new year

Snow Baby

Well Michael and I managed to continue our New Year’s Day tradition!ย Snowshoeing at Trillium Lake!

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In case you weren’t aware, it had been raining for the last 30 days straight here in Portland. In early December there was actually epic flooding as well. Bad news. Good news? Our mountain finally got SNOW!!! The weather has been pretty good this past week–very little rain but cold, cold, cold. Ice on the car in the mornings, wind chill that will make your eyes water and your joints ache. But still, there was snow on Mt. Hood! Last winter was pathetic (there was no snow in Bend!).

I wasn’t quite sure how it would go this year. I didn’t *think* snowshoeing would be hard pregnant — I mean, it’s really just walking — but I really no idea.

A friend of Michael’s got snowshoes for Christmas and asked if he could join us. We said sure but warned him we didn’t know how much I would be able to do. I knew it would not be like last year where we accidentally ended up doing nearly 5 miles (the entire Trillium Lake loop) which was too much for our bodies to handle, too much for the first time out snowshoeing for the season and WAY too much for Bella’s first time.

We actually ended up leaving Bella home this year. The weather was supposed to peak at around 15 degrees at Government Camp when we planned on being there and that was just too cold for Bella. I think we made the right call, even though we both felt sad that we couldn’t take her out to play in the snow (which she loves). I felt guilty when we got home, too, because she missed out. But it was the right decision–even with her fleece lined jacket it would have been too cold for her on the mountain since she doesn’t have fur or long hair.

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We planned on being up on the mountain by 10 because it’s usually pretty crowded and I’d heard earlier in the week from some people that the lot was full by 10am. We got a little bit of a later start than planned but were at Trillium Lake around 10:30. We got a parking spot (barely) and the lot was even more full when we were done!

I discovered that none of my snow gear fit. I had a feeling it would be tight, but didn’t think it would be unusable. That was disappointing. And since it was going to be such a cold day on the mountain I was a little worried about not being warm enough. I wore my long underwear (those fit for the most part), some sweat pants and a sweater, then wore a pair of Michael’s waterproof cycling pants over that instead of my snow pants. The gators I wore on my legs protected me enough from the snow and I was warm enough but it sure wasn’t good “snow” gear and definitely not breathable materials.

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We set out on the path down the steep hill and then took a right to get the best view of Mt. Hood.

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Gorgeous day!

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Baby bump on the mountain!

Snowshoeing seemed ok. I wasn’t really having any issues. I was definitely slower this year than in years past but I was trucking along. We went by the mountain and came to a fork in the road. The left goes around the lake and that’s usually the route we go. The other fork goes to another sno-park (I think maybe Mazamas?). We took that one instead.

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It was pretty flat in this part.ย There was a cute little cabin buried in the snow deep in the woods. It had huge icicles on the roof and snowdrifts were doing a good job hiding it.

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We hiked by a creek that I’d never seen before (or maybe just didn’t notice). Around this time my left ankle was starting to bug me a little bit–the achilles tendon. I wasn’t sure why and it wasn’t constant. Later when we were done I realized my hiking boot had come untied underneath all my layers and my gators so that was probably the reason why. It was slightly painful and very annoying.

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We’d been hiking for about an hour and decided to turn around. I was still feeling pretty good but wanted to turn around and be closer to the starting point just in case. If we got back to the base of the giant hill and I felt ok I said we could do the other part of the loop that goes towards the lake but I wanted to wait and see.

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We turned around and hiked back. I got to practice using my new camera on this adventure, which was nice. It takes great photos.

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Someone made a snow Alien:

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We got back to the viewpoint and took a few more pictures and then continued on. I realized I was pretty much done and Michael was, too. His hips were starting to bug him and so were mine.

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The last leg of the journey is the worst. It’s that never-ending climb up the hill to the parking lot. It’s so long and just when you turn a corner and think you’re at the top, you’re not. It’s very deceptive and harder than it looks and it gets me EVERY YEAR. This year was no different. Half-way up the hill I was over it. I was so slow. Just plugged along, taking baby steps because I was tired and starting to get sore. But finally made it to the top and then had to traverse the icy parking lot and the traffic of people trying to fight for spots to park.

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We ended up hiking 3 miles in 2 hours and I burned 793 calories.

It was a good trek out, I’m glad we did it and I’m glad I was ABLE to do it…but I’m pretty sure that was my one and only snowshoeing trek this year. Not having good snow clothes that fit are deterring me from wanting to try again. But I will say, physically, I was okay snowshoeing at almost 30 weeks pregnant. Other than carrying around an extra 20 pounds and being a little slower, it wasn’t that much different!

