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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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 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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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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Did you like what you read? Here’s some ways you can support us and this blog!
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Day 3200 – Sneak Peek Of Our Weekend – Goat Yoga!

Yesterday was a pretty epicly awesome day. I’ll tell you more about it on another day because the awesomeness is still continuing today.

But I had to share….we did goat yoga yesterday! I got some goat cuddles.

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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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