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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Day 3201 – Things Learned Over Seven Years Of Blogging Every Day

I started this blog to help grow my wedding photography business. I saw it as a way to share stories from our marriage to connect with potential couples, and to share the message of the importance of marriage until death do us part. I love that I have blogged seven of the almost nine years we’ve been married. I’ve learned a lot about myself, my marriage, and what is possible when you show up every day to do something. Here are a few of the biggest lessons that have come out of this blog for me.

Showing up every day adds up to something you never could have imagined at the beginning. I never would have guessed that I would stop photography, or take four cross country road trips, or that I would share one of my biggest secrets.

You never know who you will impact through your posts. There have been countless times I’ve gotten messages from folks who said a post impacted them in a way I never would have expected.

You never know who is reading….every….single….day. A few times, I’ve had people say things like “I saw that on your blog” or know little details about me from reading my blog daily. It is a good reminder to really think about what I’m posting.

You never know where your life will take you. I’ve experienced a wealth of things over the last seven years. From moves to new jobs to leaving old jobs to new friends to new adventures. I’ve experienced extreme heartache as well as extreme heartoverloadgoodness.

Whatever you’re working on daily that doesn’t have foreseeable benefits – keep going.

Whatever you’re dreaming about and afraid to start because the plan isn’t clear – just start.

Whatever book you have buried in your heart – even a few lines a day will add up to a book in time.

Thank you to every one of you who has been here from the beginning or started following this week. You make me continue to show up, every day.

I took this picture at the moment I had the idea for this blog. I was so moved that I had started to cry. For some reason, the picture was flipped upside down. I’ve kept it this way because sometimes what we think will be the end product is so far from what we expected, but it’s better than we could ever have imagined. I can’t think of a better way to describe this blog.

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Day 3188 – Is It Time To Camp Yet? – or – The First Camping Trip Of The Year – or – The Gaitans Versus Nature – repost

I posted this two years ago today. I can’t wait to camp this year but this was a good reminder to wait until you know the weather to book a local camping trip. 🙂

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Originally posted 4/3/16
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A month ago, we booked a camping trip for opening weekend at our favorite campground down the street from our home. It was also the last weekend of Bret’s spring break. It was a perfect plan! We got a little nervous as the day approached when we looked at the weather, but knew if we could just get the tent set up before the rain, we’d be fine. It was spotty rain. No worries. As we packed up the car, we started to sweat…it was pretty warm on Friday! “This is great! What great weather!” When we drove over, only 30 minutes after check-in, the weather was absolutely beautiful. We got the tent up, bought our firewood and settled in for reading, chatting and fire watching. It was magical.

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A few hours later, the storm started rolling in. Would the storm foil all our plans???

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Thankfully, it wasn’t much rain, and it was just beautiful. We had a thunderstorm looking one way, a rainbow another and a beautiful sunset the other way.

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We put our dinner on the fire and then….the rain….

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We huddled in the tent and checked our dinner periodically. Our favorite camping meal are these amazing apple chicken sausages roasted on tin foil over the fire. Mmmmm, SO good. Sadly, nature won this round. Our sausages while somewhat tasty, were missing the crispy, roasted taste.

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We slept well in our little home. The soft, morning rain was a delightful way to wake up. Thank you nature!

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But what if nature tries to foil our plans again?

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Nahhhh, this is going to be a great day!

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As the day winded down, we cooked our dinner. These sausages cooked completely. Take that nature!