We were back in the car and heading down the mountain by 1pm, which meant we missed all the afternoon/evening traffic of skiers heading back to town. The pizza place we liked to go to was closed so we ended up getting sandwiches at Subway. I wasย famished and baby was kicking me for some food. Happy to oblige. Got home and immediately took a long, hot bath with Epsom salts. I knew I was going to be sore the next day!

6pm came around and I felt so depleted and exhausted I actually laid down and fell asleep for a nap. I’m not a napper. Like ever. But I guess the day caught up to me. Dinner was Papa Murphy’s pizza because the burger-fries-milkshake I was craving from a place near the house was closed. ย  ๐Ÿ™ Oh well. Food was food. I definitely didn’t eat enough calories for the day and I think that’s part of the reason I was so tired. That and trudging through the snow!

What a Year It’s Been – 2015

Holy cow! What a year!

First year of married life. It was filledย with lots of good things. The weather was really mild here in the NW and we took advantage of that and went hiking most weekends that we could. We did a lot of local traveling, spent a ton of time with family and friends and it was nice. We sawย Faith No Moreย — actually Michael saw them like 3 or 4 times this year, which was awesome for him because it’s his favorite band.

There were some not great things — several injuries on my part. Feet issues. Back issues–twice. Despite that, I was in good health for the most part. The back injury was annoying but didn’t end up being a long term issue (knock on wood). I do think the standing desk at work helped a LOT. I went to Seattle for my great aunt’s funeral earlier this year, which was hard and emotional. There was a lot of family stuff going on that made it extra hard but I’m glad I was able to go up there and see everyone and spend some time with my grandma, who is now the last one left of her siblings. ๐Ÿ™

I didn’t do some of the things I’d planned on doing this year but that’s ok. I feel like I accomplished a fair enough and as for resolutions, I was successful with most of them! Here were my goals:

New Yearโ€™s Resolution Time

Finish losing the 2014 weight! <—Um, not so much. I did lose some of it, but gained some of it back and then got pregnant. So, that goal was pretty much out the window.

Travel <—Yes! See below.

Read more books <—My goal for 2015 was to read 140 books. You can friend me on Goodreads. I do periodic book reviews here, too. How did I do on my goal? Beat it! I read 147 books this year.

Walk Bella more and work on her training <—We weren’t as great at this one. Yes we walked her a lot and she went hiking a TON but we didn’t learn any new tricks this year and we need to fix that!

Run another 5K <—Actually I ran two! The first was after a flare-up of my back injury. The second was the race I ran with my dad!

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Spend quality time with friends, family and my husband <— Tons of it! Family reunions, lots of family visits and I threw a surprise birthday party for my hubby!

Finish the kitchen remodel!!! ย <—- Um YEAH! FINISHED! Finally have kitchen countertops!

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Travel

Bend – we spent an awesome weekend for my birthday in Bend. Another couple came with us and we rented a house together, did tons of beer tasting and had a GREAT time. Too bad there wasn’t any snow, otherwise we could have actually gone snowshoeing!

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Tucson – I spent an amazing long weekend in Tucson with my cousin Anna for a girl’s weekend/wedding of a dear friend. It was a fabulous visit and I was so happy to be able to celebrate with my friend and to explore the cool side of Arizona with Anna. We did so many fun things, ate great food and went for an exciting hike!

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Hood River – Spent a fantastic day near Hood River with a friend exploring Lost Lake, going for a nice hike and enjoying the summer weather.

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Astoria – Michael, Bella and I got to spend a great weekend in Astoria at a really nice (fancy) hotel for a little pampering. It was just what we needed! If you have the opportunity to stay at the Cannery Pier Hotel, do it! It was luxurious!

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Crater Lake – We went to Crater Lake for our 1 year wedding anniversary. It was a fantastic road trip with gorgeous scenery. I’d love to go back someday.

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You can get all the travel posts I’ve written here.

Hiking

We did SO much hiking this year! You can check out my page on hiking if you are interested in reading those posts, or if you’re in the NW area and looking for some great hikes. Michael and I didn’t necessarily make a goal of hiking a certain amount of mileage but we were lucky that the weather was so good all year and we were able to hike a ton. A lot more than last year! Bonus: my knee issues had improved to the point where hiking was no longer something that made me anxious because I wasn’t sure if my knees could handle it.

In 2015 we hiked 111 miles!

Family

Michael and I were lucky to be able to see family so much this year. His dad came to visit a few times from Texas. My parents came to visit a few times. We just focused on spending time with our parents and I’m glad.

We were kind of keeping a little secret this year…and finally in September we were able to share that secret with the world! It was a little scary sharing it, after keeping it quiet for so long, but once it was out, it was kind of a relief, too. Being pregnant has been one of the weirdest, happiest, emotional times in my life and it’s so hard to believe that we’ll get to meet our little one in a few more months. Something tells me 2016 is going to be even bigger for us than past years have been! ๐Ÿ™‚

 

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Hope you had a great 2015!