About 365 days of marriage

I started this blog in April of 2011. At the time, Bret and I were wedding photographers and it was a way to share how marriage is more about the day to day and so much more than the wedding day itself. For about 5 years, I blogged about the joys and sorrows of the Christian walk, marriage, work, family and friends. I’ve blogged every day since a few weeks after I started. In May of 2015, we photographed our last wedding. Now, I have become passionate about simplicity, particularly in marriage, Christianity, business, travel and life. For a number of reasons, we have become minimalists. I’ve found that having simplicity makes life so much deeper, refreshing and joyful. I hope that this blog will help others see the benefits of living simply.

Day 3206 – Postcard From Far Far Away!

What I do for work has changed so much over the last few years. I love changing and growing and learning new things. I love using my gifts in the myriad of ways that I do. I love the people that I’ve met and work for. One of those amazing people is Lori Gross. She is a stunning animal photographer, as well as an expedition guide to Antarctica, who wants to share the Antarctic Experience with others, among many other things. She is definitely a woman after my own heart with her desire to build multiple businesses, and share her passions with others.

So not only do I get to work for such a great person who encourages MY dreams, she sends me postcards from Antarctica! The mail is MUCH slower, so even though she mailed this a while back, it just arrived this week. Each year, she shares photos and videos with me of what she experiences. Each year, my desire to visit increases. I cannot wait for the time I can finally see that stunning country in person with her.

Make sure you check out all her various links above!

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Day 3205 – Free Admission To National Parks Tomorrow!

Tomorrow is the start of National Park week! To celebrate they’re offering free admission!

Here’s all of the details and the other freebie dates.

We talked about going to Fort McHenry since it’s close and we’ll be in Baltimore anyway, but we have a number of things to accomplish and might not make it.

Where will you go?

This is one of our favorite parks, Zion in Utah.

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Did you like what you read? Here’s some ways you can support us and this blog!
Join our Facebook group, Planning an Epic Road Trip on Any Budget
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Buy my book, Planning an Epic Road Trip on any Budget.
Buy my book, Trusting God With 2 Cents: 22 Days To Becoming A Successful Christian Business Owner.
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Check out our resources page.
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Day 3204 – Poetry And The Creative Mind Day

One aspect of myself and my creativity is poetry. For a myriad of reasons, I’ve kept this part of myself tucked away. It seems I’ve always enjoyed writing poems, but for some reason or another, I just haven’t. Since attending a poetry reading, and purchasing a truly epic journal (see below), I’ve found myself writing poetry nearly every day. I’ve been reading great books on fostering creativity.

It seems as a rule, having a childlike joy and wonder with the world is a key to having long lasting creativity. Coming to situations with fresh eyes. Playing, just for the sake of play, awakens parts of our brains we try to keep quiet.

I still have a ways to go in increasing my play and childlike wonder in life, which is a good thing, I think. Realizing it’s a long game, and something I will always be striving to attain, is a relief. Much like learning – there will ALWAYS be something to learn. There is no reason to stop learning.

What is your favorite creative outlet?

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Did you like what you read? Here’s some ways you can support us and this blog!
Join our Facebook group, Planning an Epic Road Trip on Any Budget
Join the Journey With The G’s email list (bonus – you get my Epic Road Trip Budget spreadsheet)
Buy my book, Planning an Epic Road Trip on any Budget.
Buy my book, Trusting God With 2 Cents: 22 Days To Becoming A Successful Christian Business Owner.
Shop on Amazon (no additional cost to you, this gives us a percentage of what you order).
Check out our resources page.
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Day 3203 – Our Amazing Weekend – Goat Yoga, Steamed Crabs, A Larger Than Life Cheesesteak, And A Vacation Without Going Away

To say this past weekend was amazing would be a gross understatement. It’s been a long time since we took a genuine weekend off. While I have been pretty diligent at not doing any client work the past few weekends, I have done work for our business, as well as projects for myself. While there were little things here and there we needed to do, it was primarily a weekend in the normal sense.

We attended goat yoga at Faint Away Farm in Conowingo, Maryland. It was over an hour from home, and I have to say a beautiful day for a drive. I haven’t explored this area at all, so it was fun to experience it for the first time with Bret. I’m not sure if I’ve ever driven over the Conowingo dam before, but I do know that it’s home to many bald eagles. I mentioned this to Bret as we started to cross, and within a few minutes, we saw half a dozen eagles. It was SO cool!

It was such a lovely day, that I mentioned wanting to get steamed crabs. In our past, we would have talked about it, but then decided we couldn’t afford it, or gone and not gotten much. Almost as soon as I mentioned it, Bret said, let’s do it! It’s crazy how much our mindsets are changing about money, experiencing things, and not putting things off for a rainy day.

As an aside, if you’re looking to make some shifts about how you view money, I’m currently working through The Maui Millionaires by David Finkel & Diane Kennedy (very slowly, because I want to actually work through things) and You Are a Badass at Making Money by Jen Sincero (this is a MUST as an audiobook – disclaimer, there is a bunch of language).

So it was a really cool moment to realize how much we had changed. Funny enough, we were listening to You Are A Badass at Making Money on the drive up.

We arrived and got set up for yoga. It was lead by Becky Rondone of Pura Vida Yoga & Physical Training.

When we started, the goats were released.

I was a little nervous, so there were times I didn’t close my eyes. Bret said hello and welcomed the goats with food on our towels.