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Here is where I will say, don’t mess with nature. The forecast was calling for cold temperatures (there was a freeze warning) and wind (there was a wind warning). It called for about mid 30’s and a 24 mph wind. We thought, hey, let’s try it! But we’ll pack up everything but the tent in case we need to make a quick getaway. We were in the habit of packing up everything because of the rain anyways. We had just put out the fire, packed up and locked the car, about to settle into reading and going to sleep in the tent. It was pretty much one of those things straight from the movies where you zip the tent closed and the wind starts to howl. We look at each other with trepidation….”well?”….I decided to put some of the extra books in the car and get a feel for the situation. I stood outside looking at the branches swaying, listening for things falling and weighing options. Bret joined me and after a big gust, we decided to call it. In about 15 minutes we had quickly cleaned up our tent. Shoving things anywhere. We had an armful of wood left (you have to purchase wood there, you can’t bring in your own) and decided to drive around and see if anyone was up who wanted it. We found a group and they were very appreciative…even offered us sodas and hot dogs….if we weren’t fearing for our lives, we may have made new friends. We shouted off a “nah, we’re right down the road!” thank you and continued our escape.

Nature was not in the mood to let us go. As we turned a corner, we saw that our path was completely blocked! I put the car in park as Bret charged in to do battle. He hefted the branch (the width of his arm no less) to the side of the road, protecting fellow humans in the fight. He gave it a further toss for good measure. We slowly continued our journey through the minefield that the road was becoming. Branches fallen, sticks, rocks, thorns (not cool Robert Frost!) As we neared the exit and main road, we breathed a little easier. We merged on to the main road and started the long commute home…

*5 minutes later*

We safely park at home and start to carry things inside. In a last ditch effort, nature threw all the wind and rain it could as we unloaded. Not wanting to feel as though we wasted our money, we continued our camping trip.

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We even had a fire all night, right next to our tent.

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It sure was nice waking up in the great outdoors warm living room and having a cup of coffee by the fire laptop.

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Day 3186 – Why Bret And Jen Don’t Cook/Bake/Make Any Food

We often tell people we don’t cook or bake or even eat together. Yesterday, we got a fun basket of pancake mix, Nutella, and syrup. We stopped by the store last night for bacon. I had visions of a nice, relaxing breakfast with Bret.

What followed was lots of burnt pancakes, pancake mix all over me, almost burnt bacon, lots of words we don’t normally say, and a “well, THAT is why we don’t cook!”

We were about to sit down to eat and my dear husband pushed the boundaries and said “I’ll just need to workout and then we can eat.” The look I gave him before he said “April Fool’s” hopefully warned him to NOT make jokes like that again.

Eating out is worth every. Single. Penny.

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Did you like what you read? Here’s some ways you can support us and this blog!
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Day 3185 – It’s Never Too Late For Your Dreams To Come True

There’s one thing that really bothers me. When people don’t pursue their dreams. I really hate excuses. (Totally talking to myself here too.) I hear it all the time in these phrases…

“it must be nice”
“I’ve always wanted to do that”
“I’ll never”
“it’s too late”
“I should have”

For a number of reasons and because of a number of experiences, I live pretty much every day of my life as if it was my last. I have no regrets. I have pursued things. Sometimes they fail, sometimes they don’t.

I’ve started to have really big dreams and goals. Some I’m actively working towards, some of them are down the line. But I’ve started to actually believe they are possible. I’m moving past the fear of writing them down and putting them out there. I have things like meeting Oprah (I’ve met Stedman, so I’m only one degree of separation away there!) and Tim Ferris. Doing Yoga with Adriene. Being a New York Times best seller. To be a millionaire. To meet YouTubers I’ve followed for years. (One of those is actually coming true in less than 3 months! AH!) To live on the water.

I think one of the biggest hurdles is just believing it’s possible. Getting rid of your excuses and actually doing the thing.

Bret and I had a conversation the other night after hearing a statistic – people watch an average of five hours of TV….a day. A DAY?!?! I said, how many people could start businesses in those five hours? How many books could be read in those five hours?

This morning, I read an article and watched a video about someone who had what seemed like an impossible dream, that actually come true. It was such a great reminder that it IS possible to achieve your dreams.

So friends, keep dreaming. Keep pushing after your dreams. Every person who had a dream doubted it at some point. Every one of them started from scratch. Every super successful person is just another person. Just like you.

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Did you like what you read? Here’s some ways you can support us and this blog!
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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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