shot of Brian and a Redwood Tree. It was then I got bit by a bug. I couldn’t even tell you what kind of bug it was. But, it didn’t matter…it hurt and itched and I could feel my emotional pendulum swing. As I pulled myself off the ground I was referring to the magical Redwood forest as the bug ridden den. In this moment I HATED camping.

Hour 2 we reached the top of the mountain!! It was worth every little step and every little bug bite because it took my breath away. It was insanely beautiful and we happened to be the only ones up there. We found a bench perched on the top of the hill to have our lunch at. We also decided to carve our initials into the bench…like school kids. HA. It was a perfect moment. In this moment I was happy and I LOVED camping.

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30 Jul



Leading up to the trip, I was very skeptical about the tent. I had no idea what to expect and that usually causes a stir in me. When Brian first pulled it out of the car he said I had the most terrified look on my face. I’m sure this is true despite my efforts to keep a smile on my face and hide my concerns. I wanted to be a trooper, not a baby.

My first thought upon seeing the folded tent was “Now what?” I had no idea what to do with that heap of fabric lying in the dirt. I told Brian that I would do my best and to just give me a job. After 15 minutes we had a tent!! My first thoughts when I saw my new home was…I like its color scheme and “now what?”.

 “Now what?” was a constant thought during my camping trip. The other refrain was “This is some backwoods shit.” No matter what was happening I would refer to it as “backwoods shit”. Brian hated it when I would say it. He informed me that nothing about my situation was “backwoods shit”  because we had  hot water to shower in and a flushing toilet house. He also didn’t think it was a very “PC” thing to say. In the attempt to not offend, I ended up whispering it to myself every five minutes. I couldn’t help it because I saw some crazy shit.

Ok, so back to the tent. Once the tent was set up I actually thought it was pretty cute and I loved the fact that Brian and I had worked as a team to build it. At that moment, I was happy. I LOVED camping. The tent and I shared a good 4 hours of love before it all changed. I quickly learned that tents are pretty awesome until you have to sleep in them. I spent the first night cold, fighting for blankets, rolling off my mattress pad, listening to the wind blow and contemplating my existence. At that moment I HATED camping.

The last straw came at 4 am when I felt the urge to pee. Let me set the scene for you. It was dark..It was cold and the bathroom was far away. I almost started crying. I tried to will myself back to sleep and ignore the feeling but, no luck. Then I remembered that earlier that day Brian had offered to walk me to the bathroom in the middle of the night if I needed him to but, only because it was my first time camping. I rolled over and looked at him. He was sound asleep and looked incredibly peaceful despite the conditions. Because he was sweet enough to make me a “French Camping CD”, I decided to not disturb him. Remember I am a trooper, not a baby.

So I pulled myself together and pulled on my Uggs boots to brave it alone. Trying to get in and out of a tent in the dark proved to be quite difficult for me. Who knew tents had zippers for windows too? After a minute,  I finally made it out. Walking in the dark to the bathrooms also proved to be quite difficult for me. Who knew it could be that dark? I couldn’t even see my hand. Surprisingly, I completed both tasks with only a few curse words.

I LOVED that tent because Brian and I built it together. I HATED that tent because I had to sleep in and didn’t have a bathroom.

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28 Jul


I have officially crossed camping off the list!!!! For a girl who doesn’t like bugs, dirt, cold weather or raw chicken, I think I did pretty well. There was minimal complaining. I was too tired to complain most of the time.

In all honesty, it was the best and worst experience of my life.  I LOVED certain moments and HATED others. My emotional pendulum swung big and often. If I hadn’t  been with the man I love I would have said “screw this” after the first night. But, Brian held my hand through it and tried to make my first experience the best. He even put together a music playlist titled “French Camping Oui Oui”. I am a very lucky girl.

After two nights in the woods, I am still trying to answer an important question…Why is camping fun?

Why is it fun to sleep outside? Why is it fun to sleep in the cold? Why is it fun to shower with strangers? Why is it fun to cook dinner from a cooler? Why is it fun to wake up at 5 am because the sun is beating on your tent? Why is it fun to hang out in the dirt? Why do we pay to do this?

I’ve been asking fellow campers, the very simple question “Why is camping fun?” and I still can’t get a straight answer from anyone. Yet they all keep camping. The strange part is. I think I may have become one of those people. I’m not sure if I think camping is fun but I am pretty sure I will do it again

Brian said it best. Camping is like Vegas…2 nights is fantastic…3 is still good and 4 is awful. I will re-write that and say 1 would be ideal and 2 is manageable with wine.