But those goats are smart and found where we were hiding the cups of food.

I got to hold one of the little guys. Oh so cute! If you’re interested in purchasing a goat for yourself, check out the Facebook page!

We asked the owner of the farm (and also one of our friends) if she had a recommendation for where to get crabs. She suggested Jumbo Jimmy’s Crab Shack.

We started sharing cream of crab soup….which even our server thought might be a mistake…given the amount of food we ordered…but it was a good mistake because it was absolutely delicious. Definitely in my top five.

I ordered a dozen small and mediums mixed. They were amazing and I think there was only 1 dud.

Bret ordered Jumbo Jimmy’s Belly Buster Cheesesteak. Friends, I’m not sure this picture does it justice. It was THE biggest cheesesteak I’ve EVER seen. I still cannot believe Bret finished it. We were there for a while since I had a dozen crabs to get through.

Upon arriving home, we relaxed and read for the rest of the day. It felt like a vacation, even though we hadn’t gone anywhere.

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Did you like what you read? Here’s some ways you can support us and this blog!
Join our Facebook group, Planning an Epic Road Trip on Any Budget
Join the Journey With The G’s email list (bonus – you get my Epic Road Trip Budget spreadsheet)
Buy my book, Planning an Epic Road Trip on any Budget.
Buy my book, Trusting God With 2 Cents: 22 Days To Becoming A Successful Christian Business Owner.
Shop on Amazon (no additional cost to you, this gives us a percentage of what you order).
Check out our resources page.
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Day 3202 – Road Trip Book Preview – How Do You Stay Entertained On The Road? – repost

I’m SO excited about my next book, all about planning a road trip across the country. This is obviously something very close to my heart and I just love giving advice about travel. Part of the book will be a frequently asked questions approach. I wanted to share one of the questions and my answer. If you have a burning question about planning a road trip, let me know below!

Disclaimer, the links to books below are affiliate links. This only means if you decide to purchase the book, we’ll get a percentage. We ONLY share links to things we have personally listened to and recommend.

How do you stay entertained?
One of the most entertaining things we do is listen to audio books. If you have multiple drivers, I would recommend being organized with the audio books. If you are able, use two different audio players. For example, we have two iPods, so we put my books on one and Bret’s on the other. That way, when it’s my turn, my book is already queued up.

Make sure you listen to part of the book before you leave! I’ll listen to about 3-4 minutes of a book to see if I like the author’s voice and if they’ll keep my attention. Biographies read by the author are really, really fun. If you can find one where the author took a road trip, even better. We happened to listen to a biography during our 2016 summer trip, Always Looking Up by Michael J. Fox, and he author talked about a road trip he took with his son and wouldn’t you know, it was on the SAME route that we were on!

On a smaller road trip, I didn’t take my own advice of listening to a few minutes before I left. I ended up with a book that was very interesting, but the reader’s voice was very monotone and wasn’t helping to keep me awake. Unfortunately, it was a night drive and the only book I brought.

Some of our favorite audiobooks have been – The Hunger Games series, the Harry Potter series read by Jim Dale, Born Standing Up by Steve Martin, Always Looking Up by Michael J. Fox, As You Wish by Cary Elwes, Wildflower by Drew Barrymore, to name a few!

We sometimes take a book of questions to ask each other. Writing prompts books are great for this. Or books that ask “What would you rather” or “What if?”

If you will have kids with you on the trip, know what keeps them occupied. Make a game out of the drive – count how many of blue cars we pass or have a bingo game. If you’re traveling in more barren areas, make sure to have bingo for that area.

Bret and I play the alphabet sign game where you call all words from signs in alphabetical order and you can’t repeat other’s words. So it would go like this (note, this is for example purposes only, obviously these signs would be thousands of miles apart:
Jen – Albuquerque! Buffalo Wild Wings!
Bret – Alexandria! Baltimore!
Jen/Bret – California! (whoever says it first gets its)

This is a great game, but it can be terrible if you’re in a stretch with few signs and buildings. I recommend the alphabet sign game near big cities and would you rather/what if games in wide open drives.

Another game we play is the alphabet volley game with movies/entertainment/actors. You have to say a movie/insert category here, the next person uses the last letter of the previous person’s answer.
Jen – All Dogs Go To Heaven, Bret – Next, Jen – Time Cop.

We change the rules depending on how long we want to play. Sometimes it’s just movies, other times it’s a huge realm – any actor, movie, tv show, etc.

Another way to stay entertained is having a good mix of music that you love for the times you want to enjoy the drive. Sometimes you’ll want to focus on what’s around you and not have the distraction of a story. I have a few playlists that I just love for my “thinking and driving” portions.

What about you? How do you stay entertained on the road? Do you have a question about planning a road trip? Let me know below!

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(Note, you’ll notice Yes, Please in this picture. I did listen to part of it, but had to stop it. It was funny, but a little too crass for my tastes.

originally posted 2/1/17

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Did you like what you read? Here’s some ways you can support us and this blog!
Join our Facebook group, Planning an Epic Road Trip on Any Budget
Join the Journey With The G’s email list (bonus – you get my Epic Road Trip Budget spreadsheet)
Buy my book, Planning an Epic Road Trip on any Budget.
Buy my book, Trusting God With 2 Cents: 22 Days To Becoming A Successful Christian Business Owner.
Shop on Amazon (no additional cost to you, this gives us a percentage of what you order).
Check out our resources page.
Subscribe to our YouTube Channel